How Krishna reveals Himself

How Krishna reveals Himself! Get out of your Comfort Zone! Or at least expand it. Learn to get comfortable outside your comfort zone…

Arci devi dasi, 27 February 2018

From Sacinandana Swami’s “The Art of Transformation ” – A cozy, material, comfortable life does not go together with wanting to have experiences of Krishna. You sometimes have to go to the risk zone, so that Krishna can reveal Himself. By our nature we always go to the places of most comfort. But if we want to arrange our life as comfortably as possible, how is it possible for Krishna to reveal Himself and help us? It is usually seen that Krishna reveals Himself when you are out of your comfort zone, when you are in need, when you are at a little risk. But our material tendency is to go too much into these illusory comfort zones. Then you check everything so that Krishna cannot reveal Himself Try to do some seva, try to step out from your normal life, and Lord Krishna will surely help.

your servant,
Arci devi dasi

Hare Krishna!

Bhakta Sunil, 28 February 2018

In this context, found this ‘Thought for the day’from http://www.backtohome.com dated 15 January 2016

How to Expand Your Comfort Zone

uploaded from ISKCON Houston, Texas USA

We tend to limit ourselves regarding how much we can do or accomplish for Krishna. This limitation we place on ourselves is called our comfort zone. To advance steadily in Krishna consciousness toward the ultimate goal of pure love of God we need to always try to expand our comfort zone. In this way we will become more and more fixed in Krishna consciousness and in our ability to successfully give Krishna to others. Thus we should train ourselves to feel comfortable outside of our comfort zone and uncomfortable in our comfort zone.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
http://www.backtohome.com

15 January 2016

your insignificant servant,
Bhakta Sunil

Filip Misic, 28 February 2018

Thank you Arci devi dasi for reminding us! This is an important point.

your servant, Filip

Brajanath Das, 3 March, 2018

Pranams devotees for enlightening me with your wonderful answers.

your servant,
Brajanath Das

Sacinandana Das

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata ji.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you Arci Mata ji and Bhakta Sunil for sharing the nectar.

your servant,
Sacinandana Das


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The Ever-Increasing Fakeness of Money

What is money? Is it even real or just an illusion? What can bring us real satisfaction?

Have you ever wondered what money is? For many of us, money is a coin made of a metal that is not super-precious, money is a paper with something printed on it, to some, money is plastic…

People slog for it, die for it, commit crimes for it. Some people are enslaved by it. Some others are killed for it. Some die because they have too much of it, others die because they have too little. Some are handed more than they know what to do with, others struggle all their lives but don’t get much.

What is money?

At the simplest, money represents some value. Note, “represents” value. Money is not valuable. After all, you can’t eat money, you can’t drink money, money doesn’t buy you love, you can’t even buy a moment of time with it.

There used to be a time when money was not needed. You had something, I had something, and when we had more than what we needed, we exchanged. Food was given freely, and no one had any want of necessities.

Then, for a long time, Gold and other valuable items were used in place of exchange.

For a long time, even when money was paper, it was backed by gold… then governments abandoned any link to reality and just began to print money. Some printed money indiscriminately, others had particular agendas. The concept of “inflation” was invented. Inflation means that unless you stay engaged in the system, whatever you had would erode in value. Most people would get a little more each year, if they stayed in the system, with their noses to the grindstone. But everything got a tad bit more expensive each year. And this is how the economy is measured, that everyone is making more.

“If you deposit five lakhs now, it will decrease value in five, ten months. The purchasing power of money is decreasing. Now what you can purchase with five lakhs of rupees, after five years you’ll require ten lakhs.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

What a perfect way to keep everyone in control!

Everyone eats, sleeps, mates, and defends according to their own quota. People ate a hundred years ago, people eat today. People wore clothes a hundred years ago, people wear clothes today. People spent for entertainment a hundred years ago, people spend for entertainment today. My father once earned less than $2 per month over 50 years ago, and could maintain a large extended family relatively comfortably in India. A person in the Western World earning $2000 per month will find it difficult to maintain even the smallest of families!

The fact that the GDP or Gross Domestic Product has been increasing year-over-year has had no positive impact on the basics of life. In fact it is an illusory concept that I continue to do what I did last year and yet I somehow make more? Of course, everyone makes more, so that means I pay more now than I did last year, and my “increase” has disappeared!

What a way to keep you, me, and everyone working for more, more, more!

Then of course, money was replaced with an entry in a bank passbook, you could see a number there and “write” money to someone else. Most of us in the modern day don’t even see any money… some “value” is transferred to my bank account by my employer, I can see that on a computer. I swipe a card here, a card there, and at the end of the month, I may have no “money” left at all. Where is this money that I supposedly earned?

To add to that, money is held in increasingly complex instruments, like debt, equity, mutual funds, stock options, and derivatives – fakeness built on top of fakeness built on top of that which was fake to start with. When you start to think of it, it is mind-boggling as to how far removed we are from the original standard of wealth, which was simple – land, cows, grains, clothes, what you needed for a simple life focused on spritual advancement.

In fact, the current concept and system of money is creating hellish society!

Sometimes the living entity is busy counteracting the natural disturbances of freezing cold, scorching heat, strong wind, excessive rainfall and so forth. When he is unable to do so, he becomes very unhappy. Sometimes he is cheated in business transactions one after another. In this way, by cheating, living entities create enmity among themselves.

On the forest path of material existence, sometimes a person is without wealth and due to this does not have a proper home, bed or sitting place, nor proper family enjoyment. He therefore goes to beg money from others, but when his desires are not fulfilled by begging, he wants to borrow or steal the property of others. Thus he is insulted in society.

Due to monetary transactions, relationships become very strained and end in enmity. Sometimes the husband and wife walk on the path of material progress, and to maintain their relationship they work very hard. Sometimes due to scarcity of money or due to diseased conditions, they are embarrassed and almost die.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/5/13/11/ https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/5/13/12/ https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/5/13/13/

This struggle to accumulate money by any means is creating terrible side effects!

If a person too attached to the duties of family maintenance is unable to control his senses, the core of his heart is immersed in how to accumulate money. Although he knows that one who takes the wealth of others will be punished by the law of the government, and by the laws of Yamarāja after death, he continues cheating others to acquire money.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/7/6/15/

Ah, you may say, I don’t cheat, I earn my money in honest ways! Really? What is profit? Who did you pay for the earth, the water, the sun, the air?

