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.
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

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

Why Lord Shiva – Topmost Vaishnava – is not being worshiped by us?‏

Harish V Menon, 18th March 2013

Hare Krishna!

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

I have a doubt which I wish to ask. Please forgive me if my question is inappropriate.

While we acknowledge Lord Shiva as a devotee of Lord Krishna or as the top most vaishnava, why are we not acknowledging Shiva by having his picture or deity in our temples. I have heard in many sathsangs, being said by our devotees that Lord Shiva is the top most vaishnava. Why do we ignore Shiva from being worshiped? Is there any specific reason in the shastras? Kindly enlighten.

Haribol !

Sincerely,
Harish V Menon

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 19th March 2013

Dear Harish,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

On the altar, we only have the specific Deity being worshiped along with that Deity’s associates and the disciplic succession, and that too, not the entire disciplic succession. The spiritual masters are usually on the altar of Sri Sri Gaura Nitai because we can approach Sri Sri Gaura Nitai only through our disciplic succession, and we can approach Krishna through Sri Sri Gaura Nitai.

Lord Shiva is not part of our direct disciplic succession. It is not possible to include every great personality on the altar, I mean, Lord Brahma is not on our altar even though he is the originator of our Sampradaya. Krishna alone has millions and billions of forms, those forms are not on the altar. Just because a personality is not on the altar does not mean we do not respect that personality. For example, one of our dearest Acharyas, Narottama Dasa Thakura is not on the altar, Baladeva Visyabhushana, to whom Srila Prabhupada dedicated his Bhagavad Gita As It Is, is not on the altar. Does that mean we do not consder them worshipable?

However, here is one interesting pastime which you should kindly take note of… there were some ecstatic Kirtanas going on in the ISKCON temple in London, England. Srila Prabhupada instructed his disciples to place 2 more Vyasasanas in the temple room, for Lord Shiva and Narada Muni, who were coming to attend the ecstatic Kirtanas. Srila Prabhupada could see who was coming for Kirtanas. Even today, it is said that at Brahma Muhurta, when the altar doors open, the demigods come to the temple room to take Darshan of Krishna, maybe we can have purified vision that we can perceive their presence. 🙂 Another thing is that in Kirtana, Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda and their associates are personally present. Krishna is personally present in His name… do all of us perceive His presence?

But you know, the spiritual master is very exalted, because the spiritual master is sum total of all the demigods, and the spiritual master is the external manifestation of Krishna in this material world. When can we have the eyes to see the glory of the spiritual master who is there on the altar and sometimes also in person, that we don’t see who is not present, but see actually who is present?

Ultimately, watering the root gives water to the entire tree, we do not have to water every single leaf and branch separately and this is the key reason why, even though we respect the demigods greatly, we do not worship them.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Srivatsa Das, 19th March 2013

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

Though Mahabhagavat Das Prabhu has clearely explained, below is the quote from Bhagavatam  (just for additional information):

quote

SB 1.2.26

mumukṣavo ghora-rūpān
hitvā bhūta-patīn atha
nārāyaṇa-kalāḥ śāntā
bhajanti hy anasūyavaḥ

mumukṣavaḥ — persons desiring liberation; ghora — horrible, ghastly; rūpān — forms like that; hitvā — rejecting; bhūtapatīn — demigods; atha — for this reason; nārāyaṇa — the Personality of Godhead; kalāḥ — plenary portions; śāntāḥ — all-blissful; bhajanti — do worship; hi — certainly; anasūyavaḥ — nonenvious.
Translation:
Those who are serious about liberation are certainly nonenvious, and they respect all. Yet they reject the horrible and ghastly forms of the demigods and worship only the all-blissful forms of Lord Viṣṇu and His plenary portions.

PURPORT
The Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna, who is the original person of the Vishnu categories, expands Himself in two different categories, namely integrated plenary portions and separated parts and parcels. The separated parts and parcels are the servitors, and the integrated plenary portions of vishnu-tattvas are the worshipful objects of service.

All demigods who are empowered by the Supreme Lord are also separated parts and parcels. They do not belong to the categories of vishnu-tattva. The vishnu-tattvas are living beings equally as powerful as the original form of the Personality of Godhead, and They display different categories of power in consideration of different times and circumstances. The separated parts and parcels are powerful by limitation. They do not have unlimited power like the vishnu-tattvas. Therefore, one should never classify the vishnu-tattvas, or the plenary portions of Näräyana, the Personality of Godhead, in the same categories with the parts and parcels. If anyone does so he becomes at once an offender by the name päsandi. In the age of Kali many foolish persons commit such unlawful offenses and equalize the two categories.

The separated parts and parcels have different positions in the estimation of material powers, and some of them are like Käla-bhairava, Smasäna-bhairava, Sani, Mahäkäli and Candikä. These demigods are worshiped mostly by those who are in the lowest categories of the mode of darkness or ignorance. Other demigods, like Brahmä, Siva, Sürya, Ganesha and many similar deities, are worshiped by men in the mode of passion, urged on by the desire for material enjoyment. But those who are actually situated in the mode of goodness (sattva-guna) of material nature worship only vishnu-tattvas. Vishnu-tattvas are represented by various names and forms, such as Näräyana, Dämodara, Vämana, Govinda and Adhokshaja.

The qualified brähmanas worship the vishnu-tattvas represented by the sälagräma-silä, and some of the higher castes like the kshatriyas and vaisyas also generally worship the vishnu-tattvas.

Highly qualified brähmanas situated in the mode of goodness have no grudges against the mode of worship of others. They have all respect for other demigods, even though they may look ghastly, like Käla-bhairava or Mahäkäli. They know very well that those horrible features of the Supreme Lord are all different servitors of the Lord under different conditions, yet they reject the worship of both horrible and attractive features of the demigods, and they concentrate only on the forms of Vishnu because they are serious about liberation from the material conditions. The demigods, even to the stage of Brahmä, the supreme of all the demigods, cannot offer liberation to anyone. Hiranyakasipu underwent a severe type of penance to become eternal in life, but his worshipful deity, Brahmä, could not satisfy him with such blessings. Therefore Vishnu, and none else, is called mukti-päda, or the Personality of Godhead who can bestow upon us mukti, liberation. The demigods, being like other living entities in the material world, are all liquidated at the time of the annihilation of the material structure. They are themselves unable to get liberation, and what to speak of giving liberation to their devotees. The demigods can award the worshipers some temporary benefit only, and not the ultimate one.

