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

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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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Why don’t I remember my past lives? And were all the species created in a moment?

If I had a past life, then why don’t I remember it? And how were the species created?

Janis, 2 January 2018

Hare Krishna!

I would like to ask two following questions, if I may.

First – why cannot we remember our past lives? If we have lived billions of lifetimes (and even at least one as a Brahma), why cannot we remember a single detail of these lives? I have asked this question on this forum before and received answers – because the experiences of death were too traumatic and such memories would cause mental issues related to multi-identity. Yet still billions of years is a very long time and I think at least something memorable enough should have happened.

Second – how did the species of Earth originate? Did Brahma create them momentarily or did he do the evolution of single cell->multi-cell organisms->fishes->reptiles->mammals->humans?

Thank you!

your servant,

Janis

Chakravarthy, 2 January 2018

Hare Krishna.

My understanding for your first question is as follows.

We are here in the first place since we wanted to enjoy ourselves separately from the Lord and due to His kindness, he arranged us the material body on this planet. All living beings are attached materially to several things, the foremost being the immediate family, friends, and so on. If one were to remember his past life(s), it would be difficult to enjoy the current life due to the past attachments and unfulfilled desires.

If one were to remember or know prior spouses and kids as an example, it would be impractical to his current and prior relations. Where will one’s interest lie due to multiple identities? Imagine having a million(s) kids in all different species. This would not be an enjoyable situation. So, due to His kindness, he takes our memory away facilitating the false happiness we came in for. Similarly, we are able to get past the traumatic experiences in this current life by forgetting them. In this material world where reality is true only when one perceives through the five senses, should one know his past life and death and acquiring a new body after (with certainty), will he be able to enjoy in his current body? To my mind, it seems impossible as fear will dominate of the impending death. We are able to enjoy because we don’t think death is around the corner.

Hope this helped.

Respectfully,

Chakravarthy

Brajanath Das, 2 January 2018

Hare Krishna Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All Glories to Srila Gurudeva!

Regarding – Why can’t we remember the past lives?

Imagine the hardships of trying to live one life while plagued with memories of another. If we were to remember the hell we went through in our previous births, we would be suffering from a severe case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and would not be able to function properly in this present life. So the forgetfulness of our previous hellish suffering is Krishna’s kindness upon us so that we can live this life peacefully and cultivate Krishna consciousness in a happy mood in preparation for going back to home, back to Godhead.

I hope that helps.

your servant,

Brajanath Das

Dra Varni, 3 January 2018

Hare Krsna!!  Good Question

REMEMBERING OUR PAST LIVE: My first question for a person who has been born. Is why do you want to remember your past life? Secondly, how do you know that you weren’t born into your past life?  What you do know is, you were born into material reality. A question such as: What if I was not born into material reality. What would I know then about myself?  

Dra Varni

Janis, 4 January 2018

Hare Krishna!

Thank you very much for your answers! I had an approximate idea that it is Krishna’s inconceivable kindness to erase our memories, otherwise they would break our mind. But I was hoping – maybe someone knows more details about the mechanism how the memories are erased.

To answer Dra Varni questions:

1) because the idea of reincarnation fundamentally changes the way I understand how my memory works. I can look back a few years and am able to remember (or at least think I remember) events of my life. If reincarnation exists and I try to look back prior to my birth, I have zero memories. So it raises the question – why?

2) regarding how I know I was not born before – I don’t have memories about that time, so I don’t know anything about it.

Reincarnation is the biggest issue I have with spiritual faith. I believe, when I die, I simply cease to exist. And theory of reincarnation confirms it, because it erases my memories – and since I identify me with my memories, it destroys me.

On a side note – I was thinking about the purpose of hellish planets and paradise planets. For example, from samsara point of view, hell is important step for degrading soul’s intelligence until it is fit to enter less intelligent body. But from functional point of view – if purpose of hell is punishment as means of teaching the soul – what is the point of this punishment, if you cannot remember what you have learned?

Humbly asking for enlightenment.

your servant,

Janis

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 4 January 2018

Dear Janis,

Hare Krishna!

I do appreciate your sincerity.

