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and action in inaction.


Didn't Krsna tell Arjuna that if he failed to act according to his prescribed duties he would incur sin?


A policeman does not have to be 100% pure before he does his duty. Rather he becomes pure by doing his duty with a sense of detachment from the fruits and out of duty,ultimately learning to act in a spirit of devotion.

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You meet a man named Mr.Alpamedhasa. He strongly into worshipping demigods and says that you can worship any demigod and you will reach Supreme Personality of Godhead. How will you convince him of the Supremacy of Lord Krishna ?

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Hare Krishna


The thing is LE it depends on who you are explaining to:


i.e. a person who has grown up with demi-worship all their lives...(mainly asking for material desires/NOT bhakti)


How can you change the mind of a person, who is intent on being ignorantly materially absorbed (and they refuse to accept they are in a bad condition)


It's so easy to give out answers, yeah do this mate, but if you can't even change the mind of your own family members(my own), what value is that advice, none, God I feel useless.

Chant Hare-Krishna And Be Happy /images/graemlins/smile.gif

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This is just an exercise so give it a try - no cop-outs!! /images/graemlins/grin.gif /images/graemlins/wink.gif


Let's flip the coin over - let's say a demi-god worshiper approaches you and says "I am having doubts and I am thinking that perhaps you might be able to direct me to find the answers. Will you explain to me about Lord Krsna?"

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You meet a man named Mr.Alpamedhasa.




Mr. "Alpamedhasa?" As in "antavat tu phalam teShaa.m...?" Cute. Very cute.



He strongly into worshipping demigods and says that you can worship any demigod and you will reach Supreme Personality of Godhead. How will you convince him of the Supremacy of Lord Krishna ?



First of all, put this in perspective. The fact that this individual is engaged in any kind of worship is itself somewhat encouraging. It's even more encouraging that he is at least worshipping someone whose worship is sanctioned by shaastra, rather than worshipping some Godman or other cult figure.


I would rather associate with demigod worshippers than crass materialists. Just today I went to an International Kuchipudi dance conference. The dance dramas were beautiful to look at but were marred by my knowledge that the (all Hindus) girls who were dancing were meat eaters, unchaste, and basically uncivilized.


Is this person correctly following the regulative principles? Let me assume for the sake of this analysis that he is.


Vaishnavas are also not forbidden from "worship" of other demigods. What is meant by "worship" in the first place? Many words like "puja" and "Arati" get translated as "worship." To do puja simply means to honor someone, and certainly there are many individuals who can receive puja even though they are not God. On the other hand, bhajana or bhakti, which refers to loving service, is only directed at Supreme Lord Vishnu. Srila Prabhupada makes this point of distinction in his Gita purport 6.47:


"The word bhajete is significant here. Bhajete has its root in the verb bhaj, which is used when there is need of service. The English word "worship" cannot be used in the same sense as bhaja. Worship means to adore, or to show respect and honor to the worthy one. But service with love and faith is especially meant for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One can avoid worshiping a respectable man or a demigod and may be called discourteous, but one cannot avoid serving the Supreme Lord without being thoroughly condemned. Every living entity is part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and thus every living entity is intended to serve the Supreme Lord by his own constitution. ....


In this verse also the word bhajanti is used. Therefore, bhajanti is applicable to the Supreme Lord only, whereas the word "worship" can be applied to demigods or to any other common living entity. "


So, we as Vaishnavas are not opposed to "worship" (i.e. puja) of other devatas, provided that it is done in the proper consciousness.


On the other hand, if Mr. Alphamedasa wishes to claim that worship of any demigod can lead to the same goal, I salute him. But I would humbly entreat him to correct my possible misconception which holds that only worship of Vishnu leads to liberation. I would thus ask him for the evidence upon which he bases his opinion, because the following seems to disagree with it:


antavattu phala.m teShaa.m tad bhavatyalpamedhasaam |

devaan devayajo yaanti madbhaktaa yaanti maamapi || giitaa 7.23 ||


Men of small intelligence worship the demigods, and their fruits are limited and temporary. Those who worship the demigods go to the planets of the demigods, but My devotees ultimately reach My supreme planet. (bhagavad-giitaa 7.23)


yaanti devavrataa devaan pitR^In yaanti pitR^ivrataaH |

bhuutaani yaanti bhuutejyaa yaanti madyaajino'pi maam || giitaa 9.25 ||


Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods; those who worship the ancestors go to the ancestors; those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings, and those who worship Me will live with Me. (bhagavad-giitaa 9.25)


This clearly states that those who worship anya-devatas get a different result than those who worship Krishna. If he cannot accept it, then we certainly cannot apologize for our beliefs. After all, our epistemology is straightforward; what does he base his information on?


