Brahmacari Pep Talk

September 28, 2016 |

English with தமிழ் Translation; Thuraiyur, Tamil Nadu, India

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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.

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During the Sri Sri Gurvastaka Meditation. Should we meditate on our Guru or on Srila Prabhupada?

Answer by HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami:

Gurv-aṣṭaka meditation. Should we meditate on our guru or on Śrīla Prabhupāda?

You can meditate on both, as suitable. Yeah, as suitable means that not everything may be applicable to your own guru. Śrīla Prabhupāda said that this Gurv-aṣṭaka, it doesn’t apply to all gurus. At least the part of verses five and six specifically refer to those who in their form as a gopī assisting the… Well, especially number six applies to a gopī who is engaged in the direct service of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. Therefore I say you can meditate as is suitable. Not everything may be applicable.

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Recently I was shocked to learn that few of ISKCON temples around the globe celebrated Christmas by dressing Sri Sri Radha Krishna deities Santa Claus styled outfits. Is it acceptable to dress the Lord in such a non-traditional style or it is just a speculation?

 

Answer by HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami:

So, I’ve been informed that some temples in Europe in the Christmas season dress Kṛṣṇa as Santa Claus, and that one temple, ISKCON temple (we are talking about ISKCON temples here), is dressing Kṛṣṇa as Santa Claus. And one temple in India also did this. And what do I think about this? 

Unfortunate…is one word I could use. Nonsense is another.

In one letter Śrīla Prabhupāda was informed that devotees sent some Christmas cards with a picture of Krsna. Śrīla Prabhupāda wrote that we are not for Christmas greetings. In another or several times, Śrīla Prabhupāda also spoke about speculation in Deity worship… So, there may be various reasons given. In India, the reason was given that Christians come to our temple. Well, in that case you can dress Kṛṣṇa as cricket star, maybe the cricket fans would come. Or you can dress Kṛṣṇa like some famous film star, then maybe people interested in movies, they would come. 

But the whole idea…Deity worship is to dress Kṛṣṇa as Rādhā likes Him, and dress Rādhā as Kṛṣṇa likes Her, according to the directions of great ācāryas. Getting mixed up with this Western culture…as far as possible we should try to avoid that. We have our own festivals. Why adopt this Christmas, which is supposed to be a birth of Christ, although they don’t actually know when Christ was born? The main feature of Christmas in the modern world is killing lots of birds, especially turkeys in England, drinking lots of alcohol…

Especially, dressing Deities like this, all I can say is- unfortunate. My saying so won’t stop it going on. There are so many great ācāryas in our movement who are introducing things that none of our previous ācāryas was doing…So, what to say? Whether to laugh or to cry?

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