Finding God

God is everywhere, but how can I realize Him?
Via the Internet

Our reply: Yes, God, Krishna, is everywhere. In various aspects He pervades everything. He is in everyone’s heart as Paramatma (Supersoul), your greatest friend. He has been waiting for you to turn to Him so He can reveal Himself to you. Bhakti is the process of calling out to Him, recognizing Him especially in His name. He has incarnated, so kindly, in the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. That is why we recommend chanting constantly—to help us remember Him and to attract Him.

We have neglected Him for many lifetimes, and now we have a simple method to revive our consciousness of Him. So please take advantage of hearing His instructions in Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is, associating with Krishna’s devotees, worshiping Him in the temples, and chanting His glories and names.

As you get purified, qualified for His association, then He will reveal Himself to you in many ways. He is a person, your best friend, and is anxious for you to return to Him. He will take many steps toward you if you take some toward Him. Don’t waist this human life with sense enjoyment, but learn the art of bhakti, which is how to please Him.

Scared and Anxious

Why do I feel scared, and why do I have anxiety?
Via the Internet

Our reply: Anxiety comes from a lack of knowledge. In Bhagavad-gita Krishna says that our weapon is knowledge of our real self and our relationship with Him. He says that peace comes when we understand that He is the supreme controller, the supreme proprietor, and the supreme friend. With that knowledge, we shouldn’t be in anxiety.

Chanting Krishna’s name helps us remember Him and should free us from all anxiety. When you are scared or in anxiety, call out to Him with faith and conviction. But it’s best not to wait for those times. Practice daily calling out to Him by chanting the maha-mantra, which means “Please accept me; please engage me in Your loving service.”

Cult Rumors

I am new to Hare Krishna, and I have heard rumors that there is a cultish aspect to it. I would love to hear your opinion on this.
Seth Leonard
Via the Internet

Our reply: When His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada introduced Krishna consciousness in the Western world back in the ’60’s and ’70’s, various groups that sprang from the hippie revolution were referred to as cults. This nomenclature carried a socially negative connotation, and because the spiritual knowledge given by the Hare Krishna movement was outside the norms of Western civilization at the time, it was considered a cult. Nowadays, words like reincarnation, karma, meditation, and yoga are part of the vernacular and are readily accepted.

Although the word cult has a negative connotation, the dictionary defines it as any system or community of religious worship or ritual. If you seriously and sincerely investigate the philosophy and practices of the Krishna consciousness movement, you will find a wealth of transcendental knowledge that is completely satisfying both intellectually and spiritually.

Why a peacock feather?

Why does Krishna wear a peacock feather in His hair?
Anil Baddi
Via the Internet

Our reply: One of the unique features of Lord Krishna is His divine pastimes with His most intimate devotees in the pleasure groves of Vraja. In this transcendental playground the Supreme Lord exchanges loving pastimes free of the reverential and opulent mood inherent in typical worship of the Lord. Free from the encumbrance of even His being the Supreme Lord, His most intimate associates enjoy the topmost loving exchanges of servitude, friendship, parental affection, and romantic attraction. Krishna’s transcendental attire as a simple cowherd boy decorated with forest flowers and peacock feathers attests to His comfortable enjoyment in this transcendental realm.

Why Suffering?

Why do we suffer in this world? Since everything is there for us, why are we not happy?
Via the Internet

Our reply: We suffer because we are eternal, spiritual beings but have forgotten our spiritual nature. In that state of forgetfulness we are trying desperately to enjoy this temporary, material world. But matter is subject to death and dwindling and therefore can never satisfy the soul. So although we try and try again to get the eternal enjoyment the soul craves, we never find it because we are looking in the wrong place.

Because of this we always feel frustrated and hanker for more and more. But the more material things we get, the more frustrated we become, since these things do not make us happy. They make us miserable. They make us hanker and lament, fight, and become jealous, envious, angry, and violent. People always want what others have and are ready to fight and even kill for it.

The only way you will find happiness is if you seek out your relationship with Lord Krishna. Taking only what you need, live simply, and spend the majority of your time and energy absorbed in getting to know and love God. Once that relationship is established, you will be satisfied and happy. It is the only thing that will really satisfy you, the soul.