Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Krishna always protects His Devotee

In the conditioned stage there is every possibility of being mistaken; but Krishna will always protect us if we are sincere; even if there is a gross mistake, Krishna forgives his devotee who is very sincere; so go on working sincerely and Krishna will protect you always.

-Srila Prabhupada Letter to:  Satsvarupa, Vrindavan, August 291967

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Hearing about Govinda - Fulfills the Loving Propensity

Our loving propensity is satisfied when we are hearing about Krishna. Krishna is the enlivener of the senses. We are also worried about our senses, will our senses be satisfied? Govinda, the very name suggests the enlivener of the senses. Krishna says hear about Me, talk about Me, serve Me; then you will experience the fulfillment of your loving propensity.

Q1. We see fight in material world; so in spiritual world are there fights?
Yes, Krishna is expert not only in loving but also in fighting. When He was a three month old baby, He was killing. He knew how to kill Putana. At every stage of Krishna’s appearance, he demonstrated that he is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is God. So many books about Krishna, the hindu forest God and there are pictures of Krishna dancing with His consorts. But that’s not the only thing He does. Krishna is the best killer, playmate. He is full in Himself.

Q2. If Krishna is the Supreme Lord, then Krishna asks Indra to grant Him the boon that His friendship with Arjuna be eternal. If Krishna is Supreme Lord, how can Indra grant Him the boon?
Krishna likes to show how He has a relationship with His devotees. Why is He driving the chariot of Arjuna? Chariot driver is not a prestigious position; He likes to show that He’s dependant on His devotees. Krishna enjoys being in control and He will also enjoy voluntarily coming under the control of His devotees. We have this idea that God can only enjoy by commanding but in Krishna you see everything there, perfect and complete. You yourself would like it, if someone you trusted would order you. Later when you have a family, you would see. (Laughter)

Q3. What about the other faiths like Jesus and Allah?
There is God and there are representatives of God. Jesus we refer as Guru, he always referred to God as Father. Muhammad taught us to be servant of God. God has unlimited names. Why are we stressing Krishna – because Krishna is the most expensive and comprehensive understanding of God. Not God as order supplier; that is religion in mode in passion; not God as impersonal. The transcendental understanding is to know Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Now you have the opportunity to understand God in full, therefore you should be so careful to take full advantage of this opportunity.

Q4. There are many youngsters who come to such spiritual gatherings? Is it the restlessness or insecurity which brings them here?
They are very fortunate. They have found the place by being guided by Lord Krishna in their heart. Whether they are going to be Brahmacari in the ashram or practicing Krishna consciousness at home; here they will get the highest perfection of life. 

Q5. For a devotee following Krishna Consciousness, how to overcome all obstacles? Ofcourse, we chant and associate with devotees which gives us certain opportunity to be in devotional service; again we are also engaged in materialistic activities as we are working or students and associate with people not in Krsna Consciousness. How to overcome this?
We are followers of Rupa Goswami. Nirbandha Krsna-sambandhe; yukta-vairagyam ucyate. We are practicing real renunciation - that means not denying this energy but using it for Krishna. The more that you use things for pleasure of Krishna, the more you will be free from contamination even while acting within the material world, that is the secret. Not that this world is matter and reject it - that’s the failure. If we try to control senses you will fail and if you try to be the proprietor you will fail. Bhakti-yoga means yukta-vairagya; proper, expert renunciation – using everything in Krishna’s service. You cannot claim proprietorship over anything in this world or renounce it – it’s not yours. For example, we are walking near Citibank, and I say ‘This is Citibank and I am renouncing it.’ This is absurd as I never owned Citibank. The more the elements of your life are used in Krishna’s service, the more we will be perfect.

Q6.  Other Religions like Christian, Muslim they have one entity of God; why in Hinduism there are so many entities of God?
You will probably notice that in Bhagavad-gita there is no confusion. Yes, the devatas exist but Krishna says He is the chief and so give everything to Me. Those who are less intelligent influenced by lust will worship the devas, but actually it’s meant for Me. So, it’s not confusing; it’s very clear. Even if we think it’s confusing, take the last thing what Krishna said, ‘Abandon all varieties of concocted ideas and follow Me.’ Krishna operates above a nested hierarchy of consciousness. Outside of India, people are given the impression that Hinduism means there are so many Gods.  The problem in India is people are not getting a proper and authentic idea of Bhagavad-Gita; therefore Prabhupada gave us Bhagavad-Gita As It Is and not Bhagavad-Gita as we would like it to be.  In Bhagavad-Gita Krishna says, Man mana bhava mad-bhakto; Always think of Me – everything becomes crystal clear.

