Connecting Devotees Worldwide - In Service Of Srila Prabhupada
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2 weeks ago there was an All India competition in which one had to answer the questionier containing 14 questions.After reading the questions I was happy as I had read the answers of all the questions in books of Srila Prabhupad. I was little bit confident of getting the first prize of Rs. 5000. I also decided that if I would win, I will give this money to ISKCON, Pune. So, I started writing answers to those questions. Later I searched about the organization which was conducting this competetion. For my surprise, it was a completely MAYAVADI organization which says-"Everything is one". I got little disappointed to know this as it was for sure that I was not going to get any prize. But one realization I got ," Only due to Srila Prabhupad, I, at this small age of 19years, was able to write the answers to some of the important questions". So, I am sharing with all the devotees these 14 questions. I have neither added or subtracted anything whatever Prabhupad had said in answering these questions:-
Q1- Who am I?
Ans: I am a small fragmental spirit soul which is a part and parcel of the Supreme Spi rit and that Supreme Spirit is none other than Lord Krsna.This is confirmed in the 35th verse of 4th chapter of Bhagvad Gita which says-
“yaj jnatva na punar moham
evam yasyasi pandava
yena bhutany asesani
draksyasy atmany atho mayi”
Here Krsna says that all living entities are His parts and parcels.
And quality of Krsna is explained in 1st verse of Brahma Samhita, by lord Brahma as-
“Ishwara Param Krsna
Anadir Adir Govinda
Sarva Karan Karanam.”
So Krsna is full of Sat,Chit and Anand. And since we(Soul) are His parts and parcel, therefore the quality of this spirit soul is “Sat-Chit -Anand” .Sat means eternal i.e. which was never created. It was existing from the time immemorial and this is confirmed in Bhagvad Gita as-
“na tv evaham jatu nasam
na tvam neme janadhipah
na caiva na bhavisyamah
sarve vayam atah param” (Bhagvad Gita , Chapter 2 , Verse 12)
Here Krsna says: Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these
kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be.
The same thing is also confirmed in 20th verse of the same chapter.
Chit means full of knowledge and Anand means full of Bliss.
Krsna further describes the quality of this soul as- it is indestructible
“ avinasi tu tad viddhi
yena sarvam idam tatam” (BG 2.17)
The size of this Spirit Soul is described in Svetasvatara Upnishad(5.9) as
satadha kalpitasya ca
bhago jivah vijneyah
sa canantyaya kalpate”
"When the upper point of a hair is divided into one hundred parts and
again each of such parts is further divided into one hundred parts,
each such part is the measurement of the dimension of the spirit soul.”
Q2- What do I want the most?
Ans: As written in Chaitanya Charitamrata
“Jivera Svarup Hoye Krishnera Nitya Das”
Our original Identity is to be the servant of Lord Krsna. So, what a servant wants the most?
A servant always wants to please his master by serving him faithfully & with honesty. In the same way, what I want the most is to serve my master, Lord Krsna very sincerely. And the method by which I can serve krsna is written in Bhagavad Gita as-
“Tad vidhi pranipaten
Upadekshyanti te gyanam
Gyaninas tatva darshnam”(BG 4.34)
Here Krsna says: Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire
from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized
soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.
So, without surrendering to a bonafide spiritual master who is coming from a disciplic succession, we can never understand Krsna nor can we serve Him.
Just like Arjuna accepted Krsna as the Supreme and says to Krsna in Bhagvad Gita 18.73 as “Karishaye Vachnam Tava”
I’ll do whatever You have said.
I also want to approach a Bonafide Spiritual Master in the same submissive manner as Arjuna did.
Q3-What do I aim to be?
Ans: My aim in this life as a human being is to develop a pure love for Krsna, transcending above all the three modes of material nature namely: mode of goodness, mode of passion & mode of ignorance. As Vedanta Sutra starts with
“Athato Brahma Jigyasa”
i.e “Now Discover Yourself” . Now in this human form we should think about ourselves which is not a mundane material concept , it is a pure spiritual subject. My aim is to know 3 things:
1-Who is God?
2-Who we are?
3-What is our relationship with God?
As written in Kathopnishad(1.3.14)
“Uttishthata Jagrata prapya varam nibodhata”
which says : Arise,awake & stop not not till the goal is reached. This verse signifies the importance of knowing our actual identity, which is actually an ultimate goal of a human life.
So, this goal of life culminates when one attains a pure love for God.
