Viṣṇu-sahasranāma 240-241 | August 6, 2013 |
English; Lika, CroatiaPlay (1 h 35 m) Download (43.7 MB)
April 24, 2012 |
Question: Is it possible to attain stages of asakti (attachment) and ruci (taste) even though we are performing mixed devotional service?
January 28, 2017 |
English; Srirangam, Tamil Nadu, India
January 15, 2015 |
English; Salem, Tamil Nadu, India
August 28, 2016 |
English with Český translation; Brno, Czech Republic
May 1, 2016 |
Question: If we are chanting the holy name of the Lord and reading Srimad Bhagavatam daily, then why are desires arising that are completely contrary to the process of pure devotional service? I know for a fact that I am suffering from weeds, how can I remove these weeds I suffer from like adoration, prestige, sense enjoyment, emancipation and so many others?… Expand>
If we are chanting the holy name of the Lord and reading Srimad Bhagavatam daily, then why are desires arising that are completely contrary to the process of pure devotional service? I know for a fact that I am suffering from weeds, how can I remove these weeds I suffer from like adoration, prestige, sense enjoyment, emancipation and so many others?
ANSWER by HH Bhakti Vikāsa Swami:
“A question in reference to Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 2.2.30.
In purport toward the end, Prabhupāda says… This is quoting from, Śrīla Prabhupāda is quoting from and paraphrasing from, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s instructions to Rūpa Gosvāmī as stated in Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta about the creeper of devotional service.
By the mercy of guru and Kṛṣṇa one receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service. One has to water that creeper by giving water, figurative water, of hearing and chanting about Kṛṣṇa, then the creeper grows. Then Śrīla Prabhupāda writes:
3) “It so happens that by the watering process some weeds are also grown, and unless such weeds are uprooted, the nurturing of the main creeper, or the creeper of bhakti-yoga, may be hampered.
4) Actually these weeds are material enjoyment, merging of the self in the Absolute without separate individuality, and many other desires in the field of religion, economic development, sense enjoyment and emancipation.
5) There are many other weeds, like disobedience to the tenets of the revered scriptures, unnecessary engagements, killing animals, and hankering after material gain, prestige and adoration.”
So that is, more or less, a direct translation of a passage from Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta.
PERENNIAL KIND OF QUESTION
Then the question from Kalki dāsa:
“If we are chanting the holy name of the Lord and reading Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam daily, then why are desires arising that are completely contrary to pure devotional service? I know for a fact that I am suffering from weeds. How can I remove these weeds?”
Why do the desires arise? Well, arise is just the right term because they are there, deep in the heart. They arise. It may be just like in a lake. At the bottom of the lake there is mud, and sometimes some bubble just comes up. There is some air trapped deep in the lake, or it may not even be a bubble. The air may form at the bottom of the lake and come up.
So the reason is we’ve been in this material world since time immemorial and we have so many material desires; and hearing and chanting is the cleansing process. It doesn’t mean that everyone immediately becomes clean. If we are chanting the holy name, the question is how do the desires arise. But how are we chanting? Are we chanting with full purity? So it’s a process. Therefore we have the process of sādhana-bhakti.
Actually, this kind of question I’ve answered dozens of times. Maybe hundreds of times in varieties of ways. It’s a perennial kind of question. So it’s a process.
utsāhān niścayād dhairyāt
saṅga-tyāgāt sato vṛtteḥ
ṣaḍbhir bhaktiḥ prasidhyati (Upadeśāmṛta 3)
By enthusiasm, determination, patience, following the proper process, giving up bad association, and following in the footsteps of great devotees, success in devotional service is guaranteed.
PATIENCE IS REQUIRED
So in purport to this verse from Śrī Upadeśāmṛta, Śrīla Prabhupāda states that patience is required also. We shouldn’t think that immediately we chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and then we become totally cleansed of all material contamination.
He gives the example that after a girl gets married, she expects to get a child, but she has to wait a little time. Once she is married, it is expected that she will have a child. Of course, nowadays they don’t bother getting married. They just get a child without marriage in many cases also. That’s the normal process – marriage and then the child will come, because only after the marriage do the boy and girl unite in a manner that can produce children.
So some patience is required also. And that patience is part of the process of devotional service. If we become impatient and think that “Well, oh, too much! I want immediate Kṛṣṇa prema!” Then we become disqualified from getting it. We may say: “Why do material desires arise?” Those desires are there in the heart. They come out. See them, drop them. Don’t meditate on it. Then we can become free from it.
How can I remove these weeds?
Again, it’s by the process of sādhana. We go on with the process, with faith. rakṣiṣyatīti viśvāso – with faith that Kṛṣṇa will protect me. If I stay on this path, Kṛṣṇa will help.