Anyway, if he is one of these people who pays lip service to scriptures only, at least we can always smile and invite him to the temple to take prasaadam. After all, if Krishna worship is no different than demigod worship, then why not take part in Krishna worship? It is surely very enjoyable. When the sankirtana purifies him, perhaps he will be ready later to again discuss philosophy.






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But doesn't Krishna say that he is everything... this throws me into a confusion...



He does say "The people who worship the demigods , go to the demigods" but he also says that he is everything and the result of everything is him.


So, if the result of all bhakthi is him, then shouldn't all worship go to him?


He is being worshipped in every instance... by my view.


So, when all worship goes to him, everyone should reach him. Then why is the worship of the demigods considered to be something of an inferior nature? This is a very sincere question, please help. /images/graemlins/confused.gif


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Bhagavad Gita; Chapter Nine. Lord Krsna answers your question there.


What is the deficiency in demigod worship? (answer comes form one of the Bhagavad Gita exams:

While texts 9.13-14 describe a mahatma as one who finds refuge in worship of

the Supreme Godhead, there are others, mentioned in 9.15 who worship Godhead

in different ways, such as by worshipping demigods. Though these demigods

are truly the agents and representatives of the Supreme Godhead, worship of

them is an indirect means of worshiping the Supreme, and is therefore less

desirable (9.23). The fruits derived from such worship are also deficient in

comparison to worshiping the Supreme Godhead directly. As the demigods

themselves are within the material world, they can offer only temporary

material rewards (9.24-25).


LE speaking here: Temporary material rewards vs. ever-lasting transcendental happiness with Lord Krsna. Hmmmm....no brainer for this living entity.




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"Prabhupada often uses the example of the military man performing his duty in war. If we go out and murder someone - the law will punish us however, the soldier in war incurs no such punishment since the killling is from duty. "


prabhupada gives it as an example


prabhupada speaking of "making big" in preaching says : "if you have to go hunting... go for rhinos!!"


prabhupada says also that wars are mad by materialists fighting for money....

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Astanga Yoga Das and his wife Yogini Devi are both devotees who have one son named Purvabyasa Das. When he starts growing they find that he is naturally interested in playing mridangas and kartals and very much interested in playing with the dolls of the deities. What conclusions can you draw by quoting from Bhagavad Gita about the devotional character of the child?

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<font color="red"> Or he takes his birth in a family of transcendentalists who are surely great in wisdom. Verily, such a birth is rare in this world. </font color>



Birth in a family of yogis or transcendentalists--those with great wisdom--is praised herein because the child born in such a family receives a spiritual impetus from the very beginning of his life. It is especially the case in the acarya or gosvami families. Such families are very learned and devoted by tradition and training, and thus they become spiritual masters. In India there are many such acarya families, but they have now degenerated due to insufficient education and training. By the grace of the Lord, there are still families that foster transcendentalists generation after generation. It is certainly very fortunate to take birth in such families. Fortunately, both our spiritual master, Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja, and our humble self, had the opportunity to take birth in such families, by the grace of the Lord, and both of us were trained in the devotional service of the Lord from the very beginning of our lives. Later on we met by the order of the transcendental system.





Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods; those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings; those who worship ancestors go to the ancestors; and those who worship Me will live with Me.



When one dies in the mode of passion, he takes birth among those engaged in fruitive activities; and when he dies in the mode of ignorance, he takes birth in the animal kingdom.


Gita On-Line





<font color="red"> nitai-gauranga, nitai-gauranga </font color>

<font color="red"> jayasacinandana, gaura-hari </font color>


<font color="blue"> All glories to Lord Nityananda and Lord Caitanya!