Past life memories are available to be dredged up – any number of “past life therapists” are doing good business all over the world. There are even books like “Many Lives Many Masters” which claim to have revived past life memories in individuals. But we cannot endorse any of those because of several reasons – we feel it is unnecessary, and also that it is a distraction from genuine spiritual life.

Srila Prabhupada says (paraphrased) that when you have an arrow in your back, your first duty should be to get out that arrow, instead of beginning an investigation as to where that arrow came from and who shot it.

So coming to your question – how are the memories erased?

The memories are not erased from our subtle mind, they are simply not present in the gross mind. The entrapped spirit soul wears 2 bodies, the subtle material body consisting of mind, intelligence, and false ego, and the gross material body which we can perceive with our gross material senses. One indication of past life memories is “inclination”. A naked person of the opposite gender may be available to 2 individuals, one is enamoured, and the other is unaffected, similarly other things like drugs, or sports, or even philosophical speculation.

The subtle mind is projected onto the material body and the brain consisting of its neurons, is an “interface” – it is not actually the mind.

One example is that at the same time as I am writing this, the radio signals and television signals and wireless radio channels of thousands of sources are present in the space where I am sitting. But I don’t hear any of them. Doesn’t mean that they don’t exist, just means that I don’t have the equipment to tune into those signals. With the right receiver, I can receive all those channels, simultaneously if I want to.

Another example of how memories get erased – ask a woman who has given birth to a child how much pain she felt during childbirth – she cannot tell you. Ask a child how much pain she felt when she was being born. She cannot tell you. Intense experiences do get blotted out, and we have many such experiences. I was present when my wife gave birth to my son. Both of them were in intense pain, I could see them both in their intense agony. But both of them don’t remember any of the pain.

The experience of birth, and death, is extremely intense.

The Srimad Bhagavatam 11th canto describes birth thus:

O most charitable Uddhava, what is called birth is simply a person’s total identification with a new body. One accepts the new body just as one completely accepts the experience of a dream or a fantasy as reality. SB 11.22.40 (https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/11/22/40)

The very next verse states this “Just as a person experiencing a dream or daydream does not remember his previous dreams or daydreams, a person situated in his present body, although having existed prior to it, thinks that he has only recently come into being.”

And then ” Because the mind, which is the resting place of the senses, has created the identification with a new body, the threefold material variety of high, middle and low class appears as if present within the reality of the soul. Thus the self creates external and internal duality, just as a man might give birth to a bad son.”

I do invite you to experience this reality, but it is an experience, you cannot theoretically understand it.

You can experience this yourself only by practicing Krishna consciousness fully and wholeheartedly, just like you can feel the water in a lake only by jumping into it, and no one can define what salty is, what sweet is, you need to put substances which taste salty and sweet into your mouth.

Re your belief that you cease to exist upon death, no one can stop you from believing whatever you want to believe, but just think – you didn’t start with a clean slate, you started with a specific set of circumstances that others don’t share exactly with you. Why do you have special circumstances that are different from others’? That line of thinking leads you to believe that you are just a bunch of chemicals, at which point I ask you, when did a bunch of chemicals ever worry about their existence or heaven or hell.

Re what is the purpose of heaven and hell when you cannot remember the punishments? Maybe you cannot remember right now, but I have met people who have nightmares that resemble the various punishments in hellish planets. Those dreams are vividly real and one man was asking me if he would have to go back there. I also have met people for whom the standard of sense gratification here is very low, they seem to recollect that there is a higher standard of enjoyment elsewhere, and they determinedly pursue that enjoyment without giving into lower forms of enjoyment here.

You don’t necessarily have to remember what you learned – after experiencing hellish or heavenly planets, one is put into a situation that constrains one to that situation from where one came from. It is natural.

It is like I am qualified as an electrical engineer. I have probably forgotten 95% of electrical engineering because I now work in the computer software industry for the last 20 years. But I still get paid as much as an engineer would ordinarily get paid, maybe more. One may argue what is the use of going to university to study electrical engineering, but one can also see that I am reaping the rewards of the penance of working hard whilst in university.

God creates a situation in which both the atheist and theist can both exist by their own free will. If you want to be an atheist, you are given full freedom to follow that path. But you are not free from your actions and their subsequent reactions, which you will reap in due course of time.

If for example, reincarnation was provable by gross material means, how would the atheists remain in their own concoctions? That would be taking away the atheists’ free will to be as they want to be.

