Where can I hear “Bhagavad-Gita As It Is”?

Where can classes on the Bhagavad Gita be found online?

Laura, 2 July 2019

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Gurudev

All glories to Srila Prabhuapada

I am a new devotee and know very little

I have been introduced to the Hare Krishna Mantra while in CA in 2017 and have been reading the ‘Bhagavad-Gita As It Is’ very very slowly by myself

I am living in the South of France temporarily and there are no Devotees here.. Only in Paris

The only way I can listen to the ‘Bhagavad-Gita As It Is’ suggested is through YouTube videos

Is that accepted ?

I would welcome any advice

Hare Krishna

Laura

Bhakta Sunil, 2 July 2019

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble respects

All glories to Srila Gurudeva

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Here is the link to the nectarean ocean of many Bhagavad-Gita As It Is audio lectures : https://www.krishnaconsciousness.com/lectures

You can also directly participate in live lectures online to listen and ask questions via www.livelectures.net

Please send an email to sda@backtohome.com to add your email to be informed of forthcoming online live lectures schedules (hopefully beginning in a day or two)

Also, please keep reading daily thought emails via www.joincourse.com

Hope this helps,

Sincerely,

Bhakta Sunil

Trino Carrera 2 July 2019

Hare Krishna Mataji…Please accept my humble obeisances.    All glories to Srila Prabhupada.  All glories to Srila Gurudev.   Yes there are lectures of Srila Prabhupada on Gita on Youtube and even a video of him giving the Introduction.  Also there are many lectures of Srila Gurudev on there as well.

Trino Carrera

Helen Thomas, 4 July 2019

We all watch loads of YouTube videos every day. It is wonderful that it is there for our use. There are excellent classes in there. There are classes by Srila Prabhupada Himself and by a whole range of Gurus. Wonderful lectures in Krsna TV by Mayapur TV by ISKCON by the Gurus themselves. I personally love to watch videos by HH Bhakti Vikas Swami. There are so many, a wonderful wealth. Please don’t feel it is second best to attending a live lecture, you can watch the best in action. You can also watch Remembrances of Prabhupada which are also worthy of a watch. Please immerse yourself in the teachings of Lord Krsna, Lord Caitanya, Srila Prabhupada our founding acarya, and chant and be happy.

Hare Krsna!

Helen Thomas

Editor’s note: Youtube does have a lot of good resource but can also popup all sorts of unsavoury and misleading videos, ads, etc. For a full audio archive of Srila Prabhupada’s lectures including those on the Bhagavad Gita As It Is, see www.prabhupadavani.org.

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

Eating a Mango in hiding

The great saint Ramanuja once gave his disciples a mango each and ordered them to eat hidden from view… one disciple couldn’t find a place to hide! What about you? Do you think you can hide?

I heard this from my Gurumata, Srimati Vishnupriya Devi Dasi, one of my primary instructing spiritual masters.

Once upon a time, the great saint Ramanuja, who appeared on this planet more than 1000 years ago, called his disciples and gave them each a mango. He instructed them to eat the mango in a secluded place without being seen by anyone, and report back.

The disciples scrambled, some went to caves, some to forests, some locked themselves into a dark room, yet others hid behind buildings and trees. Some went under a blanket.

One of the disciples though, returned to his spiritual master and apologetically offered that he could find no place where he could be unseen.

Ramanuja heartily congratulated this disciple and was very pleased with him.

Indeed, for every single one of our thoughts, words, and deeds, there are witnesses.

Everywhere we go, we are witnessed by the light of the sun or the moon, the light of the stars, the earth, air, space, and other material elements. These material elements are merely manifestations of the controlling deities.

You may find that hard to accept, but just think about this – do you have a cellphone? Wherever you go, the cellphone network “sees” you, tracks you. If you ever connect to any network, anything you do on that network is seen by all the providers of that network, and if they wish to, they can easily reconstruct all your actions online. Every. Single. Action. Every. Single. Byte. It is all recorded in gigantic datacenters the size of mega cities, in servers and disks with blinking lights, whirring fans, and efficient cooling systems. You are not unseen.

What to speak of man-made networks, there is the Original Network of this Material Nature, with all the material elements, the various gross and subtle manifestations and so on… do you think that the Creator and operators of this network cannot see your actions?

Very specifically, the agents of the personality in charge of death and the ultimate taxes, Yamaraja, such as Chitragupta, are tapped into this network and are recording all our actions. Not one single action goes unrecorded.

मुक्तलिङ्गं सदाभासमसति प्रतिपद्यते ।
सतो बन्धुमसच्चक्षु: सर्वानुस्यूतमद्वयम् ॥ ११ ॥

mukta-liṅgaṁ sad-ābhāsam
asati pratipadyate
sato bandhum asac-cakṣuḥ
sarvānusyūtam advayam

A liberated soul realizes the Absolute Personality of Godhead, who is transcendental and who is manifest as a reflection even in the false ego. He is the support of the material cause and He enters into everything. He is absolute, one without a second, and He is the eyes of the illusory energy.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/3/27/11/

Even if we were to be able to escape the material elements somehow, we cannot escape the Super Soul, the Paramatma, who is expanded within our hearts and travels with ourselves, us, the spirit soul, Atma. The very same Paramatma is expanded inside every atom and within the space between atoms.

eko ‘py asau racayituṁ jagad-aṇḍa-koṭiṁ
yac-chaktir asti jagad-aṇḍa-cayā yad-antaḥ
aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham-
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

He is an undifferentiated entity as there is no distinction between potency and the possessor thereof. In His work of creation of millions of worlds, His potency remains inseparable. All the universes exist in Him and He is present in His fullness in every one of the atoms that are scattered throughout the universe, at one and the same time. Such is the primeval Lord whom I adore.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bs/5/35/

Like that fortunate disciple of Sri Ramanuja, we need to see…

सर्वभूतस्थमात्मानं सर्वभूतानि चात्मनि ।
ईक्षते योगयुक्तात्मा सर्वत्र समदर्शन: ॥ २९ ॥

sarva-bhūta-stham ātmānaṁ
sarva-bhūtāni cātmani
īkṣate yoga-yuktātmā
sarvatra sama-darśanaḥ

A true yogī observes Me in all beings and also sees every being in Me. Indeed, the self-realized person sees Me, the same Supreme Lord, everywhere.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/6/29/

Everyone can see God. Here. Now. For one who has the eyes to see!

Spiritualists, speak up and be heard

When going about your spiritual practices, hearing and chanting about God, don’t do it quietly, do it loudly. Why? Can spiritual sound vibration benefit others?

