Bhakti Philosophy for the mind and Krishna’s Pastimes for the Heart?

How does Bhakti/Devotional Service deal with the intellectual / logical / analytical side of us as well as the emotional/feeling side of us? Does catering to one mean neglecting the other?

Brajanath Das, 02 November 2016

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Please help me to understand the following phrase – 

“Pastimes of the Lord are for the heart and philosophy is for the mind.”

your servant,

Brajanath Das

Bhakta Sunil, 09 November 2016

Hare Krishna Prabhu

Dandavats!

The pastimes of the Lord help to easily realize the impurities in hearts by direct perception in story formats and reading philosophy engages the mind

Inversely , the reading of philosophy purifies the heart too and pastimes of the Lord engage the mind too

For example if we read this pastime of Lord Nrsimhadeva , not only we get moral by mind but also purifies our Hearts irrespective of how many times we read this, this transcendental literature is ever fresh contrary to mundane literature in news media and magazines :

THE PASTIMES OF LORD NRSIMHADEVA

There was once a great demon who was overwhelmed with rage: his brother Hiranyaksa had just been killed by the incarnation of Vishnu known as Lord Varaha. Thus he became very determined to become the emperor of the entire universe. In order to increase his power, he performed very powerful austerities. This penance was so severe that it disturbed the demigods. In fact, the demigods requested Lord Brahma to stop him. The chief of the demigods, Lord Brahma, therefore descended to pacify him by granting him a wish.

“Please grant that I not be killed by any created living being,” commanded Hiranyakasipu, “that I not die inside or outside any residence, during the daytime or night, nor on the ground or in the sky; that I not be killed by any being created by you, nor by any weapon, nor by any human being or animal indeed that I not meet death from any entity, either living or non-living; that I have no competitor; that I have sole lordship over all living entities and presiding deities, and that I acquire all mystic powers.”

After Brahma had granted him all these requests, Hiranyakasipu very swiftly conquered all the planets in the universe, took up residence in the lavish palace of King Indra, and forced the demigods to bow down to his feet. He even stole the sacrificial oblations meant for the demigods. Intoxicated physically by wine and mentally by power, Hiranyakasipu ruled the universe very severely.

During this time his queen, Kayadhu, returned to the palace of her husband and bore him a son, Prahlada. He was a reservoir of all transcendental qualities because he was a pure devotee of Lord Visnu. Determined to understand the Absolute Truth, he had full control over his senses and mind. He was kind to all living creatures and the best friend of everyone. Toward respectable persons he behaved just like a menial servant, to the poor he was like a father, and to his equals he was always like a sympathetic brother. Always very humble, he considered his teachers and spiritual masters to be as good as the Lord Himself. Indeed, he was completely free of any pride that might have arisen from his good education, riches, beauty, and aristocratic birth.

Hiranyakasipu wanted to raise his son to be a powerful demon, but Prahlada only wanted to learn about devotional service to Lord Visnu. After Prahlada attended school for some time, Hiranyakasipu took him on his lap and affectionately inquired, “My dear son, please tell me about your favorite subject in school.”

Fearlessly, Prahlada said, “Hearing (sravanam) and chanting (kirtanam) about the holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia, and pastimes of the Supreme Lord; remembering (smaranam) them; serving the lotus feet of the Lord (pada-sevanam); offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia (arcanam); offering prayers to the Lord (vandanam); becoming His servant (dasyam); considering the Lord one’s best friend (sakhyam); and surrendering to Him (atma-nivedanam, in other words, serving Him with body, mind and words); these nine processes are known as pure devotional service, and I consider anyone who has dedicated his life to service of Lord Visnu through these nine methods to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge.”

Blinded by anger, Hiranyakasipu threw Prahlada from his lap onto the ground. “Servants! Take him away and kill him at once!” he screamed. However, Prahlada just sat silently and meditated on the Personality of Godhead, and the demons’ weapons had no effect on him. Seeing this Hiranyakasipu became fearful and contrived various ways to kill his son. His servants threw Prahlada beneath an elephant’s feet; they cast him into the midst of huge, fearful snakes; they cursed him with destructive spells; they hurled him from a hilltop; they gave him poison; they starved him; they exposed him to severe cold, winds, fire and water; they threw heavy stones to crush him. Hiranyakasipu even sent his sister Holika to burn him, but instead she herself was burned. But throughout these trials Prahlada was simply absorbed in thoughts of Lord Visnu, and thus he remained unharmed. Hiranyakasipu became very anxious about what to do next.

“You say there is a being superior to me,” said Hiranyakasipu, “but where is He? If He is present everywhere, then why is He not present in this pillar you see before you? Do you think He is in this pillar?” “Yes,” Prahlada answered, “He is there.”

Hiranyakasipu’s rage flared more and more. “Because you are speaking so much nonsense, I shall now sever your head from your body. Now let me see your most worshipable God come to protect you. I want to see it.” Cursing him again and again, Hiranyakasipu took up his sword, got up from his royal throne, and with great anger struck his fist against the column.

Then from within the very pillar that he had singled out came a wonderful half-man, half-lion form never before seen. The Lord’s form was extremely fearsome because of His angry eyes, which resembled molten gold; His shining mane, which expanded the dimensions of His fearful face; His deadly teeth; and His razor-sharp tongue. Lord Nrsimha then proceeded to battle with the wasp-like Hiranyakasipu.

Finally at twilight, Lord Nrsimha captured Hiranyakasipu and placed him in His lap on the doorway of the assembly hall. As He began ripping the demon to pieces with His many, many hands, Lord Nrsimha’s mouth and mane became sprinkled with drops of blood, and His fierce eyes, full of anger, were impossible to look at. Licking the edge of His mouth with His tongue, the Supreme Lord decorated Himself with a garland of intestines taken from Hiranyakasipu’s abdomen. Lord Nrsimha uprooted Hiranyakasipu’s heart and finally threw him aside and destroyed an army of Hiranyakasipu’s faithful followers.

By His transcendental cleverness, Lord Nrsimhadeva was able to kill Hiranyakasipu without contradicting any of Lord Brahma’s benedictions. The execution took place neither inside nor outside, but in the doorway; neither on land nor in sky, but on the Lord’s lap; neither during the day nor during the night, but at twilight; neither by man, beast, or demigod nor by any created being, but by the Personality of Godhead; and not by any weapon, but by the Lord’s own lotus hand, relieving the whole universe of Hiranyakasipu’s demonic activities.

Having been protected by the Lord, Prahlada Maharaja offered many prayers in a voice that faltered with love:

“My dear Lord Nrsimhadeva, please, therefore, allow Your angry feature to diminish, now that my evil father Hiranyakasipu has been killed . . . [The saintly persons] will always remember Your auspicious and fearsome incarnation, for it frees them from fear. In this way, my Lord, You appear in various incarnations as a human being, an animal, a great saint, a demigod, a fish or a tortoise, thus maintaining the entire creation in different planetary systems and killing the demoniac principles.”

Adapted from Srimad Bhagavatam, 7th Canto

Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.

Hope this helps with your query

your insignificant servant,

Bhakta Sunil

Mahabhagavat Das, 11 November 2016

Dear Brajanath Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

“Pastimes of the Lord are for the heart and philosophy is for the mind.”

Such questions would greatly benefit from inclusion of context. Please do this going forward. A statement out of context is a perfect recipe for misunderstanding and confusion. Who said it, who was it said to, and in what specific context was that statement made? Without context, our answers may be insufficient or cause more misunderstandings.

Bhakti Yoga is a perfect synthesis of “heart” and “mind”. Thinking, feeling, willing, words, deeds, body, and mind, fully engaged in concert in harmoniously pleasing Krishna.

Generally, Bhakti means loving devotional service, there is no intellectual analysis needed or done in such pure devotional service, pure devotees simply love Krishna and act accordingly very naturally, doing whatever is needed for Krishna’s pleasure. They know “in their heart” what pleases Krishna. In this regard, hearing or chanting the pastimes of the Lord are devotional service.

Often, arguments and logic are undesirable in relishing Krishna’s sweetness.

Srila Rupa Goswami says, and Srila Prabhupada summarizes in the Introduction to his Nectar of Devotion

“Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī prays to his spiritual master, Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, for the protection of Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu—”The Ocean of the Pure Nectar of Devotional Service”—from the argumentative logicians who unnecessarily meddle in the science of service to the Lord. He compares their arguments and logic to volcanic eruptions in the midst of the ocean. In the midst of the ocean, volcanic eruptions can do very little harm, and similarly, those who are against devotional service to the Lord and who put forward many philosophical theses about the ultimate transcendental realization cannot disturb this great ocean of devotional service.”

But for someone who is conditioned by material energy, the mind and intelligence generally stands in the way of what is simply a matter of natural course of being true to our spiritual self. Such conditioned souls require philosophy and intellectual analysis to convince them to not do material nonsense but to render some devotional service, which, when done sincerely, gradually reawakens love of Krishna within the heart.

A pure devotee often engages in philosophizing on the pastimes, as our Acharyas, Srila Prabhupada and his disciples and grand-disciples do, but this is for our benefit, the benefit of the conditioned souls.

I hope this helps.

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Dra Varni, 12 November 2016

Hare Krsna!!   This is a supreme question. While I am not a devotee I have had this experience. There are many answers, but “pastimes” and “theory” are not two separate things in this case. By this I mean one could not be without the other. And the outcome is not synthesis.  Elevation, in my experience, came from reading “pastimes” and “hearing” pastimes. Primarily, reading of Sri Caitanya Caritamrta, not all 17

Dra Varni

Dra Varni, 02 December 2016

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!, Dhruva Maharaja!

