The Swami Responds

Dear Swami Bhaktivedanta,

Could you please explain the Vedic concept of Universal Time? It seems to me that this is a bewilderingly complex system of thought.

Yours truly,
Henry Langdon


Dear Mr. Langdon,

Universal Time is no more complex than the relationship of a second to a minute to an hour to a day. History is divided into series of four Yugas, or sub-Ages. Each complete series is 4,200,000 years long. One thousand of such complete ages make one day of Brahma. Brahma is the creator of this Universe, and his life span is co-equal to it. Brahma's day is a thousand ages, and his night is also a thousand ages. And Brahma lives one hundred years. Thus, we can calculate the duration of this universe at something over three hundred billion years. I hope this answers your question.


Dear Swami,

How long does it take to attain perfection in Krishna Consciousness? Thank you, Walter Arden


Dear Mr. Arden,

One second is more than enough. The perfection of Krishna Consciousness is found in complete surrender unto the Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna. If you are capable of such surrender, then don't delay even one more heartbeat. The Maha (Hare Krishna) Mantra will help you to be able to surrender, by giving you direct experience of the Lord's presence. By thus understanding His Beauty, Kindness and other Attributes, you will realize the value of His association, and will at once surrender for His sake.

Dear Swami Bhaktivedanta,

Is it necessary to have a spiritual master in order to achieve Krishna Consciousness? Or is the chant alone enough?

Helen Lee


Dear Miss Lee,

Chanting will put you directly in touch with the Source Krishna Himself. But the spiritual master is Krishna's direct representative, and he too is of incalculable value for your spiritual progress.


Dear Swamiji,

Why was this material world created, if God truly loves us?

N. Ogden


My dear N. Ogden,

Do you think the government builds its prisons in hopes that they'll be filled? But there is a need. As the criminal must be removed from moral society, so the living entities who reject God must leave the spiritual realm, where all adore Him.


Dear Swami,

You say that unalloyed service to the Lord is the purest devotion. But how can we always put faith in Krishna's mercy, and at the same time never ask Him for anything?

Thank you,
Marie Moskowitz


Dear Miss Moskowitz,

We need never ask for the Lord's mercy. It is given us freely and abundantly at all times. Even the atheist enjoys it. But what we must have is God's loving service, if we are to know true happiness. Make this loving service the object of your every prayer, and see the result yourself.


Dear Swamiji,

What's wrong with pleasure?

D. T. Mervin


Dear D. T. Mervin,

Until you serve Krishna, you cannot know what pleasure is.


Dear Swami,

If one has rejected God, will God still take him back?

Miss Anita Keough


My dear Miss Keough,

We are all here due to mistakes. Krishna only cares for our love.


Dear Swami,

Is it necessary to pursue all the different yogas in turn in order to reach the Ultimate?

Yours truly,
John The


Dear Mr. The,

You can walk the stairs to the top of the Empire State Building if you like. But the elevator is also there. Try chanting Hare Krishna.


Dear Swami,

Why do so many people neglect the Lord, if He is the center of everything?

Brendan Jones


Dear Mr. Jones,

Why do some men lie down on the Bowery Street? There is independence, and independence means one can choose wisely or foolishly.

Ever your well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami