Understanding Lord Rama

Why was He exiled for 14 years? Why did Lord Rama act the way He did? Why did He kill Vali like a hunter kills a wild animal? Why did Lord Rama send Sita to the forest?

K V Rao, 31 Mar 2015

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees!

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All glories to your devotional service!

Please help me to understand why did- 

Lord Rama hid behind a bush and shot arrows at Vali?

Lord Rama sent mother Sita to forest based on the comment made by a washerman?

Kaikayee asks King Dasaratha to send Lord Rama for 14 years of vanavas (exile). What is the significance of number “14”?

Haribol!

your servant,

K V Rao

Ravichanthran, 6 Apr 2015

Hare Krishna.  Dandavat Pranam.

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All glories to Sankarshan Prabhu!!

Recently I heard about Lord Rama hide behind a bush and shot arrows at Vali question during a recent discourse:-

1. First reason behind is anyone who confronts Vali and fight will have to forego half of his strength to Vali.

2. Ayodhya kingdom encompasses even Vali’s area and being an animal, as per the Shastra, can be killed if the animal does crime to others.  So he was killed by Rama, and every one know how an animal is killed during hunting.

3. By attempting to kill Sugriva (even after accepting his mistake and offering sharanagati )  and taken his wife as Vali’s wife Vali done a crime.

Significance of 14 years:-

As per the sanatana dharma if a person is not available for 14 years, he cannot claim his rights.  Probably, Kaikeyi kept this mind while telling Rama to go on exile.  The rights of a son of Maharaja, namely the kingdom.

Lord Rama send mother Sita to forest based on the comment made by a washerman?

Actually Sita herself wanted to give birth to her sons amidst serene and spiritual environment and accompaniment of Rishis and Munis in forest, which she expressed to Lord Rama personally.  Lord Rama only gave that boon to Sita.

These were from what I heard during various Ramayana discourses by me.  Anyone is welcome to add and correct my these understandings.

Ravichanthran

Mahabhagavat Das, 6 Apr 2015

Dear Sriman Rao,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Wonderful answers by Sriman Ravichanthran Ramachandran. I appreciated those answers very much. Thank you!

Re your second question below, “Lord Rama send mother Sita to forest based on the comment made by a washerman?”, this is my understanding, based on reading from the Acharyas’, hearing from the devotees, and reflecting on what I have gathered:

1. The Lord acted in an exemplary fashion acting as a leader, a ruler must be above reproach – even the hint of suspicion must not be there. This is unfortunately not understood by our modern leaders who are covered with all kinds of scandals and still cling to power.

2. The Lord did not want ordinary fools to incur the sinful reaction of blaspheming Him. For a similar reason, for example, Lord Chaitanya took Sannyasa, or the renounced order of life, to avoid increasing the offenses of the Lord.

3. Lord Ramachandra can never be separated from Sitadevi, as Their eternal pastimes continue in the spiritual Ayodhya planet, however, to give and to experience the highest pleasure of “viraha” or loving in separation, the Lord and Mother Sita enacted this pastime to experience that highest ecstasy. This is contrary to material experiences, but we know that this is the reason why Shyamasundara Krishna apparently (but really never did) left Vrindavana.

4. After Mother Sita disappeared from this planet, Lord Ramachandra observed strict celibacy, perfomed Agnihotra yajna for thirteen thousand years, while continuing to rule as the ideal monarch.

5. The Lord, through His pastimes, showed how the attraction between man and woman in a material way, produces only misery. Even though there is no misery for the Lord, still, the Lord enacted these pastimes to show us to get out of this terrible material attraction (note that serving as husband and wife in devotional service is not abominable, but still the troubles are there for all who are attached to the opposite sex).

6. It is to be noted that if the Lord desired to abandon Mother Sita due to some kind of suspicion, He could have done so in the forest, He had no need to go through so much trouble to defeat Ravana etc.

7. There was no question of Sita being in another man’s home or being unchaste – as described in the Chaitanya Charitamrita as seen in the Kurma Purana… Lord Ramachandra is an expansion of Krishna, He has no illusion, but still see how He behaves in accordance with Vedic etiquette…

CC Madhya 9.201 — Śrīmatī Sītādevī is the mother of the three worlds and the wife of Lord Rāmacandra. Among chaste women she is supreme, and she is the daughter of King Janaka.

