Celebration of Janmastami is not New

September 5, 2015 |

English; Coventry, England

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Question: Can a devotee accept service that his guru doesn't directly engage in? For instance, I am very much inspired by Indradyumna's Maharaj's festivals. I think such festivals have a broad reach to masses. I don't like the cultural part of these festivals, but the philosophy and prasadam and kirtan can really get people intrigued. Some time in the… Expand>

Question:

Can a devotee accept service that his guru doesn't directly engage in? For instance, I am very much inspired by Indradyumna's Maharaj's festivals. I think such festivals have a broad reach to masses. I don't like the cultural part of these festivals, but the philosophy and prasadam and kirtan can really get people intrigued.

Some time in the future I would like to organize such festivals and do mass book distributions. However, for that I would need a lot of training from Indradyumna Maharaj even though I am aspiring to serve you.

Answer by HH Bhakti Vikāśa Swami:

We are all supposed to be servants of Śrīla Prabhupāda in the saṅkīrtana movement. So, if you are inspired to help with some particular service which pushes forward the saṅkīrtana movement, that’s not against what I’m doing. And if at all I’m to guide you, I’m to guide you to serve in the association of devotees the bona fide activities of the saṅkīrtana movement. 

So by all means: 
nāca, gāo, bhakta-saṅge kara saṅkīrtana
kṛṣṇa-nāma upadeśi’ tāra’ sarva-jana (CC Ādi 7.92)

[‘My dear child, continue dancing, chanting and performing saṅkīrtana in association with devotees. Furthermore, go out and preach the value of chanting kṛṣṇa-nāma, for by this process You will be able to deliver all fallen souls.’]

Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself received the order to sing and dance, perform saṅkīrtana in the association of devotees and by instructing the holy name to everyone to deliver the whole world. 

So that order is coming in the paramparā, and wherever and however you get the opportunity to help the devotees in, and join with the devotees in spreading the saṅkīrtana movement, do it. It’s not that if you become my disciple, you have to be locked into a little bubble in a little corner. Let’s all be part of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s big family.

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Doomed if I do, doomed if I don't

April 20, 2014 |

Question: I am a brahmacari for more than nine years and have taken a role of guiding others. I have a problem of not being able to follow the brahmacari vows very strictly. I do not go out with women directly but every few months I just break the principle on my own. I just can't control it. It is too powerful a force. Then I somehow come to my senses again and make a firm vow to never again fall prey to my crazy mind. But then again I fell victim.… Expand>

Question:

I am a brahmacari for more than nine years and have taken a role of guiding others. I have a problem of not being able to follow the brahmacari vows very strictly. I do not go out with women directly but every few months I just break the principle on my own. I just can't control it. It is too powerful a force. Then I somehow come to my senses again and make a firm vow to never again fall prey to my crazy mind. But then again I fell victim.

I am generally a very happy person and I have no desire for home, opulence, wife, kids, etc. I just have this strong sexual impulse - occasionally. All those who know me encourage me to just continue with my preaching and not to change anything. I have crossed 30 years. According to my horoscope it will be a disaster if I enter into grhasta asrama. I know it sounds like FAQ - "brahmacari or grihasta question", but in my case it seems like a "Doomed if I do, doomed if I don't" situation. I don't like to cheat myself and others. Please kindly advise me.

Answer by HH Bhakti Vikāsa Swami:

Tough one. Uuhh. Tough one in as much as devotees are encouraging you to go on, because how many devotees are in Germany who are taking position of spiritual leadership which you are doing. Preaching, that’s spiritual leadership, but you have a weakness which is very difficult to overcome, and don’t like to cheat others. 

