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

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

the essence

nāhaḿ vipro na ca nara-patir nāpi vaiśyo na śūdro
nāhaḿ varṇī na ca gṛha-patir no vanastho yatir vā
kintu prodyan-nikhila-paramānanda-pūrnāmṛtābdher
gopī-bhartuḥ pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ

CC Madhya Lila 13.80

I am not a brāhmaṇa, I am not a kṣatriya, I am not a vaiśya or a śūdra. Nor am I a brahmacārī, a householder, a vānaprastha or a sannyāsī. I identify Myself only as the servant of the servant of the servant of the lotus feet of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the maintainer of the gopīs. He is like an ocean of nectar, and He is the cause of universal transcendental bliss. He is always existing with brilliance.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Krishna - nothing else matters

Krishna Consciousness is sublime and pure that it can cleanse anyone who comes in contact with it just like fire burns anything. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the Absolute Truth. We DO NOT have to doubt that statement. Great saints of different lines have acknowledged this fact.

Unfortunately, in India especially, we see religion sentimentally. Krishna Consciousness is not mere sentiment or belief system or blind ritualistic ceremonies. It is scientific as science can get. In India today we have two major divisions in the “Hindu” faith, one who follow Vishnu (commonly called Vaishnavas) and the other who follow Siva (commonly called Saivas). The Vedic literature that establishes the truth about both clearly state the following

dhyeyaḿ sadā paribhava-ghnam abhīṣṭa-dohaḿ
tīrthāspadaḿ śiva-viriñci-nutaḿ śaraṇyam
bhṛtyārti-haḿ praṇata-pāla bhavābdhi-potaḿ
vande mahā-puruṣa te caraṇāravindam
SB 11.5.33

My dear Lord, You are the Mahā-puruṣa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and I worship Your lotus feet, which are the only eternal object of meditation. Those feet destroy the embarrassing conditions of material life and freely award the greatest desire of the soul, the attainment of pure love of Godhead. My dear Lord, Your lotus feet are the shelter of all holy places and of all saintly authorities in the line of devotional service and are honored by powerful demigods like Lord Śiva and Lord Brahmā. My Lord, You are so kind that You willingly protect all those who simply bow down to You with respect, and thus You mercifully relieve all the distress of Your servants. In conclusion, my Lord, Your lotus feet are actually the suitable boat for crossing over the ocean of birth and death, and therefore even Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva seek shelter at Your lotus feet

Srimad Bhagavatam is the cream/summum bonum of all knowledge. So quoting other puranas and shastras is incomplete at the best because Srimad Bhagavatam includes all other as it takes the essence/cream of all knowledge, put into one purana of 18,000 verses. This was written by Sage Vedavyas at the end of His writing career as the pinnacle of all knowledge. I would like to footnote hear saying that Sage Vedavyas is the original author of all other Vedic texts. He takes the essence of all his other works at the end of his writing career and puts it in one place (in Srimad Bhagavatam) by glorifying the one Absolute God – Lord Krishna

So please everyone - chanting Krishna’s Holy name include all other rituals, philanthropic works, serving other Gods etc etc. It is like watering the root of the plant.

Hare Krishna

Saturday, January 26, 2008

doership of the soul

I had a question on the doership of the soul and i emailed my question to H.H.Romapada Swami Maharaj. Below is his response.

Q. I was reading the Bhagavad Gita and I am not able to understand something which I feel like there is a contradiction. Please help me dispel my doubt.

In BG ch 5 text 14, Krishna says "The embodied spirit, master of the city of his body, does not create activities, nor does he induce people to act, nor does he create the fruits of action. All this is enacted by the modes of material nature". Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport and I quote a specific line "As long as he is in the city of body, he appears to be the master of it, but actually he is neither its proprietor nor controller of its actions and reactions. He is simply in the midst of the material ocean, struggling for existence". Krishna clearly states that the embodied spirit does not create activities which means I can understand that the soul is not the doer.

