CONTINUE THIS WAY
The letter by Krishna Chaitanya Das, (August 2008) which said that BTG should follow in the footsteps of Shri Krishna Kathamrita Bindu and Sri Sampradaya Journals are tenable with the proposition that more and more philosophies from the acaryas will enrich us and enlighten our soul.
However, let us not go by fiction but by facts. One of the prime principles of our society is prthivite ache yata nagaradi grama sarvatra pracara haibe mora nama sri Caitanya came to deliver everybody irrespective of the fact that whether they are rich or poor, Hindu or Muslim, educated or savage. I am a life member and closely connected to the New Alipore temple in Kolkata. I have seen in Bengal itself, the very land of Lord Caitanya’s appearance, how difficult it has become to preach because people are blind with Mayavada doctrine. Due to the ill effects of Kali-yuga, people no longer practice the philosophy and they wonder how Lord Caitanya is relevant in their day to- day lives. How can we discuss unconditional love of God and similar elevated topics as given by our acaryas with these people? Philosophy works among the devotee circle, not among the common masses for them there is only one message: harer näma harer nama harer nama aiva kevalam. So there will be repetitions, there has to be repetitions it is inevitable.
As far as Chaitanya Das’s regret on the fact that this magazine will in no time become a coffee-house journal that is something we have to think about. ISKCON is a world religion based on Gaudiya Vaisnavism, and Back to Godhead therefore should not remain a minority journal. To discuss the philosophy of our acaryas and other esoteric topics, there can be a separate magazine with restricted circulation. However Back to Godhead should go exactly the way it is going now. The presentation, the style, and elegance are par excellence, and if it continues this way then one day it will become the most popular magazine in India.
Dear friends, let us open our hearts and try to accumulate a single drop of love by which Lord Gauranga is going to flood every town and village in the near future. Look at the situation of ISKCON in Kazakhstan? Can we afford to be disunited?
Let Back to Godhead reach every town, village, school, college, casino, bar, liquor shop, brothel, and each and every dark corner of society. sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has appeared to deliver the whole world, and before Him there is perfect egalitarianism, spiritual socialism, equality, justice, and universal humanitarianism.
(Mr.Sohan Mukhopadhyay L.L.B(HONS), Kolkotta)
DISTINGUISHING Bhakti FROM GAUNA-DHARMA
Your July issue was wonderful, with intelligent contributions from devotees. However, a comment by one devotee, “Raising my child is my favorite type of devotional service…” was technically incorrect. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati comments on Sri Brahmasamhita (5.61) that “duties of the world that are connected with the Supreme are “subsidiary spiritual functions (gauna-dharma),” being helpful for the growth of bhakti. Begetting and caring for children is such a function, not actually bhakti, or devotional service.
The distinction is important because untrained householders tend to substitute gauna-dharma for bhakti. The idea that any activity connected with Krsna is devotional service is incorrect. It is important to know the difference between gauna-dharma, which prepares the field for bhakti, and actual bhakti. For example, when a devotee brushes his or her teeth it is gauna-dharma, because the devotee is taking care of the body, which is used in Krsna’s service. Some activities that are done with a child for example, hearing, chanting, and so on are bhakti. However, some activities are gauna (material preparation), not bhakti.
(Daynananda Dasa,New York)
The August edition of Back to Godhead on Srimati Tulasi Maharani was excellent. It answered lots of my queries.
(Manali D Bijlani,Delhi)
I was enchanted and enlightened by the Tulasi special issue. I liked all of the articles. In our bungalow in Bharuch we created a rostrum to grow Tulasi an auspicious event in Gujarat.
After reading “Taking care of Tulasi Devi” my knowledge was expanded so that further requisite action could be taken particularly in watering. While there is sufficient water and light, there is so much growth of manjaris and more Syama Tulasi than Rama Tulasi.
In May issue the article ‘Between Life and Death’ by Radha Raja Murari Dasa was inspiring—fighting against death so gloriously and winning over through the tremendous faith of a couple in Krsna consciousness.
BTG July carried a very educative and informative article by Murari Gupta Dasa called “From Village to Village”. My heartiest congratulations to the writer and Rupa Raghunatha Dasa, who took the bus party sankirtana to the villages making them throb with Krsna consciousness.
I have had always thought that the movement needs to be taken to 67% of our population; who are deprived of so many facets of urban and metropolitan cities. I have seen village life so closely from Bhraucha taluka and district.
With the assistance of Jagannatha Prabhu and Murari Gupta Dasa, I had arranged Bhagavad-gita book distribution in Bharuch. I was wondering whether with their help we can gradually spread to villages in and around in Bharuch.
Now we have the presence of ISKCON in the Bharuch a small congregation meets every Tuesday evening. Many youngsters have come forward to welcome this step.
(Narendra Dalal, Bharuch, Gujarat)
ACTIONS THAT LIBERATE
Krsna says in the 3rd chapter of Bhagavad-gita, “Whatever actions you perform, surrender the fruits of those actions unto Me and you shall remain unaffected by its reactions.” Unfortunately, most of us perform our duties without worrying about their outcome and do not surrender the fruits of our action unto Krsna. I want to know what is naiskarmya? What are the actions to be performed in naiskarmya which will not incur any sins or reactions and will attain us liberation after death by surrendering to Lord Krsna? Does naiskarmya means karma-yoga performed in synchronization with Bhakti-yoga (devotional service)?
OUR REPLY: Naiskarmya or niskama karma-yoga means activities that do not give any reaction because the results are offered to Krsna. Activities in karmayoga may not be exactly what Krsna wants us to do, but since we offer the results to Him, they are free of sins. Bhakti-yoga, on the other hand, constitutes activities that are done solely for the pleasure of Krsna. Karma-yoga becomes bhakti-yoga if we perform all our activities as directed by Krsna (through His pure representative, the bona fide spiritual master) for the pleasure of Krsna, and not merely offer Him the results of actions that we chose to perform as per our likes. Karma-yoga, therefore, in its purest form is nondifferent from bhakti-yoga.
Reply to the letter was written by Mukunda Mala Dasa
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