Questions And Answers

by the Disciples of AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

The Use & Misuse Of Religion

Question: Religion is the source of so much strife in our world, perhaps because of the fact that it is misused. I would like to get your perspective on that.

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Conjugal Relationships

Question:

How far should we try to follow the husband-wife dynamics described in the Vedas?

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The Chanting of Hare Krishna

Question:

I have heard and to some extent can understand that the Maha Mantra is a spiritual sound vibration that is non-different from Lord Krsna. I suppose the difficulty in grasping this lies in the fact that I cannot help but think that I am producing this sound. I am using the same mouth and vocal chords that I would use to consume my food or voice my opinion. How can it be so transcendental, and not of me, if it is produced by me?

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Cultivating a Personal Connection with Krishna

Question:

I have been chanting, reading, listening, etc. and am very interested and invested in this process. I am feeling an increasing amount of affection for Krishna, Prabhupada, and the devotees. But, I feel like I am missing the “personal” connection I felt with God before I began this path of Krishna consciousness. I used to do guided meditations, hatha yoga, journaling, etc. and felt a real personal relationship with God. And while I am enjoying this new process, I am having difficulty connecting the idea of chanting Krishna’s name with my old feeling of communing with God. Any insights or suggestions you may have would be extremely helpful.

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Vedic Culture & Ethnic Customs

Question:

Some people equate Vedic culture with current ethnic customs in India. However, there has been significant Muslim influence in India. Could you comment on this?

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Nature, Gender, & Ideology

Question:

To what degree should we try to follow the gender roles of husband and wife as described in the Vedas?

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Role of Women in the Vedas

Question:

I read a list of the incarnations of Vishnu in the seventh chapter of the Second Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam and saw that there are no female incarnations and even the animal incarnations are male. This clearly reflects the predominant male mentality in Hinduism. In the Vedas, women are relegated to the shadows of her husband’s cast. They didn’t study or go to gurukula, instead only learning how to be maidservants to their husbands. Further their birth is considered inferior in the Bhagavad-gita. How can we consider such a society to be based on the instructions of a Divine Being, by definition, morally perfect?

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Is Krishna God.

Question:

I’m convinced that there is no conclusive evidence in the Vedas that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Based on the Devi Purana, I understand that Bhavani (Devi) is the true Goddess. I also do not see any strong logical claim that Krishna is God.
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Sanskrit, The Essence of Vedic Culture and Its Application in Modern Times

Interview for Aura Magazine with Dr. Howard Resnick (Hridayananda Das Goswami )

 No matter we already write about sanskrit we’d like to ask again – as we believe You’ll tell us even some more: When the sanskrit was brought to full development – was it in so called sathya yuga? Who was the inventor of the sanskrit language . maybe some vedic rishis? So how old is now this language and when it was for the first time written down?

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“Is It Just An Illusion?”

Question:

Some people claim that religion, God, scriptures, etc. are all illusion. It’s made it as a means to control other minds and so they won’t subscribe to it. My response in essence was that a person can know God personally through a reciprocal relationship. The response was, “But that’s just an illusion. You’re creating that experience whether you realize it or not.” I find it difficult to move forward in the conversation at this point, because no matter what I bring up from Bhagavad-Gita or Srimad-Bhagavatam, or any scripture, is automatically categorized as illusion. So no matter what point I bring up, no matter how logical or advanced as it is, is no more than an illusion because I’m a human and my brain or mind produced it. It might be a beautiful thought, but it’s just an illusion only for me. This “illusion argument” also serves like a foundation for many other atheistic arguments to be built upon. Because if it is an illusion, then any scripture penned by a human is just an illusion. My question is how does one engage a person who basis their argument and counters everything with, “It’s just an illusion?” I would greatly appreciate your thoughts and insight on this matter.

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What is the meaning and use of the word “Acarya”?

Question: Can you please describe the meaning and use of the word “Acarya” in our scriptures?

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…this path of Krishna consciousness is a gradual one where we will naturally mature and grow throughout our practice

Question:

I really appreciate what you said about the two standards for illicit sex and also that this path of Krishna consciousness is a gradual one where we will naturally mature and grow throughout our practice. That is one thing that I want to be especially careful of. While I still can’t completely see the impure “non-ghee” part of a loving sexual relationship, I can imagine what you mean and can very much see how at some point I may be at that level.

