About Srila Bhaktivinoda

May 18, 2014 |

English; ISKCON Silicon Valley, USA

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No Welcome in the Mayapur Dham

May 6, 2012 |

English; Mayapur, West Bengal, India

Santa Claus Outfits for Radha-Krsna

December 25, 2012 |

Question: Recently I was shocked to learn that few of ISKCON temples around the globe celebrated Christmas by dressing Sri Sri Radha Krishna deities Santa Claus styled outfits. Is it acceptable to dress the Lord in such a non-traditional style or it is just a speculation?… Expand>

Question:

Recently I was shocked to learn that few of ISKCON temples around the globe celebrated Christmas by dressing Sri Sri Radha Krishna deities Santa Claus styled outfits. Is it acceptable to dress the Lord in such a non-traditional style or it is just a speculation?

 

Answer by HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami:

So, I’ve been informed that some temples in Europe in the Christmas season dress Kṛṣṇa as Santa Claus, and that one temple, ISKCON temple (we are talking about ISKCON temples here), is dressing Kṛṣṇa as Santa Claus. And one temple in India also did this. And what do I think about this? 

Unfortunate…is one word I could use. Nonsense is another.

In one letter Śrīla Prabhupāda was informed that devotees sent some Christmas cards with a picture of Krsna. Śrīla Prabhupāda wrote that we are not for Christmas greetings. In another or several times, Śrīla Prabhupāda also spoke about speculation in Deity worship… So, there may be various reasons given. In India, the reason was given that Christians come to our temple. Well, in that case you can dress Kṛṣṇa as cricket star, maybe the cricket fans would come. Or you can dress Kṛṣṇa like some famous film star, then maybe people interested in movies, they would come. 

But the whole idea…Deity worship is to dress Kṛṣṇa as Rādhā likes Him, and dress Rādhā as Kṛṣṇa likes Her, according to the directions of great ācāryas. Getting mixed up with this Western culture…as far as possible we should try to avoid that. We have our own festivals. Why adopt this Christmas, which is supposed to be a birth of Christ, although they don’t actually know when Christ was born? The main feature of Christmas in the modern world is killing lots of birds, especially turkeys in England, drinking lots of alcohol…

Especially, dressing Deities like this, all I can say is- unfortunate. My saying so won’t stop it going on. There are so many great ācāryas in our movement who are introducing things that none of our previous ācāryas was doing…So, what to say? Whether to laugh or to cry?

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English; Lika, Croatia

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Third World War or Sankirtana

November 4, 2011 |

Question: Sometimes Srila Prabhupada says that Krishna will arrange a big war and all the contemporary demons will be killed. At other times we hear that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu kills the demons by killing their demoniac heart through Nama sankirtan. How do we understand this seemingly different procedures? Can we expect a third world war because everything has become so… Expand>

Question:

Sometimes Srila Prabhupada says that Krishna will arrange a big war and all the contemporary demons will be killed. At other times we hear that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu kills the demons by killing their demoniac heart through Nama sankirtan. How do we understand this seemingly different procedures? Can we expect a third world war because everything has become so sinful or will the sankirtan movement avert such a catastrophe by turning all the demons into devotees.

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Applied Use of Intelligence

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Associating with, Serving, and Respecting Devotees, Part-2

October 8, 2015 |

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Descriptions of the Ramblings in the Material World

April 4, 2011 |

Question: Guruji, I am from India and have been putting up in US for sometime.From the very begining of my life i am very low at confidence.Due to low confidence i also stammer at times.I always had a problem that people around me used to make fun of me and i used to feel bad , i dont… Expand>

Question:

