ISKCON & Ethics 3, The self as the basis of moral philosophy, Monk’s Podcast 133 with Rasamandala Prabhu
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Chaitanya Charan · ISKCON & Ethics 3, The self as the basis of moral philosophy, Monk’s Podcast 133 with Rasamandala P

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Chaitanya Charan · ISKCON & Ethics 3,The self asthebasis of moralphilosophy,TheMonk’sPodcast 133-Rasamandala Pr summary

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Challenges in sharing Krishna consciousness globally part 1, The Monk’s Podcast 132 with Shyamananda Prabhu
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Chaitanya Charan · Challenges in sharing Krishnaconsciousness globally part1, The Monk’s Podcast 132-Shyamananda Prabhu

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ISKCON & Ethics 2, Why we need a moral philosophy, The Monk’s Podcast 131 with Rasamandala Prabhu
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Chaitanya Charan · ISKCON & Ethics 2, Why we need a moral philosophy, The Monk’s Podcast 131 – Rasamandala Prabhu

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Why does Krishna talk about controlling the senses to Arjuna when the purpose of the conversation seems to be to incite Arjuna to fight?
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Question from: Debendra
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Transcribed by: Anupama Kulkarni (Pune)
Question: Why does Krishna talk about controlling the senses to Arjuna when the purpose of the conversation seems to be to incite Arjuna to fight?
Answer: The mention of…

How the Bhagavad-gita offers a world-unifying philosophy, The Monk’s Podcast 130 with Ishvara Krishna Prabhu
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Chaitanya Charan · How theBhagavad-gita offers a world-unifyingphilosophy, The Monk’s Podcast130-Ishvara Krishna Prabhu

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How is mantra meditation different from other forms of meditation?
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Transcription by: Sriman (Dr) Suresh Gupta Prabhu (Muzaffarnagar)

Question: How is mantra meditation different from other forms of meditation?

Answer: Firstly, any form of meditation is beneficial in terms of deepening our thinking, understanding and appreciation of the nature of things. The word “meditation” is typically used in two different ways – (i) general (ii) technical. In a general sense, often meditation refers to any form of deep thinking, e.g. a person may read a book and may get lost in it. Later he would refer to his experience as, “I was meditating on the book”. However, if we consider spirituality, then meditation does not have a general sense but a technical sense. Just like the word “energy” can have a general sense and a technical sense, e.g. a scientist performs an experiment in the laboratory which requires thermal or chemical energy. If the energy source gets exhausted, the scientist may say, “Oh, I have run out of energy”. Later, after a long day’s work, when the scientist comes back home tired, he may exclaim, “Oh, I have run out of energy”. Here, the same word “energy” is used but in two different senses. In the lab, the scientist uses word “energy” in a technical sense whereas at home it is referred in a general sense.

Similarly, meditation in general sense can refer to any form of deep thinking but in a spiritual context, meditation has a technical meaning which refers to the process by which we shift our consciousness from the changing material to the unchanging spiritual. We draw our mind away from material things and focus on spiritual things. For starting this journey, many different objects may be used. Some people may start meditating on the candle or some natural scenery, some source of light or a spot on the wall. In such forms of meditation, one’s capacity to concentrate depends primarily on one’s own will power. Since the mind is extremely restless, such meditation often becomes a demanding task especially if it needs to be sustained for long period of time.

Meditation is a process which take our consciousness from material to spiritual reality where it elevates our consciousness upwards. The various forms of meditation (other than mantra meditation) are like climbing the stairs to go up in a multi-storey building. The stairs take us up, but it requires effort. On the other hand, mantra meditation is like entering an elevator. When we chant mantras, specifically the mantras that invoke the supreme consciousness, for example, the Hare Krishna mahamantra, this connects us with the Absolute Truth. When we prayerfully, reverentially, attentively utter the sound vibration of holy names then the infinite power of the infinite consciousness is invoked and that power aids us in raising our consciousness upwards. Just as in an elevator there is a power (the electric power) other than ours which raises us up, easily and swiftly, similarly, when we practice mantra meditation then the omnipotence of infinite consciousness raises our consciousness […]

When we are in anxiety searching for a new job, how can we maintain our spiritual practices?
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Transcription by: Sriman (Dr) Suresh Gupta Prabhu (Muzaffarnagar)

Question: When we are in anxiety searching for a new job, how can we maintain our spiritual practices like attending satsang programs, reading books etc.? Is it OK to just reduce my spiritual activities to only chanting the holy names?

