Happiness for Elderly Devotees

Bhagavad-gītā 2.65 | January 27, 2017 |

English; Srirangam, Tamil Nadu, India

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Is there only one way to follow Srila Prabhupada?

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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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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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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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