When I read BG ch 18 text 14, Krishna says "The place of action [the body], the performer, the various senses, the many different kinds of endeavor, and ultimately the Supersoul - these are the five factors of action". Srila Prabhupada in his purport says (I have copied portion of the purport) "The word adhishthanam refers to the body. The soul within the body is acting to bring about the results of activity and is therefore known as karta, "the doer." That the soul is the knower and the doer is stated in the œruti. Esa hi drashta srashta (Praœna Upanishad 4.9). It is also confirmed in the Vedanta-sutra by the verses jño 'ta eva (2.3.18) and karta œastrarthavattvat (2.3.33)." In the purport, Srila Prabhupada says that the soul is the doer and he calls it "karta".

So I am finding an apparent contradiction from chapter 5 text 14 and chapter 18 text 14 about the doership of the soul? Can you please explain the difference between the two slokas?

** end of question **

Answer: The soul is "one" of the 5 factors of action, meaning that he is not the only doer or an independent doer. The living entity has the ability to will, to choose and to endeavor, as opposed to a stone which is completely inert and is moved entirely by superior force. But the tiny soul's willing capacity is also miniscule -- when he desires to enjoy apart from Krishna, he is placed within the material energy, which then moves everything around the living entity based on his freewill choices, combined with his guna-sanga and karma. In this sense, we say that the soul is under the control of material nature not the ultimate cause of action.

If we were to suppose that the statement "The soul is not the doer" implies that he is completely controlled and has no role to play and no freewill, then there is no meaning to the injunctions and prohibitions of the shastras.

The very fact that scriptures guide us: "Do this, don't do this, this action is prescribed duty, this action is forbidden" etc implies that we have some volition, some ability to exercise our freewill to follow or disregard such injunctions. This is the import of the statement "karta sastrarthavattvat" (quoted in 18.14 purport)

However, the soul is not the doer in the sense that he is not independent; he is completely dependent upon the other factors of action and ultimately upon the sanction of the Supreme Lord. Thus Srila Prabhupada writes in 18.14p that Krishna is the "Supercause."

In this connection, Srila Baladeva Vidyabhushana also comments that we are doers --- our activities do spring from our own free will --- but our endeavor is not the independent cause of actions: (Cf. Bhurijana dasa's "Surrender Unto Me") "The jiva receives from the Supreme Lord a body and senses endowed with specific potencies, of which he then becomes the proprietor. Acquiring those potencies, the jiva exerts his free will and assumes control of his body and senses for the purpose of fulfilling karmic endeavors. The Supreme Lord, present within all these coverings, sanctions the jiva's activity and inspires him to act. In this way there is no contradiction between the Supreme's control and the jiva's having his own willpower to act or to refrain from acting."

Below are further discussions from previous digests on this topic:

Digest 16 Q146) "One who can see that all activities are performed by the body, which is created of material nature, and sees that the self does nothing, actually sees". Why is it said that the self does nothing and that the body is the doer?

The soul is being carried on the machine (yantra) of prakrti, or material energy, like a chariot carries a passenger. The body is performing activities, or prakrti is the performer, not the soul.

The soul's activity or business is to desire. We can also 'endeavor'. See BG 18.14 the living entity is called the 'karta' (doer) in the Secondary sense of one who makes an endeavor (cestah). Action is actually being carried out by material nature: See BG 5.14.

Digest 78 Question b) Apparently we are doing the activity. So how do we reconcile that "I am not the cause of my activities"?

Answer b) In Bg 18.14, Krishna explains that there are five factors of action, only one of which is our self, the others being the senses and instruments, the field of action, the different endeavors and ultimately the Supersoul. As said above, everything required for performing an activity, including our own intelligence and strength comes from Krishna. Our independent will constitutes one of the factors, but we are miniscule and dependent on the Lord for every movement and can act only under His sanction. Thus, with a little introspection, we can understand that we are not the cause or doer. We may be an immediate or intermediate cause, but the ultimate doer is Krishna.

See also BG 5.14 ("The embodied spirit, master of the city of his body, does not create activities, nor does he induce people to act, nor does he create the fruits of action. All this is enacted by the modes of material nature.") Material nature is creating the fruits of all material activities, not the soul. We have the capacity to perform work, we make various endeavors, material nature creates results...and material nature works under Krishna's direction (BG 9.10).

