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Questions and Answers His Holiness Jayapataka Swami Maharaj

Q: If we must be careful of bad association, how can we be merciful and friendly with all kinds of people?

You see that is why preachers take a certain amount of risk to preach Krishna consciousness, and that is why they are so dear to the Lord because they are taking that risk. At the same time, by being merciful and friendly with all kinds of people to preach to them Krishna consciousness we try to give them our association. We can tell them about Krishna, tell them about devotional service, tell them about things related or just be friendly and establish the relationships so we can tell them about these things. We don't go to the extent where we engage in non-devotional activities with these people usually. We are careful about how far we associate so as not to become engaged in some kind of sinful activity. So we give association rather than taking. Srila Prabhupada mentions that some times over a period of time by preaching to materialistic people, their vibration or their consciousness can affect us. That's why visiting the Holy Dham like Mayapur and Vrndavan is purifying from that contamination. Therefore Srila Prabhupada recommended that preachers periodically visit the Holy Dham. So we have Gaura Purnima Festival and people are coming to the festival to get re-aligned spiritually and purified. You are living in the Dham so you have lot of protection.

Q. a. What happens after the atma leaves the body? b. What is the time [ in days/months/years ] to enter into the next body? c. How does the atma enter the next body? d. What happens to the subtle body [ mind/intelligence/false ego] after quitting the old body and entering the new one? e.The atma is energetic so what will be activity during this transition? f. What exactly will be the feelings/happenings when the atma leaves the body? And when it enters a new one?

This soul is eternal. It is... The soul is covered by two kinds of body. One is subtle body. Just like you have got your mind; I have got my mind. Do yousee your mind? Do I see your mind? So the soul is carried by two kinds of body. One body is this gross, made of earth, water, air, sky, like that. And the other... They are like shirt and coat. This is the coating, and there is another body, shirt, which is made of mind, intelligence, and ego. So when this gross body is finished, the subtle body is there. So at the time of your death the mental condition will carry you to a similar body. This mental body you do not see. Therefore you say that this man is dead. It is not dead. The gross body is changed, and the mental body carries him to another gross body.

This is the process of the soul·s transmigration from one body to another. At the time of death, according to his mental condition, the living being is carried by the subtle body, consisting of mind, intelligence and ego, to another gross body. When higher authorities have decided what kind of gross body the living entity will have, he is forced to enter such a body, and thus he automatically gives up his previous body.

Srimad Bhagavatam 1.12.7 purport
Death generally involves remaining in trance for seven months. A living being, according to his own action, is allowed to enter into the womb of a mother by the vehicle of a father·s semina, and thus he develops his desired body. This is the law of birth in specific bodies according to one's past actions.

Bhagavad-Gita 7.28 - 8.6 Lecture NY October 23, 1966
Death is nothing but sleeping for seven months. That·s all. Sleeping for seven months, that is called death. Just like, in the operation table, one becomes unconscious for one hour, half an hour. Then he comes to his consciousness. Again he comes to the same point. So similarly, death is nothing but to remain practically unconscious for seven months. That's all. This body is left, and we enter into a particular womb of mother, and just to develop another body it takes about seven months. Then, after seven months, when the body is fit, then our consciousness comes back. Then we want to come out of the womb. And at the tenth month we come out. That is a very miserable condition. That is the miserable condition of birth.

c.Srimad Bhagavatam 7.9.30 Mayapur, March 8, 1976

After sex, the living entity takes shelter within the semina and ovum of the father and mother, and it be... It is... The formation is just like a small grain. That grain develops because the spirit soul has taken shelter. Then body... It is not that the body develops automatically, and at seven months there is life.

