Category Archives: Bad Habits

Burning of bad karma

Homosexuality

Q.I have subscribed to your magazine because I seek more devotion toward the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna. I am a homosexual, and I do not follow the beliefs of the ISKCON movement but the traditional Hindu practices. Throughout my readings in the Vedas, the Gita, and other literary sources, I haven’t found any information regarding homosexuality. I would like to know ISKCON’s teachings on homosexuality and what you offer young people like me?

A. ISKCON encourages everyone to perfect his life by following the practices of Krishna consciousness. In replying to your question, we feel it’s important for you to first understand what ISKCON is all about. The basic points of our philosophy, as taught by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita, are that we are all spirit souls, eternally related with Krishna, the Supreme Lord. The purpose of human life is to awaken our original loving relationship with Krishna. Krishna consciousness is not a question of believing or not believing something; Krishna consciousness is part of our true nature. Somehow or other we have to reawaken that consciousness and become purified of material desires, rooted in the false idea that we are these bodies.
The practices of ISKCON are all meant to purify our consciousness and free us from bodily identification. Spiritual life must be more than choosing which religion agrees with me. The question should be, “How will I become purified?”
In this age, the scriptures recommend the chanting of God’s names as the only means to awaken our original consciousness. To chant effectively, we must give up sinful acts. The scriptures stress that we must give up gambling, meat-eating, intoxication, and illicit sex, defined as any sex not performed for procreation. Since homosexual acts cannot produce a child, they must ultimately be given up to get the benefits of chanting the Lord’s holy names.
Still, one unable to give up sex at once should chant, go to the temple, read Srila Prabhupada’s books, and so on. Everyone can do these things. They will help, but progress will be slow unless one gives up sinful activities.
Our bodies and our particular conditioning result from our individual karma. Krishna loves you and is happy that you are seeking guidance in your spiritual life. He knows your personal struggles and limitations. What He rewards, ultimately, is your sincerity and your effort to come closer to Him.

Q. I am Amit.I stay in Chiplun & I have been chanting 16 rounds for  a year now. I am 100% following the regulative principles. But I feel that my life is conditioned by the mode of ignorance. This feeling stems from the fact that I am not serious about my life in general as, by Krishna’s grace, my parents have given me everything I wanted. But because of this lack of seriousness there has always been a dent in my deretmination to chant my rounds (most of the time because of laziness). I dont have that drive in life. Please help me prabhuji. Is there any book that may help or a change in my diet or anything else that you may want to tell me please do.

A. Yes.Not only you but each one of us has certain conditionings that are very difficult to overcome.And the tendency is that when we get very easily what we want,we become careless and lazy.We tend to take things cheaply.We have to be careful. This human form of life is very rare and Krishna Consciousness is the rarest of all jewels.You are very fortunate that you have got it.Now do not loose it.

Just like a beggar.He is unfortunate because he does not have any money.But imagine someone gives him Rs 1 crore.So he becomes most fortunate.But then if  he looses that fortune,there is noone more unfortunate than him.

Similarly Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says,after wandering through millions of universes one who is fortunate comes to Krishna Consciousness and by the mercy of Guru and Krishna get the seed of devotion which has to be watered by constant hearing and chanting in order for it to grow into a plant and produce the fruit of love for Krishna.

So it is very nice that you are  chanting 16 rounds and perfectly following the 4 regulative principles.So to maintain your enthusiasm for Krishna consciousness,you have to understand that it is far far more urgent than anything else.Everything else comes after that.Chanting good quality 16 rounds(that means attentively hearing each and every syllable of the maha mantra) will keep you surcharged with spiritual energy throughout the day.

Also,more importantly try to associate with devotees if they are there nearby.Regularly study Srila Prabhupad’s books.That will keep reminding us of the urgency of Krishna Consciousness.Listen to lectures regularly.If there is no centre nearby,then u can can download lectures from our website: www.iskcondesiretree.com.It has almost 30,000 lectures by various ISKCON leaders.

Regarding improving your chanting,there are various books available:

Namamrita – Compilations of Srila Prabhupada’s teachings on chanting of the Holy name.

Art of Chanting Hare Krishna by Mahanidhi Swami

Nectarian ocean of the Holy Name by Sachinandan Swami.

Freeing from intoxication

Q. Please advise us the best method of freeing oneself from intoxication. Besides chanting and proper association are there any other specific recomendations?

A. One of the most successful organisations in the field of deaddiction is ‘Alcoholc annonymus’. Their principles to deal with de-addiction are very much based on spirituality. The main focus is to avoid persons and situations which will help intoxication.

THE TWELVE STEPS OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS ARE AS FOLLOWS:

  1. We admit that we were powerless over alcohol and our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. We had admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrong doings.
  6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to all of them.
  9. We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except while doing so would injure them or others.
  10. We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. After having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.