Society Srila Prabhupada and disciples on morning walk

Published on June 15th, 2016 | by Madhudvisa dasa | Full size image

27

Psychology — Can therapy and drugs save us from stress and depression?

I am curious to inquire about psychology. Here in the West people have the idea that the way to deal with suffering and inner turmoil is to see a psychologist and/or take medication for stress and depression like anti-depressants etc. What is you take on this?

Dear Tom

Hare Krishna! All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

We are suffering from “inner turmoil” because of identifying with the body. We think, “I am an American man,” “I am an Australian man…” We have been lead to believe we will achieve a whole set of unattainable goals in our life by the media, by advertisers trying to sell their products, etc. There is so much false propaganda about finding “true love,” and living a “meaningful life” and being “happy.” So many great things are supposed to happen when we get a job and earn a lot of money. We will have so much leisure time… We will be very happy… We will fall in love… All we have to do is work very hard…

Most people have no idea they are not the body but the spirit soul within the body and that the real purpose of life is on the spiritual platform providing the spiritual “food” needed by the soul.

This society places no importance on the soul or spiritual advancement and as a result people will naturally be depressed. Without the spiritual component in their lives they must be depressed, they must suffer from so much stress and mental turmoil. They are trying to live an impossible dream.

People believe they can be happy are trying very hard for this in the material world which is a place of suffering full of death. The reality is that every way we try to get happiness in the material world will disappoint us in the end. Everything ends in frustration. That is the reality of the material world. But the general public are not aware of this. They have so many unrealistic expectations of what they will achieve from the material world…

Even people who have very easy lifestyles still face the same problems. No one is happy in the material concept of life. The mistake is thinking if we satisfy the body we will become “happy.” Today there is so much endeavor to increase the comforts of the body. But we are not the body. We are the soul within the body. We can only be happy if the soul is provided with spiritual food.

Srila Prabhupada gives the example of the bird and the cage. If you neglect to feed the bird in the cage but keep the cage very clean and shine it very beautifully and decorate it very nicely the bird will die… Similarly if we simply cater to the “cage,” the body, and supply food to the body and comforts to the body and try to gratify the senses of the body but neglect the soul naturally we will be depressed and suffer from stress and inner turmoil. Because we are not providing the spiritual food the soul needs.

It does not matter what our lifestyle is like if we do not provide the food the soul needs we will not be happy…

It is best to live simply and only supply the needs of the body to the minimum needed to maintain the body in good healthy and spend one’s time and energy in developing the spiritual side of life by Krishna consciousness.

Using drugs to “cure” unhappiness and depression is not a cure at all. It simply masks the problem. The problem does not go away at all, nor does taking drugs do anything to help solve the problem. Basically it just stops the mind from functioning rationally for a some time. It is simply intoxication.

We have to be realistic. The lifestyle most people lead in the modern world is almost completely devoid of any spiritual touch. The population is educated to be completely on the bodily concept of life, so naturally they are depressed and suffering from inner turmoil.

The solution is to educate people in Krishna consciousness and in this way they will have realistic expectations about this world. This world is not paradise, it is a place of suffering. Not a place we want to stay in, but a place we can use to elevate our consciousness so that our next life will be in the spiritual world with Krishna.

This human life is not meant for working so hard. Life can be simpler. And if we lead a simpler life centered around serving Krishna and making spiritual advancement we can be happy and satisfied even in this material world. That is the solution.

It is a great mistake that psychologists presume because someone is suffering from depression there is some problem with him. Of course his problem is he is on the bodily concept of life but this is because he is not properly educated. This “modern” world does not provide the education required to enable people to have realistic expectations of what they will achieve nor is any real spiritual education available. Thus the population in general are educated in sense gratification and the bodily concept of life so natural they will suffer from stress, anxiety and so many other problems. This is a problem with the way the society is being run, it is not the fault of the individuals.