It is for this reason only that candidates for liberation deliberately reject the worship of the demigods, although they have no disrespect for any one of them.

unquote

your servant
Srivatsa Das

Geetha, 19th March 2013

Hare Krishna

Thank you so much for enlightening me in this matter.

sincerely

Geetha Rao

Harish V Menon, 19th March 2013

Hare Krishna Prabhujis,

Please kindly accept my humble obeisances.

Thank you so much for enlightening me !

your servant,
Harish V Menon

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

Chanting mainly because of anxiety- reducing effect?

Bhakta Sunil, 14th March 2013

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

I have experienced that chanting on japa mala helps quieten mind and reduce anxieties and negative thoughts

I would like to know  is it correct if one develops addiction to chanting mainly because of anxiety-reducing-effect of chanting

Regards,
Sunil

Rathin Mandal, 15th March 2013

Hare Krishna,

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

I will agree with you that chanting Hare Krishna Mahamantra reduces anxieties and help in keeping the negative thought away. That is also the power of the Holy Name. Even I experience it sometimes.
I heard it in one of the lecture, that this is the initial process of getting cleansed. The Holy Name first cleans the material covering around us that is in form of anxiety, anger, and envy. Anxiety arises from illusion and then the mind plays all kind of tricks upon us. So by chanting the material covering gets reduced and spiritual consciousness awakens, one experience the bliss of all merciful.
In another lecture, I have heard that in neophyte state whatever may be the reason, one should keep on chanting. By continuous chanting of Hare Krishna Mahamantra one is sure to get realization of Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality. Another reason is that by chanting one is associating with the Supreme Lord.

your Servant
Rathin

Bhakta Sunil, 15th March 2013

Wow! Very satisfying and nice answer Rathin prabhu

My repeated humble obeisances to you

Regards,
Sunil Vaswani
Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 15th March 2013

Dear Sunil, Why not? “yena kena prakaarena manah krishna niveshayet”, “some way or another, the mind should be invested in Krishna”. So by all means, be addicted to chanting Hare Krishna, but don’t neglect practical service to Guru, Krishna, family, community etc., we are in the business of serving others, we are transcendental paramedics in this battlefield of material nature. We need to maintain our own health, and then go go go out to serve those who need spiritual guidance in the darkness of material illusion.

Nikhil Mishra, 15th March 2013

Hare krsna devotees
My humble obeisances to all of you.
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

“Is it correct if one develops addiction to chanting mainly because of anxiety reducing effect of chanting “.
Sunil Prabhu this statement does not sound 100% convincing to me. I think it is OK to pray to God in a mood of complete surrender but this surrender is not anxiety but it comes after inquiring about the reality from a healthy mind .We can take the example of Srila Sanatan and Rupa Goswami who surrendered to Godhead after discussion with Mahaprabhu.So get my point. Just don’t take chanting as a means of overcoming anxiety. If you are habitually anxious then discuss things with senior devotees and Guru personally. May be you need some kind of counseling.   Kindly understand the intention behind the words of Mahabhagvat Prabhu “don’t neglect practical service to Guru, Krishna, family, community etc.”…. ……“We need to maintain our own health, and then go out to serve those who need spiritual guidance”.

Sincerely
Nikhil

Bhakta Sunil, 15th March 2013

Respected Mahabhagavat Prabhu

I understand!

with regards,
Sunil

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What is the significance of Diwali Festival in Devotional Practice?

Bhakta Sunil, 02 November 2013

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

Please tell , What is the significance of Diwali Festival in Devotional Practice?

I understand that Diwali Festival is celebrated as Lakshmi Puja. But is the festival a Vaisnava Festival?

Also the festival is Lord Rama’s pastimes , of returning to His Kingdom. Thus it is festival of Lights , to celebrate Lord Rama’s return to His Kingdom

Also please clarify about Dhan Teras
I read that Dhan Teras is celebrated to worship Lord Dhanvantari. Please tell about Lord Dhanvantari. And is Dhan Teras also a Vaisnava Festival?

I have these bewilderments regarding this festival. So I request to clarify

Regards,
Sunil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 04th November 2013

Dear Sriman Sunil Vaswani,

Hare Krishna!

Diwali/Deepavali is in fact primarily a Vaishnava festival, but the way the materialists are celebrating the festival, that is not correct.

There are MANY occasions associated with Diwali, here are some I am aware of (there are many many more, we have a history of billions of years):

1. Damodar Leela
2. Govardhan Leela
3. The slaying of Narakasura by Krishna
4. The return of Lord Ramachandra

In all these celebrations, Krishna consciousness is increased. Celebrating any or all of the above is bona fide, and anything other than this is a waste of time meant to indirectly and directly prolong the suffering in the cycle of birth and death.

But, the modern-day materialists have turned Diwali into a gross abomination.

For example, the following activities are commonly performed during Diwali celebrations, which is a terrible nonsense:

1. The distribution of meat, fish, eggs and other unclean foods during “Diwali get-together/party/celebration”
2. The consumption of alcohol and intoxicants including tea, coffee, cigarettes during such celebrations
3. The indulgence in gambling
4. The indulgence in illicit sex in different forms, including dancing, movies, etc.
5. The large-scale excessive pollution of environment by using gunpowder-based fire-crackers, killing so many insects, birds, reptiles, etc., and causing trouble to the small children, elderly persons, sick persons, etc.
6. The increase in the general forgetfulness of Krishna
7. The flaunting (and thus disrespecting) of Lakshmidevi
8. Celebrating like followers of Ravana, not like the devotees of Rama

Lord Dhanvantari, this is who He is:
dhanvantariś ca bhagavān svayam eva kīrtir

nāmnā nṛṇāḿ puru-rujāḿ ruja āśu hanti

yajñe ca bhāgam amṛtāyur-avāvarundha

āyuṣya-vedam anuśāsty avatīrya loke

The Lord in His incarnation of Dhanvantari very quickly cures the diseases of the ever-diseased living entities simply by his fame personified, and only because of him do the demigods achieve long lives. Thus the Personality of Godhead becomes ever glorified. He also exacted a share from the sacrifices, and it is he only who inaugurated the medical science or the knowledge of medicine in the universe. SB 2.7.21

Purport:

As stated in the beginning of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, everything emanates from the ultimate source of the Personality of Godhead; it is therefore understood in this verse that medical science or knowledge in medicine was also inaugurated by the Personality of Godhead in His incarnation Dhanvantari, and thus the knowledge is recorded in the Vedas. The Vedas are the source of all knowledge, and thus knowledge in medical science is also there for the perfect cure of the diseases of the living entity. The embodied living entity is diseased by the very construction of his body. The body is the symbol of diseases. The disease may differ from one variety to another, but disease must be there just as there is birth and death for everyone. So, by the grace of the Personality of Godhead, not only are diseases of the body and mind cured, but also the soul is relieved of the constant repetition of birth and death. The name of the Lord is also called bhavauṣadhi, or the source of curing the disease of material existence.

