How Chanting Releases from Karma?

Question:  How Chanting Releases from Karma?

Our scriptures say a spirit gets into the cycle of birth and death based on the past karma. And this cycle will not end until and unless the spirit gets cleansed of its own karmic results. Then how chanting of Krishna's holy name will help a spirit to overcome the woes in the present cycle (life)?  This claim, if so, goes against the law of karma Sri Krishna himself proclaimed in Bhagavad-gita.

Answer:  By Krishna's Special Mercy

While it is karma which keeps us in the cycle of birth and death, it was envy of God, not karma, which got us caught up here in the first place. Krishna confirms in the Bhagavad-gita that if we surrender to Him He will release us from our karma. Just as the president can grant a pardon and release a person from prison even if he was not qualified by the rules of the prison to be released, in a similar way Krishna will release from the wheel of karma anyone who surrenders

unto Him even if their karma dictates that they must remain in the cycle of birth of death. Because the law of karma is acting under the energy of Krishna, He has the power to override it and release anyone from it who has surrendered unto Him. Krishna is not under the law of karma. He is over the law of karma.

Since Krishna orders us to chant His names, when we agree to seriously take up the regular chanting of the Hare Krishna mahamantra we are surrendering ourselves unto Krishna and become qualified by His special mercy for release from the wheel of karma.

Conquering Sex Desire

Question:  Conquering Sex Desire

What should a devotee do when sex desires come to his body? Such a situation is quite difficult and dangerous. Do you have some emergency method when sex desires attack the body and mind?

Is it that only males are prone to be sexually agitated upon seeing an opposite sex, or that it's a common problem which obsesses male and female?

Answer:  Call Out to Madan Mohan

When Cupid attacks you with his arrows of lust call out to Krishna by His name of Madan Mohan. Madan means Cupid and Mohan means attractor. So Krishna, the attractor of Cupid, will attract Cupid away from you if you will feelingly call out to Him. After doing this if your mind and body are still disturbed by lust, you must then call out to Madan Mohan with greater intensity begging for His protection. And if even in spite of this you are still disturbed you should then call out to Madan Mohan with even greater intensity. In this way by amplifying your bhakti you will be able to overpower the lust in your mind and body. You will then experience the higher taste of Krishna consciousness and relish it as being much more satisfying than any sort of temporary sexual gratification.

Sex attraction works both ways. Men are infatuated by women and women by men. Sex attraction is the most powerful manifestation of the material energy. One must therefore remain always very careful not to be carried by it. Indulgence in illicit sex is the most destructive enemy on the path of self-realization. Although sex may be used in Krishna's service for procreation, all other forms of sexual indulgence must be strictly avoided.

Does Krishna Love Us?

Question:  Does Krishna Love Us?

Does Krishna have any love for the souls residing in the material world?

Answer:  More Than We Can Begin to Imagine

Krishna loves us more than we can begin to imagine.  We are His beloved children. That's why He comes here again and again to try to save us. The problem is that we do not take advantage of His love and accept His invitation to return to our original home in the spiritual world. This is our defect. Thus we can understand that those who try to blame God for their suffering in this material world are delusioned.

Humility ?

Question:  Humility

Humility means to think oneself as very low, and to be ready to offer all respects to others without expecting any respect for himself. Does it include always appreciating and glorifying other devotees' devotional service, without feeling that "I'm doing better service than him"?

Answer:  Always Appreciate the Other Devotees

Srila Prabhupada taught us to always consider that the other devotees are more advanced that we are by addressing them as "Prabhu", which means "master."  So the answer to your question is yes. We should always appreciate and glorify the other devotees and the service they render without proudly thinking that we are superior to them.

How to Become Self-Realized?

Question:  How to Become Self-Realized?

I have a question regarding my subtle attachment to my body as being me. Intellectually I have understood that I am not the body but the soul, as said by Lord Krishna in Bhagavad-gita. But how am I to realize it actually? In other words how does the realization of who I am become factually experienced?

Answer:  Full Surrender to Guru and Krishna

You can only realize who you are by full surrender to Lord Krishna under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master, that guru who presents the Bhagavad-gita As It Is without any distortion.

Regarding Initiation

Question:  Regarding Initiation

I have a couple of questions regarding initiation.

I had been a Buddhist the last 4 years under a Tibetan Lama, before I came across the books of Swami Prabhupada. These books have had a powerful impact on my life. They inspired me to begin chanting 20 rounds of the Maha mantra daily. I wish to earnestly pursue the path of Krishna consciousness. What are the requirements for initiation? How should I go about pursuing this?

