Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

why Krishna and not others?

Another day, someone asked why Krishna and why not Jesus?

We all have opinions. That makes us who we are. Between different opinions, an expert's opinion is given weight. Between experts, the expert with extensive knowledge and experience is given weight. Like this we can deduce logically that commonly, when opinions are sought, the person with the most knowledge and experience weighs out others' opinions. If we also know the amount of mistakes one commits then that can still filter out opinions. Above all this, if we know the person really cares about me and my well-being then that opinion still stands high.

So anyone's opinion who has a combination of all three (extent of knowledge,lack of error and well-being) to a high degree can be accepted. In that regard, Krishna is faultless (perfect), all-knowing (omniscient) and friend of all beings. Above that, He is also the person who owns everything in this cosmos. Therefore, we accept Krishna's opinion versus another say like Jesus or someone else.

Therefore, O Lord, feeling weary of material life and tormented by its distresses, I now surrender unto You because You are the perfect master. You are the unlimited, all-knowing Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose spiritual abode in Vaikuṇṭha is free from all disturbances. In fact, You are known as Nārāyaṇa, the true friend of all living beings. - Uddhava to Krishna - SB 11.7.18

Hare Krishna


Thursday, August 30, 2018

why the Bible and Koran fall short

Someone asked me a question when I was distributing books the difference between Bhagavad Gita and the Bible and why the Gita is any different. It was sort of a challenging question. I thought about the question more and below are some of my points. This logic can also extend to the Koran.

The Bible and Koran although existing for the past 2000 and 1500 years respectively, have not been recognized as authoritative scriptures by the great acharyas like Sri Ramanuja and Madhwa. In fact, none of the saintly teachers give lot of credence to the Bible and Koran. A few of them have commented on some of its value, however, it is not accepted as a spiritual authority.

Bible and Koran was spoken for a different audience at a specific time and place. Following are, in my opinion, shortcomings that to me invalidate it as a scripture.

  1. God is anonymous - If a book is meant to be the word of God, then the least the reader should be aware of is the identity of God? In fact, even the name of God is not properly revealed. There are suggestions, certainly, but the name, form, and pastimes of God is anonymous. 
  2. The early reciters are anonymous - The Bible and Koran was transferred from one generation to next mainly through oral tradition. The stories were told and re-told to this day. However, we do not have documentation of the identity and qualification of the story tellers. In the Bhagavad Gita, the speaker is very clear and later on, through the chain of disciplic succession from Maha muni Vyasa, the speakers are clear and their qualifications known. The same cannot be said of the Bible or Koram.  
  3. The authors are anonymous - The Bible and Koran were heard and written by scholars of unknown origin. The old testament, however, especially the first five books called the Torah were written by Moses and the later books were written by some known people. However, as for the New Testament, the stories in the Gospel, the authors are under question. Luke, Mark, Mathew and John are said to be the disciples of Jesus but this is not universally accepted by all. Anyways, the issue of authorship of the Gospels is a deeper subject and is beyond my knowledge but the bottom line is that the identity and qualification of the authors of the Gospels is not revealed. The there are letters by St. Paul but these are not direct words of God. Similarly, the Koran originally was written by members in the audience Prophet Mohammed was speaking but as for their identity, it is not known.
So with God, the reciters and authors being anonymous, it is difficult to consider these books in par with books like Bhagavad Gita and or Srimad Bhagavatam. Approximately 60% of the world population read either the Bible and or Koran and we respect the book and the people who consider it sacred. But in my opinion and under stringent scrutiny, the Bible and Koran are books on ethics and human morality but cannot be taken as a book about the form, nature and pastimes of God!

Hare Krishna

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

homogenous vs heterogenous cosmology

In modern physical cosmology, the notion that the spatial distribution of matter in the universe on a large scale is fairly homogenous and isotropic. It means that the properties of the universe is the same for all observers in space regardless of where data is collected. This idea is called cosmological principle and forms the fundamental aphorism of modern science.

Homogeneity indicates that the same evidence is observed if we collect data from any part of the universe. Isotropy indicates that the same evidence is observed if we collect data from any direction in the universe implying the laws of physics are the same throughout the universe. Although cosmologists use observational data as verification for this theory still we only observe what we observe from earth and cannot verify non-earthly observations. So to generalize at the universal scale purely and primarily on earthly calculations is a bit presumptuous and even dogmatic.

Non-earthly observations are given in vedic literature about the structure and design of the universe. It does not match modern observations or calculations or theories. Beyond the earth, according to vedi ccosmology, are variety of environments (not just gaseous or solid states) with different types of flora, fauna and living beings. There are planes of existence, planets and star systems that have life all over it. There is also non-globular structures in our universe (more like flat planes). In our current understanding of cosmology, space equals spherical geometry (or close to spherical), however, we get information from vedic cosmology, that there are non-spherical environments. All this indicates that the universe is certainly not homogenous and isotropic. Modern cosmology provides a lifeless picture of the universe and vedic cosmology gives a universe full of variety of species and life forms.