CC Madhya 9.202 — When Rāvaṇa came to kidnap mother Sītā and she saw him, she took shelter of the fire-god, Agni. The fire-god covered the body of mother Sītā, and in this way she was protected from the hands of Rāvaṇa.

CC Madhya 9.203 — Upon hearing from the Kūrma Purāṇa how Rāvaṇa had kidnapped a false form of mother Sītā, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu became very satisfied.

CC Madhya 9.204 — The fire-god, Agni, took away the real Sītā and brought her to the place of Pārvatī, goddess Durgā. An illusory form of mother Sītā was then delivered to Rāvaṇa, and in this way Rāvaṇa was cheated.

CC Madhya 9.205 — After Rāvaṇa was killed by Lord Rāmacandra, Sītādevī was brought before the fire and tested.

CC Madhya 9.206 — When the illusory Sītā was brought before the fire by Lord Rāmacandra, the fire-god made the illusory form disappear and delivered the real Sītā to Lord Rāmacandra.

CC Madhya 9.207 — When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu heard this story, He was very pleased, and He remembered the words of Rāmadāsa Vipra.

CC Madhya 9.208 — Indeed, when Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu heard these conclusive statements from the Kūrma Purāṇa, He felt great happiness. After asking the brāhmaṇas’ permission, He took possession of the manuscript leaves of the Kūrma Purāṇa.

CC Madhya 9.209 — Since the Kūrma Purāṇa was very old, the manuscript was also very old. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu took possession of the original leaves in order to have direct evidence. The text was copied onto new leaves in order that the Purāṇa be replaced.

CC Madhya 9.210 — Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu returned to southern Mathurā [Madurai] and delivered the original manuscript of the Kūrma Purāṇa to Rāmadāsa Vipra.

CC Madhya 9.211-212 — “When he was petitioned by mother Sītā, the fire-god, Agni, brought forth an illusory form of Sītā, and Rāvaṇa, who had ten heads, kidnapped the false Sītā. The original Sītā then went to the abode of the fire-god. When Lord Rāmacandra tested the body of Sītā, it was the false, illusory Sītā that entered the fire. At that time the fire-god brought the original Sītā from his abode and delivered her to Lord Rāmacandra.”

CC Madhya 9.213 — Rāmadāsa Vipra was very pleased to receive the original leaf manuscript of the Kūrma Purāṇa, and he immediately fell down before the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and began to cry.

CC Madhya 9.214 — After receiving the manuscript, the brāhmaṇa, being very pleased, said, “Sir, You are Lord Rāmacandra Himself and have come in the dress of a sannyāsī to give me audience.

Specifically, verses Madhya 9.211-212 are taken directly from Kurma Purana.

I hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

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

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

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

Bhaktin Suzanne

Hare Krishna!

All glories to Srila Gurudeva!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Dear Devotees,

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

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

I have a question.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bhaktin Suzanne

Naren Tippavajjula, 21 June 2019

Hare Krishna

Dear devotee Suzanne

The meaning of :

patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati

tad ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam aśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ

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

Even water is underground

It doesn’t mean anything specific.

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

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

This is the meaning in this verse

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

Thank you

Naren Tippavajjula

Shridhar Das, 21 June 2019

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisance,

All Glories to Srila Gurudeva!

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Srila Prabhupada now is very staunchly declaring in his magnanimity:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

your servant

Shridhar das

Brajanath Das, 22 June 2019

Hare Krishna Suzanne Mataji,

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All glories to Srila Gurudeva! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We are supposed to be essence seekers.

I hope that helps.

your servant,

Brajanath Das

Suzanne Inwood, 22 June 2019

Hare Krishna!

All glories to Srila Gurudeva!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Dear One,

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

Thank you.

Devotee Suzanne

Rasika Krishna Das, 22 June 2019

Hare Krishna!

Please see below excerpt from Sri Valmiki Ramayan:

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

your servant,

Rasika Krishna Das

Suzanne Inwood, 22 June 2019

Hare Krishna.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Thank you to all devotees responding to my question.

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

your servant,

Bhaktin Suzanne

Shridhar Das, 23 June 2019

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

Few more examples:

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

Another pastime:

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

your servant

Shridhar das

Naren Tippavajjula, 23rd June 2019

Hare Krishna

There is another verse from purusha suktam

antar bahischa tatsarvam vyapya narayanastitaha

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

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

Satvik food

Rajasik food

Tamasik food

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

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

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

Thank you for your valuable questions

Naren Tippavajjula

Suryakant Vibhandik, 25 June 2019

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

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

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

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

Phalam is to offer the results of our activities.

