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IS NECESSARY TO REMOVE ALL THE HAIR FROM THE HEAD OF A BABY (MUNDAN OR TONSURE)?
Posted on: 16/12/2019

Smt. Priyanka Seethepalli asked: Is it mandatory to do the muṇḍan ceremony (tonsure) of a baby? Does it have any religious significance? Commonly, after performing the pujā in a temple, a few snippets of the baby’s hair are taken off and later, the parents are supposed to get all of the baby’s birth hair shaved off. Is this necessary?

Swami replied: Removing the hair from the head of a baby may be good from a scientific point...

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HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO MATCH THE HOROSCOPES OF THE BRIDE AND THE GROOM BEFORE GETTING MARRIED?
Posted on: 16/12/2019

Smt. Priyanka Seethepalli asked: Is kuṇḍali or horoscope-matching very important for marriages? In some marriages, even though the horoscope has been matched, the couples seem to be having a lot of inter-personal problems and they do not get along well. Should people still match the horoscopes anyway, just to err on the safe side? It is also said that the cutting of hair and nails should only be done on specific days and not at night time. Do such rules apply even today?

Swami replied: The subject of astrology as written by ancient sages is correct. However, the astrologer must interpret the horoscope in the correct way. The astrological planets are not the inert planets, but the deities of the inert planets. They are nothing but the various forces of the unimaginable power of God. They deliver the fruits of the deeds of souls, as per the schedule of life cycles, which are arranged by God. The inert planets, which exist in space, are made of inert matter...

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DO SINFUL SOULS, WHO ARE BORN AS PLANTS AND ANIMALS, EVER GET ANOTHER HUMAN BIRTH?
Posted on: 16/12/2019

Smt. Priyanka Seethepalli asked: I have read in one of your articles that some souls are born as fish and trees to train those souls regarding sacrifice. Once that birth is over and God feels that the soul has indeed learnt its lesson, are they born as human beings again in order to give them a second chance at having a human birth?

Swami replied: Sinners who have used their qualities greed and anger in the wrong direction...

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HOW ARE SOULS IN ANIMAL BODIES JUDGED BY GOD?
Posted on: 16/12/2019

Smt. Priyanka Seethepalli asked: The fate of some herbivorous animals is decided by birth itself since they will be killed and eaten by some carnivores. A carnivorous animal, by nature, is designed to hunt, kill and eat other animals. So, how is the judgment done for animals? Also, once an animal or any creature dies, do their souls get energetic bodies that are of the form of that same animal? Do they also have wait for their judgment for ten days, like human souls?

Swami replied: Once a soul enters the cycle of births of animals and birds, they generally continue to have the same attitudes...

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WHY DO SOME SOULS REMAIN ON EARTH AS GHOSTS INSTEAD OF CROSSING OVER?
Posted on: 16/12/2019

Smt. Priyanka Seethepalli asked: Why do some souls haunt places on Earth instead of crossing over? We hear stories where some people can even see these ghosts. Some spirits even try to enter living human beings and cause them harm. I heard that some harmless spirits just wander around for years. How come those souls did not face any judgment after 10 days of their death? Also, how does a soul transform into an evil spirit and why do evil spirits harm people? Is having complete faith in God to protect us, the answer to preventing these spirits from approaching us?

Swami replied: There is no difference between ghosts and persons who have extreme attachment or fascination to worldly things. It is only due to their extreme worldly fascination that souls enter invisible energetic bodies called ghosts, after death. They continue to wander in this world untill their fascination gets pacified. Such a judgment is given by God to the soul having extreme worldly fascination, on the 10th day after the death of the soul. Such ghosts or spirits occasionally enter us and cause...

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IS IT GOOD TO DONATE OUR ORGANS AND CHOOSE ELECTRIC CREMATION INSTEAD OF TRADITIONAL CREMATION?
Posted on: 16/12/2019

Smt. Priyanka Seethepalli asked: Is it considered wrong if someone chooses to donate one’s organs and go through electric cremation after they die? Is it alright in terms of skipping the traditional way of being cremated? What all rituals should their family members follow before and after electric cremation?

Swami replied: Donating organs after death is a meritorious deed...