Srila Prabhupada said this about Deepavali in a letter to one of his disciples:

“Diwali ceremony can be observed in the temple by illuminating 100’s of candles, in different parts of the temple, and offering special Prasad to the Deity. This ceremony was observed by the inhabitants of Ayodhya, the Kingdom of Lord Ramacandra, while Lord Ramacandra was out of His Kingdom due to His 14 years banishment by the order of His father. His younger step-brother Bharata, took charge of the Kingdom and the day on which Lord Ramacandra took back the charge again from His brother, and seated on the throne, this is observed as Diwali function. This is the original idea of Diwali, and Dipabali. Dipabali means the same thing—Dipa means candles, and bali means numerous. When numerous candles are lighted it is called Dipabali. In India, this Dipabali function is celebrated in a special auspicious occasion. This Dipabali function can be observed on 21st October, and Prasad can be distributed on the 22nd October, during daytime, which is known as Govardhana Puja and Annakuta Ceremony. In India, in all Vaisnava temples, this ceremony is observed and 100’s of people are given Prasad according to the capacity of the temple ”

He also wrote this: “Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, quoting from the Vaiṣṇava-toṣaṇī of Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, says that the incident of Kṛṣṇa’s breaking the pot of yogurt and being bound by mother Yaśodā took place on the Dīpāvalī Day, or Dīpa-mālikā. Even today in India, this festival is generally celebrated very gorgeously in the month of Kārtika by fireworks and lights, especially in Bombay.” (purport to SB 10.9.1-2)

“CC Madhya 15.36, Translation and Purport: Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His devotees participated in all the festivals, including Rāsa-yātrā, Dīpāvalī and Utthāna-dvādaśī.
The Dīpāvalī festival takes place on the dark-moon night in the month of Kārtika (October-November). The Rāsa-yātrā, or rāsa dancing of Kṛṣṇa, takes place on the full-moon night of the same month. Utthāna-dvādaśī takes place the day after Ekādaśī in the waxing fortnight of the moon in the same month. All the devotees of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu participated in all these festivals.”

Our principles remain the same, in every festival, this is what we do:

1. Chant Hare Krishna more and more and more

2. Have large scale Harinam Sankirtan

3. Offer gorgeous clothing and ornaments to Krishna

4. Cook opulent offering for Krishna

5. Serve the spiritual master

6. Serve the devotees

7. Clean the home, temple, and decorate it nicely

8. Always remember Krishna, never forget Krishna

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

Bhakta Sunil, 05th November 2013

Hare Krishna everyone!

Mahabhagavat Prabhu Please accept my humble obeisances and gratitude for an excellent answer!

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

It was special to know about Lord Dhanvantari. This knowledge can make it easy for me to connect my colleagues with Krishna Consciousness

I very much agree with Diwali being celebrated in wrong way by many persons. I guess many persons do not really celebrate in the notion of Diwali being an ocassion to celebrate Lord Rama’s pastimes of returning to His Kingdom.

Reading your answer was like taking an adventurous dive into the nectarean ocean of transcendental knowledge

Regards,
Sunil

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Is Krishna an expansion of Lord Vishnu?

B.shahvir balaporia, 12th November 2013

Hare Krishna!

Pardon me for my dearth of knowledge in putting forth this question.
I just needed to understand whether lord Vishnu is the plenary expansion of Lord Krishna or is it the other way round? I ask this since, as per popular Hindu belief, Lord Krishna is considered to be an avatar/expansion of Lord Vishnu. Hence, Lord Vishnu is considered as Supreme Personality of Godhead as per popular belief.

My apologies again if the context of my question is inappropriate.

regards,
Shahvir

Sudeep Manchanda, 13th November 2013

Hare Krishna,

We have had wonderful discussion on the topic in the past. Sharing a few answers:

By Harish Prabhu:

1) BG 10.21
adityanam aham visnur
jyotisam ravir amsuman
maricir marutam asmi
naksatranam aham sasi

“Of the Adityas I am Visnu, of lights I am the radiant sun, of the Maruts I am Marici, and among the stars I am the moon.”

2) Brahma Samhita 5.48:
yasyaika-nisvasita-kalam athavalambya
jivanti loma-vila-ja jagad-anda-nathah
visnur mahan sa iha yasya kala-viseso
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

Brahma and other lords of the mundane worlds, appearing from the pores of hair of Maha-Visnu, remain alive as long as the duration of one exhalation of the latter (Maha-Visnu).  I adore the primeval Lord Govinda of whose subjective personality Maha-Visnu is the portion of portion.

3) In Srimad Bhagvatam, there is a list of many incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but Krsna is described as the original Personality of Godhead, from whom many, many incarnations and Personalities of Godhead expand.

SB 1.3.28
ete camsa-kalah pumsah
Krsnas tu bhagavan svayam
Indrari-vyakulam lokam
mrdayanti yuge yuge

“All the lists of the incarnations of Godhead submitted herewith are either plenary expansions or parts of the plenary expansions of the Supreme Godhead, but Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself.”

In many of his purports also, Srila Prabhupada has quoted Visnu or Lord Krsna as same:

(BG 1.14) – Victory is always with persons like the sons of Pandu because Lord Krsna is associated with them. And whenever and wherever the Lord is present, the goddess of fortune is also there because the goddess of fortune never lives alone without her husband. Therefore, victory and fortune were awaiting Arjuna, as indicated by the transcendental sound produced by the conchshell of Visnu, or Lord Krsna.

(BG 2.2) – Persons who are led by the material conception of life do not know that the aim of life is realization of the Absolute Truth, Visnu or Bhagavan (Krsna), and they are captivated by the external features of the material world, and therefore they do not know what liberation is.

(BG 9.13) – The mahatma or great souls does not divert his attention to anything outside Krsna, because he knows perfectly well that Krishna is the original Supreme Person, the cause of all causes. There is no doubt about it. Such a mahatma, or great soul, develops through association with other mahatmas, pure devotees. Pure devotees are not even attracted by Krsna’s other features, such as the four-armed Maha-Vishnu. They are simply attracted by the two-armed form of Krsna. They are not attracted to other features of Krsna, nor are they concerned with any form of a demigod or of a human being. They meditate only upon Krsna in Krsna consciousness.  They are always engaged in the unswerving service of the Lord in Krsna consciousness.”