Hare Krsna!

“Bhakti Yoga is a perfect synthesis of  “heart” and “mind”. Thinking, feeling, willing, words, deeds, body, and mind, fully engaged in concert in harmoniously pleasing Krishna.”

I have taken time to respond to the above statement because its components are complicated and fragile . Above is the context of the message I received . I have a problem with the word “synthesis”. Below is my rendering to screen of why. I am sure too be only person with such thinking.

It is important to remember that the heart and mind are a continuum, not two distinct and separate energies. Given the age of Cali there is a compartmentalized effort to split everything. Objects for synthesis must be in direct opposition. Other look-a-likes are called “binary-oppositions” they just have the appearance of opposition. Used as a metaphor “Synthesis”would be fine depending on genre. And Bhakti Yoga would be the perfect synthesis of “heart”and “mind” if they were in opposition. 

Dra

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

Dear Pope Francis, how many apologies to go?

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

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

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

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

Kamloops Indian Residential School

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

These souls were shot dead due to “overcrowding”

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Doctrine of Discovery dehumanized humans

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

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

A Christian Preacher

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

Thomas Paine, American Thinker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are 2 formulas for Ultimate Perfection:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is Vedic geography and Cosmology limited to India alone?

Do the Vedic texts only refer to India? Is the Vedic view that the earth is flat? What is the truth here?

Manoj Tripathi, 19 May 2016

Hare Krishna dear devotees.

Please accept my humble obeisances.

I was reading the Mahabharata translation by Krsna Dharma prabhu, wherein there are references to several places on this earth. The most interesting ones are mentioned in the portions describing the Rajasuya and Ashwamedha yagyas which Maharaja Yudhishthira performed.

All the places mentioned in these parts of the text seem to be in or around India. Also, it is never mentioned that they crossed the ocean to go to some other place like present Australia or the USA. 

The questions that arise are following:

a. Were there no powerful kingdoms in other parts of the world; or were the capitals of all the kingdoms located in and around India?

b. Are many of the routes and places which were accessible to people in those times not visible to us now?

I reconcile the present and past with these two arguments. Is there anything else that should be understood while reading about the past?

Sorry if I have posted something irrelevant.

Thank you.

Manoj

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 19 May 2016

Dear Manoj,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Yes, Krishna Dharma Prabhu is in disciplic succession from Srila Prabhupada and his translation is relied upon by many devotees within ISKCON.

What is missing in that edition of the Mahabharata is purports as found in Srila Prabhupada’s books to give us full context of the verses (our context is very different today)… but then the work would become really massive because with Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad Bhagavatam purports, with 18,000 verses it comes to 18 volumes of books… the Mahabharata has 100,000 verses! 🙂 How many of us have read even Srila Prabhupada’s books thoroughly?

On this topic of reconciling things as they appear today vs. Vedic history, a great reference is Devamrita Swami Maharaja’s “Searching for Vedic India“.

The main point is that human civilization is a devolution from Vedic civilization, things were not more primitive 5000 years as claimed by modern historians and scientists ago but actually more advanced. This cannot be accepted by a person who is proud.

In one lecture by Srila Prabhupada, on the verse BG 1.5, Srila Prabhupada says this:

“Practically in the Battle of Kuruksetra great personalities, warriors, from all parts of the world they came and joined. Some of them joined with this party and others joined with the other party. So far we have studied… just like Saibya, he belonged to Sibya. So all these personalities, we did not get their full description, it would enhance the pages. But these big personalities, we have got their information. There is a book, The Personalities of Mahabharata. Bhagavad-gita is part of Mahabharata. Mahabharata means greater India. Maha means greater, and bharata means India. So this whole planet was Bharata-varsa. There was only one flag. The whole planet was being ruled by one king. That is the king of this Hastinapura. The fight is that, that who would be the king, Maharaja Yudhisthira or Duryodhana. But a king… It is not a democratic; it is monarchy. So Krsna is deciding, “No, Duryodhana is unfit. Maharaja Yudhisthira is fit.” This is Krsna’s desire. Therefore this fight is there. Kuruksetra. Krsna wanted to wipe out all unwanted demons from the face of the world and enthrone Maharaja Yudhisthira because he is the exact representative of Krsna.” (Srila Prabhupada Lecture, “Everything (Even Dictatorship) Can Be Utilized for Krishna” 73/07/10 London, Bhagavad-gita 1.4-5)

So, the situation was that there were kings all over the world, but there were greater kings and lesser kings. And this was a war of the advanced Kshatriya races, the tribals, low-class humans, and animal-like-humans were not involved in it. In the Ashwamedha yajna, or declaration of supremacy, it was only necessary to get allegiance from the greater kings, the subordinates were naturally bound to follow suit. And of course, less advanced humans didn’t even figure in the equation.

Even in more modern times, it was like that with the Greek or Roman empire, if someone destroyed Athens or Rome, then the entire empire was practically gone.

Also, travel was not necessarily done as it is done today – for example, in the Mahabharata it is mentioned that Arjuna travelled to the heavenly planets. Where is the transportation means today that can take someone to the heavenly planets? So yes, the means of transportation as it existed then is not known today.

The secret is mantra yoga, by proper chanting of a mantra, one can achieve any desired success, whether material or spiritual, it is not necessary to make a tunnel to go through a mountain, it is not necessary to construct a floating ship to go over water, and it is not necessary to construct a metal tube with Bernoulli’s principle to fly in the air. The mantra is very powerful.

However, in the Krishna consciousness movement, we are not interested in discovering processes of material accomplishments, we simply want to chant

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna

Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama

Rama Rama Hare Hare

The Hare Krishna Maha Mantra

and become pure servants of the servants of the devotees of Krishna.

So therefore, we don’t always focus so much on the exact reconciliation of modern understanding with what is mentioned in the Vedic literature, we are going for the highest success, we don’t care to fly in a celestial flying craft or manufacture gold from chanting mantras etc.

Does this make sense?

Sincerely,

Mahabhagvat das

Manoj Tripathi, 19 May 2016

Thank you Mahabhagvata Prabhu for such a lucid answer.

These kinds of questions automatically come to mind, however upon thinking a little more I realize that there is no end to such inquiries.

Thank you so much for bringing me back.

Hare Krishna!

Sincerely,

Manoj

Kaspars, 02 June 2016

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Is the planet Earth considered circular or flat in Vedic literature? One local devotee answered to me like this. Advanced people see more dimensions, not our three… It is length, width, height. So we cannot even imagine how Earth looks in other dimensions. Still I am curious whether the Earth was considered flat by ancient people. And how then we get the circular globe.

Kaspars

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 2 June 2016

Dear Kaspars,

Hare Krishna!

The 5th Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam gives a good idea of the structure of the Universe. See https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/5/, especially SB 5.16 onwards.

The Vedic cosmology goes beyond our insignificant planet. The “earth” is actually a large collection of “earthly” planets (islands) that are arranged to form something that looks like a disc. So yes, the “earth” is flat, but only when you consider that “earth” means “earthly planetary system with many many planets such as ours”.

Also, this is a video especially for you, this is a simulation of the  chandelier that will be inside the TOVP dome, it gives a good idea of Vedic cosmology according to Srimad Bhagavatam 5th Canto… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdX5lffC2IQ

All these things are difficult to fully understand, imagine an ant trying to understand the plan of a big city, it is practically impossible.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

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

The myth of the increasing human lifespan

They say, that due to advances in science and medicine, the average human lifespan is steadily increasing. But is this really true? Could it be that the advances in science and medicine are actually decreasing our life expectancy?

Many souls in the medical field propagate the view that our average lifespan as humans has been increasing, thanks to advances in science, technology, and medicine.

Take for example this projection by the United Nations, for the United States (U.S.).

UN Projection of US Life expetancy, with historical data from 1950-2020, effects of COVID-19 not included

Looking at the graph above, we see that the average life expectancy was 68 years in 1950, is 79 currently, and is expected to go up to 89 by the year 2100.

However, I beg to differ, because the data does not take into account 2 major factors. One is, contraception, which prevents life from taking root, and the other is abortion, which prevents a soul from taking birth despite having got a start in a mother’s womb.

In this post, I’m not looking to get into a discussion about contraception or abortion itself, I just want to point out that with modern science and medical advances, the average human lifespan has actually decreased, not increased.

Here is a rough calculation to illustrate my point.

The current life expectancy in the US is approximately 79 years. The average human in the U.S. is expected to live 79 years today. There are about 334 Million humans in the US today, so collectively we are expecting to see about 26,386 million “human years” of life lived.

From 1973 to 2018, over 62 million babies were aborted by surgical means, according to the American Life League. So, if these babies had not been aborted, they would be still alive, or the oldest babies, from 1973, would be about 48 years of age now. Of course, babies were being aborted before 1973 also, but I am not in possession of those statistics.

However, from the same source, when we include the chemical abortions (the pill method), from 1965 to 2009, over 610 million abortions have been conducted. In 1965 the average life expectancy in the U.S. was 70 years. In other words, on average, everyone born in 1965 is expected to be still alive today.

Each of these babies, if given a chance at life, could have expected to live a minimum of more than zero years… whatever the lifespan would have been, it would have been unlikely to be zero years for all the babies.

Roughly, taking into account all the humans who died before birth, or reaching the age of zero, we are looking at a U.S. population of 334 Million (current) + 610 million (killed by contraception or abortion). A total of 943 Million.

