Regarding your question about the inhabitants of Vrajabhumi or Vrindaban it is to be understood that Vrindaban is the original abode of Lord Krishna as He is the original Personality of Godhead. In that transcendental plane He has His transcendental associates in different exchange of humor. For ourselves when we are in perfect stage of devotional service, we can know our eternal relation with Krishna and as such one of the associates of Lord Krishna becomes our ideal leader. This acceptance of leadership by one of the eternal associates of the Lord is not artificial. Do not therefore try it at present it will be automatically revealed to you in proper time.
Regarding your questions...(Letters - 1967 thru 1969)
You have inquired about the import of Murari Das: Murari is another name for Krishna; therefore one who is pledged to become the servant of Krishna is called Murari Das. I am so glad you are playing music for Krishna. It is a great service of your talent.
Regarding your question about Lord Caitanya's thinking himself lower than the grass, it should be understood spiritually. The dimension of the spirit soul is 1/10,000 part of the hair tip; so the spirit soul is certainly smaller than the grass. Caitanya Mahaprabhu was teaching us as a teacher, so he represented himself as an ordinary living entity; but as the Supreme Brahman he is greater than anything.
About your question: The Spirit Soul is certainly eternal and changeless; and the fall is superficial, just like the relation between father and son cannot be broken ever. Now we are simply in a phase of forgetfulness, and this forgetfulness is called Maya. There is a nice example in the waning of the moon. To us the moon appears to be changing, but in fact the moon is always the same. So as eternal servitors of Krishna—our constitutional position—we fall down when we try to become the enjoyer, imitating Krishna. That is our downfall. Krishna is the Supreme Enjoyer, and we are constitutionally to be enjoyed by Him, and when we revive this constitutional position where is no more Maya. K.C. gives us the opportunity of rendering service to Krishna, and this service attitude only can replace us on our original position. Please therefore, continue to chant faithfully, and Krishna will reveal Himself, by His Causeless Mercy, and you will know everything automatically. I shall, of course always be ready and anxious to answer any question you have.
Your letter of 8/24 contains some important questions. The six goswamis are not all eternal associates of Krishna. Only Rupa and Raghunath Goswami are eternal associates. You know there are two kinds of living entities: nityamukta or eternal associates of the Lord, and nityabaddha or eternally conditioned. This material manifestation is a chance for the eternally conditioned entities to go Back to Godhead; but when they go back there is no distinction between the two. When Krishna appears some of his eternal associates come with Him to assist Him in His different incarnational activities; and some of the living entities from conditioned life are liberated by following the footprint of Lord Krishna and His bona associates; so all the six became eternal associates of Krishna. Regarding Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya, he decended from higher planet for being liberated in the association of Lord Caitanya, so his conditioned life came to an end after he contacted Lord Caitanya. The distinction between subtle and gross bodies is elementary. There are eight elements: five gross and three subtle. When a living entity has only subtle body he is considered to be a ghost, and when he has both, he is considered in full strength. To remain in subtle body in this material world is very uncomfortable. Regarding your work in the temple by painting, wherever you remain, if you are fully absorbed in your transcendental work in K.C., that place is eternally Vrindaban—It is the consciousness that creates Vrindaban. The Lord remains in the hearts of every living entity. He lives in the heart of a hog, and the hog lives in a filthy place. That does not mean that the Lord lives in a filthy place. The Lord lives always inconceivably in His transcendental abode. Similarly, a fully K.C. person lives always in the pastimes of Lord Krishna by such consciousness only. The material atmosphere is no impediment for continuing our K.C. in any circumstance.
Regarding your questions: This incidence is in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Bhismadeva, when he was lying on his arrow bed before passing away, Lord Krishna, accompanied with the Pandavas, came to see him. Ordinarily, Bhismadeva was worshipper of Lord Visnu, but he knew also that Krishna is the same Lord Visnu. When Krishna came to see Bhismadeva on his death bed, Bhismadeva remembered Krishna in His fighting feature at the battlefield of Kuruksetra. Bhismadeva wanted to see Krishna angry, he knew that Krishna was very kind upon him, but to make a front he displayed a chivalrous mood, pretending to kill Arjuna, although he knew it very well that no power in the world could kill Arjuna while he was shielded by Krishna Himself as his charioteer. Yet he tried to agitate the mind of Krishna, but Arjuna he almost killed. Actually, Krishna thought it that Bhismadeva was to see Him in His angry mood and supposed to be broken in His promise, to fulfill the desire of Bhismadeva He got down from the chariot and took a wheel of the chariot, going forward as if to kill Bhismadeva.
Regarding your questions about Easy Journey: purusa is Krishna, and Visnu Tattva, Visnu expansions. In Gita, in 10th Chapter, it is accepted by Arjuna that Krishna is the Original purusa or predominating factor or the Supreme Enjoyer. Stree is the enjoyed, or the energy, or the potency. God has got 3 energies in the spiritual world. One energy is existential, one is cognition, one is enjoyment. The same energy when reflected in the material world is exhibited in 3 mode—goodness, passion, and ignorance. Goodness is manifested in proper maintenance of the creation in the gradual development of spiritual realization, passion is exhibition in the matter of production, and ignorance is exhibited in the absence of real happiness. All these internal energies are acting in favor of the Supreme purusa; in the spiritual world they are acting harmoniously and in the material world they are acting in forgetfulness. Prakrti or stree is in forgetfulness is zero; and the living entities is also prakrti or stree, but he is in forgetfulness in the material existence. The living entities, the same living entities in cognition, are liberated souls, residents of the spiritual world. Daivi means pertaining to the Supreme purusa or Brahma. In everything there is Daivi influence; the Daivi influence is beyond the control of the living entities. Therefore the Daivi energy is spiritual energy or internal potency. I think you can develop this idea and if you have still any doubt you can put questions.
Thank you for your letter of Jan. 8, 1968, and I have noted the contents carefully. Regarding your questions: Yes, leave Krishna's plate for 15-20 minutes or more, not more than half an hour. After offering the plate, the balance in the pots should be distributed immediately. The plate can remain on the altar while the rest is being distributed.
Any initiated girl can take part in preparation of prasadam, and even a boy who is not initiated cannot take part.
Maya and living entities are different energies of Krishna and all of them are eternal. Maya is acting under the direction of Krishna but her task is to punish the revolted living entities; therefore, she has to business in the spiritual platform. Maya cannot go to Krishna means that Maya's influence cannot be active in the presence of Krishna. The example of darkness can be given herein. The darkness has no existence in the presence of sunlight, similarly Maya cannot exist in the presence of Krishna. As darkness and light exist eternally, similarly, Maya and Krishna exist eternally, but Maya has no existence in the presence of Krishna. Try to understand this simile.
The material body has got heart and Krishna is seated there with the jiva in His Paramatma feature. Krishna is so powerful that He can become smaller than the smallest and greater than the greatest. He can keep millions of skies within His Belly and at the same time He can enter within the existence of the smallest atom. He can enjoy eternally in Vrindaban with His Associates, at the same time He can present Himself in every nook and corner of His Creation. These are some of the inconceivable potencies of Krishna and as such living entity can never be equal with Krishna. The Mayavadi philosophers try to keep Krishna and living entities on equal level and that is proof of their less intelligence.
I hope you will understand these explanations, and distribute them to your other God-brothers and sisters. Hope you are well.
Regarding your question about Gopala; yes, Krishna can do anything, that is the principle.
Foodstuffs can be offered at any place but with devotion and formalities.
Your question; Does the Lord go to sleep so early and before everyone, and wake up so late, after everybody? The Lord is independent and complete. He has nothing to do with everyone. He is Lord. After He wakes up He is washed, not before.
Regarding your questions: The airplanes in Vaikuntha isn't exactly like the airplanes here, but it is something like the swan while flying, in shape, with a throne on the back, bedecked all over with golden filigree works, and looking very brilliant. It isn't a bird flying, but the shape of the plane is like the swan bird flying.
The demons could assume any gigantic shape they liked. They can play jugglery; they are not ordinary human beings. You must know that a person with whom God had to fight is not an ordinary person. He could play almost equally with the Lord, but nobody can excel the Lord. Therefore, he was killed. To expand and to reduce the body is sometimes performed by a successful yogi.
Yes, Varaha is very beautiful. Generally, the Boar picture is depicted as half human, and half boar, but in Bhagavatam it is stated that full boar. You can make the first 2 legs as 2 hands, and the rear legs and legs, and make it as beautiful as possible.
Regarding your questions: Once prasadam (water, or foodstuffs) is offered to the Lord, His Plate should remain on the altar for about 15-20 minutes (while the portion in the pots may be taken by the devotees). Water need only remain there for a few minutes. Once the prasadam is removed from the altar, and touched by us, it should not again be placed on the altar. Whatever we offer should be as fresh and pure as is possible.
Regarding your questions, how material things dissolve, I may give you one example: Material manifestation is temporary, as it is stated in Bhagavad-gita, that material manifestation at times comes into being and it at times vanquishes. So, when material variegatedness vanquishes, it does not mean that spiritual variegatedness also vanquishes. Material variegatedness is perverted reflection of the spiritual variegatedness, as it is described in the Bhagavad-gita, that this material manifestation is just like a tree with the root upward. Roots upwards of a tree means it is reflection.
Now, regarding your question about Brahma, he may be chosen either from the liberated or the conditioned souls. In this case Brahma is a liberated soul from the beginning; therefore there is no contradiction that Brahma can be Haridasa Thakura. Those who are conditioned souls are eternally so, which means that it is never possible to trace out how long ago the conditioned existence began. We simply say that misuse of the little independence we have got creates so much trouble for us. But now by adopting Krishna Consciousness, we may finish this conditioned life immediately. That is Krishna Consciousness.
Your question about Bon Maharaja in relation with his disciple is very intelligent and intricate, and we shall discuss at long when we meet.
So far your question about Karna, the first son of Kunti; that Radha was not the same Radha, as Krishna's Radha. That was Karna's adopted mother. Karna was born before Kunti was married, so in order to keep it silent, he was kept in a package and floated in the ocean. And this carpenter father and his wife, Aniradha, took care of him, and he was brought up there with them. So Karna was known as the son of a carpenter; nobody knew that he was the eldest son of Kunti, and a Ksatriya. This was not known until he died, and Kunti began to cry. Yudhisthira asked her why you are crying, he is the enemy, and she said, he was my first son. He was born out of her ear, so he was called Karna. When she was very young, she got some mantra which could be used to call any demigod, so just to try it, as experiment, to see if it worked, she called the sun god. He immediately appeared there before her, and said, I will give you the benediction of one son; she replied that she simply was experimenting with this mantra, that she did not want a son, and she became afraid as she was unmarried girl. He said I shall give you a son anyway, and it will be born out of your ear. So as she was virgin girl, she became very frightened that people may say things, so she put him into the ocean. Yes, Karna had many extraordinary attributes. He was a great soldier, and a most charitable man. He was so strong that it was not possible for Arjuna to kill him; he had to take unfair tactics and kill him. Karna could have killed Arjuna, but by Krishna's Grace, Arjuna killed Karna. In other words, Krishna killed Karna, otherwise, nobody could have killed him.
Yes, your question about will and the individual and the difference between them: Thinking, feeling and willing is the subtle covering of the individual soul. This thinking, feeling, and willing is accelerated by the individual soul. In material contact, they are manifested in perverted way. When the individual soul voluntarily surrenders to Krishna and acts in a routine method, thinking, feeling and willing becomes purified and at that time, there is no difference between the individual soul and will.
Your second question, "Why did Arjuna ask Krishna to go to His four armed form rather than His two armed form after Krishna had showed Arjuna His Visvarupa?" Because he understood that Krishna is the original Narayana. After seeing His Visvarupa, Arjuna was accustomed to see Krishna with two hands, but when he saw the Visvarupa, he understood Him the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and as such, he requested Him to revert to the original Form of Narayana. Then, Krishna after showing him the Narayana form, again to revert to His original Krishna form. Krishna explained that Narayana form is not original, but Krishna form in two hands is the original and even the demigods desire to see this form.
So this is in answer to your question; "On Krishna loka are all of Krishna's pastimes with the living entities controlled by Krishna, or do the living entities have choice in this matter? In other words, is one's rasa governed by strict laws determined by Krishna or is there free choice aside from the free choice of choosing Krishna or maya?"
Yes, I have noted your questions about the serving of prasadam. The main thing is that whenever prasadam is offered to the Lord, everything should be very respectfully and cleanly presented and prepared. In Jagannatha Puri, the Lord eats 56 times. So the Lord can eat as many times as you can offer. But only thing is whatever is offered must be with respect and devotion. (He is neither hungry nor poor, nor unable to eat, but He accepts everything, when such eatable is within the groups of vegetables, fruits, flours, milk, water, etc. is offered to Him with love and devotion, and faith. He wants our love only, and that makes Him hungry for eating as many times as you may offer. He is absolute, therefore, all contradictory points coincide in Him. He is hungry and satisfied simultaneously. So the purport is that everything should be offered very cleanly and pure things should be given.)
Regarding your question, how Krishna can become a male: (your question,". . . I read from Srimad-Bhagavatam, chap. 11, text 7 (SB 1.11.7), 'Oh, Creator of the Universe, You are our mother, well wisher, Lord, father, the spiritual master and worshipable deity.' I was asked, 'How can Krishna be mother if He is the Supreme Male?' ") You have to forget always material concepts of existence for Krishna. Krishna is totally different from anything of material concept. In the material idea, we think that how a male can be a female, or how a female can become a male. This is material. But you know the picture that Krishna as Garbhodaksayi Visnu is lying on the sea, and a lotus stem is growing out of His abdomen navel, and Brahma is born there. Visnu's wife, Laksmi, was present there. She was just massaging the Lord's leg, and the Lord avoided her and produced a child. Here in the material world, without the assistance of the wife, nobody can produce a child. But there is the tangible example, that Visnu, without any sex life with wife He produced a child. In the material sense, we cannot conceive how a child can take birth without being born through the abdomen of one woman. Therefore, Krishna being both father and mother, He can be addressed also as mother. That is His all-powerful strength. He is full in Himself. He does not require anyone's help, therefore, He is both father and mother. I think this will clear your idea.
Your next question, ("In Srimad-Bhagavatam, chap. 9, text 1, (SB 1.9.1), 'Suta Goswami said, thus being afraid of the act of killing the subjects in the battlefield of Kuruksetra, Maharaja Yudhisthira went to that place of massacre where Bhismadeva.. was lying on a bed of arrows for passing away. Bhismadeva.. was endowed with the power of leaving his material body at his will and his lying down on a bed of arrows was his own choice.' Did Bhismadeva.. get wounded by arrows at the battle of Kuruksetra, or did he simply chose to leave his mortal body and thus lay down for passing on a bed of arrows") Bhismadeva.. was surely wounded by the arrows of Arjuna. But wounding is not always the cause of death. In our own practical experience we know that many soldiers become wounded in battlefield, sometimes very severely, but still one is not dead—he recovers in the hospital. So Bhismadeva.. was certainly such severely wounded, but that was not the cause of his death. He preferred to lie down on the bed of arrows and all Pandavas and Krishna arrived there to see his passing away. So his passing away was just on his own will—that was the benediction given by his father. In the battlefield Bhismadeva.. also wounded very severely Krishna. He was a great devotee of Krishna. And Lord Krishna accepted those arrows piercing His body as if somebody is worshiping with soft rose flowers. That is Krishna's transcendental body. But those who are materialists, they are cheated by Krishna that He is wounded. The materialists will think that Krishna was wounded, but one who knows what is Krishna, knows also that He is worshiped by the arrows. So in the battlefield, neither Krishna was wounded, neither Bhismadeva.. died due to the injuries out of the wounds. He decided to pass away at that time, therefore he died. These things will be more and more clear when you understand Krishna by revelation. I think if you make progress in your present attitude, you shall soon know all these intricacies of spiritual and material living conditions.
Regarding your questions, "how the simpler faith of a real Christian, that is not so advanced in knowledge of the Supreme Person, differs in ecstasy or the end result of God-consciousness," (1) and persons "a devotee who has experienced some ecstasy in the company of Christians suggests that if there be no quantitative or qualitative difference between the two forms of Kirtana, then the simpler philosophy of Christianity has the advantage, and that our philosophy is for the intelligent class of men, true, but of what advantage is such intelligence if the end is the same?" (2) There is no ecstasy in such simple faith; there cannot be any ecstasy. The Christian faith as it is now exhibited, they have simply a faint idea of God as order-supplier. Certainly God is the Origin, Source of all supplies, and either God-conscious persons or demons, everybody is enjoying the general supplies made by God. It is just like a rich father maintains all kinds of children; some of them may be a highly qualified, some of them are rascals. The father does not mind whether a child is rascal or qualified, but out of his love for all of them he supplies the essentials for the children. Out of such many children, if someone of them feels grateful to the father, and thus develops love for the father, as it is expected, his position is better than the other children. And the father is also endeared to such a devoted child. Similarly, God is equal to everyone, but one who developed love of Godhead, and has practically employed oneself in the service of the Lord, he is in real touch and favor of the Lord. That is the difference. (2) We want ecstasy, it does not matter one feels it in Christian church or in other church. But, one who feels ecstasy in Krishna Consciousness or God-consciousness, he finishes his ecstasy in material enjoyment—that is the test. One cannot say he is feeling enjoyment—that is the test. One cannot say he is feeling ecstasy in some company, and at the same time, he is trying to take advantage of material sense gratification. This is not possible. This ecstasy doesn't depend on the intelligence or non-intelligence; it is spontaneous response, without any cause. If one is fortunate to have such ecstasy, it is to be understood that his life is successful. We do not advocate any sectarian religion. We are concerned to invoke our dormant love for God. Any method that helps us in reaching such platform is welcome, but we find practically that by chanting Hare Krishna, many students have come to the platform of ecstasy. But we have hardly found anyone to come to that stage simply by following the religious rituals; that is the difference. So, Krishna Consciousness is meant for the most intelligent class of men.
Your question, "if in the Vaikunthas ecstatic love between Lord Narayana and His devotees and Lord Krishna Consciousness and His devotees on Krishna Loka is qualitatively the same, then what is the advantage of following the path of Krishna Consciousness, whose philosophy austerity is difficult to understand?" Krishna Consciousness philosophy includes the whole Vaisnava philosophy. When we speak Krishna, the very Word means, Rama, Nrsimha, Varaha, and all other similar expansions and incarnations. So Krishna Consciousness includes Vaikuntha consciousness, but Vaikuntha consciousness does not include Krishna Consciousness. Those who are strictly following the rules and regulations of Vaisnava activities, they are promoted to Vaikuntha lokas. But those who have developed a spontaneous love for Krishna, they are promoted to the Krishna Loka. Therefore, although Krishna Consciousness includes Vaikuntha consciousness, pure Krishna Consciousness is spontaneous love for Krishna without any regulative principles. The idea can be explained that a young boy or a young girl are spontaneously attracted, without following any regulative principles previously. When one develops such spontaneous love for God, that is called pure Krishna Consciousness. In our conditioned life, we have forgotten our relationship with God, but by regulative principles, we can make alert the inert activities. Just like a rheumatic crippled man is gradually elevated by some bodily exercises. Similarly, the regulative principles are to make us habituated to our dormant service attitude, but when that is mature, it becomes spontaneous, and that is pure Krishna Consciousness. And such highly elevated Consciousness makes one eligible to enter into the Krishna Loka. The living example for much spontaneous love are exhibited by the Gopis and inhabitants of Vrindaban. We can learn this from Srimad-Bhagavatam how much they love Krishna spontaneously.