Bhagavad Gita 2.11, Rotary Club Address-- Hotel Imperial, Delhi, March 25, 1976
In the first day of intercourse of the father-mother, the secretion mix together, emulsified, and if the living entity is allowed to enter into that, it grows. That is the beginning of our body. But if the living entity
is not allowed into the, that emulsified, small pealike form, then there is no pregnancy. So attempt is made to pollute that emulsification. Therefore the living entity cannot enter into it and there is no pregnancy. Otherwise there must be pregnancy. After sex, the living entity takes shelter within the semina and ovum of the father and mother, and it be... It is... The formation is just like a small grain. That grain develops because the spirit soul has taken shelter. Then body... It is not that the body develops automatically, and at seven months there is life.

d, e, and f seem to be answered by the above commentaries.

Q: How can we distinguish between bhakti-lata creeper and the false creepers in the heart since they can seem similar?

The bhakti-lata creeper and the other false creepers are called upasakas or weeds and the weeds are inspired by such things like love, profit, position, worship, respect, violence, harsh dealings, diplomatic dealings, political dealings, attachment for breaking the principles... Some are quite obvious and some are very subtle.

If someone is doing dev. service and is motivated only by getting respect, then they will become unmotivated and they have to analyze. So somebody is more sincere about their motives then they take out those weeds out of the heart. Actually I am not serving because I want to get respect. I am just doing this to please Guru and Krsna. I know when I was building mayapur, it was very intense. Srila Prabhupada had us working from 6 in the morning till midnight every day. Double shifts. At on point I thought I was going to crack. Then I was just thinking that I would never do this for money or any other reason. I am just doing this because I really want to please S. Prabhupada and the previous acaryas who want to see my effort in all this. And then, somehow when I thought like that I could just feel like as if Bhaktivinoda Thakur was smiling at me. Suddenly things seem to feel a lot better. It is important that we realign our thoughts. How we pull the weeds is that when we let some other motives or some other things creep in, then it becomes burdensome to do devotional service when it is not aligned with other creepers. If we are properly doing things for right Krsna conscious reason, then it is always blissful to do devotional service.

Q. Recently on the lecture you said that the pastimes of Lord Caitanya are not finished, are still going on. Please can you explain more about that?

Lord Caitanya predicted that the message of Lord Caitanya would be spread through all the towns and villages of the entire world therefore that it's still going on, at least there are extended pastimes of Lord Caitanya going on, Srila Prabhupada explain in the Caitanya Caritamrita that the same thing that were going on the time of Lord Caitanya the same things are going on now just time, place and circumstances are changed. We are chanting Hare Krishna, we are awakening the sleeping people, we are facing some obstacles or overcoming some obstacles so that verse is from Caitanya Bhagavat "that the time of Lord Caitanya is still going on even today, and those who are very fortunate can witness it."

Q. While chanting Hare Krishna Mahamantra, if sometimes one chants the mantra with improper pronunciation, what is the effect? Should one endeavor to pronounce properly? Even if the tongue is not habituated is it offensive chanting? What about the persons who are unable to pronounce properly Hare, Rama, Krishna?

Thank you for your question. Despite we should try to chant the mantra properly, and we should try to hear the mantra properly. Inattentive chanting is offensive. So if we are attentive then we ought to try to pronounce properly. At the same time it says that even if someone is not able to pronounce perfectly, the fact that they are trying to chant Hare Krsna. It's not just a mechanical process. In the Vedas, if you mispronounce a mantra, it will produce a different result. This is not that kind of a mantra. If you are chanting Hare Krishna even improperly, Krsna understands that you are trying to chant His Holy Names and He will bless you. Just like a little child is chanting the name of the parent, "Ba Ba, Daddy, Papa." The parents are really happy. He recognizes me, she recognizes me, my name. So like that, Krsna also appreciates when we try to chant His Holy Names. This is mentioned in SB 7.5.23 on the nine practices of devotional service.

Q. Regarding Srila Prabhupada's instruction, "If you want to please me, distribute my books": Is this instruction applicable to grand-disciples, and if yes, how much it has to do with the life's goal?

