Tuesday 30 December 2014

'What Is The Matter With The World?'

On the 16th of February 1957 a meeting was held at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan to discuss the above subject matter. Distinguished gentlemen from different categories spoke on the subject, but practically nobody could give us a definite direction as to what actually the matter was that was troubling the whole situation.

This feeling of pinching in the existence of our life is a good sign for progress. It is an urge for enquiry what is the wrong in the world that gives us trouble? This trouble is not a new thing but it is a matter of permanent settlement in all the days of life, but it may be felt at different times in different colour. The troubles are in varieties in relation with our mind and body, in relation with our dealings with other living beings and in relation with natural phenomenons.

The present pinching trouble of our political leaders in the matter of Kashmir affairs is a trouble in relation with our other friendly nations. Kashmir is a part of India, not only at present but it is so from a time immemorial but the Kashmir problem has arisen as a matter of course because the world is so created that must there exist some sort of trouble, may be it is in relation with the body or other living beings or the natural phenomenon.

These troubles are like the forest fire. Fire takes place in the dense forest without any attempt by any living being. Nobody in the forest do want such fire, but it takes place without any demand. When there is fire, the living beings in the forest are put into trouble and sometimes it so happens that most of the forest creatures die in that havoc. There is no fire brigade in the forest or on the top of a forest mountain and there is no hope for of extinguishing the fire by any human attempt. It takes by the natural laws, and it is extinguished by natural laws also, that is, when there is torrent of rains in the forest. That is the natural law and these laws are so rigid and stern that no human brain, however it may be powerful, can solve these problems of natural laws.

An intelligent person, who has actually developed some finer qualities of human consciousness, can understand that every law is made by an intelligent brain and behind every law there is the lawmaker who makes the law. So for all these natural laws, there is the Supreme Lawmaker, who is the Absolute Personality of Godhead. In the Bhagavad-gita we have, therefore, information that natural laws are so stringent that they cannot be overcome by anybody. But whoever surrenders unto the Supreme Lord can overcome them.

The king is the lawmaker and if he likes he can forgive a law-breaker by special prerogative of the king -- by the 'king's mercy,' but the king can do no wrong even if he sometimes breaks the law. That is, an experience of a common man in the phenomenal world and the same thing is applicable in the matter of Supreme laws also.

The natural laws are like police actions by the agents of Godhead. Men, who are too much captivated by the glamour of material beauty and tries to enjoy it falsely without acknowledgement of its Creator, are called demons. The stringent natural laws are meant for the criminals but not for the law-abiders. Therefore, the perfect answer to the question "What is the matter with the world?" is that men have become demons by breaking laws of God, and therefore they are being punished by the police action of material nature. That is the verdict of all scriptures and that is our day-to-day life's experience.

In the Bhagavad-gita a vivid description of the law-breaker demoniac men are given in the 16th chapter and such men are punished by the laws of God -- are also maintained.
Human civilizations are conducted in two ways. One type of civilization can make every human being as much qualified as God is. And the other type of civilization can make every man no less than a jungle beast and thereby making this world unfit for human habitation.

A human being is called a rational animal. When rationality is destroyed, the human being is left an ordinary animal. The difference between a human being and an animal is based on the strength of human being's being above the animal propensities. The animal part of a human being necessarily require food to eat, shelter to live in, protection from fear and gratification of senses. These four principles of life are common both to the man and the animals. But there is another thing which is specially meant for the human being. This is God-consciousness. This God-consciousness is conspicuous by absence in the animal life, while in the human life this God-consciousness is in dormant stage even in the society of the aborigines. This God-consciousness develops in different grades of human civilization in terms of particular place, time and persons. This God-consciousness is called Religion or Culture of Life without which no civilization can stand.

The present day civilization is trying to avoid this God-consciousness of human life by artificial method of material science and forcible atheism. It is learnt from reliable sources that in an atheistic state, the village people were called in a meeting and were asked to pray in the church for daily bread. The innocent villagers prayed in the church for daily bread, and when the prayer was over the state officers asked them whether breads were supplied. The village men replied that there was no bread. The atheist politicians asked them again to pray for bread from them (the statesmen) and bread was at once supplied. And by this method the innocent villagers were made victims of propaganda by atheistic politicians with the result that all the villagers became gradually faithless in God, because wrongly they accepted that the bread was supplied by the politicians and not by God.

