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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: 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?
                                                                   
                                                                   

                                                                  Q:
                                                                  1. Is there a verse in the Bhagavad-gita which literally says that we should offer the fruit of our work (hard-earned money from our jobs, profession) to Krishna? If yes, kindly point out the verse for me.
                                                                   
                                                                  2: What is the difference between surrendering our work to Krishna, and surrendering the fruit of our work to Krishna?
                                                                   

                                                                  Q: I have a question that is particularly pointed at the chanting or repetition of mantras.
                                                                   
                                                                  For people who cannot speak in Sanskrit or Bengali or Odisa language, can mantras be translated into languages of their comfort so that they can repeat it with conviction and knowing fully well what it means?
                                                                   
                                                                  Most of us are ignorant of what a mantra means. After all it is positive reinforcement of the same thought or desire or wish or blessing or prayer. So why should it be complicated and why can't it be translated into multiple languages?
                                                                   
                                                                  Will it be diluted or will it be more empowered?
                                                                   

                                                                  Q: We have heard about how the Hare Krishna Mantra's three words Hare, Krishna, and Rama refer to Radharani, Krishna, and Balarama. Could we relate these to Subhadra, Krishna, and Balarama of the Jagannatha deities? Specifically, what is the relationship between Radharani and Subhadra? Is the latter an expansion of the former?

                                                                   
                                                                  Subhadra is yoga-maya, the internal energy and Her service is to bring devotees closer to Krsna. Her parents are Vasudev and Devaki and thus She is also the sister of Krsna.

                                                                  Q: I heard that practicing mysticism is defiant.
                                                                  What exactly is classified as mysticism?  In the west things like astrology and palmistry are considered "mysticism" to a point, but these are bonafide sciences in vedic culture.
                                                                   
                                                                  You are correct: the Western perspective of mysticism wherein astrology and palmistry are seen as 'mystical' or 'occult' is a misnomer. They are indeed sciences, to be practiced by a qualified brahmana.
                                                                   

                                                                  Q: How does one properly engage himself in the service of Krishna?
                                                                   
                                                                   
                                                                  Nectar of Devotion describes nine processes of devotional service, beginning with hearing and chanting about Krishna under the guidance of a bonafide spiritual master, in the association of devotees, one can gradually achieve the highest perfection in serving Krsna with devotion.
                                                                   

                                                                  Q: If the soul is part and parcel of Krsna (BG 15.7) and given Krsna is in the spiritual world and everyone in the spiritual world is infallible (BG 15.16), how is it that the soul has fallen into the material world in the first place?
                                                                   
                                                                   
                                                                  As Krishna's extended parts and parcels, the jiva has qualities like Krishna. One of those qualities is free will. Krishna has unlimited free will, whereas the jiva has tiny free will.
                                                                   
                                                                  When utilized properly, the jiva's free will is lovingly directed towards Krishna's service and seeking His happiness.
                                                                   

                                                                  Q: In your digests, I've seen you describing both Srimati Radharani and Yoga-maya as internal potency. As per my understanding I think both shouldn't be treat as one. Please explain if there is any difference between them.
                                                                   
                                                                   
                                                                  Both Srimati Radharani and Yoga-maya are internal potencies of the Lord.
                                                                   
                                                                  Srimati Radharani is the pleasure potency portion of the internal potency, hladhini-sakti of Krsna. When Krishna wants to enjoy, He expands His potency or energy within Himself that gives him enjoyment. This pleasure potency is a person. Her name is Srimati Radharani.