No reason for hopelessness, despair, and negativity

Sometimes there is hopelessness, despair, negativity in our life. Sometimes we don’t understand what’s going on and why. But spiritual life is a scientific process. A scientific process produces a repeatable results each time. So, always remember Krishna (GOD) and never forget Krishna (GOD). But how practically?

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 27 August 2020

Hare Krishna!

Some of us have received messages to the group or to individuals which convey a sense of hopelessness, despair, and negativity. This may be natural at a time like this, but please know that there is no reason for all that.

Simply striving to understand the process of Krishna consciousness, follow it as best as one can, and find ways to render spiritual service to everyone around us will both gradually and immediately remove all causes of negativity in our lives.

1. You all are already part of the eCourse. Please read the daily message carefully and try to imbibe it deep inside your consciousness – those messages are truly effective. I have been receiving them since 2004, so I have 17+ years experience now. Even though we might not remember the details of each message, it is like a meal packed with nutrients and love and pure spiritual power – even if you don’t remember specifically what you had 10 days ago, it has still made you stronger.

2. You all have access to the daily live lectures, broadcast twice a day. I can rarely attend the lectures, but when I do manage to, I feel very enlivened and energized. Just this morning, an answer to my question by Gurumataji pulled me out of some grave misunderstandings!

3. We have a dedicated team of souls helping to imbibe Srila Prabhupada’s books in an organized fashion… Bhagavata Online Academy – if you are not already on one of those groups, then let me know – we will be soon creating a new group… if you are, then please read those messages, even if you cannot read the actual book, just that message alone is packed with positive energy!

4. Please chant Hare Krishna as much as you can, take Krishna Prasada as much as you can, and serve Krishna and His dear ones as much as you can.

The process of Krishna consciousness works. I have sincerely (and mostly imperfectly) tried it for over 20 years. The only time something goes awry is when I slip on following the process diligently.

If there are any relevant questions, please ask the group – please follow the group guidelines carefully – only messages that follow the guidelines are posted to the group.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Maxine, 27 August 2020

Hare Krishna thank you I will be doing so as you said I should do I ask you to please add me to the group you have coming up I tried to sign up for a group but I received no email from the action I am thankful  for your words and I look forward to do as you say and want to be in a group I want to learn all of Lord Krishnas words and follow and serve him thank you again the material body  I am in is I’ll at the moment but my soul and mind are fine and I am listening to all you teach and all I can read I will follow your words I know we can save all and make this world for Krishna your humble servant maxine

Maxine

Araon Joy, 27 August 2020

And, if I may add what I tell people and keeps me not being hopeless:

God, Lord Krishna, never abandons us and never forgets us (nor do I believe God is sitting back laughing at us as we fail/pass his tests, as I had one Christian tell me earlier this year). We just don’t see the big picture. We don’t see God’s divine plan for our lives or the world. We do not see always how God is constantly working in the world. If I have a moment of fear, as I do not know what is next, I remind myself that somebody else knows what is next and has my best interests at heart (or a really good lesson or something I need in my life) and I trust Krishna completely. Completely.

While I keep doing what I feel moved to, and what dreams I have I continue to pursue, and what art/creativity I want to create I continue to create.

Srila Prabhupada said to Bob Cohen (in the booklet “Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers”) in a series of conversations that miracles are simply things we do not understand. Someone might think a chemical reaction is a miracle, but for a scientist who knows the process it makes sense. We do not understand God’s process in the world. It may seem like miracles or a lack of miracles, but we simply don’t understand the process that has been put in play by the greatest scientist. I trust that scientist. Have faith. Read Gita and Prahbupada’s books. Associate with those of us who are like minded. Remember Krishna daily.

Just my few thoughts.

Hare Krishna

Aaron Joy

Portland Maine USA

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

Ascending vs. Descending Process of knowledge

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

Knowledge is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?

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

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

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

There are 2 main types of knowledge:

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

There are many means of acquiring knowledge:

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

Ultimately, there are 2 fundamental processes of acquiring knowledge:

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

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

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

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

Gross Material Elements:

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

Subtle Material Elements:

  1. Mind
  2. Intelligence
  3. False Ego

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

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

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

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

The Material-Spiritual Disconnect

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reconnecting Material to the Spiritual

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fortunately, there is a clear way…

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

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

dvādaśaite vijānīmo
dharmaṁ bhāgavataṁ bhaṭāḥ
guhyaṁ viśuddhaṁ durbodhaṁ
yaṁ jñātvāmṛtam aśnute

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

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

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

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

A mango, intact, passed down

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

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

What about the rest?

