Will Performing our Prescribed duties, ie, Karma Yoga give rebirth?
A devotee (Name hidden) asked like this:
-Isn’t it so that worshiping Krishna is also good, for material things?
-Isn’t it so that one should show respects to demi-gods but worship is only for Krishna?
-Even unknowingly chanting Hare Krishna, destroys Karma, so why pray to demi-gods? Did Srila Prabhupada, on whoms books you are basing your posts, approve of your advice?
-Should be a beginners try to become good Krishna devotees or start with “prescribed duties” and work Karma away?
-Isn’t it so that devotional service (the 9 steps) is sufficient to destroy Karma.
Why am I posting questions you may wonder? Well it is because I read, alot of information. And I am now wondering that isn’t it so that yes, if you are not inclined to worship Krishna 100% without material desires, you can, actually you must, follow your prescribed duties, and get a good next birth. But isn’t this sense gratification? And that is forbidden for human beings?
Should’t we follow that process which leads to release of reincarnation. So with your advice, aren’t you leading everyone to get a birth again? Shouldn’t we do devotional service (which means living simple, in a farm community and follow the 9 steps) and try to not get birth in next life?
I know that is difficult now but we should try it, right?
Thanks again for your post.
Performing the prescribed duties will give karma if we do them for our pleasure. If the same are done to satisfy Krishna, we do not incur karma.
For example, Arjuna did his prescribed duties of fighting the war just because Krishna ordered him. Similarly, Krishna ordered us to perform our prescribed duties without the attachment to results and dedicating the results to Him. So, when we perform our assigned/prescribed duties without the attachment to results and dedicating the results to Krishna, we will not incur karma.
But, by not performing our prescribed duties, we will incur karma. Krishna Himself says that he too is performing His duties of managing all His creations.
So, it is recommended to perform our prescribed duties.
One should show respects to the demigods because they are serving Krishna and hence come under the category of vaishnavas. When we honour the vaishnavas, Krishna will be happy. But, we should have keep in mind that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
If it is true that all our karma will be wiped off just by saying Hare Krishna Maha Manthra once, everyone will do that and clear their karma and there will be no sinners in this world and all the people will be in Vaikunta.
Certain statements are said to encourage us to chant. It is true in one aspect. If you chant only once, you will like to chant more. Then, you will chant again. Then, again and again. Thus, you will start to chant regularly.
Because of this regular chanting, you will develop material detachment and attachment to Krishna. This will take you to Krishna.
This is the hidden fact in that statement.
And, I did not recommend worshiping demigods, but, recommended showing respects only. Even worshiping demigods praying for the development in the devotion to Krishna is also good. A Vaishnava will always pray for Krishna bakthi from other Vaishnavas and demigods.
Demigods are NOT untouchables. They are vaishnavas who are worshipable expecting Krishna bakthi.
(4) Of course, the Nine stages of bakthi are capable of leading to Krishna. But where it is said that performing prescribed duties is a prohibited one for the vaishnavas? Bhakti Yoga is inclusive of all other yogas.
It is said that a bakthi yogi does not have any duties to perform. This does not mean, he should not work to manage his own body. He has no obligation or compulsion to work. That’s all.
Following bakthi yoga is customizable. One can follow the same from his own set up. King Janaka followed bakthi yoga even as a king while performing his duties as a Kshatriya. Even the great acharyas like Sri Ramanuja, Srila Prabhupada, etc., followed their grahastha dharma and performed their duties to their wife and family. Only when their family started to make them think that they can’t follow devotion in their families, they left their families and took sanyasa, that too, after trying to change their family members that went in vein.
At the same time, when the wife and the family members are cooperative, why should a devotee skip his duties to his family?
When he has a good job, why should he quit the same? Why can’t he follow devotional practices (9 stages of bakthi), and do his job keeping Krishna always in mind?
See, we should be in the thoughts of Krishna all the time. That is the only condition.
A teacher can use his job to speak about Krishna to his students now and then in the form of stories.
An office employee can introduce Krishna Consciousness to his co-employees.
We are giving new devotees to Krishna. Krishna will be double happy over that.
When Sri Ramanuja tried to avoid marriage, he had to marry because of the wish of his mother. He told about this to one of his guru:
“I tried to avoid marriage. But, I think that Bhagawan wants me to take one more soul (wife) to His abode”
This is the right mindset. After convincing himself like this, he lived a grahastha life.
Thus, we have to go with the situations and make use of the available situation to manage our devotioanl practices.
What practices Gopis did? Love with Krishna is spontaneous. It can’t be contained in a certain number of rules. It is beyond rules, but spontaneous.
Does every boy read a book like “How to love a girl?” before loving a girl?
Some chemistry is happening inside the heart and mind and the boy starts to develop love on a girl with no classes, text books, prior experience, etc.
Similarly, bhakti yoga does not fall under any rules or syllabus. These stages are given just to understand the concept of bhakti yoga in an organized manner.
If we are more academic, we can’t develop a spontaneous love on Krishna because we will approach Krishna with a professional mindset.
Thus, Bakthi on Krishna is spontaneous. Natural. Anyone in any material status can develop and follow devotion to Krishna.
This is called RAGANUGA BAKTHI that is the topmost form of devotion followed by Gopis, Vraj vasis, etc.
(5) Yes. We can approach Krishna for material needs also. He is also a devotee. However, accepting our karma and face the life as it is and love Krishna for want of nothing except His love is the topmost form of devotion as said by Krishna Himself in Bhagavad Gita.
Hope you are clear.