And some symptoms of developing this pure love are, a person always has the feeling of separation and as stated by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Shikshashtak (6) as
“Nayanam Galad Ashru-dharya
Vadanam Gad-gad ruddhaya Gira
Pulkair na Chitam Vapu Kada
Tav naam grahne Bhavishyati”
Tears of love start flowing from the eyes, body becomes full of ecstacy when one develops pure love for Krsna. And I am also aspiring for state of pure love.
Q4-What does knowledge mean to me?
Ans: Everyone may have his own perception regarding Knowledge. So, the better way is to take the help from our authorities. In Bhagavad Gita(Chapter 9, text no: 2) Krsna says-
“Raj Vidhya Raj Guhyam
Pavitram Idam Uttamam
Pratyaksha Avagmam Dharamyam
Su sukham Kartum Avyayam”
Krsna says the knowledge which He is giving to Arjuna in Bhagvad Gita is “Raj Vidhya” i.e. the king of all knowledge. We are studying so many subjects in our college like Physics, Maths, Chemistry,etc. But Krsna says this knowledge of Bhagvad Gita is above all these subjects like Physics, Maths,etc.
The extension of Bhagvad Gita is Srimad Bhagvatam written by Ved Vyas.
Just like we are having Law Book and Law Journal. Law book contains the codes and law journal contains the history/situation in which the verdict was given on the basis of a particular code of Law Book. In the same way,Bhgvad Gita is just like a Law Book & Srimad Bhagvatam is just like a Law Journal. Srimad Bhagvatam contains the activities of Lord Krsna & His associates which were done on the basis of the codes written in Bhagvad Gita.
Therefore, correct understanding and realization of Bhagvad Gita & Srimad Bhagvatam is the actual knowledge which is going to help us eternally.In next life again we will have to again start with learning A, B, C; but spirituality will continue from the point it got stopped in the previous life.
Q5- Am I waiting for something?
Ans: Yes, I am waiting for that day when I’ll start following all the instructions given by Lord Krsna in the battlefield of Kurukshetra to Arjuna. Actually those instructions were not meant only for Arjuna, but they were meant for all. Arjuna was made the instrument to deliver this Confidential Knowledgeof Bhagvad Gita , which was actually lost, as confirmed in Bhagvad Gita 4.3.
I am waiting for that day when Intelligent class of people would start would start showing their interest in becoming God Conscious. In my BITS-PILANI Campus also, I find everyone indulged in doing the activities of sense gratification. So, I am waiting for the moment when atleast one person from the whole campus would come forward & would show interest in elevating himself above this material platform of miseries.
And whatever I am waiting for is not something a whimsical thought. Its actually a verdict of Bhagvad Gita(18.68 & 18.69)
“ya idam paramam guhyam
bhaktim mayi param krtva
mam evaisyaty asamsayah” (BG 18.68)
“na ca tasman manusyesu
kascin me priya-krttamah
bhavita na ca me tasmad
anyah priyataro bhuvi” (BG 18.69)
Here Krsna says: There is no servant in this world more dear to Me than he, who explains this supreme secret of Bhagvad Gita to others.
I am also waiting for the blessings of pure devotee as pure devotees are just like “Kalp Taru” or desires fulfilling trees.And by the mercy of a pure devotee, one can progress very swiftly on the spiritual path of devotion.
Q6-Why am I living like this?
Ans: We were initially in the Spiritual planets having spiritual body which was free from “Janm,Mratyu, Jara and Vyadhi” (BG 13.9)i.e Birth, death, old age and disease. Brahma Samhita describes the Spiritual Planet of Krsna nemed as Goloka Vrindavan, very nicely.
In spiritual planets, every one serves Krsna or the plenary portion of the Krsna as per his/her spiritual planet. Every one ,there, is engaged in the loving service of the Lord. One should note, that the service one is doing in spiritual world is completely out of love, it is not due to any compulsion or pressure of the supreme Lord. Every one whether in spiritual world or in this material world is free to have any desire.
When people in the spiritual world desired to enjoy without master, to enjoy without Krsna i.e. when they desired to become master, not the servant of lord, then Krsna agreed to them and he made a separate world full of sufferings for such rebellious people who wanted to enjoy separately without Krsna. So, this material world having the miseries of birth ,old age, dsease & death is just like a jail. When a person does not follow the rules of the state, he is sent to the jail for undergoing a punishment, for realizing the mistake he has done. But in jail also he is provided with all sorts of necessary things for surviving.
In the same way we were sent here to rectify our cheap mentality of enjoying without Krsna.
Krsna is eager to take us back to His abode , but no one is interested in this process as Krsna confirms-
kascid yatati siddhaye
yatatam api siddhanam
kascin mam vetti tattvatah”(BG 7.3)
Here Krsna says: Out of many thousands of people, only few people show interest towards the spiritual path.