From any point if we take seriously to Krishna consciousness, chanting the Hare Krishna maha mantra, reading Srila Prabhupada’s books and serving Krishna, we will advance in spiritual life and the more we make advancement in Krishna consciousness the more clearly we will understand who we are, what is our business in this material world and we will see the world around us very clearly for what it really is. The stress, the anxiety will go away and be replaced with transcendental bliss.

We will gradually transcend the material world. Even though we are here in the material world our consciousness will be beyond it. That stage we can come to gradually. The best “therapy” is to chant:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

The 2 nd question is the methods that they usually use is of discussing a persons past always to explain the way they are today. Like for example is someone is suffering from a lack of peace and joy in life they go see a therapist and they forever discuss the persons past, “how they grew up in such a dysfunctional family, how their dad was too harsh with them and scarred them mentally, how they feel insecure today due to being constantly called stupid by their mom” I think you catch my drift, the idea that the way I am today is completely due to all the external influences of the past and I now need a therapist to point out to me all my “issues”.

I feel in my gut that this is a very misguided “science” however I don’t have the insight to explain why it is ultimately very flawed. Can you please kindly give me some insight into this please?

Yes. This is a very misguided “science.” Generally the psychologists themselves are not feeling much joy and happiness in their lives. Often their lives are just as bad as their patients. What can they do? Physician heal thyself.

It may be that our family may not have been very good however the family we get is because of our karma. We can’t change the past. Moving forward does not require a detailed analysis of exactly how we came to the point we are at now. Simply we have to take stock of our position at the moment and determine where we want to be in the future and work out what is the process to travel from the point I am at now to the point I want to be at in the future.

Krishna consciousness is the perfect psychology. Saddhana-bhakti, the beginning stages of Krishna consciousness is about mind and sense control. It is a process that will make the mind peaceful and purify the body. And the exact details of how the soul, the mind and body work and how to get them to work correctly is given in the Bhagavad-gita and other Vedic texts.

So my suggestion would be to take to Krishna consciousness and realize that:

  1. The lifestyle people are expected to live in the modern world is unreasonable. It is completely on the bodily concept of life and there is no spiritual education. Naturally people will suffer in so many ways because of this.
  2. The preconception of psychologists that there is something “wrong” with a person who has inner turmoil and suffering as a result living within the modern world is incorrect. This is quite natural and to be expected.
  3. The idea that the problem is caused by one’s childhood experiences is false. There is a very serious problem with modern society. It is effecting everyone, no matter what their childhood upbringing was like. Even people who had good childhood experiences still suffer from mental turmoil trying to live within the expectations they are given by the media and the advertisers, etc…
  4. The problem can not be solved by drugs.
  5. The solution is Krishna consciousness.

Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

Madhudvisa dasa

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27 Responses to Psychology — Can therapy and drugs save us from stress and depression?

  1. Aditya says:

    Hare Krishna Madhudvisa dasa prabhuji. You said ” Using drugs to “cure” unhappiness and depression is not a cure at all. It simply masks the problem. The problem does not go away at all, nor does taking drugs do anything to help solve the problem. Basically it just stops the mind from functioning rationally for a some time. It is simply intoxication.”

    My question is what to do about taking drugs? Since i read this article of yours i am very worried about the damages the pychotrophic drugs have done to me like having some difficulties with reading or sometimes repeating before it becomes a memory ( don’t exactly remember about this situation about memory). And currently also am taking drugs which are still causing damage. What to do about this?

    • Hare Krishna Aditya

      By taking drugs we damage our bodies and our brains. It may or may not be possible to reverse this damage by stopping taking the drugs but certainly if we do not stop taking the drugs we will create much more damage.

      So we have to stop taking all forms of inoxication and become instead addicted to chanting Hare Krishna and serving Srila Prabhupada and Krishna.

      So “What to do about taking drugs,” we just stop taking drugs and we get the strength to stop by chanting Hare Krishna and reading Srila Prabhupada’s books.

