Q&A

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Q: Hare Krishna prabhuji , I had a doubt regarding our class on aatma that day.
As per my understanding concept of hunger and food is applicable to this material world , as it is the body who enjoys it. And the concept of body exist in this loka , in Vaikuntha or in Swarga or in other loka , do body exist ? If yes then how different is that body from our’s , if not then why we offer food to God as we know that food is the concept of this material world? I am confused how different is offering clothes/money from offering food as all are concepts of material world.

Reply: Hare Krishna Avinash prabhu, very good question. We must ask these ‘Why’ questions to progress nicely in Krishna consciousness.

The concept of body exists in spiritual world and in its perverted reflection in material world it manifests as a material body. Krishna explains in the 15th chapter of  BG how this material world is an inverted reflection of the spiritual world. So we have a material body and in spiritual world inhabitants have spiritual body. The difference is that our body is made of 5 gross elements and 3 subtle elements whereas in spiritual world it is made of Sat, Cit and Ananda. Similarly spiritual body has spiritual senses and in its inverted form material body has material senses.

Note that this is different from being in swarga loka or narak loka, which you mentioned in your question. One gets another sutblte covering, on top of our subtle body, to enjoy or suffer in swarga or narak loka. We are talking about Vaikuntha or spiritual world here.

Now Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, has a spiritual body and He has spiritual senses but with a slight difference! And the difference is explained in Brahma Samhita 5.32, it says

aṅgāni yasya sakalendriya-vṛtti-manti
paśyanti pānti kalayanti ciraṁ jaganti
ānanda-cinmaya-sad-ujjvala-vigrahasya
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, whose transcendental form is full of bliss, truth, substantiality and is thus full of the most dazzling splendor. Each of the limbs of that transcendental figure possesses in Himself, the full-fledged functions of all the organs, and eternally sees, maintains and manifests the infinite universes, both spiritual and mundane.

So Krishna has spiritual organs and He can use any sense organ to perform function of any sense. Which mean He can glance on food and accept it or taste it via His eyes, He can smell from His hands, etc.

Similarly we also read exploits of Krishna stealing butter, mother Yashoda feeding Him, eating lunch with His friends, etc. It doesn’t just happen in Gokula ( manisfestation of His lila in the  material world) but  also in Goloka ( spiritual world)

So because there is activity or variety in the spiritual world and hence there is activity or variety in the material world but it is in perverted form. What does that mean? The difference is Love vs. Lust, satisfy Krishna’s senses. vs. satisfying my own senses.

Srila Bhakti Sidhanta Saraswati Thakura ( Prabhupada’s guru) writes in the purport of above BS verse that ‘Just as Māyā is the perverted reflection of the spiritual potency, the variegatedness created by Māyā (ignorance) is also aperverted reflection of spiritual variegatedness.’

Finally, Krishna Himself says in BG 9.26

patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ
yo me bhaktyā prayacchati
tad ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam
aśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ

If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.

Srila Prabhupada writes in the purport to above verse that Krishna wants only loving service and nothing more…Kṛṣṇa has no need of food, since He already possesses everything that be, yet He will accept the offering of one who desires to please Him in that way… He accepts the offering of His devotee in an exchange of love and affection.

So when we offer bhoga (food) to Krishna we are trying to develop a loving relationship with Him. (Kindly read the full purport of the BG 9.26 verse for further details).

Similarly offering money or clothes to Krishna can become a devotional service if our consciousness is pure. We will realise that everything is coming from Krishna. It is like when we stand in Ganga we keep Ganga jala in our hands and offer that water only to her.
So we first offer everything to Krishna, say our salary, the clothes we buy  for ourselves, etc. and then accept it as His mercy.

Few of us may remember how our parents or grandparents will keep anything bought  new in the house, including first salary, first at the altar. So a strong cuture was supporting the philosophy but with time both went away due to lack of knowledge.

Similarly the detiy form of Krishna in the  temple non different from Krishna. So when we donate money or any other paraphernalia to the temple, where it is used in Krishna’s service, then Krishna accepts it.

We may not have that realisation in the begining but slowly as we chant sincerely, follow 4 regs, read Prabhupada books and remain in the association of devotees then we will gradually get the realisation as well.

