How much sin does Chanting Hare Krishna eliminate, and Why is material advancement a disqualification?

How powerful is the chanting of Hare Krishna? And why is advancement in material progress a disqualification? After all the whole world is trying to advance materially? And hardly anyone chants Hare Krishna?

Brajanath Das, 24 January 2016

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All glories to your devotional service!

While reading SB 1.8.26 purport, I got the following doubts –

In the purport it is stated that “It is said in the śāstras that by once uttering the holy name of the Lord, the sinner gets rid of a quantity of sins that he is unable to commit.” What is the meaning of “… the sinner gets rid of a quantity of sins that he is unable to commit”?

Later in the purport Prabhupada says …

Therefore, the four principles of material advancement, namely (1) high parentage, (2) good wealth, (3) high education and (4) attractive beauty, are, so to speak, disqualifications for progress on the path of spiritual advancement. 

 Krishna says in Bg 6.41 that unsuccessful yogi takes birth in sucinam srimatam gehe … , but the first two are kind of contradictory.

The other two – high education (knowledge)  and beauty are sparks of Krishna’s opulence. Only pious/fortunate people get them. How they become disqualification for spiritual progress?

Please help me to understand.

your servant, 

Brajanath Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 26 January 2016

Dear Brajanath Prabhu,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

>What is the meaning of “… the sinner gets rid of a quantity of sins that he is unable to commit”?

It is said that by one utterance of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra,

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna

Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama

Rama Rama Hare Hare

one burns away more sinful (and pious) reactions than one can accumulate in an entire lifetime.

Lord Gautama Buddha also said that if we stacked up the skeletons of all the bodies one soul has inhabited in the material world, it would block out the sun. Meaning that we have been here more lifetimes than we can possibly imagine.

One lifetime of Brahma is 311.04 trillion years. Every living entity starts as a Brahma of some universe, and then devolves and goes up and down in the chain of species, sometimes human sometimes some other bodies. The scriptures state that numerous Brahmas come and go and the living entity is still in the cycle of birth and death.

I heard a class by Kadamba Kanana Swami Maharaja where he said “apparently, then, there is a bit of a pile of sinful reactions” (not actual quote – but as I remember).

Sinful activities give rise to seeds, which sprout, take root, grow into trees, and give flowers and fruits – imagine one banyan seed giving rise to a tree giving rise to millions of figs which give thousands of seeds each, which result in more trees… So, Sriman Rao, our past sinful activities are collecting super-super compound interest as I write this 🙂 Unless we are fully surrendered to Krishna, in which case, these seeds are roasted in the fire of Krishna consciousness, and this incapable of multiplying and eventually burned by Krishna.

But still, another challenge is offenses against the Vaishnavas, against the Holy Name – inspite of absence of sinful reactions, these offenses block progress in spiritual life and stop us from chanting Hare Krishna properly.

>The other two – high education (knowledge)  and beauty are sparks of Krishna’s opulence. Only pious/fortunate people

>get them. How they become disqualification for spiritual progress?

With your second question, in the purport, Srila Prabhupada makes it clear – did you miss those lines:

quote

But the result is that by possessing all these material assets one becomes artificially puffed up, intoxicated by such temporary possessions. Consequently, such materially puffed up persons are incapable of uttering the holy name of the Lord by addressing Him feelingly, “O Govinda, O Kṛṣṇa.”

unquote

Don’t you see that if you have a beautiful face and healthy body, others will be attracted to you for sense gratification and they will give you sense gratification? Don’t you se that high education in the material realm will give you a lot of money with the ability to enjoy a lot of sense gratification? Does sense gratification ever relinquish its grip on a person intoxicated with knowledge, beauty and wealth?

Finally, did you read these lines in the purport? “The material covering of the pure spirit soul is an external feature, as much as fever is an external feature of the unhealthy body. The general process is to decrease the degree of the fever and not to aggravate it by maltreatment. Sometimes it is seen that spiritually advanced persons become materially impoverished. This is no discouragement. On the other hand, such impoverishment is a good sign as much as the falling of temperature is a good sign. The principle of life should be to decrease the degree of material intoxication which leads one to be more and more illusioned about the aim of life. Grossly illusioned persons are quite unfit for entrance into the kingdom of God.”

Yes, the verse from Bhagavad Gita you quoted, 6.41 is right, but this pious birth only gives an opportunity for advancement, it does not guarantee this. How many children from pious households do we know who took up terrible bad habits like meat eating, illicit sex, intoxication, and gambling? Just being born in a pious atmosphere does not guarantee piety, just as being born in a family of doctors does not guarantee one’s profession as a doctor.

Yes, the facility is there, but if someone does not make use of the facility, they fall back down into a lower status.

We should realize that Maya, or the illusory energy, is also a spark of Krishna’s splendor. But associating with this energy of Krishna does not lead to spiritual emancipation.

One should follow in entirety what Srila Prabhupada has taught us, not take a sentence from here, a sentence from there, and allow the uncontrolled mind to make us bewildered with some apparent contradiction.

Does this make sense?

Devotees, please do kindly add your perspectives

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Bhakta Sunil, 27 January 2016

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

Here is a discussion : 

(kīrtana, followed by small child playing karatālas)

Prabhupāda: Oh, very good. (laughs) Śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ geheyoga bhraṣṭa sañjāyate [Bg. 6.41]. When Arjuna asked Kṛṣṇa that “Persons who are trying to make perfection in the bhakti-yoga…” Because the māyā’s influence is very strong. Anyone practicing bhakti-yoga, sometimes he may fall down. But there is assurance that even one falls down, there is no loss. That has been advised by Nārada Muni, that tyaktvā sva-dharmaṁcaraṇāmbujaṁ harer bhajann apakvo ‘tha patet tato yadi [SB1.5.17]. Just like in our movement somebody joins. A few cases have happened also that joined, being nice, but all of a sudden drifted from our Society. So Nārada Muni advised that even some, sometimes somebody may not continue, but falls down, there is no loss. Tyaktvā sva-dharmaṁ caraṇāmbujam. And those who are sticking to their work, prescribed duties, but not in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, what they are gaining? Just try to understand. A person, say, out of sentiment, or some other influence, he joins this Movement, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but could not follow strictly the rules and regulation and falls down. Nārada Muni says there is no loss, even though he has fallen. But another person who is sticking to their material activities, a material… A karmī’s thinking, “What these people are doing? Simply wasting time. Let us do our duty. Let us produce something”—so-called production.

So Bhāgavata says such persons who are very nicely done their materialistic way of life, duties, but has not taken to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, what does he gain? This is the comparison. One joins this movement; due to some reason, immaturity, he falls down. For him the assurance is that he does not lose. He’s still gainer. But one who’s sticking to the material duties, but does not take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, Bhāgavata says, “What does he gain?” It is very important question. The spiritualistic duties, transcendental duties, Kṛṣṇa conscious duty is so nice that even if you fall down, whatever you have done, that is your guaranteed property. That is your guaranteed property. And anything, whatever you gain in this material world… Suppose you become very rich man, good factory, working. But as soon as this body’s ended, everything is ended. Lost everything. These things will not go with you. Your factory, your skyscraper building, your millions of dollars, bank balance, that you’ll have to leave behind you. You have to go with your work only, what you have done, pious or sinful activities. That will go with you. The result of pious activity and sinful activity will go with you. But in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, whatever you have done, it will go with you, and to give you other chance you’ll have your birth in two nice places: śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe [Bg. 6.41]. Those who have fallen from this Kṛṣṇa consciousness platform due to many reasons, maybe—he’s guaranteed next life a human form of life. And where? Śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe. You’ll take your birth in a nice devotee or brāhmaṇa’s house or in a rich man’s family. Not only your human form of life is guaranteed, but also in a better house, in a better family.

So these children who are born in our Kṛṣṇa consciousness Society, they are those children, those who could not finish Kṛṣṇa consciousness last life. They have been given to take birth in the family of devotee husband and wife; therefore he’s playing karatāla. Otherwise it is not possible. He had practice in his last life; therefore he’s quickly… He had got the chance. Again he’s remembering and playing. This is the fact. So we have to study from the śāstric vision. Śāstra-cakṣuṣāt. How you’ll see? You’ll see through the authority, scriptures. So these are the statements of authoritative scriptures. Śucīnāṁśrīmatāṁ gehe. So this child is born of a devotee father and devotee mother. Now he’ll again begin from the point where he lost last life. Suppose Kṛṣṇa consciousness he executed fifty percent. So he’ll begin from this life fifty-one percent. That fifty percent was in his stock. But ordinary karmīs—cent percent lost. He has to begin another chapter of life according to hiskarma. Either he’ll become a man or dog, there is no guarantee. If he has maintained a dog mentality, then he’ll get a dog’s body. All this property he made in this life goes to hell. He becomes a dog if he has maintained a dog mentality. And if he has maintained a god’s mentality, then he becomes a god also. But that will depend on his work. But generally the karmīs, they are not very good mentality. So there is risk. You do not know.Karmaṇā daiva netreṇa [SB 3.31.1]. The judgement will be done by the superior authority, and he’ll be given a particular type of body, as he has maintained the consciousness.