So, the only reason behind our existence in this material world is our previous rebellious nature against Krsna.
Q7-Can I live differently? How?
Ans: Yes, we can live differently.
As said previously, we are originally the inhabitants of spiritual world, we are also actually Spirit souls.Quality of soul is “Sat –Chit-Anand” eternal, full of knowledge &full of bliss.The same is the quality of spiritual world.But, on the contrary, everything in this material world is opposite of the quality of Spirit i.e. “Asat-Achit-Niranand” perishable, full of ignorance & full of miseries.
Therefore existence of Soul in this material world is an incompatible situation as respective properties are completely opposite. For this reason, every one in this world is literally suffering despite having all sorts of scientific comforts.
But there is a solution for overcoming these miseries. We can , actually, live differently by following the Bhagavad Gita in our practical life.
And the essence of Bhagvad Gita is explained in the last chapter(18th Chapter) while concluding the Bhagvad Gita in 66th verse as-
“Sarva Dharman Parityaj
Mam ekam Sharnam Vraj
Aham Twam sarva Papebhyo
Mokshai-shyami ma Suchah” (BG 18.66)
If any one completely surrenders unto the lotus feet of lord Krsna, then Krsna takes away his all the reactions of past deeds and finally that person, after leaving his body goes to his previous abode where he can again live together with Krsna. Then that person will become free from all the miseries of material life.
As soon as a person surrenders unto Krsna, then although he continues to live in this material world, but actually he becomes free from all miseries in this world also.
And there are nine ways in which one can surrender onto the supreme Lord Krsna as stated in Srimad Bhagvatam(7th canto, 5th Chapter, 23rd verse)
“sravanam kirtanam visnoh
arcanam vandanam dasyam
Amongst these nine, chanting the holy names of the lord is very easiest one. And by this, every one can start living differently.
Q8-What does money mean to me?
Ans- Money is a material energy which is under control of Krsna as stated in Bhagvad Gita (Chapter 9, verse 10) as
So, for me , money is an another means by which I can serve Lord Krsna. Its an another means to please Krsna. Therefore one should use his money in the charity purposes which ultimately aim to Krsna.
The goddess of wealth is mother Lakshmi. And Krsna is Lakshmi-Pati , husband of Lakshmi Ji. A chaste wife always hankers to find the opportunity to please her husband. Therefore, if we will engage our wealth in the service of Lord Krsna, then mother Lakshmi will be more pleased and she will give us more opulence to serve Krsna more.
One should engage his money to spread the message of Bhagvad Gita to the current ignorant general public and the leaders of our society. While spreading this message of Gita, one must be very cautious that he comes under a bonafide Guru-Shishya Parampara or Bonafide Disciplicic Succession(BG 4.2) and one must also not either add or subtract anything from these scriptures.One must not speculate on the subject matter of Gita.
Q9-What is the basic level of essentials with which I can survive?
Ans: What I need to survive is the association of pure devotees of Supremly Loving Lord Krsna so that I can develop Pure love for Krsna.Just like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says in Shikshashtakm Prayers(4) as-
“Na Dhanam Na janam na sundarim,
Kavitam va jagdish Kamye
Mam janmani janmanishware
Bhav tad bhaktir ahaituki Tavayi.”
O almighty Lord, I have no desires to accumulate wealth, nor do I desire beautiful women nor do I want any number of followers. I only want your causeless devotional service, birth after birth.
Q10-Why do I want more than these essentials?
Ans: I actually don’t want more than those essentials which I have written in the previous question & that is the association of pure devotees of Krsna. And also I want to develop firm determination in the words of Krsna and His representative.Nothing more…
Q11- Why do I seek entertainment?
Ans- As we are part and parcel of a Super soul, we are same in quality as that of Krsna, but not in quantity. A drop taken out from the ocean contains the same constituent elements & minerals as that of the whole ocean water. A small particle of gold has absolutely the same qualities as that of a large gold ornament but the difference is only in the quantitySo, quality wise soul is same as that of Supersoul- Krsna. And the first verse of Brahma Samhita says-
“Ishwara Param Krsna
Sach- Chid- Anand Vigrah
Anadir Adir Govida
Sarva Karana Karanam”
Here, Lord Brahma describes the quality of Krsna- He is “sat” i.e. eternal, “cit” i.e. full of Knowledge and “Anand” which means full of Bliss. Since , Krsna is full of Bliss or joy and we are His small part, we are also actually in bliss. But due to coming in contact with material world, we have forgotten our original svarup(identity) which is Sat-Cit-Anand.And due to this forgetfulness we are considering ourselves to be the body and correspondingly we are thinking the sufferings of our body as our own sufferings. In this regard Caitanya Mahaprabhu writes the first verse of His Shiksha-ashtak as-
“Ceto Darpana Marjanam
Bhav Maha Davagni Nirvapanam…”
What ever dust of ignorance has come over our soul can be at once removed by constantly chanting the holy names of the Supreme Lord.
