WHY IS SUICIDE SINFUL?


Answer by Niraj Bidawatka

Because by committing suicide, one is interfering in the laws of nature. We have been given this gross body for a certain time period, wherein we suffer or enjoy in accordance with our stock of past karma. By committing suicide, we are depriving the soul of its gross body. For the remainder period of his life span, the soul has to remain as a ghost. That means that the person, after committing suicide, does not get a gross body but wanders here and there in a subtle body.

A person who considers himself happy will never commit suicide. One commits suicide only when he is suffering. That means he wants to escape from the suffering. If one escapes from jail, in order to avoid punishment, that is offensive. He will be punished even more if he is caught escaping. Similarly a person who commits suicide will be punished even more because he wants to escape the reactions of his bad karma. Therefore committing suicide is sinful. Continue reading

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THE ACTIVITIES OF THOSE WHO ARE NOT INTERESTED IN THE SOUL


By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

There is a class of men. They are very much anxious to serve the human society. But they are not anxious to serve the animal society. The animal society may be killed for the satisfaction of the human society. Therefore, unless you come to the point of ātmā (soul), whatever extended selfishness there is, it is selfishness. There is no broadmindedness. And broadmindedness (comes) when you come to the platform of ātmā. Īçāvāsyam idam sarvam [Isopanisad mantra 1]. When you come to the point of God, then you see, “Oh, everything belongs to God. Here is an animal. He is also as good as I am, because he is also soul.” So ātma-tattvam (needs) to be discussed, but they are not prepared. Therefore, grheṣu grha-medhinām. So what is their business, those who are blind to the ātma-tattvam? So that business is described in the next verse. Continue reading

REAL YOGA MEANS LOVING VĀSUDEVA BHAGAVĀN


By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

If you place your loving tendency to Vāsudeva, then vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogaḥ. This can be done perfectly by bhakti-yoga, not by any other system. There are different yoga systems. Everything is mixed up with a little bhakti like karma-yoga, jnāna-yoga, dhyāna-yoga.. But the real yoga means loving Vāsudeva, Bhagavān. Therefore Bhagavān says in the Bhagavad-gita, yogināṁ api sarveṣāṁ [Bg. 6.47]. In all other yoga systems there is little tinge of vāsudeva-bhakti, but not cent percent pure. It is mixed, miśrā-bhakti. Miśrā-bhakti will not be immediately fruitful. It will take a long, long time. Bahūnām janmanām ante jnānavān mām prapadyate [Bg. 7.19]. Everything, there is some bhakti-yoga, but if it is not pure, then it will take very, very, very, very long time.

Bhagavan Vāsudeva Krishna – the son of Vasudeva

Bahūnām janmanām: One janma (birth) means hundreds of years. We are not talking of any other janma. Even human form of life. Because those who are advanced in spiritual life, there is every possibility for getting next life a human being. Otherwise nobody knows. Those who are ignorant, they do not know that there will be change of body: tathā dehāntara prāptir. That is a fact. But those who are in the sattva-guṇa, they are sure to get next life in the human society. Śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe yoga-bhraṣṭo sanjāyate [Bg. 6.41]. śucīnāṁ means pure brāhmaṇa, and śrīmatāṁ means very rich vaiśya or kṣatriya. Kings and mercantile communities are rich, or śrīmat. Śrī means opulence, and mat means “one who has”. Śrīmatām. Continue reading

WHY IS MEAT-EATING PROHIBITED?


By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Five thousand years ago Krishna came to kill some of the demons. (At that time) not all of them were demons. But the next time, when Krishna will come, there will only be demons. Only demons.

Kalki avatāra. What is that stotra? Keśava dhr̥ta-kalki-śarīra jaya jagadīśa hare. So at that time Krishna will not preach Bhagavad-gītā. Kalki avatāra will simply come to cut the throat only. That will be the preaching. That will be preaching. Mleccha-nivaha-nidhane kalayasi karavālam, karālam. Karālam means death personified. Mleccha-nidhane. Mleccha means meat-eaters. Those who are meat-eaters, fish-eaters, they are mlecchas. Mleccha-yavana, they are called, according to Vedic…

Kalki Avatara

So people are becoming meat-eaters nowadays. There is no secrecy. Formerly, at least in India, the meat-eaters used to eat meat very secretly. We had seen in our childhood. If somebody will eat meat, it was not allowed within the house. They, formerly, rich men, they used to keep Muslim servants as the caretaker of the horse or the carriage driver. So in the horse stable they would secretly cook some meat, and the so-called Babu, Zamindar, would eat. It was not allowed. And those who were not rich — poor men, śūdra class—they would go to Kālī-ghāṭa, and get one goat, sacrifice there, and cook there and eat, then come back. Meat-eating was not at all allowed. The higher caste, especially the brāhmaṇas, they would never touch. Still in some provinces, in Maharastra province, in Madras… Of course, they are now taking. Continue reading

Transmigration from Godhood to Doghood after Death


By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

They will never be God, but we see so many persons, who by the influence of the illusory energy, they think, “I am God. I shall become God by pressing my nose like this, doing this.” So this is going on. They will never be able. That is not possible. Otherwise, there is no meaning of God. If everyone can become God, then there is no meaning of God.