We just take things from one place to another, from another to another, repackage this, repackage that, and claim “This is Mine”

My spiritual master writes…

We come into this world possessing nothing.
And we leave from this world with absolutely nothing.
But in the middle we fight and kill claiming this is mine.
Ignoring the real owner who reclaims everything in time.

The Peace Formula
© 2015 by Sankarshan Das Adhikari. All rights reserved. https://wonderfulsongs.bandcamp.com/

However, one of the greatest spiritualists of history, originally a prostitute by profession before enlightenment, says this…

I am such a fool that I have given up the service of that person who, being eternally situated within my heart, is actually most dear to me. That most dear one is the Lord of the universe, who is the bestower of real love and happiness and the source of all prosperity. Although He is in my own heart, I have completely neglected Him. Instead I have ignorantly served insignificant men who can never satisfy my real desires and who have simply brought me unhappiness, fear, anxiety, lamentation and illusion.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/11/8/31/

May we all follow in her footsteps!

Celibacy – what is it exactly?

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

Filip Misic, 19 November 2017

Hare Krishna everyone, please accept my humble obeisances.

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

your humble servant, Filip

Rakesh, 20 November 2017

Hare Krsna Filip Prabhu

Please accept my humble obeisances

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

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

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

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

Hope I have been able to answer in someway.

your insignificant servant
Rakesh roshan

Filip Misic, 20 November 2017

Hare Krishna Rakesh Roshan prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances

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

your humble servant, Filip

Nikhil Mishra, 20 November 2017

Hare Krsna

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

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

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

wishing you best

not so advanced in krsna Consciousness –
Nikhil

Filip Misic, 20 November 2017

Hare Krishna Nikhil

Thank you for your great advice.

Even less advanced in Krishna conciousness,

Filip

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 27 November 2017

Thank you for a great conversation everyone!

Hare Krishna!

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

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

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

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

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

Your student

Answer: It is Illicit

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

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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

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

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

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

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

quote

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

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

unquote

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

quote

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

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

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

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

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

I hope this helps.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Filip Misic, 27 November 2017

Hare Krishna Mahabhagavat das,

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

your humble servant, Filip


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Are Krishna and Rama mentioned in the Vedas?

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

Nikhil Mishra, 02nd August 2016

Hare Krsna devotees

All glories to guru and gauranga.

Humble obeisance to all of you.

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

Sincerely
Nikhil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 04th August 2016

Dear Sriman Nikhil,

Hare Krishna!

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

This is an important question. Thank you for asking.

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

Nothing could be further from the truth.

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

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

quote

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

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

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

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

Humbly,

C.B.


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

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

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

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

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
unquote

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope that this is useful and helpful.

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

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Nikhil Mishra, 04th August 2016

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

Your answer makes sense to my cluttered mind.

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

Hare krsna
Nikhil

Shreyas, 04th August 2016

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

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

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

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

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

In the Atharva Veda, the Supreme Person says:

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

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

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

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

In the Sama Veda, the Supreme Lord says:

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

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

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

your servant
Shridhar Das

Todd Eberwine, 04th August 2016

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

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

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

How do I become pure and sinless?

How do I become pure and sinless? Do I fear God? What do I do to be pure and sinless? How do I avoid doing things that are sinful?

Deepak A, 25th March 2016

Hare Krishna devotees

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Gurudeva
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

Am not a devotee! But i believe god is there in all things.I fear for him.

I always will be correct to my conscience and do things right.

But i have did some things wrong suddenly i feel like am away from god and he is angry on me for deeds i did.

Please tell me what Lord Krishna say about committing sin and how to come out from that.

I want to be pure as god both in deeds and heart .

Please help me!!!

your humble servant
Deepak Appu

Sridhar Das, 25th March 2016

Hare Krishna Deepak!

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

Many answers that shall fully clarify all your doubts are coming up. I however just wanted to state:

I’m sure our understanding of God is that Krishna is the Supreme Person–ality of Godhead, who is one without a second, the rest being his servants/representatives.

We must try to confirm our understanding/sentiments from Vedas to assure we’re understanding correct which you’ve done sincerely.

When we read Bhagavad Gita with the mood of a devoted learner, an aspiring devotee, we will understand what is right, what is wrong, what Krishna wants, what pleases Him, what displeases Him.

When you feel Lord’s anger for you, I wish to correct that this is Krishna’s actual nature confirmed from His statements:

samo ‘haḿ sarva-bhūteṣu

na me dveṣyo ‘sti na priyaḥ

ye bhajanti tu māḿ bhaktyā

mayi te teṣu cāpy aham

I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all. But whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me, and I am also a friend to him.(BG 9.29).

The solution to sins is:

sarva-dharmān parityajya

mām ekaḿ śaraṇaḿ vraja

ahaḿ tvāḿ 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. (18.66)

And if one simply accepts that I’m a servant of God or Krishna and I must obediently serve Him then whether one be the most sinful person addicted to most sinful activities but if He accepts this truth, Krishna guarantees to not only forgive their sins but even remove them and liberate the person like a caring father. For such a soul Krishna says:

api cet su-durācāro

bhajate mām ananya-bhāk

sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ

samyag vyavasito hi saḥ

“Even if one commits the most abominable action, if he is engaged in devotional service he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated in his determination.” (BG 9.30)

When we serve the Lord and His devotees, automatically their godly qualities descend upon us if they’re pleased.

So the conclusion is to engage in some devotional service to Krishna in association of His devotees and all your problems (not current but complete lifetime) shall be solved.

Thank you for the nice question.

your servant
Shridhar Das

Bhakta Sunil, 27th March 2016

Hare Krishna Deepak bhai,

Please accept my humble respects,
All Glories to Vaishnavas,

If one does something wrong and feel away from God, it indicates that one has to purify oneself to prevent mistakes and misdeeds which can prick the conscience,

As long one has impurities in heart, one is forced to act in a way depending on the modes of material nature which one has acquired from one’s past desires and actions,

“Bhagavad Gita As It Is” Chapter 3 Verse 5 helps us to understand this point, as follows :

Translation :

Everyone is forced to act helplessly according to the qualities he has acquired from the modes of material nature; therefore no one can refrain from doing something, not even for a moment.

