<h3>Thanks from Sin City</h3>
<p>Heartfelt thanks for the article &ldquo;The Life of Devotional Dynamism&rdquo; by Sriman Chaitanya Charana Dasa in the March/April issue. Time and again &ndash; during more than two decades in infamous Sin City Las Vegas &ndash; in my tiny attempts at preaching and distributing Srila Prabhupada&rsquo;s books, I have gotten discouraged, and this time was almost the ultimate. But I got rescued by this wonderful article. Thanks for the beautiful picture of Lord Sri Rama acknowledging the services of a squirrel in building the bridge to Sri Lanka.<br>Prahlada Ananda Dasa<br>Las Vegas, Nevada</p>
<h3>The Milk Dilemma</h3>
<p>I have been a reader of BTG since the 70s and a solid subscriber since the very early 90s, and Jayadvaita Swami&rsquo;s article regarding &ldquo;Ahimsa Balancing&rdquo; [July/August] is the first article that I felt compelled to comment on.</p>
<p>Simply put, thank you, Maharaja, for offering a really practical solution to the dilemma surrounding milk. I, for one, along with my family, have decided to implement the system immediately, and with our local Harmony Collective&rsquo;s recent acquisition of a farm, we have decided to dedicate our funds to that worthy project.</p>
<p>Thank you so much for keeping it real. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and his vision of cow protection.<br>Katyayani-devi Dasi<br>Waterford, Michigan</p>
<h3>The Question of God</h3>
<p>Does God exist? I am not convinced that He does.<br>Prashant Baloda<br>Via the Internet</p>
<p><em>Reply</em>: Are you willing to experiment to find the proof that God is real? Isaac Newton clearly understood through his advanced intelligence that there is no way that the universe, which is so perfectly arranged, could not have been created by a supreme intelligence. Try to understand the philosophy presented in Srila Prabhupada&rsquo;s books, try doing some service to God, beg Him for a sign, and accept that you will never understand Him with your limited material senses.</p>
<p>We have to learn from higher sources, so you must be willing to hear from the representative of the Lord and the Lord Himself. Some of the greatest thinkers of all times have bowed to and praised the <em>Bhagavad-gita</em> for its wisdom. If you are brave enough, read the entire <em>Gita</em> in the association of devotees and try to chant the holy names.</p>
<p>All of these actions are purifying and will wake up your sleeping spiritual senses. Our material senses cannot perceive the Supreme. But we can get an inkling of the Supreme in nature, in the wonder of this world, in the good qualities in living entities.</p>
<p>Be grateful, and listen to the voice in your heart. To know that God, our dearest friend, is waiting for us to turn to Him is enlightening and satisfying. Try giving Him a chance. Give Him a wave, and He will wave back and give meaning to your life. The <em>Vedas</em> present vast knowledge of God, so take some time to explore. The endeavor is truly exciting. The material world is dry and dull without it.</p>
<h3>Student Life</h3>
<p>What should be the ideal karma of a student?<br>Hari Goenka<br>Via the Internet</p>
<p><em>Reply</em>: <em>Karma</em> means activity, action. A related word is <em>dharma</em>, or duty. Your material duty as a student is to complete your studies. You are most likely preparing for maintaining a family in the future. You can see your studies as a spiritual duty especially if you plan for your family to be devotees of the Lord. If you act in that frame of mind, then you will not have any residual karma from your studies that has to be worked off, since you are offering the results of your studies to Krishna.</p>
<p>You can make your life spiritual as a student by following some practices to connect with Krishna. For example, you can create a sacred space where you live, and you can set aside time to chant the Hare Krishna <em>maha-mantra</em> and read from Srila Prabhupada&rsquo;s books, such as <em>Bhagavad-gita As It Is </em>and <em>Srimad-Bhagavatam</em>. These practices can help fix your attention on your eternal position as servant of the Lord. They can help you get through the day better by adding a transcendental dimension to your life. You can also look for opportunities to talk to fellow students about Krishna or give them <em>krishna-prasadam</em>. These are just some ideas for how you might spiritualize your busy schedule.</p>
<h3>Audible or Silent Chanting</h3>
<p>Is it best to chant the mantra aloud or in one&rsquo;s mind?<br>Neiphi<br>Via the Internet</p>
<p><em>Reply</em>: Srila Prabhupada said that it is better to chant out loud. The Lord Himself also recommended this in various places in the scriptures. Especially in this age of distractions, we need to chant out loud and clearly to have the best results. The mind is disturbed and restless, so we need to be able to concentrate on the sound alone.</p>
<p>Chanting out loud is more effective and powerful than mental chanting. When devotees chant loudly together in <em>kirtana</em>, sometimes with hundreds or even thousands of people, what an experience it is! When we daily chant on our beads, we focus on hearing our own chanting, and that experience is intimate and touching.</p>
<p>To sit quietly and try to think of the mantra will not be very effective in this age. Lord Chaitanya walked throughout India to invite everyone to join in and chant with Him.</p>
<h3>Qualities for Success</h3>
<p>How to be regular and sincere in my spiritual processes?<br>Mukul<br>Via the Internet</p>
<p><em>Reply</em>: Regulation and sincerity are wonderful and essential qualities for progressing in spiritual life. They come by practicing with others who already possess them. That is why many aspiring devotees of Krishna choose to live in a society of likeminded souls who share the goal of pleasing guru and Krishna. A strong desire to advance in Krishna consciousness will inspire a person to approach a guru, a representative of the Lord, and ask for initiation. The commitment to regular chanting, reading, serving, and so on keeps one fixed on the path.</p>
<p>It is good to get a mentor in the beginning to encourage you and join you in the practices. Most important is to remember that Krishna loves you and is waiting for you turn to Him. He is willing to work hard to get you back with Him. Therefore, don&rsquo;t stop or decrease your practices, but try to increase them. Certainly Krishna will see your effort and help you. In the <em>Gita</em>, He promises to protect and guide His devotees. Try to visit our temples and join us in serving and pleasing the Lord with love and devotion.</p>
<p><strong>Correction:</strong> The caption for this photograph, which appeared on page 23 of the last issue, indicated that it was taken during a talk in Butler, Pennsylvania. In fact, the photo was taken by a photographer for the <em>Butler Eagle </em>newspaper in the living room of the Agarwals, where Prabhupada was living at the time.</p>