Published on April 7th, 2023 | by Madhudvisa dasa


The Four Philosophies: Impersonalism, Yoga, Personalism and Voidism

Although there are thousands and thousands of philosophical and spiritual groups around the world most of them are following one of four basic philosophies: personalism, yoga, impersonalism or voidism. There are also a few other athiestic philosophies which try to explain the existence of the universe and the living entities without any spiritual connection but we will not discuss them here.

All philosophers and followers of religion naturally question about the nature of the Supreme and they also question what is the ultimate perfection, the destination which the perfect living beings attain:

  • Those who are personalists understand the Supreme is a person and surrender to Him, worship Him and serve Him. They conclude the ultimate destination is the spiritual world, the Kingdom of God—the place where the Supreme Lord lives—and they want to go there and have a personal relationship and render service to the Lord.
  • The yogis meditate on the Lord within their hearts—the Supersoul—their ultimate realization is the personal form of the Supreme Lord as Paramatma within their hearts. Unfortunately yogis generally get distracted by the yoga-siddhis, the yogic perfections. These mystic perfections enable the yogis to achieve wonderful powers within the material world—but the real perfection of yoga is to realize the Supreme Lord within the heart and surrender to Him and serve him—so the perfect yogi will become a personalist, a devotee, ultimately.
  • The impersonalists conclude that the Supreme is an impersonal energy or force. They want to merge with or become one with the Supreme—imagining that when they merge with the impersonal energy of the Supreme they will somehow become one with and equal to the Supreme. The impersonal philosophy is very common because generally the demonic people want to become god—they have no interest in surrendering to and serving anyone—certainly not God—so this impersonal philosophy allows them to believe there is no god above them, there is no authority, only an impersonal force, an energy and they are thinking of becoming one with that energy and becoming the supreme themselves. Most Indian gurus and philosophers are impersonalits even though they may speak something of Krishna, Vishnu—but ultimately directly or indirectly, they hold impersonal views and really want to become the supreme themselves rather than surrendering to and serving the Supreme Lord. Practically the whole “new age” philosophy in the West is impersonalism. Because for the demonic people the idea of becoming one with the supreme is much more attractive than surrendering to the Supreme Lord.
  • The voidists conclude that ultimately there is no supreme—only a void. They do not believe in any ultimate destination at all. They imagine that ultimately everything is void and they are trying to cease to exist. They imagine stopping their existence will be the solution to all their problems. The Buddhists are the typical example of followers of the voidist philosophy. They are atheistic. They do not believe in God and do not accept the living entities have an eternal soul and believe that ultimately they can cease to exist. Modern scientists are also generally voidists.

These four philosophies—personalism, yoga, impersonalism and voidism—appear time and time again in slightly different variations all over the world. Really you can not find any other philosophy. Sometimes there is some mixture but these are the basic four elements.

So what is correct? In India so many believe “whatever you think, whatever you accept—that is good for you.” This is not true but it is a very common belief among Indian philosophers. Something does not become correct and good for you just because you believe it.

To discover the truth we have to find a reliable authority and all of these philosophers except the voidists/Buddhists accept the Vedas as their authority. So the personalists, impersonalists and yogis all share the same authority / scriptures—the Vedas—while the Buddhists/voidists reject the Vedas.

The void philosophy comes from Lord Buddha who is accepted in the Vedas as an incarnation of Vishnu. But he preaches against the Vedas. He said: “I condemn any scripture that condones animal killing” and because the Vedas contains references to animal sacrifices he rejected the Vedas and went on to present his own philosophy based on the principle of ahimsa, non-violence. He preached that non-violence is the highest religious principle. Although I do not have the space to get into it in great detail here but his purpose was special.

At the time Lord Buddha was preaching in India the whole country had become meat-eaters and they were justifying the animal-killing by references in the Vedas related to animal-sacrifice. Meat-eaters are not able to understand much philosophy and they were also atheistic. You can not ask an atheist to surrender to God—he will just get angry.

In this situation in India Lord Vishnu appeared as Lord Buddha—he is the Supreme Lord—but he said “I am not God…” and he presented a philosophy that was very attractive to the meat-eating atheists of the time. In his philosophy there is no god, no eternal soul and the ultimate destination is nirvana—the void—nothingness… But Lord Buddha’s main purpose, the main point of his preaching was: ahimsa parama dharma, “non-violence is the highest religious principle.” So with this preaching Lord Buddha was able to convince the Indian people to become vegetarians—and that is really the only purpose of his preaching and his concocted philosophy.

Once the Indian people became vegetarians by the strength of Lord Buddha’s preaching they were able to understand more subtle philosophical points and Lord Shankaracharya who is an incarnation of Lord Shiva, appeared and easily defeated the Buddhist philosophy and re-established the authority of the Vedas. Shankaracharaya is an incarnation of Lord Shiva and he was also unable to give the people the ultimate truth because they were still atheists following the Buddhist philosophy and still unwilling to surrender to the Supreme Lord. So Shankaracharya presented a misrepresentation of the Vedas, particularly the Vedanta Sutra, in which he attempts to eliminate any personal aspects of the Supreme Lord by word-jugglery and false logic. Although the Vedanta Sutra clearly describes the Supreme Lord as personal in the ultimate issue his commentary, the sariraka-bhasya, exclusively stresses the impersonal all-pervasive energy of the Supreme Lord as the ultimate and completely denies any personal aspect at all. The teachings of Shankaracharya are often referred to as “covered Buddhism” because basically he has presented many of the Buddhist ideas but supported them by a misinterpretation of the Vedanta Sutra. So he has simultaneously re-established the authority of the Vedas and also presented a misinterpretation of the Vedas.

it is stated in the Padma Purana that Lord Siva appeared as a brahmana in the age of Kali to preach the Mayavada philosophy, which is nothing but a type of Buddhist philosophy:

mayavadam asac-chastram pracchannam bauddham ucyate
mayaiva vihitam devi kalau brahmana-murtina

Lord Siva, speaking to Parvati-devi, foretold that he would spread the Mayavada philosophy in the guise of a sannyasi brahmana just to eradicate Buddhist philosophy. This sannyasi was Sripada Sankaracarya. In order to overcome the effects of Buddhist philosophy and spread Vedanta philosophy, Sripada Sankaracarya had to make some compromise with the Buddhist philosophy, and as such he preached the philosophy of monism, for it was required at that time. Otherwise there was no need for his preaching Mayavada philosophy. (Srila Prabhupada SB 4.24.17 purport)

So the athestic impersonal and voidist philosophies that now flood the whole world all stem from the preaching of Lord Buddha and Lord Shankaracarya.

The Buddhist/voidist philosophy is incorrect. There is no factual basis in it at all and any thoughtful philosophically inclined person can easily see the many flaws in it. It is completely in contradiction with the Vedas which every other philosopher accepts—although they have their different interpretations. The Buddhist philosophy is sunyavadi—or zero. Their idea is to make everything zero. The Buddhist will look at everything in the world and see it is ultimately a source of suffering so he will say that all these sources of suffering should be eliminated. And then ultimately when everything is eliminated you come to nirvana which means to finish all the varieties and to become zero. This is of course not a very attractive proposal. We want pleasure, we want happiness—but the Buddhists are frustrated—they think happiness and pleasure are impossible because they only have information about material pleasure which they correctly realize is not actually pleasure at all—so they conclude the best thing is to cease to exist—nirvana—to become zero… This is, in reality, not possible because the soul is eternal. It can not be killed or cease to exist under any circumstances whatsoever. So this Buddhist/voidist idea of nirvana is simply impossible. It is wrong, incorrect, impossible.

So for bona-fide philosophies we can reduce the list to only three: personalist, yogi and impersonalist. All these three philosophies are accepted in the Vedas as being bona-fide ways of understanding at least a part of the Lords energies.

vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam yaj jnanam advayam
brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate

“The Absolute Truth is realized in three phases of understanding by the knower of the Absolute Truth, and all of them are identical. Such phases of the Absolute Truth are expressed as Brahman, Paramatma, and Bhagavan.” (Bhag. 1.2.11)

These three divine aspects can be explained by the example of the sun, which also has three different aspects, namely the sunshine, the sun’s surface and the sun planet itself. One who studies the sunshine only is the preliminary student. One who understands the sun’s surface is further advanced. And one who can enter into the sun planet is the highest.

Ordinary students who are satisfied by simply understanding the sunshine—its universal pervasiveness and the glaring effulgence of its impersonal nature—may be compared to those who can realize only the Brahman feature of the Absolute Truth. The student who has advanced still further can know the sun disc, which is compared to knowledge of the Paramatma feature of the Absolute Truth. And the student who can enter into the heart of the sun planet is compared to those who realize the personal features of the Supreme Absolute Truth. Therefore, the bhaktas, or the transcendentalists who have realized the Bhagavan feature of the Absolute Truth, are the topmost transcendentalists, although all students who are engaged in the study of the Absolute Truth are engaged in the same subject matter.

The sunshine, the sun disc and the inner affairs of the sun planet cannot be separated from one another, and yet the students of the three different phases are not in the same category. (from Srila Prabhupada’s purport to Bhagavad-gita 2.2)

So this is the key to understanding the three philosophies: personalism, yoga and impersonalism. The personalists realize Krishna—the Supreme Personality of Godhead and they realize everything. The Paramatma form of the Lord in the hearts of all living entities upon which the yogis meditate is an expansion of Krishna—so if one realizes Krishna he also realizes His Paramatma feature. The impersonal effulgence is simply the glare or shining that is eminating from the transcendental body of Krishna. So if one can see the transcendental body of Krishna naturally he can also see the shining effulgence emanating from Krishna’s body—that is the Brahmajoti, the destination of the impersonalists.

So the three types of philosophers: personalists, yogis and impersonalits are all realizing different aspects of the same Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna. So they are all studying the same subject however the personalists are able to simultaneously understand and appreciate all the different energies and expansions of Krishna but the yogis are only able to see the Paramatma form of the Lord in their hearts and the impersonal energy of the Lord and the impersonalists are only able to realize the Brahmajoti, the impersonal, all-pervading aspect of the Supreme Lord.

So the realization of Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the complete realization of the Absolute Truth and the yogis and impersonalists have only partial realization—but they are realizing and studying the same Krishna—their vision is limited to particular aspects only.

There are many different sampradayas or groups of devotees in India and they are realizing different aspects of the Supreme Lord or have slightly different philosophical outlooks. We are the followers of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Prabhupada describes Lord Caitanya’s philosophy of acintya-bheda abheda-tattvam (inconcieveably simultaneously one and different) as:

“Attraction for water depends on the purity of the taste, and this pure taste is one of the energies of the Lord. The impersonalist perceives the presence of the Lord in water by its taste, and the personalist also glorifies the Lord for His kindly supplying water to quench man’s thirst. That is the way of perceiving the Supreme. Practically speaking, there is no conflict between personalism and impersonalism. One who knows God knows that the impersonal conception and personal conception are simultaneously present in everything and that there is no contradiction. Therefore Lord Caitanya established His sublime doctrine: acintya-bheda and abheda-tattvam-simultaneously one and different.”

So there is no contradiction between the personal aspect of Krishna in Krishna consciousness and the impersonalists or the yogis understandings. However the devotees of Krishna take offense at the Mayavadis who following the Sariraka-bhasya commentary of Vedanta Sutra by Shankacharaya try to establish that the impersonal aspect is supreme and that any time Krishna appears He is in maya and all of Krishna’s pastimes are also maya. (That is why we call them “Mayavadis”—because they consider that Krishna and His pastimes are maya.) So the Vaisnavas have a very big disagreement with the Mayavadis but that will be the subject of another article.

Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

Madhudvisa dasa

Four Philosophies


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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!

198 Responses to The Four Philosophies: Impersonalism, Yoga, Personalism and Voidism

  1. Rama Sharma says:

    Thanks a lot for sending us this beautiful article 🙏🙏

  2. Anjali says:

    Really very insightful….I was not aware of some of the facts….a must read.

  3. Jason Powell says:

    I have read that there are 4 sub sects of Vaishnavism. Are all 4 personalists?

    • Yes. All Vaisnavas are supposed to be personalists. Meaning accepting Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But there are many Mayavadis, impersonalists, who pose as Vaisnavas in this Kali-yuga…

  4. Hrishikesh says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu
    Please accept my humble obeisances
    What is the difference between a Impersonalist and a Mayavadi?

  5. Rahul says:

    My another question ,Where does the impersonalists go after leaving this body ?
    And where does Parmatmavadis go after leaving this body? please answer
    Hare Krsna

    • Hare Krishna Rahul

      Impersonalists whole idea is that there is no identity and no individuality. So the impersonalists are trying to get rid of their individuality and personality. It is a kind of frustration. The impersonalists have come to realize there is no happiness in the material world, no happiness in relationships, etc. But they have no information that there is a better world, the spiritual world, which we can reach simply by chanting the Hare Krishna maha mantra.

      So impersonalists are only negative. They say ‘neti neti’, not this, not this. So they say everything not. But they have no positive information.

      In truth we can never loose our individuality. But what happens to the impersonalists is they enter into the brahmajoyti, the shining effulgence of Krishna. They become one tiny shining spark in the unlimited shining effulgence of Krishna. So that is the closest thing that is possible to the impersonalists conception of ‘oneness.’

      Actually they are not one, they eternally remain individual spirit souls. It is like when a green bird flies into a green tree it appears the bird has merged with the tree. But in reality the bird has not merged with the tree. The bird is simply sitting on one of the branches of the tree but because the bird is green and the tree it green the bird appears to have merged into the tree.

      So it is the same with the impersonalists. They can enter the brahmajoyti but they retain their individuality and personality, however, in the brahmajoyti, there is no scope for them to manifest their personality or for them to experience any relationships. So they do experience some relief there, they experience sat and cit, eternity and knowledge, at least to some extent, but they can not experience the other item, ananda, transcendental bliss. The bliss is only possible in the association of devotees serving Krishna.

      So the impersonalists can not stay in the brahmajoyti, they become bored and ultimately they fall back down to the material world and become engaged in mundane philanthropic activities like feeding the poor, opening hospitals, etc.

      So there is no actual liberation for the impersonalists. They can go the brahmajoyti but no one can be satisfied there and they all ultimately end up falling back down into the material world. It is a very difficult path with no rewards.

      As far as paramatvadis, they are the yogis meditating on the supersoul within the heart, if they become perfect they see Lord Visnu in their hearts and become devotees of Lord Visnu or Krishna and in that way they become bhaktas, devotees. Yoga is one step on the ladder and the top step of that ladder is Krishna consciousness. So one can choose to go gradually step by step or he can just chant Hare Krishna and immediately be elevated to the top step. Of course chanting Hare Krishna is the easiest and best process of yoga and it is the topmost platform. So the perfection for the parmatmavadis is to come to the point of Krishna consciousness.

      But in reality the yogis generally are materialists. Mostly they are practicing yoga to develop some of the siddhis, mystic perfections, which are materialistic powers. So if they are successful in developing some siddhi they become distracted by this and use it to bewilder the general public and make money, etc…

      So the hatha-yoga path is a dangerous one as there is every chance one will fall down due to allurements for attaining the mystic yogic siddhis…

      The easiest and safest yoga system is chanting Hare Krishna.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  6. jamyang says:

    I am a Buddhist and I must tell you that your presentation of buddhism is totally inaccurate. may I suggest that you study the buddhist texts and consult learned buddhist scholars of both hinayana and mahayana schools before making such assertions? Thanks

    • We are presenting the original teachings of Gautama Buddha. We have no concern with current different schools of Buddhism. There are not different schools of Buddhism. Lord Buddha is one and his teachings are one and if there are now different versions of Buddhism then that can not be. Because the teachings of Gautama Buddha are only one. And they are as we have described them. It is voidism. A search for nirvana. An attempt to cease to exist. Which is impossible. Because we exist eternally. So please let me know exactly what you disagree with?

      • Ashok Kumar Chatterjee says:

        Please explain why is Dalailama, who is supposedly continuously meditating on the Voidness, obviously the most cheerful from all the present spiritual leaders over the globe and why he is so much stressing the virtue of compassion as the very foundation of the liberation?

        • I have no idea about Dali Lama and do not follow his teachings. Compassion is not the source of liberation. So if he is stressing compassion as the source of liberation he is wrong. Compassion actually means doing good karma. So if we do good works for the benefit of other people that causes bondage, not liberation. Because the people we help become indebted to us and they have to take birth again in the material world and so do we, and they have to pay back the debt to us. So a devotee is not interested in doing good works or bad works. A devotee is akarma, he performs no activity that generates karma. His every action is performed as service to Krishna. And service to Krishna is the cause of more than liberation.

          So Dalhi Lama should be teaching this, ‘Chant Hare Krishna and be happy’, then he would be correct. Otherwise it is useless nonsense for the smiling lama.

          • Ramesh says:

            Isn’t iskcon helping people by providing food to the needy.

          • No. Krishna consciousness is not about feeding the hungry. Krishna consciousness means providing spiritual food, feeding the soul. So when devotees distribute food it is Krishna prasadam, Krishna’s mercy. That is food that is cooked for and offered to Krishna with love by devotees. So after Krishna enjoys the meal the remnants of Krishna’s meal become prasadam, Krishna’s mercy. So it is that prasadam, Krsihna’s mercy, that devotees distribute. And they have no priority for distributing it to hungry people or wealthy people. Krishna’s mercy is for everyone. Everyone is spiritually starving. Everyone needs Krishna’s mercy. So we have no particular interest in feeding the hungry.

  7. Neeraja says:

    thank you very much hare krishna

    Your letters are improving my life and guidance

    Very happy

  8. vasuki rao says:

    you are telling that Buddha is also an incarnation of Lord vishnu. then why he tried to develop “andhakara” among people.

    He could have made people realize he is the ultimate destination without preaching this “mayavaada”in people

    Hare krishna

  9. Ajamu Ayobamidele Bey says:

    I am so grateful to devote my life to Krishna and to give Krishna my devotional service. We are most truly blissed to become devotees of Lord Krishna.

  10. Glenn Tolbert says:

    In reading Swami Prabhupada’s books I’ve not seen my specific question to you fully addressed to my satisfaction and this is why I will ask you my question:
    Why were jiva-souls created by Lord Krishna to begin with? Why is Lord Krishna not content to simply enjoy his past times in Krsnaloka and leave it all at that? After all, He is complete in Himself and needs nothing to satisfy Himself. Why bother to create jiva-souls who must incarnate, suffer, create karma, which binds them to birth after birth, and then eventually return to their true home/Godhead? Why does Krishna do this to begin with?
    My guess is that in order to know Himself He must experience the opposite of Himself and immerse Himself in the world of duality/yin-yang etc…. love/hate, hot/cold. justice/injustice, man/woman, sweet/bitter, mountain/valley, light/darkness etc.etc.etc. Am I onto something with this speculating or am I totally not getting something?
    In other words why doesn’t Lord Krishna simply just “hang out” and enjoy Himself in Krshnaloka and play? Why bother to create tainted-imperfect jiva-souls to begin with, who must experience suffering, karma, and eventually after taking many births return to Godhead?
    I hope I’ve not said anything here to offend anyone or Lord Krishna. My intent here is an innocent inquiry. I get everything totally I read in the vedic scriptures, except for this specific question.
    Thank you Madhadvisa dasa. I appreciate your words very much so.

    • Hare Krishna Glenn

      You can not understand these things, you can not guess what Krishna must have been thinking. You don’t know and you have to accept that. There is a process to learn things and it is not the mental speculation you are trying.

      We learn by hearing submissively from a bona fide spritual master. So you will lean by reading Srila Prabhupada’s books in a humble and submissive mood. Not trying to analyze and find some fault in every sentence. No. Just hear Srila Prabhupada and accept that what he is saying is correct and accept that in the beginning you can not understand everything but know that in due course of time Krishna will reveal everything that you want to know.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

    • Vedant Madane says:

      In the Prabhupada DVD series available on YouTube, this question is answered:

      A father says to child don’t touch fire. Now child has 2 option, get the knowledge immediately or get the knowledge after getting burnt.

      Similarly Vishnu being the ParaBrahman does not want you to leave. Being omniscient (all knowing) he let’s you learn on your own. But at the same time individual Atman has free-will and can fall into the world of maya.

    • Vedant Madane says:

      It says that Krsna did not want us to come to this material world. Question is if Krsna did not want us to come, why are we here?

      Prabhupada: you forced Krsna to allow you to come. Just like sometimes a child forces his father. Father says “my dear son, do not do this” you insist, “oh , I must do. I must do” “ok do at your own risk” and you suffer.

      Tasting one drop of the ocean is enough to know that all water of the ocean is salty. Even though the salt content of that drop is very little and the salt content of the ocean is very large. We a small drop and Krsna is the entire ocean.