The poor victims of such propaganda did not understand that the breads supplied by the politicians were not made by the father of the politicians but actually they were sent by God. No politician can manufacture bread without wheat. No wheat is produced without sun rays or rains from the sky. No rains are possible without obedience to God. No atheist can live and decry God without eating bread. And therefore whoever eats bread without acknowledging in gratitude of his indebtedness to God is certainly a demon and for such demons the stringent natural laws are meant for punishment. A time is nearing when there will be no wheat paddy in the field and no politician will be able to make a quick supply of bread. The food problem is already acute.

The atheistic civilization is to be troubled more and more with the progress of materialism. We have such foretellings in the pages of Srimad-Bhagavatam. The more the people are turning to the atheistic, the more things of disturbing elements do appear before us. And that is the thing which matters at present. This is a wrong type of civilization.

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada

(EA 19: What is the Matter with the World?)

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Following Jesus Christ

Tamala Krsna: So your answer to his question, "Do you consider the message of Jesus Christ to be universal?" You say yes.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Tamala Krsna: Because he says, "Thou shalt not kill."

Prabhupada: Yes.

Tamala Krsna: But none of them are following.

Prabhupada: No, all bogus. And going on in the name of Christian.

Tamala Krsna: And he says he lived in our temples, but he is not satisfied with the Christian faith, but he is finding a great deal of satisfaction now living in our temples.

Prabhupada: First of all become Christian, that you are following all the ten commandments. "Judge not others lest you be judged."

Tamala Krsna: His second question is, "Considering that the Bible describes Jesus as the savior of the people of God, not only of Israel but of every man's sins, does it not minimize his actual position to say that he is simply an avatara, and does it not contradict the teachings of the Bible...?" First of all he says isn't that minimizing him to say that he's an avatara?

Prabhupada: We accept him as avatara, saktyavesa-avatara, empowered incarnation of God. That we accept.

Tamala Krsna: Yeah. He says, "Like any other revealed scripture, the Bible's teachings are absolute, but are they to be understood literally or symbolically, and are they applicable for all men?"

Prabhupada: Literally, not symbolically.

Tamala Krsna: He says, "What is the actual meaning of the sacrifice of the cross, Jesus dying on the cross?"

Prabhupada: It has no meaning. The people were so rascal that they attempted to kill him. Because he was speaking of God. So we can understand the pollution of the then society, how intelligent they were. He had to deal with such rascals that he was speaking about God and the result is that they wanted to kill him first. He preached, "Thou shalt not kill," and they killed him first. This is their intelligence. Now people are advanced. Those doctrines, they are not (indistinct). That's all. The answer.

Tamala Krsna: He says, "Did Jesus die on the cross to redeem all the sins of the world?"

Prabhupada: This is another sinful thought -- Jesus has taken contract for ridding your sinful activities. That's a plea, what is called plea for the sinners, that they will continue acting sinfully, and Christ will take contract to counteract. This is most sinful conviction. Instead of stopping sinful activities, we have given contract to Jesus Christ to counteract it.

Tamala Krsna: So these people are not actually getting free of their sins unless they stop sinning.

Prabhupada: Then what is the use of his preaching? They will continue sinful activities, and Jesus Christ will take contract for saving them. How nonsense idea this is! Bhavananda, do you think it is good idea?

Bhavananda: Not a good idea, Srila Prabhupada.

Prabhupada: Nonsense rascals. These people should be immediately hanged. "Our religion is very good." What is that? "We cannot stop acting sinfully, and Christ has taken contract. He will save us."

Tamala Krsna: Rascals.

Prabhupada: How rascaldom it is! Namno balad papa-buddhih. Nama-aparadha. "I am chanting Hare Krsna, so no sinful action will be." It is like that. That means "I will continue my sinful activities and become a Christian, become a Vaisnava, become a chanter."