Even if we observe during the Tulasi aarti we perform every day morning and evening, both Lord Visnu and Krsna names are used.  Moreover it is often observed that even during chanting the first mantra for offering obeisances while bowing down (pancanga pranam) some say Visnu bhakti prade devi and some say Krsna bhaktiprade devi but anyhow later on we only chant Krsna as given below :

vrindaai tulasi devyai priyaai kesavasya ca,
visnubhaktiprade / krsnabhaktiprade devi satyavatyai namo namah
 
namo namah tulasi krsna-preyasi namo namah
radha-krsna-seva pabo ei abilasi
 
ye tomara sarana loy, tara vancha purna hoy
krpa kori koro tare vrndavana-vasi
 
mora ei abhilasa, vilasa kunje dio vasa
nayana heribo sada yugala-rupa-rasi
 
ei nivedana dhara, sakhira anugata koro
seva-adhikara diye koro nija dasi
 
dina krsna-dase koy, ei yena mora hoy
sri-radha-govinda-preme sada yena bhasi

There must be much more verses or quotes too.  But hope the above may help a bit.

By Jaya Krishna Prabhu:

Please refer previous lessons of our course.i remember once our gurudeva explained it like this,
‘vishnu is god in office and krishna is god in home’

By Sanil Prabhu:

The mentioned reply by Srila Gurudeva is pasted below:

Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:
Question: Difference Between Krishna and Narayana

Dear Gurudeva,

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

I read Lesson C9: Transcending the Dualities of Material Existence, which I received on Sunday 29th July 2012. Well, it is so beautifully explained and full of knowledge.

I have some questions where even devotees are quite confused at times. I have read that Krishna resides in Goloka as a cowherd boy while Narayana resides in Vaikuntha.

My questions:
1. Is Krishna different from Maha-Vishnu? How?
2. Who is Narayana? Is Narayana and Maha-Vishnu same?
3. Is Maha-Vishnu an incarnation or expansion of Krishna?

I understand that they are all one and the same, i.e. the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But, can you please tell how they (Krishna, Narayana, Maha-Vishnu) are different and at the same time the same Supreme Personality of Godhead?

Thanking you.
yours humbly

Kesaven

Answer: God at Home and God at the Office

The answer is very simple.  In His original form the Supreme Lord is two-handed and is called Krishna. In His expanded four-armed forms, of which there are many, He is known as Narayana. All the forms are Krishna Himself. Simply He is acting in different capacities. When God is at home enjoying life with His intimate associates He is known as Krishna. When is at the office engaged in managing cosmic affairs He manifests form arms and is known as Narayana.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

your Servant,
Sudeep Manchanda
B.shahvir balaporia, 13th November 2013

Hare Krishna,

Thank you

Regards,
Shahvir

Shreyas, 19th November 2013

Hare Krsna Prabhujis
Dandavat Pranam.

I hope this helps as well. Following is the conversation which is a part of the lecture Srila Gurudev delivered. I pray that this helps as well:

Q: I am still confused with Visnu and Krsna.

SDA: Visnu and Krsna. Of course we are called Vaisnavas. You know what Vaisnava mean? It means devotees of Visnu. Actually Prabhupada explained this with one gentleman he met him in NY. I have heard the tape conversation, so I am basing my answer what Prabhupada told this Indian gentleman who also had a similar confusion as you. Krsna is the original Visnu. Visnu is the category. There are thousands of millions of Visnus and most of them have four arms also. But Krsna is the original form of Lord Visnu. So Visnu and Krsna are same. But there is one Visnu from whom all the other Visnus have come and that is Krsna. Visnu is the Personality of the Godhead category. In other words Rama is Visnu, Nrsmhadeva is Visnu, Vamana is Visnu, all the avataras they are all Visnu. Sometimes the jiva is empowered to act as an incarnation but in most cases the incarnations of God, they are Visnus and it is mentioned in the Srimad Bhagvatam.

ete camsa-kalah pumsah
krishnas tu bhagavan svayam
(SB 1.3.28)

That all those Bhagawans, all those Visnus, the original one is Krsna. So Krsna is the original form of Lord Visnu. And the other Visnus are the emanations from Krsna. Just like I can have one candle flame burning very nicely I can have many other candles that are not lit. I can take that one original candle flame and I can transfer it to the second candle. The first candle is still just as powerful but now that flame is also in another candle which can be transferred to the third, fourth, the fifth candle, pretty soon  there are  hundreds  of thousands of candles, all burning with equal power but one flame is different than the others and that is the original flame. The others are simply the expansions from that. So, all the different candles they are all Visnu but the one Visnu from which all the other candles  has come, that Visnu is known as Krsna. He is the original Visnu.

your servant
Hare Krsna
B.shahvir balaporia, 19th November 2013

Hare Krishna,

Thank you… very informative!

regards,
Shahvir

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Why are there no temples dedicated solely to Arjuna?

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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Varieties of Determination

KV Rao, 6th January 2014

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All glories to your devotional service!

I got following doubt while reading New Year greetings saying determination, resolution, vow etc.

What is the use and result of determination in the mode of goodness, passion and ignorance? Please share your thoughts.

Haribol!

your servant,

Rao

Sunil 06th January 2014

Hare Krishna everyone

Please accept my humble obeisances

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

Rao Prabhuji determination is very essential for practising Krishna consciousness. Many impediments can come to one against chantingand practising devotional service. So determination plays an essential role in Krishna Consciousness

One must be determined to engage one’s mind in devotional activities like chanting , reading , listening. There can be so many distractions to completing 16 rounds of chanting. For eg., one may feel like switching on television or engaging mundane gossip on social media instead of doing japa. At such time one determinedly do the japa.

This determination helps one to transcend the mode of goodness , passion and ignorance

Determination to serve and please Lord Krishna can be practiced in mode of goodness , passion or ignorance ; Such determination gets enhanced and gives nice results especially when he or she gets association of a pure devotee and inquires from the devotee submissively

Regards,

Sunil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 16th January 2014

Dear Sriman Rao,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Determination in the modes of goodness, passion, and ignorance are described by Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita:

BG 18.33: O son of Pṛthā, that determination which is unbreakable, which is sustained with steadfastness by yoga practice, and which thus controls the activities of the mind, life and senses is determination in the mode of goodness.

