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                                                                  Inquiries

                                                                  Everyone likes to inquire. Srila Prabhupada writes, "The whole world is full of questions and answers. The birds, beasts and men are all busy in the matter of perpetual questions and answers...Although they go on making such questions and answers for their whole lives, they are not at all satisfied. Satisfaction of the soul can only be obtained by questions and answers on the subject of Krishna." -- Purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.5

                                                                  "Inquiries into the Absolute" is a wonderful opportunity provided by Srila Romapada Swami to help us fruitfully engage our propensity to inquire and seek answers. Please take advantage!

                                                                  For offline reading, please download all the digests in pdf format by clicking here.

                                                                  Question:
                                                                   1) I have a tendency to retaliate if someone says something bad to me. I have heard in a lecture that 'If you retaliate you may please yourself but If you do not Retaliate you please Krsna'. However I am not able to practically apply it in my Life. Please suggest dome practical ways to overcome this tendency.
                                                                    2) I have a tendency to compare myself with others. If I see someone in a materially better condition I feel depressed. This tendency is automatic and I am not able to overcome it. Please help me.

                                                                   
                                                                   1) There is no hard and fast rule as to WHEN one should act strongly when one is offended/wronged vs. simply tolerating it.

                                                                  Q: In speaking with a friend recently about free will, I explained that a living entity at each moment can choose to go after asat or choose to follow devotional service. The friend asked me, "Does Krishna know already what choice we will make?" I said, just like a mother is familiar with a child's tendency, Krishna is familiar with our inclinations and tendency, but He does not impose and say, "choose this." Then, my friend insisted, "But does Krishna know what choice we will make? If He does, then, actually there is no free will, because our choice is already pre-destined. And if He does not, then, how can there be a God who does not know the future?" I felt stuck in answering this question.

                                                                   

                                                                  Q: What divides animals and humans in Hinduism? How are animals perceived in Hinduism? Are they treated differently?

                                                                  Q: Experiencing happiness within devotional service: Is that considered selfish?
                                                                    I get so much happiness with devotional service. However, I fear that if it is a selfish desire rather sincere motivation to please Krsna.  How can I differentiate and improve where I am not focusing on my happiness, but rather making Krsna happy?

                                                                  Q: You have well explained the phenomenon of jiva's fall into the material world. Some points comes to mind.  How come this very desire originates in the jivas if they are part and parcels of the supreme LORD? Do they have the choice of choosing between doing Krishna's service or coming to the material world even at that stage when they do not have a material body itself?
                                                                   Who decides to send them to different different material worlds and on what basis since they do not have any past karmas at this stage?
                                                                   Are these jivas 'sent' to the material world as a "punishment " of their desires of enjoying?
                                                                   Is the material world always bad? How come there are pure souls who attain highest levels of devotion as Srila Prabhupada?

                                                                  Q: I would like to know what the difference is between pada-sevanam and dasyam.
                                                                   Also, what category does book distribution, cooking and cleaning belong to?
                                                                   Also what does atma-nivedanam mean in practicality when I have a job and live like a Congregational member? Is the 12-step program that AA alcoholic anonymous practice a form of atma-nivedanam? And to what degree?

                                                                   

                                                                  Q: Although I heard in different classes about the temporary nature of this body and associated attachments and relations, when it comes to practicality I forget everything and act in a very unpleasing way, for which I regret very badly later. Could you kindly explain me how is it possible to remember this at the very unpleasant situations and apply practically and take shelter in such difficulties?

                                                                   

                                                                  Without being attached to Krishna, we will be attached to the temporary. Asat-trsna means 'thirst for the impermanent'.

                                                                  This 'thirst' comes from the contaminated subtle body. Jiva Goswami calls this the 'antahkarnah'. See the below for explanation; association with and hearing from sadhus is the means to overcome this contamination:

                                                                  Q: Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport to BG 18.47, “Similarly, if a ksatriya engaged in his own occupation kills an enemy, there is no sin incurred.”

                                                                  But then in the Mucukunda story, a little different slant is given in the Krsna book:

                                                                  Q: Varnasrama dharma is on the material platform and daivi-varnasrama dharma is on the platform of devotional service.  Does daivi-varnasrama dharma exist in Goloka vrndavan or is it for the devotees who live in this material world?

                                                                  In Goloka, Nanda Maharaja and the Vrijavasis are cowherds, and the Yadus are kings!

                                                                  In this realm, Varnasrama is easier for people in general, who have a weaker desire or attraction for devotion to God, to relate to and thus become slowly and progressively advanced on the spiritual path. Therefore, for the sake of bringing conditioned souls to the point of Krsna consciousness, varnasrama has its place.