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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!

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                                                                  Q.  I was having discussion with one of my known friends who is running his own church. I was explaining about our Vedic philosophy. When the discussion came about soul, he asked me again ~ am I talking about spirit or soul? I said both are the same. In reply, he explained they both are completely different. He said, Spirit is the one within the body whereas soul is made up of mind, emotions and consciousness. Often we refer simply as soul or we refer to the ‘self’ as spirit soul. I humbly request you to clear up this question.

                                                                  Q.  Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita that whatever one thinks at the time of death leads to his next body. My question is: what if someone dies in an accident or is completely unconscious at the time of leaving his body, although that person was a very pious devotee during his lifetime? What kind of body would such a person get in each of these situations?

                                                                  Q.  Renunciation of prescribed duty is condemned in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is verse 18.7, 18.8. Also in the purport to verse 3.4 Srila Prabhupada disapproves premature renunciation, but then he gives the bottomline, "On the other hand, if someone takes to the transcendental service of the Lord, even without discharging his prescribed duties, whatever he is able to advance in the cause is accepted by the Lord."
                                                                  So, isn't Prabhupada giving a license here especially for students who want to practice bhakti as an escape-way to studies? Please explain the matter briefly and remove my misconceptions. I beg for your help.

                                                                  Q.  We know that Krishna is the supreme personality of Godhead and every soul is His eternal servant. Tilaka is considered to be the footprint of Lord Krishna with a Tulsi leave and therefore every devotee wears Tilaka in his/her forehead.
                                                                  Why then do we see a Tilaka in the Deity / Picture of Lord Krishna Himself? Could you please give any Shastrik reference to the explanation of the Tilaka on Krishna's forehead?

                                                                  Thank you for your question.


                                                                  There is nothing sastric that I am aware of to date, but there is tradition.

                                                                  Q. We know that Krishna will incarnate as Kalki at the end of Kaliyuga but in the text below it doesn't mention anything about it. Isn't Kalki avatar considered as Krishna or Supreme himself? In the purport Srila Prabhupada explains about Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Kaliyuga but there is no explanation on Kalki avatar, even as assertion of Krishna? Can you please explain the Kalki avatar mystery in Kaliyuga?

                                                                  *In SB 7.9.38*
                                                                  ittham nr-tiryag-rsi-deva-jhasavatarair
                                                                   lokan vibhavayasi hamsi jagat pratipan
                                                                  dharmam maha-purusa pasi yuganuvrttam
                                                                   channah kalau yad abhavas tri-yugo ’tha sa tvam

                                                                  Q. Can you please explain me the difference/similarities between the above mentioned personalities - Vairaja Brahma (emerged from between the eyes of Vishnu), Hiranyagarbha and Brahma born from Garbodhakasayi Vishnu.

                                                                  I have come across some references in SB and Brahma Samhita, but still would like to know if Brahma is also called Hiranyagarbha, and also there are two Brahmas - one Brahma who emerged from between the eyes of Vishnu and the other Brahma from the lotus.

                                                                  It is also mentioned that the seminal principle is Hiranyagarbha where all the jivas are merged.

                                                                  Can you please explain these concepts?

                                                                  Q. How do we define "prana" or "Life air" - how do you perceive it?  It seems to be so close to consciousness. How do we relate it to our eternal soul? We say after the soul leaves the body we no longer are "alive"- how does prana fit in here?

                                                                  Prana is not the soul, but is the life force within the body, moving throughout the body as the ‘air of life’, sustained and supported by the presence of the soul. We perceive the presence of prana as ‘energy’. Weak prana is perceived as feeling pervasive weakness of the body, and visa versa.

                                                                  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