Help from the Demigods

If we are in Krishna consciousness, can we worship the demigods for material boons?
Modim Verma
Guwahati, Assam, India

Our reply: The goal of Krishna consciousness is pure devotion to Krishna. Even in the beginning of our practices, we do not pray for material boons from Krishna or anyone else. Our conviction is that because we are serving Krishna, He will supply all our needs. This is called shraddha, or faith, as defined by Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami, the author of Sri Chaitanya-caritamrta:Sraddha is confident, firm faith that by rendering transcendental loving service to Krishna one automatically performs all subsidiary activities. Such faith is favorable to the discharge of devotional service.” Srila Prabhupada comments: “Firm faith and confidence are called shraddha. When one engages in the Lord’s devotional service, he is to be understood to have performed all his responsibilities in the material world. He has satisfied his forefathers, ordinary living entities, and demigods and is free from all responsibility. Such a person does not need to meet his responsibilities separately. It is automatically done. Fruitive activity (karma) is meant to satisfy the senses of the conditioned soul. However, when one awakens to Krishna consciousness, he does not have to work separately for pious activity. The best achievement of all fruitive activity is detachment from material life, and this detachment is spontaneously enjoyed by the devotee firmly engaged in the Lord’s service.”

And here is a verse spoken by Shukadeva Goswami in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (2.3.10): “A person who has broader intelligence, whether he be full of all material desire, without any material desire, or desiring liberation, must by all means worship the supreme whole, the Personality of Godhead.” There is no need to worship the demigods for material boons. If you have traditionally worshiped demigods and feel uncomfortable giving that up, you can pray to them to help you develop pure love for Krishna. After all, the demigods are Krishna’s servants, and that’s why they have attained their elevated positions. But they have not reached perfection, which is to return to Krishna in the spiritual world. It is essential to understand that they are subordinate to Krishna, but they can help us move closer to Him.

Chanting and Regulative Principles

Should one still chant on japa beads after having broken one of the four regulative principles?Sheetal
Via the Internet

Our reply: One should continue to chant japa on beads whatever the circumstance. An occasional falldown because of past bad habit does not destroy one’s progressive spiritual life. But one should not purposefully engage in sinful activity and think that chanting will be sufficient atonement. If one does so, the falldown is elevated to nama-aparadha, an offense against the holy name of the Lord, specifically the offense of “committing sinful activity on the strength of chanting.” This becomes a serious impediment that stalls one’s progress.

Krishna Is Never Bad Luck

I had a question regarding keeping a Krishna deity at home. I have heard a lot of people on the Internet saying that it is bad luck to have a deity at home, especially of Krishna holding the flute. I just purchased a beautiful Krishna statue in marble, and I want to keep it in my home, pray to the statue, light a lamp, and so on.

I know that God is omnipresent. It even says so in the Bhagavad-gita. I’m just a little set back from what I read on the Internet. Please let me know if there are problems with having a deity in the house. I personally feel that these things I heard on the Internet are myths, but I would really appreciate some clarification.
Via the Internet

Our reply: We’re sorry that you have heard such bad advice, which is completely wrong. Inviting the Lord into your home is most auspicious. Krishna will enter that form by your sincere desire to serve Him and will accept your love and devotion. It is the best engagement for a householder; it is purifying and will help your family focus on the ultimate goal of life.

Please make nice arrangements for His pleasure and enjoy being in your eternal relationship as His humble servant. The Vedic scriptures, previous spiritual masters, and the Lord Himself, as you mention, all encourage us to take up this worship of His form, especially sweet when He is playing the flute. Continue on in your worship, and Krishna will bless your home and your life.

A Ghostly Problem

After reading the Bhagavad-gita, I’ve realized that Krishna is the only goal of life. To reach His abode is the ultimate destination. I am trying to make my family (wife and three young daughters) Krishna conscious. I started chanting every morning, and we visit the nearest ISKCON temple whenever possible.

It is my dream and wish that we are initiated devotees one day. My biggest problem is that there is always some evil spirit on my wife. She’s had this problem for the past fifteen years. We’ve tried many people to destroy it, but to no success. My children sometime see black shadows in our house, which scares them. Most of the time there’s a lot of negativity surrounding my wife, which results in arguing amongst us, creating a very dull atmosphere at home. Sometimes when we do pray together, her facial expression changes to like that of a demon with big eyes and a grunting noise. It is very hard for me right now to convince my family to become vegetarians and take to Krishna consciousness, although I know this will help our problem and will eventually lead us to eternity. What do I do? Please advise me. Please help me, O dear Lord Krishna.
Via the Internet

Our reply: We’re very sorry to hear about you wife’s problem and its effect on your whole family. While we can’t say for certain that the cause is an evil spirit, it might be. In principle, any of us should be able to chase away ghosts, because they do not like to stay where Krishna’s holy names are chanted. Srila Prabhupada once chased away a ghost from a house that no one would buy because of the ghost. He walked all through the house, chanting Hare Krishna. The ghost left, he bought the house at a discount, and never had any problems with ghosts there.

We recommend that you try to permeate your house with Krishna consciousness and Krishna vibrations as much as possible. We know it’s difficult to make changes like this, but if your house becomes filled with the sound of devotees chanting the holy names (on recordings) rather than the sound of the TV, for example, that can make a big difference. If the ghost is persistent, the only solution is to be more persistent.

Becoming a devotee of Krishna means we have to take shelter of Him, which might require some sacrifices on our part. If the atmosphere becomes highly spiritual day and night, the ghost will not be able to tolerate it. Most important, of course, is that your wife herself chant, read Prabhupada’s books, eat only vegetarian food offered to Krishna, and so on. The best solution is always the spiritual one. May Lord Krishna bless you in your attempt to fully spiritualize your home.