“Old” New Discoveries

Do you think the Vedic Scriptures are Mythology? Do you think that modern scientists know better? Did you know that scientists are simply re-discovering whatever was already explained in the Vedic Scriptures?

Sometimes, it is thought that we are making advancement in this world today. It is thought that the Vedic Scriptures are archaic and full of superstition and dogma. In fact, I grew up in India, where I was taught that the Vedic scriptures are “mythology”.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Vedic Scriptures are the most advanced science we have today. But most of the knowledge contained in the Vedic scriptures is not understood by most of us.

The knowledge in the Vedic scriptures require purity and sharp consciousness, not consciousness dulled by repeated sense gratification like meat eating, intoxication, gambling, and illicit sex.

Let us consider one example…

Robert Boyle, an Anglo-Irish son of an Earl, is credited with discovering that sound must travel through a medium in the year 1660. While it is nice that he discovered this, he is not the first to know that sound travels through the air.

Over 5000 years ago, in the Srimad Bhagavatam, here is a verse:

चालनं व्यूहनं प्राप्तिर्नेतृत्वं द्रव्यशब्दयो: ।
सर्वेन्द्रियाणामात्मत्वं वायो: कर्माभिलक्षणम् ॥ ३७ ॥

cālanaṁ vyūhanaṁ prāptir
netṛtvaṁ dravya-śabdayoḥ
sarvendriyāṇām ātmatvaṁ
vāyoḥ karmābhilakṣaṇam

The action of the air is exhibited in movements, mixing, allowing approach to the objects of sound and other sense perceptions, and providing for the proper functioning of all other senses.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/3/26/37/

But there is a lot more information contained the ancient Vedic knowledge. The great seer His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, writes, in his purport to the above verse…

We can perceive the action of the air when the branches of a tree move or when dry leaves on the ground collect together. Similarly, it is only by the action of the air that a body moves, and when the air circulation is impeded, many diseases result. Paralysis, nervous breakdowns, madness and many other diseases are actually due to an insufficient circulation of air. In the Āyurvedic system these diseases are treated on the basis of air circulation. If from the beginning one takes care of the process of air circulation, such diseases cannot take place. From the Āyur-veda as well as from the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is clear that so many activities are going on internally and externally because of air alone, and as soon as there is some deficiency in the air circulation, these activities cannot take place. Here it is clearly stated, netṛtvaṁ dravya-śabdayoḥ. Our sense of proprietorship over action is also due to the activity of the air. If the air circulation is stifled, we cannot approach a place after hearing. If someone calls us, we hear the sound because of the air circulation, and we approach that sound or the place from which the sound comes. It is clearly said in this verse that these are all movements of the air. The ability to detect odors is also due to the action of the air.

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Robert Boyle didn’t know all this. So he spent his life re-discovering what was already known. Most modern scientists are fools in that respect, running around re-discovering what was already known, and often making foolish mistakes along the way. But they are proud. They will not accept the Vedic Scriptures. And the rest of us are even bigger fools for trusting them.

The Vedic Scriptures contain everything one can possibly need. But at the end, they say this is not our home. So therefore, it is important to learn to end our material sojourn as quickly as possible, not get caught up in material consciousness.

Please look into the Genuine Vedic Scriptures. Please follow them. Please perfect your life, and go back home, where you belong. By following the Vedic Scriptures under the guidance of the bonafide spiritual master, one can live happily in this world, and at the end of one’s life, be transferred to the spiritual sky.

How may I serve you on your spiritual journey?

Studying the Vedas

Do you want to study the Vedas? Do you want to get a firm understanding of the essence of all Vedic wisdom?

Bhaktin Bhavita, 30 November 2018

Hare Krishna dear devotees

Please accept my humble and respectful obeisances

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

All glories to Guru Maharaj

I’d like to know, I am currently doing the self realization course, which goes through the verses of the Gita. The purpose of this course amongst other things is to give us an opportunity to thoroughly study the Bhagavad Gita.

I would like to know, how do the devotees end up understanding scriptures so thoroughly. Remembering various Sanskrit words etc…

I find myself reading various books by Srila Prabhupada yet if someone were to come to me and ask me a question I would struggle to give a detailed response. It kind of seems like I am doing all of it in vain.

Please offer advice.

Sincerely,

Bhaktin Bhavita

Bhakta Sunil, 03 December 2018

Hare Krishna Mataji

Any amount of reading or devotional activity which you do is your permanent asset and never goes in vain

So please continue, although you may feel that you do not remember or can repeat

The remembrance of verses and the responses which you can give to others will automatically improve with continuing of reading, chanting as self purification occurs and your realizations keep happening to you from reading of the books

Even if you can improve even 1% daily it indicates job well done irrespective of whether you could quote verses or responses from the books

Lord give the remembrance those who want to remember Him,

Even if you could not give detail response to someone who asks you but if at that moment you sincerely chant the Maha mantra or pray to God to guide you then you will become potent to respond in detail

Hope this helps,

Sincerely,

Bhakta Sunil

Shreyas, 04 December 2018

Hare Krishna Bhaktin Bhavita Mataji (and all devotees),

Please accept my humble obeisance!

All Glories to Srila Prabhuipada!

All Glories to Sri Guru & Gauranga!

Very relevant question. I recall similar feelings I would develop in the past and hence am very happy to discuss on this aspect.

It’s a matter of training. Everything we do in life has taken a shape due to our practicing it day after day in a favorable culture. If not this, then those samskaras come from previous births.

Whenever we compare ourselves with others, it should happen on the basis of Satisfaction. We should know that a particular quality in a devotee has manifested because of one’s hard efforts and by Krishna’s empowerment. Some grasp immediately, some take time, others (like me) keep forgetting slokas, concepts time after time. Everyone has their own past history. So, if you also spend years training yourself in daily hearing, reading, chanting attentively and practicing various limbs of devotional service in association of devotees, you will also cultivate these qualities. It’s simply a matter of Perseverance. We have to faithfully stick with the process and sincerely practice w/o losing enthusiasm and patience even if it apparently seems that we are too conditioned and slow to catch up unlike others. This requires faith.

If we have faith that Krishna can empower me at this very moment if He so desires and His not doing so is also out of His concern and affection for me, so that I can become more sincere and selfless in my practice, then we will remain happy & busy in our efforts to please Krishna.

