Reaction for Suicide

What is the reaction for a person who has mutilated the body or committed suicide?
– Ann

Reply by’s Live Help volunteers: To misuse our material body is very lamentable. The human form of life is a gift acquired after going through many lower forms of life for a long, long time. In the human form our intelligence should be used to advance spiritually. With this developed intelligence we can choose how to act, and we are held responsible for our actions. If we choose to harm the body or commit suicide, then we get a very bad result. That is, we are not allowed to have another body right away, because we do not deserve it. But we still have all our desires, and therefore we get the subtle body of a ghost, a situation in which we cannot satisfy our desires. It is a horrible situation.

The best use of the material body is to consider it the temporary temple of our soul. We do what’s needed to keep the body and soul together and engage it in Krishna’s service. Krishna has given it to us for that purpose.

Parihasya Chanting

What is parihasya chanting?
– Shreya Anuj Anand

Our reply: The word parihasya means “jokingly.” This type of chanting is mentioned in Srimad- Bhagavatam (6.2.14) as one of the ways in which chanting should ideally not be performed, but even if someone does it this way he is benefited nevertheless. The idea is that even if some people make fun of chanting or of those who chant, they will benefit by the effect of the holy names. During the time of Lord Caitanya, the Muslims would sometimes make fun of the chanting of Hare Krishna mahamantra by uttering the holy name “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna .” After the Muslim ruler banned sankirtana, the authorities would send the soldiers to check the situation. Sometimes the soldiers would return and keep chanting “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna .” When asked by their authorities, they would inform that in the process of trying to stop the Hindus from chanting the holy names they also uttered it in a joking manner, and since then they also got habituated to chanting the holy names. This reflects the evermerciful nature of the holy names of the Supreme Lord.

Highest Yoga

Hare Krishna . The article “Does asana Equal Yoga?” was very good. There was lot of useful information regarding bhakti-yoga, how it is superior to others asanas and physical yoga (hatha-yoga). The author, Satyaraja Dasa, has beautifully explained how bhakti-yoga consisting of activities like sravanam, kirtanam, reading scriptures, and associating with devotees, is the best form of yoga.
– GNM Mukunda, by email

Who Spoke the Gita?

I have heard that Lord Krishna does not leave Sri Vrndavana dham. If this is correct then who gave sermons to Arjuna in the battlefield of Kuruksetra?
– Shreya Anuj Anand

Our reply: There are two aspects to Lord Krishna ’s lila (divine activities): prakata (manifest) and aprakata (unmanifest). For example, when the sun sets, it does not get destroyed; it just becomes unmanifest to our eyes. Similarly, Lord Krishna sometimes disappears from our vision but is always present in His aprakata form in all the holy places connected to Him especially Vrndavana, Mathura and Dvaraka. Sometimes He is visible to the common person’s vision and sometimes He is not. It is ascertained by elevated devotees that one with the right consciousness can see Lord Krishna even today in the holy land of Vrndavana. Srila Prabhupada often quoted a story of a thief who had heard from a professional Bhagavata-katha speaker about the various precious jewels decorating Lord Krishna ’s body and thus thought of stealing those jewels. This thief later actually met Krishna in person just because of his intense eagerness to see Him. Of course, the thief got purified by meeting Krishna and even gave up his stealing propensity.

As per Srimad-Bhagavatam and other Vedic texts, Lord Krishna did leave Vrndavana for Mathura and later left Mathura for Dvaraka. As Dvarakadhisa, He spoke the allfamous Bhagavad-gita to His dear friend and devotee Arjuna. The version that Lord Krishna never leaves Vrndavana is from the literature of the Six Gosvamis of Vrndavana who on the basis of different references within the Vedic scriptures have established the supreme status of Sri Vrndavana dhama as the super-excellent sporting ground for Lord Krishna and His devotees to enact the highest levels of loving reciprocations of pure love for each other. Since Vrndavana dhama facilitates the highest exhibition of spiritual exchanges between Lord Krishna and His devotees, they mention that Lord Krishna , the supreme lover, never leaves this land – in other words, He always exists here in His aprakata form.

Another explanation is as follows. Since Lord Krishna is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, He is called avatari, the source of all incarnations, and thus all incarnations are present within Him. Similarly, there are different aspects of Lord Krishna , like the Vasudeva aspect that are also contained within Him. The original personality is Syamasundara Krishna , the son of Nanda Maharaja, and Vasudeva is the son of Vasudeva. These two personalities are non-different from each other but there is a slight difference in the rasa, or mood. Krishna as Syamasundara is the personification of madhurya (sweetness of pure spiritual love) whereas Krishna as Vasudeva is the personification of aisvarya (awe generated by power). Even within Vrndavana, whenever a demon would attack, it is the Vasudeva aspect of Krishna that did the fighting and killing. Nandanandana Krishna , or Syamasundara Krishna , refrains from all fights and is just engaged in exchanging loving reciprocal mellows with His devotees. From rasa perspective, the Nandanandana aspect is superior to Vasudeva aspect due to the absence of any aisvarya. It is mentioned that Nandanandana Krishna never leaves Sri Vrndavana dham. It is the Vasudeva aspect that leaves Vrndavana for Mathura since Krishna will now be involved in matters besides pure loving affairs.

(Reply for other letters by Nanda Dulal Dasa)