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

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

His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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

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

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

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

Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead

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

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

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

Sankirtan during the Pandemic, a look back at 2020…

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 21 August 2020

Dear Devotees,

Hare Krishna!

Please kindly accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

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

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

Summary:

14 Jul 2020 Old City Hall

16 Jul 2020 Old City Hall

19 Jul 2020 Downtown Guelph Harinam

23 Jul 2020 Old City Hall

23 Jul 2020 Walking Harinam Old City Hall to ISKCON Toronto

28 Jul 2020 Email/WhatsApp Sankirtan

11 Aug 2020 Janmashtami Sankirtan

21 Aug 2020 Old City Harinaam

————————————-

Total 8 Outings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

quote

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– from SB 6.2.1-5 in Calcutta, India

unquote

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

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

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

dasadas.com

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

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

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

Mahabhagavat Das, 03 December 2019

Dear Devotees,

Hare Krishna!

Please kindly accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

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

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

Mee naalaayak aahe (I am unsuitable)

Mee murkha aahe (I am a fool)

Pan tumhi malaa sveekaarla (But You have accepted me)

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

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

Das’ regular prayer

Summary:

27 Nov 2019 – Old City Hall

30 Nov 2019 – New Ocean Supermarket

———-

Total 2 Outings

Marathon magic!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Ocean Supermarket

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Preeti, 03 December 2019

Hare Krishna Prabhuji 

I love to read your report on sankirtan!

It is soooooo inspiring. Please keep sending more.

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

Hari Bol

Preeti 

Tapas Chakraborty, 03 December 2019

Hare Krishna

All glories to Gurudeva

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

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

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

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

Thanks a lot to you again.

Tapas

Rasika Krishna Das, 03 December 2019

Jaya !! Hare Krishna !!

Rasika Krishna Das

Haladhar Das, 04 December 2019

Hare Krsna prabhu Dandvat Pranam 

All glories to Srila Prabhupada 

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumata 

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

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

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

Thank you very much for being part of SDA family 

your servant 

Haladhar Das, Pinjore, India 

Mahabhagavat Das, 05 December 2019

Dear Sriman Tapas,

Thank you!

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

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

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Mahabhagavat Das, 05 December 2019

Dear Mother Preeti,

Hare Krishna!

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

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

Please try it out and write about your experiences.

If you have any difficulties, please let me know.

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Mahabhagavat Das, 05 December 2019

Dear Haladhar Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

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

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

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

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

bhadram te!

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Gautam pal, 05 December 2019

Hare Krishna

All glories to Gurudeva 

All glories to Srila Prabhupada 

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Prabhu,

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

Sincerely,

Gautam Pal

Mahabhagavat Das, 06 December 2019

Dear Sriman Gautam,

Hare Krishna!

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

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

These are the basics:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Rupa Manjari Devi Dasi, 07 December 2019

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

Rupa Manjari Devi Dasi

Haladhar Das, 12 December 2019

Hare Krishna dear devotees,

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumata

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hare Krishna.

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

Haladhar Das, Punjab, India

Sacinandana Das, 12 December 2019

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees, 

Please accept my humble obeisances. 

All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata ji. 

All glories to Srila Prabhupada. 

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

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

your servant, 

Sacinandana das. 

Rasika Krishna Das, 12 December 2019

Jaya !! All glories to your services Prabhuji 🙂

your servant,

Rasika Krishna Das

Rasika Krishna Das, 15 December 2019

Jaya !! All glories to your services Prabhuji 🙂

your servant,

Rasika Krishna Das

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What is the final destination of the Yogi who sees the Supersoul?

If the goal of the Yogi is to see the Supersoul, then how can they end up at the Impersonal Effulgence instead? Is it possible to attain perfection with devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead?

Partha Das, 17 August 2020

Hare Krsna . Dandavats.Prabhu. 

One doubt crossed my mind. If the yogi’s aim is to see the Paramatma(supersoul) in the heart, why is it that after seeing the Lord the destination he achieves is nirakar brahman (formless effulgence).

Regards,

Partha Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 19 August 2020

Dear Sriman Partha,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva, Srimati Gurumataji and all their associates!

Thank you for your question. This question has been answered in the Bhagavad Gita and by Srila Prabhupad in various purports.

