|QUESTIONS & ANSWERS|
Here are some answers to previous inquiries.
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Why do people say: “I am relatively happy; I do not need salvation or spirituality to improve my life?”
That’s called illusion. There is no forsight or advanced
vision. When you look at old picture of an old lady, a grandmother,
you will see she was once a very beautiful girl. What happened
to that beauty? Janma mrityu jara vyadi… gradually one
becomes old, gets diseased and dies. We were told that Yidhishtir
Maharaj was asked a question by Yamaraj, the lord of death:
“What is the most wonderful thing in the world?”
And Yudhishtir answered: “ahaniani bhutani gacchanti
hani mayam shesha stavara icchanti kim ascharya atah param…
Personally I do not see anything more astonishing than this,
that everyone before us has died, all around us people are
dying, everyday, if you read the newspaper, or you watch the
news or listen to the radio, you hear about some one famous
who has died, or some one who is not famous. We are surrounded
by that. But still we are thinking ‘we won’t die’,
not realizing that one of these deaths, one of those death
reports will be about us.” We think that this is what
I read about, see and hear but it does not really relate to
my life. So, he says I cannot think of anything more astonishing
So people are deluded about their present position. But that is also an exercise of their free will. Just like in the famous Bhagavadgita, Krishna presents a case to Arjuna by saying: “vramishyeta vishyeshena yateshcchasi tatha kuru …. Think about what I said and then do what you wish to do”, So that’s the position that Krishna takes. How can we take a position different than that? Some missioner preachers in their intensity press people a little but really it is a question of free will. The jivas [souls] are of marginal position, on the outskirts of a spiritual world adjacent to the world of misconception. And from there they make their choice – “jivera tatashtaha shakti bheda bhad parkas”. In the words of Milton “Paradise lost” the Satan says: “it is better to reign in hell than to serve in haven”. And this is our choice.
Please accept blessing of Sriman Gauranga Mahaprabhu.
|QUESTION||What is your conception of God?|
In Srimad Bhagavatam (1.2.11), the three main conceptions of the Absolute
are given as Brahman, Paramatama and Bhagavan. Brahman is the all-comprehensive
aspect of the Absolute, Paramatma is the all-permeating aspect of the
Absolute, and Bhagavan is the personal conception of the Absolute. The
general definition of the word Bhagavan is given,
aisvaryasya samagrasya, viryasya yasasah sriyah
Bhagavan, the Supreme Lord, is thus defined as “He who is inseparably
replete with the six inconceivable qualities of wealth, power, fame, beauty,
knowledge, and renunciation.”
|QUESTION||What is a guru? What does a person need one?|
|ANSWER|| Sridhar Maharaj:
In the Srimad Bhagavatam, the guru is described by the Lord as His own direct manifestation. acaryam mam vijaniyan, navamanyeta karhichit na martya buddhyasuyeta, sarva deva-mayo guru (Bhag. 11.17.27) [Lord Sri Krishna said to His devotee, Uddhava:]
"You should know the bona fide spiritual master as My very Self. Never dishonor him. The nature of gurudeva is everything that is godly, and he should never be envied by ascribing one's mundane conception of place, time, and circumstances upon him." Furthermore, the Lord's finest potency is Srimati Radharani. Of course, there are many other eternal associates, but the highest order of devotional service is represented in Srimati Radharani. The Lord is therefore saying, "My worship is shown by Me. I, as My finest potency, worship Myself. Iti matva bhajante mam - understanding this conception, the devotee will come to worship Me, always under the direction of My best worshiper - My finest potency and representation - Radharani, or gurudeva. Crossing Her, the highest and most desirable form of service to Me is not possible." Radha-dlasyam, the servitorship of Srimati Radharani, is indicated here.
Only those who are blessed with divine intelligence will be able to appreciate this, and not persons with self-aquired intelligence from this mayika (mundane*) quarter, the world of misconception.
(...)"If I am sincere
in my search for God, then God will also come to me from his side, and
where we meet, he should be considered Guru."(...)
* - entry by editor
For more on this subject please read an article by SriSrimad AC Bhakti Vedanta Swami Maharaj, or dowload a book: http://www.guardian-of-devotion.de/books/GURUAND.PDF
|QUESTION||Why is life unfair? How can we account for that?|
|ANSWER||[from "Subjective Evolution of Consciousness - The Play
of the Sweet Absolute", p.128. ]
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: Fair and unfair are both false. They are just like a dream. One may have a good dream or a bad dream. In either case it is only dreaming. So one should not waste energy to remove the unfair and to increase the fairness. Fair, unfair - it is all false, completely false. In the Chaitanya Caritamrita (Antya-lila, 4.176) it is written:
‘dvaite’ bhadraabhadra-jnaana,saba – ‘manodharma’
"In the material world, conceptions of good and bad are all mental
concoctions. Therefore, saying, 'This is good, this is bad: is a mistake.”
The basis of this calculation is false. Our real interest is not them.
It is a false scent we are pursuing. Our fulfillment is not to be found
in that direction at all.
Student: But there are so many people that are starving in the world. It seems unfair.
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: What to speak of starving, we are in a cave, imprisoned in a cage. That is not desirable for the soul at all. The whole world - suns, stairs, moons, oceans, mountains - all are vanishing, and again coming and going. You may be the lord of all you survey, but you are a lord the cremation ground - a master of the cremation ground, only to deplore. "Oh, everything is passing away. Every second everything is passing away!” In Gray’s elegy he wrote,
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
Everything here leads only to the grave end will be finished.
Student: I guess what I want to ask is how we can account for these inequities. I know that you are saying that there is no distinction. But why is there suffering?
Srila Sridhar Maharaj: The cause is the misuse of the free will of the jiva soul. The misuse of the wealth given to you.
Student: Given by the Supreme Power?
Srila Sridhar Maharaj:
By the Supreme Power. As a part of a particular potency, you have free
will eternally existing within you. And by misuse of your freedom, you
have selected to become a king in the mortal world, just as Satan is portrayed
in Milton’s Paradise Lost. He wanted to reign in hell rather than
to serve in heaven. The free will - the weak, vulnerable, childlike free
will - misused. We came here to be a monarch of all we survey: to reign
in hell. Inherent adaptability is an innate feature of the soul. We could
have selected service in heaven. Then our desires would have been fulfilled.
But we have selected the wrong thing. We have moved in the wrong way.
We wanted to be monarch. We could not select slavery in the higher realm.
We selected monarchy in hell.