I am new in ISKCON. I want to know about deity left to Lord Krishna (Gaur Nimai), so that I can worship Them sincerely.
It is very nice to hear from you that you are interested to know about Them. I would to like to make few corrections.
Deities right to Krishna are Sri Sri Gaur Nitai and not Gaur Nimai. Gaur means Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu. Nimai is another name for Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu. Also usually They are kept to the right to Krishna and not to left.
Gaura Nitai are merciful incarnations for the age of Kali. They appeared almost 500 years before in the district of Nadia, in West Bengal. They may appear similar. Amongst Them, toward our left is Lord Nityananda, who is none other than Sri Balaramji. And on the right is Lord Chaitanya, who is none other than Lord Krishna. Please read ‘Teachings of Lord Chaitanya’ to know more about Them.
Since They are very merciful, Their worship is also very simple and purifying. Best way of worshiping Them is to chant Hare Krishna Mahamantra in a prescribed manner and participate in the congregational chanting with all the devotees.
Even though the process of Krishna consciousness is so blissful then why do senior devotees sometimes fall down or leave the movement?
Yes, it is true that the process of Krishna consciousness is blissful. However one should practice in right attitude.
The falldown of senior devotees should not be considered ordinary.
There are two reasons for this :
1. If one commits offense toward Krishna’s devotees and
2. It is the plan of the Supreme Lord.
Although sometimes they may go away from the movement for some time, Krishna never forsakes them.
The progress or advancement they have done on this path is never lost.
Sooner or later they shall come more closer to Krishna.
According to Lord Krishna, even if someone commits most abominable activity, however he continues to take shelter of Krishna through His devotional service, he should be considered saintly.
Sometimes it is better to be a fallen devotee and remember Lord Krishna with great intensity than to be a so called devotee and to become proud.
As Srila Prabhupada rightly gives one important example: A sincere sweeper in the street is far better than the charlatan meditator who meditates only for the sake of making a living. (BG 3.7, Purport)
What is the line of distinction between a Brahmana and a Vaishnava?
1. Vaishnavas are pure devotees of Lord Krishna/Vishnu. Brahmanas may not be.
2. Vaishnavas are beyond the modes of nature (i.e. Ignorance, Passion and even Goodness) or in other words they are liberated souls enjoying spiritual happiness in shuddha bhakti in purified Goodness. Brahmanas are in Goodness and thus bound in material world or samsara, knowledge or jnana and happiness or sattva guna.
3. Vaishnavas know Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan. Brahmana knows only Brahman (spirit).
4. The 10th Canto of Shrimad Bhagavatam contains a chapter where caste yagnic brahmanas were approached by Balaram and the cowherd boys for food, but the brahmanas didn’t recognize their Lord. However their wives exactly knew who Krishna and Balarama are and surrendered their very lives to Them. This is a very good episode in Srimad Bhagavatam, to understand the difference between Brahmana and Vaishnava.
Is it appropriate for a devotee to put laxmi (money) in share market? Or is it breaking one of the rules?
It is okay if the devotee is using this as a saving option. But he should not engage in speculative gambling type bussiness.
What is the position of Kundali in Krishna Consciousness ?
Astrology is definitely a perfect science; however it needs a proper brahmana to explain that. Previously brahmanas were having purity and intuition to predict certain events. However in Kali-yuga it is difficult to find that. If someone is in Krishna consciousness, then he/she is completely under the control of Lord Krishna’s internal energy. Lord Krishna decides what is best for His devotees. Since He is the Supreme Controller of all planets, He may change the position of planets for His devotees. When someone is in Krishna consciousness one need not fear or be anxious, but simply depend on Him.
Why do you dress like you do?
We dress in the way of the Vedic tradition, men in dhotis (robes) and kurtas (shirts) and women in saris and cholis (blouses). These clothes remind us that we are servants of Krishna.
One can be a devotee of Krishna without wearing these clothes. But dressing in this way identifies us as Krishna’s devotees, encourages us to act accordingly, and reminds others of Krishna when they see us.
Where does the Hare Krishna religion originate?
A. Krishna consciousness has its roots in the Vedic scriptures of India. According to the Vedas, the spiritual culture practiced by Hare Krishna devotees was once spread all over the world. In recent years archeologists and anthropologists have unearthed artifacts and histories that reveal a past connection to the Vedic culture in many parts of the world.
What does Hare Krishna mean?
“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. 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. Krsna 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.
Why do you worship cows?
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.
Why do you worship Tulsi plant?
Worshiping Krishna’s devotees is an essential feature of devotion to Him. Sometimes great devotees appear in forms other than the human form. One such devotee, whose worship is central to the worship of Krishna, is Tulasi. She serves Krishna in the form of a plant, and devotees worship her in that form. Full of love for Krishna, she can give it to others.
Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.15.19) explains the special position of the Tulasi plant: “Although there are numerous flowering plants full of transcendental fragrance in the spiritual realm, they are aware that Tulasi is given special preference by the Lord, who garlands Himself with Tulasi leaves.”
In her form as a plant, Tulasi always stays at the Lord’s feet and around His neck. (Her leaves and flowers decorate His feet and are strung into garlands to be worn around His neck.) The Vedic scriptures say, “Krishna gives Himself to a devotee who offers Him merely a Tulasi leaf and a palmful of water.”
The wood of dead Tulasi plants is used to carve sacred beads devotees wear around their necks and use for chanting the Hare Krishna mantra.