Category Archives: Krishna

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.

Meaning of Hare Krishna Mahamantra

Q. “What is the exact meaning of Ram and Hare in mahamantra?
If Ram is Lord Ram then how we are connecting Radha’s name with Ram?”

A. Krishna and Ram are addressed to the Supreme Lord in Hare Krishna Mahamantra.
‘Krishna’ meaning the ‘all-attractive’ and ‘Ram’ means the ‘reservoir of all-pleasure’.
‘Hara’ is the pleasure potency of the Supreme Lord, termed as ‘Hare’ in vocative.
So the meaning of Hare Krishna Mahamantra is a prayer to the Supreme Lord, who is all-attractive and reservoir of all-pleasure to enagage us in His loving devotional service.
Some other places, Srila Prabhupada refers ‘Ram’ to Lord Balaram and sometimes Lord Nityananda.

Meaning of Hare Krishna

Q. What does Hare Krishna mean?

A. ‘Hare Krishna’ refers to the Sanskrit prayer we sing (the maha-mantra, or ‘great chant for deliverance’) and to our group. Since we are often seen chanting the Hare Krishna mantra, we are referred to as the ‘Hare Krishnas’.

Srila Prabhupada came to the United States from India in 1965 to introduce the Western world to bhakti-yoga, which features the chanting of Hare Krishna as its main spiritual practice.
Srila Prabhupada represents a lineage of teachers dating back into antiquity, but which was revitalized 500 years ago by the incarnation of God named Lord Chaitanya.

The voluminous Vedic scriptures of India contain everything we need to know about how to live happily in the world while we realize our spirituality and our relationship with God. These scriptures describe many methods of spiritual attainment, but they specifically recommend the chanting of Hare Krishna as the most effective method of God realization for the time we live in.

Since God is unlimited, He has unlimited names with different purposes and meanings. The purpose of the Hare Krishna prayer is to awaken us to our eternal nature as servants and lovers of Krishna.

The Hare Krishna mantra is composed of three Sanskrit words: Krishna, Rama and Hare. Krishna and Rama are both names for God. Krishna means “the all-attractive,” and Rama means “the supreme pleasure.” We can approach the all-attractive Supreme Lord, and experience the supreme pleasure of His company, through the help of His devotional or pleasure energy, Hare.

Placed together the words of the prayer mean “O Lord, O energy of the Lord, please engage me in Your loving service”. By chanting Hare Krishna we become purified of material conditioning and become reinstated in our normal eternal position.

16 rounds

Why do you chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra and why specifically 16 rounds?


There are four yugas i.e. Satya, Treta, Dwapara and Kaliyuga and for every yuga a specific process has been recommended in the scriptures for self realization.

Satyayuga – Meditation
Tretayuga – Yajna (sacrifice)
Dwaparyuga – Deity worship
Kaliyuga – Harinaam sankirtan (congregational chanting)

The scripture Kali Santaran Upanishad mentions the specific Mahamantra (comprising of the Holy name of the Lord) i.e. “Hare Krishna Mahamantra” to be chanted as the only process required for self realization in Kaliyuga.

Moreover, this Mahamantra has been given by Lord Chaitanya who is none other than Lord Krishna himself. So as followers of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu we chant this Mahamantra.

Srila Prabhupada, the founder Acharya of ISKCON always recommended that we should chant the whole day. But seeing the restless nature and hectic lifestyle of the present yuga he mercifully reduced it to 16 rounds.

Hare Krishna Chant

What is the Hare Krishna Chant?

A mantra is a spiritual sound vibration that purifies the consciousness and awakens love of God. The chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra—Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare—is recommended in the Vedic literature as the easiest method for this age to attain spiritual realization. Krishna is the Sanskrit name of God meaning “all attractive”, and Rama is another name for God meaning “reservoir of all pleasure”. Hare refers to the divine energy of the Lord. So the Hare Krishna mantra means, “O all-attractive, all-pleasing Lord, O energy of the Lord, please engage me in Your service”. There are two ways to chant this mantra: group chanting (kirtana) and individual chanting as on beads (japa). No strict rules apply for either method, and anyone can chant at any time.

