Muslim Brahmin in Hyderabad

Can a Muslim be a Brahmin? Can a Vaishnava be as good as a Mullah or Rabbi or Christian priest? Here are some great insights from a Maulvi in Hyderabad!

Not long ago, I was out on the street distributing the Bhagavad Gita in the South Central Indian City of Hyderabad. Hyderabad, like most cities in India, is a beautiful confluence of many cultures. Specifically, in Hyderabad, there is a significant mix of Hindu, Muslim, and Christian populations, and the history of the city has a strong Muslim flavour. For the most part, people have lived in harmony for hundreds of years. There have been flash-points and incidents of hatred, but relatively rare.

One day, as I stood on the street, I saw an elderly gentlemen, clearly Muslim from his long white beard with moustache shaved off, a baggy light-coloured Salwar Kameez, and a distinctive skull cap. He walked slowly, with a walker, that he gently placed in front of him, and then moved his legs closer to the walker, shuffling by slowly. I respectfully made way for this gentleman and greeted him with a little bow.

He passed back-and-forth a few times, and seeing his friendly countenance, I asked him if he would read the Bhagavad Gita. He said he most certainly would, if I had a Hindi version available. He then told me that he had been to the ISKCON Radha Madan Mohan temple in Abids, Hyderabad several times for the Sunday feast program, and had participated in Harinam Sankirtan, and taken Prasad many times at the temple. The surprise must have been clear on my face, because he then said “Do you know that I am a Brahmin?”.

He then explained “I am the Maulvi of this mosque around this corner. I have dedicated my life to Allah. I don’t eat meat and I don’t drink alcohol. I teach the scripture. So how am I not a Brahmin?”. He then added “The Gita was spoken by Allah and the Q’uran was spoken by Allah, so why would I read one but not the other?“. I was very much gladdened by his mature understanding. This is exactly our Vaishnava understanding too.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna describes the qualities of a Brahmin…

शमो दमस्तप: शौचं क्षान्तिरार्जवमेव च ।
ज्ञानं विज्ञानमास्तिक्यं ब्रह्मकर्म स्वभावजम् ॥ ४२ ॥

śamo damas tapaḥ śaucaṁ
kṣāntir ārjavam eva ca
jñānaṁ vijñānam āstikyaṁ
brahma-karma svabhāva-jam

Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, knowledge, wisdom and religiousness – these are the natural qualities by which the brāhmaṇas work.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/18/42/

So, if we see any living entity from any cultural background or any religious orientation who has these qualities, we must accept them as good as Brahmins. Of course, Krishna also says that Brahmin is not only by quality, but also by the work they do…

चातुर्वर्ण्यं मया सृष्टं गुणकर्मविभागशः ।
तस्य कर्तारमपि मां विद्ध्यकर्तारमव्ययम् ॥ १३ ॥

cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ
guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ
tasya kartāram api māṁ
viddhy akartāram avyayam

According to the three modes of material nature and the work associated with them, the four divisions of human society are created by Me. And although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the nondoer, being unchangeable.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/4/13/

Srila Prabhupada describes the 6 duties of a Brahmin…

Brāhmaṇas are supposed to acquire six kinds of auspicious qualifications: they become very learned scholars (paṭhana) and very qualified teachers (pāṭhana); they become expert in worshiping the Lord or the demigods (yajana), and they teach others how to execute this worship (yājana); they qualify themselves as bona fide persons to receive alms from others (pratigraha), and they distribute the wealth in charity (dāna).

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/5/17/11/

Based on instructions from the Vaishnava Acharyas, the great saintly teachers, we accept that Prophet Muhammad is an empowered messenger sent directly by God, practically, speaking a “shaktyavesha avataar” or a living entity but with the power to act in a way empowered by God. We accept that Jesus Christ is the son of God, a pure devotee fully dovetailed with the desire of God. We accept that there is only one God, known by different names and different degrees of understanding, as an impersonal spirit (Brahman), as a localized supersoul (Paramatma), and as the Personality of Godhead (Bhagavan).

When our constitutional position, or dharma, is deteriorated due to the contaminations of matter, the Lord Himself comes as an incarnation or sends some of His confidential servitors. Lord Jesus Christ called himself the “son of God,” and so is a representative of the Supreme. Similarly, Mohammed identified himself as a servant of the Supreme Lord. Thus whenever there is a discrepancy in our constitutional position, the Supreme Lord either comes Himself or sends His representative to inform us of the real position of the living entity.