Therefore our business, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, is to train the followers to Kṛṣṇa consciousness so that next life he gets Kṛṣṇa consciousness atmosphere. He’s not promoted immediately, directly to the abode of Kṛṣṇa. That is also possible. Mad-yājino ‘pi yānti mām [Bg. 9.25]. “Those who are My devotees, they come to My place.” Kṛṣṇa says. So if you perfect your Kṛṣṇa consciousness in this life, then you’re guaranteed to be promoted to go back to home, back to Kṛṣṇa. If you do not perfect, then next life is guaranteed, a very nice human body, either in a rich man’s family or in a Kṛṣṇaconscious family. Just try to understand how nice this movement is.

Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Devotee: (indistinct)

Prabhupāda: Yes. Now here is a question: If one takes a birth in a rich man family, rich man’s family, how it is good? Nowadays, actually, now…, not nowadays, practically always… That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā: bhogaiśvarya-prasaktānāṁ tayāapahṛta-cetasām [Bg. 2.44]. Those who get facilities of material sense gratification, bhoga, aiśvarya—means great opulence, wealthy—for them it is very difficult to come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In other words, too much rich, richness, is a disqualification for coming to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But it is not always the same. There are many persons, if they have associated, they… Unfortunately they do not associate with spiritually advanced men. That is their defect. They think the spiritual advancement is poor man’s business: “They have no sufficient to eat; therefore they are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. What they can do? We have got this factory. We have to go to the factory.” That is their mentality. Therefore it is not good. But if one is intelligent, if he has got good association, then he understands the verdict of Bhagavad-gītā, śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁgehe, yoga bhraṣṭa sañjāyate. [Bg. 6.41] If he thinks that “I have got this opportunity of opulence. I have nothing to bother about my living and eating. I am born rich man. Why I am given so much chance? Because last, my, I executed Kṛṣṇa consciousness, yoga; I could not finish. Therefore Kṛṣṇa has given me this chance that I’ll not have to bother about my eating, sleeping. I save my time and engage myself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.” Unfortunately, due to bad association, they think, “I have…, we have go so much money, father’s money, for nothing, without any labor. So either let me become a great sense enjoyer or a hippy.” That’s all. It is due to bad association. Therefore it is our duty to go door to door and inform them the message of Kṛṣṇa, without any discrimination, so that they’ll come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

All right, give me…. (end)

Hope that the following lecture by Prabhupada in Detroit, July 17, 1971 on Gita 6.41 , helps

Sincerely,

Bhakta Sunil

Brajanath Das, 29 January 2016

Pranams Prabhu for your wonderful answer.

Dandavats a lot!

your servant,

Brajanath Das

Brajanath Das, 30 January 2016

Pranams Sunil Prabhu,

Kudos to you for sharing a wonderful lecture by Srila Prabhupada. After reading Mahabhagavat das Prabhu’s answer and the Srila Ptabhupada lecture, the following two pastimes came to my mind.

Lords pastime – Deliverance of Nalakuvara and Manigriva (breaking the twin arjuna trees) clearly explains how arrogant pride which comes from puffed-up prestige, which is rooted in a madness for wealth. This pastime of Krishna very directly illustrates the predicament of people who are wealthy and aristocratic, but who become involved in licentiousness.

Lord Chaitanya’s pastime with Keshav Kashmiri CC Ādi 16.29 on wards … Later Kesava Kashmiri became an acharya in  Kumara Vaisnava Sampradaya and his pravachanams became Kesava Kasmiri’s Commentary.

Any pastime on beauty? (Probably King Daksha, not sure)

your servant,

Brajanath Das

David J, 30 January 2016

I seem to have posted this wrong the first time.  I hope I am doing it correctly this time.

Dear Mahabhagavat Prabhu

Hari bol!

All glories to Krishna’s devotees.

I hope I don’t add to anyone else’s confusion by ‘butting in”, but your answer has raised a question in my mind.

You stated “Every living entity starts as a Brahma of some universe and then devolves and goes up and down in the 

chain of species…”

I would be first to admit that my Krishna consciousness is infinitesimally small.  That being said, I find this statement quite confusing.  I was under the impression that Lord Brahma(s) is a more ‘evolved’ being in the chain of species; indeed, at the top of the chain.  I have read that he is a great devotee of Lord Krishna, although I cannot provide a specific reference.  If this is true, how is it that he ‘devolves’ into lower species, rather than immediately going back home, after leaving the Brahma body?

David

Bhakta Sunil, 01 February 2016

Jaya!

While reading “Nectar of Devotion” for e-academy connected to this group, i came across following lines from Chapter nine , which further enlightens on your question :

There is the following statement in Caitanya-caritamrita: “A person who chants the holy name of Krishna once can counteract the resultant actions of more sinful activities than he is able to perform.” A sinful man can perform many, many sinful activities, but he is unable to perform so many that they cannot be wiped out by one single uttering of Krishna.”

Regarding pastime in context of wealth and beauty having a corrupting impact , following pastimes came to my mind :

Hiranyakasipu who misused power

Prostitute who tried to entice Haridas Thakur with her beauty

Hare Krishna

your insignificant servant,

Bhakta Sunil

Brajanath Das, 01 February 2016

Pranams Mahabhagavat Prabhu,

Wonderful answer. I liked this sentence very much .. “One should follow in entirety what Srila Prabhupada has taught us, not take a sentence from here, a sentence from there, and allow the uncontrolled mind to make us bewildered with some apparent contradiction.”

Dandavats a lot!

your servant,

Brajanath Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 01 February 2016

Dear David,

Hare Krishna!

Your question is valid and relevant, and you may be helping a lot of us clear our confusion. I had a similar confusion when I heard this first, but later on I understood by asking questions.

There are two types of Brahmas, one type, a living entity Brahma, and when no one is qualified, then the Supreme Personality of Godhead expands Himself to play the role of Brahma. A living entity can fall, the Supreme Personality of Godhead can never fall down into material conditioning, being Supremely Perfect.

Now, in the category of the living entity Brahmas – what is the qualification? One hundred consecutive human lifetimes lived without sin qualifies a living entity to play the role of Brahma. Of course, just because someone is qualified does not mean they do become a Brahma, that is Krishna’s choice. (source – class by Rupanuga Prabhu (GKG), no recording or transcript exists – feel free not to accept this part)

Now, from the category of those jivas who have got the post of Brahmas, there are two categories. One category is a devotee Brahma, like our 4-headed Brahma is a pure devotee. Another category is “bahirmukha Brahma” or “outward facing Brahma” or in other word a Brahma who is not a devotee. Just imagine, one can be 100% sinless and still not be a devotee!

The living entities struggling here were, at some point in time, clearly a non-devotee Brahma.

Srila Prabhupada writes this in his book Teachings of Queen Kunti (see http://www.vedabase.com/en/tqk/18):

quote

To become Brahmā is not a very easy thing. Brahmā is such a big post, and it is given to a very qualified living entity who is highly advanced in austerities and penance. But he is also a living entity like us. In America there are many citizens, and President Ford is also a citizen, but by dint of his ardent labor and diplomacy he captured the post. Still, he is an ordinary citizen. President Nixon, for example, has now been dragged down and is no longer president. This is because he was an ordinary citizen. Similarly, if we like, we may also become Brahmā. Therefore Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says:

kīṭa-janma hao yathā tuyā dāsa

bahirmukha brahma-janme nāhi āśā

“Let me become an insect in a place where Your devotee is present, because if I fall down in the dust of the feet of a devotee my life will be successful.” Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says, bahirmukha brahma-janme nāhi āśā: “I would not want to be a Brahmā and not be a devotee of Kṛṣṇa.”

unquote

Srila Prabhupada also writes the following in his purport to SB 6.16.57:

quote

As stated by the Vaiṣṇava poet Jagadānanda Paṇḍita in his Prema-vivarta:

kṛṣṇa-bahirmukha hañā bhoga vāñchā kare

 nikaṭa-stha māyā tāre jāpaṭiyā dhare

As soon as a living entity forgets his constitutional position and endeavors to become one with the Supreme, his conditional life begins. The conception that the Supreme Brahman and the living entity are equal not only in quality but also in quantity is the cause of conditional life. If one forgets the difference between the Supreme Lord and the living entity, his conditional life begins. Conditional life means giving up one body to accept another and undergoing death to accept death again.

unquote

We are fortunate to even take our birth in a universe where the chief living entity is a devotee, and we happen to be in that tradition passed down by him… we should definitely take advantage of this and finish this foolish dalliance with the material energy.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

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

Where can I find some great spiritual audio?

