More Thoughts on Varnasrama Dharma and Education

February 3, 2016 |

English; Nandagrama, Rajpipla, Gujarat, India

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Questions and Answers

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Question: One sannyasi said that "we don't have to take sastras literally." He shows the example that Ravana doesn't have ten heads, "sastra tried to make a point that he was powerful." So, when should we have to take sastra literally and when do not?

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February 16, 2012 |

Question: For a very long time, I have felt very nervous about joining devotees on Harinama or book distribution. Honestly, I feel a bit embarrassed at the thought of my friends seeing me with devotees, or seeing me distributing books or seeing me in a Tilaka etc. I am worried people will think this guy is a nut or… Expand>

Question:

For a very long time, I have felt very nervous about joining devotees on Harinama or book distribution. Honestly, I feel a bit embarrassed at the thought of my friends seeing me with devotees, or seeing me distributing books or seeing me in a Tilaka etc. I am worried people will think this guy is a nut or a fool! I am worried they will judge me and I will lose my so-called social standing.

Right from my childhood, I have been a very shy and lonely person and I am always easily embarrassed. I grew up with severe inferiority complex in my childhood. Both my parents were completely uneducated, not respected, not well off etc. They passed that over to me. That low self esteem has stayed with me. Hence I am very scared and nervous of doing anything public.

Maharaja, I am very much worried that this nature of mine will interfere with my future service to you. How do I fix this issue? I really really want to make progress and I will follow any order you give me here to correct this situation.

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English;

Unlimited Names of the Nameless

April 8, 2015 |

English; Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India

  • Viṣṇu-sahasranāma 346-354

  • 42 m 41 s  |  19.5 MB

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Krsna's Mercy is Essential

June 15, 2015 |

English with தமிழ் translation; Colombo, Sri Lanka

Vamana-katha

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English; Manchester, England

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September 28, 2013 |

English; Bhaktivedanta Manor, London, England

Drinking Milk from Protected Cows

October 20, 2016 |

Question: I have noticed some devotees only drink milk from protected cows and I was wondering if I should do the same. I tend to… Expand>

Question:

I have noticed some devotees only drink milk from protected cows and I was wondering if should I do the same. I tend to drink a cup of milk in the evening because this is what Prabhupada said was needed to develop the brain. I am being told that the milk given by karmis is full of poison and you don't receive the benefit. Others are saying, "what can be done we have to drink milk anyways." What is the correct stance on this issue?

ANSWER BY HH BHAKTI VIKĀSA SWAMI:

Kalki dāsa – he’s given two questions. I’ll answer the second one first.

Some devotees only drink milk from protected cows, and should I do the same? I tend to drink a cup of milk in the evening because this is what Śrīla Prabhupāda said was needed to develop the brain. Specifically, the brain tissues which are helpful for spiritual understanding, Śrīla Prabhupāda said. I’m being told the milk the karmīs give…

Whoops! Indian English made it all the way to America. He’s in America and looks like the effect of Indians, India, so many Indians in ISKCON in America that Indian English is exported to the Americans also.

POISONOUS MILK
I’m being told the milk the karmīs give is full of poison and you don’t receive the benefit. Others are saying: “What can be done? We have to drink milk anyway.” What is the correct stance on this issue?
About drinking milk from Walmart… You haven’t heard of it yet. It’s coming. It’s all over America. You buy milk from cows which are raised for giving milk and for slaughter. Horribly tortured, and then when they don’t give enough milk they are slaughtered. They are tortured throughout their lives. They don’t graze in the fields. They’ve never seen a field in their life. It’s really criminal what they are doing to the cows. That milk, anyway it’s what I believe is called now a one milk which is not very digestible for humans. And yeah, it’s full of poison in various ways. The cows are injected with so many hormones and they’re fed with all chemical foods.

Śrīla Prabhupāda wanted his disciples, he would have them take this milk anyway. I’m not sure if he was informed about all poison that’s in it.

NO HUMAN SOCIETY WITHOUT COW PROTECTION
The real thing our movement should have done, we are celebrating fifty years of ISKCON, but we really didn’t get our cow protection together and Prabhupāda says there’s no human society without cow protection.
It is possible; many devotees in America get milk sent to them from the Gītā Nāgarī Farm. So it’s possible to do that. I don’t know how much is possible for Kalki Prabhu, who’s often out traveling on saṅkīrtana doing book distribution in America.

