The Hare Krishnas are not pessimistic, optimistic, or realistic – we are simply joyful!

Are the Hare Krishnas pessmistic? Are they realistic? Why do they keep talking about death and the futility of the material pursuit? Could it be, could they be, simply… joyful?

Brajanath Das, 20th February 2017

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

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

Please help me to how to explain if someone says that the Hare Krishnas are not realistic but pessimistic

your servant
Brajanath das

Bhaktarupa Das, 21st February 2017

Dear Brajanath Prabhu,

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

You have asked what if someone questions why Hare Krishna’s are pessimistic. You wanted to explain to them that we are realistic and not pessimistic.

One of the dictionary meaning of “pessimistic” is
“tending to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen”.

Dictionary meaning of “optimistic” is
“hopeful and confident about the future.”

If we introspect ourselves, as devotees we follow the regulative principles and chant at least 16 rounds of mahamantra every day.
Generally for non-devotees, following them every day is very austere and difficult. In fact even for devotees in the beginning it is very austere and difficult. But still why do we try to follow them strictly? If there is no benefit in doing so, why do we still do it? The fact is there is immense benefit.

A student who is serious to graduate from school, undergoes severe austerities in studying the subjects thoroughly by spending long hours, sacrificing other recreational activities like watching movies, TV, passing time in browsing internet, Facebook, whats-app, etc. which the student would have engaged in these recreational activities if not serious about graduating from the school. Such taking up of austerities by the student should be criticized as being pessimistic? or appreciate the student as being optimistic who spends time in recreational activities by neglecting to prepare for the graduation?

The sincere student who takes up austerities for graduating is the one who is actually optimistic about the life. The student sees a very bright future and enjoy bigger happiness by taking up these austerities. But the student who does not see the value of graduating from school and spends time in immediate recreational activities is the one who is actually pessimistic. Because the student is pessimistic, looks for all those things that can give immediate sense enjoyments rather than taking up austerities now for a bigger and lasting happiness in the future.

Similarly we “sadhakas” or practicing devotees, also take up austerities now because we are optimistic about our future. We wanted to taste lasting happiness, we realize that the happiness or pleasures provided by the immediate recreational activities did not give us lasting happiness, which every one of us are looking for. This is the exact same thing Lord Sri Krishna and the saintly devotees in the line of disciplic succession are teaching us. We are infected with the disease of ignorance, which hides our original identity, nature and relationships. They teach us on how to get rid of the disease and rise above and situate in the platform of pure last happiness. That process is called Krishna Consciousness. In the beginning these austerities might seem to be very bitter. But Krishna explains that happiness which is bitter in the beginning and becomes nectar in the end is in the mode of goodness. Scriptures explain that this is called “shreyas”, but that happiness which is like nectar in the beginning and becomes bitter in the end is in the mode of passion, called as “preyas”. The sense pleasures provided by the recreational activities are in the mode of passion. It will appear nectar in the beginning but it will turn to be bitter or even poison in the end.

Optimistic people take up austerities to obtain lasting happiness; but pessimistic people settle with immediate temporary pleasures, not seeing the optimistic future. Therefore the Hare Krishna devotees are not only realistic but in fact they are optimistic.

Hare Krishna!

your servant,
Bhaktarupa Das

Dra Varni, 21st February

Hare Krsna!!! Very optimistic, destination and a vehicle for departure. dra

Dra Varni

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 22nd February 2017

Dear Brajanath Prabhu,

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

Thank you for the question, and a rare and wonderful response from Bhaktarupa Prabhu! Thank you!

Such questions really should be answered in the same vein as they are asked – most people asking such questions about Hare Krishnas are really not serious about understanding spiritual life – why should we justify anything to anyone? We don’t owe casual askers anything. When someone is serious, then they ask questions differently, and they accompany their question with actions too, trying to do something about their spiritual progress. So we should know when to answer and when not to answer directly.

Actually, we are truly pessimistic about anyone’s chances in the material world, everyone who was born in the material world eventually dies. And everyone who tries to make some nice situation here fails, at minimum, at death, but mostly everyone fails at other times too. We challenge anyone on this point – so many empires have come and gone, so many people have come and gone, so many great people are totally forgotten – what is the value of material efforts? Zero, it all comes to nought.

And we are immensely optimistic about Krishna’s mercy, in fact, we are not just optimistic, but we are experiencing it every day, so we have got direct confidence by personal experience.