Answer:  We Will Happy to Accept You

For initiation you must chant at least 16 rounds daily of the Hare Krishna mantra on japa beads and follow these principles:

1.    No illicit sex
2.    No meat eating
3.    No intoxication
4.    No gambling

If you live near an ISKCON center, you should go there regularly to attend the classes and render volunteer service. This will greatly enhance your getting ready for initiation. Our normal procedure is take recommendation from someone who is seeing your progress. When the devotees who are seeing your progress recommend that you are steady enough in your practice of Krishna consciousness to be initiated, we will be happy to accept you as our initiated disciple with the performance of an initiation fire sacrifice ceremony and awarding you with a spiritual name.

How Can Anything Be Eternal?

Question: How Can Anything Be Eternal?

I had asked you once how God came into existence. You had told me God is the source of all existence and thus there can be no time when he did not exist. The thing that still bothers me is how can anything have always been. How can anything have no end and no beginning? I just cant digest the term eternal. Its just not logically acceptable.

Also, the caste system in India: the brahmanas, sudras etc. They claim to have originated from religion. It's like using religion to oppress people. Here religion seems to have been coined to serve the purpose of letting the oppressors rightfully oppress other people of the so called lower caste. Kindly give your views.

Answer:  In the Same Way that Yesterday and Tomorrow Exist

If yesterday and tomorrow are not illogical, then day before yesterday and day after tomorrow are also not illogical.  So if you keep on adding another day after another day in each direction, you have eternity. Therefore it is illogical to think that eternity is illogical.

The current caste system in India is called asuri varnashram, demonic caste system, and it is based on birth.The original caste system in Vedic culture was called daivi varnashram or divine caste system. It was based on one's qualities and activities. It was not based on birth. The present day exploitative caste system was introduced by materialistic brahmanas who were brahmanas by birth only and not qualification. The original caste system was based on harmony, love, and co-operation of everyone working according to their natural talents for the betterment of all. The Krishna consciousness movement is dedicated to restoring the original pure caste system all over the world so that everyone can become prosperous, peaceful, and happy.

How Can I Better Serve You?

Question:  How Can I Better Serve You?

Answer:  Serious Sadhana and Preach As Much As Possible

Your desire to serve guru is first class. This is the secret of success in spiritual life. Take your sadhana very seriously by strictly following our regulative principles and chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra on japa beads every day without fail. When you chant your japa dive deeply into the holy names with full concentration. Do not divert your consciousness anywhere else. When you hear the classes at your local Hare Krishna temple put your full energy into learning as much as you can from each class. When you do service to Krishna do everything in a first class way. Make sure that the temple and your living quarters are always spotlessly clean. And spend as much time as possible preaching this message and introducing others to the most wonderful books of His Divine Srila Prabhupada.  If you will sincerely follow these instructions, your perfection is guaranteed.

How to Regain Vital Force?

Question:  How to Regain Vital Force?

According to one of the important theories of yoga, the semen is very valuable. One drop of semen is equal to 64 drops of blood. And ancient Chinese Taoist philosophy also stresses this point. Those who lost too much semen are weak, impatient, lusty, fractious, and lacking concentration and memory power. Such health state is not good for spiritual progress. I think that a devotee should only use semen to produce Krishna conscious children, he should never waste it. But for those who has already wasted too much of semen, is it necessary to do some yoga or Taoism practice to regain vital force as well as practice Krishna consciousness?

Answer:  Simply By Krishna Consciousness

For a man who has unfortunately wasted his semen the formula for regaining his vital force is simply to strictly follow the pathway of Krishna bhakti with no more fall downs into illicit sex. No separate endeavor is required. Simply by engaging seriously in Krishna consciousness he will higher taste from renunciation and naturally retain his semen.  As it gradually accumulates in his body he will get  increased brain power, physical strength, longevity, and determination.

Even though Mahatma Gandhi was a married man, from his 30's onwards he practiced strict celibacy. His power of determination became so great that he was able to defeat the British Empire without even firing a single gun shot. So any man who retains his semen only discharging it for producing Krishna conscious children will become a very intelligent and powerful man.

Meaning of Life

Question: Meaning of Life

What's the meaning of life, the universe and everything?

Answer:  Pleasure Pastimes of the Supreme Person

The entire existence is the pleasure pastimes of the Supreme Person. We have a free choice to participate in His pleasure pastimes or to try imitate Him by having our own counterfeit pleasure pastimes. Just as counterfeit money may appear very attractive, but factually has no value, similarly our attempts to enjoy separately from the Supreme Person are in the final analysis empty and useless.

How to Convince Non-Devotees

Question: How to Convince Non-Devotees

There are people I am trying to convince about Krishna consciousness, but it is very difficult for them to understand the transcendental nature of Krishna, that He cannot be material because He is the source of everything.