Many spiritualists are very quiet. Certain spiritual practices are quiet in nature. However, for maximum benefit to ourselves and others, it is important to vibrate the spiritual sound vibrations openly, and not keep them quiet. Why is this, you may ask.

As I write this, my father lives in India and is 80 years of age and my son lives with us in Toronto and is 7 years of age. They have a beautiful practice where each reads out aloud to the other. My father first reads from the Krishna Book, and then his grandson reads from the Children’s version of the same book. Sometimes they read several chapters to each other.

Several days ago, I was in the kitchen, cooking, and also thinking about an upcoming talk I was giving to young men, all smart and well-educated, but also interested in spiritual life. The goal of any such talk is to inspire. But in order to inspire, I need to be inspired myself, correct? There were many topics suggested, and I had run through many myself, but none seemed to resonate with the mood of the present times, which is filled with uncertainty and difficulty.

Many of these young men have lost their jobs due to the Pandemic-related economic fallout. Some have lost relatives to COVID-19. Some are stuck in some online version of their educational program, a poor substitute for the real thing. Some are in financial hardships. Some have challenges resulting from isolation and loneliness. But all these young men were interested in spiritual life, and were looking for spiritual answers to their problems. I had to give them something worthy, not just words but genuine spiritual inspiration.

Suddenly, I heard my father’s voice on the speakerphone, as he recited from the 56th Chapter of the book, in which Krishna is falsely accused by Satrajit of stealing a precious jewel and killing the bearer, Prasena. In order to clear up His good name, Krishna went looking, with some citizens accompanying him. Krishna soon found out that a lion had killed Prasena, and a great bear named Jambavan had killed the lion. Jambavan had then taken away the jewel and given it to his young son as a toy.

Krishna followed the trail to a deep dark cave, decided to go in. The citizens were too afraid to accompany Krishna into the cave. He then found the little child, cared for by a nurse, playing with the jewel. The nurse raised an alarm when she saw this stranger entering, and Jambavan came out in a very angry mood to find the intruder in his home.

Jambavan is in the form of a bear but a great great devotee of Krishna, in His incarnation as Lord Rama. Still, due to his anger, Jambavan didn’t recognize His Lord. Krishna and Jambavan fought for 28 days and 28 nights, first with weapons, stones, trees, and finally with their fists. Even though he was practically the strongest living entity on the planet at that time, Jambavan felt very very tired, his body hurt greatly. Note that this is the same Krishna who pounded the tyrant Kamsa (who had the strength of 10,000 elephants) to death in a short time – this was 28 days and 28 nights of pounding Jambavan had endured! Krishna was very pleased with the fighting pastime, it is hard for Krishna to find someone who can fight at His level! Jambavan finally recognized that his opponent was none other than his own very dear Lord. He surrendered and offered beautiful prayers. Jambavan said:

[Jāmbavān said:] I know now that You are the life air and the sensory, mental and bodily strength of all living beings. You are Lord Viṣṇu, the original person, the supreme, all-powerful controller. You are the ultimate creator of all creators of the universe, and of everything created You are the underlying substance. You are the subduer of all subduers, the Supreme Lord and Supreme Soul of all souls. You are He who impelled the ocean to give way when His sidelong glances, slightly manifesting His anger, disturbed the crocodiles and timiṅgila fish within the watery depths. You are He who built a great bridge to establish His fame, who burned down the city of Laṅkā, and whose arrows severed the heads of Rāvaṇa, which then fell to the ground.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/10/56/26/, https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/10/56/27/, https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/10/56/28/

All this greatly inspired me, because I realized something important – that when the difficulty is insurmountable, this is Krishna, appearing in the form of the difficulty! This realization had a profound impact on me. The hairs on my body stood up as I stood in the kitchen listening to my father read out Srila Prabhupada’s words on speakerphone, all the way from India! It was as if an electric current flowed through my body. This was it! This was Krishna’s answer to my prayers for inspiration!

I was then able to prepare a talk going from the attitude of the overconfident materialist who always is defeated by the material nature or the plans of God, all the way through to a consummate spiritualist who does their best while depending on God. I will write about that another time.

Here, I want to bring out how the spiritual sound vibration, when given manifest form by someone’s sincere voice, touches souls. The Sankirtan was going on between by son and my father, but the collateral benefit was to me, standing in the kitchen.

The greatest example of this was a great soul, Haridas Thakur, born in a Muslim family, rejected both by the Muslims and the Hindus, but the highest calibre of saint, elevated to the status of “Namacharya” the great preceptor of the Holy Name, by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He quoted “Anyone who chants Your name purifies all who hear His chanting, as well as Himself.” – SB 10.34.17

Because I was inspired by hearing, I could inspire over 25 young men in their spiritual life with a talk called”When the going gets tough”. And all this started from Srila Prabhupada’s Kirtan, which was inspired by his spiritual master’s Kirtan, which was inspired by his own spiritual master’s Kirtan.

None of this would have happened if any of the great saints in our line had remained silent, and had not inspired others with their spiritual sound vibrations.

When we loudly recite spiritual knowledge, the Lord’s names, and activities, we benefit other living entities even unknowingly. We benefit the trees, the insects, and the animals around us, we benefit the germs living in our body, and we purify the atmosphere all around. Just like that little living entity standing in the kitchen who was fortunate to hear the sound vibration that was originating from India and coming across the Internet all the way to Canada for the benefit of my little boy.

Next time you are remembering God, and following in the footsteps of great souls, don’t do it quietly, even if there is apparently no one around you.

Someone, somewhere will be inspired, and you will surely be counted as one of the saviours of this world.

Please let me know if I may serve you on your spiritual journey.

“Old” New Discoveries

Do you think the Vedic Scriptures are Mythology? Do you think that modern scientists know better? Did you know that scientists are simply re-discovering whatever was already explained in the Vedic Scriptures?

Sometimes, it is thought that we are making advancement in this world today. It is thought that the Vedic Scriptures are archaic and full of superstition and dogma. In fact, I grew up in India, where I was taught that the Vedic scriptures are “mythology”.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Vedic Scriptures are the most advanced science we have today. But most of the knowledge contained in the Vedic scriptures is not understood by most of us.

The knowledge in the Vedic scriptures require purity and sharp consciousness, not consciousness dulled by repeated sense gratification like meat eating, intoxication, gambling, and illicit sex.

Let us consider one example…

Robert Boyle, an Anglo-Irish son of an Earl, is credited with discovering that sound must travel through a medium in the year 1660. While it is nice that he discovered this, he is not the first to know that sound travels through the air.