I don't think Srila Prabhupada was limiting to his disciples. There were many bhaktas and members in ISKCON who may have not been his disciples. Srila Prabhupada was speaking to every one, "If you want to please me, you distribute my books" There are other things that will also please Srila Prabhupada and that is not the only thing. But definitely that was something that would please Srila Prabhupada and all the devotees dedicating to trying to please Srila Prabhupada by distributing his books, he also said to read his books - not just to distribute them he also said to practice what is said in the books.

Q. Maharaja, what is the main difference between siksa and diksa?

For all gurus siksa is a kind of the common denominator. All gurus are giving siksa, or instruction. Siksa means instructions which is representing Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead accurately. Srila Prabhupada mentions in his books that usually when a person is getting siksa who is helping him the most in siksa giving him the biggest contribution to his faith that person usually one takes initiation from. Taking initiation, or diksa, is really a commitment to the guru parampara and the spiritual master also is having responsibilities for the initiated disciple. So the diksa guru is simultaneously diksa and siksa guru. Srila Prabhupada said, "I am both the diksa and siksa for my disciples." There maybe other siksa gurus also who help the diksa guru in instructing the devotee to get to serve Guru and Krishna. When a siksa guru gives instruction, he is also obliged to give the instruction which is according to sadhu and sastra and the previous gurus. If he gives mis-instruction then he will be also held responsible. So there can be many siksa gurus but there can only be one diksa guru. Diksa means getting the mantra, siksa means getting instruction. With diksa, siksa is included

Q. If one in a perplexity, for example losen in the sea and only food is fish and one is a brahmin. should one accept it as a Krsna's will and keep fasting (maybee till the death) or one can take a fish?

If one is in life and death situation then one can eat non veg but as soon as alternatives appear then back to vegetarian. Srila Prabhupada advised like that about a rsi who ate a dog when starving and after surviving went back immediately to normal prasadam.

Self preservation is always allowed according to sastra. The Rsi was lost during a famine and drought in the desert. He was trying to leave the desert but fell to the ground being so tired, thirsty and hungry. He was practically crawling to get out of the desert and just in front of him a dog died. Since the dog died in front of him he took it as a sign from Lord Sri Krishna and ate the dog flesh. He got enough strength to get out of the desert and survived. After that he resumed his vegetarian diet and his devotional service. Where does sastra say we should commit suicide? Lord Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu always told his devotees they have no right to take their lives since their lives and body is offered to Lord Sri Krishna's devotional service.

Q. Could you please clarify the following point? You wrote, "Some of the liberated jiva tattvas are rendering personal assistance to the associates of Srimate Radharani. Whatever devotional service they get as a manjari or other assisting position they are fully satisfied in that." If the jivas get liberated while still being situated in the material world, does the above statement refer to them also? I mean can liberated jivas who are still situated in material body render personal assistance to the associates of Radharani or do they achieve this position after quitting their body? Thank you very much for everything you are doing for me.

I just remember some of the pastimes of great devotees like Srinivas Acharya. Nearby here near Katwa, there is a place called Jhajigram and there, there is a small temple built on the place where Srinivas Acharya had gone by mediation to help find some missing jewelry of Radharani. He was in samadhi for three days and transported himself to Vrndavan looking for the lost jewelry piece. When he found it and gave it back then he came back to his body. So here is an example of how a liberated jiva could perform a personal service to Srimati Radharani and Her associates. There are similar situations for Syamananda Pandit, Narattoma Das Thakur and Ramachandra Kaviraj. But we also find that these liberated jivas they were also rendering the service of preaching Krsna consciousness. Just like Srinivas Acharya was also the raja guru of the king of Visnupur. He established Radha Krishna temples and he preached to the whole people of that kingdom. He also preached at other Vaisnava festivals in other places. So such great liberated spiritual masters sometimes had this opportunity to do personal service while they were here in this world but otherwise they were engaged in preaching Krsna Consciousness. So at least we can engage in preaching Krishna consciousness and if anyone is so fortunate to get that blessing to be able to render a personal service for Radharani, well, Haribol. All glories to your service.

