Did Arjuna always know that Krishna is actually the Supreme Personality of Godhead?

Arjuna addressed Krishna as Madhusudana in BG 1.35, before Krishan revealed Himself as The Supreme Personality of Godhead. So how did Arjuna know that Krishna was Hayagriva before?

Brajanath Das, 01 March 2016

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees!

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

While reading Bhagavad-Gita 1.34 where in Arjuna calls Krishna as Madhusudana, “the killer of the Madhu demon,” I got the following doubt –

Madhu was killed by the avatar of Hayagriva, who came before the Krishna avatar. Since Arjuna did not know that Krishna was the Supreme Personality of Godhead at that time, so how did he know that Madhusudana was Krishna? Did Arjuna know that Hayagriva and Krishna are the same? If so, how?

your servant,

Brajanath Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 02 March 2016

Dear Sriman Rao,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Arjuna knows Krishna’s identity very well, his apparent “illusion” was a device by Krishna to make Arjuna the recipient of knowledge intended for us.

In the Mahabharata, for example, in the assembly of Kurus where great sages like Narada Muni were present, during the Rajasuya Yajna performed by Maharaja Yudhisthira, Krishna was unanimously (except for Shishupala who was then delivered by Krishna) chosen as the head of the assembly in the presence of so many exalted personalities.

See https://vedabase.io/en/library/kb/74/

It is best if we all read the entire chapter, as the Krishna Book of Srila Prabhupada is the 10th Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam.

There are many other indications, for example Arjuna’s choice of Krishna over Krishna’s army which went to Duryodhana… from Srila Prabhupada’s lecture “Arjuna was satisfied with Kṛṣṇa. That’s all. Kṛṣṇa also divided Himself. Because it is family quarrel. So He said, “I cannot take part with anyone and even if I take part, side, of any of you, I shall not fight. Directly I shall not fight. I may be on your side or that side, but I’ll not fight.” Still, Arjuna was satisfied. So Kṛṣṇa, in order to satisfy Arjuna, that “I shall not fight, but I shall become your charioteer. I shall drive your chariot.”” Source http://vanisource.org/wiki/Lecture_on_BG_1.2-3_–_London,_July_9,_1973

Actually it was an openly known fact that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but still, many people did not choose to accept Him as such.

“So here, Dhṛtarāṣṭra, he is jealous. He cannot give any good government. Kṛṣṇa knew it. Kṛṣṇa sent a messenger, Akrura. You have read in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Before this Battle of Kurukṣetra from Dvārakā, He sent His uncle Akrūra: “Just go to Hastināpura, New Delhi, and see what is the situation.” So Akrūra understood that Dhṛtarāṣṭra was planning something. So he talked with him that “Why you are implicated in such planning? Kṛṣṇa does not want it.” Although Dhṛtarāṣṭra knew that Kṛṣṇa was the Supreme Personality of Godhead… So Dhṛtarāṣṭra said that “I know that what I am planning, that is not good. I know Kṛṣṇa—the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And He has requested me. But I tell you frankly, I cannot do without it. So when Kṛṣṇa will be pleased upon me, I may be.”

So this is the position of the materialistic person. A materialistic person knows that he is sinful. A materialistic person knows that whatever he is doing is wrong, but he cannot check. Just like the thief. A thief knows that if he commits stealing, he will be arrested, he will be punished. He knows. Because he heard from law books, from other sources, and he has also seen that a thief is arrested and he is taken by the police for being punished. So we have got two kinds of experiences: by hearing and by seeing directly. In Bengali it is called dekhā-śunā. In India it is called. The two kinds of experience: one by seeing, practically experiencing, hand to hand; another by hearing. So one who is intelligent, he gets his experience simply by hearing from the right source.” Source http://vanisource.org/wiki/730707_-_Lecture_BG_01.01_-_London

By corollary, the devotee can recognize Krishna as He is always.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

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Did Arjuna disobey Krishna’s orders in regards to Ashwatthama?

Ashwatthama murdered little children in their sleep. Krishna ordered him killed. But Arjuna spared his life. So did Arjuna disobey Krishna?

Todd, 23 August 2016

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my greetings.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Can you help understand more clearly how it is that Krishna’s word is not followed by Arjuna in regards to Asvatthama’s death?

In 1.7.53-54 Krishna says he must die, correct? Is it that the Lord meant figuratively the whole time? 

Then 1.7.57 is also confusing to me.

Please help me to understand more clearly.

Thank you in advance

Sincerely,

Todd

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 26 August 2016

Dear Sriman Todd,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you for your question.

Some context is in order, for those who may not be familiar with the full picture.

Ashwatthama is the son of Dronacharya, the military teacher of both the Pandavas and the Kauravas, the two sides of the mighty war of Kurukshetra 5000 years ago, where Srila Prabhupada says 640 million warriors fought and we know hardly anyone went back home.

Dronacharya and his son Ashvatthama fought on the Kauravas side. The Kauravas lost and were killed. Dronacharya was killed also. Ashvatthama survived. He did not like the way his father was killed in battle and as revenge, vowed to wipe out the Pandavas dynasty, and hence he killed the 5 sons of the Pandavas who were all children at the time, and this was done while they were sleeping also.

Now, the conundrum was that Ashvatthama was the son of a Brahmana (priestly and intellectual class of society), or the son of their teacher, and therefore meant to be revered. But he had done this abominable thing of killing defenseless children in their sleep.

In the Srimad Bhagavatam, First Canto (which our Bhagavata Online Academy of 2011 will start reading shortly, but it took 5 years of preparation to get there… all classes of Bhagavata Online Academy will get there, and more details to follow from Hemanga Prabhu…), this incident is described in some detail in the chapter “The son of Drona punished”, which readers can access at https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/1/7/

The verses in question are:

SB 1.7.53-54 — The Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa said: A friend of a brāhmaṇa is not to be killed, but if he is an aggressor he must be killed. All these rulings are in the scriptures, and you should act accordingly. You have to fulfill your promise to your wife, and you must also act to the satisfaction of Bhīmasena and Me.

SB 1.7.55 — Sūta Gosvāmī said: Just then Arjuna could understand the motive of the Lord by His equivocal orders, and thus with his sword he severed both hair and jewel from the head of Aśvatthāmā.

SB 1.7.56 — He [Aśvatthāmā] had already lost his bodily luster due to infanticide, and now, moreover, having lost the jewel from his head, he lost even more strength. Thus he was unbound and driven out of the camp.

SB 1.7.57 — Cutting the hair from his head, depriving him of his wealth and driving him from his residence are the prescribed punishments for the relative of a brāhmaṇa. There is no injunction for killing the body.

Arjuna, being a pure devotee, never fails to follow Krishna’s word, but not in a mood of slavery, but in the mood of clear understanding and harmony with Krishna.

Krishna often uses situations involving his dearest devotees, such as Narada Muni, the Gopis, and Arjuna, to illustrate important points and create situations that may be bewildering to some but the way that those devotees behave sets exemplary precedent for others to follow.

This can be roughly compared to modern courts, which rely on precedence – judges presiding over court cases even today base their judgements from precedents set by other landmark cases elsewhere… in fact, it can be roughly generalized that the practice of law is to know the law, know case law precedence, and apply logical and ethical arguments judiciously using that knowledge. Great lawyers and great judges are those that set precedent in difficult situations.

Similarly great devotees are those who set precedence, for example, Srila Prabhupada’s application of scriptural knowledge is exemplary in the history of the world.

So here was the conundrum:

1. A Kshatriya (or anyone else, for that matter) shall not kill a Brahmana, no matter what, unless of course, a Brahmana is trying to kill a Kshatriya, which Ashvatthama did do, he killed the pandavas’ minor children while they were sleeping

2. Krishna is “go brahmana hitaya cha” – protector of cows and the Brahmanas

3. But Krishna is ordering Arjuna (a Kshatriya) to kill Ashvatthama (a Brahmana), is Krishna, as Supreme Personality of Godhead, inconsistent with His own principles?

