What to do with money found

Jaanvi, 29th December 2014

Dear all,

HARE KRSNA

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

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

Sridhar Das, 30th December 2014

Hare Krishna!
Please accept my humble obeisances!

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

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

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

Further understanding from Nectar of Instructions, Text 2:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Therefore, one should know the Original proprietor.

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

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

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

your servant
Sridhar Das

Sacinandana Prabhu, 30th December 2014

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

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

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

your servant,
Sacinandana das

Manian VB, 30th December 2014

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

Rasika Krishna Das, 30th December 2014

Mother Jaanvi,

Hare Krishna!

From the book ‘Nectar of Instruction’:

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

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

Sincerely,
Rasika Krishna Das

Gabrielė, 30th December 2014

Hare Krishna, my humble obeisances,

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

your servant,
Gabriele

Rathin Mandal, 30th December 2014

Hare Krishna,

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

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

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

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

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

your Servant
Rathin

Jaanvi, 31st December 2014

Dear Matajis and Prabhujis,

Hare Krsna

Thanks so much for all your answers.

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

Rahul Mangla, 31st December 2014

Hare Krishna!

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

your servant,
Rasika Krishna Das

Jaanvi, 03rd January 2015

Dear Matajis and Prabhujis,

Hare Krsna

Thanks so much for all your answers.

Sincerely,
Jaanvi

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Is Lord Jesus Christ an incarnation of Krishna?

Bhakta Sunil, 28th December 2014

Hare Krishna everyone

Please accept my humble respects
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Have a Krishna Conscious Christmas!

Please tell whether Lord Jesus Christ is an incarnation in the mood of Son of Lord Krishna? like Lord Gauranga is incarnation in mood of devotee

Or

Is Lord Jesus Christ a confidential servant of Lord Krishna?

Sincerely,
Bhakta Sunil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 28th December 2014

Dear Sriman Sunil,

Hare Krishna!

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

Lord Jesus Christ ki jaya! 🙂

The information about Lord Chaitanya is not a matter of opinion but statements of the scriptures. Lord Chaitanya is not an “incarnation” of Krishna, but directly Sri Krishna Himself in the mood of Srimati Radharani. This is confirmed in various scriptures including Chaitanya Charitamrita.

We are informed by our Acharyas that Lord Jesus Christ is a devotee in the mood of servitorship, worshipping God as His father with awe and reverence. It is certainly true that he is an empowered personality, who else in known modern history has had just 3 years to preach with such a massive effect on the global consciousness? Lord Jesus Christ, his preaching mission, from the time he started, to the time he was crucified, lasted approximately 3 years. Of course, it is superficial to understand that he was killed. First and foremost, it is understood that Lord Jesus Christ had attained many yogic perfections (such as being lighter than the lightest – to be able to walk on water, such as being smaller than the smallest, to be able to escape a cave covered with a massive rock, etc.). Plus, Lord Jesus Christ, like Haridas Thakura afterwards, had the power to feign death and make people believe that they were killed, whereas this was not true.

Anyway, to make it clear, Lord Jesus Christ is not a svamsha (direct expansion) or kala (indirect expansion) expansion of Krishna, but a vibhinnamsha (separated expansion) jiva (a living entity), a super pure devotee of God. Just as we worship the spiritual master to be as good as God, similarly, Lord Jesus Christ is worthy of such worship.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Bhakta Sunil, 29th December 2014

Hare Krishna Mahabhagavat Prabhu Dandavat Pranams Thank you The point in query is clear by your reply Jaya
Premananda das, 01st January 2015

What it means that Lord Jesus Christ and later Haridas Thakur could feign death ?

your servant
primal

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 03rd January 2015

Dear Premal,

Hare Krishna.

Approximately 2000 years ago, some envious fools were trying to kill Jesus Christ. So they crucified him, after forcing upon him torture after torture… They drove big sharp nails through hands and feet/ankles, and made the cross stand up. The plan was that this public “humiliating punishment” would cause Lord Jesus Christ to die of hunger, thirst, bleeding, and pain. So, to continue the divine pastimes, Lord Jesus Christ pretended to “die”, manifested the symptoms of dying. Then what the fools thought was his dead body was put into a cave and covered with a big rock. But in 3 days they found the “body” missing, even though the rock covering remained intact. But, being a greatly surrendered devotee of God, it is superficial to understand that he felt any pain or “died”. The “killers” of Jesus Christ, meanwhile, could not stop his mission, which continues (though most of Lord Jesus Christ’s followers are not really his followers) to this day.