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The Role of Krpacarya in the Mahabharata

Question:

I have a Mahabharata related question based on the purport to SB 1.12.13. Srila Prabhupada mentions that Krpacarya helped to kill Abhimanyu, and then was later entrusted to do the birth ceremony for his son Maharaja Pariksit and to guide him spiritually when Yudhisthira left for the Himalayas. Do you have any further insight as to why Krpacarya would be still be trusted, esteemed and appointed as Maharaja Pariksit’s guru after helping to kill his father?

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Am I a chosen one?

Question:

Yesterday I came upon the commonly quoted verse from the Bhagavad Gita (7.3): “Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth.” My question is actually concerning my reaction to the verse. Upon reading this, I immediately thought- “Oh good, so that’s why my family can’t really understand my path, because they are not the ‘one among thousands’ like I am.” I was then quickly put off by how puffed up I was and the prejudiced belief I held against my own family- that I believed I was somehow the “chosen” one and they weren’t. I am also very concerned because I believe this way of thinking is a slippery slope. I think you can quickly switch from “Am I right in this?” to “You are wrong and I am better.” What can I do to keep this in check and how do I balance the fact that I DO believe I am on the right path, but I want to truly love and respect my family members as equals?

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Why there are such convenient archetypal names In Srimad Bhagavatam and Mahabharata?

Question:

In Srimad Bhagavatam and Mahabharata, there seem to be quite a few instances in which people are named according to their qualities or the roles they play in a particular pastime. Daksa, Suruci, Suniti, Duryodhana, for example. Someone questioned me about why there are such convenient archetypal names and asked if this indicates that the stories could be more allegorical than historical?

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Sex & Spirituality

Question:

For a Krishna conscious devotee, can sex be an expression of love?

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Out of many thousands among men…

Question:

Yesterday I came upon the commonly quoted verse from the Bhagavad Gita 7.3, “Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth.”

My question concerns my reaction to the verse. Upon reading this, I immediately thought- “Oh good, so that’s why my family can’t really understand my path, because they are not the ‘one among thousands’ like I am.” I was then quickly put off by how puffed up I was and the prejudiced belief I held against my own family that I believed I was somehow the “chosen” one and they weren’t. I am also very concerned because I believe this way of thinking is a slippery slope. I think you can quickly switch from “Am I right in this?” to “You are wrong and I am better.” What can I do to keep this in check and how do I balance the fact that I DO believe I am on the right path, but I want to truly love and respect my family members as equals?

This question is also relevant to my feelings with the greater population. For example, I’ve often struggled with the balance between speaking about my strong beliefs around meat eating, while still honoring each individual’s path.

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The God Delusion

Question:

Humans are capable of deriving mental peace, security, and a basis for better loving dealings with others from a variety of convictions.

For example:
“My parents are protecting me, therefore I have nothing to worry about.”
“My guardian angel is always with me looking out for me.”
“Commander Zargon from planet D3 with his subtle storm troopers are surrounding the planet to protect me, thus I have nothing to fear and can peacefully carry on my life.”
“Jesus Christ is taking me to heaven, thus I have nothing to fear.”

Humans regularly derive a good measure of deep peace and fearlessness through these types of convictions. Those who embrace Krishna consciousness, exhibit a similar state of tranquility.

Aside from the seemingly circular statements of Vedic scriptures that assert to a large extent the veracity of its truth with references to statements within the texts themselves, what can be said on the basis of logic and reason to refute the feeling that Krishna consciousness may be merely another useful tool, another peace-of-mind formula, that one might take recourse of Commander Zargon or Jesus and get the same effect.

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Legalised abortion

Question:

What is your opinion on abortion being legalized in the case of rape?

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What is most important – hearing, thinking, meditating or silence?

Question:

“Among the confidential activities of hearing, thinking and meditating, silence is most important because by silence one can make progress very quickly.” – Srila Prabhupada, BG 10.38. In all his books Prabhupada always stating that hearing is most important and here he saying that silence is most important. Explain this to me please.

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