For some further insights on this topic, you can refer to Digest 80, Q324 http://www.romapadaswami.com/?q=node/2203 and Digest 171 http://www.romapadaswami.com/?q=node/2628 which refers to Digest 78 above

Friday, January 25, 2008

bone chilling

Yesterday was the coldest day of my life and the coldest day in Iowa. The Artic wind from Canada blew its sweet way to Midwest USA. Where I live, it measured -13 degree Fahrenheit or in English it was -23 deg centigrade without factoring in the wind chill. The wind chill plummets the temperature still lower. It was very cold that the interior of my car wasn’t warm enough to keep my fingers and toes warm in spite of setting my heater on for 45 mins. I guess it is part of life where we have to endure the extreme weathers. I don’t remember where but in the scriptures it mentions somewhere that due to the onslaught of kali, we will experience immense heat, rain and cold in different parts of the world. The collective karma right now impels nature to react in such a fashion. We have no option but to tolerate the extremities of weather.

As Krishna says in the Gita, heat and cold, happiness and distress all are due to sensory perception towards nature. It also implies the duality of this world. One day it is warm and cozy and we are happy and one day it is wet and cold and we are sad. It depends on where we live. I remember once in Chennai, it was so hot around 42 deg centigrade (108 deg Fahrenheit) that I could barely walk for five minutes in the sun. So depending on which part of the world we live in, we feel happy or sad. This is material nature. Grass is always greener on the other side.

Krishna the knower of all advises Arjuna in the beginning of the Gita to tolerate the dualities of nature without being disturbed and with this frame of mind, Krishna sings the whole Gita to Arjuna. So the lesson we learn, the first step towards anything Krishna Conscious/spiritual is to tolerate and control our mind and senses and only then do we have any hope of pleasing the Lord.

mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya
āgamāpāyino 'nityās
tāḿs titikṣasva bhārata
BG ch 2 text 14

O son of Kuntī, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.

Hare Krishna

Thursday, January 24, 2008

book distribution 2007

It was July 2007 or may be June my memory escapes me. I walked into a secured apartment building armed with Srila Prabhupada books. My mission was to distribute as many books as possible. I am no where close to being a professional book-distributor. I distribute whenever I muster the enthusiasm, energy and the courage to do so.

Anyways, on that day I did have the energy and I walked in to an apartment building. I knocked on several doors and got a warm response from many students as I live in a college town. While I thought I was done for the day, I thought I will knock on the last door and then call it quits. I walked up to the door and I saw a US Marine logo sticker on the main door. This raised my curiosity and also my doubts. I was thinking should I knock especially if there is a Marine in this house…as I was not sure how he or she would react. But since I went all the way up to his door, I decided to knock. However, by the time I reached his house, I ran out of most of the books I carried with me. But I had some small books.

So I knocked and a Marine soldier in army clothes and shaved head opened the door. He looked tired but had a cake piece in his hand. I showed him a book. I asked him if he was a Marine. He replied yes and said that he just returned from Iraq. His time in Iraq was difficult especially with the firing and bombs. I asked if he wanted any of the books I had with me.

He looked at the books and quizzically asked me a question. He said “I know there is one more book I have been looking for, do you have that book?” I probed in further and figured he was talking about Bhagavad Gita As it is. I said I just ran out of that book but I have it in my house?

The Marine thrusted a 10 dollar bill in my hand and said “go and bring the back, I will wait right here” I ran to my house which was very close and gave him the book. He invited me into his house and the first thing I saw was a Japanese Samurai sword elegantly placed on a sword holder. He started to talk about his interest in philosophy and his penchant of going to the Himalayas. He talked about his father and his interests. I opened the Gita and explained how this book is as much relevant in the city as in the Himalayas and is the way to higher spiritual realms. He was keenly taking interest in the book and the pictures. He said he will read it when he finds time.

I gave him my email and said goodbye. I was happy to have interacted with him. Although he had more interests in yoga and traveling to the Himalayas, he showed interest in the philosophy as well.

I am amazed how people are so interested in Srila Prabhupada books!

Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!

Hare Krishna

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A 'very tragic' death – CNN

Is there anything that is not tragic in this world?