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

But by influence of… Just like karmīs are saying “I shall become millionaire. I shall become trillionaire. I shall become head of the state. I shall become prime minister.” This struggle, this is another struggle: “I shall become God.” This is another struggle. But it is illusion. So Krishna gives them opportunity, some yogic success.

Just like in India there is a rascal. He makes like that, and there is immediately some gold. And people become after him: “Oh, he is God. He is God.” By producing a little gold, he becomes God. Another yogi, he gives immediately two rasagullā. So by producing two rasagullā, four annas’ worth, he becomes God. You see? This is illusion. These rascals, they do not know that, “What is this rasagullā, two rasagullā? I can purchase from the market for four annas. So he is becoming God by four annas?” But they have no sense. “Oh, he is God. He can produce rasagullā.” Rasagullā I can produce in our kitchen. But they are so rascal. “Oh, wonderful.” Continue reading

WOMAN IS A STUMBLING BLOCK FOR SELF-REALIZATION


By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Great vows of austerity are undertaken by sages to achieve success in self-realization. Human life is meant for such tapasya, with the great vow of celibacy, or brahmacarya. In the rigid life of tapasya, there is no place for the association of women. And because human life is meant for tapasya, for self-realization, factual human civilization, as conceived by the system of sanātana-dharma or the school of four castes and four orders of life, prescribes rigid dissociation from woman in three stages of life. In the order of gradual cultural development, one’s life may be divided into four divisions: celibacy, household life, retirement, and renunciation.

The Lord appeared as a beautiful woman (Mohini) to captivate the asurās

During the first stage of life, up to twenty-five years of age, a man may be trained as a brahmacārī (celibate student) under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master just to understand that woman is the real binding force in material existence. If one wants to get freedom from the material bondage of conditional life, he must get free from the attraction for the form of woman. Woman, or the fair sex, is the enchanting principle for the living entities, and the male form, especially in the human being, is meant for self-realization. The whole world is moving under the spell of womanly attraction, and as soon as a man becomes united with a woman, he at once becomes a victim of material bondage under a tight knot.

The desires for lording it over the material world, under the intoxication of a false sense of lordship, specifically begin just after the man’s unification with a woman. The desires for acquiring a house, possessing land, having children and becoming prominent in society, the affection for community and the place of birth, and the hankering for wealth, which are all like phantasmagoria or illusory dreams, encumber a human being, and he is thus impeded in his progress toward self-realization, the real aim of life.

The brahmacāri, or a boy from the age of five years, especially from the higher castes, namely from the scholarly parents (the brāhmanas), the administrative parents (the ksatriyas), or the mercantile or productive parents (the vaiśyas), is trained until twenty-five years of age under the care of a bona fide guru or teacher, and under strict observance of discipline he comes to understand the values of life along with taking specific training for a livelihood. The brahmacārī is then allowed to go home and enter householder life and get married to a suitable woman. But there are Continue reading

DURGA HAS NO POWER TO AWARD LIBERATION – ONLY KRISHNA HAS THAT POWER


By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Durga is working under the direction of Krishna – Without surrendering to Krishna, no one can get out of the clutches of Durga (Bg7.14)

But those who have no information how this Durgā is there, they think that by worshiping, by pleasing goddess Durgā, they’ll be happy. No. Pleasing means you have to abide by the laws of the durga, material world. Otherwise, Durgā will take her trident and pierce on the chest of the asura. Durgā is controlling. The asura is also a living entity within this durga (fortress). So those who are asuras – those who are not cultivating Krishna consciousness, they are asuras – for them, Durgā’s trident is on the chest of the asura. You have seen that picture.

So you cannot get out of this durga simply by bribing, by satisfying. You have to satisfy Durgā in a different way. Continue reading

WHAT IS MAYAVADA PHILOSOPHY?


Answer by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Māyāvāda philosophy supports the impersonalist view that Nārāyaṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, has no form. One can imagine impersonal Brahman in any form—as Viṣṇu, Lord Śiva, Vivasvān, Gaṇeśa or Devī Durgā. According to the Māyāvāda philosophy, when one becomes a sannyāsī  he is to be considered a moving Nārāyaṇa. Māyāvāda philosophy holds that the real Nārāyaṇa does not move because, being impersonal, He has no legs. Thus according to Māyāvāda philosophy, whoever becomes a sannyāsī  declares himself Nārāyaṇa. Foolish people accept such ordinary human beings as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is called vivarta-vāda.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu preaches to impersonalist Mayavadi Sannyasis

In this regard, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura comments that jaṅgama-nārāyaṇa means that the impersonal Brahman takes a shape and moves here and there in the form of a Māyāvādī sannyāsī . The Māyāvāda philosophy confirms this. Daṇḍa-grahaṇa-mātreṇa naro nārāyaṇo bhavet: “Simply by accepting the daṇḍa of the order of sannyāsa, one is immediately transformed into Nārāyaṇa.” Therefore Māyāvādī sannyāsīs address one another by saying oṁ namo nārāyaṇāya. In this way one Nārāyaṇa worships another Nārāyaṇa.

Actually an ordinary human being cannot become Nārāyaṇa. As the chief Māyāvādī sannyāsī, Śrī Śaṅkarācārya, says, nārāyaṇaḥ paro ’vyaktāt: “Nārāyaṇa is not a creation of this material world. Nārāyaṇa is above the material creation.” Due to their poor fund of knowledge, Māyāvādī sannyāsīs think that

Continue reading

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

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