Purport :

It is not a question of embodied life, but it is the nature of the soul to be always active. Without the presence of the spirit soul, the material body cannot move. The body is only a dead vehicle to be worked by the spirit soul, which is always active and cannot stop even for a moment. As such, the spirit soul has to be engaged in the good work of Krishna consciousness, otherwise it will be engaged in occupations dictated by the illusory energy. In contact with material energy, the spirit soul acquires material modes, and to purify the soul from such affinities it is necessary to engage in the prescribed duties enjoined in the sastras. But if the soul is engaged in his natural function of Krishna consciousness, whatever he is able to do is good for him. The Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.5.17) affirms this:

tyaktva sva-dharmam caranambujam harer
bhajann apakvo ’tha patet tato yadi
yatra kva vabhadram abhud amusya kim
ko vartha apto ’bhajatam sva-dharmatah

“If someone takes to Krishna consciousness, even though he may not follow the prescribed duties in the sastras or execute the devotional service properly, and even though he may fall down from the standard, there is no loss or evil for him. But if he carries out all the injunctions for purification in the sastras, what does it avail him if he is not Krishna conscious?” So the purificatory process is necessary for reaching this point of Krishna consciousness. Therefore, sannyasa, or any purificatory process, is to help reach the ultimate goal of becoming Krishna conscious, without which everything is considered a failure.

Regarding your asking about freedom from sins, please read the Question-Answer taken from daily “Thought for the Day” emails , dated 7th June 2015 :

Question: Freedom from My Many Sins?

I am 23 years old. Now when I look back I can recollect many sins which I have done. The reason that I was not aware until now that this was sinful is due to my own karma from my previous birth. So even though I did not have the knowledge of right and wrong, I am solely responsible for this because it was my choice to be in ignorance. If in this birth I do good, is it possible that I may get spiritual knowledge in my next birth?

What is initiation? What is the complete process for getting initiated?

Can we live a grihastha (married) life after getting initiated?

Your reader

Answer: Surrender to Krishna Frees You from All Karma

There is no need to wait until your next birth to get spiritual knowledge and live a pure life. You can be born again right through the process known as initiation. In this way you will qualify to enter the eternal abode of Lord Sri Krishna at the time of death.

Initiation is when you take a vow to strictly follow the principles of Krishna consciousness for your entire life. This means that you agree to chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day on japa mala beads and that you also agree to strictly avoid illicit sex, meat eating, intoxication, and gambling for your entire life. At the time of initiation you also accept a highly advanced devotee who is fixed in Krishna consciousness as your spiritual master and you agree to always abide by whatever instructions he gives you. By becoming initiated and keeping your vow, you are a fully surrendered devotee of Krishna. The spiritual master and Krishna free you from the reactions from all of your previous sinful activities for millions of lifetimes in this material world. Initiation is essential for one who wants to attain genuine happiness.

Srila Prabhupada emphasizes the importance of initiation in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 10.2.18:

“Unless one is initiated by the right person, who always carries within his heart the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one cannot acquire the power to carry the Supreme Godhead within the core of one’s own heart.”

He also writes in his purport to Caitanya Caritamrita Madhya Lila, 24. 331:

“As far as the time of diksha (initiation) is concerned, everything depends on the position of the guru. As soon as a bonafide guru is received by chance or by a program, one should immediately take the opportunity to receive initiation.”

Regarding your question about married (grihastha) life, many of our disciples are married and are progressing very nicely in Krishna consciousness. This option remains open to you. If you like, you can marry a nice Krishna conscious girl who is already a dedicated member our Krishna consciousness movement and raise children in Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
www.joincourse.com

Hope this helps,

Sincerely,

Bhakta Sunil

Shyamapriya devi dasi, 30th March 2016

Hare Krishna

Actually, you are a devotee! We all are devotees. Even the trees, animals, birds, every living entity. However, we all are in a state of forgetfulness, just like a man who has lost his memory has difficulty to identify himself and where he belongs to. Then with the help of a doctor the patient is made to remember his past life (i.e. his real life) with the help of pictures, videos,etc. Slowly the patient recovers. But this is a very crude example to make us understand of our actual position.

A mango will be called a mango, whether it is at an unriped stage or at a completely ripened, sweet nectarean stage. Just like an unriped mango also has to work its way towards that ripened stage, we all devotees, slowly and slowly have to work on removing those layers and layers, heaps and heaps of dust (ignorance) covering our hearts under the expert guidance of a doctor i.e. a spiritual master to come to that mature, pure devotee stage. So if you haven’t found a doctor yet, this is a very good time to find one (from the wonderful list of spiritual masters in ISKCON and one of them, as you know, is our Srila Gurudeva) and start working your way to becoming completely pure as your wonderful desire is to be.

Sridhar Prabhu has already given well researched answer to your question.

But if you still feel to enquire further, our many experts on board are always there to help you.

Thankyou
Sincerely,
Shyamapriya devi dasi

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Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 01st April 2016

Dear Deepak,

Hare Krishna!

The scriptural references you have, and also encouragement from the devotees.

Krishna is not some mean-bully-in-the-sky type personality.
Krishna is your best friend and supreme well-wisher.

If Krishna gives you correction, it will be in the mood of a loving parent who gives some punishment to a child, not some vindictive revenge-seeker-mentality.

Anyways, you know that what you did was not right, so you are feeling some remorse and guilt, but use this to go closer to Krishna by taking up some activity that will reduce the chance of you performing similar actions again.
Guilt is useless, but if we leverage remorse to lead us in the right direction, then that is ideal. Doing something practical that uplifts our consciousness is the key:

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. SB 6.1.15

This is the final answer of Sukadeva Goswami to the question of Maharaja Parikshit which was as follows:

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. SB 6.1.10.

The verses from SB 6.1.10 to SB 6.1.15 are a wonderful exchange. Please consider reading at http://www.vedabase.com/sb/6/1/10

Have you carefully read any of the books of Srila Prabhupada, even if it is a small book? Have you tried chanting Hare Krishna? Have you rendered any practical devotional service to the devotees?

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Deepak, 26th May 2015

Hare Krishna to all
Please accept my humble obeisances.
All Glories to GuruDev.
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

My question is :- which Yajnas should be perform in this Kaliyug and how to perform it

Hare Krishna

Rathin Mandal, 27th May 2015

Hare Krishna Deepak,

Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji,

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

For this age only Sankirtana Yajna is recommended. For doing the yajnas that were recommended in other ages, neither do we have that much of life span, nor physical strength and not enough resources. That is why other yajnas are not recommended.

your Servant
Rathin

Sridhar Das, 06th June 2015

Hare Krishna Deepak,

My humble obeisances to you,
All Glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumata!
All Glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!

