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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. 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.

                                                                  Q.1. What is the purpose of marriage as viewed by ISKCON?

                                                                  The purpose of marriage is to provide an opportunity for all the members in the family to properly support one another to peacefully practice and grow in their Krishna Consciousness. In Vedic scriptures, the institution of marriage is referred to as an "ashram" or a sacred place of purification.

                                                                  Q. I'm interested to know what if by nature or past impressions I'm a loner,  always avoiding people/devotees, less expressive or completely seeming introvert, how can I overcome this nature because a part of me wants to be spontaneous or break open but other part holds me back? I fear that due to  exhibiting such nature I may be failing to establish good association/relation as I feel loosely connected to others!

                                                                  I have two very simple recommendations for you.

                                                                  One is to find JUST ONE PERSON with whom you can openly express yourself, and invest in that relationship.

                                                                  Q. I am interested in Srila Prabhupada's translation of the seventh verse of the Siksastakam prayers. His early translation (Adi, Chapter 7) has a "twelve years or more" component, and I wonder why. Is it somehow in the Sanskrit?

                                                                  Later in the Cc, where the actual Siksastakam occurs, it is translated differently.

                                                                  See both versions below:

                                                                  CC Adi 7.81, Purport:

                                                                  Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu prays in His Siksastaka:
                                                                  yugayitam nimesena caksusa pravrsayitam sunyayitam jagat sarvam govinda-virahena me

                                                                  Q. When we come to spiritual life and understand that we have many bad habits due to being conditioning in the material world for long time, we try to over come the habits by knowledge of shastras, hearing lectures from devotees, by performing service to Vaishnavas and the Lord etc. Some habits are easy to give up, some take little endeavor to overcome and some habits are really very hard to give up. We try our best to overcome these anarthas, but these deeply rooted anarthas seem impossible to overcome. For some time it seems that we have overcome the habits, but after some time they come back to haunt us again and become stumbling block on path of devotion. How do we deal with these kind of Bad Habits or anarthas?

                                                                  Q.  When we come to spiritual life and understand that we have many bad habits due to being conditioning in the material world for long time, we try to over come the habits by knowledge of shastras, hearing lectures from devotees, by performing service to Vaishnavas and the Lord etc. Some habits are easy to give up, some take little endeavor to overcome and some habits are really very hard to give up. We try our best to overcome these anarthas, but these deeply rooted anarthas seem impossible to overcome. For some time it seems that we have overcome the habits, but after some time they come back to haunt us again and become stumbling block on path of devotion. How do we deal with these kind of Bad Habits or anarthas?