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League Of Devotees


The most important business in the time of death is to remember Krsna. The person who is dying at the time of death, in most cases can not decide what he should do. Because that time his will does not function. Therefore those who are around him should look at the point to remind him about krsna. Therefore, they should chant the Hare Krsna Mahamantra or play a tape of Hare Krsna Mahamantra. One should put a picture of the deities of the Lord in front of him. "Ante Narayana Smriti". At the time of death one must remember Sri Krsna. And if he can do that then his life will be successful, that is he will become free from the bondage of birth and death and go back to the Spiritual sky.


The other considerations also. Tilak should be put in 12 places of his body. One should make sure that the tulasi neck beed is tied around his neck. When tulasi mala is in contact with his neck then Yamadutas can not come near him. Just by wearing a kanthi mala, a tulasi neck beed around our neck the door to the abode of Yamaraj becomes closed. It will also be nice to put tulasi leaves on the forehead and chest. At the time of death one feels very thirsty so it is advised that Ganga water or Yamuna water is given to him. The dust from the holy dham also can be put in his body and a few specs of dust can also be given to him in his mouth.


After death the body should be bathed and after drying the body tilak should be marked on 12 centers of his body. Then the body should be dressed with new clothes and flowers and sandal wood paste and agar can be smeared in the body. Tulasi leaves can be placed on the forehead and chest. At the time of cremation it is preferable to put tulasi wood because it has been advised in the scriptures that if the body is burned with the contact of tulasi then the spirit souls derives spiritual benefit.


After cremation the ash, mainly the naval where all the nerves shrink in and make a sort of a ball should be thrown in the Ganges or Yamuna. If possible Ganges water should also be thrown on the ash in the crematorium.


According to the karma kanda section after death one gets a ghost body. Therefore close relatives like the sons should perform shraddhya in order to release the soul from the ghost body. According to that understanding the Brahmanas should perform shraddhya on the 11Th day, kshatriyas on the 13th day, vaishyas on the 16th day and the shrudyas on the 31st day, and after that every month on the tithi of his death shraddhya should be performed and after one year another shraddhya should be performed.


In Lokeshvak shraddhya the relative must offer charity generously and feed learned and pure Brahmannas.


When the shraddhya is performed in Gaya then the forefathers become specially pleased.


This karmakandya shraddhya do not advise service to Hari and his devotees. Therefore, according to the vaisnava understanding this is nothing but deception to the self and the mass of people. In Satkiya Sar Dipika, a book written by Sri Jiva Goswami, it has been mentioned "When Lord Narayan is worshipped then all the Demi-Gods, sages, living entities become perfectly satisfied. In Visnu Jamala also it has been mentioned that by worshipping Krsna all the Demi-Gods, forefathers, sages, rulers of different planets, sun, moon and other planets become satisfied. In Srimad Bhagavad also it has been mentioned that just as by watering the root of the tree its branches, leaves, flowers and fruits becomes watered and just as by putting food in the stomach the whole body and senses become strong, similarly just by worshipping Arcyuta everyone becomes satisfied.


In Hari Bhakti Vilas, a book written by Srila Sanatana Goswami, the procedure of shraddhya has been described - On the day of shraddhya food stuff must be first offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Hari, and then with his remnant the shraddhya should be performed. In Visnu Purana also it has been mentioned when the fore fathers shraddhya is performedd with Maha Prasad that produces endless result. Skandha Purana also mentioned those who worship Kesava for the benefit of their forefathers need not even need to perform shraddhya in Gaya. When Hari is worshipped for the benefit of someone then those persons become free from their sufferings in hell and attain the position in the Spiritual sky. In Visnu Dharma also it has been mentioned - without first offering to the Supreme Personality of Godhead if anything is offered to the forefathers then it is an offense and one must atone for that.


The Vaisnavas should be fed on the shraddhya.


League Of Devotees

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League Of Devotees


For acquiring transcendental knowledge, the Vedas (sabda-pramana) is the only effective means. The Vedas inform us about the soul's existence beyond the body, about the planets of the spiritual world, and about the Supreme Lord, His pastimes, and other matters. All these subjects are beyond the reach of our sensory and mental faculties. Without the method of sabda, such philosophers as the Buddhists who do not accept the Vedas cannot justifiably say anything positive about transcendence, let alone the way to attain it. Sabda-pramana is so important that although Vaishnavas count Lord Buddha among the incarnations of the Lord on the strength of Vedic testimony, they reject His philosophy because it was not based on sabda-pramana.