      It may be a little difficult in the beginning but we have to go through that difficulty. That is called tapasya, austerity. This austerity is necessary to advance in spritual life. Austerity means voluntarily undergoing some suffering for the sake of spritual advancement. We have to do it. And for us in the beginning that means strictly following the four regulative principles. We find it difficult. It is an austerity. Such austerity is required.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Aditya says:

        Hare Krsna Madhudvisa dasa. How do i go about quitting the medicine. I have tried quitting for like a month but i lost all my sleep. I immediately quit taking medicine altogether just like that and for 1 plus month i never went to sleep. And that caused problems until i got back and started getting sleep. two years ago this did not seem the problem when i quit for one year after i originally started taking the medicine. But now i suddenly stop and i lose sleep for at least a month until i got on the medicine

        So the real question is how do i stop taking the medication altogether? How do i go about stopping taking the medicine altogether without it affecting my sleep. I was in a bad position when i lost sleep for like a month.

        • I do not know. I am not a doctor. I do not know about medicine. Ask your doctor or research the medicine you are taking yourself on the internet and find out what are the consequences of stopping taking it. How would I know?

  2. prianka says:

    What if i feel this depression only after having found KC? I feel i am missing out…despite knowing KC is the ultimate proceess and Krishna is our only well wisher….i am not capable of chanting so many rounda im doing what i accepted as the right thing to do…all these Krishna conciouness stuff …. which seems right but i just cant do it and feel wprse about it..anyone i can talk to about

    • Hare Krishna Prianka

      If you feel depressed you have NOT found Krishna consciousness.

      Krishna consciousness is the position of ever increasing transcendental bliss. One of the very early stages of Krishna consciousness is that we are revealed of all material distress.

      So you have not experienced Krishna consciousness. Because you do not agree to follow the process. You do not want to chant Hare Krishna, etc….

      So you need to become actually convinced that Krishna consciousness is the right thing and that you can do by reading Srila Prabhupada’s books and following Srila Prabhupada’s instructions. I think you have probably not seriously read many or even any of Srila Prabhupada’s books. And that is the problem. You do not even know what Krishna consciousness is and you do not want to follow the four regulative principles and chant Hare Krishna, etc.

      So depression is a sure sign that you have NOT found Krishna consciousness.

      Krishna consciousness can not be experienced without actually surrendering to Srila Prabhupada and getting his mercy. Krishna consciousness is only possible by the mercy of a pure devotee of Krishna. There is no other way to achieve the platform of Krishna consciousness.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  3. Vishwatma says:

    Hare Krsna prabhuji. You said in bold “These are your problems and you have to take the responsibility for your own life and make your own decisions and solve your own problems.” Yes you are right to say. Thank-you for this advice. And plus i don’t want to offend you but i feel very unplesant, what am ii saying i have been feeling unplesant especially while i was going on a walk and in my mind this comes what you said in bold. I was thinking of not offending or even be angry at you in thought as you are a devotee plus i think i would be cool headed without any anger or other unplesant feelings. And i even asked forgiveness from Krsna if i am offending or thinking bad in my mind. You are really one of the less than few true devotees i know who are alive as in body.

    Anyways i did read your article right now and it seems like the answer i wanted from you was here? But still you could have given me your wisdom/knowledge of Krsna Consciosuness on association. I mean i was asking questions related to Krsna Consciousness and this article. When kstriyas consulted Brahmanas in the vedic times why is it i could not ask questions related to this article and Krsna Consciousness and get wisdom/knowledge about this. Kstriyas has problems of their own and took responsibility but they still asked advice from Brahmanas on like everything. And I am asking your knowledge/wisdom on questions related to this article and Krsna Consciousness.

    • The answers are in the article and in Srila Prabhupada’s books and you have to read them and apply them in your own life. That is the process of Krishna consciousness. As I said the first step you can start with is chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day and strictly following the four regulative principles: no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication. And read Srila Prabhupada’s books at least 1-2 hours a day. This is the beginning. You have to surrender to and follow these simple points and if you do then all your other problems will be automatically solved.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  4. Vishwatma says:

    Hare Krsna Madhudvisa dasa prabhuji. You are absolutely right about saying this. ” I can tell you to chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day, strictly follow the four regulative principles [no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication] and that you have to read Srila Prabhupada’s books at least 1-2 hours a day. If you are prepared to surrender to these things and follow them strictly no matter what position you find yourself in in life then ultimately this is the solution to all of your problems.”