We have to practice to develop a of loving relationship with Krishna. This happens  gradually. And we will also slowly, but surely, realise that nothing is material in this world, the only thing material in this world is our consciousness.

I hope this answers your question Avinash Prabhu.

your servant,
Giriraj dasa

Q: Hare Krishna Prabhu Ji

Since we all are part of parcels of supreme personality of Godhead…we do have his Ansh in all of us.  I need your guidance:

I work in bank and the routine is quite hectic. From 9 to 8 I am occupied with office work and then family things eat up most of my precious time. I feel guilty most of the time seeing others enthusiastically getting chance to serve at Temple. Though the heart craves to reach out and do service as much as I can but my routine is simply not allowing me.
Please guide how to pacify my eager heart and mind in such circumstances.

Reply: Hare Krishna mataji, Dandavat Pranams. This is a question which many sincere householder devotees dvelve upon.

The first thing is that this eagerness itself is so purifying and this hankering itself will help us progress in Krishna consciousness.

Practically one can hear some lecture on way to office, make a schedule to read some verses and purports of Bhagavad Gita or any SP book, say lunch hour or whenever we get some spare time.

It is a good practice to daily pray to Krishna before leaving for office, taking His shelter, to help me so that I can remember You all my day and get some time to hear/read. Krishna will help create such circumstances if our desire is sincere.

Another important consideration is that we must have regular association of devotees. And association at our level should preferably mean association of those devotees who are senior than us.

Gradually as we progress, endeavor to chant attentively, regularly read Prabhupada lectures and books, we will realise that nothing is material as everything comes from Krishna. And as slowly our consciousness gets purified then the same job may become a service to Krishna. But it takes some time to reach that stage, it can’t be imitated artificially. But we must know that material and spiritual are not two separate boxes; everything is coming from Krishna. As we strive with confidence, in the process of Krishna consciousness, with enthusiasm and also patience, then gradually our consciousness gets purified and one is able to see Krishna everywhere and then whatever we do can become a service to Krishna.
We have to practice to develop a strong sense of love for Krishna. If we have a strong sense of love for the Supreme Lord then we can discharge our duty and at the same time remember Him.

I hope this answers your sincere question.

 

Q: Hare Krishna Prabhuji, you sent a verse  (BG 6.34) on the whatsspp group which mentioned that one must engage one’s mind fully in Krishna. Only then will there remain no other engagements to agitate the mind. So prabhuji I’ve to ask that even after hearing in lectures and reading in Prabhupada’s book about the same, yet I’m not able to control my mind and gets disturbed most of the times by the allurement of maya. Please tell me prabhuji how can I practically control myself at such states as even after controlling myself externally, I remains disturbed internally.  Rishab.

Reply: Hare Krishna Prabhuji, thank you for your sincere question. We should note that we can not control our mind through our own efforts alone. We should daily pray to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna for help. Our’s is a descending path and we need to follow it diligently.

On the positive side, your young age and the present environment is such where it is difficult to concentrate exclusively on Krishna, so it is very commendable that you are still able to maintain the enthusiasm to chant and read/ hear daily. So if some times our mind goes here or there it’s okay. The trick is not to delve or think about those objects of senses too much and bring our mind back to the lotus feet of Krishna.

Finally Krishna consciousness is a culture which we have to live everyday and it happens gradually. It doesn’t usually work like a switch, where suddenly one fine day we can act above the three modes of nature, it’s gradual process and a struggle, rather tapasya, to purify our contaminated consciousness.

Q:  One who sees inaction in action and  action in inaction, is intelligent among men, and he is in the transcendental position, although engaged in all sorts of activities. ( BG 4.18)

Hare krishna Prabhuji,Dandawat Pranam.I have a question regarding last purport.Akarma means the activities we perform in Krishna conciousness.How can Akarma differenciate with karma n Vikarma? Anita Sharma, Gurgaon.

Reply : Hare Krishna mataji, akarma means no result or reactions, karma means leading the life as per Shastra (which will still make us come back to enjoy the result of those pious deeds), Vikarma means sinful acts, not following the scriptures, hence one gets impious ‘credits’ and one has to take birth to suffer their results. Only one who acts in Krishna consciousness can stop this cycle of birth and death.

Q: Hare Krishna Prabhuji: Can one wish to take birth not to enjoy pleasures but lead another pious life n serve yet another life in Krishna Conciousness 🙏, Vishal Pardesi, Gurgaon.

