Vaisnava culture is based on the philosophy of understanding the Absolute Truth as described in the Vedic literature, that human life is meant for God-realization. That’s Vaisnava culture.

Lecture on "Vaisnava Culture" – 13th Oct 2000

Srila Prabhupada told how even his own mother used to eat with her left hand. In Indian culture you only eat with your right hand, but she took a vow that she would use her left hand until her son notices-means he himself, when he was a young boy. So that may seem like some superstition, but in the Vedas it's said that the first guru is the mother.

Lecture on "Vaisnava Culture" – 13th Oct 2000

Mother – The First Guru

Srila Prabhupada told how even his own mother used to eat with her left hand. In Indian culture you only eat with your right hand, but she took a vow that she would use her left hand until her son notices-means he himself, when he was a young boy. So that may seem like some superstition, but in the Vedas it's said that the first guru is the mother.

Lecture on "Vaisnava Culture" – 13th Oct 2000

The mother is the first to teach and the teaching begins very early in life, even before the children can comprehend. I’ve seen this in Bangladesh. The Hindu women bring their little children—they can’t even walk or talk—and they will bring them and physically bow them down. They [the children] don’t know what they’re doing; they have no idea what’s going on. They [the mothers] touch their [the children’s] heads to the ground in front of the Deities, or they would come up to a sadhu and touch the baby’s head. So at the very beginning of life they will start teaching these things, and then what happens is that by the age of five years old they [the children] automatically know. As soon as any sadhu comes, they will automatically bow down.

Lecture on "Vaisnava Culture" – 13th Oct 2000

Teaching The Children

The mother is the first to teach and the teaching begins very early in life, even before the children can comprehend. I’ve seen this in Bangladesh. The Hindu women bring their little children—they can’t even walk or talk—and they will bring them and physically bow them down. They [the children] don’t know what they’re doing; they have no idea what’s going on. They [the mothers] touch their [the children’s] heads to the ground in front of the Deities, or they would come up to a sadhu and touch the baby’s head. So at the very beginning of life they will start teaching these things, and then what happens is that by the age of five years old they [the children] automatically know. As soon as any sadhu comes, they will automatically bow down.

Lecture on "Vaisnava Culture" – 13th Oct 2000

In the Vedic culture there are different principles for auspicious life. One should rise early in the morning. Rising after dawn is considered sinful, because early morning is the best for spiritual advancement and human life is meant for spiritual advancement. So if you rise late, you are spoiling your human form of life.

Lecture on "Vaisnava Culture" – 13th Oct 2000

Principles for Auspicious Life

In the Vedic culture there are different principles for auspicious life. One should rise early in the morning. Rising after dawn is considered sinful, because early morning is the best for spiritual advancement and human life is meant for spiritual advancement. So if you rise late, you are spoiling your human form of life.

Lecture on "Vaisnava Culture" – 13th Oct 2000

Now the British stopped this [sati rite] when they were ruling, because sometimes it was being misused. In the Western world no one can understand; it's just considered like murder, or something like that. But they don't understand that people had so much faith that the soul continues to live after the death of the body, so they don't feel that the destruction of the body is something very bad. They consider, "Anyway, we have died so many times, but the wife's duty is to follow her husband throughout life and even to the next life. So they are trained like that at a very young age, and that's the whole meaning of their existence-the women-how they serve their husbands and help him to advance in spiritual life and whatever destination he gets they follow him, like a joint effort.
Lecture on "Vaisnava Culture" – 13th Oct 2000

Sati Rite

Now the British stopped this [sati rite] when they were ruling, because sometimes it was being misused. In the Western world no one can understand; it's just considered like murder, or something like that. But they don't understand that people had so much faith that the soul continues to live after the death of the body, so they don't feel that the destruction of the body is something very bad. They consider, "Anyway, we have died so many times, but the wife's duty is to follow her husband throughout life and even to the next life. So they are trained like that at a very young age, and that's the whole meaning of their existence-the women-how they serve their husbands and help him to advance in spiritual life and whatever destination he gets they follow him, like a joint effort.
Lecture on "Vaisnava Culture" – 13th Oct 2000

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