Concluding Words

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Continuing with our series of a True account entitled Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers… A search for meaning carries Bob Cohen, a young American Peace Corps worker halfway around the world, to an ancient village in the midst of West Bengal. There, in a small bamboo hut, he finds a teacher who is able to tell him everything he ever wanted to know.

This is the finial installment, the last chapter in the book, and the concluding words are written by Bob, who later became initiated by Srila Prabhupada and was given the name Brahmatīrtha dāsa.

Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Concluding words

On July 19, 1976, His Divine Grace Śrīla Prabhupāda accepted my wife and me as his disciples and initiated us with the names Bhakti-devī dāsī and Brahmatīrtha dāsa. As I reflect back on that day, I can see how fortunate I was to have met His Divine Grace and my Godbrothers in the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement.

When I was handed my beads at initiation, I promised to follow the regulative principles and to chant God’s names daily. Four years previously, Śrīla Prabhupāda had advised me to follow these principles, and within six months, he said, I could be like the other devotees; all unnecessary things (anarthas), such as mundane movies and restaurants, would cease to attract me. “The whole human life is meant for purification,” he said. I was interested in being purified, even though I did not really know what purification meant. I had gone to India with the Peace Corps hoping to find a higher level of consciousness. I could not believe that satisfying the senses was the all in all, yet I myself was bound by the senses. Later I could understand that yoga means becoming free from the dictation of the senses.

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Deciding for the Future

Srila Prabhupada speaking

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Continuing with our series of a True account entitled Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers… A search for meaning carries Bob Cohen, a young American Peace Corps worker halfway around the world, to an ancient village in the midst of West Bengal. There, in a small bamboo hut, he finds a teacher who is able to tell him everything he ever wanted to know.

Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Nine, New York—July 4, 1972

Deciding for the Future

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Now, you are a very intelligent boy. You can try to understand this philosophy. It is very important. For sense gratification people are wasting so much energy. They are not aware of what is going to happen in the next life. There is a next life, but foolish people are ignorant. This life is preparation for the next life. That they do not know. The modern education and its universities are completely in darkness about this simple knowledge. We are changing bodies every moment—that is a medical fact. After leaving this body, we will have to accept another body. How are we going to accept that body? What kind of body? This can also be known. For example, if someone is being educated, one can understand that when he passes his examination, he is going to be an engineer or medical practitioner. Similarly, in this life, you can prepare yourself to become something in the next life.

Barbara: [Bob’s wife] Can we decide what we want to be next life?

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes, you can decide. We have decided that next life we are going to Kṛṣṇa. This is our decision—back home, back to Godhead. Suppose you want to become educated. After this decision that you are going to be an engineer or you are going to be a medical practitioner, with that objective you prepare and educate yourself. Similarly, you can decide what you are going to do next life. But if you don’t decide, then the material nature will decide.

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Advancing in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness

Srila Prabhupada Letters

Continuing with our series of a True account entitled Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers… A search for meaning carries Bob Cohen, a young American Peace Corps worker halfway around the world, to an ancient village in the midst of West Bengal. There, in a small bamboo hut, he finds a teacher who is able to tell him everything he ever wanted to know.

Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Eight

Advancing in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness

(an exchange of letters)

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Acting in Knowledge of Kṛṣṇa

Srila Prabhupada

Continuing with our series of a True account entitled Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers… A search for meaning carries Bob Cohen, a young American Peace Corps worker halfway around the world, to an ancient village in the midst of West Bengal. There, in a small bamboo hut, he finds a teacher who is able to tell him everything he ever wanted to know.

Śrīla Prabhupāda:…God is the supreme proprietor, the supreme enjoyer, and He is the supreme friend. That is the statement of the Bhagavad-gītā. If anyone knows these three things, then he is in full knowledge. These three things only: that God is the proprietor of everything, God is friend of everyone, and God is the enjoyer of everything.

For example, everyone knows that in the body, the stomach is the enjoyer. Not the hands, legs, eyes, ears. These are there simply to help the stomach.

Similarly, as in this body the stomach is the enjoyer, the central figure of the whole cosmic manifestation, material or spiritual, is Kṛṣṇa, God.

…the central stomach of the whole creation is God, or Kṛṣṇa. He is the enjoyer, He is the friend, and, as the supreme proprietor, He is maintaining everyone. So these things have to be understood. Kṛṣṇa is the enjoyer, Kṛṣṇa is the proprietor, and Kṛṣṇa is the friend. If you know these three things, then your knowledge is full.

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The Perfect Devotee

Srila Prabhupada

Continuing with our series of a True account entitled Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers… A search for meaning carries Bob Cohen, a young American Peace Corps worker halfway around the world, to an ancient village in the midst of West Bengal. There, in a small bamboo hut, he finds a teacher who is able to tell him everything he ever wanted to know.

Bob: A perfected soul, a devotee, a pure devotee…

Śrīla Prabhupāda: A perfected soul is one who engages twenty-four hours a day in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is perfection. That is a transcendental position. Perfection means to engage in one’s original consciousness. That is perfection.

Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers
By His Divine Grace A.C. Baktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 6, February 29, 1972, (evening)

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Becoming Pure

Lord Caitanya at the ganga

Continuing with our series of a True account entitled Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers… A search for meaning carries Bob Cohen, a young American Peace Corps worker halfway around the world, to an ancient village in the midst of West Bengal. There, in a small bamboo hut, he finds a teacher who is able to tell him everything he ever wanted to know.

Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 5

Becoming Pure
February 29, 1972

Bob: Thank you so much for allowing me to ask my questions.

Śrīla Prabhupāda: That is my mission. People should understand the science of God. Unless we cooperate with the Supreme Lord, our life is baffled. I have given the example many times that a screw which has fallen from a machine has no value. But when the same screw is again attached to the machine, it has value. Similarly, we are part and parcel of God. So without God, what is our value? No value! We should again come back to our position of attachment to God. Then we have value.