Q. I asked Bhaktividyapurna Maharaja if there is any difference between jiva when he reaches to spiritual world and nitya siddha devotees who belong to sakti-tattva in their experience? He said practically speaking no but he compared this jiva to somebody who can consume one chapati and will be fully satisfied whereas sakti-tattva devotee can consume one hundred chapatis and thus get fully satisfied. After some contemplation on subject atter a question has arisen. If it's so then is it possible for 'one capati consuming' jiva to enter the circle of most intimate associates of Srimati Radharani who are consuming 'one hundred capatis' in their service. Does it mean that jiva-tattva devotee will not be able to render more intimate service to Srimati Radharani because it's more intense than that he can do. I don't know either if jiva although being satisfied with 'one chapati' is able to consume more or one chapati is his limit in this regard. I suppose that the matter much deeper than I can present.

I don't think these kind of esoteric questions which border on speculation are appropriate. IF a devotee is satisfied with how ever many chapatis he is satisfied then he is SATISFIED. He/she doesn't want any more. We don't have to worry about what he is missing or not missing or any such thoughts. These are relative considerations. Also it is not for general consumption to consider what kind of devotional services a jiva can do when liberated in spiritual world from this point of view. What can we understand about this while we are still in the bodily concept of life in this material world trying to udnerstand using our material minds and intelligences. We can only hear what the acaryas and sastra say and if we can understand it it is okay if not then chant and get purified until it is revealed to us.

Q. How do you explain the fact that there are so many atrocities happening in the world to so many innocent people including new born. For example the fact so many millions of innocent Jews were killed in such a horrible way during the war including woman and young children. Today she was reading in the paper that 1 year old child was killed in a horrible way. What is the K.C. explanation as to why these horrible things take place. Why in Krishna allowing this to happen innocent children who haven't even had a chance to do anything in their lives?

The question as to why things happen to children because we understand that this is not our first birth, we had many births in the past so therefore we can suffer even as a small child and receive the reaction of previous karmas up to 100 births before the karmas are accumulating that's why something can happen even to a child. Say that person who was killing a child in the last life they may be killed as a child in this life something like that. At the same time the devotees they don't feel that ok someone a person is injured ohhh that's your karma, we don't feel like that , we want to help people they should be free from all the suffering. Why atrocities happened in the world? All material world is a prison house we are here in this dark world far away from the kingdom of god, we belong to the spiritual world but to misuse of our independence we have been put here in this material world, so here in the material world people have certain amount of free will so some people in this age of kali especially, there is more tama guna and more tama guna with little raja guna that's the mode of goodness, some people they maybe inclined to do some atrocious thing for their own woman fancy, so there is more scope to do that in Kali yuga. That's why we are trying to make the people God-conscious so that the inclination to do this type of horrible things will not be there. In the time of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, 500 years ago there was Jagai and Madhai this two brother they were like the mafia criminals and they hobby was to make other people suffer if some blind man was being taken by his young teenage daughter, and they came out and ask for a donation, they say "you want a donation?", they would beat up the blind man they'll kick him and kill him by kicking him to death and then they will rape the teenage daughter. This was Jagai and Madai, this is how bad they were, this is one example, there is thousands. They were murderers, they were cruel, they were vicious, they were the scum of the earth you can say, but somehow lord Nityananda delivered them and then afterwards they were begging for forgiveness, and they were doing social works building bathing gaths in the ganges, serving all the people, very much repentant for all their sinful acts. So this chanting of the names of Gods is so powerful that it can change the sinful nature, this violent that horrible nature of people, it's the only hope for the world today, to get rid of this hatred except that they get the blessings of Lord Caitanya, giving the blessings to chant the holy names of God purely otherwise this material world is not a place to be here forever, we need to develop out God-consciousness and go back to home back to Godhead.

