STRUGGLE… A HEAVY STRUGGLE… A HARD STRUGGLE… THIS IS OUR ADVANCEMENT


By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Human life is meant for tapasyā (austerities). We know in our Indian history all big, big kings, they went to the forest for tapasyā. King Bharata, Bharata Mahārāja, under whose name this planet is called Bhāratavarṣa, left his kingdom, young wife, children, everything, at the age of twenty-four years, and went for tapasyā. So also the Pāndavas. Everyone. The last stage of life should be especially meant for tapasyā. Not that up to the point of death we shall remain addicted to this worldly life. No.

Srila Prabhupada with Dr. J. Stilson Judah

This life is meant for purifying our existence. That means stop this cycle of birth and death. Janma-mrtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duhkha-doṣānudarśanam [Bg. 13.9]. We should always keep in front. We may be puffed up as very much advanced in material comfort, but, at the same time, you should keep in front, janma-mrtyu-jarā-vyādhi (birth, old age, disease and death). Continue reading

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Is ISKCON doing a sinful activity by degrading other Gods?


Answer by Niraj Bidawatka

First of all this question is itself erroneous. There are no “other Gods”. There is only one God. This is the verdict of all authorized scriptures starting from the Vedas, to the Bible and the Koran. ekam brahma dvitīyam nāsti: There is only one God, there cannot be two Gods. When there is no existence of other Gods, where does the question of degrading “other Gods” arise? The Bhagavad Gita is the only scripture, which reveals the identity of that one God. Please bear in mind that the God of the Hindus is not different from that of the Muslims or the Christians. Nor is the Bhagavad Gita a book of the Hindus. It is book of knowledge which is meant for humans, notwithstanding which religion they follow. It is a book of transcendental knowledge which informs us about the name and address of that all-powerful God, whom the Hindus call as Bhagavan, the Muslims call as Allah and the Jews calls as Jehovah. The Bhagavad Gita reveals that the name of God is Krishna and that He resides in the spiritual realm, which is transcendental to this material world, where we are staying. Upon reaching that spiritual realm, one is not subjected to repeated birth, death, old age, and disease.

Those, who are ignorant about the authentic teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, accept various other controllers of the cosmic manifestation as Continue reading

Who is above Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh, Adi Parashakti, and Krishna?


Answer by Niraj Bidawatka

Krishna is the greatest. He is greater than Brahmā, Vishnu, Shankara and Adi-Parashakti. No one is greater than or equal to Krishna. This is confirmed by the Bhagavad Gita (7.7): mattah parataram nānyat kincid asti dhananjaya: There is no truth greater than Krishna.

The proponents of the impersonal māyāvāda philosophy claim that the formless Brahman is superior than the personal gods and that the Bhagavad Gita was spoken by the formless Brahman within Krishna. But this is a false theory and this sort of fallacious reasoning is rejected by Krishna Himself. He states in the Bhagavad Gita (14.27) that “I am the basis of the impersonal Brahman (brahmaṇo hi pratiṣṭhāham).” Therefore the māyāvāda, or advaita-vāda philosophy, which claims that the impersonal and formless Brahman is superior to Krishna, is out-rightly rejected by the Bhagavad Gita in this verse.

Krishna further confirms in the Bhagavad Gita (10.2) that “I am the origin of all the devatās (aham ādir hi devānām).” This is conclusive proof that Krishna is the origin of all the devatās, including Brahmā, Vishnu and Shiva.

Now one may argue that, “This is the claim of Krishna Himself. How can I believe His claim. Anybody can claim that, ‘I am God’ but how do I accept that Krishna is Supreme.”

The answer is given by Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita (10.12–13) wherein Continue reading

A CLASSLESS SOCIETY WILL ONLY CREATE CHAOS AND CONFUSION


By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

For a kṣatriya, killing is not sinful. For a brāhmaṇa, sacrificing an animal in the arena, that is not sinful. It is all explained in the Bhagavad-gītā: sa doṣam api na tyajet [Bg. 18.48]. Killing is bad, but a kṣatriya’s business is to kill. Without killing, one cannot become perfect kṣatriya. Because he has to give protection, and there are so many demons, rascals. So if the king becomes nonviolent, how other citizens will be given protection? No.

So the king’s business is that as soon as he sees an undesirable element, immediately he would kill him. That is real protection. Just like when Parīkṣit Mahārāja was going on tour, he saw one black man was trying to kill a cow. Immediately saw, “Who are you? You are trying to kill cow in my kingdom? I shall kill you.” He immediately took out his sword. This is king. Not that animals should not be given protection, only man should be given protection. No. Prajā.