If we divide the total of 26,386 million human years by 943 million humans, we get an actual average life expectancy of about 28 years. The 79 years number is just for someone who somehow made it past the risk of murder before birth! So it is a false statistic, a classic statistical trick (change your denominator) to make a number look more rosy.

In other words, when we take into account the actual count of souls who got a start in a human mother’s womb, the current life expectancy is actually 28 years only.

My calculations are not exact, they are just rough back-of-the-envelope numbers. But they are directionally correct. And I haven’t even calculated a model for non-chemical contraception, using physical methods like condoms and so on. The actual life expectancy numbers will be much lower, taking those factors into account.

श्रीशुक उवाच
ततश्चानुदिनं धर्म: सत्यं शौचं क्षमा दया ।
कालेन बलिना राजन् नङ्‌क्ष्यत्यायुर्बलं स्मृति: ॥ १ ॥

śrī-śuka uvāca
tataś cānu-dinaṁ dharmaḥ
satyaṁ śaucaṁ kṣamā dayā
kālena balinā rājan
naṅkṣyaty āyur balaṁ smṛtiḥ

Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: Then, O King, religion, truthfulness, cleanliness, tolerance, mercy, duration of life, physical strength and memory will all diminish day by day because of the powerful influence of the Age of Kali.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/12/2/1/

In the purport, the disciples of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada write:

Because of all these self-destructive practices and the powerful influence of time, the average life span (āyur) is decreasing. Modern scientists, seeking to gain credibility among the mass of people, often publish statistics supposedly showing that science has increased the average duration of life. But these statistics do not take into account the number of people killed through the cruel practice of abortion. When we figure aborted children into the life expectancy of the total population, we find that the average duration of life has not at all increased in the Age of Kali but is rather decreasing drastically.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/12/2/1/ purport

This should be noted and pointed out to the scientists, doctors, and others arguing that our average lifespans are actually decreasing.

Please read the glorious literature, the Srimad Bhagavatam and enlighten yourself about the actual solutions to the problems of the world. If you would like to read, and get a copy for yourself, please let me know!

What should we pray to God for?

What should we pray to God for? Bread? Comfort? What is the best prayer to offer to God?

Kaspars, 3 Dec 2015

Hare Krishna!

1. When in some difficulty, material, psychological or spiritual, can we pray to God to help us, or should we be patient and silent in difficulty.

2. Maybe early christians were in great difficulty of food, Jesus taught them to pray for bread, or see food as God’s mercy.

3. Why does everyone in Krishna consciousness criticize christians about praying for daily bread? Jesus himself taught that. I think we should not criticize other religions prayer, we should not criticize Jesus? That whole christian prayer is all good. It is saving people from all bad.

Kaspars

Premananda Das, 3 December 2015

1) All material difficulties are due to our lack of Krishna consciousness, no external suffering.

2 & 3) Krishna consciousness or Christ consciousness means to follow the order as it is without interpretations.

your servant

Premananda Das

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances!

Shridhar Das, 3 December 2015

All Glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!

Your question has been answered here:

akāmaḥ sarva-kāmo vā

mokṣa-kāma udāra-dhīḥ

tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena

yajeta puruṣaḿ param

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

SB 2.3.10

So we must somehow or other develop the practice of always praying and remembering God. Should we be silent?

Krishna says in 4.11: As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly.

So not advisable as a callous/impersonal approach.

Regarding patience, that’s very pleasing to Krishna and we must if we can but this quality manifests in advancing stages of devotional path automatically and needn’t be imitated artificially.

In BG 18.58 Krishna says:

mac-cittaḥ sarva-durgāṇi

mat-prasādāt tariṣyasi

atha cet tvam ahańkārān

na śroṣyasi vinańkṣyasi

“If you become conscious of Me, you will pass over all the obstacles of conditioned life by My grace. If, however, you do not work in such consciousness but act through false ego, not hearing Me, you will be lost.”

BG 18.58

In fact Krishna emphasizes in BG 18.65:

man-manā bhava mad-bhakto

mad-yājī māḿ namaskuru

mām evaiṣyasi satyaḿ te

pratijāne priyo ‘si me

“Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.”

BG 18.65

So it is a very good practice to always pray and remember God. This is possible when we know who is God, how is God, what are His qualities, just as we cannot love a person in air blindly. We need to be aware of their qualities and features before devoting to any person.

Regarding question 2, I am curious about ‘maybe’. But in general, whenever God or His emissaries like Jesus, the son of Christ descend, their only mission is to take the fallen stuck up souls back to Godhead by developing their attachment for God. In fact, in our Krishna Consciousness we also pray sarira avidya jal prayers thanking God for not only giving us food but for sanctifying. The thanks is extended by offering food to the source of food, God, begging him to kindly take away the sinful reactions from that food and bless it with His love and devotion. And then this is distributed in mass for what is that love centered around personal liberation?

However, although the practice of praying to God for bread is glorious, if the end result is attachment to food instead of God, then such a process is not topmost. Hence, whenever the prayers aren’t fulfilled, people in general become atheist.

Not only food, Krishna in the 10th chapter of Bhagavad Gita tells us He is the taste of the water, He is light of sun, of senses He is mind and so many things.

His mercy is not limited to food, it’s beyond our imagination. In one of the lectures by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada that I was recently hearing, it was stated that it’s a fact that our existence at every moment is Lord’s kindness. If we’re existing, it means it is the personal will of the Lord at every moment. What can be the ultimate mercy than God Himself descending to show us the guiding light? How can one not feel loved and purchased when we see Lord has given His Holy Names as the means to attain Him? Lord is Himself directly present in His Holy Names simply for our deliverance and is constantly sending His representatives time after time in this unbroken lineage. So our vision must stretch beyond food, water and material products.

Before answering the next question I wish to first clarify that the conception of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jew,… as religions is incorrect. These are mere labels. Just as son of a lawyer cannot be rubber stamped as lawyer, a daughter of a doctor as a doctor, similarly no living entity can be labelled anything other than servant of God and ultimate religion being to love God by addressing Him as Krishna, Christ, Allah, Ram, Jehovah, wherever one’s devotion flows…

If someone criticizes a sect simply to satisfy one’s own senses or false ego, that’s displeasing to God. This is against austerities of speech clearly stated in the Bhagavad Gita. However, it’s very honest of you for having inquired the same sincerely.

What real religion is, in truth, is explained here:

“Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhagavata Purana propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart.”

SB 1.1.2

In a lecture on this same verse Srila Prabhupada says:

“So we should not approach God for economic satisfaction or for bread or for wood or for anything necessary for our life. God has arranged food for everyone, the aquatics, the birds, the beasts, the trees, the elephants or the other, four-legged animals, and why not for human being? Human being also, those who are uncivilized, still living in the forest, they have no arrangement for economic development, or they do not know, but they have got also food. Therefore sastra says,

tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovido

na labhyate yad bhramatam upary adhaḥ

tal labhyate duḥkhavad anyataḥ sukhaṁ

kalena sarvatra gabhira-raṁhasa

[SB 1.5.18]

“One should try for developing God consciousness, not for anything else, because happiness and distress, they come automatically.” We haven’t got to try for it.

Happiness, everyone aspires for happiness. Nobody aspires for distress, but distress is forcibly come upon you. Similarly, the sastra says, “As distress comes without any desire, similarly, happiness also will come without any endeavor.” So long we are in the material world, the so-called happiness and distress will come and go, but our, the human life, the endeavor should be how to find out or revive our relationship with God. That is our main business.” [Unquote]

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Therefore, the verse states, any faith or sect that has taught their follower how to love God, how to depend on God, how to remain satisfied, in bliss, undisturbed, amidst of all difficulties and miseries, simply by taking shelter of God is a successful religion, else it has failed. For the same reason our prayers, devotion, love, happiness, distress, everything should be aimed for the satisfaction of God, not personal satisfaction only.

Last point I wish to add is whatever the faith be but it must teach their followers to expand their vision to see God as an ever youthful all-perfect person, who is not aristocratic but all loving, indiscriminately. A true lover of God sees all the living entities as part and parcel of God including animals, insects, birds, trees, worms, aquatics and not without soul. Therefore, real love of God means loving all living entities. Most of them I meet while preaching conclude they love God but then they also love torturing their brothers and sisters by killing and eating them, which is very demoniac and sinful irrespective of one following Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, etc, as laws are universal just as 1+1=2 everywhere. Rather, in the ten commandments, the merciful Jesus, who is often cited as an ideal example in our movement, as Lord’s devotee, in whose foot steps we follow, has clarified “Thou shalt not kill”.

The Krishna Consciousness movement is not criticizing anyone rather my spiritual master has stated often, that the aim of the movement is to help everyone become a true lover of God. If one is a Christian, then a very ideal Christian, if Islam then a true one, if a Sanatana Dharmi, then a genuine Sanatana Dharmi or follower of Vedas.

Hence the movement is aimed around harmonizing all souls under the universal love of God.

What seemed as criticism to you against Christianity can be properly understood by Lord Jesus’s statement: Hate the sin, not the sinner.

So that pointing out was a merciful correction on an improper attitude of “Give me, give me, give me” whereas the mood of a devotee must be of “Giving giving giving”. 

It is the duty of an acharya to point out the fallacies in a system established by other acharyas (Lord Jesus here) if they are being misinterpreted. The acharyas share a common consciousness, love of Godhead. They are not to be understood like us for they are free of hatred, envy, lust and other such mundane qualities. Their vision is centered around God, not nation, body, society, sect and so on.