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

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

Bhakta Sunil, 25 June 2019

Hare Krishna

would like to add a speck to the wonderful answers,

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

Bhakta Sunil

Mahabhagavat Das, 25 June 2019

Dear Mother Suzanne,

Hare Krishna!

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

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

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

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

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

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Bhaktin Suzanne, 28 June 2019

Thank you for your response.

Hare Krishna

Bhaktin Suzanne

J. Austin Tomlinson, 28 June 2019

Hare Krishna

Krishna will also accept stems and roots.

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

J. Austin Tomlinson

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

The religion of fire, the religion of water, and the religion of the soul

What is your religion? What is the religion of fire? What is the religion of water?

What is your religion, people ask me sometimes. I tell them I’m beyond labels. They sometimes don’t understand. Sometimes they misunderstand.

What is the religion of fire?

What is the religion of water?

Fire gives heat, and fire gives light. And fire burns, whether you know how to handle it or not. Whether the fire is in a spaceship or in Australia, or in a submarine in the Pacific, fire is fire. If a fire doesn’t give heat or light, it is in an unnatural state.

Water is liquid, water quenches thirst, water wets, and water drowns also. No matter where the water is, water is water. When the water is vapour or has frozen to ice, it is in an unnatural state.

I am a living entity. You are a living entity. We are both living entities.

My religion is the same as yours, service, service to the Supreme’s little sparks, service to the Supreme.

We are pleased only when we serve. In fact, we find greater pleasure in service than we do in any form of gratification for ourselves. This is why if we don’t have any humans to serve, we seek out dogs and cats and ferrets.

But the problem with ordinary service to any other living entity is that this service is not always reciprocated, and almost never perfectly. There are mothers who served their children really sincerely but their children didn’t reciprocate with them. There are men who served women, women who served men, and they were not treated well or just tossed out.

There are people who have served organizations, and organizations who have served people.

In the best of situations, no one feels satisfied with this service.

But no one is fully satisfied by serving anyone else other than God.

Why is that?

Because God can reciprocate fully with all of us. Yes, even when billions and trillions of souls serve God simultaneously, God has the capacity to reciprocate with each of us as if we were the only one.

As if I were the only one.

Lovers aspire for this, “feel what I feel” closeness, but on the material level, it is all too fleeting, only to be replaced by heartbreak, disappointment, or just plain indifference.

We desire to be special, to be unique, to be one-of-a-kind. Someone special to someone special, forever. But we already are! Every single living entity is unique, that the specific flavour, the specific mellow of service, the specific mood is unique and irreplaceable.

My dear reader, please serve God as He wants to be served. That is your religion, as is mine. And when you find someone serving God in another way than you were taught according to you tradition, don’t think they are of another religion. Instead, rejoice.

I know God as Krishna. Someone knows Him as Allah. Someone else, as Jehovah or Christ. Someone loves Rama, someone loves Yahweh. Someone adores Adonai. Someone follows Jesus, yet another follows Nanak.

When you meet someone, anyone, serving God, you have met your kin.

Rejoice. And serve them in their service as much as you can.

राजविद्या राजगुह्यं पवित्रमिदमुत्तमम् ।
प्रत्यक्षावगमं धर्म्यं सुसुखं कर्तुमव्ययम् ॥ २ ॥

rāja-vidyā rāja-guhyaṁ
pavitram idam uttamam
pratyakṣāvagamaṁ dharmyaṁ
su-sukhaṁ kartum avyayam

This knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realization, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/9/2/

One God. One Religion. Service to God.

Are Krishna and Rama mentioned in the Vedas?

Are Krishna and Rama even mentioned in the Vedas? Is this worship of Rama and Krishna somehow new and concocted by modern religious teachers? What about Chaitanya Mahaprabhu? Is this just a case of a man masquerading as God?

Nikhil Mishra, 02nd August 2016

Hare Krsna devotees

All glories to guru and gauranga.

Humble obeisance to all of you.

A question came in my mind. That ” was reference of krsna or ram mentioned in any of the four vedas “? Kindly enlighten me on this matter.

Sincerely
Nikhil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 04th August 2016

Dear Sriman Nikhil,

Hare Krishna!