The best answer I got to such questions was “try it and see for yourself”. If someone chants Hare Krishna even just once they will benefit more than anything I can say to them for all my lifetime:

https://www.vedabase.com/bg/9/2

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

This knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realization, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed. BG 9.2

Srila Prabhupada writes in the purport:

“Generally, people are not educated in this confidential knowledge; they are educated in external knowledge. As far as ordinary education is concerned, people are involved with so many departments: politics, sociology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, astronomy, engineering, etc. There are so many departments of knowledge all over the world and many huge universities, but there is, unfortunately, no university or educational institution where the science of the spirit soul is instructed. Yet the soul is the most important part of the body; without the presence of the soul, the body has no value. Still people are placing great stress on the bodily necessities of life, not caring for the vital soul.”

Then he writes: “It is said that the execution of devotional service is so perfect that one can perceive the results directly. This direct result is actually perceived, and we have practical experience that any person who is chanting the holy names of Kṛṣṇa (Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare) in course of chanting without offenses feels some transcendental pleasure and very quickly becomes purified of all material contamination. This is actually seen. Furthermore, if one engages not only in hearing but in trying to broadcast the message of devotional activities as well, or if he engages himself in helping the missionary activities of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he gradually feels spiritual progress. This advancement in spiritual life does not depend on any kind of previous education or qualification. The method itself is so pure that by simply engaging in it one becomes pure.”

And finally, to conclude (purport continues but for this point – this is sufficient):

“The process of devotional service is a very happy one (su-sukham). Why? Devotional service consists of śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ, so one can simply hear the chanting of the glories of the Lord or can attend philosophical lectures on transcendental knowledge given by authorized ācāryas. Simply by sitting, one can learn; then one can eat the remnants of the food offered to God, nice palatable dishes. In every state devotional service is joyful. One can execute devotional service even in the most poverty-stricken condition. The Lord says, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam: He is ready to accept from the devotee any kind of offering, never mind what. Even a leaf, a flower, a bit of fruit, or a little water, which are all available in every part of the world, can be offered by any person, regardless of social position, and will be accepted if offered with love. There are many instances in history. Simply by tasting the tulasī leaves offered to the lotus feet of the Lord, great sages like Sanat-kumāra became great devotees. Therefore the devotional process is very nice, and it can be executed in a happy mood. God accepts only the love with which things are offered to Him.”

We are not even realistic, we are simply joyful! 🙂

Srila Prabhupada’s final words in that purport?

“Thus the process of devotional service, of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is the king of all education and the king of all confidential knowledge. It is the purest form of religion, and it can be executed joyfully without difficulty. Therefore one should adopt it.”

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

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Eating Meat is not for Spiritualists

Many aspiring spiritualists, while trying to pursue a spiritual path, also consume meat, yes, from slaughtered creatures.

यातयामं गतरसं पूति पर्युषितं च यत् ।
उच्छिष्टमपि चामेध्यं भोजनं तामसप्रियम् ॥ १० ॥

yāta-yāmaṁ gata-rasaṁ
pūti paryuṣitaṁ ca yat
ucchiṣṭam api cāmedhyaṁ
bhojanaṁ tāmasa-priyam

Food prepared more than three hours before being eaten, food that is tasteless, decomposed and putrid, and food consisting of remnants and untouchable things is dear to those in the mode of darkness. BG 17.10

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/17/10/

Leaders of many spiritual traditions choose to turn a blind eye, giving in to “give them what they want”, instead of “teach them what they need”.

For example, one of the Commandments in the Bible states “Thou Shalt Not Kill”. It’s clear as daylight, “Not Kill”. But many church leaders, eager to fill up their churches and their coffers with the money of those addicted to meat and blood, interpret that as “Thou Shalt Not Murder”, in other words, it’s ok to slaughter those poor cows. We can’t blame business-people for wanting to maximize their profits at all costs, but are these religious leaders genuinely spiritual?

Whatever happened to “As you sow, so shall you reap”? Inflict all that horror and cruelty upon another sentient being and expect peace and enlightenment in return?

A good friend told me “its not what goes inside that defiles a man, but what comes out”. So, let’s think about that for a moment. One regulatory definition of meat is as follows ” the carcass of a food animal, the blood of a food animal, or a product or by-product of its carcass.”

Eating “carcass”, “blood”, or a product or by-product of “carcass and/or blood” makes you all spiritually surcharged does it?


It is only through brute mentality that this killing goes on. The civilized method of obtaining needed fat is by milk. Slaughter is the way of subhumans. Protein is amply available through split peas, dāl, whole wheat, etc.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada BG 17.10 Purport

Anyone who wants to pursue spiritual advancement, needs to stay away from this bloodthirsty behaviour. Regardless of which spiritual tradition someone follows, it is possible to follow that tradition without the consumption of meat.