So what’s the answer? How do I get free from these weeds?
Go on with the process of sādhana and be careful.
Accept everything which is favorable for devotional service and reject everything that is unfavorable. We can’t expect to advance unless we do this. That means we have to have plenty of hearing and chanting about Kṛṣṇa in our life.
And things which are unfavorable like, so many times I say this, but it’s a common anartha, watching all kinds of nonsense things on TV, not turning off our cell phone when we come to the temple, even though we are asked to so many times; so many things. This will impede our devotional advancement. If we follow the process, then Kṛṣṇa will help. To the extent we follow, Kṛṣṇa will reciprocate.
English; Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
June 8, 2011 |
Question: I've one particular doubt regarding criticizing of Bogus gurus, sadhus etc. Whether a devotee should criticize and speak harshly about such scruplous persons in the community of devotees or not? Some devotees say that its better to stay away from criticizing anyone. They say that gradually that will lead one to the platform of criticizing devotees. Is it true? Is… Expand>
I've one particular doubt regarding criticizing of Bogus gurus, sadhus etc. Whether a devotee should criticize and speak harshly about such scruplous persons in the community of devotees or not? Some devotees say that its better to stay away from criticizing anyone. They say that gradually that will lead one to the platform of criticizing devotees. Is it true? Is it so that if a devotee (of any level) doesn't criticize such persons, he is supporting them or he's soft hearted? Does criticizing such persons help us Advancing in Bhakti? Can Kanishtas do this? I'm confused and need Some guidance maharaj.^ Show less
September 13, 1994 |
English; Tula, Russia
September 29, 2014 |
English; Hyderabad, Telangana, India
April 20, 2014 |
Question: We understand from the teachings of Your Holiness that any activity other than Krishna consciousness is a waste of time. Considering this, I was under the impression that participating in voting for elections is also a waste of time because the process of democracy is not according to sastras and the leaders are not Krishna conscious.… Expand>
We understand from the teachings of Your Holiness that any activity other than Krishna consciousness is a waste of time. Considering this, I was under the impression that participating in voting for elections is also a waste of time because the process of democracy is not according to sastras and the leaders are not Krishna conscious. But sometimes devotees state that there is some political party who if not promoting Krishna consciousness at least protect people from those who are trying to destroy vedic culture. So they opine that we must not waste our vote, else someone may wrongly utilize it and promote parties that encourage cow slaughter. Do we need to consider these points? Please guide me regarding this.
Answer by HH Bhakti Vikāśa Swami:
Well, it’s not actually my teaching, but it’s teaching of śāstra. Ultimately it’s waste of time.
I’m just gonna read some quotes from Śrīla Prabhupāda:
“Prabhupāda: No, the real is that all rogues are in the government.
Dr. Patel: Yes, that is the right thing. Not only rogues, but they are...
Prabhupāda: So why don't you, if you are actually serious, why don't you make propaganda in the country that "Please do not give vote to the rogues"? Don't mention any party. "If you want to be happy, then don't give vote to the rogues." And who is a rogue? The illicit-sex hunters, the intoxicants and the meat-eaters and the gamblers. These are rogues.
Dr. Patel: They are all there in Delhi.
Prabhupāda: No, no, you don't mention any. (aside:) Hare Kṛṣṇa. Jaya. Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa. Hare Kṛṣṇa. So it is impartial. And actually, if they test that "Whether this man I am voting, he is free from all these sinful activities?" then, you see, the whole face of the Indian government will change.”
(Morning Walk – Bombay, April 14, 1976)
In this regard I’ll cite an anecdote that was told to me by a journalist, some years ago. He told me that he had spoken to Giani Zail Singh. He was the president of India.
So, this journalist told me that he said to Giani Zail Singh that he made some suggestion for improvement of India, and Giani Zail Singh said: “No, no, no, no! Nothing will work. I’ll tell you, the only way you can have any benefit for this country is if you line up all the politicians and shoot them all.”
This journalist told him: “I’ll quote you on that.”
Giani Zail Singh said; “You can if you like. I’ll deny it.”
Interesting anecdote. It was “The Hindu” journalist that told me this.
