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

The myth of the increasing human lifespan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is a rough calculation to illustrate my point.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What should we pray to God for?

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

Kaspars, 3 Dec 2015

Hare Krishna!

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

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

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

Kaspars

Premananda Das, 3 December 2015

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

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

your servant

Premananda Das

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances!

Shridhar Das, 3 December 2015

All Glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!

Your question has been answered here:

akāmaḥ sarva-kāmo vā

mokṣa-kāma udāra-dhīḥ

tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena

yajeta puruṣaḿ param

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

SB 2.3.10

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

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

So not advisable as a callous/impersonal approach.

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

In BG 18.58 Krishna says:

mac-cittaḥ sarva-durgāṇi

mat-prasādāt tariṣyasi

atha cet tvam ahańkārān

na śroṣyasi vinańkṣyasi

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

BG 18.58

In fact Krishna emphasizes in BG 18.65:

man-manā bhava mad-bhakto

mad-yājī māḿ namaskuru

mām evaiṣyasi satyaḿ te

pratijāne priyo ‘si me

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

BG 18.65

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SB 1.1.2

In a lecture on this same verse Srila Prabhupada says:

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

tasyaiva hetoḥ prayateta kovido

na labhyate yad bhramatam upary adhaḥ

tal labhyate duḥkhavad anyataḥ sukhaṁ

kalena sarvatra gabhira-raṁhasa

[SB 1.5.18]

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

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

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope this satisfies you!

your servant

Sridhar Das

Shyamapriya devi dasi, 3 December 2015

Hare Krishna Kaspars Gulbis,

Please accept my greetings.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thankyou for your humble inquiries.

1. I would say why not?

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Shyamapriya devi dasi

Lalit, 3 December 2015

Hare Krishna!

I share my learning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lalit

Sunil, 3 December 2015

Dear Kaspars,

—–

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

From the book “Science of Self Realization” :

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

The Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.6) says,

sa vai pumsam paro dharmo

yato bhaktir adhokshaje

ahaituky apratihata

yayatma suprasidati

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

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

From book “Teachings of Queen Kunti” :

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

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

Sincerely,

Bhakta Sunil

Jayendran C, 3 December 2015

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

akāmaḥ sarva-kāmo vā

 mokṣa-kāma udāra-dhīḥ

tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena

 yajeta puruṣaṁ param

Translation

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

Purport

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

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

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

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

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

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

your humble servant,

Jayendran C

Kaspars Gulbis 3 December 2015

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances. Please excuse my offenses.

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

Thank you!

Kaspars

Mahabhagavat Das, 3 December 2015

Dear Devotees,

Hare Krishna!

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

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

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

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

So what are we waiting for?

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Vidaa Joon, 9 December 2015

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

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

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

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

your humble servant

Vidaa

Yamini Narang, 9 December 2015

Hari Hari!

Dear devotees,

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

your grateful and aspiring servant,

Bhaktin Yamini

Rathin Mandal, 9 December 2015

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji,

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

your servant

Rathin

Kaspars Gulbis, 9 December 2015

Dear devotees,

All glories to all of you!

Every answer is wonderful and nice teaching. Thank you!

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

Sincerely,

Kaspars

Tirtharaja Das, 11 December 2015

Hare Krsna

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Jai Sri Sri guru gauranga

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

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

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

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

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

“Our Father in heaven;

May your Holy Name be honoured;

May your Kingdom come;

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

Give us day by day the food we need.

Forgive us the wrongs we have done,

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

Do not bring us to hard testing,

but keep us safe from the Evil One.

Matthew 6: 8 -13

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

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

Regards,

your lowly servant

Tirtharaja Dasa.

Mahabhagavat Das, 11 December 2015

Dear Tirtharaja Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you so very much Prabhu, for your insights!

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

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

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

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

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

Srila Prabhupada lecture, Seattle Sep 30, 1968

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

SB 1.1.2 lecture, London, Aug 18, 1971

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

Lecture SB 1.1.2, Caracas, Feb 23, 1975

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

Lecture SB 1.2.1, New Vrindaban, Sep 1, 1972

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

Lecture SB 1.2.6 Delhi Nov 11, 1973

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

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

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

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

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

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Guru Vandana Devi Dasi, 19 December 2015

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

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

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

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

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

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

your servant

Guru Vandana devi dasi

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Understanding the Vedas

How can one get a basic understanding of the Vedas?

Tapas, 2 February 2020

Hare Krishna

All glories to Gurudeva

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Dear Prabhuji

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

Dandavat Pranam

your ever endearing servant

Tapas

Dejan (Dan) Boskovic, 2 February 2020

Hare Krishna 

All glories to Gurudeva 

All glories to Srila Prabhupāda!

Thank you for your mail, prabhuji.

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

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

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

Haribol

yours 

Dan

Manian VB, February 2020

Pranams to devotees. 

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

Sundar Gopal Das, 4 February 2020

Dear Sriman Tapas,

Hare Krishna!

Pls accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All glories to Sri Guru & Gauranga.