Want to listen to some great spiritual audio? Look no further!

Bhaktin Priya Harinath, 13 November 2020

Hare Krishna devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Gurudeva

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

I wanted to request the devotees here to kindly provide the link to access Srila Gurudeva’s old audio lectures especially 2005. I have the fortunate service of transcribing Gurudeva’s lectures for the past few years. But suddenly I am not able to gain access to his lectures. I download them from ultimateselfrealization.com website. Looks like the site has been changed. But it does not allow access to old audio files. Only 2019 files are available. I checked ISKCON desire tree but not all of his lectures are available there. 

Please provide the link that I can access his 2005 audio lectures if anyone has access to it. 

Thank you

your humble servant

Priya Harinath

Caitanya Das, 13 November 2020

Hare Krishna. Dandavat Pranam. We also have a group of devotees listening lectures from ultimateselfrealization.com, currently we are unable to access it. Please provide the link if possible.

your servant,

Caitanya Das.

Sharada Devi Dasi, 13 November 2020

Hare Krishna

Please kindly accept my humble obeisance.

All Glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumataji.

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All Glories to all devotees.

Recorded audio of HIs Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Here is the link, here the lectures are separated not on the basis of the year but on the occasions. 🙇🏻‍♀️

Hope this helps

Thank You so much.

your insignificant servent,

Bhaktin shivani.

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 13 November 2020

Hare Krishna! Thank you! Amala Purana Prabhu is working with Srila Gurudeva to make the lecture archive available online again…

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Kaspars, 13 November 2020

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Hope You are ok, with all the available links From Gurudeva 2005 Year, in IskconDesireTree Audio page.

Thank You very much

Kaspars

Amala Purana Das, 17 November 2020

I’ve received below response from Srila Gurudeva regarding the lecture archives

” For now direct them to http://www.Krishnaconsciousness.com ” 

your servant,

Amala Purana Das

Bhaktin Priya Harinath, 19 November 2020

Thank you very much Amala Purana Prabhu. The link leads to ISKCON desire tree audio files of Gurudeva. Found the lecture I was transcribing. 

your humble servant

Bhaktin Priya Harinath

P.S: Also try https://ecstaticmedia.com

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

What is the difference between a Brahmavadi and Mayavadi?

What is the difference between a Brahmavaadi and a Mayavadi? Is one better than the other? Should we interact with one but leave the other alone? How to know which is which?

Brajanath Das, 26 December 2015

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

While reading three stages of realization I got following  doubts – 

What is the difference between a Brahmavadi and a Mayavadi? What is their destination?

Different stages of Yogis realizations (in Paramatma realization)?

Please help me to understand.

your servant,

Brajanath Das

Amala-Purana Das, 28 December 2015

Hare Krsna Prabhuji,

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All Glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumata!

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!!

Brahmavadis are those who are attracted to the impersonal Brahman but they are not offensive to the Lord’s personal form or consider the Lord’s form as material; it’s just they are either ignorant of the personal conception or they are indifferent towards personal conception i.e. not attracted towards they personal form of the Supreme Lord.

Mayavadis on the other hand are so deeply rooted in their impersonal conception that they blaspheme the transcendental form of Supreme Lord, consider it material and temporary and as a tool to go “something beyond” hence they are condemned.

Srimad Bhagavatam gives us two examples, four kumaras and Srila Sukadeva Goswami who were Brahmavadis and later became devotees.

Four Kumaras already knew about Lord Visnu. They heard about Visnu from Brahmaji and so they wanted to explore and they came to Vaikuntha. Thus, they knew about Lord Visnu, had no offensive attitude towards Visnu; it was just that they were not attracted towards Visnu. But when the fragrance of Tulsi offered on Lord’s lotus feet entered their nostrils, it agitated their impersonal conception and they became devotees.

Similarly, when Srila Sukadeva Goswami heard about Krishna from one of the disciples of Srila Vyasadeva, he became attracted and came to Vyasadeva and learned further from him.

People today in pursue of their spiritual goals can become attracted to Impersonal Brahman. This could be because of culture or natural course of spiritual evolution: one can move from form to formless i.e. from matter to spirit. In this way many people can acquire impersonal conception of the ultimate realty. Now that impersonal conception can:

– translate to offensive mentality towards personal conception

– translate to ignorance of the personal conception

– be indifferent towards personal conception (i.e. not attracted). For example, Four Kumaras

Out of above three first category is Mayavadis and other two are Brahmavadis. Brahmavadis can be elevated to the personal conception and become devotees when they associate with the devotees. So we should also not put every “Impersonal Brahaman seeker” in the category of Mayavadis. We should try to understand their conception of ultimate reality and if they are Mayavadis then we should stay away from them else we should try to inform them about the personal conception of the Absolute truth and bring them in contact with devotees.

Hope it helps

your servant,

Amala-Purana Das

Bhakta Sunil, 29 December 2015

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances

All Glories to Vaishnavas

In reply to your question regarding difference between Brahmavadi and Mayavadi, the following conversation should help

——-

Conversations and Morning Walks

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

Brahmavādī means those who are aspiring to merge into the impersonal Brahman effulgence. Māyāvādīs remain fools forever. They have no knowledge. Aviśuddha-buddhayaḥ, always impure.

Morning Walk — July 2, 1975, Denver:

Harikeśa: Śrīla Prabhupāda, what’s the difference between a Brahmavādī and a Māyāvādī?

Prabhupāda: That you already questioned. We answered.

Harikeśa: I did?

Prabhupāda: Yes. (break) …vādī means those who are aspiring to merge into the impersonal Brahman effulgence.

Harikeśa: And Māyāvādīs, they do not attain that impersonal realization?

Prabhupāda: Māyāvādīs remain fools forever.

Harikeśa: They never leave this material platform.

Prabhupāda: They do not know. They have no knowledge. Aviśuddha-buddhayaḥ (SB 10.2.32), always impure. Otherwise how they are thinking, so ‘ham: “I am same. I am God. I am moving the sun, I am…” Such rascals, they remain always in ignorance. (break) …no sense that “If I am the same, then why I have fallen down in this māyā?” They say, “It is my līlā. I have become dog. So it is my līlā. I have become hog. It is my līlā.” (laughs) This is their philosophy. Hare Kṛṣṇa. (break) Māyāvāda. They are fools, mūḍha. Māyayāpahṛta-jñānā. They are described in the Bhagavad-gītā. Māyāvādī means māyayāpahṛta-jñānā: “Their knowledge has been taken away by māyā.” Fools. Either you call them fool or call them lowest of the mankind or the most sinful, whatever way you can call, they are like that. All good qualifications. Therefore Caitanya Mahāprabhu has warned, māyāvādī-bhāṣya śunile haya sarva-nāśa: (CC Madhya 6.169) “If you hear from Māyāvādī, then your spiritual life is finished.” It’s so dangerous.

Harikeśa: The Brahmavādīs have some possibility of advancement?

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes.

Harikeśa: What is that thing that enables them to advance?

Prabhupāda: That you will know later on. First of all try to understand this. Don’t try to understand everything in a moment. That is foolishness.

——-

Regarding second question, the following lectures should help :

—–

Lecture on BG 4.24-34 — New York, August 12, 1966: 

So anyway, either the Brahmavādī or Paramātmavādī or the bhakta, they are all tattva-vit. They are all transcendentalists. There is no difference. But as there are three classes in every sphere, so there are three classes in the transcendental field also. So here Bhagavad-gītā, the Lord recommends that jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ (BG 4.34). You have to find out a person who is tattva-darśī, who has realized the Absolute Truth, either in Brahman conception or in Paramātmā conception or in Personality of Godhead conception because we have got different tastes. So the Paramātmā or the Supreme Absolute Truth is also manifested in three phases: Brahman, Paramātmā, Bhagavān. So anyway, either you select the impersonal Brahman conception of the Absolute Truth, either you select the localized supreme soul, Supersoul conception of the Absolute Truth, or you accept the highest, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya (BG 7.7). The Lord says that “This is the last phase of Absolute Truth, what I am, Kṛṣṇa.”