On the Way to Krishna, Chapter 2

I offered my deepest respects to that great Maulvi, that Muslim priest, who has realized the essence of Allah Consciousness in principle. Surely, he is very very close to Allah. By speaking his sweet realized words, he gave me hope that this world can be rectified from its current sectarian path.

In the same way, all the Muslims should accept the advanced Vaishnavas as good as their own Maulvis and Hazrats.

The Christians should accept the advanced Vaishnavas as good as their own nuns, monks, and priests.

The Jews should accept the advanced Vaishnavas as good as their own Rabbis.

This is the principle. One God. Many scriptures according to time, place, and circumstance.

So, what was our conclusion as we parted ways? We concluded that the genuine mature follower of any genuine faith tradition is very similar, they love God, and they love all of God’s creation. They see God everywhere, and see everyone as God’s children, to be loved and served. But the follower-in-name, a materialist or religion-politician of any faith is equally sectarian or in many cases, inhuman, and unfortunately, also evil.

How to feel the need to get serious about spiritual life?

How to avoid getting distracted from the spiritual journey? How to develop the desire to get serious? How to do what I know is the right thing to do?

Radha, 13 June 2018

Hare Krishna 

I chant more than 16 rounds a day and try to focus my mind on Krishna but my mind gets distracted on watching TV or talking to a friend on whatsapp or playing a game on the phone. I know I should instead read Srila Prabhupada’s books or chant more or go to the temple and get association of Devotees but I don’t. On my weekends I feel like I want to relax after a tiring work week. I still finish my 16 rounds everyday but feel like I am not Krishna conscious 24 by 7 which I want to be. I ask Krishna for his mercy. I know I have to be serious about being Krishna conscious but then I tell myself I still have time to do that once I am older. I also know I can go at anytime and need to think about Krsna to get liberation. I don’t know how to control these distractions. 

Hare Krishna 

Radha

Filip Misic, 13 June 2018

Mother Radha,

Please accept my humble obeisances. 

You sound like a very sincere devotee. Krishna Consciousness is a gradual process, so we shouldn’t expect to become liberated souls in a flash.

 It takes determination, just like you are nicely chanting 16 rounds. In this way one by one your anarthas or impurities will wash away by the chanting of the holy name. It is also important to associate with devotees, so you will have to force your mind to go to the temple and get Devotee association. The mind wants to stay in its comfort zone, but we must pull it out of there if we want to advance. The devotees are very friendly and loving. I hope this helps you 🙂

your servant, Filip

Bhakta Sunil, 13 June 2018

Hare Krishna Mataji

Please accept my humble respects

Jaya Srila Gurudeva! Jaya Prabhupada

The fact that you are asking this question shows that you are on the right path to overcome distractions and become fixed in Krishna consciousness, so congratulations for already being on the path to overcome the distractions

Please read the following questions and answers from http://www.backtohome.com wrt distractions

Answers According to Vedic Knowledge

Question: Overcoming Distractions and Laziness?

— dated 2 January 2018

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada. 

All glories to You and Gurumataji

While reading Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Chapter 2, Verse 44 I was asking myself about my connections with the material enjoyment. I found that in past examples how distractions led me to rather enjoy myself than instead of doing some devotional service. Because of it I was prone to postpone or sometimes even not to complete the tasks I set up for my sadhana activities. Sometimes I even had problems with consistency chanting 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mahamantra every day on my japa mala bears. How to prevent distractions and how to stop myself from getting involved in enjoyment when distractions or laziness arrive.

I am begging for Your guidance. 

Your student

Answer: Beg Krishna to Help You

If you will regularly every day sincerely beg Lord Krishna to protect you from distractions and laziness, He will reciprocate with your sincere prayers and bless you to always be enthusiastically absorbed in His pure devotional service.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Properly Balance My Activities? — dated 4 January 2016

I am a 12th standard student. I chant 6 rounds regularly, but in a very inattentive way. In the past few months I have been struggling to control my mind. I have not prepared myself for exams well as I was most of the time engaged in unproductive activities like spending excessive time on cell phone using Internet. Everyday I delayed my studies but as I started chanting seriously I feel a sense of control and am able to do all my activities without distraction. But the problem is that I still don’t fully utilize my potential as I lack the enthusiasm or motivation to study hard and do other devotional activities with a serious intent to please Krishna. So how can I become motivated to study for Krishna and at the same time perform my devotion with a deep intent to please Krishna.