    Even in my mind like yesterday night thoughts were going in my mind like why do i go and take advise from any non-devotee, therapist, counselor or any so called well -wisher when the solution to my problems including disturbances in my mind is Krsna Consciousness and to be Krsna Consciousness follow the process. To go into more detail about that thought i was feeling angry and frustrated that i am into sense gratification like t.v and maya has been tempting me to listen to other people advise, have arguments or conflicts and my parents being non-devotees. Yesterday night i was into this thought that i could not sleep till like 2 am and feeling frustrated and thinking that i will get myself no matter what. The thing is that i am inclined to sense-gratification. I really don’t enjoy it and plus i don’t also feel happy. i know i don’t feel happy. But stopping material activities and focusing on chanting and all is difficult. I have a thousand times felt frustrated like this and a thousand times i fall to doing material or sense -gratification activities over and over again. i do Krsna conscious activities to some extent.

    But they is one thing i want to still know the answer to and i won’t ask you anything more than this Is it good idea to go therapist. Because you have mentioned association also is important in devotional service. And this is association especially on a more deeper level since i am the one taking association. And that also help from someone. I really am into thinking if you are have the same answer that this is my problem and should i ask you this. I am not asking anything but this which i think you can. Of course this is a problem like any other that have to solve my Krsna’s help and my own but still. Anyways i am ending my inquiry on this own otherwise my mind is like that i am going to keep on going on and on in thinking.

    • Hare Krishna Viswatma

      Because you have got yourself into such a difficult, crazy situation it is very difficult for me to give you advice. Really I have given you the advice and until you can actually follow that (chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily and follow the four regulative principles and read Prabhupada’s books 1-2 hours a day) then Krishna consciousness is far far away.

      You seem to be very much in the mode of ignorance and have gone somewhat down the path of becoming crazy. So the cure for this is becoming Krishna conscious. There is no other cure actually. But you have to accept the medicine. That means at least chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day. The chanting will gradually give you the strength to follow the regulative principles and the enthusiasm to read Srila Prabhupada’s books.

      But as I said as far as the details of your life then you have to work that out your self. I do not know you, I do not know your situation and I can not give you any further advice on these things than what I have already given you.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Viswatma says:

        You said ” Because you have got yourself into such a difficult, crazy situation it is very difficult for me to give you advice.” and you also said “You seem to be very much in the mode of ignorance and have gone somewhat down the path of becoming crazy.”

        What is the difficult, crazy situation. Are you saying that I got myself on medicine because of being crazy and the mode of ignorance and also associating with non-devotees of my own faults (not past karma but something on the external side. Like the actions performed in this life that got me to this point.

        Well really all I want to know in this inquiry is how, why and what of the crazy difficult situation and mode of ignorance. No advice. Just what you seem to know of me as I cannot judge or know my situation. I need someone outside of myself.

        If you are saying that this is due to past karma then I agree. But is there anything more than past karma you mean. You mean I got into this situation for reasons that are apparent or obvious to me not past karma completely.

  5. Anthony says:

    Hare Krsna Madhudvisa dasa prabhuji. If the brain does not function properly then how is it related to the mind, intelligence and spirit soul.

    • Hare Krishna Anthony

      The brain is part of the material body. It is the interface between the material bodily sense and the subtle body. So the mind, the intelligence and the false ego [sense of identity] is the subtle body. So actually really the mind, intelligence and spirit soul are not affected by the brain not functioning properly, they are beyond that. However the material body is like a set of clothes that is covering the subtle and spiritual body. And it is through the material body that the subtle senses like mind and intelligence and ultimately the spirit soul interface with the world.