How can I convince them? How can I improve their knowledge?

Answer:  You Become Convinced

You will able to convince others to the extent you are convinced. So if you are not successful in convincing others, you must deepen your own conviction. You can increase your conviction by hearing from, inquiring from, and serving those are fully convinced that Lord Sri Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that source of all existence.

Are the Scientists Fools?

Question: Are the Scientists Fools?

Today I was watching a television show related to birth and death of stars on the Discovery channel. It was stated that according to the scientists the stars were born because of the cluster of gases and dark matter. And then I thought about the big bang theory.

If we challenge a scientist that from where did those gases come which brought this universe into existence, his reply would be that even though this is a most challenging question to find out from where the gases came, our not knowing the answer does not mean that Krishna of God has created them.

Please let me know what is the reality. I am completely confused now. Actually I am studying science and in the 12th standard. When I compare science with the teachings of Krishna I have a lot of questions. Please do not mind my questions and kindly help me out of this confusion.

Answer:  Only When They Speak Foolishly, Which They Often Do

Lord Krishna has confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita that He is the origin of everything and that everything including the gases is His energy.

In fact He is origin of the scientists as well.  And it is He Who is giving everyone the power to remember Him or forget Him according to their desires.

You have asked me specifically in the subject line of your email if the scientists are fools. The answer is that this depends on the individual scientist. Being a scientist does not automatically make one a fool. But if the a scientist dogmatically asserts without any proof that there is no supreme operator of the universe, he is certainly a fool. Anyone with a little common sense can easily observe that every machine has an operator. Therefore we can rightfully  conclude that the gigantic universal machine must also have an operator.

The New Proselytizers-Tarun Vijay

Nandita Das created a stir by scripting and directing "Firaaq". It's a soul-stirring movie. Nandita, the director and scriptwriter, has tried to 

be as honest and candid with the celluloid as her deep-rooted commitment to her political ideology. Terrifyingly impressive is the way she uses silence as a tool to etch her message on the viewers' minds. The actors live the characters they represent. And she admits frankly, "It's a political movie." 

As a filmmaker and journalist, I would give her full marks for a political statement that has been registered so strongly that this film is going to have better effect than a hundred thousand people's gathering. 

Surely, more than a movie it's a political statement. She is a person with strong colours of ideology and she has done what she thought she must do. "Firaaq" will certainly get rave reviews in the Indian media. She has already received some international awards, and like "Slumdog Millionaire", the film has passed the test through "firang" eyes and hence must be all the more acceptable to the "progressive secular, peace loving" people here who have a large, global heart and express their feelings in English. 

Apart from its technical qualities of cinematography, editing, direction and script it almost convinced me that barbarism begins with Hindus. 

There would be a couple of critical articles or comments, if any, criticizing the movie on ideological points or for the depiction of the events, which may be found completely wrong and devastatingly hateful. These critics may forget that this is a political movie that would sell because the West needs a Jamal or a Mohsin to be rewarded to help it cover the feelings that emerged after 9/11. Having heard Nandita on the movie and seen the clips, I too would have converted to her views if the Godhra incident was not vividly clear in my mind. 

I would have turned to take Nandita's autographs with a sense of admiration if I had not heard the cries of Seema, whose father, mother and brother were slaughtered with a butcher's knife in Doda, before her eyes, when she was barely seven, in the name of a jihad my secular friends interpret differently. I tried to ask a question: who were those Hindus killed and brutalized during the Gujarat riots? It's impossible for me to keep mum or justify what happened after Godhra, which saw innocent Muslims being killed so ghastly that no words are enough to express the hurt. The colour of the tears of a mother, whether Hindu or Muslim, is alike. But dividing dead bodies and deciding levels of mourning on the basis of their faith should be as unacceptable as the killings of innocent citizens. Killing truth and colouring facts must also be called a pogrom of civility. 

In fact, the secular messengers of the new gospel of hate have turned into aggressive proselytizers setting their worldview as a prerequisite to enter any socio-political or literary regime. They have successfully monopolized the world of various media establishing English as the only vehicle of intellectual discourse and thus keeping the doors to the higher echelons of elite and decision makers shut to those who belong to the Indian-language groups and represent the real ethos of the land. Although to make profits, these very secular groups would sell bhajans and show religious serials while attacking the very spirit of and the protective shields to such traditions in the very next programme. They can't imagine winning votes with speeches in English or going to the common voter with a wine glass or a beer bottle in their hands. Yet, in their social circuit, they would raise the flag of "pub culture" and look with contempt at a person speaking an Indian language. 