Lecture on BG 4.34 — New York, August 14, 1966: 

And even in that knowledge field also… Of course, transcendental knowledge, as we have discussed already, they are viewed in different, three different angles of vision: the knowledge of Brahmavāda, or impersonal, impersonal Absolute Truth, and the knowledge of Paramātmā, the localized Supersoul, and the knowledge of Bhagavān, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are different stages of development of knowledge. But the first beginning knowledge is that we must understand that “I am not this body. I am spirit soul, and my aim of life should be how to get out of this material entanglement.” That is knowledge. That is the beginning of knowledge.

—-

Sincerely,

Bhakta Sunil

Dra Varni, 04 January 2016

thank you  Hare Krsna!!

Dra Varni

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2020.21-30 Sankirtan Adventures – Old City Hall, Online Sankirtan, and Chinese Old Age Home

December is celebrated as marathon month all over the world, where the followers of Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada go out to distribute spiritual literature profusely… this is from 2020. But I’m out again in 2022, and it feels like it all happened yesterday. Please help us by going out, or supporting those who are out, in harsh weather, to benefit the world by adding more spirituality to the collective consciousness of the world. Thank you!

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 26 September 2020

Dear Devotees,

Hare Krishna!

Please kindly accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I pray that you are all well and in good health and spirits.

By your blessings I am able to participate in this Hare Krishna movement, despite my disqualifications. Thank you!

Summary:

26 Aug 2020 – Old City Hall

1 Sep 2020 – Old City Hall

3 Sep 2020 – Old Ciy Hall (With Sagar Vankwani)

7 Sep 2020 – Book distribution at Chinese Old Age Home in Markham

8 Sep 2020 – Old City Hall

10 Sep 2020 – Old City Hall (with Shanti, Ciaran, Nick, Anastasia, Chris)

15 Sep 2020 – Old City Hall

17 Sep 2020 – Old City Hall (with Bhakta Nick, Aruna Keshavi, Vitthal Bhakta)

Aug 21 – 18 Sep 2020  Online – Bhagavatam set distributed (plus more books)

25 Sep 2020 – Old City Hall

————————————-

Total 10 Outings

This online Sankirtan really works! I just write as I have been hearing, and then, often while I am asleep, someone finds what I wrote and reads it. Over the last 2 years thousands have read… Sometimes they request more information, sometimes they request books, and they are often secretly practicing Bhakti at home! One person took an entire Bhagavatam set after a few months of reading the Bhagavad Gita As It Is with me. One person invited me into a Chinese Old Age home where I was able to distribute all the Chinese books I had with me!

I am glad at my great good fortune to be going downtown thrice a week. Am able to go out at the end of the day at least twice a week.

Now I have caught the Harinam fever, and can’t wait to go out. Sometimes, I get the privilege of associating with devotees (especially Nick, he has been very kind to me), sometimes it is just me, my spiritual master and the disciplic succession encouraging me on. Sometimes it is difficult to get going, sometimes unexpected barriers stop me from going. I always have books with me, and no matter what, there are always amazing interactions.

There are people who smile

There are people who begin slapping their bodies in rhythm

There are people who dance

There are people who sing

There are people who clap

There are people who staaaaare

There are people who look as long as you don’t look back at them

There are people who look with tremendous interest (mostly little children)

There are people who take a book

There are people who give a donation

There are people who say “Haribol”

There are people who say “Radhe Radhe”

There are the people who scowl

There are people who frown

Then there are the people who don’t even notice (the most unfortunate of all) – it is not me they don’t notice, but they don’t notice Sri Harinam, their ONLY saviour!

The longer someone stays within earshot of the Harinam, I notice a clear difference come over them… sometimes, people intentionally miss a streetcar so they can hear more. Sometimes, agitated people calm down. Sometimes noisy people quieten down. Sometimes sad people visibly become happy. Many are curious, I am sure they will check us out.

Even though I have begun wearing a mask when outside, I note that many who would have otherwise stopped, don’t stop…. they just continue on.

But times will change. One day they will stop.

They will take the Harinam home with them, and the Harinam will take them home with Him.

People are repeatedly dying, again and again they are taking birth, again and again they are dying. This Harinam Sankirtan will change that trajectory, no more birth, death, old age, and disease, no more misery of any kind. The more Harinam there is in the world, the more fortunate the souls in this world will be, until everyone is fortunate, and then this world will be Vaikuntha.

My 2020 goal is 108 outings, and I have 78 left to go, with just 97 days left this year. Please bless me that I may humbly perform this service. I am very greedy for your blessings. In fact, I am 100% convinced that I can only go out on Harinam Sankirtan because of your blessings, because otherwise I am just a useless fool.

Praying to be always out on Harinam Sankirtan, or at least be in Harinam Sankirtan consciousness 24X7, this is my humble desire, though I must admit that unfortunate as I am, I still maintain all sorts of material attachments.

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

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Did Arjuna disobey Krishna’s orders in regards to Ashwatthama?

Ashwatthama murdered little children in their sleep. Krishna ordered him killed. But Arjuna spared his life. So did Arjuna disobey Krishna?

Todd, 23 August 2016

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my greetings.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Can you help understand more clearly how it is that Krishna’s word is not followed by Arjuna in regards to Asvatthama’s death?

In 1.7.53-54 Krishna says he must die, correct? Is it that the Lord meant figuratively the whole time? 

Then 1.7.57 is also confusing to me.

Please help me to understand more clearly.

Thank you in advance

Sincerely,

Todd

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 26 August 2016

Dear Sriman Todd,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you for your question.

Some context is in order, for those who may not be familiar with the full picture.

Ashwatthama is the son of Dronacharya, the military teacher of both the Pandavas and the Kauravas, the two sides of the mighty war of Kurukshetra 5000 years ago, where Srila Prabhupada says 640 million warriors fought and we know hardly anyone went back home.

Dronacharya and his son Ashvatthama fought on the Kauravas side. The Kauravas lost and were killed. Dronacharya was killed also. Ashvatthama survived. He did not like the way his father was killed in battle and as revenge, vowed to wipe out the Pandavas dynasty, and hence he killed the 5 sons of the Pandavas who were all children at the time, and this was done while they were sleeping also.

Now, the conundrum was that Ashvatthama was the son of a Brahmana (priestly and intellectual class of society), or the son of their teacher, and therefore meant to be revered. But he had done this abominable thing of killing defenseless children in their sleep.

In the Srimad Bhagavatam, First Canto (which our Bhagavata Online Academy of 2011 will start reading shortly, but it took 5 years of preparation to get there… all classes of Bhagavata Online Academy will get there, and more details to follow from Hemanga Prabhu…), this incident is described in some detail in the chapter “The son of Drona punished”, which readers can access at https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/1/7/

The verses in question are:

SB 1.7.53-54 — The Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa said: A friend of a brāhmaṇa is not to be killed, but if he is an aggressor he must be killed. All these rulings are in the scriptures, and you should act accordingly. You have to fulfill your promise to your wife, and you must also act to the satisfaction of Bhīmasena and Me.

SB 1.7.55 — Sūta Gosvāmī said: Just then Arjuna could understand the motive of the Lord by His equivocal orders, and thus with his sword he severed both hair and jewel from the head of Aśvatthāmā.

SB 1.7.56 — He [Aśvatthāmā] had already lost his bodily luster due to infanticide, and now, moreover, having lost the jewel from his head, he lost even more strength. Thus he was unbound and driven out of the camp.

SB 1.7.57 — Cutting the hair from his head, depriving him of his wealth and driving him from his residence are the prescribed punishments for the relative of a brāhmaṇa. There is no injunction for killing the body.

Arjuna, being a pure devotee, never fails to follow Krishna’s word, but not in a mood of slavery, but in the mood of clear understanding and harmony with Krishna.

Krishna often uses situations involving his dearest devotees, such as Narada Muni, the Gopis, and Arjuna, to illustrate important points and create situations that may be bewildering to some but the way that those devotees behave sets exemplary precedent for others to follow.

This can be roughly compared to modern courts, which rely on precedence – judges presiding over court cases even today base their judgements from precedents set by other landmark cases elsewhere… in fact, it can be roughly generalized that the practice of law is to know the law, know case law precedence, and apply logical and ethical arguments judiciously using that knowledge. Great lawyers and great judges are those that set precedent in difficult situations.

Similarly great devotees are those who set precedence, for example, Srila Prabhupada’s application of scriptural knowledge is exemplary in the history of the world.

