Loved Every Article
Wow! This issue [November/December] is the topmost! Awesome! I loved it. I've been a subscriber for twenty-one years and have loved other issues, but I can't remember one better than this one. I loved every article!
Over the years BTG has been consistently good, but I must say your current work has outstanding potency. You are doing great work and are truly honoring Prabhupada. You BTG devotees must be maintaining a certain level of purity to produce such potent work. There is no doubt. Please know that your efforts are greatly appreciated by me and, I'm sure, many, many others.
Via the Internet
Association Through BTG
I always look forward to seeing what is written in every issue of BTG and really like that BTG is presented very professionally and that the articles are very informative. I also feel it is so good to have association of the devotees elsewhere in the world via the BTG.
Ms. Ramola Chauhan
Worth Reading Every Day
Your article "For the Gentle and the Ruffians" [Indradyumna Swami, September/October 2001] was such a shocking and interesting one. Even in a situation where devotees' lives were in danger, they still went ahead with the festival. And Lord Krsna, residing in the heart of everyone, changed the hearts of those ruffians, and they also chanted the holy name of God.
I think that for those who doubt the potency of chanting the holy name—the Hare Krsna maha-mantra—and of taking prasadam, this article is worth reading every day. And for those devotees who were wounded in that incident, I wish you all speedy recovery. And don't be discouraged. Always remember that this is Kali-yuga; the demons are always terrorizing the devotees, and we must take seriously the mission to spread the chanting of the maha-mantra everywhere. As the madness of Kali-yuga manifests itself in more obvious ways, it is easy to see that there is no other hope.
Abidjan, Ivory Coast
I am a regular reader of BTG. I read the article "Let Krsna Bless America," by His Holiness Lokanath Swami, online [www.krishna.com]. The article was amazing, especially Lokanath Swami's remembrance of Prabhupada's struggles in connection with the Mumbai temple. I wish to read more like this—the realization of various senior devotees. Please include more articles like this in your future issues.
Via the Internet
True and Personal Articles
I had always enjoyed reading the articles of His Holiness Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami. His recent article "The Authenticity of Spiritual Places" [September/October 2001] was very instructive for practicing devotees of ISKCON. He mentions, "The real service to a holy place is to meditate upon the event that took place there, and it is just as potent to compose ourselves in our own place, meditate on the significance of the particular place, and to then allow the mood of that place to imbue our service with new life." In this way Maharaja has given every devotee a vision of the purpose of visiting a holy place.
In fact, Satsvarupa Maharaja's articles always give lots of inner reflection about individual devotional practices, making the articles very true and personal. I especially enjoyed reading "Holding Fast in Times of Stress" (May/June 2000) and "No Fear" (November/December 2000). My conviction in Krsna Consciousness grows stronger whenever I read his articles.
(disciple of H. H. Bhaktisvarupa Damodara Swami)
Juhu, Mumbai, India
Solving Arjuna's Dilemma
I am a student in Nottingham University and have to write an essay on the Mahabharata. My essay title is "How Did Arjuna Resolve His Moral Dilemma?" I have researched this paper thoroughly through reading extracts of the Gita and other sourcebooks. I am, however, puzzled as to what Krsna's involvement was in the war. More importantly, what did he say to Arjuna? I have read through, and the language is quite confusing. I was hoping that you could shed some light on what Krsna said that helped Arjuna resolve his moral dilemma.
I also wanted to know if any aspect of free will is involved in this essay. If fate and destiny control our paths and the cycle of karma, did Arjuna really have a decision to make, or was it already made for him by the universe?
Via the Internet
OUR REPLY: The concise answer to your question is that Arjuna solved his moral dilemma by doing as Krsna desired. Krsna says many times in the Gita that He is God, and Arjuna accepts Krsna's statements as true. The last word in morality is to obey the order of God. After all, God is ultimately the judge of what is right or wrong.
As for karma and free will, Krsna makes it clear that although He has decided that the soldiers on both sides will die, Arjuna is free to choose whether or not to "become My instrument" in the fight. Neither Krsna nor Arjuna's karma is forcing Arjuna. Krsna says, yathecchasi tatha kuru: "Do as you wish." Of course, there are different reactions to different courses of action, but Arjuna does have a choice.
Please write to us at: BTG, P.O. Box 430, Alachua, FL 32616, USA. Or: BTG, 33 Janki Kutir, Next to State Bank of Hyderabad, Juhu, Mumbai 400 049, India. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.