Ultimately however,

tarko ‘pratiṣṭhaḥ śrutayo vibhinnā

nāsāv ṛṣir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam

dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ

mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued, “‘Dry arguments are inconclusive. A great personality whose opinion does not differ from others is not considered a great sage. Simply by studying the Vedas, which are variegated, one cannot come to the right path by which religious principles are understood. The solid truth of religious principles is hidden in the heart of an unadulterated, self-realized person. Consequently, as the śāstras confirm, one should accept whatever progressive path the mahājanas advocate.’”

CC Madhya 17.186 (https://www.vedabase.com/cc/madhya/17/186)

We are on that path of the progressive path of the great self-realized souls, and we can experience our progress by a progressive disappearance of our confusions, but only if we truly follow.

I pray that this is in some way shape or form helpful to you.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Janis, 5 January 2018

Dear Mahabhagavat,

Hare Krishna! Thank you very much for your answers!

The following two points answered my question very nicely:

1) people have “unexplainable” inclinations since their birth

2) analogy of a soul transmigrating bodies with a person dreaming. The soul – still identifying itself with false ego/intelligence/mind – accepting the next body (not able to remember previous life) is similar to a regular person falling asleep in current life (cannot remember previous dream).

I have issues understanding the following:

1) blocking painful experiences – I agree that in psychology there are such phenomena, however I am able to remember many painful experiences of my current life.

2) identifying myself with a bunch of chemicals and worrying about heaven or hell – there can be chemical reactions in my neurons that result in these worry processes in my brain.

On a theoretical side note – why only human-like species have suitable intelligence to be able to choose God over matter? Maybe it would be too lenient from Krishna’s side to constantly provide this opportunity for all life forms, but still – why not have a constant chance for everyone to be able to learn?

I also would be grateful if you could explain how evolution is compatible with Vedic history – for example dinosaur fossils, carbon dating. Oldest traces of human species are dated approx. 500 000 BC opposed to the age of humankind being approx. 4 million years according to Vedas (adding up the three previous yugas).

I understand that without practice (which I do not have at the moment) I have small chances of realizing non-material processes, because I have material consciousness and these realizations can only be bestowed by Krishna if He wants to. I plan to resume my practice in approx. two years, when I have finished my studies.

Sincerely,

Janis

Abhay Charan Das, 5 January 2018

Nice question by Janis and wonderful answers in the group.  Srila Prabhupada speaks about life after death, putting a part of the morning May 9, 1975 in Perth

Quote Start

Paramahamsa: Many of them say we cannot prove there is any life after death.

Prabhupäda: Yes, this if proof. Just as the boy is there and the father is there, the boy is going to become father. This is future. Both of them are there. The boy is going to be the father, and the father is going to be the grandfather. Where there is no future? The rascals, they do not know, say that, but there is future. How can you stop it? The boy is going to be father, the father is going to be grandfather. This is future.

Amogha: But then he dies, and they cannot see any future after that.

Prabhupäda: Your seeing has no power. This is no argument, “I cannot see.” I cannot see the other side. That does not mean there is nothing. This is all rascaldom. He has become authority “I want to see.” What you can see? Now this is Indian Ocean. On the other side there is India, and other islands, but you cannot see it. Does it mean there is nothing? So, these are foolish questions. Because they are rascals they put such questions and nonsense. That is the proof that they are rascals. They are simply taking authority his little vision. That’s all. What is your vision? Why don’t you see what is the other side? But does it mean there is nothing because you cannot see? When one says “I cannot see,” that means he is a rascal number one. He’s believing so much upon his seeing. He does not know that he is a most insignificant person, so there is no value of his seeing. That he does not know. Therefore he is a rascal. Is it not? He’s believing his eyes so greatly that “I cannot see.” And what is the value of your seeing? What you can see?

Conversation with A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Quote End

Irrespective of whether we remember or not of our past life, the very fact we want to live forever is the proof that we are eternal and the very fact that we have a temporary body now is the proof that we must have had different bodies before, since we are eternal. Because we do not remember we take the help of Shastra to learn the truth.

Bg 2.22 — 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.

