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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. I like to believe that God exists, but sometimes things happen in my life which make me believe otherwise. Please help me.

                                                                  Life is full of experiences and challenges which test our faith and bear potential to strengthen it.  For doubt to arise as you describe is not uncommon. But it is resolvable by reflecting upon the conception of God expressed in Bhagavad-gita, which will likely result in an adjustment of what conception of God we presently ascribe to.

                                                                  Q. Is guilt for past deeds a good thing? I feel guilty of past mistakes done when there was no knowledge of Krishna Consciousness; however, that guilt makes me sad and dejected. How to counteract feeling low out of guilt and rather use that realization to become more determined and enthusiastic for Krishna Consciousness.

                                                                   
                                                                  Since Bhaktivinoda Thakur uses the term 'regret' instead of guilt, I am going to respond to your question using the term 'regret'

                                                                  Q. We hear that Kamsa had become the ruler of Mathura (where he made alliance with other demons, he married the two daughters of Jarasandha, he subdued or killed others) and his ambition was to be the Emperor even of all demigods.

                                                                  Also we read and hear about Kurus, Bhisma, Drona, Yudhisthira Maharaja etc.
                                                                  Many times they are also mentioned as emperor and ruler of planet earth.

                                                                  So,

                                                                  1. What's the correct understanding? Because both parties are contemporary and physical distance is very small (Delhi & Mathura).
                                                                  2. Is there any mention of Kamsa attacking Hastinapur? or

                                                                  Q. What is the difference between the dictation of the Paramatma and the mind?  How can one tell if the mind or Paramatma is speaking to us?

                                                                  In BG 2.22's purport, Srila Prabhupada gives the example of two birds sitting on a tree.  One bird (Jiva-atma) is eating the fruits of the tree while the other bird (Paramatma) is simply watching His friend.  If the Paramatma is just watching, how can the Parmatma dictate the soul?  Can you please help me with this confusion? Please help me understand this by some other citations in the BG.

                                                                  Q. Because of pride somebody assumed himself as great devotee. He regarded himself as an advanced devotee and cultivated enviousness. He couldn't recognize his deviations in consciousness. Because of restlessness in mind later he offended an associate, a friend. Earlier he had a taste for hearing and chanting because of his genuine humility and sincerity.
                                                                  Now he lost the taste; instead he became like a hard-hearted and uncontrollable animal. He asked forgiveness from his friend.

                                                                  In any life will he receive love of Godhead?
                                                                   

                                                                  Q. Some devotees say the Caturmasya Vratas are not something that Srila Prabhupada gave much emphasis to. According to our scriptures, as followers of ISKCON and practicing Gaudiya vaisnavas are we obliged to observe Caturmasya Vrata to some extent? What are minimum standards that we should strive for? What are some additional standards that may be reasonable to strive for? What are the benefits?
                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                  Q. I have had one question which often bothers my mind, about right attitude.

                                                                  We hear that everthing is Krishna's property. I can think of Krishna's  great powers by recalling His pastimes and His creation. But I am unsure  what is meant by serving Krishna and what should be our thought while  taking up any duties. Does that mean that we have to value everything and  everyone as Krishna's?

                                                                  a) If yes, then is it our duty to hear from everyone and share whatever  we are practicing?

                                                                  Q. In one of your instructions posted under obstacles (choosing Krishna), you have very rightly warned as to how vigilant we must be in executing our devotional service. That which may look innocent at the beginning could soon turn into an attachment and a problem very difficult to manage later. But what does one do to rectify this if the situation has indeed gone out of hand? One might feel extremely repentant of the choice he made but now that choice has become an attachment. Will Krishna still accept and forgive and give him a chance to choose Him again?

                                                                  Your question was in two parts. I will address them one by one.

                                                                  Q. My question is how I can overcome bhoga tyaga tendency. When I practice devotional service then for few days I am very enthusiastic but due to lack  of determination and lack of association I turn towards material enjoyment but very soon getting frustrated I again take up to devotional service. This process repeats again and again. Please help me to overcome this tendency.

                                                                  Q. I am a very sinful soul, I cannot follow very strict laws as other devotees always do. All I can do is share some simple information with other interested people. Otherwise I am the worst among devotees.

                                                                  I know that assocication with sadhus is the cure for my depleted condition, but I feel intimidated by their strictness. What to do?

                                                                  I would like to respond to your question in two parts.

                                                                  1. The Strictness of a Sadhu

                                                                  You have the impression that a sadhu is a strict personality, perhaps so strict that their presence is intimidating.