Reply:  Hare Krishna Vishal Prabhuji. Of course we can, in fact that is the mood of many previous acharyas and devotees. But at our level we shouldn’t copy it as mind plays games with us and trick us other way round. Hence we have to first close ‘our business’ here and then see how one feels inspired from within.

Q: Prabhuji one more question, Shall one lead a Karma life in this life time ? Vishal Pardesi, Gurgaon.

Reply:  On the second question prabhuji. We have to see where we are at present and take next step forward. As long we are progressing from one level to another upper level it is fine. As we come into Krishna consciousness and start practicing bhakti yoga, we change slowly, not like a switch. Once we are convinced that is the path I wish to chose and then progresses in it is fine. Krishna consciousness is the surest, safest and simplest process for spiritual progress.

Q: Hare Krishna Prabhuji,  how would one know that he is progressing to upper levels? And secondly if one is just performing few of his activities as per his effort to perform bhakti, not able to bring other activities under Krishna Consciousness. Would he be called a devotee? Ravi, Delhi. 

Reply : Hare Krishna Ravi prabhu, our teacher or councilor can guide us if we are progressing or not.

This is a progress as we start for ground zero and progress step by step. It is better not to come under mode of passion and take many steps at one time and later we find that we are not able to maintain those standards. Step by step approach is a better approach. You are surely practicing Krishna consciousness prabhuji.

Q: Who are called pure devotees ? Ravi, Delhi
Reply: Pure devotional service:

There is a very beautiful verse written by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī in his Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.1.11):

anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam

ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānu-śīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā

“One should render transcendental loving service to the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa favorably and without desire for material profit or gain through fruitive activities or philosophical speculation. That is called pure devotional service.”

There are chapters and even books written on this single verse. But we can get some idea from the translation.

Srila Prabhupada is one such transcendental devotee who not only told us about it but also himself practiced pure devotional service without any material benefit or for any sense gratification and without any speculation about God. His only motive was to please his guru and Krishna. Prabhupada faithfully repeated, and wrote, what all previous acharyas had stated earlier, in a language which we can all understand. He gave us a process which is surest, safest and simplest. Like Mahāprabhu, Prabhupada, most compassionately, gave the best to the lowest.

Q: Hare krishna Giriraj prabhuji, ( Ref BG 15.15) Lord does so many things and is so merciful. Then why does he make us forgetful of past life? It would be huge help as we would then know how miserable is material world Very fallen servant, shyam sunder krishna das

Reply :  Hare Krishna Shyamsundar prabhuji. You are aware of the answer to this question yet you ask for the benefit of everyone. Here is my limited understanding :

Krishna helps us forget because we want to forget Him. We have come to the material world to try and imitate Krishna, to become the enjoyer. So it is Krishna’s mercy on us that he allows us to forget that we are not the enjoyer, that we are eternally servants of Krishna. Otherwise if we did not forget this how could we become covered by maya and think that we can be happy in the material world without Krishna?

In a sense all this comes from our own desires and Krishna reciprocates by giving us remembrance and forgetfulness.

Q: How can I remeber how much I devoted myself to Supreme Lord Krishna in my past lives? Isn’t that important to know ? And nor what materialistic pleasure or form of body I beholded temp? Vishal Pardesi, Gurgaon.

Reply : Hare Krishna Vishal Prabhuji. What is most important to us now is the realisation that somehow in this lifetime we have received the human form and due to some good fortune we have come in the association of devotees and started ( or started from where we left in the previous lifetime) our journey in Krishna consciousness. Now we must make the best use of this opportunity and try to finish our endless cycle of life and death.

Q: Hare Krishna Prabhuji, i have one query: In purport of BG 15.16  it is stated: The living entities are eternally separated part and parcel of supreme lord. I thought there is a plan for everyone to come back….kindly explain. Very fallen servant, shyam sunder krishna das

Reply : Hare Krishna Prabhuji, there are different ways we can look into the statement ‘eternally separated parts and parcels’. One way is to see since how long we are separated from Lord is so long that it is almost eternal.

