"Pada Seva means to serve the lotus feet of Guru and Krishna.You cannot serve Krishna without Guru, or serve just Guru without serving Krishna. They must be served or offered pada seva simultaneously." - Srila Prabhupada

  • "A highly advanced Vaisnava lives in such a way that no one can understand what he is or what he was." (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 7.3.14, Purport)
  • "... there is nothing as profitable as the association of pure devotees." (Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Page 341)
  • "By the mercy of the spiritual master one receives the benediction of Krsna. Without the grace of the spiritual master, one cannot make any advancement." (Sri Sri Gurv-astaka, Verse 8)
  • "A pure devotee cannot forget the Supreme Lord for a moment, and similarly, the Supreme Lord cannot forget His pure devotee for a moment." (Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 8.15, Purport)
  • "The Spiritual Master is present wherever his sincere disciple is trying to serve his instructions. " (Srila Prabhupada letter, 12/01/73)
  • "I was born in the darkest ignorance, and my spiritual master opened my eyes with the torchlight of knowledge. I offer my respectful obeisances unto him." (Sri Guru Pranama)
  • "My dear Partha, one who claims to be My devotee is not so. Only a person who claims to be the devotee of My devotee is actually My devotee." (Lord Krsna, Adi Purana)
  • "Pure devotees of the Lord are more powerful than the waters of the sacred river Ganges. One can derive spiritual benefit out of prolonged use of the Ganges waters. But one can be sanctified at once by the mercy of a pure devotee of the Lord." (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 1.1.15, Purport)
  • "No one can approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly. One must approach Him through His pure devotees." (Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 12)
  • "Real knowledge can be obtained from a person who is in perfect Krsna consciousness. Therefore, one has to seek out such a bona fide spiritual master and, under him, learn what Krsna consciousness is. The spiritual master can drive away all nescience, as the sun drives away darkness." (Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 5.16, Purport)

Who is God or Bhagavan?



Every religion says there is only one God, as mentioned in their scripture. Islam says Allah, Sanatan Dharma says Bhagavan, Christianity calls Him God or Christ and so on. So who is God?

Sanskrit term for God is Bhagavan.


Understanding the meaning of Bhagavan


Bhagavan is a compound of two words, Bhaga (opulence) + van (possessor). Just like,

Dhanavan (Wealthy)            = Dhan (wealth) + van (possessor)
Vidvan (Knowledgable)       = Vidya (knowledge) + van (possessor)
Balvan (Strong)                    = Bal (Strength) + van (possessor)

So Bhagavan is someone who possesses complete Bhaga or Opulence. 

The Sanskrit word bhagavān is explained by the great authority Parāśara Muni, the father of Vyāsadeva. The Supreme Personality who possesses all riches, all strength, all fame, all beauty, all knowledge and all renunciation is called Bhagavān. There are many persons who are very rich, very powerful, very beautiful, very famous, very learned, and very much detached, but no one can claim that he possesses all riches, all strength, etc., entirely. 
Bhagavad Gita 2.2 Purport


So  Bhagavān means one who is full of six kinds of opulence

aiśvaryasya samagrasya
vīryasya yaśasaḥ śriyaḥ
jñāna-vairāgyayoś caiva
ṣaṇṇāṁ bhaga itīṅganā

Full opulent: complete wealth, complete strength, complete beauty, complete fame, complete knowledge, complete renunciation. One who possesses all these six things completely, he is Bhagavān.
(Viṣṇu Purāṇa 6.5.47)


A human can also possess the six opulence, but in minute quantity. Like a person might be beautiful, but he cannot claim to be most beautiful in the entire existence, past-present-future. Even then, owning a minute fraction of one or more of this six opulence makes a person so attractive. Celebrity or glamour industry has a huge attraction for their beauty, personalities like Einstien, Stephen Hawkins because of their knowledge, personalities like Mother Terresa because of renunciation, similarly, the world's richest, strongest people are also attractive. But no one can claim they have 100% of the opulence. 

The personality who can claim 100% in each of the six opulence is Bhagavan. It is not just in Vedic Literature but every bonafide scripture like Holy Quran, Bible, Torah etc. describes Allah or God or Bhagavan as the richest, strongest, most beautiful, most intelligent or in short everywhere it is agreed that He is full in all opulence. And there no one equal to Him nor above Him.

If having a minute fraction of even one opulence can make a person attractive, then it is not surprising to imagine how supremely attractive will the person be who has all the six opulence in full 100%.

Additionally, Srila Jiva Goswami, the 16th century Vaishnava philosopher, says that Bhagavan is
bhajaniya guna ca ananta ca nityah 
He that possesses all adorable qualities and whose all-attractive nature is such that He attracts our feelings of affection and adoration.
Srila Jiva Goswami

Sanskrit word to define this Supremely Attractive Person is Krishna. Krishna means All Attractive. 

krishir bhu-vacakah shabdo nash ca nirvritti-vacakah
tayor aikyam param brahma krishna ityabhidhiyate

The syllable krish refers to the all-attractive quality of Krishna, and the syllable na refers to His spiritual bliss. When the verb krish is added to the affix na, it becomes the word Krishna, indicating the Supreme Truth.
 (Mahabharata, Udyoga-parva 71.4)

Thus God or Bhagavan is Krishna and Only Krishna is Bhagavan or God.

