Despicable Wisdom

September 29, 2011 |

English; Valsad, Gujarat, India

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Mahamaya, Mahotsaha, Mahabala, Mahabuddhi

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When Vedic Principles are Insufficient

June 18, 2008 |

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Harinama or Book Distribution

March 4, 2011 |

Question: I am sure you are aware of one of the great devotees in our ISKCON movement, Srila Aindra Prabhu, recently I have heard some of his recordings, lectures, conversations, and he is always giving emphasis on that one of the biggest problems in ISKCON is that the performance of (nagar) Harinama Sankirtan is on… Expand>

Question:

I am sure you are aware of one of the great devotees in our ISKCON movement, Srila Aindra Prabhu, recently I have heard some of his recordings, lectures, conversations, and he is always giving emphasis on that one of the biggest problems in ISKCON is that the performance of (nagar) Harinama Sankirtan is on the decline and that is the reason for many problems in ISKCON. It is now often sidelined and marginalised as a token activity that is performed once in a while. He feels that it is more important than book distribution.

If we look historically at ISKCON, the times when most people joined the movement was when there was ample regular Harinama Sankirtan being performed everyday. Similarly many great saints in our movement were engaged in regular Harinama Sankirtan, such as Vishnujana Swami, etc.

I am also aware that book distribution brhad mrdanga has been promoted as our kirtan by Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur as being equal to Harinama Sankirtan. Book distribution is still emphasised quite nicely in most of our temples in ISKCON.

But often when there was difficulty in ISKCON, lots of kirtan and 24 hour kirtans should be held. Now I see a huge popularity in kirtan in the temples, in Europe and America, regularly large and long kirtans are held, although I still do not see the results fully manifesting yet, I believe it may do soon.

Here are my questions -

Is book distribution a means for replacing (Nagar) Harinama Sankirtan, or that they should both be the main focus of our movement side by side?

Do you feel (Nagar) Harinama Sankirtan should be promoted to regular daily activity, or should it be kept as a weekend activity?

Looking forward to hear your authoritative view on this point.

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Conflict Among Devotees – Part 1

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Question: I have experienced that there is conflict between devotees serving under different leaders: many devotees consider their own service or approach to bhakti as the most authentic, and associating with different genres of devotees sometimes creates confusion in my mind. Why does this conflict emerge although all devotees are engaged in service of Krishna? How can we overcome conflict and instead cooperate to fight against our common enemies, impersonalism and materialism.

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Try to Understand Philosophically

October 7, 2011 |

Question: My name is Jayapatni Gopi dasi and I have been in the movement and a disciple of Jayapataka Swami most of the time since 1980. I serve here at New Talavana Farm in Mississippi. In the late 80's, I was raising four young children all born within a span of eight years. I was dealing with… Expand>

Question:

My name is Jayapatni Gopi dasi and I have been in the movement and a disciple of Jayapataka Swami most of the time since 1980. I serve here at New Talavana Farm in Mississippi.

In the late 80's, I was raising four young children all born within a span of eight years. I was dealing with my elderly dad who was alone, and had had a bad habit of drinking for many years. He had caused drunk driving accidents, but due to Krsna's mercy had not hurt anyone except
himself.

I made a decision when I moved to New Talavana not to give him my address, because he lived 2 1/2 hours away and I feared he would spend most of his time on the highway driving back and forth to and from his house to mine.

I now am plagued with guilt and remorse for the totally isolated life he lead for the last three years of his life. He was totally alone in a cabin in the woods in the backwoods of Mississippi. He often told me how distressed he was. We went to see him once a month and brought prasadam. If I had it to do over I would trust in Krsna to help me and attempt to have him here doing some menial service for the farm. He liked mowing.

I feared I couldn't care for my four infant children and also be cognizant enough to deal with him and my husband commuted to work and was rarely here to help us. I have had two shrada ceremonies and intend to have another one performed in October, but my thoughts are almost constantly haunted by his distress during those years. He died in 1991, and this doesn't seem to be getting any better for me. We were very close.

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Do Devotees Get Influenced by the Three Modes of Material Nature?

May 1, 2016 |

Question: Do devotees get influenced by the three modes of material nature?… Expand>

Question:

Do devotees get influenced by the three modes of material nature?

 

ANSWER by HH Bhakti Vikāsa Swami:

“Do devotees get influenced by the three material modes of nature? Well, do you? You are a devotee. Do you get influenced? 
Sometimes. You are doing better than most of us.

māṁ ca yo 'vyabhicāreṇa
bhakti-yogena sevate
sa guṇān samatītyaitān
brahma-bhūyāya kalpate

Kṛṣṇa says: “One who engages in unflinching, unalloyed … ” 
What’s the word Prabhupāda uses?

“Undistracted devotional service to Me transcends the modes of material nature, becomes completely fixed on the transcendental platform.” Unalloyed. “One who engages in My unalloyed devotional service.” (BG 14.26)

So, yeah. We are also influenced by the modes of material nature, but we should practise Kṛṣṇa consciousness very seriously and then gradually we will become free from that influence.”