So here was the conundrum:

1. A Kshatriya (or anyone else, for that matter) shall not kill a Brahmana, no matter what, unless of course, a Brahmana is trying to kill a Kshatriya, which Ashvatthama did do, he killed the pandavas’ minor children while they were sleeping

2. Krishna is “go brahmana hitaya cha” – protector of cows and the Brahmanas

3. But Krishna is ordering Arjuna (a Kshatriya) to kill Ashvatthama (a Brahmana), is Krishna, as Supreme Personality of Godhead, inconsistent with His own principles?

4. Bhima, Arjuna’s elder brother is going with a particular understanding of scriptural law, and as he is elder, Arjuna is duty-bound to follow his instruction

4. Draupadi is pleading with Arjuna not to kill Ashvatthama out of compassion for his mother and respect for the individual, even though her own children were the ones Ashvatthama killed, and Arjuna is also duty-bound to fulfill his wife’s lawful and reasonable wish.

5. Arjuna is the devotee who must apply scripture, Krishna’s words, and also carry out his elder brother’s instruction and wife’s desire

In the Bhagavad Gita it is clearly stated that for an honorable person, dishonour is worse than death – BG 2.34 “People will always speak of your infamy, and for a respectable person, dishonor is worse than death.”

So Arjuna fulfilled all requirements by taking away Ashvatthama’s respectable signs, his hair, and the jewel attached to his head from birth.

1. Ashvatthama, being an illustrious warrior, and a member of the Brahmana class, was certainly respectable (until he committed this crime).

2. To be humiliated in this way is worse than death, and yet, he was not killed

So, Ashvatthama was killed and not killed, in fact he lives to this day trying to heal/fill the raw wound open gaping hole in his head caused by the forced removal of the jewel by Arjuna, but no one wants to associate with him and thus he is in a very abominable situation – neither living nor dead.

All of this is confirmed by the verse and Srila Prabhupada’s purport to SB 1.7.55

quote

Sūta Gosvāmī said: Just then Arjuna could understand the motive of the Lord by His equivocal orders, and thus with his sword he severed both hair and jewel from the head of Aśvatthāmā.

Purport: Contradictory orders of different persons are impossible to carry out. Therefore a compromise was selected by Arjuna by his sharp intelligence, and he separated the jewel from the head of Aśvatthāmā. This was as good as cutting off his head, and yet his life was saved for all practical purposes. Here Aśvatthāmā is indicated as twice-born. Certainly he was twice-born, but he fell down from his position, and therefore he was properly punished.

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in SB 1.7.55

We are often in a situation where instructions given by different respectable individuals can be apparently contradictory, and we follow the example of expert devotees who follow perfectly while resolving apparent contradictions through their behaviors.

Does this help?

Devotees, please feel free to add your understanding and perspectives to this question as it is a wonderful example of trying to understand Srila Prabhupada’s books extensively and very much an example of how Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva want us to study Srila Prabhupada’s books.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

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Slaughtered in moments on the 401

Death can come at any moment. We experience death regularly, whether of a fish that just got caught, or a person who died in a car accident, or someone who had a heart attack. Animals, birds, fish and insects can’t do anything about their death. But as humans, how can we prepare for death? How can we transcend it altogether?

My current office is near the waterfront. Some days when I can take a walk along the waterfront, especially in summer, I see these birds diving into the water. They look like Cormorants, but I’m not a bird expert.

The birds dive into the water and surface after a little while. Sometimes, they have a writhing fish in their beaks, which they then promptly swallow.

Cormorant with a fish in it’s beak

The fish was probably happily swimming around enjoying its fish life, until, out of the blue comes death. Of course, the fish can’t really do much about this, when death comes, death comes.

One summer day a couple of years ago, early into the pandemic, we were driving west on what is one of the busiest highways in the world, the Ontario 401. Suddenly, my map instructed me to take the next exit and took me a detour, which I followed… as we re-entered the highway at another point, I saw some vehicles on the empty stretch of highway behind me, they were stopped, and covered with tarpaulins.

Later in the afternoon, on my way back, I saw the vehicles still at the same spot, still covered with tarps. Clearly it had been a bad collision.

I continued to follow the incident, and found out it was an incident involving three cars. One eastbound car, for some reason, lost control and hit another eastbound one in the fast lane, which caused this second car to jump the barrier and land in the westbound lane – resulting in a head-on collision with a westbound car travelling in the fast lane.

Three people lost their lives in that collision, and death was almost immediate. The first responders had no chance, and had to cut open the cars to extract the mortal remains. It was surely gruesome.

I read about the people, a man in his forties in one car, and a woman in her thirties and her father-in-law in his sixties in the other car. I cannot imagine any of them expected to lose their lives on the 401 that morning.

Do we think any meal could be our last meal?

I wondered how their mornings were… did they have their breakfast their morning and say bye to their loved ones? What did they go through during those fatal moments? Did they feel a lot of pain? Did they have family members who were grieving for them? Did they have unfinished business? Maybe an incomplete project?

Death can come at any moment. No ordinary soul can predict the exact moment of their death. And when death comes, everything that was so important until the moment before ceases to matter. It’s just like when I live in an apartment with noisy neighbours and then move to another apartment, the noise in my previous apartment ceases to matter. What happens after death?

Death can come at any moment

Some say that we are just a bunch of chemicals, and nothing more significant than a halt of the electrochemical reactions in the body. Or in other words, after death, there is nothingness. But that logic is faulty on so many levels, after all, a bottle of chemicals doesn’t care about itself and other bottles of chemicals don’t lament it’s loss.

The logic that some combination of material elements somehow develops consciousness is faulty, as I wrote about Descartes’ ignorance about consciousness. His “cogito ergo sum” (I think, therefore I am) should have been something like “sum ergo cogito” (I am, therefore I think).

Actually, the law of momentum applies to us all – just like my baby body is “dead”, my child body is gone too. I still have memories of when I was a baby or a child, even though every single cell of my body back then is dead, this means that I transcend my body, more about that in detail another time.

Beyond Birth and Death. I am not this body.

But anyways, while the fish cannot do anything about their death, us, as human beings, with our highly developed sense of consciousness, can. We can inquire into our true nature, we can inquire into the Supreme Absolute Truth, indeed, human life begins only when we reach that stage of inquiring beyond eating, sleeping, mating, and defending, or rise above the animal propensities.

This stage is called “athāto brahma-jijñāsā“.

The human form is meant for the understanding of Kṛṣṇa consciousness (athāto brahma-jijñāsā), for inquiring about the Supreme Brahman. In the human form, everyone has a chance to understand the Supreme Brahman. The so-called leaders of human society do not know the real aim of human life and are therefore busy with economic development. This is misleading. Every state and every society is busy trying to improve the quality of eating, sleeping, mating and defending. This human form of life is meant for more than these four animal principles. Eating, sleeping, mating and defending are problems found in the animal kingdom, and the animals have solved these problems without difficulty. Why should human society be so busy trying to solve these problems? The difficulty is that people are not educated to understand this simple philosophy. They think that advancement of civilization means increasing sense gratification.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/cc/madhya/19/159/ purport

In fact, accidental or not, death awaits everyone who has taken birth… so, if we are sure to die, then we can at least prepare for it. How?

आयुर्हरति वै पुंसामुद्यन्नस्तं च यन्नसौ ।
तस्यर्ते यत्क्षणो नीत उत्तमश्लोकवार्तया ॥ १७ ॥

āyur harati vai puṁsām
udyann astaṁ ca yann asau
tasyarte yat-kṣaṇo nīta
uttama-śloka-vārtayā

Both by rising and by setting, the sun decreases the duration of life of everyone, except one who utilizes the time by discussing topics of the all-good Personality of Godhead.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/17/

The moment of death, in fact, is quite significant. We can reach any destination by adjusting our consciousness at the moment of death.

यं यं वापि स्मरन्भावं त्यजत्यन्ते कलेवरम् ।
तं तमेवैति कौन्तेय सदा तद्भ‍ावभावित: ॥ ६ ॥

yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran bhāvaṁ
tyajaty ante kalevaram
taṁ tam evaiti kaunteya
sadā tad-bhāva-bhāvitaḥ

Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, O son of Kuntī, that state he will attain without fail.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/8/6/

The moment of death is actually a great opportunity, a rare portal through which we can escape birth and death altogether!

अन्तकाले च मामेव स्मरन्मुक्त्वा कलेवरम् ।
य: प्रयाति स मद्भ‍ावं याति नास्त्यत्र संशय: ॥ ५ ॥

anta-kāle ca mām eva
smaran muktvā kalevaram
yaḥ prayāti sa mad-bhāvaṁ
yāti nāsty atra saṁśayaḥ

And whoever, at the end of his life, quits his body remembering Me alone at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/8/5/

If I were to live every moment thinking that it could be my last, then certain longer-term things could not reasonably be done, but on the other hand if I don’t think about death then it will surely take me by surprise.