BG 18.34: But that determination by which one holds fast to fruitive results in religion, economic development and sense gratification is of the nature of passion, O Arjuna.

BG 18.35: And that determination which cannot go beyond dreaming, fearfulness, lamentation, moroseness and illusion — such unintelligent determination, O son of Pṛthā, is in the mode of darkness.

You are much  better at summarizing symptoms and characteristics of the various types of determination.

From this, we can understand that the use of the determination in the mode of ignorance is zero, the use of the determination in the mode of passion binds one to endless birth and death, and the use of the determination in the mode of goodness can lead to liberation from material bondage, unless one gets attached to the results.

The results of the determination in the mode of ignorance are always unpleasant, whether successful or not – take for example foolish but determined political and national leaders who took their country to such massive problems such as needless war-mongering. Even if someone remains on the level of dreaming, etc., such a person is always unsatisfied.

The results of the determination in the mode of passion (most new year resolutions by a majority of people fall into this category) are mixed, as in, they may be successful, but regardless of result, they don’t actually liberate one.

The results of determination in the mode of goodness are conducive to spiritual perfection, though not always.

There are also combinations of determination – someone might desire something in the mode of goodness but be determined to achieve it through actions in the mode of passion (someone wants good health, but goes about it by a very strenous physical exercise regime). Someone might want something that is in the mode of passion, but set about achieving it with actions in the mode of goodness (for example, a foolish militant who wants to destroy but diligently learns the art of explosive warfare).

Indeed, the endless combinations of the three modes make up all the varieties in the material world.

So  may our determination and resolutions be conducive to always remaining conscious of Krishna in thought, word, and deed.

I hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

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Fake Spiritual Masters

B.Shahvir Balaporia, 12th November 2013

Hare Krishna!

What if, in an extremely unfortunate case, an aspirant follows a spiritual master for most of his life, but who later turns out to be a fraud! How can the disciple recover from such an unfortunate situation. What would be the role or intention of God in such a case?

Kind regards,
Shahvir

Sudeep Manchanda, 12th November 2013

Hare Krishna!

My answer is not authoritatively bonafide, but I would call the person lucky and one who is getting special mercy from Krishna. Conditioned that the person is not making false conclusions about his Guru. It is not without Krishna’s mercy that the curtain of delusion are raised. If one is able to see the truth it is a great mercy.

But, if a person out of ignorance considers a bonafide Guru as anything less than his eternal master then he/she is of-course the most unfortunate.

your Servant,
Sudeep Manchanda

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 12th November 2013

Thank you.

Please note Srila Gurudeva’s words below “There is never any offense in submissive inquiry”.

To know who is bona fide and who is not bona fide, one should look at the instructions of the past Acharyas and Krishna. If the person is not following as per past Acharyas and Krishna, then that person is not bona fide and must be rejected.

Here’s a Q&A from 27th Feb 2012 that explains this (from www.sda-archives.com):

quote
Question: Accepting and Rejecting Sri Guru

Dear Gurudeva,

How does one choose/judge the correct guru who can guide him properly on the pathway of Krishna consciousness?

Also, when can we know that our guru is acting wrongly, like Maharaja Bali who rejected his guru Sukracharya when he was told not to surrender to Krishna in His form as Lord Vamanadeva?

Was Maharaja Bali wrong for acting against the wishes of his Gurudeva, or was he right for acting in the favor of Krishna?

Please forgive me if my question appears to be offending.

Vivek
Answer: Accept Real Guru and Reject Bogus Guru

There is never any offense in submissive inquiry. Your questions are most important:

1. How to choose the spiritual master who can guide you properly on the pathway of Krishna consciousness.

2. How to know when a guru is acting wrongly?

3. Was Bali Maharaja wrong to reject his guru and serve Krishna instead?

The answer to your first question is that you should thoroughly study all of Srila Prabhupada’s books and then see who is purely representing Srila Prabhupada’s teachings without any adulteration, both in words and actions. This person is the bona fide spiritual master at whose lotus feet you should fully surrender yourself.

If a spiritual master ever advises you not to surrender to Krishna, he is not a bona fide spiritual master. He is a charlatan who should be immediately rejected. Bali Maharaja become glorious by rejecting his bogus guru and surrendering to Krishna. The bona fide guru is never rejected, and the bogus guru should be rejected immediately without any hesitation.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
unquote

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Jayakrishna, 12th November 2013

Dear Shahvir Prabhu,
Hare krishna!
Please accept my humble pranams!

Thank you for this wonderful question!

Prabhu,i wish to share what i understand on this subject.

From our common life experiences,we can understand that if we are offered any thing as cheap,there is a chance of being deceived..
To make it clear,if a ‘guru’ assure us something that dont need any pre qualification or effort from our side but need only some magical formulae or blind obedience,then,by following him we are doing fraud by cheating ourselves,because we want the duplicate,not genuine,the genuine always is costly,we dont want to pay the price for realisation because that is our life itself,ie,to dedicate whole heartedly with the strict observance of the vows the sad guru want from us.

The fact is that a true Guru dont create anything new but only upheld what he learned from his Guru and this chain ends at God,ie.,the words of God is gurus authority.

In short,
Krishna give a true guru for one who is sincere,and a fraud one will always get a fraud ‘guru’.

JAY SRILA GURUDEVA!

With love,

your servant
Jayakrishna

Haladhar Das SDA, 14th November 2013

Hare Krsna Shahvir ji !

Hope your query regarding fake spiritual master is being met now.

It’s indeed unfortunate to see people being cheated by fake gurus. The worst part is that even after being exposed, many of their followers still have full faith in them and they think it’s some false propaganda against them as they think their material opulence and material happiness, their children marriages, good education etc. is due to that Guru only that they were following. They in ignorance are not concerned about how much spiritual advancement they have made after being in contact with that guru, neither they know the regulative principles nor they want to know, so they fail to check the guru they are following as long their senses are being gratified.

A colleague of mine was following such a fake guru and when the guru was exposed he took complete U turn and said he was never following him. Another ex-colleague of mine is the example of above quoted detail, they have put bigger picture of Guru and smaller picture of God in their home altar; when their guru being exposed, they still say “we have perfect faith in our guru, it’s a political campaign against him, we are sure that he will come out honest soon”. Some years before, they used to say that we follow this guru because they get peace of mind there in his ashram. I told them it’s better to sleep for 4 hours rather than going to another city expecting for getting peace of mind while suffering botheration during travel. The desire to enjoy sense gratification is so attractive, that people even after being get cheated from one guru, approaches another cheater guru, then another, then another………………….. but they don’t try to work on themselves, they don’t want to read/follow the scriptures. They always keep following their philosophy of “more gain, less or no pain”.

