Dealing with Loss

My brother recently expired, and after his death I am not able to concentrate. How can I solve this?
Neha Chauhan
Via the Internet

Reply: We are sorry to hear of your loss. You will need some time for reflecting and mourning. You may want to increase your hearing and chanting of the Lord’s names and reading of the Bhagavad-gita or your favorite scripture to remind you of the eternal nature of the soul. If there is a temple near you, the devotees there may have some counselors to help you. The second chapter of the Gita is especially beneficial to study when we face troubles and challenges.

The story of King Citraketu in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (Canto Six, chapters 14-16) also contains important lessons to help you see your current situation in a more positive light. If you don’t have a copy of Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavatam, you can access it online for free at https://vedabase.io/en/.

Try to fill your day with Krishna’s service and thinking of Him, and He will certainly help.

Becoming a Cow in the Next Life

I am just curious; since Krishna loves all the cows of the land and they are considered very sacred and are beloved by all Krishna devotees around the world, if someone is reborn as a cow in their next life – is it considered good or bad? Is it worse than becoming any other lifeform?  How close is it to going back to Godhead?
Aryan Jain
Via the Internet

Reply: No animal birth is considered a good birth. It is a step down from human life, which is meant for going higher, not lower.

Srila Prabhupada comments that the monkey, cow, and lion will take human form in their next lifetime, giving them the opportunity to take to devotional service. In general, most animals will have to move from one species to another for many births and deaths. This is not auspicious. If they get some prasadam, they can jump directly up to the human form.

Consider that even if you are born as a cow, you will most likely be killed in a slaughterhouse. Not good. The best program is to go to Krishna’s eternal home – Goloka, “the land of the cows” – and maybe you will be a cow there, loved by Sri Krishna.

Learning the Gita

I want to learn the Gita and the philosophy of Lord Krishna. Can you suggest how I might do that?
Subodh Pitkar
Via the Internet

Reply: We recommend that you study Srila Prabhupada’s books and, if possible, associate with his disciples and grand-disciples. You can do these things by visiting an ISKCON center. If that is difficult for you to do, you can buy Srila Prabhupada’s books through online stores, and you can read his books online at https://vedabase.io/en/. There are many ISKCON-related websites that provide many ways to learn Lord Krishna’s teachings, for example Krishna.com and iskcondesiretree.com.