So, as we were having originally Blissful nature, we are hankering for the Bliss in this material world, but Krsna says-
“Duhkhalayam Ashashvatam”(Bhagvad Gita: Chapter 8, Verse no 15)
i.e. this world is full of sufferings.
So, this world is full of sufferings and on the contrary living entities want to be enjoyed, want to be entertained. So, despite of endeavouring so hard to get entertainment, they will never actually get it.
Q12-What do I cherish most? What are my values?
Ans: Most of the time I cherish the pastimes(Leelas) of Lord Krsna which were penned by the Literary incarnation of Krsna as Srila Vyas Dev in the form of Srimad Bhagvatam.
I cherish the memories of my 11th & 12th class when I came to Bansal Classes,Kota(Rajasthan) to take the coaching for IIT JEE. And in Kota, I met with pure devotees of Krsna who sow the seed of “Pure Love for Krsna” in my life and they gave so much of love to me that I am missing those great devotees.
Regarding my values, From the very beginning of LKG standard to my 10th standard, I was the topper of my school.
I was selected among 4 students who had to meet personally with world renowned NASA Astronaut Sunita Williams to represent my District.
I also got scholarship in 10th for getting Highest marks in English in whole District.
Now, I got selected in BITS-PILANI.
But after coming in the process of Devotional Service, all these achievements don’t seem to be worth to me.
The actual value which I have got now, is- the association of pure highly elevated devotees.
Q13-What does death mean to me?
Ans: Death is a change of body into either new Spiritual or Material body by the soul as confirmed in the Bhagvad Gita as-
“vasamsi jirnani yatha vihaya
navani grhnati naro 'parani
tatha sarirani vihaya jirnany
anyani samyati navani dehi.” (BG 2.22)
As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, similarly, the
soul accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.
Our this life is a preparation for the next life as-
“yam yam vapi smaran bhavam
tyajaty ante kalevaram
tam tam evaiti kaunteya
sada tad-bhava-bhavitah”(BG 8.6)
Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that
state he will attain without fail.
For going to spiritual planets, one must remember about Krsna at the time of his leaving the body.
One may think that he will remember Krsna at the time of his death & for the rest of the life he can enjoy the objects of his senses.
In the Garuda Purana, one of the ancient Vedic scriptures, it is mentioned that death is extremely painful and the dying person experiences a pain that is equivalent to the simultaneous biting of 40,000 scorpions. The great sage Kapila informs his mother about the ghastly nature of the death experience, “In that diseased condition the dying person’s eyes bulge due to the pressure of air from within, and his glands become congested with mucus. He has difficulty in breathing, and there is a rattling sound within his throat…Thus he dies most pathetically“ [Srimad Bhagvatam 3.30.16-18].
So, in the midst of these horrible condition of death ,one can remember Krsna only if he has spent his whole life in trying to love and serve Krsna as stated “Satatam Kirtayanto mam”(BG 9.14)
So, one should always engage himself in glorifying Krsna.
Q14- Am I peaceful?
Ans- No, I am not peaceful.
As stated in Bhagvad Gita as “Duhkhalayam Ashashwatam” this world is temporary and it is full of miseries.Therefore, if anyone is thinking himself to be in the state of peace, then that person should be considered to be living in ignorance.
Now a days, a common trade is happening in our society which was explained around 5000 years ago by Lord Krsna in the battlefield of Kurukshetra as-
“dhyayato visayan pumsah
sangat sanjayate kamah
kamat krodho 'bhijayate”(BG 2.62)
While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops
attachment for them, and from such attachment lust develops, and from
lust anger arises.
But the remedy of this problem is also given as
“Sarva Dharman Parityaja
Mam ekam Sharanam Vraja
Aham Tvam Sarva Papebhyo
Mokshayi-shyami Ma Suchah.”(BG 18.66)
Surrendering onto Krsna will at once culminate all sorts of miseries and we can become peaceful in this life and also can remain peaceful even after leaving this material body.
So,personally, I’m trying to surrender unto the lotus feet of Krsna so that I can become peaceful.