But what these particular words mean Prabhupada explains beautifully in his purport of BG 2.23:

The Māyāvādī cannot explain how the individual soul came into existence simply by ignorance and consequently became covered by illusory energy. Nor was it ever possible to cut the individual souls from the original Supreme Soul; rather, the individual souls are eternally separated parts of the Supreme Soul. Because they are atomic individual souls eternally (sanātana), they are prone to be covered by the illusory energy, and thus they become separated from the association of the Supreme Lord, just as the sparks of a fire, although one in quality with the fire, are prone to be extinguished when out of the fire. In the Varāha Purāṇa, the living entities are described as separated parts and parcels of the Supreme. They are eternally so, according to the Bhagavad-gītā also. So, even after being liberated from illusion, the living entity remains a separate identity, as is evident from the teachings of the Lord to Arjuna. Arjuna became liberated by the knowledge received from Kṛṣṇa, but he never became one with Kṛṣṇa.

Question : Hello prabhu I have a doubt on how to become humble and serve Krishna with humility. Can u please tell me? Abhiram

Reply : Hare Krishna Prabhuji,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you reading the blog and posting this question, the answer to which we all long for in our spiritual journey.

There could be many answers to this question. One way, which I like at my neophyte level, is that we should know more about Krishna, by reading about Him and hearing about Him from senior vaishnavas. As we slowly become more aware of the position of Krishna, we automatically realise our own insignificant position. The more we realise it, the more humble we become and with more humility we do our service for His pleasure only.

We also simultaneously realise that we neither have any qualification to read vedic scriptures nor to chant the Holy Name. All this was made possible due to causeless mercy of Srila Prabhupada. So we pray to Srila Prabhupada, and beg to Krishna, to `reinstate’ us as the eternal servant of Srila Prabhupada.

Siksastakam fifth verse says :

ayi nanda-tanuja kinkaram patitam mam vishame bhavambudhau
kripaya tava pada-pankaja-sthita-dhuli-sadrisham vichintaya

O son of Maharaja Nanda (Krishna), I am Your eternal servitor, yet somehow or other I have fallen into the ocean of birth and death. Please pick me up from this ocean of death and place me as one of the atoms at Your lotus feet.

So our place is at the atoms of His lotus feet and who is there at Krishna’s lotus feet ? His Pure devotees. So our actual place is at the lotus feet of pure devotees of Krishna. So we pray for it and to show our gratitude to our founder acharya we serve him by serving his institute, ISKCON, we read his books daily, follow his instructions, we serve his disciples and followers in a mood of a humble servant who wishes to get`reinstated’ as his eternal servant. This should be our mood.

It also helps to regularly read and sing vaishvana bahajans.

And all this comes slowly, I too am struggling for it, but we all must continue to pray for it daily and hanker for it.

Your insignificant servant,

Giriraj Das

Question : Hare krishna prabhu , if i melt down all material flesh and blood, what will be rest ? light ? a spirit soul?

so the question is, how does the soul looks like right now ? in this conditioned state. your servent  hare krishna

Reply : Hare Krishna Prabhuji, PAMHO, AGTSP.

We have two sets of material covering, one is the gross physical body and the second one is the subtle body consisting of mind, intelligence and false ego.

It has been explained that in our conditioned state the soul is just a tiny spark. Shastras inform us  that the size of the soul is 1/10,000 part of the tip of a hair.

Your insignificant servant,

Giriraj Das

Question: Thank you for your blog; I read the one on Anarthas and anartha nivritti. It is very helpful and to the point; it is good to see such things brought out plainly. We have read them deep in other writings but don’t see them every day. You mentioned that there are remedial measures for each of the ten offenses; where are these measures found? Madhava Priya dd

Reply : Hare Krishna Mataji, PAMHO, AGTSP.

We can read them in a wonderful book called Sri Harinama Chintamani by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, it has been translated by HH Bhanu maharaj and easily available.

Your insignificant son and servant,

Giriraj Das

Question : Hare Krishna!

wonderful..! thank you for this article!

also in this age of quarrel and hypocracy when we tell someone their fault, is it also counted in criticizing others? being a hypocrite? How do you tell someone, devotee or non devotee something you would like to point out…which may involve criticizing when they are “wrong” in a nice way

I somewhere heard that when you criticize, you get that fault….how do you deal with it. harekrishna by Yashvini Shukla

Reply :

Hare Krishna Mataji,

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

Thank you for reading the article.