Q7. In this world, there are different names of Krishna like Maakhan Chor, Shyam, Krishna. In BG, Krishna tells Arjuna when you are counting your last breath, take My name. What is the original name of Krishna? Before Mahabharata, Krishna’s name was not Krishna. So what is His original name; not a physical name.
Krishna’s name is not a material name. In Padma Purana it is said Nama cintamani Krsnah, caitanya rasa-vigrahah, purna-suddha nitya-mukto abhinatvad nama naminoh – Holy Name of Krishna is like touchstone, it is a form of blissful spiritual mellow, full and complete, it is perfect and eternally free from material contamination. Why? Because Krishna’s name is not different from Krishna.  Understanding Krishna begins from the tongue. People want to see God, but why only seeing when there are other senses? One can hear God. Actually Krishna has no name. Why? Because He has unlimited activities so His names are unlimited. Of all the unlimited names, Krishna is the chief name. The name Krishna reveals the Lord in His enjoying capacity. 

Q8.  We have loving propensities because Krishna has boy and girl relationships. He has Hladini Shakti and so He does not have to go outside. What is Hladini Shakti?
Krishna and His pleasure potency – Sita Ram; Laxmi Narayana; Radha-Krishna. When a devotee attains pure love of God, Krishna is showering his Hladini Shakti on the devotee. Krishna’s dearest  devotee becomes pleased with a devotee and recommends that devotee to Krishna.

Q9. Real love is loving Krishna. But we are bombarded with TV, Movies, opposite sex around us. So, how to shift that attraction for Krishna?
If every morning you chant your Japa with attention then you will find that you are protected throughout the day. We don’t understand the number one spot that Japa should occupy. If you give Japa the top spot during the day, you will be protected by the onslaughts of material nature. That way, the devotee will attract the mercy of Krishna. Then Krishna will see that the devotee is serious about serving Me, and Krishna will not only protect the devotee but will show the devotee newer and newer ways of serving Me. That is the life of a devotee. Yes, there are many things but if you are focused on the Holy Name of Krishna, then you will not be capsized by these things. 

[Adapted from a Lecture by HH Devamrita Swami at Prerana Festival, Mumbai]

ISKCON Deity Darshan - 10.07.2012

Essence of Sadhana Bhakti

The essence of sadhana bhakti is to carefully consider and follow the path displayed by the previous and the present mahajanas (great personalities). One should not neglect the practice of remembering the pastimes of the Lord, for devotional service should be performed with the mind as well as the body. 

--Srila Narottama Dasa Thakura
Sri Prema-bhakti-candrika 2.2


Remembering Srila Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada held a final meeting with his disciples in the afternoon, granting, as he had done the year before, the entire assembly of devotees darsana in his room. Srila Prabhupada sat on his ornate wicker asana below the stained-glass windows. On Prabhupada's right sat Pusta Krsna; on his left, Hari-sauri.

Devotees and guests filed into the room, placing various gifts on Prabhupada's desk -- donations of money, baskets of fruit and nuts wrapped in coloured cellophane, jars of honey, dishes of sweets, and bouquets of flowers.

The mood was happy and festive. Newly-initiated Hari dasi presented her young daughter before Srila Prabhupada, asking if he could give the child a spiritual name. Prabhupada spoke up softly. "Puspa," he said.

The pair offered their obeisances and sat down.

It appeared Hari dasi had started a trend. Girimakha approached Srila Prabhupada with the same intention. "Can you give my daughter a spiritual name?" he asked.

Prabhupada smiled. "You can call her Rose."

Girimakha looked astonished. "What sort of name is that, Srila Prabhupada?"

Prabhupada answered Girimakha with a slight twinkle in his eye. "It is the name of a flower."