Your question, "what is the relationship of sweethearts in Vaikuntha to each other and to Lord Narayana? Is conjugal love, parental affection, and unalloyed friendship there in the Vaikunthas?" No. In Vaikuntha there are two kinds of transcendental mellows, dasya and the lower half of sakya rasa. The lower half of sakhya means friendship in adoration. And the higher half of sakhya rasa is friendship on equal level. So in Vrindaban the reciprocation of transcendental humor is higher than in Vaikuntha. It is there more free and spontaneous without any restriction arranged by yogamaya principle.
Yes, we have got all the qualities of the Supersoul. Therefore, unless the Supersoul has got consciousness, how we can have consciousness? We are the samples, therefore the origin must have all the qualities that we have. There is no such thing as acceptance or rejection by the mind of the Supersoul. Our mind is in the present material existence a nonsense. It's business is simply to accept or reject. The Supersoul has no separate mind like that, but He has got mind also, and whatever He thinks in His mind, also, that is a fact. There is no question of accepting or rejecting. In Sanskrit language it is called Satya Sankalpa. And our mind is Vikalpa. The mind, body and the Supersoul is the same Absolute truth, there is no distinction between Them. This is in answer to your question, "is the 'conscience' the symptom of the Supersoul?"
Your question, "could we use alchemy to make gold for Krishna's altar?" but—I could not follow what you mean by using alchemy for Krishna's altar, but if you can make Krishna's sitting place made of gold, either by alchemy or by purchasing gold, it will be a grand success. But I do not advise you take advantage of alchemy for making gold, it it is not certain. We should not waste our time on that which is not very sure. If you can manufacture gold, then we can very soon spread our Krishna Consciousness, but I think Krishna will not give us that opportunity, because as soon as we get large quantity of gold, we forget Krishna. That nature is incumbent in our character.
Yes, those twelve symptoms of the spiritual soul are correct, except for "all-knowing". All-knowing it cannot be, but full of knowledge.
The scientists' anti-matter is different from the anti-matter conception which I discussed in my book, Easy Journey to Other Planets. I think I have explained this by correspondence with Dr. Welk.
Your questions about Lord Brahma: "Brahma is a great devotee of Lord Krishna and Brahma Samhita, etc., reveal his knowledge of the Lord. So are these 2 stories (namely, 1. He doubted Krishna became a cowherds Boy and stole His cows, etc.; 2. Krishna showed him the 1/4 part of His creation after Brahma had to designate himself as 4-headed Brahma.), are these 2 stories just examples to we conditioned souls, who think we can put God under restrictions?" Brahma is not among the great devotees, but he is a devotee of Krishna. All the great devotees of Krishna are in the Krishna loka, constant companions of Krishna at Vrindaban. They are actually great devotees of Krishna. Brahma is great devotee in the sense that he wants to serve Krishna the best with some material power. That means that he has a tendency to enjoy some material opulence. So Krishna has made him the number 1 living creature within this universe. But a great devotee does not want even the position of a Brahma. He would prefer to become an insignificant living creature like an ant or spider in the house of a great devotee, then to become Brahma, who has got the inclination of becoming powerful in the material world. The great devotees are always liberated from all material desires, big or small. That is the sign of great devotees.
Brahma came to Krishna because he has very exalted idea about Krishna, and he was doubtful how his Lord could come into the material world and become a cowherd boy. This incidence is known as Brahma Bemohan lila, or the pastime of bewildering Brahma. In the beginning of Srimad-Bhagavatam, it is stated that great personalities like Brahma become bewildered in the understanding of the Absolute Truth. So sometimes such pastimes are manifested by the Lord in order to teach the so-called mental speculators. Even Arjuna was bewildered, although he was His constant companion. Arjuna also was talking from the material view point of standing. All this bewilderment of great devotees are created by the Lord, for 2 purposes: one purpose, is that even great personalities like Brahma and Arjuna sometimes become bewildered, and therefore, unless they present themselves in such position of bewilderment, the common men do not have the chance to understand Krishna. If Brahma would not have posed himself as not knowing the whole truth, then some truths about the transcendental position of Krishna would not have been explained. Besides that, we cannot calculate even one day's duration of the life of Brahma. So, Krishna appears only once in a day of Brahma, and that takes a rotation of unlimited trillions of solar years. So some incidences take place in one day, and other incidents take place in another day. Just like we do something today, something else in a week, and we forget today's action tomorrow, and tomorrow's action after a week. And that is the nature of conditioned life. Therefore, Brahma being a big conditioned soul, this forgetfulness of one's affairs in the next day are not uncommon. Just as we are forgetful, Brahma also is subject to forgetfulness. Our so much so-called knowledge is nothing in comparison to Krishna's full knowledge. That is admitted by Brahma there in that verse, that people may say they know You very well, but so far I am concerned, I admit I do not know even a farthing of You!
Regarding some of your questions: Your question was, "I understand that we are not this body, mind, intelligence or ego, but are pure consciousness or pure spirit soul. This consciousness has been polluted by association with matter. By association with Krishna this consciousness will be purified. This consciousness is all throughout our body giving us the power to think, will, and feel, but how is consciousness interrelated with matter? Is consciousness like mist that hangs around a mountain? How do matter and spirit connect and how do they work together? I hope you understand my question. And what exactly takes place when consciousness becomes purified?" A living entity has constitutionally mind, intelligence, and ego, but they are contaminated in contact with matter. At the present moment, our ego is working under some designation. Somebody is thinking that he is an American or Indian, and other is thinking that he is Brahmacari or Householder. This sort of ego is material but when one is firmly convinced that he does not belong to any material designation, but, his pure identification is eternal servitorship of Krishna—in Vedic language it is called, aham brahmasmi. That means I am spirit soul.
Another example, that water from the sky falling down on the ground looks muddy, but water is not muddy, it is clear. When the water is again filtered, and muddy things are precipitated, the water comes to its original lustre, crystal clear. So our Krishna Consciousness movement is that we have to clear our consciousness by the transcendental addition of Krishna chemical. Then everything will be nice and clear, and we shall be able to see our identification without any designation. I think your questions are answered up to the last part, when you inquired "what exactly takes place when consciousness is becoming purified?"
Regarding your question about the picture of Lord Caitanya with six arms: This form was shown to Ramananda Roy, and Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya. This is called Sadbhuja Murti. This Sadbhuja Murti is worshiped also by the devotees of Lord Caitanya, and especially the Murti is situated in the temple of Jagannatha Puri. Sometimes when you may go to India and visit the temple of Jagannatha, you will find this Murti.
Regarding your question: Is it not true that by service I am with you? It is very correct. You are not only in connection with me, but you are connected with the whole posterity, up to Krishna. It is so nice thing. By service only, we are connected. As it is stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, "Sevon mukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adhah." So the presence of Krishna is always everywhere, but it is simply manifested by your service. That is the technique. "Sabhung Kalidumbrum" everywhere Brahma is present. Just like everywhere there is electricity. It is the technical art that brings out electric power from everywhere. So by service, you are not only in touch with me, but my Predecessors, the Acaryas, up to Krishna. The fourth Canto Bhagavata is already there, and I do not know how far you have made progress, but do not be in hurry.
Regarding your question about Cintamani dham, I may inform you that all the planets in the spiritual world is known as Cintamani dhama (Bs. 5.29). And Goloka Vrndavana is one of the planets. Regarding the Queens of Dvaraka, mostly they were devotees, and some of them descended from the Vaikuntha planets, or they were manifestation from Goddess of Fortune, Laksmi.
Now, regarding your question: "What is the difference between Jagannatha deities and Krishna Murti and why is the latter not fed and cared for as well as the former and why are Jagannathas more tolerant?" Krishna means Himself and all His expansions, different expansions. So sometimes, Krishna appears as Vasudeva, sometimes as Sankarsana, sometimes as Jagannatha, sometimes as Lord Caitanya, sometimes as Rama, so all such different incarnations includes the Name Krishna. So Jagannatha is another feature of Krishna, and He is especially favorable to the people who are not strictly advanced to the Brahminical culture of Vedic rituals. Lord Jagannatha is situated in India, at Puri; this place is one of the towns of Orissa province. And the people of Orissa and Bengal, they are sometimes fish-eaters, why sometimes—about 90% population they are fish-eaters. But Jagannatha Swami in Puri, He accepts service from these people although they are sometimes fish-eaters. So in the Kali yuga, the people are supposed to be not so clean, and therefore, service to Jagannatha Swami is preferred. So far service to Laksmi-Narayana, and Radha Krishna, it requires highly elevated position, transcendental to Brahmins. But still, either we serve Jagannatha or Radha Krishna, the effect is the same. But to facilitate the worship of the Lord in the Form of Jagannatha is more congenial than others. But when anything is offered to Jagannatha, it does not mean that it is not taken by Krishna. So in the temple, although we offer to Jagannatha, it is also accepted by Krishna. Be rest assured of this fact.
Regarding your question: "What is the correct sexual etiquette for a strict Grhastha; and what is spiritual family planning?" Unless one wants to beget a child, there should not be any sex life. The best thing is to forget sex, but it is not possible immediately or all of a sudden, especially in the Western countries where sex life is so liberal. So under the circumstances, one should try to have sex life only for children, not for any other purpose. Spiritual family planning is that one should be determined to train up children in Krishna Consciousness. According to Bhagavata, the spiritual family planning is that one should not become a father or one should not become a mother, unless he is able to maintain their children to the extent of liberation. It is the duty of the parents to see that the children are growing luxuriantly not only materially, but spiritually also. So spiritual training should be given from the very beginning. Kaumaram acaret prajna—In the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Prahlada Maharaja has instructed that spiritual consciousness or Krishna Consciousness should be taught to the children from the very beginning as they are given education from early childhood.
The next question, "will you please explain about the 28th mahayuga of this Manu, in which the treta and Dvapara yugas are reversed?" The 28th mahayuga means that in Brahma's one day, there are 14 Manus. And each Manu's life is the duration of 71 mahayugas. And one mahayuga means 4 yugas combined. The duration of Sattva yuga is about 18 hundred thousands of years. And the duration of Treta yuga is about 12 hundred thousands of years. And the duration of Dvapara yuga is about 800 thousands of years, and the duration of Kali yuga is about 400 thousands of years. So all together, becomes a mahayuga, and such 71 mahayugas take place in the life of one Manu, and there are 14 Manus in the one day duration of Brahma. So in the 28th mahayuga, of the life of Vivasvata Manu, at the end of Dvapara yuga, Lord Krishna appears, and in the next Kali yuga, Lord Caitanya appeared. Previous to this Kali yuga, there was Dvapara yuga, when men used to live for 1000 years. In the Treta yuga, they used to live 10,000 of years and in the Satya yuga, they used to live for 100,000 years. Modern calculation of Satya yuga, Treta yuga, Dvapara yuga, Kali yuga, as golden age, bronze age, silver age, copper age, and other age, that is historical references. But the Vedic calculation is different from such calculation. But it can be accepted to a certain extent to understand that history is changing and repeating at the same time.
Regarding your question: "about the six-armed Lord Caitanya you gave me (Krishna, Lord Caitanya, and Lord Rama combined.) Why is Lord Caitanya carrying a forked stick? What do the Saivite-like tilakas on His arms signify? And to whom was this form revealed?" The forked stick is a symbol of ekadandi. The Mayavadi sannyasis, they carry ekadanda, one stick. As we Vaisnava sannyasis carry 3 danda, or three sticks, combined together. The one stick is the symbol of understanding oneness. The monists only accept chin matra, there is only one spirit soul; they do not understand the varieties of the spiritual world. And so far our three sticks are concerned, we take it for granted that we have dedicated our life, for Krishna's service in 3 ways, namely, in our body, in our mind, and in our words.
Regarding your question about this planet and Krishna's coming here, you may note that Krishna comes within this universe once in one day of Brahma. Duration of Brahma's day is very very long, it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita—432 crores of years forms the duration of 12 hours of Brahma's day. And similarly, there are 12 hours of night, so after 864 crores of years, Krishna comes in this universe, and whenever He comes, He of course, appears on this planet, that is the fortune of the people of this planet. We should know very clearly that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is neither Indian nor American, as much as the sun is neither Indian nor American. The original name of this planet is called Bharatavarsa, and before that it was known as Ilavrtavarsa. Now since the day of Emperor Bharata, this planet is know as Bharatavarsa, but in course of time, the human race divided, therefore we find so many other names. But the original name of this planet is Bharatavarsa, and in the Vedic literature, it is stated that anyone who takes birth on this planet, they are very fortunate. Because it is the special planet where Krishna descends when He comes.
Regarding your question: The spirit soul of Krishna's entourage, all the associates of Krishna or anyone situated in Vaikuntha the spiritual sky, never mind, either in Vaikunthas or in Krishna Loka, they have no separate body. Just like Krishna has no differentiation between body and soul, similarly, those who are transferred or living eternally in the spiritual sky, they haven't got also such distinction, between spirit and body. The body is also spiritual and the soul is also spiritual. Not only the body, everything, all spiritual. The spiritual world is expansion of Krishna's spiritual or internal energy. So there is no difference of body. But if somebody comes from the spiritual world for material activities, he has to accept the material body, but that is not applicable in the case of the Supreme Lord. Because he does not come to the material world for some material enjoyment. Mayavadi philosophers they also say that when God comes also in the material world, He has to accept the material body but that is not a fact. Because even God accepts a material body, apparently, still He does not act materially. Because both material energy and spiritual energy are under the control of the Supreme Lord; as such, He is completely powerful to transform matter into spirit, or spirit into matter. That is the position. So far associates of Krishna, they are expansion of His spiritual energy.
Regarding your question about Ravana: It is not a fact that every time whenever Krishna comes in this material world, the demons are, like Ravana, are always associate of Krishna who come here to fight with Him. The Jaya and Vijaya incident was a specific only. Not that every time they come. For them, the Lord's order that they would continue only three births, and then come back. So they went back; not that every time they have to come back and play the part of a demon. In this material world there is no scarcity of demons. There are so many demons, so Krishna has opportunity to fight with them. But that was a special case, who played the part of Ravana, Jaya and Vijaya.
Regarding the question (In vol I, First Canto, Ch. 1, Text 1, pp. 59 of Srimad-Bhagavatam, (SB 1.1.1), it is stated "anyone who hands over a charity of this great work on the full moon day attains to the highest perfection of human life by going back to home, back to Godhead." Does this mean that by giving the Gayatri mantra, only vol. one, or the complete work?) it is not the Gayatri mantra, but the Srimad-Bhagavatam. The idea is that in olden days there was no press. So books were not available printed. Formerly great aristocratic families kings, and rich men, they used to engage a qualified brahmana to copy Srimad-Bhagavatam in handwriting, and then present it to a suitable person, especially brahmanas, in a gold casket. That was the system. But since printing machine has been introduced, Srimad-Bhagavatam, and other literature are being printed. So therefore, this reference, in the Skandha Purana, is in connection with giving Srimad-Bhagavatam in handwriting. That was a great work of charity. This charity, however, included the complete Srimad-Bhagavatam, and neither vol. one nor two. That was the process. Still there are many rich men in India who have engaged learned brahmanas to copy Srimad-Bhagavatam in handwriting, and they give in charity, to a qualified person, in the above way.
I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of Oct. 16, 1968, and I thank you very much for your questions. You are always at liberty to inquiry from me about all such questions in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita, and I am so glad that you are reading all these books so carefully. That is our business—we shall chant Hare Krishna or read Srimad-Bhagavatam or or associate with devotees in the temple, so that program shall go on continually for constantly remembering Krishna, and we shall not forget Him, even for a moment.
Regarding your question, what color is the ocean of milk, it is white. You can make it bluish shade in order to distinguish that it is water. Visnu's color is sky blue, and Laksmi's color is just like gold, molten gold. Laksmi is not always with Visnu, there are many Visnu forms Who are alone. That form is called Vasudeva Visnu. No demigod remains with Visnu. Demigods are destined to live within the material world. In the spiritual world there is no place for the demigods, but who are elevated to the position of pure devotee, they can be promoted to the spiritual world. In the material world, either ordinary living entities and the demigods, they belong to the same category of jiva tattva, the marginal potency of Visnu. The marriage ceremony of Vasudeva and Devaki, the daughter Devaki was offered by her father named Devak, to Vasudeva, and Devak had eight daughters, and all the 8 daughters were offered to Vasudeva. The marriage is performed generally by priest. Sacrificial fire you have seen in our ceremonies, it is in the same way, but there are some decorations, just like a canopy is made with 4 pillars and it is decorated with green foliage and flowers, and water pot, under each stand, and in this way, it is decorated. And just outside the canopy, the relatives and other Brahmins they sit down to see the marriage ceremony going on. The omen was heard while Kamsa was carrying his sister and brother-in-law in the chariot. There were hundreds of other chariots also, given in dowry. The omen was heard that it was addressed to Kamsa that My dear Kamsa, you are so joyfully carrying your sister but you do not know that a son, the 8th son of your sister will kill you. The 8th son of Devaki was Krishna Himself, and before Krishna, all the sons of Devaki were taken by Kamsa and killed.
Your second question, ice cream purchased from the market may not be offered. Because such ice cream contains sometimes undesirable things, which we should not offer. We must offer to Krishna only first class prepared foodstuff, especially made at home. We shall try to avoid as far as possible goods purchased from the market and offer to Krishna.
Regarding your question no. 4, Gayatri mantra means it is chanted by a qualified Brahmin. A devotee of Krishna is understood to have surpassed the stage of becoming qualified Brahmin, so Gayatri mantra can be chanted by qualified Brahmin, and the meaning of Gayatri mantra is Gayat—Gayat means sin, and tri means deliverance. Gayatri. And mantra, man—means mind, tra means deliverance. So the things chanting which one is delivered from the mental platform is called Gayatri mantra, or mantra. So all mantras are like that, but this is the meaning of Gayatri mantra.
Regarding your questions, you want to offer something in the evening to Krishna besides fruit and milk, so there is no harm. Because Krishna can eat as many times as you give Him to eat, because He is unlimited. He can eat unlimitedly, provided we can supply foodstuff unlimitedly. But that is not possible for us. Therefore, we limit the supply. But anyway, if you can increase the offerings it is very nice. But one thing is that whatever you make routine work to offer Him food stuff, that should be continued. Do not change it. So if you can continue to offer food
Regarding your third question, morning lecture is also allowed. Lecture is also kirtana, and so as morning kirtana is there, similarly morning lecture can also be delivered. In New York , or even in San Francisco, when I was present I was giving lectures in morning also. So far as girls or boys lecturing in the morning, that doesn't make any difference. Either girl or boy devotees may deliver lecture if they choose to do. We have no such distinction of bodily designations, male or female. Krishna Consciousness is on the spiritual platform. As such, anyone who is a devotee of the Lord, following in this line of disciplic succession, can deliver lecture, on the teachings of Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, etc.