“The democracy is a farce. At least, I do not like it. Because so many rascals, simply by getting votes, go to the government, and what do they know how to rule over? Therefore, at the present moment, all over the world there is no good government. There is no good government.” (Lectures, Bhagavad-gītā 1.28-29, London, July 22, 1973)
After two days Śrīla Prabhupāda said this, on another lecture:
“We don’t very much like this so-called democracy. What is the value of this democracy? All fools and rascals. They vote for another fool and rascal and he becomes prime minister, or this or that. That is not good for the people. We are not for this so-called democracy because they are not trained.” (Lecture in London, 24 July 1973)
“Nowadays, unqualified men have taken the presidential post. And although they may pose themselves as very religious, they are simply rascals. Why? Because under their noses thousands of cows are being killed, while they collect a good salary. Any leader who is at all religious should resign his post in protest if cow slaughter goes on under his rule. Since people do not know that these administrators are rascals, they are suffering. And the people are also rascals because they are voting for these bigger rascals.” (JSD 7: Plato: Goodness and Government)
“Therefore, in contrast with the modern, advanced, civilized form of government, an autocracy like Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira's is by far superior to so-called democracy in which animals are killed and a man less than an animal is allowed to cast votes for another less than animal man. We are all creatures of material nature.” (Room Conversations, July 26, 1975, Laguna Beach)
So, Śrīla Prabhupāda was clearly not in favour of democracy, and he pointed that the leaders are all rogues.
In other place he said we should vote for Kṛṣṇa conscious leaders, that we should preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness and then people can vote for Kṛṣṇa conscious leaders.
He also approved, for some time, devotees in America making a political party named “In God We Trust Party” which was not expected to win elections or such thing, but it was a platform for preaching. Because there is some law if you are standing for the election then media have to give you some coverage and this and that. Although Śrīla Prabhupāda suspended it after short time.
SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY OF DEVOTEES TO VOTE OR TO ESTABLISH VARṆĀŚRAMA?
So, if we vote will cow killing stop? No! Śrīla Prabhupāda said we shouldn’t . If cow killing is going on, any leader should resign.
Of course, the point is made that some party (Well you can guess who. Śrīla Prabhupāda said: Don’t mention any name.) seems to be more favourable toward sanātana-dharma than some other party.
In a sense, this is a wrong question. Should we vote or not? The point have been made- is social responsibility of devotees to vote. This idea, that it is a social responsibility to vote, that does not come from śāstra. That’s an idea that has been cooked up along with democracy.
Śrīla Prabhupāda’s social program was to establish varṇāśrama. What are we doing about that? That should be our real question. Our real social responsibility is to show a better kind of a society.
So, you can vote if you like for a party that may be in the middle of building factories, and approving abortions. They may do something to stop cow slaughter, that’s good in the middle of all the corruption. They may do something for the cause of sanātana-dharma, but our real program should be to establish varṇāśrama dharma according to guna and karma, not according to janma. That’s Śrīla Prabhupāda’s social welfare program.
So, seeing these devotees saying, it’s just confirmed to me that our movement has lost it, or not taken the social direction that Śrīla Prabhupāda gave us. Because this kind of talk doesn’t come from śāstra or ācāryas. It comes from modern materialistic society.
So, if you want you can vote. I’ve never voted in my life. Well, I’ve voted in ISKCON meetings, not for any governmental person. If you vote and that person comes in and approves cow slaughter, you have to take some sinful reaction for that. You have to consider that also. You are also responsible.
Definitely those who are sadhus…why should they participate in this voting. The leaders should come to us for guidance. We are long away from that. They are setting the agenda, and we are giving a vote. But we should be giving the agenda and they should be coming to us for guidance.
So, as Śrīla Prabhupāda said, I’m not much in favour for democracy. We should be preaching that this is demon crazy. It’s a very complex situation in a whole world. If you say one party is better than another it may be, but the whole world situation is so bad we can’t expect any radical improvement from any party coming over another. But we can expect that one party may be less inclined towards sanātana-dharma and all that it stands for.
QUESTIONS ON COW SLAUGHTER
As I’ve said on another occasion, if there is industrial economy than cows has to be killed because everything is economic. So, cows are in economic unite, too. You cannot keep cows unless you can kill them. That’s the way it is economically. Otherwise it becomes a burden to you. There are no grazing lands where cows are taken for graze. So, old cows-it doesn’t matter to keep them when there is grazing land.
But, in modern society it’s all economic. You have to feed the cow with grass, you have to pay or grow. And cow slaughter will go on as long as this industrial society goes on.
So, to promote industry and in the same time to promote cow protection is not going to work. These two things go together: industry and cow slaughter.
And also all questions on cow slaughter. That’s if cow slaughter has to be stopped in this country at this point…It could have been stopped in 1947 presumably. It was presumed that it would be stopped, but it wasn’t, thanks to Mahatma Gandhi. It could’ve been done at that time. Now, it’s much more difficult.
But if it’s to be done, it has to be done with the acquaintances of the large minority who are very aggressive wanting to eat cow’s meat. So, we have to preach to large minority, to convince them that this is not good. We have to preach to Hindus also, who are after eating beefs.