And in SB

kecit kevalaya bhaktya                vasudeva-parayanah

agham dhunvanti kartsnyena      niharam iva bhaskarah

Only a rare person who has adopted complete, unalloyed devotional service to Kṛṣṇa can uproot the weeds of sinful actions with no possibility that they will revive. He can do this simply by discharging devotional service, just as the sun can immediately dissipate fog by its rays.

SB 6.1.15

By executing our Devotional service our understanding gradually becomes solid over a period of time.

And to understand how Species originate this is a good book http://www.humandevolution.com/ where the proofs are given using both Modern Science Methods and the Shastras.

Hope this helps. 

At your Service

Abhay Charan das

Sacinandana Das, 5 January 2018

Thank you for sharing Srila Prabhupada’s conversation Prabhu ji. It was amazing to read it.

your servant,

Sacinandana Das.

Filip Misic, 8 January 2018

Dear Janis,

You have very smart questions, which is good, because they are signs of intelligence. You mentioned that your studies are disabling you from doing spiritual Krishna Conscious practice. But please know, that it is actually not so hard to be Krishna Conscious and lead a spiritual life while simultaneously living a material life. It is possible to balance these two, that is, if one really wants to. 

Krishna explains thoroughly in the Bhagavad Gita, how one can be Krishna Conscious at all times.

First He says to his dear friend Arjuna (12.8):

mayy eva mana ādhatsva

mayi buddhiṁ niveśaya

nivasiṣyasi mayy eva

ata ūrdhvaṁ na saṁśayaḥ

 “Just fix your mind upon Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and engage all your intelligence in Me. Thus you will live in Me always, without a doubt.” However, to reach this stage of devotion and love towards the Supreme Personality of Godhead is not accomplished easily. Therefore, taking this in to notice, Krishna goes on to speak (12.9):

atha cittaṁ samādhātuṁ

na śaknoṣi mayi sthiram

abhyāsa-yogena tato

mām icchāptuṁ dhanañ-jaya

 “My dear Arjuna, O winner of wealth, if you cannot fix your mind upon Me without deviation, then follow the regulative principles of bhakti-yoga. In this way develop a desire to attain Me.”

If you cannot practice the regulations of bhakti-yoga, then just try to work for Me, because by working for Me you will come to the perfect stage.” How you can Janis practice bhakti-yoga and work for Krishna, is nicely described by Srila Prabhupada in his purports. Because Krishna is so merciful, He goes further on to say (12.10):

abhyāse ’py asamartho ’si

mat-karma-paramo bhava

mad-artham api karmāṇi

kurvan siddhim avāpsyasi

“If you cannot practice the regulations of bhakti-yoga, then just try to work for Me, because by working for Me you will come to the perfect stage.”

then further (12.11)…

athaitad apy aśakto ’si

kartuṁ mad-yogam āśritaḥ

sarva-karma-phala-tyāgaṁ

tataḥ kuru yatātmavān

“If, however, you are unable to work in this consciousness of Me, then try to act giving up all results of your work and try to be self-situated.”

and even further (12.12)

śreyo hi jñānam abhyāsāj

jñānād dhyānaṁ viśiṣyate

dhyānāt karma-phala-tyāgas

tyāgāc chāntir anantaram

“If you cannot take to this practice, then engage yourself in the cultivation of knowledge. Better than knowledge, however, is meditation, and better than meditation is renunciation of the fruits of action, for by such renunciation one can attain peace of mind.”

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/12

To better understand how to be Krishna Conscious and spiritual by following the above mentioned instructions given by Krishna himself, I would suggest to you Janis that you get to know Srila Praphupadas commentaries on these verses, as well as the  entire Bhagavad Gita. Srila Prabhupada is the authority on the Krishna Conscious- science, and all the knowledge we get comes from him, which originally comes down from the disciplic succession Guru Parampara. 

The point I am trying to make, is that you can easily practice spiritual life, nevertheless your current situation as a student. You see, I am also a university student and have much work to do, but I also read Prabhupada’s books and visit a Hare Krishna temple often. So I think you can consider visiting a temple, where you can get answers to every question you have. So I truly hope that you turn your “material consciousness” into a more spiritual and blissful consciousness Janis and i don’t think anyone should wait 2 years for that when given the rare opportunity. 

I write to you in an uttermost friendly way 🙂 

your servant, 

Filip.