Srila Gurudeva has also answered this question in a succinct way as follows (paraphrased): “When a Yogi sees the Paramatma in the heart, then the yogi falls in love with the Lord and becomes a Bhakta, then he can proceed towards Bhagavan realization, or eternal loving devotional service. Upon reaching the Paramatma platform, one has a choice to go higher to Bhagavan realization or slide back down to Brahman platform… All of these are spiritual perfections, but Brahman realization is said to be perfect, Paramatma realization is said to be more perfect, and Bhagavan realization is to be most perfect”

This has been comprehensively confirmed as follows: https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/3/25/19/

“Perfection in self-realization cannot be attained by any kind of yogī unless he engages in devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for that is the only auspicious path.”

Gurumataji is giving a Bhagavatam class on this specific verse right now, if you want to join, the URL is http://livelectures.net/ The present date is Wed 19 Aug, and the time is 8:50AM Eastern Time (Toronto), 6:20PM India time. Class will go on for another 30-40 minutes… please join if you can. Highly recommended, as Gurumataji’s classes are not recorded as per her desire.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

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

Slaughtered in moments on the 401

Death can come at any moment. We experience death regularly, whether of a fish that just got caught, or a person who died in a car accident, or someone who had a heart attack. Animals, birds, fish and insects can’t do anything about their death. But as humans, how can we prepare for death? How can we transcend it altogether?

My current office is near the waterfront. Some days when I can take a walk along the waterfront, especially in summer, I see these birds diving into the water. They look like Cormorants, but I’m not a bird expert.

The birds dive into the water and surface after a little while. Sometimes, they have a writhing fish in their beaks, which they then promptly swallow.

Cormorant with a fish in it’s beak

The fish was probably happily swimming around enjoying its fish life, until, out of the blue comes death. Of course, the fish can’t really do much about this, when death comes, death comes.

One summer day a couple of years ago, early into the pandemic, we were driving west on what is one of the busiest highways in the world, the Ontario 401. Suddenly, my map instructed me to take the next exit and took me a detour, which I followed… as we re-entered the highway at another point, I saw some vehicles on the empty stretch of highway behind me, they were stopped, and covered with tarpaulins.

Later in the afternoon, on my way back, I saw the vehicles still at the same spot, still covered with tarps. Clearly it had been a bad collision.

I continued to follow the incident, and found out it was an incident involving three cars. One eastbound car, for some reason, lost control and hit another eastbound one in the fast lane, which caused this second car to jump the barrier and land in the westbound lane – resulting in a head-on collision with a westbound car travelling in the fast lane.

Three people lost their lives in that collision, and death was almost immediate. The first responders had no chance, and had to cut open the cars to extract the mortal remains. It was surely gruesome.

I read about the people, a man in his forties in one car, and a woman in her thirties and her father-in-law in his sixties in the other car. I cannot imagine any of them expected to lose their lives on the 401 that morning.

Do we think any meal could be our last meal?

I wondered how their mornings were… did they have their breakfast their morning and say bye to their loved ones? What did they go through during those fatal moments? Did they feel a lot of pain? Did they have family members who were grieving for them? Did they have unfinished business? Maybe an incomplete project?

Death can come at any moment. No ordinary soul can predict the exact moment of their death. And when death comes, everything that was so important until the moment before ceases to matter. It’s just like when I live in an apartment with noisy neighbours and then move to another apartment, the noise in my previous apartment ceases to matter. What happens after death?

Death can come at any moment

Some say that we are just a bunch of chemicals, and nothing more significant than a halt of the electrochemical reactions in the body. Or in other words, after death, there is nothingness. But that logic is faulty on so many levels, after all, a bottle of chemicals doesn’t care about itself and other bottles of chemicals don’t lament it’s loss.

The logic that some combination of material elements somehow develops consciousness is faulty, as I wrote about Descartes’ ignorance about consciousness. His “cogito ergo sum” (I think, therefore I am) should have been something like “sum ergo cogito” (I am, therefore I think).

Actually, the law of momentum applies to us all – just like my baby body is “dead”, my child body is gone too. I still have memories of when I was a baby or a child, even though every single cell of my body back then is dead, this means that I transcend my body, more about that in detail another time.

Beyond Birth and Death. I am not this body.

But anyways, while the fish cannot do anything about their death, us, as human beings, with our highly developed sense of consciousness, can. We can inquire into our true nature, we can inquire into the Supreme Absolute Truth, indeed, human life begins only when we reach that stage of inquiring beyond eating, sleeping, mating, and defending, or rise above the animal propensities.

