Chanting Hare Krsna with Love
Thank you, Dvarakadhisa Devi Dasi, for the article on the important subject of inattentive chanting.
Dvarakadhisa has mentioned several reasons for chanting inattentively, such as laziness, tiredness, busyness, sickness, and mental disturbance. But the underlying cause of inattentiveness is that we are not attached to Krsna. Still, by hearing about Krsna, by going on trying to chant attentively, by associating with those attached to Him, and by engaging in His devotional service, we become attached to Him. Then we chant with love, in which our attention is automatically drawn towards Him.
Inattentive chanting is a perennial problem for aspiring devotees, but can be overcome by sustained effort in devotional service. We need to regularly read about and discuss the glories of the holy name. We should especially discuss the need to chant attentively and to pray to guru and Krsna for help to overcome this problem.
Bhakti Vikasa Swami
Hail to the Mail
Hare Krsna! I am very impressed with the humble and objective attitude of the BTG magazine. It is amazing how the editors include favorable responses as well as heavily critical responses from readers in the "Letters" section of the magazine. The magazine is so open-minded that I often read very critical letters without a single word of reply from the editors. And at other times I break into laughter by reading the smashing responses from the editors to destroy the misconceptions of some of the critical readers.
I was particularly impressed by Jayadvaita Swami's response about demigod worship in the last issue. He seems to have an extraordinary knack for getting a point across. I was also impressed by Ravindra Svarupa Prabhu's inconceivable topics about the soul's fall. I think the magazine does a great job at addressing the complaints and comments of the readers. Thank you.
Randolph, New Jersey
Better Things to Think About
I never gave the "jivas' fall from grace" question too much thought. After reading Ravindra Svarupa's essay I think I might have had the right idea.
Maharupa Dasa Hanford, California
Vraja Kishor Grows Old
I'm sorry, but I really have to say this: What happened to Vraja Kishor's articles? That was my favorite section.
Sarasvati Dasi Detroit, Michigan
OUR REPLY: Youth is not forever, at least not in the material world. Vraja Kishor Dasa tells us he has outgrown his column, which was intended mainly for straightedge kids. We look forward to publishing articles from him directed to a broader audience.
Worshiping Sri Ganesa For Devotion to Lord Krsna
It has been delightful reading the magazine. With reference to the article on Ganesa by Satyaraja Dasa, I would like to ask: How to go about worshiping Sri Ganesa and his mother, goddess Durga, for removing obstacles on the road to Krsna consciousness?
I would like to worship Ganesaji, because I have always found him to be extremely lovable. Hence, if you could direct me as how to go about doing it, I shall very much appreciate it.
Shri Uttan Vasudeva
OUR REPLY: In the Krsna consciousness movement we have no rituals for worshiping Sri Ganesa or other devas. Following the directions of Bhagavad-gita, we exclusively worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna (Visnu).
To invoke the blessings of Sri Ganesa or any other god or goddess for increasing your Krsna consciousness, we suggest that you simply offer them your heartfelt prayers. You should also understand what is meant by "obstacles." The only real obstacles are our material desires desires for things other than pure devotion to Krsna. "Obstacles" does not refer to material problems, such as poor health, lack of money, or family difficulties. We should not think that we have to pray to anyone to relieve us of such material miseries. Rather, we should understand that when we become Krsna conscious all our material problems will seem insignificant. So, again, we should be careful that our prayers to any Deity are for pure love for Krsna, not for relieving material distress.
"Violating the Spirit of Hinduism"
Regarding the charges by the Federation of Hindu Associations (FHA) that Back to Godhead is "violating the very spirit of Hinduism" by scripturally distinguishing between Lord Krsna and the devas, or "demigods," I think that Jayadvaita Swami's reply, based firmly on the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita, showed decisively that ISKCON's philosophy speaks the essence of authentic Vedic scripture.
If teaching the conclusions of the Bhagavad-gita violates the spirit of Hinduism, then something is very much wrong about much of modern Hinduism.
Hansa B. Medley, MD Houston, Texas
I refer to the resolution of the Federation of Hindu Associations and the brilliant reply given by Jayadvaita Swami. It is so funny that the president of the association calls himself a protector of Hindu interests yet condemns the Puranas by calling them obscure.