Here in India, in many places there are goshalas. How do you translate that in English? Cow protection shelters. Yeah where the cows are kept and they’re protected, they are not going to be killed. And you can get milk from them in many places in India. And even when I go to some places in the Gulf countries… There’s actually a goshala in Dubai, believe it or not. All air conditioned and everything. So I get milk there. In Kuwait you get the pata medha milk, dried milk. So that’s a facility.

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
You could maybe, Kalki Prabhu, you could get from India powdered milk from protected cows, from one goshala, or it’s a go complex. Shala - you get the idea of a shed or something, but this is huge. How many do they have? Three lakhs cows? How many cows? Some huge number of cows in Rajasthan. We should all go there one time actually. One lakh twenty thousand. Have you been there? Yeah, we’ve all heard, but who’s been there? We should all go there sometime and offer obeisance to swami who’s developed that. Really! Great thing he’s done. He’s probably a Māyāvādī, but doing better than we’re doing in cow protection. So there’s a solution for you.

Another thing you could do is: encourage people, devotees, or people who’re interested to be devotees to join our farms in America and develop this cow protection programmes. Gītā Nāgarī is there. Husband and wife couple in America, they’re just in the process of joining that farm near New Orleans, which I can’t remember the name just now. New Talavan – that’s it, yeah. That’s Nitya Gaura. Do anyone know him – Nitya Gaura? He was in India years ago. He stayed for more than a year. He recently got married, so he’s moving there. And then there’s … New Vrindavan is very famous. I don’t know how much they are doing cow protection. I’m sure they are doing something. Murāri Sevaka in Tennessee. So encourage, take devotees there. Show them. Let them see. It’s possible to protect cows. There must be more. I guess in Alachua, they have some cows also. I hope so. Here and there, there are such things. Abhirāma Prabhu in New York City, he’s very serious about developing such a project. So let’s encourage devotees in the West to get behind it – cow protection.

CONCLUSION
Drink milk. Throw the vegans out. 
He asked: “What is the correct stance on this issue?” 
Well, I’m giving my understanding. I’m loath to say it’s the correct stance, because I wouldn’t say that someone’s necessarily wrong in all respects if they take milk from Walmart. Now that leads us into the next comment.

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English; Gauragrama, Telangana, India

Saksi

December 21, 2016 |

English; Kutralam, Tamil Nadu, India

Orthodoxy and Orthopraxy, Part-1

August 13, 2015 |

English; Lika, Croatia

Is there only one way to follow Srila Prabhupada?

October 20, 2016 |

Question: Is there only one way to follow Srila Prabhupada?… Expand>

Question:

Is there only one way to follow Srila Prabhupada?

ANSWER by HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami: 

Sridham Shyam Prabhu wrote an article which brought my attention to, in which he states that, as he understands, there are not many ways of following Śrīla Prabhupāda but there is one way to follow.

Now...in one sense it’s true. The proper way to follow Śrīla Prabhupāda is with all sincerity aspiring for pure devotional service, and following his instructions. On the other hand there is no stereotype, and Śrīla Prabhupāda gave different instructions to different devotees.

Sometimes on the same subject. For instance within his books, and repeatedly elsewhere, Śrīla Prabhupāda said that sannyāsi should be very strict in the matter of associating with women, which anyone in India up to the present day can understand, unless they are a follower of Osho, who are not much liked by Indian public.

Up to the present day the Indian public don’t like. They don’t mind to be cheated by swamis and sannyāsis, and spiritually, but they don’t like if they mix up with women...up to the present day. This Asaram Bapu Swami was finished not because of the murder cases in his āśram, but it came out about his womanizing. He is not actually a sannyāsi, but he is a holly man (supposed to be) and his illicit mixing with women is not at all appreciated. In South India this Paramahaṁsa Nityānanda was finished when it came about his womanizing, which in the West no one cares at all, but in India...

I’m just coming to the point now...

