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

Where can classes on the Bhagavad Gita be found online?

Laura, 2 July 2019

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Gurudev

All glories to Srila Prabhuapada

I am a new devotee and know very little

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

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

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

Is that accepted ?

I would welcome any advice

Hare Krishna

Laura

Bhakta Sunil, 2 July 2019

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble respects

All glories to Srila Gurudeva

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

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

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

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

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

Hope this helps,

Sincerely,

Bhakta Sunil

Trino Carrera 2 July 2019

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

Trino Carrera

Helen Thomas, 4 July 2019

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

Hare Krsna!

Helen Thomas

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

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

Love He who made all that

Why do we love someone? Why do we love dogs, cats, and things? What is it about them that we love them or lust for them or are attached to them?

Usually, all living entities have affection for some other living entities. Many living entities also have attachments to things.

If a human does not have other humans to associate with, or if they find those relationships unfulfilling, they often keep a dog or a cat or even fish or a lizard or something else.

Why do we love other living entities? Why are we attached to things?

instead of loving

a dog or a cat

why not love Krishna

who made all that

His Holiness Vishnujana Swami (quoted by His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Everything everyone likes is originally enabled by God. Everyone you love is being personally emanated by God.

Whether its your most precious possession, or your most treasured relationship, there is one source.

Simply recognizing God as the source of every single experience that gives you pleasure is the easiest way to develop love for God.

My spiritual master gives the example of a generous roommate, who keep the fridge full with all kinds of most delicious foods and you are free to use anything you like without any payment in return! What do we pay for the sunlight, the air, the water, the earth, and the life that enables to enjoy it all?

We love or are attached to anyone or anything only because Krishna is manifesting them. Actually our love is for 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/

If we recognize this, we will be fully satisfied, fully content, and blissful always.

Eating a Mango in hiding

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

मुक्तलिङ्गं सदाभासमसति प्रतिपद्यते ।
सतो बन्धुमसच्चक्षु: सर्वानुस्यूतमद्वयम् ॥ ११ ॥

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The wife of the saint didn’t believe him

Great saints invite us to go back home with them. Even today. Will we heed that call?

The saint said to his wife “I’m going home today, are you coming with me?”. She had long written him off as eccentric.

When the great 17th Century saint Tukaram left home that day, and went to a designated spot and started a giant Harinam Sankirtan – congregational chanting of the names of God, many joined him enthusiastically, but hardly anyone knew what was about to happen. Hundreds watched as the scene unfolded.

A giant spacecraft, driven by Garuda, a celestial eagle, landed next to Tukaram. Tukaram, continuing his ecstatic singing, proceeded to mount the vehicle, and the vehicle took off. Tukaram went home, back to Godhead, Vaikuntha, as people watched, open-mouthed.

His wife heard the news and came running, but it was too late, as her pure saintly husband had already long left.

Similarly the great saint A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in the 20th Century exhorted millions to go back home with him, but very few heeded his call.

In the modern times, there are many saints who are inviting us to go back home with them.

Here is one such saint, Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari, ready to take us all back with him. Will you be like Tukaram’s wife or will you heed this call?

https://www.joincourse.com/

Devout Atheists

Does the phrase “Devout Atheist” sound strange to you? Do you know it takes a lot more faith and dogma to believe in atheism? Why do spiritualists bother with atheists?

Sounds strange? Using those words together? But a good friend, Aaron Joy, wrote that to me in an email, and the phrase startled me, and yet rang true!

He described how his parents were devout atheists!

To be an atheist requires a tremendous amount of blind faith.

Here’s the dogma. Once upon a time, no, wait, before time existed, or space or anything else, there was this big explosion that came out of nothing. The explosion happened for no reason whatsoever. And out of that explosion that came out of nothingness, this beautiful ordered well-designed universe showed up. All the planets in their intricate dance, all the stars and galaxies in their beautiful symmetric beauty were accidentally created. All the species with their well-designed abilities appeared by some carefully selected but random manner. All the seasons, the mountains, the rivers, the oceans, the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, they all just are an accident.

All the poetry in the world, the beauty of relationships, everything we cherish is no more significant than random electro-chemical flickering, noise in which we accidentally see any meaning.