Six Oppulences of Krishna

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna Himself appears once in the day of Brahma. He chooses to come during the end of Dwapara Yuga because He knows in the next Yuga (Kaliyuga), people will be misguided by the influence of Kali. So Krishna comes to display His Colorful Pastimes which is eternally going on in His Spiritual Abode. He comes here to attract the fallen souls. He also knows in Kaliyuga, innocents will be cheated and misguided by so-called spiritualists. Thus they will not know who is God. Hence Krishna during His pastimes in this planet has demonstrated His opulence to make the intelligent know He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Strength:

Krishna has unlimited strength. His strength was present from the moment of His birth. When Krishna was only three months old, the Putana demon attempted to kill Him, but instead, she was killed by Krishna. Krishna had killed so many demons single-handedly, effortlessly in His childhood. He has displayed His strength by holding the huge Goverdhan Mountain on the little finger of His left hand, for seven days and nights. That is God. God is always God from the beginning. He does not become God by some meditation or mystic power.

Fame:

Krishna also has unlimited fame. In all countries all over the world, the Bhagavad-gita is read by philosophers, psychologists, and religionists. The fame of the Bhagavad-gita is Krishna's fame. Also during Krishna's pastime, Brahma of all the parallel universes came to Him.


Wealth:

Krishna declares in Bhagavad Gita 5.29 that he is sarva-loka-maheśvaram - Lord or controller of all planets and the demigods. Hence he is not just a king of a piece of land, city or country or planet. He is Jagannath.

bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ
sarva-loka-maheśvaram
suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati

A person in full consciousness of Me, knowing Me to be the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods, and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attains peace from the pangs of material miseries.
(Bhagavad Gita 5.29)


Knowledge:

Krishna is the root of all knowledge. He Himself declares this in Bhagavad Gita
sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo
mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca
vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo
vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva cāham

I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas, I am to be known. Indeed, I am the compiler of Vedānta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.
(Bhagavad Gita 15.15)


Beauty:

Madan (Cupid) is known to be very attractive. But Krishna is known as Madan Mohan, someone who has attracted even Cupid.

Also in the below verse of Brahma Samhita, Krishna's beauty is compared to million of cupids

veṇuṁ kvaṇantam aravinda-dalāyatākṣam-
barhāvataṁsam asitāmbuda-sundarāṅgam
kandarpa-koṭi-kamanīya-viśeṣa-śobhaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is adept in playing on His flute, with blooming eyes like lotus petals with head decked with peacock's feather, with the figure of beauty tinged with the hue of blue clouds, and His unique loveliness charming millions of Cupids.
(Brahma Samhita 5.30)

Renunciation:

At the same time, Krishna possesses full renunciation (vairagya). So many things are working under Krishna's direction in this material world, but actually, Krishna is not present here.

mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ
sūyate sa-carācaram
hetunānena kaunteya
jagad viparivartate

This material nature, which is one of My energies, is working under My direction, O son of Kuntī, producing all moving and nonmoving beings. Under its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again.
(Bhagavad Gita 9.10)

Also during His pastimes, he has displayed His renunciation, we all know how dear is Vrindavan to Krishna, gopis were the topmost devotees of Lord and Srimati Radha Rani was the epitome of devotion. Vrindavan, Gopis and Radha Rani were the controller of Krishna's senses. Yet He renounced everything and left.


Position of Krishna from Scriptures

Let us see a few quotes from scriptures which declare the position of Krishna.

ishvarah paramah krishnah
sac-cid-ananda vigrahah
anadir adir govindah
sarva-karana-karanam 

Kṛṣṇa who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes.
(Brahma-samhita 5.1)      


ete camsha kalah pumsah
krishnas tu bhagavan svayam
indrari vyakulam lokam
mridayanti yuge yuge 

All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the original Personality of Godhead. All of them appear on planets whenever there is a disturbance created by the atheists. The Lord incarnates to protect the theists.
(Shrimad Bhagavatam 1.3.28)   


harir eva sadaradhyam
sarva-deveshvareshvaram
itare brahma-rudradya
navaj-eyam kadacana 

Only Shri Hari (Krishna) should be worshiped as the Master of the entire universe. Brahma, Shiva and all other demigods never violate this principle at any time.
(Padma Purana)         


yatravatirnam krishnakhyam
param brahma narakritim 

When the Supreme Person descends in His human like form, He is Krishna, the Supreme Brahman.
(Vishnu Purana 4.11.2)   


tasmat krishna eva paro devas
tam dhyayet tam raset tam bhajet tam yajet
 
Thus Krishna is the Supreme Person. One should meditate on Him. One should delight in Him. One should worship Him and make offerings to Him.
(Gopala-tapani Upanishad 1.54)


mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat
kiñcid asti dhanañ-jaya
mayi sarvam idaṁ protaṁ
sūtre maṇi-gaṇā iva

O conqueror of wealth, there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread.
(Bhagavad Gita 7.7)



brahmaṇo hi pratiṣṭhāham
amṛtasyāvyayasya ca
śāśvatasya ca dharmasya
sukhasyaikāntikasya ca

And I am the basis of the impersonal Brahman, which is immortal, imperishable and eternal and is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness.
(Bhagavad Gita 14.27)




What Srila Prabhupada says

Following are excerpts from Chapter 5 "Yoga and Meditation" of the book "The Journey of Self Discovery" by Srila Prabhupada.
The Bhāgavatam does not mention that the Hindu religion is first class or the Christian religion is first class or the Mohammedan religion is first class or some other religion is first class. The Bhāgavatam says that that religion is first class which helps one advance his devotional service and love of God. That’s all. This is the definition of a first-class religion. We do not analyze that one religion is first class or that another religion is last class.

