Where is the earth in the order of all the planets, in spiritual and material terms? And through devotion can we go to Krsna's abode after this life? Or do we have to go through more lives and more planets to reach Krsna's abode?
(Dharmesh Nayee)
Our Reply: According to the Vedic literature there are fourteen planetary systems, six heavenly planetary systems above the earth and seven demonic planetary systems below it.
Modern scientists see the earth as orbiting the sun, between the orbits of Venus and Mars. Srimad Bhagavatam expresses the solar system from an earthcentered viewpoint, with the sun orbiting the earth, and Venus and Mars orbiting the sun. The result is the same; it is just a difference of where you are viewing from, the sun or the earth.
If we have desires other than desires to love and serve Krsna, we will have to stay in this world in different bodies and on different planets until we are free from such desires, unless Krsna gives us some special mercy. If, like the residents of the spiritual world, we only want to serve Krsna in this life, then we can attain the spiritual world after death. Srila Prabhupada was confident that if his disciples daily chanted the Hare Krsna mantra sixteen times around their beads, trying to give up offenses to the holy name and living without meat eating, intoxication, gambling, and illicit sex, they could become pure enough in heart to attain the spiritual world at the end of this life.
When reading about Krsna and devotees, I often wonder how people in the world not fortunate enough to live the life of a devotee are seen by Krsna? Are they saved? Also, how does someone who is sinful not a thief or a murderer but not as pure as a total devotee in loving service to Krsna how do they fare with Krsna if they chant only occasionally?
(Nigel Sunderland Bedfordshire, UK)
OUR REPLY: Krsna sends His devotees all over the world to save people. Even if they just hear the devotees chanting the holy names, they are saved from the reactions to many sins. Furthermore, the holy name plants the seed of bhakti in their hearts, and the result will be that someday they will become devotees. As they take up the chanting of the holy names, the benefits gradually accumulate and they become more serious devotees. This happens more readily if they avoid offending devotees and the holy name. One especially dangerous offense is to chant with the desire to erase sinful reactions while continuing with one's sinful life.
Why does this world look charming to everyone when it isn't actually charming?
(Mukesh Singh)
Our Reply: Krsna has created the material world for a dual purpose: (1) to allow living entities to enjoy without a direct relationship with Krsna, and (2) to show them that such independent enjoyment will never satisfy them. Therefore it must appear charming and at the same time not be charming. The material world is meant to attract people who do not want to serve the all attractive person behind it. It is called milyil, or "that which is not." According to Srimad Bhagavatam (1.1.1), even great sages and demigods are deluded by it. Krsna describes in the Bhagavad-gita (7.14) that the delusion is very difficult to overcome and only those who surrender to Him can easily cross beyond it. It is meant to bewilder the atheistic, but if you follow Krsna's instructions in the Bhagavad-gita, you will not be bewildered by it, and then you can help others.
Replies to the letters were written by Krsna Krpa Dasa
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