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Mind management

Que : How to do mind management according to Bhagavad Gita?

Ans : Thanks for asking this question.
The teachings of Bhagavad Gita are certainly very helpful to regulate the mind’s activities.
One needs to devote some time everyday by serving, reading about Lord Krishna’s glorious acts, chanting His Holy names (Hare Krishna Mahamantra).
This helps to perform other duties in a balanced way.
It is a matter of practice, which Lord Krishna recommends to Arjuna in B G 6.35
By constant practice and detachment, one can regulate the mind.
In this way one can do mind management.

Deity Worship in Bhagavad-gita

Q. Please explain me if deity worship is authorized in Bhagavad-gita?

A. This question is to be considered by referring to certain concepts.  

Generally people do not accept anything unless they are given proof of the facts upon which they have to base their consideration. Of course it is a common sense that everyone wants to examine the facts and only when he is convinced about their authenticity he may accept them.
But when people demand proof they have their own concept of proof and evidence in their mind as per their logic. Most of the people demand proof in writing or many of them rely upon words of superiors and so on.

It is to be understood that the method of proving many things is not by direct reference but by our proper understanding of the concept of particular topic. For example, every liquid contains base of water. But do we find on any bottle of liquid, words or caption that ‘this liquid contains water base’. Of course not always. Then how can we understand this?
If one has properly studied chemistry he would undoubtedly accept this contention and would never demand any written caption on bottle of liquid as stated above.
Similarly people study Bhagavad-gita, but they don’t know how to take words of Krishna in appropriate manner. Because they may not study Bhagavad-gita under direction of spiritual master.

Lord Krishna states in Bhagavad-gita (9.34) ‘Always think of Me, become My devotee, pay obeisances to Me, and surely you will come to me.’

Now when one desires to remember Lord Krishna, how can one know how Krishna looks like? How can one know how to pay obeisances to Krishna?

Now these things are not possible unless one is given an opportunity to know how Krishna looks like and what is the process of paying obeisances to Krishna. For example when we have never seen our forefathers, how can we know about how they looked like? Of course when we see their photo or image. And accordingly we can know about their personality and we can bow before them to pay them honor.

Similarly, as Lord is sat-cit-anand and His body is completely transcendental, it is not possible for us to know and see Him by our imperfect senses.

Therefore, in order to give us a facility to see Him Lord Himself has instructed in Srimad-Bhagavatam that He can be perceived in His icon or image form (shaili darumayi……).
This is the concept of Deity worship. So even though the actual reference of Deity worship is found in Srimad-Bhagavatam, it’s original concept is found in Bhagavad-gita (9.34).
Only what is required is a proper understanding of the verse under guidance of a spiritual master who is the representative of Krishna.

The purpose, need and scientific aspect of Deity worship can be explained by following example;

Why do we need a clock? What is scientific aspect of a telephone or television?

The answer is that all these things enable us to develop contact with those objects which are out of reach of our senses.

We need a clock because clock gives us an opportunity to understand what is the time (time factor) irrespective whether it is a watch clock or digital clock or any old-styled clock. Unless we use clock we have no chance to understand and develop connection with the time factor.

Similarly television and telephone enable us to develop contact with those objects and personalities which are beyond our jurisdiction.

Same is the concept of Deity worship. When Deity of Krishna is installed,  Krishna gives us an opportunity to reciprocate with Him through His Deity. Accordingly, we can systematically revive and develop our lost connection or relation with Him and pay obeisances to Him.

As such Krishna shows His mercy upon us by allowing us to see Him through His Deity form. This is the scientific aspect of Deity worship and its root is found in Bhagavad-gita (9.34) as already stated above.

Krishna, the God in the Bible

Q. Was Krishna the God in the Bible?

A. God is one.
Just like there is one Sun.
There is no American Sun or Japanese Sun or Indian Sun.
We may call God by different names, just like son may address father by Pappa, Daddy.
Father’s friend may call him by his name.
Depending upon relationship, one may address the same person by different names.
Similarly, we may address God by different names, but ultimately he is one God.
In Hinduism, we call him by the name Krishna, which means one who is all-attractive.
In Islam, God is addressed as Allah, which means one who is all-powerful.
If this basic understanding is taught to everyone, then many problems in the world can be solved.

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.