Over 5000 years ago, in the Srimad Bhagavatam, here is a verse:

चालनं व्यूहनं प्राप्तिर्नेतृत्वं द्रव्यशब्दयो: ।
सर्वेन्द्रियाणामात्मत्वं वायो: कर्माभिलक्षणम् ॥ ३७ ॥

cālanaṁ vyūhanaṁ prāptir
netṛtvaṁ dravya-śabdayoḥ
sarvendriyāṇām ātmatvaṁ
vāyoḥ karmābhilakṣaṇam

The action of the air is exhibited in movements, mixing, allowing approach to the objects of sound and other sense perceptions, and providing for the proper functioning of all other senses.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/3/26/37/

But there is a lot more information contained the ancient Vedic knowledge. The great seer His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, writes, in his purport to the above verse…

We can perceive the action of the air when the branches of a tree move or when dry leaves on the ground collect together. Similarly, it is only by the action of the air that a body moves, and when the air circulation is impeded, many diseases result. Paralysis, nervous breakdowns, madness and many other diseases are actually due to an insufficient circulation of air. In the Āyurvedic system these diseases are treated on the basis of air circulation. If from the beginning one takes care of the process of air circulation, such diseases cannot take place. From the Āyur-veda as well as from the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is clear that so many activities are going on internally and externally because of air alone, and as soon as there is some deficiency in the air circulation, these activities cannot take place. Here it is clearly stated, netṛtvaṁ dravya-śabdayoḥ. Our sense of proprietorship over action is also due to the activity of the air. If the air circulation is stifled, we cannot approach a place after hearing. If someone calls us, we hear the sound because of the air circulation, and we approach that sound or the place from which the sound comes. It is clearly said in this verse that these are all movements of the air. The ability to detect odors is also due to the action of the air.

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Robert Boyle didn’t know all this. So he spent his life re-discovering what was already known. Most modern scientists are fools in that respect, running around re-discovering what was already known, and often making foolish mistakes along the way. But they are proud. They will not accept the Vedic Scriptures. And the rest of us are even bigger fools for trusting them.

The Vedic Scriptures contain everything one can possibly need. But at the end, they say this is not our home. So therefore, it is important to learn to end our material sojourn as quickly as possible, not get caught up in material consciousness.

Please look into the Genuine Vedic Scriptures. Please follow them. Please perfect your life, and go back home, where you belong. By following the Vedic Scriptures under the guidance of the bonafide spiritual master, one can live happily in this world, and at the end of one’s life, be transferred to the spiritual sky.

How may I serve you on your spiritual journey?

Tongue, Belly, Genital Consciousness

How are you living your life? Would you like to relish genuine human life? Or stay on the animal platform?

During a class by my spiritual master, he said this phrase “Tongue, Belly and Genital Consciousness”. When we boil it down to the essential, we see that in this world, practically every one is in the mood of trying to satisfy their tongues, their bellies, and their genitals.

Of course, for creatures other than human, they have no choice but to follow their instinct. The dog must go around and sniff out the urine of other dogs. The birds must peck around and look for that worm. The fish must constantly swim around trying to find something to eat. The male or female of any species must find a mate… eating, sleeping, mating and defending, that’s all animals ever do.

But humans, we have been given a higher consciousness. Yes, to stay alive, we must gratify our senses to some extent. But what happens if we never transcend the urge of the tongue, the pull of the belly, and the itch of the genitals?

We remain animals. Yes, we may travel in the most fancy cars, planes, or yachts, live in the most opulent mansions, wear the most exquisite clothes, but what do we do with all that? Run here and there with our tongues out, trying hard to get some taste, the same taste we have experienced many times, chewing the same old,same old, tongue, belly, genitals. Very polished animals, but animals nevertheless.

Human society is chasing after the next big thing all the time, better clothing, better food, better residences, better conveyances, even wanting to go and live on other planets… what what will we do in all those? Eat, Sleep, Mate, and Defend? Just like the animals.

युक्ताहारविहारस्य युक्तचेष्टस्य कर्मसु ।
युक्तस्वप्‍नावबोधस्य योगो भवति दु:खहा ॥ १७ ॥

yuktāhāra-vihārasya
yukta-ceṣṭasya karmasu
yukta-svapnāvabodhasya
yogo bhavati duḥkha-hā

He who is regulated in his habits of eating, sleeping, recreation and work can mitigate all material pains by practicing the yoga system.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/6/17/

If someone practices yoga, spirituality, or religion simply to improve their sex life, they are no better than an animal.

The scriptures repeatedly extol us to get out of the grip of this eating, sleeping, mating, and defending.

स एव पुनर्निद्राजगरगृहीतोऽन्धे तमसि मग्न: शून्यारण्य इव शेते नान्यत्किञ्चन वेद शव इवापविद्ध: ॥ २० ॥

sa eva punar nidrājagara-gṛhīto ’ndhe tamasi magnaḥ śūnyāraṇya iva śete nānyat-kiñcana veda śava ivāpaviddhaḥ.

Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued speaking to Mahārāja Parīkṣit: My dear King, sleep is exactly like a python. Those who wander in the forest of material life are always devoured by the python of sleep. Being bitten by this python, they always remain in the darkness of ignorance. They are like dead bodies thrown in a distant forest. Thus the conditioned souls cannot understand what is going on in life.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/5/14/20/

But human life means “Nidrāhāra-vihārakādi-vijitau” – to conquer over the pressure of sleep, food, and sense gratification.

The famous 6 Goswamis of Vrindavana did this, but this was not their goal, Rupa Goswami, Sanatana Goswami, Raghunatha Dasa Goswami, Raghunatha Bhatta Goswami, Gopala Bhatta Goswami, and Jiva Goswami were so fully absorbed, practically intoxicated, in Krishna and His associates, that they naturally lost all taste for sense enjoyments, and they were able to sustain themselves with about 2 hours of sleep daily, and hardly any food. In such a state, they left behind personal examples and texts that will prove to be the saviour of humanity.

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada also followed in the footsteps of the 6 Goswamis of Vrindavana.

If we do this, we can proceed to divine life, otherwise, we will descend back to animal life.

What can you do to rise to the platform of genuine human life? How may I serve you on your journey?

Sexy Shackles

What is it that keeps us bound up in the material world? What are the shackles that bind us? Could it be the things that drives the world? Sex?

What is it that keeps the material world going on, and on, and on? What is the fuel for the material world? Yes, it is all these tiny little souls each who has bought the idea that she/he is the center of the Universe… but more specifically what is it that keeps it all going around? What keeps the souls perpetually shackled?

