Cooperation Better Than Competition

In response to the editorial about transcendental competition in July/August issue, while competition can give excellence, creativity, and efficiency, according to the Vedic conclusion competition for material progress is an illusion. Srimad-Bhagavatam states that life is governed by karma, kala, and guna (karma, time, and the modes of material nature). Manu-niti says bhagyam phalanti sarvatra na ca vidya na ca paurusam: “Whatever is predestined by vidhata, the fortune maker, will surely happen. one’s so-called good education, skill, and enthusiasm will not bring success. Srila Prabhupada wrote to one of his disciples (May 9, 1972): “Too much competition between centers is not good; the emphasis should be on cooperation, not competition.” – Visnupriya Dasa, Vancouver, Canada

At the Hare Krishna Tree

Thank you, Yugavatara Prabhu, for writing the beautiful article “Just to Embrace a Tree,” about the Hare Krishna Tree in Tompkins Square Park. The article produced equally beautiful feedback. 

The article reminded me of a special day I spent with that tree. Last year, a devotee friend urged me to visit the tree just hours before my flight to London. I brought my harmonium and sat on a bench near the tree, chanting Hare Krishna.

After listening for twenty minutes, a man in his fifties who was sitting at another bench nearby reading a book came up to me and said, “Thank you for cleaning the air by your singing.”

I was amazed. Every Hare Krishna devotee knows of the cleansing power of the holy name, which Lord Caitanya describes as ceto darpana marjanam, “cleansing the mirror of the mind,” but here was an ordinary New Yorker having and sharing a realization of it.

Later, as I continued chanting, a young girl rode her bicycle several times clockwise around the tree, just like a pilgrim circumambulating it. Some kids led by a couple of day-care moms on a field trip through the park paused and collected some dirt from the base of the tree, like people do at sacred places.

As I chanted, I felt I was in a place identical to Mayapur, from which the holy name was destined to spread all over the world. I thought of Srila Prabhupada chanting there, of his incredible vision of the holy name spreading all over the world, and of how it was coming to pass. I felt happy to play a small role in spreading Hare Krishna. I vowed to visit the Hare Krishna Tree whenever I visit New York, as it is a special, transcendental place. – Krishna-krpa Dasa Via the Internet

How to Pray to Krishna

It has been awhile since I’ve been involved in Krishna consciousness (I currently go to a Christian church), but I still do chant and am trying to get my diet to Krishna consciousness standards. One question I have: Do Krishna devotees pray to Lord Krishna? And if so, what kind of format do they use? Christians always use a personal prayer to Jesus and end with Amen, so I was wondering if one could pray to Lord Krishna similarly, and how one would do so i.e., a format.- Michael Munson Via the Internet

Our reply: You can pray to Krishna as a person, and you can do so in the format you are accustomed to. We do not generally use the term Amen, but we certainly speak to Lord Krishna in a personal way. Generally we first express our own fallen nature and beg for the mercy of the Lord. A devotee tries to offer service, rather than asking for material things, so the general prayer is “Please engage me in Your Loving service.”

But even if you desire something material, it is better to ask Krishna for it than to ask someone else or think you can go it alone. Lord Krishna is the Supreme Person, and He is seated in everyone’s heart, so He can understand our deepest desires. Speak to Him from your heart, and He will respond.

Siva in Caitanya’s Pastimes

I have heard that during the descent of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, all the saints and demigods are present with Him, as in Rama avatar, when Lord Siva came as Hanuman. During the avatar of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who came as an avatar of Siva? – Ankur Wahi  Via the Internet

Our reply: Srila Advaita Acarya is Lord Siva in the pastimes of Lord Caitanya. He is one of the Pancatattva (Caitanya and His four main associates) and is responsible for calling the Lord to appear on earth. Advaita Acarya was so disturbed by the atheistic attitude of the people that he prayed and offered pujas to evoke the Lord’s appearance.

He told the Lord, “If You do not come and change their consciousness, then I will destroy them all.”

Hearing this, Lord Caitanya appeared, bringing the holy name as the easiest means to change the materialistic consciousness of the people in Kali-yuga. Srila Advaita Acarya was one of Sri Krishna Caitanya’s most intimate and dear devotees and associates.

Seeing Krishna

Is it possible to see Krishna by doing meditation? Is there another way? How should Krishna be visualized? What does He look like? – Amol Pawar Via the Internet

Our reply: Krishna can be seen in different ways according to our level of realization and surrender. In the Bhagavad-gita (4.11) He says, “As all surrender unto me, I reward them accordingly.”

Seeing Krishna is not really a matter of knowing what He looks like you can find many pictures of Him on the Internet. Rather, it is a matter of being able to see into the spiritual dimension. This requires eyes anointed with the salve of love of God.

Also, Krishna reserves the right to show Himself to those who have the necessary qualification. You can see Him in meditation, but you will have to control your mind and senses and focus on serving Him with love. When He feels you are qualified, He will reveal Himself to you.

Replies were written by Krishna. com’s Live Help volunteers.
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