Hope this satisfies you!

your servant

Sridhar Das

Shyamapriya devi dasi, 3 December 2015

Hare Krishna Kaspars Gulbis,

Please accept my greetings.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thankyou for your humble inquiries.

1. I would say why not?

“..Padaṁ padaṁ yad vipadāṁ..” In SB 10.14.58 this material world has been described as a place full of miseries and danger lurks at every step. So why not pray to God in all circumstances. Whether in happiness or distress we should always try to remember God and never forget Him.

2. Indeed the food offered to lord is also known as “Prasadam” in Sanskrit, which in literal sense means “mercy”. The food we offer to the Lord with love and devotion is transformed into Lord’s mercy and when we honour such transformed food stuff it has a great spiritual impact on our consciousness.

3. Also, a truly Krishna conscious person would never criticize anyone. Infact, in the conversations of Srila Prabhupada, we can see him addressing Jesus Christ as a vaisnava. A vaisnava is actually a para dukha dukhi, one who can not tolerate the suffering of others. Therefore, we have great respect for Jesus Christ who was preaching the message of the God, as per time, place and circumstances to relieve the living entities from the miseries of this material world. 

 Coming back to your question: praying for daily bread seems insignificant when we see that even a tiny ant gets its daily food without praying, What to speak of thousands of Elephants roaming on Earth eating tonnes and tonnes of food daily. Atleast, I never saw them praying for food. Who provides them all the required food? God. God is all merciful. Since we are in the human form of life with a developed consciousness compared to other forms of life, it only seems wise to capitalize on this unique opportunity and pray for something very rare, very precious, something which is inconceivably priceless- and that is Pure love of God.

I hope this helps. However, it would be enlightening to hear more from other readers as well.

Sincerely,

Shyamapriya devi dasi

Lalit, 3 December 2015

Hare Krishna!

I share my learning.

If we are in Krishna consciousness, we will not be in need of any prayer for “anything”.

With awakened consciousness,we can see things as they are and not as we perceive.

Pain or suffering is there till we are attached to it, the moment awakening happens we realize that everything is like a dream which shall pass.

We do not feel the pain of injury in dreams on waking up.

Many great saints suffered from ailments but their awakening helped them realize that suffering was for the physical body and not aatma (soul) or jeev.

Everything is temporary here, so enjoy as it comes, without any attachment.

Lalit

Sunil, 3 December 2015

Dear Kaspars,

—–

From introduction to Gita :  Just what is the Bhagavad-gita? The purpose of Bhagavad-gita is to deliver mankind from the nescience of material existence. Every man is in difficulty in so many ways, as Arjuna also was in difficulty in having to fight the Battle of Kurukshetra. Arjuna surrendered unto Sri Krishna, and consequently this Bhagavad-gita was spoken.

From the book “Science of Self Realization” :

Whoever teaches how to know God and how to love Him—he is a spiritual master. Sometimes bogus rascals mislead people. “I am God,” they claim, and people who do not know what God is believe them. You must be a serious student to understand who God is and how to love Him. Otherwise, you will simply waste your time. So the difference between others and us is that we are the only movement that can actually teach one how to know God and how to love Him. We are presenting the science of how one can know Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by practicing the teachings of theBhagavad-gita and the Srimad-Bhagavatam. They teach us that our only business is to love God. Our business is not to ask God for our necessities. God gives necessities to everyone—even to one who has no religion. For example, cats and dogs have no religion, yet Krishna supplies them with the necessities of life. So why should we bother Krishna for our daily bread? He is already supplying it. Real religion means to learn how to love Him.

The Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.6) says,

sa vai pumsam paro dharmo

yato bhaktir adhokshaje

ahaituky apratihata

yayatma suprasidati

First-class religion teaches one how to love God without any motive. If I serve God for some profit, that is business—not love. Real love of God is ahaituky apratihata: it cannot be checked by any material cause. It is unconditional. If one actually wants to love God, there is no impediment. One can love Him whether one is poor or rich, young or old, black or white.

Science of Self Realization by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

From book “Teachings of Queen Kunti” :

Christians and Muslims are also Vaishnavas, devotees, because they offer prayers to the Lord. “O God,” they say, “give us our daily bread.” Those who offer this prayer may not know very much and may be at a lower stage, but this is a beginning, because they have approached God. Going to a church or mosque is also pious (catur-vidha bhajante mam janah sukritino ‘rjuna [Bg. 7.16]). Therefore those who begin in this way will one day become pure..

Teachings of Queen Kunti, by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Sincerely,

Bhakta Sunil

Jayendran C, 3 December 2015

Thank you devotees for the wonderful answers. Here is a wonderful shloka from the Bhagavatam that would be relevant.

akāmaḥ sarva-kāmo vā

 mokṣa-kāma udāra-dhīḥ

tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena

 yajeta puruṣaṁ param

Translation

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

Purport

The Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is described in the Bhagavad-gītā as puruṣottama, or the Supreme Personality. It is He only who can award liberation to the impersonalists by absorbing such aspirants in the brahmajyoti, the bodily rays of the Lord. The brahmajyoti is not separate from the Lord, as the glowing sun ray is not independent of the sun disc. Therefore one who desires to merge into the supreme impersonal brahmajyoti must also worship the Lord by bhakti-yoga, as recommended here in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Bhakti-yoga is especially stressed here as the means of all perfection. In the previous chapters it has been stated that bhakti-yoga is the ultimate goal of both karma-yoga and jñāna-yoga, and in the same way in this chapter it is emphatically declared that bhakti-yoga is the ultimate goal of the different varieties of worship of the different demigods. Bhakti-yoga, thus being the supreme means of self-realization, is recommended here. Everyone must therefore seriously take up the methods of bhakti-yoga, even though one aspires for material enjoyment or liberation from material bondage.

Akāmaḥ is one who has no material desire. A living being, naturally being the part and parcel of the supreme whole puruṣaṁ pūrṇam, has as his natural function to serve the Supreme Being, just as the parts and parcels of the body, or the limbs of the body, are naturally meant to serve the complete body. Desireless means, therefore, not to be inert like the stone, but to be conscious of one’s actual position and thus desire satisfaction only from the Supreme Lord. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has explained this desirelessness as bhajanīya-parama-puruṣa-sukha-mātra-sva-sukhatvam in his Sandarbha. This means that one should feel happy only by experiencing the happiness of the Supreme Lord. This intuition of the living being is sometimes manifested even during the conditioned stage of a living being in the material world, and such intuition is expressed in the manner of altruism, philanthropy, socialism, communism, etc., by the undeveloped minds of less intelligent persons. In the mundane field such an outlook of doing good to others in the form of society, community, family, country or humanity is a partial manifestation of the same original feeling in which a pure living entity feels happiness by the happiness of the Supreme Lord. Such superb feelings were exhibited by the damsels of Vrajabhūmi for the happiness of the Lord. The gopīs loved the Lord without any return, and this is the perfect exhibition of the akāmaḥ spirit. Kāma spirit, or the desire for one’s own satisfaction, is fully exhibited in the material world, whereas the spirit of akāmaḥ is fully exhibited in the spiritual world.

Thoughts of becoming one with the Lord, or being merged in the brahmajyoti, can also be exhibitions of kāma spirit if they are desires for one’s own satisfaction to be free from the material miseries. A pure devotee does not want liberation so that he may be relieved from the miseries of life. Even without so-called liberation, a pure devotee is aspirant for the satisfaction of the Lord. Influenced by the kāma spirit, Arjuna declined to fight in the Kurukṣetra battlefield because he wanted to save his relatives for his own satisfaction. But being a pure devotee, he agreed to fight on the instruction of the Lord because he came to his senses and realized that satisfaction of the Lord at the cost of his own satisfaction was his prime duty. Thus he became akāma. That is the perfect stage of a perfect living being.

Udāra-dhīḥ means one who has a broader outlook. People with desires for material enjoyment worship small demigods, and such intelligence is condemned in the Bhagavad-gītā (7.20) as hṛta-jñāna, the intelligence of one who has lost his senses. One cannot obtain any result from demigods without getting sanction from the Supreme Lord. Therefore a person with a broader outlook can see that the ultimate authority is the Lord, even for material benefits. Under the circumstances, one with a broader outlook, even with the desire for material enjoyment or for liberation, should take to the worship of the Lord directly. And everyone, whether an akāma or sakāma or mokṣa-kāma, should worship the Lord with great expedience. This implies that bhakti-yoga may be perfectly administered without any mixture of karma and jñāna. As the unmixed sun ray is very forceful and is therefore called tīvra, similarly unmixed bhakti-yoga of hearing, chanting, etc., may be performed by one and all regardless of inner motive.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/10/

Bhagavatam had many instances where people depended on Krishna for their material miseries. King Gajendra depended on Krishna to save his life, Draupadi to protect her chastity, Uttara to save her womb from being destroyed, Dhruva to save his pride after being insulted. In this way, the Bhagavatam in my humble understanding states whoever comes to Krishna is never turned away and is purified even from the material desire they came for.

your humble servant,

Jayendran C

Kaspars Gulbis 3 December 2015

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances. Please excuse my offenses.

All your kind answers are very nice! I understood that in real Krishna consciousness one doesn’t need to pray for ”anything”. That one has to expand his needs beyond bread and accept love for God that only our Krishna consciousness movement gives. Jesus is a Vaisnava and preached according to that place and circumstance. Also I understood that we can pray to Krishna anytime and must remember Him always. Is it all right?

Thank you!