You have correctly read that Sankirtan Yajna is the recommended Yajna for this age as confirmed below:

kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ
 tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ
dvāpare paricaryāyāṁ
 kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt

“Whatever result was obtained in Satya-yuga by meditating on Viṣṇu, in Tretā-yuga by performing sacrifices, and in Dvāpara-yuga by serving the Lord’s lotus feet can be obtained in Kali-yuga simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.” (SB 12.3.52)

It can be performed by anyone irrespective of any past qualifications, irrespective of family backgrounds and can be chanted anytime and any place (we don’t carry beads in the bathroom though).

your servant
Sridhar Das

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

The gimme’ gimme’ gimme’ religions of the world

Give me a Cadillac

A brand new Cadillac

Replete with Michelin Tires

Give my son a Harvard Education

Give my wife a new silk saree

Give me a house by the sea

Om Jaya Jagadeesha Hare

His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari

My spiritual master quoted above, does not despise Hindus or any group of people, and neither does he hate or deride anyone.

In the original satiric song above, he captures the essence of the majority of the followers of every possible religious tradition, be it Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jew, Buddhist or any other tradition or denomination.

gimme gimme gimme! Gimme this! Gimme that! What a tiresome litany of requests God fields every moment of the day!

Religion (re-ligio – Latin) means to reconnect to our Source. We don’t reconnect by asking God for anything except for His service.

Bg. 18.66

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.

Bhagavad Gita 18.66

The great boy saint Prahlada prays in this way…

ŚB 7.10.4

नान्यथा तेऽखिलगुरो घटेत करुणात्मन: ।
यस्त आशिष आशास्ते न स भृत्य: स वै वणिक् ॥ ४ ॥ nānyathā te ’khila-guro
ghaṭeta karuṇātmanaḥ
yas ta āśiṣa āśāste
na sa bhṛtyaḥ sa vai vaṇik

Otherwise, O my Lord, O supreme instructor of the entire world, You are so kind to Your devotee that You could not induce him to do something unbeneficial for him. On the other hand, one who desires some material benefit in exchange for devotional service cannot be Your pure devotee. Indeed, he is no better than a merchant who wants profit in exchange for service.

SB 7.10.4

Indeed, prayer is meant for one purpose, and one purpose only, to beg for more service from the Supreme Lord, service to the Lord, and the Lord’s loved ones. Any other use of prayer is simply a waste.

Still, anyone who has any kind of desire, spiritual or not, is advised to approach God…

अकाम: सर्वकामो वा मोक्षकाम उदारधी: ।
तीव्रेण भक्तियोगेन यजेत पुरुषं परम् ॥ १० ॥
akāmaḥ sarva-kāmo vā
mokṣa-kāma udāra-dhīḥ
tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena
yajeta puruṣaṁ param

A person who has broader intelligence, whether he be full of all material desire, without any material desire, or desiring liberation, must by all means worship the supreme whole, the Personality of Godhead.

Srimad Bhagavatam 2.3.10

And why is that? Because…

सत्यं दिशत्यर्थितमर्थितो नृणां
नैवार्थदो यत्पुनरर्थिता यत: ।
स्वयं विधत्ते भजतामनिच्छता-
मिच्छापिधानं निजपादपल्लवम् ॥ २७ ॥ satyaṁ diśaty arthitam arthito nṛṇāṁ
naivārthado yat punar arthitā yataḥ
svayaṁ vidhatte bhajatām anicchatām
icchāpidhānaṁ nija-pāda-pallavam

The Supreme Personality of Godhead fulfills the material desires of a devotee who approaches Him with such motives, but He does not bestow benedictions upon the devotee that will cause him to demand more benedictions again. However, the Lord willingly gives the devotee shelter at His own lotus feet, even though such a person does not aspire for it, and that shelter satisfies all his desires. That is the Supreme Personality’s special mercy.

Srimad Bhagavatam 5.19.2

What are you praying for?

Why take shelter of a Spiritual Master

Jaanvi, 19th January 2015

Dear all,

Many people in this world have no spiritual master, but are following all the good qualities of human being, moreover, helping needy people, social service, etc. Also, visiting temple and listening to spiritual talks. Now, where will they go after leaving this material body?

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

 

Priya Sutradhar, 19th January 2015

Dear Jaanvi mataji,

Hare Krsna. Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga! All glories to Prabhupad!
Gu means darkness and ru means brightness or knowledge.

The person who helps us to overcome the ignorance of darkness and bring us to the light of knowledge, he is called guru. It is said in Padma purana, that the guru by his power and devotion is capable of rendering a person absolute knowledge and purify him.

And lord Sri Krsna instructs in Bhagawad Gita, if you want to come to Me, if you want to know about Me, first of all go to a bonafide Guru. And if you don’t approach a spiritual master and try to learn scriptures like Gita own your own then all your efforts will prove to be futile.

HG Sriman Sankarshan Das Maharaj explains that “in Krishna consciousness we have a tripod, the three basic legs of bhakti that will solidly situate you on the spiritual platform. They are described as follow by Srila Prabhupada in Chapter Six of the Nectar of Devotion:
(1) Accepting the shelter of the lotus feet of a bona fide spiritual master.
(2) Becoming initiated by the spiritual master and learning how to discharge devotional service from him.
(3) Obeying the orders of the spiritual master with faith and devotion.

All the other items of bhakti are automatically included in these three principles. So if you will simply take shelter of the spiritual master, get initiated by him and always obey him, you will quickly and easily be elevated to the transcendental platform of pure devotional service. In other words, Lord Sri Krishna will become your property”

So dear mataji, in simple words we cannot be liberated from material bandage without the mercy of our spiritual master.

Even if you cannot undergo a formal ceremony, if the spiritual master accepts you and you follow his instructions, that’s initiation. Srila Prahbupada did not get formally initiated until after twelve years after accepting his spiritual master, yet he says from the first meeting, the actual initiation took place, as he accepted his spiritual master within his heart and his instructions as his life and soul.

