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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.

                                                                  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.

                                                                  Q: Is it possible to go back to the spiritual world just chanting the Mahamantra without accepting diksa from a spiritual master?

                                                                  Q: Pertaining to the demons involved in Krishna's pastimes, how were these powerful entities manifested and from where and why were they emanated?
                                                                   
                                                                   
                                                                   The Lord enacts His pastimes in both the material and spiritual worlds. The demons are present only in the material world. Our acaryas describe that in the spiritual world there are only "rumors of demons"; that is to say, the bhava of intensified shelter-taking is present as if there were real demons present, but there are not demons in Goloka.
                                                                   

                                                                  Q: Narada accepted remnants of food left behind by the Bhaktivedantas and just by that act, he was completely purified from all sins. In general, eating remnants of food is considered to be in the mode of ignorance. So what is it that which makes the remnants of prasad of spiritual master or uttama adhikari devotees so special that it removes all kinds of sins? In other words, how does it work and what are some scriptural references that further corroborate this? Is it that by accepting the remnants, one is taking a humble position and thereby able to receive knowledge from the spiritual master?
                                                                   
                                                                   
                                                                  Please see Digest 233 for the answer.
                                                                   

                                                                  Q: BG 14-19 mentions that in all activities no other performer is at work other than the three modes. BG 13-21 similarly calls nature to be the cause of all material causes and effects. I have difficulty understanding this. Does it mean that inert matter is the cause, or does it refer to the controlling deities in charge of different departments of nature?
                                                                   
                                                                   
                                                                  Material nature consists of the three modes. The material nature or the material energy works under the direction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna.
                                                                   

                                                                  Q: In Bhagavad-gita 2.47, Lord Krishna says, "...but you are not entitled to the fruits of action." What does it mean here to be not entitled to the fruits of action? Does it mean that we aren't the proprietors of the fruits that we get from our work, or does it mean that we don't have a right to obtain or receive the reactionary fruit itself, good or bad, of anything that we do?
                                                                   
                                                                  For example, consider that a student has appeared for an exam. Now does it mean that he does not have the right to obtain the result of exam, whether pass or fail, or does it mean that he has no proprietorship over the result when they are declared?