Similarly, approximately 500 years ago, Haridas Thakur was punished by severe dragging/beating/whipping in 22 marketplaces. The intent of the Muslim kazi was that all Muslims and Hindus would see what a painful death awaits anyone who takes to Krishna consciousness after being born in a Muslim family. But Namacharya Srila Haridas Thakura who was in the deep ecstasy of Krishna consciousness, did not feel any pain, he went on chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. Finally, the guards got afraid for their own lives, begged Haridas Thakura that if he did not die, the kazi would kill the guards as punishment for not doing their job. So Haridas Thakura, out of mercy for the guards, manifested the symptoms of death, was publicly pronounced dead, and his body was thrown in the Ganga (and not buried, because the Muslim kazi did not want him to “go to heaven”). Anyway, Haridas Thakura regained consciousness and continued his preaching a little downstream. After this incident, no one dared to interfere with Srila Haridas Thakura.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

premananda das, 03rd January 2015

Jai Srila Hari das Thakur! Jai lord Jesus Christ.
Thank you Mahabhagavat  prabhuji for sharing this incident about feigning death by exalted devotees.

your servant
Premal

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Why does talk about religion make some people uncomfortable

Bhakta Sunil, 14th April 2014

Hare Krishna everyone!

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

Why do some persons avoid talking about religion? or try to keep the topic ‘private’?

regards,
sunil

Sudeep Manchanda, 16th April 2014

Hare Krishna,

I feel that people in general have started relating ‘religion’ with a set of orthodox beliefs which do not align with today’s scientific world. I guess a lot of people shy away from talking about God or any other related topics because they fear being categorized as someone who would follow things without a logic or does not challenge it. This is mainly because the so called called ‘religious’ people find it difficult to explain to the world what they feel is correct.

What would be your reaction if one asks you “Does God exists?”.. answers can be yes, no or maybe but a lot of times this answer is not dependent on your belief but on the fact that would one be able to justify the answer or not. So to avoid any debate … a lot of people would say ‘maybe’.

That is where Srila Prabhupada has shown his mercy. He has provided us with the answers to all the questions so that we can with confidence say that yes God exists and yes I follow the process of bhakti.

Regards,
Sudeep Manchanda

Bhakta Sunil, 16th April 2014

Very nice points in your reply! An eye-opener , helpful to keep in mind while preaching Jaya! Thanks ys, sunil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 18th April 2014

Nice question! Nice answer also! One can tell both Sunil and Sudeep are thinking about this and trying to share Krishna consciousness with others! 🙂

Here are some points which come out:

1. People really don’t know anything much about religion/God, and who wants to look foolish not knowing something, which, supposedly, internal desire, they feel they ought to know about.

2. They fear that if their understanding differs from yours, then the relationship they have is at stake – in other words, it may become an “irreconcilable difference”

3. They fear that the person who wants to talk about religion/God will bash them on the head with all sorts of dogma

4. They have been brainwashed by the atheists to believe that to be God conscious is to be foolish – it is some kind of peer pressure to look “cool”

5. They feel they already know better than you, and that you are too slow to understand what they know, and they cannot be bothered to take the trouble (but actually the more someone actually knows about God, the more they want to share, no matter how unqualified the other person appears to be)

6. They genuinely have *no* ability to show interest because they are so busy with the hard struggle for existence or satisfying the shrill demands of the senses

7. They don’t really care about anything at all, God consciousness included, and nothing (job etc.) is at stake so they don’t pretend to be interested in God consciousness as they would pretend to be interested in other things

8. They don’t trust me enough to be able to share such a deep personal thing with me.

There are many many more, the more we try to share Krishna consciousness, the more we get to know about all the blocks.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Bhakta Sunil, 18th April 2014

Jaya! thank you again and again to all the respondents with humble respects

your insignificant servant,
Bhakta Sunil

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How to get free of miseries given by our own mind?

Bhakta Shashank, 10th May 2014

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

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

How to get rid of the miseries given by our own mind?

your servant,
Bhakta shashank.

Guru Vandana devi dasi, 12th May 2014

Hare Krishna!

Dear Shashank
Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumata
All glories to Srila Prabhupada
As struggling neophytes, not fully absorbed in Krishna Consciousness  we many times experience disturbances of mind. Srila Gurudeva says that we must understand that we are burning of our past sinful activities . Srila Gurudeva often quotes this verse from Srimad Bhagavatam 10.14.8

tat te ‘nukampam su-samiksamano
bhunjana evatma-krtam vipakam
hrd-vag-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jiveta yo mukti-pade sa daya-bhak

“My dear Lord, any person who is constantly awaiting Your causeless mercy to be bestowed upon him, and who goes on suffering the resultant actions of his past misdeeds, offering You respectful obeisances from the core of his heart, is surely eligible to become liberated, for it has become his rightful claim.”