When everyone was seated and the room quiet, Prabhupada spoke encouragingly to the young men and women who sat before him. The orders of the spiritual master, he explained to them, were first and foremost in a devotee's life. One should become perfect and then help others to become perfect. This, he continued, was real preaching. "Amara ajnaya guru hana tara' ei desa. Become guru, and try to make others guru. This is the desire of Lord Caitanya."

Prabhupada stressed that the Deity worship should go on without any reduction in standards. "Remain humble and enthusiastic," he said, "and go on worshipping the Deity, gorgeously."

Prabhupada ended the darsana by asking for questions. One young girl asked, "Should we always do what the temple authorities say?"

"Yes," answered Srila Prabhupada.

"In all circumstances?"


Gopikanta raised his hand, and asked, both as an affirmation of his service as a full-time book distributor, and for the benefit of others, "We know there are many things that please you, Srila Prabhupada. We would like to know what would please you the most."

Prabhupada's reply was brief and to the point. "Understand Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, become perfect and distribute this knowledge to your fellow countrymen."

Prabhupada drew the darsana to a close. Since no auspicious event would be complete without distribution of prasadam, Prabhupada personally handed a sweet to each devotee as they slowly filed past. They thus happily received Krsna's mercy in the shape of coconut balls, laced not only with sun-dried currants and honey, but also with the potent blessings of Krsna's pure devotee.

- From "The Great Transcendental Adventure" by HG Kurma Prabhu

Monday, 9 July 2012

Vrindavan Daily Darshan - July 09, 2012

Brhad mrdanga. It must be beat

Sunday, 25 April 1976

Before his massage, Srila Prabhupada sat with his senior disciples. He was happy to hear that four or five new men had started coming regularly to the temple since his arrival last week, and had commenced to regularly chant on beads. He also expressed his pleasure to hear that the book distribution was going on well in Melbourne. But he wondered why Guru Krpa had not been encouraging parties of travelling book distributors to visit the country areas of Australia like they had done under Madhudvisa Swami. Guru Krpa explained that, apart from sending devotees overseas to raise funds for various projects, he preferred to keep the bulk of his men in Melbourne. Prabhupada told Guru Krpa, "We make no distinction between big city and village."

"But we can get more people to the temple and make more devotees if we concentrate on it," explained Guru Krpa.

But Prabhupada saw with a broader vision. "Brhad mrdanga. It must be beat," he said. "It is better for them to assimilate the knowledge by reading than to come, and for some time sentimentally chant and dance. That will have a permanent effect. Even if they get a small book, it will be very beneficial."

- From "The Great Transcendental Adventure" by HG Kurma Prabhu

'Just continue Chanting; All problems will be solved'- Srila Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada visited the Hyderabad farm for two weeks during December 1976. He had a lot of hope for the project and had assigned three managing trustees—Mahamsa Swami, Hamsaduta Swami, and myself—to get it going. Unfortunately, due to miscommunication, paranoia, and a desire for control, there were big misunderstandings building up between Mahamsa Swami and the two of us.

Srila Prabhupada tried to mediate, sometimes jolting me with statements such as “Do not be bureaucratic” and even instructing me to “go out in back, fight it out with Mahamsa like cats and dogs, finish this up, and get the project going.” We all felt frustrated and wanted a solution, but we were not talking with each other.

One day, looking for solace, direction, and inspiration, we all—separately but at the same exact moment—reached the door to Srila Prabhupada’s room. When we entered, we were astounded by what we saw: The sun was shining through the window, bathing Srila Prabhupada with golden-white rays. His eyes were firmly closed but without strain or tightness. He sat upright behind his desk, on his cushion, his right hand in his bead bag. You could see how attentively he was fingering the beads, and you could hear their clacking as he rubbed them between his fingers. You could even see the bag’s cloth rustling around them. His face was serene, but there was every indication that he was fixed in hearing the holy name. As he chanted—Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare—his tongue rolled in his mouth and his lips moved in a circle. He seemed to be tasting something delicious, chewing it with care to savor every bit. His chanting was quite distinct; the words were clear and articulate, and he pressed down on each syllable. His head swung slightly side to side with a bit of an up-and-down movement.

Simultaneously, all three of us thrust our hands into our bead bags and joined His Divine Grace in japa. At least for the moment, we were united and transcendent to our differences. Together, as brothers, we watched him with wide-open eyes, delighting in this rare vision. After some time, Srila Prabhupada opened his eyes for a moment and without moving his head looked gently but seriously at us, one after the other, and pronounced, “Just go on chanting and all your problems will be solved.”