I will end with a quote from a famous philosopher of science Karl Popper on his attitude towards modern cosmology;

I once was an enthusiastic admirer of (Friedmann’s) Big Bang. I am now a disgusted opponent. As to the “steady state” theory, it is insufficiently developed, and Ryle’s criticism insufficiently discussed. And the “cosmological principles” were, I fear, dogmas that should not have been proposed. - Karl Popper

Please visit www.vediccosmology.com

Hare Krishna

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Please chant - there is certainly no loss!

Chanting

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare |
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare ||

daily will eliminate fear, anxiety, depression,sadness,despondency,anger,and hopelessness. Instead, chanting will give mental strength, spiritual strength,freedom from anxiety,hope,equal-mindedness,positive feeling and above all inner peace and joy.

The only condition is to chant with sincerity of heart and take the effort to hear the sound clearly and distinctly in a mood of dependence on Krishna (not independence)!

Please chant!

Hare Krishna

Monday, August 20, 2018

Giving credit to the idea of 'yadraccha'

Frustration is something we all have experienced. The opposite of that we can say is peacefulness or tolerance. Peace and tolerance are topics discussed by Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. In the mundane world, peace is sought somewhere outside and tolerance is seen as a sign of weakness. However, in my opinion, frustration is a result of lack of tolerance and lack of mental peace which comes from a sort of entitlement of results (provided we put the work).

But in the Bhagavatam and Bhagavad Gita, there is an indication that beyond our work and desire, there is a third cause which is destiny. Destiny or time seems ambiguous in lay perspective. The fact is the jiva or soul according to the Vedic understanding is not independent as modern society leads us to think. We are dependent on nature and God. Only God is independent but as for us we are not. We are bound by our previous actions which chalks our future destiny. Therefore, when things do not go our way, instead of getting frustrated we should step back and appreciate the bigger picture. The reverse is also true, if things do go our way, instead of punching the fist in the air, we step back and appreciate the bigger picture.

The best way to counter frustration is to be happy or content with whatever comes of its own accord by performing one's duty with due diligence. We will not be frustrated if we understand that time and destiny dictates our activities and that we are instruments of them. We should perform our duties with this thinking in mind.

Krishna says to Arjuna;

yadṛcchā-lābha-santuṣṭo
dvandvātīto vimatsaraḥ
samaḥ siddhāv asiddhau ca
kṛtvāpi na nibadhyate

He who is satisfied with gain which comes of its own accord, who is free from duality and does not envy, who is steady in both success and failure, is never entangled, although performing actions.- BG 4.22

Vamandev tells Bali Maharaj;

yadṛcchayopapannena
santuṣṭo vartate sukham
nāsantuṣṭas tribhir lokair
ajitātmopasāditaiḥ

One should be satisfied with whatever he achieves by his previous destiny, for discontent can never bring happiness. A person who is not self-controlled will not be happy even with possessing the three worlds. - SB 8.19.24

In both verses, the word 'yadrccha' is used meaning some thing which is beyond our control. Something that comes accidentally or without much endeavor or by destiny or randomly etc. However, we want to interpret that word, 'yadraccha' indicates that there is something more beyond my control and we are not fully independent.

When we take shelter of this knowledge or idea of 'yadraccha', we will always be happy or content in any circumstance of life.

Hare Krishna

Monday, August 13, 2018

My motivation

The process of Krishna bhakti is a struggle, I will not lie to you. But then so is everything else in life. What is the difference you ask? The difference is in Krishna bhakti, there is no failure where as material endeavors despite the struggle, there is chance of failure. In Krishna bhakti, there  is no failure, only success and victory! That gives me motivation to continue my struggle!

Hare Krishna

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

A true social reformer will speak the truth

Social reformers, politicians and welfare workers etc talk about eradicating social ills but they do so comparing to the woes of today. But we have never reached that absolute utopian state, why? Because we live in a world of duality. This is an axiomatic truth -  a self-evident one. But we do not accept it and we cannot accept it because if we accept a world with duality, then we have to accept always there will be good and there will be bad. There will be richness but also there will be poverty. There will be security but also there will be crime. As a politician or any social reformer, this sort of 50-50 condition is unacceptable and hence for all their life, they struggle in the name of upliftment and service to man to change human condition.

As long as man exists and time exists, we will have two sides to a coin since this is a relative world we live in. This desire for an absolute good world, however, is an indication of something deeper. Therefore, a true social reformer will speak the truth. He will point to man the futility of a relative world and that true absolute freedom from social ills is possible only in an absolute setting and not in a relative setting and that absolute setting is the Spiritual world or Vaikunta!

Hare Krishna