This stage is called “athāto brahma-jijñāsā“.

The human form is meant for the understanding of Kṛṣṇa consciousness (athāto brahma-jijñāsā), for inquiring about the Supreme Brahman. In the human form, everyone has a chance to understand the Supreme Brahman. The so-called leaders of human society do not know the real aim of human life and are therefore busy with economic development. This is misleading. Every state and every society is busy trying to improve the quality of eating, sleeping, mating and defending. This human form of life is meant for more than these four animal principles. Eating, sleeping, mating and defending are problems found in the animal kingdom, and the animals have solved these problems without difficulty. Why should human society be so busy trying to solve these problems? The difficulty is that people are not educated to understand this simple philosophy. They think that advancement of civilization means increasing sense gratification.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/cc/madhya/19/159/ purport

In fact, accidental or not, death awaits everyone who has taken birth… so, if we are sure to die, then we can at least prepare for it. How?

आयुर्हरति वै पुंसामुद्यन्नस्तं च यन्नसौ ।
तस्यर्ते यत्क्षणो नीत उत्तमश्लोकवार्तया ॥ १७ ॥

āyur harati vai puṁsām
udyann astaṁ ca yann asau
tasyarte yat-kṣaṇo nīta
uttama-śloka-vārtayā

Both by rising and by setting, the sun decreases the duration of life of everyone, except one who utilizes the time by discussing topics of the all-good Personality of Godhead.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/17/

The moment of death, in fact, is quite significant. We can reach any destination by adjusting our consciousness at the moment of death.

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

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

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

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

The moment of death is actually a great opportunity, a rare portal through which we can escape birth and death altogether!

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/

If I were to live every moment thinking that it could be my last, then certain longer-term things could not reasonably be done, but on the other hand if I don’t think about death then it will surely take me by surprise.

So how to live? My spiritual master gave me the perfect instruction in this regard.

My spiritual master
His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari

He said, live as if you could die in the next 80 seconds or live for the next 80 years. And his life is a living proof of his instructions, so I choose to follow in his footsteps.

I remind myself that this life of mine can end at any moment, but I work diligently in Krishna Consciousness as if I have another 80 years to go.

Would you like to learn how? Drop me a line!

The Profession of Confession and Atonement

In many religious traditions, there is the concept of confessing and atoning for sins. But why do people keep sinning and keep confessing, keep atoning? What is the use of such confession and atonement? What can be done to completely get out of this nasty habit of committing sinful activities?

Some souls accept the authority of God in theory, but not in practice. In the article “Love of God, The Ultimate Variety“, I wrote about fear vs. love… who fears God? One who does not properly follow the instructions of God must necessarily fear God. Just like ordinary citizens are not afraid of the police, but the thief is.

The idea is that just as there is the state law, there is also God’s law. And just as someone who flouts the state law becomes a criminal or an outlaw, similarly, one who flouts God’s law also faces reactions. And depending on the severity of the crime, the reactions can be rather heavy.

In some traditions, practically all religious traditions, there is the idea of “atonement” or in Sanskrit “praayaschitta”. This has been formalized in so many different ways, for example, Christians often go to Church and then confess their sins to the priest. The priest says “OK, repent by doing this and this”, or maybe a Hindu might go to the temple and the priest might tell her “give this and that charity to such-and-such to atone for this sin”.

The atonement is supposed to release the soul of the sinful reaction for a much lower “cost”…

Confession, useful, but is it enough?

But even with or without atonement, though there is hellish punishment that purifies the sinner of the sinful reactions, the soul commits sin again, after all the purification! Why is this?

Do you know what the problem is?

क्‍वचिन्निवर्ततेऽभद्रात्‍क्‍वचिच्चरति तत्पुन: ।
प्रायश्चित्तमथोऽपार्थं मन्ये कुञ्जरशौचवत् ॥ १० ॥

kvacin nivartate ’bhadrāt
kvacic carati tat punaḥ
prāyaścittam atho ’pārthaṁ
manye kuñjara-śaucavat

Sometimes one who is very alert so as not to commit sinful acts is victimized by sinful life again. I therefore consider this process of repeated sinning and atoning to be useless. It is like the bathing of an elephant, for an elephant cleanses itself by taking a full bath, but then throws dust over its head and body as soon as it returns to the land.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/6/1/10/
An elephant bathes in the water

Let’s examine the elephant… the elephant goes to the river and takes a bath in the river. Then the elephant comes out and pours dirt, sand and dust on itself after it comes out. Now, the wildlife experts may say why the elephant is doing that, how it protects its skin etc., but let’s just keep to the spirit of the example here.