Indeed, to be an atheist requires so much strength of belief. Despite evidence to the contrary that nothingness does not exist, that randomness is a myth, they stubbornly cling on to their concocted imaginations. Despite not even a shred of evidence that anything can come out of nothing, they continue to believe in the fairy tale of the big bang! My spiritual master Sankarshan Das Adhikari wrote about the hoax that is the BIg Bang Theory.

Bhakti Charu Swami said it very well. Once he was in Hyderabad, India, looking for a studio to make a movie on the life of Srila Prabhupada, the greatest spiritual leader the world has seen in modern times. He was speaking to the owner of one famous film studio. When the subject of the film was discussed, the owner arrogantly boasted that he was an atheist, by way of challenge.

Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja calmly replied – if there is a blind man who cannot see the beautiful sun, what will you do? You will pity him. Similarly, we pity the atheists that they don’t see beautiful Krishna. And Maharaja took his valuable business elsewhere.

It is one thing to feel pity for someone who cannot see the sun, but what would you feel for the fool who refuses to open his eyes and look at the sun, instead claiming that the sun does not exist? So sometimes we use strong words, we call them fools and we call them rascals, we call them idiots.

We bear no ill will towards anyone. We are just like the surgeon cuts open the body of a diseased person to heal them and an oncologist (doctor who tries to treat cancer) gives poison (chemotherapy) to heal a person suffering from cancer. We bear only compassion. We know that it may not be well-received.

Radhanath Swami Maharaja tells the story of a saintly man who once saw a scorpion drowning. He immediately put his hand in the water and fished it out. The scorpion stung him and fell back into the water. He picked the scorpion up again, and got stung again. This happened several times before the scorpion was on dry land.

When asked about this, the saintly soul replied, “it is the scorpion’s nature to sting, and mine to serve”. So, we are simply trying to serve the poor deluded atheists.

I was once an atheist myself. I was saved by my all these spiritualists, and I even stung many who were trying to save me. But I am saved now, in spiritual consciousness, Krishna consciousness. If I can be saved, anyone can be saved.

Life after life, I pray to pay it forward and reconnect the lost souls to Sri Krishna, the loving, anxious Father, who ever beckons. What’s a few little stings in return for the privilege of taking one soul back home to Godhead?

What to do about unknowingly committed sins?

What do do about unknowingly committed sins?

Rashmi Chhabra, 24 May 2019

Hare Krishna everyone.

Please accept my humble obeisances

I have a query. When we breathe, we kill microbes. When we walk we may kill ants or other tiny creatures. Definitely we are doing sins like this and many other times when we are unaware of.

How to counter or at least minimize reactions from such sins?

Thank you all,

Rashmi

Bhakta Sunil, 24 May 2019

Hare Krishna Mataji,

Regarding your question, i found the following Question-Answer dated 4th May 2019 from daily emails via www.joincourse.com

Question: What is Karma?

What is karma? Is it daily mundane work? Or is it something else?

Ashish Tiwary

Answer:  Our Actions

From: Riga, Latvia

My Dear Ashish,

Please accept my blessings.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Karma is our actions. They bring a material reaction. Everything we do creates a karmic reaction, even our breathing. For example, when we breathe we kill so many microbial germs. The karmic reaction for this is that in a future lifetime we will become microbial germs to be killed by the very same microbial germ, who is now in a human form, that we killed.

The only escape from this powerful wheel of karma is to fully surrender to Krishna, who then mercifully frees us from all of our karmic reactions and takes us back to His eternal abode where there is no birth, no death, no old age, and no disease. There we will enjoy an eternal life, full of bliss, andcfull of knowledge.

I hope this meets you in the best of health

and in an ecstatic mood.

Your ever well-wisher,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sudarshan Das, 24 May 2019

Hare Krishna Mataji,

Please accept my humble obeisances

That’s a very beautiful question. It is beautiful because Arjuna had asked the same question.

arjuna uvāca

atha kena prayukto ’yaṁ

pāpaṁ carati pūruṣaḥ

anicchann api vārṣṇeya

balād iva niyojitaḥ

Synonyms:

arjunaḥ uvāca — Arjuna said; atha — then; kena — by what; prayuktaḥ — impelled; ayam — one; pāpam — sins; carati — does; pūruṣaḥ — a man; anicchan — without desiring; api — although; vārṣṇeya — O descendant of Vṛṣṇi; balāt — by force; iva — as if; niyojitaḥ — engaged.