Q. Does Krishna has relationship with everyone in the spiritual world?

Krishna has a relationship with everybody everywhere, we also have a relationship with Krishna, we forgot the relationship. In vaikuntha everyone is conscious of their relationship but that is going to Narayana, the form of Krishna as Narayana, and in goloka vrindavana people are directly relating with Krishna. We have a relationship and that is coming through the Paramatma the Super-Soul in our heart. The Super-Soul is with us and is waiting for us to surrender to Him.

Q. When we begin our spiritual lives, we can appreciate that Krishna is actually doing everything and we are like specks of dust being blown about.

But, when events occur in our lives that change our paths, how do we distinguish between what Krishna is arranging and what is Maya?

For example, some circumstances may occur that seem spiritually favourable, and in line with our desires; we may then accept this as 'Krishna's arrangement,' 'good karma' and/or the results of devotional service performed. However later, other events may occur which make maintaining such situations very difficult, and we may become bewildered. How would we know what is best to do, to follow the course of events or to fight to maintain, being too conditioned to determine what is actually what?

We tend to accept what is, as you said: "in line with our desires" as favorable or "Krishna's arrangement", and other things we don't see so favorable. Ultimately Lord Sri Krishna has to agree for anything to happen.
So even if we are tested by maya we have to take it that Lord Sri Krishna has allowed it to happen. We should under the circumstances act according to Sastra, Guru and Sadhu instructions and references in the most Krishna conscious manner. If we always try to act in a way pleasing to Guru & Krsna according to Sastra, Guru & Sastra then we will be protected.

At the time of death we may be subjected to many tests and difficulties, therefore facing difficulties during life which allow us to surrender to Lord Sri Krishna under those circumstances make us stronger and prepare us for the "ultimate test". Even if we fail a test it helps us to learn our weak points and to give us a warning to get stronger so in the future we won't fail a similar test.

Srila Prabhupada also said that sometimes Maya is suggesting something to us and sometimes Lord Sri Krishna is suggesting. We have to learn to distinguish between what Maya suggests to us and what Lord Sri Krishna suggests. In Krishna consciousness we should reject Maya's suggestions and accept Lord Sri Krishna's suggestions. Lord Sri Krishna is consistent so we can understand what Lord Sri Krishna would normally say from sastra (scripture). In case we are not sure we can test it with the instructions of the Spiritual Master and the examples of what exemplary great devotees (mahajanas) did under similar situations in their lives.

Q. Please comment on the difference between faith and belief. Is our Krishna conscious dharma a faith-based religion with the faith rooted in the scientific process of bhakti yoga? Also, why is our Krishna consciousness dharma often called a science? What does science mean? How in our preaching can we explain science as a religious path?

Srila Prabhupada was explaining how generally religions are considered as faiths, or beliefs change their faith. So people converting sometimes from Christian and Muslim to Hindu (usually it goes in the other direction) but Absolute Truth, or sanatana dharma, is something which is always there, eternal truth. We are basing our Krishna consciousness on the eternal truths. Of course someone may believe the truths or not, that is another thing because it's not just a belief process. There are underlying realities. Just like in the Bhagavad-gita, 2.13, it says,

dehino 'smin yatha dehe
kaumaram yauvanam jara
tatha dehantara-praptir
dhiras tatra na muhyati

You grow from childhood to youth to old age, in this way you change your body so many times. And in a similar way you change your body at the time of death and take a new body. Srila Prabhupada explained it doesn't matter whether Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Atheist, Jewish, whatever it maybe, everybody is going through this change of bodies. Therefore, Bhagavad-gita is sometimes described as the science of the atma, or the self, science of self. Many of these things can be verified; some things we don't have the estimation to verify but it doesn't mean it is not the truth it is universally applicable.