So how to live? My spiritual master gave me the perfect instruction in this regard.

My spiritual master
His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari

He said, live as if you could die in the next 80 seconds or live for the next 80 years. And his life is a living proof of his instructions, so I choose to follow in his footsteps.

I remind myself that this life of mine can end at any moment, but I work diligently in Krishna Consciousness as if I have another 80 years to go.

Would you like to learn how? Drop me a line!

What does it mean “uttama sloka vartaya”? What is Sloka?

What is the meaning of “uttama-sloka-vartaya”? What does “sloka” mean?

Raul, 23 January 2020

Hare Krishna!!

What is the meaning of uttama-sloka-vartaya?

Is this reference to the eight slokas the Lord Caitanya left in writing known as the Siksastaka?

What exactly is the meaning of the word sloka?

Best regards,

Raul

Haladhar Das, 27 January 2020

Hare Krsna prabhu

All glories to Srila Gurudeva

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

What is the meaning of uttama-sloka-vartaya?

Lord Krsna is known as uttama sloka as He is glorified in the transcendental literatures by the choicest poetry or perfect transcendental words. The demigods and devotees worship Lord Krsna to the best of their God given ability in the most profound words. So He is known as uttam sloka. 

Similarly pure devotees of the Lord are known as punya sloka, being in constant association of the Lord by way of chanting His holy names or serving Him in various prescribed methods, they are so purified, that even by coming in their contact or taking their names, one can be purified too or delivered from the kuntha jagat.

Is this reference to the eight slokas the Lord Caintanya left in writing known as the Siksastaka?

What exactly is the meaning of the word sloka?

Yes Lord Chaitanya also glorifying the holy names of Lord as non-different from Him and being manifested with full potency of the Lord. 

I don’t know the Sanskrit language, but my understanding is, a verse or combination of words in Sanskrit is known as sloka like Bhagavad Gita 700 verses.

Thank you.

your servant

Haladhar Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 28 January 2020

Dear Sriman Raul – thank you for two nice questions!

Dear Haladhar Prabhu, thank you for your wonderful answers.

Requesting all the devotees on this group to come closer together by asking and answering questions about spiritual life, about Krishna, about helping ourselves and each other. Simply by asking and answering questions according to our disciplic succession the Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Sampradaya, under guidance and shelter from Srila Prabhupaa and Srila Gurudeva, we will make all advancement in spiritual life and make the world a better place…

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

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Are there millions of souls living in my body?

How many souls live in a body? For example, there are millions of sperm in an average healthy man’s body, do they all contain souls? If there are millions of souls but only one or two get a chance then what happens to all the others?

Partha Das, 18 March 2020

Hare Krsna,

I understand that each sperm has a soul. Our body has millions of sperms. Does it mean there are millions of souls living in my body along with my soul at any time.

Sounds scary.

Dandavats

Partha Das

Rcard, 19 March 2020

Hare Krishna!!!

I’ve been wondering the same query but multiplied even more.

I’ve included all the cells of our bodies including micro-organisms and so on. 

Which one is your soul? Is it the one dwelling in your heart?.

Do all these cells, sperms and micro-organisms transmigrate with your soul when change body?.

Rcard

Priya Sundari devi dasi, 19 March 2020

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

I hope this finds you well. 

HH Bhakti Rasamrita Swami has a seminar called ‘Dust to Dust’ – this is recorded and is available on Iskcondesiretree for devotees to listen to. 

In that Maharaja says that the soul goes into the body of the male first through grains (and again someone asks the question in the seminar that does that mean we avoid eating grains), before which it goes through the rain, into the ground and then into grains.  

Maharaja also explains very nicely that when the time is right then we attract a soul who comes into the male’s body through consumption of grains and then is transferred to the womb of the mother. It also answers other questions about the souls journey before birth and after death, hence the name Dust to dust. 

The seminar is quite extraordinary and I would highly recommend listening to it. 

I also read somewhere that the soul stays in the father’s body for 3 months and the mother’s body for 270 days (pregnancy). <– Apologies I cannot find a quote / reference for this. 

your servant 

Priya Sundari devi dasi. 

*Kṛṣṇe matir astu*

Bhakta Sanjay, 19 March 2020

Hare Krishna,

Dandavat Pranam to all vaishnavas.

Soul is spiritual sparks from supreme soul i.e. Lord Krishna. Body is material which consists of 5 elements. Based on Karmic reactions from million births, soul transmigrate to the already built-in heart in the womb of a mother i.e. who will be father and mother is already pre-detinied based on KARMA. This is my personal understanding after going through the scriptures. Based on this understanding, each chromosome will not have spiritual sparks (soul) but material energy from the Lord with potency to fertilize an egg.

Haribol,

Jay Gurudev, 

Sanjay

Arnoldas Zdanevicius, 19 March 2020

Hare Krsna.

Dandavat pranam to all!

All glories to Srila Prabhupad and His faithful followers.

I wonder why we discuss things which we will never know completely? All the answers about the soul are hidden from us. Soul is not material. That’s it. 

Don’t waste your time trying to understand the soul. 

or better ask your Guru about it. Do not speculate about it.

better chant Hare Krsna – this is for me.

Please help me how to find taste in chanting again. I am loosing.

Perhaps I am done with Krsna consciousness for some time.

your eternal servant, anyway.

Arnoldas 🙂

Rasika Krishna Das, 19 March 2020

Hare Krishna!

I once asked Srila Gurudev almost same question, he answered that there are many souls within our body like microbes & germs in air that we breathe, worms in our digestive tract and many more but you (the owner of this body) are the king of all souls, the king of this city of nine gates.

Regarding sperms, only potent sperms have souls. That’s the reason why many healthy aspiring mothers are never able to conceive because the aspiring fathers don’t have any potent sperms because of their karma. From purport of SB 11.5.41:

“Often the sexual act fails to produce pregnancy at all. So although all parents desire a beautiful, highly qualified child, this is often not the case. Thus it can be understood that ultimately it is by the mercy of the Supreme Lord that a man and woman are able to produce a child by the sexual act. It is by the Lord’s mercy that the man’s seminal injection is potent and the woman’s ovum is fertile. Similarly, it is only by the mercy of the Lord that the child is born in a healthy condition and reaches physical maturity to pursue his own life. If at any stage in the evolution of a human being the Lord’s mercy is withdrawn, sudden death or crippling disease occurs.”

your servant,

Rasika Krishna Das

Tapas Chakraborty, 19 March 2020

Hare Krishna 

Dandavat Pranam to all Krishna devotees

I too agree with your views. The subject of discussion which doesn’t lead us to absolute knowledge of truth and love for the supreme is simply a waste of time and energy. All our endeavor to be directed towards self realization through increasing our consciousness on the absolute. Lord in his manifestation in this material earth has enacted many a plays which carry a dual objective of his divine play as well teaching mankind his real purpose on this material earth. We need to dwell on this subject for a deeper understanding of its morals and following the same . 

For your losing taste in chanting, I request the elevated souls of this group to enlighten on how to persevere with the endless love towards Supreme. 

Hare Krishna 

your ever endearing servant 

Tapas 

Partha Das, 20 March 2020

Thanks for the explanation. 

Partha Das

Partha Das, 20 March 2020

Hare Krsna, Dandavats,

We are all devotees of Krsna.Also we are sincere students of the great Vedic literature.

As students we get many doubts as we study. These have to be answered before we move on further. Hence the queries.

your servant

Partha Das

Tapas Chakraborty, 21 March 2020

Hare Krishna 

Dear Partha

You are on the right path as well with divine association of illumined souls to guide you in the path of Krishna consciousness. It is true , in the beginning our inquisitive mind plays an active role in trying to know all at a go . But as we go along through perseverance in search of absolute knowledge keeping aside temporary distractions, all answers unfold before you slowly. 

yours all endearing servant 

Tapas

Mahabhagavat Das, 25 March 2020

Hare Krishna Everyone!

Thank you for a lively discussion on this important subject matter. Actually it is important to know that semen contains millions of jivas, not all jivas have the good fortune of getting a womb and a body… leave alone a human body! We all have got that good fortune, and the chance at a human life. So when someone says “human life is rare” they are not joking!

This means we need to take responsibility – this is the reason why illicit sex is a sinful activity, because we are denying any of those souls a chance to lead a human life.