Many people make guru to make a show among people or relatives of how religious they are. They generally follow the latest fashion, whichever guru is popular or whichever God is popular, accordingly they too jump in the queque. Like these days Peer Baba, Sai Baba are in the latest fashion among so called gods and I have seen not only such peoples but even many temples are making adjustment to allot some space to these gods too in their home altar or temples so that people/money can flow in. When I was a kid, I had hardly seen even Shani dev temple but with times people being fearful of losing wealth/health have started going on Saturdays and seeing the demand, now most of the hindu temples have made makeshift arrangements for Shani dev in their temples. But Shani dev at least is a demigod but what to say of others??

jihvara lalase yei iti-uti dhaya
sisnodara-parayana Krsna nahi paya

“That person who runs here and there seeking to gratify his palate and who is always attached to the desires of his stomach and genitals is unable to attain Krsna.”

Like a child has some qualification to get admission into school and the teacher too has some qualification who is supposed to teach. Similarly a disciple and guru both have requisite qualifications which are mentioned in the shastras. And those who knows the required qualifications can see there are still so many people who are following cheater gurus. But they don’t want to listen either, as they are mad after gratifying their senses and hence their knowledge is being stolen by illusion.

BG 2.44
bhogaisvarya-prasaktanam
tayaapahrta-cetasam
vyavasayatmika buddhih
samadhau na vidhiyate

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

In short, birds of same feather flock together, impurity attracts impurity.

As already told by devotees here, we can find the qualification of a spiritual master in the books of Srila Prabhupada. A small quote from one of his lectures is given below for reference:

Quote
“The spiritual master is compared to a cloud. Just as there are torrents of rain from a cloud, so the spiritual master brings mercy from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A cloud takes water from the sea. It doesn’t have its own water, but takes water from the sea. Similarly, the spiritual master brings mercy from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Just see the comparison. He has no mercy of his own, but he carries the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the qualification of the spiritual master. The spiritual master will never say, “I am God-I can give you mercy.” No. That is not a spiritual master-that is a bogus pretender. The spiritual master will say, “I am a servant of God; I have brought His mercy. Please take it and be satisfied.” This is the spiritual master’s business. He is just like a mailman. When a mailman delivers you some large amount of money, it is not his own money. The money is sent by someone else, but he honestly delivers it-“Sir, here is your money. Take it.” So you become very much satisfied with him, although it is not his money he is giving you. When you are in need and you get money from your father or someone else-brought by the mailman-you feel very much satisfaction.”
Unquote

vaco vegam manasah krodha-vegam
jihva vegam udaropastha-vegam
etan vegan yo visaheta dhirah
sarvam apimam prthivim sa sisyat

“A sober person who can tolerate the urge to speak, the mind’s demands, the actions of anger and the urges of the tongue, belly and genitals is qualified to make disciples all over the world.” (The Nectar Of Instruction, verse 1)

Regarding your other question, what would be the role or intention of God in such a case?

For this, first of all we have to understand who we are, then who God is and then what’s our relationship with Him so that we can act accordingly. Hope you are reading “Bhagvad Gita As It Is”, There are many verses on this subject. You can read verse 15.15 with purport as well as verse 18.61 with purport.

As already been answered by Mahabhagavat Prabhu, we get what we desire/deserve due to our past pious or impious deeds but intelligent person instead of repenting or rejoicing in such situations move on towards his goal i.e. serving Krsna for the devoted man and serving own or related people senses for the materialistic man. Krsna like a loving parent does not interfere with our little independence and acts as neutral, like parents they try their best always guiding their children to become good human beings but still children somehow or other cheat them on their back and turns out to be rascals. Similarly Krsna too guides everyone through the scriptures being left by Him, through His pastimes, His representatives etc. but only rare fortunate ones are able to take advantage of His mercy.

BG 9.9 – “O dhananjaya, all this work cannot bind Me. I am ever detached from all these material activities, seated as though neutral.

From the purport : “Although He has control over every minute detail of material activities, He is sitting as if neutral. The example can be given of a high-court judge sitting on his bench. By his order so many things are happening — someone is being hanged, someone is being put into jail, someone is awarded a huge amount of wealth — but still he is neutral. He has nothing to do with all that gain and loss. Similarly, the Lord is always neutral, although He has His hand in every sphere of activity. He is not situated in the dualities of this material world. He is transcendental to these dualities. Nor is He attached to the creation and annihilation of this material world. The living entities take their different forms in the various species of life according to their past deeds, and the Lord doesn’t interfere with them.

Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya 19.151
brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva
guru-krsna prasade paya bhakti lata bija

Translation
“According to their karma, all living entities are wandering throughout the entire universe. Some of them are being elevated to the upper planetary systems, and some are going down into the lower planetary systems. Out of many millions of wandering living entities, one who is very fortunate gets an opportunity to associate with a bona fide spiritual master by the grace of Krsna. By the mercy of both Krsna and the spiritual master, such a person receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service.”

Purport
When we speak of brahmanda, we refer to the whole universe, or to the cluster of many millions of universes. In all the universes there are innumerable planets, and there are innumerable living entities upon those planets — in the air, on land and in the water. There are millions and trillions of living entities everywhere, and they are engaged by maya in suffering and enjoying the results of their fruitive activity, life after life. This is the position of the materially conditioned living entities. Out of many of these living entities, one who is actually fortunate (bhagyavan) comes in contact with a bona fide spiritual master by Krsna’s mercy.