Thank you so much for your query.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does this make any sense?

with regards,

your servant,

Sundar Gopal Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 6 February 2020

Dear Sriman Tapas,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

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

yām imāṁ puṣpitāṁ vācaṁ pravadanty avipaścitaḥ

veda-vāda-ratāḥ pārtha nānyad astīti vādinaḥ

kāmātmānaḥ svarga-parā janma-karma-phala-pradām

kriyā-viśeṣa-bahulāṁ bhogaiśvarya-gatiṁ prati

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

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

bhogaiśvarya-prasaktānāṁ tayāpahrta-cetasām

vyavasāyātmikā buddhiḥ samādhau na vidhīyate

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

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

trai-guṇya-viṣayā vedā nistrai-guṇyo bhavārjuna

nirdvandvo nitya-sattva-stho niryoga-kṣema ātmavān

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

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

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

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How to be detached without being callous?

Spiritual Knowledge often stresses Detachment. How can a Mother be detached from her children? Is there something wrong with this instruction? What is the proper understanding?

Rashmi Chhabra 09 Apr 2019

Hare Krishna all.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srila Prabhupada

I m at a very beginning stage of Krishna consciousness. Please forgive my offenses.

In a recent class of Srimati Gurumataji, I heard about the weapon of detachment. I have 2 small kids, well whom I love a lot as a mother. And I think they are the only ones with whom I m attached at most in material life. Most rest things don’t matter to me.

My question is, should I start getting less attached to them? Or at least start that process of detachment?

Kindly enlighten.

Thank you all.

Hare Krishna.

Rashmi

Amogha Lila Das, 10 April 2019

Hare Krishna mataji. Please accept my pranams. All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

We are all relatively new to Krishna consciousness, some little more some little less.

The idea of detachment can be understood as not deliberate but through the process of bhakti. When we engage our mind, body and intelligence in Krishna bhakti, then gradually we shall lose taste for material mundane things, not by force, but through getting a higher taste.

Arjuna wanted to detach himself from his duties as a kshatriya warrior, but eventually surrendered to the will of the Lord.

By doing our duty keeping Krishna in the center, we can utilize our lives for Krishna.

Every thing belongs to Krishna. Caring for your children is your duty as a mother and love for them is natural.  Raising them in Krishna consciousness will be the best thing you can do as a loving mother, because our aim is to utilize everything that we possess in the service of Krishna.

Hence detachment will come from the understanding that everything is Krishna’s property and we just have to utilize what already belongs to him in his service.

Hope this helps somewhat….

your humble servant,

Amogha Lila Das

Rupa Manjari devi dasi, 10 April 2019

Hare Krishna Mataji,

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Gurudev

All glories to Srimate Gurumata

All glories to Srila Prahbupada

Prabhu gave a very nice answer.

For further clarification I suggest you read this book by Sila  Prahbupada, from start to finish.  ‘The teachings of Queen Kunti. ‘  This is a wonderful book which Prabhupada explains your question perfectly.  As you read this book you understanding and realization will increase  step by step so by the end of it everything will be perfectly clear to you.

your servant

Rupa Manjari dd

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 11 April 2019

Dear Mother Rashmi,

Hare Krishna!

Your question is simply wonderful! Many parents must have this question, but may not ask… worse they may keep a misunderstanding within their hearts also. We must educate the whole world on this point.

What Amogha Lila Prabhu and Mother Rupa Manjari have written is truly profound.

To be detached actually means to be attached to Krishna and Krishna’s… To learn to see how Krishna has given you this important service of raising His own dear part-and-parcel souls “mamaivaamsho” is a great exercise in humility and gratitude. Please protect these children from untoward association, especially television, phones, computers, newspapers, food that is not cooked as a loving offering for Krishna, and materialistic association… Please give them Krishna constantly, in a way that they can accept… please make them best friends of Krishna.

Whatever Amogha Lila Prabhu wrote is fully supported by scripture… here it is from SB 10.14, the stealing of the cowherd boys by Lord Brahma, Krishna expanded Himself as all of them. The cowherd boys’ mothers and the calves’ mothers loved the expansions of Krishna appearing like their offspring more than they loved their own offspring – this was surprising, since a mother loves her child more than anyone else, so the Q&A between Maharaja Parikshit and Shukadeva Goswami is below, it is very nectarean, please dive into it prayerfully:

Text 49:

King Parīkṣit said: O brāhmaṇa, how could the cowherd women have developed for Kṛṣṇa, someone else’s son, such unprecedented pure love — love they never felt even for their own children? Please explain this.

Text 50:

Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: O King, for every created being the dearmost thing is certainly his own self. The dearness of everything else — children, wealth and so on — is due only to the dearness of the self.

Text 51:

For this reason, O best of kings, the embodied soul is self-centered: he is more attached to his own body and self than to his so-called possessions like children, wealth and home.

Text 52:

Indeed, for persons who think the body is the self, O best of kings, those things whose importance lies only in their relationship to the body are never as dear as the body itself.

Text 53:

If a person comes to the stage of considering the body “mine” instead of “me,” he will certainly not consider the body as dear as his own self. After all, even as the body is growing old and useless, one’s desire to continue living remains strong.

Text 54:

Therefore it is his own self that is most dear to every embodied living being, and it is simply for the satisfaction of this self that the whole material creation of moving and nonmoving entities exists.

Text 55:

You should know Kṛṣṇa to be the original Soul of all living entities. For the benefit of the whole universe, He has, out of His causeless mercy, appeared as an ordinary human being. He has done this by the strength of His internal potency.

Text 56:

Those in this world who understand Lord Kṛṣṇa as He is see all things, whether stationary or moving, as manifest forms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such enlightened persons recognize no reality apart from the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa.