      So if the brain is not working properly then the extent to which the intelligence and mind can actually express themselves through that body is limited.

      Different types of body allow the soul to express himself to different extents. The expression is limited by the body, it is not that the spirit soul is limited. So if, for example, one takes birth in a tree’s body then the mind and intelligence have practically no ability to interface with the material world at all. So you can see the expression of the spirit soul in the material world is limited by the material body.

      So if the brain is damaged that further limits the ability of the spirit soul and the subtle body [mind, intelligence and false ego] to express and interact with the material world.

      Hope that helps…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Anthony says:

        Three things. 1. I am not the Anthony who you replied about the body and brain.2. On what article even though you replied here can i find that comment of yours that you replied to the other Anthony.3

        As far as i seem to know i think i do understand your explanation of brain and mind along with intelligence false ego and spirit soul.

        But just want to confirm one thing. As you know we are in the material world and our consciousness has become on bodily consciousness more and more depending on the number of births we took. So the damage of brain does two things. First it would be difficult as we need out brains to be well to learn spiritual knowledge so that we can develop Krsna Consciousness. 2. It will determine how we act in the body which is expression of the mind to spirit soul right.

        • I have no idea what you are trying to say here.

          Krishna consciosuness is transcendental to all material things. So even if the brain is broken one can chant Hare Krishna and become Krishna conscious and serve Krishna and go back home back to Godhead. This is transcendental, spiritual. It does not depend on the brain. But it does depend on getting the mercy of an actual pure devotee of Krishna. Without having an actual bona fide pure devotee spiritual master no one can become Krishna conscious. But if one does have an actual bona fide pure devotee spiritual master and really does surrender to him and serve him then he can become completely Krishna conscious no matter what condition his brain is in… Krishna consciousness has nothing to do with the brain…

          • Vishwatma says:

            Hare Krsna Madhudvisa dasa prabhuji. They are two things i want to ask about which is medicine and therapy. About medicine what can i do. Usually Materialistic doctors who know about various mental disorders would prefer me to take medicine(to control the symptoms but not treat the disease). And my parents are going to listen to those doctors. And they is some conflict in getting off medicine. My parents have agreed if i want to but they say we don’t also like to pay a lot for this medicine and if you want to stop you face the consequences. Anyways what can i do about that. Because i will quit the medicine espec’ially when the time is right probably when i have no school during the summer as it might have little discomforts as i want to.

            Second about therapy. I go to a therapist. What should i do. Should i stop going. Well she is of some use at times in life on the external. And plus we talk about Krsna Consciousness and talk about her belief and her position currently in religion/spirituality plus also Krsna Consciousness so that she can support my decision like medicine.

            Anyways you thinking according to your intelligence and, Knowledge, instructions and more in Krsna Consciousness you will think/say if not say at least think this is all maya. And i agree with you 100%. But still is going to therapy a good idea especially if i want to and am aspiring to be a devotee. I mean if i am going there i am in a position of taking, not giving. Plus they have they own professional ethics of what type of interactions are allowed between a therapist or clent/patient so if i give her something like prasadam if i was eating prasadam myself. In someway it seems like Haridasa thakur and the prostitute case or situation to a degree. Anyways i will be grateful to you if you can reply to this taking as much time as you want to considering replying to other questions and more.

          • These are your problems and you have to take the responsibility for your own life and make your own decisions and solve your own problems. I can not tell you what to do. I can tell you to chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day, strictly follow the four regulative principles [no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication] and that you have to read Srila Prabhupada’s books at least 1-2 hours a day. If you are prepared to surrender to these things and follow them strictly no matter what position you find yourself in in life then ultimately this is the solution to all of your problems.

  6. Anthony says:

    Hare Krsna Madhudvisa dasa. What is the mind? And what is the brain? Brain as far as i know seems the physical gross part of body which controls the function of the body. Mind seems subtle like the emotions and feeling.

