Prayers for What?

Regarding prayers to Lord Krishna, there are different views. One view is that ant and elephant face life on their own strength and not by praying to God. Another view is not to ask anything from God. Another view says not to ask anything material and ask only for Shraddha, bhakti and prema. Please clarify the above in detail.

God is mother and father. What is wrong in asking mother and father? The material world is created by God and the body needs the material world. If the material world is bad then God should have given birth to man in another good world. Material benefit and spiritual benefit are both wanted by man. (M.S. Sooryanarayan,Pune)

Our Reply: In His Shiksastakam prayers, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu makes an ideal prayer, ayi nanda-tanuja kinkaram patitam mam visame bhavambudhau/ krpaya tava pada-pankaja-sthita-dhuli-sadrsam vicintaya, begging the Lord to pick Him up from the ocean of death and reinstate Him in His original constitutional position as one of the atoms at the Lord’s lotus feet. He does not beg for anything else.

Parents feed and take care of their child even if he is mentally retarded, whereas in the case of an intelligent child, they reward him with active service. Their relationship grows as the child endeavors to serve his parents.

Similarly, lower species of life viz. ants, elephants etc, although spirit souls do not have their consciousness developed fully. Still, the Lord provides them with their necessities without expecting prayers from them.

A human being on the other hand, has fully developed consciousness and more is expected from him. We should thus pray for something that is befitting our status as God’s children in need of His mercy having forgotten our real position. Even if we might not currently be at this highest position, we should endeavor to get there.

Why make fun of Science?

I am a devotee of Lord Krishna, but the way you make fun of science is not acceptable, because if you think deeply, we are inventing new things with Krishna’s ingredients. So, if you don’t respect the inventions of modern times indirectly you are questioning Krishna’s creation.

You criticize science and at the same time you take help of science also. For example, for His Holiness Jayapataka Swami, they used ventilators in the hospital. If you are so against science, you shouldn’t have taken help of that machine as it is also invented by some atheist person.

My conclusion is that you should not criticize science because it is created by Krishna Himself. If you still continue I think you are the most atheistic person in the world. (Damodar,)

Our Reply: Lord Krishna gives us ingredients and also the intelligence how to use the ingredients. Unfortunately, we don’t give credit to Krishna nor follow His purpose. Mother Sita is the energy of Lord Rama. When Ravana tried to exploit Sita Devi, he was destroyed, whereas Kubja had some special ointments meant for Kamsa, but she decided to use them in service of Lord Krishna and Lord Balarama. So everything should be used in the service of the Lord.

When we criticize science, we criticize the atheistic motive of the scientists and the selfish end-usage of modern inventions. We have to examine whether the inventions are helpful for society or harmful. For example, nuclear and chemical weapons. Mostly, scientists are atheists, expert in denying God His rightful claim, and turning people away from Him. We will not object to them if they accept that God exists, and He is the cause of all causes.

We are not against science if it is used for moral and ethical purposes. As for using ventilators for His Holiness Jayapataka Maharaja, this usage in serving the pure devotee of the Lord has definitely earned the inventor a lot of spiritual credits.

Does Krishna understand me?

Krishna takes the essence of one’s devotional mentality. I am trying seriously to become a good devotee for the past six years. Still, somehow or other I am not able to become a good devotee. Will Krishna understand me? (Gaurav Talwalkar)

Our Reply: Yes, surely. Krishna is taking essence of your devotional mentality even at this very moment.

Sri Kavi, one of the nine Yogendras mentions, bhaktih paresanubhavo viraktir anyatra caisa trika eka-kalah/ prapadyamanasya yathasnatah syus tustih pustih ksud-apayo ‘nu-ghasam: Devotion, direct experience of the Supreme Lord, and detachment from other things these three occur simultaneously for one who has taken shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in the same way that pleasure, nourishment, and relief from hunger come simultaneously and increasingly, with each bite, for a person engaged in eating.

Still, if you are not experiencing these symptoms, you have to introspect and find out reasons.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura points out that sometimes in the course of performing devotional service, we get busy only with the externals. This will not lead to any nourishment in as much as one doesn’t experience nourishment if there are worms in one’s stomach.

If we are not experiencing any advancement in spiritual life, then we should check whether we are accepting guidance. Srila Rupa Goswami mentions in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu that taking shelter of a bona fide spiritual master is one of the first activities of devotional service (adau gurvasrayam). If we are doing so, we can be rest assured that we are on the right path, even though we might not be experiencing great spiritual ecstasy at the current moment. If we aren’t already seeking shelter, we should do so at the earliest.

Replies to the letters were written by Nanda Dulala Dasa.

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