I am suffering from the same disease and recently I sought help from a senior vaishanva on this topic. I was instructed that unless we have been been given the task to correct others (as an accepted shiksha guru, temple management or councilor) we should avoid it. It is better to train ourselves to become a servant of each vaishanava and try to seek their mercy rather than try to correct them. Another way to implement is if someone seeks a clarification from us in a submissive mood we can then reply in a polite manner and share how we have heard about this particular problem from Srila Prabhupada’s books or from senior vaishanavas. We should avoid criticism of devotees. This is my two cent of understanding which I am myself struggling to overcome.

Your insignificant son and servant,

Giriraj Das

Question : Hare Krsna Prabhu
Dandavat Pranams
All Glories To Srila Prabhupada
All Glories To Sri Guru and Gauranga
All Glories To Vaishnava Acharyas and Devotees

It has been very inspiring to read your mails with your personal realizations prabhuji. It is a mere co-incidence my email has been tagged to your blog.
I was reading Falling in love… again and again… and thought for a while, hang on many time I dont even have any feeling at all. this is due to the fact that my sadhana is still mechanical not from the heart. Srila Prabhupada quotes purity is the force. so I have to develop it through humility and sincerity.
I am eager to have your association when I am coming to India next time. probably end of next year. our first stop would be Delhi and to Vrindavan. Haribol Prabhu, Your humble servant, Janeshvar Dasa, melbourne

Reply :

Hare Krishna Prabhuji,

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

Thank you so very much for reading the blogs and your kind appreciation. It will be my good fortune to get your association when you visit India.

Many of the blogs I write are written on short spiritual bursts and they do not denote my natural state, the only good thing I do is to somehow pen them down. I too read them later and try to learn from them.

At sadhna stage our bhakti is indeed mechanical. I recently heard a seminar by HG Bhurijana Prabhu and Prabhuji instructed that we should chant with sincerity and dedication, hearing this simple instruction, combined with his advice to concentrate on hearing the first two words Hare Krishna’ while chanting, helped me improve my chanting tremendously. Every devotee should read prabhuji’s bookjapa’ to improve our chanting.

Thank you once again.

Your insignificant servant,

Giriraj Das

Q: Can one derive same benefit by chanting `Om Namo Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya’ in place of Hare Krishna Mahamantra ? from ShyamSundar Krishna Prabhuji.

Ans : Hare Krishna Prabhuji,

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

Thanks for asking this question which got me thinking today morning. Here is my limited understanding on this subject. Please pardon me for any mistakes and feel free to comment and suggest any changes.

  1. A mantra is always given by guru and, for all of us under ISKCON, our founder acharaya and eternal shiksha Guru Srila Prabhupada, following the disciplic succession from Caitanya Mahaprabhu, instructed us to chant sixteen rounds of only maha- mantra every day. All disciples of Srila Prabhupada, under ISKCON, follow the same guidelines.

  2. Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya means I offer my respectful obeisances to the Lord, to the son of Vasudeva. Vasudevaya means “unto vasudeva”. The name Vasudeva refers to Krishna as the son of Vasudeva and Devaki. So chanting Vasudeva is certainly spiritual, as Krishna is identical to His name.

The maha-mantra, however, includes another name, that of Srimati Radharani, in the form of the word Hare, which is the vocative of Hara, a name for Srimati Radharani. As followers of Mahaprabhu, it is essential for us to address both Radha and Krishna. Previous acharayas in our disciplic line taught us that we cannot approach Krishna directly but must first receive the mercy of Radharani.

  1. At another level Mahamantra is both a mantra as well a prayer (or a cry from the most fallen souls) to Sri Radha and Krishna, to engage us in their eternal service. It is a cry to the Supreme Lord, and as any other cry for help, it is informal, rather it is a spontaneous cry. In comparison to chanting of Om Namo… obeisances and respects are made in a more formal manner.

  2. There are so many instructions in various scriptures which clearly mention that Hare Krishna Mahamantra is the best remedy (mantra) for Kali Yuga. There are no hard and fast rules for chanting of maha-mantra. So for all of us, most fallen, with no absolutely no eligibility for any spiritual progression, we can still attain Lord’s mercy, and more importantly, associate with Him through His Holy name and finally aim to receive Krishna Prema by chanting

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

I hope this answers your question. Please educate me if I missed any point.