The world goes around because of sex desire… “maithunam” in Sanskrit.

For this pleasure of sex indulgence, there are all the increasingly intricate material arrangements in so many different ways, pretty clothes, fast cars, yachts, planes, skyscrapers, resorts, poetry, gourmet food, theater, music, everything, in the end, just for sex.

But you know, those are just shackles, plain old shackles, that keep us bound to this age of birth, death, old age, and disease. It is the desire for sex pleasure, the attraction towards the opposite sex (or the same sex) that keeps us coming back to take new bodies.

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

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

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

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

At the moment of death, that which we have most ardently cultivated becomes the focal point, that which we focus on. And let’s face it, for most of us here, sex it is, in one way or another.

So in this way, the woman, yearning for her man, gets the body of a man, and a man fantasizing about a woman, gets the body of a woman. That is, if someone actually has the karmic credits to even get a human body again.

If someone has cultivated animalistic tendencies all their lives, such as excessively focused on the base instincts of eating, sleeping, mating, and defending, then they get what they have strived for, a better facility for eating, sleeping, mating, and defending.

Squirrels, rabbits, and numerous other species have a much more exciting sex life than any human. If all you want is better sex, mother nature will oblige, and give you a life in a species where that particular thing you hanker for is more perfectly fulfilled.

So in the lower grade of life the entanglement is conducted by nature. But when you come to the human form of life you get higher consciousness, and you have to utilize your higher consciousness. That is the mission of human life. You cannot spoil your life making yourself behave like cats and dogs or animals. The animals, they have got four businesses = how to eat, how to sleep and how to have sex life and how to defend. This is animal life. So because we are in the material body, we have got the animal propensities and needs of the body. But because we are in higher consciousness, we have got another function. Another function means the cats and dogs, they cannot realize God, but a human being, although he has got the tendency for material necessities of life like cats and dogs,

āhāra-nidrā-bhaya-maithunaṁ ca
samānam etat paśubhir narāṇām
[Hitopadeśa 25]

But on account of developed consciousness we can get out of this entanglement.janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam [Bg. 13.9]

So long we are in ignorance, we do not care for these four things – birth, death, old age and disease. We care, but don’t take very seriously on them. Whether it can be stopped we do not seriously consider. But we can stop this process of birth, death, old age and disease. We can stop. And that is possible in this human form of life.

So long we are in ignorance, we do not care for these four things – birth, death, old age and disease. We care, but don’t take very seriously on them. Whether it can be stopped we do not seriously consider. But we can stop this process of birth, death, old age and disease. We can stop. And that is possible in this human form of life.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada – Feb 6. 1974 Vrndavana

For those of you who might be tempted to think that in old age these things will surely diminish so nothing to worry about, there is the fact that many of us might not live to see old age after all.

There is a famous exchange between the Moghul Emperor Akbar, and his Hindu minister Birbal. Akbar asked Birbal “When does the sex desire leave a man”. Birbal asked for some time.

Then one day, Birbal arrived at the royal palace in a hurry, asked the Emperor to accompany him immediately, along with one of the Emperor’s daughters, a beautiful teenaged princess.

As they walked through the alleys of Delhi, winding lanes, the dwellings of commoners, Akbar grew more and more impatient, but Birbal wouldn’t say a thing.

Finally, they made their way into a little home, and a room in which lay a dying man, moments from his last breath. As the royal visitors entered his room, the man’s eyes completely disregarded his Emperor who had come to see him, but locked instead on the form of the beautiful princess. Akbar understood. The royal visitors left, the man died.

While the capacity of the body to indulge in some kind of sense gratification, like eating, sleeping, or sex may diminish, the tendency of the conditioned soul, the itch it feels does not diminish unless the conditioned soul develops a higher attraction, a higher taste.

Along with meat eating, intoxication, and gambling, this addiction to sex is the chief cause of bondage in the material world. Regulating these four pillars of bondage is the way out of this mess.

The sex desire is simply an itch, an urge to be tolerated, except for responsible procreation. Like any itch,

श्री भगवानुवाच
काम एष क्रोध एष रजोगुणसमुद्भ‍वः ।
महाशनो महापाप्मा विद्ध्येनमिह वैरिणम् ॥ ३७ ॥

śrī-bhagavān uvāca
kāma eṣa krodha eṣa
rajo-guṇa-samudbhavaḥ
mahāśano mahā-pāpmā
viddhy enam iha vairiṇam

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: It is lust only, Arjuna, which is born of contact with the material mode of passion and later transformed into wrath, and which is the all-devouring sinful enemy of this world.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/3/37/

scratching too much can lead to blood.

Instead of yearning to scratch the itch that is sex desire, let us yearn for genuine loving service to God. Time to get rid of those shackles!

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.

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/5/13

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.

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/5/10

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/5/11

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/5/12

and of course

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/5/13

and for better understanding, followed by

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/5/14

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.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

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Celibacy – what is it exactly?

What is celibacy? Why is it important? Is it possible to be happily married and celibate?

Filip Misic, 19 November 2017

Hare Krishna everyone, please accept my humble obeisances.

I was wondering, why are there so many married people in ISKCON temples? Is celibacy good if one feels like it is not a huge difficulty for him? Please enlighten me.

your humble servant, Filip

Rakesh, 20 November 2017

Hare Krsna Filip Prabhu

Please accept my humble obeisances

That is a wonderful question. As far as I know, Srila Prabhupada said something like that if one can stay a celibate, one should stay like that. Can’t say if it is good or not because your question has a conditional answer.

Celibate life is blissful and those who can stay like that are very fortunate because of the wonderful opportunity of service and association that they get.

Coming to the first question, it is not easy to stay Brahmachari. I heard from one senior brahmachari that it is not easy even to decide to join Brahmachari ashram, what to stay of staying a celibate lifelong. Also, even if one joins brahmachari ashram, Maya Devi is always trying to lure him somehow or the other. As I heard from one another devotee, the envy of the jeeva against Krsna is Why Krsna is the enjoyer and the desire is that s/he wants to be Krsna. So that envy and desire is there in living entities’ hearts unless they are pure. Since living entities’ have been in this material world since millions of lifetimes, the conditionings are strong.

Many brahmacharis change their ashram for many different reasons. It is difficult to say what exactly may be the reason.