Krsna is situated in everyone’s heart, and if one desires something, Krsna fulfills one’s desire. If the living entity by chance or fortune comes in contact with the Krsna consciousness movement and wishes to associate with that movement, Krsna, who is situated in everyone’s heart, gives him the chance to meet a bona fide spiritual master. This is called guru-Krsna prasada. Krsna is prepared to bestow His mercy upon all living entities, and as soon as a living entity desires the Lord’s mercy, the Lord immediately gives him an opportunity to meet a bona fide spiritual master. Such a fortunate person is fortified by both Krsna and the spiritual master. He is helped from within by Krsna and from without by the spiritual master. Both are prepared to help the sincere living being become free from material bondage.
How one can become this fortunate can be seen in the life of Srila Narada Muni. In his previous life he was born of a maidservant. Although he was not born into a prestigious position, his mother was fortunately engaged in rendering service to some Vaiṣṇavas. When these Vaiṣṇavas were resting during the Caturmasya period, the boy Narada took the opportunity to engage in their service. Taking compassion upon the boy, the Vaiṣṇavas offered him the remnants of their food. By serving these Vaiṣṇavas and obeying their orders, the boy became the object of their sympathy, and by the Vaiṣṇavas’ unknown mercy, he gradually became a pure devotee. In the next life he was Narada Muni, the most exalted of Vaiṣṇavas and the most important guru and acarya of Vaiṣṇavas.
Following in the footsteps of Narada Muni, this Krsna consciousness movement is rendering service to humanity by giving everyone a chance to come in contact with Krsna. If one is fortunate, he becomes intimately related with this movement. Then, by the grace of Krsna, one’s life becomes successful.
Everyone has dormant Krsna bhakti— love for Krsna— and in the association of good devotees, that love is revealed. As stated in the Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya 22.107):

nitya-siddha-Krsna prema sadhya kabhu naya
sravanadi suddha cite karaye udaya
Dormant devotional service to Krsna is within everyone. Simply by associating with devotees, hearing their good instructions and chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, dormant love for Krsna is awakened. In this way one acquires the seed of devotional service. Guru Krsna prasade paya bhakti lata bija.

So in a nutshell, as the intention of a father is always the welfare of his children, similarly intention of Supreme loving father Krsna or His love for His lost suffering children is quite imminent and hence through the Krsna consciousness movement His representatives are rendering the best welfare service to the entire suffering humanity by giving everyone a chance to come in contact with Krsna. If one is fortunate, he becomes intimately related with this movement. Then, by the grace of Krsna, one’s life becomes successful.

Hare Krsna !

ys,
Haladhar Das

B.Shahvir Balaporia, 14th November 2013

Hare Krishna!

Dear Harishji,

Please except my gratitude for your wonderful post. I just wanted to highlight the fact that fraud people are fantastic actors. They perfectly pretend to be the servant of God (after all it is OK if it keeps the money flowing). An innocent aspirant might not be able to see through this veil. The characteristics of a bonafide guru are indeed mentioned in the Shastras, but for an innocent layman distinguishing the genuine from the fraud is very difficult as they are perfect pretenders.

regards,
Shahvir

Haladhar Das SDA, 16th November 2013

Dear Shahvir ji,
Hare Krsna !

Thank you for your reasonable query. The understanding that innocent people are cheated by false pretenders is not correct. Its not innocence but Ignorance actually which leads to suffering. We suffer due to our sinful life and sinful life is due to ignorance of nature laws or God laws. Like there are State laws like keeping to the left and one cannot claim innocence when fined driving on the wrong side, he has to suffer for disobeying State laws. Similarly there are God laws also and one cannot claim ignorance and avoid being punished.

Going to a fake guru is not innocence but wilful ignorance, rather a strong desire to satisfy the senses for quick name, fame, wealth etc. When we get our children admitted to school we try to find out about the school result, their reputation, see their prospectus, and visit personally also and compare with other options also. But when it comes to seeking a Guru or God also specially in India, we dont want to go through the scriptures, see the results/effects on their followers, we just see material opulence, and are just interested in quicker results, less or no austerities.Its a general saying that “No pains, no gains”. But those who feel otherwise looking for quick and favourable results got cheated. Some years before, one of my ex-colleague after understanding our regulative principles said to me these regulative principles, chanting etc. is very troublesome, but their Guru and their religous organisation is very nice and there is no conditions there, anyone can keep on doing anything, there is no restrictions.

BG 18.37 – “That which in the beginning may be just like poison but at the end is just like nectar and which awakens one to self-realization is said to be happiness in the mode of goodness. ”
“In the pursuit of self-realization, one has to follow many rules and regulations to control the mind and the senses and to concentrate the mind on the self. All these procedures are very difficult, bitter like poison, but if one is successful in following the regulations and comes to the transcendental position, he begins to drink real nectar, and he enjoys life.”

Srila Prabhupada used to say that this society is a combination of cheater and the cheated. So everyone is either a cheater or is being cheated. Those who are getting cheated they also have cheated someone.Like Srila Gurudeva says, that we should accept that we get the results of our own past deeds and the deliverer is just the courier guy, who is just delivering us our mail. But we need not have to worry for such so called innocent cheated people, as Lord Caitanya being extreme merciful has empowered the Hare Krsna’s to help them out by spreading Krsna consciousness all over the Globe. So December Bhagvad Gita Marathon month is coming and hence please join your nearest Iskcon temple in distributing Bhagvad Gita As It Is to every nook and corner and help these innocent cheated or about to be getting cheated people. Sympathy is good but empathy is far better.

thank you.

ys
Haladhar Das

Nandapriya Devi Dasi, 16th November 2013

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances.

In one lecture i heard that Srila Prabhupada said how to know who is bonafide and who is bogus Guru. Ask these two questions to the person whom you considering Guru.. 1.Who is God?  And 2.How to love God?. And if the answers were as follows…1. Krishna is God., and we can love God through by rendering devotional services.
if you got these answers for your those two questions then he is bonafide Guru otherwise a bogus Guru.

your servant,
NandaPriya Devi Dasi

Shahvir, 16th November 2013

Hare Krishna

It is indeed very difficult to distinguish a genuine guru from a fraud one, as a fraud guru can easily act  genuine. He may pretend to preach about God consciousness & spiritual aspects, etc., but his character would be otherwise in private. This is what i consider a dangerous situation wherein a genuine aspirant may fall prey to a fraud guru who is expert at pretending to be genuine in front of general public! There have been several such cases highlighted by the media in the recent past. Why should the innocent disciple suffer for no fault of his.

Regards,
Shahvir

T V Sanilkumar, 16th November 2013

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

It is not that difficult to identify a guru, provided we know the minimum qualifications required for a bona fide guru as well as a disciple. If we know these qualifications, we can very easily identify a bonafide guru after observing and interacting with him for a few times.  For this, we need to read Srila Prabhupada’s books in detail. These qualification requirements are mentioned in many places in his books.

your servant,
Sanil kumar

Jagannatha dasa SDA, 16th November 2013

Hare Krishna,

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

In addition to the nice points, already mentioned, I’ll add that this is why we recommend everyone should be very fixed in Srila Prabhupada’s teachings.  By taking shelter of Srila Prabhupada’s teachings, nonsense becomes evident and real Krishna consciousness becomes ever more attractive.