Srila Prabhupada’s disciple Tejiyas dasa sent me this remembrance, and I thought to share it with you. – HH Giriraj Swami

Real Purpose of ISKCON - Sadhu Sanga

“By service of the Absolute Truth, even for a few days, a devotee attains firm and fixed intelligence in Me. Consequently he goes on to become My associate in the transcendental world after giving up the present deplorable material worlds.” 
(SB 1.6.23)

With that firm, fixed intelligence we should remain focused on the goal of Krishna and not be distracted by the paltry pleasures and petty perturbations of this deplorable material world. It is deplorable because, although by nature we are eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss, the material world is full of ignorance and misery, and furthermore it is temporary. Also deplorable is that we come to the material world to forget Krishna and try to take His place. But when our intelligence becomes fixed on the goal of Krishna, we can go to Krishna and become His personal associate.

Sometimes there are problems. Of course, there are always problems in the material world; even in the association of devotees there can be problems. But we should not forget our real goal. Srila Prabhupada wrote, “Although there may be some difficulties within our society [ISKCON], these things are not very important. What is important is that we should simply fix our mind on Krishna’s lotus feet. This is His instruction in the Bhagavad-gita [man-mana bhava mad-bhakto]. So we associate with one another so that we can assist each other in hearing and chanting about Krishna. That is the purpose of our society, to assist each other in hearing and chanting about Krishna. This you will not find in the materialistic society, where all hearing and chanting is simply concerned with sense gratification. So, our desire is Krishna, and we want to go back home, back to Godhead, where Krishna lives eternally. So you simply follow my instructions as I have given them to you and surely your life will be a success.” (Letter dated November 22, 1974)

This is the real purpose of our society, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness: to become Krishna conscious—to chant and hear about Krishna and fix our minds on Krishna, mainly through the process of chanting and hearing in the association of devotees.
We should always keep in mind what is the purpose of our society. As Srila Prabhupada mentioned directly in his letter, and indirectly in the verse and purport, and throughout his books, it is to fix the mind on the lotus feet of Krishna and assist each other in hearing and chanting about Krishna and remembering Him. With that perspective we can make progress without being unnecessarily distracted by the petty problems, or so-called problems, of the material world—because we are fixed on the goal. We have to deal with the material world—we have to keep the body and soul together and to do so many things to live in this world. And we have to expand the mission of Krishna consciousness—that was very much Srila Prabhupada’s mood, gosthy-anandi. But again, as Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura said, “The best gosthy-anandi is a bhajananandi who preaches.” So when we actually experience that bliss, that ananda, in bhajana, in chanting and hearing about Krishna, we get the conviction and inspiration and potency to actually preach, to touch people’s hearts with Krishna consciousness.
So we should remain fixed on our goal and the process to achieve it. And as this verse says, after even only a few days of being engaged in the service of the Absolute Truth a devotee attains firm and fixed intelligence in Krishna and consequently, after giving up the present deplorable material worlds, goes on to become Krishna’s associate in the transcendental world.

— HH Giriraj Swami

The Yoga of Cow Protection

Cows with a calf produce milk in amounts far greater than what is needed or really healthy for her calf and will offer an abundant supply of milk to the human members of her family.

It’s easy enough to understand cow protection from the standpoint of yoga as an ethical philosophy: ahimsa requires us to refrain from violence against all living beings, not just human beings. But the first principle specific to cow protection in yoga philosophy is not really about cows; it’s actually about the engagement of bulls for the production of grains.

A cow doesn’t give milk unless she has a calf and half of all calves are bulls! And, as our friends at ISCOWP explain on their website:

“The expense of feeding the bulls will be a deficit to the farmer unless he realizes their potential for alternative energy by employing them in tilling the fields and hauling. Otherwise, the farmer, in most countries throughout the world, acquires his economic profit by selling them for meat either directly to the slaughterhouse, the meat industry’s feedlots, or to the veal industry where he lives a short life crammed into a small crate not much bigger than him.