An elephant dusts itself with mud

If we treat a confession or atonement as a bath, then why is it that people perform the required atonement and then sin again? Why do you need to take a bath again and again? Because you got dirty again after the last bath!

In the material world, dirt is unavoidable, our very bodies are quite dirty, and need to be cleansed again and again. But what about the spirit soul? Is the spirit soul not clean originally?

Hindus bathe in the Ganga to atone for their sins

Is it a good thing to become a professional at confession and atonement? There is no doubt that God is infinitely merciful… and can forgive unlimitedly. Does anyone think that God is such a fool as to accept repeated confessions of a professional sinner without giving the proper reactions to maintain fairness? God is also unlimitedly wise!

In the Srimad Bhagavatam, the highly intelligent Maharaja Parikshit and Shukadeva Goswami had this wonderful conversation on this topic. To this question, the answer given was:

Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the son of Vedavyāsa, answered: My dear King, since acts meant to neutralize impious actions are also fruitive, they will not release one from the tendency to act fruitively. Persons who subject themselves to the rules and regulations of atonement are not at all intelligent. Indeed, they are in the mode of darkness. Unless one is freed from the mode of ignorance, trying to counteract one action through another is useless because this will not uproot one’s desires. Thus even though one may superficially seem pious, he will undoubtedly be prone to act impiously. Therefore real atonement is enlightenment in perfect knowledge, Vedānta, by which one understands the Supreme Absolute Truth.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/6/1/11/

But knowledge enough is not sufficient, one must act on that knowledge, Shukadeva Goswami continues…

My dear King, if a diseased person eats the pure, uncontaminated food prescribed by a physician, he is gradually cured, and the infection of disease can no longer touch him. Similarly, if one follows the regulative principles of knowledge, he gradually progresses toward liberation from material contamination.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/6/1/12/

One should go beyond the lifestyle that produces sinful desires…

तपसा ब्रह्मचर्येण शमेन च दमेन च ।
त्यागेन सत्यशौचाभ्यां यमेन नियमेन वा ॥ १३ ॥
देहवाग्बुद्धिजं धीरा धर्मज्ञा: श्रद्धयान्विता: ।
क्षिपन्त्यघं महदपि वेणुगुल्ममिवानल: ॥ १४ ॥

tapasā brahmacaryeṇa
śamena ca damena ca
tyāgena satya-śaucābhyāṁ
yamena niyamena vā

deha-vāg-buddhijaṁ dhīrā
dharmajñāḥ śraddhayānvitāḥ
kṣipanty aghaṁ mahad api
veṇu-gulmam ivānalaḥ

To concentrate the mind, one must observe a life of celibacy and not fall down. One must undergo the austerity of voluntarily giving up sense enjoyment. One must then control the mind and senses, give charity, be truthful, clean and nonviolent, follow the regulative principles and regularly chant the holy name of the Lord. Thus a sober and faithful person who knows the religious principles is temporarily purified of all sins performed with his body, words and mind. These sins are like the dried leaves of creepers beneath a bamboo tree, which may be burned by fire although their roots remain to grow again at the first opportunity.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/6/1/13-14/

It is commonly seen that even priests, supposed to be God’s representatives, sin, what to speak of the lay person! This means that even though one may lead a very closely regulated lifestyle, the desire to sin can still remain hidden as a root within the heart. So what is the ultimate solution?

केचित्केवलया भक्त्या वासुदेवपरायणा: ।
अघं धुन्वन्ति कार्त्स्‍न्येन नीहारमिव भास्कर: ॥ १५ ॥

kecit kevalayā bhaktyā
vāsudeva-parāyaṇāḥ
aghaṁ dhunvanti kārtsnyena
nīhāram iva bhāskaraḥ

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.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/6/1/15/

So therefore, it is impossible to be completely pure without being a pure devotee of God. Without being a pure lover of God, one cannot escape this sin. In fact, when one is rendering devotional service, at that time it is impossible to sin, because where is the time and the energy to perform sinful actions?

So therefore, instead of sinning and confessing, sinning and confessing, sinning and atoning, sinning and atoning, one should seek to develop pure uncontaminated Love of God in a practical way, which is the only way to be free of the desire and tendency to sin.

