Changing Our Thought Process

Bhagavad-gītā 6.36 | December 8, 2013 |

English with తెలుగు Translation; Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh, India

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Question:

Recently one congregation devotee asked me "I am having some material problem for a long time and my father suggested/forced me to show to an astrologer who suggested me to worship some demigod and my problems will be solved. He gave 100% guarantee. This will cost Rs.35,000 but if result is not there he will return all money". So his father is forcing him but he doesn't want to take shelter of someone else than Krsna. But he asked me "when a devotee becomes sick he also goes to see doctor which is like taking shelter of a demigod for curing some material problem. So why this is allowed while demigod worship for solving material problems is not? What is the difference? In Ayurveda also worship of demigods is sometimes recommended to cure some disease. It seems logical that we worship demigods to solve material problems that are posing hindrance in our service to Krsna".

So I request Your Holiness to reveal answer to this.

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Question: Do devotees get influenced by the three modes of material nature?… Expand>

Question:

Do devotees get influenced by the three modes of material nature?

 

ANSWER by HH Bhakti Vikāsa Swami:

“Do devotees get influenced by the three material modes of nature? Well, do you? You are a devotee. Do you get influenced? 
Sometimes. You are doing better than most of us.

māṁ ca yo 'vyabhicāreṇa
bhakti-yogena sevate
sa guṇān samatītyaitān
brahma-bhūyāya kalpate

Kṛṣṇa says: “One who engages in unflinching, unalloyed … ” 
What’s the word Prabhupāda uses?

“Undistracted devotional service to Me transcends the modes of material nature, becomes completely fixed on the transcendental platform.” Unalloyed. “One who engages in My unalloyed devotional service.” (BG 14.26)

So, yeah. We are also influenced by the modes of material nature, but we should practise Kṛṣṇa consciousness very seriously and then gradually we will become free from that influence.”

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Question:

I am sorry to bother you, but I have some questions about painting and drawing Krsna consciousness themes.

1) Srila Prabhupada said that Krsna is never alone, but some of the pictures in BBT books shows Krsna with flute (beautiful painting by Pariksit das,1981) with peacock, cow, calf, parrot, holding Govardhana, Damodara tasting butter etc. Should cow, flute etc. be considered as Krsna`s devotees, so actually He is not alone on painting, or such scene is not bonafide. I started to paint Lord Krsna holding Govardana hill, but composition of painting don`t allow me to paint no one else but peacock or cow.

2) You said once that early paintings, untill 1977, have much lighter tones then paintings made later. I am doing portraits of Srila Prabhupada in charcoal, and pastel, and I saw this drawing (made by Dridha Mataji). It`s rather dark, but i like it.I would like to try that white chalk on black paper. Is it too dark? http://www.drdhaarts.com/portfolio/images/port/sp9.jpg

3) Is it OK to put miniature clay dolls representing Krsna, gopis, cowherd boys, pecocks etc. on halava made Govardhana hill, during Govardhana puja celebration, or should that hill be made of rice with eyes and mouth (like traditionally).

4) Is it OK to let children play with such dolls representing Lord Nrisimhadeva, Prahlada Maharaja, characters from Krsna lila, although they might break them, throw them or step on them.

5) Sometimes when drawing Srila Prabhupada with charcoal or pastel I need to blow on the picture to remove extra charcoal dust. Should I use some small ventilator instead?

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Question: I am going through Srila Prabhupada's books, letters etc. and trying to properly understand His Divine Grace's attitude to 'welfare' activities, especially, hospitals, schools and feeding the poor. I came across a quote below and I would like to understand it properly as I thought of it as a potential quote for misinterpretation for presenting the idea that Srila Prabhupada… Expand>

Question:

I am going through Srila Prabhupada's books, letters etc. and trying to properly understand His Divine Grace's attitude to 'welfare' activities, especially, hospitals, schools and feeding the poor. I came across a quote below and I would like to understand it properly as I thought of it as a potential quote for misinterpretation for presenting the idea that Srila Prabhupada wanted welfare activities;

"We may approach our government leaders with our simple formula and show to them by the practical result that we are accomplishing the reform work that they are trying to do by spending millions of dollars but not very successfully. We, on the other hand, are rescuing the most fallen members of society among the young people and giving them new life of spiritual or highly desirable qualities, such as honesty, cleanliness, truthfulness, morality, like that. Now you approach the government leaders and convince them in this way, and that will be the greatest achievement. They have got so much money for spending for human welfare activities, and practically we are demonstrating that they have given us foodstuffs in India and we are distributing them daily to not less than 500 men, and if they would give us more we could also increase more and more. Your government has got inclination to assist the unfortunate people of the world, and that is very nice idea, now they should understand also that we are very much anxious and capable to assist them in their great and noble endeavour by rendering our services amongst the unfortunate citizens. If they give us financial help in this matter of human welfare activities, we are prepared to save or rescue their entire population from the clutches of ruin and degradation of all sorts. As I think you have tried once before and you have met some important political leaders in your Washington, D.C., so I am requesting you especially should take up this task very seriously of convincing your nation's leaders to give us all cooperation, and we shall in turn volunteer our all services to help them. By our mutual combination I am certain that we can improve the entire humanity to the point of spiritual understanding and thus automatically eliminate the basis for wars, poverty, disease, inequality, insufficient supplies of foodstuffs, and so many other problems that plague our so-called civilized societies."

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Rupanuga  –  Los Angeles 1 July, 1970

My question is that I am trying to understand what Srila Prabhupada is trying to say here and my understanding is that he is trying to get the American, Indian and European governments to donate food stuffs and facilities so that they (ISKCON) can engage in their preaching activities en-mass  by holding massive sankirtan and preaching programs and then distributing huge quantities of Prasadam. I thought this opinion of the above supported by the following statements:

"We, on the other hand, are rescuing the most fallen members of society among the young people and giving them new life of spiritual or highly desirable qualities, such as honesty, cleanliness, truthfulness, morality, like that"

"If they give us financial help in this matter of human welfare activities, we are prepared to save or rescue their entire population from the clutches of ruin and degradation of all sorts"

"By our mutual combination I am certain that we can improve the entire humanity to the point of spiritual understanding and thus automatically eliminate the basis for wars, poverty, disease, inequality, insufficient supplies of foodstuffs, and so many other problems that plague our so-called civilized societies." [This would only be possible if everyone became Krishna conscious, so this statement probably supports the fact that Srila Prabhupada is asking for help and facilities for preaching Krishna consciousness and not for just distributing prasadam without any preaching]

1) Is my opinion correct about what I think Srila Prabhupada is trying to say in the above letter?

2) There is a statement above; "..and practically we are demonstrating that they have given us foodstuffs in India and we are distributing them daily to not less than 500 men, and if they would give us more we could also increase more and more." … This can be taken to mean that Srila Prabhupada wanted prasadam distribution. How are we to understand it? Or is it that Srila Prabhupada just wanted Prasadam distribution in some places eg. Mayapur. Or perhaps prasadam is being distributed but in the temples only as Srila Prabhupada wanted?

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