4. Bhima, Arjuna’s elder brother is going with a particular understanding of scriptural law, and as he is elder, Arjuna is duty-bound to follow his instruction

4. Draupadi is pleading with Arjuna not to kill Ashvatthama out of compassion for his mother and respect for the individual, even though her own children were the ones Ashvatthama killed, and Arjuna is also duty-bound to fulfill his wife’s lawful and reasonable wish.

5. Arjuna is the devotee who must apply scripture, Krishna’s words, and also carry out his elder brother’s instruction and wife’s desire

In the Bhagavad Gita it is clearly stated that for an honorable person, dishonour is worse than death – BG 2.34 “People will always speak of your infamy, and for a respectable person, dishonor is worse than death.”

So Arjuna fulfilled all requirements by taking away Ashvatthama’s respectable signs, his hair, and the jewel attached to his head from birth.

1. Ashvatthama, being an illustrious warrior, and a member of the Brahmana class, was certainly respectable (until he committed this crime).

2. To be humiliated in this way is worse than death, and yet, he was not killed

So, Ashvatthama was killed and not killed, in fact he lives to this day trying to heal/fill the raw wound open gaping hole in his head caused by the forced removal of the jewel by Arjuna, but no one wants to associate with him and thus he is in a very abominable situation – neither living nor dead.

All of this is confirmed by the verse and Srila Prabhupada’s purport to SB 1.7.55

quote

Sūta Gosvāmī said: Just then Arjuna could understand the motive of the Lord by His equivocal orders, and thus with his sword he severed both hair and jewel from the head of Aśvatthāmā.

Purport: Contradictory orders of different persons are impossible to carry out. Therefore a compromise was selected by Arjuna by his sharp intelligence, and he separated the jewel from the head of Aśvatthāmā. This was as good as cutting off his head, and yet his life was saved for all practical purposes. Here Aśvatthāmā is indicated as twice-born. Certainly he was twice-born, but he fell down from his position, and therefore he was properly punished.

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in SB 1.7.55

We are often in a situation where instructions given by different respectable individuals can be apparently contradictory, and we follow the example of expert devotees who follow perfectly while resolving apparent contradictions through their behaviors.

Does this help?

Devotees, please feel free to add your understanding and perspectives to this question as it is a wonderful example of trying to understand Srila Prabhupada’s books extensively and very much an example of how Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva want us to study Srila Prabhupada’s books.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at www.esctaticmedia.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

Ascending vs. Descending Process of knowledge

What is knowledge? What is ignorance? How do we acquire knowledge? Which method actually works? Finding out things the ascending way, or hearing from an authority? How to acquire perfect knowledge beyond all doubt?

Knowledge is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?

Are these people getting anywhere? Are they “progressing”?

With knowledge, comes power. Power to do good, and also power to do evil. Knowledge can be a liberator, but also can be a tool for enforcing bondage.

Also, what qualifies as knowledge anyway? If, for example, a person acquired some knowledge on “how to rob a bank” and applies that knowledge, landing in prison, or even if they escape somehow, was that really knowledge? Or was it ignorance?

There are 2 main types of knowledge:

  1. Knowledge of the material world -material knowledge
  2. Knowledge of what lies beyond this material world through the scriptures – spiritual knowledge – In Sanskrit “परोक्ष” or “parokṣa”

There are many means of acquiring knowledge:

  1. By Direct experience or perception – In sanskrit “प्रत्यक्ष” or “pratyakṣa”
  2. By hypothesis/logic/conjecture/guessing – In sanskrit “अनुमान” or “anumāna”
  3. By hearing from a higher authority – In Sanskrit “शब्द” or “śabda”

Ultimately, there are 2 fundamental processes of acquiring knowledge:

  1. Ascending Process – build up knowledge from building blocks – In Sanskrit “आरोहपन्था” or “ārohapanthā
  2. Descending Process – Knowledge descending directly from God and His messengers – In Sanskrit “अवरोहपन्था” or “avarohapanthā

In an article, with an example of an ant who wanted to map the Universe, I discussed the futility of the ascending process of knowledge, especially about items that are outside of our realm of perception.

Much of what we know exists, is actually too subtle to perceive.

These are the material elements, listed in the Bhagavad Gita:

Gross Material Elements:

  1. Earth
  2. Water
  3. Fire
  4. Air
  5. Ether (Space/Sky)

Subtle Material Elements:

  1. Mind
  2. Intelligence
  3. False Ego

BG भूमिरापोऽनलो वायु: खं मनो बुद्धिरेव च ।
अहङ्कार इतीयं मे भिन्ना प्रकृतिरष्टधा ॥ ४ ॥

bhūmir āpo ’nalo vāyuḥ
khaṁ mano buddhir eva ca
ahaṅkāra itīyaṁ me
bhinnā prakṛtir aṣṭadhā

Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego – all together these eight constitute My separated material energies.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/7/4/

The Material-Spiritual Disconnect

Earth is the most gross of the material elements, more subtle is water, even more subtle is air, and ether is quite subtle, you can’t touch or feel space, but we can still perceive it. Now, when we get to the mind, that is even more subtle. Intelligence is still more subtle, and the most subtle material element is false ego, our sense of identity.

However, none of the material elements can directly approach that which is non-material, namely the spiritual is outside of the realm of material elements, even subtle.

If we see our material means of acquiring knowledge, the mind, intelligence, and our sense of identity are all material in nature, and therefore, the ascending process of acquiring knowledge cannot possibly extend to the spiritual realm.

There is another main reason why the ascending process of knowledge is flawed… all of us who are “conditioned” to accept a material identity, have 4 defects:

  1. Tendency to be illusioned (In Sanskrit “भ्रम”or “bhrama”) – we often misunderstand facts and are illusioned about things as they are
  2. Tendency to make mistakes (In Sanskrit “प्रमाद” or “pramāda”) – there is no conditioned souls who can say they never make mistakes
  3. Tendency to cheat others (In Sanskrit “विप्रलिप्सा”or “vipralipsā”) – this is a great weakness, to want to appear better than we are, or know something we don’t, etc.
  4.  We possess imperfect senses (In Sanskrit “करण पाटव” or “karaṇa-pāṭava”) – all our senses are quite imperfect, and we miss a lot from our senses

So, with these 4 defects, it is impossible to acquire perfect knowledge using only our senses. Why is that? It is because with an imperfect instrument, you cannot make something that is perfect. No matter how hard we try, our imperfections stand in the way.

The common example is if we’re doing some mathematical calculation or solving an equation… a tiny mistake somewhere along the way can get us a wrong answer.

Let’s say, for example, someone didn’t know who their father was… they can do some detective work, or a DNA test of every man in the world, or they can take the answer from their mother. The mother’s answer is authoritative and a lot easier too.

Reconnecting Material to the Spiritual

The only way to acquire perfect knowledge, then, is through the descending process, “avarohapantha”. In this process, the Supreme Absolute Perfect (generically called God, specifically named Krishna, Allah, Rama, Govinda, Buddha, Jehovah, Yahweh, etc.) conveys the perfect knowledge, and whoever hears this knowledge passes it on without addition or subtraction.

Perfect Knowledge means something that never changes. Compare this to our ascending process of knowledge. Researchers make a career out of making mistakes! First they publish one paper hypothesizing (and sometimes also offering “proof”) one particular thing… the laypeople accept that as the truth, and then a little while later, that or another researcher publishes another paper contradicting the original hypothesis or proof. In this way, the so-called philosophers and scientists bumble about, going from imperfection to imperfection. This is not called knowledge, this is called nescience, or ignorance.

Why is that? Because material knowledge gives the impression of advancement, whereas it actually traps us in bigger and bigger problems, requiring more and ever more complexity. A material “solution” is only another problem in disguise… it is simply creating one problem in place of another. Therefore, material knowledge is not called knowledge, but ignorance. And those who pursue material knowledge excessively are said to be ignorant.

