Take this Culture and Purify Yourself

February 13, 2016 |

English with తెలుగు Translation; Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh, India

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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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Question:

Is it acceptable for a girl, whose parents don’t arrange her marriage, to arrange her own marriage by meeting different men and working it out like that? 

Answer by HH Bhakti Vikāśa Swami:

According to Manu-saṁhitā it is the duty of the father to marry a daughter before her first menstruation.

And Manu also says that after, I think it’s two menstrual periods or maybe three, if the father hasn’t done that, then the girl can arrange her own marriage.

The emphasis is very much on what they nowadays call child marriage. Śrīla Prabhupāda recounts that his eldest sister was almost 14 and she was not married, and that their mother was so upset that she told their father that: “If you don’t marry her right away I’m going to drown myself in Ganga.“

Śrīla Prabhupāda’s first child was born when his wife was 13. Nowadays it’s called child abuse.
So, it’s acceptable according to śāstra. You’ve asked according to śāstra. I’ve answered according to śāstra.

Gradually it’s become accepted within Indian culture that girls go to school, and then they have a career, but still there is idea that parents should arrange the marriage. But that’s breaking down now.

Still, maybe most marriages in India are arranged, but it’s breaking down. Thousands and thousands of marriages are negotiated on the Internet. They have sites shaadi.com. Shaadi is Urdu word for marriage. Muslimmatrimony.com is an Indian site.

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I am writing to Your Holiness to ask a question about a discussion that I had with a person who knows both ISKCON and eastern paths of philosophy and metaphysics. He was making comparison and criticism. He said for instance that ISKCON temples are a mess, dirty, noisy with lots of fighting amongst devotees and budhist, taoist temples are very clean, organized, quiet, peaceful, sattvic. He said that many ISKCON devotees don’t have basic manners, culture, education, etiquette whereas budhist, taoist, astanga yoga practioners are educated, well mannered people. He also said that these people seems to have much more sense control than the devotees. He said that ISKCON doesn’t have organization, planning, structure, stability whereas these groups are very well organized, structured with years, decades, centuries or more of work and tradition. His point is that you judge something or someone by the results and symptoms, so if the devotees are the topmost transcendentalists and if ISKCON and the Sankirtana movement is the most elevated spiritual movement than there should be example, results and symptoms of such superior position. His reasoning is that these eastern paths and their followers seems to be more advanced,self controlled etc. than the devotees. I know his thinking comes from a neophyte understanding but I want to know what I could say to him. Could Your Holiness, tell me what I can say to him?

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Maharaj, most of the ISKCON centers have custom to chant Hare Krishna Mahamantra for devotees who sponsor prasadam, or perform any important service, or if they are sick. Recently I heard from a lecture that this system which is been followed in even most of the important ISKCON centers is wrong and this is a namaparadha and offense since it's a misusage of Holy name! And also I heard in that lecture since the meaning of Hare Krishna Mahamantra is please engage me in your (Krsna's) service, How can we chant for somebody else?

Maharaj please clarify this doubt? Is anything wrong if we chant in public for some others for their service to encourage them ?

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English;