      You are son of god. God has got full independence. Almighty. So you have acquired the quality of your father– little independence. Krsna does not interfere with your little independence.

      If you persist that ” I must go and enjoy independently”. So this the position when Krsna says “all right you can go.” You have to take sanction. That is a matter of fact. But when you persist Krsna sanctions and you come to enjoy but really realise you are just suffering.

      ~Prabhupada, Melbourne, 1974

  11. Maharani dd says:

    Where does paramatma, who has traveled with the jiva for so many lifetimes (forever) go after the jiva goes to the Spiritual World ?

    • Hare Krishna Maharani

      Paramatma is not an individual in every living entities heart, it is the one paramatma who is present in everyone’s heart.

      So paramatma will stay in the hearts of the living entities in the material world but there is no need for paramatma in the spiritual world. In the spiritual world we are in direct contact with Krishna or Visnu so there is no need for Paramatma.

      • Ramesh says:

        Buddha was interested in escaping from the cycle of life and death which does not seem to contradict personalism. He never mentioned any name of God as the final destination. But its also true that Buddhism arose as a reaction to the vices and violence of brahminism. Vedic practice had fallen down.

      • Ramesh says:

        Isn’t paramatma the same as the supreme personality of godhead the controller of jiva and atma, the individual conditioned and subordinate soul or jiva.

        • Paramatma is an expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead who is present within the hearts of every living entity. So yes you can say nondifferent from the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

  12. Raghavendra says:

    Good simple article about Vedanta

  13. Melinda Moore says:

    Excellent explanation. Thank you so much.
    Hare Krishna!

  14. Subhodeep Thakur says:

    Hare Krishna!!
    If I chant 16 rounds of Radha mantra daily instead of Mahamantra, will I not have any spritual advancement. Kindly email me.

    • You have to follow the process. The process is to accept bona fide spiritual master, surrender to him, serve him. So we are surrendered to and serving His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. So our advice here is specifically meant for those who are also interested in surrendering to and serving Srila Prabhupada. So the most important thing is to please the bona fide spiritual master. Which means we have to follow the instructions of the bona fide spiritual master. So Srila Prabhupada orders us to chant Hare Krishna, disciple has to follow the orders of the spiritual master, so we chant Hare Krishna.

  15. madan says:

    Iam devotee of lord Krishna. I always hear questions from people that, why Krishna supported ‘Caste System’. Iam not able to convince them…plz give a valuable answer to this…Hare Krishna

    • Krishna did not support the demonic caste system that is now current in India. That is caste by birth. That is not what Krishna supports. Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita I have created four divisions of men based on guna [quality] and karma [work].

      So the caste system Krishna created is based on a person’s qualities and the work he does. It has nothing to do with birth.

      So Krishna does not support the demonic caste system that is currently being used in India.

  16. Srivani says:

    Hello Madhudvisa dasa ji, I enjoyed reading your blog on The Four Philosophies, I agree with you on the grouping. Highly informative. However I have one question on why do Veda condone animal killing? Is it contextual and misinterpreted or does it really condones it?

    • Hare Krishna Srivani

      Vedas does condone animal killing in a limited way for those in the mode of ignorance. Point is that those in the mode of ignorance will kill animals if the Vedas condones it or if the Vedas condemns it.

      The point is to actually limit it. They can only kill animal by sacrifice to Goddess Kali and this sacrifice is only possible on dark moon night, which means only possible once a month, etc. So because the purpose of Vedas is to gradually elevate all to the topmost platform there is way for elevating the animal-killers also.

      But unfortunately this mention of animal sacrifice in the Vedas has been greatly misused by animal killers who take sanction of the Vedas for animal killing but do not follow the restrictive rules in the Vedas.

      So this fault of the Vedas was pointed out to the compiler of the Vedas, Srila Vyasadeva, by his spiritual master Narada-Muni. Vyasadeva was not satisfied even after compiling all the Vedas so he asked his spiritual master Narada-Muni why this was so. And Narada Muni told him that it was because he wasted his time describing all this karma-kana and sacrifices and ritualistic activities without concentrating on devotional service to Krishna.

      So point is in the karma-kanda section of the Vedas there are so many instructions meant for different types of men but this is not pure devotional service and these instructions get misused. So Narada Muni did not like this very much and he told Vyasadeva that this was the reason he was not satisfied. Therefore Narada Muni advised him to write Srimad-Bhagavatam which is the ripened cream of all the Vedic literatures and in Srimad-Bhagavatam the only subject is pure devotional service to Krishna.

      So point is just read Srimad-Bhagavatam, you will get everything in the proper order there…

      For more information and a better understanding of this please study Srila Prabhupada’s translation of Srimad-Bhagavatam.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  17. Nicole Poirier says:

    Hare Krishna. All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!
    Thank you for this wonderful email!

    I am wondering if you can explain the following: Two months ago I saw this big black body with no head on 3 occasions and once with a head and light coming out of it’s very round eyes. I was half asleep everytime. Needless to say I screamed out in fright. I have not seen it for the last month! It was terrible I was scared to sleep then could not get up early in the morning. Any idea Prabhu what it’s all about?

    I remain your servant,

    Nicole Poirier Hare Bol!

    • It is a bad dream. So the solution to this is to become completely absorbed in Krishna consciousness. And then you will be always seeing Krishna, always thinking about Krishna. Srila Prabhupada teaches us how to do this in his books. We need to read them… Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

  18. arup says:

    Can u plz gv a detailed information abt philosophy of chaitanya mahaprabhu achintya Veda aveda philosophy?

  19. Narayan Das says:

    Hare Krishna!

    Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada

    Sree Budha is a voidist and he said against Vedas because veda contains animal sacrifice. even my childhodd I am hearing a -AHIMSA PARAMO DHARMA, SATHYAM VADA DHARMAM CHARA- all these are from vedas is it possible the Vedas tell the contradictory things also. Or did Sree Budha did not read such words from Vedas? It Sree Budha told I accept Angiras, Athri, Brughu, Vasishta etc the Vedic Rishis but he was against the contemporary ritual activities his time and place.
    Please give reply.

    • Lord Buddha is an incarnation of Krishna and we worship him in that regard. But when Lord Buddha appeared he had a special mission. At that time the whole of India was flooded with atheists who called themselves followers of the Vedas. But they were all meat eaters, giving the animal sacrifices mentioned in the Vedas as their justification for animal killing and meat eating. So they were atheists, misrepresenting the Vedas to support their own sinful activities.

      So Lord Buddha understood the situation and knew that if he appeared as the Supreme Lord and asked them to surrender they would disagree. An atheist will never surrender to the Lord. So Lord Buddha tricked the atheists. He preached that there is no God, and the atheists loved him and worshiped him for that. But Lord Buddha is God, Krishna. So the atheists were tricked into worshiping God…

      At the same time he preached: ahimsa parama dharma, the topmost religious principle is non-violence, in this way he eliminated the animal killing and meat eating in India and paved the way for Sripada Sankacharaya who came later and preached covered Buddhism, basically Buddhism but reestablishing the Vedas as the authority.

      It is a great history and if you want to understand it completely please read all of Srila Prabhupada’s books.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  20. Premavati says:

    Hare Krishna. There is a fifth section of people Shrila Madhudwisa. They are called ‘maunis’. The route word for ‘ munis’ . Maun means silence. Any which way we go round and round on the same wheel called regurgitation of knowledge. Or swing between ideas or concepts or further more jump from one branch to another. That is what monkeys do. Shrimad Gita’s first five chapters are eye openers to this truth . The more I repeat reading these chapters I am given to understand that this fifth section of people remain in the state of ‘silence’ and and may or may not meditate or worship . They neither accept nor argue. Dogmatism is unknown to them. They move smoothly not depending on anyone because they are neither entrepreneurs nor investors. So they do not hanker for results. This is ‘Brahma nirvana muchhate ‘ ! Hare Krishna.

    • Someone who remains silent, that does not count as a type of philosophy. Staying silent is not a philosophy. There are munis. A muni is a thoughtful person, a philosopher. But it does not really identify a particular philosophy, rather ‘muni’ identifies a thoughtful man. There is a saying that a fool is only detected when he speaks. So by staying silent one may be able to hide his foolishness from others. That is all. Staying silent is not a philosophy.

  21. Vaibhav parakh says:

    Haribol! Thank you prabhu for provide us with the distinction between the four philosophies, greatly indebted to you!


    Hare krishna prabhu,
    The article is good but i would like to conform few things.Basically the main theme of Buddhism is”the reason of sorrow is desire ,sorrow can be ended by killing the desires”.And that can be achieved by following their religion pocedure.Prabhu ,is not it similar to the 2nd chapter of Bhagbat Gita where the Lord has instructed Arjuna to perform his own duty without keeping any desire to enjoy its fruit.And that can only be achieved surrending to Krishna and keep on doing our own duty.I think the lord has said the same thing in Buddhism also in little different manner.Here, he just instructed his followers to concentrate on his “Nirbhisesha Bhrama”form which is not other than the lord krishna himself .So how it can be incorrect and as per my knowlede the lord never tell any incorrect path to his devotee.It may be our own misunderstandings.

    • No. The philosophy of Buddhism is COMPLETELY different from the Krishna consciousness Krishna is teaching Arjuna in the Bhagavad-gita. The whole point of Bhagavad-gita is you are not the material body but the eternal spirit soul. Buddhists do not believe in the eternal spirit soul. So the whole basis of the Bhagavad-gita is to realize we are not the material body but the spirit soul and the eternal occupation or dharma of the spirit soul is rendering service to Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But the Buddhists do not believe in any supreme person or energy or force. The Buddhist philosophy is materialistic. Desire causes sorrow so kill desire. But there is no question of a living entity without desire. That is the philosophy of Krishna consciousness. It is not that we kill our desire. That is not possible. To kill desire. No. We have to TRANSFORM our desires from material to spiritual. We have to transfer from desiring material things to desiring to love and serve Krishna.

      Actually Buddhist philosophy is completely bogus. Lord Buddha is an incarnation of Krishna and he appeared to cheat the atheists. So Krishna appeared as Lord Buddha and preached all this nonsense Buddhism and the atheists loved him because he was telling them there is no God, no one to surrender to. But he did preach ahimsa. Non-violence. That was the main point. To stop them from killing animals. And they loved him and worshiped him. So Lord Buddha tricked the athiests, the non-believers, into worshiping him, God, by telling them there is no God.

      It is a great trick and a completely bogus philosophy.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  23. Albert James Gomez says:

    In your article you implied the Buddha and his followers were demonic for NOT worshiping a personal god, yet, you claim that the Buddha was an incarnation of Krishna. Please explain.

    • Yes. Buddha is an incarnation of Krishna but because his followers are atheistic he preached that there is no God.

      So it is trick by the Supreme Lord. He has appeared as Lord Buddha and preached that there is no God and his atheistic followers love him for this and worship him [because he tells them there is no God…]

      So Lord Buddha has tricked his followers into worshiping the Supreme Lord by telling them that there is no God…

  24. Devang says:

    Hare Krishna

    Madhudvisa dasa

    The article is outstanding. Thank you.

    Its very hard to understand the three aspects but very clearly explained in the article.

    I will be grateful if you could explain the Lord Caitanya\’s philosophy of acintya-bheda abheda-tattvam.

    Hare Krishna


  25. Mihir says:

    Hare krishna madhudvisa dasa , It is written in vedas that lord buddha was an incarnation of lord vishnu then how can lord buddha not believe in soul, god etc.

    • Krishna preaches according to the time and the place. At the time when Lord Buddha appeared in India the whole country was full of atheistic meat eaters. So if you tell an atheist to surrender to God he just gets angry. So if Krishna had appeared at that time and suggested surrender to God the meat eating atheists would not have followed Him. So He very cleverly appeared as Lord Buddha and preached non-violence and opposed all killing including animal killing. He rejected the Vedas because there is mention of animal sacrifice in the Vedas and his mission was to stop the meat eating.

      So for this reason Lord Buddha presented an atheistic philosophy because he was preaching to atheists. They liked it and they worshiped him so they were tricked into worshiping God and they became vegetarians also.

      So this is the preaching of Lord Buddha. Krishna does things in the way He wants to do things. Not the way you think He should do things.

      So it does not matter what you think. This is what Krishna did in His incarnation as Lord Buddha.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  26. Issac says:

    Hare Krsna Madhudvisa dasa prabhuji. This is the perfect place to the ask questions regarding philosophy. Prabhuji what is philosophy or the definition of philosophy really? I have heard and/or as far as i seem to know that philosophy is about questions not the answers. Or i really don’t know which is really why am i asking you. And another question came to mind what is the purpose of philosophy?

    Are questions like Who am i? Why am i suffering in this world? And how i can make solution of all the suffering? philosophical questions.

  27. This article has enlightened me . Lord Krishna is our supreme god, the ultimate power and he is in all of us its all three forms of the Same power- Krishna . This article made all things clear for me . Its a turning point of my life . “We all are from Krishna and he is in all if us ” this philosophy goes hand in hand and this article has proved it right . I am very happy to come across such beautiful words by wise, feeling blessed to be able to hain such abstract knowledge . Thankyou . Hare Krishna

  28. This article has enlightened me. Lord shiva is our supreme father, our protector. We all are from him and he is in all of us this philosophy goes hand in hand and this article made this clearer.
    Very happy to read this article .
    Hare Krishna

  29. Krsna says:

    Hare Krsna Madhudvisa dasa prabhuji. I met a Buddhist who is following Buddhism. I asked if she is a vegetarian. She said yes. I asked if you eat meat, fish eggs. She says she does not eat meat, fish but she eats eggs. Does Buddhism also prohibit eggs as she but forth that you are not using violence in terms of eggs. And plus this is what vegetarian really is that no eating of fish,meat and eggs no matter what.

    • We don’t care about vegetarianism. We only care about cooking for Krishna and offering what we cook to Krishna and we will not eat anything which is not offered to Krishna. We only accept Krishna prasdam, food that has been cooked by devotees with love and offered to Krishna. Everything belongs to Krishna therefore everything should be enjoyed by Krishna. So we only accept the remnants of the food that has been offered to Krishna.

      So Krishna only accepts foodstuffs in the mode of goodness, he does not accept meat, fish, eggs, etc. So we do not offer them to Krishna. And therefore because we only accept Krishna prasadam then obviously we never eat meat, fish, eggs, etc. But that is because Krishna does not accept them.

      So we have no interest in vegetarianism. Being a vegetarian is no great qualification. As Srila Prabhupada says even the sparrows are vegetarian. So what. Does that make sparrows great saints. No. So vegetarianism is not the source of devotional service. But if one takes to Krishna consciousness, devotional service, then automatically all the good qualities develop within his body. So one engaged in Krishna consciousness automatically becomes a vegetarian.

      So we don’t preach about vegetarianism. There is no point in that. We preach about Krishna and when the people start to practice Krishna consciousness then they automatically become vegetarians.

      We have no interest in talking to Buddhists or hearing about them or what they believe in or if they are vegetarians or if they eat eggs of if they don’t eat eggs. This is all maya, gramiya-katha, village talk, prajalpa. We do not what to hear it. When we meet someone our only business is to talk to them about Krishna. To get them engaged in Krishna consciousness, to get them to purchase and read some of Srila Prabhupada’s books, to get them to chant Hare Krishna, to get them to take Krishna prasadam. We have no interest in hearing about them, our interest is to get them to hear about Krishna.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  30. vanshika says:

    Hare Krishna, Radhe Radhe Prabhu
    you were right, every article is important but this article was very important.
    you mean to say that vaishnavs who prefer bhakti yoga (kirtan and all) are the personalist who discover the inner issues of the sun and glorifies the god for water;his kindness.
    so by being a personalist, by such bhakti yoga one can realize god;Krishna;Vishnu?
    by doing so one will be free from samsara ?
    will see Krishna;god;Vishnu?
    will love Krishna personally?
    will a impersonalist be in samsara?

    i don’t have any greed to live in vaikund lok, i can kirtan and do seva of my Krishna forever because it makes me remember Krishna.

    but i am still confused that which Diksha should i take the one which will make me a personalist or the one which will make me impersonalist
    which will help me to lead to Krishna?

    Hope you’ll answer me soon and lead me to the right track honestly.
    Thank you,
    Hare Krishna, Radhe Radhe Prabhu.

  31. pran says:

    Hare krishna prabhu ji

    I have few questions please answer.
    1. When we are already facing the hardship on this planet due to our past karma, then why one has to go to hellish planet or swarga lok.

    2. Is liberation only possible only from this planet or the living inhabitants from the higher planets can get liberation as well, and is birth death disease and old age is also taking place in higher planets as well.

    3. The soul goes into 84,00,000 spices before getting this human body, are these circle of 84,00,000 only on earth or entire 14 lokas. Do higher planets have some other system.

    4. Whats the meaning of devotee who worships krishna in passive state and active state.

    5.How do we enter vaikuntha planet.

    Last not least
    6. FOR e.g. now that we are born in this cosmic of 14 lokas ( and there are billions of galaxy’s than after death do we go to different galaxy or i mean to say different earth where there are other 14 lokas or the soul stays in this cosmic world of 14 lokas till its liberated and enters vaikuntha.

    requesting your good self to please clear my doubt.

    hare krishna.


    • Hare Krishna Pran

      1. In the human form of life we are responsible for our actions therefore we have to enjoy or suffer the reactions to our actions in this life. If we act in a pious way we will be promoted to the heavenly planets and if we act in a sinful way we will have to go to the hellish planes. These days most are acting in sinful ways so they will have to go to the hellish planets and suffer there. There is, as you say, suffering and so-called enjoyment on this planet, but there is much more suffering in the hellish planes and much more enjoyment in the heavenly planets. So depending on our consciousness at the time of death an appropriate destination will be selected for us. It is not that we have to go to heaven or hell. It is possible to also come back on this planet. But all of the material worlds are hellish ultimately because in every material planet, even in the heavenly planets, there is birth, old age, disease and death. Of course if we think of Krishna at the time of death we can go back home, back to Godhead, to Krishna’s planet, Goloka Vrindavan, that is the best place to go to…

      2. Birth, death, old age and disease is going on in every planet in the material world. In the heavenly planets they live very long lives and the disease is not so serious, but ultimately they do get sick, get old and die. But it is less traumatic than on earth. And in the hellish planets of course it is worse than on earth. Liberation is actually possible from anywhere. It is possible for the conditioned souls to surrender to Krishna on any planet, but it is not very easy in the hellish planets because the suffering it so intense that all the living entities there really have time to think about is how to survive and they are always in such excruciating pain that it is very difficult to think about spiritual life. And in the heavenly planets they are surrounded by such opulence and beauty and material pleasure with so many beautiful women and so much wealth and so much comfort that they get too comfortable and puffed-up there, they do not see any suffering there really, so they have very little impetus to take to spiritual life. So here on earth, a middle planet, that is the best place, because here we can see both the suffering and the so-called enjoyment, and here we can see the futility of both. And here of course, earth, is very special. It is only on earth that Krishna appears for example. Vrindavan is only on earth in this universe. So Krishna does not appear as Krishna anywhere else in the universe. Of course He is incarnating everywhere in different forms, but earth is very special in this universe because Krishna appears here, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared here, Srila Prabhupada appeared here. So we are very fortunate on earth at this time in this universe. We should take full advantage of this great fortune.

      3. There are 8,400,000 species in the entire universe, in all 14 lokas. So they are not all here on earth. And we don’t necessarily have to go through every single one of them. It depends on our consciousness. And we fall high not low. So it is not that we fall down as a low species. We fall down as a highly evolved living entity like Lord Brahma, and then gradually, because of misusing our independence we fall down to the lower species like worm in stool… Higher planets do not have any different system. There are 8,400,000 species of life all over the universe. If you travel to the other planets you will find many of the the same species that we have here on earth and some different ones also. For example there are living entities on the sun planet. They have bodies made predominantly of fire. So there you will find the living entities are somewhat different because the atmosphere is very different from the atmosphere on earth. But this human-like form, which is actually based on Krishna’s form, is very common throughout the universe.

      4. Read Srila Prabhupada’s Nectar of Devotion for this answer. He answers it wonderfully there in great detail.

      5. You can enter a Vaikuntha planet if you are Krishna conscious or more specifically Visnu conscious and if you are able to think of Lord Visnu at the time of death.

