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Which way is correct?

Que 1 : Can you explain me  which way is correct, Jesus or Krishna on the basis of spiritual proof by Bible as well as Bhagavad-gita?

Ans 1 :
The question is, as to which way is correct – Jesus or Krishna.

Firstly, it is necessary to examine the credentials of this question in the light of following references from Holy Bible and also Bhagavad-Gita.

Jesus is the son of God.

This statement is based upon the relationship between Jesus and The Supreme Lord.
(This is known as, ‘Sambandha’ in Vedic literature).

When Jesus says that he is the son of God he actually reveals what is the relationship between him and the Supreme Lord. In other words, Jesus explains about the, ‘Sambandha’ as described in Vedic literature. So there is no contradiction between words of Jesus and the contents of Vedic literature.

This can be further examined with following references –
a) Bible  (John 16.28) –
‘I came forth from the father and have come into this world. Again I leave the world and go to the father.’

b) Bible (John 17.25) –
‘O righteous Father! The world has not known you but I have known you. And these have known that you sent me’

c) Bible (John 17.26) –
‘And I have declared to them your Name and will declare it that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them’

The above references from Bible make following things clear-

Reference (a) – John 16.28 –
Jesus affirms that there is a world which is eternal resting place and shelter of the living entities, who reside with the Supreme Lord there. And the Supreme Lord is the father of every living entity.

Reference (b) – John 17.25 –
Jesus affirms that he was sent by the Supreme Lord to this material world.

Reference (c)- John 17.26 –
Jesus instructs everyone about the glories of the Holy Name of the Lord so that everyone can attain love of the Supreme Lord.

In other words, Jesus lays stress upon –
1) the relationship between living entity and the Lord.
2) existence of the eternal spiritual world which is the destination of every living entity.
3) attaining the love of Supreme Lord by chanting His Holy Name is the actual goal of life.

Now let us examine the above by referring to Bhagavad-Gita.
a) Bhagavad-Gita 14.4 –
Lord Krishna says, ‘sarva yonishu kaunteya …… aham beej-pradah pita’.
It is to be understood that all species of life, O son of Kunti, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I AM the seed giving FATHER.

(Thus Krishna affirms that He is the eternal father of all living entities.)

b) Bhagavad-Gita 8.15 –
Lord Krishna says, ‘After attaining Me, the great souls who are yogis in devotion never return to this temporary world, which is full of miseries, because they have attained the highest perfection.
(Thus Krishna declares that He and His abode is the actual eternal destination of every living entity.)

c) Bhagavad-Gita 9.34 –
Lord Krishna says, ‘Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, become My devotee, offer obeisances to Me and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me’.

(Thus Krishna instructs every living entity to remember Him.
And when we remember someone we always think of that person by that person’s name. As such Krishna instructs everyone to remember Him by chanting His Holy Names ‘.)

The above explanation reveals that Jesus is the spiritual master empowered by the Supreme Lord in order to guide and lead the living entities to approach the Supreme Lord.

And the Supreme Lord Krishna is the destination.

Thus there is no question as to who is right, whether Krishna or Jesus. It can be said that Jesus is the authorized representative of the Supreme Lord who has lent a helping hand to everyone who are willing to approach the Supreme Lord by chanting His Holy Names and engage in His devotional service.

But unfortunately as people do not study scriptures under proper guidance of authorized spiritual master, they find various scriptures (whether Bhagavad-Gita, Bible or other scriptures) and various religious sects as contradictory. This is very very unfortunate.

The purpose of all religious scriptures is the same, i.e. to guide the living entities toward the path of God consciousness and service of the Supreme Lord. But relevant scriptures contain only that much knowledge which is understandable by people depending upon their level of consciousness. Hence some of the scriptures and spiritual masters reveal only partial knowledge about God while some reveal more knowledge. But ultimately their goal is same, i.e. to make everyone God conscious.

Now it is for us to decide whether we want to properly understand the scriptures or we want to just waste our valuable time and life in finding insignificant conflicts and contradictions among them. Like the purpose of all schools is to impart education. But those students who don’t understand this and are not serious about studies, they fight over petty issues by raising irrational doubts.
I hope this answers your question.

Transcendental Knowledge

Q. Is the Srimad Bhagavatam written by Srila Vyasadeva only for this Kali-yuga ? Or will it be written again in the next cycle of the four yugas, as the four cycles repeat?

A. The message of Srimad Bhagavatam and Srimad Bhagavad Gita is eternal.
For example Srimad Bhagavatam has references to events in Satya, Treta, Dvapara and Kali yugas . Srila Vyasadeva compiled the scriptures at the beginning of this Kali yuga and wrote them down because the people of Kali yuga have very poor memory and cannot retain the knowledge just by hearing, which was the process in the previous ages.