Hope I have been able to answer in someway.

your insignificant servant
Rakesh roshan

Filip Misic, 20 November 2017

Hare Krishna Rakesh Roshan prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances

Thank you for your answer, especially for enlightening me about how I should not let my guard down. As a university student I can say that I feel Maya breathing down my neck every day. Therefore I would like to humbly ask you to please pray for me so that I get more strength.

your humble servant, Filip

Nikhil Mishra, 20 November 2017

Hare Krsna

I heard in one of audios of Srila Prabhupada lecture that if one can live a celibate life easily then he should live else he should marry.
He says that Marriage is not prohibited in our movement but hypocrisy is!

Rest, personally, with experience i have understood, that to overcome maya , ones efforts are just not sufficient, grace of Krsna is also required.

My philosophy has been eat well, stay healthy, do prayers, avoid extremes and keep exploring truths behind words said by Guru and shastras. Thankfully i am getting helped. God seems to listening to my prayers.

wishing you best

not so advanced in krsna Consciousness –
Nikhil

Filip Misic, 20 November 2017

Hare Krishna Nikhil

Thank you for your great advice.

Even less advanced in Krishna conciousness,

Filip

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 27 November 2017

Thank you for a great conversation everyone!

Hare Krishna!

Would like to bring to your attention that marital status and celibate status are not mutually exclusive.

Srila Gurudeva is married for over 30 years, but celibate for over 47 years.

I am married, but celibate also. The Krishna consciousness movement is full of such people who are married but also celibate. Of course, not all married couples within ISKCON are celibate, but if at least one of the couple is formally initiated as a disciple of a spiritual master, then celibacy is required.

The essence of the matter is this, from the Thought For the Day 26 Nov 2017:

Question: Sex Outside of Procreation?
My husband and I have been married for many years. Because of health problems, I can’t have any children. Is it illicit if we have sex?

Your student

Answer: It is Illicit

In this case, you must practice celibacy. Don’t sleep together. Sleep in separate rooms, if possible, or at least in separate beds. Non-procreational sex is illicit. It is a waste of valuable energy that should be engaged in Krishna service, where you will get unlimited benefit instead of temporary titillation of the gross material senses.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

In Vedic society, marriage is for a gentle society… most men can’t go through life alone, they need the kind of support and encouragement that only members of the female gender can provide. And most women need protection, at the very least to stave off unwanted attention from animal-like men. When a man and woman work together, they can do much more together than the man or woman individually.

In Vedic society, there are 4 Ashramas, or “positions of shelter” – Brahmacharya or unmarried life, Grihastha, or householder life, Vanaprastha, which could be single or married, but focused on spiritual advancement, and Sannyas, or the renounced order of life. In all the orders of life, one is expected to remain Brahmachari, or celibate, except that the householders have a license to engage in sex for procreation and also some more facility for somewhat luxurious life – because the Grihasthas technically work hard to support the other 3 orders – none of the other orders work for a living, the Grihastha is meant to support them all.

The married householder who lives for the sake of sense gratification is not known as a Grihastha, such persons are known as Grihamedhi, or a person who meditates on sense gratification.

Regardless of external status, one is meant to be internally always in Krishna consciousness, where celibacy is a natural by-product.

Srila Prabhupada quotes this verse in many places, but here it is from the purport to SB 9.19.16:

quote

Therefore, by the practice of bhakti-yoga, one should give up his lusty desires. As explained by Śrī Yāmunācārya:
yadavadhi mama cetaḥ kṛṣṇa-pādāravinde
 nava-nava-rasa-dhāmany udyataṁ rantum āsīt
tadavadhi bata nārī-saṅgame smaryamāne
 bhavati mukha-vikāraḥ suṣṭhu-niṣṭhīvanaṁ ca

When one is Kṛṣṇa conscious, he gets more and more happiness by discharging duties for Kṛṣṇa. Such a person spits on sense gratification, especially that of sexual enjoyment. An experienced, advanced devotee is no longer interested in sex life. The strong desire for sex can be subdued only by advancement in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

unquote

And he repeats that verse here too, in the purport to BG 2.60

quote

Without engaging the mind in Kṛṣṇa, one cannot cease such material engagements. A practical example is given by Śrī Yāmunācārya, a great saint and devotee, who says:

yad-avadhi mama cetaḥ kṛṣṇa-pādāravinde
nava-nava-rasa-dhāmany udyataṁ rantum āsīt
tad-avadhi bata nārī-saṅgame smaryamāne
bhavati mukha-vikāraḥ suṣṭhu niṣṭhīvanaṁ ca

“Since my mind has been engaged in the service of the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and I have been enjoying an ever new transcendental humor, whenever I think of sex life with a woman, my face at once turns from it, and I spit at the thought.”

Kṛṣṇa consciousness is such a transcendentally nice thing that automatically material enjoyment becomes distasteful. It is as if a hungry man had satisfied his hunger by a sufficient quantity of nutritious eatables.
unquote

Please note that sometimes that quote is misunderstood as a misogynist view that Yamunacharya is spitting at women and Srila Prabhupada is endorsing such a thought, no, Srila Yamunacharya is spitting at the thought of sex indulgence because of his deep Krishna consciousness which provides him with the highest pleasure, and Srila Prabhupada is encouraging us to be fully Krishna conscious.

I hope this helps.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Filip Misic, 27 November 2017

Hare Krishna Mahabhagavat das,

Thank you for your answer. Although I am sure all these answers do not only help me, but others as well.

your humble servant, Filip


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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:

https://www.vedabase.com/bg/9/2

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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Bible and Bhagavad-gita

A discussion on the similarities and differences between the Bhagavad Gita and the Holy Bible…

Kaspars, 06 August 2016

Dear devotees.
Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Gurumata.

Yesterday I was reading Bible and found an amazing similarity with Bhagavad gita. Every text of these quotes, goes in the same meanings and in the same order. Further in both scriptures, devotional service is explained. What do you think about it?

Bible Psalm 90

A prayer of Moses the man of God.
1 Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. 2 Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. 3 You turn man back into dust And say, “Return, O children of men.” 4 For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it passes by, Or as a watch in the night. 5 You have swept them away like a flood, they fall asleep; In the morning they are like grass which sprouts anew. 6 In the morning it flourishes and sprouts anew; Toward evening it fades and withers away. 7 For we have been consumed by Your anger And by Your wrath we have been dismayed.

Bhagavad gita Chapter 8

8.15 — After attaining Me, the great souls, who are yogīs in devotion, never return to this temporary world, which is full of miseries, because they have attained the highest perfection.
8.16 — From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kuntī, never takes birth again.
8.17 — By human calculation, a thousand ages taken together form the duration of Brahmā’s one day. And such also is the duration of his night.
8.18 — At the beginning of Brahmā’s day, all living entities become manifest from the unmanifest state, and thereafter, when the night falls, they are merged into the unmanifest again.
8.19 — Again and again, when Brahmā’s day arrives, all living entities come into being, and with the arrival of Brahmā’s night they are helplessly annihilated.

