Learn How to be Good

June 2, 2015 |

English with தமிழ் Translation; Kandy, Sri Lanka

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Question: What is the source and energy behind Lord Krishna? And why he will be called the Supreme Personality of Godhead?… Expand>

Question:

What is the source and energy behind Lord Krishna? And why he will be called the Supreme Personality of Godhead?

Answer by HH Bhakti Vikāsa Swami:

The answer is that there is no source of energy behind Lord Kṛṣṇa, because He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and He is the source of all energy. That’s why He is called the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Because He is the source of everything, there is no source behind Him. According to people who misunderstand, there is a power behind Kṛṣṇa. Just like, as I’ve several times stated, many years ago, I went to a temple at Hindustan Motors, on the other side of the Hooghly from Kolkata, Abyava (?) company, where they make ambassador car. So we had a program there. And in the temple we saw a picture of the universe, starting from the very bottom with Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, and then the ocean, and then the Garbhodaka. And then above that: the hellish planets, Pitṛloka, the different talas – Sutala, Vitala, Atala, Tala, Talātala (the lower planets). Then Bhū, Bhuvar, Svar (the higher planets). And then beyond this universe, all the universes. And then the Kāraṇodaka - the Causal Ocean, and then all the different Vaikuntha planets. And above that, Dvārakā in the spiritual world. And above that Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa at the top, Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. There was just one thing above that, a big shining light with oṁ written in it. So, their conclusion is that the Ultimate is impersonal. But actually, Kṛṣṇa is the source of everything.

If we want to get very esoteric, then the energy behind Kṛṣṇa is Rādhā, but Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa are nondifferent. So it’s not that Kṛṣṇa has come from some energy, but all energy comes from Kṛṣṇa. He is śaktimān, the possessor of all energy. And that’s why He is called the supreme Personality of Godhead. There’s no truth superior to Him. As He states in Bhagavad-gītā, there are many such references, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti : “There is nothing above Me”, Kṛṣṇa says. Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate: “Everything comes from Me. Everything is generated from Me.” Mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate – this is, more or less, repetition of the same thing.

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Krishna Conscious Paintings and Dolls

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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… Expand>

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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Santa Claus Outfits for Radha-Krsna

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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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Question: Srila Prabhupada states, that the ascending approach ends up at the realization of brahman and paramatma but not the Personality of Godhead. Could you please explain how is it that one can realize these two aspects by this process and why does it stop there?… Expand>

Question:

Srila Prabhupada states, that the ascending approach ends up at the realization of brahman and paramatma but not the Personality of Godhead.

Could you please explain how is it that one can realize these two aspects by this process and why does it stop there?

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Question: When reading Srila Prabhupada’s instructions through letters, how should one tell to himself that the instructions hold good for him too (with abject humility I say here that I am not questioning Srila Prabhupada, his instructions are very much relevant to the jivas, to the every atom in the universe) and not just to… Expand>

Question:

When reading Srila Prabhupada’s instructions through letters, how should one tell to himself that the instructions hold good for him too (with abject humility I say here that I am not questioning Srila Prabhupada, his instructions are very much relevant to the jivas, to the every atom in the universe) and not just to the said person in question. Sometimes if someone says, ‘oh, that was between Srila Prabhupada and the said person’ how should we reply that 'no, that also holds good for us too.’ Is there a quote from Srila Prabhupada to answer this question? I heard Srila Prabhupada talked about an analogy of sun in this context.

Audio answer by HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami:

Well, not every instruction of Śrīla Prabhupāda in his letters is meant for everyone. Some of them are personal instructions. This question, the answer to it can be understood in detail by reading the prefatory note, or essay, in the Vedabase, given by His Holiness Jayādvaita Swami, about how to use or utilise the instructions in the Vedabase. That sum of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s instructions is for all times, places and circumstances. Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto, that’s Kṛṣṇa’s instructions. That’s for anyone in any time, place and circumstance. Others are not. Just like when… Or here is a good example, Kṛṣṇa tells Arjuna mām anusmara, that’s an instruction for anyone in any time, place and circumstance, but yudhya ca - fight, that’s not for everyone. 

So Śrīla Prabhupāda’s instructions also, there are general instructions for everyone, and specific instructions for specific individuals. So how to understand what’s for you through the whole mass of instructions given by Śrīla Prabhupāda, a very large body of instructions? Well, therefore one has to take guidance in spiritual life, personal guidance. It’s not that you can understand everything just by reading the books ourselves. If you read the books you’ll find that ... Well, Śrīla Prabhupāda writes in a Bhagavad-gītā purport, I’m paraphrasing here, don’t know the words exactly, but says that no one can advance properly in Kṛṣṇa consciousness without taking personal guidance from a spiritual master. Don’t remember that? Some very crucial statements.

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  • Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.6.12-13

  • 34 m 10 s  |  15.6 MB

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