Pray to Lord Krishna or others?

Meenakshi, 03 April 2013

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Sarila Prabhupada,

After reading Gita I came to know that Lord Krishna is Supreme. Prior to that i used to worship Lord Shiva and Maa Durga. Now I am confused, I feel guilty if I stop worshiping Lord Shiva and Maa Durga  but at the same time feel very doubtful if I worship them knowing that Krishna is Supreme personality of Godhead. Please advice.

ys
Meenakshi

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 03 April 2013

Hare Krishna!

Meenakshi Mataji, please don’t worry… Lord Shiva and Mother Durga are father and mother of this material world. Loving parents are always happy to send their children to a good school, good college, good Guru, etc., in fact, parents who are in Krishna consciousness feel themselves successful if their children get the shelter of a pure devotee, and become initiated disciples of a Guru.

Similarly, it is not the purpose of Lord Shiva and Mother Durga to keep sincere devotees of Krishna in this material world. In fact, they have taken up this  very difficult task of taking charge of Krishna’s foolish misguided children. Such misguided persons are kept in the material world so that they don’t cause any impediment in the service of the pure devotees in the spiritual worlds. So, those who get the real mercy (loving mercy or in the form of kicks of Maya) of Mother Durga and Lord Shiva, then they become devotees of Lord Krishna.

So, please kindly throw away this useless feeling of guilt, and make Lord Shiva and Mother Durga very very happy and proud of you by serving Krishna nicely and going back home to Godhead to Krishna – become discharged from this hospital called the material world 🙂

For your personal situation, you can get personal guidance of Srila Gurudeva by writing the specific personal situation to Srila Gurudeva, at sda@backtohome.com. We request that personal situations should not be discussed publicly in this group as personal situation requires specific personal advice and support, and this is not possible in a public forum. Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumata will be in Vrindavan, you please make an attempt to meet them personally there.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Trivikrama Das, 03 April 2013

Hare Krishna!

Thank you for the wonderful explanation, Mahabhagavat Prabhu!

Actually, a devotee of Lord Shiva is not dear to him, but a devotee of Krishna is dear to him.

This is clearly given in the below purport.

quote
SB 4.24.28

yaḥ paraṁ raṁhasaḥ sākṣāt
tri-guṇāj jīva-saṁjñitāt
bhagavantaṁ vāsudevaṁ
prapannaḥ sa priyo hi me

Translation:
Lord Śiva continued: Any person who is surrendered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, the controller of everything — material nature as well as the living entity — is actually very dear to me.

Purport:
Now Lord Śiva explains the reason he has personally come before the princes. It is because all the princes are devotees of Lord Kṛṣṇa. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (7.19):

bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ

“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.”

Lord Śiva is rarely seen by common men, and similarly a person who is fully surrendered unto Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa, is also very rarely seen because a person who is fully surrendered unto the Supreme Lord is very rare (sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ). Consequently, Lord Śiva came especially to see the Pracetās because they were fully surrendered unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva. Vāsudeva is also mentioned in the beginning of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in the mantra oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya. Since Vāsudeva is the ultimate truth, Lord Śiva openly proclaims that one who is a devotee of Lord Vāsudeva, who is surrendered to Lord Kṛṣṇa, is actually very dear to him. Lord Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa, is worshipable not only by ordinary living entities but by demigods like Lord Śiva, Lord Brahmā and others. Yaṁ brahmā-varuṇendra-rudra-marutaḥ stunvanti divyaiḥ stavaiḥ (Bhāg. 12.13.1): Kṛṣṇa is worshiped by Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva, Varuṇa, Indra, Candra and all other demigods. That is also the situation with a devotee. Indeed, one who takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness immediately becomes very dear to anyone who is simply finding out and beginning to understand what Kṛṣṇa consciousness actually is. Similarly, all the demigods are also trying to find out who is actually surrendered to Lord Vāsudeva. Because the Pracetā princes were surrendered to Vāsudeva, Lord Śiva willingly came forth to see them.

Lord Vāsudeva, or Kṛṣṇa, is described in Bhagavad-gītā as Puruṣottama. Actually He is the enjoyer (puruṣa) and the Supreme (uttama) as well. He is the enjoyer of everything — the prakṛti and the puruṣa. Being influenced by the three modes of material nature, the living entity tries to dominate material nature, but actually he is not the puruṣa (enjoyer) but prakṛti, as described in Bhagavad-gītā (7.5): apareyam itas tv anyāṁ prakṛtiṁ viddhi me parām. Thus the jīva, or living entity, is actually prakṛti, or the marginal energy of the Supreme Lord. Being associated with material energy, he tries to lord it over the material nature. This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (15.7):

mamaivāṁśo jīva-loke
jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ
manaḥ-ṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi
prakṛti-sthāni karṣati

“The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.”