Translation:

Arjuna said: O descendant of Vṛṣṇi, by what is one impelled to sinful acts, even unwillingly, as if engaged by force?

Bhagavad-gītā 3.36

Simple answer is to be at the stage of doing akarma. When you walk, walk for Krishna; when you breath, breath for Krishna. This way you are not subjected to any sin or reactions.

Your Servant,

Sudarshan Das

Bhakta Shashank, 24 May 2019

Hare Krishna Mata ji,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata ji.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Lord Krishna Says in Bhagavata Gita 18th Chapter, 66th verse:

sarva-dharmān parityajya

mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja

ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo

mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ

Translation:

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/

So we just have to surrender to Krishna and He will take are of everything. But how to do that? We can do that by surrendering to the Spiritual Master.

Your servant,

Sacinandana Das.

Shridhar Das, 24 May 2019

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisance,

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All Glories to Sri Guru & sri Gauranga!

Seeing the enthusiasm, I am also inspired to answer.

Material world is such that one cannot pass a moment without sinning as examples in your question clearly states. Laws of material nature implicates and keeps us all by its shackles in various alluring forms.

Only a rare person in this age of Kali even cares to know how to get rid of such an implication.

Actually, I had once heard from a superior that there is sin tank in our hearts. When we perform devotional activity we immediately become sinless and experience happiness. But later, again the sinful reactions stock up. So this is an ever going cycle.

The solution is that we don’t have to worry about “Becoming sinless” but about “Being Krishna Conscious” as the devotees have already answered wonderfully below by choosing apt verses.

There is no need to give up our routine tasks, but simply changing the goal for whom we are doing the act.

In that way, our working a job, our cooking food, buying vegetables, our saving time, our earning/spending money, sleeping/rising on time, etc. everything will remain the same but because the goal becomes to please Guru & Krishna, all unintended sinful activities shall never act upon us. Not only that, any inclination to commit sinful activity also is uprooted!!! That is speciality of Acting in Transcendental Knowledge. That is why devotees take responsibilities for Krishna in form of Temple Services which keeps them busy in serving Krishna & His devotees. There are various services on this group as well.

In conclusion, the reactions from past constantly keep acting on us but the shield of Krishna Consciousness around us will powder those reactions into dust. We simply need to think of pleasure of Guru & Krishna in whatever we do – will this action/thought/plan/word be a nice offering to Them?

Your servant

Shridhar 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

I live far from others – how may I advance?

I live very far… how to learn, how do I advance?

Danny, 02 July 2018

Hare Krishna!

I respectfully and humbly ask about Guru.

I live far from any temple and know no other devotees. The only reason I even am studying this path is by the grace of Krishna.

My question is it possible to advance in Bhakti isolated as I am? By grace I found this group and course. I am reading Bhagavad Gita and chanting. I listen to lectures and Kirtan. I hope eventually to visit a temple and be with other devotees and see beautiful deities. But for now I only can have an online association. I am grateful for this group. I love Krishna and devotees. My heart longs for real association.

Sorry I am rambling but I’m not even sure what or how to go about this.

Hare Krishna!

Danny F

Rupa Manjari devi dasi, 03 July 2018

Hare Krishna, Danny

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories Srila Gurudev

All glories to Srila Prahbupada.

You appear to have a strong realization of the importance of association.  If we wish to advance and not be distracted from the path we must have strong association, regular association of like minded devotees and senior guidance. 

However the quality of association is the most important thing.  One may be in the association of many devotees but not actually utilise that association.  I see you understand how to proper utilize association by your nice inquiry.  It is good you are listening regularly to lectures and chanting and a participant in this group.  And because you are part of this group you must be getting my spiritual masters ‘thought of the day”. You May also wish to inquire directly with His Grace Sankarshan das Adhikari who is a self realized Spiritual master ,Guru, whenever you have the need. His e-mail address is sda@backtohome.com.

You also have the Association of Srila Prabhupada when you read his books.  You also have the association of Krishna when you read and chant and remember him.