Prajā means one who taken birth in the kingdom. That is called prajā. So animal is also American, man is also American, but there is no protection for the animal by the government. So that kind of government, rascal government, was not there. Equal right. Your country talks of equality. Why not equality to the animals? That is defect. It is due to the absence of Krishna consciousness. A Krishna conscious person will not distinguish like that.

The great Emperor Parikshit Maharaja subdues the evil Kali, thus protecting his subjects

For eating animal, they will philosophize that animal has no soul; therefore it can be killed. No. This is nonsense. Everyone has got soul. Even a small ant has got soul. But they have to kill. They have to eat. They are philosophizing in a different way. Lord Jesus Christ said, “Thou shalt not kill,” and now they are interpreting, “Killing means murdering human being.” But that is not in the Bible. So they are manufacturing their own ways of understanding Bible and ethical principles. Therefore it is becoming valueless.

One cannot change the words of the authority. If you believe in Lord Jesus Christ, you cannot make any change to your convenience. This is rascaldom. You cannot be a Christian if you violate the orders of Lord Jesus Christ. But they are doing so…

If kṣatriya becomes nonviolent… Just like our Mahatma Gandhi started nonviolence in politics. So that was a political policy, but in politics there is no question of nonviolence. That is foolishness. Actually, India gained independence not by nonviolence. That is a great history. India gained independence… Gandhi was fighting with nonviolence for thirty, thirty-five years; there was no result. But one of the leaders, when he ensued fighting, then within, I think, within one year the Britishers left. So in politics there is no question of nonviolence. So a king, a protector, kṣatriyaKṣatriya means kṣatKṣat means injury, injury. And tra means deliver. So a kṣatriya’s business is to deliver a person who is going to be injured. That is kṣatriya. Just like this cow was going to be injured, and as soon as Mahārāja Parīkṣit saw it, he immediately took his sword to kill him. So this is kṣatriya. Continue reading

SANKHYA YOGA IS USELESS LABOUR IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO FIND OUT NARAYANA


By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Big, big sannyāsīs, they are discussing sāṅkhya-yoga, metaphysics. Or analyzing what is spirit, what is matter. Neti neti: “Not this.” This is called sāṅkhya-yoga. And sāṅkhya-yoga, original sāṅkhya-yoga means bhakti-yoga. Because the sāṅkhya-yoga system philosophy was spoken by Kapiladeva, the son of Devahūti. That is purely bhakti-yoga.

Later on, one atheist, he also assumed the name of Kapila and discussed sāṅkhya-yoga. That is materialistic analysis. The sāṅkhya-yoga system of philosophy is very much liked in Europe and Western countries because it is a system of metaphysics, analyzing the whole cosmic manifestation. There are twenty-four tattvas (elements). Just like these five tattvas, material elements: earth, water, air, fire, ether. Then ten senses: five senses for acquiring knowledge and five senses for enjoying. Then five principles of enjoyment. Anyway, there are twenty-four elements, and mind, intelligence, ego, and the principal, soul. In this way there are twenty-four elements. The sāṅkhya yogis, they very much analyze this study. They are of the opinion that besides these twenty-four elements, there is nothing more. No. There is. The twenty-four elements, one who is combining and annihilating, that is the Supreme Lord, pradhāna, Vishnu.

So sāṅkhya-yoga, either you take this Kapiladeva’s philosophical principle or that Kapiladeva, that’s all right. But after analyzing, if you do not find out Nārāyaṇa, the creator of this material atmosphere, material elements, then it is useless laboring – so much hard (labour), for analyzing. Just like the chemist or physicist, they are also analyzing the material elements within the laboratory. But that does not mean they are going to be liberated at the end of life. No. Or if you want to be liberated… Because after all, you are spirit soul. You are entangled with these twenty-four elements. So your real business is how to get out of it. That is wanted. Suppose if you are a diseased fellow, or you analyze the disease. Just like in pathology – The doctor examines your blood and he finds out, “This is infection, that is infection, this is this, this is this.” That’s all right. But simply by understanding the blood analysis, pathology, does not mean it is cured. The cure is different. Continue reading

THE MIND, INTELLIGENCE AND EGO ARE NOT VICES


By Niraj Bidawatka

This morning I received Dussehra greetings on Whatsapp from one of my friends. In his message, my friend also included a quote from a famous bearded so-called transcendentalist. The quote stated that Dussehra is all about conquering the 10 vices, namely kāma (lust), krodha (anger), lobha (greed), mada (pride), moha (illusion), mātsarya (envy) and mana (mind), buddhi (intelligence), citta (consciuosness) and ahaṅkāra (ego) and went on to further wish that may all these vices vanish from our lives.

Lord Chaitanya blissfully chanting Hare Krishna along with His associates

Not going into much details, because a detailed analysis will run into at least 1500 words, I am keeping this post very short as people don’t wish to read long write-ups. I myself tend to ignore long messages.