The modern system of agriculture does not realize the alternative energy potential of the bull calf nor the variety of useful bovine dung and urine products (fertilizers, compost, pest repellent, medicines, cleaning products, and biogas fuel to name just a few). Therefore, slaughtering becomes the only economically viable means of management. Most people, accustomed to this viewpoint and seeing no alternative, will throw up their hands and agree, even if they prefer a less violent solution. This is only because they don’t have the facts. They don’t know that the overall value of the ox is greater when he is utilized for work than when he’s slaughtered for meat, and even when not productive a cow or ox produces useful urine and dung.”

An ideal social structure that supports the practice of yoga is one that’s local and sustainable, one in which we eat food that grows where we live, one that’s free from the many downsides of technology and industrialization such as polluting fossil fuels, poisonous pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and artificial economics that tilt the playing field against small, family farms. The protection of cows is not merely a religious sentiment nor is it just a matter of avoiding the bad karma associated with needlessly killing innocent animals: it’s a means to secure the highest benefit for human society, both material and spiritual.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Protecting the Cow

These are nice instructions for milking a cow. The cow must first have a calf so that out of affection for the calf she will voluntarily give sufficient milk. There must also be an expert milkman and a suitable pot in which to keep the milk. Just as a cow cannot deliver sufficient milk without being affectionate to her calf, the earth cannot produce sufficient necessities without feeling affection for those who are Kṛṣṇa conscious. Even though the earth's being in the shape of a cow may be taken figuratively, the meaning herein is very explicit. Just as a calf can derive milk from a cow, all living entities — including animals, birds, bees, reptiles and aquatics — can receive their respective foods from the planet earth, provided that human beings are not asat, or adhṛta-vrata, as we have previously discussed.

(Condition of Cows at Modern Dairy Farms)

When human society becomes asat, or ungodly, or devoid of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the entire world suffers. If human beings are well-behaved, animals will also receive sufficient food and be happy. The ungodly human being, ignorant of his duty to give protection and food to the animals, kills them to compensate for the insufficient production of grains. Thus no one is satisfied, and that is the cause for the present condition in today's world.

(Srila Prabhupada SB 4.18.9-10 Purport)

All problems; one solution - Krsna Consiousness

When there is a scarcity of grain, the government should follow the methods prescribed in the śāstra and approved by the ācāryas; thus there will be a sufficient production of grains, and food scarcity and famine can be checked. Bhagavad-gītā recommends that we perform yajña, sacrifices. By the performance of yajña, sufficient clouds gather in the sky, and when there are sufficient clouds, there is also sufficient rainfall. In this way agricultural matters are taken care of. When there is sufficient grain production, the general populace eats the grains, and animals like cows, goats and other domestic animals eat the grasses and grains also. According to this arrangement, human beings should perform the sacrifices recommended in the śāstras, and if they do so there will no longer be food scarcity. In Kali-yuga, the only sacrifice recommended is sańkīrtana-yajña.

In this verse there are two significant words: yogena, "by the approved method," and dṛṣṭena, "as exemplified by the former ācāryas." One is mistaken if he thinks that by applying modern machines such as tractors, grains can be produced. If one goes to a desert and uses a tractor, there is still no possibility of producing grains. We may adopt various means, but it is essential to know that the planet earth will stop producing grains if sacrifices are not performed. The earth has already explained that because nondevotees are enjoying the production of food, she has reserved food seeds for the performance of sacrifice. Now, of course, atheists will not believe in this spiritual method of producing grains, but whether they believe or not, the fact remains that we are not independent to produce grain by mechanical means. As far as the approved method is concerned, it is enjoined in the śāstras that intelligent men in this age will take to the sańkīrtana movement, and by so doing they shall worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Caitanya, whose bodily complexion is golden and who is always accompanied by His confidential devotees to preach this Kṛṣṇaconsciousness movement all over the world. In its present condition, the world can only be saved by introducing this sańkīrtana, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. As we have learned from the previous verse, one who is not in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is considered a thief. Even though he may be materially very advanced, a thief cannot be placed in a comfortable position. A thief is a thief, and he is punishable. Because people are without Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they have become thieves, and consequently they are being punished by the laws of material nature. No one can check this, not even by introducing so many relief funds and humanitarian institutions. Unless the people of the world take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, there will be a scarcity of food and much suffering.
(Srimad Bhagavatam 4.18.8 Purport)