Vishal

Answer: Prioritize Krishna

If you will begin every day focusing your attention exclusively on Krishna by carefully chanting His names, you will then be able to do all of your duties throughout the day as an offering of love to Him. In short, you must always prioritize Krishna. Then everything will work out nicely.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answer based on Vedic knowledge :

Question: Why Does Maya Distract the Neophyte Devotee? — dated 8th March 2018

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

My question is: As soon as one starts becoming attached to Krishna why does Maya try to distract attention from Krishna?. She should be happy that one is becoming attracted to her master, and she on the contrary must help such a soul to increase his attraction to Krishna. Please guide.

Your servant,

Avinash G.

Jai Shree Krishna

Answer: To Test Our Genuineness

Maya is there to make sure that we are truly serious about Krishna consciousness, that we are not just making a show. When she sees that we are fully serious she no longer tries to distract us from Krishna. She will then assist us giving us all help in our Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Hope this helps

Sincerely,

Bhakta Sunil

Radha, 13 June 2018

Hare Krishna 

Thank you for your response. I have tried to force myself to go to the temple but somehow or other don’t go. I used to go to temple regularly a few years back and got very attached with a devotee which didn’t end well.  From that time I don’t like going anymore. I feel very uncomfortable around people from the time I have become Krishna conscious. I like being by myself and chanting and reading. I will beg Krishna to let me go again.

Hare Krishna 

Radha

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 14 June 2018

Dear Mother Radha,

Hare Krishna!

Being Krishna conscious 24X7 is no easy thing. To aspire for it is a very wonderful situation to be in! 🙂

The “time to be more Krishna conscious when I am older” doesn’t work. There are millions of old people everywhere – are they taking to Krishna consciousness in large numbers? Not really, because momentum is very important. Whatever I have cultivated now is what I will carry forward as I get older, not that I will be able to develop new habits suddenly just because I am older. Most practitioners of Krishna consciousness actually start when they are younger, though of course, there are exceptions.

It is not unreasonable to want to relax at home after a tiring week. With this online group, and with Srila Gurudeva’s programs, we are taking the temple to the comfort of your own home. For example, we have the Bhagavata Online Academy, we have the daily email, video, Q&A, and we have plans for many more projects.

The best way to be Krishna conscious is to actively participate and maybe even take charge of some project or service. It can be according to your own time and travel constraints, but the Internet has opened up a vast service avenue for all of us.

If you are interested, then please actively participate in the Bhagavata Online Academy, the chanting challenge (for example, can you find someone to chant 1 round with you, on the phone), and other projects without necessarily traveling a lot physically. Or, if you want, you can also assist us with some projects coming up.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Radha, 14 June 2018

Hare Krishna 

I would love to assist with projects. If you have anything please let me know anyway I can serve Krishna 

Hare Krishna 

Radha

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 19 June 2018

Hare Krishna! For now, we are requesting everyone to kindly join (or participate if already joined) the Bhagavata Online Academy and participate actively (as in, reply to an email) at least once a week… this service will enliven us all…

Visvanath das, 21 June 2018

Hare Krishna Mahabhagavat prabhuji,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva,

How do we join the Bhagavata online academy. Is there some link?

Thank you all for helping my KC.

your servant,

Visvanath das

Darryl E., 21 June 2018

Is this mail group also called the Bhagavata Online Academy?

Darryl H. Eschete

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 21 June 2018

Hare Krishna!

Thank you!

This is the “Students of Sankarshan Das Adhikari” group. The Bhagavata Online Academy is separate from this but a prerequisite is that they must be members of this group and subscribed to Srila Gurudeva’s eCourse.

Here is an excerpt from Bhaktarupa Prabhu’s email re Bhagavata Online Academy:

Bhagavata Online Academy

One of the activities of this group is that we have an organized study program to read Srila Prabhupada’s books, so that the members can get a thorough understanding of the philosophy and concepts of Krishna consciousness. We start a google group every year and enroll members from the sda_students group to read the books together along with their fellow group members. These books are read over a period of time in an organized way, as little as 2-3 pages a day. A facilitator of the group will be asking questions from the pages read from the book for each day of reading. You can reply back to these questions with your answers. You are also welcome to ask you own questions that come up in your reading 

We call this book reading group as “Bhagavata Online Academy”, as it appropriately denotes that the group is aimed at reading, understanding and implementing the Bhagavata Dharma, as taught by our beloved spiritual master of the whole world Srila Prabhupada in his books.