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IS IT RIGHT OR WRONG FOR A PERSON TO CHANGE THE GENDER THEY ARE BORN WITH?
Posted on: 16/12/2019

Smt. Priyanka Seethepalli asked: Nowadays, due to medical technology, transgenders are going through surgery and hormone injections to attain the physical features of the gender they wish to have. Some of them feel trapped in the body of the gender they were born with and they are willing to go through whatever is needed to change their gender.

Swami replied: Gender is, in no way, connected with the soul. It is only related to the external gross body. The change of gender is a subject only related to worldly issues and not to spiritual issues. In view of the souls, there is no difference in gender. All souls belong to only one gender and that is female. God alone is said to be the male (Puruṣa) in the sense...

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IS IT SIN FOR A RAPE VICTIM TO ABORT THE FETUS?
Posted on: 16/12/2019

[Reply tp a question by Smt. Priyanka Seethepalli] Swami replied: Rape is the sin of the rapist and not the sin of the raped lady. There is no need to have an abortion...

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ARE GAY RELATIONSHIPS ACCEPTABLE FROM A SPIRITUAL STANDPOINT?
Posted on: 16/12/2019

Smt. Priyanka Seethapalli asked: What is your take on legalizing gay marraiges? It is already legal in some states in USA and we see many gay couples who are even raising children together. There are some people who say that all gay people will be condemned to hell and parents disown their own children when they come to know that their children are gay. There is so much social taboo and shame in accepting gay people.

Swami replied: Any inborn defect in this life is only the fruit of some sin done in the past lives. A person who mocks at a eunuch, is born as a eunuch in his next life. If the eunuch is reformed in this birth and becomes a strong devotee of God, God will remove the defect and bless the soul even using His miraculous...

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IS EUTHANASIA OR MERCY KILLING WRONG OR A SIN?
Posted on: 15/12/2019

Smt. Priyanka Seethepalli asked: Is euthanasia or mercy killing wrong or a sin, particularly in the following cases:Case 1: Sometimes, a cancer patient at the hospital is told by a doctor that, with a lot of effort, they can prolong their life by 6 more months or a year, at the most. But the patient opts for no more suffering from chemotherapy or any other types of medical interventions and choses to lead the remaining life in doing what he or she likes. The patient chooses not to fight for living a little bit longer and instead, makes peace with his or her upcoming death. Is this wrong? Should patients always...

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IS PLASTIC SURGERY DONE TO IMPROVE ONE'S PHYSICAL FEATURES, A SIN?
Posted on: 15/12/2019

[Reply to a question by Smt. Priyanka Seethepalli] Swami replied: Plastic surgery might become essential for professional reasons. A beautiful film actress got plastic surgery done to make the tip of her flat nose a little long and lean because she has to act...

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HOW CAN HINDUS EXPLAIN THE MULTIPLICITY OF GODS TO PEOPLE OF OTHER RELIGIONS?
Posted on: 15/12/2019

Smt. Priyanka Seethepalli asked: One of my Christian friends asked me “Why does Hinduism have so many forms of Gods and Goddesses? We have only Jesus Christ. Muslims have only Allah. Buddhism has only Lord Buddha and so on. How can one keep up with so many forms? Are you supposed to just pick whom you like and focus on that form”? How should I answer such questions?

Swami replied: The above question regarding the multiplicity of Gods in Hinduism itself contains the answer because the questioner asked “Are you supposed to just pick whom you like and focus on that form?” Hinduism is a micro-model of the macro-world. What you see in the world, you also see in the Hindu religion at a micro-level. In the world, you have picked up the form of Jesus since you liked it and you are focusing on it. Did you ask other people in the world, “Why are there so many forms of God existing in the world when Jesus alone is God?” Some other person has picked Allah, who has no form. Some other person picked Buddha...

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IS HUMAN COLONIZATION OF MARS, GOD'S PLAN OR HUMAN AMBITION?
Posted on: 15/12/2019

Smt. Priyanka Seethepalli asked: Nowadays, we are hearing so much about scientists trying to study the planet Mars, as a possible planet to host human life and other life forms. There are many theories where they are predicting that humans will, one day, live on Mars. There is a saying I have heard since childhood, “Without Lord Śiva’s order, even an ant will not move a step...

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HOW CAN ONE DISTINGUISH BETWEEN GOD'S PLAN AND HUMAN FREE WILL?
Posted on: 15/12/2019

Smt. Priyanka Seethepalli asked: Swami, can you please enlighten us regarding the difference between God’s plan and the free will of mankind. Can you extend the same concept of God’s will to various human actions like deforestation and killing of animals resulting in the extinction of some animal species like gorillas...

