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.
Q. How perfect are Bhrigu-Samhita’s predictions? A lot of ISKCON followers consult Bhrigu. Can our current actions drastically change our destiny?
A. Bhrigu-samhita, being a part of the Vedic literature, is all-perfect. It deals with astrological science and the predictions made according these calculations are always accurate.
In his purport to Srimad-Bhagavatam (6.1.49), Srila Prabhupada writes,
“A human being must be educated to understand his past life and how he can endeavour for a better life in the future. There is even a book, called Bhrigu-Samhita which reveals information about one’s past, present and future lives according to astrological calculations. Somehow or other, one must be enlightened about his past, present and future.”
With proper reference to the context, this instruction is meant to make us aware of the importance of the human form of life so that we don’t take it cheaply. If astrological predictions can help us understand our future destiny, we may take corrective action so that we can “endeavour for a better life in the future,” which of course means a life that is more Krishna conscious.
Our current actions and also our thoughts, prepare our future destiny because they decide what we think at the time of death. “Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, O son of Kunti, that state he will attain without fail,” Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita (8.6). If we think of Krishna at death, we go to His abode.
Overall, Prabhupada did not very much encourage his disciples to consult astrological charts and understand the future. As soon as one takes to Krishna consciousness, all his karma is destroyed, and the Lord takes full charge of the devotee. Whatever happens in his life either auspicious or inauspicious happens under the direct supervision of the Lord. The devotee therefore has nothing to worry about his future.
Q. I too believe that GOD exists. But very recently I have been experiencing very bad moments, whatever I think it doesn’t happen, whatever I touch it gets postponed, wherever my name is involved the work some how mysteriously gets cancelled. So I started checking my numerology and astrology online, people tell me that our present life karma is based on past life deeds. Is it true?. Is our fate is already written by Brahma, are we just puppets in God’s hands. I checked my last life jyotisha in some astrology website it says that in my past life I was a big cheater and also based on my name numerology I carry my past life karmic debts to this life.
I don’t understand why should I be responsible for my past life which I have no clue about, why can’t God punish people in the same life itself for their misdeeds and give everyone a fresh new life. My main question is can’t we change our fate written by Brahma.
A. One’s karma is based on one’s deeds, not only of one past life, but of many many past lives.
Everything is calculated very precisely. Continue reading Effect of past life
Q. What is difference between Goloka and Vaikuntha?
And on what basis is it decided that a soul will go to Vaikuntha or Goloka?
A. These are two separate but related questions so we will answer them together.
Go means cow and loka means abode. So Goloka is the spiritual abode of the cows where Shyamasundara Krishna is eternally engaged in His pastimes with the cows, cowherd men and cowherd women. Vai is a modified prefix (upasarga) which has a sense of negation and kuntha means anxiety. So Vaikuntha is place without anxieties. Vaikuntha has several Vaikuntha planets – each presided by Narayana the Lord of Vaikuntha. Continue reading Difference between Goloka and Vaikuntha?
Q. What is Astrology? I have heard it said that when one is born in this world his horoscope is fixed depending on the time and place of birth. People born at auspicious time will have all the good of nine Grahas, which determines ones life, i.e., what he will become, how long he will survive, rich/poor etc.
Was Duryodhana born as wicked man and Yudhisthira born as good man? Is this all based on their past karma?
Ans: The material circumstances of a person, their future, their general disposition etc., are all predestined according to one’s guna and karma. When the soul takes birth in this world, the event takes place according to their karma, during a corresponding arrangement of constellations. Astrology is a branch of Vedic science that, among other things, gives detailed techniques of how to use this information (stellar arrangement at the time of birth) to predict one’s future.
While one may have particular tendencies or conditioning of modes of nature from birth, it is also to be understood that the association one is in, has a great influence on their character traits.
Q. How we can detach ourselves from the materialistic world to get back to Krishna?
A. It begins with hearing about Krishna in disciplic succession. By regularly hearing about Krishna in the association of devotees and rendering service according to what we hear, knowledge and detachment automatically arise and attachment to Krsna is awakened. Then all the impurities in the heart are vanquished and we become eligible to go back to Godhead.
Q. As we are part and parcel of Krishna, we were already there in different bodies maybe spiritual or material bodies depending upon our karma and wandering between the universes, What exactly does Lord Brahmaji create at the inception of the universe? Is it the new spirit, or new body or new form?
A. Lord Brahma creates the material bodies of all the different species of life out of the total material ingredients. Before creation the living entities are lying dormant in the body of Maha Visnu. The material ingredients are present in an undifferentiated, aggregate form, called pradhana. Maha Visnu is the original creator, and by His glancing over the material energy the living entities are impregnated into the material energy, or pradhana. Also, from the body of Maha Visnu, the universes are generated. Brahmaji is the secondary creator and he simply executes the details of sub-creation, by following the ‘blue print’ supplied to him by the Purusa Avatar Garbhodaksayi Visnu. Brahma then creates the various planetary systems within the universe and the various species of life; in turn the living entities take are awarded their respective life forms, according to their karma and their previous association with the modes of nature.
