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

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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

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

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

My Musings – 4: IF I AM GOD, THEN I MUST BE OMNISCIENT, OMNIPOTENT AND OMNIPRESENT


By Niraj Bidawatka

Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead being worshiped by Lord Brahma, the demigod who creates the universe.

The Mayavadis say that everyone is God. But this is a faulty theory.

If I am God, then I should be omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent, which are the inherent qualities of God. I should be able to deduce the thoughts, which are going on in your mind. I should be able to remain in my office as well as in my home at the same time. But, when I’m in my office, l cannot remain simultaneously at my home. So how can I be God? Thus, I’m neither omnipresent nor omniscient. I’m also not omnipotent, which is another quality of God. I am always fearful that some strong person may come and attack me.

When I bring this to the notice of the Mayavadis, they propose that if I meditate, then I shall acquire all these qualities and then I’ll become God.

But I have heard from Srila Prabhupada, that God is always God. He never becomes God. When Krishna was barely a newborn baby, He killed Putana, the gigantic demoness. So, God never becomes God by meditation. He is always God. Hence, I reject their theory that we can become God by meditation.

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada with His Disciples

Now, the Mayavadis put forward another fallacious theory. They say that Continue reading

My Musings – 3: How do I control my mind?


By Niraj Bidawatka

Lord Chaitanya has descended with the medicine of the Holy Name to cure our disease of material attachment

Lord Chaitanya has descended with the medicine of the Holy Name to cure our disease of material attachment

mana eva manusyanam karanam bandha moksayoh

bandhaya visay asango muktyai nirvisayam manah

The above verse from the smrtis, states that the mind is the sole cause of a human being’s bondage and liberation.

The mind, which is engaged in sense enjoyment, becomes the cause of bondage, whereas the mind, which is not attached to sense objects, leads us to liberation.

Thus, in order to control the mind, we need a mantra. Manah trayate it mantra.

Mantra means that, which delivers (trayate) the mind (mana). The mantra, which is especially prescribed for this age, is the Hare Krishna mahamantra. This is the verdict of the Kalisantaran Upanishad.

Hare Krishna Mantra

Therefore, if we want to go back to Godhead, we must chant Hare Krishna at all times (kirtaniya sada hari).

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says that, “I have descended with the sole purpose of taking you back to Godhead. So please accept this medicine of the Hare Krishna mahamantra, which I am distributing to one and all.”

So, at least for Lord Chaitanya’s sake, Who has very benevolently appeared to take us back, we should at once start chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra. Continue reading

MEMBERS OF ALL RELIGIOUS SECTS REFER AND READ SRILA PRABHUPADA’S BOOKS


By Niraj Bidawatka

Some six months back, when I was out on book distribution, one woman came to me and asked me to give a nice book of Prabhupada because she had just finished reading Bhagavad Gita As It Is, which she has bought from me some six or seven years back. I gave her the “Science of Self Realization”, which she happily bought.

Last month, when I saw her on the street, I stopped her and asked her to come to our Bhagavad gita lectures.

Srila Prabhupada also used to read his own books

Srila Prabhupada also used to read his own books

She politely declined stating that since she was already following the “BrahmaKumaris” (a religious organization in India), she did not want to attend our programs.  Continue reading

My Musings – 2: I am a thief because I claim ownership on Krishna’s money


By Niraj Bidawatka

My money is very dear to me. I have worked so hard to accumulate it. I did not even consider what is wrong or right, while accumulating it. I did not care that I was acting sinfully while accumulating it. I must admit that I have a huge bank balance and most of that is accumulated sinfully.

radha-krishna-deities

Had I acted uprightly and honestly, it wouldn’t have been possible for me to amass so much money. It is a fact that in today’s world, it is not possible to earn a fortune without acting sinfully.

The Hare Krishna devotees tell me that I am a thief because I am claiming Krishna’s money as my own. Although they ask me to return the money back to Krishna by giving a donation to the temple, I am reluctant to do so.

I do realize deep down the heart, that it is Krishna’s money and if I don’t give it back to Krishna, I will have to spend it on hospital bills, litigation expenses, etc. Or some thief may steal it or the government may confiscate it. But nonetheless, I am ready to undergo such sufferings. But I will not give any money to the devotees of Krishna. I think that the devotees want to fleece money out from me.

However, Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita (10.34) that “I steal everything in the form of death.”  Continue reading

My Musings – 1: God is always more Clever than us


By Niraj Bidawatka

yasoda-mouth-krsna-Nhagavatha

If I am a powerful prime minister or a big business magnate in this life, I consider myself very intelligent and clever.

But if I become a dog or a hog in my next life, where is my intelligence?

It is a big failure.

I shall not be awarded this valuable human form in my next life because I did not use it for cultivating God consciousness. I misused it for sense gratification and for making a false show of mundane religiosity.

I made a false show of  religiosity because that helps me garner popularity and respect in my political and business circles. Continue reading