</font color> <font color="blue"> the son of Saci-devi, who is Krsna Himself in golden hue.

</font color>



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Chandrakant and Suryakant are two friends. Their family priest Trivadiji advised them to follow darsa-puruamasi to enable them to go to heavenly planets and enjoy there godly delights for the rest of eternity. They are very eager and enthused by the idea of enjoying the atmosphere described by Trivadiji in the Vedic literature for eternity. They have come across you in a train journey and a talk ensued. What will be your advice to them. (based on Bg9.20-21)

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In Vrindavana, you meet a very pious person he was claiming himself to be descendent of ‘acharya families’ and was arguing with you that only their descendents can become acharyas in the future and anyone who wants to perfect his life, must take initiation in their parampara only.

Is it true or false? What is the reason for the answer?

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true man of God would never ask one to take initiation from only his acharya. However, the true devotee of God may warn people from going the wrong way like prabhupada did.





"Wrong way like Prabhupada did?" Would you care to explain what you mean by that?

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by Krsna ksetra dasa


...Resuming our reflections on the Bhagavad-gita, which will now take

the form of a conversation amongst devotees, let us introduce some

"characters" for the "play."...


Raghava Swami is a disciple of Srila Prabhupada who became a devotee

in 1968, joining the temple at 26 2nd Avenue. He was initiated by

Srila Prabhupada a few months after joining; since then he has been

serving mainly in the New York area, Boston, and Florida. In 1976

Srila Prabhupada initiated him into the sannyasa asrama.


Bhakta Anton just joined the temple a few weeks ago. He is very

enthusiastic in his service and likes to study Srila Prabhupada's



Sivananda Prabhu is also a disciple of Srila Prabhupada who joined

ISKCON in 1973. He is a householder, in charge of the gurukula at

Gita-nagari Farm community in Pennsylvania.


Dharmasetu dasa is a disciple of Raghava Swami, a book distributor.

Since three weeks he has been recovering from hepatitis acquired in

India during the Gaura-purnima festival in Mayapur. During his

recovery he has been studying Bhagavad-gita.


The four devotees gathered "by accident" in the room of Raghava

Swami in New York temple one Sunday afternoon after the Sunday feast,

when most of the guests had left. Raghava Swami was talking about

Srila Prabhupada's Introduction to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, and it

became an absorbing discussion:


Raghava Swami: So, we were talking about Krsna's asociation -- that

because Krsna is a person, He likes to have association, and although

He already has unlimited associates in the spiritual world, He wishes

for the conditioned souls to also become His associates; therefore He

speaks the Bhagavad-gita. Also we were talking about qualifications

for understanding Bhagavad-gita, that one has to at least

theoretically accept Krsna's superior position, His position as

authority, ultimately as the supreme authority. What is another

qualification for understanding the Gita?


Dharmasetu dasa: Srila Prabhupada writes in the Introduction about the

necessity of being inquisitive into the Absolute Truth -- that one

must want to make a solution to all suffering.


Sivananda Prabhu: It is interesting that Prabhupada often brings these

two points together, namely inquiry into the Absolute Truth and

recognition of one's suffering condition.


Raghava Swami: What do you think about this, Bhakta Anton?


Bhakta Anton: I knew I was suffering when I joined the temple, but

before joining I can't say I was consciously looking for the Absolute

Truth, although probably if asked, I would not have been against the

idea of looking for it. But somehow it makes intuitive sense that if

you are suffering, you would be interested in a permanent solution to

the suffering; and it is also reasonable to expect that of you know

the ultimate truth you will naturally be free from all suffering.


Raghava Swami: Dharmasetu, can you think of a verse in the Gita where

Krsna confirms this?


Dharmasetu dasa: I especially like Krsna's statement in the 4th

Chapter, Text 36: "Even if you are considered to be the most sinful of

all sinners, when you are situated in the boat of transcendental

knowledge you will be able to cross over the ocean of miseries."


Sivananda Prabhu: It is a nice analogy -- knowledge is compared to a

boat floating over an ocean of misery. Miseries may seem to be

unlimited, like a vast ocean and no one would even consider hoping

that the ocean may some day dry up, enabling one to cross over it. But

simply with the help of a well constructed boat one may safely and

comfortably cross even the biggest ocean.