You can inform Sivananda that I have received his last letter and he has several questions and he wants some letter address. So you can send me the language or the body of the letter which I shall type and sign and send to you
Regarding your question, about living alone, living alone is a general tendency for a person who wants to get disassociated with the materialistic persons. That is also recommended by the Goswamis in their instructions. It is better to remain alone than to mix with materialistic persons. But this is not applicable when we have the opportunity to get the association of pure devotees. Our program is negative and positive simultaneously. We want to negate the materialistic side and make positive the spiritual side, it is not one sided. If you have no positive standing, negating only will not make you successful. Therefore it is better to remain positively within the society of pure devotees. That is also recommended by the Goswamis. That one should be occupied in activities in the modes of goodness and associate with spiritualistic persons, that will make one's advancement very quick.
Regarding Radha Damodara temple, because it is one of the most important temples in Vrindaban, I took shelter in this temple, just to improve the dilapidated condition. The present proprietor or the men in charge of this temple, they are most materialistic men, and simply utilizing the temple and its property for their sense gratification. If Radha Damodara likes, in future, I may be able to do something for this temple, but until I have got the opportunity probably I am not going again into that temple. I have now New Vrindaban scheme and I shall try to develop all the important temples of Vrindaban including Radha Damodara temple in our New Vrindaban site.
No, the moon's phases has nothing to do with spiritual. Yes, the students should agree to be malleable by the Spiritual Master, then his success is sure. In your western part of the world, people are falsely taught not to become slavish. Everyone wants to assert his personal views and opinions, without following any authority. That is the general tendency. But although such persons claim not to be slaves, actually they are slaves to the senses. So instead of being a slave of the senses, if one voluntarily becomes the slave of Krishna, or His representative, that is good for him. This is maya, thinking that we are independent. We are slaves—every moment we are serving our senses. We are slaves to so many abominable things, to drugs, intoxication, sex, doing the most abominable things in the service of the senses. So it is not slavish when one agrees to become slave of Krishna and His representative, then this is liberated position, liberated from being slave to the senses. Yes, Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura said, My Dear Vaisnava Thakura, Spiritual Master, let me become your dog, and I shall remain at your door, and I shall guard against any nonsense persons trying to enter, and whatever food you will give me, I shall eat, and I shall remain as your dog.
Your specific talents are to be engaged under direction of the Spiritual Master. Everything, every talent can be employed in Krishna's service, and how to do it is known to the Spiritual Master. You have the tendency for botany, you can grow nice flowers and fruits for Krishna, that is the utilization of your natural tendency. If you have got specific training in this connection, then after establishing this center in Hamburg you can come to our New Vrindaban and grow things, or you can grow things in Hamburg also. Fruits and flowers can be produced anywhere.
Yes, these your questions are very intelligent questions.
Your questions are very nice. Yes, the Supersoul and soul both are unchanged. The difference is that in material contact, the soul appears to be changed. But the Supersoul is not affected by material contamination, therefore there is no sign of change. The change of soul is like that water becomes ice in contact with refrigerator. And as soon as there is temperature the ice again becomes water. Similarly the changing nature of the soul is just like change of water to ice. The tendency of ice is to melt and become water again. So due to contamination of matter, the soul by illusion identifies with material existence. But the tendency is to melt again to Krishna Consciousness. So when there is sufficient temperature in contact with bona fide Spiritual Master and devotees, the soul again becomes Krishna Conscious, like the water.
If someone is fortunate enough to find out a bona fide Spiritual Master, his life is successful. And to be fortunate, there must be sincerity, and Krishna will lead him to a bona fide Spiritual Master.
purusa means God or Krishna. Atma, there is Paramatma and jivatma. Both are atma because they are spiritual, but the living entities are called jivatma. Jivatma means the small particle of atma which has tendency to fall down in the material atmosphere. He is called jivatma. And Atma or Supersoul, Who never falls in material contamination, is called Paramatma or Supersoul. And because He does not fall under material illusion, His another Name is Acyuta—Acyuta means never fallen.
I have noted your questions carefully, and regarding your question about the Prasadam recipes; Krishna is offered foodstuff in goodness. The foodstuffs in the modes of goodness are wheat, rice, pulse (beans, peas), sugar, honey, butter and all milk preparations, vegetables, flowers, fruits, grains. So these foods can be offered in any shape, but prepared in various ways by the intelligence of the devotees. The ingredients are always the same as above, whether you fry them, boil them, bake them, powder them, or whatever way they are combined or cooked, the idea is that they must come from this group of foodstuffs. So you can make your own recipe if you like, so long as the ingredients are within this group. This foods group is stated by Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita, and we follow accordingly. Now the thing is that you must consider by whom you are being taught what is healthy and what is not healthy. What is their authority? Actually, this healthy and non-healthy is a material consideration, and we are simply interested in what Krishna wants, so we offer to Him to eat whatever He wants. And He asks for food preparations from within this group. I hope this will clarify the questions about Prasadam preparations for you to understand.
Regarding your question about Yogananda, you write to say that you "received the impression from his autobiography that he was a genuine saint who dedicated his life to serving God." But the thing is that you do not actually know what is a genuine saint, and what can you understand about saintly life from reading his autobiography. I may inform you that just recently I visited his so-called asrama retreat, and it was simply a hodge-podge of all nonsense. There was a Buddha statue, a Christ statue, a Gandhi's memorium labeled as "World Peace Memorium"—and what world peace he has brought? None. And what does Gandhi have to do with spiritual realization anyway? Gandhi was simply interested to get the Britishers out of India—what has this to do with self-realization, the prime goal of life? And here and there, there were signs of all sorts, like "Be still and realize I am God"—what is this, by becoming silent and still one becomes God?! The stone is silent for millions of years, does that mean it has become God? This is all conglomeration of nonsense ideas. Practically, this Yogananda has no philosophy or authority, he simply drags in Buddha, Jesus Christ, Gandhi, and whoever else he can think to put, so that whatever you like it is in his shop. He is just a good shop keeper.
Regarding your question, Sayamrupa means the Original Form. Sayamprakash means Balarama. And Tadekatmarupa is the purusa, just like Mahavisnu. It is not necessary to remember or fully understand all these different forms, at the present, but it is like if you simply stick to the master faithfully that is very good, but if you know that my master is so great, and so rich, and great in this way and rich in this way, and that way, then your veneration for your master will increase. To know Krishna is great, how He is expanded into different forms, that enhances our attachment to Krishna more rigidly.
You ask about the desire for fame. Fame is a material desire, but to desire fame in Krishna Consciousness is not bad. If you think that people may know me as a great devotee of Krishna, that they may acknowledge me a nice devotee of Krishna, that is not at all bad. But even one is highly elevated in Krishna Consciousness he should not think himself a great devotee, he should think himself always humble.
You can celebrate Rasa-lila by having nice kirtana and prasadam distribution, that is our way of celebrating.
Your question, "When one has become pure enough, Krishna conscious, does one take regular dictation from one's Guru Maharaja? I know you to confirm yes, but how is this so? Understanding that each individual has a certain particular rasa with Krishna, how would one relate with another soul of a different rasa? Especially between that of the Guru and disciple?" That doesn't matter. The Spiritual Master's position is to train the disciples. Just like a teacher, he may be a very expert mathematician, but in the lower class he is teaching English. The Spiritual Master's duty is to train him, but when he comes to the perfectional stage of training, then he realizes his position. That is not a gift of the Spiritual Master, the Spiritual Master helps him to realize his relationship with the Lord. Just like the student in lower stages has to study so many things as preliminary education, English, history, math, etc., but in higher stage of education, he has got a particular taste for a special subject, so he specializes as a mathematician or a historian, etc. So that special qualification reveals in the higher stage. So these topics are not to be discussed in the conditioned stage, and when we come to the liberated stage we can understand. This is useless talks in the preliminary stage. In the beginning let us do the preliminary routine work very nicely, and be cured of the disease (out of maya), then we can know what taste you have for what particular type of food. So these things are not to be discussed at the present moment.
Yes, you can pray to Krishna—Krishna may be prayed that I am unwilling to become Krishna Conscious, so you can force me to become so. You put me under certain circumstances so that I may be forced to accept Krishna Consciousness. You can pray like that. It is Krishna's special favor and mercy that He sometimes forces a devotee to surrender fully to Him.
Regarding your question about what determines our fortune, generally when we are in the material world, we try to be prosperous by material opulence. Just like a common man tries to have a good house, a good wife, a good property, good social prestige, and this way, go on increasing the bodily concept of life, and possess more and more in relationship to the body. This is unfortunate. All living entities beginning from Brahma down to an ant, everyone is trying to increase such materialistic way of happy life without knowing that any amount of material comforts of life cannot make the spiritual living entities happy. Therefore, when a living entity becomes very serious to become really happy and gets into touch with Krishna Consciousness by the Grace of Krishna and the Spiritual Master, that is the beginning of his fortunate life. And the more one becomes advanced in that fortunate way of life, the more he becomes happier and happier. This is the difference between fortunate and unfortunate. The beginning of contact with Krishna Consciousness is the beginning of good fortune. That some people may come and others may not, this is also due to association. Suppose a man accidentally comes in contact with our society and gives some service willingly or unwillingly, that is the beginning of his fortunate life. We go from door to door canvassing people to join Krishna Consciousness movement means that we are trying to make them fortunate. Anyone who gives some service to this Krishna Consciousness movement is fortunate proportionately. At least the seed of his fortunate life is sown there. Whether he gives service of some sort, willingly or even unwillingly, the seed is sown, and the fortune will come proportionately. Even if somebody looks shabby and unclean, if he simply says this Krishna Consciousness is very nice thing, even he is not able to take full advantage of it at the time, still he is far more fortunate than any Rockefeller.
And your question about Bhisma deva, after he left this planet, he went to Vaikuntha. Because he was Narayana worshipper. In Bhisma's prayer, it is clear that he is worshipper of Four Handed Narayana. Although he knew that Narayana and Krishna are non-different, but his affection was for Narayana. Therefore he entered the Narayana loka.
Those who are devotees of Narayana or Krishna, they are not afraid of any planet, even they are sent in the heavenly planets or the hellish planets, because they have Narayana within their heart, they are equally situated.
Regarding your questions: Your first question, "Are great sages put under yogamaya or maya? Also are all the eternally liberated souls under yogamaya?" Yogamaya means the mercy of the Supreme Lord which connects a devotee in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, and mahamaya means the external potency of the Lord which puts a conditioned soul into illusion that he will be happy by material adjustment. So great sages who are impersonalists are also under the spell of mahamaya, because a conditioned soul in the material world wants to improve his material position as exalted as possible, and the concept of becoming one with the Supreme Lord is the greatest illusion for them. Because it is a fact that nobody can be equal or greater than the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and as such, anyone desiring to become one with the Supreme means that he is still in the trap of maya. On the other hand, a humble devotee who may not be a great sage, but simply by his implicit acceptance of the Lotus Feet of the Lord as the goal of his life means that he is under the protection of yogamaya. I think this will clear the idea.
Your next question, "Is there a difference between Arjuna's body and his soul, and how does this apply to all Krishna's eternally liberated souls described in the scriptures. Is Arjuna always the same in his appearances with Krishna or is a new soul taking his body each time?" Yes, there is difference. Therefore he forgets his past activities. Just like we forget ourselves while dreaming because our subtle body acts at that time differently from the gross body. Similarly, by changing this body or transmigrating from one body to another, we forget all the activities of our previous body. The associates of the Lord, even though they have a different body, or even though they forget the activities of their past body, still they are associates of the Lord. These explanations are given in the Bhagavad-gita as it is.
Your next question, "Is a pure devotee eternally liberated and if so is he at any time a conditioned soul? We are eternally conditioned, but as soon as we surrender to Krishna do we then become eternally liberated? When Lord Christ appeared he seemed to be conditioned in his growth. Was he a specific incarnation or a conditioned soul who became liberated?" You are not eternally conditioned. You are eternally liberated but since we have become conditioned on account of our desire to enjoy materialistic way of life, from time immemorial, therefore it appears that we are eternally conditioned. Because we cannot trace out the history or the date when we became conditioned, therefore it is technically called eternally conditioned. Otherwise the living entity is not actually conditioned. A living entity is always pure. But he is prone to be attracted by material enjoyment and as soon as he agrees to place himself in material enjoyment, he becomes conditioned, but that is not permanent. Therefore a living entity is called on the marginal state, sometimes this side, sometimes that side. These are very intelligent questions. And I am very glad that you are putting such intelligent questions and trying to understand it. It is very good. But best thing is that one should know he is in conditioned life and try to cure it. When a man is in diseased condition he should try to get out of diseased condition without harassing his brain when the disease has begun. But it is to be understood that the disease is not our constant companion, it is temporary. So the best thing is to cure the disease, and not waste our time to find out the date when it began. Forgetfulness of Krishna is the disease, so let us keep ourselves always in Krishna Consciousness, and get out of the disease, that is healthy life. Yes, Lord Jesus was jivatattva. He is not Visnu tattva. When a jiva tattva becomes specifically empowered by the Lord, he is called saktyavesa avatara. Lord Buddha and Lord Jesus Christ were in this group of saktyavesa avatara.. But they were not in conditioned state when they appeared; they came to teach here.
Your question, "Is it to be understood that once the yogi sees the Narayana Form, his desires for travel and material perfections cease? (as did the desires of Dhruva Maharaja) Or do the yogis still persist in desiring to do wonders even after seeing Narayana Form? You say, in your essay, Super Consciousness, that the topmost is to see Narayana Form and take dictation. In short the question is, is it true that the yogi who is travelling to planets and performing siddhis—has never seen Narayana?" The example of Dhruva Maharaja, he was a devotee. The yogis are not devotees. They are more or less after some material perfection. But generally one who sees Narayana, he becomes a devotee. And sometimes such devotee before entering the Supreme Abode of Krishna or Narayana, they want to see some of the wonders of this material world. Just like I have come to your country, and I have no interest for sight seeing, but my main business is preaching Krishna Consciousness, but still, when I go to a new place, sometimes devotees take me to some important sight seeing place. Similarly, a yogi after becoming a devotee sometimes go to other planets also and Narayana fulfills such material desires. In other words, a devotee even if he wants to fulfill some material desires, he is given the chance by the Lord, but a pure devotee in higher status does not desire like that. They do not care for any siddhis.
Regarding your questions, "I read in a book sent from India that Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura was sent directly by Lord Sri Caitanya from the spiritual sky. I am not sure if the book was bona fide. Is the above true? Someone, a God-brother brought up that he heard that Srila Bhaktivinode was at one time an impersonalist. Was he ever?" Yes, what you have heard is all right. Just like Arjuna is constant companion of Krishna, as it is confirmed in the 4th chapter, Krishna says that both Arjuna and He appeared many times on this world, but he had forgotten his past appearance and Krishna did not. Krishna is like the sun, and maya is just like darkness. Where Krishna is present there cannot be any darkness of maya. So as Arjuna although always in the presence of Krishna as eternal companion in friendship, still he had some illusion in the battlefield of Kuruksetra, and Krishna had to dissipate that darkness by the teachings of Bhagavad-gita. The purport is, sometimes even a liberated person like Arjuna plays the part of a conditioned soul in order to play some important part. Similarly, Bhaktivinode Thakura for sometimes was associating with the impersonalists. And then he exhibited himself in his true color as pure devotee, exactly in the same way as Arjuna exhibited in the beginning as a conditioned soul, and then as a liberated soul. So there is nothing to be misunderstood in this connection. Krishna and His devotees sometimes play like that, as much as Lord Buddha although an incarnation of Krishna, preached the philosophy of voidism. These things are conducted in terms of place, audience, time, etc. In the Caitanya Caritamrta it is said that the activities of the Vaisnava cannot be understood even by the greatest scholar. So we have to understand everything through the transparent via media of the Spiritual Master. So there is no doubt about it that Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura is eternal energy of Lord Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And whatever he did, was just to suit the time, place, circumstances, and etc. There is no contradiction in his activities. Yes, also, what you have learned about Sukadeva is correct. He stayed in the womb of his mother for 16 years because he was fixed on the Brahman conception, and then on hearing the Srimad-Bhagavatam, he became realized and decided to come out and be active in the service of the Lord, to enjoy blissful varieties.
In answer to your question about the importance of initiation, it is to be understood that initiation means that power is coming from the Supreme by the bona fide disciplic succession. This is required. Of course, for anyone to hear the message of Srimad-Bhagavatam will produce a favorable result but formally one should receive this knowledge from the disciplic succession. For example, Arjuna and Krishna were friends but still Arjuna submitted himself formally as Krishna's disciple. This is essential. We should take example from these great Personalities. Arjuna was hearing Krishna speaking Bhagavad-gita but still he submitted as Krishna's disciple. "Now I submit unto You, please teach me." So this is the process. I hope this will clear up your question sufficiently.
Regarding your question as to obtain a house or a storefront for holding kirtanas, I think that you may use your own good discretion as to which will be most effective in popularizing Krishna Consciousness in Ohio.
Regarding your question about Supersoul, we take it from Bhagavad-gita philosophy that the distinction between Supersoul and individual jiva soul must always be there. The Supersoul never will fall under the clutches of this illusory maya and the jiva soul has this tendency. So there is distinction, yet, the two, Supersoul and jiva soul are also the same as much as the sunlight and the Sun are qualitatively the same. So this is Krishna's message that we are simultaneously one and different from Krishna. When the jiva soul accepts the dictates of the Supreme consciousness Supersoul, his activities will no longer be for the sake of personal sense gratification but will be only for the purpose of gratifying the senses of Krishna. This attitude of service is the perfection of the living entity.
So far your question whether you should stay at New Vrindaban, or help Hayagriva at Columbus, the best thing is to consult with Hayagriva, and work jointly. And do whatever needs to be done. That is the best program.
So far as explaining my letter to Kris, I have listed the ingredients which may use for preparing prasadam but these various varieties of foodstuffs may be prepared either in the given recipes or if you like you may invent nice new formulas for offering. The important thing is that your preparations be palatable for Lord Krishna and that the ingredients be within the groups of ingredients already listed. You have asked me about sassafras and yes, it may be offered. Mushrooms are generally not offered, but there is no prohibition, there is no harm in them.
I hope that this has answered your questions. Please keep me informed as to the progress of your temple.
So far as your question about arranging time, our first business is to regularly complete our chanting 16 rounds each day. Then we must offer to the deities mangal arati in the morning, and the other paraphernalia and activities shall be executed as time permits. If there is no time then we must disregard.
The answer to your question about the marginal energy is that the jiva soul is always called marginal energy whether he is in the spiritual world or in the material world. There are instances where marginal energy jiva souls have fallen from the spiritual world, just like Jaya and Vijaya. So the potency to fall under the influence of the lower energy is always there. And thus the individual jiva soul is called as Krishna's marginal energy.