So therefore, spiritual knowledge is worth pursuing, and such knowledge cannot be “discovered/created/invented” by anyone else other than the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

धर्मं तु साक्षाद्भ‍गवत्प्रणीतं
न वै विदुऋर्षयो नापि देवा: ।
न सिद्धमुख्या असुरा मनुष्या:
कुतो नु विद्याधरचारणादय: ॥ १९ ॥

dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītaṁ
na vai vidur ṛṣayo nāpi devāḥ
na siddha-mukhyā asurā manuṣyāḥ
kuto nu vidyādhara-cāraṇādayaḥ

Real religious principles are enacted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although fully situated in the mode of goodness, even the great ṛṣis who occupy the topmost planets cannot ascertain the real religious principles, nor can the demigods or the leaders of Siddhaloka, to say nothing of the asuras, ordinary human beings, Vidyādharas and Cāraṇas.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/6/3/19/

But, one may ask, it’s not like the Supreme Personality of Godhead is directly perceivable to a materially conditioned soul. So what is to be done?

Fortunately, there is a clear way…

स्वयम्भूर्नारद: शम्भु: कुमार: कपिलो मनु: ।
प्रह्लादो जनको भीष्मो बलिर्वैयासकिर्वयम् ॥ २० ॥
द्वादशैते विजानीमो धर्मं भागवतं भटा: ।
गुह्यं विशुद्धं दुर्बोधं यं ज्ञात्वामृतमश्नुते ॥ २१ ॥

svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ
kumāraḥ kapilo manuḥ
prahlādo janako bhīṣmo
balir vaiyāsakir vayam

dvādaśaite vijānīmo
dharmaṁ bhāgavataṁ bhaṭāḥ
guhyaṁ viśuddhaṁ durbodhaṁ
yaṁ jñātvāmṛtam aśnute

Lord Brahmā, Bhagavān Nārada, Lord Śiva, the four Kumāras, Lord Kapila [the son of Devahūti], Svāyambhuva Manu, Prahlāda Mahārāja, Janaka Mahārāja, Grandfather Bhīṣma, Bali Mahārāja, Śukadeva Gosvāmī and I myself know the real religious principle. My dear servants, this transcendental religious principle, which is known as bhāgavata-dharma, or surrender unto the Supreme Lord and love for Him, is uncontaminated by the material modes of nature. It is very confidential and difficult for ordinary human beings to understand, but if by chance one fortunately understands it, he is immediately liberated, and thus he returns home, back to Godhead.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/6/3/20-21/

Now, at least some of those personalities have established disciplic successions on this planet.

There are 4 main authorized disciplic successions to receive perfect knowledge in discipic successions. A disciplic succession is known as “Sampradaya” or “That which gives completely”.

A mango, intact, passed down

A useful example is that if a ripe mango is high in a tree, then if the mango is handed from person to person from those who are at various heights pass the mango down from hand to hand, vs. trying to throw the mango down to the ground…

A Sampradaya delivers spiritual knowledge perfectly, without addition or subtraction
  1. Brahma Sampradaya and its branches, especially expounded by the great teacher Madhva, Lord Chaitanya, and their followers.
  2. Rudra Sampradaya and its branches, especially expounded by the great teacher Vishnu Swami and his followers.
  3. Sri Sampradaya and its branches, begun by Lakshmi devi, the Goddess of Fortune, consort of Lord Narayana, and especially expounded by the great teacher Sri Ramanuja and his followers.
  4. Kumara Sampradaya and its branches, especially expounded by the great teacher Sri Nimbarka and his followers.

What about the rest?

To the extent the teachings of others are in line with one of these descending lines of discipic succession, they are valid, and anything outside of these is at best a stepping stone to one of these 4 lines of disciplic succession. In the worst case, it is a materialistic business masquerading as a genuine spiritual tradition.

Those who claim to be part of a certain tradition but add or subtract from the fundamental principles or twist the teachings are called “apasampradayas” or “anti disciplic successions”.

His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari

By the mercy of my parents and then my spiritual master His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari who is a disciple of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada The Founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, even though personally unworthy, I am connected to one of these lines of disciplic succession, called the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya, and seeking to pass on those pure instructions to whoever may want to follow, without adding or subtracting any principle, only, if need be, adjusting details to suit the individual and times.

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)

And what is a principle and what is a detail? That, Srila Prabhupada said, requires some intelligence. I pray for this intelligence, which in my case, I simply ask my spiritual master with a clear description of context.

Ultimately however, knowledge coming from the scriptures and the spiritual master in disciplic succession must be realized in the heart through a process of personal effort (sadhana) and purification. Then the paroksha jnana or scriptural knowledge through scripture, becomes “aparoksha” or that which is beyond the reach of the material senses. In order to experience such knowledge in action, one’s senses must be spiritually awakened, or re-spiritualized.

Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead

Pure devotional service to Krishna is the Ultimate goal of all knowledge, and anything besides this is a waste of time.

Questions? I remain your servant on your spiritual journey! Hare Krishna!

Sankirtan Adventures – Old City Hall, Guelph, Online, Janmashtami

Sankirtan during the Pandemic, a look back at 2020…

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 21 August 2020

Dear Devotees,

Hare Krishna!

Please kindly accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I pray that you are all well and in good health and spirits.

By your blessings I am able to participate in this Hare Krishna movement, despite my disqualifications. Thank you!

Summary:

14 Jul 2020 Old City Hall

16 Jul 2020 Old City Hall

19 Jul 2020 Downtown Guelph Harinam

23 Jul 2020 Old City Hall

23 Jul 2020 Walking Harinam Old City Hall to ISKCON Toronto

28 Jul 2020 Email/WhatsApp Sankirtan

11 Aug 2020 Janmashtami Sankirtan

21 Aug 2020 Old City Harinaam

————————————-

Total 8 Outings

It has been a very nice summer generally. The Pandemic is a pity, because it is really hard to meet Canadians at close quarters when it gets cold. Yes, there is the phone, email, WhatApp, zoom, etc., Sankirtan, but a majority of “laying the groundwork” happens out there, on the street, in summer festivals, knocking on doors… The devotees have been largely absent from public consciousness.

As the Pandemic wears on, the attention to social media has waned, and many are not as receptive to online platforms as they were before. So, at least based on the reception we’re getting outside, the devotees should cautiously resume outdoor Harinaam Sankirtan, even though it will probably not immediately result in a lot of books distributed. Right now, we are circling amongst ourselves, preaching to ourselves, which, no doubt,needs to be done, but we also need to distribute the mercy outside of those we know presently.

I had some really nice experiences, in Guelph with Paramahamsa Prabhu, on Janmashtami, with Yogesh who had never been out on Harinam Sankirtan before. He took many books home with him, especially the smaller ones we don’t seem to be distributing a lot of these days. What is more, he is a customer for books that we could not distribute because they were “old looking”! 🙂 And Yogesh is reading those books intently – Mahaprabhu has already brought Yogesh into His tidal wave.

Especially now, the people are very needy for Harinam Sankirtan, while a lot of Harinam may be going on behind closed doors and behind virtual closed doors like Facebook and Zoom, we do need to get out there.

Especially in Toronto – the restaurants are open, the bars are open, the cinemas are open, the liquor shops are open and liquor is now being sold in the grocery stores. The brothels are open, the casinos are open, the malls are open, the offices are open. But the devotees are indoors. Harinam Sankirtan is a closed club. It is indeed a cause for concern that those who know we are not the body but spirit souls are sitting indoors even when the risk has gotten so low. We are supposed to be the fearless Hare Krishnas. Where is our “abhayam”? We are supposed to be surrendered to the Lotus Feet of Sri Abhaya Charanaravinda, where is our Abhaya?

Where possible, I’m urging devotees to get out there and not be lazy/afraid/overly cautious. Please, the world needs us and what we have.