It wasn’t long ago, that certain peoples, nations, races, were not seen as human, yes, even just a few decades ago. But today, that is seen as backward and barbaric. It is envy of others that causes such callousness. “Let him die so I may live”.

I look forward to the day when eating meat from slaughtered birds, animals, and insects is seen as something reserved for other carnivorous creatures who have no choice, no intelligence, and certainly no ability to progress spiritually.

In the meantime, I pray this prayer, following in the footsteps of the great boy saint Prahlada:


स्वस्त्यस्तु विश्वस्य खल: प्रसीदतां
ध्यायन्तु भूतानि शिवं मिथो धिया ।
मनश्च भद्रं भजतादधोक्षजे
आवेश्यतां नो मतिरप्यहैतुकी ॥ ९ ॥
svasty astu viśvasya khalaḥ prasīdatāṁ
dhyāyantu bhūtāni śivaṁ mitho dhiyā
manaś ca bhadraṁ bhajatād adhokṣaje
āveśyatāṁ no matir apy ahaitukī


May there be good fortune throughout the universe, and may all envious persons be pacified. May all living entities become calm by practicing bhakti-yoga, for by accepting devotional service they will think of each other’s welfare. Therefore let us all engage in the service of the supreme transcendence, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and always remain absorbed in thought of Him.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/5/18/9/

“all envious persons may undergo a change of heart and think of the welfare of others.”

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, SB 5.18.9 Purport

Check out this book, A Higher Taste. If you want to, then follow your own spiritual tradition, omit bloodthirst, feel your own advancement, help others advance too. Need resources? Contact me.

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Why does talk about religion make some people uncomfortable

Bhakta Sunil, 14th April 2014

Hare Krishna everyone!

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

Why do some persons avoid talking about religion? or try to keep the topic ‘private’?

regards,
sunil

Sudeep Manchanda, 16th April 2014

Hare Krishna,

I feel that people in general have started relating ‘religion’ with a set of orthodox beliefs which do not align with today’s scientific world. I guess a lot of people shy away from talking about God or any other related topics because they fear being categorized as someone who would follow things without a logic or does not challenge it. This is mainly because the so called called ‘religious’ people find it difficult to explain to the world what they feel is correct.

What would be your reaction if one asks you “Does God exists?”.. answers can be yes, no or maybe but a lot of times this answer is not dependent on your belief but on the fact that would one be able to justify the answer or not. So to avoid any debate … a lot of people would say ‘maybe’.

That is where Srila Prabhupada has shown his mercy. He has provided us with the answers to all the questions so that we can with confidence say that yes God exists and yes I follow the process of bhakti.

Regards,
Sudeep Manchanda

Bhakta Sunil, 16th April 2014

Very nice points in your reply! An eye-opener , helpful to keep in mind while preaching Jaya! Thanks ys, sunil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 18th April 2014

Nice question! Nice answer also! One can tell both Sunil and Sudeep are thinking about this and trying to share Krishna consciousness with others! 🙂

Here are some points which come out:

1. People really don’t know anything much about religion/God, and who wants to look foolish not knowing something, which, supposedly, internal desire, they feel they ought to know about.

2. They fear that if their understanding differs from yours, then the relationship they have is at stake – in other words, it may become an “irreconcilable difference”

3. They fear that the person who wants to talk about religion/God will bash them on the head with all sorts of dogma

4. They have been brainwashed by the atheists to believe that to be God conscious is to be foolish – it is some kind of peer pressure to look “cool”

5. They feel they already know better than you, and that you are too slow to understand what they know, and they cannot be bothered to take the trouble (but actually the more someone actually knows about God, the more they want to share, no matter how unqualified the other person appears to be)

6. They genuinely have *no* ability to show interest because they are so busy with the hard struggle for existence or satisfying the shrill demands of the senses

7. They don’t really care about anything at all, God consciousness included, and nothing (job etc.) is at stake so they don’t pretend to be interested in God consciousness as they would pretend to be interested in other things

8. They don’t trust me enough to be able to share such a deep personal thing with me.

There are many many more, the more we try to share Krishna consciousness, the more we get to know about all the blocks.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Bhakta Sunil, 18th April 2014

Jaya! thank you again and again to all the respondents with humble respects

your insignificant servant,
Bhakta Sunil

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What is the Difference between Intelligence and Knowledge?

Geetha, 31st March 2013

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

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

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

Thanking you,
your servant,
Geetha

Virendra, 31st March 2013
Hare Krishna mataji,

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

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

Knowledge sharpens your intelligence.

your servant,
Virendra
Rathin Mandal, 31st March 2013

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

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

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

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

your Servant
Rathin
Bhakta Shashank, 1st April 2013

Hare Krishna Prabhuji,

Dandvats Pranam.