Answer: In our material existence, there are going to be phases of high and low and we have to be flexible. We should not consider it to be our spiritual deficiency if we are not able to attend satsang programs on a regular basis. It is more of a practical necessity.

Just like, if we are going on the road and the road is crowded then naturally, we will go slowly and when the road becomes clear, we will move faster. Important is we should be moving in the right direction so that we get to the destination in due course. Similarly, sometimes in the journey of our life, many material things come up and the road becomes crowded because of which our spiritual activities may be reduced. That is fine in principle, as there will be phases like that.
If students have exams, they cannot be expected to come for the satsang programs. Job interviews in one sense are bigger than exams, so naturally there will be bigger anxiety. Having said that, it is also important to note that if we do not hear any Krishna-katha at all, but only do chanting, then our chanting will eventually become mechanical. Sometimes while hearing or reading scriptures something may calm our mind and may give us some strength and solace by which we will be able to prepare for exam or do our job search with more intelligence and better strategy.

We need to deal with emergencies in our life with our best efforts but at the same time we should not always equate maximum time with best efforts. Sometimes we get too much into the passion of doing something and may commit mistakes in haste. Hence, rather than seeing reading scriptures or attending satsang as an interruption while dealing with our material issues, we could see them more as a break which may reorient us. One may not necessarily spend a lot of time but still one can find ten-fifteen minutes to read something from the scriptures specially those sections which deals with the mind or problems created by the mind.
Memorising or reciting verses, singing some Vaishnava songs can also be very helpful. Singing Vaishnava songs can especially be very powerful if we can connect with them. Scriptures are largely intellectual, but Vaishnava songs bring both aspects together, intellectual and musical. Songs are relatively easy to absorb as it gives a very nice connection with Krishna.

It may happen that some days coming for the satsang may not give us as much strength as just taking darshan and praying to the Deities. There is no need to restrict our spiritual life only to chanting, simply because we need to […]

How can we cultivate the mode of goodness when we are puppets of the modes?
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Answer Podcast Hindi

Transcription by: Srimati Tanvi Tayal Mataji (Noida)

प्रश्र: हम अपने भीतर सत्वगुण को कैसे बढ़ाऐं जब हम जानते हैं कि हम तीनों गुणों के हाथों में कठपुतलियाँ हैं?

उत्तर: हम इन गुणों की कठपुतलियाँ हैं, इसका अर्थ यह है कि हम इन गुणों से पूरी तरह स्वतंत्र नहीं हैं। किन्तु हमारे पास थोड़ी बहुत स्वतंत्रता है जिस से हम यह निर्धारित कर सकते हैं कि हमें किस गुण से प्रभावित होना है। इसका अर्थ यह है कि माना कि हम कठपुतली हैं किन्तु हम किस गुण की कठपुतली बनना चाहते हैं इसका निर्णय हमारे हाथ में है।

हमें यह समझना चाहिए कि हमारे पास एक नियमित दायरे में असीमित स्वतंत्रता है। जैसे एक गाय को रस्सी के द्वारा खूँटे से बांध दिया जाए तो उस रस्सी की लम्बाई के अंदर उस गाय के पास चलने फिरने, उठने बैठने की असीमित स्वतंत्रता होती है। किन्तु उस नियमित दायरे के बाहर हमारी स्वतंत्रता असीमित नहीं है। उदाहरणार्थ, जैसे हम पक्षियों की भाँति उड़ नही सकते क्योंकि हमारे पक्षियों की तरह पँख नहीं हैं।