Text 57:

The original, unmanifested form of material nature is the source of all material things, and the source of even that subtle material nature is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa. What, then, could one ascertain to be separate from Him?

Text 58:

For those who have accepted the boat of the lotus feet of the Lord, who is the shelter of the cosmic manifestation and is famous as Murāri, the enemy of the Mura demon, the ocean of the material world is like the water contained in a calf’s hoof-print. Their goal is paraṁ padam, Vaikuṇṭha, the place where there are no material miseries, not the place where there is danger at every step.

All the purport are amazing, just like the verses… everyone should please read these carefully, and this will be the perfection of all our relationships if we can implement properly.

In the purport to SB 10.14.50, we find this (italics mine):

quote

Sometimes modern thinkers become puzzled when they study the psychology of moral behavior. Although every living entity is inclined toward self-preservation, as stated here, sometimes a person voluntarily sacrifices his own apparent interest through philanthropic or patriotic activities, such as giving his money for the benefit of others or giving his life for the national interest. Such so-called selfless behavior appears to contradict the principle of material self-centeredness and self-preservation.

As explained in this verse, however, a living entity serves his society, nation, family and so on only because these objects of affection represent the expanded concept of false ego. A patriot sees himself as a great servitor of a great nation, and thus he sacrifices his life to gratify his sense of egotism. Similarly, it is common knowledge that a man feels great pleasure by thinking that he is sacrificing everything to please his dear wife and children. A man derives great egotistic pleasure by seeing himself as a selfless well-wisher of his so-called family and community. Thus, to gratify his proud sense of false ego, a man is prepared even to lay down his life. This apparently contradictory behavior is yet another demonstration of the bewilderment of material life, which has neither rhyme nor reason, being a manifestation of gross ignorance of the nonmaterial soul.

unquote

And in the purport to SB 10.14.55, we find this (italics mine) :

In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līla, Chapter Twenty, text 162, Śrīla Prabhupāda comments on this verse as follows: “Parīkṣit Mahārāja asked Śukadeva Gosvāmī why Kṛṣṇa was so beloved by the residents of Vṛndāvana, who loved Him even more than their own offspring or life itself. At that time, Śukadeva Gosvāmī replied that everyone’s ātmā, or soul, is very, very dear, especially to all living entities who have accepted material bodies. However, that ātmā, the spirit soul, is part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. For this reason, Kṛṣṇa is very dear to every living entity. Everyone’s body is very dear to oneself, and one wants to protect the body by all means because within the body the soul is living. Due to the intimate relationship between the soul and the body, the body is important and dear to everyone. Similarly, the soul, being part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord, is very, very dear to all living entities. Unfortunately, the soul forgets his constitutional position and thinks he is only the body (dehātma-buddhi). Thus the soul is subjected to the rules and regulations of material nature. When a living entity, by his intelligence, reawakens his attraction for Kṛṣṇa, he can understand that he is not the body but part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. Thus filled with knowledge, he no longer labors under attachment to the body and everything related to the body (janasya moho ’yam ahaṁ mameti). Material existence, wherein one thinks, ‘I am the body, and this belongs to me,’ is also illusory. One must redirect his attraction to Kṛṣṇa.Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.7) states:

vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ

janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam

By rendering devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment from the world.’

In the purport of SB 10.14.56, we find this written (italics are mine):

quote

Everything exists within Lord Kṛṣṇa, and Lord Kṛṣṇa exists within everything. Still, the order of progression is always from the energetic to the expanded energy. Lord Kṛṣṇa is the original identity, from whom all other identities emanate. He is the supreme energetic, from whom all categories and dimensions of energy become manifest. Thus, our personal bodies, self, family, friends, nation, planet, universe and so on are all manifestations of the Supreme Lord, who expands Himself through His personal potencies. Lord Kṛṣṇa is certainly the supreme object of our love and attraction, and other objects, such as body, family and home, should be secondary objects of our affection. Moreover, a close analytic study of the actual situation will reveal that even the secondary objects of love are also manifestations of Lord Kṛṣṇa. The conclusion is that Lord Kṛṣṇa is our only friend and object of love.

In his Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrīla Prabhupāda comments on this verse as follows: “Without being an expansion of Kṛṣṇa, nothing can be attractive. Whatever is attractive within the cosmic manifestation is due to Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is therefore the reservoir of all pleasure. The active principle of everything is Kṛṣṇa, and highly elevated transcendentalists see everything in connection with Him. In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is stated that a mahā-bhāgavata, a highly advanced devotee, sees Kṛṣṇa as the active principle in all moving and nonmoving living entities. Therefore he sees everything within this cosmic manifestation in relation to Kṛṣṇa.”

unquote

When you see your children as Krishna’s children and love them as Krishna’s children, and they realize that they are Krishna’s, then your devotion will be perfect, and their lives also will be perfect. All of you will be attached to Krishna’s lotus feet, and there will be no one more happy than Srimati Gurumataji and Srila Gurudeva.

Mahabhagavat Das, dasadas.com

Priya Harinath, 11 April 2019

Hare Krishna devotees

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji

What a wonderful question and what glorious answers from Amogha Lila Das Prabhu and Rupa Manjari mataji. Jaya! And what nectar from Mahabhagavad Das Prabhu. Thank you for guiding and enlightening fallen souls like me. Vaisnava association is the highest blessing anyone can get and it is possible only by the mercy of Guru and Krishna. We are indeed fortunate to have this in the form of this online bhagavata academy and devotees group.