Quote from Srimad Bhagavatam 7.6.28 

“Prahlāda Mahārāja continued: I received this knowledge from the great saint Nārada Muni, who is always engaged in devotional service. This knowledge, which is called bhāgavata-dharma, is fully scientific. It is based on logic and philosophy and is free from all material contamination”.

2017-bhagavata-online-academy – Started in January 2017. This group is currently reading “Science of Self Realization”. You are welcome to apply for membership to this group, where you can read Srila Prabhupada’s books systematically along with the other group members. To join the group, please click on the link https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/2017-bhagavata-online-academy and enter your joining comments.

Just for your information, we present the other groups that were started in the reverse chronological order. 

2016-bhagavata-online-academy – Started in the year 2016. This group is currently closed for new membership as it reached its new membership limit and timeline. This group is currently reading “Bhagavad Gita As It Is”.

2015-bhagavata-online-academy – Started in the year 2015. This group is currently closed for new membership as it reached its new membership limit and timeline. This group is currently reading “Bhagavad Gita As It Is”. 

2014-bhagavata-online-academy – Started in the year 2014. This group is currently closed for new membership as it reached its new membership limit and timeline. This group is currently reading “Sri Brahma Samhita”.

2013-bhagavata-online-academy – Started in the year 2013. This group is currently closed for new membership as it reached its new membership limit and timeline. This group is currently reading read “Srimad Bhagavatam”.

2011-bhagavata-online-academy – Started in the year 2011. This group is currently closed for new membership as it reached its new membership limit and timeline. This group is currently reading “Srimad Bhagavatam”.

I hope this helps!

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Darryl E., 21 June 2018

“Science of Self Realization” was my first of Prabhupada’s books and still my favorite. I will apply for membership, yes.

Darryl E.

Radha, 24 June 2018

Hare Krishna 

I follow all the regulative principles and chant 16 rounds or more everyday but I still have so many material desires which becomes worse especially since I work with non-devotees.

I want to start wearing the kanthi mala but after you wear the mala you can’t eat out. I visit my sister every year in Florida and on flight you cannot bring your own food so will it be a sin to wear the kanthi mala and eat food not offered to Krsna on the flight as it is a long trip.

Hare Krishna

Radha

Satish kumar, 25 June 2018

Hare Krishna Prabhu!

During the cleaning process, if there is still some dust left shall we feel that the cleaning process is completed? We have developed certain wrong notions during the process of our growth, due to lack of proper spiritual masters and be sincere and pray to Lord Krishna, God so kind enough in listening to the prays of sincere Devotees. But don’t lose your confidence till you achieve your goal

I hope this will help you in reaching your perfection.

Haribol

God brother

Satish kumar

Radha, 27 June 2018

Hare Krishna 

Thank you for your response but I still did not get the answer about wearing a kanthi mala. I know you can only eat food offered to Krsna but when travelling and you cannot cook is it wrong to eat food from outside when wearing a kanthi mala. 

Hare Krishna 

Radha

Paramhamsa das, 27 June 2018

Hare Krishna 

Regarding the food offered to Krishna when travelling the most immediate example to consider is that Srila Gurudev , Srimati Gurumataji , who makes 2 round the world trip every year for preaching  for past many years . And still they maintain their standard of not eating the karmi food offered in the flight by packing their own Prasadam . The trick is you have to pack dry prasadam, like dry fruits, roti /puri with more oil so it stays fresh longer and some type of  dry sabji , The list can go on and on , but the understanding is  If you have the desire then Krishna will surely fulfill just needs a better planning ahead of your trip . 

About neck beads Nectar of devotion chapter 9 Srila Prabhupada mentions of its importance  quoting from Padma and Skanda purana . 

Please read the https://www.vedabase.com/en/nod/9 

I hope I answered your question  if not please feel free to inquire further . 

your servant, 

Paramhamsa das. 

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 27 June 2018

Mataji,

To put on Tulasi neck beads means to take a vow of trying one’s best to reach the platform of pure devotional service. At the very least, one should abstain from knowingly consuming foods that Vaishnavas avoid, such as meat, fish, eggs, onions, garlic, tea with caffeine, coffee, chocolate, mushrooms, etc. Otherwise, it becomes like I am advertising myself as a Vaishnava but it is a mere farce.