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

This is an important question. Thank you for asking.

Many persons from other traditions question Vaishnava practices on the plea that the Vedas are bona fide literatures, the other Vedic literature is not, therefore the tradition of accepting Lord Rama or Lord Krishna as the Supreme is wrong. Many preachers actually attempt to use this argument to discredit the Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam as authoritative.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

First of all, yes, Lord Vishnu is mentioned in the Vedas directly, several times. The Rig Veda alone mentions Lord Vishnu and established Him as the Supreme at least 9 times.

I humbly quote my spiritual master Srila Sankarshan Das Adhikari’s writing from 31st January 2010:

quote

Question: Is Krishna a Form of Vishnu or Vishnu a Form of Krishna?

I have a question about something you said the other day in your “Thought for the Day” Q&A section. You quoted the following verse:

“Those who are actually learned in the Absolute Truth look to the abode of and worship only the Vishnu form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in any of His various forms such as Krishna, Rama, etc.”–Rig Veda (1.22.20)

This verse states that Krishna is a form of Vishnu. I don’t understand how this verse supports Krishna as the original Personality of Godhead. This verse seems to disagree with Krishna’s own statements in the Bhagavad-gita. I am very perplexed by this. How can I know if Vishnu is a form of Krishna or Krishna is a form of Vishnu? Please help me understand. Thank you very much.

Humbly,

C.B.


Answer: Since Krishna is the Original Vishnu, Both Are Correct.

Srila Prabhupada explains Rig Veda (1.22.20) in his Srimad Bhagavatam purport to SB 3.16.4 that the qualified brahmanas worship only the Vishnu form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, which means Krishna, Rama and all Vishnu expansions.

What is confusing you is that the term Vishnu is used in two different ways. Sometimes Vishnu is used as the name of the category of the Supreme Lord in any one of His unlimited forms. And sometimes it used for a specific four-armed form of the Supreme Lord such as Maha-Vishnu. When we speak of the Vishnu category of beings we understand that the original Vishnu is Krishna and that all the other Vishnu category personalities are emanating from Him. This is why devotees of Krishna are known as Vaisnavas, which means “devotees of Vishnu.”

So in summary, since Krishna is the original Vishnu from whom all other Vishnus expand, we can say both that Vishnu is a form of Krishna and that Krishna is a form of Vishnu.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
unquote

Finally, to support my claim of how the text Srimad Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam are equally or more important than the Vedas, I invite you to please read this exchange between Sri Narada, and Sri Veda Vyasa, two foremost Vedic authorities:

http://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/1/5

Specifically, this part which involves the disciple Veda Vyasa, asking a question to his Guru Sri Narada:

SB 1.5.5 — Śrī Vyāsadeva said: All you have said about me is perfectly correct. Despite all this, I am not pacified. I therefore question you about the root cause of my dissatisfaction, for you are a man of unlimited knowledge due to your being the offspring of one [Brahmā] who is self-born [without mundane father and mother].

SB 1.5.8 — Śrī Nārada said: You have not actually broadcast the sublime and spotless glories of the Personality of Godhead. That philosophy which does not satisfy the transcendental senses of the Lord is considered worthless.
SB 1.5.9 — Although, great sage, you have very broadly described the four principles beginning with religious performances, you have not described the glories of the Supreme Personality, Vāsudeva.
SB 1.5.10 — Those words which do not describe the glories of the Lord, who alone can sanctify the atmosphere of the whole universe, are considered by saintly persons to be like unto a place of pilgrimage for crows. Since the all-perfect persons are inhabitants of the transcendental abode, they do not derive any pleasure there.
SB 1.5.11 — On the other hand, that literature which is full of descriptions of the transcendental glories of the name, fame, forms, pastimes, etc., of the unlimited Supreme Lord is a different creation, full of transcendental words directed toward bringing about a revolution in the impious lives of this world’s misdirected civilization. Such transcendental literatures, even though imperfectly composed, are heard, sung and accepted by purified men who are thoroughly honest.
SB 1.5.12 — Knowledge of self-realization, even though free from all material affinity, does not look well if devoid of a conception of the Infallible [God]. What, then, is the use of fruitive activities, which are naturally painful from the very beginning and transient by nature, if they are not utilized for the devotional service of the Lord?