Bhakta Anton: Maharaja, in the purport to that verse Srila Prabhupada

says, "The boat of Krsna consciousness is very simple, but at the same

time the most sublime." Could you elaborate on that?


Raghava Swami: People often equate simplicity with crudeness. If

something is very complicated and sophisticated then people think it

is very good or desirable. In this age of technology people think that

the more complicated a thing is, the better it must be. That is why

many people are not attracted to Krsna consciousness: It is "too

simple". It may be simple, but it is not shallow or superficial,

rather it is the most profound understanding of the Absolute Truth;

therefore it is sublime. It leads one to the actual goal. "Chant Hare

Krsna," -- a very simple thing to do -- "And your life will be

sublime." -- your life will be meaningful, you will make progress back

to Godhead, and you will experience genuine happiness.


Sivananda Prabhu: In the next paragraph of the Introduction, Srila

Prabhupada says that Arjuna was "put into ignorance... just to

question Lord Krsna about the problems of life..." Someone may say

that this shows how unkind Krsna can be, that He will allow someone to

be overwhelmed by ignorance. How should we answer such a charge?


Raghava Swami: One point is that God is irreproachable. I was just

reading in the Isopanisad, Eighth Mantra. Can you find it, Bhakta



Bhakta Anton: ...Here it is: "Such a person must factually know the

greatest of all, who is unembodied, omniscient, beyond reproach,

without veins, pure, and uncontaminated, the self-sufficient

philosopher, who has been fulfilling everyone's desires since time



Raghava Swami: Yes, the Sanskrit word for "irreproachable" is

"avranam." No one can criticize God. As soon as you think you can

criticize God, that means you think you are better than God, that you

can do things better than God and that God should take advice from

you. Of course this is just what the rascals think. The rascal thinks,

"Just let me be God for awhile and I will show you how to do it. If I

were 'God', I would organize things in a much different way! There

would be much more justice in the world, etc. etc." The ironic thing

is that although God is irreproachable, the non-devotees will always

find fault in Krsna. Another point is that if Krsna puts someone into

ignorance, you can rest assured that Krsna will arrange that he will

again come out of ignorance, and in the process Krsna will show us all

how to come out of ignorance. That is what happened with Arjuna.

Arjuna may have been in ignorance, but it was "controlled" ignorance.

Krsna did not allow Arjuna to fall into a condition from which he

could not be relieved. Rather Krsna put Arjuna into a position of full

dependence on Him, the Lord. But to be in such a position is the basis

of actual knowledge. Another point is that, as I was just reading in

the Fourth Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam (4.22.18) Srila Prabhupada

compares Prthu Maharaja to Arjuna, saying that Arjuna was not actually

in ignorance, but was only questioning Krsna for the benefit of

others, and that he in fact knew "all the transcendental science." And

this is confirmed in the Gita Introduction, where Prabhupada says,

"Being an associate of Lord Krsna, Arjuna was above all ignorance,..."

So ultimately we can say that Arjuna was not in ignorance. But even if

he was displaying ignorance, it was by Krsna's will, which is never to

be criticized. Anyway, we can talk more about this when we discuss

Chapter One. So let's go on to the next paragraphs in the Introduction.

Srila Prabhupada is introducing the basic concepts which are dealt with

in the Gita. Did you notice here how he is preaching to us? For instance

when talking about the controlling nature of the Supreme Lord, Srila

Prabhupada says that "if a living entity says that he is not controlled

but that he is free, then he is insane."


Dharmasetu: Prabhupada mentions in the next paragraph also that a sane

man will understand that material nature is operating by the arrangement

of an operator, a driver.


Sivananda: And in the Bhagavatam -- 3rd Canto I think -- Lord Brahma

says we must offer obeisances unto the Lord simply as a matter of



Raghava Swami: No one likes to be identified as insane, so Prabhupada

is prodding, "Don't be insane, become sane! Understand your position!"

