Question: Vivekananda, Football, and Eggplant?

I wanted to know what is your view (the Vaishnava view) of Swami Vivekananda's quote that it is better to play football than to read the Bhagavad-gita.

Also, he had a similar view on the Tulasi plant wherein he recommends to grow an eggplant instead.

Thank you very much,
Your servant,

Deepanshu R.

Answer: Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, and Tulasi

My view, your view, his view--these are all useless speculations. Therefore we must find out what is the view of the supreme authority, Lord Sri Krishna. His view, as revealed perfectly and completely in the Bhagavad-gita, is 100% perfect and complete.

If Swami Vivekananda was saying to play football instead of reading an unauthorized so-called Bhagavad-gita, which teaches that one should not surrender to Krishna, I could not agree with him more. But if he was referring to the actual Bhagavad-gita as it is, which teaches that one should surrender to Krishna, it is better that he should spend his time playing football instead of misguiding the human society by making such inane, insane statements in contradiction to the teachings of Krishna.

Regarding tulasi and eggplant: According to the Bhagavad-gita, if one eats an eggplant without lovingly offering it to Lord Krishna before eating, he is eating only sin. For an offering to be accepted by Krishna it must be accompanied by a tulasi leaf. Therefore one should grow both eggplant and tulasi if he wants to be liberated from sin and attain the spiritual kingdom at the time of death.

Anyone who is ignorant of the Bhagavad-gita's teachings is not qualified to be a spiritual master. If someone does not know how to become liberated from birth and death, how can he guide others to become liberated? It will not be possible. Therefore the Bhagavad-gita advises us to accept as our spiritual master a person who has factually realized the Absolute Truth, not a mental speculator who very proudly gives his own views in defiance of the teachings of Krishna. 

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


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    How many reference you need for Swami Vivekananda speaking about Bhagavan Sri Krishna.
  • Krishna never spoke Gita to a Physically weak Man. He spoke Gita to a warrior.
    Regarding Vivekananda. Vivekananda said that answer to the man who has having a very weak physique. Ashok Gupta has said it perfectly.
  • people quote the things without reference. here is the statement of swami vivekananda from his official statement , you can read by your self : ; 

    now read what it says actually : 

     Physical weakness. This sort of weak brain is not able to do anything; we must strengthen it. First of all, our young men must be strong. Religion will come afterwards. Be strong, my young friends; that is my advice to you. You will be nearer to Heaven through football than through the study of the Gita. These are bold words; but I have to say them, for I love you. I know where the shoe pinches. I have gained a little experience. You will understand the Gita better with your biceps, your muscles, a little stronger. You will understand the mighty genius and the mighty strength of Krishna better with a little of strong blood in you. You will understand the Upanishads better and the glory of the Atman when your body stands firm upon your feet, and you feel yourselves as men. Thus we have to apply these to our needs.

    and tell me what is wrong in this. 

    similarly is the brinjal story. 

  • this statement and the comments are beating the bush without purpose. because the sentence when fotball better than gita was spoken in a very peculiar situation. i am quoting: 

    The Inner Voice carried an article apropos of World Cup football quoting Swami Vivekananda's well-known observation: “You will be nearer to heaven playing football than studying the Bhagavad-Gita.” Quite a few people may been baffled by this remark.actually the swami was addressing a young, sickly-looking lad who wanted to acquire spirituality by studying the immortal classic and had come to the hero of the Chicago World Parliament of Religions to guide him. And guide he did! What Swami Vivekananda in effect was trying to drive home to the boy was that first he to ought to improve his health, become strong in body and mind in order to imbibe and translate into his life, the bold message of the Song Celestial.

    Obviously, the boy was in tamoguna, and so, as the Bhagavad-Gitaitself counsels, ‘one must get over tamoguna, which is lethargy and lack of proper understanding, by cultivating rajoguna, or activity, dynamism'.

  • Hare Krishna.Very appreciating.