Sacinandana Das, 8 January 2018

Wonderful answer Bhakta Filip. You are very lucky that you came into Krishna Conscious during your university studies. It is Krishna’s unlimited mercy upon you.

I heard in Srila Gurudev’s lecture in Iskcon Greater Noida bace where Srila Gurudev likes going very much to a student. Srila Gurudev said finish your 16 rounds and then you can study(Not exact words but gist is the same)

your servant,

Sacinandana Das.

Filip Misic, 8 January 2018

Hare Krishna Sacinandana Prabhu,

Very nice. I will try and live up to that standard 🙂

your servant, Filip

Janis, 10 January 2018

Dear Filip,

Thank you for your encouragement! I will try to increase my practice sooner than within two years 🙂

your servant,

Janis

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

The origin of western religion

What is it with those who claim to have the one and only true eternal religion? And why do they spew hatred? Would you like to understand the origin of the western religious traditions?

Many Western Religions, that is religious traditions that originated in the Middle East, such as Islam and Christianity, claim to be the “One and Only Original True Religion”. I have had people tell me I’m going to hell because I’m not following their particular denomination.

You know, it is really sad to see one type of Muslim denouncing another type of Muslim (for example Shias and Sunnis), or one type of Christian denouncing another type of Christian… Is that not the fundamental anti-thesis of the life of Lord Jesus Christ? Did Prophet Mohammad teach hatred?

But when I converse with them about their own religious tradition, they descend into unreasonable hatred towards others very quickly without actually expressing any understanding about God Himself. I cannot accept that such a soul has any proper understanding of religion which means to re-connect.

So, when I do meet such a person, I follow this advice, and try to get away as soon as possible. What is the use of discussing politics when I want to discuss God?

Of course, there are the pious souls who follow a religious tradition just so they can use God as an order-supplier. For such souls, I strive to encourage them to go deeper into their own understanding of their own faith, so they can reach the essence of their tradition, at minimum, in this lifetime.

God is One without a second, and has absolutely no competition. I would accept your acceptance of your tradition as genuine if you actually know something about God and you actually love God, and by corollary, every single living entity. I could accept your acceptanc of your faith if you know yourself and if you are yourself, meaning, without external material designation.

Every genuine religion tradition has come into being because the great teacher, messenger of God, had something of value to share, and they had to share it in the particular time, place, and circumstances that they were in. Giving undue importance to the details originating from the specific time, place, and circumstance and losing the essence of the teaching is the pastime of fools.

So Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s movement is, the starting point is, the spirit soul. And automatically, unless… In the Bhagavad-gītā, the Lord said the sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja: [Bg. 18.66] “You give up the so-called man-made duties or occupation or dharma. You just surrender unto Me.” So actually this is dharma, or religion, to surrender to God. God is one. He is neither Hindu nor Muslim nor Christian. God is one. If there is another God, then there is competition. God cannot be two. God is one. Eko brahma dvitīya nasti. That is the Vedic injunction. So God is one. So either you become Hindu or Muslim, the God is one. This is to be understood. So the science of God, that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. You try to understand scientifically what is meant by God, what is meant by religion. That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s preaching. Jīvera svarūpa haya nitya kṛṣṇa dāsa [Cc. Madhya 20.108-109]. He begins His teaching on this principle, that every living being is eternal servant of God. That’s all. And this is religion. Religion does not mean stamping in different way. Religion means to know God the great and we are subordinate, maintained by God. This is religion. If anyone knows these two things only—God is great, and we are subordinate; our duty is to abide by the orders of God—that is religion. So unity can be established on the spiritual platform.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Recently, I came across this interesting article on the website of His Holiness Bhakti Charu Swami on the Origin of Western Religion – it is worth a read!

https://www.bhakticharuswami.com/2014/01/the-origin-of-western-religions/

I won’t repeat what’s in this insightful article, but I encourage you to go and take a read yourself!

As always, if I may assist you on your spiritual journey please let me know!

How to stop death

How to stop death? Most people don’t understand that death can actually be stopped. Would you like to understand how?

A lot of souls are interested in stopping death. Trillions of dollars are being spent all over the world in the attempt to stop death. Some are trying to prolong life, some others are trying to conquer this or that disease. Some are taking special diets and pills, yet others are striving to edit their genes to clip out the parts that cause our bodies to grow old.