Fortunately, Vedas are revealed. It’s not understood by mental/intellectual exercise. It’s not revealed by brain exercises. Vedas are revealed by sincere selfless devotional service unto Lord and His pure devotees:

yasya deve parä bhaktir yathä deve tathä gurau

tasyaite kathitä hy arthäù prakäçante mahätmanaù

“Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.” [SU 6.23]

1)      Srila Gaur Kishor Das Babaji, spiritual master of Srila Prabhupada’s spiritual master (Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur), was illiterate. He couldn’t even write his own name. But when he spoke, he quoted various references from Vedas.

2)      Once Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu visited Sri-Ranga-Ksetra in South India. There a Brahmana was crying in ecstasy while reading Bhagavad Gita and others were laughing on him because of his improper pronounciation of slokas. When Mahaprabhu asked, what section of BG interests you so much? The Vaishnava Brahmana replied that I cannot read properly, neither can I understand properly what I read. I am simply reading it because my spiritual master has instructed so. But when I see the picture of Parthasarthi Krishna, who has accepted the role of a chariot driver of His devotee, I cry tears thinking of His love and kindness for His devotees. This is what gives me joy. Mahaprabhu immediately embraced the Vaishnava Brahmana and declared him as the authority on reading Bhagavad Gita.

In one lecture Srila Prabhupada states that when one becomes a pure devotee, then Krishna upon seeing the sincerity of the devotee, reveals the knowledge into his/her heart of how to defeat even a Mayavadi.

While above points hold true, we also have a duty of representing our parampara properly. So we also have to become expert in our representing of Srila Prabhupada books but simply the endeavor to do so is pleasing to Guru & Krishna if done with the intent of pleasing them. So service attitude matters. Memory, skills, etc. will automatically be given by Krishna if He so desires. Things will reveal as we purify our senses in the process. No scholarly qualification is required.

In your case, it is rather a blessing to know personal shortcoming. It makes us humble to chant the Holy Names and gives opportunity to appreciate others by seeing how Krishna has empowered them. At the same time, there must be other skills that each one of us have that others also glorify about. That we must fully dovetail in serving Krishna. That will satisfy the soul and give it joy to connect with the spiritual sound vibration.

Lastly, I request all devotees to read BTG article “Prayerful Reading” by HG Bhurijan Prabhu. Can search on Vedabase. Wonderful article on how to read Srila Prabhupada books.

your servant

Shridhar das

Bhakta Sunil, 15 Dec 2018

P.S : Mataji we have a wonderful opportunity to read the books in group right here via Google Groups in form of book reading academy where you can not only read in group but also share your own realisations and get answers to your queries too

If you like to take this opportunity right now, kindly reply back and you will be getting the proper instructions how to join the Google group

Are you ready?

Bhakta Sunil

Bhavita Keshav, 15 December 2018

Hare Krishna

Yes please this sounds like a wonderful opportunity!

Helen Thomas, 16 February 2019

I am interested in joining the book reading academy if possible please.

Hare Krsna

Helen Thomas

P.S: Anyone interested in getting Srila Prabhupada’s books or in the Bhagavata Online Academy of the Ultimate Self Reaization Course, please contact me!

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

I live far from others – how may I advance?

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

Danny, 02 July 2018

Hare Krishna!

I respectfully and humbly ask about Guru.

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

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

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

Hare Krishna!

Danny F

Rupa Manjari devi dasi, 03 July 2018

Hare Krishna, Danny

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories Srila Gurudev

All glories to Srila Prahbupada.

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

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

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

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

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

your servant

Rupa Manjari dd

Danny F, 05 July 2018

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

All glories to Srila Gurudev

Hare Krishna

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

Hare Krishna!

Amanda Saksman, 05 July 2018

Hare Krishna, Danny Prabhu!

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Guru Mataji!

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

I wish you good luck with developing your Krishna Consciousness!

Sincerely,

your servant,

Bhaktin Amanda

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 05 July 2018

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

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

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

Lila Manjari devi dasi, 06 July 2018

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to dearmost Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

All glories to all wonderful Devotees

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kindly forgive me if I have mentioned something inappropriate.

Thank you.

Hare Krishna

your insignificant servant

Lila Manjari devi dasi

Rupa Manjari devi dasi, 08 July 2018

Hare Krishna

Dear Danny

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

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

your servant

Rupa Manjari dd

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

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

Brajanath Das, 20th February 2017

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

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

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

your servant
Brajanath das

Bhaktarupa Das, 21st February 2017

Dear Brajanath Prabhu,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hare Krishna!

your servant,
Bhaktarupa Das

Dra Varni, 21st February

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

Dra Varni

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 22nd February 2017

Dear Brajanath Prabhu,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Srila Prabhupada writes in the purport:

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

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

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

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

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

Srila Prabhupada’s final words in that purport?

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

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

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I am Flower Bearing Spring

Do you have trouble seeing God?

It’s a famous frequently asked question, and being the recovering atheist I am, I’ve been asked the question many times, can you show me God?

A great saint, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, wrote this article to answer just that question… http://www.backtogodhead.in/how-to-see-god-by-his-divine-grace-a-c-bhaktivedanta-swami-prabhupada/

In the Song of God, The Bhagavad Gita, God says

ṛtūnāṁ kusumākaraḥ “, or ” of seasons I am flower-bearing spring

BG 10.35

I had that experience recently, when one night it was still winter, and seemingly, the next morning, all of a sudden, it was spring. Some trees had fresh green leaves, others had flowers in profuse numbers, some bright and colourful, some fragrant, some both… Here are some pictures so you can see God for yourself.

Apple Blossoms, still buds yet… God’s smile, about to unfold…
Wild Apple Blossoms, in full Bloom, God’s beautiful smile…
Do you have trouble seeing God? Why not see what God says about how we can see Him? Spring anyone?
More Apple Blossoms, this time against the Brilliant Sun, also the eye of God…

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Lottery Tickets, Lucky Draws, Gambling, Casinos, etc.

Jaanvi, 28th September 2014

Dear All,

Could you please tell me if buying Lottery ticket which is mostly available everywhere organized by charitable company considered suitable and acceptable to purchase?

The purpose may be as an activity, or desire of winning the draw so as to make money with luck.

Hare Krsna.
Srivatsa Das SDA, 29th September 2014

Hare Krishna Mataji,

Please accept my humble respects

All Glories to Srila Gurudeva

Though there is no guarantee of winning a lottery, a lot of people rely on lotteries to meet their urgent material needs. The sad point here is that if we are situated in material mode, whether we win the lottery or not, we cannot come out of the miseries. The fact is other way around, the life becomes more and more miserable, by winning the lottery.