All orthodox schools of philosophy in India, whether monistic or dualistic, consider the Vedas apaurusheya, not written by any mortal being. Many modern scholars, however, dispute the divine origin of the Vedas. . They suggest various dates for the composition of the Vedas, and while most of them agree that the Vedas were composed before 1500 B.C., they disagree about the exact time of their composition. They have yet to arrive at a definitive conclusion.


Here Srila Jiva Gosvami says that the Vedas are beginningless and are the source of various kinds of knowledge coming down through many schools of thought since time immemorial. The phrase sarva-purusha, ``all persons" indicates that the knowledge was passed on not only by human beings but also by superhuman beings, such as the demigods and divine sages. These traditions of thought all originate with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is infallible in all respects and thus completely untainted by the four human defects. Moreover, Srila Jiva Gosvami has already shown (in Text 9) how unreliable are the alternatives to the Vedic authority. If, as he has established, only apaurusheya-sabda can give access to transcendental reality, how could the Vedas then have been written or compiled by human beings? If Jiva Gosvami allowed that human authors composed the Vedas, he would be contradicting his own previous dismissal of human knowledge as imperfect .


Those who contest the apaurusheya origin of the Vedas, claiming that they are human compilations have no proof of their invalidity. They refuse to consider the Veda's own statements about its origin and purpose. They merely assume the Veda's are not authoritative and speculate about its true origin. Their motive is clear, for accepting the Vedic version would put an end to the speculative philosophical tradition; it would oblige them to accept the Vedic description of ultimate reality. On account of being too attached to the speculative or ascending method of knowledge, however, such scholars and philosophers rather insist that the Vedas are of human origin, regardless of their inability to produce any proof of their claim. Indeed the theory of the Vedas having a human composer is a recent development advocated by persons who did not come in disciplic succession. They were mostly outsiders who refused to believe that India had much of importance to offer the world in the realm of philosophy and who had their own motive for minimizing the Vedic traditions-namely, their eagerness to convert India to Christianity. They certainly were not impartial judges of the Vedas' origin.


For lack of any definitive proof of the invalidity or the divine origin of the Vedas, and in light of the many reasonable arguments for the Vedas' divine origin, we should reject the possibility of human authorship.The senses of humans cannot approach an inconceivable object, and thus it is not even theoretically possible that the Vedas could have been composed by human beings.


League Of Devotees

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Bhagavad-gita As It Is 14.27


brahmano hi pratishthaham

amritasyavyayasya ca

sasvatasya ca dharmasya

sukhasyaikantikasya ca




brahmanah -- of the impersonal brahmajyoti; hi -- certainly; pratishtha -- the rest; aham -- I am; amritasya -- of the immortal; avyayasya -- of the imperishable; ca -- also; sasvatasya -- of the eternal; ca -- and; dharmasya -- of the constitutional position; sukhasya -- of happiness; aikantikasya -- ultimate; ca -- also.




And I am the basis of the impersonal Brahman, which is immortal, imperishable and eternal and is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness.



Bhagavad-gita As It Is 3.3




The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: O sinless Arjuna, I have already explained that there are two classes of men who try to realize the self. Some are inclined to understand it by empirical, philosophical speculation, and others by devotional service.




In the Second Chapter, verse 39, the Lord explained two kinds of procedures -- namely sankhya-yoga and karma-yoga, or buddhi-yoga. In this verse, the Lord explains the same more clearly. Sankhya-yoga, or the analytical study of the nature of spirit and matter, is the subject matter for persons who are inclined to speculate and understand things by experimental knowledge and philosophy. The other class of men work in Krishna consciousness, as it is explained in the 61st verse of the Second Chapter. The Lord has explained, also in the 39th verse, that by working by the principles of buddhi-yoga, or Krishna consciousness, one can be relieved from the bonds of action; and, furthermore, there is no flaw in the process. The same principle is more clearly explained in the 61st verse -- that this buddhi-yoga is to depend entirely on the Supreme (or more specifically, on Krishna), and in this way all the senses can be brought under control very easily. Therefore, both the yogas are interdependent, as religion and philosophy. Religion without philosophy is sentiment, or sometimes fanaticism, while philosophy without religion is mental speculation. The ultimate goal is Krishna, because the philosophers who are also sincerely searching after the Absolute Truth come in the end to Krishna consciousness. This is also stated in the Bhagavad-gita. The whole process is to understand the real position of the self in relation to the Superself. The indirect process is philosophical speculation, by which, gradually, one may come to the point of Krishna consciousness; and the other process is directly connecting with everything in Krishna consciousness. Of these two, the path of Krishna consciousness is better because it does not depend on purifying the senses by a philosophical process. Krishna consciousness is itself the purifying process, and by the direct method of devotional service it is simultaneously easy and sublime.