The purpose of religion is to understand God and to learn how to love God. Any religious system, if it teaches one how to love God, is first class. Otherwise, it is useless.

But our love must be without selfish motive. If I say, “I love God because He supplies me very nice things for my sense gratification,” that is not love. Real love is without any selfish motive (ahaitukī). We must simply think, “God is great; God is my father. It is my duty to love Him.” That’s all. No exchange—“Oh, God gives me my daily bread; therefore I love God.” No. God gives daily bread even to the animals—the cats and dogs. God is the father of everyone, and He supplies food to everyone. So, appreciating God because He gives me bread—that is not love. Love without motive. I must think, “Even if God does not supply me daily bread, I’ll love Him.” This is real love. As Caitanya Mahāprabhu says, āśliṣya vā pāda-ratāṁ pinaṣṭu mām adarśanān marma-hatāṁ karotu vā: “O Lord, You may embrace me, or You may trample me down with Your feet. Or You may never come before me, so that I become brokenhearted without seeing You. Still, I love You.” This is pure love of God. When we come to this stage of loving God, then we’ll find ourselves full of pleasure. Just as God is full of pleasure, we’ll also be full of pleasure. This is perfection.

Conclusion

Krishna is The Supreme Personality of Godhead. There is no truth beyond Him.

This busts the myth that Hinduism or Sanatan Dharma supports Polytheism. Reality is even Hinduism or Sanatan Dharma supports the fact that there is only one God. There are 33 crores Demi God's (devis and devatas like Shiva, Brahma, Indra, Chandra, Durga, Kali, etc.) but there is only one Bhagavan.

This brings to a very important conclusion, that Krishna is not just a Hindu God or a sectarian God. Every religion speaks about Krishna because there is only one God. Therefore Krishna consciousness is not a sectarian religious faith; it is a teaching process for understanding the Supreme Lord and our relationship with Him and meant for the entire humanity.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who was Krishna Himself, said namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-shaktis (O my Lord, Your holy name alone can render all benediction to living beings, and thus You have hundreds and millions of names). God is unlimited, so His qualities are also unlimited. His names identify Him by His qualities, hence he has millions of name. Krishna is one of the unlimited names, but it is more personal. We may call Him Allah, or Jehovah or  Christ or Bhagavan or Hari or Madhava or Krishna or by any name that attracts us and connects us to Him.

All the violence caused in the name of religion can be immediately stopped by understanding this simple fact that every religion is glorifying One God and teaching us how to Love Him and Serve Him.

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Lord Jagannath Baladev Subhadra Maharani | Drawing





na vai yace rajyam na cha kanaka-manikya-vibhavam
na yace ‘ham ramyam sakala-jana-kamyam vara-vadhum
sada kale kale pramatha-patina gita-charito
jagannathah svami nayana-patha-gami bhavatu me


“I do not pray for a kingdom, nor for gold, rubies and wealth. I do not ask for an excellent and beautiful wife as desired by all men. I simply pray that Jagannatha Svami, whose glories are always sung by Lord Shiva, be the constant object of my vision.”


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Is spirituality actually blind faith and superstition?



There is a common belief that spiritual people are having “Blind Faith” or are "Superstitious". How true is that?

Before we actually look into this let us understand the three terms Faith, Superstition and Blind Faith.

Definition of Faith

  1. Confidence or trust in a person or thing
  2. Belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.
Definition of Superstition 

  1. A belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like.
  2. Any blindly accepted belief or notion. 

Definition of Blind Faith

  1. Belief without true understanding, perception, or discrimination


***

As we can clearly see, there is a very thin line separating the three worlds - Faith, Superstition and Blind Faith. 

However, there is a difference. 

Faith:

Faith is always and always grounded on good, sound and strong reason.
It is synonymous to – 
acceptance, belief, confidence, conviction, hope, loyalty, truth, assurance, certainty, dependence, faithfulness, reliance, sureness, surety, truthfulness

Therefore faith is established confidence


A child who is thrown into the air by his father (or mother), smiles and laughs, because he has faith that his father (or mother) will never let him fall. He has faith because he has confidence in them, trust in them. He doesn’t require any scientist to prove him with any mathematical calculation whether his faith is justified or not. We have faith in our friends or life-partners because we say, we have known them for years: we have observed and mentally noted their principles of action, and have found them uniformly the same; they have always been just, true, benevolent and kind; for many years and under many tests we have observed their steady faithfulness to these principles, and so our confidence or faith has been so established that we never think of doubting them.

Blind Faith:

On the contrary, Blind Faith is a faith which we show on people (or object or anything) without actually trying to understand or know them. It is mostly out of sentimental conclusions hence superficial. Many times, mainly young couples say – “I have blind faith in him/her”. This is dangerous and many times proves to be fatal. 99% of these couple suffers breakups and then they say – “never trust (have faith in) Boys / Girls”.  It is an example of Blind Faith which pulls down the image of Faith.

Superstition:

But superstition, unlike faith, has no substantial basis; nor is its conclusions reached by logical deductions. It is generally an outcome of Blind Faith. 

Superstition is synonymous to –
fear, irrationality, notion, false belief, unfounded fear.

***

Ironically we always tend to associate Blind Faith & Superstition to Religious Practices. However, if we take a closer look at our own lives and around us, we shall find, each one of us (which includes the so-called rational, reasonable, modern and scientifically advanced class of human) are having Blind Faith.