Just have a look at the loan forms of the banks. The last paragraph says "those blind, illiterate or signing in a vernacular language must get their signatures attested by someone who knows English". Can this kind of instruction be tolerated in the UK or the US for their national languages? Even the use of the word "vernacular" for the national languages is a derogatory, colonial hangover. But who cares? They look at Indians as slumdogs, are alien to the threads that weave a fabric called India and treat the "natives" like Kipling's Ramu. So when a western royal or head of state comes, he is made to cuddle a slum child with a running nose or taken to an orphanage for a photo op to show western compassion for the unprivileged. An Indian Prime Minister is never asked to give alms to the homeless sleeping on the stairs of St James in London or offer grants to an NGO in New York working for the victims of child abuse or teen mothers. Compassion must remain a virtue of the rich and powerful. 

It is this English-speaking elite that determines what India must be reading or thinking or how Hindus must be behaving. They read about Hindus through Oxford or Cambridge publishers and show the temerity to sermonize those Hindus who have imbibed their dharma in their genes and lived every bit of it, making Kumbh melas possible and taking dips in the Ganga on the chilling mornings of Kartik and Magh. The secular proselytizer visits Kumbh, not as a devotee but as a photographer to take pictures of bathing Hindu women and sadhus using mobile phones, as if being sadhus they ought to live as cavemen. The pictures they wire to press agencies essentially depict the weird, intoxicated, obscene and the unacceptable face of uncivilized Hindus to the west. 

They don't know a bit about our faith, or what Magh, Amavasya or Saptami means. They take Sanskrit degrees in English and tell us, what's the use of such knowledge in today's world? To be futuristic means denouncing all that you have preserved since ages. That's an alienated crowd of people with an accent, detached from the Indian reality. 

They tell us, you bad guys, you demolished our Babri. Yet, not a single political party can dare to promise in its election manifesto that if it is voted to power, it would rebuild Babri over the present makeshift temple of Ram in Ayodhya. Their influence on the Indian masses is hardly worth noticing, yet their control on the media and political power centres makes them important. Their intellectual terror is so overpowering that today most of the national parties in India execute their proceedings in English. Poor and often unauthorized translations are dished out in Hindi and other Indian languages. The language, idiom and attitude of this "secular" English-speaking elite, controlling the media, advertising and governance remain alien to the indigenous fragrances which they dismiss as folk or ethnic contours, only to be enjoyed in a Suraj Kund mela. 

The secular code is: abuse and misrepresent the facts about the opponents, use a pub incident in Mangalore more importantly than the anguish and pains of the soldiers demonstrating at Jantar Mantar, turn every news desk and edit control station into Godhra, throttling the other view point. 

One isolated incident of the Hindu right would become a globally circulated representative of the Hindu intolerance and terrorism. None of us accepted the way Mangalore happened. Who cares whether Valentine's day is celebrated or not. If someone says to me "Happy Valentine's Day", I will just smile and say "same to you". That's it. Those who find it a nice way to feel joy must be free to do so. But why I must say "yes, Valentine's Day is the biggest symbol of love, amity and happiness" and feel elated seeing obscenities on the streets to prove I am an educated modern person? 

To each one, his own. I must be ready to accept every happy occasion of any colour or faith or stream to smile and send compliments, but should it become mandatory as a fatwa? 

But my questions to those who use incidents like Gujarat riots for awards and rubbing salt on Hindu wounds was: why forget Godhra and Doda and Anantnag and Kishtwar? In the case of Kashmiri Hindus, the "seculars" won't like to earn displeasure of the jihadis. 

I think it's self-defeating to crib about such situations. If you feel injustice has been done, prepare to counter the wrongs through legitimate instruments. 

Nandita did what she felt was right and did it quite courageously without bothering what the other side would feel. What did you do to present Doda or Godhra to the world? Who stopped any other Indian to make a movie on the pains and sorrows of Seema or to document the desecration of temples in Kashmir and record the woes of Hindus who had to pass through weird massacres like the one we saw at Wandhama? 

How to Be Humble and Strong?

How to Be Humble and Strong?

Should a chanter of mahamantra be humble?  If yes, how to be humble and at the same time talk strongly with nondevotees?

Answer:  By Love

If one is motivated by genuine compassion, one easily be humble and strong at the same time. It is not difficult.  A devotee's humility is to fully submit himself to the order of Lord Caitanya to deliver the people of this world from their suffering condition in the cycle of birth and death. This is his humble service to them. Just like one sometimes may have to yell strongly at a child to get out of the street to save him from being hit by a car, sometimes a devotee may speak strongly to someone to save him from the cycle of birth and death. This strong speaking is not done out of pride or arrogance. It is done in a mood of humble loving service to that person to try save him from his precarious predicament in the cycle of birth and death.