Yes, one can take some additional effort to keep oneself pure, packing Prasada may take a bit of additional time but it is well worth it and pays off in terms of better service, better chanting, and better effectiveness in sharing Krishna with others, plus better peace of mind for oneself too.

One can do one’s best while Krishna helps our best get better.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

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Why are there no temples dedicated solely to Arjuna?

While there are so many temples dedicated to Hanuman, who is a servitor of Rama, why are there no temples dedicated to Arjuna who is so close to Krishna?

KV Rao, 13th December 2013

Hare Krishna dear devotees!

Please accept my humble obeisances!
All Glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!
All Glories to your devotional service!

I hope you all had a blissful Gita Jayanti. While reading Bg Chapter 1 verse 20, the following question came to mind. Could you enlighten me, please?

Hanuman and Arjuna are devotees of the Lord. Hanuman has temples and people worship Hanuman, whereas Arjuna has no temples and people do not worship him (Arjuna). Why?

Haribol!

your servant,
Rao

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 28th December 2013

Dear Sriman Rao,

Hare Krishna!

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

Any temple where Hanuman, the eternal servitor of Lord Ramachandra is worshipped but His eternal Lord and master Lord Rama is not worshipped is an aberration, it is not bona fide. If you want to please someone, we aim to do what they want done. Hanuman has never asked anyone to worship him, in fact, he always worships Lord Rama and is very happy when others worship Lord Rama.

If a servitor is glorified more than the master, if the servitor is not a traitor to the master, he feels embarrassment, and passes it all up to his master. Sri Hanuman does take everything and pass it up to Lord Ramachandra, but would rather have him spoken of as a servant, not lord.

So while it is appropriate to have on an altar Sri Hanuman in his usual position as an associate of Lord Ramachandra along with Sri Lakshman and Srimati Sitadevi, it is not appropriate to worship Hanuman alone in exclusion as is commonly done in temples not authorized by any Paramnpara or disciplic succession. Of course, materialists who are after some good muscles, strength in celibacy, and some other material benedictions will worship “avidhipurvakam” – in a wrong way, as stated by Sri Krishna in BG 9.23 “Those who are devotees of other gods and who worship them with faith actually worship only Me, O son of Kunti, but they do so in a wrong way.”.

We are very happy that Sri Arjuna is not being embarrassed in the same way that Sri Hanuman is.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Hari Katha Das, 28th December 2013

Hari bol! Very convincing answer!

Sincerely,
Hari Katha Das
Haladhar Das, 30th December 2013

Hare Krsna !

Jai Srila Gurudeva
Jai Srila Prabhupada

I totally agree to what Mahabhagavat prabhu ji has mentioned. A devotee one and only desire is to always hear the glories of his worshipable Lord and similarly the Lord is also very pleased when His devotee is glorified.

A almost similar topic was discussed earlier in this group. Arjuna is worshipped with Lord Krsna as Nar-Narayana Rishi. Details of earlier discussion are included herein below. Please see the details,

Also as clarified by Mahabhagavat prabhu mail, we have to understand that people generally worship different different demigods/people/ghosts etc according to their so called whims and desires. So what they will get from Arjuna, nobody would like to face what Arjuna and his brothers (the pandavas) faced as they cannot appreciate what they had, Lord Krsna Himself as their eternal companion.

Moreover as we know this universe is not all in all, and even we dont know much about this universe itself where we are living, so how can we know about others. There are some villages in India where people worship Dryodhana, Ravana etc. Even the area from where I am (Uttranchal, North India), in most of the villages people do glorify the pandavas brothers for almost continuous 14 days by celebrating pandav leela (pastimes of pandavas). It is a very popular festival being celebrated since many generations in the hills of Uttranchal.

thank you.

your servant
Haladhar Das

Details of earlier discussion :

Bhakta David :

Please accept my humble obeisances,
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada,
All Glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Guru Mataji.
All Glories to Sri Sri Nitai Gauracandra.

