Why can we not eat grains on Ekadashi? Krishna never mentioned this in Bhagavad Gita.
Ekadashi is a special day, which appears twice a month – once on the waxing moon and the next on the waning moon. And according to the Puranas, fasting from grains and beans is mandatory on this day. It is cleansing, both materially and spiritually. Fasting from grains and beans on Ekadashi has pragmatic explanations as well. According to Ayurveda, the ancient Vedic science of medicine, and according to complex astrological calculations, this is an auspicious time for such fasting.
Lord Krishna explains in Bhagavad-gita that someone offers a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water with love and devotion, He accepts them. All these items can be offered on Ekadashi days. He has not specifically mentioned about what food items can be consumed on Ekadashi day, since He did not have sufficient time to give all details at that time. When Lord Krishna came as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu five hundred years ago He asked His mother for one boon out of the many things He could have asked her and that was to follow the Ekadashi brata (the vow of Ekadashi).
Extra chanting of God’s names is recommended on this day. One should use this time for spiritual pursuits. Fasting is good for the body, and, when properly directed, it is good for the soul. It is recommended in all of the world’s religions. And so the particular day, in one sense, is not as important as the principle although, in another sense, the days that are recommended are important as well. They have special meaning. One of our predecessor teachers, Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur, has said that if one even accidentally follows Ekadashi, he makes great spiritual advancement.
I read in the Srimad Bhagvatam that Lord Krishna is the creator of everything that exists including demigods. However how did Krishna come into existence. I know that He always existed before but yet there should be a time when He also got into creation. Kindly explain.
It is explained in Katha Upanishad, nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam which means that there are 2 eternals, one is the eternal living entity and the other is eternal Supreme Lord. In the material world we do not have experience of any object which does not have origin. Every object in the material world has beginning, middle and an end.
However spiritual objects are opposite to material objects in the sense that they do not have beginning and an end. They exist eternally. Therefore when we explain God has no beginning that means we can not put a particular date at which He came into existence.
By definition He is the beginning of everything,
ishvarah paramah krishnah
anadir adir govindah
sarva karanam karanam
He is the cause of all causes. If He had some cause, then that cause would have been the superior to Him. This is little difficult to understand in the beginning, however it is possible to understand it by performing devotional service to Lord Krishna.
What is the difference between jivatma and paramatma? What is the size, colour and shape of both?
The Jivatma is atomic. (One ten thousandth the tip of the hair) (Anu).
Paramatma is Infinite (Vibhu).
Example: A drop of sea water(Jiva). The Ocean(Paramatma). They are one in quality but different in quantity.
And if we accept the Vedic conclusion as stated in the Bhagavad-gita that these material bodies are perishable in due course of time (antavanta ime dehah) but that the soul is eternal (nityasyoktah saririnah), then we must remember always that the body is like a dress; therefore why lament the changing of a dress? The material body has no factual existence in relation to the eternal soul. It is something like a dream. In a dream we may think of flying in the sky, or sitting on a chariot as a king, but when we wake up we can see that we are neither in the sky nor seated on the chariot. The Vedic wisdom encourages self-realization on the basis of the nonexistence of the material body. Therefore, in either case, whether one believes in the existence of the soul or one does not believe in the existence of the soul, there is no cause for lamentation for loss of the body.
The distinction between the jiva and the isvara will be explained in the Thirteenth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita. The Lord is kshetra-jna, conscious, as is the living being, but the living being is conscious of his particular body, whereas the Lord is conscious of all bodies. Because He lives in the heart of every living being, He is conscious of the psychic movements of the particular jivas. We should not forget this. It is also explained that the Paramatma, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is living in everyone’s heart as isvara, as the controller, and that He is giving directions for the living entity to act as he desires. The living entity forgets what to do. First of all he makes a determination to act in a certain way, and then he is entangled in the actions and reactions of his own karma. After giving up one type of body, he enters another type of body, as we put on and take off clothes.
if we accept the Vedic conclusion as stated in the Bhagavad-gita that these material bodies are perishable in due course of time (antavanta ime dehah) but that the soul is eternal (nityasyoktah saririnah), then we must remember always that the body is like a dress; therefore why lament the changing of a dress? The material body has no factual existence in relation to the eternal soul. It is something like a dream. In a dream we may think of flying in the sky, or sitting on a chariot as a king, but when we wake up we can see that we are neither in the sky nor seated on the chariot. The Vedic wisdom encourages self-realization on the basis of the nonexistence of the material body. Therefore, in either case, whether one believes in the existence of the soul or one does not believe in the existence of the soul, there is no cause for lamentation for loss of the body.