Your insignificant servant,

Giriraj Das

Q: hare krishna devotees,agtsp.

1st: can we take Bhakta Hanuman Prasadam…..?

2nd: what about demigod prasadam..? from Srinavas Prabhu

Ans :

Hare Krishna Prabhuji,

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

Thank you for your question.

Krishna says in verse 9.23 in Bhagavad Gita

ye ’py anya-devatā-bhaktā yajante śraddhayānvitāḥ
te ’pi mām eva kaunteya yajanty avidhi-pūrvakam

Translation
Those who are devotees of other gods and who worship them with faith actually worship only Me, O son of Kuntī, but they do so in a wrong way.

That’s why Vaishanavas generally stay away from demigod prasadam.

Vaishanavas follow Jagannath temple procedure, where the Bhoga is first offered to Lord Jagannath and then it is offered to the demigods and finally it is honoured by the devotees.

While accepting demigod prasadam, it is very difficult to know if the same has been tasted by demigods or not, how was it offered and many other issues. One safe option for the devotees is to touch such demigod prasadam to their forehead and then distribute it further.

Non vaishanavas, if they are sure about the authenticity of the prasadam, may honor it and pray to that demigod to given them Krishna Bhakti.

Hanuman Prasdam : Hanumanji is the foremost servant of Lord Rama. Like any other Vaishanava, Hanumanji too accepts only that prasadam which has first been offered to Lord Rama. Such prasadam is greatly relished by the devotees. Problem is that in many temples the bhoga is offered directly to Hanumanji and then distributed among people, such prasadam is not accepted, either by Hanumanji or by the devotees.

I hope this reply answers your question.

Your insignificant servant,

Giriraj Das

Q: Hare Krishna pr. , I was searching some topic related to five limbs of devotional service and i came to find your email id in the topic why iskcon worship krishna only.. Very well explained pr.

But my que is i always chant 16 rounds but still my mind gets diverted and i find very hard to concentrate, i mean sometimes i do chant even when my mind thinks something else but still i want my mind to be fully towards Krishna.. So what i do is to see the deity of radha krishna but still don’t know how bad things come to my mind or my mind agitated. Please help me in that situation.
Looking forward for your mail. Your Servant, Hare Krishna. Abhijat Mishra

Ans:
Hare Krishna Prabhuji,

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

Thank you for question. I am myself not very good in chanting still I am replying to your question by remembering Guru Paramapara in my heart and I hope that this reply will help us both to improve our chanting.

All of us face these very symptoms as you have described in your mail, including my own self. We are all carrying anarthas of million of lifetimes and it will be wishful thinking if we expect our mind to get cleansed in a short time (relatively). Prabhupada used to explain that when we clean a room where a thick layer of dust has settled then as soon as we start cleaning that room with a broom then all the dust start flying all over the room. Similarly when we begin chanting the Holy name then all kind of worst thoughts come in our mind. At the least it tells us that the process has started working inside us and that is a very good sign.

There are few tips and suggestions I can share which worked for me at various times

  1. Take a bath before chanting in the morning, early morning is the best time to chant.
  2. Sit/ stand in front of tulasi maharani and chant.
  3. You may sit in front of the deities/ picture and chant.
  4. Try to focus more on hearing the sound of mahamantra than on the thoughts that are coming in the mind.
  5. Take each count and round as it is and try not to think how many are pending, don’t look at the time.
  6. Sometimes you many think about the past nice darshan or dhama yatra you did, mind gets something spiritual to chew.
  7. You can also read Japa book by HG Bhurijana Prabhu, it too would help.
  8. Another special way to get a taste in chanting is to serve vaisanava. Do do not leave any chance to serve a vaishanavas, be it serving prasadam in the temple hall every sunday or serving a senior devotee at home, grab any opportunity with both hands.

There are special workshops on japa and they help very much. One of the best is the japa retreat at Varsana by HH Sacinandan Maharaj, http://www.vihe.org/giri/index.html. I have attended it and it was a transcendental experience and a huge learning for me.

Then there are popular Namamrita Seminars by His Holiness Bhakti Brhat Bhagavad Maharaja, you can request your local temple management to get it organised in your area. They are very helpful and you get personal tips and advice from maharaj.