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

Very nicely explained Prabhuji. Very nice 🙂

your servant,
Shashank.
Geetha, 2nd April 2013

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

Thank you Virendra Prabhu for you reply.

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

Thanking you,
your servant,
Geetha.

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

Is it necessary to live in a temple or monastery for spiritual progress?

Francisco, Aug 25 2011

All glories to Srila Prabhupada
All glories to the devotees of Krishna

Dear student group devoted to the SDA, I wish you a happy life with Krishna and took the opportunity to ask this question:

To be a good devotee of Krishna is it essential to live in a temple of Krishna?  Hare Krishna

Your servant and friend
Francisco

 
Mahabhagavat Das SDA, Aug 25 2011
Dear Francisco Prabhu,

Hare Krishna!

In today’s environment, over 99% of the devotees of ISKCON live outside the temple, as they are householders.

Temple environment is definitely most conducive to spiritual life, but it is not a prerequisite to a Krishna Conscious life. In fact, if someone is not ready, then temple environment can scare them, because it is very austere and one has to be very surrendered to stay on in a temple for all of one’s life.

I take it that you don’t live in a temple… you may have some way of earning a livelihood, think every morning who are you working for, not for your employer, not for your family, not for yourself, but for Krishna. Chant Hare Krishna minimum 16 rounds and follow the 4 regulative principles strictly. This is 50% temple life. In your home you have walls and book shelves, saturate them with Krishna and His devotees. You have some entertainment equipment? Listen to Krishna’s devotees speaking. You have some space in a clean comfortable corner of your home? Invite Krishna to come and live there, and care for Him at least as you would care for your dearest most respected human friend. Every day you eat something. So please cook for Krishna what He likes, and take only His remnants. Krishna Prasadam. Finally, according to your capacity, help the devotees who are not working to preach Krishna Consciousness all over the world. Go to temple whenever you can.

In this way, we can strive to make our heart and home into a temple for Krishna.

Your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das
                      
Francisco, Aug 25 2011
Loved and admired Das Mahabhagavat

Hare Krishna!

Prabhu, I will, but how to offer the food to Krishna?

Your servant,
Francisco

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, Aug 25 2011

Dear Francisco Prabhu,
Hare Krishna! You are very kind Francisco Prabhu.

Here is an introduction to how you may prepare and offer food to Krishna and take His Prasada.

http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/how_to_offer_food.htm

For all, the website http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com is a wonderful website with a lot of information about basic things and advanced things in Krishna Consciousness.

Your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das
 
Francisco, Aug 25 2011

Dear Mahabhagavat Das:

Please extend your comment about whether it is possible for a devotee of Krishna who does not live in a temple to achieve self-realization, that is, become a pure devotee of Krishna?  Are there examples of this?

Thanks for your time dedicated
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Your servant and friend
Francisco

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, Aug 25 2011

Dear Francisco Prabhu,

Hare Krishna!

We have to understand that “becoming a pure devotee” is not something that is dependent on something external, like living in the temple. Otherwise it would be a really simple formula!  🙂 Otherwise, the millions of people in India who live in Holy towns would all be pure devotees.

Yes, there are many examples of persons who lived in their own homes and were pure devotees. His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is such an example. He was a pure devotee even when running a pharmacy business and maintaining his family. Bhaktivinode Thakura is also such an example.

In my personal life, I have the great benefit of observing many such persons who are exceedingly pure in their devotion, but because these persons are very humble they will never advertise themselves. But I can see that their every thought, word and deed is dedicated to serving Krishna. They have never lived in a temple except for visiting other places, etc.

Your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Colour of Lord Krishna and Meaning of Plenary Expansion

Sunil, 20th July 2011

Respected Disciples and Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances

On reading books of Krishna Consciousness I understand that amazing knowledge is shared in this group and I am thankful to all group members who do so

I would like to ask following two questions:

What is the colour of Lord Krishna? I think that I have read that Lord Krishna’s colour is black as cloud and in photos I have many times seen Lord Krishna is blue in colour, So I am confused

Please also tell what is meaning of plenary expansion

Regards

Sunil

Indira G, 20th July 2011

Please accept my humble obeisances

I dont know whether my answer will help you or not  but i think Shri Krishna , the brahma is symbol of infinity so he appears in color of some time in deep blue or some time in black, or some time in green all  dark shades of all three hues reminds us the unfathomable depth of brahma.

Thanks & Regards

Indira G

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 21th July 2011

Dear Sunil Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you very much for your active involvement and participation. This shows that you are really engaging your intelligence in Prabhupada’s books.