So please be patient and consistent in your sadhana

your servant
Guru Vandana devi dasi

Lalit, 16th December 2014

Hare krishna
Become an innocent observer

Bhakta Sunil, 16th December 2014

Nice question Shashankbhai and very nice answers

To put in different words / to add :

Due to impurities and past sinful actions , miseries of mind arise
But by sticking to the Bhakti Yoga process of purification , as you experientially undergo purification and feel that your heart has become ‘soft’ and perceive the light of the Lord in your heart , and engage and beat your mind to engage in this process with determination , your sinful reactions would vanquish and the miseries of the mind would automatically get overcome. Perseverance furthers – even if you perceive miseries of mind , simply see to it that mind is engaged as much possible in the process of Bhakti. Do not give mind to be free , but please chant , read Prabhupada’s books , listen to Kirtana , engage mind in completing seva received from senior Vaishnavas , tax your brain how to preach and distribute books , honor Prasadam , or any activity connected to pleasing the Lord. And before sleeping read books or stories and pastimes of the Lord. Thus , if mind is engaged fully in the process , there would be less and lesser vacancy for miseries

To quote from Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur : Srila Bhaktisiddhanta In the morning our first business should be to beat the mind with shoes a hundred times, and, before going to bed, to beat the mind a hundred times with a broomstick.

To quote from Sankarshan Maharaj Adhikari :

This lesson was completed on 16 May 2007 in Vilnius, Lithuania
———————————————————————–

In this world everyone is suffering varying degrees of anxiety. No one is able to escape the stringent grip of the threefold miseries of material existence: miseries of the mindand body, miseries caused by other living beings, and miseries caused by natural disturbances. But there is an easy way out if we really want out. All we have to do is absorb ourselves in chanting the Mahamantra on a regular daily basis:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

Just as we eat every day without fail, we also must chant every day without fail to feed the soul the vital nourishment it requires to become fully awakened. But unfortunately we are not that attracted to the holy names. We are more attracted to the flickering pleasures enjoyed in the combination of the senses with the objects of the senses. This then makes it very difficult for us to reawaken our dormant enlightened consciousness.

Therefore even though we may have accepted that Krishna consciousness is the ultimate goal of our lives, we may still experience difficulty in fully focusing our minds on achieving this goal. Just like sometimes we see that someone enrolls in the university with every intention of getting a college degree, but then they have a difficult time keeping up with the assignments. They are lacking in the required self-discipline to carry through and get the job of their education properly done. If we not are properly focused, a similar thing can happen to us on the pathway of Krishna consciousness. We can know exactly what we are supposed but still not be able to do it.

So if we are in this situation how can we get and maintain the sufficient determination to remain steady on the pathway of spiritual perfection? The key is that we have to make a very solid vow, a firm commitment, and then stick to it without deviation. This is why it is very important that we take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master through the process known as initiation. Initiation means that we make a vow to follow the instructions of the teacher who is fully empowered and qualified to teach us how to become spiritually perfect.

The necessity of initiation is confirmed as follows in the Srimad Bhagavatam:

tasmad gurum prapadyeta
jijnasuh sreya uttamam
sabde pare ca nisnatam
brahmany upasamasrayam

“Therefore any person who seriously desires real happiness must seek a bona fide spiritual master and take shelter of him by initiation. The qualification of the bona fide guru is that he has realized the conclusions of the scriptures by deliberation and is able to convince others of these conclusions. Such great personalities, who have taken shelter of the Supreme Godhead, leaving aside all material considerations, should be understood to be bona fide spiritual masters.”
Srimad Bhagavatam 11.3.21

If we agree to make such a commitment and remain firmly dedicated to honoring it, we will be very strong and chaste in our practice of Krishna consciousness, we will make solid steady advancement along the path of bhakti. We will easily able to absorb ourselves 24 hours a day in chanting, serving, and propagating the holy names of the Lord all over the world. In this way we will always be able to dive deeply into the unlimitedly sweet nectar of pure Krishna bhakti.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
———–
Hope this helps,

Sincerely,
Sunil

Nashvin, 19th December 2014

Hare Krsna Shashank Prabhu

Looking at this from another perspective, we can appreciate that the miseries caused by our own mind help us not to identify with it…

Personally, when I initially discovered the difference between the body and the soul, it was easy to understand (because we can observe the gross body changing, while we, the soul, remain the same).  However, as we learn about the gross body, subtle body (composed of mind, intelligence and false ego) and the soul, it becomes more difficult to understand the difference between the subtle body and the soul.  The obstacles that the mind provide us in our (the soul) desires to practice devotional service enable us to see ourselves as distinct from the subtle body.

your servant,
Nashvin

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Why did Chaitanya Mahaprabhu come as a Secret Incarnation of God?