In the end I have experienced, yet not implemented, that when I chant with a feeling of gratitude towards Srila Prabhupada and guru parampara, that I do not even deserve to chant the Holy name, and it is entirely due to the causeless mercy of our guru, Srila Prabhupada and guru parampara that I have got the privilege to chant the holy name, it definitely helps. My own experience is that whenever I chant and pray with a feeling of gratitude it helps me come into the right mood to receive mercy as well as get some taste for the holy name.

I will also pray to Srila Prabhupada for you tonight.

Your insignificant servant,

Giriraj Das

Q: Hare Krishna Prabhujee
Please accept my sincere apologies if I present some offence in my query.
In relation to your subject today ( Why does ISKCON advocates worship of Krishna to the exclusion of the demigods ) , I would like to know , why , In some of the temples in ISCKON , they only have chaitanya mahaprabhu as main deity and not the Krishna , and the daily aarti is being offered to GOR- NITAI.
Also in relation to your subject , if other demigods need not to be worshiped than why they have Narsinmha puja everyday.
I understand that Krishna is supreme personality of the God Head and no other demigod or other incarnations( Like Rama , Narsimha , Chaitanya Maha Prabhu ) need to be worshiped separately.
As you said “Kṛṣṇa is the root of everything; therefore rendering service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa (kṛṣṇa-sevā), means automatically serving all the demigods.
Doesn’t it looks to be contradictory to the ISKCON’s own philosophy
Please provide me guidance
Yours sincerely
VN

Ans : Replied by ShyamSundar Krishna Das

Answer Thank you prabhuji for the nice question. There is no difference between the lord, his name and his incarnations. Similarly, there is no difference between Obama – the president, Obama – the American politician in the federal house, Obama – the friend and Obama – the husband. However it is not easy to get access to Obama as friend or family member. One needs to be loving confidante of Obama to enter his inner circle.

In similar vein, Krishna is full of Love – as a friend, as a son, as a lover however because of our limitation we cannot understand him fully and develop attachment with him completely. We have to first increase our faith towards the lord once we understand all his attributes in different incarnations and are able to glorify him, the attachment and Preeti towards lord develops and only then we can go to Krishna.

In many Iskcon temples – especially in north: you would see Lord Rama, In south Lord Vishnu, Basically depending upon the faith of general public, it is being adapted so that people first develop attachment in his other incarnations and become devotees.

Now, you could ask, why specifically so much importance to his two incarnations – Narsimha Dev, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and to some extent Lord Rama. There are many impediments that come in Bhakti. Lord Narsimha ensures all such obstacles are removed provided we are steadfast in our bhakti. Past time with Prahlad Maharaj teaches us two things: faith in the Lord and that Lord will always protect us (and destroy all obstacles). This faith helps us to develop the surrender towards lord. Once we develop these attributes, it is more easy to comprehend Krishna as Krishna says in Gita (18.66): Abondon all types of religion and just Surrender unto me. Once we develop surrender attribute, it becomes easier to follow his instructions in Gita and Srimad Bhagwatam.

Today, every day we pray humbly to lord: you are everywhere (ito narsimha,parto narsimha…) and to protect us from all obstacles and we surrender to u (prapadaye).

Mahaprabhu is the one who taught us how to be the topmost devotee. He came in the mood to enjoy the devotion to Lord Krishna to experience the ecstasy of Gopis and Radha Rani. He gave us the mahamantra as panacea to all our problems in kali-yuga. Krishna says one gets Bhakti by the mercy of devotees and Lord Chaitanya was the lord but at the same time top most devotee. It is this very reason why he is considered as the most merciful incarnation of the lord as being in the devotee mood he showers his causeless mercy.

Before leaving his body, Prabhupad said – cooperate, never leave ISKCON and at least come in mode of goodness. The mode of goodness is important as it is symbolism of purity and its easy to progress in the path of Bhakti once you come in mode of Goodness. Lord Rama is also called maryada purushottam. He was a perfect grahastha and it is said every grahastha should follow Ram Sita in terms orderliness, respect for women and parents, love for brothers etc. Of all the incarnations, this is the only one where Lord came as Grahastha that teaches us how to lead family life and how to gain perfection in virtues of love, responsibility, respect, humility that are pillars of bhakti.