My spiritual master says it best “it’s hard to hit a moving target, so keep moving for Krishna, if you give illusion an inch, you will lose your life!”

The Milk Controversy – should we give it up?

Should spiritualists consume milk or should they be vegan? The Vedic texts enjoin us to develop solid intelligence through milk consumption, but yet modern milk production is fraught with violence. So what is the spiritualist to do?

Partha Das, 26 April 2020

Hare Krsna,

I was surprised to see many articles and interviews by modern day doctors saying milk is white poison.

As a Hare Krsna devotee, I have given up tea, coffee, alcohol smoking etc . My only source of pleasure is daily cups of hot milk . I also enjoy all the milk byproducts such as yogurt, paneer, cheese, milk, sweets etc.

I tried to be a vegan for 3 months , on advice of a doctor who is against milk. But the result was that my bones and tooth became weak and brittle. I was forced to restart milk immediately.

Could you enlighten me a little on this matter. It is not possible to get milk from an ISKCON farm , which doesn’t use injections on cows, or is not cruel to animals.

What is the ISKCON stand on this matter, as our source of milk is the Govt dairy farm and it’s not possible to keep a cow in a city.

Dandavats,

Partha Das

Paramahamsa Das, 28 April 2020

Hare Krishna, 

Please accept my obeisances 

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada 

All Glories to Srila Gurudev, 

I would like to thank you for your wonderful question and also appreciate that you have worked your way to avoid Tea, coffee, and nasty habits like smoking. It indeed shows your dedication to imbibe a proper lifestyle that will bring you closer to Krishna by at least reaching to the mode of goodness. 

As far as Milk and milk products are concerned or in that case, any foodstuff you enjoy if you do so without making an offering to Krishna then you are verily eating sin as mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita 3.13 

yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santo

mucyante sarva-kilbiṣaiḥ

bhuñjate te tv aghaṁ pāpā

ye pacanty ātma-kāraṇāt

And if you enjoy the foodstuff after they are offered to Krishna then you can rest assured that you are not eating white poison as you point out modern doctors referring to milk. Of course given the fact that your body is able to digest milk and you don’t have some intolerance which might be the case for some individuals and they need to be consulting proper medical care. 

But, from the perspective of Sastra, Srila Prabhupada has very clearly mentioned in many different places that one can maintain ones’ body with any kind of foodstuffs but special emphasis is on Cow milk. It is very essential for the development of finer tissues of the human brain so that they can understand the intricacies of Transcendental knowledge.

Now as far as the milk you are referring to (from ISKCON Farm ) is called Ahimsa milk. This is very rare for people like us living in a city to get but in this matter, Srila Gurudev gives an analogy of a thorn to remove another thorn.

If you are not able to protect or participate in any way to directly protect Mother Cow then at least the milk you get from commercial dairy farms could be used to offer it to Krishna so that at least that particular Cow’s life is successful and you are getting the needed nourishment to developed your brain’s fine tissue to understand the Transcendental knowledge and who knows in the near future with that intelligence you might be able to come up with some scheme for Cow protection! 

your servant, 

Paramahamsa Das

Rahul Prasad, 28 April 2020

Hare Krishna …

Dandavat Pranam…

Please accept my obeisances 

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada 

All Glories to Srila Gurudev, 

How can milk (commercial) be considered in goodness? In the current scenario, cows have to suffer a lot to produce milk (commercial). For the production of commercial milk, the cow needs to undergo various known sufferings.

Then how can the milk produced commercially be considered in goodness?

I request you to please advise.

your servant

Rahul

Paramahamsa Das, 28 April 2020

Hare Krishna Rahul, 

Please accept my humble obeisances 

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada 

All Glories to Srila Gurudev

The milk that has been offered to Krishna and then accepted as prasadam is transcendental i.e above 3 modes of material nature. 

The milk of the cow even though derived by commercial means when offered to Krishna could be seen as service rendered by the Go (cow/cows) to Govinda  ( the Supreme Personality of Godhead) so it is similar to us working in the commercial world going under so much trouble and collecting little Laksmi and then we utilize it i in the service of Guru and Krishna( Narayan ).

Does this help?

your servant, 

Paramahamsa das.  

Partha Das, 28 April 2020

Hare Krsna Rahul Prabhu,

If we see the way plants are treated nowadays with pesticides, DDT, chemical fertilizers etc , I am sure such vegetables are not suitable for offering to Krsna. They will fall in the same category as milk produced in modern farms by torturing cows.