Regarding your first question, is it offensive to think of Krishna's Pastimes while chanting, I think you should know that it is not offensive, but rather it is required. One must try for the point when he simply hears Krishna and immediately all of Krishna, His Pastimes, His Form, His Quality, are in his thoughts. So to always be immersed in thoughts of Krishna this is our process. When we are full in Krishna then where there can be any chance for maya in us? So this is our duty to remember Krishna's Pastimes. One who cannot remember Krishna, let him always hear Hare Krishna and then when he has perfected this art, then always he will remember Krishna, His Activities, His Qualities, etc.
The answer to your second question is that when one becomes accustomed to inoffensive chanting, then his fruit is that he is promoted to the stage of pure Love of Godhead, or prema. This prema is the perfectional stage of consciousness and the most blissful by very far.
So far as singing of the Christian hymns, if others sing this we have no objection, it is very nice, but in these hymns they have no definite idea of what is God. We are directly approaching and praying to Krishna for the highest benediction of eternal devotional service so we do not require to repeat the Christian hymns. Our point is to always follow the example of the acaryas and this will bring us to the perfectional stages with no doubt. For the Christian hymn you describe, the example may be given of where one person is appreciating that water is very nice and another is tasting water. So when we taste water the appreciation automatically is there and when we have taste for chanting, automatically the appreciation is there for God.
In answer to your question, let me say that Lord Visnu is served by Sesa who is also an incarnation of Visnu. His business is to supply all bodily comforts to Lord Visnu. Sesa, or Ananta, serves Visnu as His Mattress and protects Him from all atmospheric disturbances by making His heads like a canopy or umbrella. In this way, He supplies umbrella, bedding, slippers, and everything else personally required by Lord Visnu. This information we get from scriptural sources. So keeping pace with this scriptural injunction, you may paint nicely as Krishna gives you instruction.
Regarding your question about arati, no there is no special prayers to be said just in the morning. Also you have asked about the compiler of Sri Brahma Samhita and the four-headed Brahma of this universe is the compiler.
Also you have asked some intelligent questions and I am answering them here.
You have asked how Krishna is with the spirit soul in the spiritual world and the answer is that Krishna is the heart of the spirit soul, or spiritual body, So Krishna is never apart from us. Either He remains in the heart of the material body, or He remains in the heart of the spiritual body. This is Krishna's Causeless Mercy to all of His beloved children, or living entities.
To answer your second question, you should know that Arjuna and Kunti Devi are not in Krishna Loka. They are eternally associated with Krishna only in the material world. Just like Krishna is always in the spiritual world, so similarly He is always in the material world and His Pastimes are going on there also. In the material world, Krishna also has eternal associates, such as Arjuna and Kunti Devi. There is a difference between the body and soul of Arjuna and Kunti Devi. But although Arjuna is with Krishna in innumerable different material universes at one time, still there is only one spirit soul who is Arjuna. This spirit soul expands into many different bodies and thus you can understand that there are also incarnations of devotees as well as incarnations of Krishna. This is the power of the spirit soul, that it is unlimited. Such conception cannot be understood while one is still in the conditioned state.
Regarding your third question, both incidents are correct. I hope these shall answer your questions.
So far as your question about the Krishna stories, you will be glad to know that soon we will begin working on a book called, "KRISHNA" which will have stories and illustrations of all of Krishna's Pastimes. These stories come from the 10th canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam. You have also written that you wish to obtain some pictures of Krishna in his childhood and such pictures can be obtained by writing to Brahmananda in New York about prices and which pictures he has available.
Your question, "How did Prakasananda Sarasvati see or think that Lord Caitanya was the Lord Narayana Himself when he only realized Brahman?"—by personal audience of Lord Caitanya they could realize Him as Narayana because they were sincere in searching out the Absolute Truth. As it is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita, that an impersonalist, if he is sincere in searching out the Absolute Truth, then ultimately such impersonalist can reach to the point of the Personality of Godhead. So Prakasananda Sarasvati was submissive to Lord Caitanya, because he begged Lord Caitanya to occupy superior seat, while Caitanya Mahaprabhu out of His extreme humbleness, was sitting in a place where they were washing their feet. A Vaisnava is always humble, and if a person does not misuse this humbleness of a Vaisnava, he gets a chance to be elevated. But if somebody misunderstands the humbleness of a Vaisnava then he is doomed. Just like in the Caitanya Caritamrta, the author Kaviraja Goswami says that he is lower than the stool, and Sanatana Goswami says that he is born and associated with most degraded persons. If such humbleness of Vaisnavas are taken verbatim, then we are misled. Prakasananda Sarasvati appreciated the greatness of Lord Caitanya, even though He was humble, and therefore Lord Caitanya's Mercy was bestowed upon him, and thus he could accept Him as He is.
Regarding your question of the planetary systems, the planets are arranged in each universe in layers like the petals of a lotus. But in each layer there is mixed both heavenly, hellish and middle planets. On the outside layer there are these three kinds of planets, on the middle layers there are the three kinds of planets and on the inner-most layer there are found these three kinds of planets. Above these layers, in the center, is the Brahmaloka where Lord Brahma, the creator is residing. So the earth planet and the moon planet are both on the same layer but the earth is middle planet and the moon is heavenly planet.
Regarding your question about Krishna recommending the chanting of His Holy Names, probably you have not marked it in your study of the Bhagavad-gita, but in chapter 9, verse 14, Krishna describes how His devotees are always chanting His Names. Lord Caitanya, although He is Krishna Himself, is even more merciful than Krishna in that He has shown to the fallen living entities of the kali yuga how the chanting process can immediately elevate one up to the spiritual atmosphere.
Your second question about falling down from the brahmajyoti is answered that it is not that one must fall down, but that they generally fall down. There is a verse in Srimad-Bhagavatam, 10th canto, 2nd chapter, verse 26, which says: "My Dear Lotus Eyed Personality of Godhead, persons who are very proud of becoming one with the brahma effulgence and thereby consider that they have become liberated are factually in a contaminated consciousness on account of the absence of devotional service unto You. Such persons may rise to a high level of spiritual understanding as far as the impersonal brahmajyoti but on account of the lack of devotional service unto You, they generally fall down again into material contamination."
The final question which was asked by Tosana about the validity of the story of the sparrow and the ocean, you should know that everything that is found in these scriptures is factual. There is nothing allegory. But you must not depend upon your own limited experience. What happens in different corners of the Lord's Creation no one can say. But we can hear from the authentic Vedic sources such as the Puranas. This story of the sparrow is found in the Puranas.
Regarding your question, the deity shall be put to rest in time, and if people are still eating prasadam, the arati cannot be performed. It is better if after offering prasadam to the deity you perform arati, close the curtains and then distribute prasadam to the devotees. Please do not accept from Gopala Krishna 6 inch murti. He has promised to donate one pair of 24 inch murtis. Besides that, when you are engaged in the worshipment of the temple deities, you may not install separately deities at your home.
Regarding your question about placing an effulgence around Krishna's head in all of these pictures, yes this should be done
So far as your question about evolution, you should know that the aspects of this theory which are actually correct offer no contradiction to the Vedic version. This whole topic has been very nicely explained in an article in Back To Godhead, "Evolution, the God That's Failing". So I refer you to this article which was in a few issues back. This should clear up your questions.
Regarding your questions, the incidence of Sanatana Goswami and Rupa Goswami should be taken as follows; Rupa Goswami treated Sanatana Goswami as his Spiritual Master, so therefore to pray to Krishna for serving Krishna or the Spiritual Master is very good. Similarly, if the house is very good for serving Krishna it is very good. But if our purpose is for our personal convenience, for that purpose we shall not pray. But for the convenience of Krishna and the Spiritual Master we should always pray.
The absence of the idea of God is not very important, but the sense of loving God is the most important. The cowherd boys and all of the residents of Vrindaban were so much absorbed in love for Krishna that naturally there was absence of the idea of God. Yasoda was so much absorbed in love of Krishna that she did not care to know that He is God. Our whole philosophy is to increase our love for Krishna. Love with awe and veneration and love that is spontaneous is different, but still one has to learn about the greatness of Krishna. To come to the stage of spontaneous love for Krishna is a very high stage, and it is not to be imitated. In our conditioned state of life, we should worship Krishna as God with respect and veneration. That is the system. The relationship of the Spiritual Master and the disciple is not the same as the relationship with Krishna in Vrindaban. The relationship with the Spiritual Master must always be continued with the greatest respect and veneration, without forgetting His exalted position; like father and son.
Regarding your question about my Guru Maharaja, I never told anyone that He was one of the eight saktis. I do not know how you got this news. According to Vaisnava principles, nobody should think or imagine somebody as Krishna, Radharani, or Their associates. Everyone should aspire to follow the footprints of such associates. If somebody thinks that somebody is Radha or Krishna that is not sanctioned by the Vaisnava philosophy. So far as I know, my Guru Maharaja's position was one of the assistants of the manjaris. For the present, it is better not to discuss on these confidential things of a higher level, but you are always welcome to put your genuine questions for an answer. Otherwise, how will you know things as they are?
In regard to your next question, self realization means God realization, and God realization means self realization. Just like to see the sun means to see oneself, and to see oneself means to see the sun. Self realization depends completely upon God realization, or else it is not complete. One must know his relationship to the Absolute Truth to fully know his position. The mayavadi school simply discerns spirit from matter, but that is not Ultimate Knowledge. One should know the different manifestations of the spirit also. The highest manifestation of the spirit soul is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna.
Actually, there is nothing wrong with you because you have already come to the platform of Krishna Consciousness. Only by the influence of your past habits is it taking perhaps more time for you to adjust things. I hope that by the Grace of Krishna you will stick rigidly to chanting your 16 rounds or more daily. This will solve all of your questions. Try to engage yourself in the service of Krishna and everything will be revealed to you without fail.
Regarding serving your godbrothers, this is a very good practice. The Spiritual Master is never without His followers, so to serve the Spiritual Master also means to be the servant of His disciples. When you want to serve the king, you must also serve his minister, secretary, and everyone who serves him. And to serve his servants may please him more than to serve the king personally. So the Spiritual Master is not alone. He is always with His entourage. We are not impersonalists. We take care of every part of the whole, as much as one should take care of his hat as well as his shoes. Both are equally important for the upkeep of the body. I hope that you will understand this rightly.
It is important that we preach the message of Krishna Consciousness exactly as we have heard it from our Spiritual Master. The same philosophy and spirit must be there exactly. Just like we preach in this country exactly as we have heard from our Spiritual Master, but there are changes due to the time, circumstances, and the trainees. The spirit of the disciplic succession may not be changed, but there may be adjustments made to suit the special circumstances.
Regarding your last question about the importance of chanting; this chanting process is the only way of attaining full Krishna Consciousness in this age of kali yuga. Lord Caitanya stressed upon this point, and we may take it from His authority that no other method will prove to be successful in this matter.
In your letter you have asked many questions, and I will try to answer them for you herewith. Firstly, the Gayatri Mantra is not to be said loudly. Gayat means to sing, but singing can be done loudly or very softly. The Gayatri Mantra should be sung in a low whispering voice. Regarding the Brahman Pucha stages, this matter is described in the 13rd chapter of Bhagavad-gita As It Is. So far as the 10 sense organs, they are eyes, ears, nose, mouth, touch, these are the five sense organs for acquiring knowledge. The five moving organs are the legs, hands, tongue, genital, and rectum. Five objects of the senses are beauty, taste, smell, sound, and touch. The five gross elements are earth, water, fire, air, and ether. The four subtle elements are mind, ego, intelligence, and consciousness. Above these is the soul, and above the soul is the Supersoul.
In tending the deities, you may wash Balarama first, before washing Krishna. Krishna is always non-different from the deity of Krishna. Regarding your request for the Brihat-Sama mantra, this may be given, but a much better proposal is that you concentrate upon improving the quality of your chanting of Hare Krishna Mantra. This is more important consideration for the present time.
Regarding the wife of the Spiritual Master being considered as mother, this applies when the Spiritual Master is not sannyasa and he has a wife.
I hope that the above will clear up all of your questions.
Regarding your question about the husband becoming the Spiritual Master of the wife, anyone who can give instructing in spiritual life is treated as Spiritual Master. There are two kinds of Spiritual Master, initiator and instructor. So the husband can help the wife as instructor.
Regarding your questions about the examinations to be given, the girls will also be able to take these. In Krishna Consciousness there is no distinction between girls and boys. The girls also may become preachers if they are able.
Regarding your question about why we dress the Deities in very opulent fashion and not as simple cowherds boy and girl, this is an intelligent question and the answer is that according to the regulative principles we cannot worship Radha-Krishna now. Radha-Krishna worship is meant for persons who have already developed spontaneous love of God. In the training period we are only worshiping Laksmi-Narayana. We worship Radha-Krishna because Laksmi-Narayana is there also, but actually we do not worship Radha-Krishna with our present Deity ceremonies; we are worshiping Laksmi-Narayana. Narayana is there when Krishna is there, but actually we do not worship Radha-Krishna in Their Original Form. This is why we should worship Radha-Krishna in Their Laksmi-Narayana feature with all respect and reverence. If we deviate from this standard then we shall be prakrta sahajiya, or a person who takes things very cheap. We worship Laksmi-Narayana, and because Radha-Krishna includes Laksmi-Narayana, there is no necessity of installing a Laksmi-Narayana Deity. It is just like a king who is engaged in administering justice. Actually that business belongs to the justice department. But what is that justice department? It is all part of the kings energy, and the king also has the power to execute this function.
Regarding the blood and puss from the sky during the battle between Varaha and Hiranyaksa, you should know that if Krishna desires blood, puss, fire, or whatever He desires may fall down from the sky.
Regarding your questions, the so-called love which goes on in the material world is simply a perverted form of dasya rasa. Everything in this world is a perverted form of rasa. Just like Yasoda is loving Krishna as her Son. So this is vatsalya rasa, parental love. When Krishna is separate from Yasoda, she cried for whole life and thus became blind. In this world there is not a single instance where a mother has suffered so much in separation from her son. Therefore, it is perverted reflection of the real love.
Regarding your second question, the other names of Krishna which you have mentioned, such as Gopala and Govinda are as powerful as the name Krishna.
You have asked some questions, and I will answer them herewith. The first question is, "When making arati offerings, is it proper to meditate on the different parts of the Lord's Body?" The answer is that there is no need to meditate in that way. The Lord is actually there with you, and you are seeing all of His parts of the Body, so there is no need to meditate in that way. In regard to the other questions, food should be offered before arati. In the morning, after arati, you can offer some food and then perform kirtana.
Regarding your question about the disciplic succession coming down from Arjuna, it is just like I have got my disciples, so in the future these many disciples may have many branches of disciplic succession. So in one line of disciples we may not see another name coming from a different line. But this does not mean that person whose name does not appear was not in the disciplic succession. Narada was the Spiritual Master of Vyasadeva, and Arjuna was Vyasadeva's disciple, not as initiated disciple but there was some blood relation between them. So there is connection in this way, and it is not possible to list all such relationships in the short description given in Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Another point is that disciplic succession does not mean one has to be directly a disciple of a particular person. The conclusions which we have tried to explain in our Bhagavad-gita As It Is is the same as those conclusions of Arjuna. Arjuna accepted Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and we also accept the same truth under the disciplic succession of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Things equal to the same thing are equal to one another. This is an axiomatic truth. So there is no difference of opinion of understanding Krishna between ourselves and Arjuna. Another example is that a tree has many branches, and you will find one leaf here and another leaf there. But if you take this leaf and the other leaf and you press them both, you will see that the taste is the same. The taste is the conclusion, and from the taste you can understand that both leaves are from the same tree.
Regarding your question about Vasudeva, the father of Krishna, you should understand that he is not simply a symbol. The statement made in Srimad-Bhagavatam in this connection is meant for understanding, but unless one is in Vasudeva's position, it is not possible to understand Vasudeva or Krishna. Vasudeva's position means to be situated in pure goodness. In the material world, the three modes of nature which are named ignorance, passion and goodness, are always found mixed up together. In other words, these modes are never found pure, but if there is one mode present, there is sure to be at least a tinge of another mode there also. For this reason, we may sometimes see a third class man showing the quality of goodness, and we may see a first class man showing hints of ignorance. The modes are never found in a pure state in the material world. But in the Vasudeva stage of pure goodness there is no contamination from any material influence of passion or ignorance. Vasudeva is never to be understood as being a symbol. You should clearly understand this.
Regarding your question about the Brahma Samhita, there is no contradiction with the Bhagavad-gita. If "direction" is not specifically mentioned in Bhagavad-gita it does not mean that Brahma Samhita is not authorized. Regarding the singing meter used by Narada Muni, anyone can utter it. You have asked about the specialness of the month of Karatieya, and the answer is that is is a special inducement for persons who are not in Krishna Consciousness to perform some devotional service. For persons who are doing nothing in Krishna Consciousness, it is an indirect inducement to take to devotional service in earnest seriousness, every moment is Karatieya. In this connection, there is a good example that sometimes a store gives special concession to attract new customers. But for those who are already customers there is no need of a special sale. They will purchase at any cost if they know the import and value of the goods. Similarly, those who are pure devotees do not aspire for any concession, and out of spontaneous love try to engage themselves in devotional service 24 hours each day, 365 days every year, without any stoppage.
So far as reading scriptures out loud, this depends upon the circumstances. If you can understanding by reading silently, there is no need to read out loud, because this may make others feel disturbed. The mantra you have asked about which is mentioned in Brahma Samhita means the pastimes, Form and Qualities of the Lord with His Associates. Our mantras are never impersonal. When we meditate upon Hare Krishna we remember the Pastimes, Form, Qualities, etc., of Lord Krishna.
Regarding your question about the individual soul becoming all-pervasive, the idea is completely nonsensical rascaldom. Such theory is simply a bluff. Artificially, by means of practical psychology, one can understand very little of another's thinking and feeling. But this is in no way all-pervasive. If any yogi says like that, especially the modern so-called yogis, it is simply falsehood. In however perfect stage of yoga one may be, he may understand something of another's mental condition, but this is never all-pervasive. This all-pervasive consciousness is possible only in the Supersoul.
Bhakti Devi is the expansion of Srimati Radharani.
Regarding your question about the Goswamis, all of them are eternal associates of Lord Caitanya. I do not know where you have read differently. Sri Rupamanjari is one of the eight Gopis, but which one you will learn later on. Study the Bhagavad-gita more carefully. There will be an examination and everyone will have to appear to take this examination next January, 1969.
Regarding your question, maya comes from Krishna. Everything comes from Krishna, but when something is found in Krishna it is just as good as anything can be. Just like Krishna has the stealing propensity. As such He is called the Butter Thief, and he is worshiped as the Butter Thief. He is worshiped by His devotees all over the world with love and affection, while the same propensities in us would result in our being handed over to the police. That is the difference between Krishna and ourselves. He being Absolute, everything in Him is also Absolute. In the relative prospective it is very difficult to understand what is the Absolute. From the material point of view, one cannot understand that one plus one equals one, and one minus one equals one. It requires a little time to understand this axiomatic truth. But in time such truths will become revealed to you without any mental speculation.