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IS IT ALRIGHT FOR VEGETARIANS TO CONSUME MUSHROOMS?
Posted on: 14/12/2019

Shri Manikanta asked: Padanamskaram Swamiji! Are mushrooms considered vegetarian food or non-vegetarian? Please enlighten us on this point. Manikanta

Swami replied: The main issue is to ensure that the food you eat is not obtained by causing an animal to suffer the agony of being killed. Mushrooms are fungi. Scientists do not classify fungi as either plants (botany) or animals (zoology). We even consume foods containing bacteria such as curd from milk. Mushrooms do not exhibit pain and suffering as an animal or bird does, when it is killed. Therefore, mushrooms can be consumed...

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HOW CAN ONE REMAIN HAPPY AND ETHICAL THROUGHOUT ONE'S LIFE?
Posted on: 14/12/2019

Kum. Amudha asked: Dear Swami! How can one remain happy in one’s life even in difficult times. How can one be good and ethical, at all times? At Your Divine Feet. Amudha.

Swami replied: The only way that your wish will come true is when you accept the existence of God and develop devotion to Him. Devotion is developed when you come to know the true details and divine qualities of His personality. If one is always inspired by God and is certain that God will punish sinners...

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WHAT IS THE DUTY OF A WOMAN IN THE WORLD?
Posted on: 14/12/2019

Smt. Rupa Murthy asked: Padanamaskaram Swamiji! I really admire your different perspectives and the underlying meanings of Your discourses. I have a few questions, which I have presented below. My questions are related to a woman’s duty in this world. What is most important in a woman’s life? Is dealing with a toxic relationship considered great? Or is being a mother considered great? Or is pursuing a career great? A woman can successfully manage all such roles together, only if she finds a proper life-partner...

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WAS JESUS CHRIST LORD KRISHNA HIMSELF?
Posted on: 13/12/2019

Shri Ahsan Habib, Dhaka asked: Hello, I was reading your article about the Incarnation of God. I wonder, what if, Jesus Christ was Lord Krishna Himself! Could you please explain your point of view? Kind regards, Ahsan Habib (Sabuz), Dhaka.

Swami replied: All Human Incarnations of God, belonging to all religions, are one and the same, since the unimaginable God present in each of them is one and the same. But it does not mean that Krishna is Jesus Himself. The unimaginable God is like the gold metal from which various ornaments are made. From the standpoint of gold, both the golden chain and the golden bangle are one and the same. But from the standpoint of the design of the ornament, the bangle is different from the chain. Thus, there is an internal unity...

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IS THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS FALSE?
Posted on: 13/12/2019

Shri Ahsan Habib, Dhaka asked: You have said that Jesus did not die on the cross and that, with the help of His disciples, He escaped to India, where he died at the age of 85. So, does it not mean that His resurrection was false?

Swami replied: What do you mean by resurrection? If it means rising from the dead, there is no problem in saying that Jesus was resurrected after three days. There are different versions of the life of Jesus. As per one version, Jesus died on being crucified and rose from the dead again. Then, after His resurrection, He travelled to India and lived for many decades, during which He interacted with many Indian philosophers. Finally, at the age of 85 years, the inevitable death of His mortal body took place and the tomb of Jesus exists...

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HOW CAN WE CONFIDENTLY ANSWER DIFFICULT PEOPLE WHO IMPOSE FALSE BELIEFS ON US?
Posted on: 13/12/2019

Shri Balaji asked: Respected Swamiji, Namaste. Many times, when we meet strangers, they might act like good persons. Sometimes, they might even pretend to be great devotees, just to fool others or due to their ego or over-confidence. Perhaps, some of them might even be genuine and might have the best of intentions. But in a short meeting, it is difficult to know the reality of people. So, usually, I end up giving the benefit of the doubt to them and assume...

Swami replied: Every person is an individual soul with an ego. The ego makes the person think that he or she is preaching true spiritual knowledge or a true philosophy. The person also expects others to become his disciples and accept and follow him. It gives pleasure to the soul. No one wants to always remain a disciple and receive knowledge from a divine preacher. It makes the person feel inferior...

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