Hemanga Das, 23rd March 2014

Hare Krishna Devotees,

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

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to spread the love of God to everyone irrespective of cast and religion. My question is why does he has to come as a secret avatar if he wants to give mercy to everyone?

your servant,
Hemanga Das

Srivatsa Das SDA, 28th March 2014

Hare Krishna Prabhuji
Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Gurudeva

The three principal purposes of the appearance of Lord Caithanya were the following:
The first purpose was that Shri Krishna wanted to relish the objectivities of Shrimat Radharani Who is prime reciprocator of transcendental love of Shri Krishna. He wanted to relish the loving mellow in the position of Radharani.
Shri Krishna wanted to enjoy such ecstacy of loving service in the position of Radharani who enjoyed the transcendental beauty of Shri Krishna.
Shri Krishna wanted to know Himself as such why He was so enjoyable by Shrimati Radharani. He thought it wisely that there must be something in Him which was so much enjoyable by Shrimati Radharani and by which Radharani’s achievement of transcendental mellow, was far more greater than Shri Krishna. As Shri Krishna it was impossible for Him to enjoy in the position of Shrimati Radharani because it was completely foreign to Him.
Since the above three were the main objective of Lord Caithanya, The Lord came as a secret Avatar.  The other purposes of the appearance were secondary.

This might be the reason of the Lord to appear secretly.

your servant
Srivatsa Das

Bhakta Sunil, 31st March 2014

Hare Krishna everyone

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

Respected Hemanga Prabhuji I understand that reason for secret incarnation is that if Lord would Himself say that He is Lord then many may not beleive and may therefore not accept the teaching and mercy

Also the reason for secret incarnation can be to teach that one is not His devotee , but the devotee of His devotee is His devotee

Thus it can become easier to give mercy as secret incarnation

humble regards from Bhakta Sunil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 01st April 2014

Dear Hemanga Prabhu,

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

This is a very nice question, and nicer answers also.

The Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi Lila Chapters 3 (The External Reasons for the Appearance of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu) and 4 (The Confidential Reasons for the Appearance of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu) gives more detail about this.

One reason, after reading those chapters, appears to be that the more advanced a devotee is, the more confidential their service and activities are. Srimati Radharani is The Supremely Advanced Devotee, no one more advanced than Her. So therefore, as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in the mood of Srimati Radharani, He acted in very confidential ways befitting Srimati Radharani’s moods.

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Bhakta Shashank, 01st May 2014

Hare Krishna Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All Glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata.

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.
All Glories to Devotees.

Krishna wanted to know how Radharani is enjoying more than Himself, so He came as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu as a devotee of Himself.

your servant,
Bhakta shashank.

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 03rd May 2014

Dear Devotees,

I just read this thought for the day which I had before missed… where Srila Gurudeva His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari quotes very concisely and perfectly, from Srila Prabhupada’s purports “Lord Caitanya knew that in Kali-yuga there would be many bogus incarnations pretending to be God, and therefore He avoided asserting Himself as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”

This is from thought for the day dated 14th March 2014, copied below.

quote

Lord Caitanya is the hidden incarnation of Godhead described by the term channah, which means covered, in the Srimad Bhagavatam 7.9.38 as follows:

itthaṁ nṛ-tiryag-ṛṣi-deva-jhaṣāvatārair
lokān vibhāvayasi haṁsi jagat pratīpān
dharmaṁ mahā-puruṣa pāsi yugānuvṛttaṁ
channaḥ kalau yad abhavas tri-yugo ‘tha sa tvam

“In this way, my Lord, You appear in various incarnations as a human being, an animal, a great saint, a demigod, a fish or a tortoise, thus maintaining the entire creation in different planetary systems and killing the demoniac principles. According to the age, O my Lord, You protect the principles of religion. In the age of Kali, however, You do not assert Yourself as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore You are known as Triyuga, or the Lord who appears in three yugas.”