Also, Sri Krishna describes the Vedas and their purpose thus:

http://www.vedabase.com/bg/15/1

And finally, Krishna derides the ritualistic followers of the Vedas thus also:

yām imāṁ puṣpitāṁ vācaṁ
pravadanty avipaścitaḥ
veda-vāda-ratāḥ pārtha
nānyad astīti vādinaḥ
kāmātmānaḥ svarga-parā
janma-karma-phala-pradām
kriyā-viśeṣa-bahulāṁ
bhogaiśvarya-gatiṁ prati
Men of small knowledge are very much attached to the flowery words of the Vedas, which recommend various fruitive activities for elevation to heavenly planets, resultant good birth, power, and so forth. Being desirous of sense gratification and opulent life, they say that there is nothing more than this. BG 2.42.43

I hope that this is useful and helpful.

Thank you again for asking this important question! Devotees feel free to add to the answer if I have missed out anything and enrich this conversation and our collective understanding.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Nikhil Mishra, 04th August 2016

Thank you very much Mahabhagavat prabhu for taking out your time and address my question. Terming it as ‘ important’ , gives me a sense of humility and pride simultaneously.

Your answer makes sense to my cluttered mind.

I beg mercy of you and all devotees to overcome my physical , mental inertia so that i can start performing bhakti yoga in more sincere , regular way .

Hare krsna
Nikhil

Shreyas, 04th August 2016

Hare Krishna,
Please accept my humble obeisance!
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I would like to add that – It is astonishing that Lord Chaitanya’s appearance, who is the source of our Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya, Krishna Himself, has been prophesied in many numbers throughout shruti and smriti. As far as 4 Vedas are concerned, the below verses confirm the same:

In the Atharva-Veda; Purusa-Bodini-Upanisad, it is said:

saptame gaura-varna-visnor ity aena sva-saktya
caikyam etya pratar avatirya saha svaih sva-manum siksayati

“In the seventh manvantara, in the beginning of the Kali-Yuga, the Supreme Personality of Godhead will, accompanied by His own associates, descend in a golden form to the earth. He will teach the chanting of His own names.”

In the Atharva Veda, the Supreme Person says:

itotham krta sannyaso’vatarisyami sa-guno nirvedo
niskamo bhu-girvanas tira-atho’ lakanandayah kalau
catuh-sahasrabdhopari panca-sahasrabhyantare
gaura-varno dirghangah sarva-laksana-yukta isvara
prarthito nija-rasasvado bhakta-rupo misrakhyo
vidita-yogah syam

“I will descend on the earth after the passage of four thousand years in the Kali-Age, [kalau chatuh sahasrabdhopari] and before the passage of five thousand years [pancha sahasra abhyantare].”

“I will come on the earth on the bank of the Ganges, [tira-sthah alakanandayah]. I will be a tall and saintly Brahmana devotee. I will have all the auspicious symptoms of an exalted person [dirghangah sarva-laksana-yuktah].”

“I will exhibit renunciation. I will have all auspicious signs. I will be a devotee, practicing bhakti yoga. I will taste the rasa of My own devotional service.”

In the Sama Veda, the Supreme Lord says:

tathaham krta sannyaso bhu-girvano ‘vatarisye
tire’lakanandayah punah punah isvara-prarthitah sa-
parivaro niralambo nirdhuteh kali-kalmasa-kavalita-
janavalambanaya

“I shall come to the earth, accompanied by My associates, in a place by the bank of the Ganges. I will advent to save the people who are afflicted and devoured by the sins of the age of Kali. I will manifest as an Avadhut Brahman Sannyasi.”

The descriptions of Lord Chaitanya’s descent are many throughout Upanishads, Mahabharata, Puranas, etc. However, I have only mentioned from 4 Vedas.

your servant
Shridhar Das

Todd Eberwine, 04th August 2016

Hare Krishna,
Please accept my humble obeisance!
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I just wanted to express my gratitude for these answers. I don’t often contribute to the conversations here but I am always following along, reading and learning from those more learned than I. Many thanks to all of you who take the time to give such wonderful answers to these wonderful questions.

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

Allah is not your God? Krishna is not your God?

Are you a follower of Allah? Are you a follower of Krishna? Are you a follower of Rama? Are you a follower of Jehovah? Did you answer no to any of these questions but yes to at least one of these questions? Then read on!