Rashmi mataji, your question is wonderful and is in the mind of any parent. I am a mother of two and I have had this question in my mind in various ways every day. Just to add on to all the above wonderful answers, I had asked Srimati Gurumataji in one of the morning online Bhagavatam classes what should I do as a mother to guide my children towards Krishna. And she gave me a straight amazing answer.  She said, “First become fixed in devotion yourself. Work towards become an initiated devotee and then you will automatically become an example for your children to follow.” [Her words in quote].

You will be doing the greatest service to them if you guide them towards Krishna.

your humble servant

Priya

Rashmi, 11 April 2019

Hare Krishna everyone

Thank you so much for explaining. It’s really helps

Rashmi

Rashmi Chhabra, 11 April 2019

Hare Krishna Mahabhagavat Prabhuji

All glories to Gurudeva and Prabhupad

Thank you so much for guiding. I really need guidance at every step it seems, as I am the most useless person. Sometimes I have so many questions to enquire I myself don’t know where to start.

The ways you have devised to follow for bringing up kids in Krishna consciousness are superb. I was doing something like that, but little. Now i have been guided for the same.

It will definitely take time and patience from my end, but I’ll definitely put my best efforts in it.

Again thank you,

Hare Krishna

From Rashmi

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“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?

Tongue, Belly, Genital Consciousness

How are you living your life? Would you like to relish genuine human life? Or stay on the animal platform?

During a class by my spiritual master, he said this phrase “Tongue, Belly and Genital Consciousness”. When we boil it down to the essential, we see that in this world, practically every one is in the mood of trying to satisfy their tongues, their bellies, and their genitals.

Of course, for creatures other than human, they have no choice but to follow their instinct. The dog must go around and sniff out the urine of other dogs. The birds must peck around and look for that worm. The fish must constantly swim around trying to find something to eat. The male or female of any species must find a mate… eating, sleeping, mating and defending, that’s all animals ever do.

But humans, we have been given a higher consciousness. Yes, to stay alive, we must gratify our senses to some extent. But what happens if we never transcend the urge of the tongue, the pull of the belly, and the itch of the genitals?

We remain animals. Yes, we may travel in the most fancy cars, planes, or yachts, live in the most opulent mansions, wear the most exquisite clothes, but what do we do with all that? Run here and there with our tongues out, trying hard to get some taste, the same taste we have experienced many times, chewing the same old,same old, tongue, belly, genitals. Very polished animals, but animals nevertheless.

Human society is chasing after the next big thing all the time, better clothing, better food, better residences, better conveyances, even wanting to go and live on other planets… what what will we do in all those? Eat, Sleep, Mate, and Defend? Just like the animals.

युक्ताहारविहारस्य युक्तचेष्टस्य कर्मसु ।
युक्तस्वप्‍नावबोधस्य योगो भवति दु:खहा ॥ १७ ॥

yuktāhāra-vihārasya
yukta-ceṣṭasya karmasu
yukta-svapnāvabodhasya
yogo bhavati duḥkha-hā

He who is regulated in his habits of eating, sleeping, recreation and work can mitigate all material pains by practicing the yoga system.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/6/17/

If someone practices yoga, spirituality, or religion simply to improve their sex life, they are no better than an animal.

The scriptures repeatedly extol us to get out of the grip of this eating, sleeping, mating, and defending.

स एव पुनर्निद्राजगरगृहीतोऽन्धे तमसि मग्न: शून्यारण्य इव शेते नान्यत्किञ्चन वेद शव इवापविद्ध: ॥ २० ॥

sa eva punar nidrājagara-gṛhīto ’ndhe tamasi magnaḥ śūnyāraṇya iva śete nānyat-kiñcana veda śava ivāpaviddhaḥ.

Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued speaking to Mahārāja Parīkṣit: My dear King, sleep is exactly like a python. Those who wander in the forest of material life are always devoured by the python of sleep. Being bitten by this python, they always remain in the darkness of ignorance. They are like dead bodies thrown in a distant forest. Thus the conditioned souls cannot understand what is going on in life.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/5/14/20/

But human life means “Nidrāhāra-vihārakādi-vijitau” – to conquer over the pressure of sleep, food, and sense gratification.

The famous 6 Goswamis of Vrindavana did this, but this was not their goal, Rupa Goswami, Sanatana Goswami, Raghunatha Dasa Goswami, Raghunatha Bhatta Goswami, Gopala Bhatta Goswami, and Jiva Goswami were so fully absorbed, practically intoxicated, in Krishna and His associates, that they naturally lost all taste for sense enjoyments, and they were able to sustain themselves with about 2 hours of sleep daily, and hardly any food. In such a state, they left behind personal examples and texts that will prove to be the saviour of humanity.

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada also followed in the footsteps of the 6 Goswamis of Vrindavana.

If we do this, we can proceed to divine life, otherwise, we will descend back to animal life.

What can you do to rise to the platform of genuine human life? How may I serve you on your journey?

What does a foetus feel in the womb?

What does a foetus in the womb feel? Are the descriptions in the Scripture confirmed by Science?

Nikhil Mishra, 30 June 2018

Hare Krsna                                                                                

Obeisance to Guru , Gauranga and devotess.

