The Beginning of Spiritual Life

May 28, 2014 |

English; Dallas, Texas, USA

Play (55 m 38 s)     Download (25.5 MB)    

You can mark interesting parts of the page content and share unique link from browser address bar.

Mark




Related Lectures

When a Guru Deviates

September 27, 2011 |

Question: If a disciple is seeing that the guru is deviating from the original path and not following the words of Srila Prabhupada (for e.g. by promoting philanthropic activities), then what is the duty of the disciple and who should correct the guru? And, if at all, a disciple thinks that the guru is deviating, is it an offence towards his guru?

English;

The Meaning of Phalena Pariciyate

August 30, 2011 |

Question: In Vedic literatures we see an emphasis of judging by the results, palena parichiyate, and this idea is more specifically highlighted in the biblical passage of Luke 6:44, where the first line states "A tree is identified by its fruit" This concept seems to be very deep, yet I do not properly understand it… Could you speak… Expand>

Question:

In Vedic literatures we see an emphasis of judging by the results, palena parichiyate, and this idea is more specifically highlighted in the biblical passage of Luke 6:44, where the first line states "A tree is identified by its fruit" This concept seems to be very deep, yet I do not properly understand it… Could you speak something on how to understand this principle? And how can we actually apply it, sometimes the result or fruit is hard to judge, or this process can give wrong results

This question has been answered by His Grace Gokula Candra Prabhu, a senior disciple of His Holiness Bhakti Vikasa Maharaj upon Maharaj's request.

^ Show less

English;

Talking About Maya, Durga-puja, Part-2

October 2, 2014 |

English; Nanda Gokulam, Telangana, India

Books by Fallen Sannyasis

September 18, 2011 |

Question: What is the status of books written by sannyasis who have either fallen since writing them, or else left ISKCON? I'm thinking in particular of Harikesa Swami's "Varnasrama Manifesto for Social Sanity," or the books of Bhaktipada Maharaj. Is it still acceptable to take guidance from them?

English;

Doomed if I do, doomed if I don't

April 20, 2014 |

Question: I am a brahmacari for more than nine years and have taken a role of guiding others. I have a problem of not being able to follow the brahmacari vows very strictly. I do not go out with women directly but every few months I just break the principle on my own. I just can't control it. It is too powerful a force. Then I somehow come to my senses again and make a firm vow to never again fall prey to my crazy mind. But then again I fell victim.… Expand>

Question:

I am a brahmacari for more than nine years and have taken a role of guiding others. I have a problem of not being able to follow the brahmacari vows very strictly. I do not go out with women directly but every few months I just break the principle on my own. I just can't control it. It is too powerful a force. Then I somehow come to my senses again and make a firm vow to never again fall prey to my crazy mind. But then again I fell victim.

I am generally a very happy person and I have no desire for home, opulence, wife, kids, etc. I just have this strong sexual impulse - occasionally. All those who know me encourage me to just continue with my preaching and not to change anything. I have crossed 30 years. According to my horoscope it will be a disaster if I enter into grhasta asrama. I know it sounds like FAQ - "brahmacari or grihasta question", but in my case it seems like a "Doomed if I do, doomed if I don't" situation. I don't like to cheat myself and others. Please kindly advise me.

Answer by HH Bhakti Vikāsa Swami:

Tough one. Uuhh. Tough one in as much as devotees are encouraging you to go on, because how many devotees are in Germany who are taking position of spiritual leadership which you are doing. Preaching, that’s spiritual leadership, but you have a weakness which is very difficult to overcome, and don’t like to cheat others. 

