Questions And Answers

by the Disciples of AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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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Should one be punished for mental crimes by violently suffering in hell?

Question:

In the Fifth Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam, there are specific hells for people who, for example, deviate from a bona-fide spiritual path and invent their own (SB 5.26.15). If these people are only committing mental crimes, it seems unfair and extreme that they should be punished by violently suffering in hell. Could you help me understand this better?

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Competing Principles of Dharma

Question:

I read a lot about dharma in the Mahabharata and the different dharmas: family dharma, social dharma, etc. How can we know what to do when two worldly dharmas conflict, even though there is no conflict in our devotional life, but in other aspects of our life? How we decide what’s the right path?

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Why did the varnasrama system degenerate into the present system?

Question:

Why did the varnasrama system degenerate into the present system?

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Is determination to achieve a goal something that can be developed?

Question:

Is determination to achieve a goal something that can be developed because we know we should do it or is determination only possible if we are attracted to the goal. In other words, is determination possible without a goal that attracts us?

 

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Does Lord Brahma actually experience one day like millions of years?

Question: 

If Lord Brahma sees Krishna appearing every day of his life, every day he is seeing Krishna, but still he forgets. Does he actually experience one day like millions of years or does he experience his days just like 24 hours?

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What role should religion play in public education?

Question: 

What role should religion play in public education?

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Did people know Krishna before He appeared?

Question:

Did people know Krishna before He appeared?

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Why Krishna and other forms of the Lord only appeared in India and on this planet?

Question: 
I was wondering why Krishna and other forms of the Lord only appeared in India and on this planet. Was there a specific reason for this?
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Karma

Question:
What is the position of people who are killed by someone who goes on a shooting spree or by those who otherwise appear to kill people randomly? Are the victims actually random?

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What does it mean to actually trust in Krishna as our personal trainer?

Question:
What does it mean to actually trust in Krishna as our personal trainer? Does trust exist purely on an emotional or sentimental platform?

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On Chanting maha-mantra

Question:

While singing kirtan, I have no trouble being “carried off” in a flood of devotion and loving thoughts of God. Or while practicing silent or guided meditation, I am able to quiet my mind (somewhat!) and concentrate on healing, awareness, etc. But, I have struggled from the beginning with what exactly I should be DOING while chanting. There was one time, years ago, when I read in a book that a wonderful form of meditation was to simply close your eyes and list as many names of God as you could think of. I did this for about 20 minutes and had an amazing experience, but I have never felt that ecstatic feeling while chanting on my beads- only while singing kirtan.

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On Prabhupada & ISKCON

Question:

I am very much attracted to this Krishna conscious philosophy, the lifestyle, and have never struggled with the four principles, but I have very little attraction to Prabhupada himself. Sometimes I think, if I had my choice, I would choose a different “branch” of bhakti yoga than ISKCON. But, because of my experience, I have such a fondness for ISKCON, despite what I see as its “faults.” How do I rectify this?Do you have any recommendations for books, perhaps written by you or your Godbrothers and Godsisters, that have a bit more “heart” and a bit less “science?” I have read quite a few of Prabhupada’s books, but am looking for some additional, perhaps “softer,” material to study alongside them.

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Is God Moral?

Question:

We had psychologists come to our program who are wondering how Krishna, being God, who came to establish religious principles, was engaged in stealing butter, lying, dating with the gopis, etc. How can we explain God being engaged in such apparently immoral activities?

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Is Krishna an advocate of extremist Deontological Ethics?

Question:

I recently read a book on ethics, justice and economics which discussed the ethics of the Bhagavad-gita. The author defended the initial points presented by Arjuna and classified Krishna as an advocate of extremist Deontological Ethics. I understand that Krishna has made some criticisms of this type of ethics, so how could He be framed this way?

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How is it that there is so much material advancement in the USA ?

QUESTION:

How is it that there is so much material advancement in the USA even though there is no God worship?

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Why did the Pandavas sit quiet when Draupadi was being disrobed by Dushasana?

Question:
In Mahabharat, when Draupadi was being disrobed by Dushasana, why did the Pandava’s sit quiet? Is there any other reason besides the fact that they had already lost in the gambling and had become slaves? The primary duty of a husband is to protect his wife. How could Yudhisthira Maharaj fail to understand this?

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Mercy vs. Grace?

Question:

Srila Prabhupada has translated word tvat-prasadat as “your mercy” in BG 18.73, while in 18.62 he translated same word as “by his grace”. Is it same meaning? Is this the Christian concept of grace? Is it the same as the word mercy we commonly use?

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Why don’t we celebrate disappearance days of Krsna?

Question:

Why don’t we celebrate disappearance days of Krsna, Lord Caitanya, etc?

 

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Where does the etymology of God come from?

Question:

Where does the etymology of God come from? (Krsna = Kristos, etc.)

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