If the Puranas are obscure, why do he and others attend so many programs directly based on Puranas? Without the Puranas Hindu society would have been left high and dry, as the Vedas are high and the Upanisads are dry for an ordinary Hindu. ThePuranas are the basis for restoring the faith, and Srimad-Bhagavatam is the pinnacle of all Puranas.
Prabhupada's Krsna consciousness movement is not endangering Hinduism; it is the only organization which has brought out the true essence of Hinduism, namely following the sanatana-dharma. Since it is based on sastras [Vedic scriptures] and is highly convincing in logic and content, it is being accepted universally. The proof is the spreading of the Hare Krsna movement in every nook and corner of the world. I congratulate you for standing up for the truth without any compromise to please a few self-declared leaders.
Subuddhi Krsna Dasa (Subodh Sangar)
What is all this bickering about? I am a devout Hindu and my whole family is also. I intend to die a Hindu. Yet the FHA's resolution seems more out of line than anything said in BTG. To the best of my knowledge, BTG has never said Lord Sri Rama is a demigod. Rama and Krsna are the same.
I and my whole family are very grateful to ISKCON for all the wonderful work they do around the world Food for Life programs, outreach programs, etc. May I point out that ISKCON's temples are open to all people of the world, no matter their religion, race, or creed.
In this age we are living in now (the Age of Kali), let us not bicker.
Namaste. Sita Rama.
Mrs. A. Shiva Hollywood, Florida
I thank you for your very strongly worded reply to Mr. Singh of the Federation of Hindu Associations. It was perfectly clear, scripturally sound, and logically conclusive.
William C. Willis San Diego, California
I was surprised by reading the FHA Resolution. However, you have given a very explicit, crystalline response with extracts from the sastras. I have been in the US since the last twenty-seven years. I came from India and was born into a Hindu family. However, I did not have a real knowledge about why Lord Krsna is the only Bhagavan [Supreme Lord] and the demigods are servants of Lord Krsna.
During 1971-72 when I saw devotees in downtown San Francisco on Market Street and Hollywood Street in L.A., distributing BTG and Bhagavad-gita, that really awakened me, and I decided to learn more about Sri Krsna bhakti.
Finally, during the mid-eighties my wife and I accepted Srila Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami as a spiritual master and surrendered to Srila Prabhupada's mission.
If a person takes pride in becoming a Hindu, then he should follow the Hindu bible, the Gita, educate others, and participate in many pious activities and preach
(1) why a cow is to be protected, (support the cow protection program)
(2) be a vegetarian and eat prasadam
(3) read and obey Sri Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam (humbly inquire more from sastra, guru, and a true sadhu).
(4) follow Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu's message: bharata-bhumite haila manusya-janma yara, janma sarthaka kari' kara para-upakara, "One who takes his birth in the land of Bharata should make his life perfect and then preach to others."
(5) Give up bodily concepts, learn spiritual realization, and make this life successful by going back to Godhead. Otherwise the human life is wasted.
This is Srila Prabhupada's Centennial Year. We followers of Srila Prabhupada see this year as an opportunity to expand the Krsna consciousness movement far and wide.
In these present days we see many new people coming to ISKCON temples allover the world and inquiring more about the Hare Krsna movement. Srila Prabhupada's literature, the chanting of Hare Krsna, and BTG will bring a revolution in the impious life of a misdirected civilization of the world.
NOTE: Not everyone was so pleased with what we had to say. A magazine in Malaysia has published an editorial criticizing BTG for "twisting of Vedic shlokas and the Gita to fit their view of the Hindu pantheon." Stay tuned.
We'd like to hear from you. Please send correspondence to: The Editors, Back to Godhead, P. O. Box 430, Alachua, Florida 32616, USA. Fax: (904) 462-7893. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the timeline of Srila Prabhupada's life (BTG, January/February), several readers have pointed out a serious omission: We failed to list Prabhupada's opening of Krsna conscious schools (gurukulas) in Dallas (1972) and Vrndavana (1977). Although we couldn't possibly list all of Prabhupada's accomplishments, these gurukula openings were milestones we ought to have included.
The subtitle in the article on Hanuman in the March/April issue said that Hanuman was "sired by Lord Siva," while the article mentioned Vayu as Hanuman's father. This may have caused confusion. A standard reference mentions both Siva and Vayu as Hanuman's father. We are researching the topic and will let you know what we find.