It is just like the Vedas say that the bones and stool of animals and humans are not clean. If you touch them you should wash yourself. But cow dung or cow urine are pure and conch shells are pure. But these are stool, urine and the bones of the animals. So there are some exceptions and apparently even I read recently a scientific study that putting cow dung in people's houses and courtyards works as a mosquito and fly repellant, and has antiseptic properties. Someone told that if you get a cut and you put cow dung on it-at least from the Indian cows-that it cures the infection. If you put stool from something else on you, you would probably die from gangrene. So some of these things you could verify. There are some things that Srila Prabhupada wanted some scientists to try to verify such as the presence of the soul in the body. It is difficult to prove Krishna. Every body has a soul and they could try to prove that.

Q. Question submitted by Hari Haresh das: In SB 7.10 ("Prahlad: The Best of My Exalted Devotees) Srila Prabhupada in the summary states that in the family of a pure devotee, the forefathers for twenty-seven generations are liberated. How do we understand this, as our forefathers may be in any species of life according to their karma in any of the fourteen planetary systems like Pitr loka etc? Will they be liberated after completing their duration of their life? Also is it the same for any devotee who goes back to Godhead? Will his forefathers for twenty-one generations be liberated?

So in chapter 10, verse 18 where Narasimha Deva explains Prahlad, "O great saintly person, your father has been purified, along with twenty-one forefathers in your family. Because you were born in this family, the entire dynasty has been purified." Srila Prabhupada in the purport says the word, trih-saptabhih means seven multiplied by three. In one's family one can count back four or five generations--to one's great-grandfather or even one's great-grandfather's father--but since the Lord mentions twenty-one forefathers, this indicates that the benediction expands to other families also. Before the present family in which one has taken birth, one must have been born in other families. Thus when a Vaisnava takes birth in a family, by the grace of the Lord he purifies not only that family but also the families of his previous births. Trih-saptabhih normally it says that thirteen generations are liberated; seven before and seven after. For that is the common thing. So the seven forefathers and the seven generations. But in the case of Prahlad it was Trih-saptabhih, previous three births and the seven generations of which of those three births were also liberated. As far as this question do not be worried about where those people are whether they have to finish out their bug birth or their pitra loka births-Krishna will organize all that. The point is that they are going to be liberated.

Q. Regarding those devotees engaged in Nama-hatta preaching: how can those preachers avoid committing the 9th offence to the holy name? Are those preachers given the full protection of Lord Nityananda and are exempt from this offence?

It is said "Don't preach the glories of the holy name to the faithless." We preach to people chant Hare Krishna be happy we don't tell so many exoteric glories of the holy name, an example we give is, say you tell someone chant the holy name and you get rid of your sins, but if somebody is a real atheist like Jagai and Madhai -"I don't believe in sin!" so then you commit some offence to the holy name, so we taught people, because Lord Caitanya order us to tell everyone to chant, so we don't tell them all the glories we just tell them chant, chant and be happy, chant because is a nice thing to do, whatever, we say things without going beyond their level of faith up to what digestive capacity they have that much we tell them, when we see they have faith we tell them more, so because Lord Caitanya order us "whoever you meet tell them the glories of Krishna, tell them the message of Krishna" so we are following that instruction, so we don't tell the glories, the mahatmia of the holy name to everybody or anybody who is a faithless person.

Q. How do you treat materialistic persons who are against KC when they are your loving relatives.

We found that Srivas Thakur he treated his relatives very respectfully, normal social dealings, you should act as a gentleman or gentle-lady. When his own mother in law was disturbing Lord Caitanya's Kirtan he grab her by the neck and push her out the door, so his standard was very high, he would sacrifice his family relation and give priority to his relationship with Lord Caitanya as a servitor, but it is hard to everybody to follow Srivas example. Krishna das Kaviraja, when his relative was offending Lord Nityananda then he couldn't tolerate it so he left the house and went to vrindavana. We can be courteous and nice but if someone really offends we have to defend Krishna, or at least walk away

It's said that supposing an Ashram resident commits wrong, then the temple President has to suffer 1/6th of the reactions. So the point is, does the other residents devotees have to suffer as well?