Srila Prabhupada wonderfully explains the appearance of Lord Caitanya in his purport to this verse as follows:

“As the Lord appeared just to maintain Lord Brahma from the attack of Madhu and Kaitabha, He also appeared to protect the great devotee Prahlada Maharaja. Similarly, Lord Caitanya appeared in order to protect the fallen souls of Kali-yuga. There are four yugas, or millenniums–Satya, Treta, Dvapara and Kali. In all the yugas but Kali-yuga, the Lord appears in various incarnations and asserts Himself as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but although Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who appears in Kali-yuga, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He never asserted Himself as such. On the contrary, whenever Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was addressed as being as good as Krishna, He blocked His ears with His hands, denying His identity with Krishna, because He was playing the part of a devotee. Lord Caitanya knew that in Kali-yuga there would be many bogus incarnations pretending to be God, and therefore He avoided asserting Himself as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is accepted as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, however, in many Vedic literatures, especially in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.5.32):

kṛṣṇa-varṇaṁ tviṣākṛṣṇaṁ
sāṅgopāṅgāstra-pārṣadam
yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair
yajanti hi sumedhasaḥ

In Kali-yuga, intelligent men worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is always accompanied by His associates such as Nityananda, Advaita, Gadadhara and Srivasa. The entire Krishna consciousness movement is based on the principles of the sankirtana movement inaugurated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Therefore one who tries to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead through the medium of the sankirtana movement knows everything perfectly. He is sumedhas, a person with substantial intelligence.”

So if we are intelligent, we will take advantage of the most sublime process of self-realization given in this age by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the congregational chanting of the holy names of God.

unquote

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Nashvin, 04th May 2014

Hare Krsna!

I don’t know whether this a bona fide realization, but I think that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was also a secret incarnation because he wanted to promote the holy name of the Lord as the incarnation for this age:

http://vedabase.com/cc/adi/17/22/en
“kali-kāle nāma-rūpe kṛṣṇa-avatāra”
“In this Age of Kali, the Holy name of the Lord, the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, is the incarnation of Lord Kṛṣṇa.”

your servant,
Nashvin

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Celestial years and Earthly years

Rahul Mangla, 29th January 2014

Dear devotees,

Hare Krishna!!

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All Glories to Srila Gurudev & Srimati Gurumata!
All Glories to Srila Prabhupad!

1. Srimad Bhagavatam 2.9.6 purport:

It is stated in the Brahma-samhita that Lord Brahma was initiated into the eighteen-letter Krsna mantra, which is generally accepted by all the devotees of Lord Krsna.

Q: What is this eighteen-letter Krsna mantra?

2. Srimad Bhagavatam 2.9.8 purport:

One celestial year is equal to 6 x 30 x 12 x 1000 of our years.

Q: How the first figure 6 is derived in above calculation?

=> I have read only upto 2.9.10, I may come across answers later but just curious to know the answers.

your servant,
Rahul

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 05th February 2014

Dear Bhakta Rahul,

Hare Krishna!

Short answers to your questions (others please kindly correct/elaborate if possible):

1. The 18 letter mantra is mentioned in the Brahma Samhita purport, but it is advisable not to discuss openly as this 18-letter mantra is part of the Gayatri mantras which are confidential and meant to be received in disciplic succession (even if known, they are not effective until received properly in disciplic succession) – in ISKCON, this is at the time of the second initiation, so please rest assured that in due course of time, as and when you get to the right stage, you will receive that mysterious magical 18-syllable mantra… 🙂

2. One celestial day is equal to 6 earthly months. But note that this celestial year mentioned is not Lord Brahma’s year but the years as calculated on heavenly planets… where one day is equal to 6 months of our time.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Rahul Mangla, 06th February 2014

Dear Prabhuji,

Hare Krishna!!

Thank you so much for the answers. But I still have doubt in second question.

It is actually the calculation for the duration which Lord Brahma engaged himself in meditation.

He engaged himself for 1000 Celestial Years. To convert it into earthly years it should be multiplied with (X x 30 x 12), where X should be the duration on earth IN YEARS and at the same time should be equal to 1 Celestial Day.

What I could conclude from various references is that one full day (12 hours day + 12 hours night) of heavenly planets is equal to one year on earth. I am including following references to support this:

1. Srimad Bhagavatam 2.10.27 purport: Six months on earth is equal to one day on the heavenly planets.

2. Srimad Bhagavatam 3.17.15 purport:
On the Brahmaloka planet the duration of one day is calculated to be 4,300,000 x 1,000 solar years. [and same is the duration of night which is not written in the purport]
Similarly, in other heavenly planets one day is calculated to be six months of this planet [and same must be the duration of night which is not written in the purport]

3.
24-Nov-2012 – Utthana Ekadashi
07-July-2013 – Sayana Ekadashi
13-Nov-2013 – Utthana Ekadashi

From above Ekadashi dates also, it appears that one heavenly day is equal to one earth year.

So from above references, value of X should be 1.