Kaspars

Mahabhagavat Das, 3 December 2015

Dear Devotees,

Hare Krishna!

Thank you to all of you who participated in this wonderful Q&A. Indeed, this is the main purpose of this sda_students group, to ask questions, receive answers, help us all strengthen our faith, kill the doubts, and become gradually purified with this hearing and chanting about Krishna.

In a gathering, there needs to be a sincere question, and loving, knowledgeable authoritative answers from devotees who truly care.

Both are in abundance in this group of sincere spiritualists from all over the world.

Let the questions flow! Let the answers illuminate! Let us all hear and chant about Krishna and thus be fully engaged in body, intelligence, word and mind, let us enter into the spiritual dimension.

So what are we waiting for?

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Vidaa Joon, 9 December 2015

Great answers, thank you. I agree and wish not to subtract anything from the answers but would like to add that for me another verse that comes to mind regarding the first question is BG 12.13-14, one of my favourites: 

One who is not envious but who is a kind friend to all living entities, who does not think himself a proprietor, who is free from false ego and equal both in happiness and distress, who is always satisfied and engaged in devotional service with determination and whose mind and intelligence are in agreement with Me-he is very dear to Me.

I love it because, sure, we sometimes feel a need to pray for help with our problems, and who better than Krishna to be the recipient of our prayers, but if we keep in mind what the above verse says, even our problems will seem to vanish as we put things into perspective, and not only that -it’s exciting to hear how this attitude makes us dear to Krishna! 

Also, I believe one should seek guidance from guru, sadhu, shastra when faced with difficulties, not that one has to suffer blindly. 

your humble servant

Vidaa

Yamini Narang, 9 December 2015

Hari Hari!

Dear devotees,

Thank you very much for the wonderful Q&A discussion! So enlightening! Thank you so much! All glories to all of you! Jai Gurudev! Jai guru Mataji! Jaya Srila prabhupada! 

your grateful and aspiring servant,

Bhaktin Yamini

Rathin Mandal, 9 December 2015

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji,

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you for your questions. They are very good and important at the same time.

1. When in some difficulty, material, psychological or spiritual, can we pray to God to help us, or should we be patient and silent in difficulty.

When in a difficult situation we should remember Sri Krishna. Actually we should remember Him all the time. And yes, we should keep patience too. It should be understood that material and psychological problems are due to our own doing, our own past karma. One should understand that by present suffering one is burning his past karma. One should approach a senior devotee and discuss what Krishna Conscious activities he can do to lower his suffering and remember Sri Krishna more.

2. Maybe early christians were in great difficulty of food, Jesus taught them to pray for bread, or see food as God’s mercy.

3. Why does everyone in Krishna consciousness criticize christians about praying for daily bread? Jesus himself taught that. I think we should not criticize other religions prayer, we should not criticize Jesus? That whole christian prayer is all good. It is saving people from all bad.

I assure you, no one is criticizing Lord Jesus. Lord Jesus is a great Spiritual Master and taught us by his exemplary act as how to remember God at all times. 

What may be confusing you is this, among the 10 commandments, one commandment says ‘Thou shall not kill’. Today christians are opening slaughterhouses to eat meat. Is that what following commandments mean? 

Christians are praying for bread but are they offering the bread to Lord Jesus first. If Lord Jesus is providing them bread then the first share belongs to Lord Jesus. Just like the head of the family gets the first share. The better process would be to pray to Lord Jesus, thank Lord Jesus, offer Lord Jesus and then take what’s remaining.

your servant

Rathin

Kaspars Gulbis, 9 December 2015

Dear devotees,

All glories to all of you!

Every answer is wonderful and nice teaching. Thank you!

Serious Christians do offer prayers before eating, thanking the Lord for food and welcoming Jesus to join the meal with them. Although usually there is meat also having no idea of killing. They say animals have no soul, only humans have. There are also some serious people who strongly preach about vegetarianism and not killing.

Sincerely,

Kaspars

Tirtharaja Das, 11 December 2015

Hare Krsna

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Jai Sri Sri guru gauranga

Thanks prabhu for this touchy aspect of the nine processes of devotional service.

To humbly respond to the first enquiry, yes devotees should approach the Lord for everything, thus by so doing we learn to completely and entirely depend on the Lord. In the advanced stage from the kanistha mentality we should aspire to not only imitate but to pray like queen Kunti. (Refer to Prayers of Queen Kunti).

In humble submission to 2 & 3, the Lord’s prayer as taught by Christ Jesus contains more than supplication for daily bread and for one to appreciate the depth of the prayer itself, it has to be taken in its entirety lest we seem to be like the blind men describing what is an elephant by the parts of an elephant they can touch.

For my own edification, I quote the same prayer and humbly entreaty all of us who can to meditate on the words of the prayer as vaishnavas and let it speak to our hearts.

Jesus Himself said (in Matthew 6: 8 – 13) … “Your Father already knows what you need before you ask Him. This then is how you should pray:

“Our Father in heaven;

May your Holy Name be honoured;

May your Kingdom come;

May your Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us day by day the food we need.

Forgive us the wrongs we have done,

as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us.

Do not bring us to hard testing,

but keep us safe from the Evil One.

Matthew 6: 8 -13

In verse 31 He further advises “So do not start worrying: ‘Where Will my food come from? or my drink? or my clothes? (These are the things the pagans (atheists, Asuras,) are always concerned about). Your Father in Heaven knows that you need all these things. Instead be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you…”

I ask forgiveness if I have offended anybody by quoting from a different scripture but just like Srila Prabhupada would quote Canakya Pandit saying that “a wise man should be able to collect gold from a rubbish damp” …..

Regards,

your lowly servant

Tirtharaja Dasa.

Mahabhagavat Das, 11 December 2015

Dear Tirtharaja Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you so very much Prabhu, for your insights!

Srila Prabhupada and all the Vaishnava Acharyas taught us to respect all the scriptures.

The only caution was to stick to those scriptures we study and understand thoroughly.

Srila Prabhupada`s statements, if not understood properly can cause misunderstandings.

Here are some quotes to help us appreciate context that Srila Prabhupada never criticized the Christians for this prayer, though it can be misunderstood that he criticized them, actually he was explaining the broader principle:

`There are different kinds of love or worship in the world. The beginning is, “O God, give us our daily bread.” This is the beginning. When we are, I mean to say, taught to love God, we are instructed that “You go to temple, go to church, and pray to God for your necessities, for your grievances.” That is the beginning. But that is not pure love. Pure love, perfection of pure love, can be found amongst the gopīs. That is the example.`

Srila Prabhupada lecture, Seattle Sep 30, 1968

`Yes. For the leaders. They are seeing this poor man is going to church or to temple for asking God, “God give us our daily bread.” They are taking the opportunity to spread atheism. They say, “Well, you have prayed for your bread in the temple or in the church. Have you got the bread?” They say, “No. Not yet.” “All right. Come to me. You ask me bread.” “Yes.” They are innocent, “Yes, Mr. such and such, give me bread,” and he gives bread. “Take this bread.” Then they are convinced, “Oh, God cannot give us bread. Our political leader can give bread.” This is, propaganda is going on.`

SB 1.1.2 lecture, London, Aug 18, 1971

`Those who are following the Vedic principles, they think like that. Not only they, others also, the so-called religious system, they also think like that. Just like the Christians. They go to church, “O God, give us our daily bread.” So this bread-supplying business is like that: “God simply supplies bread, and we eat and we enjoy.” Similarly, the Hindu system also there is: “O God, give me some money. I am very poor. I am suffering from disease. Please cure it.” And so everywhere you will find some motive in religiosity. So religion does not mean to solve the economic problem. `

Lecture SB 1.1.2, Caracas, Feb 23, 1975

`The Christian religion also, they say, “O father, give us our daily bread.” So God is accepted, actually He is the father. Must have. We must have original father. You cannot say there is no God. If you are existing, you are existing because of your father. Your father is existing because of his father, his father, his father. There must be somebody original father. That is logical conclusion, not that “I am born out of air” or “My father is born out of air, my grandfather is born…” No. There must be somebody—father. `

Lecture SB 1.2.1, New Vrindaban, Sep 1, 1972

Just like people generally go there like that, “O God, give us our daily bread.” Well, why you are asking God for daily bread? Daily bread is already given to everyone, even birds and bees. Your bread is also there. But people do not know that “My bread is already there. Why I shall bother God for daily bread? Let me learn how to love God.” God is giving us so many things without asking. God is giving us light, God is giving us water, God… Bhūmir āpo ‘nalo vāyuḥ khaṁ mano buddhiḥ… (BG 7.4). Everything He is giving you, without which cannot live. 

Lecture SB 1.2.6 Delhi Nov 11, 1973

Dharma is not meant for that purpose.” People have become materialistic more and more because, just like in our country, “If you want economic development, then why you should go to temple?” The communist theory is also like that, that “If you want material happiness, why you are going to church and accepting, ‘O God, give us our daily bread’? The bread, you manufacture. You just work for it.” In one side, it is good. But this is also fact, that without God’s mercy, you cannot get even bread. Although bread you can manufacture, but the ingredients of the bread, the wheat, that is not in your hand.

Lecture SB 1.2.9-10, Delhi, Nov 14, 1973

In this case, the Bible is very much a hallowed scripture, your understanding of this scripture is clearly a most exemplary Vaishnava understanding, and Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva both quote from the Bible.

In fact, Srila Gurudeva loves King David`s prayer “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff…`

So thank you Tirtharaja Prabhu for adding your perspective. I pray that we may receive more of your association in this group.