Krishna’s color: Is not material in nature! It is a spiritual color, cannot be seen by anyone with material eyes. In various texts, Krishna is described as “blackish”, or “color of a newly formed rain cloud” or bluish in complexion, the color of the Tamal tree, etc. It is important to note that Krishna’s color is not static, for example, He may take the color that pleases Him most, and this could change – for example, the complexion of Radharani, or any other color that pleases Him. In deity form, it is said that the pure devotee sees Him as He is. So our goal should be to purify ourselves so that we may see Krishna face-to-face and see for ourselves what is really His color – as Lord Brahma says in the Brahma Samhita, and as Srila Gurudeva repeats often “Premanjana Chhurita Bhakti Vilochanena” – we can only see Him with eyes smeared with the ointment of Love, pure Love for Krishna. There is no mundane explanation for Krishna’s color. The impersonalists say that Krishna is a certain color because Krishna represents Brahman, but this is not correct. Krishna is the source of Brahman, the Brahmajyoti or Brahman effulgence emanates from His transcendental body, not the other way around – crude example: the sunshine exists because of the sun, not that the sun exists because of the sunshine.

Plenary expansion: Means expansion that carries the full potency of the original. This means that just because Sri Narayana is an expansion of Krishna, that does not mean that Sri Narayana is not all-powerful or omnipresent. Plenary expansion of Krishna means Vishnu-tattva. All the living entities are also expansions of Krishna, but we are not plenary expansions, we are jiva tattva, it means that we are one in quality with Krishna, that we are full of knowledge and bliss, but in quantity we are infinitesimal…

Dictionary meaning from dictionary.com is given below:

Origin: 1510s, earlier plenar  (late 13c.), from M.L. plenarius  “entire, complete,” from L. plenus  “full,” from PIE *ple-  “to be full”

as an adverb:

full; complete; entire; absolute; unqualified: plenary powers

attended by all qualified members; fully constituted: a plenary session of Congress.

As an adjective: full and complete in every respect

Your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

SUPARTHA RUDRA, 21th July 2011

Hare Krishna Sunil Prabhuji,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

The explanation given by Mahabhagavat Prabhuji is very nice and complete in sense.

With this may I most humbly add something that I recently read in this group?

It has been written by Jagannath Parbhuji. I’m just putting it below:

In Srila Prabhupada’s purport to Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya Lila Chapter 9,

text 144 he compares the qualities of Vishnu and Krishna.

“Lord Narayana has sixty transcendental qualities. Over and above these,

Krishna has four extraordinary transcendental qualities absent in Lord

Narayana. These four qualities are (1) His wonderful pastimes, which are

compared to an ocean, (2) His association in the circle of the supreme

devotees in conjugal love (the gopés), (3) His playing on the flute, whose

vibration attracts the three worlds, and (4) His extraordinary beauty, which

surpasses the beauty of the three worlds. Lord Krishna’s beauty is unequaled

and unsurpassed.”

From this it is clear that even though Lord Sri Krishna & His unlimited PLENARY EXPANSIONS are at the same plane but their moods (bhava) are different. Srila Prabhupad used to give the example of a Supreme Court Judge in the office (comparable to Lord Narayan) and that same Supreme Court Judge in his home( comparable to Lord Shri Krishna). In the Court room every body has respect with awe & reverence for the Judge. But in home that same Judge is enjoying sweet loving reciprocation with all the family members. That graveness of court room is not their in home. Similarly with Lord Shri Krishna the loving devotional service attitude dipped in either of the above-mentioned FOUR  TRANSCEDENTAL mellows can be sweetly reciprocated. But for us, we should consider ourselves as das anu das–servant of the servant of the Lord Shir Krishna and perform our devotional service following proper regulation prescribed in the scriptures under the expert and bonafide guidance of pure devotee (Spiritual Master) of Lord.

your servant,

supartha rudra

Sunil, 21st July 2011

Respected Devotees and Disciples

Please accept my humble obeisances

When I have read your answers I have felt satisfaction

Maybe this is what is called Relishing the nectar of transcendental knowledge

Regards

Sunil

Do all paths lead to God?

Sen,16 May,2011

 

Sages of all ages preached to hold steadfastly to your own belief and through introspection one can reach the ultimate truth of self realisation.

 

This can be seen over the ages, for which different cults, sects, believers emerged in this world over, with different religions and variety of practices to help the mundane, the lowliest of the lowly, all children of god, to rise above the rest and be free.

 

This feeling of one-self to be one with the whole is the ultimate achievement in one’s life, be it through any means. One should not be dogmatic that my path is the best. It is for the learner to choose which path suits him best as per his self-like and dislike.