HOW TO BRING KṚṢṆA CONSCIOUSNESS IN GOVERNMENT?
Some years ago I met a Godbrother of mine who lived in Iran for many years during the Iranian revolution. Somehow or other he stayed there as Irish citizen. Ireland has been always considered as non threatening country, not like Great Britain or Northern America. So, he stayed there for many years, teaching English or something like that. He told me his perception. Of course he didn’t travel all over Iran and spoke to different kinds of people, but his perception was that many people didn’t like Islamic law. They were forced to do it. But they were not happy with it. They’ve wanted the life of, more open and free, so they can enjoy themselves like this.
So, how to bring Kṛṣṇa consciousness in government? We have to convince people. Simply by force it’s not going to work. Of course, we are absolutely not near the Kṛṣṇa consciousness government , but I was thinking about it as Śrīla Prabhupāda was.
The same is with cow slaughter when there is a large aggressive minority who are in favour of that. If we try to stop it by force it may lead to lot of human slaughter also. That should be considered. It’s a very delicate question. Definitely in Hyderabad, for instance, there is a whole large area which react very aggressively. I mean they do, already. If they try to stop cow slaughter…
So, I’m not giving here any clear answers because these kind of answers you have to discuss in details. It’s very complex situation. Cow slaughter should be stopped, yes! How to go about it, that we have to consider.
English; Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
April 2, 2015 |
May 6, 2011 |
Question: Can you throw some light on the philosophy of Vivekananda? I have read that he was a contemporary of Bhaktivinoda Thakura. What is his philosophy? Is it bona fide?… Expand>
Can you throw some light on the philosophy of Vivekananda? I have read that he was a contemporary of Bhaktivinoda Thakura. What is his philosophy? Is it bona fide?
Answer by HH Bhakti Vikāsa Swami:
Does that make him bona fide? Well, why Vivekānanda? There are so many - this ānanda, that ānanda; there are so many people. Why not concentrate on the philosophy of Kṛṣṇa given in Bhagavad-gītā? Is what Vivekānanda says the same as what Kṛṣṇa says? Well, Vivekānanda went to America. Śrīla Prabhupāda went to America. Vivekānanda brought back one woman from the West. Śrīla Prabhupāda made hundreds and thousands of people from the West follow all the principles of pure bhakti along the principle of Bhagavad-gītā: sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja. So, we can see that Śrīla Prabhupāda did what Kṛṣṇa said and Vivekānanda didn’t. So why give any importance to him? Of course, he is famous in the world, but so many people are famous. Vivekānanda sai d, whatever his philosophy might be… Of course, his guru’s philosophy was yata mata tata patha — as many paths… as many opinions, that many paths - which directly contradicts what Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā: sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja. His guru was eating beef, so what kind of paramparā is that? That’s documented. In the name of proving that all paths are the same he followed Islam and ate beef for some time. So, if you want to think he is bona fide, you can follow him and go wherever he is going. But we want to go to Kṛṣṇa. People who eat meat like Vivekānanda and smoke… Of course, there are śāstric provisions for eating meat, but in general that should not be done. Those who do, they’re… That’s tāmasic, that’s in the mode of ignorance. We can’t think that there’ll be any good result from doing that; even if they are famous. There are so many famous swamis in the world today. They are almost all bogus.^ Show less
September 27, 2011 |
Question: Do you think Srila Prabhupada appointed 11 acaryas as was claimed by the 11 acaryas? What were your views of this at the time and now? What do you think were Srila Prabhupada's wishes regarding continuing initiations in ISKCON, Do you think he left this to the GBC to decide and to 'time' to decide… Expand>
Do you think Srila Prabhupada appointed 11 acaryas as was claimed by the 11 acaryas?
What were your views of this at the time and now?
What do you think were Srila Prabhupada's wishes regarding continuing initiations in ISKCON, Do you think he left this to the GBC to decide and to 'time' to decide (a bit like Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur not appointing an acarya/successor and wanting his disciples to continue preaching united under an official body)?^ Show less
September 4, 2016 |
English; Manchester, UK
August 29, 2011 |
Question: Can we first read Caitanya Bhagavata before reading Caitanya Caritamrta as Caitanya Bhagavata deals more with pastimes whereas Caitanya Caritamrta gives advanced philosophy?
October 21, 2016 |
English; Gauragrama, Telangana, India
December 2, 2016 |
English with తెలుగు translation; Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh, India
August 22, 2013 |
English; Inis Rath, Fermanagh, Ireland
May 28, 2011 |
English; Karuna Bhavan, Scotland, UK
July 26, 2016 |
English with Русский translation; Nizhny Novgorod, Russia