Therefore 1 Celestial Year = 1 x 30 x 12 Earthly Years

And Lord Brahma engaged in meditation for 1 x 30 x 12 x 1000 earthly years (1000 Celestial Years)

Please confirm if I am correct and forgive for offenses in seeking this clarification.

your servant,
Rahul

Rahul Mangla, 20th February 2014

Hare Krishna!!

I was reading Srimad Bhagavatam 2.10.46 purport, there also it is confirmed that one heavenly (upper planetary) day is equal to one earth year:

In the upper planetary system the duration of one complete day and night is equal to one complete year of this earth. This is accepted even by the modern scientist and attested by the astronauts.

your servant,
Rahul

Jagannatha Dasa, 15th March 2014

Hare Krishna,

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

One celestial year is equal to 6 x 30 x 12 x 1000 of our years.  This is stated in Srila Prabhupada’s purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 2.9.8.  One celestial year is thus 2,160,000 (Two million, one hundred and sixty thousand) years.  Since we know based on the same purport that Lord Brahma was in meditation for 1,000 years, therefore, if we want to understand how many years Lord Brahma was meditating, we have to multiply 2,160,000 by 1,000.  The resulting number is the earth years he meditated, viz. 2,160,000,000 or Two billion, one hundred and sixty million years.

Hoping this meets you well.

your servant,
Jagannatha Dasa Brahmacari

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The Absolute Truth – how simultaneously one and different

Geetha, 05 March 2013

Hare Krishna,
Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Prabhupad,

I am not able to understand clearly  “The Absolute Truth” is one and different.  Please help me to understand it better.

Thank you,

your servant,
Geetha

Rathin Mandal, 05 March 2013

Hare Krishna Mataji,

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

I am not able to find the exact phrase ‘one and different’. But as I have read it before, so I am trying to describe it to you.
It means to say that everything that exists in the material world or the spiritual world are created by energies of Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna. Hence in a way there is no difference between any entity in either world with Sri Krishna, as it is part and parcel of Sri Krishna only. But at the same time that entity is not in equal position to Supreme Personality. This is explain in the following verse:
BG 9.5: And yet everything that is created does not rest in Me. Behold My mystic opulence! Although I am the maintainer of all living entities and although I am everywhere, I am not a part of this cosmic manifestation, for My Self is the very source of creation.

All the living entities are emanating from the body of Sri Krishna, hence we possess some qualities of Supreme Person, but being very very small particles of the Supreme Person, we cannot equal him quantitatively. When one is able to understand his true identity and his relationship to Supreme Person, he can understand these energies.
BG 10.8: I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who perfectly know this engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.

The phrase ‘one and different’ is also emphasized in the following verse:
BG 9.7: O son of Kuntī, at the end of the millennium all material manifestations enter into My nature, and at the beginning of another millennium, by My potency, I create them again.

In this verse Sri Krishna has said that everything in the material world is created by his will and at the end they enter back into him. This means that during the existence of the material world we are existing differently from the Supreme Personality of Godhead but still we are part and parcel of him.

Hence we are one with Krishna and still different from him.

A common example is that, a tree carries so many leaves, fruits etc. From a distance they may look one with the tree but when we come closer we they see each leaf or fruit has its own identity. But there existence depends only on the tree.

your Servant
Rathin

Geetha, 06th March 2013

Hare Krishna,
Please accept my humble obeisances,
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada,

Thank you Rathin Mandal Prabhu for your reply.

Thank you,

your Servant,
Geetha

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 06 March 2013

Hare Krishna Geetha Mataji and Rathin Mandal Prabhu,

Very nice question, and very nice answer. A place where nice questions are being asked and nice answers are being given is a place of purification

The phrase can be written as “Inconceivable simultaneous oneness and difference” from the cosmic manifestation/living entity/living entities/Supreme Absolute Truth.

So, whenever you hear this “The Supreme Absolute Truth is Inconceivably Simultaneously One and Different”, you should ask first “from what/who”? 🙂

This is a core of our philosophy, achintya (inconcievable) bheda (difference abheda (non-difference) tattva (principle/philosophy). Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has very elegantly explained this concept in such way that our Sampradaya includes the core essence of Advaita/Monism (Shankaracharya), Vishishta Advaita / Pure non-dualism, Dvaita/Dualism (Madhvacharya), Vishishta Advaita / non-duality but characterized by attributes (Ramanujacharya), and all bona fide philosophies of the Supreme Absolute Truth.