Let us take a few examples – 
When we wake up in the morning, look into the watch, we believe that the time shown by it is correct. Some of us fall prey to this belief and get fooled by a malfunctioned watch which had stopped functioning in the mid-of-night, assumes that it is still night and sleeps longer.

When we get off the bed, we switch off the fan. Without a second thought, we touch the switch. We do not verify if there is a possibility of electric shock.

We then go for brushing our teeth with the best toothpaste, which we believe to be the best, based on the faith acquired by the ads.

We read the newspaper and believe the news printed. Nobody rushes to the incident venue and speak with the people to verify if the news printed was true or not.

We get dressed and get into a public transport – bus or train or tram or auto-rickshaw or airplane. How many of us go and actually verify if the driver or rider is drunk or in a proper sense or if the driver at all knows how to drive or if the brakes are working.

We get to the saloon and surrender our neck to a person with sharp instruments which can be used as fatal weapons.

Many times in science – especially physics – we come across the term – “let us assume that”. What is this assumption???

Scientists say so many things, tend to prove so many things, do we cross-verify? So many theories we have learned since school-days which tend to get obsolete eventually. Even then we show complete faith in their ever-evolving theories.

The list will continue if we really tend to think on.

So you see? Faith, Blind Faith & Superstition is part of our day-to-day life and not just spiritual people.

***

Therefore we should tend to understand the subtle difference between the two casually used words – Faith and Blind Faith.

Faith has a basis. Coming to religious aspects – the words of Gods, the Scriptures are not baseless. There are innumerable proofs that show the authenticity of these documents - like predictions, astronomical science, medical science, mathematics, trigonometry everything that defines modern science is encapsulated in the Scriptures. 

Acknowledging a Supreme Creator, Supreme Master and having Faith in his “proven” words and abiding by his instructions is nothing to be ashamed of and is not Blind Faith. 

***

However, there is a very subtle line which separates the three worlds - Faith, Superstition and Blind Faith. In fact, the transition of shades is so gradual that it is at times very difficult to understand when a Faith gets transformed into Blind Faith or Superstition.

What happens is, when a person thinks or says – my father worshiped, my grandfather also worshiped , my great-grandfather also worshiped – so I worship but I do not know whom I worship and why I worship, he is tending to reach the border of faith and crossing over to blind faith. Since he doesn’t know or understand who he is worshiping. There can be 4 outcomes:

(1) He will continue to follow rituals for the sake of following, with no interest or motivation and hence gain no fruitful spiritual outcome.  

OR

(2) He will think, his Lord or religion is supreme and fight with others or even spread terror in the name of religion. Even if you show scriptural proofs to prove he is wrong or partially correct, he will disregard your proves or the scripture.

OR

(3) He will become superstitious – fearful – if you do not do this God will become angry or if you do this God will become angry, worship X else he will be angry etc.

OR

(4) He will lose faith completely and turn into an atheist – since he will not be able to enjoy the transcendental feeling of serving the divine.

***

So what is the Solution?
Having a doubt or raising Question is commendable; it is really what is expected out of a “functioning brain”. 

But there is a difference between “Question-to-Learn” and “Question-to-Challenge”. 

Normally whenever we get a wrong association, who teaches us everything about wasting time, energy, money and life at large, we are keen, we are eager at shooting Question-to-Learn. So the predominating question is – How. Example – go to any graduate hostel you can see young boys & girls eagerly learning & preaching how to smoke, drink, how to party, how to hang-out, how to adapt uncivilized lifestyle like live-in relation, illicit relations, gambling in casinos, pub, disco.

However, when we get a good association, who tries to awaken us and show us the path beyond the evident, we tend to ask - Why. Example – Why should I think about God now, I am too young for that; Why should I read scriptures; Why, Why Why.

This is where we are getting stuck. 

We should ask Question-to-Learn. Shoot questions – when scientists say there is no God, how can you be so sure there is God OR How can we see God OR How can we be so sure that whatever is stated in Vedas is correct etc.

These questions will subconsciously open up the windows of our mind so that we become receptive and may reasonably understand the answers. After that, we are always free to accept or discard whatever answer has been offered to us. 

***

Therefore, we must understand the difference between Faith, Blind Faith & Superstition. We should also understand to live normally – without getting crazy – each one of us (including scientist & atheists) are having (blind) faith in something or other. Again we must also understand our belief is Blind Faith or Superstition if there is no strong ground other than sentimentalism. Therefore even in spirituality, we must understand – what-we-do-why-we-do. 

Many times we find people getting mad at when informed – Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We must enquire. Instead of getting mad, we must enquire from bonafide spiritual leaders, enquire from great scriptures, we will get the answer.

Therefore we have a very bold statement – “Religion without philosophy is sentiment, or sometimes fanaticism, while philosophy without religion is mental speculation” [BG 3.3- Purport]



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Let's get addicted


Statutory Warning: Cigarette Smoking is Injurious to Health

[Published in: ISKCON Kolkata]

Every cigarette packet inevitably carries this warning. Yet we find smokers almost at every corner of our street. Why isn't this warning working? How can people accept something which will ultimately cost their life? The same question goes for all other addiction like alcohols, drugs etc.

An illusion is an instance of a wrong or misinterpreted perception of a sensory experience [Oxford Dictionaries].  Foolishness is a state when we "know" we are smarter than people who try to share the true facts. Bewilderment is a state of being confused and puzzled, where we fail to differentiate What-Is-Correct and What-Is-Incorrect.