Writing about one experience from yesterday, though there were many more…

I was on Harinam yesterday… Many were responding, many were not, but one man, unsteady on his feet due to being inebriated, cigarette in hand, came close. He asked “Indian song?” I said “yes I am from India but this is the song of the heart”. He listened really intently, thankfully he kept his distance. But I felt somewhat uncomfortable… I  mean, it is easier to be ignored than to be scrutinized like that. He then started singing, suddenly asked me, “Do you need some change”, I asked him “Do you need a book”, so he took 2 books, one by Srila Prabhupada and one by my spiritual master Sankarshan Prabhu. He gave me a donation and immediately started reading the book. He did say “Always Christ” and I said “All the way my brother”. I was intensely praying to Lord Chaitanya “please give this man your mercy and the Lord did shower His mercy upon that soul! So we can see how one can get instant feedback while out on Sankirtan.

Go out where you can. Go out when you can. Go out in ones or twos. Go out with a mask if you have to. Stay outdoors. Wash your hands, stay far away from others, but let the sound of your voice become the humble vehicle for the Holy Name to go out there and do His magic. There is no other way, no other way, no other way, except Harinam Sankirtan Harinam Sankirtan Harinam Sankirtan.

I reported my Sankirtan outing this morning and my spiritual master was pleased. So, dear devotees, please let us please our spiritual masters.

quote

So we have to be very careful. The age is very bad, the Kali-yuga. You are experiencing. We have to simply take shelter of krsna and always cry,

krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, he!

krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, he!

krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, raksa mām!

krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, pāhi mām!

krsna, keśava, krsna, keśava, krsna, keśava, raksa mām!

rāma rāghava, rāma rāghava, rāma rāghava, pāhi mām!

Like that, as Caitanya Mahāprabhu taught us. The time is very dangerous. And still, in this dangerous time… Just like in epidemic condition where every people is being contaminated and dying, still, the doctors appointed by the government, they have to go into the epidemic area and try to treat the person and save them. Our duty is like that. The whole atmosphere is epidemic, whole atmosphere, this Kali-yuga. And still, by the superior orders we have to preach this krsna consciousness movement. Therefore our only shelter is krsna. krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, raksa mām. Very dangerous position. The foolish people, they are thinking that “We are very happy and we are very safe.” But nobody is safe. Nobody is safe. So we have to deal with persons very carefully, and at the same time, we have to push our missionary activities. Aho kastam dharma drsam.

– from SB 6.2.1-5 in Calcutta, India

unquote

My 2020 goal is 108 outings, and I have 88 left to go, with just over 130 days left. Please bless me that I may humbly perform this service. I am very greedy for your blessings. In fact, I am 100% convinced that I can only go out on Harinam Sankirtan because of your blessings, because otherwise I am just a useless fool.

Praying to be always out on Harinam Sankirtan, or at least be in Harinam Sankirtan consciousness 24X7, this is my humble desire, though I must admit that unfortunate as I am, I still maintain all sorts of material attachments.

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

dasadas.com

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How George Harrison found complete satisfaction

Why can we not find satisfaction? A poor person, middle class person, and rich person all are dissatisfied. Even the richest person sometimes wants a carefree life of the poor… how to get satisfaction in life?

Nisarga, 30 June 2020

When a poor man sees a middle class person he wishes that if I atleast have a life like him I will be satisfied. Similarly that middle Class person will find his happiness in a rich person’s life and the rich person also won’t be that satisfied or happy in his life…he will sometimes wish that he had a life to live like that poor man without any worries .why does this happen and how do we break this loop and find satisfaction and happiness within oneself.

Nisarga

Mahabhagavat Das, 08 September 2020

Dear Nisarga,

Hare Krishna!

A spirit soul is purely spiritual. But when the spirit soul identifies with matter, then the soul seeks satisfaction in material sense gratification. But because the soul is spiritual, everything material does not satisfy.

Actually, the spirit soul is in search of Krishna, as said perfectly by George Harrison…

quote

Everybody is looking for KRISHNA. Some don’t realize that they are, but they are.

KRISHNA is GOD, the Source of all that exists, the Cause of all that is, was, or ever will be. As GOD is unlimited HE has many Names. Allah-Buddha-Jehova-Rama: All are KRISHNA, all are ONE.

God is not abstract; He has both the impersonal and the personal aspects to His personality which is SUPREME, ETERNAL, BLISSFUL, and full of KNOWLEDGE. As a single drop of water has the same qualities as an ocean of water, so has our consciousness the qualities of GOD’S consciousness… but through our identification and attachment with material energy (physical body, sense pleasures, material possessions, ego, etc.) our true TRANSCENDENTAL CONSCIOUSNESS has been polluted, and like a dirty mirror it is unable to reflect a pure image. With many lives our association with the TEMPORARY has grown. This impermanent body, a bag of bones and flesh, is mistaken for our true self, and we have accepted this temporary condition to be final.

Through all ages, great SAINTS have remained as living proof that this non-temporary, permanent state of GOD CONSCIOUSNESS can be revived in all living Souls. Each soul is potentially divine. Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita: “Steady in the Self, being freed from all material contamination, the yogi achieves the highest perfectional stage of happiness in touch with the Supreme Consciousness.” (VI,28)

YOGA (a scientific method for GOD (SELF) realization) is the process by which we purify our consciousness, stop further pollution, and arrive at the state of Perfection, full KNOWLEDGE, full BLISS.

If there’s a God, I want to see Him. It’s pointless to believe in something without proof, and Krishna Consciousness and meditation are methods where you can actually obtain GOD perception. You can actually see God, and Hear Him, play with Him. It might sound crazy, but He is actually there, actually with you.

There are many yogic Paths–Raja, Jnana, Hatha, Kriya, Karma, Bhakti–which are all acclaimed by the MASTERS of each method. SWAMI BHAKTIVEDANTA is as his title says, a BHAKTI Yogi following the path of DEVOTION. By serving GOD through each thought, word, and DEED, and by chanting HIS Holy Names, the devotee quickly develops God-consciousness. By chanting:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna – Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare

Hare Rama, Hare Rama – Rama Rama, Hare Hare

one inevitably arrives at KRISHNA Consciousness. (The proof of the pudding is in the eating!)

I request that you take advantage of this book KRISHNA, and enter into its understanding. I also request that you make an appointment to meet your God now, through the self liberating process of YOGA (UNION) and GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE (KRISHNA) HARI BOL.

GEORGE HARRISON 31/3/70

unquote

The only satisfaction is in pure Krishna Consciousness.

Does this help?

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Nikhil Mishra, 08 September 2020

Jai..Hari Bol. Thanks for quoting George Harrison.

I guess Swami Prabhupada must be very pleased with the services of

George Harrison. I have heard that in his last days, Prabhupada asked

caretaking devotees to give his ring to Mr. (Bhakta) George Harrison.

Sincerely

Nikhil

Reason and Love : “Reason helps Love to maintain its proper bounds in the Spiritual world. Love often tends to degrade itself by exercising its function on objects other than God and converts itself into lust for women, wine, meat and gold. Here Reason advises her to rise higher till she reaches her proper sphere above.”

– Bhaktivinoda Thakura

Mahabhagavat Das, 09 September 2020

Yes, George Harrison is a great Vaishnava. He has done tremendous services in the Krishna Consciousness movement when it was needed the most. He chanted Hare Krishna right till the end of his body. Srila Prabhupada surely has arranged for his onward journey. Now it is time for us to strive hard, get out of complacency and be truly Krishna conscious, and give this one life to Krishna. What are we waiting for? 

Mahabhagavat Das, dasadas.com

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Sankirtan Adventures 2019.77-78 MARATHON! Old City Hall, New Ocean Supermarket

What is it that makes Srila Prabhupada book marathon so enlivening, so energizing, so inspiring and empowering? Here are some Sankirtan stories!

Mahabhagavat Das, 03 December 2019

Dear Devotees,

Hare Krishna!