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Guru Vandana Devi Dasi, 19 December 2015

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I would like to add one more reference to this question:

When in some difficulty, material, psychological or spiritual, can we pray to God to help us, or should we be patient and silent in difficulty

Our real goal of life is to become a pure devotee of Krishna. Srila Prabhupada explains in his introduction to Nectar of Devotion that any desire except for service of the Lord is material desire. Then does it sound as though Uttama Bhakti is not for us and restricted to particular group or sect who do not have any desires at all? No, pure devotional service is not too exclusive . When Srila Rupa Goswami  gave the definition for Uttama Bhakti, he did not write” anya abhilasa sunyam”, he gave it as ” anya abhilasita sunyam”. This means “void of any desires for sense gratification”. 

We have integral desires for our survival, for self preservation but still we are not out of the realm of pure devotional service. When we face difficulty we pray, “Oh Krishna please help me” .It is a personal desire for existence still we are not excluded from pure devotional service.We have to be very careful to be pure in our desires, our motive should be pure without any personal agenda for sense gratification.

Out of six principles which Srila Rupa Goswami explains which assure complete success in pure devotional service, being patient (dhairyat) is one of them.

your servant

Guru Vandana devi dasi

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

Be careful what you think around saintly persons!

When we visit the great saints, and when we pray to them, are our prayers heard? Is there any reciprocation? How do we know it was not our imagination?

In various pilgrimages to visit saintly persons, I have had the good fortune to get much reciprocation.

With a saintly person who is yet in flesh, reciprocation is easy to get, they will convey that to you in word and deed, sometimes they will put that in writing too.

But what about the saintly persons in “samadhi” or trance, who are physically entombed (sometimes while still alive, at their instruction), but who are clearly not dead and gone.

What to speak of death for a saintly spiritually perfected being, there is no death even for all of us – we don’t die, we just carry on in some other guise. For someone like me, there may be positive and negative consequences of our actions in a future lifetime… but for a genuinely saintly person, they are eternal residents of the Kingdom of God, while still being available by prayer to the likes of me.

But in prayer and meditation, how to know if what we have received is actually from that saintly person and not a concoction of the mind? After all there are so many who claim to “speak to God” and yet do despicable things. I am personally not comfortable sharing my inner feelings here in this article, but I do have one recent experience with a great saintly soul which was a very sweet interaction, if somewhat painful for me! 🙂

Recently, I visited Mantralayam, in South Central India, the place where Sri Raghavendra Swami, a great 17th century saint, resides in samadhi. Thousands of pilgrims throng his shrine, and ask for all sorts of things. In my previous visit in 2019, I had asked “How may I serve you” and the inspiration came “Help people understand what to ask of me”… so I dedicated my time there to distributing spiritual literature from the 20th century saint Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. I was summoned to the administrator’s office, interrogated, and then the administrator, satisfied with my responses, took some books for himself and gave me permission to distribute books there anytime… More about those experiences at another time.

Raghavendra Swami is a great saint who taught about Krishna and in order to attract attention and seriousness to his teachings, he performed some miracles… a lot of people have forgotten his actual instructions and are fully enamored of the miracles, and go asking for mundane temporary blessings that are surely taken away by all-devouring death. But such a great saint can give complete relief from all material misery by granting the ultimate spiritual perfection!

I have had many other interactions with him, but I will keep that private for now… here is one, where I got a gentle fatherly slap from him!

The day we arrived, I was very hungry, having fasted all day during the long bumpy journey, but the Prasada (sanctified food) served in the temple was somewhat scanty and I went to bed hungry… in my childish impudence on my way back from the temple, I happened to “complain” silently in my mind to Raghavendra Swami that his assistants didn’t ask me if I wanted more, rushed me out, and so I went hungry. I was like, how is it that someone, one of your servitors, comes to your place and goes hungry.

The next day, I rose early well before sunrise, took my bath, meditated at the temple doors before they opened, then performed my mantra meditation right at the shrine, and later that morning, went again to obtain more Prasada (literally food received as Krishna’s mercy)… and was secretly worried that I might go hungry once again! So, in the second course, I rushed to asked for more. The serving priest took one look at me, and gave me a MASSIVE glob of rice, and I was satisfied that this time I would be just fine, my quota was met, and I had enough.

But poor little me, I had not factored in the remaining courses coming, all different varieties of very delicious rice preparations with sides! One course, two courses, three, four… a total of 8 courses were served, and each one was a fresh surprise to me, and before I could react, the item was served on my banana leaf plate with great speed, the next course arriving while I was heads down, before I could finish what was on my plate.

I have a vow of never wasting any Krishna Prasada I have been served on my plate, so I put it all away somehow, with great difficulty, laughing to myself at the same time at the transcendental trick that was played on me.

I was barely able to stand up and walk on my way to washing my hands and mouth! Needless to say, I didn’t need anything to eat for a long time to come!

It was almost as if “Oh, you say you went hungry yesterday, so let’s see how much you can eat!” a light-hearted challenge from Raghavendra Swami! And I must happily say that he won, and I lost. He could, that powerful personality, from his Samadhi, arrange to supply me with more than I could possibly eat, not a word said to anyone!

After all, what does it matter a little less to eat once in a while, I did get food enough to survive, did I not? So clearly even though my original complaint was quite childish, Sri Raghavendra Swami did hear it, and acted on it, if only to give me a gentle slap in my face. And miraculously enough, even though I had eaten probably 5-6 times of my usual quota, I did not suffer from a stomach upset that day!

This was just one of many experiences I have had with the great saints, and thanks to their causeless mercy, I carry on in spiritual life. I am grateful for all the mercy I have received undeservedly, whether it was encouragement, or chastisement, and often, slaps in my face to set me straight.

So, when you’re around a saintly person, be careful of what you think, you might just get way more than you bargained for!

Did we or did we not land on the Moon?

Some say humans landed on the moon, saw that it was a barren world, collected some rocks, took some pictures and videos, and then returned. But Srila Prabhupada, a spiritually enlightened person says that this was a collosal hoax… and he is no conspiracy theorist? How to understand this?

Nikhil Mishra, 14 December 2017

Hare Krsna

Can any one kindly explain to me the controversy associated with moon landing? 

read in an email that Srila Prabhupada says that landing on the moon was a false propaganda and it actually did not happen!

humbly exploring truth and seeking surrender unto lotus feet of Lord.

Nikhil

Janis, 14 December 2017

Hare Krishna!

Indeed in the Chitralekha devi dasi Harrychund “Srila Prabhupada said…………!!!” email series this is mentioned. Would you please explain this to me also how the moon landings did not happen if nowadays many independent (or so it is said) investigators with high resolution photographs confirm traces such as lunar rovers, camping sites etc.

Humbly your servant,

Janis

Filip Misic, 14 December 2017

Hare Krishna!

I was also disturbed with this matter some time ago. But after researching why Srila Prabhupada said something like this, I found out, that this statement that the moon landing is not real, is originated from the shastras. I don’t know fully what the shastras say about this subject, but I think they must be saying that no human from our planet is able to physically go to the moon, because our bodies are not suited for this. Also, the modern day science´s descriptions of the moon say that it is completely deserted and only has hills, is quite strange. In the shastras there are many descriptions of the moon and the inhabitants of the moon.

 I am not at all familiar with these exact statements nor am I authoritative to speak on this, but I only wished to help clear your doubts. Maybe some more experienced devotee could help. Just know that Srila Prabhupada has so often emphasized how the shastras are flawless, and in fact they are. So please have faith in the shastras, not atheistic scientists of the Kali-yuga.

your humble servant, 

Filip

Sudarshan Das, 14 December 2017

Hare Krishna,

Yes, the moon landing was a hoax. Srila Prabhupada said that very clearly. 

Here is a reference: https://www.vaniquotes.org/wiki/Prabhupada,_when_they_said_they_went_to_the_moon_and_they_showed_films_of_them_landing_and_walking_on_the_moon,_was_this_all_a_bluff%3F…_They_all_made_it_up%3F

Actually, without even referring to Srila Prabhupada’s quotes, I still don’t believe that the moon landing ever happened. The modern day scientists also challenge it with a lot of arguments. They have found irregularities in the photos and videos that are shown to us.

When we refer to Vedic scripture the belief is cemented. Each planet has souls living there and they have bodies that are suitable to live on that planet. We who are the residents of earth cannot enter into these planets with our present material bodies. 

In one place (Sorry I could not find the reference), Srila Prabhupada explains that even if humans are able to devise material means to reach these higher plants such as the moon, they will not be able to enter it. He gives the example saying that one may take a flight to the US, but they cannot enter into the country without a Visa. They will land in the US, but will be sent back from the immigration counter. So they don’t practically enter and see or understand the US. The scientists’ efforts to enter higher planets are similar.

In another conversation Srila Prabhupada says that actually Moon is further away than the Sun. 

https://vaniquotes.org/wiki/Moon_planet_is_further_(than_the_sun)%3F

So what the scientists are referring to and targeting for is not even moon 😊

There is another conversation also regarding the same where he quotes a verse about this.

All in all, the conclusion is moon landing never happened. Getting to the moon planet is not even our goal. We have a higher mission, Prema, the loving service to Krishna. We should focus on that.

Hope this helps.

your servant,

Sudarshan Das 

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 15 December 2017

Hare Krishna!

I am giving an example to illustrate…

Canada is a “heavenly” country from many perspectives, especially if someone is coming from a war-ravaged or terrorized country.