Bewildered Civilization

A conditioned soul is hampered by four defects: he is sure to commit mistakes, he is sure to become illusioned, he has a tendency to cheat others, and his senses are imperfect. Consequently we have to take direction from liberated persons. This Kṛṣṇaconsciousness movement directly receives instructions from the Supreme Personality of Godhead via persons who are strictly following His instructions. Although a follower may not be a liberated person, if he follows the supreme, liberated Personality of Godhead, his actions are naturally liberated from the contamination of the material nature. Lord Caitanya therefore says: "By My order you may become a spiritual master." One can immediately become a spiritual master by having full faith in the transcendental words of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and by following His instructions. Materialistic men are not interested in taking directions from a liberated person, but they are very much interested in their own concocted ideas, which make them repeatedly fail in their attempts. Because the entire world is now following the imperfect directions of conditioned souls, humanity is completely bewildered.

(Srimad Bhagavatam 4.18.5 Purport)

Real goal of Religion - to always remember God


Krishna appeared as Mahaprabhu with the sentiments and complexion of Radharani to give the highest ecstatic rasa to anyone without considering their qualification or disqualification.

Unless theoretical knowledge is applied to our life, there will be no realization.

Krishna does not require our scholarship; He knows everything.

When a devotee honestly and sincerely tries to please the Lord, the Lord accepts the position of being conquered by that devotee.

Knowledge is to understand that we are eternally part and parcel of Krishna.

Conditioned life means to think we are this body and to act according to the interests of this body. To think we are this body and act to serve the purposes of the mind and body, it is illusion.

Less intelligent people think religion is something beside our normal routine life. Actually, everything we do, it has to be on the service of God- that is applied knowledge.

How to apply these spiritual endeavors is that one who actually understands Bhagavad-gita is striving and struggling to serve Krishna at every moment. When you serve God, you will not be appreciated by people as everyone is too much engrossed in materialism.

Mode of ignorance - people like violence
Mode of passion - sex, making money
Mode of goodness - charity, nice classical music
All this is material as it is concerned with body and mind. But Krishna says all that is to be done, should be done as an offering to the Lord.

People will find this crazy and will create so many philosophies to satisfy their mind and senses.

Sense gratification and devotional service to the Lord are opposites.

Some people believe that work is worship.  Krishna told Arjuna in what consciousness we are meant to perform our duty. He is teaching us the application of spirituality in our daily life.

Whatever our varna and ashrams may be, our goal should be to purify our heart and serve Krishna.

Krishna teaches us that we should learn to always remember Him. The older you get, the faster your life passes. Pada pada yad vipadam  na tesam- the success of life is not how much money you have, all these things will be washed away by the waves of time as at the time of death everything is striped away. We may have wonderful family, homes- all this is extinguished at the time of death.

Purpose of life is to remember Krishna at the time of death and all our relatives in past and present get liberated-that is compassion.

All relative responsibilities should be related to Krishna.

While we work for money, we should understand that this money will be used for Krishna. To facilitate a home which is temple of Krishna. To buy foodstuffs offered to Krishna. To offer charity so that others can get Krishna.

Prabhupada was very tolerant of whatever fallen condition a soul would be but the knowledge he gave, was without compromise.

A person who teaches fruitive activities to be real religion is cheating you. Whatever our level of consciousness is, we should be striving for perfection.

- HH Radhanath Swami

Drops of Transcendental Wisdom on Grihasta Ashram

The purpose of household life is to attain pure devotional service.

Within this world, the divine service of Radha and Krishna is the sole purpose of the relationship and they are practically living those principles , then the two become one in spirit.That doesn't mean they merge into each others existence but becoming one means they are living for the same purpose and they share the same concerns and goals. One is I will do anything to protect you and you will do anything to protect me; that is oneness that we are there for each other. It means to give up the false ego. This faithfulness and devotion to each other is the common principle of marriage and when there are children, we will tolerate any amount of differences for the welfare of the children.

When children are there, they see our anger and they become insecure and they suffer internally and it will mould their consciousness for the rest of their lives. Even when they become the age of parents, they will have insecurities and miserable elements running within themselves because of reckless behavior of parents.