By endeavoring to dominate material nature, the living entity simply struggles hard for existence. Indeed, he struggles so hard to enjoy himself that he cannot even enjoy the material resources. Thus he is sometimes called prakṛti, or jīva, for he is situated in the marginal potency. When the living entity is covered with the three modes of material nature, he is called jīva-saṁjñita. There are two kinds of living entities: one is called kṣara, and the other is akṣara. Kṣara refers to those who have fallen down and become conditioned, and akṣara refers to those who are not conditioned. The vast majority of living entities live in the spiritual world and are called akṣara — they are in the position of Brahman, pure spiritual existence. They are different from those who have been conditioned by the three modes of material nature.

Being above both the kṣara and akṣara, Lord Kṛṣṇa, Vāsudeva, is described in Bhagavad-gītā (15.18) as Puruṣottama. The impersonalists may say that Vāsudeva is the impersonal Brahman, but actually the impersonal Brahman is subordinate to Kṛṣṇa, as confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (14.27): brahmaṇo hi pratiṣṭhāham. That Kṛṣṇa is the source of the impersonal Brahman is also confirmed in Brahma-saṁhitā (5.40): yasya prabhā prabhavato jagadaṇḍa-koṭi. The impersonal Brahman is nothing but the effulgence or bodily rays of Kṛṣṇa, and in those bodily rays there are innumerable universes floating. Thus in all respects Vāsudeva, Kṛṣṇa, is the Supreme Lord, and Lord Śiva is very satisfied with those who are completely surrendered to Him. Complete surrender is desired by Kṛṣṇa, as He indicates in the last chapter of Bhagavad-gītā (18.66): sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja.

The word sākṣāt, meaning “directly,” is very significant. There are many so-called devotees, but actually they are only karmīs and jñānīs, for they are not directly devotees of Lord Kṛṣṇa. The karmīs sometimes offer the results of their activities to Lord Vāsudeva, and this offering is called karmārpaṇam. These are considered to be fruitive activities, for the karmīs consider Lord Viṣṇu to be one of the demigods like Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā. Because they consider Lord Viṣṇu to be on the same level with the demigods, they contend that surrendering to the demigods is as good as surrendering unto Vāsudeva. This contention is denied herein because if it were true, Lord Śiva would have said that surrender unto him, Lord Vāsudeva, Viṣṇu or Brahmā is the same. However, Lord Śiva does not say this because he himself surrenders unto Vāsudeva, and whoever else surrenders unto Vāsudeva is very, very dear to him. This is expressed herein openly. The conclusion is that a devotee of Lord Śiva is not dear to Lord Śiva, but a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa is very dear to Lord Śiva.
unquote

Hence, Meenakshi Mataji, Please rest assured that you have taken the best decision since  The conclusion is that a devotee of Lord Śiva is not dear to Lord Śiva, but a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa is very dear to Lord Śiva.

your servant,
Trivikrama Das

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Work is Worship?

Pradnya, 07th March 2012

Hare Krishna,

Today somebody asked question related to is work is worship?

To this question Gurudeva replied following:-

“If one spends all of his income in the service of Krishna, that is karma yoga, worshiping Krishna through one’s work. But if one spends his income on the sense gratification of himself and his family members, that work is karma and will oblige him to take birth again in this material world.”

I have not understood first part of sentence..  How can we spend all our income in service of Krishna?
We have to spend some part of money to take care of family.

Can you please share your views about the same?

Regards,
Pradnya

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 7th March 2012

Hare Krishna Pradnya Mataji,

Very important to understand practically how we can spend all our income in the service of Krishna. It does not mean that we give all our income to temple and live like paupers, that is not the intent.

1. Make home into a temple with proper deity worship according to our standards – consult with Guru before starting any deity worship, get proper training from local pujaris and establish a minimum standard of daily worship that is sustainable.
2. Have devotional programs regularly at home, say, once a week, to discuss topics of Krishna consciousness
3. Invite devotees for Kirtan and Prasadam regularly, especially those who are new to Krishna consciousness
4. Never consume anything that has not been specifically prepared for Krishna and offered to Him with love in proper procedure

There are many other ways, for example allowing out-of-town devotees to stay in your home for festivals, etc., but above three steps means that the home is a centre of Krishna consciousness, not just a place for you and your family to eat and sleep… in this way, any income spent on maintenance of home is used in the service of Krishna.