They wrote this question to Srila Prabhupada and he said "WHO SAID 1/6th? WHY 1/6th- HUNDRED PERCENT THEY HAVE TO TAKE THE REACTION!! King is 1/6th of his citizens, good or bad karma, temple president if fully responsible of what it is going on in his temple." You have to engage your people in the temple more and good works more KC activities and you get also full benefit. Generally the other devotees they don't have to take responsibility, if it is an offence to the deity then it may also affect the others, when the cook is not following and you are eating that food, that can also affect you. If you hear an offence, like someone blaspheming Krishna or something like that and you don't object or don't protest or live the place then you could also be responsible for some reaction otherwise we didn't hear that others are responsible.

Q. Please explain how your disciples are linked to the parampara. In our preaching efforts how can we access the great power of parampara. In addition I would like to know how a preacher of kanistha adhikari level can elevate herself to the appropriate platform of preaching.

Our disciples are linked to the Parampara through Srila Prabhupada & Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur & previous acaryas in our Bhagavat parampara. We are linked to Lord Caitanya and through Lord Caitanya to Lord Himself, Vyasadeva and Krsna. We remember Guru and Prabhupada, previous acaryas and that gives us access to parampara. We are linked by initiation and by instructions.

Regarding the kanistha adhikari level, I mentioned in isthagosthi about festival. The kanistha adhikari sees the Lord and the guru as a representative of the Lord and that's about it. They generally don't know how to deal with the Vaisnavas properly. Madhyama adhikari sees 4 levels. The Lord and his representative guru, the devotees, the innocent people who are not inimical to Krsna consciousness i.e. they don't know about it so much, and then the envious people. So the madhyama adhikari surrenders to Guru and Krsna. He is the friend to the Vaisnavas, he is merciful and kind to innocent people trying to uplift them. So you want to come up to that level. Here in Mayapur I was explaining to our devotees how we have great opportunity because we get to serve all the Vaisnavas who come here. Many temples don't get so many Vaisnavas visiting from different temples like we do. So we have this wonderful opportunity because all Vaisnavas are dear to Krsna and these are preachers and devotees from all over the world, many Srila Prabhupada's disciples, sankirtan devotees, etc. So we get the opportunity to serve all of them and whatever service you do in Mayapur, you get 1000 times benefit. So we are all fortunate that we are able to serve all the Vaisnavas and Vaisnavis who are visiting us here. I was explaining those things.

Q. Today I was reading in the 5th Canto about hellish planets which s specifically for those who neglect dharma. In the purport SP mentions that no matter what religion people follow, Christianity, Hinduism, ISKCON, they should follow their religion. Can you explain what is the value of following other religions and should we encourage and support people in their own religion?