BUT, if someone enters into Canada without a valid visa, then all they will see of Canada is the inside of a jail cell, and if they go back to their country, they could say “Oh, Canada, its basically a big jail”.

Another example…

When my son was a baby, he wanted to “go” somewhere even when it was not convenient to go, like late at night, or early in the morning. I sometimes used to take him around, swing him, make some sounds with my mouth, take him from this room to that room, back to same room, and he thought he went someplace else and was quite happy.

Many agencies can make someone believe something happened. Memories can be implanted, consciousness can be altered and “experiences” can be inserted into someone’s consciousness.

The demigods who live in the higher planets, they are very powerful.

If a puny impudent little human being tries to exceed their authority, the demigods can easily do whatever they want with the person, such as forcibly stop them, redirect them, etc.

The Vedic view of the “moon landing”, if they ever left the Earth, is that they visited one of the dark planets Rahu or Ketu, which are somewhere between us and the Moon.

Prabhupāda: Yes. How can you say there is no life?

Paramahaṁsa: But the scientists are saying, though, that the nearest star to our… You know, they consider the sun a star. And that the nearest star to ours is four light years away. Which means that it’s… They do not believe that there’s life in this entire solar system, in the planets nearest us, the moon, Venus, Mercury, Mars, Neptune, Jupiter. They assume it’s either too cold…

Prabhupāda: No, we say in the sun there is life. Otherwise how Kṛṣṇa says, imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam (BG 4.1). “I spoke this Bhagavad-gītā science to the sun-god.” So? Sun-god is dead stone, and Kṛṣṇa spoke to him?

Bahulāśva: They’re very convinced, though, that they went to the moon, the scientists.

Devotee (3): I was going to ask you, Prabhupāda, is that the moon planet that we see, is that the same moon planet that’s mentioned in the śāstras? The same planet?

Prabhupāda: Yes, same one. But the moon planet where they went, that is a dark planet. That is not moon planet.

Morning Walk — July 21, 1975, San Francisco

Bottom-line, we trust our Acharyas who have nothing material or spiritual to gain from us. We don’t trust the so-called scientists who need to create an illusion of progress in order to gain more and more funding dollars to maintain themselves.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Nikhil Mishra, 16 December 2017

ahh….whatever it is…it keeps me wondering about mysteries i see in life with my gross eyes and things written in shastras. 

All I want to pray is (while keeping my inquisitive spirit alive)..

Oh Lord! I know You are there, You must be there and Theory propounded by Chaiyanya Mahaprabhu makes sense to my intelligentsia. 

Help me out to know You and to appreciate You. Glance your causeless mercy because due to restless senses,i am unable to upgrade myself upto the standard set for a true devotee.Give me attachment to Your namarita.

Hare Krsna

Sincerely

Nikhil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 16 December 2017

Dear Nikhil,

That’s called free will. Krishna will never force you but give you a choice at every mentioned to Love Him or Leave Him.

Yes no one can uncover the truth simply by relying on their material senses or vibrating their brain… The mysteries of the Universe don’t give themselves up so easily.

Your prayer is nice.

He gives this choice to the Atheist, and He gives this choice to the Devotee. He loves us all, and His love is unconditional. The only difference is that the devotee accepts Krishna’s love and the Atheist rejects Krishna’s love.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Filip Misic, 17 December 2017

Hare Krishna Nikhil,

That’s the spirit!

your servant, Filip

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari, 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 To Get Association Of Devotees If They Are Far

How to get association of devotees when living far from a temple?

Angie, 14 February 2018

Hare Krishna…it says in sastras I must give up association with people who are not devotees and I must associate with devotees I live hundreds of miles from a temple…no one I know is a devotee I have never even met a devotee before…how can I progress in Krishna Consciousness and stay strong without a family of devotees around me…all glory to Sri Prabhupada and glory to Sriman Sankarshan das Adhikari…who are dispelling my ignorance with the torchlight of knowledge

Angie

Nikhil Mishra, 14 February 2018

Hare krsna

My humble suggestion to your question is – Read Srila Prabhupada’s books if you are unable to associate due to non availability of devotees in your vicinity and pray sincerely to Krsna. Krishna Conscious Books will be your best friend and guide till Lord makes some further arrangement.

Sincerely
Nikhil

Filip Misic, 14 February 2018

Dear Angie,

This is a difficulty indeed for your progress in Krishna consciousness. My advice to you would be that you find time to visit the temple even though it is far away and also see when the devotees will be traveling doing programs near you. Otherwise, reading Prabhupada’s books, watching Sankarshan Das’s daily videos and being active in online devotee communities like this can help you stay Krishna Conscious. Association is very important, so if you only have non-devotee friends near you, you should be careful not let them influence you. Sooner or later, if you truly want to go back to Godhead and practice the topmost yoga system, you should jump over every obstacle to get association of devotees and become truly Krishna Conscious. This is my humble advice to you.

your servant,
Filip

Bhakta Sunil, 14 February 2018

Please study the following Question-Answer taken from Archives of World Famous Free E-Course at www.joincourse.com :

Answers by Citing the Vedic Version dated 7th January 2014:
Question: How to Keep Faith When I Can’t Go to Temple Often?

I read your daily sayings with attention and learn a lot from them. However, I recently lost my job and since transport is very expensive and the Radha Krishna temple is far away from where I live, how do I keep my association of devotees ongoing? I miss going to the temple but can’t afford to do so anymore, and I am finding it hard to keep my faith sometimes when I am tired and discouraged.

Can you provide any guidance on how I can keep my faith alive even if I pray at home?

Many thanks
Anysha

Answer: Always Remember Srila Prabhupada’s Teachings

If by force of circumstances you cannot physically associate with the Lord’s devotees, you should associate with them constantly within your heart by the method taught by Srila Prabhupada in a letter he wrote to his disciple, Sivananda Sen Das, who was feeling very lonely away from the association of the other devotees:

“You write to say, ‘I really miss Prabhupada and my Godbrothers’ association so much.’ But I may remind you that I am always with you. Wherever I am, you and your Godbrothers are there. Please remember always the humble teachings that you have received from me, and that will keep you always associated with me and with your Godbrothers also.”

If you will sincerely follow the above advise of Srila Prabhupada, you will feel strongly connected and protected in your Krishna consciousness even while you are physically separated from the devotees.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

www.joincourse.com

your insignificant servant,
Bhakta Sunil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA 17 February 2018

Dear Angie,

Hare Krishna!

You have met so many devotees! 🙂 Here we all are, at your service.

Accepting or rejecting association is not necessary physical, it is accepting or rejecting consciousness.

So, no matter where you are, you can accept Srila Gurudeva’s consciousness just by carefully viewing and hearing his daily video for the day, reading his thought for the day, his daily Q&A… or you can live right in Srila Gurudeva’s Ashram in Austin and watch mundane television on your phone! 🙂

That said, that’s what we are here for. We are your servants, we want to serve you on your spiritual journey, all 800+ of us.

Have you considered joining the Bhagavata Online Academy?

The entire family of Srila Gurudeva’s programs, the Ultimate Self Realization Course, the Weekly Lesson on the Bhagavad Gita, this group, the Bhagavata Online Academy, his nonstop travel around the world – these are meant to benefit those who live far from a temple or a devotee community. Please make full advantage of all of them!

You are not alone, Krishna who resides as Paramatma, or Supersoul, within your heart, is making all arrangements for you, do not worry. All you need to do is keep trying your best – this is a journey that transcends lifetimes! Welcome aboard Srila Prabhupada’s mission! 🙂

Also, finally, when Srila Prabhupada came to the west, there were no devotees, but he went out, chanted Hare Krishna, distributed Krishna Prasada and books, spoke about Krishna, and created the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, and made, attracted, and surrounded himself with thousands of devotees. Want to try yourself? 🙂

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Sacinandana Das, 17 February 2018

Thank you Bhakta Sunil and other devotees for enlightening me. Hare Krishna.

your servant,
Sacinandana Das.

Angie, 18 February 2018

Dear servants of Krishna

All glory to you and our dear Sri Prabhupada and our dear Sriman Sankarshan das Adhikari!!!!

Thank you all so very much for the most encouraging email to my questions…you are so very correct I am very fortunate to have this amazing association with you all…and access to all sri prabhupada books and access to these courses of our dear Sriman Sankarshan das Adhikari…thank you for dispelling my ignorance I owe you a debt of gratitude…krishna is so kind and merciful also give me the answers I am searching for even though I have never been to a temple or physically met a devotee…so much love…

Hope this emails finds you all well
Humbly attempting to be a servant of the devotees
Angie

Filip Misic, 21 February 2018
Dear Angie,

We are all glad you found our answers helpful 🙂

your servant, Filip

Bhaktarupa Das, 22 February 2018
Dear Angie, All,

Hare Krishna!

Srila Gurudeva is very merciful. He gives his association every day 8 am Central Time US by giving live Srimad Bhagavatam class. Everyone is invited to join and take the advantage of his association. This live class from Austin, Texas, US will be until 14 March 2018, when he departs again for another world tour.

Every day he makes sure that he allocates time especially for questions and answers. We can ask questions and get the answers live.

This online class will be using startmeeting application. Available on smartphones too. There is also an option to join by regular phone too.

www.livelectures.net

I have created a google calendar event for myself so that I get a reminder on my phone every day to join the class. If you would like, I can send an invite for you.

Kindly take advantage of the association of pure devotees and get attached to them, that is the only way we can get detached from material sense gratification and get purified.

Thank you.
Hare Krishna!
Bhaktarupa Das

Bhaktarupa Das, 22 February 2018

Dear Devotees,

Hare Krishna!