      6. We can take our next birth anywhere in the material creation. Not just in this brahmananda. Anywhere. We can not see beyond this universe. So whatever we see the sky, it is all within this brahmananda. There is a very thick and solid shell surrounding this brahmananda, it is like an egg, and outside there is the causal ocean where Maha Visnu is lying and from the pores of the body of Maha Visnu unlimited universes are emanating in seed for and expanding as He breathes out and when Maha Visnu breathes in all the universes contract again and reenter His body. So the whole universal time is just one breath of Maha Visnu. And we can not see any of these other universes because of the solid covering of our universe.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  32. Laxman Prashad Adhikary says:

    Pranam Swami, I got opportunity to go through your scholarly and deep devoted article as Four Philosophies. I deeply regard you for giving opportunities to me to read such articles. I have no capacity and authority to comment and remark.I modestly appreciate and accept.

    • Hare Krishna Prabhu

      Thank you very much for reading the articles Prabhu. I have no credit in this matter. I am simply repeating what Srila Prabhupada is saying in his books and if you like it Prabhu you can find so much more wonderful nectar in Srila Prabhupada’s books so I suggest you start a program to read all of Srila Prabhupada’s books. That will be a great adventure for you and you will find so much inspiration and knowledge and spiritual advancement from reading all of Srila Prabhupada’s books.

      You can purchase them at and you can read them online at

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  33. kapil krishna das says:

    The newsletter was very good ….i came to know many facts that i can preach to my friends .
    thanking you

  34. Shubham says:

    The Secret of Lord Shiva
    The Actual Secret of Lord Shiva
    Adapted from Shri Padma Purana, Uttara Khanda Chapters 235-236.

    Parvati Said, “O Lord Shiva, You once told me that one should avoid speaking with Pasandi atheistic demon,and that doing so is worse then talking to candalas outcastes. Please tell me of what are the symptoms of such persons and what signs do they wear on their bodies?”

    Shiva replied,”Those Persons who,deluded by ignorace,describw any other deity being superior to Vishnu,The Lord of the world, are said to be Pasandis. Those who,although they do not belong to the Vanaprastha asrama, use skulls, decorate their bodies with ashes and bones, have non-Vedic marks, matted hair, and wear garments of tree bark, are said to be pasandis. Those brahmanas who are devoid of the marks and symbols dear to Vishnu, such as conches, discs,and vertical-lined tilaka worn on the forehead, are said to be pasandis. That brahman who does not follow the practices given in the sastra should be known as a pasandi and should be condemned by all people. Those who have no devotion for the Lord are said to be pasandi. One who behaves as he likes and offers oblations in to the fire for the worship of deities other than Lord Vishnu should be known as a pasandi, for Lord Vishnu is the enjoyer of fruit of all sacrifices and is the deity of brahmanas. He who considers Lord Vishnu as equal to other deities such as Brahma and myself, Rudra,should always be called a pasandi. That brahmana, who with his speech, body,and deeds dose not recognize Vishnu,is a pasandi. What is the use of saying much in this regard? Those brahmanas who are not devotees of Vishnu should never be asked any questions, should never be talked to,and should never be seen,”

    Parvati said,”O lord,O best of gods,I want to ask you something secret. Through love for me,please answer. I have a great doubt.The sastras condemn using skulls, dercorating the body with ashes, and wearing skins of animals. Yet,you do all these things. Why are these thing condemned? O Lord of the gods, O highly intelligent one, due to women’s natural fickleness I am asking you these questions. It may be that due to your great power you do not have to follow the sastric injunctions you just described, but previously you had not instructed me in this way. Therefore,O lord, please pardon my question.”

    Inquired thus by Pavati in that lonely place free from people,Lord Shiva explained to her the great secrets of his own behaviour. Shiva said, “O Goddess, please listen carefully. I shall tell you a very wonderful secret. You should not repeat what I am about to tell you to common people. I shall tell you the since your body is not separate form mine. Long ago, in the age of Swayambhuva Manu, there were many great demons like Namuchi [The demon Namuchi is described in Shrimad Bhagavatam 8.11.23-40.] who were very powerful and valorous heroes. All of them were devoted to Vishnu, acted purely, and were free from all sins. They followed the pratices laid down in the Vedas. Seeing this, all of gods head by Indra were greatly frustrated. Overcome by fear,they approached Lord Vishnu and took shelter of Him.

    “The devas said,’O Kesava, only You can conqeur these great demons who cannot be conqured by all of the gods and who have washed off their sins with penance.'”

    Lord Shiva continued, “Hearing the frightful words of the demigods, Lord Vishnu, Purushottma consoled the devas,and said to me,’O Rudra,O you of might arms, O you who are the best of the gods, for the purpose of deluding the enemies of the demigods prepere a course of conduct to be followed by pasandis. Narrate to them the dark puranas, which will take them astray. O intelligent one, you should create holy texts that will cause the demons to become confused.

    “‘Through devotion to Me,and for the good of the world, You should approach atheistic sages such as Kanada, Gautama,Sakti, Upamanyu, Jaimini, Kapila,[not to be confused with Kapila,the son of Devahuti], Durvasa, Mrikandu, Brihaspati, Bhargava, and Jamadagni. Exert upon them your power of suggestion. Being infused by your power they will become powerful pasandis. There is no doubt about it. Empowered by you, these brahmanas will narrate to the three worlds the Puranas and doctrines in the mode of ingnorance. O Shiva, on your person you should bear symbols like a skull, animal skins, ashes, and bones. Dressed in way you should fully delude everyone in the three Worlds. You should also inaugurate the pasupata order [The pasupates are a group of followers of Lord Shiva] with its divisions like kankala, saiva, pasanda and mahasaiva. Through these persons you should preach a doctrine whose followers wear no particular identifying marks and are outside the Vedic fold. Wearing ashes and bones, they will be bereft of higher consciousness and will consider you to be the greatest god.

    “‘Taking to these doctrines, all of these demons will become averse to Me in a moment.There is no doubt it. O powerful Rudra,in every age in My different incarnations I too shall worship you to delude the demons. Following these doctrines,they will undoubtedly fall down.'”

    Lord Shiva then told Parvati, “O beautiful one, after hearing Lord Vishnu’s words, although I am a good speaker I become helpless snd silent.Then offering my obeisances to Lord Vishnu, I said, O Lord,if I do what You have said,it will certainly lead to my destruction. It is is not possoble for me to carry out this instrustion, yet Your order is not to be disobeyed. This is very Painful.”

    “O goddess,hearing my words, Vishnu spkoke in such way to restore my happiness. He said,’This will not be the cause of your destruction. Do as I order you for the good of the demigods. I shall also give you the means to maintain yourself while you are preaching these demoniac philosophies. Then with compassion, Lord Vishnu gave me the prayers known as Vishnu-sahasra-nama. Vishnu said,’Installing Me in your heart, utter My indestructible mantra. This very powerful six-syllable mantra is transcendental and awards liberation to thise who worship Me with devotion. There is no doubt about this.’

    indivar-dala-syamam padma-patra-vilocanam
    sankhanga-sarngesu-dharam sarvabharana-bhusitam

    pita-vastram catur-bahum janaki-priya-vallabham
    shri-ramaya nama ity evam uccaryam mantram-uttamam

    sarva-duhkha haram caitat papinam api mukti-dam
    imam mantram japan nityam amalas tvam bhavisyasi

    I offer my obeisances to Him, dark like the petal of a blue lotus, with lotus-petal eyes, holding a conch, a disc, and sarnga bow, adorned with all ornaments, wearing yellow ornements, having four arms, and who is the dear lord of Janaki, Sita-devi.The divine mantra, ‘shri-ramaya namah,’ should be chanted. It remones all lamentation and gives salvation to even sinners. One who regularly chants this mantra will be free from all contamination.[6.235.44-46]

    “‘All of the sinful rections due to wearing ashes and bones will all be destroyed and everthing will beacome auspicious due to reciting My mantra. O best of the gods, being pleased I shall destroy all sin. By My blessings, devotion to no other god than Me will arise. In your heart, worship Me who is the Supreme Being. Obey My order. Due to love for Me, everything will be auspicious for you. ‘Having thus ordered Me, O goddes, He dismissed the hosts of gods who then returned to their own abodes. The gods led by Indra then requested me, ‘O Mahadev, Shiva, Quickly perform those beneficial acts as instructed by Lord Vishnu.'”

    Mahadeva then said to goddess Parvati, “O auspicious one, for the good of the gods I took to the way of the pasandis and started wearing skulls, hides, ashes, and bones. O auspicious one, as instructed by Lord Vishnu, I distributed the tamasic puranas and the pasandi Shiva doctrines. O sinless one, by entering Gautama and other brahmanas with my potency I proclaimed texts outside the Vedic fold. Adopting the system I gave, all of the wicked demons became averse to Lord Vishnu, and were enveloped in ignorance. Applying ashes to their bodies and performing severe penance, they stopped worship of Lord Vishnu and worshiped only me with flesh, blood and sandalwood.

    “Receiving boons from me, they became intoxicated with power and pride. They were very much attached to the object of the senses, and were full of lust and anger. In that condition, devoid of goodness, they were defeated by the devas. Bereft of righteous paths, those who resort to this doctrine of mine alway go to hell.

    “O goddess, thus this behavior of mine is only followed by me for the good of the gods. Following Lord Vishnu’s order, I decorate myslf with ashes and bones. O goddess, these external marks are meant only for deluding the demons. In my heart I always meditate upon the Supreme Lord Vishnu and always chant His mantras. By chanting this great six-syllable mantra I taste the eternal nectar of ecstatic joy. O Lady with an auspicious face, I have answered all that you have asked me. Affectionately I ask you, what else do you desire to hear?”

    Parvati said, “O sinless one, tell me about the tamasic scriptures that were composed by the brahmanas bereft of devotion to the Lord. O Lord of the demigods Please tell me their names in sequence.

    Lord Shiva replied, “O goddess, please listen. In sequence I shall tell you about the tamasic texts. Simply by remembering them even wise persons become deluded. First,I Myself proclaimed the Shiva, pasupata, and related texts. After my power had entered him, Kanada preached the Vaisesika Philosophy. Similarly, Gautama preached Nyaya,and Kapila preached the atheistic Sankhya. Brihaspati preached the much-censured Charvaka doctrine, and Buddha proclaimed Buddhism to destroy the demons.

    Padma Purana 6.236.7

    mayavadam asac chastram pracchannam bauddham uchyate
    mayaiva kalpitam devi kalau brahmana rupina

    “Mayavada or Advaita philosophy is an impious, wicked belief and against all the conclusions of the Vedas. It is only covered Buddhism. My dear Parvati, in Kali-Yoga I assume the form of a brahmana (Adi Shankara) and teach this imagined philosophy.

    Padma Purana 6.236.8-9

    apartham sruti-vakyanam darsayan loka-garhitam
    sva-karma-rupam tyajya tvam atraiva pratipadyate

    sarva-karma paribhrastair vaidharma tvam tad ucyate
    paresa-jiva-paraikyam maya tu pratipadyate

    “This mayavada advaita philosophy preached by me (in form of Adi Shankara) deprives the words of the holy texts of their acutal meaning and thus it is condemned in the world. It recommends the renunciation of one’s own duties, since those who have fallen from their duties say that the giving up of duties is religiosity. In this way, I have also falsely propounded the identity of the Supreme Lord and the individual soul.”

    Padma Purana 6.236.10

    brahmanas caparam rupam nirgunam vaksyate maya
    sarva-svam jagato py asya mohanartham kalu yuge

    “In order to bewilder the atheists, in Kali-yuga, I describe the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Gauranga Krishna to be without any form and without qualities.”

    Padma Purana 6.236.11

    vedante tu maha-sastrera mayavadam avaidikam
    mayaiva vaksyate devi jagatam nasha-karanat

    “Similarly, in explaning Vedanta mahashastra, I described the same non-scriptural and inauspicious mayavada philosophy in order to mislead the entire population toward atheism by denying the personal form of my beloved Lord.”

    [As described in the seventh chapter of adi-lila of Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita, while speaking to Prakashananda Saraswati and the mayavadi sannyasis of Benares, Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu cited these texts to show how Lord Shiva had come in Kali-yuga as Shripad Sankaracharya to propound the philosophy of monism and bewilder the souls. Cited translation of texts 7,10 and 11 are based on the translation of His Divine Grace Shrila A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada as found in his purport to Cc. Adi 7.110.]

    Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna!

  35. partha sarathi awain says:

    hare krishna prabhu thanku for ur beautiful article prabhu how can i increase my concentration and memory power by krishna counsciousness give me some tips prabhu hare krishna.

    • Hare Krishna Prabhu

      My tips are always the same. Chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily, strictly follow 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. It sounds easy but it is not and most people do not follow these tips. Even I am sometimes struggling to follow these tips. But I do know that none of us will be able to succeed in Krishna consciousness unless we are prepared to surrender to and follow these tips…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  36. radha kinker das says:




  37. benjamin CLEMENT says:

    I love Ramana but I’m a bit scared about this non personnalization happy end for Jivas, especially because I’m christian also, for who resurrection is the goal of creation, the must!, meaning that purusa and prakti are both holy and eternal, and that prakti is part of the kingom !!!

    What would you reckon ?

    Thank you.


    • We are not interested in any impersonal end for the jivas. We are personalists. We will retain our individuality and personality and go back home back to Godhead as individual persons to serve Krishna there…

  38. Anurag says:

    What kind of philosophy do jains follow? Please tell me what the Vedas say of neminath and mahavira. I NEED the information. My Jain friend is becoming an atheist like other Jains . Please answer my question PROPERLY.

    • Hare Krishna Anurag

      I have no idea at all what is the philosophy of a Jain. I am not a Jain. How would I know. But if I met one I could ask a few brief questions and understand what their philosophy was. So if you know one then you should be able to work out what is his philosophy by asking him a few questions and you should be able to see if it is good or not by testing it with the absolute truth you find in Srila Prabhupada’s books.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  39. Neha says:

    Hare Krishna,

    I have only read few pages of Bhagvad Gita and not read vedas at all. I have two questions which are as follows:-

    1) Are Gita and vedas different from each other..In your article it’s written that vedas contains references to animal sacrifices…Does Gita also says so..??

    What should we follow. The Bhagvad Gita or the Vedas..??

    2) Please tell me regarding Idol Worship in Hindu philosophy..Which is better..Serving an Idol or serving a begger..??

  40. Srinath says:

    Hare Krishna!

    The void philosophy comes from Lord Buddha who is accepted in the Vedas as an incarnation of Vishnu.

    So Lord Buddha is Vishnu?

  41. Khanindra says:

    Hare Krishna,
    I am thankful for the mail. I find “Upanishads” are called the ‘Vedanta’ and Vyasadev wrote Vedanta Sutra out of them. Like Shankaracharya, Madhvacharya, Nimbakacharya and Ballabhacharya; Baldev has also found out one Bhasya called Achinta vedaved. I do believe Chaityanya Mahaprabhu is a reincarnation of Krishna. I become delighted with chanting the Mahamantra. There was another Mahapurusha during 15th century in Assam who has not written and Vedanta Vashya but proponded “Eka Sarana Hari Naam Dharma”. He also gives the most importance to Hari Naam. I like reading Srimadbhagawat Geeta and Srimadbhagawat only. Please lead me on to right path.

  42. Pramod KM says:

    Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare!!!
    Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Hare Hare!!!
    Chant & Grow, Acharya Prabhupada says some story it will sometimes uproot all your concepts, Krishna will do miracle, it has happened, many are there in that series, Why Iam saying this from our History, all Acharya came and initiated Sanathana Dharma, I could observe this Krishna comes with Prosperity and Siva comes as Dynamisam, – Siva the Preceeding Krishna Succeeding. Sivoscha Hrudayam Vishnu!! Vishnoscha Hrudayam Siva – or there is Cosciousness ans Matter.
    Hare Krishna!!!

  43. Hare Krishna
    Thanx again for the mail that talks about four philosophy. throughout the mail i was trying to locate myself in these philosophy but couldnot do that.
    And this making me feel restless how to connect with krishna and how to pray to him. I would also want to ask i see krishna in my dreams but cant understand his signals and what he is trying to say to me? please guide me in this situation ? and in one dream i saw that krishba isnt very happy with me plz tell me what can i do in this situation as i’m tryin to follow krishna consciuosness? but i feel it isnot sufficient plz tell me how to pray to him?

    your servant
    pratiksha bisht

    • Hare Krishna Pratiksha

      Generally dreams are not very important. And the process of Krishna consciousness is very simple but people will not surrender to the simple process so it doesn’t work for them. First you need to know what Krishna consciousness is so you have to read Srila Prabhupada’s books at least 1-2 hours a day, otherwise how will you know what Krishna consciousness is?

      And everywhere you will find Srila Prabhupada stressing the absolute importance of chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra on beads at least 16 rounds a day. So if you want to become Krishna consciousness you have to find 2 hours a day or so to chant 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra. Krishna consciousness is developed by hearing and chanting. Reading Prabhupada’s books is also hearing and chanting, particularly if you read them aloud which is best, and chanting Hare Krishna mantra is also hearing and chanting. You are chanting Hare Krishna with your tongue and hearing Hare Krishna with your ears. This is the process to become Krishna conscious so if you want to become Krishna conscious you have to do it, chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily.

      And there are certain things that will block our advancement in spiritual life so even if we are chanting Hare Krishna and reading Prabhupada’s books if we do not give up these sinful activities, although the chanting of Hare Krishna and the reading of Prabhupada’s books is still working, it will take a very, very long time if we do not voluntarily give up the sinful activities of: illicit sex (sex is only for having children in marriage), intoxication (including alcohol, smoking, and even to tea and coffee), gambling and meat eating basically our advancement in Krishna consciousness is blocked.

      So if you truly want to become Krishna conscious you have to surrender to Srila Prabhupada, a pure devotee of Krishna, and follow the process of saddhana-bhakti that he prescribes. Otherwise if you don’t surrender and don’t follow Srila Prabhupada’s instructions then you are not going to become Krishna conscious…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  44. Mohan Kumar says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu,

    I red completely about this subject. And It is also said that Lord Shiva Is a Great Devotee of Krishna.(Vaishnavaanaam Yatha Shambuhu) I particularly came from “Shyvait” Background. I red many of the Shyva Devotees poems. These Shyva Devotees appeared in the 11th century in south India. Does Shyaits are “Personalists or Impersonalists..?”

  45. ravi says:

    last time i checked buddhists and adi shankaraya-type hindus were not the ones attacking hare krishna temples or writing text books bashing hindus. the biggest threat krishna consciousness comes from christian missionaries and governments around the world that are anti-hindu. i’m not sure why so much attention is given by ISKCON against buddhists, saivites, and hindus who are monists. they are not the ones banning the gita (christian russian government), they are not the ones closing he krishna temple (muslims in kazakhstan), nor are they making fun in hollywood (american media).

    • Hare Krishna Ravi

      It is because no person who has made a little advancement in spiritual life and has developed qualities in the mode of goodness will take a religion that supports animal killing, illicit sex, gambling and intoxication very seriously. No offense to Christians, I was raised as a Catholic and find the teachings of Lord Jesus Christ to be perfectly good and completely inline with Krishna consciousness but today’s Christians are not interested actually in following the teaching of Lord Jesus Christ. So the point is no person who is philosophically inclined can be captivated by Christianity because really they have no philosophy. Christianity is based on faith. You have to believe but they have no scientific basis for that belief. It is faith only. And they are not against the personal worship of God. At least in the Bible Jesus refers to God as his father and attributes personal traits to God. So the sincere Christian has no problem with a personal God. They have faith in God and they believe in God and they see God as a person. So really Christianity is no threat at all to Krishna consciousness. Actually nothing is a threat to Krishna consciousness. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and He defeats everyone. But really Christianity is completely compatible with Krishna consciousness and so many Christians have gone on to become devotees of Krishna and see no contradictions between either path. Only Krishna consciousness is the post-graduate study of Christianity.

      Also Buddhism is not really a serious threat. The Buddhist philosophy is really stupid and goes completely against common sense, it is completely against what is taught in the Bible and Lord Buddha specifically and emphatically rejects the Vedas. He does not believe in an eternal soul. He believes the soul can cease to exist and that is nrivana. That is the ultimate destination according to the Buddhists, to cease to exist. But any spiritual person, Christian, Hindu or Muslim, no matter how little they have advanced in spiritual life, knows that he is a spirit soul and as a spirit soul he is eternal. So this very basic fundamental spiritual principle is denied by the Buddhists. So they are no threat. Although Buddhism is the religion of the atheists. Because according to Buddhism there is no God… So many atheists have accepted Buddhism but it does not matter because it is such a nonsense philosophy that no thoughtful person can actually take it seriously.

