In really need of guidene.

Hi.

I'm really in need of guidence.
I am involved in the animal rights movement i Sweden, we have alot of demonstrations and we also save animals that are being threatend of being killed by gasing drowning etc.. I know Hare Krishna devotees have a mission of spreading the non-violence diet Lacto-vegetarianism, so I have philosofical questions about theese things in relation to my wonderings.

In recent time I have had some spiritual experiences that have changed alot in my thinking. I have a spiritual master who talks alot about enlightenment and this bothers me very much actually. Let me explain.

Hare Krishna devotees often have regular jobs, right?
My job is saving animals and also humans, but primaraly the ones who are the most abused.

I trust the Vedas in many aspects, mainly in the metapsysical aspects; reincarnation, the beleif that God exist.

Now; since my master, who is not a swami but I see him as a realized being talks alot about enlightenment and God, but very little about Saving beings from fysical pain and slow death.

First I wonder: Does fysical pain exist for humans and animals?
Do we have an obligation to relieve someone who is in pain? Physical or mental? Spiritual salvation and saving beings from a much too early death, for example.

I wonder, do I have to become enlighend in THIS life? Can't i  simply choose, like the Buddhists, to not enter Nirvana and choose to being born again, with the intention to not enter until every being is saved???

There comes a question of what is the most effective way though, and how could anyone know? Can you? Can anyone? Except God of course. But he does not tell me in this state of cncioussness that I am in most of the time.

I would be really greatful if you could answer all of my stated questions.
1. Does humans and animals feel pain? Mental and psysical
2. Do a devotee have the obligation to relieve someone of intense intense pain, psysical of menta?
3. Do I have to become enlightend in THIS life?
4. Can I ignore the goal of enlightenment?
5. Is my efforts in vain since I do not know how many beings I will save with my various methods?
6. Should I be involved in helping others?

I often go to the Hare Krishna Temple in Stockholm.

Thank you soo much.

Go with God

John

Hare Krsna John, thanks for

Hare Krsna John,

thanks for your questions.

Enlightenment is quite a vague term. Vaisnavas prefer 'self-realization', i.e. realization of one's true position vis-a-vis God, Krsna. This automatically includes solving one's material problems because Krsna personally takes care of such liberated devotees.

1. Everyone who didn't transcend one's connection to the subtle and physical body feels pain when they're hurt. That's pretty much everyone in the material world of which suffering is a prominent characteristic.

2. Vaisnava doesn't want anyone to suffer and thus helps as much as he can. He understands that the best help is to make someone Krsna conscious. With increase of one's Krsna consciousness the material pain decreases.

3. Everyone in a human body has a chance to realize one's position in one life. In practice it takes more lifetimes in human body.

4. Ignoring it is a sign of ignorance. One doesn't know if it's worthy etc. because of lack of information and realization.

5. No material and non-material effort is in vain. Every effort brings some result. The Lord in our heart, Paramatma, sees all our intentions and actions and suggests to avoid bad actions.
It's up to our free will if we listen or not.

6. Sure. Ideally by learning how to help the best, as per 2.

The most effective methods of bhakti yoga are listed in Caitanya caritamrta 2.22.128:

http://vedabase.net/cc/madhya/22/128/en

How do we know? Vaisnavas have three sources of knowledge: scriptures, gurus and sadhus (saintly practitioners).

Hope this helps. If you have more questions please read our books, you'll find answers.

Your servant, Jan

PS: I know the temple and restaurant at Fridhemsgatan well. I used to serve in Korsnas Gard for four years.