Please kindly accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

By your mercy, Sankirtan continues. By your mercy may this marathon season be successful! Please bless! PRABHUPADA MARATHON!

My prayer to Sri Sri Gaura Nitai almost every day, in Marathi, with some variants sometimes.

Mee naalaayak aahe (I am unsuitable)

Mee murkha aahe (I am a fool)

Pan tumhi malaa sveekaarla (But You have accepted me)

Tar aata tyaa saglyaanvar krupa karaaa (so now please have mercy on all those others too)

Tumchi krupa aso, kaahitari karu dya (Please have mercy, please let me do something)

Das’ regular prayer

Summary:

27 Nov 2019 – Old City Hall

30 Nov 2019 – New Ocean Supermarket

———-

Total 2 Outings

Marathon magic!

What is it about the Prabhupada Marathon that inspires, empowers, and energizes? How is it that during the Prabhupada Marathon, impossible miracles occur? I don’t know. I am diving in. Please dive in too. You can only taste the nectar by diving in, not, as my spiritual master said to me before I started practicing “by licking the outside of the jar”. I pray that I can fully surrender to that instruction! 🙂

My son asks for a report – Baba, how many books, who took them, and so on. And he just LOVES to pack books for me, and accompany me too, whenever his 6-year-old busy schedule allows him to!

Ongoing conversation with Max… he’s asking questions, hopefully he reads a book! 🙂

I’m writing this “fresh”, in other words, as soon after the outing. There may be more of these writings with more detail, because I remember more, so please bear with me.

At City Hall one afternoon after a rainy day, collected a lot of no’s, some curiosity, but mostly no’s…

3 young men, walking by and I said “meditation”, and they said something I didn’t hear clearly and walked by. One of them turned around, the other two also turned around. I placed books in their hands and asked the first one “ever tried meditation”, he said no, and opened the Gita and started reading “…Personality… Godhead… Spoke… Sun God…” – flipped some more pages. I said this was spoken 5,000 years ago and that Einstein, Thoreau, Gandhi, they all read it, and we’re looking for people who want to read it, that we don’t sell them but accept donations. The others were busy flipping through their own books in the meantime. Turns out they had no money, high school kids, or maybe didn’t want to give, but high school kids! Pressman gave me his email, Euan gave me his Instagram, and the other one who said his name was Lucas said he had bad experiences with giving people his emails – so just for kicks, I let them read a crazy email I got (some of them, they’re really out there!). After a good chuckle, they all chanted, once, twice, and thrice, so the deal was sealed. Pressman handed me the Gita back because he felt he couldn’t accept it without giving me something. So they took small books and left with a good impression. Will one of them be a Vaisesika Prabhu? Will one of them be a friend of Vaisesika Prabhu? Will one of them be a Krsnadasa Kaviraja Prabhu? Will one of them teach their friend the Mahamantra and that person would be a Sankarshan Prabhu? They were all artistic and musical, so they played with the idea of making the Mahamantra as their “producer tag”. And we parted ways.

M sidled up to me, like literally rubbing against me before I jumped out of the way. She was unusually and uncomfortably close. With her high heels, cigarette blowing horrible smoke too close to me, dark skin, eyelashes, and makeup and heavy perfume, I could tell she was intoxicated, I asked her, “what do you do M” and she almost purred “I’m a working girl”. I could see her expression changing gradually as I spoke to her about meditation and a higher non-material inner pleasure. She took a book “yeah I will take one” and sobered up really quickly, stubbed out her cigarrette on the ground, crushing it with precision with her stiletto, and unfortunately didn’t chant the Mantra – didn’t want to push her, I was a bit nervous to be honest – who knows how it could go! I hope she will read the book “Conquer Your Mind, Conquer the World” by Sankarshan Prabhu, my spiritual master.

Teddy looked at me as I said “meditation” but passed me by. Then he slowly turned around and said “what did you say”. For a moment, I was fearful that I had met another interesting character and might possibly be in trouble. But as I handed him the Chant and Be Happy, I said “I said, are you interested in meditation, sir”. Teddy is into stoicism, and said he “got that orange book” (Bhagavad Gita), but cannot understand it. I said “see, stoicism is fine, but if you don’t feel anything how will you ever connect? You need to feel, but you can’t get carried away by every feeling”. That resonated with him. So he took Chant and Be Happy saying it “looked simpler”, chanted the mantra, and as I dropped him an email – he said he would be in touch. In parting he said “namas to you”, so I said “namaste” with joined palms, and he did the one-handed pranaam in the Oriental way and left, and I was happy to note he was not stoic but had a wiiiide smile!

Karan was my most memorable candidate that day. He approached me with “Sir, do you like Kids”, and I said of course and asked him if he was with Sick Kids Hospital. He said no, I think he is with Amnesty or some other welfare organization trying to save the children. I said, look I do a lot of this, I just spent a whole bunch of time standing over there trying to see if anyone is interested in their own spiritual welfare, it’s the month the Gita was spoken. He said “I’m Sikh, and I always wanted to read the Gita”. I said, today is your lucky day. So he got a Gita, and we exchanged emails. He was so moved. Who knows what prayers Karan has made to Krishna and what his relationship is with Krishna? But he couldn’t believe it, he was clearly very emotional about this turn of events. I pray he will serve all souls with Sankirtan.

I was meant to go out for at least 2-3 more Sankirtan outings, but somehow or the other I could not go. This is how life can pass me by, one day at a time, no Sankirtan, no Sankirtan, no Sankirtan!

New Ocean Supermarket

Murlidhar Seva Prabhu, in tandem with the Sankirtan Organization Team carefully planned and organized for the Sankirtan warriors to go out to 6 different stores last Saturday. Not one, not two, but 6! Many many books were distributed, mostly Bhagavad Gitas! It was a masterstroke, on a cold day!

I went to one of them, and joined Sriman Peran, Rameshwar Prabhu, Mother Geetha. Vitthal Bhakta and I were then also joined by the power team of Radha Mohan Prabhu, Govinda, and Ananya Bhakti.

Conversations were simple, either super-easy, or impossible 🙂

All I had to say was, to place the Gita in someone’s hands and say something like “sir, look at this Gita... sir Gita Jayanti coming up, as a service to Krishna we want to distribute 24,000 of these in the GTA. Please sir, take at least one. We are from the temple sir. No business sir. Just cost price sir, 10 dollar, if you give more, give more, goes to Krishna”. Most said “I already have”, to which I’d respond “yes sir yes sir, of course, surely you have, sir, this is not for you, this is for you to bless someone else sir, as a service to Krishna sir”. I replaced the “sir” with a “ma”/”ma’am”/”amma” depending on who I was speaking to.

There was the man who took one Gita and spontaneously gave us $50 (we gave him a couple more to distribute). There was the lady who didn’t know were accepting donations and left with the Gita (lucky winner). There were the souls who didn’t have any cash so they went to the cash register, with Peran and Rameshwar Prabhu tagging with them because you know, some “escaped”! To get cash back… There was the store owner’s wife Shobana who promised to come to the temple on Gita Jayanti with her kids.

We ran out of all the Tamil Gitas very quickly, and almost all the English ones too. I didn’t collect contact details here, though Peran Prabhu did collect a few.

There were the difficult ones of course, like the parents who discouraged their children “you don’t have time, too much studies”, I was thinking “what are they afraid of, that their child is going to become the emperor of the world by reading the Gita?”.

Anyways, after some delicious Prasada packed lovingly by Mother Shyama Mohini, we headed home. Vitthal Bhakta was very happy with the “really nice people taking so many Bhagavad Gitas”.

My Sankirtan outings goal for 2019 is 108, and write about them all, and I now have 30 to go, in 29 days. Please bless me that I may humbly perform this service. I am very greedy for your blessings. In fact, I am 100% convinced that I can only go out on Harinam Sankirtan because of your blessings, because otherwise I am just a useless fool.