The best thing is to come out of this miserable life forever. This is possible only when we lead our life Krishna Consciously.

When we follow Krishna Conscious life and when we surrender fully to the Lord Krishna, there is no more suffering. Srila Prabhupada explains the verse 18.66 in Bhagavad gita As it is – introduction.

sarva-dharmän parityajya mäm ekam saranam vraja

aham tväm sarva-päpebhyo mokshayisyämi mä sucaù

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

Thus the Lord takes all responsibility for one who surrenders unto Him, and He indemnifies such a person against all reactions of sins.

As per Srila Prabhupada, to fully surrender to Krishna we need to:

chant 16 rounds on japa beads daily without fail,

follow four regulative principles and

read Srila Prabhupada books.

Yesterday, I was listening to Srila Gurudeva’s recorded lecture, in that lecture, Srila Gurudeva was mentioning that we need not read so many books, (if we don’t have time) but by reading only Bhagavad gita As it is daily repeatedly, we can achieve perfection.

In short, instead of wasting our effort on accumulating material wealth and the associated miseries, just surrender to the Lord as early as possible by:

-Taking shelter of a bonafide spiritual master.

-chanting 16 rounds on japa beads

-strictly following 4 regulative principles and reading Bhagavad gita daily and understand how to surrender to the Lord and thus lead a perfect life.

Sincerely,
Srivatsa Das
Rathin Mandal, 29th September 2014

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,
All Glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji,
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Very nice question Mataji, and Srivatsa Prabhu has beautiful explained it.

Today there are so many organization that run on lottery, by faking as they are doing it for charity. They try to present it as a win win situation for everybody.
They allure us by saying that guys, you can’t help everyone alone. So give me your Rs.50 or Rs. 100 and I will take it to the needy. And in return you may get some prize for your generous contribution. We fall into the trap, thinking that Ok I am getting to help someone and I may get something back too. They do same with thousands of other people.
There is no way for us to know properly what they are doing with the money. Also if someone wants to help someone. Then they will use every penny donated for helping. And not for any other thing. Their employees salary, transportation, presentation, everything is covered through those donation amount. Plus they take status of NGO and get so many government benefits.

So in reality there is no charity. It is just good business.

your Servant
Rathin
Bhakta Sunil, 30th September 2015

Mataji Hare Krishna All Glories to Srila Prabhupada Regarding gambling , please view few items:

And no gambling or unnecessary sporting. People are wasting time. So many sportings they have invented–sporting balls, this ball, that ball. You see? Human life is very short. We do not know when we shall die. Before that, we must prepare ourself for the next life. Next life means directly going back to Krsna, highest perfection.

Srila Prabhupada Interview, 12-19-68, Los Angeles :-

Sometimes the living entity is interested in the yellow stool known as gold and runs after it. That gold is the source of material opulence and envy, and it can enable one to afford illicit sex, gambling, meat-eating and intoxication. Those whose minds are overcome by the mode of passion are attracted by the color of gold, just as a man suffering from cold in the forest runs after a phosphorescent light in a marshy land, considering it to be fire.”

Purport: Pariksit Maharaja told Kali-yuga to leave his kingdom immediately and reside in four places: brothels, liquor shops, slaughterhouses and gambling casinos. However, Kali-yuga requested him to give him only one place where these four places are included, and Pariksit Maharaja gave him the place where gold is stored. Gold encompasses the four principles of sin, and therefore, according to spiritual life, gold should be avoided as far as possible. If there is gold, there is certainly illicit sex, meat-eating, gambling and intoxication. Because people in the Western world have a great deal of gold, they are victims of these four sins. The color of gold is very glittering, and a materialistic person becomes very much attracted by its yellow color. However, this gold is actually a type of stool. A person with a bad liver generally passes yellow stool. The color of this stool attracts a materialistic person, just as the will-o’-the-wisp attracts one who needs heat.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 5:14:7 Purport

“I am also the gambling of cheats, and of the splendid I am the splendor. I am victory, I am adventure, and I am the strength of the strong.

Purport: There are many kinds of cheaters all over the universe. Of all cheating processes, gambling stands supreme and therefore represents Krsna. As the Supreme, Krsna can be more deceitful than any mere man. If Krsna chooses to deceive a person, no one can surpass Him in His deceit. His greatness is not simply one-sided–it is all-sided.”

Bhagavad-gita 10:36

“Krsna says that “Amongst all kinds of cheating business, I am gambling.” Gambling… There is in gambling… It requires some expert brain, how to play gamble. So that expertness, that part of expert endeavor, is Krsna. So we should not think, “Oh, because Krsna is gambling also, so let us engage and devote in gambling.” No. Krsna is everything. Krsna is everything, but we have to select favorably, not unfavorably.”

Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Caitanya-caritamrta, 01-05-67, New York

…Gambling of all description, even speculative business enterprise, is considered to be degrading, and when gambling is encouraged in the state, there is a complete disappearance of truthfulness.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1:17:38

“If one accepts a poverty-stricken position because of losing money in business, gambling, prostitution or intoxication, no one will praise him, but if one becomes poverty-stricken by giving all of his possessions in charity, he becomes adored all over the world. Aside from this, if a benevolent and merciful person exhibits his pride in becoming poverty-stricken by giving his possessions in charity for good causes, his poverty is a welcome and auspicious sign of a great personality.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 8:20:10 Purport

“Every educational or progressive method has got do’s and do not’s. So the asuras, they do not know what they should do and what they should not do. That is asura. And a devotee, he knows what to do and what not to do. There is no illicit sex. That is “do not.” But there is “do” also, that “If you want sex life, then get yourself married according to religious principle and get a wife and beget nice children.” That is “do.” And “No illicit sex,” that is “do not.” Side by side. “You do not take intoxicants”–that is “do not.” But “You take Krsna prasadam and be intoxicated with Krsna’s love”–that is “do.” Similarly, “You do not indulge in gambling, but you indulge in gambling.” What is that gambling? That gambling is “Dedicate your life to Krsna and see the result.” That is also gambling. That is also gambling, because everyone is engaged in his own business, but if he’s advised, “You give up this business. You take to this Krsna business,” that is also gambling because he does not know what will happen.”

Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Bhagavad-Gita, 09-12-73, London

“Just like money. Money you can utilize for duskrtina and for sukrtina. You can utilize your money for drinking wine, illicit sex, meat-eating and gambling. And you can utilize your money for Krsna’s service, for offering yajnas, for constructing temple, sacrifices, push on the sankirtana movement, Krsna consciousness movement. So money is not good or bad. As you utilize it… Similarly, merit, merit also, there. You have got already merit better than the animals, but you have to utilize it for proper service. That is called Krsna consciousness. Consciousness we have got, merit we have got. Simply we have to utilize.”

Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Bhagavad-Gita, 10-10-73, Bombay

“Four kinds of sinful activities–associating with woman for illicit sex, eating meat, intoxication and gambling–are allowed for the ksatriyas. For political reasons, sometimes they have to take to these sinful activities. Ksatriyas do not refrain from gambling. One vivid example is the Pandavas. When the Pandavas were challenged by the opposite party, Duryodhana, to gamble and risk their kingdom, they could not refrain, and by that gambling they lost their kingdom, and their wife was insulted. Similarly, the ksatriyas cannot refrain from fighting if challenged by the opposite party. Therefore Prthu Maharaja, taking consideration of all these facts, inquired whether there is any auspicious path. Grhastha life is inauspicious because grhastha means consciousness for sense gratification, and as soon as there is sense gratification, one’s position is always full of dangers. This material world is said to be padam padam yad vipadam na tesam, dangerous in every step (Bhag. 10.14.58).”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 4:22:13 Purport

“Gambling is also an art. Ksatriyas are allowed to exhibit talent in this art of gambling. By the grace of Krsna, the Pandavas lost everything by gambling and were deprived of their kingdom, wife, family and home because they were not expert in the gambling art. In other words, a devotee may not be expert in materialistic activities. It is therefore advised in the sastra that materialistic activities are not at all suitable for the living entities, especially the devotees. A devotee should therefore be satisfied to eat whatever is sent as prasada by the Supreme Lord. A devotee remains pure because he does not take to sinful activities such as gambling, intoxication, meat-eating and illicit sex.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 9:9:16-17

“Prabhupada: Yes, gambling means betting. That is gambling. People are betting. You put one dollar, and if you gain, you get ten dollars. Otherwise, you lose this one dollar. This is gambling. They’re gambling in Christian churches also, in the Western countries. So gambling is considered sinful activity. I do not know… One Mr. Bhattacarya, a barrister, he was educated in England. So he told there is some island, Monte Christo? There is gambling?
Devotee: Monte Carlo.
Prabhupada: Monte Carlo, yes. He said that there are gamblers, and one gambler loses everything, he commits suicide, immediately, and he’ll go on. That’s all. Nobody cares for him. He told me. It is a fact? So just see the gambling. They bring all their fortunes to stake and they lose everything. And then, out of frustration, takes revolver and shots himself, dies, and it is thrown on the street or in somewhere. Nobody cares. Just like cats and dogs. So there is free gambling in Monte Carlo?
Devotee: Very, very wealthy people, they (indistinct) there.
Devotee: There is free gambling in London.
Prabhupada: Oh, everywhere. Any big city. In Calcutta, Bombay, everyone gambling. When you get money, then gambling. The horse race is also gambling. Horse race. This gambling, drinking, meat-eating, these things were all unknown in India. They did not know how to drink. These Britishers introduced. There is still a lane, a street, Porterly Street. There was a woman of suspicious character. She was supplied big bottles of wine, and she used to canvass rich men’s son to take wine, and it was distributed free. In this way wine was distributed, and people began to drink, gradually. And I have seen a tea set committee. They… Advertising tea, preparing tea nicely. “You take this tea, you’ll not feel hungry, you’ll be cured from malaria…,” and so many things. And people come and take tea in this way. Now any man is taking tea. In the morning they’ll gather in the tea stall. You see. So people, they did not know what is gambling, what is drinking, what is meat-eating. So these things were introduced gradually. Still, no rigid Hindu house will allow meat cooking in the house, still. No. If you want to if you want to eat meat, you can go to hotel, but at home you cannot cook, meat-eating.
Yamuna: Guru Maharaja, in our missionary work, if we’re forced to live with (indistinct), should we just talk about that same topic or should we avoid the (indistinct) at all?
Prabhupada: No. If we can find out a suitable place; but it is difficult nowadays. That we have to tolerate. What can be done? Let others do whatever they like. We can preach that “Do not do it,” but you cannot force, because the whole world has gone in these four principles of life, this eating, meat-eating, drinking, gambling. And so our regulation is very strict. You see? If we say that “You do whatever you like,” then many people may come and join. (laughter) But we are not going to say that. We… Our principle is that better not to have any cow than to have a cow, disturb him. You see? Ekas candras tamo hanti. If one person can understand this Krsna consciousness science, in future there is hope that he can make many other persons to this knowledge of Krsna consciousness. Although it is very difficult. In Bhagavad-gita it is said, manusyanam sahasresu. But if you can deliver even one man in your life, then you’ll be doing a great service for Krsna. It is not required that you have to deliver hundreds and hundreds of men, so-called. No. If you can train only one man, that’s a great service to Krsna. You saved one man from the clutches of maya. It is so nice thing. So do it peacefully, and as far as possible. People may accept or not accept, but we shall do our duty. That’s all. But why will not accept? You have accepted it. You were also addicted to these habits, but you have accepted it. Similarly others may accept. We have to do it.”

Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam, 09-17-69, London

Sincerely,
Bhakta Sunil

Balaji Shanmugam, 30th September 2014

Hare Krishna everybody,

If I am correct real lottery system works like this. Collect money from 10 lakh people. Randomly select some 1 lakh people and pay them a prize and the lottery owner ( be it a government or a charity system ) takes the remaining cash and nobody knows what he will be doing with that money. Remaining 9 lakh people get cheated and go empty handed. For me it seems that it is not in accordance with Krishna consciousness.

If a devotee manufactures and sells comb it is a value adding activity. The person who gains money ( the seller – the devotee ) is maintaining his body by selling comb. The person who loses money ( the buyer ) actually gains something. He is able to clean up his hair with the comb.This type of work seems to be in accordance with Krishna consciousness. In the case of lottery system number of buyers lose money and doesn’t gain anything.

