Abandon Speculating and Hear the Truth Through Submission Hearing Mahananda dasa ACBSP

How to Find the Eternal Truth

Everything is always changing in the material world. Values and morals are always changing according to the fickle nature of those captured by the three modes of nature. In the dual nature of this relative atmosphere, there are no conclusive realities but always there are two sides.

So as aspiring seekers of the truth, we must look elsewhere for what is actually real. For that we must take shelter of disciplic succession. “Taking shelter” of parampara means always following closely in the footsteps of our predecessors and whatever we say concerning this philosophy is identical with what we have submissively heard from our guru, though spoken is our own words. read more

THERE IS DANGER EVERYWHERE Mahananda dasa ACBSP

Our beloved Srila Prabhupada warns us that the material world is a very dangerous place. Krsna promises His devotee in the Bhagavad-gita that if he takes complete shelter of Him and fully depends on Krsna for protection, then He will certainly protect His devotee without a doubt. One should be convinced of this.

The body is not free and independent, but is under the strict laws of material nature and is in the tight grip of the three different modes of nature. The body is in the midst of this vast ocean of material energy and is part of it. It is constantly being tossed about by these three modes. Everything is completely out of the control of the teeny spirit soul. We only think that we have control, but in reality we have no control. We are helplessly being dragged about through dangerous situations, which are ever changing due to the constant interaction of goodness, passion, and ignorance.

Following our endless desires, Krsna, through the agency of His material nature, creates situations that satisfy those desires to falsely lord it over material nature. Not knowing what desires will actually satisfy us, we receive both good and bad results and suffer perpetually. But when we surrender to Krsna, He protects us from all those reactions that have accumulated for millions of lifetimes. Part of that surrendering process is becoming convinced about Krsna’s firm promise to protect us under any circumstance. read more

Words From Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura Akincana Staff

  1. We are put to test and trial in this world. Only those who attend the Kīrtana of the devotees can succeed. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  2. Every spot on earth where discourses on God are held is a place of pilgrimage. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  3. Possession of objects not related to Kṛṣṇa is our mail malady. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  4. Let me not desire anything but the highest good for my worst enemies. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  5. As dalliance with the body in luxury increases, so wanes the spirit of service of the Lord. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  6. Those favored by God find their paths set by thorns. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  7. There is no peace or happiness in our worldly life. Circumstances create turmoil and annoyance. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  8. Chant the mahāmantra loudly and with the attachment. This will drive away inertia, worldly evils and pests. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  9. Be indifferent to bazaar gossips, stick firmly to your cherished goals, no lack or impediments of the world will ever stand in your way. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  10. Pay due respects to the extroverts of the world, but do not be appreciative of their manners and conduct. They are to be shaken off from your mind. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  11. A devotee feels the presence of God everywhere, but one averse to the Lord denies his existence anywhere. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  12. You cannot appreciate transcendental matters with reasoning of the world. It is sheer nonsense to decry them with the measuring stick of your intellect. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  13. To recite the name of Sri Kṛṣṇa is Bhakti. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  14. Life is for the glorification of topics on Hari. If that is stopped, then what need is there to carry on life. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  15. Physical illness with Hari-bhajana is preferred to physical fitness without Hari-bhajana. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  16. Our span of life on earth is short. Our life will be crowned with success if the body wears out with constant discourses on Hari. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  17. We are here on earth not to work as artisans for making big buildings with wood and stone but only as messengers for the teachings of Sri Chaintanya Deva. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  18. A sycophant is neither a guru nor a preacher. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  19. To transform the adverse desires of Jīvas is the supreme duty of the most merciful. To rescue one person from the stronghold of Mahāmāyā is an act of superb benevolence, far superior to opening innumerable hospitals. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  20. Unless we are devoted to God, secularism shall not leave us. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 16, 1933 to 1936)
  21. Look within. Amend yourself, rather than pry into the fragilities of others. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 17, The Final Days)
  22. In this world of Maya, averse to the Lord, full of trials and tribulations, only patience, humility and respect for the others are our friends for Hari-bhajana. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 17, The Final Days)
  23. The Lord, Gaurasundra, puts his devotees in various difficulties and associations to test their patience and strength of mind. Success depends on their good fortune. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 17, The Final Days)
  24. When faults in others misguide and delude you – have patience, introspect, and find faults in yourself. Know that others cannot harm you unless you harm yourself. (A Ray of Vishnu, Ch. 17, The Final Days)

What is the importance of the principle “Always remember Krishna and never forget Him.” Answer based on NOD

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The principle of always remembering Krishna and never forgetting Him is the essence of all other instructions given in the shastras.