Well, what are the alternatives? You can go on preaching and people will be benefited by that. You can get married and it’ll be a disaster, so we learn from the horoscope. Although you could consult another astrologer, but like I say, you don’t have to consult an astrologer because in almost every case entering into the gṛhastha-āśrama is a disaster, especially in the Western world. And yeah, in Germany, as in pretty much all the Western world, there’s no idea of what married life should be like, either among the non-devotees or devotees. So entering into the gṛhastha-āśrama doesn’t sound like a good idea when no one knows what they should be doing. It’s generally a disaster. So doomed if you do, doomed if you don’t. Well, in Kṛṣṇa consciousness it’s glorious if you do and doomed if you don’t. So, despite that very severe weakness, it would seem better to take that advice just to go on. Don’t take sannyāsa. And maybe you could wear white if you don’t feel comfortable in saffron cloth. Keep strong association as far as possible. I’m assured you’re doing all the things that are required. Have to pray. 

Pray to Nṛsiṁhadeva:

oṁ namo bhagavate narasiṁhāya namas tejas-tejase āvir-āvirbhava 

vajra-nakha vajra-daṁṣṭra karmāśayān randhaya randhaya tamo grasa 

grasa om svāhā; abhayam abhayam ātmani bhūyiṣṭhā oṁ kṣraum (SB 5.18.8)

Pray to Nṛsiṁhadeva to remove the material desires from our heart. There’s no easy solution. The easy solution is take shelter of Kṛṣṇa.

^ Show less

English; Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India

Bhakti in the Three Modes and Beyond

June 29, 2012 |

English with தமிழ் translation; Studen, Seeland, Switzerland

Hearing About Dhruva Maharaj

March 23, 2011 |

English; Mayapur, West Bengal, India

Can Kanthi-mala be Worn Everywhere, Even in Toilets?

March 18, 2016 |

Question: Can kanthi-mala be worn everywhere, even in toilets?

English; Salem, Tamil Nadu, India

Momentary and Prolonged Association

August 2, 2015 |

English; Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India

Levels of Seeing

May 25, 2011 |

English; Govindadvipa, Ireland

Promoting Daiva Varnasrama

November 19, 2015 |

English; Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India

Supreme Auspiciousness in this Miserable World

March 28, 2016 |

English; Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Why Read Bhagavad-gita

October 23, 2016 |

English; Hyderabad, Telangana, India

The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions

February 20, 2011 |

English; Baroda, Gujarat, India

Introducing Varnasrama in an Unfavourable World

September 2, 2016 |

English; Manchester, UK

Hindu-Bindu-Hodgepodge Religion

March 3, 2012 |

Question: After procrastinating for several months, with the encouragement of Susan, I finally got myself out the door to visit our local Hindu Mandir, in London , Ontario. I looked at the Vaisnava calendar, and was reminded that it was the day for GIta Jayanti. I thought "How auspicious. What a wonderful opportunity to bring a box of Gitas… Expand>

Question:

After procrastinating for several months, with the encouragement of Susan, I finally got myself out the door to visit our local Hindu Mandir, in London , Ontario. I looked at the Vaisnava calendar, and was reminded that it was the day for GIta Jayanti. I thought "How auspicious. What a wonderful opportunity to bring a box of Gitas with me to share with the local Hindus. A most wonderful way to begin my associating with the local pious people!"

I thought perhaps I might be able to speak something about the glories of the Bhagavad Gita at the Mandir, so I Googled Gita Jayanti, and heard part of an inspiring class by HH Prahladanandana Swami where he explained,

"There are 7 billion verses in the Vedas, and the Bhagavad Gita is the essence of all of them, and of all of them , the middle 6 chapters of the Gita are the most important, and of all those chapters, the 9th is the most important , and of all the verses , Bg. 9.34 is the most important,… man mana bhava mad bhakto, "Engage your mind in always thinking of Me, worship Me offer your obeisances unto Me. Thus you will surely come to Me, because you are My very dear friend." It is such an important verse , that it is repeated in the 18th chapter as well."