No one likes to be compared to a lower animal, so when Prabhupada

condemns our civilisation as one of cats and dogs, he is prodding us,

intentionally provoking, wanting us to wake up, "Don't be like cats

and dogs; become proper human beings!" So there are five principles

which are dealt with in the Gita. Do you know what they are, Bhakta



Bhakta Anton: The Supreme Lord, the living entities, material nature,

time, and activities. All of them except activies, karma, are



Raghava Swami: So what is the significance of the fact that karma is

not eternal?


Bhakta Anton: Doesn't that mean that living entities have a chance to

become free from karma altogether and then go back to Godhead?


Raghava Swami: That's right. If karma could not be changed, if it

could not be stopped, there would be no point for Krsna to speak

the Bhagavad-gita. So then, what is the basis of changing one's



Dharmasetu: Prabhupada writes, "The Bhagavad-gita teaches that we have

to purify this materially contaminated consciousness. In pure

consciousness our actions will be dovetailed to the will of isvara,

and that will make us happy."


Sivananda: But then he says that it is not necessary to stop

activities altogether. On the one hand we understand that karma is to

be stopped. This sounds a bit confusing. Actually it was confusing

even to Arjuna. So this subject is not as simple as it might seem. But

here is the point: "Activities in bhakti appear to be like ordinary

activities, but they are not contaminated..." Activities contaminated

by material consciousness generate reactions (karma) whereas

activities "dovetailed" with Krsna's will, done in pure consciousness,

do not generate reactions.


Dharmasetu: But isn't it that a lot of our activities are "dovetailed"

in Krsna's service which we cannot really claim are performed in pure



Raghava Swami: Yes, in the name of "dovetailing" his activities, one

can even find ways to avoid surrendering to Krsna's will... but I

heard a nice lecture from Srila Prabhupada on tape, a lecture in New

York from 1966, where he says: "...But, one thing, when we stand on

our consciousness platform, you must know this consciousness platform

and the dovetailing of consciousness <with the Supreme>--the whole

thing--is based on love...love...pure love." So to properly "dovetail"

one's activities with Krsna's will is only possible if one has genuine

love and devotion for Krsna. Of course this is another big subject

which we can discuss, but I want to go on with the Introduction...


Sivananda: One more point on the subject of these five principles: I

was just reading a translation of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's

commentary to the Siksastaka Prayers of Lord Caitanya. There he says

that by the process of chanting Krsna's holy names the mirror of the

heart is cleansed, and then one can see reflected on the mirror of the

pure ego these five principles with absolute clarity. So he relates

the cleansing process of chanting with the understanding of these five



Dharmasetu: In one sense, it seems like Srila Prabhupada is giving a

summary of the whole Bhagavad-gita in the Introduction, with the idea

of getting one into the proper understanding for getting the full

benefit of reading the Gita. It is as if he is saying, "This is a

guidebook for getting out of this world and into the spiritual world.

This is where you are now, and this is where you should want to go.

Here are some basic points to understand as you go through this

guidebook. Now don't waste any time. Rest assured that this guidebook

will get you to the goal of you simply follow the instructions."


Raghava Swami: Yes, I was thinking like that also. Prabhupada gives

some basic definitions, like what is purified consciousness, what is

contaminated consciousness, what is mukti, what is sanatana-dharma,

what is the svarupa of the living entity; also he establishes that

Krsna is not impersonal, that Vedic knowledge is infallible -- so many

basic principles which one requires to understand in order to get the

benefit of reading Bhagavad-gita.