Heath Ledger an Australian actor was famous in Hollywood for his lead roles in movies such as Brokeback Mountain and the like. Today he is no more, he is dead.

In the New York Times, there were many quotes from his close friends and family and all of them were in a state of shock and barely able to accept the truth. One said that she was too upset to talk about Mr. Ledger’s death. His father quoted his death as “tragic, untimely and accidental”. This is typical mentality of people devoid of spiritual knowledge.

Death by its very nature is painful, untimely and accidental and we are all very aware of the nature of death from the time we are born. In other words, we know we will die for sure but we do not want to think or talk about it and hence very happy to live in illusion all our living moments. It also implies that thinking of death will put a stop to the material enjoyment. Hence our life is ultimately a tug-of-war between illusion and reality. Of course…at the end of the day reality wins. Death is for sure and we have to face it one day. So a person who is honest and sincere will question if we are all going to die…then what is the meaning of my life? Who am I? And what is my role in this world? Srila Prabhupada states that this is the beginning of spiritual knowledge “athaho brahma jijnasa”- Vedanta sutras

While we cannot change our four fold miseries of material life of birth, disease, old age and death, we can use our intelligence to get out of this material realm and enter the spiritual realm. The Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam are all about getting out of this miserable place. We only have to enquire submissively from a self-realized soul and practice to our capacity what we hear. Ultimately by our sincere enquiry and efforts, if we please Krishna, He will arrange our transportation to His abode. He promises,

man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māḿ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi satyaḿ te
pratijāne priyo 'si me
BG ch 18 text 65

Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.

Hare Krishna

Sunday, January 20, 2008

something to think about

Srila Prabhupada said...

In Bombay a man approached Srila Prabhupada, offered pranama, and said, "Oh Swamiji, you will save me." Srila Prabhupada replied, "No, I cannot save you; I can teach you how to save yourself, but you must do the work - told by Kausalya dd

Nothing good is earned easily; just keep trying - from vedabase

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Lord Siva

Lord Siva is the greatest Vaishnava. Unfortunately in India, people worship Lord Siva as the Supreme God or believe that all pathways lead to the same goal. This is a foolish and blind thought because this type of sentiment is not backed by any scripture. Lord Brahma the first created being in this material universe sang prayers when he was created. This is what he prayed in regards to Lord Siva.

kṣīraḿ yathā dadhi vikāra-viśeṣa-yogāt
sañjāyate na hi tataḥ pṛthag asti hetoḥ
yaḥ śambhutām api tathā samupaiti kāryād
govindam ādi-puruṣaḿ tam ahaḿ bhajāmi
Brahma Samhita 5.45

Just as milk is transformed into curd by the action of acids, but yet the effect curd is neither same as, nor different from, its cause, viz., milk, so I adore the primeval Lord Govinda of whom the state of Śambhu is a transformation for the performance of the work of destruction.

(The real nature of Śambhu, the presiding deity of Maheśa-dhāma, is described.) Śambhu is not a second Godhead other than Kṛṣṇa. Those, who entertain such discriminating sentiment, commit a great offense against the Supreme Lord. The supremacy of Śambhu is subservient to that of Govinda; hence they are not really different from each other. The nondistinction is established by the fact that just as milk treated with acid turns into curd so Godhead becomes a subservient when He Himself attains a distinct personality by the addition of a particular element of adulteration. This personality has no independent initiative. The said adulterating principle is constituted of a combination of the stupefying quality of the deluding energy, the quality of nonplenitude of the marginal potency and a slight degree of the ecstatic-cum-cognitive principle of the plenary spiritual potency. This specifically adulterated reflection of the principle of the subjective portion of the Divinity is Sadāśiva, in the form of the effulgent masculine-symbol-god Śambhu from whom Rudradeva is manifested

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Krishna the OX

I have attached below a story (with their permission) from our care for cows in Vrindavan, India. Cows are all auspicious. Serving cows will please Krishna immensely.

You can visit Care for Cows website here for more information


I want to specially thank Kurma Rupa prabhu for his wonderful work. I pay my full prostrated obeisance at his lotus feet to bless me to do some service to Guru and Krishna!

Dear Friends,
Jaya Govinda! Jaya Gopala!

Our majestic padayatra ox Krsna was diagnosed with horn cancer a month ago. At 21-years of age he slowed down and stopped eating and then laid down for five days. Yesterday morning Mukunda Datta, Head Pujari of Sri Sri Krsna Balarama Mandir sent him the garland of Gauranga Mahaprabhu.

At 6:00 pm Sanak Sanatana who puchaced Krsna when he was three years old and accompanied him on Padayatra for eight years offered him the garland of Sri Sri Krsna Balarama and Sri Sri Gaura Nitai.

Then at 6:40 pm he rose his head high, opened his mouth, exited his body and gently lowered his head.

It was Makara Sankrani in Vrindavan, the day the Sun changes course... the time Bhismadeva decided to depart.

This morning a spontaneous group of 25 devotees assembled at Care for Cows to honor placing Krsna in samadhi. All could feel his presence protecting the compound.

We pray that Krsna blesses us to serve Srila Prabhupada and Gauranga Mahaprabhu with the same selflessness that he did.

I hope this finds you experiencing the happiness and inner satisfaction that accompanies cow protection.

Your friend and servant,
Kurma Rupa dasa

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

enthusiasm is the qualification

“So you must be very enthusiastic that “I shall preach the glories of the Lord to my best capacity…My Lord is so great, so kind, so beautiful, so wonderful. So I must speak something about my Lord.” This is the qualification, enthusiasm." – Srila Prabhupada in a lecture

As we can see enthusiasm is the principle behind devotional service. I was meditating how one day I have enthusiasm and one day I do not have enthusiasm and sometimes it is just frustrating. Sometimes I do my rounds and other services with such enthusiasm I think this is what I want to do the rest of my life. There are other days where I can barely drag myself out of bed. Why this type of swing in attitude? Isn’t devotional life enthusiastic in itself that it should give us the enriching energy to engage in it?

Like for example, I love sports. I used to jump out of bed practically at any moment in a 24 hour day to play sports (especially cricket). I had intense enthusiasm. Not only was I enthusiastic but I used to persuade my friends even to play with me. Why do I not have the same level of enthusiasm to do service to the Lord? When I play cricket, it gives pleasure to my mind and rejuvenates my body. Hence playing cricket gave me mundane pleasure.

Connecting the dots, I engage in devotional service with the same type of mentality. I enthusiastically or unenthusiastically serve depending on how much pleasure I get. Since I try to serve for my own pleasure (gross or subtle) and not for the pleasure of Krishna, this type of enthusiasm becomes material and hence motivated and interrupted. That is why my enthusiasm levels go up and down.

The solution is obvious. Krishna Consciousness is a spiritual endeavor above the modes of nature and hence my enthusiasm should also be spiritual. So what does it mean “enthusiasm should be spiritual”. We are all parts and parcels of Krishna. Therefore we are minute infitesimal sparks of energy emanating from Krishna. Although in my current state, I do not know my “real identity”, I do know from the scriptures and Guru that whatever identity I may have I am a servant of the servant of Krishna. So I should strive to serve on that platform of servant of the servant. However, there is a common question that pops up, “I am not self-realized and hence do not feel like a servant of the servant?”…yes this is a valid argument. But what we can try to do is use our intelligence and faith in the words of Guru and place ourselves in a servant position. In other words, with intelligence and faith we can sincerely strive to take a servant of the servant position. Seeing our sincerity and faith, Krishna will award us higher realizations.

This is what I should try to do. The minute I humble myself to a servant of the servant position in the mood to please Krishna and not myself, my enthusiasm would be automatically shifted to the spiritual platform. Then my enthusiasm will be free-flowing and uninterrupted irrespective of time, place and circumstance. Then enthusiasm becomes spiritual. Therefore in order to have uninterrupted enthusiasm

1. We should serve solely for the pleasure of Krishna and not for our own pleasure.
2. We should serve in the mood of servant of the servant because that is our true constitutional position (sanatan dharma) in relation to Krishna.