Bob: I met a fellow today who came in the afternoon. His reason for coming—you may find it humorous—was that he heard the hippies were in Māyāpur.

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The Three Modes Of Nature

Continuing with our series of a True account entitled Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers… A search for meaning carries Bob Cohen, a young American Peace Corps worker halfway around the world, to an ancient village in the midst of West Bengal. There, in a small bamboo hut, he finds a teacher who is able to tell him everything he ever wanted to know. To download the entire book free on pdf file, click on link at bottom of post.

Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 4, February 28, 1972 (continued)

The Three Modes Of Nature

Bob: I have read that there are three guṇas—passion, ignorance and goodness—in life. I was wishing that you would explain this somewhat, especially what is meant by the mode of ignorance and the mode of goodness.

Śrīla Prabhupāda: In goodness you can understand things—knowledge. You can know that there is God, that this world was created by Him, and so many things, actual things—the sun is this, the moon is this—perfect knowledge. If one has some knowledge, even though it may not be perfect, that is goodness. And in passion one identifies with his material body and tries to gratify his senses. That is passion. And ignorance is animal life—in ignorance, one does not know what is God, how to become happy, why we are in this world. For example, if you take an animal to the slaughterhouse, it will go. This is ignorance. But a man will protest. If a goat is to be killed after five minutes but you give it a morsel of grass, it is happy because it is eating. Just like a child—even if you are planning to kill her or kill him, he is happy and laughs because he is innocent. That is ignorance.

Bob: Being in these modes determines your karma. Is that correct?

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The Real Goal of life

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Continuing with our series of a True account entitled Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers… A search for meaning carries Bob Cohen, a young American Peace Corps worker halfway around the world, to an ancient village in the midst of West Bengal. There, in a small bamboo hut, he finds a teacher who is able to tell him everything he ever wanted to know.

Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Chapter Three

The Real Goal of life
February 28, 1972 (continued)

Śrīla Prabhupāda: This movement is especially meant to enable a human being to reach the real goal of life.

Bob: The real goal… ?

Śrīla Prabhupāda: The real goal of life.

Bob: Is the real goal of life to know God?

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. To go back home, back to Godhead. That is the real goal of life. The water that comes from the sea forms clouds, the clouds fall down as rain, and the actual goal is to flow down the river and again enter the sea. So, we have come from God, and now we are embarrassed by material life. Therefore, our aim should be to get out of this embarrassing situation and go back home, back to Godhead. This is the real goal of life.

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Vedic Culture: Varṇāśrama-dharma

Continuing with our series of a True account entitled Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers… A search for meaning carries Bob Cohen, a young American Peace Corps worker halfway around the world, to an ancient village in the midst of West Bengal. There, in a small bamboo hut, he finds a teacher who is able to tell him everything he ever wanted to know.

Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 2, Vedic Culture: Varṇāśrama-dharma
February 28, 1972

Bob: I’ve asked devotees about how they feel towards sex in their relations, and I see the way they feel, but I can’t see myself acting the same way. See, I’ll be getting married at the end of this summer.

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Hm-m?

Bob: I’ll be getting married at the end of this summer, in September or August when I return to America. And the devotees say that the householders only have sex to conceive a child, and I cannot picture myself at all in such a position, and—What kind of sex life can one lead, living in the material world?

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Kṛṣṇa, the All-Attractive

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Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
February 27, 1972
Chapter One

Kṛṣṇa, the All-Attractive

Bob: What is a scientist?

Śrīla Prabhupāda: One who knows things as they are.

Bob: He thinks he knows things as they are.

Śrīla Prabhupāda: What?

Bob: He hopes he knows things as they are.

Śrīla Prabhupāda: No, he is supposed to know. We approach the scientist because he is supposed to know things correctly. A scientist means one who knows things as they are. Kṛṣṇa means “all-attractive.”

Bob: All-attractive.

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes. So unless God is all-attractive, how can He be God? A man is important when he is attractive. Is it not?

Bob: It is so.

Śrīla Prabhupāda: So, God must be attractive and attractive for all. Therefore, if God has any name, or if you want to give any name to God, only “Kṛṣṇa” can be given.

Bob: But why only the name Kṛṣṇa?

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Because He’s all-attractive. Kṛṣṇa means“all-attractive.”

Bob: Oh, I see.

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Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers

This begins a new series of a True account. A search for meaning carries Bob Cohen, a young American Peace Corps worker halfway around the world, to an ancient village in the midst of West Bengal. There, in a small bamboo hut, he finds a teacher who is able to tell him everything he ever wanted to know. To download the entire book you may click the link at bottom for entire book on pdf, or you can visit Krishna Path .org to download in epub format.

Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers
Conversations between His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
and Bob Cohen a Peace Corp worker in India

Introduction

God, spiritual life—those were such vague terms to me before I met Śrīla Prabhupāda. I have always been interested in religion, but before I met the Kṛṣṇa conscious devotees, somehow I did not have the proper perspective needed to inquire fruitfully about spiritual life. The existence of a Creator is only common sense—but who is God? Who am I? I had been to Hebrew School and had studied Oriental philosophy, but I could never get satisfying answers to my questions.

I first heard the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra in Greenwich Village, New York, in late 1968.

hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa
kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma
rāma rāma hare hare

The chanting was captivating, and it made me feel very comfortable. The mantra stuck in my mind, and I soon regretted that I had not taken a magazine from the devotees. As explained to me later, a transcendental seed had been planted that could eventually ripen into love of Godhead.

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108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

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The Hare Krishna Cookbook

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

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Srimad Bhagavatam Online

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Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

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