    You mentioned taking the drug affects the brain and its function. But how does it affect the mind like the emotions and feelings.

    I have this question of whether mind or brain is the same thing or not.

    • Hare Krishna Anthony

      The mind and the brain are not the same thing as I described in my other comment to you. The brain is just an interface that interfaces with the senses of the material body. The thinking, feeling and willing is not done by the brain at all. That is done by the mind which, although still material, is of a more subtle nature than the gross material elements of earth, water, fire, air and ether that the brain is made out of. There is a more subtle material energy, and the mind is made of this subtle material energy. As I said it is the mind that thinks, feels and wills. Then above the mind there is the intelligence which is also still material but subtle energy. So the intelligence takes the suggestions of the mind and either accepts them or rejects them. The mind is the next-door-neighbor of the soul. The soul is completely spiritual energy but it is closely related to and should be, in the ideal situation, controlling the intelligence.

      A self realized person controls the intelligence and the mind and a materialist is controlled by the senses.

      Because the mind is processing information coming from the brain, it uses the brain to acquire the information which becomes the subject matter of its thinking, feeling and willing, if one takes drugs that mess up the brain that means the brain is going to send messed up information to the mind and the mind will process it and pass on subsequently messed up suggestions to the intelligence so the intelligence will be confused. Not really knowing what is ‘really’ happening out there in the material world because the brain is messed up and the brain is its interface with the material world…

      So the drugs are material and they only effect the brain but that means the brain sends scrambled information to the mind… So what is the mind and intelligence going to do with the scrambled information. It gets confused…

      Again I will say, and I think you know now, that the brain has nothing whatsoever to do with the mind or the intelligence and the brain plays no part whatsoever in the process of thinking, feeling and willing and the brain does not make any decisions at all. All the brain does is act as an interface between the material senses of the body and collects and processes the information. Like converting the light that enters the eyes into some sort of image stream that the mind can process, etc. So the brain is like a computer that takes all the data that is coming in via the various senses of the body and processes it and sends it to the mind and it receives signals from the mind and intelligence and ultimately the spirit soul, which the brain will transform into physical actions in the material body.

      This subtle material energy is currently unknown by science but it is also material and one can also build machines using the subtle material energy. Only our scientists do not yet know the art of using the subtle material energy. They do not even know it exists…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  7. Your aspiring servant says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu. Please accept my humble obeisances. All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

    Thank you for this article.

    I am thinking of doing a degree in Psychology. At first I was wary about doing this because I thought it would take me away from Krsna Consciousness as I would have to study many theories based on mental speculation. However, by studying these theories, I can then compare them to the perfect path of Krishna Consciousness to show their flaws and show that the only way to be happy is to revive our natural state of being. Would you say this is a good idea?

    You state that drugs are not the cure, maybe a temporary cure, but they act as an intoxicant. Some psychological research suggests that mental abnormalities are due to biological factors e.g. excess of a hormone in the brain. Are these biological abnormalities due to karma? If these mental diseases are biological then should they not be treated biologically through the use of drugs?

    You also mention that childhood experiences do not have an effect on behaviour in the future. I am confused by this, could you please explain further Prabhu? Because if one is neglected as a child, would this not effect their behaviour and perceptions when they become an adult?

    Also, if a child is neglected, would this mean that the family that neglect the child just acting as instruments to carry out the karmic reactions the child is destined to endure?

    Please forgive me if I have offended you in any way and forgive me for my ignorance
    Thank you once again,

    Your aspiring servant.

    • Hare Krishna!

      There is a need for some things. Like if we are sick we need to go to a doctor. So good doctors are necessary, so for the society to function nicely so many educated persons will be needed to fill various positions. And there should also be some people who can look after the mental health of the population. But the problem with psychology is they are missing so much information that they can not understand the cause of the mental problems of their patients. So if they do not understand the cause they can not prescribe the proper treatment.