Shastras describe many rules and regulations governing all the different areas of human life. The idea of all these rules is to gradually bring everyone to the point of pure and constant rememberance of Krishna, which is the original and natural position of every living entity. Until we come to the stage of such pure Krishna consciousness, we have not actually fully realized the potential of our human life. read more

Sex—the Cause of Unlimited Suffering

“Of all kinds of suffering and bondage arising from various attachments, none is greater than the suffering and bondage arising from attachment to women and intimate contact with those attached to women.” (SB 11.14.30)

Because the experience and urges of sex are so intense, and the syndrome of man/woman relationships surrounding it is so complex, it diverts the conditioned soul’s attention away from Krsna and deludes him more than any other trick of maya. Sometimes the foolish conditioned soul experiences great delight in enjoying sex; at other times he is frustrated and burns in the fire of lust. Or, when spurned by a lover, he suffers mental agony, sometimes so severe that he is driven to kill the loved one, or himself, or both.

The loss of a partner to whom one is intimately emotionally attached, by death or other means, leaves the remaining partner with a broken heart. And especially in our most abominably degraded modern society, thousands of people’s lives become shattered by having their bodies exploited, either forcefully or tactfully, by others. read more

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur on Christianity

Thinking about the virtues and faults of this world, some moralistic monotheists concluded that this material world is not a place of unalloyed pleasures. Indeed, the sufferings outweigh the pleasures. They decided that the material world is a prison to punish the living entities. If there is punishment, then there must be a crime. If there were no crime, then why would there be any punishment? What crime did the living entities commit? Unable to properly answer this question, some men of small intelligence gave birth to a very wild idea. God created the first man and placed him in a pleasant garden with his wife. Then God forbade the man to taste the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Following the evil counsel of a wicked being, the first man and woman tasted the fruit of the tree of knowledge, thus disobeying God’s command. In this way they fell from that garden into the material world filled with sufferings. Because of their offense, all other living entities are offenders from the moment of their birth.

Not seeing any other way to remove this offense, God Himself took birth in a humanlike form, took on His own shoulders the sins of His followers, and then died.  All who follow Him easily attain liberation, and all who do not follow Him fall into an eternal hell. In this way God assumes a humanlike form, punishes Himself, and thus liberates the living entities. An intelligent person cannot make sense of any of this.

To accept this mixed-up religion one must first believe these rather implausible things: “The living entity’s life begins at birth and ends at death. Before birth the living entity did not exist, and after death the living entity will no longer stay in the world of material activities. Only human beings have souls. Other creatures do not have souls.” Only extremely unintelligent persons believe this religion. read more

FALL DOWN – Where have we fallen from? Suhotra Swami

This essay was originally an answer of Suhotra Swami to a question about the “fairness” of our fall down to the material world.

First of all we strongly suggest those who have a specific interest in the falldown of the spirit soul from the spiritual world to acquire the book entitled “Our Original Position”, which is available from the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. It is a very elaborate treatment with much quotation from sastra. read more

WHEN WOMEN SHOULD BE ATTACKED

No civilization can actually be considered civilized unless it protects its weaker sections, especially the cows, brahmanas, women, children, and elderly members. In Vedic society, as in any civilized culture, women must be protected as they are physically weak and are easily misled.

Srila Prabhupada said in a lecture:

“According to Vedic culture, first protection — to the cows, to the women, to the brahmanas, to the children, and to the old man. This is the first business of the government, to give protection. Practically, there is no criminal charge against them — against a brahmana, against a woman, a child. Suppose a child steals something. Who is going to prosecute him? It is not taken very seriously.” read more

DIFFERENT UNDERSTANDINGS OF SRILA PRABHUPADA’S TEACHINGS

GBC Resolution #313 – Harmonizing our Preaching Efforts

Whereas the GBC Body accepts that many different understandings of the teachings of Srila Prabhupada and sastra, and many different understandings of what constitutes effective preaching, exist amongst ISKCON devotees, and this, in general, is a healthy situation;

Whereas when one ISKCON devotee’s preaching efforts, however well-meaning, are seen to work at cross purposes with the preaching efforts of others, it is the responsibility of ISKCON’s leadership to step in and take regulative action that it considers will be most favorable for the fulfillment of the objectives of ISKCON; read more

LEADING WITH SHASTRA

Dear prabhu, while you are an historic devotee who has done tremendous service for Srila Prabhupada, the way you understand and explain spiritual subjects is not the way that Srila Prabhupada told us to understand them. If we consider the way Srila Prabhupada himself explained them, whether in his books or lectures especially, he lead with shastra; only seldom did he quote his own Guru Maharaja. But most of us don’t do that. In these debates we tend to either quote Srila Prabhupada at length or quote from our own experience of him and seldom quote from shastra. And there are many reasons why this leads to innumerable misunderstandings.

Consider the case when we happen to speak with devotees who do not belong to our sampradaya. For example, Sri Vaishnavas. When we discuss spiritual subjects with them, we don’t quote Srila Prabhupada at length, we quote shastra at length and then may sometimes add the support of our acharya, Srila Prabhupada. Otherwise, they will not accept what we say, even if it is right. And we can’t blame them for that. We would do the same if they started bashing us over the head with quotes from whomever their current acharya is.

So the first point here is that when we lead with shastra, then that evidence has wide authority, more so than any other kind of evidence. Srila Prabhupada wanted to present the teachings of Lord Krishna in the most authoritative way, which is why he placed so much emphasis on shastra in his own presentations. read more