Hare Krishna
Thank you.
Kaspars

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 08 August 2016

Dear Kaspars,

Hare Krishna!

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

Thank you for this nice reflection.

There are some similarities and differences too, for example, the reference to thousand years in Moses’ prayer and thousand ages in Krishna’s precise instruction, are quite different in their meaning.

Once we read Srila Prabhupada’s books though, we begin to see all scriptures in the light of Srila Prabhupada’s purports.
I began studying The Holy Bible when I was 10 years of age, and I did a very detailed course with Q&A reviewed by teachers etc., and I have come across so many wonderful passages from the Bible over the years also.

But I understood more from all the scriptures (Vedic and otherwise) I had read after I read Srila Prabhupada’s books. And I got a very non-sectarian understanding of religion, so much so that I have begun to say whenever someone asks me which religion I follow, that “I am past the labels at this point”, which typically leads to a positive discussion in more togetherness.

Consequently now though, having seen that the Vedic scriptures are the source of all the scriptures in the world, I don’t spend time studying other scriptures, but focus my energies on studying Srila Prabhupada’s books in a deeper way.

Other devotees should contribute their reflections and perspectives to make this a rich and useful conversation.

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Nikhil Mishra, 8 August 2016

Hare Krsna Kaspars Prabhu

Thats indeed a very nice comparison. And i am sure, you will end up finding many many other similarities if you research more.
Long time back, i read Paramhamsa Yogananda ji and he also compares Bible and Gita beautifully.

Srila prabhupada as well as Srila gurudeva says, essence of all religions is to know and love God .So you see , to a sincere seeker like you, lines of Holy Bible are making so much sense .

Wishing you more bhakti(devotion) and Gyan(knowledge) and begging the same for me..

Hari bol. Praise the Lord.

Nikhil

Kaspars Gulbis, 09 August 2016

Dear Mahabhagavat Prabhu.
Hare Krishna.
Athough there are difference between thousand years and thousand ages, still the way they are compared… like a one day to God, and then again, to night. Every text and meanings goes in the same order in both scriptures, and I understand from this, that Moses knew Bhagavad gita. Its obvious.

As Prabhupada said, Bible is like small pocket dictionary, Bhagavad gita and Srimad Bhagavatam is like big dictionary, where every smallest thing is explained. We now can actually understand Bible better. I think nothing bad reading Bible. With the mercy and help of our beloved Gurudev and Prabhupada, we can now understand the true meaning of scripture. As our Gurudev teaches, we can remain in our religions, and with the help of Krishna consciousness, we can be better Christians, better Muslims, better Buddhists. The universal principle of love of God still remains the same. In one of the recent Thought for The Day Gurudev declared, that he is actually a Christian, who is following the will of God, and that was especially important sign to me personally, because I want to remain close contact with Cristianity and Christians, and Jesus. Because was not Jesus, we would be nowhere. Mlechas would be nowhere. Jesus is the way. Christianity shows the way of holy life, they teach that there IS God. And from that we can ask, Who is God? I think many people then are curious, if there is God, how does He look like. And true Christians with open heart will deffinetely meet a devotee with Prabhupadas books. And I heard a story that one Cristian has actually seen Paramatma as we just know from our books. And now this Cristian would offer full dandavats if he sees Harinama party singing, even if it is raining, wet and dirty ground.

Please comment.
Everyone is welcome to say something.

Thank you
Kaspars

Chenthil Piruthu, 09 August 2016

Respected Kaspars Prabhu

Hare Krishna.

Thank you so much for your mail, your conviction is truly inspirational.

Thanks,
Chenthil.

Premananda das, 09 August 2016

Hare Krsna Bhakta Kaspars
Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Gurudeva
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Whether one is a Christian,Hindu,Muslim,Jain,Buddist etc the essence of religion is to become a lover of God.The original constitutional position of living entitiy is to be a servant of servant of servant of the servant of Krsna.Krsna has unlimited names and incarnates in many forms like Rama,Nrsimha,Vishnu,Vamana ,Varaha,etc but the original form is the beautiful form of Krsna a blusih boy with two -handed form and playing a flute.In Brahma-samhita Lord Brahma mentions that Krsna is original cause of all the causes and has an eternal body full of knowledge and bliss.He is unborn,original and maintainer of all living entities.
In Bhagavat Gita 8..14 it is mentioned Krsna has various plenary expansions and incarnations such as Rama,Nrisimha ,Varaha etc and a devotee can choose to fix his mind in loving service on any of his transcendental forms of the Supreme Lord ,such a devotee does not meet other problems that plague the practitioners of other yogas.Bhakti yoga is very simple,pure and easy to perform.It starts with simply chanting Hare Krsna.It is mentioned that the lord is merciful to all but one who serves Him with exclusive devotion without deviation is helped by Krsna.
A pure devotee can not forget Krsna for a moment and similarly the Supreme lord cannot forget His pure devotees for a moment.
This is the great blessings of Krsna conscious process that by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra-Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare one becomes freed from all material contamination and attains to his natural position as a servitor to Krsna.

your servant
Premananda Das

Kaspars Gulbis, 09 August 2016

Thank You, Chenthil Prabhu,
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Yes lets try to share some inspiration when ever this is possible. May our Gurudev be pleased. I think every one of us has some story, lets share in this group and discuss..

With love
Kaspars

Kaspars Gulbis, 09 August 2016

Thank You Premananda Prabhu,

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
This is wonderful short inspirational essence explained by you, to know who we are, to know who God is, original God Krishna, in His various forms, and wonderful process of chanting His names.

Thank you
Kaspars

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 09 August 2016

Dear Kaspars,

Hare Krishna!

You are right about Lord Jesus Christ, if you recall, he helped me a lot and is helping me to this day 🙂 Srila Prabhupada mentions him as a Shaktyavesha Avataar, or empowered incarnation of God.