Q. In BG AS IT IS Krishna says I know past, present and future. Knowing past and present is ok, if Krishna knows exactly (means every single moment of us) that means our future is well defined then where is the free will for us.If there is free will then how Krishna knows what will we do in future.
I already asked Maharaja same question, he explained that there is free will, Krishna will not interfere in that, but at the same time He knows what will we choose from that free will. I have not satisfied with that answer, can you elaborate that.
Ans : Father may know that his son likes ice-cream better than anything else. Still, out of love he might ask his son, “My dear son, would you like to have ice-cream or cake?” The father knows the son will choose ice-cream but the choice is still there and the boy can still choose either of the two. This is just a very crude example; Krsna’s ‘knowing’ is much more than that.
He is omniscient, beyond just the present circumstances of time and He exactly knows our innermost desires, propensities etc. Even if we were going to choose ‘cake’ this time, He would know it! Yet as the Supreme loving father, He gives us the choice every moment, ‘Choose Me or choose maya’, and we can choose as we like! Krsna’s knowing ‘future time’ does not diminish our freedom of will to choose
Q. What are the three Planetary systems and how do they work ?
A. There are three planetary systems, triloki: the higher planetary system, the middle planetary system, and the lower planetary system.
Bhagavad gita 14.18 :
Those situated in the mode of goodness gradually go upward to the higher planets; those in the mode of passion live on the earthly planets; and those in the abominable mode of ignorance go down to the hellish worlds,there is an upper planetary system, consisting of the heavenly planets, where everyone is highly elevated. According to the degree of development of the mode of goodness, the living entity can be transferred to various planets in this system.
The mode of passion is mixed. It is in the middle, between the modes of goodness and ignorance. A person is not always pure, but even if he should be purely in the mode of passion, he will simply remain on this earth(MIDDLE PLANETARY SYSTEM) as a king or a rich man. But because there are mixtures, one can also go down. People on this earth, in the mode of passion or ignorance, cannot forcibly approach the higher planets by machine. In the mode of passion, there is also the chance of becoming mad in the next life.
The lowest quality, the mode of ignorance, is described here as abominable. The result of developing ignorance is very, very risky. It is the lowest quality in material nature. Beneath the human level there are eight million species of life—birds, beasts, reptiles, trees, etc.—and according to the development of the mode of ignorance, people are brought down to these abominable conditions. Or they will go to hellish planets (LOWER PLANETARY SYSTEMS)
There is an opportunity for men in the modes of ignorance and passion to be elevated to the mode of goodness and also beyond the three modes, and that system is called Krishna consciousness. But one who does not take advantage of this opportunity will certainly continue in the lower modes.
Q. I have been in contact with ISKCON for one year, but I am still not happy. I believe that I have taken birth to serve India. I want to live and die for India. I don’t want to go to the kingdom of God until I feel that I have completed my job on this earth.
My problem with ISKCON is that the lectures teach only the ways to go to God, but I want to know the ways to live in this Kali-yuga. Of course, I will remain a devotee of Lord Krishna. But please give me some tips that will help me live in this Kali-yuga.
Let me tell you my aim in this life: I want to fight for justice. I want to serve the people of India. I want to serve the society.
A. Lord Krishna has appeared in this Kali-yuga as Lord Caitanya, who states that the duty of every Indian is to make his life perfect by becoming Krishna conscious and helping others become Krishna conscious. If you accept that as your service for India, you will make a great contribution. Because Srila Prabhupada took Lord Caitanya’s instruction seriously, he was able to greatly benefit the world by giving the perfection of India’s spiritual culture, pure devotion to Lord Krishna. If you follow in his footsteps, that will be the greatest service you can perform for Krishna, for India, for the world, and for yourself.
The best way to live in this world is the same as the way to go to the spiritual world: to fully engage in God’s service.
It is said that those who have lost their spiritual vision in this age of Kali can get light from Srimad-Bhagavatam. So you can study under the guidance of a realized soul and be enlightened and act in an enlightened way. The Srimad-Bhagavatam says that those who know the essence of things worship the age of Kali because in this age one can attain all desirable things simply by chanting the holy name of the Lord.
The greatest injustice is that because people lack real knowledge, they are being systematically slaughtered life after life as a result of neglecting their relationship with God. You can teach, by your own example, that life’s goal is spiritual realization, and you can also help educate others and end this slaughtering by teaching them Bhagavad-gita. If you want to do good to others, why not work for their eternal benefit? If you do this, you will be forever gloried and your soul be fully satisfied.