If we cultivate these two attitudes we can serve with perpetual enthusiasm without personal motivation and or interruption.

Hare Krishna.

Monday, January 14, 2008

conversation with a Born-again Christian

I went out to lunch with a co-worker in Nov 2007. I did not want to originally post this, but then I thought why not. It was an interesting conversation.

Nov 8 2007

I am back from my Indian lunch...i ate as minimum as possible to not be rude. I followed the acintya beda abeda tattva- i ate but also did not eat...may be in my next post i will share how i did it...

Anyways the lunch i had was with a co-worker who is a born-again Christian...no possibility of talking Hare Krishna philosophy…so this time I decided to listen and enquire more. We talked on different points, and I couldn't resist the classic argument "Thou shalt not kill". He flat out replied that the commandment specifically refers to humans simply because elsewhere in the Bible he says Jesus condones meat eating. So I asked him a hypothetical question that if Jesus Christ was living now, would he condone meat eating from mass slaughter houses taking into consideration the amount of cruelty? His answer was Christ may not accept it but he will if it is not cruel. He continued saying that he was not so sure if animals are treated cruelly in slaughter houses and he said and I quote "I know cows are stunned and in a state of shock they slit its throat and I am ok with that". He thinks that is less pain. Then I asked him, if you raise a dog and I come along and kill it without pain, will you accept? His answer was if I raise my dog for food, I have no issues, but if I raise my dog as a pet, then I would object. He extended his analogy to the cows, cows are basically raised for food and nothing else and hence he is ok with it and nothing wrong in eating it.

His basic conditioning is animals (especially cows and pigs) are raised only for food and hence only meant to be eaten and there is no harm in it.

The reason I am writing this is because we live in a place where 90% of the people think like this. The only way to preach Krishna Conscious philosophy is if we understand how people here think. To me, I was surprised how one person can call himself very religious and be completely callous about slitting the throat of an animal. It is practically impossible to impress anybody beyond the bodily conception of life. The only way is somehow we should distribute Srila Prabhupada books and let him do the magic!

Hare Krishna

Saturday, January 12, 2008

why are we here?

Q. By what is one impelled to sinful acts, even unwillingly, as if engaged by force?

A. Krishna was categorical in His answer to the above question. He said

śrī-bhagavān uvāca
kāma eṣa krodha eṣa
mahāśano mahā-pāpmā
viddhy enam iha vairiṇam

It is lust only, Arjuna, which is born of contact with the material mode of passion and later transformed into wrath, and which is the all-devouring sinful enemy of this world” (BG 3.37)

The soul or the living entity is the marginal energy of the Lord. It is in a position where it can come in contact with the inferior material energy or superior spiritual energy. When it is in contact with the spiritual energy, it is called Krishna consciousness. But when it is in contact with the inferior energy, it becomes material consciousness. This contact with material energy is due to lust that has been transformed from love for Krishna. Since lust is never satiated, the living entities are always bewildered by maya. Since unfulfilled lust can turn into anger, illusion and ultimately bewilderment of memory perpetuating the living entities stay in the material world; it (lust) is considered the greatest enemy of the living entity (BG 3.37)

A scientific explanation of the work of lust has been presented nicely in BG 3.40. Mind is the center of all activities of the senses. In other words, with our mind we contemplate the sense objects using our senses. Therefore the mind is superior to the senses in that we use our mind to control the activities of the senses and sense objects. Intelligence is superior to the mind as it can control the mind in telling right from wrong. Since the intelligence is filled with lust to lord over material nature, the soul is influenced from time immemorial by this lusty intelligence and hence acquires a false ego which is superior to intelligence. Therefore the soul which is spiritual is superior to intelligence, mind and senses which are material. However, due to lust, the soul falls down from its spiritual position and associates with matter thinking matter to be the self. This lust alone is the cause of our downfall and hence considered the number one enemy of the living entity (the soul).