Tamala Krsna: Nama-aparadha.

Prabhupada: See whether I am answering correct.

Tamala Krsna: Oh, you are answering very good. He gives a lot of quotations from the Bible. So I'll just read you two of them, and it is very easy to...

Prabhupada: What is the use of giving me quotations from...? We are talking about practical things.

Tamala Krsna: Yeah. The only point I was going to bring out was that it is clear how they misread the Bible. Just like one of them says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life." But you pointed out that to believe means to follow his teachings. That they don't understand. They say, "We believe in Jesus," but they don't follow his teachings.

Prabhupada: Then where is his belief? Where is the question of belief? Unless strictly follow the teachings, there is no question of belief. It is bogus principle.

Tamala Krsna: Yeah, it's all... His next question is, "The essence of Christianism is to believe that Christ is our saviour and redeemer, but the final test of one's faith in Christ rests upon one's hope that he will come back down to earth from heaven to establish his glory and his realm of justice forever. Is this second advent of his to be taken as a symbolic one, or will he actually come back?"

Prabhupada: I do not know. What does he say? What does he say? Explain.

Tamala Krsna: What does he say?

Prabhupada: Yes.

Tamala Krsna: Well, he quotes, "And then shall appear the sign of the son of man in heaven, and then shall all the tribes of earth mourn and they shall see the son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." In other words... "And shall he send..." There is so many statements in the Bible to allude that Christ will come again.

Prabhupada: What is the harm if he comes again?

Tamala Krsna: Practically that is the whole basis of the Christians' faith is they are awaiting the day when Christ will come.

Prabhupada: For the time being, you follow what he has said. Rather, what is the use of waiting for him?

Tamala Krsna: Yeah, if you don't follow what he said, then even if he comes he won't take you. He says if that happens, if Christ comes back, what will be the position of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His Krsna consciousness movement? Nasty question.

Prabhupada: That you shall see when he comes.

(Room Conversation - April 2, 1977, Bombay)

Monday 22 December 2014

Religion is Godly Life

No religion of the world is without any connection with God. The principal religions of the world are 1. Hinduism, 2. Islam, 3. Buddhism and 4. Christianity. And all of them have some sort of direct or indirect connection with God. Such religions are made and propagated by God Himself or by His authorized agents. So far Hinduism is concerned and the Bhagavad-gita is accepted, all sects and sub-sects of the Hindu population take up the cause of the Bhagavad-gita and it is directly preached by God Himself in the Form of Lord Krishna.

So far Islam is concerned and the Koran is accepted, all Islamic population accept Hazrat Mohammad as the authorized agent of God and the faith is propagated by Him.

So far Buddhism is concerned, all the people of the world professing faith in Buddhism obey Lord Buddha as God or the greatest authority. Lord Buddha advented Himself in India and He took up the cause of the poor animals who were being slaughtered unhesitatingly on the plea of Vaidic yajsa and therefore Lord Buddha was compelled to disregard the principles of Vedic sacrifice just to establish the principles of nonviolence.

The Hindu scriptures especially the VaiL_avite literatures of the Vedas accept Lord Buddha as the incarnation of God. It is said that He preached His philosophy amongst those who had practically no faith in the existence of God but by His propaganda such men become faithful to Him and therefore indirectly they accepted God. So far Christianity is concerned, there is open acceptance of God because Lord Jesus declared Himself as the son of God. So all the religions of the world have direct or indirect connection with God and therefore we can take it for acceptance that religion means to learn obedience to the Laws of God as it may be compared with Nationalism means obedience to the laws of the state.

Obedience is the first law of discipline. Even in your national life, you may be a member of a great independant nation but that does not mean you have absolute independence and you are able to do anything and everything at your will without the sanction of the state. Similarly in terms of our wider and universal relation we may be all independant individual living beings but our independence is not absolute and we have to depend mostly on the laws of God and in every step of our life we cannot do anything without the sanction of God. There are five causes to effect a definite thing may be good or bad. The first cause is the place where the action has to take place, the second cause is actor or the man who will do the act, the third cause is the instrument by which the action has to be executed, the fourth cause is the endeavor which pushes the actor to do it and above all there is the fifth cause namely God's will and that is the ultimate sanction. However may the other four causes be efficient, if the fifth cause is not favourable the effect cannot take place and therefore in every action the hand of God is there we may or may not appreciate it.