Also, to the followup question whether other cells in the body are souls also, the answer is given in the Bhagavad Gita…

यथा प्रकाशयत्येक: कृत्स्‍नं लोकमिमं रवि: ।

क्षेत्रं क्षेत्री तथा कृत्स्‍नं प्रकाशयति भारत ॥ ३४ ॥

yathā prakāśayaty ekaḥ

kṛtsnaṁ lokam imaṁ raviḥ

kṣetraṁ kṣetrī tathā kṛtsnaṁ

prakāśayati bhārata

O son of Bharata, as the sun alone illuminates all this universe, so does the living entity, one within the body, illuminate the entire body by consciousness.” https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/13/34/ (please read the purport, very very wonderful!)

We can realize that if we cut off the hand, or drain some blood from the body, or be badly burned, or have brain damage or a faulty heart, as long as the soul doesn’t leave the body, the body stays alive. When the soul leaves, then even if the body had perfectly good cells at the time of death, it is a dead body. No one can clearly explain medically or analytically exactly why one body in the same circumstances lives and another one in the same circumstances dies – the only possible explanation is “the soul stayed or left depending on his karma and the decision of higher authorities”.

I am Mahabhagavat Das, eternal servant of Sankarshan Das Adhikari, grand-disciple of A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, now writing this email, that tiny particle living within my body which is known in this world by various temporary material designations. My absence from this body will make my body a dead body. As long as I am here, this body will be at least somewhat valuable. Once I am gone, useless.

Srila Gurudeva’s answer also makes it clear by extension, that other living entities live in/on our body too, they are all individual souls as they don’t necessarily die when we leave the body, but in fact can even thrive and flourish – which is why the body begins to decay.

This is a moderated group. All questions are welcome. Anything that is not according to group guidelines or not helpful to broadcast will not be posted or will be answered privately. If you are asking or answering a question, please be kind, respectful, and encouraging.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Editor’s note: Also the verses BG 3.14, and 3.15 discuss this subject matter. Also this article answers this question also: https://www.thespiritualscientist.com/2012/01/do-all-sperms-have-soul/

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

Surrender yourself, with your intelligence

In spiritual life, we often hear the term “surrender”, and surrender we should. But dear reader, never surrender your intelligence!

In spiritual life, one of the key tenets is surrender to God. Without surrender to the will of God, spirituality has no meaning. But since most of us are not at a level where we can surrender directly to God, because it is hard to differentiate between the ranting of the mind and the voice of God within the heart, we often offer our surrender to a representative of God.

Now, it is required that any representative of God is of pure heart, simple, clean, and honest. But since we are all here in the material world, and the illusory energy of God is extremely strong, it is possible that even the most dedicated servant of God can come under the sway of illusion, even if momentarily.

Therefore, it is extremely important never to surrender our intelligence. In other words, while we surrender to the authority of the representative of God, a priest, a Rabbi, a Mullah, an Imam, a Guru, or a Pastor by any other name, we need to constantly remain on guard and not suspend our common sense and intelligence.

Not doing this, in other words, surrendering our common sense and intelligence has resulted in horrific abuses, including sexual abuse of children, abuse of poor and vulnerable people, and the destruction of faith in many a venerable religious organization. Such a loss is lamentable, because then, the purpose for which the spiritual tenets were coalesced to form a religious organization is lost.

My spiritual master instructed me “Surrender with your intelligence”.

What does this mean? If the actions of a superior in spiritual life are somehow incongruous, or going against our common sense or clear knowledge not tainted with opinions, then it is important to distance those from our surrender.

On the one hand, real spirituality is pure, but to take the essence of that spirituality to a large population, it is necessary to organize… And organization brings about its own sets of risks.

In a religious organization, managerial authority is often conflated with spiritual authority. It often happens that a person with spiritual authority is also given significant managerial authority. In such cases, the person may wear different hats at different times… or their actions while wearing one hat may conflict with their actions while wearing with the other. While it is extremely difficult to contest an instruction given under spiritual authority, every member of every religious organization has the right to carefully assess every single instruction given under managerial authority with their common sense and intelligence.

Doing so with small and big things is absolutely critical to preserve the spiritual purity of an organization. It is impossible to avoid dynamics of sycophancy, groupism, nepotism, politics, and positional power in any organization. That is the definition of the material world… A religious organization is still an organization in the material world, though its core is spiritual.

We deal with these types of political issues in business, Government, at Universities, in Hospitals, and all types of institutions, even Religious Institutions. But while all other types of organizations give an individual a choice to walk away from a job or a contract, in religious institutions, the situation is very different. A spiritual person associated with a religious institution often finds that their entire personal and social life is intertwined with the facilities afforded by that religious institution! And the leaders in those organizations know this very well. So it becomes extremely difficult for an ordinary member to “walk away”. Because walking away means leaving a big part of your life behind. And this becomes the reason for perpetration of all kinds of issues.

Abuse can range all the way from the innocuous to “I can do whatever I want and face no consequence”. And because powerful people are often surrounded by sycophants who, in order to fulfill their own personal agendas, will not speak the truth to the powerful, it is important for those of us with a conscience to reject nonsense when we see it.

Recently, I was in a situation where a very powerful individual tried to use their influence to “rewrite” facts. They had done something that was irresponsible, and they wanted to spin their actions as being reasonable, and wanted me to accept their version of the “alternative” facts. They were very angry with my refusal to “believe” their version which went against all reason and fundamental facts. I had to resist with all my might. I struggled with emotions like fear, guilt, and shame. They told me “I had a lot of respect for you, but I must say that it has diminished greatly”.

There may be material consequences in the short and long term, for example, I may not be in the “inner circle of confidantes” of this particular powerful person. And maybe I may remain far removed from positions of power within that religious organization. But as my spiritual master has instructed me to always remain focused on the spiritual essence, to be a pure devotee of Krishna, I must remain careful not to become a sycophant.

But what do I care about material consequences? My goal is pure devotional service to the lotus feet of Sri Krishna. If I had to endure a million material miseries for millions of times, it would be worth it to be a pure devotee of Krishna.

Another instruction my spiritual master gave was on the definition of intelligence. He said “the intelligent person is one who can hold two opposing sides of an argument or a concept, and not be disturbed by either of them“. So that was an interesting instruction.. what this means in this case is that while a person may have made a mistake on one aspect – the managerial side, the other aspect, the spiritual side does not automatically get diminished…

However, this very same person has indeed helped me in my spiritual life for many years. I need to learn to distinguish between the same person acting in a spiritual capacity, and the same person acting in a managerial capacity. So while I reject the erroneous actions and attitude of the managerial side, I still retain my respect and love for the spiritual side of the same person. So therefore, while I reject that person’s heavy-handedness and accept the consequences of doing so, I cannot discount the contribution of that person to my spiritual journey.

In the Srimad Bhagavatam, there is an instructive exchange between Maharaja Parikshit, the ideal example of a ruler, and Dharma, the personality of religion… https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/1/17/ and I will excerpt a couple of key passages…

न वयं क्लेशबीजानि यत: स्यु: पुरुषर्षभ ।
पुरुषं तं विजानीमो वाक्यभेदविमोहिता: ॥ १८ ॥

na vayaṁ kleśa-bījāni
yataḥ syuḥ puruṣarṣabha
puruṣaṁ taṁ vijānīmo
vākya-bheda-vimohitāḥ

O greatest among human beings, it is very difficult to ascertain the particular miscreant who has caused our sufferings, because we are bewildered by all the different opinions of theoretical philosophers.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/1/17/18/

केचिद् विकल्पवसना आहुरात्मानमात्मन: ।
दैवमन्येऽपरे कर्म स्वभावमपरे प्रभुम् ॥ १९ ॥

kecid vikalpa-vasanā
āhur ātmānam ātmanaḥ
daivam anye ’pare karma
svabhāvam apare prabhum

Some of the philosophers, who deny all sorts of duality, declare that one’s own self is responsible for his personal happiness and distress. Others say that superhuman powers are responsible, while yet others say that activity is responsible, and the gross materialists maintain that nature is the ultimate cause.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/1/17/19/

अप्रतर्क्यादनिर्देश्यादिति केष्वपि निश्चय: ।
अत्रानुरूपं राजर्षे विमृश स्वमनीषया ॥ २० ॥

apratarkyād anirdeśyād
iti keṣv api niścayaḥ
atrānurūpaṁ rājarṣe
vimṛśa sva-manīṣayā

There are also some thinkers who believe that no one can ascertain the cause of distress by argumentation, nor know it by imagination, nor express it by words. O sage amongst kings, judge for yourself by thinking over all this with your own intelligence.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/1/17/20/

In other words, whatever happens to us is by the direct sanction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead! We are meant to learn something from every experience, and without casting blame, we must intelligently figure out what is to be learned, learn that lesson, and move on.