So in conclusion we can understand that because the devotee's humility is rooted in strong compassion his strength is his humility and his humility is his strength. In fact there is no one more humble than a devotee and no one more strong. Because of his perfectly humble service mood completely free from any personal motivation for sense gratification he can lead the entire world out of chaos.

Chanting or Spiritual Master?

Question: Chanting or Spiritual Master?

What is the most important aspect in spiritual life, is it chanting or accepting a spiritual master? 

Answer:  Both Are Most Important.

You can't separate them because pure chanting requires obedience to the spiritual master, and the spiritual master requires his disciple to develop pure chanting. Therefore both accepting a spiritual master and the chanting of the holy names are most important.

Propellants of Terrorism - Islamism fuels jihad, integral to the vocabulary of Islam

In response to the requests by the Governments of Rajasthan and Gujarat to approve special laws for dealing with terrorism, the Union Home Minister Shivaraj Patil retorted that existing laws would suffice. This highlights a profound misconception about jihadi terrorism prevailing in the Government and the intelligentsia -- that terrorists are lawbreakers who can be dealt with by law enforcement authorities.

The jihadis see it very differently: they recognise as legitimate no laws other than those sanctioned by the shariat (Islamic code). The goal of jihad is to wage a continuous war until the whole world is brought under the sway of Islam governed by the shariat. To fight terrorism it is necessary first to understand this ideology and the associated military doctrine. Terrorism is not a crime wave but an ideological war on all fronts. We will have only ourselves to blame if we fail to see this fundamental truth.

Dictionary of Islam defines jihad as: "A religious war with those who are unbelievers in the mission of Muhammad (the prophet). It is an incumbent religious duty, established in the Quran and in the traditions as a divine institution, and enjoined especially for the purpose of advancing Islam..."

The same point is made by Muslim authorities, both ancient and modern. Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), arguably the greatest thinker produced by Islam saw jihad as an aggressive war of expansion with the 'universal' mission to convert everyone: "The other religious groups did not have a universal mission, and the holy war was not a religious duty for them, save only for purposes of defence... Islam is under obligation to gain power over other nations."

According to the influential modern thinker Sayyid Qutb (1906-66), the intellectual father of Al Qaeda: "...wherever an Islamic community exists... it has a god-given right to step forward and take control of the political authority... When god restrained Muslims from jihad for a certain period, it was a question of strategy rather than of principle..." We need look no further to understand what motivates the terrorists. It has nothing to do with grievances over Godhra, Palestine or anything else as some jihad apologists would have us believe.

When we come to the use of terror as an instrument of policy, we have the seminal work The Quranic Concept of War by the Pakistani Brigadier SK Malik to guide us. In his effusive foreword, the late General Zia-ul-Haq wrote that the book "...brings out with simplicity, clarity and precision the Quranic philosophy on the application of the military force, within the context of the totality that is jihad."

This means that jihad, "the most glorious word in the vocabulary of Islam," is nothing less than total war. According to Brigadier Malik, "the prophet's operations... are an integral and inseparable part of the divine message revealed to us in the Quran. ...The war he planned and carried out was total to the infinite degree. It was waged on all fronts: internal and external, political and diplomatic, spiritual and psychological, economic and military."

Another point made by the author is that the war should be carried out in the opponent's territory. "The aggressor was always met and destroyed in his own territory." In this Orwellian language, an 'aggressor' is anyone who stands in the way of jihad, that is to say anyone who defends himself. Terrorism is its underlying military doctrine. "The Quranic military strategy thus enjoins us to prepare ourselves for war to the utmost in order to strike terror into the heart of the enemy..."

It doesn't stop here, for Brigadier Malik assures us: "Terror struck into the hearts of the enemy is not only a means, it is the end in itself. Once a condition of terror into the opponent's heart is
obtained, hardly anything is left to be achieved... Terror is not a means of imposing decision upon the enemy; it is the decision we wish to impose upon him." For justification, he cites the Quran (Anfal 59-60): "Against them (non-Muslims) make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war to strike terror (into the hearts of) the enemies of allah and your enemies..."

One can see that the primary sources from the Quran and the early commentators like Ibn Khaldun to modern exponents like Sayyid Qutb and Brigadier Malik leave nothing to the imagination when it comes to jihad and the role of terrorism -- whether the goal or the tactics employed.

India's politicians and thinkers must face up to this reality and prepare to fight a long war against a relentless adversary.

How to Answer My Friend?

Question: How to Answer My Friend?

̇I have been talking to a friend of mine who simply refuses to believe in any religion. He says that Ramayana and Mahabharata are just myths. He quoted from Wikipedia, "A religion is a set of stories, symbols, beliefs and practices, often with a supernatural quality, that give meaning to the practitioner's experiences of life through reference to an ultimate power or reality." He also says, "If there is no religion, there would be peace in the world". He says that the Bhagavad-gita is just a book written by some odd person.