And as far as the good deeds you mentioned are concerned,everyone is rewarded or punished according to his karma. And if the activities are in Krsna consciousness, Lord Sri Krsna says that anyone who renders even a small amount of service unto Him, it doesn’t go in vain. In this or next life Krsna blesses Him with sufficient intelligent and also makes situation favorable for Him by letting him take birth in a high or vaishnava family so that He can attain the Supreme.

I however have no knowledge. I just made an insignificant attempt to answer and shared what I have learnt from senior devotees. Forgive for any offense.

your servant,
Priya

Yamini Narang, 20th January 2015

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances at your feet.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Guru Mataji.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Dear HG Jaanvi Mataji,

First of all, I totally agree with what Priya said just except one thing that she mentioned.

She mentioned that we are rewarded or punished because of our karma. Actually prabhupada says that we are not rewarded or punished, we get reciprocation to our own deeds. Whatever we do, we get reciprocation of that.

And coming to your question, I know a prabhu he’s actually a very good human being, always eager to help others, social services, very positive, no grudges for anyone etc. In other words a very good person. He’s my uncle and his wife is a very good devotee so once we had a programme at some devotee’s place so she asked this question to the speaker “prabhuji, my husband is a very good person but not a krsna devotee so where will he go after leaving his body?”
And prabhuji said that if you’re having a very positive attitude, very down to earth attitude,you’re very good etc. But you are not serving the Lord then after some births you’ll get to know about the Supreme or as u have a very much service attitude so may be by Krsna’s arrangement you sometime may get a chance to serve a Vaishnava, a pure soul then by his blessings you’ll for sure become a good devotee someday may be in this birth or some other. Prabhuji mentioned a quote by HH Radhanath Swami in this regard “a devotee’s anger can turn all your good qualities bad” so prabhu said the same applies the other way.. If you can serve a Vaishnava and please him his blessings can turn all your bad qualities good. So we should grab any opportunity to serve devotees with both of our hands.

In the end we all have to return back home, Back to God head, we have to go into our original identity, the eternal one. So it depends on our karmas when we get that wonderful opportunity to be able to try to go back home. We are really blessed that we got Srila Prabhupada, the savior of this world. We should follow him very sincerely. He has put in a lot of effort to revolutionize this world and we all should assist him and his wonderful disciples in spreading Lord Chaitanya’s message to the fallen souls in this world and make this Hare Krishna Movement even more successful.

I’m the most fallen soul on this planet. Just tried to share a very little knowledge I had. Please forgive for any offenses committed.

your insignificant servant,
Yamini.

 

Sudarshan Das, 20th January 2015

Hare Krishna,

Such a wonderful question and such wonderful replies!!

Priya Mataji has very beautifully answered the question. I just wanted to mention that someone without a Spiritual Master is like a dog with no master. They do not have the care and protection that a dog with a master has. So getting initiate is a must have. However for those who were not able to attain the perfection stage they are not losers. This is the beauty of putting efforts into a Spiritual goal.

Please refer to the following verses from the 6th Chapter:

Question:
Bg 6.37 — Arjuna said: O Kṛṣṇa, what is the destination of the unsuccessful transcendentalist, who in the beginning takes to the process of self-realization with faith but who later desists due to worldly-mindedness and thus does not attain perfection in mysticism?
Bg 6.38 — O mighty-armed Kṛṣṇa, does not such a man, who is bewildered from the path of transcendence, fall away from both spiritual and material success and perish like a riven cloud, with no position in any sphere?
Bg 6.39 — This is my doubt, O Kṛṣṇa, and I ask You to dispel it completely. But for You, no one is to be found who can destroy this doubt.

Answer:
Bg 6.40 — The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Son of Pṛthā, a transcendentalist engaged in auspicious activities does not meet with destruction either in this world or in the spiritual world; one who does good, My friend, is never overcome by evil.
Bg 6.41 — The unsuccessful yogī, after many, many years of enjoyment on the planets of the pious living entities, is born into a family of righteous people, or into a family of rich aristocracy.
Bg 6.42 — Or [if unsuccessful after long practice of yoga] he takes his birth in a family of transcendentalists who are surely great in wisdom. Certainly, such a birth is rare in this world.
Bg 6.43 — On taking such a birth, he revives the divine consciousness of his previous life, and he again tries to make further progress in order to achieve complete success, O son of Kuru.
Bg 6.44 — By virtue of the divine consciousness of his previous life, he automatically becomes attracted to the yogic principles – even without seeking them. Such an inquisitive transcendentalist stands always above the ritualistic principles of the scriptures.
Bg 6.45 — And when the yogī engages himself with sincere endeavor in making further progress, being washed of all contaminations, then ultimately, achieving perfection after many, many births of practice, he attains the supreme goal.

your Servant,
Sudarshan Das

 

Haldhar Das, 20th January 2015

Hare Krsna mataji,

Qs. Many people in this world have no spiritual master, but are following all the good qualities of human being, moreover, helping needy people, social service, etc. Also, visiting temple and listening to spiritual talks.

It’s a very nice question and personally I feel it’s relevant to everyone as everyone thinks himself the epitome of good qualities. Regarding visiting a temple actually and spiritual master importance, one can answer by pondering over what he was before coming in contact with Iskcon devotees and what he is now.

Some years before I got an acquaintance with such a person, who always used to talk of organizations doing social services etc. and he used to regularly donate there. I wanted to help him in diverting his energy to the source of every energy, so I became friendly with him, with time made him understand the real cause, the best welfare activity, that prevalent social service these days or such welfare activities targeting the body or the outer shirt only whereas our various welfare activities are for the eternal soul which by serving the suffering soul are serving the body automatically like Food For Life Program, Bhakti Vedanta Hospital, Gurukul Institutes etc. So gradually gradually he was convinced and somehow I get him enrolled to “Discover Yourself Course” and now he is not only a regular donor but also fortunately listens to spiritual talks from pure devotee only.