Please refer the below link.

http://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/3/31

In it, is described the development of foetus. My question is – has it been seen by modern scientific instrument like ultrasound etc that fetus is totally unhappy n unable to move his/her limbs inside womb?  because in one youtube video, (if i remember correctly !!), they showed one grown baby fetus smiling inside belly of mother!!

Sincerely

Nikhil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 03 July 2018

Dear Sriman Nikhil,

Hare Krishna!

I think I remember seeing one such video, but really, we all know that videos can be easily faked.

From what I know, yes, the amount of space available to the foetus continuously decreases, and in the initial months, the foetus can swim around, but later on, everything gets progressively very tight – that part is clearly confirmed from data and experience.

In fact, one of the things that expecting mothers are taught to do is to take a few moments throughout the day to monitor that the foetus is moving around – too many just give up their life inside the womb and sometimes the mother doesn’t even know for days after! Re facial expressions, I have seen that the baby as seen in ultrasound images could be neutral, crying, or grimacing.

In any case, the ultrasound lasts for a few seconds or minutes, it cannot be done 24X7.

It is not possible to conclusively confirm, as baby is not verbal until about a year after birth, and the trauma of birth takes away all memory of life in the womb.

I have witnessed childbirth myself. It is no walk in the park, even with all sorts of pain medication. It is clearly Krishna’s mercy that women don’t remember it, otherwise, no one would have children in this world.

There is also no need to doubt the statements of the Bhagavatam which is spotlessly pure and free of fault by the personal statement of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself and thousands of other great Vaishnava Acharyas.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Nikhil Mishra, 04 July 2018

Thank you very much Mahabhagavat Prabhu for taking out time to express your views on my question. I really appreciate that and offer my gratitude to you for the same.

Knowing views of other vaisnavas help me to intensify my search about truth and devotion while keeping my intellect sane.

Sincerely

Nikhil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 05 July 2018

Dear Sriman Nikhil,

Hare Krishna!

I completely understand where you are coming from.

Srila Gurudeva once told me “the sign of a Brahmana is one who can keep two opposing viewpoints in the mind without getting disturbed” and then he added “that is also a definition of intelligence”.

Basically, when we position the scripture and modern scientific understanding as competing against each other, it is always a difficult situation.

But they are not competing fields of knowledge, but complementary fields of knowledge.

Reality is very vast, and there is much of reality that is not materially perceivable – for example, material science expresses thoughts, emotions, as mere eletrochemical reactions. Yes, it is true that someone may observe that my thoughts and emotions might be expressed on one level as electrochemical reactions. BUT, that sort of reductionist viewpoint is incomplete, because we all have personal experience that thoughts and emotions are much more than just electrochemical reactions.

Science explicitly looks for matter, and thus therefore finds matter… starts with the assumption that anything that is not mathematically provable or empirically observable does not exist (though there are inconsistencies there – for example what is the square root of -1, can anyone show me an i?).

Scripture and Science are two different genres of knowledge – you cannot always take the rules of one and apply to the other.

For example, take the image below… reality consists of gross, subtle, and spiritual, but materialistic science only deals with the gross. (Image courtesy of His Grace Chaitanya Charan Das The Spiritual Scientist). Spirituality on the other hand, doesn’t concern itself so much with the gross, but focuses on the subtle and spiritual.

Vedic Oasis for Inspiration
Culture and Education, Pune
5
How Are They Diverging
Operating Platform
Spirit
SubtleGross
SCI...

I hope this helps!

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Nikhil Mishra, 05 July 2018

Hare Krsna

Thank you for writing me again Mahabhagavat prabhu. Yes you got the essence of query and your answer further helped me.

Really Vaishnavas are so merciful.

Hari bol

Sincerely

Nikhil

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Vishnu & Shiva, who is the Supreme?

Who is Supreme, Shiva or Vishnu/Krishna? The discussion rages on, and some will never accept. But what do the authoritative sources say?

Harish V, 28 Nov 2018

Hare Krishna !
Please accept my humble obeisances!

All Glories to Sri Sri Guru & Gauranga!

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I would like to know, how the incarnation of Lord Narasimha came to an end after slaying Hiranyakashipu. I read in SB 7.10.31 that the Lord disappeared after being worshipped by Brahmā,

SB 7.10.31 — Nārada Muni continued: O King Yudhiṣṭhira, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is not visible to an ordinary human being, spoke in this way, instructing Lord Brahmā. Then, being worshiped by Brahmā, the Lord disappeared from that place.

This query was asked by my friend who came across an article which describes the story of Sharabha (Shiva’s form), GandaBerunda (Vishnu’s form) and Pratyankira (Durga’s form). Apparently Lord Narasimha was calmed down by defeat, by Sharabha (Shiva’s form) and Pratyankira (Durga’s form). It is stated that Lord Narasimha became the devotee of Shiva after the fight.

These incidents are described in the literatures relating to Lord Shiva.

He questioned me about the supremacy of Krishna based on this story which I could not effectively answer.

Request your guidance.

your servant,
Harish V

Filip Misic, 29 Nov 2018

Dear Harish,

Your question is very intellectually satisfying and is one worth asking. Even though I myself am not very learned in all the scriptures, especially those relating to the devatas, I shall make an attempt to shed some light into this topic and thus make a ground from which devotees may also further elaborate on the subject.