“Now, in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, perhaps in the Third Chapter in the First Canto, you’ll find there is description of different incarnations, principal incarnations—not all the incarnations, principal, in different yugas. So in that list of incarnations you’ll find Lord Kṛṣṇa’s name also, Lord Rāma’s name also, Lord Buddha’s name also. Lord Buddha is mentioned in that list. So we, Vaiṣṇavite, we respect Lord Buddha as incarnation, incarnation. So do not think that the Hindus, they have got disregard for Lord Buddha or for Lord Jesus Christ. No. They have all regard. Anyone who comes as representative of God, or as God, as powerful incarnation, they are all welcome. According to time, according to place, according to the audience, they may speak, speak something which is, which may be different from the Vedic conclusion, but they are accepted as powerful incarnations. ” Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 20.154-157 — New York, December 7, 1966

Srila Prabhupada and the other Acharyas in disciplic succession from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu are for everyone, including myself, who could easily be seen as worse than a mleccha (uncultured uncivilized person who does things like kill the mother cow).

I do agree with you in general, but there is no authoritative information to agree on the details at this point. For example, the 1000 ages Krishna mentions are not even a day of “God”, they are simply one day of Brahma, who is not God – God’s time scale has no days and no nights, simply the eternal ever-present. We do accept that all great prophets and teachers around the world across ages know the same Absolute Truth in varying degrees of understanding, realization, and detail.

Re “It is obvious”, we don’t argue on the basis of personal opinions in this tradition. We can certainly accept that certain devotees have certain realizations, and we don’t begrudge them their realizations, but that is not always accepted as the Parampara understanding of a particular situation.

I am not saying someone should not do this or that – you please do as your spiritual master instructs you. I was simply expressing my own situation. My spiritual master has instructed me to carefully study Srila Prabhupada’s books and share them with the whole world, and I feel that this one lifetime will not be enough for that purpose. If, during that attempt and process, I get to read certain other sacred texts, wonderful.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Jayendran C, 10 August 2016

Hare Krishna Kaspar prabhu
Dandavats Pranams

All glories to Srila Prabhupada
All glories to the assembled devotees
I have attached an excerpt from Bhaktisiddhanta Vaibhava which depicts Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakuras, views on the Bible and Christianity . I hope this adds constructively to the discussion.

“Christ’s message in its pristine and fully blossomed form is included in Lord Caitanya’s philosophy, for Mahāprabhu’s gifts are of an altogether higher dimension than the acceptance of God’s existence, the promises of reward and threats of punishment, and the moral injunctions that form the basis of Christianity; and whereas Christianity expounds the fatherhood of Godhead, Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava dharma goes further, to the transcendental son-hood and consort-hood of Godhead.

Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura described that to consider the Lord our parent entails “the rotten concept that He is our servitor and we the enjoyers.”. As he told the challenging Professor Suthers, “We claim to be greater and better Christians than Westerners.”While lauding Jesus as a śaktyāveśa-avatāra3who “did not teach the ‘eat, drink, and be merry’business,”
Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura clearly delineated the superior position of Gaura-bhaktas over that of Lord Jesus: In the Western countries, Christians believe that the magnanimous Lord Jesus Christ is the only guru, who appeared in this world to accept the burden of all sins of the jīvas. But associates of Śrī Gaura like Śrī Vāsudeva Datta Ṭhākura and Śrī Haridāsa Ṭhākura are unlimitedly millions of times more advanced and liberal than Jesus Christ, because they taught Vaiṣṇava prema-bhāva to benefit all people in the universe.

In Śrī Vāsudeva Datta Ṭhākura, selflessness by relinquishing mundane self-interest, and others’ and one’s own spiritual welfare in the form of serving Viṣṇu, are superbly harmonized. Recognizing Śrī Gaurasundara as the ultimate reality devoid of all illusion and the original Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva Datta bore on his shoulders the burden of the material disease of all jīvas—their indifference to Kṛṣṇa—and not only their sins, but superlatively more formidable, their multitudinous terrible offenses. Thus he sincerely prayed with mind, body, and words to free the jīvas from the malady of material existence. This example of compassion is far beyond the imagination of the greatest karmīs and jñānīs, not only in this world, but in all the fourteen worlds. Since the jīvas, prone to violence because of seeing differences arising from false identity due to illusion, revere and idealize karma and jñāna in the world of duality, most of them become bad karmīs and bad jñānīs. On hearing of the desire of Vāsudeva Datta Ṭhākura, the servant of the spiritual world, to suffer in hell for these jīvas, such persons, who are impelled by innate malice and a dualistic outlook, give him great respect, seeing him as a regular pious karmī or jñānī. But Datta Ṭhākura’s compassion for the jīvas is unlimitedly millions of times greater than that conceivable by bad karmīs and bad jñānīs. This is not highly prejudiced exaggeration or interpretation, but straightforward elucidation of the truth. Verily, the world is blessed by the coming of such servants of Gaura, by whom not just this earth, but all jīvas everywhere, have become fortunate. Eloquent speakers’ tongues reach perfection by glorifying the qualities of such devotees of Lord Caitanya. And the pens of poets and historians who have forsaken mundane research attain their highest success in describing the qualities of these mahā-bhāgavatas imbued with selfless devotion to the Lord. Such is the “greatness among greats”and “gloriousness among the glorious”of the servants of the abundantly magnanimous Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya.

Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī detected the flaw in philosophically attempting either to humanize God or deify man, which albeit present in perverted Hinduism in a conceptually quite different manner, was the very foundation of Christianity. When some Christian priests proposed to him that mādhurya-rasa is also an aspect of Christianity, as evidenced by those medieval mystics who sought unity with Christ as their bridegroom, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī rejected that claim, for such esoteric endeavors were focused on the son of Godhead rather than directly on the Supreme Lord Himself. Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura shed the light of Gauḍīya siddhānta on certain Biblical teachings. He equated Jesus’ famous submission “Thy will be done,”spoken from the position of a devotee, to the similarly well-known conclusion of Bhagavad-gītā, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (Abandon all varieties of dharma and just surrender unto Me), uttered from the standpoint of Godhead. He cited Biblical instructions to chant the names of God as being in accord with the saṅkīrtana movement, and stated that if offered in unmixed devotion, church prayers are also kīrtana. He deemed the supplication “Give us our daily bread”as being far from true devotion, for God should not be regarded as a servitor to be called upon to provide corporal demands; rather, one should request food for the soul. He would often quote the commandment “Do not take the name of the Lord in vain”and comment that it had been misinterpreted by “pseudo-teachers”; God should not be called upon for supplying temporal needs, and thus to not take His name in vain means to chant without anyābhilāṣa (motive other than pure devotion): Pure devotees do not chant the Lord’s names to counteract sinful reactions, accumulate piety, or attain supernal pleasures, nor to mitigate famine, pestilence, social unrest, civil insurrection, or disease, nor to obtain wealth, an earthly kingdom, or any other object of personal enjoyment.