Regarding your questions about Dai Nippon, United Shipping, etc. these have already been replied to in my letter to you of February 5, 1969, and I hope you have received this letter by now.
Regarding your question about Subhadra and Durga, they are not at all the same. Durga's other name is Bhadra, not Subhadra, and Durga's activities are within the material world. Subhadra does not work as Durga. Subhadra is internal energy, and Durga is external energy. As energy, they have a relationship as much as we are energies of Krishna, but the energies are working in different capacities. Although originally the energy is one, by their expansion, the accents of the energies are different, and as we are not impersonalists, this variegatedness of actions are essential for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as much as the government is one but there are multi-departments for management of the government. The education department and the criminal department are all departments of the government. The government is connected with all parts and departments, but the education activities are different from the criminal activities. This is the philosophy of inconceivably simultaneously one and different manifestations of the Absolute Truth.
Regarding your question about closing the temple for a few hours during the day, the best thing is if this can be avoided, but since you are all working in the afternoon then what else can be done? Close 12 to 5 p.m.
You have asked me the meaning of the word "non-manifest" as it appears in the Bhagavad-gita, and the answer is that it means "impersonal," or that which is not personal. Just like the sun has its personal and impersonal feature. The sun can be located as the sun disc, yet it also has its impersonal, all-pervading aspect, or the sunshine. So the sun is manifest, and the sunshine is non-manifest. Manifest means where there is variety and non-manifest means where there is only one. When you go to a planet within the sunshine there are many varieties found, but in the sunshine itself there is simply one—the sunlight.
Regarding your question about time, time is eternal, but in the spiritual world, there is no influence of time. In the material world there is the influence of past, present and future, and this past, present and future is a relative truth. This is because the past of one man is not the past of another; past, present and future are relative to the person, and there are different grades of persons. For example, Brahma's day is calculated as thousands of our years. In one day of Brahma there are millions of our pasts, presents, and futures. So this is all relativity, whereas in the spiritual world, there is no such relativity. Therefore, time has no such influence in the spiritual world. I hope this will clear up your questions.
Regarding your questions about various names of God, we have nothing to do with Jehova, Allah, Jesus, etc. If somebody else wants to chant in this way it is all right, but nobody is chanting Jesus etc. If they like, let them do that but as far as we are concerned, we should be satisfied with the Hare Krishna Mantra and nothing more. We have registered our association particularly under the name of Krishna. God has millions of names undoubtedly, but we are especially concerned with the name of Krishna because we are in the disciplic succession of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu Who chanted this Holy Name, Krishna. Everyone should be particular to his particular disciplic succession or sampradaya's regulative principles. This is required, as much as there are many different political parties, although every one is meant to serve the country.
So far as you not completing your chanting, I think this should not be a regular practice. If by chance you miss to finish in one day, that is a different thing. But as far as possible we must try to complete the prescribed number of beads. You should try to chant at least 2 or 3 hours every day. We have got 24 hours at our disposal, so for chanting we can find 2 or 3 hours without any difficulty. Simply we have to adjust things in the right way.
Regarding utilizing intelligence in devotional service, intelligence should be confirmed by the Spiritual Master. Therefore we accept the Spiritual Master for guidance. You should not depend on your own intelligence. Just like a child requires a parent to tell him the correct thing to do, similarly, a strict disciple should always use his intelligence in conformity with the instructions of the Spiritual Master.
Regarding your dealings with impersonalists, any one who teaches of the impersonal nature should be avoided. If we hear them, it will hamper our progress. That will be the result—no progress. Therefore, rigidly we will try to avoid the impersonal teachings. Generally, it only produces bad effects.
As for your question about the ecstasy of chanting and working for Krishna, the ecstasy which is automatically manifest is very welcome, but we should not try to come to the ecstatic status by any artificial practice. You should give more stress on the importance of chanting. Working for Krishna is not different from chanting, but such work would be done under the direction of the Spiritual Master.
Regarding your question about the 10 senses, such questions should be taken up at your Istagosthi meetings. I have already answered most of the questions you have asked in this connection in a previous letter, so you may refer to it.
About the shell which you are presently keeping in the temple, because it is not a conchshell, it should be considered as impure, and therefore it may not be placed upon the altar. Regarding the meter sung by Narada Muni, it is not necessary for us to practice this.
For your final question, you are correct in your idea that leaflets which are destined to be thrown upon the ground should not contain pictures of Krishna, Jagannatha, etc. Such leaflets may only be hung up for people to see.
In answer to your questions concerning sex life: sex life restriction does not mean that husband and wife live separately. The idea of marriage is to increase spiritual consciousness as far as possible. And by advancement of Krishna Consciousness that restriction becomes automatically practical. Sex life for begetting Krishna Conscious children is as good as Krishna Consciousness. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita so one has to use his own discretion in this matter and Krishna will help such discriminatory method. It is not that in every state you have to concern me but you have to concern Krishna Who is situated within. On the whole, sex life, like that of ordinary materialistic men, is not recommended for a Krishna Conscious person. My Guru Maharaja although he was Brahmacari, sometimes he used to say that if I could beget Krishna Conscious children I am prepared to indulge in sex life a hundred times. The summary is sex life should be utilized only for begetting Krishna Conscious children—that's all.
Regarding your new engagement in Wheeling, it is a very nice offer and you must accept it. The yoga center class may be conducted by Pradyumna and assisted by someone else. What is the position of the Yoga society class now? Are the students purchasing our Back to Godhead magazines and the Bhagavad-gita?
Regarding the ailments with your finger, I am describing here a treatment for it. Take turmeric powder and add the same quantity of limestone. Then mix with water and boil it to a paste. Then apply that paste while it is hot. I understand that Hayagriva had some backache so for him you take one part of a crushed to a powder red-pepper and add to it five parts of rubbing alcohol. Keep this for twenty four hours, then strain and add one part camphor. When it is mixed, just apply it on the painful part of the back three times daily.
Regarding your next two questions, you may not put the initiation beads on the cow. Nor is it necessary for grhasthas to recite the Gayatri Mantra aloud. It should be silent or whispered. I think that the symbol which you have seen by the left arm of Lord Jagannatha must be either a flower or a disc.
The translation of the Om Ajnana prayer is "I offer my respectful obeisances unto my Spiritual Master who has opened my eyes from the darkness of ignorance with the torchlight of knowledge."
Regarding your joining the Sankirtana Party, please wait for the time being and I shall call you at the right time. I have this in my mind. When I go to London and by Krishna's Grace we fix up for going around the world, or even if not that, if the London devotees need to strengthen their Sankirtana Party with more attractions, then your services will be required there. But in the meantime you must keep in mind to train somebody there so that in your absence he can take charge.
So far as the bowing down in Deity worship, before opening the door you should bow down. Then turn on the light and bow down again. There is no restriction on bowing down. As many times as you can is all right. Of course, your clothes and under garments should always be as clean as possible. Guests and devotees need not be wearing woolen robes to be dancing around the deities.
Regarding your question about guests being present at arati, you should have as many guests there as is possible for you to get to come.
So far as Dai Nippon's quotation at $2,100 for 20,000 copies with a sixty day period before delivery, please send me the original letter if you have received anything. But I had understood that Brahmananda was negotiating to lessen the amount to $1,500. From your letter I see you did not understand that I meant the typesetting and layout work to be done by Dai Nippon within the quotation. But now I understand that they are going to charge more for this work. If we have to pay them more for the typesetting and layout, then there is no question of stopping our own men from doing this work. So it was clearly misunderstanding.
Now our policy should be as follows: 1. the layout should be done by us, 2. there should be no advertisements, 3. under different headings we shall publish articles from Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Brahma Samhita, Nectar of Devotion, Vedanta Philosophy, Upanisads, etc. as well as comic pictures when possible. Besides that, if some of our students write as they have assimilated the philosophy, that also should be welcome. You say that Rohini Kumar is an artist, so he can do comic work. There are other girls there such as Indira who can also do this. So we shall fill up the pages simply with Vedic ideas. Now the policy should be straight that this Back to Godhead is completely different from all other magazines. As there are different magazines for different subject matters, this magazine will be simply devoted for Vaisnava philosophy, or Krishna Consciousness movement. That should be our policy. So immediately you can arrange for two months layout. How are you going to select the articles? I would like to know. We should lay out the subject matter as nicely as possible to our intelligence and capacity, and without any ambition that it must attract customers. They may attract or not attract, it doesn't matter. We are selling Back To Godhead through the personal approach, through the Sankirtana Party, so I expect each center to sell 50 copies daily on the average as we have practical experience here. In this way, if four centers sell on an average 200 copies daily, then we come to the point of selling 6,000 copies directly which will cover the expense of printing and other charges. The balance 14,000 copies can be sold by the temples simply on profit. If they are not sold, then we distribute free to different societies, libraries, public institutions, respectable gentlemen, schools, etc. In this way we shall make propaganda. The idea is like that of a Bible society in India which distributes millions of dollars in the shape of biblical literature without any consideration of return. Similarly, we have to sacrifice each $750 on this principle. If there is return, that is alright, but still we have to do it on a missionary spirit. That is my idea. So try to think on this program and do the needful.
I have received the booklet known as Paramahamsa Sarasvati Goswami issued by the Gaudiya Mission of London. I can understand that this brochure was written by my godbrother, Professor Sannyal, but the essay is not very practical. It contains some ideal discussions only, and I know that this Professor Sannyal is personally deviated from all of these ideas. So I don't think it is very much valuable for publishing in Back To Godhead.
So I hope the above has answered all of your questions.
For the Krishna book we will require paintings, so we will not need any etching and woodcut. So you can send me some samples of your paintings and then I'll give you some suggestions. But anyway, you continue to improve your very good artistic talents and it will soon come to the perfectional stage. Regarding your question about artist materials, you may use any materials which will be useful in producing nice paintings.
Regarding your questions, as Brahma realized that he was the maidservant of Krishna, similarly, everyone of us has to realize that Krishna is the only single purusa. purusa synonymously means male, but actually, in the spiritual dictionary, male means "enjoyer" and female means "enjoyed." So in this sense, Krishna is the only male and all others being energies of Krishna, they are prakrti, or female. Please do not try to understand this male and female in the material sense. In other words, our perfection of life will be actually realizing that we are all females. In the material world we have got simply different dresses. Here in the material world, everyone is in the temperament of male, even the so-called females are also in the temperament. This is very prominent in the Western part of the world, and you know it very well how the females here think on the level of equality with males. This aptitude is material.
Regarding your other questions, yes, the desire tree can also supply dresses for Lord Jagannatha. Certainly my Spiritual Master watches me.
So far as your question about the disciplic succession, in all Vedic literatures it is mentioned about the disciplic succession. You have read in Srimad-Bhagavatam, first canto, first chapter where it is said that Brahma was inspired from within the heart by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Similarly, in the Katha Upanisad it is said that "in order to learn the transcendental science, one has to approach the Spiritual Master." This spiritual master means one who has heard correctly from his Spiritual Master. In this way, ultimately it goes to Krishna, the Supreme Spiritual Master. There is no possibility of understanding the Vedic knowledge without this descending process. The modern world is puffed up with personal research knowledge, but the person who is engaging in this research work does not know that he is imperfect on account of his aptitude for becoming illusioned, for committing mistakes, for his cheating propensity and for his possessing imperfect senses. Therefore there is no possibility of receiving perfect knowledge without approaching a self-realized Spiritual Master coming down in disciplic succession. The mental speculator, no matter how advanced he may be, cannot deliver us the right knowledge.
Regarding your question: I do not remember if Rayarama ever chanted very loudly in my room, neither he ever lived in my room, nor I had ever asked him not to chant loudly. I do not know how these news are spread. There is no such requirement that Japa should be silently and chanting should be be done differently. Loudly or silently, everything is all right. There is no such restriction. Only thing is that we should chant very attentively, hearing the vibration very distinctly.
Regarding your questions: The spark soul has certainly form which means hands, feet, etc. This we learn from Bhagavad-gita. The body is described there as Vasamsi, which means dress. So unless one has got originally hands and legs, how the dress, coat and pants and shirt, takes such form? Therefore the spirit soul has original form. When he is in the material energy the dress is evolved materially and when he is in the spiritual energy, the dress is evolved spiritually. This is also not very difficult to understand, as our students before coming to my contact, he was supposed to be materially dressed, attached to sense gratification, and after devoting himself in Krishna Consciousness, he is gradually developing a spiritual dress. That means attached to satisfying the senses of the Supreme.
Your second question, how the impersonalists mistake the difference between the soul and the Supersoul—The mistake is due to their obstinacy. The impersonalists masquerade as Vedantists, but actually they are defying Vedanta. In the Vedanta it is clearly said, the Original Source of all being; in the Upanisads it is clearly said that the Supreme is the Supreme being of all living beings. So all the Vedas affirm it vehemently that the Supersoul and the soul are two different identities, although qualitatively one. But the impersonalists they accept Vedas as authority, but they go against the verdict of the Vedas. Lord Caitanya has depicted this impersonalist class of men as more dangerous than the Buddhists. The Buddhists plainly declare that they do not accept the authority of the Vedas, but the impersonalists masquerade themselves as followers of Vedas, but actually they are hidden Buddhists. The idea is, if a person is actually fast asleep, it is easier to awake him but if a person pretends to be sleeping but actually is awake, then it is very difficult to wake him up. So from all Sastric point of view, the living entity and the Supreme Lord, or the Supreme Living Entity are always simultaneously different and one. One in quality, and different in quantity. this simple thing is understandable by any common man, but these impersonalists, they will simply invent jugglery of words to mislead innocent people. Therefore Lord Caitanya has warned not to associate with these impersonalist mayavadis because they will spoil one's life by diverting one from devotional service. It is very difficult to bring to reason the obstinate impersonalists. For example, Prahlada Maharaja, such a great authority, could not convert his father to devotional service, who preferred death, and still did not agree to accept that God is different from him. So better to avoid the impersonalists as far as possible.
Regarding your third question—"Why are there apparent time-gaps in the line of disciplic succession as listed in the Bhagavad-gita? Is Arjuna an instructor Spiritual Master and not an initiator Spiritual Master and therefore not listed?" The time gap mentioned by you is inevitable, because the disciplic succession sometimes becomes disconnected, as we find from the Bhagavad-gita. This is the influence of material energy, and to link it up again, it takes some time. That some time may appear to our calculation a big gap, but in relation with the eternal time, it is not even as instant. So this big gap or small gap of time is relative. Just like our 24 hours and Brahma's 24 hours, there is much difference. Our 24 hours is not even a fraction of his second.
Your fourth question, about the "life force" mentioned in Chap. 4 of the Bhagavad-gita; I do not find that page. Please send me the page number in your next letter and I will explain.
Your fifth question, "Is this understanding of verse 18, chap. 4, (BG 4.18), correct; that the sage sees material activities as zero (inaction in action) and sees the devotee seated chanting as eternally active (action in inaction)?" Yes, action in inaction—action means to do something of which the result is enjoyed by the doer; that is action. But when things are done for Krishna, the result is enjoyed by Krishna. When we put ourselves in the position of enjoying good or bad reaction, then we suffer or enjoy. But action in Krishna Consciousness has nothing to do with such material suffering or enjoying. Therefore action in Krishna Consciousness is inaction, whereas a person doing nothing materially may appear to be inaction to others, but actually he is doing something for Krishna. In other words, the materialist thinks of the devotees as inactive. Similarly, the devotees think of the karmis as inactive—simply spoiling time, building sandcastles.
Your sixth, "Is it that the Supersoul controls every movement in this world through the agency of Maya and the inferior energy according to the desires of the dreamer-jiva?" Yes.
Your seventh question, "How is it that there is so much material "advancement" in the USA even though there is no formal demigod worship? Is a man after economic development automatically worshiping Lord Siva whether he is making Yajna or not?" Actually there is no material advancement in the USA. Material advancement means there is amply opportunity for eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. Superficially, it appears that in the USA there is sufficient provision of eating, sleeping, mating and defending, but actually nobody is safe even in his good apartment. I have got practical experience in New York. Several times my typewriter and tape recorders were stolen and the police could not take any action. There are many persons in the Bowery street, they have no shelter to live. So if a certain fraction of the people are supposed to be very materially happy at the cost of others, that is not material advancement. Had it been so, then why there are so many persons confused and frustrated? So actually there is no material advancement here. Here, I am seeing practically that Gaurasundara, such a nice intelligent and qualified boy, he has to work hard 12 hours simply for his subsistence. I think there are many instances like that, so this is not material advancement. You can call it capitalist advancement, and the reaction for such advancement is communism. Such movement is simply suppressed in your country, but actually the reaction is this. So the Western type of civilization, industrialism and capitalism, is no material advancement. It is material exploitation. When one gets the bare necessities of life, namely peaceful home, sumptuous eating, necessary sex life, and feeling of security, then it is called material advancement. In the absence of such four preliminary necessities of life, it is not at all material advancement—just try to understand. According to Vedic civilization, a man is supposed to be rich when he has got sufficient grains and cows. Here we have neither sufficient grains or cows, but you have got sufficient quantity of papers only—falsely thinking that it is money. When there is some catastrophe, this bunch of papers will neither supply milk or grain. They will be seen only and the man will starve.
Your eighth, "How can I explain how the light and heat from the single sun in this universe is able to reach so far? Is it a question of the receptivity of different planets?" We can see one sun only. So it is simply speculation whether there is one or more suns. But we get from authority of Sastra that there is one sun, in each universe, and the stars and moon reflects the light of this sun. There is one sun in the daytime, and it illuminates so nicely that all darkness is gone. But at night, you may argue, if these stars are so many suns, then why the darkness is still there??
Your ninth, "You once said that in case of a strong rush of sex desire to think of the Gopis, the Dearmost to Lord Krishna. Is there another help in case of anger or harshness?" Yes, think of Krishna, how He was angry on Hiranyakasipu and nobody could pacify Him, even Brahma with beautiful hymns. In anger also we can think of Krishna.
Regarding your question about Lord Siva and Thakura Haridasa, and their different response to sex agitation: This does not mean that Lord Siva has become degraded from the devotional platform. A devotee even if he is sometimes found that he is attracted by sex life, that does not mean he is degraded. That is by chance. Because Lord Siva is Grhastha, so by his past habits if he appeared to have been attracted by sex life, that does not mean he has been degraded from his position. You should never think of any devotee like that. There are many other stories also, but such apparent falling is without any influence to very very advanced devotees. A neophyte should always be careful. One should not discuss about such great devotees' apparent fall-down. Just like one should not discuss about the sun who evaporates urine from the earth; it is possible for the sun to do it, and still remain the sun, but for ordinary man if he lives in a filthy place he will be infected. So Lord Siva or Lord Brahma, they are highly elevated devotees, and we should not try to criticize about their behavior even though it appears against the rules. These things are very nicely explained in Srimad-Bhagavatam in course of discussion between Maharaja Pariksit and Sukadeva Goswami, in the 10th canto.