Q: How to improve our Bhakti ? Jitender Prabhu, Fiji.
Ans:

Replied by ShyamSundar Krishna Das

  1. Listen about Lord Glories more and more. By listening more and more, your taste of listening to lord will increase and spending time in all other mundane things will reduce. Over period of time, you don’t have to make efforts to listen, the taste develops so much that automatically you would like to listen Kirtan or lectures. It helps to increase our attachment to the name of the Lord.
  2. Knowledge without practice is of no use. Try to follow what you listen more and more and achieve perfection
  3. Avoid 10 nama-apradha. This is the very important part in improving our sadhana especially not offending any Vaishnava
  4. Take sevas. Our constitutional position is that we are servants. When we do seva, we understand who is the master. (may be book distribution, or even clean the floor of the temple) We develop or increase our elasticity of tolerance and humility. Again this is so important in our sadhana bhakti
  5. Daily worship at the alter of your home. Go to temple at least once a week and attend program. This will help to build attachment with the Lord…
  6. Pray to him, plead him and cry that your bhakti improves. Pray to Srila Prabhupad, pray to mahaprabhu for his mercy
  7. Read Prabhupad books for at least 30-45mins daily
  8. Associate more and more with devotees senior to you. Take a senior matured devotee with whom you have developed relationship as your mentor. Seek his guidance in day today matters
  9. Go for dham yatra at least once in 3-4months

If you are already doing all or most of the above things, then:

a. Increase the quantity of all above (quality will automatically improve)
b. Attend Srimadbhagwatam Classes, read it nicely. If you can and time permits, do enroll yourself in Bhakti Shastri
c. Start preaching – both as giving lectures and your demonstrating through your achran (behavior)

The most important barometer in Bhakti is to compare yourself – what you are doing today vs 3-4 months back; then as time goes by and maturity happens: compare today vs 1 month back, then 1 week, 1 day and then even 1 hr…..You will surely be top class devotee..

Q: How can I get the intense desire to Preach ? Shyam Sundar Krishna Das, Gurgaon. 27th July
Ans : By associating with devotees who have this strong zeal.

Bhakti Sanjayate Bhakti

Bhakti comes from Bhakti, which means that bhakti in our heart will manifest by coming in contact with another devotee who has bhakti. By associating with devotees who have similar passion for serving Krishna, glorifying Krishna and love for Krishna we will also get similar passion.

I heard HG Caitanaya Charan Prabhuji explain it, how a candle or wood has the capacity to be illuminated but it has to come in contact with something which is illuminated to get itself illuminated. Similarly bhakti is dormant in our heart but is awakened when we come in contact with somebody who has bhakti in his heart. That is why associating with devotees who have greed to serve Krishna is very very important. As an example we can see how Srila Prabhupada had such zeal and passion to serve Krishna and in turn he inspired and passed on the same zeal and passion to his disciples and followers who left everything to serve Krishna amid all kind of challenges and handicaps.

Srila Narottama Dasa Thakura said lobha sadhu-sange hari-katha

We have to develop this greed to have more and more sadhu-sanga, association of sadhus, pure devotees and hear more and more Krishna-katha. One should develop this greed more and more. The more we develop this greed the more we get spiritual relishment and spiritual advancement.

Srila Rupa Goswami wrote

krsna-bhakti-rasa-bhavita matih
kriyatam yadi kuto ‘pi labhyate
tatra laulyam api mulyam ekalam
janma-koti-sukrtair na labhyate

Pure devotional service in Krishna consciousness cannot be had even by pious activity in hundreds and thousands of lives. It can be attained only by paying one price — intense greed to obtain it. If it is available somewhere, one must purchase it without delay. (CC Madhya 8.70)

So where is this transcendental greed available ? It is only available in the association of Vaisnavas or devotees. And only by serving them and then submissively hearing Krishna-katha from them that the mood and sentiment within their hearts will be passed on to our heart.

I hope this answers your question.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

One thought on “Q&A

  1. Byakti ko unhi vastuon ko accept karna chahie jo bhagwan dwara uske bhaag mein likhi gai hai ..iska kya arth hai? kya isme koi ashpashtta hai?yadi hai to kya?kya pratically aplicable hai ?kaise jane bhagwan ne kya hamare bhag mei rakha hai?

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