As Srila Prabhupada explained, different religions have developed in different parts of the world for different kinds of people with different values. So there are some religions which are primarily for meat eaters or different kinds of religion for different time and places. Krsna consciousness is preaching sanatana dharma which is a universal, which is transcendental. It has no beginning, no end. If we can get somebody to adopt Krsna conscious principles from any religion, obviously that is useful. But at the same time, BG says that we shouldn't disturb the faith of people. Because it is better if they are performing some religious codes and if we just preach against some religion and then they may not take our process but they stop their process. Then it is going to be worse for them. Like if someone is worshipping the devas - at least they are in the mode of goodness, they are avoiding some sinful activity. If we just preach against deva worship and they stop that but then they don't have faith in Krsna and they don't want to worship Krsna... Then what are we doing? Prabhupada's method of preaching is much more positive. Don't just present negative side, always give a positive alternative, always compare things. It is not just some negative thing. Some religions preach in a very negative way. Turn or burn - that type of a thing. In Los Angeles they have these big signs with a human being and some kind of a barbecue stick and a says - turn or burn. We have a little broader vision. Of course also whether the religion which people are following is being true to their original doctrines. It is also a big question. The Jesus was teaching reincarnation, he was vegetarian, but today many Christians are not following that kind of understanding. Over the years how much their parampara has maintained intact - but still their doing something is better than nothing. One person came up to Srila Prabhupada in a park somewhere and said - I am believe in Jesus! What is wrong with that? And Prabhupada said - God bless you. God bless you. You don't have to shove our ideas down peoples' throats. If they want to hear, we are here to tell them. Our process is not so much augmenting although we can do it but that doesn't really convince people so much in Kali yuga. Rather we want people who listen. This is a very subtle topic, very confidential. People have to be open. If they really want to understand what is science of God consciousness, they have to open up their mind a little bit and listen. And then, if someone does that you can see that what it says in Bible or in the Kuran, the Torah is also mentioned in Bhagavat Gita and in this way people can achieve...Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam are teaching even more like confidential things, more information about God which is otherwise not so easily accessible. Prabhupada would encourage people. SOmeone would say - I am Christian. SP - Oh yes, Jesus said that we should love God and we are teaching love of God... Go with the flow, go with the positive thing. Lord Caitanya when He was preaching to the Muslims in CC, He was telling them from the Koran. The Koran says all is impersonal and also says that He is a person. The most Muslims accept that Allah is impersonal but they don't understand that He is also a person. One after another Lord Caitanya showed how Koran gives all these concepts. In this way He convinced people with their own scripture the conclusions of the BHagavad Gita. Once they realized that that what He was teaching and their own religion was same, but that He had a better hold of deeper understanding then they wanted to hear more. The problem is that other scriptures have a limit to what information they have while BHagavad Gita and BHagavatam go much further. Up to limit that they have we also have the same teaching and those people who are really interested to hear about the religion, about the purpose of religion, purpose of God consciousness, they will be more open to hear. So we are trying to preach in a more positive way.

Q. Please explain why taking a female birth by Bhagavan Sri Krsna is a low birth. In what ways are women less intelligent than men? To what services are women most suited? Also please explain why some women are inclined to marriage while others are not. Is this a matter of karma?

Krsna mentions to Arjuna that striyas, vaisyas, etc., ladies, vaisyas, sudras, and even people from sinful background can also get Vaisnava shelter. In the next verse He says what to speak of brahmanas and kings. So previously you would see great priests, brahmanas and kings would become God conscious and very religious. But, Krsna was open for everyone. On top of the list come ladies. Ladies came before vaisyas, sudras, what to speak of sinful people. In Kali yuga we are all sudras by birth. What was the situation before? Prabhupada would sometimes go to the West - Oh, here ladies are just as capable as men, they are driving, doing everything. Kunti Devi although she is a great queen, she humbles herself and says I am a woman, it is difficult for me to understand all these philosophical things. Maybe the great intellectual brahmanas, rajarsis, maharisis could have much greater intellectual capacity then what generally women had. But today the men also don't have that capacity. Maybe that was the standard - of men the brahmanas and ksatriyas tend to be generally more intellectual and more intelligent, then after that women, vaisyas, sudras. Right now everything is kind of a topsy-turvy and in Krsna consciousness we just ask everybody to engage in service they can perform. The tendency is of course to identify very strongly with the body and to understand philosophically that we are beyond the body, that is sometimes very difficult for some people to understand. As far as why some women are inclined to marriage and others are not - in generally it is recommended for women to be married. Prabhupada used to say that they are happier if they are in a protected environment. Unfortunately men have not succeeded in protecting women properly in many situations so that changed a lot of situation. Maybe some people are not so much exposed. How can I say why? Because of spiritual reasons they would like to simply engage in Krsna's service and not have the responsibilities of family. Sometimes it is not for such altruistic reasons. Maybe they had a disturbed family life in their childhood, they didn't have good role models so they have some kind of prejudice, or they don't want to marry because they figure it is going to be difficult but maybe they can be nicely situated if they find a right person. But this is not only for women but equally I think it is also for men. But generally we always feel that - like Prabhupada said a paradox that we want all brahmacaris to remain brahmacaris and all the women to be nicely married. So how do you solve this problem? Obviously not everybody remains a brahmacari.

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