Praying to be always out on Harinam Sankirtan, or at least be in Harinam Sankirtan consciousness 24X7, this is my humble desire, though I must admit that unfortunate as I am, I still maintain all sorts of material attachments.

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Preeti, 03 December 2019

Hare Krishna Prabhuji 

I love to read your report on sankirtan!

It is soooooo inspiring. Please keep sending more.

Hopefully one day I will have the opportunity and courage to go on sankirtan myself. 

Hari Bol

Preeti 

Tapas Chakraborty, 03 December 2019

Hare Krishna

All glories to Gurudeva

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Thank you so much for sharing the inspiring stories of reaching out to help millions of souls in directing them to the world of Krishna consciousness for realising truth transcendental peace and ecstasy. In its truth you are serving the lord residing in dormant consciousness within each soul to awaken and enjoy the heavenly peace and joy. No more service is better than this.

Going through the passages I felt nostalgic as if missing the divine consciousness of all your holy company in this mission to make the whole world Krishna conscious.

I am enjoying a lot and visualising my presence in this holy mission.

Thanks a lot to you again.

Tapas

Rasika Krishna Das, 03 December 2019

Jaya !! Hare Krishna !!

Rasika Krishna Das

Haladhar Das, 04 December 2019

Hare Krsna prabhu Dandvat Pranam 

All glories to Srila Prabhupada 

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumata 

Thank you very much for sharing the nectar. It’s really inspiring that not only you are distributing Srila Prabhupada mercy but also then share your experiences with us. 

By your blessings and regular motivation I am too trying this year to contribute in Gita marathon. Have started once a week, will increase to twice thrice a week and have already made up mind to do whole year.  Will share some realizations soon. 

Looking forward to your next visit to India soon. Everyone in Pinjore remembers you.

Thank you very much for being part of SDA family 

your servant 

Haladhar Das, Pinjore, India 

Mahabhagavat Das, 05 December 2019

Dear Sriman Tapas,

Thank you!

I am saved by this Krishna Consciousness movement, by Srila Prabhupada, by Srila Gurudeva, by all these devotees. So I am trying to spread my good fortune around.

Please do your best too, knowing that your best will surely get better by Krishna’s mercy.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Mahabhagavat Das, 05 December 2019

Dear Mother Preeti,

Hare Krishna!

Anyone and everyone can distribute books. In fact, the books are so potent that they distribute themselves!

Please take some books and go out – try to tell people what you know about the books, tell them you’re not selling but asking for any donation from their heart. Do this in a reasonable way taking into account, place, time of day, type of people around, your own personal safety etc., into account, and I guarantee that you will distribute many books.

Please try it out and write about your experiences.

If you have any difficulties, please let me know.

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Mahabhagavat Das, 05 December 2019

Dear Haladhar Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you for your kind encouragement Prabhu. Yes, I can do so very little, but if we can together amplify our efforts by encouraging and motivating each other, then that will be a great thing.

Any kind of “sankalpa” – determination to serve is all-auspicious. I do remember all the devotees in and around Chandigarh very fondly and am deeply grateful to them for giving me an opportunity to serve, and tolerate my mistakes and imperfections.

I look forward to returning. Right now, I have made a sankalpa to attend Srila Gurudeva’s next Vyasa Puja in Vrindavan. If by Krishna’s grace, I can come, then I will feel most fortunate to have your association.

We should thank Srila Gurudeva and Srila Prabhupada for bringing us together, this is indeed one amazing transcendental family!

bhadram te!

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Gautam pal, 05 December 2019

Hare Krishna

All glories to Gurudeva 

All glories to Srila Prabhupada 

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Prabhu,

Please give me the guidelines so that I can get Krishna’s mercy.

Sincerely,

Gautam Pal

Mahabhagavat Das, 06 December 2019

Dear Sriman Gautam,

Hare Krishna!

Distributing to persons of different cultures is slightly different… you need to tailor your approach. For examples, Indians get offended if you ask them to read the Gita – they feel they already know it, their mother read it to them, and their grandmother had it all memorized, their great-grandfather was a Guru equal to Srila Prabhupada and so on…

To Indians we say “Sir, you are a gentleman, know so much about the Gita, this knowledge flows in your veins. But so many others don’t know. We want to spread this knowledge all over the world. We want to distribute x Gitas this December to those who don’t yet understand. We are from the temple, we are not doing this for money. Please help us by taking one or more and spread this pure knowledge. Our cost is x, if you give more donation, it will go to the temple”.

These are the basics:

1. Get books and keep them with you  – you cannot distribute books if you don’t have them with you always.

2. We are ambassadors of goodwill – no arguments, no fights, give everyone what they can accept. A smile, a Maha Mantra, an invite to the temple, a little bit of Krishna Prasada, a book, and the service of giving a donation

3. Don’t worry about money. Don’t be shy about accepting a donation on Krishna’s behalf, but if someone is interested but cannot give the full amount, as long as you are not at a temple book stall, give the book to them – that is your service to them. For example, 20+ years ago, I got my Gita free of charge – someone had sponsored! Now every Gita I distribute, that original sponsor is also getting benefit for helping me connect to Krishna!

4. The more you show, the more you distribute – show to everyone as far as possible, put the book in their hands as soon as possible, and “give to the hand”, at hand level, the hand takes

5. Start with a personal connection – wave at people, smile at them. Don’t approach them if they are hostile or do not reciprocate. Save your energy for those who reciprocate. Krishna Himself says “manushyaanaam sahasreshu” – among thousands, one is interested.

6. Ask them questions about themselves and be genuinely interested in them, also tell a little about yourself as appropriate and build trust. Build trust before you ask them for anything.

7. There is no hard-and-fast rule, except don’t pursue people who are not ready, let them go. Especially fanatics, avoid them!

8. Above all, MOST IMPORTANT – leave everyone with a good impression, we are doing a service to Krishna, we don’t want to do any disservice to Guru and Krishna!

9. Stay humble, we are doing this more for our own purification than for others’ benefit, if someone else benefits, that is a bonus, but Sankirtan, especially rejection builds our spiritual blood for our spiritual body

10. Sankirtan and book distribution is the highest sadhana, the more you go our on Sankirtan the better your chanting will be, and the better you chant, the more effective you will be on Sankirtan… actually this is the mood of the Gopis, especially Srimati Radharani, how to engage everyone in the service of Krishna

11. We are all one big global/Universal team – if I miss someone, you will get them, if you miss someone, I will get them, but important to approach everyone to increase their good fortune that one day they will say yes

Remember that we can be soft like the water, but the water has carved continents and mountains! We are on a project to redeem a soul that has been in the material realm for millions, billions, trillions of lifetimes, so we should have patience, we (at least I) cannot take them to Goloka in one conversation 🙂

Anyone with more interest, look for the BBT book “Our Family Business” by His Grace Vaisesika Dasa Adhikari, a Godbrother of Srila Gurudeva.

Spiritual books by Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva are very powerful. They will attract the right candidates, you just be their instrument.

I can speak or write about this for ever (and I hope to), but you will only taste the nectar if you try yourselves!

Please everyone, try, and report back here. We are eagerly waiting to hear your adventures on book distribution!

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Rupa Manjari Devi Dasi, 07 December 2019

Hare Krishna! Jai, 30 more things to do, you can do it!

Rupa Manjari Devi Dasi

Haladhar Das, 12 December 2019

Hare Krishna dear devotees,

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumata

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Encouraged by HG Mahabhagavat Prabhu, have again re-participated in this year Gita Marathon, once a week as of now, trying to convince myself to increase to at least twice or thrice a week. Except 1 or 2 atheists a very small number to discourage, mostly there were many nice experiences during book distribution on the streets during last 3 Sunday’s, sharing some of them :

1. A seeker – a Sikh gentleman carrying his small baby on his shoulder was very pleased to receive Bhagavad Gita. He said I have been searching for Bhagvad Gita for the last 2 years and have even gone to the other city for the same but could not find. I don’t know how fortunate I am that I have come across you. People don’t value the price of Bhagavad Gita. It’s a priceless jewel. I somehow never saw you people distributing Bhagavad Gita earlier. Hearing this I felt embarrassed and replied yes we do only during the Gita Marathon only and that too only on Sunday’s. Though he lived little far, yet I shared with him our Centre address and program details and invited him to attend the programs. 