Srila Prabhupada explains in BG 3.41

āvṛtaḿ jñānam etena
jñānino nitya-vairiṇā
kāma-rūpeṇa kaunteya
duṣpūreṇānalena ca

Thus the wise living entity's pure consciousness becomes covered by his eternal enemy in the form of lust, which is never satisfied and which burns like fire.

that lust is but a perverted reflection of our love of God. Therefore simply by employing our lust for Krishna unconditionally and unmotivated, our lust actually becomes love for Krishna and this is Krishna consciousness in the pure stage. We start our process of Krishna consciousness by regulative principles (in the initial stages) and slowly progressing in the ladder of bhakti, we can achieve suddha bhaki or prema to Krishna.

Concluding, to know one SELF (the soul) to be transcendental to all the mundane elements such as the mind, intelligence and the senses, we practice devotional service in a steady and regulative manner, thus, ultimately conquering lust and attaining pure love of Krishna.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Death is closer than i thought...!

As of January 2008, according to the census, 1 person dies every half second (0.5 seconds) in the world. Talk about a full time job. The yamadutas probably do not have a break at all. What to speak of the animals and plants?

In spite of this startling fact, we probably would have planned our lives for the next 20 years. Per this statistic, there is no guarantee for my life!! Why then do I want to enjoy….I am seriously messed up!

Now I am convinced…this place is indeed ‘temporary” and is dangerous at every step for we may die any moment.

As a demon asked king Yudhishtar: “What is the most wonderful thing in the world?”

The king Yudhishtar answered: “The most wonderful thing is that, day after day countless people die all around us, but those who live believe that death will not yet happen to them, and they carry on as if it doesn’t matter. What could be more wonderful than this.”

The time it took me to write this post, approximately 1200 people would have died across the world.

Krishna Consciousness is indeed an urgent requirement for this day and age! The only way we can be saved from this impending danger called death is by submitting at the Lotus Feet of Lord Hari. I am reminded of a famous verse from the Bhagavatam.

samāśritā ye pada-pallava-plavaḿ
mahat-padaḿ puṇya-yaśo murāreḥ
bhavāmbudhir vatsa-padaḿ paraḿ padaḿ
padaḿ padaḿ yad vipadāḿ na teṣām
SB 10.14.58

For those who have accepted the boat of the lotus feet of the Lord, who is the shelter of the cosmic manifestation and is famous as Murāri, the enemy of the Mura demon, the ocean of the material world is like the water contained in a calf's hoof-print. Their goal is paraḿ padam, Vaikuṇṭha, the place where there are no material miseries, not the place where there is danger at every step.

Hare Krishna

Thursday, January 10, 2008

this world is like a classroom and life is our teacher

This morning I got a surprise call from a senior devotee and he enquired about my well-being and so forth. I was very happy he called and enquired. In the course of the conversation I said something funny…but not sure he took it that way and so I was meditating on how I say stupid things all the time just to seek attention.

I was thinking on it more and thinking how should one react to any type of comment thrown at you. I have heard praise is like poison; therefore we should give it away. All praises should be given to guru and my guru will give it to his guru and ultimately it will reach Krishna. While I was meditating on how to react to good, bad and ugly things thrown at you, my only reaction was “we should think of guru and Krishna and thank them for everything”. Easy said than done…normally it is my natural tendency to take the praise and feel good about myself. However, if a comment was meant to criticize or find fault…immediately I defend my position. My brain just goes into auto mode (honest…at this point I believe I lose all control over my ability to think and speak, I am sure there is some medical term for this!) and my brain says things without my own control and some other voice will keep saying “shut up and just take the criticism”. I never listen to the other voice, though.

My point is I get very defensive if someone criticizes me and I take it upon myself massively to go the millionth mile to prove my point. In other words, it’s hard to write this but it is 100% true…I need to have the FINAL SAY in everything. My wife will raise her hands and say “Haribol” to that one. As you all know, she is indeed tolerating all my shenanigans.

So, how to solve this problem of “reacting” appropriately to good and/or bad comments? It is very simple…just think of guru and Krishna and thank them for everything from the core of our hearts, life will be lot easier. This is not just a sentiment. This is our true original position as Krishna Himself says in the Bhagavad Gita 5.29

bhoktāraḿ yajña-tapasāḿ
suhṛdaḿ sarva-bhūtānāḿ
jñātvā māḿ śāntim ṛcchati

A person in full consciousness of Me, knowing Me to be the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods, and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attains peace from the pangs of material miseries.

