Keeping Srila Prabhupada in the Center

May 14, 2011 |

English; Guruvayur, Kerala, India

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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?

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Question: I am a Sri Vaisnava. Following is my question: Durga is one of the goddess of material world. But Adisankaracarya told that Durga is the supreme goddess. In Bhagavad-gita, it is clearly mentioned that Lord Narayana is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then why Adisankaracarya is not agreeing that.

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Accepting a Service in Which the Guru Doesn't Engage

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Question: Can a devotee accept service that his guru doesn't directly engage in? For instance, I am very much inspired by Indradyumna's Maharaj's festivals. I think such festivals have a broad reach to masses. I don't like the cultural part of these festivals, but the philosophy and prasadam and kirtan can really get people intrigued. Some time in the… Expand>

Question:

Can a devotee accept service that his guru doesn't directly engage in? For instance, I am very much inspired by Indradyumna's Maharaj's festivals. I think such festivals have a broad reach to masses. I don't like the cultural part of these festivals, but the philosophy and prasadam and kirtan can really get people intrigued.

Some time in the future I would like to organize such festivals and do mass book distributions. However, for that I would need a lot of training from Indradyumna Maharaj even though I am aspiring to serve you.

Answer by HH Bhakti Vikāśa Swami:

We are all supposed to be servants of Śrīla Prabhupāda in the saṅkīrtana movement. So, if you are inspired to help with some particular service which pushes forward the saṅkīrtana movement, that’s not against what I’m doing. And if at all I’m to guide you, I’m to guide you to serve in the association of devotees the bona fide activities of the saṅkīrtana movement. 

So by all means: 
nāca, gāo, bhakta-saṅge kara saṅkīrtana
kṛṣṇa-nāma upadeśi’ tāra’ sarva-jana (CC Ādi 7.92)

[‘My dear child, continue dancing, chanting and performing saṅkīrtana in association with devotees. Furthermore, go out and preach the value of chanting kṛṣṇa-nāma, for by this process You will be able to deliver all fallen souls.’]

Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself received the order to sing and dance, perform saṅkīrtana in the association of devotees and by instructing the holy name to everyone to deliver the whole world. 

So that order is coming in the paramparā, and wherever and however you get the opportunity to help the devotees in, and join with the devotees in spreading the saṅkīrtana movement, do it. It’s not that if you become my disciple, you have to be locked into a little bubble in a little corner. Let’s all be part of Śrīla Prabhupāda’s big family.

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Questions About Rejecting a Guru

December 6, 2011 |

Question: My question is as follows. How can we distinguish between these (what appear to my understanding) two different outlooks regarding the matter of rejecting a guru. One point of view is represented by the verse from Mahabharata (guror apy avaliptasya..) and another point of view could be find in CC Antya 3.11 in Srila Prabhupada´s purport where… Expand>

Question:

My question is as follows. How can we distinguish between these (what appear to my understanding) two different outlooks regarding the matter of rejecting a guru.

One point of view is represented by the verse from Mahabharata (guror apy avaliptasya..) and another point of view could be find in CC Antya 3.11 in Srila Prabhupada´s purport where he says:

"Damodara Pandita was a great devotee of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Sometimes, however, a person in such a position becomes impudent, being influenced by the external energy and material considerations. Thus a devotee mistakenly dares to criticize the activities of the spiritual master or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Despite the logic that "Ceaser´s wife must be above suspicion," a devotee should not be disturbed by the activities of his spiritual master and should not try to criticize him. A devotee should be fixed in the conclusion that the spiritual master cannot be subject to criticism and should never be considered equal to a common man. Even if there appears to be some discrepancy according to an imperfect devotee´s estimation, the devotee should be fixed in the conviction that even if his spiritual master goes to a liquor shop, he is not a drunkard, rather, he must have some purpose in going there. It is said in a Bengali poem:

yadyapi nityananda sura-badi yaya
tathapio haya nityananda-raya


"Even if I see that Lord Nityananda has entered a liquor shop, I shall not be diverted from my conclusion that Nityananda Raya is the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

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Question: I am listening to one of your lecture and an inquiry is made about chanting rounds or the Holy Name etc. for others. In the Gita mahatmya there is one section where a bull is dying and all the people come and promise to give some of their accrued punya to the bull including a prostitute - she did it because she didn't want be the one who didn't because she thought she had no punya to give. But because the blessing from the prostitute alone the bull was born as a high brahmana and traced her out to find out what was her punya etc.… Expand>

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I am listening to one of your lecture and an inquiry is made about chanting rounds or the Holy Name etc. for others.

In the Gita mahatmya there is one section where a bull is dying and all the people come and promise to give some of their accrued punya to the bull including a prostitute - she did it because she didn't want be the one who didn't because she thought she had no punya to give. But because the blessing from the prostitute alone the bull was born as a high brahmana and traced her out to find out what was her punya etc. She confessed that she was a prostitute and actually had no punya. But after some thought it was revealed that she had some parrots who used to belong to someone who chanted a specific chapter of the Gita daily and she used to listen to that and for this reason she had punya etc. So it seems that one can gift one's own punya to others. How would you explain this?

