Entering the Caitanya Ocean

March 4, 2012 |

English; Valsad, Gujarat, India

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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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Should I attend a Wedding?

May 1, 2016 |

Question: My brother is having his wedding in the summer time on the east coast. I truly don’t want anything to do with weddings and especially those of materialists. I am close with my brother as him and his fiancé are both sweet people. (vegetarians, "half-devotees"). He comes to the temple for festivals and lets me use his facilities as I like (he lives in one of best book distribution places) Boulder, CO. Anyway, I’m saying all this because I truly just don’t know what to do. They really want me to go but I know it will be like hell and so painful to be around all the materialists eating, drinking, and being merry.… Expand>

Question:

My brother is having his wedding in the summer time on the east coast. I truly don’t want anything to do with weddings and especially those of materialists. I am close with my brother as him and his fiancé are both sweet people. (vegetarians, "half-devotees"). He comes to the temple for festivals and lets me use his facilities as I like (he lives in one of best book distribution places) Boulder, CO. Anyway, I’m saying all this because I truly just don’t know what to do. They really want me to go but I know it will be like hell and so painful to be around all the materialists eating, drinking, and being merry.

ANSWER by HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami: 

"Well, that’s good enough reason to go because, hopefully, in the normal course of events people only get married once in their life. So, it’s a big thing.

Maybe in America it’s 1.5 times or something like that, by average. Of course, you can’t get married 1.5 times, but on average... Or maybe it’s 2.5. I don’t know. Or maybe it’s just 1 because so many people get divorced and so many people don’t get married at all. It doesn’t mean they’ve all became monks. They are vyabhicari (unchaste). They are having sexual liaisons without marrying. So, that’s a good reason to go.

Babhru Prabhu is concerned about: I have to go...and all those materialistic people...

Well, it could also be a good preaching opportunity and as much as you are there, and you are a devotee, they’ll ask you few questions: Why do you like this? And you can explain to them. You could take books, and distribute them also. So, anyway, you have to decide.

I’m not gonna decide for you. It’s the other side of the country. America is a big country. I think more than twice as big as India. So, you can imagine. But, anyway, you can fly around. You have to have money. So, anyway, you decide what to do.

I wouldn’t go because I’m a sannyasi. But you are not. So, you can take an opportunity to please your brother, help him, give him some encouragement in devotional service. You can give him a set of Srila Prabhupada’s books. It’s a great wedding gift.

What do people give? I think they give mixies. I think when people get married they get 20 mixies so they have to sell them back. Mixie-no one outside of India knows what it is. It’s an Indian-English word. What’s the English word? Food blender or something like that.

So, give a set of Bhagavatam. It’s a great gift. That’s my advice, as you’ve asked for it, but it’s up to you.

Hare Krishna!"

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Question: In the western part of India, especially Maharashtra, there are many saints (I am not sure if this is what peoplel are supposed to call them) like Swami Samartha, Sant Dnyāneshwar, and Giriraj Maharaja whose followers are mostly simple and poor villagers. HG Caitanya Charan Prabhu mentioned in www.thespiritualscientist.com that devotees are supposed to respect them and glorify them for whatever bhakti they are doing, although they are using chanting or glorification of the Lord as a tool to gain followers and ultimately make them Mayavadis.… Expand>

Question:

I have been listening to your holiness' lectures for about 5 months day and night and I like the philosophical clarity of thought by which your holiness presents Krishna Consciousness, and of course the quality of the recording is nice.

I have also heard all of your Holiness' Q&A audio lectures available on the internet before asking this question.

In the western part of India, especially Maharashtra, there are many saints (I am not sure if this is what peoplel are supposed to call them) like Swami Samartha, Sant Dnyāneshwar, and Giriraj Maharaja whose followers are mostly simple and poor villagers. HG Caitanya Charan Prabhu mentioned in www.thespiritualscientist.com that devotees are supposed to respect them and glorify them for whatever bhakti they are doing, although they are using chanting or glorification of the Lord as a tool to gain followers and ultimately make them Mayavadis.

But the problem in practical application is that if we respect them then they will think that we are approving of their activities. For example most of their followers are vegetarian but they feel  that tea does not break their fast on Ekadashi, so they consume tea on their fasting days also.

Are these Maharaja's with their sampradaya's bona fide? If yes then which Sampradaya do they belong to?

In most rural parts of Maharashtra we don't have ISKCON centers, But we do have maths of the above mentioned personalities, so what should be our attitude towards the followers of the above mentioned personalities?

And what should be our approach to bring them to Krishna Consciousness as we don't have any ISKCON centers here? What are the do’s and don't we should follow to bring them to the service of Srila Prabhupada, or if not that then at least a bona fide Guru Parampara?

Can we or do we have a website or any such means where it is clearly stated that XYZ math or Sampradaya is bona fide or not bona fide, so at least we don't offend the ones who are outside of ISKCON and belong to a bona fide sampradaya and do not promote (by respecting them) the bogus so called spiritualist?

I do not intend to hurt any devotee, my only motive is to seek the truth or clarity of thought for healthy spiritual progress. Please forgive me for any offenses.

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Question: You have made frequent contacts with acaryas of various Vaisnava sampradayas. I feel very inspired by your preaching in this area. Gaura Keshava Prabhu (a disciple of Prabhupada, who has a home at Sri Rangam) mentioned to me: "Before coming to the West, he (Srila Prabhupada) wrote to Visvambhara Goswami(his friend, Radha Ramana Temple Goswami and former Vrndavan mayor)… Expand>

Question:

You have made frequent contacts with acaryas of various Vaisnava sampradayas. I feel very inspired by your preaching in this area. Gaura Keshava Prabhu (a disciple of Prabhupada, who has a home at Sri Rangam) mentioned to me: "Before coming to the West, he (Srila Prabhupada) wrote to Visvambhara Goswami(his friend, Radha Ramana Temple Goswami and former Vrndavan mayor) that he wanted to start an organization wherein Vaisnavas from all sampradayas could cooperate to push on Krsna consciousness.Of course ultimately ISKCON was born out of this desire. We do not know exactly how inclusive or exclusive of other types of Vaisnavas and their philosophies and traditions ISKCON will eventual become."

I wanted to know if you envisage any form of strategic partnership among all the Vaisnava sampradayas, since at present, we just have issue-specific or individual-level contacts.

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What is the Urgency of This Human Birth?

June 10, 2012 |

Question: While preaching I have come across several persons who doubt the cycle of birth and death and when the point comes up about having to go through millions of births in the animal realm, (or any realm for that matter) before coming back to the human platform, I often hear; "Well I was born in this human body… Expand>

Question:

While preaching I have come across several persons who doubt the cycle of birth and death and when the point comes up about having to go through millions of births in the animal realm, (or any realm for that matter) before coming back to the human platform, I often hear; "Well I was born in this human body and don’t remember my other births, so if this same chance will happen again someday what is the urgency of this human birth?

So basically they are saying they do not remember the suffering of other lives, yet all of a sudden they were born in this human form where things are pretty nice, and they are wondering, what need is there to change. What does it matter if they take so many animal births as long as they don’t remember, since one day they will just be back in a human form again?

So I am wondering how to defeat this argument.

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