 

Through the passage of time, the more one progresses, more one becomes refined, silence and peace dwells within his heart and becomes above all these petty issues.

Whoever likes Krishna, let him come to this path. Whoever likes Shiva or Kali or any other form of god, let him or her choose the same and be free.

 

Does the Krishna Bhakta’s believe in this ideology or is there something more in their understanding on the path of realisation? Of course, the path of love is the shortest way to reach to the ultimate truth and the core of all religions preaches the same.

 

pranathi sundaragiri,16th May,2011

 

Hare Krishna!

All glories to Guru and Gauranga 🙂

 

Religion is the order of God. Dharman tu sakshad bhagavat pranitam. So 1st of all, we must know who is God, then we take education about what His orders are and how to follow them. If we donot know who is God then where is the question of following His orders??

 

The orders of God are very clearly enunciated in our scriptures which tell us that the Supreme, the Highest, the Personality of Godhead is Lord Sri Krishna. We are also informed of the various prescribed ways to approach Him based on our currently prevalent material condition. The same has been advocated by sages of all times.

All this, IF we are serious about our spiritual life- our real life. If we want to imagine and manufacture, we can always do so. But the results are highly questionable.

Krishna is God. He is accepted by all the realized souls Including Shiva, Devi, Brahma and all the great acharyas including the famous mayavadi acharya, Sri Shankaracharya. God cannot be manufactured or imagined. Nor can someone become God just because a few people believe in them.

The idea of moksha as being fused with the Brahman aspect of God is highly prevalent but it is one of the five and, in fact, the least favoured type of liberation -known as sayujya mukti. The result of following a religion or dharma, the true test is whether we have learnt to love God, Adhokshaja.

sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokshaje -srimad Bhagawatam 1.2.6

 

Hare Krishna

 

Milind Joshi,16th May,2011

 

Hare Krishna!

 

Thank you for this lively discussion.

 

It is best to also reflect on some writings by Srila Gurudeva, Sri Sankarshan Das Adhikari on this subject.

 

There are many many more writings on this subject as it is a common question.

 

Humbly,

Milind

 

From 23 Sep 2009

Request:  Help Me Get Out of Suffering

——————————————————————————–

 

Dear Gurudeva,

Please accept my deepest respects for your love and devotion to God and for delivering the human race from suffering.

If I can be granted any mercy or favor in your sight, please respond with patience and understanding for my ignorance and gross darkness; I am not a devotee.

1. I have the most difficult time trusting God since my prayers don’t get answered.

2. I gather that He is aloof and that there is no guarantee for salvation unless I earn it, and still there is no guarantee. Because of unanswered prayers in my practices, I struggle with trusting any deity though I thirst for a personal living God. I am told there is one, but He is not real to me. I am reluctant to surrender to a deity for fear of discouragement, and I am thus walking away from God like I have done many times in the past. Voidism is a ‘safe haven’ for avoiding this discouragement by putting my salvation all on me, but it does not fulfill the heart of craving for fellowship. Plus, I have been let down by false masters who have knowledge but no wisdom. Worse, they knock other religions and have monetary motivations. Please assist me in this search and help me get out of suffering.

Thank you.

Your student

 

——————————————————————————–

Answer: Follow My Instructions. You Will Be Saved.

——————————————————————————–

 

If you are prayers are not being answered, you are not praying properly. It is a fact that God is aloof from those approach Him to fulfill their material desires. But He becomes the intimate associate of those who approach Him to humbly submit themselves at His feet as His eternal servants. Your salvation is 100% guaranteed if you will simply surrender yourself to Him. Voidness or the philosophy of absolute nothingness can never bring happiness to your heart because it denies your very existence, which is an obvious absurdity. If a guru teaches that there are different religions, he is not bona fide because religion is one, to become a pure lover God. And he is after your money, he is also not bona fide because the bona fide spiritual master is attracted to Krishna and only to Krishna.

If you are ready to fully open heart and learn the science of bhakti, I am willing to teach you, but for the teachings to be effective you have to be willing to carefully and sincerely follow my instructions. If you will adopt the proper practice of bhakti under qualified guidance I can assure you that will gradually become free from all suffering.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

 

 

 

From June 4, 2006:

 

Why Does God Have Different Rules for Different Religions?…

 

Why do people fight in the name of religion? To stop doing such deeds, what are Krishna’s thoughts, as well as what do you feel about it? If God is one, then why Islamic people are so cruel for their religion? Why does god differentiate between Hindu, Muslim or Christian? Why does He have different rules for different religions?

 

What is the difference between religion, peace and love?