The answer to your question, is it possible to advance when you are in an isolated situation? is yes.  If you properly utilise all the association that is readily available to you.  Though being physically around the temple and devotees physically makes it easier for the simple reason it brings devotees together so we can serve Krishna together.  As  we hear more and chant more the desire to engage in devotional service to the Lord increases.  To do this on your own is more difficult but not impossible. For eg when devotees come together to serve the deity in the temple it is very powerful and encouraging, though one may also serve Krishna in picture form or deity form at home.  One can cook for the Lord offer nice foodstuffs and do Aarti, bath him, dress him, make Garland’s etc.  Home deity worship is especially meant for those who live far from the temple.  If you want to try some extra mercy and make super fast advancement one can perform sankirtan. One can take some books of Srila Prahbupada and distribute to people in your local area, or do a harinam or kirtan in the public so everyone can become liberated from the cycle of birth and death.  Or distribute prasadam.  There are many wonderful stories how devotees made advancement in this way. But the best way to make advancement is to serve Krishna under the guidance of the bonfire spiritual master.   In such a situation one can constantly feel the association of the devotees, Guru and Krishna.  So I strongly suggest you contact HG Sankarshan das Adhikari, which I previously gave the e-mail address and ask how to best serve krishna in your situation.

Where do you live.? It may be there might be some devotees in your area.

your servant

Rupa Manjari dd

Danny F, 05 July 2018

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

All glories to Srila Gurudev

Hare Krishna

Thank you for your response! I also contacted Srila Gurudev! He also responded! It is so heartening to know that I can have contact with devotees and a Guru! I thank Krishna for the internet and this group and Gurudev using this platform to teach!

Hare Krishna!

Amanda Saksman, 05 July 2018

Hare Krishna, Danny Prabhu!

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Guru Mataji!

I don’t think you need to worry about it. I suppose most of the devotees live outside the temple. I also live quite far away and as often as possible I travel to the temple or to see and hear HG Sankarshan das Adhikari Prabhu and Guru Mataji. I used to live at the temple, though, but it is not a measurement scale for anything. Krishna is everywhere!

I wish you good luck with developing your Krishna Consciousness!

Sincerely,

your servant,

Bhaktin Amanda

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 05 July 2018

Hare Krishna! This exchange is the exact reason why Srila Gurudeva started the Ultimate Self Realization Course nearly 20 years ago. The goal is to serve every soul on the planet, and give them the opportunity to reconnect with Krishna, by reconnecting with those who are connected / want to connect with Krishna.

We started this group, sda_students, in 2011, and many volunteers work behind the scenes to make this group a welcoming place for such beautiful interactions. To these volunteers, my humble obeisances.

But above all? It is you, dear group members, who make this group alive and Krishna conscious. Thank you for giving us your association!

Lila Manjari devi dasi, 06 July 2018

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to dearmost Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

All glories to all wonderful Devotees

Thank you for your wonderful query. It reminds me of how I came to Krishna consciousness.

I live far from any temple and know no other devotees. The only reason I even am studying this path is by the grace of Krishna.

I was in the same position few years back. This is the best part of your Krishna consciousness actually if you can keep longing for that association. And your being connected to Krishna consciousness in such situation very strongly proves the unlimited mercy of Lord Krishna and His pure devotees.  This proves that our heart is like an open book in front of the Lord and when He sees the sincere desire of a soul, He gives ALL facilities for advancement in bhakti.

My question is it possible to advance in Bhakti isolated as I am? By grace I found this group and course. I am reading Bhagavad Gita and chanting. I listen to lectures and Kirtan. I hope eventually to visit a temple and be with other devotees and see beautiful deities. But for now I only can have an online association. I am grateful for this group. I love Krishna and devotees. My heart longs for real association.

Once again the same situation. This group has been a great blessing for me to get all the wonderful association of exalted devotees. Also the online book club has helped me a lot to study(not just read) Srila Prabhupada books and understand the philosophy of Krishna consciousness.

And of course as you are already doing, you can also write to Srila Gurudeva (s…@backtohome.com) for guidance in your specific situations.

Kindly forgive me if I have mentioned something inappropriate.

Thank you.

Hare Krishna

your insignificant servant

Lila Manjari devi dasi

Rupa Manjari devi dasi, 08 July 2018

Hare Krishna

Dear Danny

Please continue to participate actively on this forum.  Your association is much welcomed and appreciated.  It is wonderful you are also directly associating with Gurudeva.  If you aren’t already, try joining the online live classes he gives, they are nectar.  It is just the same as being there.

Thankyou Mahabhagavat Prabhu for pointing out the wonderful services the devotees are doing behind the scenes to maintain this forum of association.

your servant

Rupa Manjari dd

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

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


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.

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


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.