Hare Krishna
Arjuna is always so close to Krishna, so much that Krishna chose him to explain Bhagavad Gita to. So my question is, is Arjuna a jiva? Or is he a demigod?

your servant
Bhakta David

Haladhar Das :

Hare Krsna Prabhu !
How do you differentiate between a jiva and a demigod. Isn’t a pure devotee better situated than any demigod, as he is eternally liberated as well as eternally associated with the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Srimad Bhagvatam purport 3.5.51
The demigods are amongst the conditioned souls who have developed this pure consciousness of service to the Lord but who at the same time continue to desire to lord it over the material energy. Such mixed consciousness puts a conditioned soul in the position of managing the affairs of this creation. The demigods are entrusted leaders of the conditioned souls. As some of the old prisoners in government jails are entrusted with some responsible work of prison management, so the demigods are improved conditioned souls acting as representatives of the Lord in the material creation. Such demigods are devotees of the Lord in the material world, and when completely free from all material desire to lord it over the material energy they become pure devotees and have no desire but to serve the Lord.
The demigods are entrusted by the Lord to create different species of living entities according to their past deeds. They are herein asking the favor of the Lord for the intelligence and power to carry out their task. Similarly, any conditioned soul may also engage in the service of the Lord under the guidance of an expert spiritual master and thus gradually become freed from the entanglement of material existence.

Srimad Bhagvatam 4.1.59
tav imau vai bhagvato
harer amsav ihagatau
bhara-vyayaya ca bhuvah
krishnau yadu-kurudvahau

TRANSLATION
That Nara-Narayana Rishi, who is a partial expansion of Krsna, has now appeared in the dynasties of Yadu and Kuru, in the forms of Krsna and Arjuna respectively, to mitigate the burden of the world.

PURPORT
Narayana is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and Nara is a part of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana. Thus the energy and the energetic together are the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Maitreya informed Vidura that Nara, the portion of Narayana, had appeared in the family of the Kurus and that Narayana, the plenary expansion of Krsna, had come as Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, with the purpose of delivering suffering humanity from the pangs of material burdens. In other words, Narayana Rishi was now present in the world in the forms of Krsna and Arjuna.

your servant
Haladhar Das

Rathin Mandal :

Hare Krishna,

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

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Be it a soul living in planet earth or any other heavenly kingdom, he is always a jivas. Demigods are also jivas. The following words were said to Arjuna by Sri Krishna:
BG 4.5: The Personality of Godhead said: Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them, but you cannot, O subduer of the enemy!

In the purport of this verse Arjuna is referred as a pure devotee and a jiva part and parcel of Supreme Personality of Godhead. But as the jiva living in the material world gets affected by modes of material nature, he cannot remember his past life. Even we can see that in this kalpa the knowledge was first given by Sri Krishna to  Sun-God, Vivasvān. Vivasvān being a demigod administering Sun may have knew teaching of Bhagavat Gita in his past life but in the beginning of this era he was again given the knowledge so that it can be passed from one generation to another.

In the following two verses also Sri Krishna address Arjuna as his pure devotee and distinguished him from demigods. Sri Krishna said to Arjuna that My Universal Form seen by you as a devotee but the demigods are just hoping to see this form.
BG 11.49: You have been perturbed and bewildered by seeing this horrible feature of Mine. Now let it be finished. My devotee, be free again from all disturbances. With a peaceful mind you can now see the form you desire.

BG 11.52: The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Arjuna, this form of Mine you are now seeing is very difficult to behold. Even the demigods are ever seeking the opportunity to see this form, which is so dear.

By the above verses we can also say that a pure devotee is even higher than Demigods, because they are blessed with opportunity to associate personally with Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such opportunity is not available to demigod. Arjuna been pure devotee of Lord was given the opportunity to see Universal Form of Sri Krishna. But said this one should never imitate the position of pure devotees like Arjuna, Mata Kunti, Nanda Maharaj, Mother Yasodha or all the cowherd boys and Gopis of Vrindavan.

your Servant
Rathin

 

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

Francisco, Aug 25 2011

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

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

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

Your servant and friend
Francisco

 
Mahabhagavat Das SDA, Aug 25 2011
Dear Francisco Prabhu,

Hare Krishna!

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

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

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

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

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

Hare Krishna!

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

Your servant,
Francisco

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, Aug 25 2011

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

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

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

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

Your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das
 
Francisco, Aug 25 2011

Dear Mahabhagavat Das:

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

Thanks for your time dedicated
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Your servant and friend
Francisco

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, Aug 25 2011

Dear Francisco Prabhu,

Hare Krishna!

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

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

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

Your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

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