      However the Mayavadi philosophy is very, very, very dangerous. It is the Mayavadi philosophy which has converted the world into the demonic godless hell that we are currently living in. Because the Mayavadi philosophy is a perversion of the Vedanta philosophy. It is based on Sankacharaya’s commentary on the Vedanta Sutra, and Sankacharaya is an incarnation of Lord Shiva and there is no one, except Lord Visnu, in this universe who can come anywhere near Lord Shiva in terms of intelligence and ability. So Lord Shiva was ordered by Krishna to go to the material world and take birth as Sankacharaya and to present ‘covered Buddhism’, a philosophy that appears to be the Vedanta philosophy from the Vedas but which in actuality is practically the same as Godless Buddhism.

      So what Sankacharaya has very expertly done in creating the Mayavadi philosophy is to take God out of the the Vedanta. He transformed it in such a way as to put all stress on the impersonal, formless aspect of the the Supreme and completely eradicated any references at all to the personal forms of the Lord… This is because at the time when Sankacharaya was preaching in India the country was full of godless Buddhists. And his mission was to attract the atheistic Buddhists to a ‘religion’ based on the Vedas. But demons are not interested in God and will not become part of any religion that involves service to or surrender to God. So Sankacaharaya took the service to God and the surrender to God out of the Vedanta and instead preaches that “it is all one and everyone is god…”

      So this Mayavadi philosophy is very dangerous because it is really good philosophy. It is the Vedanta philosophy with a twist. And that twist means to annihilate god, to kill god… So the Mayavadi philosophy is Vedanta for demons. Demons do not want to surrender to God or serve God but they may like discussing intellectually stimulating philosophy. So that is what the Mayavadi philosophy provides. Good philosophy with the conclusion that there is no god, there is no supreme, there is no controller above us and everyone can be god. That is EXACTLY want the demons want to hear…

      So this Mayavadi philosophy is the greatest poison because it contaminates thoughtful people and once they have heard this very attractive philosophy that confirms and encourages their demonic and materialistic activities they are no longer able to understand the actual Vedanta, Krishna consciousness. That is why Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu constantly warned: mayavadi bhasya suni ye se haya sarva nasa: “Anyone who hears the Mayavadi philosophy is doomed.”

      India is doomed already because it has been saturated in the Mayavadi philosophy for so long and this doom and gloom in the form of the Mayavadi philosophy has spread all over the world. But not to worry. Krishna is much more powerful. Chant:

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

      And be happy.

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • gourav patri says:

        hare krishna madhudvisa dasa please forgive me i have some doubts – personalist ,impersonalist and even the buddhist atleast have one belief in common that is birth and rebirth cycle and law of karma which islam and christianity does not believe.but apart from buddhism which believes on voidness as you say, what is then the basic difference between personalist(i myself being born in a bhakti family background ) and impersonalists or mayavadis?.is it like this that a personalist ways and impersonalists ways are just different but their purpose is one and that is serving god, and though devotional service or chanting may be one way and concentrating on the formless form of the supreme through yoga or sadhana may be one philosophy ,so ways may be different but is the purpose one and only to serve the supreme? one in pure devotion may serve krishna through surrender ,japa ,chanting eating prasadam doing image worship and while other may choose to concentrate on same krishna or allahs formless form or light through sadhana or yoga i think the purpose is same but ways are different.please correct me if i am wrong -hare krisha .and please my request to you is to write a entire coloumn on krishnas original form as many argue that krishna or god is formless.we should not personalize him and give him forms and even imagine him to have a material body like in image and idols

        • Hare Krishna Gourav

          You are very wrong Prabhu. The purpose of the impersonalists / mayavadis / buddhists is VERY different from the purpose of the devotees.

          The purpose of the devotees is to surrender to Krishna and serve Him. And that is actually the eternal constitutional position of the spirit soul. That is the only way we can become happy.

          On the other hand the mayavadis / impersonalists and buddhists all deny the existence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and refuse to serve and worship him. The mayavadis / impersonalists claim that ‘it is all one’ and ‘namo narayana’, they clam to be Narayana, the Supreme Lord themselves, and therefor for them there is never any question of surrendering to the Supreme Lord or service to the Supreme Lord. They want to be the Supreme Lord themselves.

          So actually Prabhu these mayavadis and impersonalists are all great offenders to Krishna and very bad people and we should never, never, never associate with them. The Buddhists are no so bad as at lest they openly claim there is no God and no eternal soul, etc.

          But the Mayavadis / Impersonalists are very, very, very dangerous because they will be reading the Bhagavad-gita and studying the Vedas and talking about Krishna and these days even claiming that they are Vaisnavas… But they are not. They the greatest offenders to Krishna because they claim that really Krishna is nothing and the impersonal all-pervading brahmin energy is supreme…

          Mayavadis are aparadhis and if we associate with them we will become poisoned by them and will never be able to understand Krishna. They are so poisonous, so dangerous. Lord Caitanya and Srila Prabhupada so strongly warn us on these points constantly so Prabhu if you do not know these things I think you are not very seriously reading Srila Prabhupada’s books.

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

  46. pranaytony says:

    hare krsna guru ji!

    really am feeling happy that am gaining the right knowledge with the bonafide spiritual masters like you,with the article that you presented to me!

    now in this context i would like to question you guru ji,(i had this doubt for many days from the begining of reading of this holy book srimadbhaghavadgeetha)that,

    what are the principles of mayavadis?

    how we should recognise these people?

    what exactly shankaracharya told(what is the main theme or the idea in his philosophy)?

    what is the main point that he is stressing a lot?

    one saying is there that one who teaches the right spiritual knowledge(knowledge that is related to vishnu,sri hari,krishna)to this whole world he will be called as the ‘jagadguru'(that which exactly differentiates from the normal gurus)!

    we know that Sri Krishna Paramathma is the(real spiritual guru)first jagadguru!

    but shakaracharya created the mayavada philosophy(which is something related to maya only but not krsna),then why everybody use to call him as ‘aadi shankaracharya’ or ‘jagadguru shankaracharya’?????????

    i just want all these answers to all of my questions mentioned above!

    i think these will really help our spiritual friends n krsna devotees!

    please answer to me guru ji!

    • Hare Krishna Pranaytony

      Actually we call the Mayavadis ‘mayavadis’. They do not call themselves ‘mayavadis’. They call themselves ‘vedantists’. And it is very difficult for a neophyte to tell the difference between a Mayavadi and a Vaisnava. Very often the Mayavadis pose as Vaisnavas and dress as Vaisnavas but internally they are actually Mayavadis. The very simple definition of a Mayavadi is one who is using Krishna consciousness for serving maya. So anyone who has some material desire and is trying to fulfill that through some spiritual process is a Mayavadi. Basically we give the Mayavadis this name because they say that the absolute has no form and no activities. Therefore they claim that when Krishna appears in this world He is a manifestation of the impersonal brahmin but He has taken on a form made out of the material energy. So they say that Krishna is maya and all of Krishna’s activities and pastimes are also maya.

      The preaching of Sankacharaya who is an incarnation of Lord Shiva was for a purpose and that was to convert the population of India who were almost all Buddhists at that time into followers of the Vedas. Because Lord Buddha had convinced the Indian’s to give up following the Vedas and in that way stopped them from killing animals and eating meat on the pretense that the animal killing was Vedic sacrifices. So Sankacharaya wanted to reestablish the faith of the Buddhists in the Vedas again. So actually he presented a twisted and contorted interpretation of the Vedanta philosophy which appealed to the Buddhists. Basically he twisted the philosophy of the Vedanta so it is practically the same as Buddhism. Therefore his preaching was very attractive to the atheistic Buddhists who made up most of the Indian population at the time.

      The main point of the philosophy of Sankacharaya is that he tries to eliminate any stress on the personal form of the Lord from the Vedas and he stresses exclusively on the impersonal aspect only. All the details I can not give here because that would take hundreds of pages and Srila Prabhupada has already given all these detains very extensively and completely in his purports to the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. SO PLEASE READ SRILA PRABHUPADA’S BOOKS AND YOU WILL FIND ALL THE ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS THERE. It never ceases to amaze me why so-called devotees don’t read Prabhupada’s books????

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  47. Shubham says:

    Paramahaṁsa: Sometimes people ask, though, they say, “Why is it that even among the ācāryas sometimes we find there is a difference of opinion?”

    Prabhupāda: They are not ācāryas. They are not ācāryas. There is no difference of understanding between ācāryas. What Madhvācārya understands, we also understand. Suppose you are present also. So there is no difference. What Rāmānujācārya understands, we also understand. What Caitanya Mahāprabhu understand, we also understand. So where is the difference? Difference should be that the fact that he is not ācārya. As soon as he differs from the previous ācāryas, that means he is not ācārya. Otherwise there is full agreement between all the ācāryas. Just like Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Person, all ācāryas agree. Where is the difference? Does Rāmānujācārya differ from Madhvācārya, or Madhvācārya differ from Śrī Caitanya, Caitanya differs from—no. There is no difference. That is Vaiṣṇava. All the Vaiṣṇavas understand that Viṣṇu is the Supreme. There may be, sometimes, such as Kṛṣṇa is understood as incarnation of Viṣṇu, and sometimes they understand Viṣṇu as the incarnation of Kṛṣṇa. That is sampradāya. That is sampradāya. But either Kṛṣṇa or Viṣṇu, He is Supreme, that is accepted by all.

    Paramahaṁsa: So that point is not so important whether Kṛṣṇa is coming from Viṣṇu or Viṣṇu is coming from Kṛṣṇa.

    Prabhupāda: Yes, that is not important. Because, actually both of them the same, the Supreme. That example we give that candle, two candles, that so far the power of lighting is concerned, both of them equal. Now, you may say this is first candle, I say if it is first candle. But so far the power is concerned, there is no difference of opinion. If I love somebody, I’ll say he is first. And if you love somebody, you’ll say he is first. But both of them same. Just like devotees, some devotees are very… Hanumanji, he’ll never accept Kṛṣṇa. And the gopīs will never accept Rāma or Viṣṇu. So far the Kṛṣṇa and Viṣṇu, they are all the same. What do you think?

    Paramahaṁsa: I think perhaps (indistinct) So actually the differences, whatever little differences may arise, those differences amongst the ācāryas, they are due to different feelings of love for Kṛṣṇa or His manifestations.

    Prabhupāda: You’ll find in some, among some devotees, they will criticize, “Why you are worshiping Rāmacandra? He could not save even His wife.” (laughter) And some will, “Ah, you are worshiping Kṛṣṇa. He was so fond of women.” Like that. In Vṛndāvana you’ll find they are different. Somebody will say, “Hare Kṛṣṇa,” another will say, “Sītā Rāma.” There will be competition. There is not difference. Both of them know that either I worship Rāma or Kṛṣṇa, They are the same.
    PRABHU JI! My heart gets pained when I hear glorification of only Radhe Krishna surpassing incarnations. Isn’t it true that all incarnations are eternal and Vishnu tattvas? Aren’t they all perfect? We can glorify Radhe Shyam for their highest perfection. Perfect to most perfect. But is it necessary to give our heart to Radhe Shyam to be a follower of Lord Chaitanya?
    But wasn’t Murari Gupta servant of Ramchandra and Goursundar at the same time. Please convince me. Aren’t 4 extra qualities of Krishna reserved for Vrindavan? I am not so much attracted to Vrindavan. I want to glorify Radhe Shyam and devotees in Vrindavan. But for that I cannot give up Lord Dvarakadish’s attraction, although I have only small attachment.
    I mean Prabhu ji, is the conversation above is good to console my heart?
    Hare Krishna Jai Rukminiraman

  48. Madan Mohan says:

    Haribol Madhudvisa prabhu.
    All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!

    I appreciate your preaching efforts here, and your emphasis on devotee association. Who, specifically, do you recommend as the best association at this time? I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    • Prabhupada is the best association Prabhu and we have so much opportunity to associate personally with Srila Prabhupada by reading his books, listening to his recorded classes, conversations, morning walks, etc. reading his letters, and watching the more than 50 hours of film and video we have of Prabhupada. Only the association of pure devotees of Krishna is really valuable. So we have so much opportunity to associate with Srila Prabhupada and of course we can associate personally with Krishna by chanting:

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

      So just do it, associate with Srila Prabhupada and Krishna and become a pure devotee of Krishna. Then you will be good association and you can help others come to the platform of Krishna consciousness. But do not fall for the trap that so many others have fallen for of advertising yourself as some sort of spiritual mentor before you are yourself a pure devotee of Krishna… That will be a disaster as we have seen time and time again in ISKCON.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  49. ARYAN KRISHNA says:

    Madhudvisa Prabhu, please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Thank you for sending me this article. I fully agree with the ideas here. Please keep on sending me these transcendental topics forever. Can’t get enough of them. May Lord Krishna and Srimati Radharani bless you in Srila Prabhupada’s service more and more. Jai Srila Prabhupada!!!

  50. Naveenta says:

    Hare Krishna,

    while chanting how do we focus or heart n mind only on the Mahamantra..when we ve such hustle n bustle around us?
    at home even..though we play the CD s of Sri Prabhpada..n sit yet severl things like doorbells,kids interactions or phonecalls or d sound of kids toys..keeps us distracting?no matter we r sitting inside a closed room still..unable to focus.

    on d other hand we start feeling guilty tat we r unable to do it n serve Him properly..

    Hare Krishna!

    • Hare Krishna Prabhu

      You chant the mantra:

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

      and concentrate on hearing it, that’s all. And the more you chant the more you will be able to focus on it. You have to surrender to chanting at least 16 rounds a day and do it even though in the beginning it is difficult and you can’t focus. You just have to chant. And that chanting will elevate you to the platform where you can focus on hearing the Hare Krishna mantra…

  51. srikanth says:

    hare krishna sir. your mails are very interesting.please keep sending more such mails to me.

  52. Pramod KM says:

    We are not speaking our mind we are Prisoning our mind we are not following Krishna if have really followed Krishna no invader would have come in India defeted looted our Culture You know Krishna had fight with Kamboja Afganisthan But he was letting Ugrasena And Balarama After he never allowed Adharma people like narakasura eventhough Krishna was a king He told Arjun fight for Dharma He told I will come after and After for Yogaksemam Please But after the 5000 Years wgat happened to India which Philosophy Voidisam, Impersonalidsam, mayavada, Practical vadan , Physics, But sankara in 8th century A brahmin from kerala Did the great work it was updation of What Krishna Called for this is the way to follow Krishna. Once Narada was taken away bu Vishnu and showed a farmer who 2 times only chant NARAYANA is the greatest Bhaktha. please give our Ear to Krishna Beacause Krishna said Hands are more beutifull than Lips, He insisted karmam and Yogaklshemam.

  53. amit rathore says:

    hare krsna !!!
    all glories to SRILA PRABHUPADA

    i completely agree with the email
    we love KRSNA and PRABHUPADA
    jai jai jai ho
    HARI BOL !!!!
    we will defeat mayavad

  54. Ashish kokate says:

    Hare Krishna, PAMHO
    Thank You for giving such wonderful difference between these four types of philosophy. Actually my sister in law was devotee of Lord Datta. She got connected to ISKCON now & also she is chanting few rounds everyday.she wants to 1.know why we dont worship Lord Datta. can u please clarify this doubt.
    2.What is the exact philosophy of Lord Datta.
    Thank You.

    • I have no idea Ashish who Lord Datta is what to speak of his philosophy. We are interested in Krishna and Krishna’s philosophy and everything is included in that. Maybe it is Datatraya, I don’t know. But in any case all the demigods and sages are devotees of Krishna, and they themselves are worshiping Krishna. So if we worship Krishna the demigods and sages will also be very satisfied and because Krishna is root of everything if we can satisfy Krishna everyone will be satisfied. So there is no need to worship anyone except Krishna. If we worship Krishna everyone else will be happy.

  55. Umakant says:

    Hare Krishna Hare Rama Hare Govinda Hare shyam Hare Bagvan

  56. seva das says:

    pamho madhudvisa prabhu agtACBSP DAMODARA MASA ki jai,is interesting to read all the comments by getting more information regarding the confusing philosophies of kali yuga,of course everyone got the own way to please god in this age but as you mentioned the direct way to please krsna is the best way to get rid of this janasya moho’yam aham mameti( s.bag 5.5.8)big illusion of the mayavadis who are thinking they are gods when we knows that they are dogs,i heard SRILA PRABHUPADA to says that a good devotee should offer respect to mayavadis also but unfortunately i’m not that good devotee yet by the daily spiritual advancement through the genuine saddhana bhakti of HDG ACBSP, but i have to admit that is working because i got less unwanting things anarthas now then before i have just to do more spiritual progress to get rid of coffee and the tobacco as you know i stopped ganja and girls by getting disgusting as you mentioned me in your previous emails i already reduce tobacoo and coffee by increasing the service through chanting and reading with sat sanga i’m sure i will follow all the rule and regulations again by the mercy of your spiritual website i get more taste for chanting then the months goes and years flying for everyone nobody get younger anymore therefore is better to follow the regulative principles and get out from this confusion of being in the material world, jai prabhu thank you very much for you sat sanga and blessing through your website and emails i appreciate to hear that by a eternal associate of SRILA PRABHUPADA since the time when HE were still physically present on this planet dandavats daso smi seva das haribol

  57. V.Balasubramanian says:

    Haare krishna Madudviadas prabhu: It is an accepted truth as per the Vedic literature The Mhavavishnu took the avatar of Buddha and Lord Shiva took the Avatar of Adi Shankara. They are Gods or demi Gods the highest devotees of Lord Krishna. Why it is they taught Mayavadi philosophy or voidism instead of Vasishtadwaita. They had a purpose in doing so as per your statement. Why is it that Gods coming to earth taking avatars did not teach the correct method of salvation. Even Srila Prabhubada in his writings say that Adishankara is not a Mayavadi.His Bhajagovindam clearly says we have to take the name of Lord Krishna always for a better rebirth. kindly forgive me if I am wrong. Hari bol. manian

    • Hare Krishna.

      Of course Lord Shiva is the greatest Vaisnava, vaisnava yatha sambu, and Lord Vishnu is the Personality of Godhead. So they both ‘did the needful’ and preached the philosophy that was necessary at the time to [in the case of Lord Buddha] to convince the atheistic meat eaters in India who were presenting themselves as Vedantists to stop the meat eating and in the case of Sankacharya to defeat the Buddhist philosophy and reestablish the authority of the Vedas.

      You have to understand Prabhu that you can not get atheists to surrender to Krishna, at least not directly. So Lord Buddha at least got them to stop meat eating, and Sankacharya got them to give up the bogus philosophy Lord Buddha had given and accept the authority of the Vedas again but because they were still atheists Shankacharya perverted the Vedanta Sutra with his misinterpretation of it in such a way to make it attractive to the atheistic Buddhists. So what Sankacharaya prese ted was ‘covered Buddhism’. He is using the Vedanta as his authority but with his word juggelery and misinterpretation he has attempted to eliminate the Personality of Godhead and to claim that the impersonal brahman is supreme.

      So both Lord Buddha and Lord Sankacharaya have presented bogus, incorrect philosophy but as I have explained many times it was necessary at the time and it is part of a bigger plan. And Lord Sri Caiatanya Mahaprabhu is the culmination of this plan. As Shankacharaya defeated Buddhism and reestablished the authority of the Vedas Lord Caitanya defeated the Mayavadi philosophy of Sankacharaya and reestablished the fact that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the cause of all causes (sarva kara karanam).

      You know the philosophy Lord Buddha preached is bogus. According to his preaching there is no god, there is no eternal soul and the ultimate is nirvana, the void and the Vedas are not authoritative… It is a little more difficult to realize that the philosophy of Sankacharaya is also completely bogus. Because Sankacharaya is preaching on the basis of the Vedas but he is misrepresenting it. So for this reason the preaching of Sankacharya is much more dangerous than the Buddhist philosophy.

      It is our business as followers of Srila Prabhupada and Lord Caitanya to defeat the philosophy of Sankacharaya. Yes, he is Lord Shiva, but his mission at that time was different–so he misinterpreted the Vedana Sutra to establish that mission.

      You know Sankacharaya himself did not accept or believe the philosophy he preached. You know bhaja govindam bhaja govindam mudha mathe… Sankacharaya called his followers fools and advised them to worship Govinda. But you know they did not listen. They are not worshiping Govinda. They think Govinda is maya which is what Sankacharaya preached and they like that philosophy. But Sankacharya does not like or believe the philosophy that he preached…

      So we must avoid and defeat the Mayavadis. That is our mission.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  58. Anubhav says:

    Hare Krishna
    it is said that remembering the lord at the time of death will lead us to Vaikuntha.I absolutely agree with that ,but I’ve heard from my grandmother that those who die untimely “Akal mrityu” roam in the spiritual realm and do not get liberation until their actual time of Death for example A man dies in an automobile accident he will get killed immediately he will not get time to remember the lord so in such situations how will he get liberation or is it the bad karma of past life that leads him to untimely death?