With best regards,
S.Balaji.
Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 03rd October 2014

Dear Mother Jaanvi,

I don’t participate in such things at all willingly. Sometimes they invite me to do surveys with a chance of winning this, that, or the other, they are using people’s greed and use the contact information to bombard them with advertisements etc. So I see that I don’t have to waste time on such things.

Sometimes it is unavoidable. Once at my workplace, unwillingly I was entered into some lottery and I won. I took the entire winnings and put it into the donation box at the temple, and washed my hands off the matter. I prayed to Sri Radha Kshir Chor Gopinath that whoever had contributed towards that donation should please get some spiritual benefit. Another time a similar thing happened, I gave the entire winning to a visiting preaching devotee who was in the renounced order of life, to fund his preaching activities.

By avoiding this, I am free of much anxiety.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das
Sulakshana devi dasi, 18th October 2014

Hare Krishna Sunil Prabhu!

please accept my humble obeisances!
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Gurumataji!
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Thank you for sharing all those excerpts from various lectures of Srila Prabhupada.

your servant,’
Sulakshana devi dasi
Bhakta Sunil, 20th October 2014

Mataji your sincere reading is of great value

All Glories and credit to Srila Prabhupada

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

How to Manage Work Life without compromising principles

Harish V Menon, 15th January 2015

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Request your guidance in managing work life. We work with various types of people with different mentalities. When working with colleagues who are having selfish intentions, back biting attitudes and doing politics, how should a person in KC react. I try to be good to everyone, but sometimes end up retaliating to their behaviors and I later repent

Please advise how to handle such type of situations

your Servant,
Harish V

 

Brhadnath dasa, 15th January 2015

Hare Krishna,
Please accept my humble obeisances

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.

When I joined at a new place among unknown colleagues, I faced one typical problem, our incharge would thrust work related to other seats to me in addition to my own work. My feeble protests were brushed aside. I also approached devotees, most of them advised to refuse, but that was not my forte. One devotee told me to strengthen my sadhana, viz. attentive chanting in the early hours,devote more time to listen to lectures. I followed and also shared the nectar from the lectures with my colleagues. Within one month the whole scenario changed. Now the additional work load got offloaded, and person concerned would come to me for guidance and I started sharing Prabhupada with them, by gifting them Bhagavad Gita As It Is

I suggest, to share the concerns of your colleagues, (whatever it is), don’t go into the shell and share Prabhupada with them. their is too much scope to reform some persons. Moreover, this will help you to empower yourself to practice bhakti consistently, irrespective of circumstantial feelings

Hope I make some sense

your servant,
Brhad nath dasa

 

Sacinandana Das, 16th January 2015

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

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

The more we give Krishna, the more we get Krishna. By giving Prasadam to our colleagues we are making them Krishna Conscious. We can ask them to chant Hare Krishna and taste the ultimate bliss. We also have to be careful to not let them know that Bhakti is more important to us than anything else.

your servant,
Sacinandana Das

 

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 16th January 2015

Dear Sriman Harish,

Hare Krishna!

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

Your question is very pertinent. Many of us face this same situation every single day.

It is important not to get too emotionally invested with materialistic persons either lovingly or in distaste, because if we do, we will be dragged into material consciousness one way or the other.

In my personal work life, I try to stick to business only, but strive to be very professional and friendly without getting involved in their activities, for example, if we have some celebration, I don’t go with the colleagues to the bar, though I will stay in the office and clap and pat people on the back for a job well done.

Not everyone is ready for spiritual advice either, in fact, you can jeopardize your broader Krishna conscious service if you endanger your job by preaching inappropriately.

So, look at this… stay away from the envious, try to gently preach to the innocent…

If we are always exemplary, people will naturally come to us when they need spiritual guidance. It is not easy to change from one day to the next, but I can say that the process of devotional service, rising early, chanting our rounds, Mangal Arati, reading Srila Prabhupada’s books, taking only Krishna Prasada as far as possible, following regulative principles, etc., purifies us gradually and almost imperceptibly, but I can see many differences from years ago and today.

If sometimes, we fail, we should pick ourselves and try again without getting discouraged either.

Hopefully this helps!

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

 

Bhakta Sunil, 17th January 2015

Hare Krishna Harish Prabhu

Dandavat Pranams!

The earlier answers have provided best possible answers ,but to indulge in this topic i humbly put forth the answer in different words :

Dealing and associating are different. At work place you deal with non-devotees but do not take their association and where favorable , give your association

One point I remember about retaliating or not retaliating from Ultimate Self Realization emails , is that one choose one’s battles wisely ; if one can fight or correct then retaliate or else not to retaliate

If one is tolerant and could successfully ignore , then the back biters would get tired of the dirty politics and would soon stop. It is like test of getting agitated or not.

Regarding persons who are envious , backbiting , playing politics and blasphemous ; i remember a recent email from Ultimate Self Realization Emails as forwarded below , which I hope would help :

Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:
________________________________

Question: How to Handle Blasphemers?

________________________________

What should a Krishna consciousness person do if someone blasphemes against Lord Krishna or His devotees? Please guide me on ways to handle this especially when the person is unavoidable, like at home or in the office.

There’s another religion where even the slightest blasphemy would mean ghastly acts of terror by its followers and all this killing is justified. Isn’t it wrong to resort to such violent acts if someone blasphemes God?

Regards,
Kaushik

________________________________

Answer: Defeat Them, Leave the Place, or Tune Them Out

________________________________

If someone blasphemes Krishna or His devotee the best thing to do is defeat them philosophically. Convince them they are completely wrong to say such nonsense so that they will feel remorse and apologize. If this is not possible, one should immediately leave that place, because by hearing blasphemy one’s devotion to Krishna will be destroyed. If you are stuck with them like at home or in the office and you cannot convince them that they are wrong, you should block your hears rather than be polluted by hearing blasphemy. For example you can get a headset for hearing Krishna conscious lectures and Hare Krishna kirtan. In this way by tuning into Krishna katha you can tune them out. If you cannot tune them out with a headset, you should tune them out simply by putting your mind somewhere else.

Committing blasphemy is certainly a greatly sinful act. Even though even our scriptures say that blasphemers should be killed, this should NOT be taken literally in this age. This is so because on the plea of Lord Nityananda Lord Caitanya forgave the blasphemers Jagai and Madhai rather than killing them. In this age of Kali because everyone is a blasphemer, if we were to kill the blasphemers, we would have to kill everyone. So the conclusion is that instead of killing the blasphemers, we should kill their blasphemous mentality by the wide scale distribution introduction of Hari nama sankirtan (the congregational chanting of they holy names of God) and the wide scale distribution of transcendental literatures such as the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. This will bring about the much desired peace and happiness for the world.