Apologies. The correct time of online Srimad Bhagavatam class is 7.15am US central time.

Thank you.

Hare Krishna!
your servant,
Bhaktarupa Das

Amol Lad, 27 February 2018

Thank you very much Bhakta Rupa Prabhuji for reminding me of the importance of daily SB classes by Gurudeva and Gurumata. Yesterday only we learned in class on SB 3.5.42:

“Devotional service entails being initiated by a bona fide spiritual master and following his instruction in regard to hearing about the Lord. Such a bona fide spiritual master is accepted by regularly hearing from him about the Lord.”

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

Understanding the Vedas

How can one get a basic understanding of the Vedas?

Tapas, 2 February 2020

Hare Krishna

All glories to Gurudeva

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Dear Prabhuji

I have no knowledge on Vedas. Request you all for helping me to have some basic knowledge on Vedas.

Dandavat Pranam

your ever endearing servant

Tapas

Dejan (Dan) Boskovic, 2 February 2020

Hare Krishna 

All glories to Gurudeva 

All glories to Srila Prabhupāda!

Thank you for your mail, prabhuji.

Radhanath Swami in one lecture said that we should chant 16 rounds a day and attend one lecture to have protection against Maya. We should be scared of Maya too, I am pretty sure he said that in the same lecture. And as I hear pure devotees who do a lot for Krishna never feel like they do enough.

I read and have read Bhagavad Gita few times and am on tenth chapter but my knowledge is not realized yet. Sastra said that you must approach a bonafide spiritual master and serve him and he will tell you the truth because he has seen it. He has that realized knowledge. That is my opinion ,Srila Prabhupāda said we can’t do this just by reading but that is the process of devotion sravanam(hearing) read Bhagavad Gita read everything you can get your hands on and try to brake 4 pillars of demoniac life (meat, eating, illicit sex, intoxication and gambling) chant 16 rounds minimum and thus make your self eligible to receive a spiritual master. Which you can get to know a little through the lectures on YouTube and he will make your knowledge perfect. 

That is the best answer I can give you that I am trying to follow. But I am a neophyte. I suggest you keep asking. And see if more advanced devotes give you an answer that is practical and will enliven you more and make your quest for knowledge of the Vedas enjoyable and fruitful.

Haribol

yours 

Dan

Manian VB, February 2020

Pranams to devotees. 

The  best veda is Bhagavad gita. if you strictly follow its teachings your soul will be up lifted

Sundar Gopal Das, 4 February 2020

Dear Sriman Tapas,

Hare Krishna!

Pls accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All glories to Sri Guru & Gauranga.

Thank you so much for your query.

Actually, the ultimate goal of Vedas is to know Lord Sri Krishna-vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo (Bg.-15.15). So Srila Prabhupada has given us the most important teachings of Lord Sri Krishna in the form of Bhagavad Gita-As it is and Srimad Bhagavatam which is the natural commentary on Vedanta by Srila Vyasadeva along with his Bhaktivedanta Purport. Actually, it is not very easy to derive the most essential Bhakti element from the complicated presentation of Vedic wisdom. The embedded complication act as default encryption is not meant for deprivation of this valuable knowledge but to restrict unauthentic and unscrupulous interpretation. That’s why it is advisable instead of independent study of Vedas, better scrutinizingly go through the treasure house of essence of Vedic wisdom as given by Srila Prabhupada through his books.

In addition, the introduction to Isopanishad, Srila Prabhupada’s one lecture on the “Teachings of Vedas” has been included:

https://vedabase.io/en/library/iso/introduction/

After completely studying all the books of Srila Prabhupada, if you are further interested in Vedas, you can read the followings:

Also you can go through this booklet named ‘Elements of Vedic Thought and Culture’  written by His Holiness Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami (Disciple of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada) :

https://mayapur.store/english-books/3-elements-of-vedic-thought-and-culture.html

Furthermore, you can order the following book online from BBT:

http://bbt.org/book/veda-secrets-east-anthology 

Does this make any sense?

with regards,

your servant,

Sundar Gopal Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 6 February 2020

Dear Sriman Tapas,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

What do you wish to know about the Vedas when Sri Krishna says the following:

yām imāṁ puṣpitāṁ vācaṁ pravadanty avipaścitaḥ

veda-vāda-ratāḥ pārtha nānyad astīti vādinaḥ

kāmātmānaḥ svarga-parā janma-karma-phala-pradām

kriyā-viśeṣa-bahulāṁ bhogaiśvarya-gatiṁ prati

Men of small knowledge are very much attached to the flowery words of the Vedas, which recommend various fruitive activities for elevation to heavenly planets, resultant good birth, power, and so forth. Being desirous of sense gratification and opulent life, they say that there is nothing more than this

Bg. 2.42-43 (https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/42-43/)

bhogaiśvarya-prasaktānāṁ tayāpahrta-cetasām

vyavasāyātmikā buddhiḥ samādhau na vidhīyate

In the minds of those who are too attached to sense enjoyment and material opulence, and who are bewildered by such things, the resolute determination for devotional service to the Supreme Lord does not take place.

Bg. 2.44 (https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/44/)

trai-guṇya-viṣayā vedā nistrai-guṇyo bhavārjuna

nirdvandvo nitya-sattva-stho niryoga-kṣema ātmavān

The Vedas deal mainly with the subject of the three modes of material nature. O Arjuna, become transcendental to these three modes. Be free from all dualities and from all anxieties for gain and safety, and be established in the self.

Bg. 2.45 (https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/45/)

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

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

Is there life on the Moon?

IS there life on the Moon? The Vedic scriptures talk about the Moon as a heavenly realm with celestial beings and soma drink, etc., we have had so many missions, why did they not find anyone there?

Partha Das, 7th October 2019

Hare Krsna,

Q) We heard of  so many moon missions and the latest by India.  So many satellites are orbiting the moon ? No life had ever been found till date on moon? However our scriptures talk of Chandra as a devta living with his associates on moon planet, drinking Soma rasa etc. How do we explain the contradictions?

Dandavats,

Partha Das

Anuradha, 8 October 2019

This is from Gurudev’s lesson. I have copied and pasted here , Think it answers.

Lesson Completed on 23 May 2016 in Kaunas, Lithuania

————————————————————–

Srila Prabhupada explains in his purport to Bhagavad-gita 8.25 that there is a higher class of living beings on the moon, although they may not be perceivable to our gross senses. He also mentions that Vedas teach a method of how one can go to the moon and get a moon body in his next birth. He points as well out the futility of this because eventually these moon beings have to come back to the earth. Considering all of these points we can easily see why doing austerities to get a moon body are not worth it. It is better we do austerities to attain the planet of Krishna because from that planet there is no coming back down to suffer once again on the earth planet or in any planet in this material world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

www.joincourse.com

 —

Anuradha

Jahnava , 8 October 2019

Hare Krsna

Thank you!

Jahnava

Partha Das, 8 October 2019

Thanks for the reply. Helpful. Dandavats, Hare Krsna.

Partha Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 8 October, 2019

Dear Partha,

Hare Krishna!

In addition to this, we should think about situation on this planet… North America and Europe have very opulent countries, very rich and very different to many other countries in the world. But to enter into it someone needs a proper visa or permit. Without visa if someone even comes here (by hiding in some corner of an aircraft, for example, as one Indian man did some years ago), then they will only see the inside of a jail cell. Then they can come, be arrested, be sent back, and say “well, this Canada and USA and Norway and Germany, they are just jails, nothing more to it”. Our situation trying to go to the moon without authorization is somewhat like that.

Just like a smart adult can make a little child think that there is a monster behind the closet or the world ends at the front door (to prevent the child from harm or entering some unauthorized place), similarly, the higher beings led by Chandradeva and those entities can direct the spacecraft to the dark planets that are between us and the moon.

It is clear that one cannot enter the heavenly planets by mechanical means. Ravana tried to build a staircase to heaven, these are little Ravanas, they are not even as capable of that great demon. Happy Dussehra to everyone btw.

This Dussehra, I pray that just as Lord Ramachandra killed the demon Ravana on this day of Vijaya Dashami, similarly, Lord Rama may please kill this Ravana like mentality in our hearts, to enjoy God’s property separately from God. May Lord Ramachandra purify our consciousness.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna

Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama

Rama Rama Hare Hare

Hope this helps,

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Partha Das, 8 October 2019

Thanks, hare Krsna, dandavats

Partha Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 8 October 2019

The book to read in this connection is:

http://krishna.com/books/easy-journey-to-other-planets

This book is also available online at: https://www.vedabase.com/en/ej

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Partha Das, 9 October 2019

Noted.Prabhuji. will read the book. 

Partha Das

Sundar Gopal Das, 11 October 2019

Dear Sriman Bhakta Partha,

Hare Krishna!

Pls accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All glories to Sri Guru & Gauranga.

Relevant to the above interesting discussion, I would like to share the following extract from Srila Prabhupad’s Srimad Bhagavatam Purport:

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/10/3/27

In this connection, it may be noted that the moon is one of the heavenly planets. From the Vedic literature we understand that one who goes to the moon receives a life with a duration of ten thousand years in which to enjoy the fruits of pious activities. If our so-called scientists are going to the moon, why should they come back here? We must conclude without a doubt that they have never gone to the moon. To go to the moon, one must have the qualification of pious activities. Then one may go there and live. If one has gone to the moon, why should he return to this planet, where life is of a very short duration?  

with regards,

your servant,

Sundar Gopal 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

%d bloggers like this: