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

Monday, January 22, 2018

Peace is not possible in a sectarian world

I was never optimistic of inter-faith conferences. To me, personally speaking, it does not yield any significant outcomes. Leaders from various faiths’ convene but we do not see anything tangible transpire from these meetings. No doubt, it is a good thing in that we can appreciate differences and have a conversation. However, mere tolerance and acknowledgement of differences will not solve serious systemic problems in the religious world. Religion today believed by many is the number one reason for sectarian violence. Certainly, the leaders of that religion have to take responsibility for such sectarianism. Despite, social media and globalization, we are divided than ever.

On the corporate front, technology has enabled us to put our differences aside and work together across different cultures and platforms. This is a big win at least from an external perspective. However, this is possible only if one is ready to work in a secular environment. Secularism,however, does not promote personal beliefs in the workplace. Therefore, in that sense we have not solved sectarianism but only created one more - a sect of people apathetic or introvertive to their personal beliefs. Sectarianism can be really solved only if we allow, express and embrace external differences but adhere to universal deeper spiritual values. If inter-faith conferences can help with that idea, then I think it is successful.

One such value is to accept that God (regardless of His name) is the Supreme creator and owner of all things, people and land. Therefore, every individual should give up their false sense of ownership and offer their resources/bounty/money to God. If the leaders of the respective religions can go back to their respective congregations and preach this one idea – to give up ownership and dedicate the ownership and results of work to God – I think there will certainly be progress in the form of global peace.

Real inter-faith begins and ends by putting God (regardless of name) in the center and giving God all credit and offering all fruits to God and in this way co-exist peacefully (without sectarianism) in God consciousness.

Hare Krishna

Monday, January 15, 2018

bhaki yoga in three steps

Srila Prabhupada in simple English explains the process of Krishma Consciousness in three steps;

  1. In the beginning one must have a preliminary desire for self-realization. This will bring one to the stage of trying to associate with persons who are spiritually elevated. 
  2. In the next stage, one becomes initiated by an elevated spiritual master, and under his instruction the neophyte devotee begins the process of devotional service. 
  3. By execution of devotional service under the guidance of the spiritual master, one becomes freed from all material attachments, attains steadiness in self-realization and acquires a taste for hearing about the Absolute Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. 
 - purport Cc Antya 3.251

Hare Krishna

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Hard Problem does not have to remain hard

According to modern psychology, the self is made of a combination of conscious and unconscious self. In the unconscious realm, there are collective and personal forgotten images. Images or memories that we collected from our culture, family and our own individual quarks over a period of time. We may not be aware of these intentionally but is a part of us. This is unconsciously present within us. The ego is a sum total of our conscious and unconscious self and this sum total (ego) is exhibited as our personality. Our likes and dislikes (personality) in daily life therefore are a reflection of our ego.

The model can explain many mundane attributes of a person,however, it does not answer what psychologists call the hard problem. Where does consciousness come in all of this? Scientists are not able to explain how a being experiences this phenomenal world. The quality of awareness (qualia) such as the redness in red or the sensation of taste or our passion for a particular work or person or love etc that which defines us is not quantifiable within the scientific community.

I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is deficient. It gives a lot of factual information, puts all our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously. 
- Erwin Schrödinger - Nobel Prize Winning Physicist

In fact it is said that Schrödinger was so fed up with the mundanness of science that he gave up hard science in later stages of his life. This is a testimony to how science is good at collecting and interpreting data but falls way short on explaining what makes us human. Most scientists' (my opinion) therefore cannot appreciate the simple things in life, unfortunately. What to speak of an unknown and unseen God!

Anyways, consciousness according to vedic theory is the symptom of the existence of an ethereal substance called soul. The soul is as real as matter (body) but only it does not hold material qualities such as decay or change. It is not affected by material elements of heat, cold, dryness, wetness etc. It is also not subjected to sensual and mental feelings of pain, pleasure, anger, depression etc. So if we remove the sensual, mental and material layers of our self, whatever is remaining is the subliminal soul.

The soul is experiencing this phenomenal world and the quality of awareness stems from the soul. The soul or the actual person is completely independent and in fact entire sense of being (consciousness) of thinking (brain functions), willing and feelings (from our heart) comes from the soul. The body and mind and the ego are windows for the soul to experience and relate with this world. Modern science says that the body+mind+ego=self or person. Vedic science says that soul=self or person and it uses the body+mind+ego as a vessel to experience this world.

Science cannot make any progress in this field of consciousness till they agree to the existence of a completely independent substance called the soul. If they do agree at some point in the future, then the entire field of science has to be re-written.

Hare Krishna

Friday, January 5, 2018

Expected vs Actual result

When I read the Karma yoga part of the Bhagavad Gita initially I understood that we should not be attached to our results or outcomes of our work. However, somewhere I had a feeling this is not practical at all. How can one not be attached to the result? When we begin our work we work towards our goal or result. We meditate very much on trying to do a good job so we can achieve what we set out in the beginning so naturally the result or the goal is very much in our minds. How then can we be not attached to what we originally set out for? As I meditated more and inquired, in my head I split the results into two - "expected result" and "actual result".

When I set out to work, I have a work plan and expectations as a result of the plan. I work hard to fulfill that work plan/expectations with the desire to achieve the result. So this expected result should always be in my radar otherwise I can slack or go astray. In fact this is necessary in this competitive world. But not everything in the real world is in my control. This is also common sense. Actually it is detrimental to my work to think I can control everything. In Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says that He is the Supreme controller of everyone and everything which means He alone controls the final outcome. Therefore it is sensible to not be attached to the actual result but work towards my expected result.

Therefore when Krishna says do not be attached to the result, I take it to be the actual result - the final outcome. So even if the actual result equals my expected result, still I will not be passionate about it knowing very well that not everything is done by me!

Expected Result = per my work plan
Actual Result = my work + extraneous real world variables that is beyond my control

Hare Krishna

Monday, December 25, 2017

Today's reality - an illustration

Got this in my inbox, interesting!

Hare Krishna

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Bhagavatam describes the universe in more detail

Bernard Haisch is an astrophysicist and author of over 130 scientific publications. Based on his life long study of the universe, below are his inferences;
  • Special properties of our universe point to an underlying intelligence.
  • God is defined as consciousness and that parts of that consciousness are embedded in us.
  • Our reality and the laws of physics is like a vast simulation within God consciousness.
  • The universe is like a virtual reality developed and advanced over millions of years.
  • Fine tuning of the laws of nature strongly meant to the idea that our universe was meant to be lived in and that near-death experiences allude to a spiritual reality. All of this he says points to God's existence.
Interestingly, all of the above points can be found and agreed upon with much more detail in the Srimad Bhagavatam. We do not have to spend our adult life studying mundane books like Bernard and come to the rudimentary conclusions of the Bhagavatam. Instead, under the guidance of a pure soul, if we simply take to the study of Bhagavatam, we can come to the same conclusions as Bernard and better yet get a more deeper insight into the workings of our universe. Unfortunately, Bhagavatam is dubbed as a religious text and hence not given the due respect the book deserves. 

Hare Krishna