हमें अपने भीतर उन प्रवृत्तियों की ओर ध्यान देना है जिनपर निर्णय लेना हमारे हाथ में है। संभव है कि इन प्रवृत्तियों में से किन्हीं को हम न बदल पाऐं। उदाहरणार्थ, हम किसी प्रख्यात गायक की तरह गाना न गा पाऐं। किन्तु हमारे भीतर कई मनोवैज्ञानिक प्रवृत्तियाँ ऐसी हैं जिनकी मात्रा को कम या अधिक करना हमारे अधिकार क्षेत्र में है। जैसे कुछ लोग अधिक आलसी होते हैं ओर कुछ कम। इस प्रकार की प्रवित्तियों को हम बदल सकते हैं। कैसे? अपने विचारों ओर अपने बाहरी वातावरण को बदल कर। जैसे एक व्यक्ति देर से उठता है और इस कारण वह अपने अध्यात्मिक नियमों का उचित ढंस से पालन नहीं कर पाता। यदि ऐसा व्यक्ति ऐसे वातावरण में रहे जहाँ सभी लोग देर से उठते हों तो इससे तमोगुण और उत्तजित होगा। किन्तु यदि वही व्यक्ति ऐसे लोगों के साथ सोता है जहाँ सब लोग सवेरे जल्दी उठ जाते हों तो इन सभी लोगों के सात्विक गुणों का प्रभाव उस पर भी पड़ेगा। यह एक बड़ा सीधा-सादा उदहारण है जिसको विस्तार कई अन्य परिस्थितियों पर किया जा सकता है। यदि हम ऐसी परिस्थितियों का चुनाव करें जो एक किसी गुण विशेष में स्थित हों तो हम उन गुणों को अपने भीतर बढ़ा सकते हैं।

यदि हम अपने भीतर किसी विशेष प्रकार के विचारों को घुसने की अनुमति देते रहें तो हम उन विचारों से सम्बंधित गुणों का विकास करेंगे। उदाहरणार्थ, अत्यधिक रजोगुणी पुस्तकें पढ़ना, अत्यधिक समाचार पत्र पढ़ना और फिल्में इत्यादि देखना, इन सब से रजोगुण बढ़ेगा। किन्तु इसके विपरीत यदि हम अध्यात्मिक पुस्तकें अथवा सात्विक साहित्य पढ़ते हैं तो उससे हमारे भीतर सत्व गुण बढ़ेगा।
खाली समय में हम किन बातों पर चिन्तन करते हैं उससे भी हम अपने भीतर गुणों को प्रभावित कर सकते हैं। सात्विक विचारों पर चिन्तन से सत्व बढ़ता है किन्तु रजोगुणी विचारों के चुनाव से रजोगुण बढ़ेगा। हमारे चिंतन के चुनाव द्वारा भी हम अपने भीतर के गुण निर्धारित करते हैं।

भूतकाल में हमारी आदतों के कारण कई परिस्थितियों […]

Is it really possible to be happy while you yourself see so much suffering in yours like as well as everywhere around?
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From Mahadeva:

I am just looking for a single honest soul that can say that he has got this joy and is unaffected by whatsoever happening around him ? What kind of attitude is expected – to be oblivious.

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Answer Podcast Hindi

Transcription by: Sriman Amit and Srimati Nidhi Agrawal (Noida)

प्रश्न – अपने और दूसरों के जीवन के दुखों को देखकर भी क्या आनंदपूर्वक भक्ति की जा सकती है?

उत्तर – यदि भक्त इस जगत के दुखों को अनदेखा करते तो भौतिक जगत से उन्हें कोई लेना देना ही नहीं होता अपितु वे भौतिक संसार से संबंध समाप्त करके वृंदावन या मथुरा में जाकर बसते और केवल अपनी मुक्ति के बारे में सोचते। ऐसा अवसर श्रील प्रभुपाद जी के जीवन में भी आया था लेकिन उन्होने सत्तर वर्ष की अवस्था में भी भक्ति की राजधनी वृंदावन को त्यागकर अधोगति की राजधानी न्यूयार्क को चुना, क्योंकि उनमें दया और करुणा थी। अन्यों के दुख को देखकर उन्हें दुख होता था और वे उन्हें दुख की परिस्थिति से निकालना चाहते थे। अन्यों के दुख से अप्रभावित रहना एक उन्नत भक्त के लक्षण नहीं है। अन्यों के दुख को अनदेखा करने का तो प्रश्न ही नहीं उठता।