2. School girl fan of Krishna – A young girl came across and when I showed her the Bhagavad Gita, she was so blissful to see Krishna’s picture and hearing Krishna’s name. She was not much aware about Bhagavad Gita. When I tried to tell her something, she kept interrupting and asking is this book of Kanha ji (Lord Krishna) and I said yes, she was very pleased and very happily asked to kindly give her. She had INR 30 less but the attraction and love which she had for Krishna was worth it. She gladly took Bhagavad Gita and moved ahead.

3. A seemed to be stubborn old man – He returned back on his two wheeler, took the book and said, I don’t need Bhagavad Gita, but I am very inspired to see you in this young age making so much effort to distribute Bhagavad Gita on roads. Ofcourse it was like nectar pouring in my ears as after so long I have heard someone calling me young 🙂  I thanked him for being part of Vedic literature distribution and told him that Bhagavad Gita won’t stop, if you won’t be reading, someone else will definitely. 

This confirmed my thoughts that I share with younger devotees that if you preach, go out on Harinam, do book distribution, more people will feel inspired to connect with the movement.

4. Are you a Salesman – One gentleman who was observing since long finally came near and told you should go to a nearby place and sell there in the weekly vegetable market. I replied, we are not selling Bhagavad Gita, we are giving them on donation, so more can be printed and distributed and more and more people can get Lord Krishna mercy.

5. Appreciative but non-receptive: Many people though did not take the books, but they showed appreciation for distributing Bhagavad Gita. If time permits we are taking their contacts to keep them updated of ISKCON programs. Many ladies as usual replies we already have at home. When told to take for gifting to some near & dear ones or to donate, they show reluctance. Some who seemed to be non-receptive outwardly turned out to be appreciative and took books while those who seemed appreciative outwardly were reluctant to take the books as well as cited their unwillingness to come to Sunday programs due to various reasons like distance from the Centre, working etc but promised to read the books. It was a sweet reminder that I should approach everyone, as Krishna has His own ways to inspire people.

6. I’m not always right: Like some, one person came but when he was shown the Bhagavad Gita, he said this one I have. I thought may be lying like others, but anyhow to give a try I reluctantly invited him to our books table and showed him Krishna book and other small books, he happily took them and also took details of the ISKCON center of his city. Realized that day that we cannot just judge a book by its cover, we have to open it and try to go through.

These are some experiences which I could remember. What really amazes me and motivates me to keep going are those devotees who are distributing Srila Prabhupada books in foreign land, where people are of different backgrounds, different religions, different mindsets, different cultures…… whereas in India its not so difficult as almost everyone at least have heard about Lord Krishna and Bhagavad Gita, still the wicked mind finds reasons to avoid participating in distributing Srila Prabhupada mercy to one and all. I have a deep desire to do door to door book distribution, but not the courage to do so. Hope someday by Vaishnavas mercy would be somehow able to do it.

Kindly keep blessing, else I see no hope for carrying forward my spiritual life especially book distribution which at times if not done for long, seems too tense, fearful and stressful in the beginning like having an injection from some Doctor’s inexperienced looking young assistant after a long time but once the needle goes in and comes out generally it is more or less unnoticed. Similarly to me, distribution of Srila Prabhupada books 

Kindly forgive if you find any mistakes in above dealings and do correct for my betterment so as to properly help the society as much as possible.

Hare Krishna.

trying to be servant of the servant of Sri Guru and Gauranga

Haladhar Das, Punjab, India

Sacinandana Das, 12 December 2019

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees, 

Please accept my humble obeisances. 

All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata ji. 

All glories to Srila Prabhupada. 

I along with three other devotees went for book distribution last Sunday but we could distribute only 1 Bhagavad Gita and only one responded to me by saying Hare Krishna. 

 Please bless me this weekend so I can distribute more books. 

your servant, 

Sacinandana das. 

Rasika Krishna Das, 12 December 2019

Jaya !! All glories to your services Prabhuji 🙂

your servant,

Rasika Krishna Das

Rasika Krishna Das, 15 December 2019

Jaya !! All glories to your services Prabhuji 🙂

your servant,

Rasika Krishna Das

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Dear Pope Francis, how many apologies to go?

Recently, Pope Francis apologized for the abuse and killing of Inuit children in residential schools in Canada. But is an apology enough? Does the faith he profess even understand what “spirit soul” means? I challenge all Christians to read and understand the Bhagavad Gita, so they can actually be Christians one day.

I live in Canada, which was once only inhabited by Native Canadians of various tribes. Then the European settlers came, and now, only a few hundred years later, you hardly see any Native Canadians. They are mostly relegated to faraway remote reserves, and reduced to a tiny minority. The few Native Canadians are often seen in cities, in terrible shape, drugged, drunk, and in a really difficult situation. Their culture stands decimated, and their age-old customs are all but destroyed. They don’t possess much either, having been mostly tricked or cheated out of their land, their rights, their heritage.

Among other things that contributed to their misery, there was this strategy of conversion to Christianity without due respect to their culture and rights as souls. Their free will was trampled willy nilly.

Sometimes the force was overt, and sometimes it was insidious and downright criminal. For example, one strategy adopted by the Government of Canada and the Christian Church was that of forcibly separating young Native Canadians from their families and putting them into residential schools, where they were to be reformed of their “heathen culture” and made into proper Christians.

Kamloops Indian Residential School

But in these schools, many children were abused and tortured by their Christian teachers and the Christian priests, and many even died. Think about it, imagine what it is like for a child to go to school to be “civilized” and be killed by the Christians. Their little friends were then often made to dig graves and bury the dead children. Can you even imagine the horror?

These souls were shot dead due to “overcrowding”

So far, in Canada, thousands of graves have been uncovered, and more are yet to be uncovered. This has shocked the nation beyond words. Whatever happened to “Thou Shalt Not Kill”?

Mass grave of 182 buried children’s bodies, at a residential school in British Columbia, Canada

Similar abuse was perpetrated in the United States of America also, and in most parts of North and South America.

So why did this happen? Well, there are many reasons, but there is one particular main reason.

In Christianity, there is an idiotic concept that only certain types of humans “have souls” and all the other types of humans (such as natives or aborigines, or, anyone who is not European or Christian), animals, birds, insects, and plants have no souls. I wrote about Descartes being in ignorance about the nature of consciousness and life. This is continuing to cause havoc all over our planet, including mass slaughter and all kinds of exploitation.

What I found shocking though, is that the root cause of the injustice heaped upon native people in various parts of the world, including India, Asia, and Africa, are doctrines published by the Church!

The Doctrine of Discovery dehumanized humans

There is something called the “Doctrine of Discovery“, which are Papal Bulls, or decrees by the Pope, issued, starting in the 1100s, and then later in 1455 and 1493 by the Pope of the time. What they said, in essence, was that the native population of “discovered lands” were not “human” and could therefore not possibly possess a right to any land or property, and that essentially everything that the European explorers “discovered” was theirs to claim!

I grew up in India, where Christian preachers routinely denounced the ancient Vedic culture as barbaric and uncultured. In effect they preached that the followers of any culture or religion that is not European in origin were “heathen”, people bereft of souls, or worse, souls claimed by the devil. These poor creatures, then, in essence, were meant to be “saved” by trampling over, destroying their culture, appropriating their land and wealth, and somehow or other converting them to Christianity, even if what they were following was higher than what the missionaries were preaching.

A Christian Preacher

But unfortunately, even today, the Pope and most of his followers are in the deepest, darkest ignorance.