In the present age of deterioration, Kali, we are under a deep spell of illusion created by Maya (The External Energy of Lord), who is an expert illusionist. Along with Her (Maya), the unseen effect of Kali, bewilders our mind to an extent that our intelligence falls weak and we listen to our senses. Making the things worse, thanks to modernization, we are ashamed to take the shelter of Guru-&-Shastra (Spiritual Master-&-Scripture). 

This state leads to addiction. We see many advertisements of cigarettes and alcohols which openly promise "a cool" lifestyle and "hot" fan following of opposite gender, that appears FREEDOM to the young generation and hence so appealing. This is the major reason why most of the graduate hostels are a budding place of addiction.




MILLION DOLLAR QUESTIONS::

ARE WE REALLY FREE???

IS THIS REALLY FREEDOM???





The answer is a big NO.


If we think deeply, we are serving our senses. Just as illustrated below, we are like the terrified passenger riding on a chariot (representing our body), which is being pulled madly by 5 uncontrolled horses (representing our senses). The horses are running uncontrollably since the driver (our intelligence) doesn't have control over the reins (our mind).


The chariot of the body. The five horses represent the five senses (tongue, eyes, ears, nose and skin). The reins, the driving instrument, symbolize the mind, the driver is the intelligence, and the passenger is the spirit soul. [Bhagavad-gita 6.34
(Source: http://www.asitis.com/gallery/plate23.html)


Definition of Addiction - Dictionary.com


the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.

So it is not only the Scripture but also dictionary which acknowledges the fact that addiction is a state of being "enslaved".

Actually, slavery is nothing foreign to our nature.
The svarupa, or actual identity of the living entity, is described by Lord Caitanya. Jīvera 'svarupa' haya-kṛṣṇera 'nitya-dāsa': (CC Madhya 20.108) the real identity of the living entity is that he is eternally a servitor of the Supreme Lord.

Why would someone want to be enslaved to an addiction? Especially to something that can cost their life?


We all are looking for happiness in this world, which Krishna declared as Dukhalayam (place of miseries). We can try every possible idea of being happy but we will fail for certain. In this stressful and depression condition, intoxication appears to provide a temporary illusion of stress-buster which relieves the consumer. However as soon as the effect or illusion breaks, the person finds himself back to the same miserable situation. His mind reminds him of the illusionary relief achieved by the intoxicant. His senses show the symptoms of "need". Incompetent intelligence makes him decide to try the intoxicant "again". However slowly the body adjusts to the doses, and, every time it requires more and more dose. Eventually, the person gets trapped in a whirlpool of endless-urges-and-illusion.

Many times people spend money and try medication, therapy, psychologist and what not to get "free" from the entanglement of addiction. But the fact remains, it relapses. At times people get addicted to another stuff in order to get rid of the previous. 

Just like these addictions which kill our body, there are others which kill our valuable time, a state of consciousness and intellect e.g. Watching Mundane Movies, Pornography, Gambling, Facebook & WhatsApp (😈), there are many if we seriously ponder. These are also dangerous. Even these addictions are imbibed to seek momentary happiness from our miserable life.

What is the solution to quit an addiction?


We the part-and-parcel of Krishna, inherit His qualities (but in a smaller quantity) of Sat-Chit-Ananda. Ananda means happiness. So when happiness or bliss is our property, how can we not look for happiness? Actually, there is no harm in looking for happiness, but, the problem is we are searching in the wrong place.

Just like a camel who sucks his own blood while chewing the thorny twigs. The thorns that the camel eats cuts the tongue of the camel. And so blood begins to flow within the camel's mouth. The thorns mixed with fresh blood create a taste for the foolish camel, and so he enjoys the thorn-eating business with false pleasure.

This material world is Dukhalayam (place of miseries) and Asasvatam (temporary). Hence we get illusionary happiness for a short duration. We are Sat - eternal. How can we be satisfied with anything temporary? Everything in this material sky, comprising of heavenly and hellish planets, including every demi-Gods and Goddesses, is temporary. So we should redirect our attention to someone eternal - Krishna. Krishna is not only eternal but also a great reservoir of pleasure. 

The method of remembering and associating with Krishna, as prescribed by various scriptures is chanting His Holy Name:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare,
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare.

In the Ananta-samhita, the glories of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra are explained in these verses:

hare krishna hare krishna, krishna krishna hare hare;
hare rama hare rama, rama rama hare hare.
shodashaitani namani, dvatrimshad varnakani hi;
kalau yuge maha-mantrah, sammato jivatarane.

"This mantra comprising of sixteen words or thirty-two syllables is known as the maha-mantra in Kali-yuga and is the only capable means through which the living entities can be delivered in Kali-yuga."

This mantra is so potent that it can clean all the dirt of one's heart. We have seen many chain smokers, drunkards, drug addicts getting free from their addiction and leading clean, happy and joyful life, just by sincere chanting, without any help of any medication, therapy or psychologist.


Srila Prabhupada explains

If we are not fully engaged in serving Krishna then maya will take the opportunity and engage us in her service causing us to fall from the spiritual platform and again become entangled in material activities.


So let us all try to get addicted to Hari Naam, which will help us release stress and lead a happy and cheerful life. 



 ***

Thank you for reading this article. 

If You have Liked it, then please Share it with your friends and contribute to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's mission of spreading The Holy Name. 

Please feel free to suggest how can we further improve our service.

Hare Krishna!
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Existence of God: Simple observation of the world.



A very common question asked by many "Does God exist?" can easily be answered if one "observes" the world closely.

When we look at some beautiful piece of man-made work around us (like painting, sculpture, monument, etc.), we always inquire about the person behind it, i.e, we ask about the "creator".