Your next question: In regard to Kardama Muni, how can a pure devotee become passionate for any amount of agitation? That is not passion. One should not be impotent also. One should have full potency, to beget children, but such sex life should be under his full control. Passion is a different thing. Passion makes one blind. And a devotee is full controller; that is the difference. The example is given of the tortoise; as soon as he likes he discloses his senses, and when he likes he pulls them within. That is the position of a pure devotee. He can wind up the senses, whenever he likes and he can exhibit the senses whenever he likes. On the whole, the senses are under his control. He is not under the control of the senses as are the ordinary persons. That is the meaning of Goswami. A Goswami does not mean he is to become impotent; and can have no children; but he can use it when he likes. They are never the victim of passion.
Sense gratification means unlawful sex life. Sex life is not sense gratification . . . unlawful sex life is sense gratification. If there is no need of sex life and one uses sex life anyway, that is sense gratification. But when there is need of sex life, that is not sense gratification. Never think that the devotee is impotent and is obliged to become free from sex life. If required they can take to sex life 1000 times. Otherwise, if there is no need for it, they have no use for it. Kardama Muni married a wife. Why he shall not give her children? The wife begged that she must have some children. So he must satisfy the wife and give her some children, that is the duty of husband. But he left his wife as soon as the son was grown up. Not that he used to live with the wife for all the days.
So far Lord Brahma and his attraction for his daughter; this illustration should be taken by conditioned souls, that even a person like Brahma is sometimes victimized, how much careful we should be. Not that even Brahma was enticed, so we shall become enticed more and more. This is an example set for us by great devotees.
To become agitated is not very unusual thing, but to control it, that is the real thing.
You have inquired about my books, and the facts are that before I came here from India, I published three volumes of Srimad-Bhagavatam, each of about 400 pages. Since I have come here, many manuscripts are prepared for printing, and I have published Bhagavad-gita As It Is, published by MacMillan and Teachings of Lord Caitanya, published by International Society for Krishna Consciousness. We are selling our books nicely here, and if you can organize a means of selling our magazine and books in India, it will be a great help to our activities. One of my disciples, Acyutananda Brahmacari is already there in India, and if you think seriously to help me in this movement, he will also join you. The difficulty is that the books and magazines are costly in the estimation of the Indian exchange. The standard exchange is 7.5 Rs per dollar, so you consider and let me know if you can help us.
Regarding your questions, generally tulsi beads are required for initiation, but if it is not available, ordinary beads can be used. Sometimes the shopkeepers give ordinary beads and say it is tulsi, so it is very difficult to get tulsi beads without personal attendance.
So far as your getting a Kartamasi Murti, you may take information from Govinda Dasi in Hawaii. Radha-Krishna Murtis may be purchased from Vrindaban. The cost is about $200.00, but they are very nice, 24 inches high. I shall speak with Nara Narayana to inform him that he should also go there to help you with constructing the items you have mentioned.
Regarding your questions about Deity worship, please refer these to Himavati in Montreal or else Harsarani in Los Angeles. Yes, on the certificates you may correct it as Srimatee.
Regarding your question about the relationship between the living entities and Krishna, the answer is that qualitatively we are one with Krishna: There is no qualitative difference, although the living entity has a different function than Krishna. Prakrti means nature. Just like fire; its nature is heat, and the heat is not a different quality although the function is different. In one sense, fire and heat are nondifferent. Therefore, Lord Caitanya's philosophy of inconceivably simultaneously one and different is the perfect philosophy of our relationship with the Absolute Truth. Everything is manifestation of the prakrti of the Lord, exactly like the heat and light of the fire. Heat and light are not different from the fire, but at the same time, heat and light are not the fire. In this way we have to understand the purusa and prakrti. The Lord is the purusa, or Enjoyer, and prakrti is the enjoyed.
Regarding your question about our relationship with Srimati Radharani, She is the internal energy, we are marginal energy. Marginal means sometimes internal, sometimes external. When we are under the internal energy, that is our normal life, and when we are under the external energy, that is our abnormal life. Therefore, we are called marginal energy; we can be either this way or that way. But being qualitatively one with the purusa, our tendency is to remain in the internal energy. Being in the external energy is our artificial attempt.
You have inquired about how we leave our body and enter into the Spiritual Sky. This information is very nicely explained in the Second Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, First Chapter. The idea is that this universe is just like a coconut fruit, and exactly like the coconut fruit there is covering of several layers. Each layer is said to be ten times more than the other. So when a living entity is eligible and fully prepared to enter into the Spiritual Sky, he merges his different bodily elements which are called earth, fire, water, air, and ether. In those covering layers these bodily elements return, and the living entity goes back to the Spiritual Sky. Pure devotees do not desire to enter into any one of the higher planetary systems of this universe. Sometimes mystic yogis are interested to see the higher planetary systems, and before entering into the Spiritual Sky, they take advantage of seeing the higher planetary systems. But a pure devotee is so much eager to enter back into the Spiritual Sky, especially devotees of Krishna, so they do not try even to enter into the Vaikuntha Lokas. Everything depends on the intense desire of the living entity, and Krishna gives all facilities for fulfilling such desires. So far as we are concerned, we should always be very much eager to directly contact Krishna, following the Footprints of Lord Caitanya. And as you are Vrndavanesvari, you should always pray to Srimati Radharani to engage yourself in Her Service. That will be the fulfillment of your life.
Regarding your questions, the swami order is certainly introduced by Sankaracarya, because almost all sannyasis of impersonal philosophy take this name, Swami. But the Swami title offered to me is equivalent to Goswami. Swami and Goswami are actually the same, synonomous. Swami means the master, and master means the master of the senses. Goswami directly explains master of senses. Go means senses. So this name, Goswami, is not the Sankaracarya's order.
So far as your second question, Thakura Bhaktivinode was not official Spiritual Master of Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja. Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja was already renounced order, Paramahamsa, but Thakura Bhaktivinode, while He was even playing the part of a householder, was treated by Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji Maharaja as Preceptor, on account of His highly elevated spiritual understanding, and thus He was always treating Him as His Spiritual Master. The Spiritual Master is divided into two parts; namely, siksa guru and diksa guru. So officially Bhaktivinode Thakura was like siksa guru of Gaura Kisora das Babaji Maharaja.
Regarding your questions about my books, we are presently selling six volumes; namely Srimad-Bhagavatam (three volumes), Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Teachings of Lord Caitanya, and Easy Journey To Other Planets.
Regarding your question about the difference between mind and soul, the mind is one of the senses, and the soul is the owner of the senses, including the mind. The mind is material, just like the material body, but when the material coverings are taken away, as we revive our spiritual body, similarly we revive our spiritual mind also. At the present moment, my material mind, intelligence and ego is carrying me in different types of bodies, because mind has different desires, and it carries the soul just like finer air carries the flavor of the flower or some other smell. So the mind is an instrument, and the soul is the worker of the instrument.
Regarding your question about keeping daily income and expenditure records, I am enclosing a brief lesson in how to do this. I hope this will meet you in good health.
- Your ever well-wisher,
- A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
There are two things in accounting; one thing is I am receiving some amount, and the other thing is I am paying some amount. The paying or receiving will come under certain account. Whatever I receive is put under debtor column. Debtor means receiver, and the particular begins with the word "to." Whatever I am paying is entered into the creditor column. Creditor means payer. In this way, after the whole day's transactions, you make a total of the debtor column and creditor column, and if there is any balance, it is adjusted by the words "balance carried forward." This balance is entered in the creditor column. So we have to see that the amount in the debtor column and the amount in the creditor column is equal. This is called a correct account. Next day you begin with "To Balance B.F." That means whatever balance you had the day before you put in the debtor column with particulars To Balance B.F.. Then begin your transactions as in the previous day. This is the system of keeping an account in general. For the time being, keep your account in that way, and later on, as you inquire, I will let you know more about how to keep books.
Regarding your question about maintaining your body nicely, I think that if you follow our regulations of diet, sufficient sleeping, and keep to the prescribed rules of cleanliness, two baths per day,* then you will be able to keep yourself in proper health. Of course disease will always be there at some time while there is this material body, but this we must tolerate and not be very much agitated by. Actually, the Vaisnava who knows that he is not this body, he does not therefore neglect his body, but he takes very nice care so that he may utilize his body in the service of Krishna. Just like a man may know that he is not his car, so he does not therefore neglect his car, but he will take care of it so it will be able to render service to him. So we must take sufficient care to provide our bodies with its demands, but when disease or other necessary inconveniences arrive, we do not become disturbed because such troubles are simply temporary manifestations.
Regarding your questions about Sankirtana Party, I think you should try to always have Sankirtana going on. All other things are subsidiary. This chanting is our life and soul, so we must arrange our program now so that there will be as much chanting on the streets and at college engagements as possible.
Regarding Birbhadra, when I go to New Vrindaban soon I shall see if the situation is all right for him to go there. For the present, he need not go out, and you should simply teach him history, geography and mathematics. His history lessons will take care of his reading and spelling instruction.
So far as your question about how to think of Radha-Krishna, your present process of visualizing the Deities is nice.
Regarding your question of Paramatma: you are fortunate enough for your sincere service, Krishna as Paramatma Who is sitting within your heart is now dictating. Krishna is so kind that He wants to help us as Spiritual Master in two ways. He helps us from within as Caitya Guru and He expands Himself externally as Siksa Guru (as instructor) and diksa Guru (initiator). So the principle is that whatever you are instructed by the Caitya Guru internally may be confirmed by the instructor or initiator externally. Then your progress will be complete.
Regarding your question about the other mantras you have been given, I think you should simply chant Hare Krishna regularly and follow the regulative principles. You must complete sixteen rounds at least. Follow the restrictive principles and avoid the ten kinds of offenses. Then everything will be clear gradually.
Regarding your question about kirtana, practically we are not concerned with the instruments. They are used sometimes to make it sweeter, but if we divert our attention for using the instruments more, that is not good. Generally kirtana is performed with mrdanga and karatalas, but if somebody is expert instrument player, he can be admitted to join Sankirtana. We can accept everything for Krishna's service, but not taking the risk of diverting attention to any other thing which will hinder our Krishna Consciousness. That should be our motto, or principle.
Regarding your question about your sleep, you should sleep after noon prasadam, and when you are tired. You may take whatever foodstuffs you can digest easily. I do not think coconut will be easy for you to digest, but green vegetables you can take.
So far as your missing Satsvarupa, it is natural to be attached to husband. But Satsvarupa is engaged in Krishna's service, and you are also engaged in Krishna's service. So both of you should feel happiness in Krishna's service always. When you get well, you can immediately join your husband.
I have received your last three letters, and in the last one, dated 24th May, 1969, you have inquired about the Jagannatha Car. The crimson color with silver decorations is quite all right. There is no strict regulation about decorating the cars. We can decorate the cars very fascinatingly with gold, silver, and other shiny metallic embroidery work as far as possible. The idea is the more we decorate Krishna, Who is nondifferent from His car also, the more we become decorated indirectly. We are compared as the shadow of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and as it is stated in the Bible also, man is made after God. We understand from the scriptures that Krishna has His Vigraha, or Spiritual Body, exactly like a man who has two hands, two legs and all similar features. If you decorate your face, you do not see directly how your face has become beautiful, but when you see the reflection of your face in the mirror, then indirectly you can see the beauty. Therefore, by serving Krishna directly the result of the service indirectly comes to us. Just like we offer very nice prasadam directly to Krishna, but indirectly we enjoy the nice taste of the prasadam. So we should always remember this, that Krishna is always full in Himself; He does not want a pinch of our help for his satisfaction, but if we try to satisfy Him in so many ways as directed by acaryas and scriptures, indirectly we become benefited by such activities. So try to nicely observe this Rathayatra Festival in London, and Syamasundara. has already informed me about the scheme that three cars will be drawn to some park on the Thames, etc. So some way or other, if you can introduce this Car Festival in London, by all means London center will be successful. I doesn't matter if you can or cannot establish a temple there, but if you can introduce the Rathayatra Festival, surely it will be a great success. So try to execute this will as far as possible.
Regarding the first question in your letter about how do we know of the spiritual abodes since once going there no one returns, you should know that the great liberated souls and incarnations who appear from time to time in this material world are not actually coming back, because they are never subject to material contamination or the laws of material nature. For the purpose of delivering the fallen living entities they come here temporarily and then go back when their business is finished, and this is all under the direct order of the Lord. So the appearance of the Lord or the great liberated souls in the material is different from the appearance of the contaminated living entity who is forced to take birth in the material world due to his desire to lord it over the world.
In your second question you asked if we will remember the earth, when in Vrindaban, and the answer is certainly. When Narada Muni was talking to Vyasadeva, as you may have read in first volume of our Srimad-Bhagavatam, he was in a spiritual body, but he remembered his previous life and explained it to Vyasadeva. In material life there is forgetfulness, but in spiritual life there is no forgetfulness. I hope this will sufficiently answer these questions for you.
I hope that by this time you have secured the typewriter and things are going on with the German translations. You have inquired if you should learn the German language, and my answer is yes, you should learn it by all means.
The answer to your Istagosthi questions are as follows: Unless one is a resident of Krishna Loka, one cannot be a Spiritual Master. That is the first proposition. A layman cannot be a Spiritual Master, and if he becomes so then he will simply create disturbance. And who is a liberated person? One who knows Krishna. It is stated in BG, fourth chapter, anyone who knows Krishna in truth is immediately liberated, and after quitting the present body, he immediately goes to Krishna. That means he becomes a resident of Krishna Loka. As soon as one is liberated he is immediately a resident of Krishna Loka, and anyone who knows the truth of Krishna can become Spiritual Master. That is the version of Lord Caitanya. So to summarize the whole thing, it is to be understood that a bona fide Spiritual Master is a resident of Krishna Loka.
Your next question, whether the Spiritual Master was formerly a conditioned soul, actually a bona fide Spiritual Master is never a conditioned soul. There are three kinds of liberated persons. They are called 1) sadhan siddha, 2) kripa siddha, and 3) nitya siddha. Sadhan siddha means one who has attained perfection by executing the regulative principles of devotional service. Kripa siddha means one who has attained perfection by the special mercy of Krishna and the Spiritual Master, and nitya siddha means one who was never contaminated. The symptoms of nitya siddha is that from the beginning of his life he is attached to Krishna, and he is never tired of rendering service to Krishna. So we have to know what is what by these symptoms. But when one is actually on the siddha platform there is no such distinction as to who is sadhan, kripa, or nitya siddha. When one is siddha, there is no distinction what is what. Just like when the river water glides down to the Atlantic Ocean nobody can distinguish which portion was the Hudson River or some other river. Neither is there any necessity to make any such distinction. Actually, every living entity is eternally uncontaminated, although he may be in the material touch. This is the version of the Vedas. Asanga ayam purusha—the living entity is uncontaminated. Just like when there is a drop of oil in water you can immediately distinguish the oil from the water, and the water never mixes with the oil. Similarly, a living entity, although in material contact, is always distinct from the matter.
You are correct when you say that when the Spiritual Master speaks it should be taken that Krishna is speaking. That is a fact. A Spiritual Master must be liberated. It does not matter if he has come from Krishna Loka or he is liberated from here. But he must be liberated. The science of how one is liberated is explained above, but when one is liberated, there is no need of distinction whether he has come directly from Krishna Loka or from the material world. But in the broader sense everyone comes from Krishna Loka. When one forgets Krishna he is conditioned, when one remembers Krishna he is liberated. I hope this will clear up these points.
Regarding the consignment coming from India through the Bank of America, I am enclosing herewith one letter and a check for $100. I hope this will solve your question.
Regarding your questions, it is all right to make up the plates for the feast as you have suggested so the guests will not have so long a wait after the offering. The the first plate made up, Krishna's plate, should be kept in a high place, a separate place, and covered. Then it is all right. Regarding Visala's idea of selling his car, that is all right, and the money may be utilized for Rathayatra Festival. But when I go I must have my car, so you will have to purchase. Regarding Jivananda and Harsarani, whatever you think is best for them is all right. And I approve of the suggestion you have made for them. Similarly, Mahapurusa may go to Vancouver. That is nice. As you see fit, you can manage such things without consulting me first. Now the West Coast management is practically on you. I am sure that Krishna will help you in this regards.
Regarding your first question, what is the difference in full between the Spiritual Master, Krishna, and the devotee? The answer is that Krishna is the source of all energies of the spiritual and material creations, the devotee is the part and parcel servant of Krishna, and the Spiritual Master is the transparent via media for leading the conditioned souls back to home, back to Godhead. All living entities are the servants of Krishna, but the living entities who have fallen into this conditioned life are forgetful of their eternal relationship with the Lord. The role of the bona fide Spiritual Master is to lead the conditioned souls out of forgetfulness and back into pure consciousness of serving the Lord in transcendental loving service. In material consciousness one is identifying himself with his particular body, and he is forgetting that he is spirit soul, servant of Krishna. Then by the association and instructions of the purified servants of Krishna, the living entity gradually comes to remember that I am not part of this miserable material world, but I too am the eternal servant of Krishna, and my only business is to give pleasure to the Lord in pure Krishna Consciousness. In this way, such devotee becomes himself eligible to lead other back to the path of devotional service and thus he too may become a Spiritual Master. This process is called parampara, or the line of disciplic succession.
Your next question is if Visala Das will be your name eternally. As I have told you in San Francisco, Visala means Krishna, the Greatest, and Das means the servant of. So eternally you are the servant of visal, or Krishna, and thus you are always Visala Das. Krishna has so many different names because He is unlimited in all respects, and you are Krishna's eternal servant. What your name will be eternally is not a very important subject at the present moment, but it is sufficient for you to know that you are always the servant of Visala, Krishna.
Your final question is how can you become a pure devotee, and the answer to this is given in Bhagavad-gita. Krishna instructs Arjuna that the mahatma, the pure devotee, is he who has fully surrendered himself unto the spiritual nature. And how can we tell if one is completely surrendered unto the spiritual nature? He is always fully engaged in devotional service to Krishna. So this is the process of becoming a pure devotee. We have to engage all of our words, thoughts, and activities in Krishna Consciousness under the direction of the Spiritual Master. Therefore, at every moment you should be busy in some way in serving Krishna and His pure devotees, and automatically you will become purified in Krishna Consciousness. Krishna is always willing to shower His mercy upon His devotees, so we have simply to become receptive to this mercy by devotional service, and then the path is very easy. I hope this will sufficiently answer your questions.
Regarding your question about offering Prasadam, whatever is offered to the Deity actually it goes through the Spiritual Master. The Spiritual Master offers to Lord Caitanya, and Lord Caitanya offers it to Krishna. Then Radha Krishna eats, or Jagannatha eats, then Caitanya Mahaprabhu eats, then the Spiritual Master eats, and it becomes Mahaprasadam. So when you offer something, you think like that and chant the Gayatri mantra, and then everything is complete. At last, ring the bell, take out the plate and wipe the place where the plate was kept.