  • Volunteer

    My dear Readers, vaisnavas highly respect lord shiva as one of the best devotees of lord krishna...Lord Shiva engages in meditation upon Lord Vishnu( Rama or krishna)....He is very special to Lord Krishna offers higher position to his devotee than him many times....Its like devotee is always fond of Glorifying the lord and the lord is always fond of glorifying his devotee....Siva --kesava need not seen as separate...So we must never minimize the glories of lord shiva at any point of time...We must see every demigod as the bona fide representative of the supreme lord and offer our high respects to them...the devotees of lord krishna are very dear to lord shiva and he loves them so much because lord shiva loves lord krishna .....Some so called devotees who donot possess adequate knowledge try to establish the supremacy of lord shiva based on shiva purana and wanted to see that lord shiva is supremely independent...But Jagat guru ( universal teacher) sri shankaracharya also highly praises Lord govinda that" Govindam Adi purusham tam aham bhajami"....Lord govinda is the supreme primeval lord, i offer my respects unto HIM. Lord Ramachandra worshipped Lord shiva to teach the people how to worship lord shiva properly not for material motives like ravana....and also to set an exemplary example...a vaisnava respects even an ant...what to speak of demigods and the creation...he respects every fragment and sees everything in relation to lord krishna...To be frank....lord shiva can be considered ( according to some vaisnava authorities in the line of Goswamis of vrindavan) as a personal expansion of lord krishna to be the incharge of mode of ignorance...God is all merciful...He takes many forms according to the desires of the living entities...its something like there are teachers in a school for LKG to higher studies...All the teachers are well qualified...but they help the students according to their degree of where is the difference between lord krishna and lord and the same....but simultaneously one and different...achintya bheda bheda tattva....if we go through the chaitanya charitamrta....we come across many expansions of the lord for various activities....Let our spiritual intelligence go beyond the material coverings and see with eyes full of love towards the lord....then we understand with such an efficiency that every living entity is doing its karma and reaping its fruits...

    Hare krishna

    Hare krishna

  • Volunteer

    Dear veera

                      please accept my sincere respects. I hope you read all my posts and i hope my posts could be of some help in self realization. Its nice to meet you. Please, there is no need to say sorry, as we are all one in humanity....If u need any clarifications regarding anything...material or spiritual...i will try my level best to help u get convinced regarding the facts.

    yours sincerely


  • Volunteer

    Many persons who worship lord shiva feel that He is supremely independent, but many puranas and upanishads establish that Lord shiva's master is Lord krishna as Lord shiva is lord krishna's dearest devotee. ......Vaisnavanam Yatha sambhuhu..Lord shiva is one of the best vaisnavas and greatest of the charge of the mode of people in the mode of ignorance worship Lord shiva and He attracts them to mould them and purify them...Every soul gets an oppurtunity to reform its mentality either in mode of ignorance, mode of passion etc...In 10 th chapter of Bhagavat Gita krishna says " Rudranam Shankarascha asmi...."...Among Rudras, iam shankara...says lord krishna and Lord shiva never claims that he is superior to lord krishna in any way...Many people regard lord shiva to be the most powerful personality, but still he is subordinate to lord krishna from whom he derives his power...and this is not my personal opinion...its already stated many many times in puranas and upanishads...If somebody exhibits some mystical power people regard him as God...and hence, people are restricting the aspect of God being the supreme cosmic police person who is always busy in punishing the wrong doers,...but forgetting the main point that unlimited opportunities are provided for the jiva to reform his mentality...Krishna always says that He is the supersoul who accompanies every soul in its cosmic journey through the 84 lakh species of life....such is the infinite patience aspect of the supreme person who patiently waits for the soul to turn towards Him.....

    Lastly amsa means part...incarnation means a form of the lord descending for fulfilling a certain purpose...certainly swami vivekananda executed his purpose...but i hope there is no reference in the scriptures that he is lord shiva's amsa....according to my knowledge....kindly allow me to verify also the 11 different incarnations of Lord Shiva....i mean the 11 Rudras...Such claims can be attributed to great persons like vivekananda being lord shiva's amsa....but i hope there must be enough scriptural evidence to support that....I hope everybody know Hanuman.....there is ample evidence from scriptures that Lord shiva descends to serve lord Ramachandra as the mighty Hanuman, as the son of kesari and anjana....from vaayu, the demigod in charge of wind and air department in cosmic administration affairs...



  • Volunteer

    Its certainly not the intention of ISKCON to disrespect or disregard the views of others, but to guide people strictly according to the revealed scriptures and at the same time maintaining Harmony with different modes of people....hence, its my sincere and humble appeal to people that they read the responses little more than once with a knowledge gaining attitude rather than a challenging attitude as the latter destroys our spiritual intelligence while the former enhances it rapidly..


  • Volunteer

    Srila Prabhupada urged the need for cleanliness of the body and simplified the process of self realization ( krishna consciousness) by the 4 point formula.....very simple and they are enough for a person to do akarma ( karma yoga in krishna consciousness) sakarma and no vikarma......doing karma only for krishna's transcendental sense gratification...of course...its the ultimate bhakti yoga meat intoxication, no illicit sex.....the 4 point formula according to my knowledge....There are superb experts in krishna consciousness who can guide u better...and iam just a fallen soul....Humility never means inefficiency or incapability.....A capable or an efficient person must be truly humble....This is the perfect harmony we need..



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