    • It is true that generally speaking if one is killed untimely, like in a car accident, he will become a ghost and have to wait around in the material world as a ghost. But if he is a devotee and he is trained up to always remember Krishna and never do anything except serve Krishna then he must be driving that car somewhere for Krishna and he must be thinking of Krishna and he will think of Krishna at the time of death. So he will go to Krishna… Krishna takes special care of His devotees–even if they die untimely if they remember Him at the time of death they will go directly to Him.

  59. Miki says:

    Mr. Madhudvisa dasa, I received your reply via e-mail and I’m sorry to say that I’m very dissapointed in your answer as it was more of an attack to Buddhism. Didn’t Krishna say to respect all religions and that it doesn’t matter to whom or to what you pray you’ll be ultimately praying to Lord Krishna?

    All you did was compare Buddhism with Hinduism and showed the defects in that religion instead of preaching. You said something about non-violence and vegeterianism not being highest goal and what did you mean by that? Did you mean to say that sacrificing animals and humans is a good thing? And why does God need sacrifice if He’s Supreme? Isn’t love the ultimate string that binds our heart with that of Lord Krishna?

    • Hare Krishna Miki

      Buddhism is not a permanent philosophy. It is not correct. It was given by Krishna who incarnated as Lord Buddha at a particular time for a particular purpose. And that purpose was to stop the Indians at that time from killing animals. At that time the Indians were claiming to be followers of the Vedas and using the mention of animal sacrifice in the Vedas to justify meat eating. Practically the whole of India were meat-eating atheists at that time. So Lord Buddha presented a philosophy that would be attractive to the atheists and which would convince them to become vegetarians–to stop killing the animals.

      So Lord Buddha’s preaching was to stop the gross sinful activities of the Indian people at that time and prepare them for a more correct understanding of the Vedic philosophy which was later presented by Sri Sankacharaya. He appeared about 1000 years after Lord Buddha and preached another compromised philosophy, but his philosophy was better than Buddhism and based on the Vedas. So the people of India could see this was a superior philosophy and they gave up Buddhism and accepted the teachings of Sankacharaya. Then Buddhism only continued in some countries outside India, maybe in some very small pockets in India–but the people in general gave it up because they could see it was an inferior philosophy.

      As far as your statement:

      “Didn’t Krishna say to respect all religions and that it doesn’t matter to whom or to what you pray you’ll be ultimately praying to Lord Krishna?”

      Krishna did not say anything like this at all. Krishna said “Give up all religions and surrender to Me” actually, which is very different from what you say Krishna said… The idea is to surrender to Krishna, if something is helpful for us to surrender to Krishna it is good–otherwise it should be given up.

      There are many, many destinations. It is absolutely incorrect to say that no matter who you worship you will go to Krishna. This is 100% incorrect. 100% nonsense. If you worship Krishna and if you think of Krishna at the time of death you will go to Krishna. But if you worship someone else and think of them at the time of death you will go to them. If you have a pet dog and think of your dog at the time of death you will be born next in a dog’s body… There is no question of thinking of your dog and going to Krishna. It is nonsense, nonsense, nonsense…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  60. yamuna says:

    please accept my humble obeisances.

    Iam doing 16 rounds.
    recently i got a problem.
    iam edicted to pleasure of chanting&iam doing chanting for my pleasure&mindcontrole.
    iam getting frustration.but iam continuing.
    if iam doing chanting iam feeling bore.
    please to do chanting?

    your humble servant.

    • Hare Krishna Yamuna

      In the beginning we have not taste for chanting Hare Krishna. The taste comes only when we start to become purified by the chanting. So in the beginning we have to have faith and that faith can be created by hearing from Srila Prabhupada. So if we have the faith that Krishna and Krishna’s names are non-different and that chanting Hare Krishna is directly associating with Krishna then we chant Hare Krishna, even if we become bored while chanting or even if we have no taste for chanting Hare Krishna and do not seem to be getting any benefits from the chanting.

      This faith is required and surrender to the instructions of the bona fide spiritual master and the most important instructions are to follow the four regulative principles [no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling and no intoxication] and to chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna maha mantra daily.

      If we surrender to this and do it even though we have no attachment to chanting Hare Krishna and no taste for chanting Hare Krishna that is called saddhana-bhakti, or devotional service following the rules and regulations. As a result of this we will become purified and come to the stage of spontaneous devotional service. At that stage we will actually be getting some transcendental pleasure from serving Krishna and Srila Prabhupada and will automatically want to do our service…

      But in the beginning we have to surrender to the austerity of chanting Hare Krishna at least 16 rounds a day even if we don’t appear to be getting any benefit from the chanting. The benefit is there but we can not perceive it in the beginning…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  61. Lalit says:

    Hare Krishna Madhudvisa,
    It was great reading the newsletter on four philosophies.I hope you will share more light on this very topic,would be eagerly waiting for the same.Even though I think I have still not started but feel blessed by reading this topic.Bow to Srila Prabhupada Ji for describing Lord Caitanya’s philosophy of acintya-bheda abheda-tattvam (inconceivably simultaneously one and different).This makes me believe that no contradiction exists at all.
    Would request if possible to touch the topic of “inconcieveably simultaneously one and different” in more detail to help starters like myself.
    Hare Krishna

  62. Cap says:

    Greetings Mahduvisa,

    Thank you for the emails. I have not received one in a while. I am writing to let you know that these are helping me.

  63. Jay Raja says:

    Hara Krishna Prabhu

    I am born and raised in London these last few months I have been visiting ISKCON in Soho London. I find the ‘Devottes’ and ‘Gurus’ very rude at times it amazes me that people who devot themselfs to the mercy of Krishna can be so rude over very small things it is obvious that they have not learnt much or developed in any kind of way they are just there to eat and live for free they are not qualified in there talks and are just simply rude they think the own Krishna let’s be honest Krishna was there before ISKCON and the great master and founder. Hindus in London and India strongly believe ISKCON is damaging our great religion it’s a shame people like yourself are not involved as we need more genuine people like you day in day out I see people turning away from the soho temple as they are just rude with a chip on there shoulder I don’t know what else to say or do.

  64. Venu Kothuri says:

    Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare!
    Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare!

    Thanks for all the good discussion here. I enjoy reading! For me everything is Krishna! I see everything in him. Jai SriKrishna!

  65. Khidhar says:

    I would like to know if Buddah was Lord Shiva incarnation then why would his message change. The absolute truth suppose to stay the same no matter what age or era it is. Why does Shiva support monotheism and Buddah Voidist?

  66. kamlesh says:

    Hare Krishna madhudvisa dasa ji,

    It is mentioned in Bhagwat Gita and Srimad Bhagwat the the type of body one gets is according to his past karma, so naturally all of us will be on diferent scale of conciousness and bound to be at different stages of spritual liberation.With everyone trying to find the right path with limited knowledge will result in some wandering of the path but Bhagwat Gita also says if their efforTs are true then Lord Krishna with guide him. As it is he who is responsible for our knowledge, rememberance and forgetfullness.So why to be averse to people like Mayavadis etc. who have wandered from the path? And if one is in true KC then why should he be purturbed. Actually he should be able to influence others rather than getting influenced by the Mayavadis.I think Lords Name is powerful enough to change anything.

    • Hare Krishna Kamlesh

      It is our business to oppose the Mayavadis. They are offenders to Krishna. They are misleading the general public away from the service of the Supreme Lord. It is Lord Caitanya’s mission, It is Srila Bhaktsiddhanta’s mission, it is Srila Prabhupada’s mission — so we have to make it our mission to defeat the Mayavadis.

      You are such a fool that you will not even believe the Supreme Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He stresses all the time: mayavadi bhasya suniya haya sarava nasa — “If you hear the philosophy of the Mayavadis you will never be able to understand Krishna consciousness.” The Mayavadi philosophy is so dangerous. So the Supreme Lord Caitanaya Mahaprabhu is repeatedly warning his devotees not to associate with the Mayavadis or hear from the them otherwise their spiritual life will be destroyed, but you ignore this instruction, you reject this instruction from the Supreme Lord.

      So we have to defeat the Mayavadis. If we can not defeat them then we have to avoid them at all costs and never hear from them.

      It is not that we are adverse to anyone. It is not the people we are adverse to — we are adverse to the Mayavadi philosophy. The people can change and give up this philosophy. We are not adverse to the people we are opposed to the Madyavadi philosophy and our mission is to completely defeat the Mayavadi philosophy and eradicate it from the world.

      This means that we will convince the people who are currently following the Mayavadi philosophy that they are wrong and open up their minds so they can see the beauty and majesty of Krishna — The Supreme Personality of Godhead. So we are not adverse to the Mayavadis — we are opposed to the Mayavadi philosophy and we want to eradicate it completely form the world — it is such a dangerous and poisonous philosophy.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • kamlesh says:

        Hare Krishna Madhudvisa dasaji,
        First of all thank you for replying. I’m extremely sorry for having offended you in any way. I’m sorry I could not make myself clear. I’m in no way favouring the Mayavadis and their philosophy; in fact I’m totally against it. I’m totally committed to Lord Krishna, thanks to Srila Praphupada swami and the treasure he has left behind in the form of books & lectures. I hope you will continue to correct me whenever I’m wrong and I will try and continue to improve.
        It is true that we have to defeat Mayavadi philosophy and convince them to follow Krishna Conciousness. But Lord Krishna himself says one out of thousands will seek to understand and desire him and only one out of thousands of those will actually sucecced in their endavour. Thus I think at any given point of time those in Krishna conciousness will be less in numbers in comparision to others as was the case when Lord Krishna was himself present. The size of army and number of people against Pandavas i.e. Krishna was much larger, though they were eventually deafeated.And when Lord decided to leave there was infighting amongst his own clan of yadavas where they all were killed. So we never know what does he do and why.
        This does not mean that we should not spread Krishna Conciousness. As a piece of magnet attracts an iron from a heap of saw dust and a flower does attract the bee no matter where it is, similarly Krishna Conciousness or nam sankirtan will definitly attract all those in whom Lord Krishna has planted the seed of devotion no matter where they are. Who lead me to read and communicate with you? Its surely not my effort but someone guiding me to you.
        Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu did establish the nam sankirtan movement, but they also had restricted entry (only those who had genuine love for the Lord Krishna were allowed) and they had sankirtan yagna behind closed doors.There was even Haridas who actually was momedean.Even within the three stages that you have mentioned namely personalism, yoga, impersonalism, there will be many sub stages one has to go through. One has to keep his eyes firmly on Lord Krishna and continue to move forward from the lower stages to final.So there is no question of mixing or listening and following on the Mayavadi Philosophy.
        Thanking you once again and looking forward to many more interesting views.


        • Hare Krishna Kamlesh

          This Sankirtan movement of Krishna consciousness is the Yuga-dharma for Kali-yuga. That means it will become the prominent religious system in this age. That means it has the power to defeat the Mayavadis and the impersonalists and it can be taken up by the mass of people. Actually we do not need the mass we need the class. Because whatever a great man does common men follow.

          You can just look back in the history of India, even 100 years ago, practically all the Hindus were following the Vedic culture, following the regulative principles and practically every activity had some connection with the service of the Lord. It was the culture so naturally people were serving Krishna and hearing about Krishna as part of their daily activities.

          The general mass of people just follow the leaders, so if the leaders become Krishna conscious then they will follow and become Krishna conscious also. Not that everyone will be 100% pure devotee, but everyone can believe in Krishna and follow and perform their duty within the society and the whole society can be organized in such a way that the production of the society is used to glorify and serve the Supreme Lord. So because the whole society is engaged in the service of Krishna everyone who is part of the society is contributing to that. This is the devi Varnashrama system.

          So this Sankirtan movement has the potency to completely transform the whole society and that is the idea. Of course all different types of people are there but that is also accommodated in the Vanashrama system.

          But these Mayavadi and Voidists philosophies can be driven out. We have that in the history as well. The philosophy of Buddhism was once accepted by almost everyone in India but when Sankacharaya appeared and preached a better philosophy based on the Vedas almost everyone in India gave up following Lord Buddha and started to follow Sankacharaya. So we can also by preaching a the superior philosophy of Krishna consciousness convince the impersonalists and the voidists to surrender to Krishna. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has shown that in practice when he visited Varanasi and Benaras. He convinced all the Mayavadis there of the philosophy of Krishna consciousness and they all surrender to Him and became His disciples.

          As far as Lord Caitanya and His followers they did not exclude anyone from the Sankirtan movement. They were chanting and dancing on the streets and inundating the whole world with Krishna consciousness. Lord Caitanya Himself traveled all over India chanting Hare Krishna and dancing in public and everyone who saw Him was immediately convinced and became a devotee. So there is no question, the sankirtan movement is open to everyone. Of course in Vrindavan the devotees did have kirtans which were limited to the devotees only behind closed doors. That is of course natural. Devotees want to associate with devotees. But that does not mean that Krishna consciousness is not open to anyone. It is the same in ISKCON in the “old days”. We used to have many festivals which were just for the devotees but at the same time we were out on streets daily distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books and chanting Hare Krishna for the benefit of everyone. Naturally the devotees want to associate with the devotees but they also want to distribute Krishna consciousness to everyone because they have great compassion for the conditioned souls and want them to be happy and the only way they can become happy is if they become Krishna conscious.

          Of course we can expect that the number of people who take seriously to Krishna consciousness may be small–at least in the beginning when it is not the culture and when the “great men” in society are not following it–but it does not matter. A few sincere devotees are much more powerful than millions of devotees who are not actually surrendered souls. Half-surrendered devotees can not do anything significant actually. So it is far better to have a few surrendered souls than to have millions of not surrendered ‘devotees’…

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

  67. Ikbal says:

    Hare Krishna,

    I consider myself lucky and thank God for getting a chance to ask my doubts and reduce the disturbance in my mind through you. And please forgive me for any unknown offences in my questions due to my utter ignorance. Please define me ‘What is Truth? When can we label a statement as a truth? Why the same process is not applied with the present meat eaters which was adopted by Gautam Budha?

    • Before understanding what is truth you have to purify your heart. And that purification is possible by following the four regulative principles [no illicit sex, no meat eating, no gambling, no intoxication] and chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna maha mantra daily. This is the beginning of the process whereby you can understand what is truth. It is a process and you have surrender to and follow the process and gradually the truth will be revealed to you from within. This is the way. If you are not prepared to surrender to this process then you will not be able to know the truth.

      Lord Buddha preached according to the time and the place. His philosophy was good for that time and that place but it now a different time and a different place therefore a different approach is now required. Now for the current meat eaters what is required is the Sankirtan Movement of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. They need to dance and chant Hare Krishna in kirtan and they need to eat sumptuous Krishna prasadam which is cooked by sincere devotees and offered to Krishna. That is now required for today’s meat-eaters.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  68. Anubhav says:

    Hare Krishna,
    Dear Madhudvidasa
    There is something that’s been troubling me for quite sometime now.I’m finding it Difficult to understand the true meaning of the term “Avatar” because the term has been commercialized so many times that I believe the term has lost it’s relevance..Some people say “Avatar” means incarnation which in their term means “new form”we seen in tv ads that if some product has been altered or changed they call it an avatar if such is a case then all the avatars of Vishnu is something other than Vishnu but I find all the avatars of lord Vishnu same I don’t see any difference between Vishnu,Krishna,Narayana,Matsya,Koorma,Rama,Narasimha I believe all these avatars are one but the term avatar is quite contradictory and recently a movie about some Alien Race was made by James Cameroon and it preaches the same concept that avatar means change into something else please enlighten me the true meaning of the term Avatar…

    • Avatar means one who descends from the spiritual world to the material world. There are many different types. I suggest you read the Adi-Lila of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta for a full scientific discussion of the different types of avatars. You can not understand anything by watching Hollywood films…

  69. seva das says:

    pamho madhudvisa prabhu agtACBSP i heard in kali yuga nobody follow all these religions seriously because the influence of kali is increasing day after day therefore whoever chant hare krsna is considered a krpa siddhi that’s the special mercy we got by follow the yuga dharma of sankirtan yajna,my mother is a jeowah witness i call her everyday she is 87 years old i told her tell me a place where there is not satan and i go there immediately i heard it from SRILA PRABHUPADA she start to laugh i told her that jesus says i don’t tell you everything because you can’t understand, then i told her jesus is been in india was studying the veda which come from the breathing of god before the bible, we found a spiritual connection between krsna and christian philosophy,but they don’t believe to the veda they are waiting for armaghedon they said that satan is very furious nowadays because he knows that after armaghedon satan will be finish,i know a pure devotee of krsna like jesus can’t be a liar i mean he will deliver his sincere followers so i don’t want disturb the mind of my old mother by tell her more about the veda because she is already initiated by jesus even if they lack of knowledge but they got bhakti by follow the spiritual teaching of jesus christ superstar ki jai thank you for all your email and blessing i really appreciate to associate and hear that from a senior and sincere disciple of HDG ACBSP like you agtys dandavats daso smi seva das haribol

  70. Shanel says:

    hi, madhudvisa.

    When your friend comes to your house to enjoy your offerings will he offered water to wash his feet & hands?

  71. Jeanine Ligon says:

    Hari Bol! I am a devotee of Lord Krishn and His Beloved Radha. I was first made aware of the Gita in Peacock Park, Coconut Grove Florida by a very nice young devotee who was giving a class during one of the incredible
    Sunday Feasts. This was in 1970. Then George Harrison came out with “My Sweet Lord” and everyone started dancing with their hands raised in prase. Well, I have never stopped dancing to namkirtan and chanting the Mahamantra since. It is your turn to pass on the torch and you are doing a fine job. St.Thomas Aquinas stated centuries ago, that a devotee of the Lord does not waste his time seeking proof when love is the vehicle, but for a skeptic, all the proof in the world is not enough. Sri Ramakrishna said that when a nut is green prying will not shake it loose, however, let it ripen and the slightest tap will do. There are many souls always at the verge of becoming ripe and Lord Krishn will direct them to find a devotee of His to point the way in the right direction, like He did with me almost 42 years ago. My spiritual development had reached a point, that when I heard the chanting in the park, I was attracted, then I listened to the young man teaching the Gita and it all fell into place. You do what you do and I am sure that those that are ready will listen. It is an eternal dance, and we will all get there one by one as we mature spiritually. Are you aware that Shankaracharya was in fact a great devotee of Radha Krishna and that what is being taught is only his preliminary dissertation? He wrote the “Prabodh Sudhakar” which is the most beautiful treatise on Raganuga Bhakti. He retired from the world at the age of 16 years old and taught devotion to Radha Krishna to his mother and then completely retired from public teaching. “I have renounced all worldly activities and meditating upon the Lotus feet of Lord Krishna, dedicate the rest of my life to His Loving service.” Shankaracharya left this earth at the age of 32. This is a fact that very very few people know. He was followed then by three other great Jagadgurus: Nimbarkacharya, Ramanujacharya (1017-1137), and Madhavacharya (13th Century). Then Vallabhacharya (1478-1530) wrote the Anu Bhashya on the Brahma Sutra and instituted vigraha seva to the Dieties of the Lord at a time when Islam had taken over vedic culture and prohibited public worhip, so people worshipped at home and treated the Lord as the Proprietor of their homes, and they His servants (beautiful devotional service). Then RadhaKrishna appeared in the form of Lord Chaitanya and taught nam sankirtan and consolidated all teachings and taught “achintya bhedabed vad” which translates as “inconceivable differential monism” which is the pure expression of Yogamaya, which is Sri Radharani’s ahladini shakti from which all Divine Love expression derives right on down thru Lord Mahavishnu (who is a fraction thereof) creating the universes, etc. So it is proven tat Only Thru Bhakti can one know, love and serve the Lord. I truly appreciate your efforts at passing the torch of Srila Prabhupada’s great effort in bringing namsankirtan and devotional service to the world. Namaste and keep on shining. Jeanine

  72. itika kalia says:

    radhe radhe…..
    this is my 1st comment here…

    i wanna your attention on my vry 1st 2 words “radhe radhe” ……
    itz mean “rah-de” ….
    means we say to god please shows the way to lead……….

    madhuvisa m very happy to receiving ur mails special on geeta’s adhye….
    ur mail realy very motivated……
    specially for students….
    i fel i m da luckest one those receive ur mails….:)
    after readin ur mail i usually asking question to my dad mom my uncle aunty to every one those know about the geeta..n etc
    aft my questions answers my dad said how could you know about this all then i proudly answerd them jst because of madhuvisa…..

    special thank you to you n be in touch 🙂

  73. perithvi says:

    I would like to know who is much more powerful lord shiva or lord vishnu.I need proof.So,that i can explain it.

    • Lord Shiva and Lord Visnu are very similar. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu is an expansion from Krishna, Lord Brahma takes birth from the lotus flower which grows from the abdomen of Maha-Visnu, and Lord Shiva is born out of the anger of Lord Brahma.