Some places where you can read more about this:

http://vedabase.com/bg/7/8
http://vedabase.com/sb/7/9/31
http://vedabase.com/cc/madhya/6/163

And Srila Prabhupada spoke this in Perfect Questions Perfect Answers, with Bob Cohen “Śrīla Prabhupāda: But you cannot say that sunshine is not the sun. Without the sun, where is the sunshine? So you cannot say that sunshine is not the sun. But at the same time, it is not the sun. It is the sun and not the sun—both. That is our philosophy. Acintya-bhedābheda—inconceivable. In the material sense, you cannot conceive that a thing is simultaneously positive and negative. That you cannot think of. That is inconceivable energy. And because everything is Kṛṣṇa’s energy, Kṛṣṇa can manifest Himself from any energy. Therefore, when we worship Kṛṣṇa in a form made of something—of earth, water or something like that—that is Kṛṣṇa. You cannot say that it is not Kṛṣṇa. When we worship this metal form of Kṛṣṇa [the Deity form in the temple], that is Kṛṣṇa. That’s a fact, because metal is an energy of Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, it is nondifferent from Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa is so powerful that He can present Himself fully in His energy. So this Deity worship is not heathenism. It is actually worship of God, provided you know the process.” (hint, read full book, it is SO sublime!) http://vedabase.com/en/pqpa/

Please note I am not any expert in this. 🙂

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

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About Lord Shiva

Manmohan, 06 March 2013

Hare Krsna
All glories to Srila Prabhupad
All glories to Srila Gurudev and Gurumata

I know that Lord Shiva is not an ordinary demigod but I want to know what is Shiva Tattva and whether Lord Shiva is also immortal….

ys,
Manmohan
SUPARTHA RUDRA, 07 March 2013

Hare Krishna,

Please find the following link regarding Lord Shiva :

http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/teachings/siva-%e2%80%9cthe-auspicious-one%e2%80%9d-by-satyaraja-dasa/

your servant,
Supartha

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How did we fall into the material world?

Rathin Mandal, 14th May 2013

Hare Krishna,

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

We say that modes of material nature is there only in the material world,
But when we decided to enjoy separately from Krishna, look for our identity separate of Krishna and to lord the Manifestation ourself.
How should this nature of us be understood which is independent of modes of material nature?

your Servant
Rathin

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 15th May 2013

Dear Rathin Mandal,

Hare Krishna,

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

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Yes, it is correct that the modes of material nature do not exist in the spiritual world.
But free will, that exists in the spiritual world. The desire to enjoy separately and independently from Krishna is the root cause of the living entity’s bondage in the material world. When the living entity desires to enjoy in this way, then the living entity then comes under the modes of material nature and is transferred to the material world.

In purport to SB 4.29.65, Srila Prabhuda wrote:

kṛṣṇa-bahirmukha hañā bhoga-vāñchā kare

nikaṭa-stha māyā tāre jāpaṭiyā dhare

(Prema-vivarta)

Actually the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, is the supreme enjoyer. When a living entity wants to imitate Him, he is given a chance to satisfy his false desire to lord it over material nature. That is the beginning of his downfall. As long as he is within this material atmosphere, he has a subtle vehicle in the form of the mind, which is the stockpile of all kinds of material desires. Such desires become manifest in different bodily forms. Śrīla Nārada Muni requests the King to accept this fact from him because Nārada is an authority. The conclusion is that the mind is the storehouse of our past desires, and we have this present body due to our past desires. Similarly, whatever we desire in this present body will be expressed in a future body. Thus the mind is the source of different kinds of bodies.

If the mind is purified by Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one will naturally in the future get a body that is spiritual and full of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Such a body is our original form, as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu confirms, jīvera ‘svarūpa’ haya — kṛṣṇera ‘nitya-dāsa’: [Cc. Madhya 20.108] “Every living entity is constitutionally an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa.” If a person is engaged in the devotional service of the Lord, he is to be considered a liberated soul even in this life. This is confirmed by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī:

īhā yasya harer dāsye

karmaṇā manasā girā

nikhilāsv apy avasthāsu

jīvan-muktaḥ sa ucyate

“One who engages in the transcendental service of the Lord in body, mind and words is to be considered liberated in all conditions of material existence.” (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.187) The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is based on this principle. We must teach people to absorb themselves always in the service of the Lord because that position is their natural position. One who is always serving the Lord is to be considered already liberated. This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (14.26):

māḿ ca yo ‘vyabhicāreṇa

bhakti-yogena sevate

sa guṇān samatityaitān

brahma-bhuyāya kalpate

“One who always engages in the spiritual activities of unalloyed devotional service at once transcends the modes of material nature and is elevated to the spiritual platform.” The devotee is therefore above the three modes of material nature and is even transcendental to the brāhmaṇa platform. A brāhmaṇa may be infected by the two baser modes — namely rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa. A pure devotee, who is free from all material desires experienced on the mental platform and who is also free from empiric philosophical speculation or fruitive activity, is always above material conditioning and is always liberated.