 

With regards,

 

Sangita

 

There Are Not Different Religions…

 

People who fight in the name of religion do so in complete ignorance of what is the meaning of religion. Religion means to obey the laws of God. It does not mean to exploit others. A devotee, a lover of God, does not even want to harm an ant because he sees every living being as a dear child of God.

 

God does not differentiate between religions because there is no such thing as different religions. It is man who has concocted these different so-called religions. God has given us one religion, to develop our pure love for Him.

 

True religion means to become a true lover of God and all of His creation. Only someone who comes to this platform can experience real peace. This is described by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita as follows:

 

bhoktaram yajna-tapasam

sarva-loka-mahesvaram

suhrdam sarva-bhutanam

jnatva mam santim rcchati

 

“Only that person who knows Me to be the Supreme Enjoyer, the Supreme Proprietor, and the Supreme Friend can experience true peace.” Bhagavad-gita 5.29

 

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

 

 

From Aug 23, 2005

 

Which is the Best Religion?

 

Dear Prabhuji ,

 

Thanks for your reply. I was glad to receive your explanations. I am happy to read “Thought for the Day”, and I am benefiting from the same.

 

I would like to ask you a few more questions.

 

There are different religions in the world like Hinduism , Christianity, Islam , Buddhist , Sikhism , Jainism and a few other religions. Krishna says in the Gita he is supreme and similarly Christ and Allah are saying they are supreme in their religious books. How does an average neutral human being judge the major religions and decide which is the best way forward. I feel confused each religion is telling that their God is superior and to accept their ideology . Kindly advise me on this. Does this mean if a person accepts Krishna consciousness he is liberated and if he follows other religions he is not on the right track.

 

Hare Krishna

 

Regards,

 

Krishna

 

 

My Dear Krishna,

Please accept my blessings.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

 

In the Christian Bible and Islamic teachings there are statements indicating that is more knowledge beyond what those teachings are revealing. For example, the Bible Christ states, “There is so much that I have yet to tell thee, but you cannot bear to hear it now.”

 

Compare this with Krishna states in the Bhagavad-gita:

 

jnanam te ‘ham sa-vijnanam

idam vaksyamy asesatah

yaj jnatva neha bhuyo ‘nyaj

jnatavyam avasisyate

 

“I shall now declare unto you in full this knowledge, both phenomenal and numinous. This being known, nothing further shall remain for you to know.” Bhagavad-gita 7.2

 

So according to what the Christian, Islamic, and Vedic teachings say about themselves, the Vedas are giving the complete full knowledge and the Christian and Islamic teachings are giving a portion of it. This does not deny the validity of the Christian and Islamic teachings. This is simply to establish the more complete nature of the Vedic teachings. It is just like the difference between a pocket dictionary and an unabridged dictionary. Do you understand?  Both dictionaries are valid, but one is more complete than the other one.

 

This is not our bias.  This is according to the version of the teachings themselves.  This is why I am following the Vedic teachings.  If the Bible or Islamic teachings were more complete, I would follow them instead.  I am not attached to any particular religion or any particular organization.  I am simply attached to realizing and living the Truth in its most complete form.

 

My membership in ISKCON, the Hare Krishna Movement, is utilitarian, not blind.  I participate in ISKCON because they have the most perfect and complete conception of the Absolute Truth and the most perfect and complete methodology for realizing the Absolute Truth.

 

Hoping this meets you in the best of health and in a cheerful mood,

Your eternal well-wisher,

 

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

From 23 Jan 2011

 

Today’s Thought:

 

            Connecting with the Universal Religion

 

Uploaded from New Dwarka–Los Angeles, California, USA

There are many billions of people throughout the world who consider themselves religious. Generally each of them adheres to a particular religious tradition, which is in many ways similar and also in many ways different from other religious traditions. Often, they consider that their tradition is the only valid tradition, and that others who are not participants in their tradition are lost souls condemned to be denied access to the kingdom of God. In this way, they fail to see the true universal nature of religion. Unfortunately this exclusivist mentality leads to increasing chaos and conflict in a world that is already too much overburdened by chaos and conflict.  Religion is supposed to be God’s gift to man so that he can have a heaven on earth and qualify to return to God’s kingdom upon leaving his current body. So what is going wrong? And what can be done to change it?

 

What’s going wrong is that we approach God to fulfill our desires instead of His desires. In other words we approach Him with our contaminated consciousness of subtly considering ourselves to be the Supreme. We place ourselves over Him by asking Him to serve us instead of us serving Him. This is selfishness, not selflessness. And this is what is going wrong in the hearts of practically everyone who approaches God. To change this we must teach that selfless service to Supreme Person is the only way that one can experience genuine complete happiness. If the hand wants to get nourishment, it must give the food to the belly. God is like the belly and we are like the hand. So we must give everything to God. In this way, we will be the best servants of God and all living beings including ourselves.

