Finding My Role in Life

Many of my family members are devotees of Lord Krishna. I am always told that this world is not real and that we all are playing a role in life. I have lost myself. Can you please help me?
Via the Internet

Our reply: Yes, we are playing roles, but that is not a bad thing. Krishna devotees play roles for the pleasure of the Lord, and so there is ultimate meaning in their play.

Krishna advises in the Bhagavad-gita (18.46), “By worship of the Lord, who is the source of all beings and who is all-pervading, a man can attain perfection through performing his own work.” So whatever work you are naturally inclined to do you can do for Krishna.

Krishna also says, “Therefore, Arjuna, you should always think of Me in the form of Krishna and at the same time carry out your prescribed duty of fighting. With your activities dedicated to Me and your mind and intelligence fixed on Me, you will attain Me without doubt.” (Gita 8.7) So as Arjuna attained perfection by dedicating his work to Krishna, so can we.

Most important in this age is to chant the holy names of the Lord: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport to Bhagavad-gita 8.7: “This instruction to Arjuna is very important for all men engaged in material activities. The Lord does not say that one should give up his prescribed duties or engagements. One can continue them and at the same time think of Krishna by chanting Hare Krishna. This will free one from material contamination and engage the mind and intelligence in Krishna. By chanting Krishna’s names, one will be transferred to the supreme planet, Krishnaloka, without a doubt.”

We hope these words help you focus your life on Krishna.

Qualities of a Brahmachari

What are the qualities one should have to be brahmachari?
Nilesh Sharma
Via the Internet

Our reply: Devotion to one’s guru is the most important quality of a brahmachari. The brahmachari acts as a menial servant of the guru and attains all the blessings of the Lord by acting in that way.

According to Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto 7, Chapter 12: “The brahmachari should be trained to be satisfied with eating what is absolutely necessary, he should be very expert in executing responsibilities, he should be faithful, and he should control his senses and try to avoid the association of women as far as possible.”

In his purport to Bhagavad-gita 4.26, Srila Prabhupada writes: “The brahmacharis, or students under the care of a bona fide spiritual master, control the mind by abstaining from sense gratification. A brahmachari hears only words concerning Krishna consciousness; hearing is the basic principle for understanding, and therefore the pure brahmachari engages fully in harer namanukirtanam – chanting and hearing the glories of the Lord. He restrains himself from the vibrations of material sounds, and his hearing is engaged in the transcendental sound vibration of Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna.”

The Purpose of Creation

What is the purpose of God’s creation?
Via the Internet

Our reply: The Lord creates the material world for the reformation of fallen souls. It makes up only one fourth of the whole creation. The rest is the spiritual abode, full of His loving devotees.

We unfortunately misused our God-given freedom by choosing not to serve Him. For souls like us, He creates this illusory, temporary place where we can try to enjoy without Him. We keep trying, lifetime after lifetime, but unsuccessfully. The material world is like a prison, but He gives us the opportunity to purify ourselves by engaging in devotional service. We need to beg Him to accept us again. That is the meaning of the Hare Krishna mantra. He gives us instructions, sometimes descends Himself, sends His representatives, and is now present in His name. We have to take advantage of these things to become fit to go back to Him.

Reaction for Suicide

What is the reaction for a person who has mutilated the body or committed suicide?
Via the Internet

Our reply: To misuse our material body is very lamentable. The human form of life is a gift acquired after going through many lower forms of life for a long, long time. In the human form our intelligence should be used to advance spiritually. With this developed intelligence we can choose how to act, and we are held responsible for our actions. If we choose to harm the body or commit suicide, then we get a very bad result. That is, we are not allowed to have another body right away, because we do not deserve it. But we still have all our desires, and therefore we get the subtle body of a ghost, a situation in which we cannot satisfy our desires. It is a horrible situation.

The best use of the material body is to consider it the temporary temple of our soul. We do what’s needed to keep the body and soul together and engage it in Krishna’s service. Krishna has given it to us for that purpose.

Living in Krishna Consciousness

How to follow Krishna consciousness while working and living socially?
Via the Internet

Our reply: An aspiring devotee is advised to accept what is favorable to devotional service and reject what is unfavorable. So your social life should be with like-minded people. If you must associate with nondevotees, then try to be a good example for them and avoid their bad habits.

Balance your life by rising early and chanting and hearing about the Supreme Lord. That will help get you through the day in Krishna consciousness. Listen to as much spiritual sound as you can. If you cannot go to the temple regularly, use the Internet to see the deities in the temples, hear the classes, and so on. Many temples have webcams that you can tune into. Offer your food to Krishna and, if possible, invite devotees to your home for Krishna conscious programs. When you have a chance, tell others about Krishna.