Why Does God Want Me to Suffer?

Holy books say that we shouldn’t feel alone because God is always with us, but why is God not with me? Why does He want me to suffer when I have not done wrong to anyone? The wrong has happened to me only. I didn’t ask anything from Him till today.
Prasad Kashid
Via the Internet

Reply: We have been traveling in this material world for countless lifetimes, attached to one body after another and the fruits of our actions. We have offended the Lord, and we are here to correct our mentality. We think we should be able to enjoy without God, but for lifetimes we have tried and failed. This lifetime can be different.

Our consciousness needs to focus on developing respect for the Lord and dependence on Him, asking Him what we can do for Him, not what He can do for us. When He sees that we are turning toward Him, He gives us only a fraction of the punishment we are due from so many lifetimes. Out of His mercy, He minimizes our suffering.

We should try not to point the finger at God, but at ourselves for our selfish mentality. He needs to make us suffer some so that we want to get out of this material world once and for all. We should accept suffering as His mercy and a chance to fix our mind on Him as our goal in life. He presents some tests for us so we can become stronger and have more faith.

He is arranging everything according to our desires. We must desire to know Him and love Him and accept His plan of action for our own good. He is there in your heart. Call out to Him for understanding. Chant the Hare Krishna mantra, which is a way of begging Him to accept your small service. He will surely arrange for your purification so you can enter His spiritual abode. 

Divine Eyes

Based on Bhagavad-gita 11.8, is divya-cakshu, or the divine eye, visible? Is the soul visible?
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Reply: Divine eyes are a gift from the Lord, given to the devotee who pleases Him. Krishna declares that He awards one according to one’s surrender and love. Arjuna met those qualifications and therefore was given the eyes to see the universal form of the Lord. 

Devotees who are purified and totally attached to the Lord are awarded understanding of their eternal svarupa, or their eternal form and relationship with the Lord. Fortunate devotees see their real self and the Lord, perfecting their existence. Such souls are very rare. We can only pray for the mercy of the spiritual master to allow us to advance on the path toward that goal.

Considering Sannyasa

I want to become a sannyasi and practice bhakti-yoga, but I want to continue my job so I can take care of my parents because I don’t want to leave them alone in their old age when I should be there to serve them. As lord Ganesha said, one’s mother and father are gods. Please tell me if it is possible for me to become a sannyasi.
Via the Internet

Reply: In ISKCON, the practice is that a man interested in sannyasa, or the renounced order of life, is usually recommended to the person’s guru by advanced devotees. The guru will decide if it is appropriate or the right time for the person to accept that position. Usually, sannyasa is awarded to devotees who are done with their family duties and the wife agrees to it. The devotee has to meet certain qualifications, take special classes, and meet other requirements.

There are many gurus in our line who took sannyasa at the end of their lives; others arranged to leave their families after giving charge to a grown-up son.

Taking sannyasa must not be a whimsical decision. Sannyasa is not an easy life. One has to be detached from material life and totally absorbed in preaching the glories of the Lord. Ponder these things and ask your guru or advanced devotees if it is the time for you to take on this responsibility.

Overcoming Worry

I often get worried about the future. How to overcome this?
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Reply: Our previous teacher Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has written in a song that we should not dwell on the past or the future but focus on the present. Worrying really accomplishes nothing except increasing our worries. Devotees depend on Krishna and His plans, not our own. The material world is meant to be a place of distress just to pinch us and make us want to get out of here. It certainly is not going to get better, so it is best that we do the needful to make it the launching pad to get us to the spiritual world.

We can take advantage of this lifetime – today, right now – to change our future to one that is bright. Krishna will accept our loving service now, and He guarantees that we can go to Him when this life is over.

When Krishna is pleased by our attitude of service, then we will be pleased, no matter what is going on around us. This material world is not our home. We have to contact our real father, mother, beloved, and friend – Sri Krishna – by chanting His glories and trying to give everything to Him. This is the path of bhakti-yoga, which makes the future perfect.

Attaining Liberation

How does one attain moksha through devotion? Are there stages toward this awakening?
Via the Internet

Reply: There are different types of moksha. Many want liberation from this material world with the hope of going to heavenly planets for a higher grade of sense gratification. Others may want to merge into the “white light,” or the effulgence of Krishna’s impersonal feature.

Devotees of the Lord want to attain the position of loving service to Him. Therefore devotees learn how to offer everything back to Him with love and devotion. They only want to please Him. They are not interested in His impersonal energy, life on higher planets, or entering the brahmajoyti. They only want to serve Krishna, which is the innermost yearning of the soul. Liberation from material existence is a by-product of pure devotional service, which gains the devotee entrance into the abode of the Lord for an eternal life of loving service to Him.