The above two verses were spoken by Dharma, in the form a bull whose 3 legs had been broken by Kali, the personality of the age of quarrel and hypocrisy we live in Kaliyuga-not to be confused with Kali devi, the fierce form of the material nature. Maharaja Parikshit, who was responsible for the welfare of all, especially Dharma, inquired who was responsible for this violence, but Dharma stayed silent and did not incriminate Kali

And by applying the instructions of my spiritual master to every situation intelligently, I shall be always happy by his grace.

So, dear spiritualists, without getting bewildered by these tests of our faith, let us remain committed to the truth, and nothing but the Supreme Absolute Truth Sri Krishna and remained surrendered to Him at all times, places, and circumstances!

How Popular is Krishna?

Krishna is mentioned as the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. So why is it that apparently more people worship Ganesha, Hanuman, Lakshmi, Shiva, etc. than Krishna?

Ajanta Rao, 5 May 2015

Hare Krishna!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva!

I have a question about the worship of several demigods in Hindu religion. I have read in the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam that the essence of all vedas and scriptures is Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then why has Lord Krishna not become the most popular Hindu God? There are more number of people worshipping or having Ganesha or Hanuman or Lakshmi etc as their favorite God. I appreciate anyone helping me understand this concept. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Ajanta Rao

Jayakrishna, 5 May 2015

Hare Krishna!

May I try to answer the question based on the lessons I learned from my great senior devotees?

We must understand that God is one and is Krishna, the so called gods (or more accurately demigods)are several and are in fact servants of Krishna,and are the heads of different energies of the master.

 The current day religion of Hinduism is a loose confederation of different systems where even atheists are accepted as Hindus,not to say of polytheists who worship demigods as equal to Krishna, the God,and we can’t accept this.

But Vaishnavas or the devotees of Krishna are humble and are ready to pay obeisances to the demi gods also, but their approach is different, the pure devotees(called so as they have no material aims behind their service) never worship demigods as equal to Krishna but respect demigods as the servants of Krishna,Let us take the demigods separately, who is Sri Hanuman? the greatest devotee of Sri Rama, the supreme personality of godhead, and himself Sri Hanuman is none other thanLord Shiva.Lord Shiva is not a jivatma like us,a guna avatara of Krishna though he is not Vishnu tatwa like Sri Rama or Nrsimha deva. Lord Brahma is the highest jivatma who got this post by the mercy of Krishna. Thus analysing one by one we can understand that each demigod is connected to the lord in different ways.

Then, ‘Why are people attracted to demigods?’  simple, they are doing a business by serving demigods, their philosophy is just give and take. That is not devotion at all.

However, I understand it that Krishna is the most favourite god for most Hindus irrespective of their sects and castes.,even  atheists and communists are loving Krishna!( I know many such people personally)

your servant

Bhakta Jayakrishna

Srivatsa Das, 6 May 2015

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Gurudeva

The answer for demigod worship is also explained in Bhagavad Gita.  Krishna says that the mode of worship by the individual is according to the acquired mode of nature by that individual.  It is a journey of the individual back to home back to Godhead. At the end the individual will come back to Krishna. 

 The essence of the Vedas is to know Krishna.   Thanks to Lord Chaithanya’s Sankirtana movement and Srila Prbhupada’ s devotional service in translating various scriptures to English language, we are able to understand the purpose and meaning of these scriptures.  We are also lucky to get the opportunity to get associated with the direct devotees of Srila Prabhupada like Srila Gurudeva who has dedicated his life for the spreading of this knowledge and thus remove the ignorance from this material world.  We must dedicate our life and strongly align in strengthening this mission and thus eradicate the ignorance from society. That is the best we can do at this moment I believe.

your servant

Srivatsa Das   

Priya Harinath, 6 May 2015

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Gurudeva

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Ajanta Rao Mataji, The answer to this question is given by Krishna Himself in the Bhagavad Gita 

bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate

vasudevah sarvam iti sa mahatma su-durlabhah

After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/7/19/

yanti deva-vrata devan pitrn yanti pitr-vratah

bhutani yanti bhutejya yanti mad-yajino ‘pi mam

Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods; those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings; those who worship ancestors go to the ancestors; and those who worship Me will live with Me.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/9/25

Even Sripad Sankaracharya the great exponent of the Advaita philosophy and who organized the panchopasana worship of Ganesha, Durga, Shiva, Surya and Vishnu has himself stated in his Bhagavad gita bhashya that the Supreme Being is “Vishnu, the one known by the name nArAyaNa, the primordial Creator” (Adi kartA nArAyaNAkhyo viShNuH), that He is “beyond the material universe” (nArAyaNaH paro.avyaktAt) and that He is the original Creator of the universe (sa bhagavAn sRShTvedaM jagat).

Srila Prabhupada’s purport to the above Gita verses are the ultimate authority and one need not to look anywhere else for understanding the knowledge imparted by the Supreme Lord Himself and which has been passed down by the great acharyas and devotees in the disciplic succession. Yet even Srila Sankaracharya  in his purport to the above verse [Bg 9.25] criticizes those who do pUja to other deities, stating that the labor involved is same, but that the results are miniscule.

Again on the question as to why so many people are involved in demigod worship is because everyone desires instant material gratification being deluded by ignorance of their original nature. They do not look beyond their bodies and consider satisfaction of material senses as the purpose of life. But eventually after being tossed repeatedly in the cycle of birth and death they will have to come to the understanding that Krishna is the soul of even of the demigods who are His appointed agents to run this material universe.

This is what  makes it so important to have constant devotee association and surrender to a bonafide spiritual master who alone can guide us in the right path and clarify all our doubts and confusions. We are indeed fortunate to be a part of this wonderful group of devotees.

May Krishna always bless us eternal devotion and service to His Lotus feet and to His devotees.

your humble servant

Priya

Shridhar Das, 7 May 2015

Hare Krishna Ajanta Rao ji,

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All Glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji!

All Glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!

Your realization hence concludes the domination of Kali Yuga, where, people choose to remain surrendered to their senses and hence submit to mode of ignorance or passion. Very selected few may even strive for goodness but none even have any clue about pure goodness even if situated on goodness or midway between pure goodness and goodness (impersonal liberation) for real transcendence means Krishna, The Supreme Individual.

Covered by passion and ignorance in general, people nowadays deprive themselves of real freedom or satisfaction and choose to embrace some momentary pleasures that merely leads to countless cycle of birth and death. Why? Because ignorance to them is bliss. They somehow like that way.

This or many explanations lie but we cannot put further whys o because it will again boil down to ignorance motivated by material desires as confirmed in Bhagavad Gita:

kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ

prapadyante ’nya-devatāḥ

taṁ taṁ niyamam āsthāya

prakṛtyā niyatāḥ svayā

“Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures.”

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/7/21

Because you, me or anyone is looking for satisfaction even at this very moment as well, let’s then focus what will satisfy us ultimately in this situation:

The best solution is as suggested above, to strive for pure devotional service and obtain compassion for the ignorant or become representative of the compassion of the compassionate acharyas by becoming dedicated to this movement that is meant for lifting the fallen mystically through its bona fide process. Your question which concludes the suicidal state of conditioned soul is the pain of our acharyas, and their mission is to save them from this repeated suicide. Anyone who becomes their representative awaits their ocean of mercy which is complete in itself with all the Vaishnava qualities.

However, charity begins at home. Therefore lets strive to spread this movement to best of our capacities that helps the so-called Hindus realize the Universal status of Krishna which His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada has already revealed. Let’s associate more with pure devotees as recommended above without whom we are helpless too.

your servant

Shridhar Das

Sacinandana Das, 13 Jun 2015

Hare Krsna Mataji,

Dandavat Pranam.

All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata ji.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Krsna is not popular because there are less devotees. We have to flood this whole world with Krsna Bhakti and one of the most easy things we can do is to ask everyone to join Ultimate Self Realisation e course. We can request people in our offices to join this e course. We can take their email address and register it in http://www.joincourse.com If we want to make Krsna popular then we can increase the number of subscribers of Ultimate Self Realisation e course.

your servant,

Sacinandana Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 28 Jul 2015

Hare Krishna!

Please kindly accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Sorry, I read this now and wanted to avoid any misunderstandings… We clearly state that indeed when we measure across time and space, Krishna is indeed Supremely powerful. This is the conclusion of Srila Veda Vyasa’s father Parasara Muni.

If I close my eyes in broad daylight and then claim that it is now dark, is it really dark, or are my eyes closed?

So, Krishna is indeed most popular and most famous, but we may not know the extent of His popularity and fame.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

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

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