This story of Lord Nrisimhadeva, becoming calmed down by defeat from Lord Siva and Durga and then praising Lord Siva, is indeed a remarkable story, considering that we as devotees of Sri Krishna worship Sri Nrisimhadeva as the Supreme Lord. But in order to analyse this narration (which will be incomplete because we would have to read the full story to get the full picture), we have to state the facts that we already know from shastras, and in this light observe this narration of Lord Shiva.

Actually, from the narrations of the Bhagavat-Purana, Lord Shiva is known as a pure devotee of Lord Krishna, if not the purest. Just like Srila Prabhupada is a pure devotee of Krishna, and could hereby produce millions of Vaishnavas by his presence, similarly Lord Shiva is a pure Vaishnava. So just see how devoted Shiva must be to Lord Vishnu; in fact, Lord Shiva is often depicted as being fixed in samadhi, meditation. But who or what is he meditating on? He is meditating on Lord Narayana, paramesvara, the Supreme Controller.

We may refer to the prayers given by Lord Shiva to Krishna in the 8th Canto of the Bhagavatam to support these statements. When Lord Shiva heard of the pastimes of Hari where He appered as a woman to captivate the demons and enable the devatas to drink the nectar, he went to meet Lord Hari. After arriving, Shiva offered respect to Vishnu and spoke as follows:
śrī-mahādeva uvāca
deva-deva jagad-vyāpiñ
jagad-īśa jagan-maya
sarveṣām api bhāvānāṁ
tvam ātmā hetur īśvaraḥ
“Lord Mahādeva said: O chief demigod among the demigods, O all-pervading Lord, master of the universe, by Your energy You are transformed into the creation. You are the root and efficient cause of everything. You are not material. Indeed, You are the Supersoul or supreme living force of everything. Therefore, You are Parameśvara, the supreme controller of all controllers.”
This is very remarkable, because Shiva is himself addressing the Lord as the Supreme (sarvesam api bhavanam tvam atma hetur isvaraha): “You are the supreme living force of everything and therefore you may be called isvara.” In a following verse, Shiva also states: (ananda-matram avikaram ananyad anyat) “You are always in transcendental bliss, You are changeless, You are seperated from everything but yet You are everything.” These statements given by Shiva are very significant. Also, it is not that he is speaking allegorically or that there is some hidden meaning to this. No. He is addressing the Lord like this in order to show his position as subordinare to Lord Hari. Remarkably enough, soon after this, wishing to see the beautiful female form of the Lord that he had heard of, Shiva becomes captivated by Mohini-murti. It is actually narrated s follows: “His sense became agitated, Lord Shiva, victimized by lusty desires, began to follow Her, just as a lusty elephant follows a she-elephant.” (SB.8.1.27) How could it be that if Shiva was the source of all material and spiritual, that he becomes captivated by his own energy? This is actually not possible for the Supreme Lord. Shiva was running like a dog after Mohini-murti and he even discharged semen uncontrollably due to the amazing features of Srimati Mohini. Actually it is not that Siva was covered by maha maya, the material energy, because being a pure devotee of Krishna he is firmly fixed in transcendence. Rather, this was a show of Krishna´s yoga-maya, internal energy, which so captivated Siva. After this event Lord Siva understood his position and that of Lord Vishnu completely, and after circumambulating the Lord, Siva took permission and returned to his abode. So there is not really anything unclear about this, Shiva is subordinate to Krishna, who is the source of all that exists.

However, now one may question why this narration of Nrisimhadeva being defeated by Shiva is at all there? If Krishna is the Supreme Lord, how can His expansion become defeated by a jiva? It is actually very simple. Lord Siva is not just any ordinary jiva, but he is a pure Krishna-bhakta. And because Krishna is so pleased by the devotional service of His pure devotees, He is owned by these devotees. Just like in the First Canto Krishna wishes to glorify His devotee Bhishma by allowing Yudhisthira to be perplexed just so he can hear the council of Bhishmadeva and become relieved. In fact, when Krishna arrived at Bhishma´s deathbed with arrows in him, He even bowed down to Him (SB 1.9.4). So Krishna will sometimes allow Himself to be seemingly degraded in order to glorify His pure devotee. So similarly, this narration of Sri Nrisimhadeva and Lord Siva can be examined in this light. Nrisimhadeva put himself in a low position and allowed Siva to conquer Him just in order to glorify Siva. Lord Siva is a greta mahatma and he is know to be the destroyer of cosmic manifestation at the time of annihilation. So his strength is truly remarkable. But even though Sri Nrisimhadeva allowed Hiself to be beaten by Shiva, it does not mean that therefore Siva is higher than Narayana. This would be a conclusion made by somebody who is not receiving the Vedas from a bona fide authority and is concocting his on mental speculations about the narrations of the shastras, while not even studying the Srimad Bhagavatam and Srimad Bhagavad-gita. This is a very intimate topic, and we as sadhikas cannot really understand the transcendental relationships between Krishna and his devotees. We have the tendency to analyse stories from a material perspective, when in fact the narrations of the Vedas are transcendental.

