Question and Answer

by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Maharaja

Dear Prabhujis and Matajis,

Dandavat Pranams!

Srila Gurudev has very recently given the following answer to the question by one of the devotees - “What is the best way for me to engage in Krishna consciousness while I am leading my daily life?” Please go through the article and do not forget to send your comments/queries. Srila Gurudev goes through the responses by devotees with great care and affection. While sending your response, please make sure you mention your country and location.

Sri Guru Vaishnav Kripa Prarthi,

Prahlad Das

Chanting Sri Krishna’s Name is the only recommended process in this Kaliyuga. Hari vasare hari kirtana vidhan, nritya arambila prabhu jagatera pran, punyavanta srivasa angane subharamba, uthilo kirtana dhvani gopala govinda. Mahaprabhu has instructed everyone to perform Harinam sankirtan. He, along with His associates, performed sankirtan constantly. Actually, we do not have faith in that. We want to do something else – this and that. But in this Kaliyuga, nothing else needs to be done. If we do not have faith, what can be done? Chanting of the holy Name is possible only in the association of pure devotees but it is also very difficult to get such association. If we want quality, we cannot get quantity. By the grace of the Lord, one gets the actual connection with pure devotee and that is required to perform Harinam.

We remember this many times –

atah sri krishna namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuraty adah

(Bhakti-rasamrita- sindhu 1.2.234)

“The transcendental name, form, qualities and pastimes of Sri Krishna cannot be comprehended through the materially contaminated senses. Only when one becomes spiritually saturated by transcendental service to the Lord, the transcendental name, form, qualities and pastimes of the Lord are revealed to him.”

Sri Rupa Goswami, the foremost devotee, has given these instructions. We cannot perform Harinam with these material senses. The mundane senses have got no power to do so. When the person dies what will happen to the senses and the knowledge of the senses? They will not go with us. Atma will go with us, not the material sense organs. We cannot comprehend the Transcendental Lord through the mundane strength of our mundane sense organs. The Transcendental Lord is revealed only to the transcendental senses. If we take shelter to a devotee, whose senses are transcendental and to whom the Lord is revealed, then we can also become transcendental. Otherwise it is not possible. It is difficult; it is not so easy. But in spite of that for those who start devotion, they will get some aptitude to serve. If we do not start, whatever endeavor we may do everything will be zero.

One should go through the teachings given by Our Most Revered Srila Gurudev to a devotee from West India, who came to Kolkata from Mujafar Nagar (close to Chandigarh , India ). That devotee had some affection for me and he had taken Harinam from Our Most Revered Srila Gurudev earlier. But he had no inclination to one-pointed devotion. He used to go to many places and preach but there was lack of faith in pure devotion to Supreme Lord Sri Krishna in him. That devotee had been there in Kolkata for several days, but since the doctor had forbidden Srila Gurudeva to talk excessively, he had no opportunity to hear Him speak. Srila Gurudev used to rest on the bed in His room.   One day when there were few of His godbrothers close to Him, I requested Srila Gurudev that it would be nice if He could say something for a minute to the devotee from West India . Srila Gurudev told, “Call everyone here.” Sri Jagmohan Prabhu, who was in-charge of our Kolkata Math those days, was astonished, “Why is he calling everyone?” Nobody could understand. Our Gurudev was not an ordinary person; it is not easy to understand Him. Everybody came there upon Guru Maharaj’s wish. Pujyapad Narasingha Maharaj and Pujyapad Hrishikesh Maharaj were also there. Pujyapad Hrishikesh Maharaj knew short-hand writing. He started noting down Guru Maharaj’s instructions. You have to practice according to what our Gurudev has instructed.

Srila Gurudev’s instructions on Dec. 30, 1978 at Kolkata Math

“I am not well and the doctor has warned me not to speak too much. It is quite possible that I do not stay much longer in this world. I am telling you that to engage in a proper practice of devotional service, you must be fixed in the worship of your desired form of the Lord. When a woman is not faithful to her husband, when she loves someone else, she cannot give herself to his service. Infidelity and exclusive devotion cannot go together. For this reason, a faithful and devoted wife will never allow anyone to take the place of her husband, nor will she criticize anyone else. She will not condemn her brother-in-law, her mother-in-law or her father-in-law, nor anyone else who is related to her husband, but will rather give each of them his or her due respect. In the same way, if you wish to advance in devotional service, worship Krishna alone. Do not criticize the other gods and goddesses, but think of them as servants of Krishna and give them their due respect in that consciousness. But be careful to never give them the place which is due to the ultimate object of your devotion, Sri Krishna. I am giving you this instruction. Take responsibility for it. Give this matter a little thought. You are a competent person, you are highly qualified, but you don’t understand this tradition yet.

“In the Gaudiya sampradaya, in the line from Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, in the religious tradition of devotion to Krishna, dedicated devotees worship Krishna exclusively. If you put other gods and goddesses on the same level as Krishna , you are making a mistake. Not all gods and goddesses are equal, nor all incarnations of Vishnu.

ete camsa-kalah pumsah rishnas tu bhagavan svayam |
indrari vyakulam lokam mridayanti yuge yuge ||

(Srimad Bhagavatam 1.3.28)
After discussing all the different incarnations, Matsya, Kurma, Rama, Nrisingha, etc., Vedavyasa says that none of these incarnations is Krishna Himself. Some of them are expansions, some are partial manifestations, but Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
jar bhagavatta haite anyer bhagavatta |
svayam bhagavan sabder tahatei satta ||
The epithet svayam bhagavan can only be used for him from whom the characteristics of Godhead are derived. (Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.2.88)

“No one is equal to Krishna . Everyone should keep this in mind and worship Krishna exclusively and with dedication. Devotion will not increase by making a hullabaloo (a confused uproar). Everyone should remember this. We will not condemn any other gods or goddesses, but will pray them to give us the blessing that we remain fixed on our supreme object of worship, Sri Krishna.

You should also go through the ultimate message of Srila Prabhupad that He had spoken on December 27, 1936 before entering the eternal pastimes of Sri Sri Radha Krishna.

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