      So Shiva is born from Brahma who is born from Maha-Visnu Who is an expansion of Visnu who is an expansion of Krishna.

      Lord Shiva is in a category of His own. There is Visnu-tattva, jiva-tattva and shiva-tattva. Lord Shiva is described as being Lord Visnu in contact with the material energy. Visnu is never in contact with the material energy. But Shiva is an expansion of Visnu who is in contact with the material energy. The example is given of milk and yogurt. Yogurt is simply milk in contact with some sour element. Then the milk is transformed into yogurt. Shiva is likened to the yogurt. He is Visnu transformed. So like the yogurt is composed only of milk, Shiva is composed only of Visnu, but also like the yogurt has completely different qualities to milk, Shiva has completely different qualities to Visnu and worshiping Shiva will not give the same results as worshiping Visnu.

      Spiritual knowledge depends on accepting the correct authority. So we can understand the correct thing if we accept the correct authority. It is not a question of proof. Many of these things are avan-manasa-gochara. It means beyond the ability of our senses to perceive and beyond the ability of our minds to conceive. So the knowledge has to be accepted from the bona fide authority. That is the proof.

      Of course there is proof. For example Lord Shiva heard about the Mohini-Murti form of Lord Krishna and wanted to see it. He thought that he was very powerful but he was completely captivated and defeated by the Mohini-Murti form of Visnu.

      We have to find people who are interested in hearing from us and who have a little faith and explain the philosophy to them. Preaching is not about trying to defeat people who have opposing opinions. That can be done by very advanced devotees but for the general devotees it is not possible.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  74. kamlesh kakkad says:

    Hare Krishna Madhudvisa dasa ji,

    I can’t express the happiness that I had on receiving your mail after a gap. I used to go through your mails and wanted to write something, though couldn’t do all that fast and by the time your mails had stopped.But now I’m doing so.Though this might not be directly a comment or a question on the topic of this current mail, but I hope you will take out time to go through it.Thank you in advance.
    I’m indebet to the ISKON and Srila Praphupada Swami for the change in me, though I’m not a formal member of it. I live in a city with an Iskon temple and have this opportunity to be there many a times. I like to be a part of Tulasi puja, sandhya arti and hare nam sankirtan. But in all these times because of some or the other reason I have never interacted to any swamiji. First of all I think I don’t have enough knowledge nor I’m not enough advanced in bhakti and with a fear as to how I will be accepted. May be that is my fault. But whatever it might be now that I’m communicating with a Krishna devotee that too from USA is his kindness and mercy.This is what I have learned, trying to see in which way the Lord Krishna wants to take you to and follow it.
    My relationship started with Bhagwat Gita in the childhood.As is coustamary, we also had copies of Bhagwat Gita at our home, but there were no regular studies or talks on it. But that book left a lasting impression on me. During the school we had some verses from Bhagwat Gita in the course, as any other poem or verse teachers taught their meanings without going deep into its hidden meanings. After graduating somehow I was again attracted towards Bhagwat Gita and started going through it. Now I know that I had not understood meaning of a single verse. Then after some years I came across the Bhagwat Gita by Srila Prapbupada Swami. That was some 8-9 years back and in that time I have gone through it for some 5 times. Now some of the things are getting clear in my mind. It is not that I force myself to do all these but somehow it happens.
    The first thing I learnt , which was not there in any other commentary on Bhagwat Gita that I had read earliar and which you also mentioned in your first mail was, if one has to learn any thing from Bhagwat Gita he has to be like Arjun and listen to these words as he did. One has to have complete faith as Arjun had on Lord Krishna. Thus I also tried to take some cues from Arjun’s life.This clear message I got from Srila Prabhupada Swamis commentory.
    From the very beginning I used to wonder as to why Lord Krishna had a dialouge with only Arjun. The second thing was if what Lord Krishna was saying so important then why all other Pandavas and other Kings were not invited? So was the dialouge that we all know as Bhagwat Gita only a private dialouge for the consumption of Arjun and people having Arjuns qualities? So does it mean that Bhagwat Gita was not meant for mass as has been made out today?
    I’m asking this because everyone knows how sacred Bhagwat Gita is and keep a copy of it in the house, but I’m not sure wether everyone understands its meaning.I have seen many people who regularly read a portion of it and as soon as they keep aside Bhagwat Gita after reading they behave quite contrary with the teachings of it. Not for one day but for them it is a daily routine.Then there are people who can recite Bhagwat Gita verbatim and the recite it everyday but it seems they are doing without their soul in it. I’m saying this because the sign of a bhakt as is mentioned in Bhagwat Gita is not to be seen in them. I know Srila Prabhupada has said Lord Krishnas name and the words of Bhawat Gita are trancendental and it works like a good medicine which cures even if taken without knowledge.Even Ajamil was liberated when he took the name of Narayana at the time of death though he was actually calling his youngest son named after Lord. But it is also mentioned that he actually was a learned Bramhana before who had fallen from his path.But to know how sacred Bhagwat gita is and how it can help soul to reach new heights, yet taking its shelter to show to the people how learned we are and indulging in some materialistic works which are against the principles of Bhagwat Gita, should be an offense. Those who are doing this are under the false impression that because they are outwardly in contact with Bhagwat Gita, whatever they do is correct.
    By mentioning all this I don’t want to say that they don’t know anything and I for having got this opportunity to read Bhagwat Gita for a few times, know more than them. I’m only tring to come to a different point by pointing out generally goes through the world.
    Bhagwat Gita and Srila Prabhupada Swami states that nothing can happen without Lord Krishnas mercy, let it be any material achivement or progress on the path of devotion. I think one cannot just put in hard labour and learn Bhagwat Gita or to start chanting Lord’s name.There has to be Lord Krishnas mercy and he decides wether and how a person is to progress in Krihna counciousness. There is nothing which we can take pride in. For this Bhagwat Gita and Srila Prabhupada Swami say that teachings of Bhagwat Gita should not be told in front of someone who doesn’t have faith in Lord Krishna. But people all around including me do go through it and think we can learn something from it.
    Though it is clearly mentioned and Srila Praphupada Swami also says that Bhagwat Gita should be learned from a learned Guru, in a Guru shisya parampara. But how can an individual like me with limited understanding come to a conclusion about whom to take as Guru? I think a lot of people will be having similar problems and to overcome it they join certain groups and suffer emmencely. There are certain rules about the gurus in Bhagwat Gita but how can common men decide about it? One more question that arises is wether someone can do both i.e. learning Bhagwat Gita from the Guru and his other daily occution, together or does he have to completely stop his other activities? For me actually I have left everything on Lord Krishna himself. It is his mercy that I’m able to remember his name, if and when he feels that the time has come he will send someone to guide me further.

    With this I remain for now.

    Thanking you once again.

    Hare Krishna.
    Kamlesh Kakkad.

  75. yamuna says:


    its my personalquestion.
    can a women follow 4 regulative princlipls after the marraiage also if the husband is not a devotee?how can we practice k.c?plz help me.
    her total life will become waste,if she didnot follow.
    is krishna helps her?
    your humble servant.

    • Hare Krishna Yamuna

      It is a difficult question. Better of course for a devotee woman to marry a devotee man. But sometimes the circumstances are unavoidable and we find our selves in very strange situations. You have to do what you can. Chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily, follow the regulative principles as far as possible, read Prabhupada’s books, cook and make nice offerings to Krishna and offer the prasadam to your husband also.

      Ultimately everyone is a devotee, no one is a non-devotee. Devotion to Krishna is there in everyone’s heart. It simply has to be awakened. So if you become a nice devotee of Krishna then perhaps by your good association your husband will also become a devotee of Krishna.

      Krishna knows our hearts and He knows our desires. So if we really have the desire to serve Him, to be His devotee, then sometimes externally we may be forced by the circumstances to break the regulative principles or there may be other apparent imperfections in our devotional service. But Krishna knows our desire, He knows our heart. So if our desire is to serve Krishna, if our heart is with Krishna, everything will be successful in the end.

      So the best thing is to chant Hare Krishna, read Prabhupada’s books, surrender to Krishna, knowing that ultimately Krishna is in control and at the same time do your duty to your husband and see what Krishna arranges… Maybe the husband will also become a devotee.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

    • Pramod says:

      Hare Krishna
      I hope you read the life of Mirabai you canoot rise such a question.

  76. Arindam Pandey says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu!

    Thank You for the article.

  77. manmath nayak says:

    The article clarifies various steps of human understanding and realization
    under broad categories. This enhances tolerance for different view points as well as sharpens one’s own understanding when ther is opposition. The ultimate goal is so clearly described with very simple analogies.

  78. nagendra prasad says:

    Respected Sir,

    Could you kindly explain the basic tenets of ‘acintya-bheda and abheda-tattvam-simultaneously one and different’.

    • Hare Krishna Nagendra

      I have already explained it a little bit but if you want an elaborate explanation I would suggest you read Srila Prabhupada’s Sri Caitanya-caritamrta or if you want a shortened version read his “Teachings of Lord Caitanya”. You can read online at or purchase the books at

      The meaning is “inconceivably simultaneously one and different.” It means as followers of Lord Caitanya we accept the Lord as both one [in His all-persave brahman aspect] and different [as Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead] at the same time and this is inconceivable… So it requires a little realization and advancement to grasp really. So ultimately there is no contradiction between the impersonal view and the personal view. They are simply different perspective views of the same Supreme Personality of Godhead.

      But much more detail you can find in Srila Prabhupada’s Sri Caitanya-caritamrta and Teachings of Lord Caitanya. Please read them.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  79. m.surendranathan says:

    respcetd guruji my humble obeisances

    the article o 4 basic types of philosophies is really wonderful and i read 4times to understand the contents. still iam not very clear and i have to read more number of times,
    i have one question

    many followers of buddism all over the world are not practicing ahimsa and non violence even though lord budda advocated for ahimsa and non violence. why?

    • Hare Krishna Prabhu

      This is the age of Kali, the age of quarrel and hypocrisy. Mostly you will find that people who are claiming to follow something are not actually following it at all. That is hypocrisy. They say they are following something but they are not. The prime teaching of Lord Buddha is non-violence, ahimsa parama dharma–“non violence is the highest religious principle”, but as you point out so many of today’s so-called Buddhists are not following this ahimsa principle. Even the Dali Lama who is supposed to be one of the biggest Buddhists is a meat eater. So this is Kali-yuga… These are not followers of Buddhism, they are followers of Kali…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  80. 'Adam' says:


    You have yet to answer my previous question you told me to put it as a comment via email and yet no response I hope I have not caused offense.

    Hara Krishna and thank you.

    • Hare Krishna Adam

      I apologize for the delay. I am a bit behind at the moment. I have your question and will attempt to answer it within the next 24 hours.

      In the meantime chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Adam says:

        Hara Krishna Prabhu

        Thank you for the reply it is amazing to see your answers not only to my questions but others I am learning so much and have become stronger in my pursuit of KC thank you Hara Krishna.

  81. rajni says:

    It has been my endeavors of late to understand how to live and lead a purposeful life. Everytime I seek some answers, I get frustrated in the process and give up further pursuits. I then contend that when I live a life where I do not harm or hurt anyone and be of some assistance to felowbeings, thats good enough. Na, thats perfect.

    I tried to pursue BhagavatGita. and yet had to give up. Why Lord Krishna has to proclaim everytime that he is Superhead, all supreme and seek sll to surrender to Him. Why to Lord Mahavir too, but He does not ask to surrneder. What I experience more fulfilling and satisfying is practices of Yoga. For health and tranquility of mind. I find att Establishments seeking to glorify themselves, and I can not be a submission to this. Your messages give solace, sometimes soothing, but then what next path I pursue?.

    • Hare Krishna Rajni

      Yes. We do not want to surrender to Krishna. We want to be Krishna. That is the material disease. But unless we can give up this diseased mentality we will never be happy, we will never find peace. Ultimately we have to surrender to Krishna and the only practical way to do this is by surrendering to Krishna’s pure devotee. So read Srila Prabhupada’s books and follow the instructions you find in there and your life will become perfect.

      And when we take to Krishna consciousness we have to stick to it. There will be tests of maya, there will be difficult times. We have to keep on chanting Hare Krishna…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  82. Kishor Krishna Das says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu,
    It was a nice article enabling me to remember Srila Prabhupada’s Explanations immediatly. Does Christianity fall within personalism. I would beg you to throw some light on this stream of thoughts.

    Your servant

    • Hare Krishna Kishor

      I was brought up as a Christian and as far as I can tell Christianity is a mixture of personalism and impersonalism. There is some idea of God the Father, Jesus’s Father, in Heaven–and He seems to be a person. But the Christians have very little actual information about God the Father. Some think He is an old man with a big beard. So there may be a hint of personalism but no real idea as to what God is like at all.

      And there are other Christians who are just impersonal, stressing on the Holy Ghost, or the impersonal form of the trinity. Actually there are so many different types of Christians with so many different philosophies so I can not really say what they are except that there is a hint of personalism but no clear idea of who the personality of Godhead is.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  83. Sadtya says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu,

    Thank You so much Prabhu for sending me this email,It is The Greatest Gift for me. And You don’t mind please give me some explanations about my religion matter,for your information I am a moslem that have to face the moslem people everyday with their religions knowledge that they only believe The Supreme God is ALLAH nothing else,and the only religion which is true and got permission from The Almighty God is Islam. So it’s so hard to convince them about Krishna.So if You don’t mind please help me to figure this out.
    Thank You so much Prabhu Madhudvisa Das

    Jai Srila Prabhupada
    Hare Krishna

    • Hare Krishna Sadtya

      In the beginning it is best to become very fixed up in Krishna consciousness yourself. We are not very interested in ‘converting’ people who have no interest in Krishna consciousness. Rather you can encourage the Muslims to actually follow the good teachings that they are supposed to follow. Like no intoxication, no illicit sex, no gambling, and praying to Allah five times a day, etc.

      Basically for talking about Krishna you need someone who is a little bit interested in hearing. And you will find these people also. Really we are not interested in converting all the Muslims and Christians into Hare Krishna’s. It is not like that. Krishna consciousness is within everyone, it simply has to be awakened and most importantly we have to awaken it fully within ourselves first and then we will have the potency to awaken others also.

      If you give them Krishna prasadam and let them hear the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra and let them read Prabhupada’s books they will become Krishna conscious gradually. Many Muslims are interested in philosophy also and they many have noting against reading Srila Prabhupada’s books.

      So preaching to Muslims is no different to preaching to anyone else. We don’t want to force Krishna consciousness on people who are not willing or interested in it but we want to gradually awaken their interest in Krishna by giving them prasadam, letting them hear the Hare Krishna mantra and letting them read Prabhupada’s books…

      Hope it helps.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  84. pardhasaradhi vutukuru says:

    Hare krishna Prabhu,
    Please accept my humble obesenses unto your lotus feet. I see your mail & noted contents carefully. what you wrote is correct. In yoga some times he will be fallen, for ex:viswamitra fallen. I agree that without bhakti there is no spiritual advancement. This is the basement. BHATKI,JNANA,VYRAGYM. First we should have Bhakti, it wont be Moodha Bhakti, with Jnanam

  85. shalone says:

    I have discerned from reading this article that you know little about Buddhism. Please contact a Buddhist monk or nun to look over your info on Buddhism before publishing it. Just as you would like someone writing about Krishna to contact a true devotee. I personally respect all religions and philosopheies, especially Hinduism, but please inform yourself before you write or repost an article like this again. Thank you.

    • Hare Krishna Shalone

      Buddha is an incarnation of Krishna and we have full information of the teachings of Lord Buddha and the purpose behind his appearance. So we do not need to contact anyone in regard to the teachings of Lord Buddha. We have that information in our own scriptures.

      If th the Buddhists you will generally get a different idea from every Buddhist you contact so that is not a very reliable way to find out what are the teachings of Lord Buddha. Kali-yuga [the current age] is full of people claiming to be something they are not. So many “Buddhists” are not even vegetarians, so what can they know about the teachings of Lord Buddha when his primary teaching is ahimsa, non-violence.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  86. seva das says:

    pamho madhudvisa prabhu agtACBSP thank you for this very instructive news letter on the different religions ,we all are wating to see the power of the hare krsna movement in due course of time because i feel very bad when i go out of door to see the karmi ordinary people to suffer so much just because they do not want chant hare krsna due to their contaminate diet and style of life wich make their lives useless and troublesome not just in london unfortunately but around the world therefore we trying to do our best at least to bring the society at the platform of goodness as used to be before because is not so easy in this beginning of kali yuga to find association completely free from the mode of passion and ignorance therefore we stay all together through your spiritual website which is helping the citizens of our actuall society to understand the different religions and aim of life with this scientific and wonderful explanation of the main religions that you give us here,thank you very much for your association and blessing agtys ys seva das haribol

  87. Pat McKerrell says:

    Dear Madhudvisa , an interesting and provocative article. However, your knowledge of the depth of Buddhas teachings is rather incomplete. The goal of Nirvana is not that of achieving zero or endless voidism, rather of reaching the state of enlightenment, the end of the cycle of rebirth and suffering, to understand the true nature of this and any world, to understand everything we in our human form are usually denied to understand. Buddhism is a path to find it’s way there, like Krishna, Buddha appeared in human form, not as a human, to ease suffering and free the world of aggression and violence ultimately. What happens for those achieving enlightenment is beyond our understanding as much as we don’t know what will happen when we reach the ultimate merger with Krishna through becoming one in Krishna consciousness. Different pathway, but perhaps the same goal and it’s not becoming a zero or void, rather the opposite is true.

    • Hare Krishna Pat

      Somewhere between you and Lord Buddha the philosophy the Lord Buddha preached has got lost.

      The path of Buddhism, as it was presented by Lord Buddha, is voidism. It is the realization that everything we experience in this world is a cause of suffering ultimately and the attempt to negate all these ultimate causes of suffering and if you can negate everything you are left with nothing. That is nirvana, the void, the ultimate goal of the Buddhists. You can not “have your cake and eat it too” as they say. If you are a Buddhist the future is the impersonal, lifeless, feeling-less, relationship-less void. Because the Buddhists rightly understand that these things–relationships, personality, feelings, etc–all ultimately cause suffering. So because they have no information of spiritual relationships, spiritual feelings and spiritual personality they try to make all these things zero.

      You can not make Buddhism into something that it is not. If you do not like the teachings of Lord Buddha then find a philosophy that is better. Don’t misrepresent Buddhism.

      Here you are saying Buddhism is not voidism but the opposite of that?? Also you say you do not know what the goal of Buddhism is… That is not very good. If you are following a philosophy but you do not know what is the ultimate goal of that philosophy then you had better find out. And if you do the research you will find out that Lord Buddha taught that it is the void, nirvana, the ending of the cycle of samsara. And because they do not believe in the eternal existence of the soul ending the cycle of samsara for the Buddhist means ending their existence. They believe they can cease to exist and this for them is the solution to the problems and suffering of the material world….

      This is it, this is Buddhism. You can not argue that it is not this, it is something else, but you really don’t know what it is, perhaps it is the same goal as Krishna consciousness. Spiritual life is not about perhaps and maybe. Lord Buddha presented a clear but incorrect philosophy for a particular purpose as I have outlined here and in more detail in other articles. He is an incarnation of Visnu so he is the Supreme Lord–but for the time it was necessary to present the Buddhist philosophy. But his purpose was to establish vegetarianism and non-violence with this philosophy–not to actually describe the Absolute Truth.

      Buddhism is very attractive to the Western atheists because it is atheism–there is no God in Buddhism, there is no eternal soul, there is no authority to surrender to. Anyone can become the Buddha. Buddha purposely designed this philosophy to be attractive to atheists, to convince the atheists to accept non-violence and become vegetarians. That is all. There is no other purpose for the Buddhist philosophy.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  88. sara T says:

    Hare Krishna,
    Madhudvisa dasa,

    Thank you Lord Krishna for these beautiful clarifications of the four philosophies by your devoted servant. Truth leads to victory, no matter what others believe.
    Hare Krishna,

  89. Jurgen says:

    Dear Madhudvisa.
    Thank you for the article.

    Being very much a beginner, moreover a humble student, I must nevertheless ask this question:
    God (Krishna)who knows the past , the present , and the future of all living things, moreover has created all living things for his enjoyment; why the imperfection in our journey?
    Free will (if it really exists) must remain free, free of punishment, moreover free of interpretations….
    I, as a father of 3 children, obviously want the best for them. Setting obstacles in their way, with full knowledge these obstacles can, and likely will, create damage, seems ludicrous, if not cruel.
    Since I know God is not cruel but wishes only my best, I don’t understand the purpose of our million year long journey.
    Best wishes

    • Hare Krishna Jurgen

      Krishna did not exactly create us. He expanded and we are expansions of him. It is quite different from creation. We are all part and parcel of Krishna–but we are very, very small parts of Krishna and Krishna is the complete unlimited existence. So we are tiny and Krishna is very great. But we are qualitatively the same as Krishna. So as Krishna has unlimited free will we as tiny parts and parcels also have a tiny amount of free will.