The conception of God in every religion is either personal or impersonal. But those who are expert in the science of God have said that God is both personal and impersonal and not He is personal and impersonal but also He is localised. At the ultimate issue God is personal. Impersonal feature of God is the manifestation of His all-pervasiveness and localized function of God is His representation. The king of a state or nowadays the president of a state is always a personal affair. The supreme executive head of a state cannot be impersonal and there is no such example anywhere. The impersonal feature of the king or the president is His all pervasive power in the form of government and the localized representation of the king are executive officers who carry on the orders of the king for maintenance of the state law and order. Similarly, the ultimate authority is God in person and the form of His government through various agencies are His impersonal form and the different representatives for executing the function of God's government are different demigods. According to Hindu conception the actual head of a state, be he the president or the King in person is the representative of God. Therefore the conception of God in all religion is to accept one Ultimate Truth from where everything emanates nevermind personal or impersonal.

 Srila Prabhupada - EA 10: Religion is Godly Life

Saturday 20 December 2014

'Why waste time on statistics?'

Guest: How many other people are there on this planet who have made as much spiritual progress as you have?
Prabhupada: I don’t know, there are no statistics in my possession. But what is the use of taking such statistics? Why don’t you become one of them? Why waste time on statistics? You try to become enlightened. What is the use of taking record of who is enlightened or not? You should try to be enlightened yourself. For example, when you purchase a plane ticket, do you ask, “How many tickets have you sold?” What is the use of that? Just purchase your ticket, get on the airplane, and go. Don’t waste your valuable time. If you are serious, just purchase the ticket, get on the airplane, and take the journey.
(From Srila Prabhupada’s lecture on Bhagavad-gita 2.40-45 - Los Angeles, December 13, 1968)

Monday 15 December 2014

Some New Guests in our Bhaktivedanata Goshala

Mandakini with her mother Sita

Prabhavati's New born calf

Tamraparni with her mother Gauri

Arjun-calf of Laxmipriya

Shubhadra's new born calf Jadurani

Aditi with his mother Yashoda

Saturday 13 December 2014

The need of preaching the principles of Bhagavad Gita all over the world

The members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness cannot even call themselves brahma-bandhus. Therefore our only means for satisfying Krsna is to pursue the injunctions of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who says:
yare dekha, tare kaha 'krsna'-upadesa
amara ajnaya guru hana tara' ei desa
"Whomever you meet, instruct him on the teachings of Krsna. In this way, on My order, become a spiritual master and deliver the people of this country." (Cc. Madhya 7.128) Simply trying to follow the orders of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, we speak to the people of the world about Bhagavad-gita As It Is. This will make us qualified to satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna.
(Sri Chaintanya Caritamrita Adi 17.78)

This is the sublime mission of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Many people come and inquire whether they have to give up family life to join the Society, but that is not our mission. One can remain comfortably in his residence. We simply request everyone to chant the maha-mantra: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. If one is a little literate and can read the Bhagavad-gita As It Is and Srimad-Bhagavatam, that is so much the better. These works are now available in an English translation and are done very authoritatively to appeal to all classes of men. Instead of living engrossed in material activities, people throughout the world should take advantage of this movement and chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra at home with their families. One should also refrain from sinful activities-illicit sex, meat-eating, gambling and intoxication. Out of these four items, illicit sex is very sinful. Every person must get married. Every woman especially must get married. If the women outnumber the men, some men can accept more than one wife. In that way there will be no prostitution in society. If men can marry more than one wife, illicit sex life will be stopped. One can also produce many nice preparations to offer Krsna-grain, fruit, flowers and milk. Why should one indulge in unnecessary meat-eating and maintain horrible slaughterhouses? What is the use of smoking and drinking tea and coffee? People are already intoxicated by material enjoyment, and if they indulge in further intoxication, what chance is there for self-realization? Similarly, one should not partake in gambling and unnecessarily agitate the mind. The real purpose of human life is to attain the spiritual platform and return to Godhead. That is the summum bonum of spiritual realization. The Krsna consciousness movement is trying to elevate human society to the perfection of life by pursuing the method described by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in His advice to the brahmana Kurma. That is, one should stay at home, chant the Hare Krsna mantra and preach the instructions of Krsna as they are given in the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam.
(Sri Chaintanya Caritamrita  Madhya 7.128)