Please guide me on how should I answer him? How should I make him see that there is a supreme power behind everything?

Answer:  With Conviction and Determination

As soon as he says "any religion" we can immediately understand that he is ignorant. In spite of what you may read here and there, there is no such thing as different religions. The word "religion" comes from the Latin word "religio', which means to reconnect. So the real meaning of religion is to reconnect with the source of your existence and of all existence, i.e. the fountainhead of all energies.  If your friend wants to argue that there is no source of the existence, ask him how he came into being.

Regarding the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, he has no way of proving that they are myths. This is simply his mental speculation. They are historical documents just like so many other historical documents which tell us about people and events from the past.

While cheating so-called religion certainly breeds war, genuine religion does not. Genuine religion breeds genuine peace. Check out parts of the world with a high level of atheism and see if they are peaceful. You will find that they are not. Hence, his argument is bogus. We don't have peace in the present world because genuine religion is practically non-existent on this planet. We in the Krishna consciousness movement are trying to revive it.

The Bhagavad-gita is spoken by Krishna. Your friend is therefore claiming that Krishna is odd. In the Bhagavad-gita Krishna claims that those who deride Him are fools. So now we have two counter claims. Who will be the winner of this competition? That will be seen at the time of death who was actually the fool and who actually odd.

Tell him that every machine has an operator. Have we ever seen a machine without an operator? No, we have not.  Therefore we can understand the gigantic cosmic machine must also have an operator.

Try your best.  Preach with conviction and determination, and Krishna will help you to defeat all opposing arguments.

Help me. I am lost in life.

Help me. I am lost in life.

Answer:  Understand Who You Are

The reason you are lost is that you do not know who you are.  Because you are misidentifying yourself with the gross bag of material elements known as the material body you are sure and certain to be bewildered. The way out of your bewilderment is to understand that you are not your body, that you are instead an eternal spirit-soul servitor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna.  With this understanding you should seriously adopt the path of devotional service to Lord Sri Krishna under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master.  In this way all of your problems will be solved, and you will become one of the happiest, most intelligent people in the whole universe.

How to Know Krishna's Direction?

Question:  How to Know Krishna's Direction?

̇How do I know the work I do is directed by Lord Krishna and not by my body? How do I differentiate between the two?

Answer:  Take Shelter of Bona Fide Guru

Because of our tendency towards material sense gratification it is very difficult to accurately discern the desire of the Lord in every situation. This is why taking shelter of a bona fide guru, a pure representative of Lord Krishna, is required. The Vedic wisdom repeatedly stresses this point. As soon as we take complete shelter of a bona fide spiritual master all of our confusion is finished. Since the spiritual master is expert in understanding how to always please the Lord in all times, places, and circumstances, we simply have to conduct our life's activities under his expert guidance, and in this way we easily become 100% aligned with the directions of the Supreme Lord. Having a spiritual master is so essential. Therefore those who have not yet taken shelter of a bona fide should do as soon as possible so that they can properly situated on the pathway back to home, back to Godhead.

Must Guru Be Physically Present in this World?

Question: Must Guru Be Physically Present in this World?

̇You gave the example that Krishna is like the owner of the company and the spiritual master is the department head, and that after accepting employment in the company it becomes our duty to please that department head because when he is pleased the owner is pleased. In this example isn't it necessary for the department head to be alive?

So what would I would like to know is if it necessary for the spiritually master to be living in this world in the physical sense. Must the guru be in material form?

Answer:  For Initiation, Yes, But Not After That

I have given a crude material example which matches on some points and does not match on other points.

You are wondering whether the spiritual master must be physically present in order for the disciple to be able to have a guru/disciple relationship with him. The answer is that while initiation, the beginning point of the guru/disciple relationship, does require for the spiritual master to be physically present in this world, after initiation the physical presence of the spiritual master is not mandatory. After initiation all the disciple has to do is obediently carry out the orders given to him by his spiritual master. In this way he is always able to associate with the vibrational presence of his spiritual master and derive unlimited spiritual strength.

A Good Relationship with Krishna

Question:  A Good Relationship with Krishna

̇How can we have a good relationship with Krishna, if we can't have a good relation between us human beings? Because we always have misunderstandings in our material relationship what shall we do to keep our relation with Krishna in good condition?

Answer:  Carefully Follow His Instructions

The reason we do not have good relations between human beings is that we do not base them on a loving relationship with Krishna. We base them instead on the selfish principle of what I can get out of this other person for my own enjoyment.  In short, this is called exploitation. This exploitative non-Krishna conscious mood is the cause of all the conflict in the world today.