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

Sincerely,
Sunil

 

Balaji Shanmugam, 19th January 2015

Hare Krishna everybody,

Please accept my humble respects.

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada and Our Gurudeva.

I to faced similar problem and in my case it happened to be bit intense. So I wrote our gurudeva. The instruction given by our Gurudeva is available in the following link.

http://sda-archives.com/tftd/tftd/2004/may/tftd_051204.html#W

Hari bol,

S.Balaji.

 

Acharya Das, 19th January 2015

Dear Harish Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeiances.All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I have also faced myself such situations some suggestions from my side would be identify and be aware of these kind of people while working. Do your duty to the best of your ability and have a good relationship with your superior.Keep focusing on your task don’t react too much to there politics, back bitting etc but keep a watch on their activities. Distribute Prasad if possible but dont preach too much.

yours Sincerely,
Acharya Das.

 

Harish V Menon, 19th January 2015

​Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you all for your wonderful guidance.

Haribol!​

your Servant,
Harish V

 

Haladhar Das, 20th January 2015

Hare Krsna Harish ji,

Thank you for the nice question which definitely everyone goes through in his office life and beautiful answers given.

Just wanted to take the opportunity to add a little to already clarified discussion.

One thing is setbacks small or big, steadies or rather enhances one faith in sadhu, guru, shashtra like Lord Krsna already confirming this material world to be dukhalayam asasvatam temporary and full of miseries. And Srila Bhaktisidhanta Saraswati Thakur ji citing “This place is not fit for the gentleman”. So we should take all the negativity or unfavourable circumstances as sweet reminder to concentrate on the goal of human form of life, going back to Godhead.

e dhana, yaubana, putra, parijana
ithe ki ache paratiti re
kamala-dala-jala, jivana talamala
bhajahu hari-pada niti re

“What assurance of real happiness is there in all of one’s wealth, youthfulness, sons, and family members? This life is tottering like a drop of water on a lotus petal; therefore you should always serve and worship the divine feet of Lord Hari.”

Second thing is we have to understand and properly analyze through the eyes of scripture our favourable position vis-a-vis the position of non-devotees or materialists. We should have mercy on them and if feasible try to find out means to save them from their precarious position.

“Everyone is forced to act helplessly according to the qualities he has acquired from the modes of material nature, therefore no one can refrain from doing something, not even for a moment.” (BG 3.5)

So having mercy on the poor souls, trying to find out the means for utilizing a unfavourable circumstance in a favourable way. Like Srila Gurudeva HG Sankarshan Das Adhikari ji says a good sailor by adjusting his sails can sail against the wind also. Or a intelligent businessman makes profit in any circumstances, when the price is low, he buys and when the price is high, he sells.

Reading Srila Prabhupada Lilamrta helps a lot in keeping the devotional spirits high while dealing in such unfavourable or so called horrible situations, as after going through it (although its not mentioning every moment), we can know what a unfavourable situation means actually.

Hope it helps.

thank you.

your servant,
Haladhar 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.backtohome.com

Why take shelter of a Spiritual Master

Jaanvi, 19th January 2015

Dear all,

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

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

 

Priya Sutradhar, 19th January 2015

Dear Jaanvi mataji,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

your servant,
Priya

Yamini Narang, 20th January 2015

Hare Krishna!

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

Dear HG Jaanvi Mataji,

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

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

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

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

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

your insignificant servant,
Yamini.

 

Sudarshan Das, 20th January 2015

Hare Krishna,

Such a wonderful question and such wonderful replies!!

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

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

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

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

your Servant,
Sudarshan Das

 

Haldhar Das, 20th January 2015

Hare Krsna mataji,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you.

your servant,
Haldhar Das

 

Jaanvi, 21st January 2015

Dear Matajis and Prabhujis,

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

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

 

Sridhar Das, 22nd January 2015

Hare Krishna Mataji!
Please accept my humble obeisances!

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

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

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

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

However, the Chaitanya Charitamrita states:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

your servant
Sridhar Das

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Why do Horrible Incidents happen?

Jaanvi, 15th January 2015

Dear All,

Hare Krsna

In this material world, there are so many horrible incidents happening everywhere such as innocent people being killed either by personal family or outside situation?

Now, since God is in every living being’s heart then how come he allows this to happen?

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

 

Rupa Manjari devi dasi, 16th January 2015

Hare Krishna!

Dear Mataji,

This is a common question, often the answer is difficult to digest, if one does not have a grasp on the philosophy. Srila Prahbupada explains this clearly in his books as Krishna explains it in Bhagavad-Gita, where he talks about Karma.

The truth is no one is innocent apart from the few pure souls who have descended here to save us. The materiel world is a prision house for those who wish to leave the loving service of Krishna. Due to our envy we are here trying to Lord is over materiel nature. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, a man reaps what he sows.

The naked truth is everyone gets what they deserve.

However we must be careful not to judge, just because such terrible things have not happened to us yet. We have committed many sinful activities over many thousands of lives, and though all the reactions have not yet fruitified, they may later in life or next lives. Though of course for a devotee one is only getting a token reaction, and our past karma is burnt up during initiation(hour indebted we are to our spiritual master), however we have so much ugly Karma we should be suffering for it.

Rupa Goswami explains in Nectar of Devotion there are four kinds of effects due to sinful activities
1)The effect which is not yet fructified,( the reactions to our activities that are lying dormant) 2) the effect which is lying as a seed ( which are the sinful desires stored in the heart which is a result of past activities which give us inclination to perform more sinful activities),3) The effect that which is almost mature 4)) The effect which is already mature, (The suffering we are experiencing presently).

These four effects can be immediately vanquished by one who surrenders to the Supreme Personaility of Godhead. Some forms of atonement can vanquish those reactions that have not yet fructified but only Devotional service can vanquish the desire to commit the activity again. Therefore unless one adopts the path of devotional service to the Lord one will never be fully free from the reactions of his activites and thus one must continue to suffer birth after birth.

