Category Archives: Incarnations

Chanting in streets

Q. Why do you chant in the streets?

A. Most scriptures of the world, and particularly the Vedas, extol the chanting of God’s names as a powerful means of spiritual realization. Someone who enjoys their spiritual life naturally feels inclined to share it with others. This enthusiasm caused the founder of ISKCON to not only teach Krishna consciousness, but to organize his early students as a formal society for the purpose of teaching others. Devotees of Krishna, therefore will often be found in public places performing sankirtana, by chanting with musical instruments, as introduced by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu 500 years ago.

Origin of Teachings

Q. Where do the teachings come from?

A. Although the Hare Krishna movement has only been established in the West since 1966, its roots extend thousands of years into India’s past. The lifestyle and philosophical beliefs are based on ancient scriptures known as the Vedas. Originally preserved in the spoken word, the Vedas were written down in the Sanskrit language 5000 years ago.

Their compiler, Srila Vyasadeva, divided the work into various departments of material and spiritual knowledge, entrusting his disciples with particular sections. In this way, the scriptures developed into four principal Vedas, including the Vedanta Sutra, 108 Upanishads, and 18 Puranas, collectively known as the ‘fifth Veda’. The final Purana, the Bhagavat Purana or Srimad Bhagavatam, contains the essence of the Vedic wisdom in 18,000 verses. A further work was the Mahabharata, which includes the well-known Bhagavad gita. The process described in the Vedas is one of gradual elevation to the platform of God-realization. Vedic wisdom was then carefully preserved and passed down for centuries through the tutorial vehicle of guru-parampara, a disciplic succession of self-realized teachers.

In the early 16th century, a remarkable spiritual renaissance took place within India. This was led by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486-1534). He challenged the religious leaders of his day whom he felt were stifling the teachings of Vedic knowledge. Caste-conscious priests alone had access to the Vedas and considered spiritual life the prerogative of an educated minority. Taking religion out of the temples and amongst the people, regardless of their caste, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu propagated devotion to Lord Krishna and pioneered a massive movement which swept the subcontinent, gaining a following of millions.

The ancient wisdom of the Puranas and Upanishads, through the practical teachings of Sri Chaitanya is now finding expression outside India in the Hare Krishna movement.

The Hare Krishna Mahamantra

Q. Can you explain me the significance of the mahamantra? Is it more effective than devotional songs and Vedas?

A. The sixteen syllable Hare Krishna mahamantra is a plea to the internal potency (Hare) of the Supreme Personality of Godhead (Krishna, Rama) – namely to Srimati Radharani, to be engaged in the service of Krishna. The Upanisads mention this mahamantra as the means of perfection especially in this age of Kali.

Singing devotional songs or chanting Vedic hymns are also forms of devotional service. However, the mahamantra has been empowered by Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is non-different from Sri Krishna and is the yuga avatar and is therefore considered to be most potent.


Q. What does Lord Krishna have to do with His lila (pastimes) with this samsar (material world), where almost everyone is envious of Krishna? Does the Lord have anything to enjoy in this material world or He simply comes to teach us out of His kindness?

A. The Lord is atmarama, fully self-satisfied  and always enjoying His own internal potency in the spiritual world.

He has nothing to enjoy in this material world  but He comes out of  His great compassion to not only teach us but by displaying His wonderful spiritual pastimes to attract the forgetful souls to the spiritual world and to His association.

Krishna-The Supereme Personality of Godhead

Q. What are some facts that help people understand why Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead?

A. When Arjuna saw the Universal form he mentions some such facts as to why Krsna is considered the Supreme Personality of Godhead: All the great authorities, such as Asita, Devala, and Vyasa and all the scriptures have accepted Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Not only that, Krsna Himself asserts and explains this in so many ways in Bhagavad Gita, how He ‘s the source of everything and there is no truth beyond him.

He does not simply make these empty statements, but He actually shows His universal form in the battlefield. All the great mahajanas beginning from Brahma, Narada, Siva, Sukadeva Gosvami and Bhismadeva, glorify Krsna as the Supreme Absolute Truth and are engaged in His devotional service. Besides, throughout His lila, all of His uncommon, supramundane activities bear testimony to this fact, such as the lifting of Govardhana Hill at the age of seven, showing the universes within His mouth, expanding Himself into all the cowherd boys and calves, marrying 16,108 princesses, etc. Thus there are innumerable evidences within the Vedas about Krsna’s identity.

In fact, as stated in Bhagavad-gita, the purpose of the Vedas is itself to know Krsna only.

Krishna as the Origin

Q. Lord Rama appeared in treat Yuga, (much before Krishna). Then how Krishna is called the supreme? How Lord Rama is inferior to Krishna?

A. There is no question of inferior, both are Supreme Personality of Godhead. Both are Vishnu tattvas… and have eternal spiritual planet in the spiritual world. And they come again and again into this world to perform their pastimes.

About all the Vishnu tattvas, Brahma ji gives the example of candle…. After many candles are lit by one candle all candle look alike, still original candle which was used to lit all the candle that has special place.

And that original candle is Krishna…Krishnas tu bhagavan svayam…

Krishna is that Original candle from whom all other comes…

The Mahabharata War

Q. Why krishna wanted Arjuna to fight the Mahabharat war? What was the aim behind this fighting?

Q. One of the purpose of coming for Krishna into this world is to establish religion(yada yada hi dharmasya…..). So the aim of this war was to remove the irreligious people.

Srila Prabhupada writes in Bhagavad gita 1.1  purport…..

Both the Pandavas and the sons of Dhritrashtra belong to the same family but Dhritrashtra’s mind is disclosed herein. He deliberately claimed only his sons as Kurus and he separated the sons of Pandu from the family heritage. One can thus understand the specific position of Dhritrashtra in his relationship with his nephews, the sons of Pandu. As in the paddy field the unnecessary plants are taken out, so it is expected from the very beginning of these topics that in the religious field of Kurushetra, where the father of religion, Shri Krishna, was present, the unwanted plants like Dhritrashtra’s son Duryodhana and others would be wiped out and the thoroughly religious persons headed by Yudhishtra would be established by the Lord.

Krishna would have killed everyone Himself. As He showed, everybody was going in to His Universal form. But Krishna loves to give credit to His devotees and that is the reason, He engaged Arjuna….(nimitta matra bhava savyasachi……….) in this fight, so that whole world can glorify Arjuna.

Working for Justice

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.