Attitude and Faith Matter
Thank you once again for another enlivening issue. The story of the three-year-old girl [March/April] was really touching. The message was quite clear: In preaching, age hardly matters what matters is your attitude and faith in the sweet Lord.
Also the visit to Angkor Wat was really well covered and excellently presented. I think ISKCON should come forward to preserve these monuments and give fallen souls the real nectar of Krsna consciousness.
Vikram Aditya Pandit
Via the Internet
I am searching for a new job, and I have recently been called to a few interviews. I was stressed, but then I read Rashi Singh's uplifting article in the March/April issue. I immediately started to see the interviews, regular workloads, job applications, and even my devotional service in a new light. The article reminded me that I was letting material pressures rule my consciousness. Instead of wallowing in worry and anxiety, I should realize that all successes and failures belong to Krsna and all work should be done as an offering to Him.
I'm a journalist, and it is challenging to keep Krsna at the center while I'm in the newsroom every day. But now, from 12:30 P.M. I block out the office's humdrum of shouting, teasing, and crude joking. I put on my headphones, log into Krishna.com, and download the radio. So I am transported from my office to Deity Greeting, Guru Puja, and Srimad-Bhagvatam class in Alachua, Florida. I try to avoid doing interviews or answering phone calls at that time, preferring to doing simple pieces of work on my computer so I can concentrate on the program. While tapping my finger on my desk to Srila Prabhupada's "three beat," I often have to stop myself singing!
Krishna.com radio is a wonderful idea a breakthrough for devotees all over the world. It's especially merciful for devotees like myself who don't get to visit the temple or meet devotees in kirtana and Krsna talks everyday. A welcome addition to a normally cut-throat environment. I have urged all of my devotee friends at their desks to do the same. Thank you.
Krsna Rock and Reggae
Could you please answer a few questions? (1) Why is it that the ladies do not play any instrument while chanting, as the males do? (2) Do you consider males to have more rights? (3) Do you approve of Hare Krsna music in the form of reggae, techno, or rock?
Via the Internet
OUR REPLY: (1) They do. There is no rule against it.
(2) In the culture from which Krsna's teachings come, the men more often played leadership roles. Today, a qualified woman can accept almost any position. More important, from the spiritual point of view what role a person plays in society is insignificant, as long as the soul develops devotion to God. So, from the spiritual point of view, men do not have more rights. All souls have the same rights to approach God.
(3) Many people take an interest in Krsna consciousness after hearing devotee bands, so they are of practical value. For example, during Indradyumna Swami's festival tours in Poland, many people appreciate the music of Village of Peace (reggae) and Shelter (hardcore). Their songs promote vegetarianism, discrimination between spirit and matter, and collective glorification of God. The performers just have to remember to act in the spirit of service to Krsna and not for fame or profit. It may be more of a challenge in that field, but it is possible if one is determined.
Insight on War
In light of the Gulf War, could you please give some Vedic insight besides chanting the holy name?
Via the Internet
OUR REPLY: War arises from false claims of proprietorship over God's property and from accepting as real designations based on the body and acting according to them. These problems can be eliminated if we all chant the Lord's name, which purifies us from these defects, but unfortunately faithless people will never chant, and so the wars will continue to come and go, only to return again.
As long as we live in the material world, there will be lighting. Even in heaven, Lord Indra has to worry about people like Bali Maharaja usurping his position. But troublemakers cannot make it to Vaikuntha, the spiritual world, and therefore we should be determined to go there, and we should encourage others to make the same determination.
It is simple: In the material world there is always war, and in the spiritual world there is always peace; therefore we should aspire to go to the spiritual world. We should take advantage of the opportunity to encourage people to solve the problem of war by going back to Godhead. People do not consider that God is all good and all powerful and so in His world there is no anxiety. We should plan to go there by following the path chalked out by the great teachers who have understood the truth. Therefore chanting the holy name is the real solution to the ultimate problem. We cannot eliminate war from this planet, but we can elevate our consciousness to the point where we will be able to attain the spiritual world, and thus eliminate war from our life.
Chanting for Change
I really hope that you can help me with my problems. I heard the very last moments of a radio program where someone was talking about the chanting of Hare Krsna and how it has changed their life.
I really need to change my life. Nothing in my life is working, and I know that I have to turn to God for help.
How can this Hare Krsna mantra help me, and will it really change my life? Will it help with my material problems as well as helping me gain a deeper spirituality? Does it take many weeks or months to feel the effects of this practice in one's life? I appreciate deeply any insight or comments that you can take the time to give me.
[name withheld by request]
Via the Internet
OUR REPLY: Chanting Hare Krsna is an excellent way to "turn to God" because it is composed of names of God, which are equal to God in potency. When you chant Hare Krsna, God is personally with you. In the beginning, because of our material conditioning we cannot fully appreciate this truth, but the more we chant the more God will reveal Himself to us in various ways.
One side effect of developing a deeper spirituality is that our material problems will be solved without separate endeavor. The perfection is to serve God with spiritual love, and by chanting the holy names of the Lord, that truth will be gradually revealed.
Many chanters notice benefits right away. Why not try chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra fifteen minutes a day for a week and see for yourself?
Please write to us at: BTG, P.O. Box 430, Alachua, FL 32616, USA. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.