Why does the Lord allow this to happen? Because he loves us. If a child insists on touching fire he will get burnt. He is never likely to do the stupid thing again. But of course the father tries to instruct the child first. That is why the Vedas are there, vanasrama, instructions on our to live a pious life as to minimise one suffering in this materiel world, but ultimately, no one can truly be happy here, as it not one’s true home or nature as a fish can never be happy out of water. So the Lord wants us to be truly happy, eternally happy so that is why there is temporary suffering for sinful activities. There are four types of people who begin to take up devotional service. The distress is one of them.

So we should have compassion for those who are suffering, because they do not have Krishna consciousness. Whether it is the child who is brutally murdered or the lady that just inherited a million dollars and appears happy, as in reality they are both suffering for they have forgotten their constitutional postion as Krsna’s loving servant. The child who was murdered may of burnt of that reaction and in the next life getting some temporary enjoyment and the enjoying lady in this life may be manifesting some terrible kama in her next life, but without Krishna consciousness, apparent good or apparent bad is all misery, Thus as Krishna says in Bhagavd-gita one must become transcendental the dualities of materiel nature.

So in conclusion one must give everyone in some way, some how Krishna consciousness so they can permantely escape the miseries of materiel existence.

your servant
Rupa Manjari devi dasi

 

Priya Sutradhar, 16th January 2015

Hare Krsna
Dear Rupa Manjari Mataji, you have given a wonderful answer. Thank you so much for enlightening us.

ys,
Priya

 

Sridhar Das, 16th January 2015

Hare Krishna Mataji
Please accept my humble obeisances!

Your question actually best is answered in the lecture: Unflinching faith in guru, Arrival lecture, San Francisco, July 1975 by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. It should be around 39 minutes mataji, please hear! I will however paste the following:

Just coming here from Philadelphia we were talking with the aeroplane crews, the captain, the pilot. They (were) very patiently hearing us. The question was very intelligent, question pilot made, that “If everything is created by God…” Yes. That is a fact. Janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]. The Vedānta-sūtra says everything is emanated from God. Without a thing being present in God, there cannot be any existence of anything. That’s a fact. Īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam [Īśo mantra 1]. So his question was, “Then what is this evil?” The evil is also God’s creation.

So I explained like this, that for God there is no good or evil; everything is good. So I gave him this example that good, or piety, that is God’s frontage, and evil means God’s back side. So taking this example, the chest or the back of my body, they are equal. It is not that when there is some pain on the back side I don’t care for it; I simply take care of when there is pain in the chest. No. Although it is back side, it is as important as the front side. Then evil and good is also of the same importance? No. Evil… That I gave the example, that for God there is nothing evil. I gave another example. Just like the sun, there is no darkness. Anywhere of sun’s body, there is no darkness. But for us there is light and darkness. Just like if you keep the sun back side, you will find darkness, a very long darkness, your shadow. And if you keep yourself in front, sun, there is no darkness. So it is my business; I create darkness. As soon as I change my position—instead of remaining in front of God, I keep God back side—then there is darkness. Otherwise there is no question of darkness. But in the sun as it is, there is no such darkness. Therefore God is all good. And for us, when we forget God, that is evil. And when we are in God consciousness always, everything good. Is that example all right?
Devotees: Jaya!
Bahulāśva: Perfect.

It is untrue Mataji that Krishna is freely letting us suffer. If one accepts Krishna as Supreme then one must also accept His peace formula – BG 5.29? The reason why we are suffering is because this place is house of miseries. Question should be why are we here?
We actually wanted to be the centre of all enjoyment like Krishna, independently. Therefore Krishna gave us the independence even though we are constitutionally His dependent servants. This is His kindness
So the scenario is: We wanted to be independent enjoyers and Krishna despite being Supreme, acts as our servant, a loving Father by giving us this independence here, where we can enjoy freely. Now we are blaming Krishna that, why are you so loving? Isn’t this childish? Shouldn’t we understand that love is voluntary and not forceful? What is the use of our free will then?
On the other hand, is Krishna really so cruel? Hasn’t He provided us literatures and scriptures as instructions? Didn’t He Himself descend and instruct? Didn’t He recently send His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada and other acharyas? In fact He Himself descended again and again until He gave us the easiest process of Sankirtan yajna.
Yet if we block our eyes and ears, then where is the scope of peace? Suffering is inevitable. Suffering means we cannot be independent enjoyers, but are dependent enjoyers. Therefore we must re-accept our constitutional position of eternity, bliss and knowledge by re-accepting Krishna as Supreme as per BG 5.29. We were never related with suffering. But by blocking the sunlight, darkness arises and by accepting Krishna, the sun, darkness/suffering will automatically diminish.
The suggested lecture above by His Divine Grace also is also based on BG 5.29. Please hear it and it will solve your other past queries Mataji.

your servant
Sridhar Das

jaanvi, 16th January 2015

Dear Mataji,

Hare Krsna

Thanks for your reply with all the teachings.

It may take time to digest this unacceptable truth.

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

 

Rupa Manjari devi dasi, 17th January 2015

Hare Krishna Mataji,

Please absorb yourself in reading Srila Prahbupada’ books, especially Bhagavad-Gita. Intially this conception may be difficult to digest but due to the pure potency of Srila Prahbupada one can easily realize this. When one can factually realize that one is not the body, the truth is liberating.

Sometimes quotes from Jesus come to my mind as I was raised a Christian, Jesus says, “Continue in my word and you shall no the truth and the truth will set you free,”, therefrore if one continues under the guidance of the spiritual master, continues to read Srila Prahbupada’s books and inquire from the pure devotees then very easily you will become fully realized and the truth will no longer be unacceptable to you.

I am not very advance, and perhaps my presentation of this truth is somewhat flawed. If there is still doubt in which it appears to be please inquire from His Grace Sriman Sankarshana das Adhikari, because of his purity he will be able to explains things clearly.

your servant

Rupa Manjari devi dasi

 

jaanvi, 18th January 2015

Dear Matajis,

Hare Krsna

Thanks for all your answers and explainations.

Could you tell me where can I find the. lecture of Srila Praphupada as per mentioned.

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

 

Sridhar Das, 17th February 2015

Hare Krishna Mataji!

If you were referring to the lecture Unflinching faith in guru – San Francisco – 1975 based on Bhagavad GIta 5.29, the link is shared below. Both audio and transcripts are available.

http://vanisource.org/wiki/750715_-_Lecture_Arrival_-_San_Francisco

If you were asking for the same lecture, I beg forgiveness for not looking into it soon, being entangled in personal interests.

your servant
Shreyas

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What to do with money found

Jaanvi, 29th December 2014

Dear all,

HARE KRSNA

Could you tell me if someone finds a big sum of money on the road, he has no idea who it belongs to. Is it correct to keep it for own use. Will this create any karmic action? Or maybe, this could be due to his past karmic reaction that he found this money?