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Reading and Commentary

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About Srila Vyasadeva – Part 1

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About Cow Protection

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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

Indebtedness to Parents

July 3, 2015 |

Question: 1. Why does Krishna say here that one cannot repay his debt to his parents even if he serves them for a full lifetime of a hundred years when in S.B 11.5.4 Narada muni says to Vasudeva–“One who has taken shelter of Krishna’s lotus feet, is not indebted to demigods, great sages, ordinary living beings, relatives, friends, mankind or even one’s forefathers who have passed away.” So how are we to understand this statement and how should we take this comment in SB 10.45.5?… Expand>

Question:

sarvārtha-sambhavodeho

janitaḥpoṣitoyataḥ

natayoryātinirveśaṁ

pitrormartyaḥśatāyuṣā

Translation: With one’s body one can acquire all goals of life, and it is one’s parents who give the body birth and sustenance. Therefore no mortal man can repay his debt to his parents, even if he serves them for a full lifetime of a hundred years. (S.B.10.45.5).

Questions:

1. Why does Krishna say here that one cannot repay his debt to his parents even if he serves them for a full lifetime of a hundred years when in S.B 11.5.4 Narada muni says to Vasudeva–“One who has taken shelter of Krishna’s lotus feet, is not indebted to demigods, great sages, ordinary living beings, relatives, friends, mankind or even one’s forefathers who have passed away.” So how are we to understand this statement and how should we take this comment in SB 10.45.5?

2. Is this comment applicable to only a Krishna conscious father and mother or a materialistic father & mother also?

 

ANSWER BY HH Bhakti Vikāsa Swami:

"All right. Karttik Kumar form Bangalore is quoting Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.45.5, spoken by Kṛṣṇa.

sarvārtha-sambhavo deho
janitaḥ poṣito yataḥ
na tayor yāti nirveśaṁ
pitror martyaḥ śatāyuṣā

Translation: With one’s body one can acquire all goals of life, and it is one’s parents who give the body birth and sustenance. Therefore no mortal man can repay his debt to his parents, even if he serves them for a full lifetime of a hundred years.

So there’s that verse which Śrīla Prabhupāda quotes three times, I believe, in Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. Because Arjuna’s whole proposition was not to go against the family.

devarṣi-bhūtāpta-nṛṇāṁ pitṝṇāṁ
na kiṅkaro nāyam ṛṇī ca rājan
sarvātmanā yaḥ śaraṇaṁ śaraṇyaṁ
gato mukundaṁ parihṛtya kartam

O King, one who has given up all material duties and has taken full shelter of the lotus feet of Mukunda, who offers shelter to all, is not indebted to the demigods, great sages, ordinary living beings, relatives, friends, mankind or even one's forefathers who have passed away. Since all such classes of living entities are part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, one who has surrendered to the Lord's service has no need to serve such persons separately. (SB 11.5.41.)

So this appears to be contradictory because Kṛṣṇa says you can’t repay your debt to your parents, even if you serve them for a full lifetime of a hundred years. But then Kṛṣṇa says: “If you take shelter of Me, then you are not indebted.”

Well, one statement is qualified by another. This is common – that (there is a) general truth, (and) there are exceptions. Sri Lankans are good people. OK, we can accept that as a general proposition. Well, this one is not good - some of them are not good. So it’s a general case, but it’s qualified.

Actually, one can repay the debts. One repays the debts to the parents by having children. That’s the understanding. So the children, they will offer pinda to the Pitris.

DEBT TO THE PARENTS
What is the debt to the parent? - That you were given a body by them. So you can’t exactly repay, but you create more bodies. So there is a way to repay, but the mood of this is that what you were given is so valuable that we feel we can’t repay. We shouldn’t think: “OK, I repaid them, and then leave them alone, forget them.” That’s the idea. Gratefulness should be there.

sarvārtha-sambhavo deho
Everything we want to do, that can be done through the body. If you don’t have a body, you can’t do anything. If you are a ghost, for instance. If you are born in a subhuman body, then one cannot achieve the goal of life. So therefore, the human form of life is very valuable. But, if we fully dedicate to Kṛṣṇa, then we become free from the ordinary method of repaying the debt to the parents because we actually benefit not only the parents but even previous generation and even forthcoming generations. Kṛṣṇa delivers them all.

So therefore, one is not a debtor if he takes full shelter of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa takes care of all, the parents and everyone else. So the general case is that one cannot repay the debt to the parents. And of course, that’s very much part of Indian culture, especially in North India very well-known this story… What’s his name? Kumara Sampat, Sampat Kumar; what is it? Śravan Kumar. Very common picture to see him carrying, on his shoulder, the father and mother.

MATERIALISTIC PARENTS
So, question number two. In one sense it is more applicable to materialistic father and mother. Inasmuch as, by Kṛṣṇa consciousness you repay the debt. Of course, you shouldn’t think that: “Well, (it) doesn’t matter about my parents.” A child in Kṛṣṇa consciousness shouldn’t be neglectful of parents. But, (one) may also, if one is fully engaged in preaching Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then (he) may not marry and look after the parents in old age. But it should be seen that someone looks after them - some arrangement is made - something is done. In Kṛṣṇa consciousness we shouldn’t take it as an excuse to neglect our parents."

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English; Colombo, Sri Lanka