Hence I feel offering milk and vegetables to Krsna , before consumption is the only option left for us.

Nothing in this modern world is pure.

Dandavats,

Partha Das

Partha Das, 28 April 2020

Hare Krsna Paramhamsa Prabhu,

Thanks for your guidance. I am already offering the milk to Krsna before consumption. 

Hope to be part of the Ahimsa farm community in the near future.

Dandavats,

Partha Das

Priya Sundari devi dasi, 28 April 2020

Hare Krishna Prabhus. 

Please accept my humble obeisances. 

All glories to Srila Prabhupada. 

In my recent years of doing some research and talking to farm devotees as well as non-devotees, this is what I have concluded with the help of some senior Vaishnava inputs: 

1. If you have access to ahimsa milk then that is best. Drinking even 1 cup of ahimsa milk is better than loads of non ahimsa milk. Some devotees get raw milk delivered in bulk and freeze this and use this as needed. 

There are different degrees to the meaning of Ahimsa in this context. 

a. Where a cow is left free to graze and the calf is allowed to freely feed and then what remains is consumed….to…. 

b. Where cows are tied in a farm and allowed to graze for a bit and calves are allowed to feed limited. 

c. Of course the idea is that at the end of Mother Cow’s life, she is not slaughtered and the male calves are not sent away to be killed. 

2. If you don’t have access to ahimsa milk, then the next best option is Raw + Organic whole Milk. You can check with your local farm suppliers. 

a. This ensures that we are not ingested the various antibiotics and other medications that mother cow is subject to 

b. Also organic milk = mother cow is fed a better diet 

c. Raw because is it best to not have milk that has been treated (pasteurized and homogenized) 

*** Please note raw milk will need to be gently boiled before consuming to ensure that any other harmful bacteria have been eliminated***

3. If you don’t have access to raw milk, then the next option is Pasteurized + Organic + Unhomogenized Whole Milk. 

This can be bought locally in many supermarket chains. 

This follows the order of best, better and good. If you are able to afford / have access to ahimsa milk then that’s best. If that’s not an option then the next so on and so forth. 

In the least, the milk that we consume should be Organic and unhomogenized and always whole milk. 

Dr. Marianne Teitlebaum who is a renowned Ayurvedic practitioner talks more about that in her book: 

The demonization of milk

— Dr Marianne Teitelbaum

“Almost every blog or nutritional book I read calls milk a poison. Ayurveda considers milk a nectar and perhaps the most important food we can give to our body. Why the disconnect? There are several factors to consider here, all of which I discuss in my new book “Healing the Thyroid With Ayurveda.”

When you milk a cow and let the milk sit, the cream will rise to the top. This is called unhomogenized milk. Nowadays most of the milk is homogenized so you don’t see that layer of cream at the top anymore. But homogenized milk isn’t as nourishing and can contribute to heart disease and clogged arteries due to this processing of the fat molecules. So strive to get unhomogenized milk.

Get the full fat milk as it is the fat in the milk which delivers the calcium into your bones. If the milk is low-fat your bones will suffer as the calcium is now excreted out of your body contributing to the epidemic levels of osteoporosis we are currently experiencing. 

Many people cannot digest milk due to faulty digestion so it is imperative that you fix your digestion in order to receive milk’s health benefits. 

Some people cannot digest the protein in A1 milk, however numerous small dairies are springing up around the country which supply A2 milk which is lacking that hard to digest protein (see my book or previous posts about A2 milk). 

You must boil the milk to melt down the fat globules for best absorption into your cells, otherwise it will clog your throat and sinuses. 

If cow’s milk bothers you, try goat’s milk which is much lighter and easier to digest, and is similar to Mother’s milk. It is good for losing weight, congestion in the lungs and infections in the gut. 

Simmering the milk for a few minutes with 2-3 cardamom pods helps you digest the protein in the milk. And add a cinnamon stick to help you digest the sugar in the milk. Always add a few pinches of turmeric when simmering milk as the fat will deliver the turmeric into your cells. 

Milk is the only food that instantly absorbs into your cells to nourish all 7 tissues (blood plasma, blood, muscle, fat, bone, bone marrow and reproductive fluids). within one day of ingesting whereas any other food can take up to a month to assimilate into the body. 

And boiling the milk forms tryptophan which helps you make more serotonin which makes you both happy and calm. 