Dear Theist,


Surprisingly the thread http://www.indiadivine.org/audarya/spiritual-discussions/454154-play-creation.html has been closed! Because I don’t think our discussion is quite finished, I will post my response to your last posts here in this new thread. Hopefully, it will not be deleted. As you know I’m referring to my argument in post #65 of the before mentioned thread (http://www.indiadivine.org/audarya/spiritual-discussions/454154-play-creation-4.html#post1149064). I don’t expect you to comment on it here, but again, I would very much appreciate it if you did.


I agree, that "philosophy without religion is just mental speculation". And I am indeed personally convinced that God exists. My agnosticism only concerns the particular ontological status of God. I'm one of those people who are also inclined to understand the truth through philosophical (or even experimental) means. Moreover, that's the whole point of the Vedic literature, which, contrary to any other religious scriptures such as the Christian Bible, provides a wealth of detailed information, which enables one to do just that. I.e., to understand the Absolute Truth and consequently to understand the cosmic manifestation and who we are ourselves.


I think we exhaustively covered the example of the sun, and we reached the consensus that, although as a material analogy it is not perfect, it must be understood as an indicator or pointer to the truth. As such it is stated in SB 4.31.16: Just as the sunshine is nondifferent from the sun, the cosmic manifestation is also nondifferent from the Supreme Personality of Godhead.


Now, my question to you still remains: How does the above notion comply with the notion that Krishna is the basis of Brahman? SB 4.31.16 clearly indicates that Krishna is non-different from the Brahman effulgence, and it doesn't say that the sun is 'the basis' of the sunshine. Although the latter is true in material terms, this can't be applied to the spiritual realm, and it's certainly not what this verse means. Furthermore, I argued that the Sanskrit word 'pratishtha' in BG 14.27 doesn't mean: 'the basis' or 'the rest'; it means: 'the manifestation' or 'to rest on' or 'to depend upon', which implies that Krishna is an image or manifestation of parabrahman or a hypostasis or representation of the divine in the world of manifestation.


Why is this so important? Well, as you yourself admit in your last post: "religion without philosophy is just sentiment, or sometimes fanaticism". Krishna is the basis of Brahman, is a very strong statement, which goes against anything set forth in Vedic literature, and it also goes against many instances of Prabhupada's own teachings. Therefore, in my opinion, it cannot be what Prabhupada intended to communicate, and possibly it's even a transcription error.


If you can't refute this and/or corroborate your own point of view by evidence from scripture or from Prabhupada's own words, and still hold on to the idea that Krishna is the basis of Brahman, like the sun is the basis of the sunshine, I will regard your opinion to be nothing more than religious sentimentality, without definite philosophical justification..


Respectfully yours,



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League Of Devotees

By Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

Aspiring devotees should first take shelter of the lotus feet of a bona fide guru. Without taking shelter of a guru, one cannot achieve anything auspicious. There are two types of people—one has developed intelligence and one has undeveloped intelligence. Those whose intelligence is undeveloped are absorbed in the so-called happiness of this world. If by chance they get the association of a mahajana, then they also become intelligent. Then they consider, “How unfortunate I am! I'm always engaged in sense gratification. I'm passing my days hankering for material enjoyment.” This initial association with a great soul is also called association with the guru by hearing. By good fortune, at this time faith is awakened. When faith is awakened, one endeavors for devotional service. Then it is essential for one to take shelter of the lotus feet of a guru. In this way by good fortune persons with undeveloped intelligence become intelligent and take shelter of the lotus feet of a guru.