      So Krishna has expanded as all the living entities but as Krishna is completely independent His expansions in the form of the living entities also have a small amount of independence. We are all ‘little Krishna’s.’ Krishna is supremely conscious. He is aware of everything, everywhere–His consciousness is unlimited. We are also conscious, but our consciousness is limited to within this body only–still Krishna has consciousness and we have consciousness–only the extent of the consciousness is different.

      So yes, Krishna knows the past, present and future. But that does not mean that Krishna is making the future happen. No. We are making our own future because the future is made by the collective reactions to all the living entities karma. Krishna is organizing things in the material world via His demigod agents to provide a platform where we, the living entities, can take birth in suitable bodies to enjoy or suffer the the good and bad reactions of our actions in the past in both this life and previous lives. So it is not Krishna who is causing us suffering. The universe has laws which are of course ultimately made by Krishna, and if we break these laws there are consequences and the suffering is one of the consequences. So we commit some sinful action then we have to get some punishment for that. It is like if you rob a bank and the police arrest you and send you to jail you can not blame the police for sending you to jail. You are being sent to jail because you robbed the bank, because of your criminal action.

      So if we perform criminal activities we will have to suffer for that, and if we perform pious, good activities the result will be enjoyment or a favorable situation for us in the material world.

      Nothing is free of consequences. The consequences have nothing to do with the free will. Everyone has the free will to choose if he will rob the bank or not. But robbing the bank is a misuse of one’s free will. So if one misuses his free will and robs the bank then there will be consequences. The police will arrest him and he will suffer in jail. So that suffering in jail is a result of his misuse of his free will. It is not at all that if on is to have free will then the free will has to be be free of punishments as you insist. That is incorrect. Everything has consequences. You can not avoid the consequences and you have caused the consequences by executing your free will, Krishna is not causing these consequences.

      If you love your children and if they use their free will to do something which puts them in great danger and will not listen to your warnings about this then it is your duty to punish them and that punishment is done out of your love and it will be good for your children. If a young child likes to play on a busy road then you can tell him a few times not to play on the road, but if he does not listen and is still playing on the road in front of the big trucks then out of love you have to punish him so he will not put himself in danger again like this. If you do not punish him and he keeps playing on the road and gets run over by a truck then you have not done your duty as a parent.

      Maya of course will set many obstacles in our way as we try to make advancement in spiritual life. That is her job. Maya is the superintendent of the material world and it is her business to provide the illusion that we can somehow be happy separately from Krishna. So as we try to reestablish our relationship with Krishna she will put many obstacles in our path…

      The thing is we have misused our independence. We don’t want to surrender to Krishna and serve Him–instead we have come to this material world to try and become Gods ourselves and to get people to surrender to us. So this material world to some extent allows us to at lest try to become the controller, the master, but all our attempts will end in frustration and a thoughtful person after suffering frustration like this for many, many births will understand that he can not be happy separately from surrendering to and serving Krishna. So the ultimate purpose of all this suffering and frustration in the material world is to bring us to the point where we want to surrender to Krishna. And that is the only way we can be happy. So in this sense all the suffering and obstacles are Krishna’s mercy because ultimately they will lead us to surrender to Krishna…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Jurgen says:

        Dear Madhudvisa
        Thank you for your reply.
        While I understand the concept of Karma, moreover see the validity of it; my point was that I as a father would not bring obstacles in my children’s path, on purpose, knowing the vulnerability of this action.
        God created (through expansion) Maya, and if her sole function is to set obstacles in our path, then Krishna must have been aware of the consequences of this expansion/ action. So this begs further questions. What is the reason for us to go through misery before finding our way back to God? Moreover, since the material world was created through expansion from God within…, again why? Being but a very small part of God, before creation (expansion) must have been bliss, why the expulsion? God’s splendour…I don’t understand the need to break away, and then only trough countless births, and countless misery in this material world find my way back to where I was in the first place. Now if the purpose of our creation was to set in motion individual awareness, again, I for one would have rather been a little piece of God, without awareness of my own existence/soul.

        • Hare Krishna Jurgen

          Yes. You do not understand. And you can not understand without surrender to Krishna. But you do not want to surrender to Krishna. So you are here in this material world trying everything but surrender to Krishna and you will have to go on doing this and suffering in the material world birth after birth forever or until you decide to surrender to Krishna. That is just the way it is. We are meant for rendering service to Krishna. We have the freedom to reject that service and that is what we have done and that is why we are in the material world. But we can not be happy here. We are like fish out of water. A fish can not be happy out of water no matter how many material faciltities and money and gold and beautiful women he has. He needs to be back in the water.

          We need to be back in the spiritual world to be happy. But there our business is only to serve Krishna, but we do not want to serve Krishna. So we can no go there.

          So the cycle of samsara [birth and death] will go on perpetually or until we get enough intelligence to surrender to Krishna.

          It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand why the universe is set up like this. This is the way it works, this is the way it is set up and there is nothing you can do to change that.

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

          • Jurgen says:

            Dear Madhudvisa dasa
            Sorry about my slow response. Allow me to first make a statement.
            “All seekers who honestly try to find God, and do it with honesty, not being a hypocrite, deserve to find a way back to God. God’s mercy is boundless; it is our human understanding that limits generosity.”
            Swami Prabhupada and Vishnujana Swami, no doubt were a voice of God, so was Francis of Assisi, and so were countless others …
            God’s manifestation comes in different ways, depending on culture, time, and need. To be a true Swami Prabhupada follower takes a very special person, to be a follower of Francis of Assisi also required a very special person. Both to be admired, both to be followed by those who hear the calling…
            To believe that a follower of Francis/or Swami Prabhupada is the only way back to God is somewhat naïve.
            I for one believe my life, although not involved in any religious system at this time, is still a daily quest to life by the Golden Rule …To do on to others….knowing my short-comings and also knowing the peace I enjoy within… to assert that I don’t give my life to God, because I don’t chant a certain amount of Kirtan’s daily…leaves me sad for those who have such proclamation.
            Having said that , my day often starts and ends with listening to Swami Vishnujana ….but I get the same presence of God when I listen to Carrie Underwood’s “How great thou art “
            There are many roads to God…shortcuts generally fail…ISKON, after the demise of Swami Prabhupada certainly is prove of that.

          • Hare Krishna Jurgen

            Your statement:

            “All seekers who honestly try to find God, and do it with honesty, not being a hypocrite, deserve to find a way back to God. God’s mercy is boundless; it is our human understanding that limits generosity.”

            Is nice-sounding but not really true. Because we do not have the power or the strength to find God ourselves. God is avan-manasa-gochara, it means He is beyond the power of our mental speculation and beyond the ability of our senses to perceive. So we have no way of imagining God and no way of discovering Him with our material senses. So no one can really find a way back to God unless he receives that knowledge from God through the bona fide representatives of God.

            So only the person who is so fortunate to come into contact with a pure devotee of God and who also has the great fortune and intelligence to surrender to that pure devotee of God and serve him, he is the one who will be able to find God–not anyone else.

            It is incredibly rare to find a pure devotee of God but as you say Krishna incarnates Himself and sends many empowered incarnations in many societies and they all give information about God and encourage their followers to surrender to God and serve Him. So people can make spiritual advancement by following an empowered representative of God.

            The beginning of the path back to Godhead is surrender to the pure devotee of God. It is the way. Krishna declares this in the Bhagavad-gita. That one must approach a spiritual master, offer obeisances, render service, inquire submissively–such a pure devotee can give real knowledge because he has seen the truth. There are not “many roads to God” as you say. There is only one road, that surrender to the pure devotee of God. There are not many ways either. There are only nine ways: hearing about God, chanting about God, remembering God, worshiping the lotus feet of God, worshiping the Lord in the temple or church, offering prayers to God, serving God, surrendering everything–mind, body and spirit–to God. These are the nine processes of bhakti and you will find these same ways, at least some of them, in every bona fide spiritual system.

            And now in Kali-yuga the yuga-dharma or the religious principle for this age is sankirtan–chanting the names of God. There is no other way actually in this age to overcome the strong forces of Kali-yuga except this chanting of the names of God. Of course this is also universal. If you do not want to chant the name of Krishna you can chant the name of God as it is revealed in the scriptures that you follow. But unless you take to this process of chanting the names of God in Kali-yuga you will not be able to counteract the forces of Kali.

            So the idea that one who is sincerely seeking God must find Him is wrong. We can not find God just because we are looking for Him. It is not in our strength to find God. The only way to find God is by the mercy of His pure devotee. So we have to find the pure devotee of God, surrender to him, serve him, get his mercy, his blessings and when he is pleased with us then Krishna will reveal Himself to us. The path to God is only by pleasing His pure devotees, there is no other way to God. And in Kali-yuga the only practical method of reestablishing our relationship with God is chanting the holy names of God. And particularly this maha-mantra is recommended:

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

            So there are not many roads to God, there is only one, through pleasing His pure devotees, and there are not many ways to God, there are only nine processes of bhakti as I have already mentioned, the most important being hearing about God and then chanting the names and glories of the Supreme Lord.

            Other methods are there but this hearing and chanting is primary.

            And you are right shortcuts do fail. ISKCON has failed because they think they can get to Krishna without following Srila Prabhupada. They have rejected Srila Prabhupada’s instructions in so many ways and changed so many things thinking they are more intelligent than Srila Prabhupada and thinking they have the power to change these things. They are not surrendered to Srila Prabhupada. So they have broken their connection with Krishna. We can only access Krishna through service to His pure devotees. If we neglect and reject the orders of His pure devotees then we are completely lost and completely unable to become free from the clutches of the material energy.

            Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

            Madhudvisa dasa

  90. Pramod KM says:

    Hare Krishna
    All glories to Maha Puri Jagannatha who led Acharya Prabhupada to do his work.

  91. Anubhav says:

    Hare Krishna
    I totally agree that Lord Buddha is an incarnation of lord Vishnu…All his avatars are like pieces of a great puzzle and his avatars also define evolution but I disagree with Buddhist philosophy that desires are the cause of suffering if we don’t have any desire how will we progress in life??I’m from Nepal where lord Buddha was born I really admire him but the concept of nirvana is not a good one I want to ask you a question What is the difference between Nirvana and Moksha??

    • Hare Krishna Anubhav

      It is a good question: “What is the difference between nirvana and moksha?”

      Moksha is the concept of liberation of the impersonalists. One difference is that moksha actually exists and is achievable but nirvana does not exist and it is not possible to achieve nirvana.

      Moksha means liberation and liberation can be personal or impersonal. But generally when people speak of moksha they are referring to impersonal liberation and this occurs when the individual living entity merges or becomes one with the all-pervasive spiritual energy or Brahmajoti of the Lord. Although the individual living entity can never actually merge or become one with the Supreme he can enter within the Brahmajoti and become one of the tiny shining spiritual sparks that compromise the entire Brahmajoti. So he enters the Brahmajoti but still remains an individual shinning spiritual spark. And at some latter time he can also fall down from the Brahmajoti and come back into the material world. So this impersonal liberation is not a permanent type of liberation.

      Nirvana, on the other hand, is the concept of entering the void. The Buddhists have no conception of the Supreme Lord at all. They are 100% atheistic. They do not believe in God at all. So they do not believe in the Lord or the energy of the Lord. So for them there is no question of merging with the energy of the Lord. They only have information about the material world and through their meditation and study they have come to the conclusion that everything in the material world is ultimately a cause of suffering. So their idea is to give up everything until you end up with nothing. And this state of nothingness or non-existence is called nirvana. They are called voidists because their philosophy is ultimately void. After all the causes of suffering are removed even the self and the individuality have to be removed–then they say you can attain the state of nirvana–nothingness, the void.

      They take this nothingness or nirvana as the ultimate destination as if one can cease to exist like this then all his suffering will also cease. But this is artificial and not possible to achieve. As I have said the soul is eternal and eternally active. So we can not stop activities or get rid of the soul. The Buddhists do not believe in an eternal soul and think they can end existence and stop the cycle of samsara–birth and death–this is nirvana.

      Lord Buddha is an incarnation of Visnu but his philosophy is something he manufactured for a particular purpose which I have discussed in other places. There is no permanent usefulness for the Buddhist philosophy. It is for making atheists non-violent and convincing them to become vegetarians. The crazy thing is today there are many claiming to be Buddhists who are not vegetarians…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  92. Param says:

    Hare Krishna. The nature of supreme as expalined by the supreme.

    Bg 12.2
    The Blessed Lord said: He whose mind is fixed on My personal form, always engaged in worshiping Me with great and transcendental faith, is considered by Me to be most perfect.

  93. indu says:

    dear Madhudvisa

    thank you for your e-mail service, it is very nice to know about this subject matter, although i already knew this to some extent, but when i saw the four philosophies, i thought this deals with the four sampradayas, so you mail was about another definition of the human beliefs which is very nice to know and i have not read these definitions anywhere in prabhupada’s books, but my question here would be what are the four authorized sampradayas of the vedas, and which sampradayas are not autorized?

    thank you for your kind service.
    your servant

    • Hare Krishna Indu

      It is a big question and I will write a separate article about the four bona-fide sampradayas.

      But even in a bona-fide sampradaya it is very hard to find a bona-fide guru.

      We can see that in our own Brahma-Madhava-Gaudiya sampradaya. So many are claiming to be bona fide gurus but there are so few who are actually qualified and this is true with all the four bona fide sampradayas.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvsia dasa

  94. Subir Das says:

    Hare Krsna Swamiji,

    Please accept my humble obeisance. Thank you very much for this nice article sent to me. I have met many mayavadis and I have found that they are never happy and they try to gain speculative knowledge. Their mind is always disturbed. ‘Sat’, ‘Chit’, ‘Ananda’ is available to us only when we believe in personalist philosophy. However I am very eager to know which part of the Vedas (reference) prescribe that animals should be killed or in other words which part of the Vedas prescribe animal sacrifice and under what circumstances such scarifice is recommended in Vedas and why our great sages prescribed such sacrifices. Could not they visualize that people/neophytes in rajaguna and tamaguna would take advantage of this reference to animal sacrifice in Vedas and would start doing all wrong things?

    Your insignificant servant

    Subir Das

    • Hare Krishna Subir

      In the Karma-kanda sections of the Vedas animal sacrifices are mentioned. Even in our Srimad-Bhagavatam you can see the ashvamada sacrifice [horse sacrifice] is mentioned. So it is even there in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. But Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu stresses that these animal sacrifices were not meant for killing the animals. It was a test to prove that the brahmanas were chanting the mantras properly. They would chant the mantras and the horse or other animal would enter the sacrificial fire and on the other side of the fire come out in a young rejuvenated body. So that was the proof that the brahmanas were chanting the mantras properly.

      Also there are Vedic scriptures that suggest offering a goat to the Goddess Kali on the dark-moon night if one wants to eat meat. So the Vedas accept that there will be men who want to eat meat and these animal sacrifices are a way of limiting it. They can only kill a goat and only on the dark moon night and while cutting its neck they have to chant a mantra into the ear of the goat that “I am killing you now but I know that in the future I will take the birth of a goat and you will take the birth of a man and you will kill me.” So the idea is that gradually he will realize this animal killing is not a good idea.

      So the recommendations for animal killing in the Vedas are not to encourage it but to control it an limit it. But Narada Muni, the Spiritual Master of Srila Vyasadeva, the author of all the Vedic literatures, was not very happy with all these karma-kanda activities in the Vedas. Srila Vyasadeva was not satisfied after writing all of the Vedas and he went to Narada Muni and asked him why he was not satisfied still after writing so much transcendental literature. So Narada Muni criticized him for writing about all these karma-kanda rituals and said it would be misuesed and told him that his mistake was that he had not sufficiently described Krishna and the pastimes of Krishna. So then Srila Vyasadeva wrote the Srimad-Bhagavatam and that gave him complete sanctification. So Srimad-Bhagavatam is described as the ripened fruit of the desire tree of Vedic literature because it is the final work of Srila Vyasadeva and contains his topmost realizations…

      Chant Hare Krishan and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  95. Adam says:

    Hare Krishna Prabhu. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Please accept my humble obeiances.

    I fond your website very informative thank you for your time and contribution in assisting us conditioned souls to find some sort of spritual life/balance.

    My question is one many may have already asked.

    When we learn from Krishna and his teachings and from Swami Prabhupada and try and act on these teachings with complete faith then why is it we still tend to give into material desires? How many times can one person stand in front of Krishna and say sorry and then repeat the same mistake and continue this cycle? How does one repent? Does Krishna forgive as it feels we are making a fool of him (not directly) but by keep asking for forgiveness only to do the same sinful act? I understand that we need t control our material senses by chanting, devotional service etc. My material point is – when one does fall and commit a sin even though they KNOW it is wrong and everything is telling them it is wrong they go against everything and still do it and then fell ashamed/guilty? The point here is that one knows with full knowledge that what they are doing is wrong but still do it – so it is not out of ignorance as they have the knowledge they have the voice telling them it is wrong but continue to go against it? What does Krishna/Gita say? Can we be forgiven?

    I read what you said (on a previous question and answer) about Christians going to confession and then doing the same sin or they think they are protected by god/Krishna so can do this I am not trying to do this or cover my sins. I am genuine in asking how to gain complete forgiveness and not to commit the sin again as I know it is offensive to keep asking for forgiveness from Krishna and then repeating the same sin how can one totally break free from this and obtain one last chance (so to speak) of forgiveness and concentrate on krishna with a pure heart I dont know if i am making myself clear or not but I dont want to go confession and sin again I want to stop and seek krishna guidance and forgiveness. Further to this I am doing this against all knowledge that I have so it is not a case of lack of guidance but out or pure selfishness and I no longer want to offend Krishna by saying ‘please forgive’ me only to keep doing this.

    Thank you so much Hara Krishna.

    • Hare Krishna Adam

      I apologize for the delay in replying to this.

      What you are going through is not unusual and Krishna knows your heart and your sincerity. The modes of material nature work like this sometimes and we find ourselves doing things that we don’t even want to do and we know are wrong but we seem to have no power to stop ourselves from doing them. This is actually the situation in the material world. We are thinking we are acting independently but we are being forced to act in a particular way by the modes of material nature.

      So you have to break free from the control of the three modes of material nature. And this requires a serious effort. We need to find out what is the scientific process to do this from Srila Prabhupada and then we have to follow that process. The most basic thing is to chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day. So many don’t do this and think they can make some advancement in Krishna consciousness. But this is the basic principle underlying a advancement–chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily. So you have to do that for sure. And read Prabhupada’s books. You need the knowledge, you need to understand scientifically how the material world is working and how you can escape from the clutches of maya. And follow the four regulative principles at least as much as possible.

      Then there are many other things to consider. Controlling the senses starts with controlling the tongue. The tongue has two businesses: to taste and to vibrate. So if we want to control the genitals then we have to first control the tongue by only vibrating sounds about Krishna and only tasting Krishna prasadam. This is really important. If we are actually serious about making advancement in Krishna consciousness and controlling our senses we have to speak only about Krishna and taste only Krishna prasadam.

      The whole process of Krishna consciousness Srila Prabhupada has described in 80+ books and 1000+ hours of classes, conversations, etc. So it is a science and you have to study it and practically apply it in your life.

      You can know it for certain that when you become Krishna conscious you will no longer have any attraction for sinful activities. But that Krishna consciousness is a high platform. But we can perform devotional service even though we still have material desires and in the beginning we may fall down also many times because of our past bad habits.

      You just have to re-surrender and apologize to Krishna and Srila Prabhupada again and truly and sincerely take seriously to the process of saddhana-bhakti. But the thing is you have to follow the process. You have to chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily and follow the four regulative principles and seriously read Srila Prabhupada’s books and put the instructions from Srila Prabhupada that you find in the books into practice in your life at least. And if you seriously do these things then it become easier to resist maya’s temptations.

      Krishna consciousness works. Chanting the Hare Krishna mantra purely can take us to a transcendental platform where we are no longer in the bodily concept of life, where we know we are not the body and are no longer interested in trying to enjoy the so-called pleasures of the body but we are enjoying transcendentally on the spiritual platform serving Srila Prabhupada and Krishna. The real steadiness in Krishna consciousness can only come when we reach this point of actually relishing the higher spiritual taste from serving Krishna.