Thomas Paine, American Thinker

There are fundamental truths that the Pope needs to learn from the Bhagavad Gita, that life cannot exist without spirit. Wherever there is life, there is a spirit soul underlying… the only difference, as I discussed in a previous article is that of the degree of awakening of consciousness. In short, a drunk man and a sober men are both human, but the drunk man may act just like an animal… doesn’t make him “not a soul”, just a soul under the influence of an intoxicant! Similarly, an animal may be less intelligent than a human, but is still a spirit soul!

Read the Bhagavad Gita to get a clearer understanding of the Holy Bible

As a result of this terrible ignorance that continues to be perpetrated, among other atrocities, for example, there is large-scale slaughter of animals and birds going on, sanctioned by the Christian church, under the doctrine that only humans have souls!

Dear Pope Francis, humans don’t “have” souls, but are souls! So are all the other living entities, including the tiniest germ… they are simply wearing different clothes, just like you wear your robes, and someone might dress in a pair of jeans and a shirt… Both of you are humans, just wearing different clothes.

These material bodies are simply clothes, that are changed at the time of death.

All living entities are spirit souls, experiencing a particular material experience

So recently, Pope Francis apologized for the crimes committed at the Canadian residential schools, and previous Popes have apologized for the slave trade, for crimes against women, against Jews, for sexual abuse, to Orthodox Christians, and for sure, there will be many more apologies. But what good are these apologies? The wrongs have been done, many souls have suffered, and the perpetrators are suffering the effects of following a flawed authority. And what is worse, the atrocities based on ignorance continue!

But if the Pope, meant to be God’s direct representative on this planet does not know the Supreme Absolute Truth, and has a need to apologize for their predecessor’s mistakes, then how pure is that connection to God? How deep is the spiritual understanding of the Pope? Is there any sense in following someone who is spiritually blind?

न ते विदु: स्वार्थगतिं हि विष्णुं
दुराशया ये बहिरर्थमानिन: ।
अन्धा यथान्धैरुपनीयमाना-
स्तेऽपीशतन्‍त्र्यामुरुदाम्नि बद्धा: ॥ ३१ ॥

na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ
durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ
andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās
te ’pīśa-tantryām uru-dāmni baddhāḥ


Persons who are strongly entrapped by the consciousness of enjoying material life, and who have therefore accepted as their leader or guru a similar blind man attached to external sense objects, cannot understand that the goal of life is to return home, back to Godhead, and engage in the service of Lord Viṣṇu. As blind men guided by another blind man miss the right path and fall into a ditch, materially attached men led by another materially attached man are bound by the ropes of fruitive labor, which are made of very strong cords, and they continue again and again in materialistic life, suffering the threefold miseries.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/7/5/31/

No disrespect to the blind, but the blind leading the blind in unknown territory is not such a good idea. Everyone ends up in a ditch sooner or later. The Pope must admit his ignorance and surrender to someone who does know the truth, for example, a spiritual descendant of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, such as my spiritual master!

To the Pope, or any of his followers reading this, these are some fundamental truths about life spoken by God in the Bhagavad Gita (The Song of God), please understand them, accept them, and be perfect.

Krishna is God the Father, in other words, the Heavenly Father of Jesus Christ. These are the words of God the Father.

Krishna, the Heavenly Father of Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ, a True Son of Krishna

अहं सर्वस्य प्रभवो मत्त: सर्वं प्रवर्तते ।
इति मत्वा भजन्ते मां बुधा भावसमन्विता: ॥ ८ ॥

ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo
mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate
iti matvā bhajante māṁ
budhā bhāva-samanvitāḥ

I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who perfectly know this engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/10/8/

Everything rests upon Krishna, and therefore He is the Supreme Authority, even of Jesus Christ, what to speak of a Pope who must apologize for the sins of his predecessors.

मत्त: परतरं नान्यत्किञ्चिदस्ति धनञ्जय ।
मयि सर्वमिदं प्रोतं सूत्रे मणिगणा इव ॥ ७ ॥

mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat
kiñcid asti dhanañ-jaya
mayi sarvam idaṁ protaṁ
sūtre maṇi-gaṇā iva

O conqueror of wealth, there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread.

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

Because Krishna is the Supreme Authority, His words, which are above sectarian division like Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jew, should be accepted as the Supreme Absolute Truth.

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

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

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

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

You are not this body. You are a spirit soul, and so is every living entity. You should not discriminate against a particular living entity just because of the clothes they wear.

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

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

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

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

Every single species of life originates from God, is a soul, just like you and me. In other words, every living entity is our brother or sister, no less than anyone else.

पिताहमस्य जगतो माता धाता पितामह: ।
वेद्यं पवित्रम् ॐकार ऋक् साम यजुरेव च ॥ १७ ॥

pitāham asya jagato
mātā dhātā pitāmahaḥ
vedyaṁ pavitram oṁ-kāra
ṛk sāma yajur eva ca

I am the father of this universe, the mother, the support and the grandsire. I am the object of knowledge, the purifier and the syllable oṁ. I am also the Ṛg, the Sāma and the Yajur Vedas.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/9/17/

God is the Father of all of us, not just some of us!

Instead of making mistakes, which is all too human, while spuriously claiming divine revelation and a direct connection to God, it is better to take a humble position, admit our ignorance, follow the right authority, and come to the light.

Dear Pope Francis, you did the right thing by apologizing, but this is not enough. Now, please continue to do the right thing, please follow the Bhagavad Gita, and save yourself and your millions of followers from a dark and dangerous future, beginning with a long time in hell. Please, heed my humble plea.

Here are 2 formulas for Ultimate Perfection:

भोक्तारं यज्ञतपसां सर्वलोकमहेश्वरम् ।
सुहृदं सर्वभूतानां ज्ञात्वा मां शान्तिमृच्छति ॥ २९ ॥

bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ
sarva-loka-maheśvaram
suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moving homes – painful business

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

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

So what about THE BIG MOVE?

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

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

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

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

Why is that?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They went around meeting different people during their travels…

One day, the saintly person met 3 souls.

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

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

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

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

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

The spiritual master, the saintly person, explained…

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

Life in the material world is just like a Ferris Wheel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Krishna’s devotees live and play with Krishna eternally

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

How to get free of baggage?

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Popular is Krishna?

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

Ajanta Rao, 5 May 2015

Hare Krishna!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva!

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

Sincerely,

Ajanta Rao

Jayakrishna, 5 May 2015

Hare Krishna!

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

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

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

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

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

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

your servant

Bhakta Jayakrishna

Srivatsa Das, 6 May 2015

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Gurudeva

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

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

your servant

Srivatsa Das   

Priya Harinath, 6 May 2015

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Gurudeva

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

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

bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate

vasudevah sarvam iti sa mahatma su-durlabhah

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

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

yanti deva-vrata devan pitrn yanti pitr-vratah

bhutani yanti bhutejya yanti mad-yajino ‘pi mam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

your humble servant

Priya

Shridhar Das, 7 May 2015

Hare Krishna Ajanta Rao ji,

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All Glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji!

All Glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!

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

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

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

kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ

prapadyante ’nya-devatāḥ

taṁ taṁ niyamam āsthāya

prakṛtyā niyatāḥ svayā

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

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

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

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

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

your servant

Shridhar Das

Sacinandana Das, 13 Jun 2015

Hare Krsna Mataji,

Dandavat Pranam.

All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata ji.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

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

your servant,

Sacinandana Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 28 Jul 2015

Hare Krishna!

Please kindly accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

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

Marriage and Celibacy

What is Celibacy? Is it mutually exclusive with Marriage? What is Celibacy in Marriage? Is there something higher than sex pleasure?

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 some way.

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 the 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 , one’s efforts are just not sufficient, grace of Krsna is also required.

My philosophy has been to 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 listen 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 consciousness, 

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 26th 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:

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.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/9/19/16/

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.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/60

Please note that sometimes that quote is misunderstood as a misogynist view that Yamunacharya is spitting at women an 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 Prabhu,

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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