      The point of my article is that there are very good reasons for any intelligent person to fell stressed and depressed in this material world. There is nothing wrong with that. It the natural reaction an intelligent person will have to the craziness of this material world. So the idea that this stress and depression is a disease and can be cured with drugs is wrong. It is not a disease. It is a natural reaction to the situation people find themselves in in the material world. Quite honestly I have seen the people on these “cures” and yes, they may be free from stress and anxiety–but their brains are dead. This is not a cure–it is a lobotomy.

      These “cures” are cures for the symptoms only not the cause. The chemical imbalances in the brain are caused by something and they may manifest the symptoms of stress and depression and the chemicals may be adjusted and the symptoms may be reduced for the time being. But the cause of the stress and depression remains–and these chemicals they use to adjust have bad side effects also so that complicates the matter even more. You know all of the mass murderers are on psychotropic drugs. So all these school killings and mass murders are an unwanted side effect of psychology. So the point is these drugs do not solve the underlying problem. The problem is not chemical and can not be solved with chemicals…

      The solution to this stress and depression is to realize that we are not the material body but we are the spirit soul within the body and that this material world is not our home and can not be turned into a comfortable place at all. If people just know this much immediately so much of the stress and depression will disappear. Because people are stressed and depressed because they are trying to be happy in the material world and all their plans for happiness are being frustrated. And they are being taught through the media and other sources that this is not natural. They are being told they should be happy, if they are not happy there is a problem, etc… So if the people just know that this material world is a place of suffering where repeated birth and death is going on and there is no way to be happy here and if they know that by chanting:

      Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
      Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

      They can elevate their consciousness to a higher platform and transcend this material world and enter the spiritual world then a world of eternality, ever-increasing bliss and knowledge will open up for them and their stress and depression will be long gone.

      So the cure for stress and depression is Krishna consciousness. That is all.

      And No, I do not think your plan is a good idea. This “education” you have undertaken is brainwashing. You are already starting to talk and think like them and by the time you have finished your course you will be completely convinced that you are the body and the purpose of life is to be happy in the material world. And you will end up being stressed and depressed yourself and you will take the drugs and spoil your brain…

      So no, you are wasting your time and time is very valuable. A devotee does not want to waste a single moment which is not spent in the service of Krishna.

      We don’t need to study under them to defeat their nonsense. If you simply study Srila Prabhupada’s books you will become the greatest philosopher, the greatest scientist and the greatest psychologist.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  8. veeja says:

    i have committed a lot of sins due to my association with bad company and suffering a huge financial crisis now.i am into depression. i lost everything. i am 45 & my husband is 54. we have a 16 year old daughter. we are in dismay. my husband lost his job and the only income we have is out of the 8 lakhs deposit that we have in the bank.please tell us what to do?

    • Hare Krishna Veeja

      You are not alone. Everyone is suffering so many disasters in their lives here in the material world. We have to come to the realization that disaster and suffering is the natural condition in the material world and not be very surprised when these material tribulations come upon us and our families.

      Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita that this world is dukalayam asasvatam, it is a place of misery where there is repeated birth and death. So to think we can live comfortably here is an illusion. Of course there is suka and dukha, happiness and distress, in this world, and sometimes we are thinking we are happy and other times we think we are in distress. But this flickering material so-called happiness can never satisfy us. We are searching for eternal happiness and the so-called happiness in the material world is very temporary. It only lasts for a shot time and then we are in distress again.

      Sometimes if one is a devotee of Krishna but has abundant financial resources he uses the money for sense gratification and in the intoxication of money and sense gratification he forgets Krishna. There is a verse in Srimad-Bhagavatam where Krishna says that His greatest mercy to His devotees is that he takes away all their material opulences so they have no option but to surrender to Krishna.

      That is the nature of a pious person. If he is put into some difficulty naturally he turns to God for help. So we have to clearly understand that this material world is not our home. Our only business here should be to serve Krishna and we should live this life in such a way that we always remember Krishna, never forget Krishna so that at the time of death we will be chanting Hare Krishna and Krishna promises that whatever you remember at the time of death, that state you will attain without fail. So if we can be remembering Krishna at the time of death then we will go back home, back to Godhead to enjoy serving Krishna there in our original spiritual bodies that are eternally youthful, full of knowledge and full of transcendental bliss.

