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.
unquote

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

your servant,
Trivikrama Das

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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

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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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