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Detachment and Absence of False Prestige

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  • Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta 2.23.18-19

  • 54 m 3 s  |  9.3 MB

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Give Your Life to Hare Krishna Movement

December 23, 2011 |

Question: As a neophyte devotee, who has recently taken interest in giving my life to serving Srila Prabhupada and The Hare Krishna Movement, the common question of how to do so has arisen freqeuntly in my recent months of trying to serve Srila Prabhupada. How can I give my life to Srila Prabhupada’s mission to serve Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu? Looking… Expand>

Question:

As a neophyte devotee, who has recently taken interest in giving my life to serving Srila Prabhupada and The Hare Krishna Movement, the common question of how to do so has arisen freqeuntly in my recent months of trying to serve Srila Prabhupada. How can I give my life to Srila Prabhupada’s mission to serve Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu?

Looking at the movement in general, in the first few 20/30 years of the movement, devotee’s were more detached to the material world and its activities and stayed more in the temple, many would not partake in the activities of daily materialistic life, such as, school, a job, having a household away from the temple, having friends away from the temple. Which are all very understandable, because for spiritual advancement, environment and association is very important. But looking at the general trend of devotee’s today, it is very rare that devotee’s become Brahmacari, or live at the temple, or spend more than just an average one or two evenings at the temple each week. Rather the general mass of Hare Krishna devotee’s today, are very inclined towards their material education, their material success as businessmen, as families part of the social environment they live in and so on.

As a neophyte, the greatest difficulty I am facing, which is now becoming quite problematic in my spiritual life, is seeing that there is actually no difference between serving Krishna directly by maybe cleaning the temple floor, or serving his devotee’s, compared to

indirectly by concentrating on being successful in their material education or business life.

More specifically, as a student who would like to give his life to serving Srila Prabhupada, being enthusiastic about serving by gaining a material education is something very difficult for me to understand. On one hand I’m reading Srila Prabhupada’s books on how the material education system in todays contemporary society is mundane as it skips the greatest question of life, that we are not these bodies and that we are the spirit soul, eternal part and parcel of Krishna. Rather material education concentrates on how we can use all the resources of the material world for our sense gratification. In Bhagavad Gita, Krishna explains, Karma Yoga, we must not simply forget everything and practice vikarma by renouncing everything and sitting alone in a room, rather we should practice akarma by offering the fruits of our actions onto Krishna and accept Him as The Supreme Controller. My difficulty is seeing how I can do so with a material college degree. It is difficult for me to submit to professors in universities who try to invalidate Krishna as Supreme Personality of Godhead, rather they accredit atheism and such illogical theories.

The question arises in my mind, that, rather than spending time and money in college acquiring a degree I am not even sure with what I want to do, rather I can surrender my whole life in serving as a devotee in a temple where they hardly have any devotee’s to serve.

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Source and Energy Behind Lord Krsna

June 8, 2011 |

Question: What is the source and energy behind Lord Krishna? And why he will be called the Supreme Personality of Godhead?… Expand>

Question:

What is the source and energy behind Lord Krishna? And why he will be called the Supreme Personality of Godhead?

Answer by HH Bhakti Vikāsa Swami:

The answer is that there is no source of energy behind Lord Kṛṣṇa, because He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and He is the source of all energy. That’s why He is called the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Because He is the source of everything, there is no source behind Him. According to people who misunderstand, there is a power behind Kṛṣṇa. Just like, as I’ve several times stated, many years ago, I went to a temple at Hindustan Motors, on the other side of the Hooghly from Kolkata, Abyava (?) company, where they make ambassador car. So we had a program there. And in the temple we saw a picture of the universe, starting from the very bottom with Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, and then the ocean, and then the Garbhodaka. And then above that: the hellish planets, Pitṛloka, the different talas – Sutala, Vitala, Atala, Tala, Talātala (the lower planets). Then Bhū, Bhuvar, Svar (the higher planets). And then beyond this universe, all the universes. And then the Kāraṇodaka - the Causal Ocean, and then all the different Vaikuntha planets. And above that, Dvārakā in the spiritual world. And above that Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa at the top, Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. There was just one thing above that, a big shining light with oṁ written in it. So, their conclusion is that the Ultimate is impersonal. But actually, Kṛṣṇa is the source of everything.

If we want to get very esoteric, then the energy behind Kṛṣṇa is Rādhā, but Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa are nondifferent. So it’s not that Kṛṣṇa has come from some energy, but all energy comes from Kṛṣṇa. He is śaktimān, the possessor of all energy. And that’s why He is called the supreme Personality of Godhead. There’s no truth superior to Him. As He states in Bhagavad-gītā, there are many such references, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti : “There is nothing above Me”, Kṛṣṇa says. Ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate: “Everything comes from Me. Everything is generated from Me.” Mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate – this is, more or less, repetition of the same thing.

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