5. Train your family members to serve Krishna according to their own capacity
6. Daily have a scheduled program of hearing and chanting of Hoky Names, Kirtana, and also Srila Prabhupada’s books and deity worship
7. Encourage family members to serve devotees regularly, either in temple, or in their homes, in Krishna conscious projects
8. Take Prasadam together in the proper consciousness that this is Krishna Himself in the form of His Prasadam

In this way, your family members are not ordinary humans, but devotees, Vaishnavas… so any income spent on their needs, such as school, clothes, medicine, etc., is actually Vaishnava seva, service of devotees.

9. Regularly donate according to your capacity to local temple and other Krishna conscious projects, measure every year what percentage of your income you were able to donate to Krishna and His devotees

10. Save 25% of your income for emergencies, to be spent in times of need, as noted above.

If income is spent in this way, then it is 100% spent in the service of Krishna and His devotees, regularly measure what percentage of income was spent on sense gratification (activities that do not involve service to Krishna or His devotees) and try to cut it down.

Please let me know if this helps generally to move in the right direction.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Tushar Vora, 07th March 2012

Dandavat,

Spending money on the family in this case would be that you are spending money for Krishna’s family since he is the head of the house. So it is spending for Krishna. One just has to take care that he spends only to maintain his body and soul together so that  he can peacefully prosecute Krishna consciousness. Rest of the money after accounting for saving for the family in case of unexpected expenditure and emergencies should be spent for so to say ‘Outside your family (Krishna’s family) for Krishna conscious movement.’.

To decide on the limits of the money to be spent on the family, we have to undertake high quality sadhana. Then the Lord will in the form of supersoul direct us to spend just the right amount. Hence, Sadhana is very important.

ys,

tushar

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Should we worship the Demigods for Material Gains?

Manmohan, 19th January 2012

Dear Mahabhagavat Prabhu
 Please Accept My Humble Obeisances
 I have one query…
 We should worship Krishna for Spritual gains only can we pray the demigods for material benefits…
 What one should do if he is in needs of money to maintain his material and spiritual life…
 Manmohan.

Mahabhagavat Das, 26th January 2012

Dear Bhakta Manmohan,
Hare Krishna!
Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Good question! Understandable also why someone may ask this question.
The demigods are to be respected, never disrespected, but there is no need to worship them for any reason whatsoever, especially if one is in devotional service. They are like the individual government servants – what is it called when someone pays a policeman or government official to expedite some job for them? It is called bribery, corruption, etc.
It is not unreasonable to desire facility for spiritual life, BUT, for a devotee, there is no such thing as material life. Even though a devotee may appear to be doing the same things as a materialist, and externally appears to have the same outcomes, the consciousness of the devotee is different – the results are offered back up to Krishna always. The home is a temple, free time is opportunity to learn more, read more, teach more, chant more, serve more, no material sense gratification involved, even subtly. Of course, this is the goal, in our neophyte stage we may not always be 100% spiritual in focus, but we should certainly try and remind ourselves. In this connection, I learned a lesson today from my wife. She is away in South Africa caring for her father who is ill, and supporting her mother and brother with spiritual strength. She said today to me in a phone call “I was thinking that I hadn’t remembered Krishna for 15 minutes, or 30 minutes, so it was time to remember something about Him now”. So she is trying very hard even though it may get difficult sometimes. I will seek to emulate that exemplary behavior.

Krishna says this in the Bhagavad Gita:
kāńkṣantaḥ karmaṇāḿ siddhiḿ
yajanta iha devatāḥ
kṣipraḿ hi mānuṣe loke
siddhir bhavati karma-jā