Since the name of Bhagavān is directly the Supreme Personality of Godhead, to ask Him to fulfil our wishes is to consider Him, the supremely worshipable, our servant. This is an offense. Therefore, calling the Lord’s names for any reason other than to attain His devotional service is useless. Jesus Christ told us not to take the Lord’s name in vain, or uselessly. Yet this doesn’t mean that we do not need to chant the Lord’s names constantly—while sleeping, while dreaming, while eating, or when walking about. To chant the Lord’s name, begging for His service, is not a useless activity; it is our only duty. But to make a show of chanting for some other purpose, for actualizing our own desires, is useless. We should not take up chanting the Lord’s names in vain. We should not chant to attain dharma-artha-kāma-mokṣa. Instead, we should always chant to attain service to Bhagavān. Do not chant the name for elevation or salvation, whereby you will entangle yourself instead of attaining service to the Absolute.

In Christians’ emphasis on mundane charitable works, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī perceived ignorance of the rudimentary spiritual principle of difference between body and soul. And he detected aversion to Godhead in the concept of a Beelzebub, or a rival of Godhead. He declared that hearing and chanting of Hari-kathā is the actual method for purgation of sins, and that the Western system of confession is hypocritical.He stated that through the misconceptions that there can be only one guru in the total course of history, and that the soul has only one birth, Semites had introduced many obstacles to legitimate spiritual understanding, and that such misunderstandings must be dispelled.* He also warned that if the semitic psychology, represented by the notion of an undefinable Supreme Being, was tantamount to asserting that God is formless, then it struck at the very root of all genuine spiritual activity.10 Similarly, he found a whiff of voidism in the Christian doctrine of creation ex nihilo. And in a letter sent to Saṁvidānanda Prabhu in London, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī confided that because the outlook of Westerners was based one hundred percent on sense enjoyment, their belief in God was not solid, but tenuous and blurred.

The Harmonist analyzed Christianity and mundane empiricism as concordant, inasmuch as both “justify the life of refined eating and drinking,” and also deemed: “The Bible contains some indirect references to transcendence hopelessly mixed up with precepts of mundane ethical expediency.” Further: The questions that will require to be discussed in connection with the teaching of the Bible, as it is current among the Christians of our day, will be as follows: Nebulous conception of the Personality of Godhead. Mundane and numerically limited conception of saviorship (guru). Confusion between conditioned and free spiritual functions. Overvaluation of hollow mundane morality. Confusion between so-called moral and spiritual conduct. Mundane organization of the Christian church. Superstitious rituals and doctrines opposed to philosophical and scientific experience.

Circa 1903 Śrī Siddhānta Sarasvatī was traveling with Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura by train from Ranaghat to Krishnanagar when a Christian dignitary, Reverend Butler, entered their coach. Seeing the japa-mālās in their hands he inquired about their identity, to which Śrī Siddhānta Sarasvatī replied, “Like you, we are missionaries. We are preachers of Śrī Caitanya’s dharma.”Immediately the priest challenged that the dharma of Śrī Caitanya consisted of idol worship and taking the Lord’s name in vain. After hearing Śrī Siddhānta Sarasvatī’s protracted response, Reverend Butler declared that previously he had discussed the same topics with many reputed paṇḍitas and religious leaders of Navadvīpa, but unlike Śrī Siddhānta Sarasvatī, none had been able to give an intelligent response.When told that no one in Vṛndāvana could proffer a satisfactory rebuttal to a visiting Christian priest who had accused Kṛṣṇa of flouting Vedic principles by dancing with others’ wives, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī commented that Vṛndāvana is inhabited by neophyte devotees. Christians who came in contact with Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism tended to become perplexed at how a doctrine so theistic and devotional could yet be founded on what they considered indelicate tales of the adulterous liaison between Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. They invariably made the seminal miscalculation of ascribing the abysmal condition of contemporary Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava dharma to an intrinsic amorality, an opinion that modern-thinking Hindus typically dittoed. Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura and his followers invested tremendous energy to refute such claims and establish Kṛṣṇa’s purity as far beyond that imaginable by mundane moralists, whose insistence that Godhead must conform to behavioral standards was actually an impertinent imposition on His absolute freedom. “

your servant,
Jayendran

Kaspars Gulbis, 11 August 2016

Dear Jayendran Prabhu

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Reading your wonderful explanation I got Perfect understanding of bad faults in so called Christianity, and understood, many good ideas how to improove in pure devotional motives, attitude, pure prayer, pure devotional actions, and many subtle details.

Thank you so much.
Kaspars

Jayendran C, 22 August 2016

Hare Krishna Kaspers prabhu,

This was one of the excerpts I distinctly remembered that we had read in our local center on the occassion of Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswat Thakur’s appearance day. All glories to HH Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura and HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami who compiled all this ! 🙂

your servant,
Jayendran

Kaspars Gulbis, 23 August 2016

Dear Nikhil

Hare Krishna

Thanks for your inspiring words, encouragement and blessings, your words means so much to me.

Thank you
Kaspars

Bhakta Sunil, 23 August 2016

Hare Krishna dear Kaspars Prabhu,

Please accept my humble respects,
All Glories to Vaishnavas,

Nice points you noticed and nice answers too,

Jesus Christ is a great Vaishnava, thus we notice so many similarities between the Scriptures,

In this connection , i would like to share a very recent “thought for the day” of 2nd August 2016, via http://www.backtohome.com which helps us to understand Jesus Christ’s teachings in it’s original pure form including the knowledge which Jesus has not revealed yet :

Which Path to Follow?
uploaded from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

Often times people are baffled in their attempt to understand which path they should follow. But the answer is very simple. In which scriptures has God most fully revealed Himself? In the Bible Jesus says that there is more knowledge that he has not revealed yet. But in the Bhagavad-gita 7.2 Krishna says, “

jñānaṁ te ‘haṁ sa-vijñānam
idaṁ vakṣyāmy aśeṣataḥ
yaj jñātvā neha bhūyo ‘nyaj
jñātavyam avaśiṣyate

“I shall now declare unto you in full this knowledge, both phenomenal and numinous. This being known, nothing further shall remain for you to know.”

There are no scriptures in the world in which God is more fully revealed than in the Vedic wisdom. From the Vedas we learn about His names, His qualities, His pastimes, His abode, His associates, etc. No other scriptures give us such complete information. So considering this, it doesn’t take half a brain to understand that one should obviously follow the path of the Vedas, which culminate in understanding the Supreme Lord as Krishna, if he wants to have the highest level understanding and realization of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Sincerely,
Bhakta Sunil

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