Vices cannot be removed simply by wishing. They can be removed only through Continue reading

WHAT IS YAGNA AND WHICH PROCESS IS MORE EFFECTIVE THAN A YAGNA?


By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

According to Vedic injunctions, a fire sacrifice is held in order to give food to the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the names of the different demigods. While performing a fire sacrifice, one pronounces the word svāhā in mantras such as indrāya svāhā and ādityāya svāhā. These mantras are uttered to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead through demigods such as Indra and Āditya, for the Supreme Personality of Godhead says: Continue reading

Would you accept Arjuna as God just because Krishna says “I am Arjuna”???


By Niraj Bidawatka

One argument that people very often put forward is that Krishna Himself says in the tenth and eleventh chapter that “I am Shiva”, “I am the sun among all planets”, “I am this demigod”, “I am that demigod “, Therefore, they conclude that by worshiping these demigods (devatā), we are worshiping Krishna.

Krishna says, “I am the taste of water.” So why don’t you worship the taste of water as God? Krishna says so many things. But without understanding the purport they misinterpret as they like. This is called the half-hen logic.

Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead

The uniqueness of water is its taste. The uniqueness of the sun is its ability to illuminate. Thus, the ability in any thing or person, is coming from Krishna. Similarly, the demigods also have unique qualities, which are actually bestowed by Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Krishna also says that “among the Pandavas, I am Arjuna. (Bg. 10.37)” So, does it mean that Arjuna is God? No. Arjuna was the most able warrior among the Pandavas. Therefore, Krishna says that “whatever unique qualities that you observe in anybody, know that they are emanating from Me.” This is stated at the end of the tenth chapter of the Bhagavad-Gita (10.41). The verse is as follows: Continue reading

FEEDING A PURE DEVOTEE OF KRISHNA IS THOUSAND TIMES GREATER THAN FEEDING ORDINARY BRAHMANAS


By Niraj Bidawatka

In the current fortnight, people, especially in India, are engaged in offering oblations to their forefathers as per the custom called “shrāddha.” It is a ceremony wherein one offers Vishnu prasāda, or sanctified foodstuffs to the forefathers (pitrs) through the brāhmanas. The Brāhmanas are considered the most intelligent class of men because they possess knowledge about God. Thus, through the aegis of such pure souls, the ancestors are fed.

The definition of a brāhmana is – “brahma jānāti iti brāhmana” – One who knows “brahma” (God), is called a brāhmana. But, now people are mostly inviting hereditary brāhmanas, who have no knowledge about God. No one cares to ensure whether the person, who is being invited, is a real brāhmana or not. People don’t care to test this essential ingredient of being a brahmana – whether he possesses knowledge about God or not.

Simply taking birth in the family of a brāhmana does not ensure that one is brāhmana. He should be trained up as a brāhmana. On the other hand, even if one is born in a family of dog-eaters, but still undergoes proper training about the science of God and thus attains and realizes genuine knowledge of God, then such a person is considered to be a true brāhmana. Simply taking birth in a lawyer’s family, does not make one a lawyer. He has to undergo proper training and only then will he be recognized as a lawyer. Similarly taking birth in a brahmin’s family does not make one a brahmin. He has to undergo proper training as a brahmin, says Prabhupada.

na me ‘bhaktaś catur-vedī mad-bhaktah śva-pacah priyah

tasmai deyam tato grāhyam sa ca pūjyo yathā hy aham

Lord Krishna says, “Even if a nondevotee comes from a brāhmaṇa family and is expert in studying the Vedas, he is not very dear to Me, whereas even if a sincere devotee comes from a low family of meat-eaters, he is very dear to Me. Such a sincere pure devotee should be given charity, for he is as worshipable as I.”

[Quoted from Srila Prabhupada’s Purport to CC Antya 3.222]

Srila Haridas Thakur, who was born in a Muslim meat-eater family, was a great devotee of Krishna. By dint of his exalted devotion, he was conferred the title of nāmāchārya by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Nāmāchārya means “the teacher of the Holy Name.” Continue reading

WHENEVER THERE IS NEW BRANCH OF OUR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS SOCIETY, I BECOME VERY VERY HAPPY


Letters of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

 

Delhi

3 October, 1967

 

My Dear Nandarani, Krishna devi, Subala das, and Uddhava,

The Western World Headquarters of ISKCON at Los Angeles, California, USA

Please accept my blessings. I am very glad to know that you are now in Los Angeles & organizing the most important temple. I had great desire to have our center in L.A. & by grace of Krishna you have fulfilled my desire. I had another great desire to open a temple in London and hoped also that Kirtanananda after accepting sannyasa would do this job. For this purpose he was given an introductory letter to a London lady along with expenses. However out of his whim he did not go to London but went directly to New York. This is a terrible example and it has shocked me. Continue reading