Men in this world desire success in fruitive activities, and therefore they worship the demigods. Quickly, of course, men get results from fruitive work in this world. BG 4.12
Please read the purport, Srila Prabhupada writes strongly.
kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ
prapadyante ‘nya-devatāḥ
taḿ taḿ 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. BG 7.20
Srila Prabhupada writes in the purport (I have made some portions *bold* for emphasis):
Those who are freed from all material contaminations surrender unto the Supreme Lord and engage in His devotional service. As long as the material contamination is not completely washed off, they are by nature nondevotees. *But even those who have material desires and who resort to the Supreme Lord are not so much attracted by external nature; because of approaching the right goal, they soon become free from all material lust. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam it is recommended that whether one is a pure devotee and is free from all material desires, or is full of material desires, or desires liberation from material contamination, he should in all cases surrender to Vāsudeva and worship Him.*
As stated in the Bhāgavatam (2.3.10):
akāmaḥ sarva-kāmo vā
mokṣa-kāma udāra-dhīḥ
tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena

yajeta puruṣaḿ param
Less intelligent people who have lost their spiritual sense take shelter of demigods for immediate fulfillment of material desires. Generally, such people do not go to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, because they are in the lower modes of nature (ignorance and passion) and therefore worship various demigods. Following the rules and regulations of worship, they are satisfied. *The worshipers of demigods are motivated by small desires and do not know how to reach the supreme goal, but a devotee of the Supreme Lord is not misguided. Because in Vedic literature there are recommendations for worshiping different gods for different purposes (e.g., a diseased man is recommended to worship the sun), those who are not devotees of the Lord think that for certain purposes demigods are better than the Supreme Lord.* But a pure devotee knows that the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa is the master of all. In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Ādi 5.142) it is said, ekaleīśvara kṛṣṇa, āra saba bhṛtya: only the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, is master, and all others are servants. Therefore a pure devotee never goes to demigods for satisfaction of his material needs. He depends on the Supreme Lord. And the pure devotee is satisfied with whatever He gives.”
Therefore, simply depending on Krishna for everything is the best policy, even if we are not yet pure devotees…
Please let us know if there is any doubt. Bringing a doubt up against the light of the scripture extinguishes the doubt, just as light finishes darkness.
Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Bhavani devi dasi (SDA), 26th January 2012

Hare Krsna,
Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
All glories to Sri Sri Guru & Gauranga
 
Thank you Mahabhagavat Prabhu for such a comprehensive answer to this most important question, that arises many times during discussions.  I greatly appreciate all the illuminating questions and answers here and want to thank everyone for their interaction.  Thank you.  Hare Krsna!  All glories to our beloved Srila Gurudeva.
Your servant,
Bhavani devi dasi (SDA)

Manmohan, 27th January 2012

Dear Mahabhagavat Prabhu
 Please accept my humble  obeisances
 bahot dhanyavad prabhu  ( Thank you very much Prabhu ) …
 Infact I was given a mantra by someone and i started chanting that…. but i was not feeling good from within and stopped chanting that mantra….
 Things are very clear now…
 Dandavat..
 Your Servant
 Manmohan

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 27 January 2012

Very good Manmoham Prabhu, Hare Krishna Mahamantra includes all the Vedic mantras inside it, and by chanting you are in touch with the Boss of bosses of CEOs  of cosmic administration. 🙂 “krishna bhakti kaile sarva karma krita hoy” – Devotional service includes the benefits of all the other services.
Nothing else is necessary.

Premal, 05th February 2012

Hare Krishna Prabhuji
All glories to Swami Prabhupada
Please accept my humble obeisances
Prabhuji would impersonal liberation for people who want and worship different ways not knowing Krishna is the goal.

Example Jains,Buddha they think we ourselves are capable of God.
Are they lower than demigods worshippers?
Similarly nowadays Christians and Muslims and the Jews also feel differently like Christians have changed the scripture and the old scripture is not practised lately these people also are lower than the worshippers of demigods?
Jews I am not aware of their religion and Muslims have also majority now eat meat and worship impersonal Allah newly created by the people are they lower than demigod worshipers?
Ys servant
Premal