Guruji, I am from India and have been putting up in US for sometime.From the very begining of my life i am very low at confidence.Due to low confidence i also stammer at times.I always had a problem that people around me used to make fun of me and i used to feel bad , i dont know why i was not able to respond to their comments and i used to feel lonely.I used to visit astrologer and used to get to know that the upcoming time for me is very good and i will do a lot of good things and they named the celestial being ( Planet ) which powers me in rising in my life.When i completed my Graduation in India i started with a Job and could not perform as per my own expectations.I could not close even a single target.I am not sure whether it was too early for me judge myself in doing that job or i was right to understand that i could not do it.Later somehow i felt that i should give up drinking alcohol and eating non vegetarian food and may be god will do some good to me.I gave up these and i had carried a notion in my mind that i will do better if i give up these.I started gathering some confidence after this.Then i switched job and went into other stream.There i started doing good for some time.Later i faced a kind of same that i was not able to perform good and even people used to make fun of me and i used to become dumb and could not respond to them and started feeling bad about it.Later i started worshipping Lord Shani Dev Ji and i started offering prayers and chant mantra in the morning. I started with one and then i went up and started chanting the mantra three times in the morning.I started to gather some confidence and i started to respond to people in their own tone and used to feel good as now i was able to perform better in my job and even people could not make fun of me.I was at high time.I started chanting mantra on way to office and while coming back to home, when i used to be in public transport going to some place and i used to chant mantra whenever i get time.At some occaisions when i used to be free i used to relax and then the idea of mantra would come to my mind but i used to be interested in doing something else but due to fear of God i used to chant mantra.I also had fear that my performance on job and the way people treat me today would change if i dont chant mantra.I started to go against my wishes.After sometime i started doing some things which i thought would appease God.But after some time i realised that i am not happy doing those things although i maintained good job performance and good image amoong people.But i was not Happy with what i started doing to appease God.I was going against my mind in praying whenever i have free time and i doing things which are considered as per rituals while praying god.Slowly i started involving God in my decision making.Like if have to do something i would think what God will think about it and then i used to perform that task.I used to feel that God will get angry if do something or if i dont do something.I lost myself….I used to feel scared in doing anything.when i used to feel that my brain cannot memorise something very simple then i used to turn to God and my brain would catch the thing which i was trying to remember..I also started thinking about the task which i would be planning to do and its results whether I will be rewarded or punished for it by the celestial being (Planet) which favours my rise as per astrologers.I would not do even a single task without thinking on such lines.I would also try talking to god and ask whether a particular task is right or not and i used to feel that God responded.When i have to do something i would ask god and imagine god.This would now happen to all my tasks.This started increasing.I was nowehere myself.My fear started increasing.I would imagine some wrong things about God like shit going towards God and I would forcifully imagine myself coming in between and eating it and saving God and make an attempt not make God angry towards me.There used to be a lot of imaginations like this and i used to create a lot of imaginations to stop them all in attempt not to make God angry.I didnt used to initiate wrong imaginations and i dont know how they would come to my mind.At times i got mentally blocked as this activity reaches its peak i.e. the wrong imaginations come and then i try to overcome them using my own imaginations but then wrong imaginations would again come and i would repeat the same and this would go on.This makes be blank sometimes.some day somehow my mind wandered and there appeared to be some abuse for god in subconsiousness, i immediately asked for forgiveness from god.Today whenever i want to do something,i get fearful towards god and my mind tells me if u dont do or do something god will get angry at you.If my interest is towards something else but the imagination about god tells me do things other tha my interest and then i start to think if i will accept the imagination where i imagine about god then i will increasingly start doing this.And this will affect all other decisions i am making.But then i would give up and go as per my imagination about God and eventually my mind abuses god without my consiousness.When i will catch it in my consiousness,i would ask for forgiveness from god and either slap my self or pull my ears.Then i start to think i should not involve god in my decision making as it ends up in my mind abusing god.Then at times i feel god might get angry if i donnt involve the imagination about god in my decision making. Keeping this in mind I would imagine God to make decisions without heart and then again end up in a condition where my mind abuses god without my consiousness.After some time when i would think something i would revisit that thing to check whether i abused God and then at times I also end up abusing God even if i didnt abuse in the first place..At times i think something about god in subconsious mind and when I understand it makes me reaslise that i might have abused god and then i turn up to god and ask for forgiveness.All this goes on and on and I get mad.Today i am not able to think anything right..Please show me the way…

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English;

Give Your Life to Hare Krishna Movement

December 23, 2011 |

Question: As a neophyte devotee, who has recently taken interest in giving my life to serving Srila Prabhupada and The Hare Krishna Movement, the common question of how to do so has arisen freqeuntly in my recent months of trying to serve Srila Prabhupada. How can I give my life to Srila Prabhupada’s mission to serve Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu? Looking… Expand>

Question:

As a neophyte devotee, who has recently taken interest in giving my life to serving Srila Prabhupada and The Hare Krishna Movement, the common question of how to do so has arisen freqeuntly in my recent months of trying to serve Srila Prabhupada. How can I give my life to Srila Prabhupada’s mission to serve Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu?

Looking at the movement in general, in the first few 20/30 years of the movement, devotee’s were more detached to the material world and its activities and stayed more in the temple, many would not partake in the activities of daily materialistic life, such as, school, a job, having a household away from the temple, having friends away from the temple. Which are all very understandable, because for spiritual advancement, environment and association is very important. But looking at the general trend of devotee’s today, it is very rare that devotee’s become Brahmacari, or live at the temple, or spend more than just an average one or two evenings at the temple each week. Rather the general mass of Hare Krishna devotee’s today, are very inclined towards their material education, their material success as businessmen, as families part of the social environment they live in and so on.

As a neophyte, the greatest difficulty I am facing, which is now becoming quite problematic in my spiritual life, is seeing that there is actually no difference between serving Krishna directly by maybe cleaning the temple floor, or serving his devotee’s, compared to

indirectly by concentrating on being successful in their material education or business life.

More specifically, as a student who would like to give his life to serving Srila Prabhupada, being enthusiastic about serving by gaining a material education is something very difficult for me to understand. On one hand I’m reading Srila Prabhupada’s books on how the material education system in todays contemporary society is mundane as it skips the greatest question of life, that we are not these bodies and that we are the spirit soul, eternal part and parcel of Krishna. Rather material education concentrates on how we can use all the resources of the material world for our sense gratification. In Bhagavad Gita, Krishna explains, Karma Yoga, we must not simply forget everything and practice vikarma by renouncing everything and sitting alone in a room, rather we should practice akarma by offering the fruits of our actions onto Krishna and accept Him as The Supreme Controller. My difficulty is seeing how I can do so with a material college degree. It is difficult for me to submit to professors in universities who try to invalidate Krishna as Supreme Personality of Godhead, rather they accredit atheism and such illogical theories.

The question arises in my mind, that, rather than spending time and money in college acquiring a degree I am not even sure with what I want to do, rather I can surrender my whole life in serving as a devotee in a temple where they hardly have any devotee’s to serve.

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