Well, what are the alternatives? You can go on preaching and people will be benefited by that. You can get married and it’ll be a disaster, so we learn from the horoscope. Although you could consult another astrologer, but like I say, you don’t have to consult an astrologer because in almost every case entering into the gṛhastha-āśrama is a disaster, especially in the Western world. And yeah, in Germany, as in pretty much all the Western world, there’s no idea of what married life should be like, either among the non-devotees or devotees. So entering into the gṛhastha-āśrama doesn’t sound like a good idea when no one knows what they should be doing. It’s generally a disaster. So doomed if you do, doomed if you don’t. Well, in Kṛṣṇa consciousness it’s glorious if you do and doomed if you don’t. So, despite that very severe weakness, it would seem better to take that advice just to go on. Don’t take sannyāsa. And maybe you could wear white if you don’t feel comfortable in saffron cloth. Keep strong association as far as possible. I’m assured you’re doing all the things that are required. Have to pray. 

Pray to Nṛsiṁhadeva:

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vajra-nakha vajra-daṁṣṭra karmāśayān randhaya randhaya tamo grasa 

grasa om svāhā; abhayam abhayam ātmani bhūyiṣṭhā oṁ kṣraum (SB 5.18.8)

Pray to Nṛsiṁhadeva to remove the material desires from our heart. There’s no easy solution. The easy solution is take shelter of Kṛṣṇa.

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Question: I remember from your previous recorded lectures where you mentioned you observed that devotees are increasingly basing their krishna conscious activities on hearing kirtans, taking prasadam, being part of social groups and social networking sites and other related things like festivals etc. and not much on philosophical study and/ or intellectual application on the message being presented.… Expand>

Question:

I remember from your previous recorded lectures where you mentioned you observed that devotees are increasingly basing their krishna conscious activities on hearing kirtans, taking prasadam, being part of social groups and social networking sites and other related things like festivals etc. and not much on philosophical study and/ or intellectual application on the message being presented.

May I say that the repercussions of this, I believe, are being reflected in the general degradation of the standards of service being organised and conducted in our temples?(I am not sure if this is the only valid hypothesis for the observation on degradation of services).

Also I feel that we have failed as an organisation to collectively stand against the intellectual bastions like universities, research organisations in presenting Krishna Consciousness as a logical and completely sensible philosophy/way of life.(Except for a few bright spots like BV Institute, Michael Cremo, Sadaputa Prabhu etc.)

I believe these are very/ most important as Srila Prabhupada himself set an example by encouraging to study his books closely and ask questions as well as leave no stone unturned in challenging the faulty hypotheses presented by the scientists. As I understand ,as the scientists are very organised in their activities, one of the purposes ISKCON was created (As detailed in ISKCON'S Mission statement) was to organize the devotees globally to take on this global challenge and influence the policy makers towards good governance etc.(Ex. of SP
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From the perspective of lofty goals entrusted to us by His Divine Grace, my estimation is that we are not even close to challenging the might of scientific or governmental establishment.OR we have lost that vigorous spirit when His Divine Grace was personally present alongside us. I have observed that in a recent meeting at Mayapur, the GBC members have listed the above as challenges facing us as an organisation.

My question is that How do I, as a grassroots aspirant member of this organisation reconcile with this issue and contribute positively to the organisation? 

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I am a experienced composer/performer with my own studio and I am looking for a project/subject (I was thinking along the lines of something from Bhagavatam , but I am open to anything ). Could you suggest something?

I have written in many styles i.e. classical, jazz, rock , ethnic etc. since 1970s. I am in London, England. I was thinking of 5th canto…. 28 hellish planets.

VCD: I forwarded him the following transcript of the anecdote narrated by Caruatma Prabhu of Srila Prabhupada.
——————————————————————————————————————————————-
Caturatma das:

One night there was a darsana with one musician. I never got the understanding whether this was a person coming to Krsna consciousness or whether this was already a devotee. I always thought it was someone coming to Krsna consciousness that wanted to use their western rock and roll guitar style in service to Lord Caitanya, and Prabhupada was very adamant, and the guy kept bringing the point up two or three times and finally

Prabhupada said "No!" and he pointed, there was this beautiful picture of Panca-tattva on the wall of his room. He said "You see Mahaprabhu; kartalas and mrdanga, that is all.

Memories of Srila Prabhupada, DVD 51.
——————————————————————————————————————————————–

And Marc replied that what about George Harrison whom Prabhupada allowed or even asked to produce Krsna conscious musical albums in his presence. Will you please let me know how to understand this?

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English;