Narrations like this are not so much read by Vaishnavaas, but they are very pleasing to devotees of Lord Shiva. Vaishnavas do not read stories like this, beacause they wish to rather read narrations which glorify the Lord. Just like the compiler of the Vedas Sri Vyasadeva arranged the Srimad Bhagavatam, which is filled with topics related to Lord Hari and His devotees. Bhagavatam is considered to be the ripended fruit of Vedic literature. This is the opinion of the great devotee Suta Goswami (nigama kalpa-taror galitam phalam (SB 1.1.3)) and all the acharyas like Ramanujacharya, Vishnu Swami, Madhvcarya, coming down from the disciplic succession started by Krishna Himself. These personalities were situated on the highest platform of transcendence, namely love of God, and therefore we choose to follow in their footsteps. And as for the converstaion you had with your friend, we should be aware with whom we have philosophical discussions. Just like Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu advised that we should not associate with mayavadis, because they can illusion our intelligence by their false conclusion of the Vedas. So similarly we should not associate, or at least consult, with people who are not performing sravanam kirtanam (unless we are very learned in shastra and can defeat their arguments). Because without the regulatory chanting of the Lords Holy Names a person should be known to possess a demoniac mentality. In this mentality nobody can come to the perfect conclusion of the Vedic literature (vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyo (BG 15.15)), which is to surrender ones life to Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead (aham adir hi devanam (BG 10.2)).

I hope my explanation and my view of this matter has not been expressed in too much length. I hold this subject a very important topic amongst devotees of Krishna and therefore have chosen to speak on this matter. I encourage anybody to further elaborate on this.

Hoping this proves to be helpful to you,

your servant, Filip

Harish V Menon, 30 Nov 2018

Hare Krishna Filip Prabhuji,

Please accept my humble obeisances!

Thank you so much for your enlightening explanation !

your servant,
Harish V

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 01 Dec 2018
Hare Krishna!

Thank you for the question and the heartfelt answer.

Here is my (short) response:

  1. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead per Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam
  2. Sri Veda Vyasa composed 18 Puranas, 6 are in mode of ignorance, 6 in the mode of passion, and 6 in the mode of goodness
  3. Of the 6 in the mode of goodness, 1, Srimad Bhagavatam is in the mode of pure goodness
  4. Bhagavad Gita is regarded even by Adi Shankara (widely accepted as an incarnation of Lord Shiva, and also with scriptural evidence) as the topmost Upanishad – please read the introduction of Bhagavad Gita As It Is.
  5. Something beneficial can certainly be learned from all Puranas and all Vedic literature, but not the Supreme Absolute Truth, which is available perfectly only in Srimad Bhagavatam
  6. In the Bhagavad gita, it is clearly mentioned about faith in the various modes, how faith in the mode of ignorance accepts religion to be irreligion and irreligion to be religion.

But we don’t want to argue anything with anyone – we follow the authority of the disciplic succession – we are like the soldiers in a minefield walking behind the minesweeper, we step exactly where the soldier in front of us has stepped, we don’t deviate from the realized Acharyas in our disciplic succession. If someone wants to follow, good, otherwise they are welcome to stay in the material world until they come to their senses.

In general, there is one saying I heard from one of our spiritual masters in ISKCON…
“you can lead the horse to the water, you can’t make him drink,
you can lead a man to wisdom, you can’t make him think”.

Urging everyone to please carefully read the Bhagavad Gita As It Is and Srimad Bhagavatam ourselves. Or at least this article http://www.krishna.com/brahma-vishnu-shiva

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das
dasadas.com

Filip Misic, 01 Dec 2018
Yes, this is nicely said.

your servant, Filip

Priya Harinath, 01 Dec 2018


Jaya!! Thank you Harish Prabhuji for the wonderful question and thank you Filip Prabhu and Mahabhagavat Das Prabhu for the enlightening and amazing answers. We are really fortunate to be part of this wonderful Vaisnava sanga.

your humble servant
Priya Harinath

Nikhil Mishra, 02 Dec 2018

Hare Krsna
All glories to Srila Guru and vaishnava devotees

It was wonderful to read conversations over this topic. I am unable to stop myself to put my points also here, which are not directly from Srimad Bhagavatam, but somehow I loved them while I researched this topic during my own dilemma.

Kindly forgive me and correct me if you find any discrepancy or offensive here.

Indeed relation between Lord Hari and Lord Shiva is very sweet. Both try to belittle themselves in order to glorify other. And I thoroughly love reading such kathaa/stories.

I see Adi shankaracharya (incarnation of Lord Shiva) saying
“bhaja govindam bhaja govindam govindam bhaja mudha mate”
I.e.
Worship Govinda, worship Govinda,
Worship Govinda, oh fool

And in in another revered scripture “Ram Charit Manas” by Goswami Tulsidas , i read Lord Ram proclaiming
“shiva darohi mama bhagata kahava so nara sapanehu mohi na pava
sankar bimukh bhagati chaha mori so naraki mudha mati thori”

Summary Translation :
one who consider himself/herself devotee of Mine but have repellency from Lord Shiva, such person can not find Me even in his/her dreams. If a person insult Shiva and desires My devotion , then he is a fool and worth going to hell.

So I bow down to Lord Hari and Lord Shiva who play Lila’s which are inconceivable by my little intellect.

Hari bol
Nikhil


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When did the Kali Yuga start?

When exactly did the current age we live in, kaliyuga, the age of quarrel and hypocrisy begin?

Nikhil Mishra, 23 March 2018

Hare Krsna
Humble obeisance unto feet of Guru and Gauranga.