In the world today, there is great strife between the followers of different spiritual and religious traditions about the name of God. In fact, some are so frustrated by this bickering that they take to atheism because at least the atheists agree that there is no God whatsoever.

Some say Allah is the Only God and there is none other. They say that Allah has 99 names and any other name does not refer to Allah.

Yet others say that Lord Rama or Lord Krishna is the True God.

Yet others say that Yahweh, not Krishna or Rama is THE name of God.

There is all this terrible discussion about “false gods”, and how the follower of this or that tradition is surely going to hell!

But you know, when a follower of Rama disparages Allah, they are disparaging their own beloved Rama?

When a follower of Jehovah disparages Krishna, do you know they are actually blaspheming Jehovah Himself?

Do you know that a person who commits sacrilege against the names Rama and Krishna are actually blaspheming Allah Himself?

Blasphemy of Any name of God is a blasphemy of All names of God. Be careful!

ŚB 10.14.7

गुणात्मनस्तेऽपि गुणान् विमातुं
हितावतीर्णस्य क ईशिरेऽस्य ।
कालेन यैर्वा विमिता: सुकल्पै-
र्भूपांशव: खे मिहिका द्युभास: ॥ ७ ॥ guṇātmanas te ’pi guṇān vimātuṁ
hitāvatīṛnasya ka īśire ’sya
kālena yair vā vimitāḥ su-kalpair
bhū-pāṁśavaḥ khe mihikā dyu-bhāsaḥ

In time, learned philosophers or scientists might be able to count all the atoms of the earth, the particles of snow, or perhaps even the shining molecules radiating from the sun, the stars and other luminaries. But among these learned men, who could possibly count the unlimited transcendental qualities possessed by You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who have descended onto the surface of the earth for the benefit of all living entities?

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/10/14/7/

No one tradition knows everything possible about God, because God is infinite! We all stand to gain from sharing the unlimited glories of God with each other.

This is called Sankirtan, or “samyak kirtan”, “complete glorification of God”.

Any name of God from a bona fide historical scripture that refers to the Supreme Absolute Truth refers to the exact SAME person!

Don’t believe me?

American English: sun
Arabic: شَمْس
Brazilian Portuguese: sol
Chinese: 太阳
Croatian: sunce
Czech: slunce
Danish: sol
Dutch: zon
European Spanish: sol
Finnish: aurinko
French: soleil
German: Sonne
Greek: ήλιος
Italian: sole
Japanese: 太陽
Korean: 태양
Norwegian: sol
Polish: słońce
European Portuguese: sol
Romanian: soare
Russian: солнце
Latin American Spanish: sol
Swedish: sol
Thai: พระอาทิตย์
Turkish: güneş
Ukrainian: сонце
Vietnamese: mặt trời

Would it make sense for the Vietnamese person to say that mặt trời does not mean the same as the Ukranian word сонце or the Japanese word 太陽?

There is only ONE source to the Universe.

All of us from different spiritual traditions are but emanations of that ONE personality.

Krishna, for example means, “The All-Attractive One”. Is Allah not All-Attractive? So is Allah not Krishna? Is Jehovah not All-Attractive? So then, is Jehovah not Krishna?

The word Rama means “The source of All Pleasure”… Are Allah or Jehovah not the source of all pleasure? So are Allah and Jehovah not Rama?

Why fight over differences in language? Let’s learn each others’ languages! Use the comments section… What is the name of God in your language? And what does this name mean?

The mystery of Sri Hanuman

Premananda das, 30th September 2015

Hare Krishna Devotees
Please accept my humble obeisance
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

As Sri Hanuman served Lord Rama in treta yuga.Is he both a jiva and shiva tattva or only jiva tattva constitutionally?
Could we call Sri Hanuman as jiva tattva (living entity) and being son of Shiva also Shiva tattva?

your servant
Premananda das
Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 31st September 2015

Dear Premananda Prabhu,

Hare Krishna!

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

This question is technical.

Only Lord Shiva and the 11 Rudras are in the Shiva Tattva. There are more intricacies here which will not really benefit our Krishna consciousness, as there is no limit to how much information we can try to gather, but knowing which will not necessarily make us Krishna conscious, nor is this necessary for Krishna consciousness.

Sri Hanuman is generally accepted as an expansion of Lord Shiva by some, and as an expansion of “Mukhya Prana – the primeval living force expansion of Krishna” by some. Many know him as the son of the wind god, “vayuputra”.