One may question here that if Krishna is equal to everyone and no one is His special friend, then why does He take a special interest in the devotees who are always engaged in His transcendental service? But this is not discrimination; it is natural. Any man in this material world may be very charitably disposed, yet he has a special interest in his own children. The Lord claims that every living entity — in whatever form — is His son, and so He provides everyone with a generous supply of the necessities of life. He is just like a cloud which pours rain all over, regardless of whether it falls on rock or land or water. But for His devotees, He gives specific attention. Such devotees are mentioned here: they are always in Krishna consciousness, and therefore they are always transcendentally situated in Krishna.
The embodied soul lives in the city of nine gates. The activities of the body, or the figurative city of body, are conducted automatically by its particular modes of nature. The soul, although subjecting himself to the conditions of the body, can be beyond those conditions, if he so desires. Owing only to forgetfulness of his superior nature, he identifies with the material body, and therefore suffers. By Krishna consciousness, he can revive his real position and thus come out of his embodiment. Therefore, when one takes to Krishna consciousness, one at once becomes completely aloof from bodily activities. In such a controlled life, in which his deliberations are changed, he lives happily within the city of nine gates.
A conditioned soul tries to enjoy material happiness again and again. Thus he chews the chewed. But sometimes, in the course of such enjoyment, he becomes relieved from material entanglement by association with a great soul. In other words, a conditioned soul is always engaged in some type of sense gratification, but when he understands by good association that it is only a repetition of the same thing, and he is awakened to his real Krishna consciousness, he is sometimes relieved from such repetitive so-called happiness.
The devotee can constantly think of the object of worship, the Supreme Lord, in any of His features — Narayana, Krishna, Rama, etc. — by chanting Hare Krishna. This practice will purify him, and at the end of his life, due to his constant chanting, he will be transferred to the kingdom of God. Yoga practice is meditation on the Supersoul within; similarly, by chanting Hare Krishna one fixes his mind always on the Supreme Lord. The mind is fickle, and therefore it is necessary to engage the mind by force to think of Krishna. One example often given is that of the caterpillar that thinks of becoming a butterfly and so is transformed into a butterfly in the same life. Similarly, if we constantly think of Krishna, it is certain that at the end of our lives we shall have the same bodily constitution as Krishna
As soon as a living entity is placed in a particular type of body, he has to work under the spell of that bodily situation. A person seated in a high-speed motorcar goes faster than one seated in a slower car, though the living entities, the drivers, may be the same. Similarly, by the order of the Supreme Soul, material nature fashions a particular type of body to a particular type of living entity so that he may work according to his past desires. The living entity is not independent. One should not think himself independent of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The individual is always under the Lord’s control. Therefore one’s duty is to surrender, and that is the injunction of the next verse.
Another meaning of guna is rope; it is to be understood that the conditioned soul is tightly tied by the ropes of illusion. A man bound by the hands and feet cannot free himself — he must be helped by a person who is unbound. Because the bound cannot help the bound, the rescuer must be liberated. Therefore, only Lord Krishna, or His bonafide representative the spiritual master, can release the conditioned soul. Without such superior help, one cannot be freed from the bondage of material nature. Devotional service, or Krishna consciousness, can help one gain such release. Krishna, being the Lord of illusory energy, can order this insurmountable energy to release the conditioned soul. He orders this release out of His causeless mercy on the surrendered soul and out of His paternal affection for the living entity, who is originally a beloved son of the Lord. Therefore surrender unto the lotus feet of the Lord is the only means to get free from the clutches of the stringent material nature