Some have accepted the inevitability, but are trying to externally patch up their appearance with cosmetic surgery or other cosmetic treatments.

Yet others have accepted the inevitability, and are trying hard to perpetuate themselves through wills, estates, and institutions.

Most don’t realize that there is a simple way to stop death, though.

जातस्य हि ध्रुवो मृत्युर्ध्रुवं जन्म मृतस्य च ।
तस्मादपरिहार्येऽर्थे न त्वं शोचितुमर्हसि ॥ २७ ॥

jātasya hi dhruvo mṛtyur
dhruvaṁ janma mṛtasya ca
tasmād aparihārye ’rthe
na tvaṁ śocitum arhasi

One who has taken his birth is sure to die, and after death one is sure to take birth again. Therefore, in the unavoidable discharge of your duty, you should not lament.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/27/

It is a fact that if someone has taken birth then they have to die. And someone who has died must take birth again.

So, if you want to stop death you must stop (re)birth.

Krsna’s advice in the Bhagavad-gita is that we tolerate this temporary suffering. Just as your body is not permanent, so your diseases are also not permanent. You should tolerate the temporary suffering and solve the real problem—you must stop your repetition of birth and death. But people do not know that birth and death can be stopped, so they are simply busy with the temporary problems.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Back To Godhead Magazine, Conversation with Mr. Chugani

As we cultivate a certain consciousness, practically we prepare our next body. For example, there may be a very rich man, and he may be striving to figure out how to protect his wealth from those who want to take it from him… such a person may bury his wealth somewhere, and after death, be born as a poisonous snake that bites anyone who goes in that area. In fact, such an occurance is described in the seventh chapter of the Gita Mahatmya section of the Padma Purana, spoken by Lord Shiva to Parvati Devi. We won’t get into the details here, but this is how it works…

If I cultivate the consciousness of a hog by thinking and acting like one, the mother nature will give me the body of a hog. If I cultivate the consciousness of a dog by thinking and acting like one, then mother nature will mercifully give me the body of a dog.

However if I do cultivate my original consciousness, that I am a spirit soul, part of the Supreme Whole, and spend my life thinking, feeling, willing, speaking, and acting in that purely spiritual way, then, there will be no death for that person, and where there is no death, there is no (re)birth. Where there is no rebirth, there will be no death.

अन्तकाले च मामेव स्मरन्मुक्त्वा कलेवरम् ।
य: प्रयाति स मद्भ‍ावं याति नास्त्यत्र संशय: ॥ ५ ॥

anta-kāle ca mām eva
smaran muktvā kalevaram
yaḥ prayāti sa mad-bhāvaṁ
yāti nāsty atra saṁśayaḥ

And whoever, at the end of his life, quits his body remembering Me alone at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/8/5/

For example, if you have spent your lifetime caring for your wealth, possessions, family, or employees or your community or nation, at your moment of departure, you will think of how your projects will continue. You may even ask your physician to give you more time to manage your affairs and leave them properly done. You cannot suddenly think of God. But no one can extend your lifespan even by a single moment.

You may follow another tradition from mine, that is alright. But please understand this fact, that the consciousness you cultivate will determine if you die or live at the moment of your inevitable death. Please purely cultivate God Consciousness, in any tradition.

Hare Krishna!

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

Where can classes on the Bhagavad Gita be found online?

Laura, 2 July 2019

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Gurudev

All glories to Srila Prabhuapada

I am a new devotee and know very little

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

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

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

Is that accepted ?

I would welcome any advice

Hare Krishna

Laura

Bhakta Sunil, 2 July 2019

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble respects

All glories to Srila Gurudeva

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

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

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

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

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

Hope this helps,

Sincerely,

Bhakta Sunil

Trino Carrera 2 July 2019

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

Trino Carrera

Helen Thomas, 4 July 2019

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

Hare Krsna!

Helen Thomas

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

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

Eating a Mango in hiding

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

मुक्तलिङ्गं सदाभासमसति प्रतिपद्यते ।
सतो बन्धुमसच्चक्षु: सर्वानुस्यूतमद्वयम् ॥ ११ ॥

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spiritualists, speak up and be heard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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