Therefore Krishna is the beneficiary of everything and we just have to dedicate everything to Him. I know it takes a lot of maturity to come to this point. But we can start today - better late than never!

As they say "this world is like a classroom and life is our teacher", and it teaches us how to get closer to Krishna every single moment, every single day! Yes...my life circumstances is just for one purpose - To purify my consciousness and go back Home back to Godhead.

"The world stands in no need of any reformer. The world has a very competent person for guiding it's minutest happenings. The person who finds that there is scope for reform of the world, himself stands in need of reform. The world goes on it's own perfect way..."

- Bhaktisiddhanta Goswami Maharaja

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

quote for the day

"Throughout his life, a brahmana should consider material prestige to be like poison and dishonor to be like nectar. After all, if one learns to totolerate dishonor, then his agitation will subside and he will happily sleep, happily wake, and happily move about. The person who insults him will, because of his sin, become regretful, and his happiness in this and the next life will be vanquished." - (Manu-samhita 2.162-163)

Quoted by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura in "Brahmana O Vaisnava".

It is funny how this material world trains us for the exact opposite - to consider material prestige as nectar and dishonor like poison - no wonder Jesus Christ said "we should live in this world but not of this world"...perhaps he meant this.

Friday, January 4, 2008

When will we ever learn?

kuṭumba-poṣāya viyan nijāyur
na budhyate 'rthaḿ vihataḿ pramattaḥ
sarvatra tāpa-traya-duḥkhitātmā
nirvidyate na sva-kuṭumba-rāmaḥ
SB 7.6.14

One who is too attached cannot understand that he is wasting his valuable life for the maintenance of his family. He also fails to understand that the purpose of human life, a life suitable for realization of the Absolute Truth, is being imperceptibly spoiled. However, he is very cleverly attentive to seeing that not a single farthing is lost by mismanagement. Thus although an attached person in material existence always suffers from threefold miseries, he does not develop a distaste for the way of material existence.

Srila Prabhupada Purport
A foolish man does not understand the values of human life, nor does he understand how he is wasting his valuable life simply for the maintenance of his family members. He is expert in calculating the loss of pounds, shillings and pence, but he is so foolish that he does not know how much money he is losing, even according to material considerations. Cāṇakya Paṇḍita gives the example that a moment of life cannot be purchased in exchange for millions of dollars. A foolish person, however, wastes such a valuable life without knowing how much he is losing, even according to monetary calculations. Although a materialistic person is expert in calculating costs and doing business, he does not realize that he is misusing his costly life for want of knowledge. Even though such a materialistic person is always suffering threefold miseries, he is not intelligent enough to cease his materialistic way of life.

When will we ever learn? Everything we do in our life (career, education, marriage, charity etc) should be to this knowledge - to realize Krishna and not to enjoy our own self without Krishna.


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

who is a menial servant

What does menial service mean? Who is a menial servant?

There is a tendency to think that picking up a trash bag is considered menial service and conducting higher management like work is not so menial. Is this what Srila Prabhupada meant when he said menial servant. In Bhagavad Gita ch 4 text 34, he writes in his purport “One has to approach a bona fide spiritual master to receive the knowledge. Such a spiritual master should be accepted in full surrender, and one should serve the spiritual master like a menial servant, without false prestige”. The key word is “without false prestige”. That is the qualifier for menial service. So we can pick a trash bag puffed up with false prestige thinking “I am doing such menial service for the temple” or we can “sit in a high management position with absolutely no false prestige thinking oneself as the instrument of guru and Krishna”. The person executing the latter service will be considered a menial servant.

Therefore, the service per se does not qualify the servant as menial but the consciousness with which we execute the particular service determines our degree of menial position. In other words, to the degree we have no false prestige (but seeing ourselves as an instrument of Krishna) in executing our service to that degree we are considered a “menial servant” of guru and Krishna. We can be the president of the country and have absolutely no false prestige or we can sweep floors and be super puffed up. Krishna recognizes our consciousness in which we work and not the work per se.

Hare Krishna