Regarding your second question about greeting karmis, if a karmi is a friend, you just greet him Hare Krishna, and with folded hands touch your forehead. If the karmi is a superior relative, then chant Hare Krishna and bow down down to him on the ground. That should be the etiquette in our society transactions. Whenever you have questions, you ask your husband or ask me. You should always be very sound in knowledge about Krishna Consciousness. But as you are very much attached to chanting, there will be no difficulty for you.
Regarding your last question about the ecstatic symptoms of chanting Hare Krishna, you should know that the Hare Krishna Mantra has an equal effect upon all devotees. Just like the sunshine has an equal effect on everyone, but when it is covered, the sunshine has a different effect. Similarly, the influence of the Hare Krishna Mantra becomes manifest when one is no longer covered by the ten offenses to chanting. The more we become free from the ten offenses, the more the effect of chanting becomes manifested through us. Everyone can become a great devotee, being freed from the offenses 100%, simply by one's determination and effort.
You have inquired why Caitanya Mahaprabhu has not mentioned anything about accepting a Spiritual Master in His Siksastaka. But perhaps you have missed the point that He says amanina manadena kirtaniya sada hari. This means one has to chant the Holy Names of Krishna, becoming humbler than the straw, and more tolerant than the tree. So who can become humbler than the straw unless he accepts a Spiritual Master? The whole world is puffed up. Everyone wants to become the Lord of everything. Ultimately, the Mayavadi philosopher wants to become one with the Supreme Lord. This means that when one fails to become Lord of everything, he wants to mix up with the Supreme Lord and tries in that way to automatically become Lord of everything. What he can't perform by his own capacity he wants to have done by being merged into the Supreme Lord. That is the mentality of the general people. But if anyone becomes humbler than the grass and more tolerant than the tree, it is understood that he has accepted a Spiritual Master. Besides that, if we accept Sikshastak as authority given by Lord Caitanya, this means we accept Lord Caitanya as Spiritual Master. In the Bhagavad-gita it is openly mentioned that Arjuna accepted Krishna as the Spiritual Master. There is another mention in the Sikshastak, Lord Caitanya says "I do not want any wealth of this world, I do not want any following, neither do I want a beautiful wife. Simply I want to become a servant of the Lord." To become the servant of the Lord means to accept a Spiritual Master. Without accepting somebody as master, how can one become an expert servant? It is not that in every literature you will find the words that everyone has to accept a Spiritual Master, but we have to study things scrutinizingly. In the Caitanya Caritamrta there is mention guru krsna krpaya paya bhakti lata bija (CC Madhya 19.151). By the mercy of the Spiritual Master and Krishna one can get the seeds of bhakti lata, the plant of devotional service.
Regarding your question about marriage, the thing is that as I am a sannyasi, I am not concerned with family life, but because I want to see my disciples very happy in Krishna Consciousness, therefore, those who are feeling some sexual disturbance are requested by me to get themselves married. Another principle is that those who are brahmacaris, they should sacrifice all of their income and collection for the Krishna Consciousness Movement, whereas those who are married should work, earning money as much as possible, and at least 50% should be spent for the Krishna Consciousness Movement. So we have no objection for allowing you to get married, but it is up to you to consider if you will work hard and earn money both for Krishna and for your family. You cannot get married, and at the same time do not earn money. Of course, by preaching Sankirtana Movement, if you are satisfied with a small income, that is also nice. I think that your God-brother, Rupanuga is an ideal householder, and you should try to follow him.
Regarding your questions, "Is Subhadra, Lord Krishna's Sister, the same Durga or Maya?", the answer is that originally Krishna's energy is one: that is spiritual energy. But according to different functions, the Maya is represented differently. In the material world the energy is called Bhadra, and in the spiritual world the same Maya is called Subhadra. The only distinction is su and without su. Su means auspicious. So in the spiritual world, the same Maya works auspiciously, and in the material world the same Maya works inauspiciously. This auspiciousness and inauspiciousness is our own choice. The same example that jail life is inauspicious, and free life is auspicious, but it depends on the choice whether we prefer free life or jail life. The energy of the government works in the same way both in the jail department and the freedom department. It is the choice of the person who is relatively concerned with either jail or freedom.
Regarding frozen vegetables, they are not bad, but if they are twice boiled, then they should not be used. I do not know exactly, but I do not think it is twice boiled. Anyway, if it is, it should not be used.
Regarding your questions about sex life, the basic principle is that in executing Krishna Consciousness sex life should be avoided as far as possible, and it may be utilized only for begetting Krishna Consciousness children. This is the basic principle that should be followed as far as possible by all married individuals. During the period of pregnancy sex life should be strictly avoided. The basic idea of raising children as they are described in the Vedic literature is that from birth till the age of five years the parents may be very lenient with the child. From the ages six to ten they should tighten the discipline of their child, and from the ages of ten till the sixteenth year the parents should be as strict as a tiger with their child so that he will be afraid to be disobedient at all. Then after the sixteenth year the parents shall treat their child as a friend, and the child is allowed to gradually develop his adult responsibility and independence.
Regarding your other questions, yes, you may wear any clothing that you find comfortable; no, it is not very good to use yeast in preparing prasadam. It is better to prepare bread in the process as you have seen done in the temple. I hope this will answer all of your important questions.
Regarding your question about offering camphor in aratrik, I do not know why you should be having trouble with smoke and soot by this offering. If you use smaller pieces of camphor this may alleviate the problem, or perhaps you are not using the right kind of camphor. Here we are using camphor for aratrik twice daily and there is no such problem. Of course, if it is too inconvenient, there does not have to be a camphor offering, but I do not know why this should be so.
In Bhagavad-gita Krishna instructs us that for one to be born in the family of devotees means that such person was the most pious of all living entities. So raise Nandini very carefully in Krishna Consciousness, and surely Krishna will bestow all blessings upon you and your family. Regarding your question about the ceremony of offering Srimad-Bhagavatam and some coins to your child, yes, this may be done. Several months ago this same ceremony was performed with Visnu Arti, the daughter of Krishna Devi and Dinesh Candra, and Visnu Arti chose the Bhagavatam.
When you have questions you should consult with Brahmananda or the other devotees, and if you like you may ask your questions to me.
Regarding your question, "what is the difference between the spirit souls comprising the Brahmajyoti and the spirit souls here in Maya?", in the Brahmajyoti the spirit souls on account of their impersonal views are devoid of a body, exactly like here in Maya there are ghosts who are devoid of any gross bodies. The ghost being devoid of a body, he suffers terribly because he is unable to satisfy his senses. The spirit souls in the Brahmajyoti, although they have no desire for sense gratification, still they feel inconvenience like the ghost, and they fall down again in the Maya's atmosphere and develop a material body. In the Bhagavat therefore it is said that persons who are impersonalists and do not develop the dormant devotional attitude, their intelligence is not pure, because for want of a spiritual body, they come down again to the material world. In the Bhagavad-gita it is clearly said by the Lord that the only way of not coming back to the material world is to be promoted to the spiritual planets. For the impersonalists there is no such assurance of not falling down in the whole Vedic literature. The conclusion is that without developing the spiritual body and without being situated on one of the spiritual planets, the so-called liberation is also illusion, or it is not complete. A spirit soul who falls down from the Brahmajyoti to the Kingdom of Maya may have a chance of associating with a pure devotee, and then he may be elevated to the spiritual planets of Vaikuntha or to Goloka Vrindaban. From the Brahmajyoti there is no direct promotion to the spiritual planets, and it is clearly stated in the Bhagavatam that such souls fall down: patanty adha.
Regarding your question about Krishna's Name, the first principle is that Krishna is Absolute. He is not only identical with His Name, but with His Qualities, Form, Pastimes, Paraphernalia, etc. Krishna is identical with the whole creation because the creation means the expansion of Krishna's energy. The energy is never different from the source of the energy as much as heat and light are never different from the fire. The quality of fire is there existing both in heat and light. Naturally Krishna is not different from anything, and what to speak of His Transcendental Name? This is explained in the Bhagavad-gita where Krishna says that "everything is resting on Me, but I am not everything." This simultaneously one and different philosophy should be carefully understood. Then our Krishna Consciousness will be more clear.
Regarding Lord Jagannatha, He is the unfinished carved form of Krishna. One king named Indradyumna wanted to establish a Jagannatha temple some thousands of years ago, but while the Deities were being carved by the heavenly carpenter, Visva Karma, the king was in too much haste, and he established the half-finished Deities in the temple. Jagannatha means the Lord of the universe. That is Krishna. Krishna as the only one Lord of everything is confirmed in the Brahma Samhita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita, Caitanya Caritamrta, and all Vedic literature. Rathayatra is celebrating the occasion when Lord Krishna, or Lord Jagannatha attended one religious functional occasion in Kuruksetra along with His elder brother and younger sister in a big chariot.
So far as your question about controversy amongst the disciples of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja, that is a fact. But this controversy is not material. Just like in a national program, different political parties are sometimes in conflict and make propaganda against each other, but their central point is always service to the country. Similarly, amongst the disciples of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati there may be some controversy, but the central point is how to preach the mission of His Divine Grace. If the central point is fixed up then there is no harm in such controversy. Every individual being must have his opinion; that is the significance of individuality, but all such differences of opinions must coincide in Krishna. In the battlefield of Kuruksetra were Arjuna and Bhisma who were fighting with one another, and because Krishna was on the side of Arjuna, sometimes Bhisma pierced the body of Krishna also with arrows. But still they remained the greatest devotees of the Lord, and Krishna accepted the friendship of Arjuna just as He accepted the inimical arrows of Bhisma in the same loving spirit. So you do not be disturbed by such controversial points. Better you engage your mind very seriously in the matter of the service entrusted upon you. That will make you progressive in Krishna Consciousness.
Regarding the manuscripts of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, when you are ready for translating I will arrange to send you the copy immediately.
Regarding your question about Bhava Shakti developing into Prema, this is covered in our book, Nectar of Devotion, and there is no necessity for you to trouble yourself over such advanced topics at the present time.
Regarding your question about why we do not eat meat and yet we eat plant life, the answer is that we do everything as Krishna recommends. Everything we eat is first offered to Lord Krishna, and because Krishna does not eat meat, therefore we also do not eat meat. The fruits, grains, and vegetables which we offer to the Lord are not caused any suffering by our offering them to Krishna. Rather they are greatly benefited because to be offered for the pleasure of the Lord will grant for the living entity within the plant body certain liberation in the near future. Everything that we do in Krishna Consciousness is ultimately beneficial to all living creatures because we are working under the recommendations of the Lord Himself who is the well-wisher of all His part and parcel children. I hope this will sufficiently clear up this matter for you.
Your question about not chanting while attending class is also welcome. I don't mind if you do not chant Hare Krishna Mantra, but if you kindly sit down while chanting is going on, and if you simply hear with attention, that will also act. Wanting to become Krishna Conscious is also as good as being in a state of Krishna Consciousness. There is no actual difference, but the difference is only just like the difference between green mangos and fully ripened mangos. The ripened mango is not a separate mango, but it is another condition of the green mango. So if the green mango is properly taken care of, it will surely come to the stage of the ripened mango. Therefore, as a mango, there is no difference between the two stages.
So far as your dress is concerned, that is immaterial. But as a soldier you know that every soldier has got a uniform dress according to the army etiquette of regulation. Therefore, the army of Krishna Consciousness must have at least the tilak on the forehead in all conditions. For your business you can wear your naval service uniform; similarly, if you have tilak on your forehead as a soldier of Krishna Consciousness, you may not have so much objection, because it is essential. Your ideas are great, and your efficiency is laudable. The best thing would have been if you could come here and live with me at least for a week. We could have discussed it very nicely, so in the future you can become a great commander of the Krishna Consciousness soldiers.
In further reference to your question about the form of the spirit soul of the conditioned living entity, there is a spiritual form always, but it develops fully only when the living entity goes back to Vaikuntha. This form develops according to the desire of the living entity. Until this perfectional stage is reached, the form is lying dormant like the form of the tree is lying dormant in the seed. Regarding the higher school of theology, according to the Vedic system it is not at all difficult. The students are taught by the Spiritual Master, or the teacher, and the students themselves go from door to door for begging alms, and because everyone's son is in the asrama, nobody declines to give alms. So there is no financial difficulty at all; but I do not know what to do in your country. There are so many laws. We have to adjust things to the circumstances. I think as soon as our institution becomes formal, as Tamala Krishna is doing through the lawyer, it will be easier to start a theological school.
Regarding Krishna Devi's proposal, that is too immature now. We have to see the boy's tendencies first. This will be judged when he is at least 16 years old. Before that, up to the 15th year, he should be given all sorts of education and training as brahmacari. We can't impose anything from so early age, because when he is grown up he may not like the idea. So all this contemplation is premature. For the present your duty is to make him healthy and strong, physically and spiritually. Of course, if our Krishna Conscious children are to marry, the marriage must be performed within our group.
Regarding your questions about details for Deity worship, I have already mentioned in a previous letter that I shall teach you these things when I arrive in London. In the meantime there is no necessity for you to increase Deity worshiping. For the time being these new Deities may be put away nicely until I personally install Them and instruct you very nicely how to tend for Them correctly. For the present you may join Sankirtana Party because I know that your presence will enliven everyone. Actually, temple worship is for the neophyte devotee, and the preacher is in a higher position than the neophyte. That is the definition given in Srimad-Bhagavatam. The advanced devotee should be very much enthusiastic in preaching the transcendental message of Lord Caitanya, and temple worship should be entrusted to the newcomers, or neophytes.
Regarding the collapsing of the wheels during Ratha Yatra Ceremony, that doesn't matter. If possible, you may organize another procession on Janmastami Day. Regarding the footprint on Krishna's chest which you say is Radharani's, that is not correct. That footprint is of Bhrgu Muni.
I am pleased to learn of the nice service you are rendering in London, and all of your godbrothers and sisters who have written to me from there have praised your nice endeavors. I have already told Yamuna to put the Deities away for the time being, so this will solve your question. When I arrive in London we shall consult together how to best spread Sankirtana Movement throughout England.
Regarding the questions you have asked, it is better to refer such questions to our householder women. If your ailment is persisting, you may consult a physician what you should to.
Regarding your question about rasa with the Spiritual Master, I do not know who is the someone who has said this, but it is a most unauthorized statement. Better you should stick to hearing from authorized persons, like your Spiritual Master or experienced Godbrothers. But never try to hear someone who is not in our line. It is simply a waste of time to hear and then again have to rectify the mistake.
Regarding your question about my never returning to Spiritual Sky, that is possible simultaneously. So far as the quotation from Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura you have cited, that is quite all right. In this age, chanting of Hare Krishna Mantra is the prime business of the devotee, and preaching of this Hare Krishna Mantra by outdoor Sankirtana and propagation of literature is our more important business. Side by side, Deity worship is recommended, but when there is a question of accepting one of them, we shall prefer to accept chanting of Hare Krishna Mantra first.
Regarding your question, "What does Rama mean in Hare Rama? Is this Balarama or Lord Ramacandra?", you can take it both ways, because there is no difference between Ramacandra and Balarama. Generally it means Krishna, because Rama means enjoyer. So either Ramacandra, Balarama or Krishna are all Visnu Tattvas and are always enjoying. The sakti tattva, or jiva tattva is always enjoyed. Our position is always predominated. If we remain in that position and properly use our small independence, then we remain happily eternally. But artificially, if we want to be independent and imitate the Supreme Enjoyer, then it is delusion. Material life means trying to imitate the Enjoyer, and spiritual life means to remain in one's eternal position as enjoyed. This Hare Krishna Mantra is addressed to the energy of the Lord and the Lord Himself to keep the chanter in his eternal position of being enjoyed. The prayer is "My Lord, Oh the Spiritual Energy of the Lord, kindly keep me engaged in Your service."
Regarding your other question, Krishna in His four-handed Visnu Form is within our hearts, but He is not different from two-handed Krishna.
Regarding your question about Yasoda and Devaki, this is all explained in detail in our Krishna book. Devaki is the actual mother of Lord Krishna, but because Devaki's brother, King Kamsa, wanted to kill Krishna because of the omen that he had heard that Krishna would one day kill him, Vasudeva, Krishna's actual father, brought Baby Krishna to Vrindaban to the care of Yasoda and Nanda Maharaja, who acted as Krishna's foster parents.
Regarding your question, this is also described in Chapter 9, when Krishna says that whatever you sacrifice, whatever you eat, whatever you give in charity—give it all to Me. Such action is also called Sannyasa yoga. Sannyasa means to sacrifice everything for the Supreme, and if we link up our activities in such way as is enunciated by the Lord, then all the diversities become unified in Krishna Consciousness. Krishna Consciousness is itself Brahma platform, so all our students who are engaged in the service of God, they are not on the material platform. They are already liberated
Regarding your question, we must utilize our intelligence fully for serving Krishna. Serving Krishna does not mean that we sit idly and say that Krishna will take care of all our business. That is not depending on the Lord; rather it is laziness. Depending on Krishna means to act always in Krishna Consciousness, realizing that Krishna is the Ultimate Controller of all results. I hope you understand this properly.
Regarding your question about the verse in the prayers to the Spiritual Master, the Spiritual Master is one of the associates of Krishna. The prayers offered by Visvanatha Cakravarti to his Spiritual Master have a special significance. His Spiritual Master was one of the assistant gopis, so the prayer was offered like that. On the whole, the Spiritual Master is an agent of Krishna. But either He is assistant to the gopis or assistant to the cowherds boys, He is on the level of Krishna. That is the verdict of all scriptures. Krishna is worshipable God and the Spiritual Master is worshipper God. The exact words are sebya (worshipable) and sebak (worshipper).
Your explanation of Annamoya is all right. Pranamoya means there are different types of airs, and the spirit soul is floating on the air, just like all the planets are floating in the air. This Pranamoya air is transferred by breathing exercises, but we have nothing to do with such exercises. Our prana, or life, is surrendered to Krishna. That is the first class yoga system approved by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita. This Pranamoya, Annamoya, etc. are different stages for persons who are too much engrossed in the bodily concept of life. Our philosophy begins from the point where we immediately accept that I am not this body; I am pure spirit soul, servant of God, Krishna. Therefore, these studies are meant for neophyte transcendentalists. But this devotional service is far above such platform.
Regarding your last question, generally those who are attracted very much to Lord Caitanya and Goswamis are understood to develop to the conjugal love stage with Lord Krishna. So I am very much pleased, and I congratulate you.
Regarding your question about faith in devotees, faith must be there. But we should always take instruction from devotees who are considered to be elevated. A preacher's position is like this: He should have firm faith and love for Krishna. He should make friendship with devotees. He should be very much charitable and kind to the neophytes and he should avoid the company of nondevotees. This program suggests, of course, that a devotee who is not in the neophyte stage can discriminate what is Krishna, what is devotee, what is neophyte and what is nondevotee. Unless one is able to discriminate, he is to be considered to be in the neophyte stage. In the neophyte stage the position is that the neophyte devotee worships the Deity in the temple with great awe and reverence, but he cannot discriminate who is devotee, who is nondevotee and who is neophyte. I think you must be in the second stage and should try to discriminate as above. Any devotee wanting to see you should be welcomed, but your treatment should be according to his position.