Devotees of Krishna chant the Hare Krishna mantra:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

because the Vedas refer to it as the maha – mantra or “Great Mantra”. This sixteen-word mantra is especially recommended as the easiest method for self-realization in the present age.

Krishna is a Sanskrit name of God meaning “all attractive”, and Rama is another name meaning “reservoir of pleasure”. The divine energy of God is addressed as Hare. Vedic knowledge teaches that since we are all constitutionally servants of God, the chanting of His names is not an artificial imposition on the mind but is as natural as a child calling for its mother. There are two ways to chant the maha mantra: group chanting (kirtan) and softly saying the mantra to oneself (japa). The latter is done by using a string of 108 wooden prayer beads to enhance concentration. In both methods there are no hard and fast rules, and anyone can chant with good results.

Teachings of Gita

Q. What are the teachings?

A. It is often assumed that the final goal of Indian spirituality is nirvana – the extinguishing of individual existence and the simultaneous absorption into an amorphous Absolute. Bhagavad-Gita reveals that this is only the preliminary stage of self-realization. Beyond this is the awakening of the soul’s eternal consciousness of Krishna, the personal form of the Absolute Truth.

In brief, the Gita explains as follows:

1. We are not our bodies, but eternal spirit souls (atma), parts and parcels of God (Krishna). Although we are essentially spiritual (brahman), we have temporarily forgotten our true identity.

2. Having lost touch with our original, pure consciousness we are trying to achieve permanent happiness within a temporary world. Our attempts produce karmic reactions which cause us to remain within this world for repeated lifetimes (samsara).

3. By sincerely learning and following a genuine spiritual science (dharma) under the guidance of a self-realized teacher, we can be free from anxiety and come to a state of pure, blissful enlightenment in this lifetime.

4. Krishna is eternal, all-knowing, omni-present, all-powerful and all-attractive. He is the seed-giving father of all living beings and He is the sustaining energy of the entire cosmic creation.

5. Our dormant relationship with Krishna can he reawakened by the practice of bhakti-yoga, the science of spiritualizing all human activities by dedicating them to the Supreme. This ancient yoga system gradually frees us from the entanglement of karma, and thereby the cycle of birth and death.

Worshipping cows

Q. Why do you worship cows?

A. Because all living things are part of God, all life is sacred and worthy of respect. The Supreme Lord is most worthy of honor and respect, and the Vedas teach that whatever or whoever is dear to God is also sacred–fit to be worshiped in relation to God.

Krishna is known as Govinda, ‘the Lord of the cows’. The cow is sacred and fit to be honored or worshiped because she is dear to God. Worship or honor given to the cow is pleasing to God. If human beings can have favorite animals, why not God? Since the cows are dear to Krishna, they are also dear to his devotees.

The cow is also dear because of her gentle nature and her important service to humanity. Cows provide us with milk, “the miracle food,” which the Vedas consider an ideal food for health. It helps develop the brain for understanding religious and philosophical topics. Since the cow supplies us milk, she is considered another mother. We don’t think highly of a society that practically worships pets but sends cows to be slaughtered.

Advantages of congregation

Q. Krishna belongs to all so why limit His mercy to only the congregation members?
What is the advantage of having a congregation?

A. Krishna is not limited to the congregation. He belongs to everyone who love and surrender to Him. Therefore devotees go out and preach, distribute books and prasadam, organize Harinaam Sankirtan so that more and more people can become devotees and be part of the Krishna consciousness movement.

Congregation is important.

In the sense that when people see such a strong congregation with unity, and a spirit of co-operation they feel inspired to be a part of it and thus by coming in regular association with the devotees they gradually become part of the congregation.