No material object can support one’s attainment of the transcendental goal. The only thing that facilitates this is the awakening of the inclination towards Iswara (God). This inclination is inherent within the Jivatma (living entity), and is gradually strengthened and converted into Bhakti when one utters the name of God, recites His pastimes, and receives inspiration from beholding the Deity (Sri Vigraha).
The Shastra (vedic scriptures) were manifested from this merciful consideration of Sri Bhagavan (GOD). Issuing forth by His mercy, the sun of the Shastra arose in the sky of the hearts of the ancient Aryans, and illuminated all the injunctions and rules to be followed by the populace.
In the beginning was the Veda-Shastra. One part of the Veda-Shastra teaches pious activities directed toward the attainment of material fruits (Karma); one part teaches knowledge directed toward liberation (Jnana), and another part teaches devotion with love and affection for Bhagavan (Bhakti). The Jivas (living enteritis) who are infatuated with Maya (illusion) are found in many different conditions. Some are completely stupefied, some have a little knowledge, and some are knowledgeable in many subjects. The Shastra provides different types of instructions that are consistent with the different mentalities of the Jivas. This differentiation is known as Adhikara, eligibility.
About Kamika Ekadasi and the relation to Srimati Tulsi Devi
Oh Naradji, Lord Shri Hari Himself once said about this Ekadasi:
One who fasts on Kamika Ekadasi attains much more merit than one who studies all the spiritual literatures.
Anyone who fasts on this particular day remains awake throughout the night will never experience the anger of Yamaraja, the king of death personified.
It has been seen that whoever observes Kamika Ekadasi will not have to suffer future births, and in the past too, many Yogis of devotion who fasted on this day went to the spiritual world. One should therefore follow in their auspicious footsteps and strictly observe a fast on this most auspicious of Ekadasis.
Surya, the Sun, gives life potency to the living entities. Because of its connection with Surya, Makhara-sankranti is very auspicious. On that day, almost everyone with any connection to Vedic or Indian culture takes bath, either in the Godavari, Jamuna, Ganges, or in any other river, or in the ocean. This takes place especially in India, but it also goes on to some extent around the world. On this day it is auspicious to give donations to others.
purodhasāḿ ca mukhyaḿ māḿ
viddhi pārtha bṛhaspatim
senānīnām ahaḿ skandaḥ
sarasām asmi sāgaraḥ
Translation of Bhagavad Gita 10.24
Of priests, O Arjuna, know Me to be the chief, Brihaspati. Of generals I am Kartikeya, and of bodies of water I am the ocean.
Commentary by Sri A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Indra is the chief demigod of the heavenly planets and is known as the king of the heavens. The planet on which he reigns is called Indraloka. Brihaspati is Indra’s priest, and since Indra is the chief of all kings, Brihaspati is the chief of all priests. And as Indra is the chief of all kings, similarly Skanda, or Kartikeya, the son of Parvati and Lord Shiva, is the chief of all military commanders. And of all bodies of water, the ocean is the greatest. These representations of Krishna only give hints of His greatness.
Why you should not eat meat is also described in the oldest holy, religiose and philosophical scriptures that can be found on planet earth, like the vedic Manu-samhita and Mahabharata.
The self-created Manu has said that the man who does not eat meat, or who does not kill living creatures, or who does not cause them to be killed, is a friend of all creatures.
Manu-Samhita: Manu Smriti @ Wikipedia
“Meat can never be obtained without injury to living creatures, and injury to sentient beings is detrimental to the attainment of heavenly bliss; let him therefore shun the use of meat. Having well considered the disgusting origin of flesh and the cruelty of fettering and slaying corporeal beings, let him entirely abstain from eating flesh.”(Manu-samhita 5.48-49)
In the vedic scriptures you can find answers that are good to know. Where do we come from? Clear statement we can find also in the purports of the mantras 16. and 17. of the Śrī Īśopaniṣad given bei A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. That is a standard book and all Vaishnavas and truth-seeker should have read it and accept the philosophical points.
(from mantra 16.)
The all-pervading feature of the Lord – which exists in all circumstances of waking and sleeping as well as in potential states and from which the jīva-śakti (living force) is generated as both conditioned and liberated souls – is known as Brahman.
* (Sanskrit – ancient Indic language, classical literary language of India)
Lord Siva said:
Oh beautiful lady (Parvati), know that the Visnu, Narada, Bhagavata, Garuda, Padma and Varaha Puranas are sattvika; the Brahmanda, Brahma-vaivarta, Markandeya, Bhavisya, Vamana and Brahma Puranas are rajasika; and the Matsya, Kurma, Linga, Siva, Skanda and Agni Puranas are tamasika.
Purāṇas are made just to complete Vedic knowledge, or supplementary addition to the Vedic literature. Because Vedic literature is very difficult to understand, therefore they have been expanded by the Purāṇas for different classes of men. So there are three divisions of the Purāṇas: sattvika Purāṇa, rājasika Purāṇa and tamasika Purāṇa.
In Hinduism, the river Ganga is considered sacred and is personified as a goddess Ganga. It is worshipped by Hindus who believe that bathing in the river causes the remission of sins and facilitates Moksha (liberation from the cycle of life and death) the water of Ganga is considered very pure. Pilgrims immerse the ashes of their kin in the Ganges, which is considered by them to bring the spirits closer to moksha.
In Manu Samhita states that we shouldn’t drink (or offer to God):
The milk of a cow (or other female animal) within ten days after her calving, that of camels, of one-hoofed animals, of sheep, of a cow in heat, or of one that has no calf with her.
…and all dairy cows are without calves from the first day!
Rig veda 10 87 17 (from the Indian Cow issue 33):
Milk derived forcibly from cows is poisonous and leads to many kinds of incurable diseases.