As soon as we surrender to Krishna we derive complete satisfaction and happiness simply from being His devotee. Therefore we no longer feel any need of trying to exploit others for our own happiness. Having a good, conflict-free relationship with Krishna is not difficult.  All we have to do is carefully follow the instructions as given in the Bhagavad-gita and as confirmed by the bona fide spiritual master.  Then everything becomes perfect.

Duties in Family Life

Question:  Duties in Family Life

1. What should be the mood of the parents if they plan for a Krishna Conscious child? and
2. What are the duties of a husband towards the family if the wife is not very cooperative in following spiritual life?

Answer:  Deliver Your Dependents

Parents who want to have a Krishna conscious child should first see that they are solidly situated on that pathway back to home, back to Godhead. In other words, they should have both taken shelter of a bona fide spiritual master and be fully surrendered to following his instructions. In this way when they try to have a child Krishna will send a very special soul to take shelter of their association for being delivered from the cycle of birth and death.

The husband's duty is to deliver the wife back to home, back to Godhead.  So if she is not very co-operative for spiritual life, he should very patiently and very compassionately try to attract her to the superior lifestyle of Krishna consciousness. Sometimes we have seen that the reluctant wife turns around and becomes more Krishna conscious than her husband.


Do not impose something which will be difficult to execute. There is no need of fasting once every week. Two days fasting per month on Ekadasi is sufficient. Besides that there are other special fasting days. Spiritual realization depends on austerities and vows, but in this age, by the Mercy of Krishna and Lord Caitanya, we need not undergo very severe penances, as we are unable to do it. The rules and regulations which we have already prescribed, that is sufficient for ordinary men

Purpose of the Universe?

If the purpose of human being is to attain oneness (merge) with consciousness (i.e. universe) then what is the purpose of universe ?

Answer:  Which Universe?

Which universe is he talking about? The purpose of the human being is not the merge or become one with the universe or with consciousness, which is something different from the universe. The purpose of the human being is reawaken his loving relationship with that Supreme Person, who is the source of all consciousness and of all the universes.  To inquire, "What is the purpose of the universe?" presupposes that there is only one universe.  The fact is that there unlimited millions of universes within this material world, and there is a spiritual universe also. The material universes serve are places of reformation for the living entities who have fallen down from their original positions in the spiritual universe. These material universes help the fallen living beings to regain their original positions in the spiritual universe.

Is Emptiness the Highest Truth?

Why do the Buddhists say that God (Krishna) really does not exist? They say that only emptiness exists, and nothing else. Is emptiness the highest truth?

Answer:  If  It Were, You Would Not Be Inquiring

If emptiness were the highest truth, you would not exist to inquire about emptiness, nor would I exist to answer your question about emptiness. If all was emptiness, how could the Buddhists say that all is emptiness? There would be no Buddhists and thus no one to say that all is emptiness. But there are Buddhists saying that all is emptiness. Therefore their assertion is itself proof that their philosophy is absurd and thus invalid. Emptiness cannot make assertions.

The reason that in this material world people often deny God's existence using various philosophies such as the Buddhist concept of emptiness is that we all came here to this material world because we were envious of God's supreme position. Therefore it is natural that people in this material world will often deny the existence of Krishna or God.

What Scripture Confirms Lord Caitanya's Avatarship?

There are many Hindu organizations, and each of them has there own avatar! The ISKCON devotees consider Caitanya Mahaprabhu as an avatar. In what scripture do you find that your avatar's name is written?

Answer:  What Scripture Doesn't?

We do not care for this organization or that organization.  Nor do we care for any particular sect of religion such as Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, or Islam. We simply care what the authoritative sastras and the great acharyas say.

Lord Caitanya's avatarship is directly or indirectly confirmed in practically every scripture in the world. Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami, the author of Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, most emphatically stresses that Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Sri Krishna Himself. He is not an expansion of the prakasa or vilasa forms of Sri Krishna. He is the svayam-rupa, Govinda. Apart from the relevant scriptural evidence forwarded by Srila Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami, there are innumerable other scriptural statements regarding Lord Caitanya's being the Supreme Lord Himself.

For example to cite a few:

(1)From the Caitanya Upaniṣad (5):

gauraḥ sarvātmā mahā-puruṣo mahātmā mahā-yogī
tri-guṇātītaḥ sattva-rūpo bhaktiṁ loke kāśyati.

"Lord Gaura, who is the all-pervading Supersoul, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appears as a great saint and powerful mystic who is above the three modes of nature and is the emblem of transcendental activity. He disseminates the cult of devotion throughout the world."