Few examples:



What we subconsciously know and understand is 
  • every Art has to have an Artist
  • every Beautiful Organization needs an Organizer
  • every Design has to have a Designer
  • every Law has to have a Law Maker
  • that means every Creation has to have a Creator

We call this logical or common-sense. If we come across anyone who says otherwise, we will not consider him very wise.

However our logic and common-sense suddenly goes for a toss when we come across beautiful natural objects.

We tend to ignore a Beautiful Art in Nature, we do not see How organized the world, viz, the solar system is. If for once we would have seen then we would have certainly inquired about the "Brain  / Mastermind Behind It"



We tend to discard the fact of an intelligent being behind everything, just on the pretext of the so-called advancement of material (modern) science.

So let us take some time to see what some of the most eminent scientists, who were the pioneers of modern science, had to say:

Albert Einstein: 
There is a perfect brain behind all the natural physical laws.

Erwin Schrodinger:
I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives a lot of factual information, puts all our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but is ghastly silent about all that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously.

Lord Kelvin:
 Overwhelming strong proofs of intelligent and benevolent design lie around us.

I believe that the more thoroughly science is studied, the further does it take us from anything comparable to atheism.

The more thoroughly I conduct scientific research, the more I believe that science excludes atheism.

The atheistic idea is so nonsensical that I do not see how I can put it in words.

Do not be afraid of being free thinkers. If you think strongly enough you will be forced by science to the belief in God, which is the foundation of all religion. You will find science not antagonistic but helpful to religion.

Sir Issac Newton:

This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being . . . This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called Lord God.

When I wrote my treatise about our system, I had an eye upon such principles as might work with considering men for the belief of a Deity, and nothing can rejoice me more than to find it useful for that purpose.

The true God is a living, intelligent and powerful Being . . . He governs all things, and knows all things that are or can be done.

Max Born:
We, the atom and I, have been on friendly terms, until recently. I saw in it the key to the deepest secrets of Nature, and it revealed to me the greatness of creation and the Creator.

Srinivasa Ramanujan
An equation means nothing to me unless it expresses a thought of God. 

Werner Heisenberg
There is a higher power, not influenced by our wishes, which finally decides and judges.

Michael Faraday
I bow before Him who is Lord of all, and hope to be kept waiting patiently for His time and mode of releasing me according to His Divine Word and the great and precious promises whereby His people are made partakers of the Divine nature.

We ought to value the privilege of knowing God’s truth far beyond anything we can have in this world.

Some of the misleading scientific "myth" theories

Before we look into the topic, let me share with you a true incident that happened with me. On the way to my office, I pass by a construction site, filled with sand, bricks, concrete, iron bars, kept ready for construction. Yesterday, as usual, on the way to my office, I was crossing the same site.

Suddenly bang!!!

A massive explosion happened. While my ears were still recovering the impact, I saw myself trapped amidst clouds of fiery smoke and dust. It took almost an hour to realize I was lying on the ground, covered with soot. Slowly as the air got cleared, I saw, miracle!!! There was a beautiful flyover, out of nowhere, at the site of the explosion. Wao!! Yes definitely, it was red hot then. But as it cooled down, it slowly revealed its beauty!!!




You don't believe me??!! Why??? Did I miss something??? What if I put in some jargon, some fancy names, let's call this incident Small Bang Theory of Construction!! Still, don't believe me? What if some scientists manage to "attach" a mathematical formula? Still, won't believe it? WHY? 

The simple answer is - Because it lacks logic. 

  • An explosion can result in devastation and not construction.
  • A sudden appearance of an object, with beauty and perfect design, can ONLY & ONLY happen in fairy tales.
  • Every law of physics and harmony getting applied by chance is not science

Again, we are logically intelligent so far. But what happens to our intelligence when we hear The BIG - BANG Theory, which states;
According to the Big Bang theory, the universe was born about 13.8 billion years ago. All the matter that exists today was once squished into an infinitely denseinfinitely tiny, ultra-hot point called a singularity. This tiny fireball then exploded and gave rise to the early universe.
Does it even sound like science?

From where did this single point/singularity come? How did the matter which exists today, came into this point of singularity? How and why was it squeezed in? So many questions which are never answered by any scientist so far, yet we believe in this theory.


Wrapping up
Today our society is turning Godless just on the pretext of "so-called" scientific advancement, but as Lord Kelvin said

If you think strongly enough you will be forced by science to the belief in God.

The purpose of this article was to emphasize on the fact that true science and intelligent scientists acknowledge a Supreme Creator and not refuses Him. When we look around us, we should try to be intelligent enough to understand that nothing happened by chance.

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Existence of God: See the magic around !!!



I was taking my morning walk when I noticed there were white fluffy bits of cotton strewn around on the grass in one corner of the park. I looked up and saw that there was huge silk cotton (semal) tree which had many open pods on its branches and these pods contained fluffy cotton. I picked up a pod lying nearby and looked at it closely; it contained a handful of soft, silky, cotton with few scattered black seeds within it. I thought for a moment, "cotton-growing directly on a tree how amazing!!". This triggered numerous similar thoughts. The banyan tree (one of the largest trees on earth) can spread over a few acres. This tree grows to a massive size just from a seed which is only a few millimeters in size, how is this possible?    

When a child is born, he grows for the initial few years, then stops growing and after some years gradually starts aging. All this happens in such an orderly, programmed manner this itself is a miracle.

