Question: Not audible.

Guru maharaj: So we should take credit for what we did and what we didn’t do We can also take credit but if we didn’t do it, we can say that we did not do it. Any other questions?

Question: In the western world there are many issues that our Krishna conscious society has no clear answers. What is the position of our ISKCON movement with regard to four things: euthanasia, abortion, homosexuality and feminism?

Guru maharaj: Since we know we are not the body and that we use our time to cultivate our Krishna consciousness, euthanasia is a type of suicide. In the Vedas it says if one takes his or her life, then they have to stay for the number of years that they were supposed to live as a ghost. So this is due to ignorance, because they don’t know who they are and they think that if they take their life, then they don’t have to suffer. But still they have to suffer. There is no shortcut. Abortion means killing the embryo in the womb and that is also having karma. When the wife of Hiranyakashipu was arrested by the devas and as soon as the child was born they wanted to kill the child. That means that killing the child in the embryonic stage is such horrible karma that even the devas did not want to do that. But they were willing to kill the baby once the baby was born. The Vedas say that if the mother’s life is in danger then they can do abortion but otherwise it is not recommended. There was a lady in Bombay, she went there from the Middle East, the baby was still born, dead on arrival. The baby lived for a few minutes and then died. So that baby had to undergo that brief period and then it could be born in a normal way.

Any questions?

Question: if somebody is doing an abortion, does the father also get part of the karma if the wife does it without the husband’s knowing?

Guru maharaj: Those who are abetting or participating in the abortion, they will also be guilty. But if they don’t know that the wife is doing it. Then I would think that they are not responsible. But one would have to see the codes of Manu to verify. Last two questions.

Question: Is bhakti and mind control something that is achieved with hard practice or is it something that we should practice to our best and that Krishna may or may not give it to us at some point?

Guru maharaj: The practice of bhakti yoga is something natural. It is not an artificial imposition on the mind. So one can perform bhakti yoga naturally. Bhu devi is a personification of devotional service.

Question: In yesterday’s class Vishwambhar gave clothing to beggars, are we allowed to give clothing and sweaters to beggars or will we be bound by karma?

Guru maharaj: The acts of charity that a grihastha follows is something that is not given up. Sacrifices, charity, these are meant to purify. And if you can possess these attributes, then it is auspicious.

Question: What kind of dakshina can be given to brahmanas in Purushottam maas?

Guru maharaj: Something practical, like a dhoti, brahmana thread, gala vastra.

Question: Is Lord Caitanya’s potency equal across all the branches of the other Gaudiya sampradayas?

Guru maharaj: Each person has his own level of advancement. So some are more advanced than others.

Question: If a soul dies or leaves the body in Purushottam month, what happens?

Guru maharaj: Well, if they are Krishna conscious then Krishna will award them.

Question: How can I show my love towards Krishna more?

Guru maharaj: Do the things that He wants you to do. The shaastras glorify this month. That one who engages in devotional service he can enjoy the material world and then be transferred into Goloka Vrndavan.

Question: How can I inspire myself to do sadhana and how can I realize if I have enthusiasm in spiritual life?

Guru maharaj: The process of devotional service is meant to raise our enthusiasm. If one prays for strength again and again, then Krishna may help us.

Question: Is it sinful to call a devotee with his karmi name i.e. a devotee who calls or gets called by the karmi name, will they acquire sin?

Guru maharaj: We should avoid calling people by their karmi name.

Question: Guru maharaj, how to develop determination for consistently chanting rounds in brahma muhurta?

Guru maharaj: Practice makes perfect.

Question: How do we know if we have committed any Vaishnava aparadh?

Guru maharaj: The result of vaishnava aparadh is that we lose our taste for chanting and serving.

Question: If the modes of material nature are the doers so then why are we involved in karma?

Guru maharaj: We choose which mode we will work under. If one of us works under the mode of goodness, that is considered a brahmana, if we work under the mode of passion, that is Kshatriya and if we work under the mode of goodness and passion, that is a Vaishya, and if we are working in ignorance, then that is shudra.

29 May 2018