(2) From the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (6.7 and 3.12):

tam īśvarāṇāṁ paramaṁ maheśvaraṁ
taṁ devatānāṁ paramaṁ ca daivatam
patiṁ patīnāṁ paramaṁ parastād
vidāma devaṁ bhuvaneśam īḍyam

"O Supreme Lord, You are the Supreme Maheśvara, the worshipable Deity of all the demigods and the Supreme Lord of all lords. You are the controller of all controllers, the Personality of Godhead, the Lord of everything worshipable."

mahān prabhur vai puruṣaḥ
sattvasyaiṣa pravartakaḥ
su-nirmalām imāṁ prāptim
īśāno jyotir avyayaḥ

"The Supreme Personality of Godhead is Mahāprabhu, who disseminates transcendental enlightenment. Just to be in touch with Him is to be in contact with the indestructible brahmajyoti."

(3) From the Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad (3.1.3):

yadā paśyaḥ paśyate rukma-varṇaṁ
kartāram īśaṁ puruṣaṁ brahma-yonim

"One who sees that golden-colored Personality of Godhead, the Supreme Lord, the supreme actor, who is the source of the Supreme Brahman, is liberated."

(4) From Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.5.33-34 and 7.9.38):

dhyeyaṁ sadā paribhava-ghnam abhīṣṭa-dohaṁ
tīrthāspadaṁ śiva-viriñci-nutaṁ śaraṇyam
bhṛtyārti-haṁ praṇata-pāla-bhavābdhi-potaṁ
vande mahā-puruṣa te caraṇāravindam

"We offer our respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of Him, the Lord, upon whom one should always meditate. He destroys insults to His devotees. He removes the distresses of His devotees and satisfies their desires. He, the abode of all holy places and the shelter of all sages, is worshipable by Lord Shiva and Lord Brahmā. He is the boat of the demigods for crossing the ocean of birth and death."

tyaktvā sudustyaja-surepsita-rājya-lakṣmīṁ
dharmiṣṭha ārya-vacasā yad agād araṇyam
māyā-mṛgaṁ dayitayepsitam anvadhāvad
vande mahā-puruṣa te caraṇāravindam
[SB 11.5.34]

"We offer our respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of the Lord, upon whom one should always meditate. He left His householder life, leaving aside His eternal consort, whom even the denizens of heaven adore. He went into the forest to deliver the fallen souls, who are put into illusion by material energy."

Prahlāda said:

itthaṁ nṛ-tiryag-ṛṣi-deva jhaṣāvatārair
lokān vibhāvayasi haṁsi jagat-pratīpān
dharmaṁ mahā-puruṣa pāsi yugānuvṛttaṁ
channaḥ kalau yad abhavas tri-yugo 'tha sa tvam

"My Lord, You kill all the enemies of the world in Your multifarious incarnations in the families of men, animals, demigods, ṛṣis, aquatics and so on. Thus You illuminate the worlds with transcendental knowledge. In the Age of Kali, O Mahāpuruṣa, You sometimes appear in a covered incarnation. Therefore You are known as Tri-yuga [one who appears in only
three yugas]."

(5) From the Kṛṣṇa-yāmala-tantra:

puṇya-kṣetre nava-dvīpe bhaviṣyāmi śacī-sutaḥ.

"I shall appear in the holy land of Navadvīpa as the son of Śacī-devī."

(6) From the Vāyu Purāṇa:

kalau saṅkīrtanārambhe bhaviṣyāmi śacī-sutaḥ.

"In the Age of Kali when the saṅkīrtana movement is inaugurated, I shall descend as the son of Śacī-devī."

(7) From the Brahma-yāmala-tantra:

atha vāhaṁ dharādhāme
bhūtvā mad-bhakta-rūpa-dhṛk
māyāyāṁ ca bhaviṣyāmi
kalau saṅkīrtanāgame

"Sometimes I personally appear on the surface of the world in the garb of a devotee. Specifically, I appear as the son of Śacī in Kali-yuga to start the saṅkīrtana movement."

(8) From the Ananta-saṁhitā:

ya eva bhagavān kṛṣṇo
sṛṣṭy ādau sa jagan-nātho
gaura āsīn maheśvari

"The Supreme Person, Śrī Krishna Himself, who is the life of Śrī Rādhārāṇī and is the Lord of the universe in creation, maintenance and annihilation, appears as Gaura, O Maheśvarī."

And the list goes on and on....

Kindly take advantage of the mercy of Lord Caitanya.  Join His most blissful movement of singing and dancing the names of God in great ecstasy.

Everywhere you are it is the same

"Everywhere you are it is the same because Krishna is there, and you can perform devotional service anywhere you are. There is no need to be attached to any particular land on account of some mayic relationship. All places belong to Krishna, and wherever we get the chance for serving Him, that land is our God-gifted land."