So only going to temple(which one? Following the path shown by acharyas?) does not make one devotee, it’s the motive what one has signifies his real position and regarding listening to spiritual talks Sanatana Goswami says hearing from a non-devotee is like drinking milk being touched by a serpent. So we have to see from the light of the scriptures what a good human being is. Scriptures says, human life starts from enquiring about one’s real position

By chance, I was today morning reading from Srimad Bhagvatam Canto 4th , chapter 25th and verse 5th is answering your question fully on the subject matter i.e. fruitve activities and spiritual master. So I am putting the same below for reference:

While the princes were undergoing severe austerities in the water, their father was performing different types of fruitive activities. At this time the great saint Narada, master and teacher of all spiritual life, became very compassionate upon the King and decided to instruct him about spiritual life. (So we should be compassionate also towards such people)

Narada Muni asked King Pracinabarhisat: My dear King, what do you desire to achieve by performing these fruitive activities? The chief aim of life is to get rid of all miseries and enjoy happiness, but these two things cannot be realized by fruitive activity. (we may too ask as per time , place & circumstances what do they desire to achieve by these fruitive activities)

“The King replied: O great soul, Nārada, my intelligence is entangled in fruitive activities; therefore I do not know the ultimate goal of life. Kindly instruct me in pure knowledge so that I can get out of the entanglement of fruitive activities.” (This shows that such people may be ripe for injecting Krsna consciousness in case they have not become too arrogant with doer mentality or they are doing the same in ignorance or without any ill motive etc.)

Sri Narottama dasa Thakura has sung:
sat-sanga chadi kainu asate vilasa
te-karane lagila ye karma-bandha-phansa

As long as a person is entangled in fruitive activities, he is bound to accept one body after another. This is called karma-banda-phansa, entanglement in fruitive activities. It does not matter whether one is engaged in pious or impious activities, for both are causes for further entanglement in material bodies. By pious activities one can take birth in a rich family and get a good education and a beautiful body, but this does not mean that the distresses of life are ultimately eliminated. In the Western countries it is not unusual for one to take birth in a rich aristocratic family, nor is it unusual for one to have a good education and a very beautiful body, but this does not mean that Westerners are free from the distresses of life. Although at the present moment the younger generation in Western countries has sufficient education, beauty and wealth, and although there is enough food, clothing, and facilities for sense gratification, they are in distress. Indeed, they are so distressed that they become hippies, and the laws of nature force them to accept a wretched life. Thus they go about unclean and without shelter or food, and they are forced to sleep in the street. It can be concluded that one cannot become happy by simply performing pious activities. It is not a fact that those who are born with a silver spoon in their mouth are free from the material miseries of birth, old age, disease and death. The conclusion is that one cannot be happy by simply executing pious or impious activities. Such activities simply cause entanglement and transmigration from one body to another. Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura calls this karma-bandha-phansa.

King Pracinabarhisat admitted this fact and frankly asked Narada Muni how he could get out of this karma-bandha-phansa, entanglement in fruitive activities. This is actually the stage of knowledge indicated in the first verse of Vedanta-sutra: athāto brahma-jijnasa. When one actually reaches the platform of frustration in an attempt to discharge karma-bandha-phansa, he inquires about the real value of life, which is called brahma-jijnasa. In order to inquire about the ultimate goal of life, the Vedas (Mundaka Upaniṣad 11.2.12) enjoin, tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet: “In order to understand the transcendental science, one must approach a bona fide spiritual master.”

King Pracinabarhisat found the best spiritual master, Narada Muni, and he therefore asked him about that knowledge by which one can get out of the entanglement of karma-bandha-phansa, fruitive activities. This is the actual business of human life. Jivasya tattva-jijnasa nartho yas ceha karmabhihḥ. As stated in the Second Chapter of the First Canto of Srimad Bhagvatam (1.2.10), a human being’s only business is inquiring from a bona fide spiritual master about extrication from the entanglement of karma-bandha-phansa.

Qs. Where will they go after leaving their material body?
It’s already answered above. But we may ask them, where are you heading to (in a mood to help them)? Like Narada Muni being compassionate asking above – “My dear King, what do you desire to achieve by performing these fruitive activities?”

Thank you.

your servant,
Haldhar Das

 

Jaanvi, 21st January 2015

Dear Matajis and Prabhujis,

Thanks for sharing all your answers, very enlightening and helpful.

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

 

Sridhar Das, 22nd January 2015

Hare Krishna Mataji!
Please accept my humble obeisances!

The judging factor for whether an activity is spiritual or not, is:

dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ
viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ
notpādayed yadi ratiṁ
śrama eva hi kevalam

“The occupational activities a man performs according to his own position are only so much useless labor if they do not provoke attraction for the message of the Personality of Godhead.” (SB 1.2.8)

Social service, planting trees, feeding the poor, constructing hospitals, digging wells, etc. are great pious acts!

However, the Chaitanya Charitamrita states:

kṛṣṇa-bhakti-rasa-bhāvitā matiḥ
krīyatāṁ yadi kuto ’pi labhyate
tatra laulyam api mūlyam ekalaṁ
janma-koṭi-sukṛtair na labhyate

“Pure devotional service in Kṛṣṇa consciousness cannot be had even by pious activity in hundreds and thousands of lives. It can be attained only by paying one price — that is, intense greed to obtain it. If it is available somewhere, one must purchase it without delay.” (CC Madhya 8/70)

On Jan 20th Srila Gurudeva clarified that if one accepts Srila Prabhupada’s teachings and neglects initiation, that’s committing the third offence: Disobeying the orders of the spiritual master. Initiation is must therefore!

In fact it has repeatedly been emphasized Srila Gurudeva, The tripod of bhakti from The Nectar of Devotion:

1) Taking shelter of a bonafide spiritual master
2) Getting initiated by the spiritual master
3) Following the instructions given by the spiritual master

It is IMPOSSIBLE to attain attraction for the message of Godhead without surrender to the instructions of a spiritual master. Any tasks therefore not directed towards surrender unto the lotus feet of Lord Krishna’s beloved devotee is srama eva hi kevalam, useless labor.

In fact Srila Gurudeva has repeatedly also emphasizes every now and then from the Adi Purana:

ye me bhakta-janah partha
na me bhaktas ca te janah
mad-bhaktanam ca ye bhaktas
te me bhakta-tama matah

“Those who are My devotees are not My devotees, but those who are the devotees of My devotees are My devotees.”

Reading with Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji on 20th, we also read (from SB 2/4/10 purport):

“Therefore, not only is a devotee of the Lord more powerful than the Lord, but also worship of the devotee is considered more effective than direct worship of the Lord (mad-bhakta-pūjābhyadhikā).”

Therefore, if one doesn’t consider it important to surrender to such a surrendered devotee of Krishna, how can he be Krishna’s devotee for he is neglecting Krishna’s most important instructions? To not surrender to bonafide guru means to surrender to maya.