I once attended a show on under-water aquatic life. Life underwater in the ocean is truly amazing. Despite spending millions on exploration and research; most of the information and facts remain unknown to us, unexplored. Nature – mountains, forests, deserts continually show us such breath-taking sights but do we ever think who designed this or how was this created?  Who is the creator? 

Because we see all these changes - day and night, change of the seasons, people growing up and then aging all happen before us right from childhood, day in-day out, year after year; we consider these as routine usual activities and take them for granted.

Lord Krishna tells us in the Bhagavad Gita: 
This material nature which is one of My energies is working under My direction O son of Kunti, producing all moving and non-moving beings. Under its rule, this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again.                                         
Bhagavad Gita 9.10

Wherever we look, whether it is nature or the human body or our awesome universe; it is absolutely amazing. 

If we appreciate the beauty around us, we would certainly develop a sense of responsibility towards nature and also show gratitude towards our creator. We would then learn to use our natural resources responsibly, not just to satisfy our selfish needs. We spend hours in a queue to buy tickets for a magic show but fail to appreciate the magic and beauty around us happening every moment, each day.
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Do we recognize our enemies?





In our daily interactions with people; persons whom we like, whom we can trust and depend on, we consider them as our friends; and persons, who are hostile, whom we dislike, we consider them as our enemies. Little do we recognize our true enemies, as our scriptures speak differently. 

Described below are certain vices or weaknesses which we all possess. These are our true enemies as they affect our peace of mind and harmony.

(1) Moha or attachment: 
Every living entity has an inherent tendency to seek pleasure or enjoy. In today’s world, our senses are continually bombarded with stimuli – fashion, entertainment - malls, movies and whatnot. Newer models of electronic gadgets are continually replacing old ones; and it becomes difficult to resist the temptation of advertisements shown on television, magazines and newspapers. We tend to focus only on the nice things others are enjoying, become blind to their sufferings and compromises. We tend to equate happiness with money, position. We get attracted, develop an attachment to these sense objects – and soon it is a must-have for us and on our wishlist. We fall in the illusion that unless we get a particular object or position, we cannot be happy. As a result, we are always chasing sense gratification and seeking a sense of pleasure.

(2) Kama or lust: 
Due to this attachment, we develop a strong desire to enjoy (lust) for these sense object. 

Lord Krishna states in the Bhagavad Gita that pleasure derived from material senses is temporary with a beginning and an end, and the wise man does not delight in them.

An intelligent person does not take part in the sources of misery, which are due to contact with the material senses. O son of Kunti, such pleasures have a beginning and an end, and so the wise man does not delight in them. 
Bhagavad Gita 5.22   

So the pleasure we achieve from sense objects is transient and we are continually chasing one object after another. When unable to fulfill our strong desires we are dissatisfied, annoyed and angry.

(3) Krodha or anger: 
Krodha develops when we encounter obstacles to our desires of enjoyment. We then get irritated, upset, and have heated arguments leading to outbursts of rage, and are left with a feeling of unpleasantness and repent. This sequence of events i.e. attachment - desire - anger– delusion with loss of intelligence has been described in the Bhagavad Gita. Lord Krishna explains that:

While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from attachment lust develops, and from lust anger develops.
Bhagavad Gita 2.62

From anger complete delusion arises, and from delusion bewilderment of memory. When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost one falls down again into the material pool. 
Bhagavad Gita 2.63

(4) Mada or pride: 
Similarly, we also see that whenever we achieve something good or when we excel, we soon become puffed and proud. Pride is a feeling of pleasure or satisfaction derived from one's own achievements resulting in a feeling of being good and worthy. Pride is one of our enemies because it is an obstacle to maintaining good relationships and so affects our peace. In the following verse of Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna clearly classifies pride as one of the demoniac qualities.

Pride, arrogance, conceit, anger, harshness and ignorance – these qualities belong to those of demoniac nature, O son of Pṛthā.
Bhagavad Gita 16.4

(5) Lobha or greed: 
This is another quality quite characteristic of persons in Kaliyuga. Greed means wanting a lot more than necessary; a very strong wish to continuously get more of something. We often see this happen in our daily lives; whether it is wealth, fame, prestige or power, there is no satiety. Many of the problems we face today – pollution, floods, violence, and global warming are directly or indirectly caused by excessive greed. Thus Krishna classifies greed as one of the gates of hell.

There are three gates leading to this hell – lust, anger and greed. Every sane man should give these up, for they lead to the degradation of the soul.
Bhagavad Gita 16.21



(6) Matsarya or envy: 
Envy is a big enemy for us. Envy denotes a strong wanting to possess something achieved by another or awarded to another. Envy comes so naturally to us that the moment we see our colleague or neighbor possess something which we covet, we become envious. Lord gave a very clear instruction in the following verse;

My dear sons, you should not envy any living entity — be he moving or nonmoving. Knowing that I am situated in them, you should offer respect to all of them at every moment. In this way, you offer respect to Me.
Srimad Bhagavatam 5.5.26



These six enemies (also called shad-ripu) arise from our false ego or ahankar and we are subject to these weaknesses because we are conditioned souls (Teachings of Lord Chaitanya, page 101). Conditioned or influenced by the false ego we believe that we are the body and not the spirit soul. As stated in the Bhagavad Gita, it is the ahankar which gives us the feeling of ‘I’, ‘me’ and ‘mine’.           