Regarding your two questions from Bhagavad-gita, in both instances the reference is made to the Supersoul, or Krishna.
Regarding you first question, we observe Ekadasi from sunrise to sunrise. The 12 midnight is western astronomical calculation, but the Vedic astronomical calculation begins either from the sunrise or the moonrise. Generally it is sunrise. Our calculation is like this: when the sunrise is there, Ekadasi tithi (date) must be there. If Ekadasi tithi is not in the sunrise and the tithi begins, say after a few minutes after the sunrise, then we accept that day as previous to Ekadasi. All our ceremonies are calculated in that way. This means we must see the tithi during sunrise. Therefore, sometimes our dates of ceremonies do not exactly coincide like the western calculations. Just like Christmas Day they have fixed up on the 25th December, but our Janmastami tithi is not fixed up like that. My birthday is on the 1st September, 1896, but this year the tithi of my birthday was fixed for the 4th September. So it is very difficult to calculate, therefore we have to take help from the Indian expert almanac astronomers.
Regarding Srimad-Bhagavatam, yes you may begin reading it at kirtana lectures. On someday you should read Bhagavad gita As It Is also, however. There will be an examination on Srimad-Bhagavatam, the entire First Canto, on Lord Caitanya's Appearance Day in February, 1970. Regarding responsive chanting, that is the preferred method, but if you think it will be better to chant nonresponsively at certain times, there is no harm. If you think that people will chant more if you do it non-responsively, then do it that way. It is the chanting that is required. But if it is done responsively, it will sound symmetrical and will appeal to the people.
Regarding your final question, once something is offered to the Deity, it may not be offered again.
Regarding our books, the scholarly way should be followed. That means as Dr. Radhakrishnan and Bon Maharaja do it, and as Dr. Singh recommends. In all our books and magazines henceforward the whole process should be changed. Whatever is done in the past forget. Now everything should be revised and presented in the scholarly way. That means throughout Krishna should be spelled Krsna, Visnu should be spelled Visnu and Caitanya should be spelled Caitanya, etc. I think this will clear the whole thing and there will be no more Maya impediment. I am sorry the NOD manuscript has not yet reached. This is another ill luck that the Post Office has not delivered. So whatever you have got finish it. If the manuscript does not reach, then we will will have to rewrite it again. If there is such need, I shall send you the duplicate. If it does reach, however, please inform me immediately. Your idea that our books should be read by scholars is quite appropriate. Without following the diacritic marks according to scholars they will think it inefficient. Yes, we want that businessmen, economists, religionists, students, etc. will all be carrying Bhagavatam and Gita. Yes, do every word of our books meticulously and perfectly accurately transcribed so the most erudite and deep thinking men of the world can enter into the intricacies of meaning in each verse. Your idea is nice. Please help all our literatures in that way and Krishna will bless you. Never mind what has been done in the past. You follow these principles steadily, chant Hare Krishna, and everything will be all right. There is no question of being frustrated.
Regarding Nectar of Devotion, although it has been little procrastinated, things should be done slow but sure.
Your questions certainly are not stupid. They are very intelligent questions and I am just pleased to discuss all these matters threadbare. I quite approve of your way of thinking. So do the work and Krishna will help you.
Regarding the questions you have asked about the Radha-Krishna throne, I am enclosing herewith a diagram by Shyamsunder which should help you. If you have further questions about constructing the throne, you may consult with the Los Angeles temple. They will be able to give you the information. Try to make the set-up in your temple like the photograph I have sent you of the Los Angeles temple. If there is difficulty keeping the Vyas Asana as it is in the picture, then keep it where it is, and use the entire back wall for Lord Jagannath and Radha-Krishna , as per design in the picture.
Regarding your question about Govinda Ganamrta, Govinda is Krishna, and ganamrta means the nectar of songs. That means anything sung about the activities of Govinda is nectar. You have mentioned that Srila Rupa Goswami has introduced this. Srila Rupa Goswami, assisted by all other Goswamis have left immense literature for singing about the glories of Govinda. Whatever literature we are presenting, following the footsteps of Rupa Goswami and the others, they are also Govinda Ganamrta. So the more Govinda Ganamrta or the glories of Govinda will be spread the more the nonsense of impersonalism and monism will be defeated. It is said kaivalya nistaraka. This means the Goswamis deliver us from the danger of being lost in the philosophy of monism. As I wrote in my prayers to my Spiritual Master, "impersonal calamity Thou hast moved". So this impersonalism is a calamity for the spiritualist.
Regarding your question about Mantra 12 of Isopanisad, the verse as it is, is correct. The Absolute means Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan. When the Absolute is realized hazily it is Brahman. When the Absolute is realized more clearly it is Paramatma. And when the Absolute is realized distinctly it is Bhagavan. So Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan are different phases of the Absolute Truth. But the Bhagavan aspect of the Absolute Truth is distinct from everything. Those who worship the Brahman and Paramatma aspect of the Absolute Truth are in a dangerous position because they have every chance of again falling down into the lowest regions. This is because they are not fully purified, and the least trace of contaminated desire can cause havoc to one's progress. Just like one lit cigarette can cause a whole house to burn down, so incomplete knowledge of the whole Absolute Truth may not be able to save one from going to the darkest regions of ignorance.
Regarding your question about BTG containing more than one essay by me in certain issues, you may use your own judgement in this connection.
Regarding your final question, you are correct that Garbhodakasayi Visnu and Karanodakasayi Visnu are not divisions of Paramatma. So you may change the words "divided into" into "is one of". I am so pleased to learn that already the press is ready to begin printing some Krsna Consciousness booklet, and please keep me informed on your progress.
Regarding your question, in one sense both you and Mahapurusa are right. The fact is that after the dissolution of the Universe the living entities remain in slumber within Maha Visnu, and again when the creation takes place they are impregnated in their original position and they come out in different species of life. By gradual evolutionary process, when they come to the human form there is good chance of getting out of the repeated birth and death, and one can enter into the Spiritual Realm. But if one loses this chance he is again put into the cycle of birth and death. The conditioned souls are always within the Maha Visnu Form, whereas the liberated souls in Vaikuntha, they are engaged in the service of the Lord. Constitutionally every living entity, even if he is in the Vaikuntha Loka, has chance of falling down. Therefore the living entity is called marginal energy. But when the falldown has taken place for the conditioned soul is very difficult to ascertain. Therefore two classes are designated: eternally liberated and eternally conditioned. But for arguments sake, a living entity being marginal energy, he can't be eternally conditioned. The Time is so unlimited that the conditioned souls appear to be eternally so, but from the philosophical view he cannot be eternally conditioned. Since we cannot trace out when we have become conditioned, there is no use of arguing on this point. Better to take care first how we can get rid of this conditional existence; as much as a patient should take care for treating his disease more, and less waste his time in finding out the cause of his disease.
Regarding the disciplic succession coming from Arjuna, disciplic succession does not always mean that one has to be initiated officially. Disciplic succession means to accept the disciplic conclusion. Arjuna was a disciple of Krishna and Brahma was also a disciple of Krishna. Thus there is no disagreement between the conclusions of Brahma and Arjuna. Vyasadeva is in the disciplic succession of Brahma. The teachings to Arjuna was recorded by Vyasadeva verbatim. So according to the axiomatic truth, things equal to one another are equal to each other. We are not exactly directly from Vyasadeva, but our Gurudeva is a representative of Vyasadeva. Because Vyasadeva and Arjuna are of equal status, being students of Krishna, therefore we are in the disciplic succession of Arjuna. Things equal to the same thing are equal to one another.
Regarding your second question about Sanjaya, he was a student of Vyasadeva, and by the mercy of Vyasadeva he was able to receive the message of the conversation of Krishna-Arjuna. Thus Sanjaya was able to speak to Dhrtarastra about the conversation on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra.
Regarding your final question, the marginal potency means internal potency. But because the marginal potency sometimes comes within the external position, therefore, in spite of its being internal potency it is turned to marginal potency. This is stated in Visnu Purana: Any potency of Krishna is spiritual energy, but due to varieties of actions a section is called marginal potency or external potency.
Regarding your first question, the proof of Krishna Consciousness is that the Bhagavad-gita it is oldest transcendental literature about God-consciousness in the history of the world. It is estimated from authoritative sources of Vedic literature that Bhagavad-gita is eternal truth and was first revealed within our knowledge at least 120 millions of years ago. So what other literature can be compared with Bhagavad-gita throughout the whole world or universe? The second proof is that Krishna is accepted as the Supreme Personality, not only in the modern age, namely within two thousand years, by great acaryas like Sankaracarya, Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Lord Caitanya, etc., but before this in all Vedic literatures given by Vyasadeva, Krishna is accepted as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So whatever is spoken by the Supreme Lord Himself is certainly the most authoritative. So far as we are concerned, we do not make any alterations in the statements of Krishna. Therefore we are also authority. Just like 2 plus 2 equals four is mathematical truth. Anyone who accepts this axiomatic truth and works on this principle is also authority. To become authority is simply to follow the authority. If someone makes 2 plus 2 equal to 3 or 5, he is a rascal. That means he does not follow the authority and thus he fails to become himself an authority.
Regarding crying, when someone cries during kirtana, this crying is crying of the soul. But if anyone tries to imitate such crying to get some adoration, that is a bodily function.
Regarding you final question, Krishna is the Cause of all causes. That is a fact. But we being subordinate to Krishna, sometimes we create our cause under Krishna's sanction only. Just like a child may persist in trying to do something, but unless the mother allows he cannot do it. Another example is that a criminal is put into jail by the trying judge; this is caused by the judgement of the court, but it is actually caused also by the criminal person.
Regarding your question about Lord Jesus Christ, we accept him as saktyavesa avatara. Lord Buddha is in the same category also. Lord Buddha is mentioned specifically in Srimad-Bhagavatam as incarnation of Godhead, and yet Vaisnavas do not accept his philosophy, which is classified as atheism. Similarly, even if we accept Lord Jesus Christ as saktyavesa avatara., it doesn't mean that we have to accept his philosophy. But we have all respects for him without fail. Regarding books like Aquarian Gospel or even the Testiments, we cannot accept them as authorities because sometimes it is learnt that the words are not actually spoken by Christ, but they are so set up by the devotees. For example, in the Ten Commandments it is clearly stated "Thou shalt not kill", but some Bishop in Boston has changed it to "Thou shalt do no murder". This means the Bishop wants to keep hold for animal slaughter. So don't bother about all these literatures. We have all respect for these great preachers, but we do not require to study books save and accept for some reference. We must push on our philosophy how to love God. Our process is simple. We have got volumes of books also, so it is better for us to mind our own business than to divert our attention in the studies of other books. This was definitely forbidden by Lord Caitanya.
After all, Krishna Consciousness philosophy is as old as 120 million years at the least. So nothing can be compared with our philosophy either in the matter of antiquity, philosophy, ethics, science, morality, etc., all in correct vision and approved by great stalwart acaryas. So far others are concerned, they cannot be compared even. For example, if Lord Jesus Christ said "Thou shalt not kill", or "Thou shalt do no murder" to the people, it does not reflect very good social structure of the audience. Our philosophy is above all these things. Just like we prescribe to our students no illicit sex-life, no meat-eating, no intoxication, no gambling, but they are not ends in themselves. The real end is how to serve Krishna and sacrifice everything for Him. And to learn this transcendental art we have got so many volumes of books. So the summary is that instead of diverting our attention to read such unauthorized books, better pay our attention to more authorized Vaisnava literature. These scriptures of the Buddhists and the Christians may be the words of God, but still the are not always applicable to us. It is just like a king may give some rules and regulations for some criminals in prison; but for the good citizens out of the prison these rules are not necessarily applicable. So these Christian and Buddhist scriptures were delivered for a different class of men, and we needn't spend our time in studying their doctrines. You should read our own books over and over again and as far as possible do not try to enter into controversy. We do not concern ourselves with any other religion. Our religion is to become the servant of the servant of the servant of Krishna (CC Madhya 13.80).
Regarding your questions, yes, a woman can certainly reach the perfectional stage of devotion to Krishna. And the gopis of Vrndavana are the best example of this. They are simple cowherds girls, and Lord Caitanya has praised their worship of Lord Krishna as the highest form of worship. Krishna Consciousness is transcendental to all such mundane considerations as if one's body is male or female. This is the meaning of spiritual: Krishna Consciousness is beyond the limited bodily idea.
Regarding your other questions, the Yadu dynasty completely destroyed itself because Krishna wanted this. So far as initiating disciples is concerned, anyone who is qualified can do this. For example, Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura was householder and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati was staunch brahmacari, yet they both were qualified for initiating disciples.
Regarding your question about feeling emotions during kirtana, these are real spiritual emotions. Spiritual emotions can not be experienced by the fallen soul; but one who is feeling spiritual emotions is not actually fallen. That is the benediction of this Sankirtana Movement that it elevates one to the highest position of spiritual experiences.
Regarding your final question about Laksmiji, she never has conjugal relations with Lord Narayana. Neither does she desire to have conjugal relations with Krishna. Her desire is to follow the Gopis of Vrndavana.
Regarding your first question about annamoya, this annamoya theory is for persons who are in the lowest grade of transcendental realization. When you take to Prasadam, it is directly on the spiritual platform. Annamoya concept of life is not on the spiritual platform. Our process is therefore very easy and effective in this age. So the prescribed methods which we have adopted under authoritative scriptural injunctions are sufficient for our progress.
Regarding your second question, the 24 elements are the five gross elements, the three subtle elements, 10 senses, five sense objects, and the total material cause, (Mahat Tattva). Above these there is the situation of the spirit soul, which is the 25th category, and above this is the Supersoul, or Supreme Personality of Godhead. The mind is a subtle element, therefore it is in the body. Generally, the brain is accepted as the location of the mind.
Regarding your final question, it is a fact that when one is contact with Krishna, His Name, His Qualities, His Form, His Pastimes, immediately he becomes purified. But because we are conscious living entities, the proportion depends on our conscious acceptance. It is stated in the Bhagavad-gita that Lord Krishna responds proportionately to the service of the devotee. Another example is that the sunlight is open for everyone and for every place, but to enjoy the sunlight or to take advantage of the sunlight depends on the proportionate arrangement by the receiver. Prosecution of devotional service means gradual purification and proportionate revelation of Krishna Consciousness
Regarding your question, it is welcome. It is not outrageous. Any honest question is welcome. The Spiritual Master is meant for answering any honest question. Krishna has genitals certainly. It is said that He has eternal, blissful Body, full of knowledge. So when He has got a body, He must have all the parts of a body. But we should not consider that His parts of the body are the same as ours. In the Brahma Samhita it is said that His parts of the body, or limbs, each of them has got potency of the others. For example, with our eyes we can see only, but we cannot eat. But Krishna's eyes can not only see, but also eat and beget children also. In the Vedas it is said that He put His glance over Maya and impregnated her with all the living entities. Therefore, although He has got genitals, necessarily He does not require to use it for the same purpose as we do. There is another instance that Garbhodakasayi Visnu begot Lord Brahma from His abdomen, navel, and the Goddess of Fortune, Laksmi, was nearby. She was just massaging the Lord's Lotus Feet, but He did not require the help of the Goddess of Fortune to beget Lord Brahma. That is His omnipotence. He is self sufficient. He has got all the limbs for all the purposes, but He can use all of them for any purpose. This is inconceivable by us. We should not therefore compare our bodily function with Krishna's. His conjugal relationship with the Gopis is not exactly in the same way as we have girlfriends, neither the Gopis made friendship with Krishna exactly in the same fashion as here in this material world a girl makes friendship with a boy. They are different spheres of activities. Therefore, I sometimes warn my students not to discuss much about the affairs of Krishna's dealing with the Gopis. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam such dealings are described in the 10th Canto, and as it is already explained, 9 Cantos have been devoted just to understand the philosophy of Krishna. In the 2nd Canto it is recommended that one should begin to see Krishna from the Lotus Feet, not from the genital. Gradually, as he advances in understanding Krishna, he should go up and up. In this way, one should try to see the face of Krishna; and His dealing with the Gopis is compared with His sweet smile. So for the present we should better stick our faith and observation to the Lotus Feet of Krishna and pray fervently that He may give us the strength and capacity to understand Him as He is. Because as soon as we are able to understand Him as He is, immediately we become liberated persons, eligible for entering into the Kingdom of God. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita, 4th Chapter where the Lord says "Simply by understanding My transcendental position, appearance, disappearance and activities, one becomes eligible to enter into My Abode, just after giving up the present material body."
Regarding your second question about the rasas in Narayana's Abode, it does not go higher than servitude and reverential friendship.
Regarding your question about items being used in Krishna's service becoming spiritual, you should understand it that anything which will remind one of Krishna is spiritual, and anything which will make one forget Krishna is material. Actually, everything is of spiritual nature because everything is coming from the Ultimate Source, Krishna. But when something is offered to the Lord or when it is used in His service, then it resumes its spiritual quality because it will remind one of Krishna. Therefore, even though such object may not have consciousness, it will act as spiritual. It is just like when an iron rod is put into the fire: the rod has not actually become fire, but it will act in just the same way as fire.
Regarding your question about the Brahmajyoti, it is explained in Bhagavad-gita that the impersonal Brahman effulgence is emanating from Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The brahmajyoti is just like the sunlight, which emanates from the Sun God: Because the sunlight has no personal form, this does not mean that the Sun God has become impersonal. You have seen in pictures of Lord Krishna that there is a nice effulgence coming forth from His body. This effulgence is the Brahmajyoti, and it is pervading throughout the entire spiritual and material manifestation. But above this Brahmajyoti is the Supreme Source of everything, Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. I hope this important point is clear to you now.
Regarding your question about Krishna's associates, the principle is that all living entities are expansions of the Original Living Entity, Krishna. But there are different grades of living entities: Visnu Tattva and Jiva Tattva. Visnu Tattva is almost equal to the level of the Personality of Godhead, and Jiva Tattva is minute particles. So when Lord Caitanya appeared, Nityananda Prabhu and Advaita Prabhu were Visnu Tattva; whereas Gadadhara Prabhu and Srivas Prabhu were Shakti Tattva. Jiva Tattva is also within the Shakti Tattva. These things are explained in TLC and other of our books. Lord Nityananda is Balarama Himself, not an expansion of Him. Srila Narottama das Thakura has sung that the Lord who appeared as the Son of Nanda Maharaja has now appeared as the son of Sacidevi; and the same Balarama has appeared as Nityananda. This is the statement of Srila Narottama das Thakura.
Regarding your questions about pujari, pujari means who will always be with the Deities. That is pujari. So far as the difficulty with bathing, you can heat up some water in the morning and wash yourself over with a sponge or a cloth.* That will be all right if there is no hot water for regular showers.
Please offer my blessings to the others. I hope this will meet you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
*In special cases you can simply wash your hands and feet and change your dress washed. That will purify you.