“Out of many millions of wandering living entities, one who is very fortunate gets an opportunity to associate with a bona fide spiritual master by the grace of Kṛṣṇa. By the mercy of both Kṛṣṇa and the spiritual master, such a person receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service.” (CC Madhya 19/151)

Therefore any such person should be considered unfortunate and if favourable, must be approached and offered help, having taken residence at the lotus feet of guru ourself first.

YET, Krishna is tough to be understood. As it was once pointed by His Grace Mahabhagavat Prabhu, who knows how Krishna may promote during death. But this surely is rare.

your servant
Sridhar Das

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“Real Life” past the present one?

Jaanvi, 21st December 2014

Dear all,

Hare Krsna

What to tell to people who are living the present life with complete material enjoyment, and do not see the need to change to spiritual path?

They believe only in present life and even if after life all will be forgotten so they do not care?

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

 

Jagannatha Dasa, 21st December 2014

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

Thanks for the nice question! To begin our discussion on this important topic here are some ideas:

Establish a relationship of trust:
– Does this person know you, and vice versa? Are they a student, a professional. What are their interests? What are their fears?

Understand their interest:

– How many interests, hobbies or fields of knowledge are there in the world? There are countless ways to attract people to Krishna!

The easiest way for someone to begin Krishna consciousness is from the point that piques their interest the most. After establishing a friendly or polite relationship, gradually it becomes clear what level of interest a person lives on. Everyone has some burning interest, which is a strategy they employ in order to get a need met.

What few realize is that these needs are only actually met within the culture of Krishna consiousness, and its up to devotees to help people progressively realize this. (For a detailed analysis of levels of interest, see Krishna Book chapter 87, paragraphs 29-31 in the discussion of the four coverings of the materially conditioned living entity, and the fifth transcendent state where all one’s needs are fully met in devotional service of the Lord.)

Start the journey:

People are interested mainly in eating nicely and having some fun, so a nice foretaste of Krishna consciousness can be had by inviting them for prasadam and kirtan, (you might try “homemade dinner” and “musical meditation” if they aren’t from India). Drawing them in by the tongue can be a fun and non-confrontational way to break the ice.

Once they come over, test the waters, so to speak until they’re curious to get a book. It may not be the first day, but who knows? I had a friend who used to say “This is Krishna’s magic!”

Looking forward to hearing others’ thoughts.

your servant,
Jagannatha dasa

 

Shahvir Balaporia, 22nd December 2014

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

Very resourceful reply. I believe the Lord chooses His devotees by inspiring them from within, we are just his instruments. Whoever the Lord chooses will automatically be attracted to Krishna consciousness just as bees are attracted to honey 🙂

your humble servant,
Shahvir

 

Lalit, 23rd December 2014

Hare krishna!

Let the love for krishna rise from within.

Without the hunger within even the tastiest food appears to be tasteless.

Let the hunger arise, let the desire to connect with the source arise and let the curiosity to know krishna arise.

Don’t get carried away to share your learning without the presence of a deserving patra, as this too is a dosha “maan”.

Because if one tries to explain krishna swaroop to one who is too busy with materialistic pleasures and not interested in knowing Krishna then the one sharing learning is responsible for the displeasure showered upon krishna.

He is known only by his kripa (blessings).

Hare krishna!

 

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 23rd December 2014

Hare Krishna!

Sorry, the hunger to be Krishna conscious is there in everyone, but it is manifesting as a desire for sense gratification… like the jaundiced man who tastes even sugar as bitter. Material desires are a perverted reflection of spiritual desires… no amount of sense gratification ever satisfies the spirit soul.

The devotee has been instructed by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to be humbler than a blade of grass, lower than a straw in the street. Once I asked Srila Gurudeva how to approach a person who was particularly argumentative, and practically offensive, Srila Gurudeva answered “with a straw in your teeth”, which is an expression that denotes deep humility… I did so and the mood of the conversation changed.

Of course, as Bhakta Lalit said, nothing can take place without Krishna’s mercy, so our business is to beg for His mercy, because Krishna does want everyone to be back in the spiritual world, that is why He comes, that is why He sends His representatives.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

 

ratika arora, 23rd December 2014

Hare Krishna.
Dandvat Pranam to all. My humble obeisances unto all the devotees.
All Glories to Srila Gurudeva.
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.
I just read the question and the wonderful answers given to this questions. Thank you so Matajis and Prabhujis. Even I had a same question to ask. For this I have got two point of views. The one presented here and the other is that a devotee must have lot of patience so he or she must keep on trying to convey this message of Krishna and one fine day they will definitely understand. I am a lecturer and my colleagues are very much into material entanglements they give such stupid comments when I speak to them about Krishna. So I was confused what should I do so I asked senior devotees and they told me to go for the second way which I just mentioned. And here I read this that we should see first if they are deserving or not. By asking this question I don’t mean to comment on these wonderful answers. I am asking this because now I am confused again because both the answers given to me are by such wonderful devotees. So kindly guide me what exactly I need to do. As of now I keep serving them little prasadam daily.
Pls forgive me if I said anything wrong. I am just an initial stage devotee and I am trying to do the best I can do. Hope so I represented my doubt in a correct way.

your servent
Ratika Arora

 

Nirmala Devaki Devi Dasi, 23rd December 2014

HARE KRISHNA
Please accept my humble obeisances..

Worship the Lord, whose name is like the sun, for (because) just as slight appearance of the sun dissipates the darkness of night, so a slight appearance of the holy name of Krishna can drive away all the darkness of ignorance that arises in the heart due to greatly sinful activities performed in previous lives.

Please tell me what is darkness of ignorance here??

your servant,
Nishima

 

Bhakta Sunil, 28th December 2014

Hare Krishna Nishima Mataji

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

Your query is important and shows you are trying to understand this ‘king of education’ which is purest of pure and most secret

I hope the following references help in answering your query :

From “Bhagavad Gita As It Is” 10.11 : Due to the contamination of material association, through many, many millions of births, one’s heart is always covered with the dust of materialism, but when one engages in devotional service and constantly chants Hare Kṛṣṇa, the dust quickly clears, and one is elevated to the platform of pure knowledge. The ultimate goal, Viṣṇu, can be attained only by this chant and by devotional service, and not by mental speculation or argument. The pure devotee does not have to worry about the material necessities of life; he need not be anxious, because when he removes the darkness from his heart, everything is provided automatically by the Supreme Lord, who is pleased by the loving devotional service of the devotee. This is the essence of the teachings of Bhagavad-gītā. By studying Bhagavad-gītā, one can become a soul completely surrendered to the Supreme Lord and engage himself in pure devotional service. As the Lord takes charge, one becomes completely free from all kinds of materialistic endeavors.

