Concluding Words

perfect questions, perfect answers1

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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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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The Perfect Devotee

Jesus and Lamb

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.

…The spiritual master has to take the responsibility for all the sinful activities of his disciples…He takes responsibility for all the fallen souls. That idea is also in the Bible. Jesus Christ took all the sinful reactions of the people and sacrificed his life. That is the responsibility of a spiritual master.

Perfect Questions Perfect Answers
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
February 29, 1972, evening
Chapter Six

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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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