We have to give up our ego and preferences - principle of marriage. It's a divine relationship because we are responsible to Krishna on behalf of one another. Oneness of interest. Krishna says if you surrender, I carry what you lack. In marriage, Krishna works through your partner to carry what you lack. If both partners understand this principle, then they go back home, back to godhead

Srila Prabhupada writes a husband and wife who live together congenially (to be congenial means tapasya) when they have Krishna in the center, then Lakshmi and Narayana are living in that house even if you don't have deities; They want to live there because of your devotion to each other. If you don't have the congenial relationship for the higher purpose, then They are not in your house; They will be only statues.

Q. A devotee quitting his body Krishna sees how much false ego we have? In Grihasta life the biggest issue is the false ego. Even after devotional life, if our anarthas are not going, what should we do?

A. It is that burning desire to be rescued from the shackles of false ego which impedes our progress on the path of pure love. Execution of devotional service with that desire, will attract Krishna's special mercy. Ahankara is the most powerful element in material creation. False ego is the foundation for the rest of material creation; it is very strong and what keeps us here. As long as ego is there, we have to keep taking birth. So we should eagerly serve the mission of Krishna, chant, hear SB and be the servant, that includes the wife. It doesn't mean you become foolishly attached to the wife like a menial servant, a menial servant in the sense of whats best for service, to do the needful and actually help each other. We have to be humble servant; the wife to husband and husband to wife. We conquer our ego through humble service and respecting others. What drives the men crazy, is when the wife doesn't respect them even though she does and also the wife goes crazy too when husband doesn't respect them. So we have to be humble in our dealings with devotees, with family. That is our austerity and that will show our sincerity to Krishna; the way we act. When we show that sincerity with enthusiasm and patience, we should have faith that Krishna will rescue will us.

Q. What about our responsibility towards parents? We as husband and wife may be wanting to do much more, but due to expectations of family that must be interrupted. Sohow to tackle that?
A. We should honestly try our best. The oneness in commitment if service to each other as husband and wife. Anyone connected to a devotee has the opportunity to make great spiritual progress. Because Prahalad surrendered to the Lord, 10 generations past and 10 generations future got liberated. If child is krishna conscious, parents and relatives get special mercy. If they are favorable then even more. They will make tremendous progress; every time you surrender, everytime you chant the holy mane sincerely, Krishna is going to give more mercy to his/her parents. After death of parents, they will share the results because of your devotion. It's Krishna's promise. The greatest act of love you can perform to your parents is not just to satisfy their material expectations but to become a pure devotee, so that they get liberated. For a Grihasta, because you are in that realm, you have to harmonize your social obligations in such a way that it does not impede your spiritual progress; that happens with proper intelligence,good guidance and sincere motivation.

Q. Parents have certain expectations, and fulfilling them creates friction between husband and wife because it is performed as impeding spiritual progress. So how to tackle that?
A. If someone marries in Krishna consciousness, it is his duty to protect the wife and that often means from your parents. If you allow parents to disturb their spiritual life, you are implicated in the offense before God. You should be as respectful to parents but you cannot allow the wife to be denied the right to be God conscious.

Q. Can we subsidize devotional service for friends?
A. If he's really a close friend, you may want to do but in husband and wife it's a vow before God and it's very serious; it's an offense if you dont. You can choose your friends, but once you are married, you are trapped. But it is Krishna's trap to take you out material nature.
India helps you to become Krishna conscious, because at every step you need to surrender and take shelter.
Once Srila Prabhupada was overseeing a construction, and devotees was saying we cannot concentrate on sadhana because of the construction. SP said you go on with construction, I will chant for you. Krishna is bhavagrahi. We need to pray for each other and offer our Bhakti to each other. Both husband and wife have taken a life long vow to do that - it is very serious. Grihastas should take their vows very seriously. 

(Adapted from a lecture by HH Radhanath Swami)

ISKCON Deity Darshan - 08.07.2012

nirmana-mohajita-sanga-dosa adhyatma-nitya vinivrtta-kamah
dvandvair vimuktah sukha-duhkha-samjnair gacchanty amudhah padam avyayam tat

Those who are free from false prestige, illusion and false association, who understand the eternal, who are done with material lust, who are freed from the dualities of happiness and distress, and who, unbewildered, know how to surrender unto the Supreme Person attain to that eternal kingdom.