In the Bhagavad-Gita also Krishna explains to Arjun that the knowledge He is about to give is eternal. Only when the chain of knowledge breaks does Krishna descends to reestablish the principles once again.

The message in all the scriptures is to know God and to love God. The validity of this message is there in all the ages. The spiritual master and other authorized devotees may speak the same message after taking into consideration the desha, kaala and patra (time, place and circumstance).

It shall be again written in next Kali-yuga, since at the beginning of next cycle there shall be need of re-establishing the principles of religion as Lord Krishna does in every millennium.

Rama or Ram!

Q. In the mahamantra can you please explain to me why do people pronounce Rama instead of Ram?

A. Usually people do not pronounce it deliberately. Sometimes when they are intensely chanting then they may be chanting Rama in stead of Ram. However Lord is pleased by the endeavor of His devotees. It is said that chanting should be like a crying of a child for its mother.
Yes, when they are performing kirtan, it is many times pronounced as Rama. However if someone is doing it for the pleasure of the Lord then it is alright. If someone is pronouncing it to make a show then Lord is not at all pleased with that.

Chanting while driving

Q. I have to go to office on bike. It takes two hours. So can we chant on bike by counting on hands or beads?

A. It would be completely unsafe both materially and spiritually, especially if you are chanting your prescribed number of rounds while riding on the bike. The principle is kirtaniya sada hari – to always chant the names of Hari. But it is advisable not to chant on the bike considering the condition of roads and the traffic.

Technique to chant progressively

Q. Is it necessary to chant a minimum of 16 rounds to please Lord Krishna or he gets pleased even if we chant less than 16 rounds as I am finding it very difficult to chant 16 rounds.

A. In the beginning one finds it difficult to chant more than a couple of rounds daily. However you can set a quota of chanting a certain number of rounds daily, even if only one or two. Once having set that quota, please try never to go below it.

The Krishna consciousness movement prescribes sixteen rounds daily because people in this age cannot concentrate for long periods while chanting on beads. Therefore the minimum number of rounds is prescribed, but in the highest stages pure devotees chant the holy names constantly, day and night, in the profound ecstasy of love of God and they never find it difficult.

Best time for chanting

Q. Please tell me the best time for doing chanting meditation.

A. The best time for japa is in the early morning hours, when the atmosphere is still quiet and the mind is not yet preoccupied with daily activities. If that is not possible, any time will do. Simply repeat the mahamantra “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare” softly but distinctly. You should pronounce the mahamantra in such a way that you can hear it clearly.

Planets and stars

Q. Dear Prabhu, Dandavats. I never thought on this point but when we see in the sky we see so many stars. Are they different planets or higher planets or something else?

A. According to the Bhagavatam, whatever stars and other heavenly bodies we can see with or without any aid are all within this universe. The sun and the moon are the only source of light within this universe. There are unlimited number of universes in this material creation and our particular universe is one of the smallest.

Selecting your mantra

Q. What is the difference between chanting Hare Krishna & mantras of the other bonafide sampradayas?

A. If a mantra has been invented or pieced together from other mantras, it simply won’t have any effect. If it is sold for someone’s personal gain, or received by someone who is materially motivated, it won’t work either. There may be effects like relaxation or stress reduction, but there will not be the transcendental effect of liberation from material bondage. In other words, there won’t be a permanent spiritual effect but at best a temporary effect on the material body or mind.

In the Brihad-Naradiya Purana we find a very specific injunction about selecting the best mahamantra : In this age of Kali there is no other means, no other means, no other means for self-realization than chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name of Krishna .

The Hare Krishna mahamantra is specifically mentioned in the Kali-santarana Upanishad . Besides the Hare Krishna mahamantra , there are many other bona fide mantras used by devotees of Krishna . But the Vedic scriptures declare that simply by chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra one receives the benefits of all other mantras. Therefore, chanting Hare Krishna is the most important spiritual activity.

Chanting with concentration

Q. While chanting my mind gets diverted a lot. Please tell how to concentrate on chanting?

A. The uncontrolled mind always distracts the intelligence away from the lotus feet of Sri Krishna. The main principle of chanting is to listen attentively to the sound of the mahamantra . The mahamantra is chanted by the tongue and immediately caught by the ear. If any distracting thoughts come into your mind, just focus your full attention on the sound of the Hare Krishna mahamantra, and the thoughts will leave. Just try to hear the mahamantra, and the purifying effect will take place. Somehow, just have faith in Krishna’s Holy Name and all success will follow

Regulate your japa

Q. I am new to chanting and I want to know what it means to chant 16 rounds everyday? How many mahamantras should I chant everyday?

A. You can begin with one round a day and gradually increase. Initiated devotees in the Hare Krishna movement chant sixteen rounds every day. This takes about two hours. Once you chant a certain number of rounds daily, never go below this number. It is far better to chant two rounds every day than eight rounds one day and none the next. Regulation is important in making spiritual progress.