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108 Questions and Misconceptions About Spiritual Life.
By His Holiness Lokanatha Swami
1. KRSNA IS NOT THE SUPREME PERSONALITY OF GODHEAD.
1. Om is the ultimate.
2. Everything is God, one can worship anything.
3. God cannot be a person with a body – that limits God.
4. The Universal form is the ultimate form of God.
5. The formless brahman appeared as Krishna, ultimately Brahman is God.
B. Demigods and Avatars
1. Lord Siva is equal to or greater than Vishnu. (because even Rama worshipped Siva)
2. Lord Rama came before Krishna, therefore Rama is superior.
3. Rama is God, but His brothers are humans.
4. Krishna is an incarnation of Vishnu
5. Lord Chaitanya is a saint.
C. All Gods (are the same)
1. Guru Nanak, Jesus and others are God.
2. Sai Baba is God.
3. The God of the Hindus is different from the Muslim God. Christians also have their own kind of God.
D. Krishna cannot be God (what kind of God is immoral?)
1. He stole butter, stole the gopis clothes, danced with other mens wives, and is lusty because He married many queens.
2. He was killed by a hunters arrow.
3. He told Yudhisthira to lie, therefore he is a liar and is inducing others to lie.
4. He took birth from the womb of a woman named Devaki.
E. Krishna was just a mahapurusa – an extraordinary man.
1. Nothing is very spectacular about Krishna feats (lifting Govardhana Hill, swallowing the forest fire) because there are many mystics and magicians and strongmen who can perform similar magic.
2. GOD DOES NOT EXIST
A. Where is the proof?
1. If God exists, then show me.
2. Have you seen God?
3. If God really exists (a God who is all good) then why does He allow suffering?
B. Causes of creation
1. Everything is created and controlled by nature.
2. No-one created this world, it just happened by chance.
3. Weak men made up the concept of ‘God’ because they need a ‘crutch.’
4. The creation comes from a combination of chemical reactions.
3. NAMES OF GOD
A. Hare Krishna
1. Chanting Hare Krishna is a waste of time.
1. Is chanting alone sufficient for God realization?
2. Names of God should be chanted in the mind.
3. One should not chant loudly and make a show.
A. Criticisms, questions and doubts regarding Iskcon.
1. Why are foreigners coming to India to preach about Krishna? It is like bringing coals to Newcastle.
2. You should not preach to others – they will come when they are ready. Other organizations don’t preach like you do.
3. Iskcon is a CIA sponsored or infiltrated organization.
4. The Britishers came for trade and ended up taking over the country, and now the same thing is being done in the name of religion.
5. Religion should be done in the temple, not on the streets chanting.
6. Your temples are a waste of money. You should use it to feed the poor or open hospitals.
7. Why don’t you people meditate?
8. Why do you chant ‘Krishna’ and not the other names of God.
9. The scriptures say ‘Hare Rama’ first, so why do you say ‘Hare Krishna’ first?
10. You should not preach so strongly and critisize others.
11. Brahmins are not supposed to cross the ocean.
12. You aren’t brahmins because one must be born a brahmin.
13. Where do you get your funds from?
1. Religion is not Bhakti, because Bhakti means sitting around the temple chanting all day.
2. You can serve God a few minutes each day in the morning and the evening, but you don’t have to be mad about Him all day.
3. Jnana is superior to Bhakti.
C. Varieties of Religion
1. Religion means to do your duty – ‘Work as worship.’
2. Manav seva is Madhava seva.
3. Poor man is Daridra Narayana.
4. Religion means to take care of your family – they are gods.
5. The only way to attain God is to serve your forefathers.
6. All religions are the same – Christian, Hindu, Muslim.
7. All paths lead to the same goal – karma, jnana, and bhakti are the same.
8. The goal of religion is to attain heaven.
9. I worship God in my own way.
D. Atheistic views.
1. Religion makes one idle, inactive, so how can this religion take us on the path leading to progress and prosperity?
2. Too much religion has spoiled this country.
3. If everyone became God conscious, what would happen to the world?
5. Bhagavad Gita
A. Scriptural Misinterpretations
1. Meanings of different words are : kuruksetra – body;
Pandavas – five senses; Krishna – the soul.
2. Krishna and Rama are allegorical
3. Nonviolence is the real teaching of the Gita ‘Ahimso Puro Dhama.’
4. Karma yoga is the essence of the Gita.
5. The Gita says that the Lord appears whenever there is a decline in religious principles, so isn’t now an appropriate time for the Lord’s descent?
6. The Gita was never spoken at Kuruksetra. How is it possible on a battlefield?
7. Gita says to do your duty – ‘Karmande…’
1. Vaishnava scriptures are recent inventions.
2. The originall 4 Vedas are the only real scripture.
3. Pruranas are just mythology.
4. The scriptures were stories made up by ordinary writers.
5. Lord Siva spoke the Bhagavad Gita.
6. How can we believe the statements of the scriptures that the residents of the heavenly planets live for thousands of years?
7. How could Krishna speak the Gita at Kuruksetra? It was written over many centuries by many scholars.
8. The scriptures are out of date – they were for uncivilised times.
9. Man came from monkeys, therefore the scriptures are wrong.
10. Why are men considered inferior to men in the Vedic scriptures?
11. Astronauts have gone to the moon, so this disproves the scriptures.
A. Common Scientific Challenges.
1. Mankind is more advanced now than ever before in history.
2. Science will make man deathless.
3. When the body is finished, everything is finished.
4. The brain is the source of all intelligence.
5. If the Lord is in the heart, what happens to Him when there is a heart transplant.
A …to avoid surrender to God.
1. You should not preach to others – God will guide them when they are ready.
2. I’ll visit the temple (etc) when God wills.
3. Now I am young, when I get old I will take to God consciousness.
4. First we need economic development, like the west, then we can have time for spiritual thoughts.
5. If we don’t eat cows then they will take over the world and there wont be enough room and food for the humans.
6. The population has increased - now we need family planning.
7. Like Ajamil who uttered the name of Narayana at the time of death and attained Vaikuntha, I will too.
8. Why bother to do anything, it is all our karma.
9. I am very busy now, I have no time for God – maybe later.
10. Westerners first enjoyed the worldly things and then took to Krishna consciousness, so let us enjoy first, then we will be ready for spiritual life.
8. COMMON PHILOSOPHIES
1. Sadhus should not get angry.
2. You don’t need a guru.
3. God had given us these bodies, so we should enjoy them.
4. God put animals here to serve man, so we need to eat them for our health.
5. Hell and heaven etc exist on this earth only, and there is no separate hellish or heavenly planets.
6. One should speak only after he has attained self-realization.
7. ‘Harijans’ can be elevated simply by rubber stamping them as such.
8. If God is everywhere why should we go to the temple?
9. Kaliyuga will come to an end very soon.
10. Human birth is the last birth
.11. Aham brahmasmi.
12. Brahma Satya Jagat Mithya.
13. Grhastha asram is the best asram.
B. General Questions
1. Plants have life, so when you eat vegetables aren’t you killing?