When I arrived at the Hindu Mandir, I saw the central deities were Laxmi-Narayana, with Sita Rama Hanuman Laxman, Radha Krishna, Siva lingam, Siva Parvati Ganesh Durga deities as well. When Susan and I arrived, they were having a havan, with a South Indian pandit chanting many mantras, which we participated in. Several people thanked me for the way I chanted Sanskrit with the Pandit. After this, I met the temple president, Mr. AV Singh, and when I asked him if I could say a few words about Gita Jayanti, he told me that there is no way of confirming the actual date that the Bhagavad Gita was spoken and that there is no need to promote the Bhagavad Gita, because every Hindu knows about it. He told me that their center was "diversified", and they don't promote any one book, and that if they let me promote the Gita , then everyone would want to promote their own religious views.

I stood there listening to him with my mouth open, in a state of disbelief. I purposefully kept my mouth open so he could see how

shocked I was at his response. He asked me if I understood. I told him that I understood his point of view, but because the Bhagavad Gita is a universal , non-sectarian teaching, I had difficulty accepting his resistance toward promoting it. He told me that the temple was for people to come and worship, sing a few songs, and go home "happy". I quickly packed up the Gitas and left, not feeling very happy at all.

My gratitude to Srila Prabhupada increased for the ISKCON movement he has given us , representing the true universal message of Sanatana Dharma. I realized even more the necessity of starting our own programs so that people could learn about Lord Caitanya. Hindu Bindu hodge podge religion , with so called "diversity" minimizing the glorification of Bhagavad Gita won't get people very far.

What would have you said to Mr. Singh, regarding his arguments against saying a few words in glorification of the Bhagavad Gita?

^ Show less

English;

Bhaktisiddhanta Exposes Misconceptions, Establishes Real Bhakti, Part-2

February 28, 2016 |

English; Pune, Maharashtra, India

Should I Kill a Cow Butcher?

August 30, 2011 |

Question: If one has the person responsible for cow killings in front on him and the person will not listen to one's message i.e. is a demoniac human due to his circumstances of religion or ideology; then is it not a good thing to kill the person instead of letting him incur bad karmas? This question… Expand>

Question:

If one has the person responsible for cow killings in front on him and the person will not listen to one's message i.e. is a demoniac human due to his circumstances of religion or ideology; then is it not a good thing to kill the person instead of letting him incur bad karmas?

This question has been answered by His Grace Gokula Candra Prabhu, a senior disciple of His Holiness Bhakti Vikasa Maharaj upon Maharaj's request.

^ Show less

English;

Harinama or Book Distribution

March 4, 2011 |

Question: I am sure you are aware of one of the great devotees in our ISKCON movement, Srila Aindra Prabhu, recently I have heard some of his recordings, lectures, conversations, and he is always giving emphasis on that one of the biggest problems in ISKCON is that the performance of (nagar) Harinama Sankirtan is on… Expand>

Question:

I am sure you are aware of one of the great devotees in our ISKCON movement, Srila Aindra Prabhu, recently I have heard some of his recordings, lectures, conversations, and he is always giving emphasis on that one of the biggest problems in ISKCON is that the performance of (nagar) Harinama Sankirtan is on the decline and that is the reason for many problems in ISKCON. It is now often sidelined and marginalised as a token activity that is performed once in a while. He feels that it is more important than book distribution.

If we look historically at ISKCON, the times when most people joined the movement was when there was ample regular Harinama Sankirtan being performed everyday. Similarly many great saints in our movement were engaged in regular Harinama Sankirtan, such as Vishnujana Swami, etc.

I am also aware that book distribution brhad mrdanga has been promoted as our kirtan by Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur as being equal to Harinama Sankirtan. Book distribution is still emphasised quite nicely in most of our temples in ISKCON.

But often when there was difficulty in ISKCON, lots of kirtan and 24 hour kirtans should be held. Now I see a huge popularity in kirtan in the temples, in Europe and America, regularly large and long kirtans are held, although I still do not see the results fully manifesting yet, I believe it may do soon.

Here are my questions -

Is book distribution a means for replacing (Nagar) Harinama Sankirtan, or that they should both be the main focus of our movement side by side?

Do you feel (Nagar) Harinama Sankirtan should be promoted to regular daily activity, or should it be kept as a weekend activity?

Looking forward to hear your authoritative view on this point.

^ Show less

English;