In any case, his position as a pure devotee of Lord Ramachandra is undeniable and our position should be to beg him for pure devotional service.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

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

What is the significance of Diwali Festival in Devotional Practice?

Bhakta Sunil, 02 November 2013

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

Please tell , What is the significance of Diwali Festival in Devotional Practice?

I understand that Diwali Festival is celebrated as Lakshmi Puja. But is the festival a Vaisnava Festival?

Also the festival is Lord Rama’s pastimes , of returning to His Kingdom. Thus it is festival of Lights , to celebrate Lord Rama’s return to His Kingdom

Also please clarify about Dhan Teras
I read that Dhan Teras is celebrated to worship Lord Dhanvantari. Please tell about Lord Dhanvantari. And is Dhan Teras also a Vaisnava Festival?

I have these bewilderments regarding this festival. So I request to clarify

Regards,
Sunil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 04th November 2013

Dear Sriman Sunil Vaswani,

Hare Krishna!

Diwali/Deepavali is in fact primarily a Vaishnava festival, but the way the materialists are celebrating the festival, that is not correct.

There are MANY occasions associated with Diwali, here are some I am aware of (there are many many more, we have a history of billions of years):

1. Damodar Leela
2. Govardhan Leela
3. The slaying of Narakasura by Krishna
4. The return of Lord Ramachandra

In all these celebrations, Krishna consciousness is increased. Celebrating any or all of the above is bona fide, and anything other than this is a waste of time meant to indirectly and directly prolong the suffering in the cycle of birth and death.

But, the modern-day materialists have turned Diwali into a gross abomination.

For example, the following activities are commonly performed during Diwali celebrations, which is a terrible nonsense:

1. The distribution of meat, fish, eggs and other unclean foods during “Diwali get-together/party/celebration”
2. The consumption of alcohol and intoxicants including tea, coffee, cigarettes during such celebrations
3. The indulgence in gambling
4. The indulgence in illicit sex in different forms, including dancing, movies, etc.
5. The large-scale excessive pollution of environment by using gunpowder-based fire-crackers, killing so many insects, birds, reptiles, etc., and causing trouble to the small children, elderly persons, sick persons, etc.
6. The increase in the general forgetfulness of Krishna
7. The flaunting (and thus disrespecting) of Lakshmidevi
8. Celebrating like followers of Ravana, not like the devotees of Rama

Lord Dhanvantari, this is who He is:
dhanvantariś ca bhagavān svayam eva kīrtir

nāmnā nṛṇāḿ puru-rujāḿ ruja āśu hanti

yajñe ca bhāgam amṛtāyur-avāvarundha

āyuṣya-vedam anuśāsty avatīrya loke

The Lord in His incarnation of Dhanvantari very quickly cures the diseases of the ever-diseased living entities simply by his fame personified, and only because of him do the demigods achieve long lives. Thus the Personality of Godhead becomes ever glorified. He also exacted a share from the sacrifices, and it is he only who inaugurated the medical science or the knowledge of medicine in the universe. SB 2.7.21

Purport:

As stated in the beginning of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, everything emanates from the ultimate source of the Personality of Godhead; it is therefore understood in this verse that medical science or knowledge in medicine was also inaugurated by the Personality of Godhead in His incarnation Dhanvantari, and thus the knowledge is recorded in the Vedas. The Vedas are the source of all knowledge, and thus knowledge in medical science is also there for the perfect cure of the diseases of the living entity. The embodied living entity is diseased by the very construction of his body. The body is the symbol of diseases. The disease may differ from one variety to another, but disease must be there just as there is birth and death for everyone. So, by the grace of the Personality of Godhead, not only are diseases of the body and mind cured, but also the soul is relieved of the constant repetition of birth and death. The name of the Lord is also called bhavauṣadhi, or the source of curing the disease of material existence.