Sivananda: In some ways the Introduction is like a condensed version

of Prabhupada's book "Easy Journey to Other Planets". As a bona-fide

representative of Krsna, Srila Prabhupada is presenting us a ticket to

the spiritual world, with all the essential information for

"validating" the ticket. Incidentally, I just read in a Vyasa-puja

offering to Srila Prabhupada by Gopal Krsna Goswami from some years

ago that Srila Prabhupada wrote an essay already back in 1939

entitled, "Introduction to Gito Panishad" in which he summarized the

philosophy of the Bhagavad-gita. I think it was published in his

Guru Maharaja's journal, "The Harmonist". Also there are two

manuscripts published in the beginning pages of the 1987 Vyasa Puja

Book for Srila Prabhupada -- one is called "World Pacifist and the

Bhagwat Gita" and the other is called "Interpretations of Bhagawat

Geeta." In the first one, Srila Prabhupada outlines the necessity of

accepting the principles of Bhagavad-gita if world peace is to be

achieved, and in the second one he outlines the distinction between

bonafide and 'malafide' interpretations of the Gita. He explains that

the malafide interpretations of the Gita are coming from the four

classes of men who do not surrender to Krsna, and he gives definitions

of these four classes which are interesting: Naradhamas are "ordinary

men who have no training in austerity and penance;" mudhas are "those

who are not devotees of Godhead but are either mundane workers,

mundane philosophers or mundane mystics;" mayaya-apahrta-jnanas are

"those who do not come in the line of disciplic succession like

Vaivasvata Manu, Iksaku, Arjuna etc,...<and are> robbed of the

essential knowledge by the illusory energy;" and asuras are "those who

disbelieve Sri Krsna as the Absolute Personality of Godhead...who

disbelieve in the very existence of Godhead."


Raghava Swami: Are there any other points about the Introduction which

any of you noted?


Bhakta Anton: There is mention in one paragraph of the "material

inconveniences" of birth, old age, disease and death. I thought this

is rather an understatement! Why just "inconveniences" as if they are

nothing very significant? In other places it says these are the real

problems of life, but here they are just "inconveniences."


Raghava Swami: Well, certainly from the liberated point of view they

are insignificant. Prabhupada seems to hint that what for us

conditioned souls seem to be the greatest obstacles are easily

overcome by Krsna consciousness if one agrees to follow Krsna's



Bhakta Anton: Another thing I thought significant in the Introduction

is the point that we are neither creators nor enjoyers, but cooperators.

Krsna has already made His program for enjoyment, and He has made all

the arrangements for that program, all we have to do is agree to

cooperate, to step in line with His plan. It is such a simple point, but

it is the point that everyone in this world is missing. Everyone is

going on oblivious to the fact that God has a program for us to follow.


Dharmasetu: And Krsna's plan is already worked out. That is why He

told Arjuna that all the fighters on the battlefield were already

killed. But still Arjuna was being asked to go through with his part.

Everything Arjuna was supposed to do was already accomplished, but

still Arjuna had to go out and do it...


Raghava Swami: ...Because Krsna wanted His devotee to get the credit,

to be glorified. Just see Krsna's liberality.


Dharmasetu: Another thing I found interesting in the Introduction is

the point about the Lord's completeness. The Personality of Godhead is

the complete whole; the material universe is also complete because

everything is provided for our maintenance; the living entities are

also complete in themselves because they have the capability to

realize the Supreme Truth; the creation, maintenance and destruction

of the material world is the complete arrangement of the complete

Personality of Godhead; and finally, the Bhagavad-gita contains

complete knowledge of Vedic wisdom (how to attain the complete

Absolute Truth). I especially like that statement, which is also in

the Sri Isopanisad (Invocation, Purport:) "All sorts of incompleteness

are experienced due to incomplete knowledge of the complete." In the

Sri Isopanisad Srila Prabhupada writes of self-realization as

realizing one's completeness within the complete whole.


Sivananda: Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur wrote something to

the effect that upon meeting his spiritual master, Srila Gaura-kisora

das Babaji, he realized that up until then he had always been trying

to make up for a sense of deficiency (incompleteness) by various

means. But by taking shelter of his spiritual master, all sense of

incompleteness vanished.


Raghava Swami: Speaking of completeness, I was just reading a

Vyasa-puja offering in this year's book from Niranjana Swami, where he

tells about meeting a man who told about his complete satisfaction in

reading Bhagavad-gita As It Is. The man said he has read the book 32

times, and still continues to read it, always carying it with him

wherever he goes. He went on and on praising the Gita for over half an

hour. Therefore there is that quote, I think it is from Sankaracarya,

the 'Gita-Mahatmya'. In the last verse it is said, "Let there be one

sastra, the Bhagavad-gita," because the Bhagavad-gita gives complete

information for going back to Godhead.


Bhakta Anton: It's too bad so few people know about the Gita.


Dharmasetu: (Speaking ironically) Everyone already knows about it, by

Krsna's arrangement. Now all we have to do is go out and distribute

Bhagavad-gita and thus get the credit for having made it known!


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