      So as devotees we have to become callous to these temporary situations of happiness and distress, wealth and poverty, pleasure and pain, that we find ourselves in from time to time and just always continue with our service to Krishna, or worship of Krishna, chanting the Hare Krishna mantra and reading the scriptures like Srimad-Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita.

      We have to take everything as Krishna’s mercy. I know it is difficult for you to see the current financial disasters in your life as Krishna’s mercy, but devotees see like that. The reality is we are not in control. Things come and go, wealth comes and goes, we can not do anything about that. So a devotee attains a sort of peace and stability by firmly establishing his relationship with Krishna and once that firm relationship is established nothing can shake him. He is not effected by any so-called happiness and distress, wealth and poverty, etc, in the material world.

      It makes no difference. He can chant Hare Krishna in a palace as a wealthy king or he can chant Hare Krishna sitting under a tree with no possessions at all.

      So through all these tribulations the material world throws at us we need to use these challenges and tests to strengthen our relation with and dependence on Krishna the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

      So really the sollution to your problems is to accept there will always be problems so long as we have material bodies in the material world and to surrender to Krishna and use this human form of life for glorifying Krishna, serving Krishna.

      Krishna consciousness is the real treasure, the real wealth. So no matter what position we find ourselves in in the material world we should used this valuable human form of life to attain Krishna consciousness.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • ananya says:

        pranam prabhuji
        all glories to our spiritual master HIS DIVINE GRACE ABHAY CHARANARABRINDA BHAKTIBEDANTA SWAMI SHRILA PRABHUPADA

        Father kindly tell me can we ask krishna for help for materila things?? how much can we depend on krishna for our safty ,my father says to learn karate for defending myself hbut i argue that i have krishna by my side ,is it fooolish to think so??father are beasts also present in goloka dham ? what do they eat ??kindly explain

        • Hare Krishna Ananya

          There is a saying “God helps those who help themselves.” So it is not that we should just depend on Krishna for everything. Of course on one level we have to depend on Krishna for everything. But not that we think “Let me sleep and let Krishna preach Himself…” No we have to get out of bed and preach to the world about the glories of Krishna and then Krishna will give us the intelligence and strength so we can actually do it…

  9. MG says:

    Hare Krishna

    Is it ok to point out errors and deviations from dharma if done by close friends and family memebers or should we not point thinking that since we are ourseleves flawed , how can we attempt to correct others?

    Regards
    Suchitra

    • Hare Krishna MG

      The best thing is to work on our own problems and make spiritual advancement ourselves and in this way, by our good example, others will be inspired to follow.

      It is true, if we ourselves are flawed we can not correct others. If we are ourselves smoking we can not advise our children not to smoke. There is an English saying, “Actions speak louder than words,” and this is very true.

      So we should try to become pure and perfect ourselves and others will follow our good example.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa


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About the Author

My first contact with a Hare Krishna was a most merciful Mataji in Oxford Street, London who sold me a "Higher Taste" cook book in 1984 while I was on holidays there. I started seriously reading Srila Prabhupada's books in Australia 1985 and by 1986 Srila Prabhupada had convinced me "Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead" and "we should surrender to Krishna."I joined the Hare Krishnas in Perth, Western Australia in 1986. Since then I have been chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare, reading and distributing Srila Prabhupada's books and preaching as much as I can.That's my life and full-time occupation now really. I like it more than anything I've ever experienced before. Srila Prabhupada's books are so amazing... Even after reading them all many times they're still fresh and new. They are truly transcendental!That's it really. Now I'm just hankering to once again see the world chant Hare Krishna, dance and feast and float away in the ecstasy of Lord Caitanya's Sankirtana movement as it did in Srila Prabhupada's physical presence. Let the whole world drown in the ecstatic flood of love of Krishna!


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