अन्यों की सहायता करने की इच्छा प्रशंसनीय है, किन्तु यह सहायता कैसे करनी है, उसका ज्ञान और क्षमता न होने पर इसका परिणाम विपरीत भी हो सकता है। उदाहरण के लिए जैसे कोई व्यक्ति डूब रहा होता है तो वह डूबने वाले की सहायता तब तक नहीं कर सकता जब वह स्वयं तैरना न जानता हो। यदि सहायता करने वाला स्वयं बँधा हो तो वह किसी अन्य बँधे हुए व्यक्ति को बंधनमुक्त कैसे करा सकता है। यदि सहायता करने वाला स्वयं रोगी हो तो वह किसी अन्य रोगी की सहायता नहीं कर सकता। ये तीनों उदाहरण दिखाते हैं कि यदि हमें सही मायनों में अन्यों की सहायता करनी है तो अपने अंदर आध्यात्मिक विकास और विश्वास होना चाहिए। उदाहरणार्थ, यदि मैं रोग से संक्रमित हूँ और उसका उपचार स्वयं नहीं ले रहा हूँ पर अन्यों पर उसे लागू कर रहा हूँ तो मैं स्वयं और सहायता लेने वाले, दोनों को रोग से संक्रमित कर सकता हूँ।
इस भौतिक जगत के दुख अधिकतर स्वप्रेरित हैं। इसका उदाहरण हैं नशीले पदार्थों एंव इन्द्रिय सुखों का व्यसन। इन व्यसनों से उत्पन्न दुख तो हमें स्पष्ट दिखाई देते हैं। वास्तव में हमारे समस्त दुखों का कारण हमारे इस जन्म के या फिर पूर्व जन्म के कर्म होते हैं।

इस भौतिक जगत में सभी जीव दुखी हैं। महारानी कुंती ने श्रीमद्भागवतम् में जीव के दुखी रहने के तीन कारण बताए हैं – अविद्या काम कर्मभिः (भागवतम् 1.8.35)। अविद्या के कारण जीव इस ज्ञान से अनभिज्ञ रहता है कि वास्तविक सुख की प्राप्ति कहाँ से होती है। इससे काम उत्पन्न होता है और भौतिक सुख भोगने की कामना के फलस्वरूप हम जो कर्म करते है उससे कर्मबंधन में फँस जाते हैं और फिर भौतिक जगत में पीड़ा भोगते रहते हैं।

महारानी कुंती समस्त दुखों और पीड़ाओं से बचने का उपाय बताती हैं – श्रवणस्मरणार्हाणि – श्रीकृष्ण के बारे में श्रवण और स्मरण करें। इससे हमें उत्तम रस का अनुभव […]

Wasn’t it immoral for Rama to exile Sita on just a rumour?
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Answer Podcast Hindi

Answer: First of all Lord Ram did not banish or abandon Sita. If we have to use the word banish clearly in the sense in which it is used for Lord Ram when He was banished by Kaikeyi’s arrangement, then He had to go into the forest in the jungle where He had to fend for Himself and they had no ready home over there, they had no one to take care of themselves. So first thing that Lord Ram did not banish Sita like that. She was still within His kingdom under the care of Valmiki and Valmiki was under the care of Lord Ram directly he was in His kingdom and Lord Ram is the supersoul in the heart of all living beings and He is the supersoul in the heart of Valmiki also and Valmiki Rishi by his foresight he understood what was happening and he told the female hemits that were there in his hemitage to take care of Sita just like there own daughter. So in that sense Sita was certainly not banished the way Lord Ram was banished. So banish is too harsh a word and it is not proper to use it in this context. Now still the question remains why did Lord Ram send Her out of His palace when there was no fault on His side. So there are three different factors involved over here. There is the principle that this is not just from Vedic culture but this is also in European _________, it was there Caesar’s wife should be above suspicion. Srila Prabhupada would quote that the idea is that actually for a king to be able to effectively rule the people, the king himself has to be exemplary and that exemplariness has to manifest expression all walks of his life. So one of the exemplariness of the king is detachment. Now what kind of detachment is expected from the king. Although the king has the best opulences that anybody else has in the kingdom, but still the king is expected to use these opulences for the sake of dharma and for the sake of dharma he has to be ready to sacrifice those opulences. So for example when there is a sacrifice, the king is supposed to use the wealth that he has for performing sacrifice and while performing sacrifice the king is meant to give profuse charity to the priests who are there and the priests are not just official priests, the sages who are there, they are meant to be devotee to god entirely. So the idea is that the king has to be an ideal exemplar of dharma. So as a part of being exemplar of dharma one is that in the Vedic culture it is understood that family attachments are obstacles on the spiritual path. At a particular stage in a person’s life family attachments are important in the sense that they are also a part of a person’s duty so […]