PLEASE NOTE, *THIS DOCUMENT IS AT DRAFT (NOT PERFECT) STAGE. IT IS RECOMMENDED TO READ WITH GM’S VIDEO IN BACKGROUND. *
Mukham karoti vacalam pangum langayate girim
Yat kripa tam aham vande sri gurum dina tarinam
Paramananda Madhavam Sri Caitanya Isvaram
So which language you ask the question in, I will answer in that language. And Sujitendria das is here to translate. If I speak in Bengali, he will translate in English. How many questions do you have? Fifteen questions! Baba! So how much time I should give each question? Ok, first question. This is on international broadcast. Show them also, we are giving questions and answers here, we have a full house of devotees! And they are all world famous now! Haribol! Shoo!!We will take some questions from the internet also.
Question from internet: I am doing my rounds and hearing lectures but not spending much time in developing relationship with my counselors. How important is it to develop relationship with vaisnavas?
Guru maharaj: Since we don’t generally do the counselor system, how much loving relationship between the counselor and counselee should be there? But generally we should have good relationship with all devotees. Srila Prabhupada said that love and trust was the relationship we should have with devotees. So what to speak of someone who is caring for us or giving her or his time to help us?
Question: Hare Krsna guru maharaj, PAMHO. Why are there so many obstacles in the path of bhakti?
Guru maharaj: If there are many obstacles, challenges, that is also Krsna’s mercy! If you don’t have any challenges, how will you get stronger? If we lift the weights up, then we have more strength. So having challenges like little tests and for the great test of death. At that time we want to remember Krsna. And therefore we take some little tests to become stronger. So we can pass the final exam. Haribol! Haribol! Are you ready for the final test? So we hope it is later! Ha! Because we need your help to spread Krsna consciousness! All the questions are like tests for me, right?
Question: Dear guru maharaj, when we are in doubt what should be our main consideration to take decisions in our spiritual life?
Guru maharaj: What is beneficial for our Krsna consciousness, we should choose that. And what is against Krsna consciousness, we should reject. But we have a guru to help us to decide. If we have doubt we should ask the guru. Or ask the senior god brother or god sister. What would the guru say in this situation? And if they don’t know, then you ask the guru. I was present one time when Prabhupada asked the disciple why you are in doubt and in anxiety? Your guru is present! You should have no doubt, no problem! If your guru is not present, then maybe! But your guru is present! I ORDER YOU! SRILA PRABHUPADA SAID! YOU MUST BE HAPPY! Haribol! Haribol! What an order! Ha!
Question: Jai guru maharaj! If someone follows the four regulative principles and chants 16 rounds, then can he go to Goloka dhama in this very lifetime? If he does not develop the 26 vaisnava qualities and if he does not develop trnad api suni cena, can he actually go back?
Guru maharaj: In the Bhagavad-gita, Krsna said, janma karma ce me divyam, evam yo veti tatvataha, tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti so Arjuna. He did not say that you have to develop the 26 qualities. That naturally develops. But if someone knows that Krsna’s birth and activities are divine, then one can go back home, back to Godhead. Many disciples are wanting diksa, initiation. I say that they should read that they should read up to the third canto of the Bhagavatam and do the Bhakti Shastri course. They say, gurudev, twelve years have gone and I have not been able to read two cantos yet! Please be merciful on me! I will complete in two months! What is the guarantee that what did not happen in 12 years, it will happen in two months? How would you understand that Krsna’s birth and activities are divine unless you read the book? We want that all the devotees they will develop love and affection for the Lord. But if they don’t know anything about Krsna, how will that happen?
Question: Hare Krsna gurudev, PAMHO, (Guru maharaj said ACCEPTED): How will I accept gurudev’s instructions and service given by the authority as my life and soul and carry it out?
Guru maharaj: The guru, he doesn’t say his own opinion. Sadhu sastra guru, give the evidence. Whatever the guru says you can ask him where it is given in sastra. If the sastra or guru or life of some devotee that evidence is there. Some modern gurus, they say that they don’t believe in sastra. They are not qualified gurus Guru means that like a lawyer, he quotes case evidence and laws. A lawyer cannot say, see my client, he is accused of murder but he is a nice guy! Actually he is a good guy! He eats rosogolla! Ha! And he has a pet dog! We should have mercy on him! Otherwise who will feed his dog? A lawyer cannot say that! Similarly a guru cannot say that oh worship Tulasi, better than that do eggplant puja!