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

Sridhar Das, 30th December 2014

Hare Krishna!
Please accept my humble obeisances!

Mataji, after understanding this basic principle of karma, you will be able to answer it:

yajñārthāt karmaṇo ’nyatra
loko ’yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ
tad-arthaṁ karma kaunteya
mukta-saṅgaḥ samācara

Work done as a sacrifice for Viṣṇu has to be performed; otherwise work causes bondage in this material world. Therefore, O son of Kuntī, perform your prescribed duties for His satisfaction, and in that way you will always remain free from bondage. (BG 3.9)

Further understanding from Nectar of Instructions, Text 2:

“The wealth of the world actually belongs to Kṛṣṇa, and every living entity, man and animal, has the birthright to use God’s property for his maintenance. When one takes more than his maintenance requires – be he a capitalist or a communist – he is a thief, and as such he is liable to be punished by the laws of nature. The wealth of the world should be used for the welfare of all living entities, for that is the plan of Mother Nature. Everyone has the right to live by utilizing the wealth of the Lord. When people learn the art of scientifically utilizing the Lord’s property, they will no longer encroach upon one another’s rights. Then an ideal society can be formed.

The basic principle for such a spiritual society is stated in the first mantra of Śrī Īśopaniṣad:

īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvaṁ
yat kiñca jagatyāṁ jagat
tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā
mā gṛdhaḥ kasya svid dhanam

“Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong.”

Therefore, its very important to learn this science in order to know what real welfare is. Only then can we utilize everything perfectly.

The ultimate understanding of this science is as Srila Prabhupada explained – Everything belongs to Krishna.

If I use it for my enjoyment, then I am a thief, meant to be punished (This is karma). If I think, “I am not the enjoyer, let me renounce the money!” that is also foolishness for how can one renounce that which never belonged to that person?

However, If used for Krishna’s enjoyment it’s akarma (boundless action). In fact not only me but the person to whom the money so-called belongs, will also benefit tremendously. Akarma or devotional service will rather destroy all the past karmic reactions!

Therefore, one should know the Original proprietor.

Then, next duty is to apply the knowledge and preach. I daily encounter people who think by working hard like asses honestly (honest asses), one will be liberated. While they are working hard for little grass thinking of liberation, its pitiable that they are indeed preparing themselves to become an ass or so in their next birth. This is the result of a spiritually illiterate society, with the wrong understanding of karma.

But in real world, I won’t steal and run away such money. I shall definitely seek out the person who may be in dire need of that money. If found then I shall request for some donation from him for his benefit. If not, then I shall see how I may ‘smartly’ do the right thing for the mass out of illiteracy may consider me a criminal.

Also, in one of the lectures Srila Gurudeva was giving an insider secret of a spiritual master, to a devotee who is a sales manager of a company with many karmis working under him: The spiritual master sees every one as a part and parcel of Krishna who are covered devotees now. The spiritual master sees, how shall I engage them in such a way that majority of their energy is transferred to Krishna. Therefore we must feed them prashadam. Or accept what they may offer and see how to donate it to Krishna. Accept their love or appreciation. When the boss appreciates the devotee for his work, that is also offered to Krishna!
For this one needs to be very strong in sadhana, for all the karmic reactions being directed to Krishna will be directed through him as the medium.

your servant
Sridhar Das

Sacinandana Prabhu, 30th December 2014

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

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

It would be good to donate the money to the local Iskcon Temple.

your servant,
Sacinandana das

Manian VB, 30th December 2014

hare krishna: the question is whether to return the money or use it for you. if you cannot find the owner, you have to use it for spreading krishna concisous as using for personal bnefits will create karmic reactions. your undeserving servant. manain

Rasika Krishna Das, 30th December 2014

Mother Jaanvi,

Hare Krishna!

From the book ‘Nectar of Instruction’:

If a hundred dollar bill is lying on the street, someone may pick it up and put it in his pocket. Such a man is not honest. Another man may see the money and decide to let it remain there, thinking that he should not touch another’s property. Although this second man does not steal the money for his own purposes, he is unaware of its proper use. The third man who sees the hundred-dollar bill may pick it up, find the man who lost it and deliver it to him. This man does not steal the money to spend for himself, nor does he neglect it and let it lie in the street. By taking it and delivering it to the man who has lost it, this man is both honest and wise.

Since the wealth of the world actually belongs to Krsna, so the money can be donated to nearest ISKCON so that it can be best used for the welfare of all living entities.

Sincerely,
Rasika Krishna Das

Gabrielė, 30th December 2014

Hare Krishna, my humble obeisances,

This happened to me too, found 100 EUR on the road. I offered those money to Srila Gurudeva on Vyasa Puja. I do not know if it was the perfect way to do…

your servant,
Gabriele

Rathin Mandal, 30th December 2014

Hare Krishna,

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

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I had received a very nice teaching, regarding this from Her Grace Shyamamohini Mataji in Toronto. Everything belongs to Krishna.
We all went to book distribution once. On our way back, in one place we saw many coins lying on ground. We ask nearby people if it was their money. Everyone said NO. Then Mataji said that pick up the money. It is Krishna’s money, let us return it back to him. So we will picked up the coins and deposited in the temple.

The lesson I learned was that if I come across something that does not belong to me, then I should try to use it in service of Krishna or give it to someone who can use it for service, if I am not fully capable of doing that. Keeping something for myself, which is not mine, is certainly an attachment. That’s too a bad kind of attachment.

Also if we donate that in service of Sri Krishna, than we are also helping that person who lost something. As his earning has been used in service for Sri Krishna. That is good for him.

your Servant
Rathin

Jaanvi, 31st December 2014

Dear Matajis and Prabhujis,

Hare Krsna

Thanks so much for all your answers.

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

Rahul Mangla, 31st December 2014

Hare Krishna!

Rathin prabhu, the last point you wrote is excellent. I never thought of it. Thank you 🙂

your servant,
Rasika Krishna Das

Jaanvi, 03rd January 2015

Dear Matajis and Prabhujis,

Hare Krsna

Thanks so much for all your answers.

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

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