Question: My understanding is that on a superior level of analysis, Brahman is made of persons: Jivas, like light is made of photons. Am I right?
Answer: No, Brahman is not made of jivas. Jivas are the tatastha sakti of Bhagavan and Brahman is Bhagavan with unmanifest qualities. Moreover, Brahman has no parts. If it were made of jivas, it would have parts in it.
Question: I am born in a particular family, so I have certain duties. It’s my dharma. I am also born in a certain country. The country is like a big family on a broad social level, so is it also my dharma to serve my country? Is patriotism also a dharmic duty?
Answer: There are two types of dharma, for the atma and for the body. Whatever you have described above is related with the body. We cannot neglect or avoid the body and its dharma. But we have to keep in mind that the execution of dharma related to body should be to support the atma dharma which is our real dharma. Previously in India there was Varnashrama dharma in relation to body and it was designed to support and lead to atma dharma. At present such is not the case. So my advice is that we do our duty to family, relations and country, keeping in mind our real dharma, not independent of the real dharma. If you do them independent of atma dharma, they will only bring material result which means bondage and suffering.
Question: The physical body loses its ability to properly function with time. Is the subtle body also degrading with time? Is senility of senior people only due to bad living (mental and physical)? Can’t it be also an influence of the inexorable time (like for the physical body)?
Answer: The subtle body also changes with time. Everything material undergoes change constantly.
Senility is an outcome of time as well as lifestyle.
Question: My mother, who has been a devotee for 20 years, has diabetes. The last time she had a hypoglycemic crisis she almost lost consciousness and forgot everything….even Krsna! So it seems that her Krsna consciousness had disappeared and is only mental. Where is her Krsna consciousness in such difficult situation? Is Krsna so easily forgotten?
Answer: I cannot answer this question satisfactorily unless I know the person. Krishna consciousness is not black and white state i.e., either you have it or you do not. There is also an in-between stage before attaining perfection, the sadhana stage. KC is never lost if one has it. One may not be able to express it due to a defect in the senses and brain.