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 06th February 2012

Hare Krishna Premal Prabhu,
Please kindly accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
As far as I understand, both the Jain and Buddhist traditions are impersonalist and voidist. But both of them are skilful ways to elevate persons gradually. For example, Srila Gurudeva often says in his lectures that Buddha, he played a trick. He attracted those who did not want to follow God, but he tricked them into following Him, an incarnation of God, so a little bit, their atheism was replaced by some little bit of faith.
Anyone who thinks that oneself is capable of being God, is in actuality, an atheist. This is according to Srila Prabhupada. We pray to him as someone who came to vanquish this nonsense “nirvishesha shunyavaadi” concepts.
Still, Srila Prabhupada respects the impersonalists also as transcendentalists, because at least they are above the level of animals in human form… even all genuine impersonalists strictly follow the 4 regulative principles of human life.
There is no point discussing too much who likes impersonal liberation, etc., it is sufficient for us to know that many of the demons who are killed by Krishna get impersonal liberation. So what is the value of this impersonal liberation if a demon can get it simply by being killed by Krishna? So why should I meditate and so on just to get the same destination as the demons liberated by Krishna? I have demoniac tendencies but I am not a demon by the mercy of Srila Gurudeva. So I shall simply serve Krishna and His devotees sincerely without worrying about ANY kind of liberation. One who serves 100% dedicated is factually liberated.
You have mixed some concepts…
The original teachings of Lord Jesus Christ are in line with the principles of pure Bhakti. Lord Jesus Christ is a pure devotee of Krishna. If someone has changed, that is their problem, not the problem with the faith as taught by Lord Jesus Christ. If someone is claiming to be following Lord Jesus Christ and is eating meat, as discussed on another thread, then they are simply still in the cycle of karma – karma chakra. They are simply getting good and bad reactions according to their activities, sometimes born as humans, then as animals until they exhaust their karmic debts to the souls they inconvenienced, plus any special treatments from Yamaraja’s department.
The Qu’ran teaches that God is a person, but the so-called scholars who claims that Allah is impersonal are not very well-versed with their own scripture. See this statement by Srila Gurudeva, answer to a question by a Muslim person “Why do you worship the form of God in the temple when God is formless?”
Srila Gurudeva wrote on 25th January 2012:
“If a Muslim asks such a question, he is not learned in his own scripture, the Qur’an clearly states as follows::
Wa lillaahil – Mashriqu wal-Magrib: Fa- ‘aynamaa
tu-walluu fa-samma Wajhul-laah
“To Allah belong the East and the West, and wherever you turn there is Allah’s face.”
–Qur’an 2.115
That Allah or God has a face means that He has a form because someone who is formless must also be faceless. God’s form-possessing nature is also confirmed in the Bible and in the Vedic scriptures.
Besides a wealth of scriptural evidence establishing that God has a form, we can also understand through logic that God must have a form. The logic is very simple: We cannot exceed God in any way. Therefore we cannot possess something that He does not possess. It’s not that we can have a form and He cannot. He must also have form. The difference is that His form is unlimited while our forms are limited. His form is the source of everything, and our forms come from His form.”
As to whether someone is lower or higher, we should know that everything other than Pure Bhakti, is “lower” and we should strive to raise ourselves to the platform of Pure Unmotivated Bhakti to Krishna in any of His names.
Hope this helps.
Questions for you, Bhakta Premal, in the spirit of helping you find answers to your own questions from inside, to be free from all doubts:

1. Are you chanting a minimum of 16 rounds per day of Hare Krishna Mahamantra? If not, what is your plan to get there?
2. Are you reading Srila Prabhupada’s books for minimum 30 minutes a day? If not, when can you start?
3. Are you following the 4 regulative principles of freedom? This is personal question for you, answer honestly in your heart.
4. Are you taking only Krishna Prasadam? If not, what is your plan to get there?

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das
 
Premal, 07th February 2012

Hare Krishna Prabhuji
All glories to Swami Prabhupada
Please accept my humble obeisances
Prabhuji as you mentioned atheist is a person who thinks he can become god .
But does not impersonal and voidist claim to be becoming god these paths prabhuji are teachings to become god?
Ys servant
Premal

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 07th February 2012

Hare Krishna Premal Prabhu,
Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
There is a subtle difference between impersonalism and voidism. Impersonalism means God is just energy, and to merge into that energy and lose our individuality.
Voidism means there is nothing, they claim that we think that something exists because we are in illusion, they want to make everything zero, become zero, end everything by becoming null, nil, void.
Both impersonalists and voidists, if they are even somewhat pious, can be rescued by Krishna consciousness from their ocean of ignorance.
So, are you asking these questions theoretically or do you have some impersonalists and voidists whom you want to attract to Krishna Bhakti? Every question, in order to personally realize the answer, must be followed by some action, to implement the answer. What is your action following these questions?
Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Premal, 07th February 2012

Hare Krishna Prabhuji
All glories to Swami Prabhupada
Please accept my humble obeisances
Prabhuji my actions are when impersonal path people take I was confused as impersonal was to merge with Krishna or the schools which say there is impersonal energy and they do not mention it as Krishna impersonal energy but just a formless energy and we can become god.
So the confusion was like this in my mind.
Ys servant
Premal