Srila Prabhupada said this about Deepavali in a letter to one of his disciples:

“Diwali ceremony can be observed in the temple by illuminating 100’s of candles, in different parts of the temple, and offering special Prasad to the Deity. This ceremony was observed by the inhabitants of Ayodhya, the Kingdom of Lord Ramacandra, while Lord Ramacandra was out of His Kingdom due to His 14 years banishment by the order of His father. His younger step-brother Bharata, took charge of the Kingdom and the day on which Lord Ramacandra took back the charge again from His brother, and seated on the throne, this is observed as Diwali function. This is the original idea of Diwali, and Dipabali. Dipabali means the same thing—Dipa means candles, and bali means numerous. When numerous candles are lighted it is called Dipabali. In India, this Dipabali function is celebrated in a special auspicious occasion. This Dipabali function can be observed on 21st October, and Prasad can be distributed on the 22nd October, during daytime, which is known as Govardhana Puja and Annakuta Ceremony. In India, in all Vaisnava temples, this ceremony is observed and 100’s of people are given Prasad according to the capacity of the temple ”

He also wrote this: “Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, quoting from the Vaiṣṇava-toṣaṇī of Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, says that the incident of Kṛṣṇa’s breaking the pot of yogurt and being bound by mother Yaśodā took place on the Dīpāvalī Day, or Dīpa-mālikā. Even today in India, this festival is generally celebrated very gorgeously in the month of Kārtika by fireworks and lights, especially in Bombay.” (purport to SB 10.9.1-2)

“CC Madhya 15.36, Translation and Purport: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His devotees participated in all the festivals, including Rāsa-yātrā, Dīpāvalī and Utthāna-dvādaśī.
The Dīpāvalī festival takes place on the dark-moon night in the month of Kārtika (October-November). The Rāsa-yātrā, or rāsa dancing of Kṛṣṇa, takes place on the full-moon night of the same month. Utthāna-dvādaśī takes place the day after Ekādaśī in the waxing fortnight of the moon in the same month. All the devotees of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu participated in all these festivals.”

Our principles remain the same, in every festival, this is what we do:

1. Chant Hare Krishna more and more and more

2. Have large scale Harinam Sankirtan

3. Offer gorgeous clothing and ornaments to Krishna

4. Cook opulent offering for Krishna

5. Serve the spiritual master

6. Serve the devotees

7. Clean the home, temple, and decorate it nicely

8. Always remember Krishna, never forget Krishna

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Bhakta Sunil, 05th November 2013

Hare Krishna everyone!

Mahabhagavat Prabhu Please accept my humble obeisances and gratitude for an excellent answer!

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

It was special to know about Lord Dhanvantari. This knowledge can make it easy for me to connect my colleagues with Krishna Consciousness

I very much agree with Diwali being celebrated in wrong way by many persons. I guess many persons do not really celebrate in the notion of Diwali being an ocassion to celebrate Lord Rama’s pastimes of returning to His Kingdom.

Reading your answer was like taking an adventurous dive into the nectarean ocean of transcendental knowledge

Regards,
Sunil

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.backtohome.com

What is the Difference between Intelligence and Knowledge?

Geetha, 31st March 2013

Hare Krishna,
Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I read Bhagavat Gita, chapter 3, 40th sloka there I want to know  what is the difference between Intelligence and Knowledge?

Please help me, if in my question any thing wrong please excuse me.

Thanking you,
your servant,
Geetha

Virendra, 31st March 2013
Hare Krishna mataji,

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada and his faithful servitors!

Knowledge is information. Intelligence is the power to deliberate and discriminate.

Knowledge sharpens your intelligence.

your servant,
Virendra
Rathin Mandal, 31st March 2013

Hare Krishna,
Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumataji,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Knowledge means knowing about the subject. In our case it is Krishna Consciousness. And intelligence meaning knowing how to apply the knowledge. In this sloka it is saying that when intelligence is bewildered by material desires it covers the knowledge.

I can give one example in this regard. Ravana was very knowledgeable person. He was a Brahmin. He was able to please Brahmadev and Lord Siva both. But his knowledge was contaminated with desires of ego and lust.

Although knowing identity of Mother Sita, he kidnapped her and knowing who Lord Sri Ram was he went to fight with Him. We can see that although Ravana was knowledgeable he did not use his intelligence well.

your Servant
Rathin
Bhakta Shashank, 1st April 2013

Hare Krishna Prabhuji,

Dandvats Pranam.

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.
All Glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata ji.
All Glories to Devotees.

Very nicely explained Prabhuji. Very nice 🙂

your servant,
Shashank.
Geetha, 2nd April 2013

Hare Krishna,
Pleace accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Thank you Virendra Prabhu for you reply.

Thank you Rathin Mandal Prabhu for your explanation with an example I understood very clearly. Thank you once again.

Thanking you,
your servant,
Geetha.

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.backtohome.com.