Guru maharaj: I went today to hospital for my three day a week dialysis and when I came here a doctor from Tanjore did some acupuncture for me. So it became a little late to have a regular class but I just thought if you have some questions I will try to give the answers.
Question: How should a devotee observe Ekadasi, like how many times should they eat?
Guru maharaj: The complete way to observe Ekadasi is to stay up the whole night, have nirjala and don’t eat the whole day but we never saw Srila Prabhupad doing that. Some devotees would do that and break the fast on the next day. That is the high standard and then the minimum is don’t take grains, cereals and pulses. Some people just replace their meals with non-grains. So you have all options. Prabhupad was very lenient and he wanted devotees to observe Ekadasi to the minimum because he was preaching all over the world and so the higher standard is very difficult to follow, and then people would not preach or do their service the next day. So chanting Hare Krishna, outreach programs and other active seva and don’t take grains, cereals or pulses. So one can follow anywhere in between, As I know Prabhupad would sometimes had some beans and Prabhupad said this breaks Ekadasi. So on the Thrayodashi he would fast again to make up the missed day. So he would follow by taking no beans, no peas, no pulses. And the chant extra rounds on Ekadasi day because on Ekadasi you get one hundred times more benefit. So you do more Krishna conscious seva. Any other question?
Question: Mira bai is Krishna’s devotee but our devotees do not sing Mira bai’s bhajans?
Guru maharaj: Since Mira bai accepted Krishna as her husband, but we are accepting Radharani as the consort of Krishna and we want to serve Radharani. So for that reason although we respect Mira bai, we do not usually chant her songs.
Question: In the Srimad Bhagavatam, Srila Prabhupad writes in a purport that the fourteenth quality knowledge can be further extended into five subheadings, namely, 1. Intelligence 2. Gratefulness 3. Power of understanding the circumstantial environments of place, object and time. 4.perfect knowledge of everything and 5. Knowledge of the self. Are these in order of understanding steps or levels of knowledge or just separate limbs of knowledge? I don’t understand no.4 knowledge of everything. Could you please explain what this means? Ys Nandapraiya Prema dd
Guru maharaj: This is a bit technical and at this time of the night I am not able to give it justice. I have to see the book and think about it. The knowledge of everything – Krishna knows everything and He has all knowledge. So in that way He knows everything. He knows the material world, He knows the spiritual world and in the Bhagavad Gita He answers all those questions. How Krishna knows everything in the material world and everything in the spiritual world. We have minute knowledge, Krishna has unlimited knowledge. Hare Krishna!
Question: How to improve my chanting?
Guru maharaj: Prabhupad said, practice makes perfect. If you avoid the ten offenses to the holy name, your chanting will become better. Also Sanatan Goswami’s Krishna ashtakam, by chanting that one gets freed from offenses and this can also help one chant better.
Question: Lord Krishna comes in most of the yugas I heard that 5000 years ago it was Krishna Himself from Goloka. Was Lord Krishna Himself in other Dvapara yugas or just in the last one?
Guru maharaj: Krishna comes in every kalpa, in every day of Brahma. He has a schedule that He follows. Something like in the 28th kali yuga He comes. In other yugas He comes as a partial avatar. So when He says sambhavami yuge yuge He is referring to those partial avatars. But He comes in His original form as Krishna once in the day of Brahma.
Question: In your book Vrndavane Bhajan you mention about how all activities of preaching like book distribution, etc, are part of the sankirtan movement. Understanding that and also going a little further is performing Harinaam sankirtan on a daily basis also required as our daily dose of medicine for our diseased condition. Is performing daily Harinaam sankirtan also required?
Guru maharaj: By helping others become Krishna conscious, our chanting is increased a hundred fold. Somebody told Haridas Thakur isn’t it better to chant mentally because it is more subtle? Haridas Thakur said that chanting loudly is a hundred times more beneficial because it helps others be Krishna conscious. So many insects, plants, they all get the benefit when you chant loudly. So by chanting loudly one is on the fast track of Krishna consciousness. Hare Krishna!
Question: Many devotees listen to Bhagavat katha on spoken by a devotee initiated from the Gaudiya matth coming in the line of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur. Is it ok to listen To those kathas?
Guru maharaj: I don’t know who the person delivering the Bhagavatam is. We haven’t heard them in East India, so I don’t know if they are bona fide or not. But if they are from the same parampara then listening to them is auspicious. This question is from Mumbai so devotees in Mumbai apparently have access to those lectures from the Gaudiya Matth. I would like to see their background. If they are part of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur’s movement or what.
Question: During chatur maas can devotees do garbhadaana samskaara? Vimla Vishnu Priya dd
Guru maharaj: I think that there are some dates given in the Panjika and those dates may include the rainy season. That could be looked at. I did not hear that garbhadaana samskaara was probhibited. But samskaaras are not done.
Question: Why is milk avoided in chatur maas if it is in the mode of goodness? Radha Rathi dd
Guru maharaj: I don’t know why food in the mood of goodness is prohibited but four things are observed in chatur maas. First month we don’t take shaak, second month we don’t take dahi, third month we don’t take milk and fourth month we don’t take aamish or high protein food. So for those who eat vegetarian food, they don’t take urad dal. Here in South India that is very tough. No idlis, dosas, aapams, murukkus as they are made with urad dal. So in the fourth month we can take chick peas and all other pulses but only urad dal is prohibited. So you can experiment taking chick pea dosa or in Gujarat they take dhokla.
Thank you very much.
Transcribed by Jayaraseshwari dd
31 July 2018