The spirit soul bewildered by the influence of the false ego thinks himself the doer of activities that are actually carried out by the three modes of material nature. 
Bhagavad Gita 3.27

In the scriptures, it is stated that Krishna is all-attractive, full of opulence – beauty, wealth, strength, knowledge, fame and renunciation. Krishna is also called Madan-Mohan ie; His beauty is such that even Cupid (Madan) the God of love, is attracted to Krishna. But unfortunately, instead of getting attracted to Krishna, due to illusion we are attracted to material objects. This is because we are conditioned and governed by the modes of material nature – the ‘gunas’ (guna in Sanskrit means quality or virtue).

There are three types of gunas and we are mostly under influence of rajoguna(mode of passion) which is characterized by trishna or hankering. As a result we are continually chasing material pleasures, have stressful lives, and end up getting depressed. When we seek material pleasures, the sequence of attachment - lust - anger  - delusion is inevitable. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna describes lust and anger as our greatest enemies. He says - It is lust which later transforms into wrath, which is the all-devouring sinful enemy of this world.

kāma eṣa krodha eṣa rajo-guṇa-samudbhavaḥ
mahāśano mahā-pāpmā viddhy enam iha vairiṇam
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: It is lust only, Arjuna, which is born of contact with the material mode of passion and later transformed into wrath, and which is the all-devouring sinful enemy of this world.
Bhagavad Gita 3.37


Lord Krishna in the form of great Vaishnava saint, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, emphasizes on the virtue of humility. In the shikshastakam, Lord Chaitanya wrote

trinad api sunicena taror api sahishnuna
amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harihi

One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street; one should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige, and should be ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly.
Sri Sri Shikshashtaka - 3

This is not at all easy, but it is said that the more humble we are, the easier it becomes to receive the Lord’s mercy.          

Greed and envy are vices which we all have. In our own society we see how greed and envy can devastate families.In the Mahabharata, Duryodhana wished to ascend the throne in place of Yudhisthira; filled with greed and envy, he inflicted many sufferings on the Pandavas. However as the Pandavas were under the protection of Lord Krishna they escaped each time. When we get envious, we can try to check envy by thinking that actually we are all parts and parcels of Krishna, so if we envy anyone it means we are envious of Krishna.
HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj; Srimad Bhagavatam 10.54.26 Lecture

As stated in Srimad Bhagavatam, the real culprit is our mind.

The mind is the root cause of lust, anger, pride, greed, lamentation, illusion and fear. Combined, these constitute bondage to fruitive activity. What learned man would put faith in the mind?

The mind is the original cause of material bondage. It is followed by many enemies, such as anger, pride, greed, lamentation, illusion and fear. The best way to control the mind is to engage it always in Kṛṣṇa consciousness (sa vai manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayoḥ (SB 9.4.18)). Since the followers of the mind bring about material bondage, we should be very careful not to trust the mind.
Srimad Bhagavatam 5.6.5, Translation and Purport

Hence if we wish to live in peace and harmony, we should try to control these vices by controlling our mind. Our misconception that we are the body and not the spirit soul, can gradually be changed by devotional service and chanting the Holy Name.

So by praying to Lord Krishna for strength and direction, we can attempt to rid ourselves of these enemies. We would then attain peace, make spiritual advancement and go back.
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Lord of the Universe - Jagannatha



Reaches heights of mercy as You come on roads,
Opening Your arms ready to embrace all of us;
With Baladeva and Subhadra on colorful chariots,
O Lord of the Universe Jagannatha, who will not be enticed.



Devotees sing and dance in jubilation when you take grand ride,
No more fasting anymore as palatial prasadam flows for everyone;
Whoever takes Your prasadam with transcendental faith love arouses,
O Jagannatha who can be more merciful, for I the fallen soul.


On shore of ocean, You manifested in a spiritual form of wood,
Purusottama-kshetra Nilachala, Your eternal abode of pastimes;
Oh what a glory of that place, even asses attains the spiritual form,
Veda-vyasa writes even demigods faint again and again by this sight.



Your holy place never annihilates, even at dissolution of the Universe,
You showed this to your devotee Rishi Markandeya, who took shelter here;
O Lord all your devotees desire to stay here at your lotus feet,
I still fail to understand the glories, attacked by witch of material desires.


Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, initiator of congregational chanting,
Sings the holy names and dances with devotees in Ratha Yatra;
How fortunate souls are they, Your holy name entered holes of ears,
May that holy name enter ears of mine into the heart, this Ratha Yatra.


Jayadeva Goswami desires to offer Gita Govinda on a cloth,
Your devotee went in trance singing, You sung for your devotee;
Just by pure desire O my Lord you accepted the offering,
I the most fallen, desires Your Holy Name always dance on my tongue. 


Every devotee offers gifts to you as a loving exchange on Your Ratha Yatra,
O Lord your abode is bedecked of jewels with Goddess Laxmi your consort;
What can I offer you I the wretched soul, in past You stole minds of Gopis,
You being the master of all senses, I offer my mind to your lotus feet.



O Lord Jagannatha with wide open lotus eyes, with Baladeva and Subhadra,
Giving darshan to all the people, I repeatedly sing Your name and glories;
Jagannathah Svami Nayana-Patha-Gami Bhavatu Me,
Jaya Jagannatha Jaya Jagannatha Jaya Baladeva Jaya Subhadra Ki Jaya.
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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

This website is dedicated to His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
(Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness - ISKCON)

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Pada-Sevanam means to serve the lotus feet of the Lord and His devotees. It is one of the nine different processes of executing Krishna consciousness. This website is an offering from us to Srila Prabhupada in the same mood of Pada Sevanam, hence the name.

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