EXAMPLES
There is one Back to Godhead magazine published in Śrīla Prabhupāda’s presence, in which Sudama Swami...On the order of Śrīla Prabhupāda he led up the Vaikuṇṭha players, a drama troupe which had dance, and which was very much appreciated by Śrīla Prabhupāda, giving the teachings of Kṛṣṇa consciousness in drama form. And in that group there were women, which Śrīla Prabhupāda allow, but did not want in India. But, in the West he allowed it. Different culture. Sudama said to Śrīla Prabhupāda:“...all these women dancing...“, and Śrīla Prabhupāda said „That is your sannyās!“.

It’s right there in Back to Godhead magazine, so, he gave different...
Also, in two days in Vṛndāvan, to one sannyāsi Śrīla Prabhupāda told: „You leave Vṛndāvan! Don’t spend more than three days at any place. Sannyāsi should always be moving.“ The next day, to another sannyāsi he said: „Stay here, manage this project and never leave!“ So, to one he said „Sannyāsi always travels“, and to the other one sannyāsi „Stay here!“.

DIFFERENT EMPHASIS IN DEVOTIONAL SERVICE
So, there may be apparent contradictions. It’s not actually a contradiction, it’s specialized instruction according to service. So, one way to follow...Yes, we should know Śrīla Prabhupāda’s instructions and follow them, but we should know there is variety within that also. And, we see very exalted followers of Śrīla Prabhupāda who were...they are quite different in their emphasis in devotional service.
Two of most prominent preachers of Kṛṣṇa consciousness in the modern world, Śrīla Prabhupāda’s disciples in the Western world, one is Vaisesika Dasa Prabhu who is a grihasta. Well, he is well known, of course. He very much promotes the distribution of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s books. That’s his main focus.
Indradyumna Swami has been a sannyāsi for many years and he also promotes book distribution but within the ambit of his festive programs, which are his main preaching. Doing festivals with hāriṇams, and dances, lots of kīrtan and whole package.
So, their approach, or their life focus in Śrīla Prabhupāda’s service is very different. They are not doing exactly the same thing, but they are both undoubtedly pleasant to Śrīla Prabhupāda, and following him very much.

CONCLUSION
So, one way to follow Śrīla Prabhupāda...In one sense yes, but there may be others, there have to be, actually specializations. Different devotees have different approaches. So, what is the correct stand on this issue? 
I prefer not to take milk from „blood cows“, or sometimes devotees call it „blood milk“ because the cows are killed, but I’m not on a campaign against devotees who take that, because Śrīla Prabhupāda’s said we could take it. On the other hand, he also said we should establish our own farm communities.
So, that should be bonum.

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English; Gauragrama, Telangana, India

Questions About False Ego

March 11, 2012 |

Question: Maharaj, after listening to lectures I could understand that the main cause of our miseries is our ego. I want to know the following. 1. What is the ego? 2. What are the symptoms of the ego? 3. What is the nutrition for the ego? 4. Where does this ego stay? 5. How to… Expand>

Question:

Maharaj, after listening to lectures I could understand that the main cause of our miseries is our ego. I want to know the following.

  1. What is the ego?
  2. What are the symptoms of the ego?
  3. What is the nutrition for the ego?
  4. Where does this ego stay?
  5. How to kill this ego?
  6. How can we divert ego to Lord's service as we try to divert our anger in the service of the Lord?
  7. Does this ego also exist in the spiritual world?
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English;

No Taste for Chanting

November 10, 2011 |

Question: I have been practicing for several years but when recently asked by another young devotee regarding when one gets the taste for chanting I had to frankly admit that I hadn't got it yet. I can understand that it is due to offences and inattentive chanting. If it is not too impertinent to ask, may I request you… Expand>

Question:

I have been practicing for several years but when recently asked by another young devotee regarding when one gets the taste for chanting I had to frankly admit that I hadn't got it yet. I can understand that it is due to offences and inattentive chanting. If it is not too impertinent to ask, may I request you to share your personal experience about chanting. I have heard from your lectures that you were chanting 16 rounds from the day you joined. Of course it depends on the devotee's level of sincerity and one cannot put a timeline on when one gets a taste from chanting and consequently other things such as waking up early, but hearing from you will definitely inspire those of us who are struggling.

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English;