Departure Speech

September 4, 2012 |

English; Denver, Colorado, USA

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Central Principle for the Establishment of Varnasrama Dharma

July 3, 2015 |

Question: Is there a central principle for the establishment of Varnasrama Dharma? Different scholarly devotees have given different perspectives on the subject: (i) There must be segregation of sexes and they should only interact in a ritualistic manner to produce children, who would presumably be high class Brahmanas, being products of controlled sex and Vaisnava rituals, (ii) The seminal lineages of Brahmanas must be restored through training in scriptures and rituals and by their high birth, learning and expertise, these Brahmanas would establish their hegemony in Hindu society… Expand>

Question:

Is there a central principle for the establishment of Varnasrama Dharma? Different scholarly devotees have given different perspectives on the subject: (i) There must be segregation of sexes and they should only interact in a ritualistic manner to produce children, who would presumably be high class Brahmanas, being products of controlled sex and Vaisnava rituals, (ii) The seminal lineages of Brahmanas must be restored through training in scriptures and rituals and by their high birth, learning and expertise, these Brahmanas would establish their hegemony in Hindu society, (iii) The main problem is anxiety for economic security, so scholarly devotees should be provided with sufficient resources to maintain family, conduct research and open teaching facilities, without the need to gather followers or donations, (iv) Devotees should isolate themselves from mainstream society and develop their own institutions, following strict rules of personal and communal conduct, people all over the world will be attracted to such an ideal way of life. Can any of these principles, viz. sexual segregation, seminal lineage, economic security or isolated community be the central principle for the establishment of Varnasrama Dharma?

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How Chanting is a Service and Glorification of the Lord

October 31, 2013 |

Question: I have been wondering, (1) Why chanting the name of the Lord is considered to be service. How are you serving the Lord by just chanting His name? (2) Why chanting the name of the Lord is considered to be glorification of Him. When are we glorifying him while chanting?… Expand>

Question:

I have been wondering,

(1) Why chanting the name of the Lord is considered to be service. How are you serving the Lord by just chanting His name?

(2) Why chanting the name of the Lord is considered to be glorification of Him. When are we glorifying him while chanting?

Answer by HH Bhakti Vikāsa Swami: 

Why is it considered to be service to Kṛṣṇa to chant His names? Because He likes to hear His names chanted and He says to chant. This is His order. So if you follow the order you are doing service. Serving someone means to act, if it’s in the case of a subordinate or an equal, it means to act for their benefit and if for a superior, it means to act for their pleasure. So Kṛṣṇa likes to hear His own name. So chanting His name is His order. That’s mentioned in Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, that Vallabha Bhaṭṭa came to Caitanya Mahāprabhu and made the objection that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Lord, so in that sense He is like the husband of everyone, but according to śāstra the wife shouldn’t say the husband’s name, so you shouldn’t chant the holy name. Caitanya Mahāprabhu replied to this rather odd objection that the most important for the wife is to follow the order of the husband. So the order of Kṛṣṇa is to chant His name, so we should chant it.

Where is the glorification? How are we glorifying Him by chanting? It might not seem to be glorification if we just say the name, nāma kīrtana. If we say Kṛṣṇa is powerful, He is beautiful, we can say that’s glorification. That’s specifically called guṇa kīrtana – to speak on the qualities of Kṛṣṇa. But nāma kīrtana is also glorification in the sense that by repeatedly saying His name in an attitude of reverence that’s certainly glorifying Him. That means that we take Kṛṣṇa very seriously and we are asking others to do so also, bringing Kṛṣṇa to others’ attention. So that is also glorifying. We‘re not chanting the name of anyone else. You can go, someone living in the next building, his name might be, for instance, I don’t know the names of anyone living there, but there might be someone there theoretically called Piyush Caudhari. So we are not chanting Piyush Caudhari, Piyush Caudhari, Piyush Caudhari… If we did, it would be remarkable because no one living in the apartment here is so remarkable that we want to chant their names, especially not repeatedly. But Kṛṣṇa is so extraordinary and rememberable, worthy of thinking about – smaraṇīya - that we want to remember Him by chanting His holy name. The very fact we are chanting is glorification, we are chanting His names. It shows His importance.

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Success is to make One Pure Devotee

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Question: Srila Prabhupada often mentions in his lectures that his mission would be complete if he could make one pure devotee. Is this statement used out of humility by Srila Prabhupada? What is the definition of a pure devotee? Does it mean that there is no pure devotee in ISKCON? Please can you kindly throw some more insights on this topic.

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