Question: Nowadays Zakir Nayak is talking a lot. The Lord has no form. Natasya pratima asti and such Vedic quotes he is misquoting and he is misguiding so called illiterate or illiterate about Vedic or Sanatana dharma. He is misguiding young children of Hindus in this way and influencing them. What is the opinion of the vaisnavas in this regard?
Guru maharaj: I answered it in the last question. That everything happens through sadhu sastra and guru. Those gurus who say that the Lord has no form is not correct. Bhagavatam says brahmeti paramtameti Bhagavan it sabdyata. Bhagavan paratma or brahman. Brahman is formless, Paramatma He is localized in the heart and as Bhagavan He performs His wonderful divine pastimes. Sac cit ananda, Eternal, blissful and full of knowledge. These gurus who are misguiding the people about the Lord , we have to be very careful of them. The same way what we eat we take care to know what we eat, similarly, what we hear we should also be careful and judge before we hear. Once I was talking to one of the Sankaracaryas’ and he said that he had a Radha Krsna deity. So I asked you worship Radha Krsna? He said, that is my lila, pastime! Radha Krsna are very beautiful, but you are becoming old! He said, that is my pastime! So then this is everyone’s pastimes. Everyone is growing old! So the Lord’s effulgence is formless but the Lord has a form. We are observing the Ratha Yatra because the Lord made a journey from Dwaraka to Vrndavana. Haribol! Last three question!
Question: Being a householder and a single mother, it sometimes becomes difficult for me to do my duties to the Lord. Sometimes I have to feed or serve my child first in many circumstances. What should I do? Will I fall from bhakti because of all this?
Guru maharaj: See taking care of our children, we should take that as a service to Krsna. And we want to feed our children, Krsna prasadam. We want to treat our children so nice that they become devotees.
Question: Sometimes when I am cooking something, my child feels hungry and I pick up the item being cooked and she will run with it before offering.
Guru maharaj: So you have to offer her other things. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Thakur when he was a child, he ate an unoffered mango. And his father Srila Bhakti Vinoda Thakur chastised him. Why did you take an unoffered mango? Then he vowed that for the rest of his life, he didn’t eat any mango! So of course he was a very special child! This way, there is a great responsibility for the parents to train their children. But maybe when the child is very small, they don’t have such discretion. Second last question.
Question: Are there any special instructions for those who have aspired from you and how can I develop more faith in my spiritual master as the initiated devotees have?
Guru maharaj: Maybe you should talk with the initiated devotees. Why they have so much faith! Of course in ISKCON we are a multi-guru society. But we may aspire from one of the gurus as our siksa and diksa guru. So we should hear from our guru and we should hear about him also. Just like, this class, these questions and answers are being broadcast on Facebook. And almost every day I give class. So aspiring devotees, initiated devotees, anyone can listen to these classes. Also, occasionally, few temples they have Jayapataka Swami Sisya Samuha meetings. In Mayapur it happens every week on Thursdays. And they put those meetings on You Tube. So you can hear what different devotees have realized. Some temples they have once a month, some once in two months. So you can also participate. Last question!
Question: While chanting sometimes we feel tired and take shelter of pillow (Guru Maharaj: ha! Ha!), left and right! What should we do?
Guru maharaj: So this feeling, sleepy while chanting japa, this is a sign of advancement! By chanting you are feeling peaceful! And therefore you want to sleep! Ommm Shanti Shanti Shanti! But it is not the highest form of advancement! We want that we feel some enthusiasm. We want to chant and serve the Lord. So if we are feeling sleepy while we are chanting, we can stand up. We can walk and chant. Srila Bhaktisiddanta Saraswati Thakur, he would always walk while chanting. So some people they like to sit and chant, and some like to walk and chant. No hard and fast rule. You can also chant the Panca Tattva mantra to get some special boost! SRI KRSNA CAITANYA PRABHU NITYANANDA SRI ADVAITA GADADRHAR SRIAVASADI GUARA BHAKTA VRNDA! NITAI GAUR! NITAI GAUR! NITAI GAUR! HARIBOL!
So thank you all very much for your nice questions. Tomorrow mid-day I think there is initiation and in the evening I will give class and also question and answers here. So thank you for your illustrious questions! I hope that I was able to answer them alright.
Transcribed by Jayaraseshwari devi dasi
07 June 2019