What type of guru one should take shelter of is explained in the sastras. One who has conquered the six enemies beginning with lust, one who is pure, one who performs devotional service on the path of raga, one who is brahminical, one who knows the clear path of the Vedas, one who sadhus can respect as guru, one who is able to control the senses, one who is merciful to all living entities, one who is cultured, one who is without duplicity, and one who is truthful—this type of householder is fit to be a guru. All these qualities are considered in two ways. The principle quality of a guru is attachment to Krsna and detachment for what is not related with KsNa. All other qualities are secondary. That is why Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has said in the Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya 8.127):




kiba vipra, kiba nyasi, sudra kene naya


yei krsan-tattva-vetta, sei `guru' haya




“Whether one is a brahmaNa, a sannyasi, or a sudra regardless of what he is he can become a spiritual master if he knows the science of Krsna.”


If one possess this principle symptom of a guru, then he is eligible to be guru even though he lacks one or two secondary symptoms. Being a brahmana and being a householder are counted as secondary symptoms. It is good if a person possesses these two secondary symptoms along with the principle qualification. But those who are defective in the principle symptom are unqualified to be guru even though they possess the other two. As stated in Sri Padma Purana:



mahabhagavata srestho brahmano vai gurur nanam


sarvesam eva lokanam asau pujyo yatha harih




mahakula prasuto `pisarva yajshesu diksitah


sahasrasakhadhyayi ca na guruƒ syad avaisnavah




“Among all human beings the brahmaNa who is a maha-bhagavata, or great devotee, is topmost and qualified as guru. He is as worshipable as Lord Hari. A non-Vaisnava is never fit to be guru even if he has taken birth in a great family, performed all sacrifices, and studied many branches of the Vedas.” After finding a qualified guru, a faithful disciple should serve him with firm conviction and without duplicity. One should accept initiation and krsna-mantra after pleasing the guru. Those who are averse to taking initiation and only make a drama of pseudo-kirtana while advertising themselves as Vaisnavas certainly cheat themselves. It is not the duty of materialistic persons to renounce the process of initiation because a few great souls like Jada Bharata did not take initiation. Initiation is a constitutional injunction for every birth of the living entity. If initiation is not seen in the life of a perfected soul, it should not be taken as an example. General rules are not changed because something happens to a particular person in a special situation. Sri Dhruva Maharaja went to Dhruvaloka in his material body; seeing that, should one waste time hoping for the same? The general rule is a living entity gives up his material body and goes to Vaikuntha in his spiritual body. General rules should be accepted by people in general. Whenever and whatever is desired by the Lord, who is full of inconceivable potencies, that only happens. Therefore we should never transgress the general rules. After pleasing the guru by serving him without duplicity, one should receive from him instructions on the Absolute Truth and initiation into chanting the holy name of the Lord.


After receiving initiation and instructions from a bona fide guru, a fortunate disciple should follow the path of the previous sadhus. Those who are proud neglect the previous mahajanas and create new paths. As a result, they soon proceed on their inauspicious path and ruin themselves. It is said in the Skanda Purana:




sa magyaƒ sreyasaˆ hetuh panthah santapa-varjitah


anavapta-sramam purve yena santah pratasthire




“One should strictly follow the easy path which the previous mahajanas have accepted. That path bestows great auspiciousness and is devoid of all misery.” By discussing the path of the previous sadhus, one gets determination, courage, and satisfaction. When we discuss the path of devotional service exhibited by Sri Rupa, Sri Sanatana, Sri Raghunatha, and Sri Haridasa µhakura, then we feel such happiness that it cannot be described. When the miscreant Mohammedans tortured Haridasa µhakura, he said:




khanda khanda hai' deha yaya yadi prana


tabu ami vadane na chadi hari-nama




e saba jivere krsna! karaha prasada


mora drohe nahu e sabara aparadha




“Even if my body is cut into pieces and I loose my life, I will never give up chanting the Lord's holy name. O Krsna, please be merciful upon these poor souls, kindly excuse them for their offense of torturing me.”


Maintaining this type of determination and being compassionate to all living entities while always chanting the holy name of Krsna is the path of devotional service exhibited by the previous mahajanas. A path cannot be manufactured. Whatever path is there should be accepted by sadhus. Those who are proud and want fame try vigorously to discover new paths. Those who have good fortune from past lives give up pride and respect the established path. Those who are unfortunate promenade on a new path and thus cheat the world.


League Of Devotees

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