 

So, the universal religion is pure selfless service to the Supreme Person, the source of all existence. The language of the universal religion takes different shapes according to the different traditions. But when one goes deep enough into any one tradition, he will arrive at exactly the same conclusion as anyone else who follows his own religious tradition deeply enough. Therefore instead of getting side tracked by the differences of the religious traditions, we should immediately try to capture the pure essence of religion, the universal religion of pure, unadulterated, selfless, loving service for the Supreme Person.

 

The difficulty is that we currently have a drastic shortage of enlightened teachers on this planet who are fully tuned into the original, pure essence of religion, the universal religion of pure selfless devotion to God. An enlightened teacher is someone who has gone deep enough into his own tradition to find the one universal root of all traditions. He is a teacher who has fully realized the one universal or absolute truth underlying all relative truths. If planet earth had a sufficient abundance of such enlightened teachers in each tradition, there could be instituted a global educational system which would easily bring to this tattered global society a truly profound golden era of peace, prosperity, and happiness for all.

 

This is the day that we are praying and crying for, Lord. May it come soon! May it come soon! May it come soon!

 

 

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

 

 

From Aug 18, 2004

 

“Reviving the World Religion”

The Ultimate Self Realization Course, Lesson B32

 

by His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Under the sublime loving guidance of His Divine Grace

Sri Srimad A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

There’s a lot of talk these days about bringing peace and unity throughout the world by establishing one World Religion. Many aspiring reformers are putting forward their proposals on what that World Religion should be. But what they fail to note is that man cannot invent Religion. Religion is given by God. Just as within a particular nation we must follow the established laws, we cannot invent our own laws and expect to be recognized as law-abiding citizens. It we neglect the existing laws we will be regarded as criminals and dealt with accordingly. It we disobey the laws of God we must suffer the karmic reactions for being out of harmony with the Supreme. This is why we see so much chaos in the world today.

 

While some want to invent a new World Religion others are pushing that their religious sect should become the World Religion. We see in many cases that such sectarianists will argue, fight, and even torture and kill others outside of their sect to push forward their own sect as the World Religion. Along with trying to invent a new World Religion this sectarianism is another type of madness. It has been going on for many, many centuries. Because of our tendency to place ourselves in the center instead of placing God in the center we may also try to establish our religious sect as the World Religion. This is not God consciousness. This is sectarian selfishness.

 

To clarify the situation there is one fact that we must carefully understand. That fact is that as soon as we talk about religions in the plural we are missing what is actual Religion. God is One. There cannot be two Supreme Beings any more than there can be two supreme courts. Since God is One, Religion, therefore, must also be One. Religion means simply to love God. When we consider religions in the plural we are not dealing with Religion. We are in the realm of religious sects. When we speak of Religion in the singular we are actually speaking about Religion.

 

After all, how many suns are there in the sky? There is only one. But how many different names are there for the sun? There are hundreds. Instead of fighting over what is the name of that fiery ball in the sky we should realize that we, along with everyone else, are the recipients of the rays of that same luminous object in the sky. The sun is not American. It is not Indian. It is not Christian. It is not Muslim. The sun exists beyond all the designations that we try to impose upon it. Similarly God exists beyond any designations that we try to impose upon Him.

 

Before the age of Kali began some 5,000 years ago the entire world was unified under one government centered in India and under one World Religion based on the Vedas. The Vedic conception of Religion does not restrict God to one name. The Vedic conception is the original religious teaching in this universe going back to the very beginnings of this universe some 155 trillion years ago. The religious conception described in the Vedas accepts all bonafide incarnations of God and all bonafide names of God. It does not allow anyone to concoct what is Religion according to his or her own imagination. It does present in a scientific way the detailed methodologies of how to dovetail perfectly your individual consciousness with the Supreme Consciousness. It can be practiced by anyone in any sect, whether they are Hindu, Christian, Jew, or Muslim. It is indeed the ultimate universal system for spiritual enlightenment, the true World Religion.

 

We are very fortunate to have been unlimitedly blessed with this knowledge by one of the greatest enlightened teachers in the history of the universe, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, through the many volumes of books that he has left behind for us to follow. Our course is meant to help you fully connect yourself with those teachings. Kindly take advantage of it and make your life sublime.

 

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Bhaktivedanta Ashram

Austin, Texas, USA

August 18, 2004

 

 

Humbly,

Milind

 

Compiled by Sunil Vaswani