This is why drinking warm milk before bed can contribute to a deep restful sleep. 

Many of our thousands of patients have reincorporated milk back into their diets and have experienced the strength, stamina and radiant health that warm whole milk can bring back to our depleted bodies. 

Don’t buy into the argument that we should avoid milk. It’s one of THE most nourishing foods if taken in the correct way.”

follow Dr Teitelbaum’s posts on Facebook. 

If there’s a large group of devotees in your area OR you have consumers who are favorable to not slaughtering cows / calves then you can talk to local farmers and request milk to be delivered for a higher price so that the cow is not harmed and to help the farmer not sell the cow at the end of her life to a slaughter house.  This has worked in some communities in the past. This also means that if people are interested then there is scope for preaching. 

I hope this has helped shed some light on the milk topic. 

your servant 

Priya Sundari devi dasi.

*Kṛṣṇe matir astu*

Partha Das, 29 April 2020

Hare Krsna Mataji,

Thanks for your elaborate explanation.

Partha Das

Rahul Prasad, 30 April 2020

Hare Krishna

Dandvat Pranam

Please accept my obeisances 

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada 

All Glories to Srila Gurudev, 

I do agree that if we offer the Milk (commercial or other type) it will be freed from all 3 modes.

But if we/vegetarian people will avoid consumption of Milk and Milk products then the demand of Milk will fall and the Milk industry will not (will reduce) production of new cows.

As most of the cows are first subjected to the Milk industry and later on moved to Meat industry.

So for the benefit of cows we can move to a (no milk product) vegetarian diet.

I request you to please advise me.

your servant

Rahul

Dr.Reena bhardwaj, 30 April 2020

Hare Krishna    

Milk products like curd are good for health , increase immunity, and provide relief for gastrointestinal infections. So, milk in moderate amounts is good for health. 

Dr.Reena Bhardwaj 

Sailesh, 30 April 2020

Hare Krishna:

With my limited knowledge, I share the following facts that I am aware of:

 Milk bearing cows are slaughtered once their calf bearing days and milk giving days are done.  It is better in my humble opinion that we be intellectually honest with ourselves, that by supporting milk industry we support the beef industry as well. PETA has a campaign about it as well ( Are you drinking beef?)

 Yes, we can say offer the milk to Krishna , by saying “Krishna Arpana” and then all consequences including the slaughter of the Cows go to Lords feet. But let us be very clear that there is a direct connect between us drinking milk and the end result of what happens to the Cow.

This happens in India as well. The moment a Cow stops giving milk and cannot produce calves, they are released on to the streets. The Cows eat from garbage bins for a while, eventually they are captured and slaughtered . No doubt many are taken to Gau Rakshak sheds, but that is not always the case.

If I have offended anyone, I beg forgiveness. If any feel these are not the facts, I would be grateful if I could be corrected.

Sincerely,

Sailesh

Kumar shivam, 30 April 2020

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and matajis.

Is there any evidence that if we stop consuming milk then that cow will not yet be slaughtered? Maybe,it might then be used solely for meat purposes and get cultivated as a meat machine as the economic value of milk will go down..

Can’t we promote cow dung for biogas plants, manure and it’s urine for medicinal purposes(as many brands are marketing now itself) so that slaughtering becomes a less viable option.

your servant,

Shivam

Harold Meier, 1 May 2020

Hare Krishna

The only real solution to this matter is to have your own farm and your own cow.  Not very practical.  However you decide to act, act for the sake of Krishna.  If you decide to give up drinking milk, do that for Krishna.  If you decide to continue drinking milk, do that for Krishna.  Either way, don’t be attached to the result and be grateful for each step you take towards Him.

Hare Krishna

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Dear Pope Francis, how many apologies to go?

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

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

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

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

Kamloops Indian Residential School

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

These souls were shot dead due to “overcrowding”

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Doctrine of Discovery dehumanized humans

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

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

A Christian Preacher

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

Thomas Paine, American Thinker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are 2 formulas for Ultimate Perfection:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moving homes – painful business

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

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

So what about THE BIG MOVE?

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

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

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

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

Why is that?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They went around meeting different people during their travels…

One day, the saintly person met 3 souls.

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

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

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

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

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

The spiritual master, the saintly person, explained…

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

Life in the material world is just like a Ferris Wheel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Krishna’s devotees live and play with Krishna eternally

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

How to get free of baggage?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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