      But this higher taste is not there in the beginning. In the beginning it is called saddhana-bhakta. It means we have to follow the rules and regulations given by the spiritual master even though we may have no taste for it. So in the beginning this can be quite an austerity. it can be painful to not have illict sex when the body is telling us to have it, to not eat meat when the body it craving for it, etc. So we need to take shelter of chanting Hare Krishna, of Krishna prasadam and of Srila Prabhupada through his books to get strength so we can cross over this difficult time of saddhana-bhakti and come to the stage of spontaneous devotional service which is a little more advanced stage when we are actually getting some taste for serving Krishna and we want to do it without having to force ourselves to do it.

      So the short answer is that yes we may fall down many times but we can not get into the mood that it is OK to fall down and Krishna will forgive me. If we get into that mood Krishna will not forgive us. That will be sinning on the strength of the holy name, one of the ten offenses. But if every time you sincerely regret your falldown and really genuienly pray to Krishna and Prabhupada and apologize for your nonsense and pray that they please give you strength so you do not falldown again… The thing is we can not give up the quest for Krishna consciousness. It is the only valuable thing that we can get out of this human form of life. It is the only thing that is worth working for. So even if we fail thousands of times we have to keep trying for Krishna consciousness, because there is nothing else worthwhile…

      But you have to know there are reasons why we are falling down. And we have to find those reasons and correct them and then we will not fall down. Not following the process is one big reason I have already mentioned and bad association is another big reason. If we associate closely with non-devotees it will become very difficult to follow the regulative principles. Because we become like the people we associate with. So if we associate with nondevotees we become nondevotees..

      So there are many things and they are all explained by Srila Prabhupada in his books. So the most important things about all else are chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily, very seriously reading Srila Prabhupada’s books and only eating Krishna prasadam. And of course following the four regulative principles and if you fall down again sincerely rededicating yourself and trying to not fall down again.

      It may seem hopeless but it is not. If you keep chanting Hare Krishna you will gradually get the strength and gradually see that the pleasure you get from chanting Hare Krishna and serving Krishna is far greater than any so-called pleasure you can get from sense gratification and you will also gradually see that falling down in sense gratification has a very bad effect on your spiritual life and it will take you days or weeks to recover for this and for your spiritual program to get back on track again.

      So just keep chanting Hare Krishna and reading Prabhupada’s books and this will save you for sure.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • Adam says:

        Hara Krishana Prabhu

        Thank you so much for such an inspiring reply as of this moment I will act and work towards your guidance. God bless you Hara Krishna.

  96. Johan Boudens says:

    Dear Madhudvisa das,

    Regarding your article ‘The Four Philosophies’, the jiva souls in their search for the absolute are on many different levels and not everyone can embrace KC whole-heartedly. If you read Srimad Bhagavatam 1st Canto Chapter 3 verse 24, Srila Prabhupada says in his Bhaktivedanta Purport that he is pleased to see that there is an interest in the ahimsa philosophy of Lord Buddha…
    Why would Srila Prabhupada say this? Because it would be a blessing if the slaughterhouses could be shut down… the point I’m trying to make is that a fanatical approach to establish KC as supreme doesn’t work. Better to harmonise the internal struggles and fights amongst devotees that we have seen for the past 34 years and work on our own advancement in spirituel life. that is my humble opinion. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
    Aspiring servant, Johan

    • Hare Krishna Johan

      We have to present the absolute truth. We are speaking to the people who are listening and presumably the people who are listening have some interest or inclination for Krishna consciousness. If they don’t have such an inclination then they will stop listening to us. So we will keep on speaking the absolute truth to whoever wants to listen. We are not forcing anyone to listen. It is completely voluntary. Anyone who wants to hear about Krishna they can hear from us. If they do not want to hear about Krishna they can go and hear from someone else. We are not going to try and please everyone. We are only trying to please Srila Prabhupada and Krishna. And this will be effective in the long run. You can not “harmonize” with everyone as you suggest There is no harmony out there at all. Practically everyone is simply interested in their own sense gratification so there is no harmony. There can only be harmony if there is a central point and we are trying to establish that the central point is Krishna and we can all serve Him harmoniously. That is the only chance for real harmony.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  97. Shanel says:

    Is prasadam the eqivalent in hinduism to that of kosher in Judaism or halal in Islam

    • Hare Krishna Shanel

      No. I do not think really there is an equivalent to prasadam anywhere else.

      First of all to understand prasadam you have to understand that God is a person and that He is capable of accepting offerings from us. It is a simple concept. If you have a very good friend and you invite him to your house you will prepare some very nice foods that you know your friend likes and when he comes to your house you will welcome him and offer him something refreshments to drink and the food you have prepared for him and this offering of love from you to your friend will please him.

      So devotees know that Krishna is a person and the He will also come to our house and accept an offering of food if we make it for HIm with love and devotion. So that consciousness has to be there–that Krishna is a person and that He can accept our offerings and that He will be please with us if we offer Him some nice foods prepared with love and devotion. So once the offering of the food is made to Krishna and after Krishna tastes the food the remnants of Krishna’s meal are called prasadam, “Krishna’s mercy.” And this Krishna prasadam takes on a spiritual value and anyone who eats it will become purified.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

    • indu says:

      Hare Krishna Shanel

      since i come from a jewish backround i may be able to answer:

      madhudvisa is basically right, the kosher and hallel regulations got nothing to do with offering food to God with love, but still both in judaism and in islam they pray before the have the food like in christianity, saying thanks, so if in judaism and islam they say thanks in a way that pleases the Lord and only veggetarian food which is in the mode of goodness then this might be equivelent to the offering of a Krishna bhakta.and this bhakti path is universal, hence if they do the same in the other religions, then they are actually following the bhakti path but in their own style and culture.

      hope that helps.
      your servant

      • Hare Krishna Indu

        There is a big, big difference between thanking the Lord for food which is what the Jews or the Christians do and actually cooking food for the Lord and offering it to Him. It is a completely different mentality. The devotees understand that everything belongs to God and everything is meant for the pleasure of God. So whatever we find in the material world we should offer it to Krishna for His enjoyment and then we can accept the remnants of the offering, the prasadam.

        It is completely different from thanking the Lord for what he has given to us. That is of course nice also. But it is a very different thing to cooking for Krishna and making an offering to Krishna and accepting the prasadam.

        Madhudvisa dasa

        • Chris says:

          I am a Christian priest, and no I would disagree with you. Everything is meant to be offered to God. This is the true meaning of priest- one who offers everything to God. When we offer thanks, we are offering this to God. He smells the sacrifices when offered in love.

          • indu says:

            hare krishna chris

            and thank you for your comment:

            i think to conclude all this, i agree with you both,the way vaishnavas or devotees offer is alittle more advanced since they have the altar and God’s pictures, but also offering in the chrisitian and the jewish and islamic way is good, in both cases God surely listens to us and accepts our foods and blesses it.the christian and all religions coming after krishnaism are sectarian, and not so perfect like krishnaism, and the followers thanking God for the food, is alittle more easy and shorter way to offer the food, but in both cases the blessing of God are there, just that God likes that Vaishnava way more because the focus on Him is more extensive and more devoted, but even in krishnaism it is allowed to offer in a mental way the same as christians jews and muslims do, so it is also good, but i would call it second rate in both krishnaism and abrahamic religions.

            thank you so much for your comment chris, and God bless you.
            Hare Krishna.

          • manian says:

            when you say thanks it should in divine attitude. merely saying thathanks is not offering. further chritians do not follow the supreme devotee of the lord by sacrifing animals for food. Jesus is the supreme devotee of lord krishna who scrified his life for the krishna conciousness. today majority of christin commuity repeat the same offences again and again afer confession. The bible haa been chANGED, Jeaua nnever ADVOCATED KILLINg of animals. action and reaction will operte nd kill them in their next life. Jesus reached god hood directly aa he was a supreme devotee. Preach this in church. One may be a chirstiN jew or hindu oR muslim he has follow the principle of action nd reaction.

          • manian says:

            jesus was aa supreme devotee of KriISHNA. He preched non violence which todys chrirtNA DO Not follow. They kill ANIMALS AND GET BACK THE SAME PUNISHIMENT IN THEIR NEXT LIFE.

  98. Dear Madhudvisa Prabhu, Thank you so much for your mercyful reply, Srila Prabhupada had teach us so much in his book and in his personal actitivities, he also teach us through his devotees, I shall offer you my humble obeisances again and again, for you are spreading KC to all ignorance people like me. I pray I can have better and clear and deep understanding of Srila Prabhupada’s mercy.
    Yes, you are right, I don’t know nothing about philosophy, and maybe due to too friendly associate with so many Monks here in China, I was contaminated by them and become too easy to get close to all different people, but sometime, quite some time, I found they have so many good quality which suppose posed by a vaisnava devotee. Of cause, I also notice that no matter how good quality one can have, if he could not cultivate a drop of devotion and love to Supreme personality of Godhead, once life is spent in vain. So I will carefully learn some good quality from them but then come back to chant Hare Krishna and be Happy. Althought we know that a vaisnava suppose be a ocean of good quality, but seems that most impersonlism have quite some quality in hand, I mean it’s very handy.
    Again and again, all glories to those great vaisnavas like you who dedicate to spreading KC and Srila Prabhupada’s mercy to the whole world!

    Your humble servant,
    Gaudiya das(TKG)

    • Hare Krishna Gaudiya Prabhu

      Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

      You are right. It does often appear that the impersonalits have many good qualities. They are very much attracted to the mode of goodness, often they study Sanskrit and the Vedas very seriously, they often very seriously follow the four regulative principles and become very pakka [fixed-up brahmins].

      Lord Caitanya was able to preach to and convince such impersonalists of the philosophy of Krishna consciousness and for example the many Prakasananda Sarasvati and his many thousands of followers surrendered to Lord Caitanya and became His disciples.

      But the problem is the Mayavadi philosophy propounded by Sripada Shankacharaya is very poisonous and if we associate with the Mayavadis and hear from them their philosophy we will become spoiled and we will never be able to understand Krishna consciousness. So this is the danger of the Mayavadis. Yes. They often can exhibit many good qualities but when they speak they say that Krishna is maya and that you are god… And most people love to hear this. They like it. “I don’t have to surrender to anyone now, I am god…” That is what they preach, “Everyone is god”… So if everyone is god where does that leave Krishna, “Krishna is maya…” So this philosophy is very, very poisonous. Therefore we should strictly avoid the association of the Mayavadis.

      They are also very subtle. They may not come out and directly say that Krishna is maya. They may glorify Krishna and chant Hare Krishna but ultimately they believe that the impersonal brahman is superior to Krishna and Krishna is simply a manifestation of the impersonal brahman and Krishna has no permanent existence. That is why Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has repetitively stressed: mayavadi bhasya suniya haya savra nasa: “If you hear from the mayavadis you are doomed.”

      So do not hear from the Mayavadis. It is not my instruction, it is the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  99. Dear Madhudvisa Prabhu, Thank you so much for your mercyful reply, Srila Prabhupada had teach us so much in his book and his actitivities, he also teach us through his devotees, so I offer you my humble obeisances, so that

  100. Daniel says:

    Dear Madhudvisa.. thank you very much for such an insightful and perceptive analysis, and particularly, your closing.. “Chant Hare Krishna and be happy”
    Always such good advice.. your servant, Daniel

  101. Rasamanjari Devi dasi says:


    Hare Krishna. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Please accept my humble obeiances.

    This is a request not related to your interesting aritcle. I find myself wishing the Srimad Bhagavad Gita As It Is, Authorized Unchanged Version, would provide the photographic plates with the basic description of those paintings on individual links which can be inserted into emails and blogs, etc. It would be very nice for helping to show the concepts of certain points. Also, i was looking for the picture of Mayadevi holding the puppet strings and the workers digging with shovels on the asitis site but could not find it. Thank you for your kind consideration.

    Lowly servant in the service of Srila Prabhupada

  102. I think all the ideas in this article are correct and match with sastra.

    But, somehow it won’t appreciated by others spiritual people except Vaisnava devotees.

    Maybe we need to have more deep communication with those ‘other two kinds of people’.

    Then we know how to convince them.

    Instead of only convince ourselves which make us far away from them.

    By dividing people in group doesn’t help much in unity.

    • Hare Krishna Gaudiya Prabhu

      Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

      Thank you for your comment but please do not get upset with me Prabhu, it appears that you have become somewhat contaminated by the bogus Mayavadi ideas that flood ISKCON at the present time.

      What you have written here is your speculation of speculation you have heard from some ISKCON devotee. It has absolutely no basis whatsoever in the teachings of Srila Prabhupada. The teachings of Srila Prabhupada are actually very different to your teachings in this comment. You have not spoken according to the disciplic succession at all. In fact these days devotees in ISKCON do not even know that we are supposed to be simply messengers delivering the timeless message of Krishna consciousness as it has been handed down to us so perfectly by Srila Prabhupada.

      Our ideas and our speculations are useless and so are the ideas and speculations of “advanced” ISKCON devotees. The only thing that has any value is the timeless transcendental and pure knowledge that is coming to us from Krishna through the disciplic succession.

      We have no interest whatsoever if the people like the ideas or not. That is not our business. Our business is to present the absolute truth in a way which can be easily understood by the people. We do not have the authority to change the message. We do not have the authority to water it down and make it more acceptable to the masses. The people are generally atheists and demons and they will obviously not appreciate the pure transcendental message of Krishna consciousness.

      Your idea of having some deep and meaningful and loving relationships with the Mayavadis and the Buddhists so you can come to understand them better is complete nonsense Prabhu. Complete maya. Devotees do not associate with anyone except devotees. We preach, we give our association to the materialists and to anyone who is interested to hear about Krishna from us–but we do not take their association.

      Association is so powerful. If we associate with Mayavadis and Buddhists then we will become like them. You know Lord Caitanya stresses this point so much. That if one hears from the Mayavadis then his spiritual life is doomed. He will never be able to understand Krishna consciousness.

      You have not understood this article Prabhu and I humbly request that you read it again. The point of this article is there are not many philosophies and because Krishna is complete and understand Krishna includes understanding everything else if we actually become fixed up and a little advanced in the science of Krishna consciousness that will include the understanding of all the other philosophies. A devotee can speak with someone for a couple of minutes and immediately know almost everything about their philosophy. Because there are not many philosophies actually.

      The secret of preaching is knowing who to preach to. We can only preach the philosophy of Krishna consciousness to the innocent people who are actually interested in hearing from us. If someone is a Mayavadi or a Buddhist then we can not preach to them. Mayavadis are offenders to Krishna. They say Krishna is maya, that ultimately the Supreme is impersonal. So how can we talk about Krishna to someone who thinks Krishna is maya? That will not be beneficial for us or for them. It is offensive. It is preaching to the faithless. And the Buddhists–they don’t even believe in anything. Their idea is nothingness. So the only thing that we can do with the Mayavadis and the Buddhists is to defeat them. And this sort of preaching–defeating Mayavadis and Buddhists–is not possible for the ordinary devotee. One has to be very advanced to be able to defeat the Mayavadis and the Voidists.

      These people will never like what we have to say about Krishna. And we do not care what these people think. We will speak the absolute truth with no compromise and that will be effective.

      The truth is very powerful. If we present the Absolute Truth it will be effective. That is our duty. We can not compromise and we do not care what others think about what we are saying. We care about presenting the timeless message of Krishna consciousness that has be so carefully given to us by Srila Prabhupada to the people we meet in a way that they can understand it without in any way changing or watering down the message, without adding anything and without subtracting anything. That is our duty to Srila Prabhupada.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Your servant

      Madhudvisa dasa

      • ravi says:

        i liked your article and its explanation but find myself disagreeing with your reply. the gita says that a wise man sees all beings with equal vision does it not? since a dog, a outcaste, and a brahmin should be seen equally why then would a devotee only associate with other devotees? when i was a teenager i didn’t accept religion – it was when i became older and read the gita and discussed it with other religious-oriented people did i become more connected to krishna. had they rejected me b/c i wasn’t a pure devotee at the time who knows – maybe i would still be an agnostic. likewise plenty of friends i’ve had who were not devotees are now devotees – because i was willing to talk to them as friends and associate with them regardless of their sometimes past sinful actions.

        • Hare Krishna Ravi

          I think I have not explained this point clearly.

          Devotees give their association to others who are interested in hearing something about Krishna but they do not take the association of materialistic persons. So devotees preach to materialistic people for sure. A book distributor goes out on the street and talks to materialistic people all day about Krishna. He gives his association to them but he does not take there association.

          Because we become what we associate with. So if we associate with materialists we will become materialists. So a devotee gives up the association of non-devotees. He does not like it. Lord Caitanya says that He would prefer to be locked in a cage with a tiger rather than to associate with non-devotees. But at the same time the devotee is very merciful and wants to help all the non-devotees elevate themselves to the platform of devotees. So he may be always speaking to the non-devotees about Krishna. He gives his association to the non-devotees but he does not take their association because then he will also become a non-devotee and everything will be lost.

          Krishna consciousness is a very precious thing and if we associate with non-devotees we will loose it. Association is so powerful. We become Krishna conscious by associating with pure devotees and we will loose our Krishna consciousness by associating with non-devotees.

          If you have friends and they are engaged in all sorts of sinful activities you may think that you will remain pure and still associate with your friends. But this is not possible. The power of association is so strong that you will be forced to engage in the same sinful activities as your friends.

          So we need to create a society of devotees and live in the association of devotees…

          So it is not that devotees do not care about the non-devotees. They care very much and want to help them come to Krishna consciousness. So they preach and speak about Krishna to the non-devotees. But they do not take the association of the non-devotees. They do not go to the nightclubs and cricket matches with them and engage in all sorts of materialistic sense gratification with them. No they speak about Krishna with them, they cook bhoga and offer it to Krishna and feed the non-devotees Krishna Prasadam, they get them to read Prabhupada’s books. They chant Hare Krishna and the non-devotees hear the chanting and become purified. So in this way the devotees give their association to the non-devotees but they do not take the association of the non-devotees…

          I hope it is a bit clearer.

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Madhudvisa dasa

          • grrao says:

            hare krishna
            the article is good. My own life experience has revealed the following
            I was lucy to being born in Brahminical family itself but exposed to christian missionary convent school.I was exposed to mayavaddis philosophy early in life through shankara teaching chinmaya mission and attending other brahminical iyer family. in college i was with shirdi sai baba still believe in the punya bhoomi of shirdi. Later due to western education system read all philosphical system . like osho araya samaj etc Later when i associated with building of temple i came to know the personality of Lord and my family diety Balaji tirupathi Vishnu avtar. I understood the peronality of Lord. Then I got introduced to ISKCON but mainly for GITA distribution and mala. It was then slow association with great devotee i say many mayavadis better vaisnava in true sense then me born in a typical madhava family, But today i feel i made full circle back to GODHEAD and association and the teaching of ISKCON has helped be more to be a good vaisnava. Now I am also exposed to SADGURU who follows GURU and mayavaddis i have no hatred or anything but i learn that the ultimte test is to prepare for ones own death andin the journey tryto help or help yourselvesto be more in one own faith . if one earth two seeds can grow om the same mother earth one as a mango tree and another as a neem tree then i am fine with being a vaisnava and association makes a lot of difference, can i have your views on this and i keen to further on this experience

          • ravi says:

            hari bol. thanks for your reply and clarification. i take issue with one part: “If you have friends and they are engaged in all sorts of sinful activities you may think that you will remain pure and still associate with your friends. But this is not possible. The power of association is so strong that you will be forced to engage in the same sinful activities as your friends.”

            most of my family and friends drink alcohol and eat meat. i went vegetarian about 15 yrs ago, have never once eaten meat b/c my friends or parents were eating it and i have never touched liquor, even in high school, college, and work outings. i also observe ekadasi faithfully, even when it means not eating food when they buy us lunch for free at work.

            associating with these people has not made me want to become like them – on the contrary i’ve observed how their lack of discipline has caused them grief and stress. i enjoy being happy and the fact that my lifestyle is not causing me the same mental problems my friends suffer from.

            for someone who is truly steeped in krishna consciousness – they should be able to withstand God’s tests. we are constantly tested to see if we are loyal to God’s laws or to peer pressure. if one is around non-devotees and cannot discpline themself to remain loyal to the laws set forth in the Gita then they are not a real Krishna devotee.

            without these type of tests from God we can never know if we prioritize Krishna first or the material world. if everything came easy to us how would we know we are truly steeped in Krishna?

          • indu says:

            Dear Ravi

            please accept my obeisances
            all glories to srila prabhupada

            i could not agree more with you!
            the same situation is with me!

            Hare Krishna!

      • Kaushik Bera says:

        Hare Krishna
        Lord Krishna is my father and also mother.
        Kaushik Bera

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