I was reading book ” KRSNA”. In chapter 52, it is stated that King Muchukunda after coming out of cave realised that current yuga was kaliyuga. Therefore he decided to go to badrikashram.

but i had heard that kaliyuga started when King Parikshit left his body.

i think that king muchukunda episode had happened before mahabharat and king Parikshit time was after Mahabharat.

so how to understand when kaliyuga started? Kindly put some light in this matter.

Sincerely
nikhil

Eshwar rao javvadhi, 23 March 2018

Hare Krishna Prabhuji,
Please accept My dandavat pranams
All glories to srila prabhupada
all glories to sri guru and gauranga.

My Answer is subjected to seniors corrections prabhuji.

As far as My knowledge is concern, King Muchukunda after fighting a war on behalf of demigods he was very tired and he slept in that cave for a very long time by which the yuga got changed.

Kali yuga started after the death of parikshat maharaja.

Thank you
your servant
Isvara Puri Dasa

Nikhil Mishra, 23 March 2018

yes prabhu ji..he was asleep for long. later woke up by kalyavan and thus angered king muchukunda turned kalyavan into ashes just by mere glacing.
but as i could understand reading upto this chapter 52 , this pastime of Lord is enacted before mahabharat began. thats why i amconfused.
hare krsna

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 24 March 2018

Dear Sriman Nikhil,

Hare Krishna!

You are referring to this passage from the Krishna Book, Chapter 52:

” When Mucukunda, the celebrated descendant of the Ikṣvāku dynasty, was favored by Lord Kṛṣṇa, he circumambulated the Lord within the cave and then came out. On coming out of the cave, Mucukunda saw that the human species had surprisingly been reduced in stature to pygmy size. Similarly, the trees had also been far reduced in size, and Mucukunda could immediately understand that the current age was Kali-yuga. Therefore, without diverting his attention, he began to travel north. “

The Krishna Book is a summary of the 10th Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam – when summarizing, it may be necessary to leave out certain details or be unclear about specifics even though the essence was not lost in Srila Prabhupada’s summarization.

On the cosmic scale changes between ages appear like quick cutoffs, but when we are looking at it from our scale, changes happen relatively gradually. Even though there is certainly a specific cut-off time for yugas, the changes are gradual – for example, we are currently in the first 500 years of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s Golden Age that will last for another 9500 years… but the full descriptions of this Age are not immediately manifested. So does that mean the Golden Age has not begun? No, not at all.

Elsewhere it is stated that as long as Sri Giri Govardhan is still visible above the ground, the effects of Kali Yuga will not be fully manifested, By Sri Govardhan’s potency… so does that mean that Kali Yuga has not started?

Also, the first years of the Dvapara yuga were not like the last years of Dvapara yuga, for example – it was not homogenous that one fine day everything suddenly changed.

From descriptions of our parents and grandparents, we can understand that times have indeed changed – what was once considered rude is today considered gentlemanly, for example.

For example, an extract from the chapter summary of SB 10.52, is as follows

” King Mucukunda, shown mercy by Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, offered obeisances and circumambulated Him. The King then left the cave and saw that humans, animals, trees and plants were all smaller than when he had fallen asleep. From this he could understand that the Age of Kali was at hand. Thus, in a mood of detachment from all material association, the King began worshiping the Supreme Lord, Śrī Hari.”

The specific verse is SB 10.52.2:

saṁvīkṣya kṣullakān martyān
 paśūn vīrud-vanaspatīn
matvā kali-yugaṁ prāptaṁ
 jagāma diśam uttarām

” Seeing that the size of all the human beings, animals, trees and plants was severely reduced, and thus realizing that the Age of Kali was at hand, Mucukunda left for the north.”

In the previous verse 10.52.1:

śrī-śuka uvāca
itthaṁ so ’nagrahīto ’nga
 kṛṣṇenekṣvāku nandanaḥ
taṁ parikramya sannamya
 niścakrāma guhā-mukhāt

” Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: My dear King, thus graced by Lord Kṛṣṇa, Mucukunda circumambulated Him and bowed down to Him. Then Mucukunda, the beloved descendant of Ikṣvāku, exited through the mouth of the cave.”

King Muchukunda was personally graced by Sri Krishna, and was highly intelligent.

We can see that he did not want to get infected by the dark effects of the Kali yuga and departed immediately to purify and meditate and be Krishna conscious.

Intelligent man, King Muchukunda, compared to me, who inspite of first-hand observing the ill effects of this age, haven’t fully removed material desires from my heart!

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Rahul Mangla, 24 March 2018

Hare Krishna!

It all happened during end of dvaparyuga, when effects of kaliyuga started appearing. We can understand it to be during overlap period ie. dvaparyiga ending and kaliyuga about to start.

Others please may correct.

Sincerely,
Rasika Krishna Das

Nikhil Mishra, 24 March 2018

Hare Krishna
Thank you all devotees and specially Mahabhagvat prabhu for detailed answer and giving me further knowledge regarding relation between Sri GovardhanJi and intensity of kaliyuga.
Translation of following verse written in your mail clears doubts in my mind where it is stated that “Age of Kali was at hand”.
-The specific verse is SB 10.52.2:

saṁvīkṣya kṣullakān martyān
 paśūn vīrud-vanaspatīn
matvā kali-yugaṁ prāptaṁ
 jagāma diśam uttarām

“Seeing that the size of all the human beings, animals, trees and plants was severely reduced, and thus realizing that the Age of Kali was at hand, Mucukunda left for the north.”

thank you so much
your servant
Nikhil

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

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