From Srimad Bhagavatam 1.7.4 Purport : The external energy is compared to darkness because it keeps the living entities in the darkness of ignorance. The word apāśrayam suggests that this energy of the Lord is under full control. The internal potency or superior energy is also called māyā, but it is spiritual māyā, or energy exhibited in the absolute realm. When one is under the shelter of this internal potency, the darkness of material ignorance is at once dissipated.

One homework for you Mataji : Please read Gita As It Is Chapter 14 Verse 8

Hope this helps,

Sincerely,
Bhakta Sunil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 28th December 2014

Mother Ratika,

Hare Krishna!

Your question is relevant.

To this, I can only say that we can answer in principle, but the practical application of the principles is dependent on the specific time, place, and circumstances.

In other words, your own intelligence comes into play in how to share Krishna consciousness others, there is no single hard-and-fast-rule for this, different approaches work in different circumstances. The principles remain the details vary.

Even if someone is unqualified, the devotee’s mercy can make them qualified, this is why the devotee is actually understood as more powerful than Krishna, because Krishna considers Himself the property of the sincere devotee.

Please keep trying your best in an intelligent way – in due course of time you will gain valuable experience and insights into the art of sharing Krishna consciousness with others.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

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Practise before you preach?

Jaanvi, 30th December 2014

Dear all,

Hare Krsna

Could you tell me if it is alright or correct to advise other people about spiritual path?

Even though, one may not be a pure or perfect devotee and may have many faults.

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

 

Bhakta Sunil, 31st December 2014

Mataji Hare Krishna

You can tell them how much you know and realize about this sublime process

Even if you do not practise what you preach , you can tell them : that is what is correct according to Scripture

With regards to this point, hope the following Question-Answer from Ultimate Self Realization E-Course also helps :

Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:
________________________________

Question: How to Develop a Desire for Chanting

________________________________

My Dear Guru Maharaja,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to you and to your worldwide e-preaching!!!
All glories to our dearmost Gurumataji!!!

1. What is the best and the surest way of becoming determined for getting out of bodily identification?

2. How to win over internal laziness?

3. How to chant my rounds so that I feel like chanting? Not just an activity which I have to do, rather something which I want to do?

4. I have heard many times from many devotees: “First be strong in ecstatic in kirtan and japa. Then go out to preach others.” I am not at all strong in either of them. Does that mean I should not go out to preach?

Begging your mercy

Virendra

________________________________

Answer: Remember that You are Meeting Krishna

________________________________

To get out of bodily identification rise early every morning before sunrise, take bath, and deeply absorb yourself in chanting Hare Krishna.

Conquer internal and external laziness by love for Guru, Krishna, and Vaisnavas.

Chanting is enchanting. Even if you don’t taste the ecstasy yet, always remind yourself that chanting Hare Krishna japa is the sweetest, most relishable thing you do each day because it is that time every day when you get to have your own personal, intimate one-on-one private meeting with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna.

Those who only do bhajan but do not share the mercy of Krishna with those who are suffering due to a lack of Krishna consciousness are disobeying Lord Caitanya’s order that we must tell everyone about Krishna. Because of this neglect of Lord Caitanya’s order they will not be able to relish the full taste of Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

————–

Sincerely,

Bhakta Sunil

 

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How can we love someone we dislike?

Yamini Narang, 20 December 2014

Hare Krishna devotees,
Please accept my humble obeisances..
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Mataji….
All glories to Srila Prabhupada..

How can we love or like someone we dislike?

your servant,
Yamini

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 24 December 2014

Dear Mother Yamini,

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

A pure devotee can do this perfectly. We cannot expect ourselves to be at that level from one moment to next, it is a process.

The process is following the principles of sadhana bhakti, chanting our minimum rounds, following the regulative principles, and trying to avoid offenses in chanting, deity worship, and our interactions with others, goes a long way.

Plus, as we study the scriptures, especially Bhagavad Gita, every day Krishna gives us an opportunity to practice the instructions of the Bhagavad Gita. I fall short every single day.

For example, Krishna explains that both like (raga) and dislike (dvesha) are on the platform of duality… when we say “I like”, that means that there is some corresponding “I dislike”. We ourselves can practice seeing this in our actions, and at least act in a fair manner, Srila Prabhupada quoted “satyam bravit priyam bravit”, or “speak the truth but do so in a palatable way”. In this way, even if we don’t like someone, we can act properly towards them, and in due course of time, this dislike will be replaced with a universal love as we begin to see everyone as “mamaiva amsha” or Krishna’s parts-and-parcel, we begin to see everyone in relation to Krishna. You love Krishna, and when you see everyone as Krishna’s, how can you not love them?

The entire process of devotional service, especially devotee association, helps a lot. Every day for example, I meet at least one devotee who is much better than me on a particular service, skill, task or Vaishnava attribute or quality.

These help us, I heard once that in the process of performing our service day after day after day, we may see ourselves full of faults, but others will notice how it is so much more pleasant to interact with us due to the purification we have acquired. This is one reason, for example, that why everyone wants to associate with and serve the spiritual masters, though the spiritual masters don’t see themselves as anything special.

In the meantime, have patience with yourself, trees of valuable fruits like cashew and mango take a long time to mature and yield fruit, but the wait is worth it.

I hope this helps.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Yamini Narang, 01 January 2015

Hare Krishna devotees,
Please accept my humble obeisances..
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Mataji….
All glories to Srila Prabhupada..

thank you all of you for your wonderful replies.
i asked this question to gurudeva and i am sharing gurudeva’s answer here in this post..

From: ISKCON Adelaide, Australia

My Dear Yamini,

Please accept my blessings.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Feel sorry for them that they are not
Krishna conscious.

I hope this meets you in the best of health
and in an ecstatic mood.

Your ever well-wisher,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

kṛṣṇe matir astu (“May you become Krishna conscious”).

this was Gurudeva’s reply

thanks
your servant,
yamini

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