We are most fortunate to take shelter of Srila Gurudeva through the Ultimate Self-Realization Course, and this e-group, as he is Prabhupadanuga, following fully in the line of Srila Prabhupada.

Lecturing on this topic, Srila Prabhupada said:

“yare dekha, tare kaha ‘krishna’-upadesa
amara ajnaya guru hana tara’ ei desa
[Cc. Madhya 7.128]

He is guru. One who is strictly following the instruction of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and after following Him, he is just delivering the instruction as Krishna has said, then you become guru. It is not difficult. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has ordered everyone. Therefore our process is to follow Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and then try to understand Krishna’s instruction.”

your servant,
Jagannatha Dasa Brahmacari

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 16th November 2013

Dear Shahvir,

Hare Krishna!

It is a bit subtle… a person who is internally dishonest is attracted to those who are themselves dishonest… Let us take an example.

Srila Prabhupada preached so much all over the world, and before he went to the USA, he preached for decades in India, but no one took him seriously. Obviously, Srila Prabhupada is a bona fide spiritual master, but no one paid any attention to him. At the same time, people were running after charlatans, getting cheated etc., but still not listening to Srila Prabhupada.

Then, there were so many who came to Srila Prabhupada, but faced with the strictness of his discipline and the honesty of his speech and writings, many turned away and went to Sahajiyas who cheapen Krishna’s loving transcendental pastimes… in their search for “rasa” they got cheated. But if they had simply stayed and obeyed the order of Srila Prabhupada they would have tasted the real spiritual bliss. The impatience and greed to get the benefit without making the effort cost them.

But some fortunate honest souls got Srila Prabhupada’s mercy, and by following the pure-hearted among them, many more are benefiting today also…

Ultimately, since being cheated by a fraud spiritualist is not a spiritual thing, but a material thing, it boils down to karmic action and reaction. If I have cheated others in the past, even if I may be externally honest now, then if my past karmic action has fructified into a reaction, I must be cheated now. This is no different from being cheated in business deals, job, fake relationships, etc. But even being cheated is a great relief then, because at least my karmic reaction has been burned away. Now I can go after the real deal sincerely.

This is the same with children – people say children are pure, but they do bear the effect of past karmas that they have done, that is why one child is born to a low-class prostitute and another child is born to a chaste princess. But regardless, both children can become pure devotees if they follow the bona fide spiritual master, even if one comes from very humble circumstances and another comes from very privileged circumstances. And both are equally likely to cheat if they have the cheating propensity themselves…

At any given point, the reactions of past lifetimes sinful actions are hidden (apraarabdha) and then manifest as “prarabdha karma” – the karmas that will be experienced in this lifetime, and seen on three levels “kutam”, hidden, “bijam” manifested in seed form, and “phalonmukha” or in the form of fruits.

So what is the solution? Instead of lamenting over one’s loss, one should simply engage in devotional service to Sri Krishna / Vishnu or any of His plenary expansions – because “kramenaiva praliyeta vishnu bhakti rathaatmanaam” – gradually all those past reactions become burned up by the practice of devotional service.

One should qualify oneself to see who is pure and who is not by careful observance of whether the person is following an authorized Parampara strictly, whether the spiritual master is listening to their spiritual master’s instructions, etc. Please do read Srila Prabhupada’s books, you will see that a bona fide spiritual master is clearly described in his books.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

B.Shahvir Balaporia, 16th November 2013

Hare Krishna!

Dear Mahabhagavat Dasji,

Thank you very much for such a beautiful & resourceful explanation. I also appreciate the guidance provided by all my dear brothers & sisters who relentlessly serve Krishna & his servants through their posts.

regards,
Shahvir

Sulaksana devi dasi, 14th November 2013

Hare Krishna!
Please accept my humble obeisances!
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Smti Gurumataji!
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Krishna is situated as Paramatma in everyone’s heart and He knows all our thoughts and all our desires so accordingly He facilitates a guru to fulfill them. As it is said in the Bhagavad-gita 15-15 that “I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness.”  So one who is aspirant of real guru with no ulterior motive,  He as a caitya guru will send him accordingly to that person who is a bonafide guru or Guru will find him.

your humble servant,
Sulaksana devi dasi

Rathin Mandal, 16th November 2013

Hare Krishna,

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

I too had this question for a long time. In India we keep on coming across news like this every other day.
I got the opportunity to ask Srila Gurudeva this query.
Srila Gurudeva answered that those who want to get cheated, gets attracted to fake gurus. Those who are sincere, Krishna helps them.

Nothing to boast about me, but I must be having some desire. And that is why I am fortunate to be able to associate with so many wonderful devotees.
Even if one gets attached to someone wrong. But if he has true desire, he will come to the right place.

your Servant
Rathin

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Reconciling Advaita Philosophy with Krishna consciousness

Bhakta Sunil change, 2nd January 2014

Hare Krishna everyone

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

When I tried to tell a person about Krishna Consciousness , he mentioned that he follows Advaita Philosophy

If I remember correctly , I read in Srila Prabhupada’s book that there is actually no conflict between Advaita philosophy and Bhakti yoga process

Please tell , is Advaita philosophy also a God-realization process?

and what to tell to a person who follows Advaita philosophy?

Regards,
Sunil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 4th January 2014

Hare Krishna Dear Sunil,

Here are some points you can rely upon:

1. Advaita means “One without a second” – Krishna is undisputedly One without a second, no one is comparable to Sri Krishna. Therefore, the perfection of Advaita philosophy is to surrender to Krishna, the real Advaita.

2. The foremost propounder of Advaita philosophy is Adi Shankaracharya who is an incarnation of Lord Shiva who is the topmost Vaishnava. So the deep inner meaning of Advaita philosophy is Krishna consciousness.

3. The famous “Bhaja Govindam” song is written by Adi Shankaracharya himself, so any so-called follower of Advaita philosphy must take shelter of Krishna as instructed in the song.

4. Our philosophy is given by Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and is called “Achintya Bheda Abheda Tattva”, or “Simultaneous Oneness and difference”. Krishna’s creation is also Krishna, but is also different from Krishna the person, this is the secret, just as the sun cannot be separated from the sunshine, still the sun is the source of the sunshine and is therefore different from the sunshine.

There are many more points, but main thing is to give Srila Prabhupada’s books and encourage them to read…

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Bhakta Sunil, 4th January 2014

Thank you very much Mahabhagavat Prabhu

Your reply is very nice and helpful
your insignificat servant,
Sunil

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