Hare Krishna 🙏🏻🙏🏻
Could I please request to meet with you in person whenever and at whatever time is convenient for you?
Dear Lewis, thank you for your question.
Music is a very powerful combination of sounds meant to help us locate, experience and express different emotions. Like all phenomena available to our senses, it is best employed as a tool of self discovery and realisation of our inner nature.
Whether accompanied by musical instrumentation or not, the most transformative sounds are known as mantras. They have the potency to bring about rapid clarity within the consciousness, and have been compared to the clearing effect of brilliant sunshine on a misty morning.
Combining mantras with music is often known as kirtan. It is this practise that is highly recommended by all the Indian wisdom texts. This practise is particularly effective when performed with others, an activity known as sankirtan.
One great spiritual teacher named Bhaktivinode Thakur described music – meaning both tala or rhythm, and swara or notes – to be like ‘the flux that binds together two metals.’ One of those ‘metals’ is the ear of the listener and the other the divine mantra. So music is essential in binding the ear to the mantra.
I am especially happy to hear that you are dedicating your musical ability to kirtan, and that you are giving time to the practise of the mridanga. This instrument was favoured by Chaitanya, the Great Master, and I hope that He blesses you with all power in your learning and performance.
Yours with all best wishes,
Sorry, but I’ve only just seen this! How are you doing and did you manage to get in touch with Him?
I extend my warmest greetings to you and much appreciation for your question. You have my sympathy for your medical condition. I’m sure that over the years it has given you much concern and physical difficulty.
Since you have asked whether the Bhagavad-Gita has a solution for this conundrum, I would say yes. Although something of a qualified yes because the Bhagavad-Gita is quite a brief conversation in philosophical terms, though quite a thick book.
Very early on in the Bhagavad-Gita it is explained that the true self is nonmaterial and temporarily encased and entangled in a physical body. Just as a driver rides in a chariot, so is the spiritual soul a passenger in the vehicle of the temporary body. Through every activity in a previous life the soul enjoys a suffers in the next. As you know, this is referred to as the law of karma. More specifically, the term is karma-phala or ‘the fruit of activity.’
rasanam ghranam eva ca
adhisthaya manas cayam
For instance, in my own life I was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the age of 50. It just so happened that one of the top doctors in the country for prostate cancer was introduced to me at the right time to prevent any further spread of this disease. My biological weakness in this life predisposed me to this particular disease, but my set of strengths included access to a qualified doctor who specialised in this area, and who healed me. In your own case you had a predisposition to a heart complaint, but then this was balanced by access to a life-saving device.
Life is a precious opportunity to learn valuable lessons. We should all live as long as possible, since to do so will help to ensure that we learn more lessons rather than less. The enjoyment and suffering of others may not be caused by us, but if we wish to help to alleviate suffering than any moves we make to do that will be beneficial for the recipients.
Sometimes, if they have the means, people who suffer from a particular disease choose to help those suffering from a similar disease. Thus those who have had cancer may contribute to a cancer charity, or may promote testing for early diagnosis. If you feel you might like to help alleviate the suffering of those with heart complaints in the country where your pacemaker is made that I’m sure there are suitable charities for that purpose to which you can contribute. Alternatively, another way to help those who are suffering is to distribute wisdom along with any charitable efforts. In this way they can be helped both materially and spiritually.
Whatever your choice may be, I think that he should renew your pacemaker as many times as possible, and live a long and healthy life for as long as you can. In this way you can accumulate all the wisdom you need to make this life extremely valuable. Bhagavad-Gita says that human life is meant for self-realisation and that this is the ultimate goal of life itself. To not only know intellectually that we are spiritual in nature but to actually experience it in the joy of understanding eternity, this is the perfection of the journey of life.
Hare Krishna Kanay,
Please see answers below
1.What are the requirements to take initiation as I know it varies from temple to temple and from guru to guru so what are the requirements to take initiation from you?
Initiation within ISKCON is more or less standardised and the requirements are taught during the ISKCON Disciple Course. The only variations may be that some gurus offer initiation after the first year while others may require a longer waiting period. They may also stipulate other requirements such as the minutes of study time per day. But in general, the requirements internationally are standard.
2.Are you giving the first initiation as the photos and videos I have seen of you giving initiation are almost always Brahmin initiation?
All gurus give both first and second initiation. The only exception might be when the guru who gave the first initiation is no longer in the world and the disciple wishes to take initiation from another guru.
3. As well as initiation I have the desire forupanayanamas I am not yet 14, that is the closest thing I can do my parents are researching and are asking senior devotees.
Yes, in Vedic culture upanayanam is traditionally offered to boys between the ages of 8 and 16. It is a ceremony of giving the Gayatri mantra and marks the beginning of education in the Vedas. Srila Prabhupada’s own favoured the giving of the Gayatri mantra at a later stage, when the disciple was purified from dedicated chanting of the maha-mantra. So that became our ‘first’ and ‘second’ initiations, a tradition we have preserved.
But still there are boys being given upanayanam in India and different parts of the world.
Thank you for your message. I have spoken to Kripamoya prabhu and he has a spare copy that is happy to give for Narayani mataji. Please let me know how I can send it over.
Radha Govinda Das
Hi there, this is Radha Govinda Das, and I’m the administrator for this website. Could you give me a bit more details before I pass this on to Kripamoya prabhu? Something about you, where are you based, and something about what you wanted to talk about? I understand this is private, so you may not want to share details but just some context would be good. Thank you.