——end purport —-
Plus, Srila Gurudeva’s answer here is very instructive, worth meditating on.

This is from TTFD dated 4th Nov 2009.
Have the category of souls known as nitya-baddha always been in the material hemisphere, hence the term “eternally conditioned”?

According to the philosophy of some Gaudiya Vaisnava groups this is the case. They say that the nitya-baddhas have never ever been in the spiritual world, thus the term “eternally conditioned” and that the nitya-siddhas have never left Krishna’s association. They say that the nitya-baddhas have been in a place known as the tatashta-shakti from where they descended into the material world of their own free choice. However, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada states that we were once face to face with Sri Krishna in the spiritual planets, that we fell down to become little imitation lords here, and that we are then known as nitya-baddha, eternally conditioned. What is the exact situation of the living being?

Question No.2 : The jivatmas in the spiritual world decided by their own free will to depart. They were sac-cid-ananda vigraha: eternally in full knowledge and bliss. How and why could they they have decided by their own free will to leave Krishna’s association, since everything in the spiritual world is fully spiritual and the material influence of maya or illusion is conspicuous by her absence? Though he has a free choice to depart as he desires [Free-will always been the prerogative of the living being as well as his dharma- pure loving servants of the Supreme Person Krishna,], how could he have possibly been influenced to do so? For example, a split second second decision to leave due to temptation of being an enjoying over lord in the heavenly planets. Is this not some kind of material maya? Would he not have known the consequences due to his higher spiritual aware state of knowledge? Why would he have wanted to leave Krishna’s blissful association?

Answer:

The reason that many devotees get confused over the terms nitya siddha (eternally liberated) and nitya baddha (eternally conditioned) is that they consider them from within the context of time. In other words in material consciousness we are conditioned by kala or time into thinking that there are such things as past, present, and future. If we remember that in the liberated state there is no influence of time, that there is simply the eternal present with no past or future, then we can begin to understand how one can be eternally conditioned or eternally liberated and can switch from one status to the other.

To say that the conditioned souls have never been in the spiritual world with Krishna is anti-sastric and absurd when we consider that Lord Caitanya states that the constitutional nature of every living being is that he is the eternal servant of Krishna.

The eternally liberated souls in the spiritual existence have the independence to either love Krishna or leave Krishna. There has to be a choice. Otherwise love cannot exist, because love is voluntary. As long as the independence of free choice is there, there has to be a possibility of misusing that free choice. And possibility means that there must be certain degree of probability as well. Of course in this case the probability would be smallest possible percentage of 1 divided by infinity (1/?). But if we apply this infinitesimal percentage against the infinite number of living beings who inhabit the spiritual world, guess what we get. We get an infinite number of living beings who misuse their free will and give up the Lord’s association. (1/? x ? = ?)

At the boundary between the spiritual and material worlds time does not exist. Therefore the crossing of the living being over this boundary cannot be measured in time. This means that there is no moment in time when he entered the material world. In other words, if he is in the material world there is no moment in time when he entered it and he has therefore been there eternally. Hence, the term “eternally conditioned”. And when he chooses to surrender to Krishna and go back to Godhead he enters into that realm where there is no past or future. Therefore when he goes back to Godhead, he was always there. Hence the term “eternally liberated”.

Of course, as long as our thought patterns are conditioned by time we cannot fully comprehend these things. But if you will chant Hare Krishna regularly with love and devotion your consciousness will be liberated from the constraints of time, and you will be able to gradually realize these things in full.

And another answer from TTFD dated 29 July 2012:

“In this regard it is confirmed by Srila Prabhupada in a lecture he gave in Mayapur on 11 February 1976 that every living entity is originally nitya-siddha or eternally liberated. But sometimes just as a king may fall asleep and dream that he is a pauper, the eternally liberated soul, because of his marginal nature, may fall into the illusion that he can enjoy separately from Krishna or God. And just as a dream of only a few seconds can appear to be going on forever, when the soul forgets his identity, his illusioned dream-like state seemingly goes on forever and he is thus designated as nitya-baddha or eternally conditioned. Therefore when the living being does not misuse his free will he is known as nitya-siddha and when he misuses his free will he is known as nitya-baddha. ”

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Rathin Mandal, 15th May 2013

Hare Krishna,

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

Thank you very much for the answer Prabhuji. This helps me to understand the subject more clearly.

your Servant
Rathin

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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.
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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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