However expert one may be, he can never describe the glories of the Lord adequately. Nonetheless, those engaged in glorifying the activities of the Lord should try to do so as far as possible. Such an attempt will please the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Lord Caitanya has advised all His followers to go everywhere and preach the message of Lord Krsna. Since this message is essentially Bhagavad-gita, the preacher's duty is to study Bhagavad-gita as it is understood by disciplic succession and explained by great sages and learned devotees. One should speak to the general populace in accordance with one's predecessors -- sadhu, guru and sastras. This simple process is the easiest method by which one can glorify the Lord. Devotional service, however, is the real method, for by devotional service one can satisfy the Supreme Personality of Godhead with just a few words. Without devotional service, volumes of books cannot satisfy the Lord. Even though preachers of the Krsna consciousness movement may be unable to describe the glories of the Lord, they can nonetheless go everywhere and request people to chant Hare Krsna.
(Srimad Bhagvatam 4.16.3)

One wanders within the universe, life after life, but by the grace of a devotee, a servant of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, one can get the clue to Krsna consciousness and then not only become happy in this world but also return home, back to Godhead. That is the real target in life. The members of the Krsna consciousness movement are not at all interested in so-called meditation in the Himalayas or the forest, where one will only make a show of meditation, nor are they interested in opening many schools for yoga and meditation in the cities. Rather, every member of the Krsna consciousness movement is interested in going door to door to try to convince people about the teachings of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, the teachings of Lord Caitanya. That is the purpose of the Hare Krsna movement. The members of the Krsna consciousness movement must be fully convinced that without Krsna one cannot be happy. Thus the Krsna conscious person avoids all kinds of pseudo spiritualists, transcendentalists, meditators, monists, philosophers and philanthropists.
(Srimad Bhagvatam 7.9.44)

"I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvan, and Vivasvan instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Iksvaku." This is the process of disciplic succession. Following the same process, the Krsna consciousness movement is teaching the principles of Bhagavad-gita as it is, without deviation, all over the world. If the fortunate people of this time accept the instructions of Lord Krsna, they will certainly be happy in Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mission. Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted everyone, at least in India, to become a preacher of this mission. In other words, one should become a guru and preach the Lord's instructions all over the world for the peace and prosperity of humanity.
(Srimad Bhagvatam 8.14.5)

Friday 12 December 2014

Big Gyan's student Vrindavan Trip

Srila Prabhupada's Samadhi Mandir

Shri Shri Gaur Nitai

Shri Shri Radha Shyam Sundar

Shri Shri Krishna Balarama

on the way to Madan Mohan Ji Temple

Samadhi Mandir of Shri Sanatan Goswami

Shri Shri Radha Damodar Ji

Bath at HolyYamuna

Delicious offerings

Shri Shri Radha Raman Ji

Parikrama Begins

Govind Kund

Sankirtan during Goverdhan Parikrama

Dancing on the streets of Goverdhan

Sankirtan at Radha Kund

Bhajan Kutir of Madhvendra Puri

Foot Mark of "Eirawat"-The elephant ride of Indra on Govardhan Hill

Offering Obeisances in Kusum Sarovar

Manasi Ganga

Jaipur Temple in Barsana

Barsana Temple

Barsana Village

Temple at Village of Nand Maharaja"Nand Gaon"

Lock at Nand Maharaj's Home

Mother Yasoda's Kitchen