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

Thursday, July 31, 2008

words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura

1. We are put to test and trial in this world. Only those who attend the kirtana of the devotees can succeed.

2. Every spot on earth where discourses on God are held is a place of pilgrimage.

3. Possession of objects not related to Krsna is our main malady.

4. Let me not desire anything but the highest good for my worst enemies.

5. As dalliance with the body in luxury increases, so wanes the spirit of service of the Lord.

6. Those favored by God find their paths set by thorns.

7. There is no peace or happiness in our worldly life. Circumstances create turmoil and annoyance.

8. Chant the maha mantra loudly and with attachment. This will drive away inertia, worldly evils and pests.

9. Be indifferent to bazaar gossips, stick firmly to your cherished goals, no lack or impediments of the world will ever stand in your way.

10. Pay due respects to the extroverts of the world, but do not be appreciative of their manners and conduct. They are to be shaken off from your mind.

11. A devotee feels the presence of God everywhere, but one averse to the Lord denies His existence anywhere.

12. You cannot appreciate transcendental matters with the reasoning of the world. It is sheer nonsense to decry them with the measuring stick of your intellect.

13. To recite the name of Sri Krsna is bhakti.

14. Life is for the glorification of topics on Hari. If that is stopped, then what need is there to carry on life?

15. Physical illness with Hari-bhajana is preferred to physical fitness without Hari-bhajana.

16. Our span of life on earth is short. Our life will be crowned with success if the body wears out with constant discourses on Hari.

17. We are here on earth not to work as artisans for making big buildings with wood and stone but to work only as messengers for the teachings of Sri Caitanya Deva.

18. A sycophant is neither a guru or a preacher.

19. To transform the adverse desires of the jivas is the supreme duty of the most merciful. To rescue one person from the stronghold of Mahamaya is an act of superb benevolence, far superior to opening innumerable hospitals.

20. Unless we are devoted to God, secularism shall not leave us.

21. Look within. Amend yourself, rather than pry into the frailties of others.

22. In this world of Maya, averse to the Lord, full of trials and tribulations, only patience, humility and respect for others are our friends for Hari-bhajana.

23. The Lord, Gaurasundara, puts His devotees in various difficulties and associations to test their patience and strength of mind. Success depends on their good fortune.

24. When faults in others misguide and delude you - have patience, introspect, find faults in yourself. Know that others cannot harm you unless you harm yourself.

25. I wish that every selfless, tender-hearted person of Gaudiya Math will be prepared to shed two hundred gallons of blood for the nourishment of the spiritual corpus of every individual of this world

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Words Count

Growing up, one of my passions was literature. I loved to study English literature especially. I had desires to become an English professor...well that obviously did not happen!. then i had desires to become a great cricket player and play for India....then...what the heck the list never ends! I also liked Tamil literature (my native language) but it was too difficult for me and hence I dropped the idea of studying Tamil in any serious way. But to this day, I have great reverence for Tamil as a language simply because it is one of the oldest spoken languages. Tamil is one of the classical languages along with Sanskrit, Latin to name a few. But Tamil is a complex language which to this day flabbergasts me!

Good literature not only conveys the message but also stirs up myriad emotions within the reader's minds. A good writer can convey the essence of an emotion closest to its true meaning and intent. While this is not an easy task, writers try to stir up these emotions hidden inside the reader’s heart without compromising on the original meaning and intent. Anyways, literature boils down to a series of intricately woven, well meaningful words put in proper grammar and style appealing to the culture and phenomenon of the world around.

Classical literature such as Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam are still popular and revered simply because not so much for its prose and poetry but for its content and emotions it stirs within the minds and hearts of people. Words can purify the minds of people. Srila Prabhupada said if someone even reads one page of his book, he or she will get purified; such is the power of a written word. Then, there is also the spoken word. Speech is another art of communication which can be a valuable tool for conveying one’s message. Hitler came to power simply through his written word (Mein kamph) and then through his oratorical skills of spoken word (public discourses). Such a tyrant as Hitler mesmerized the whole nation and practically conquered the whole world through his words which are a window to his mind and soul.

So, even one word has powerful meaning. The Hare Krishna maha mantra is a combination of three words Hare Krishna and Rama and put in a combination of 32 syllable mantra can change a person’s life. Therefore, words should not be wasted frivolously either through the written medium or spoken medium.

We have great responsibilities to write and speak properly and responsibly in public and private forums. The greatness of a person can be estimated just by how one is able to fulfill one’s word no matter what (even if it means to lose one’s life). The classic example is King Bali. When Sukracharya vehemently opposed King Bali’s decision to give Vamana Dev three steps of land, King Bali opposed by saying “I gave my word to a Brahman and henceforth I will fulfill it no matter what”. Radhanath Swami maharaj, here in, glorifies the integrity of King Bali to follow up on his word. Maharaj also states that in this day and age, it is very difficult to find such high standards….why? Because, today, words have become cheap. Anybody can say or write anything.

I will relate a story. Once Srila Prabhupada opened up a letter from his disciple and the letter read (i am paraphrasing) "Please accept my most insignificant humble obeisances. Prabhupada, i have a great problem..." and Srila Prabhupada turned to the devotee next to him and said "just see". The point is, while being insignificant, how can one have great problems, an insgnificant person can have only insignificant problems and not great problems. So, to a pure devotee such as Srila Prabhupada, words matter...and should matter to us as well!

When we write and use words to express deep ecstasies/emotions in Krishna Consciousness via mail or email or on the internet, we have to be careful simply because we are in the conditioned state and not in the liberated stage. Moreover, this is not recommended by our acharyas. Srila Saraswati Takur quotes the scriptures "apana bhajana-katha, na kahibe jathatatha' - One should not reveal one’s bhajana to others. If we disregard this instruction of our previous acaryas, there may be a permanent fall from the realm of devotional service. Our deep meditations on Guru and Krishna should not be revealed in public forums save and except among closed circles.

Therefore, it behooves us to be careful in our choice of words. What we say or write creates an impression and image on people’s minds. Devotees of the Lord, especially, should be more careful than ever to write and say the right thing. Devotees are always considered as the ambassadors of the spiritual world. They always represent the Guru parampara and Krishna anywhere and everywhere every time and all the time. Devotees should say or write words in accordance to proper etiquette within the parameters of Guru Sadhu and Shastra.

Men of few words are the best men - William Shakespeare

Hare Krishna

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Devotee: Can you explain the real meaning of diksa, initiation?

Sridhara Maharaja: Srila Jiva Goswami has explained this in his Bhakti Sandarhha (868):

divyam jnanam yato dadyat
kuryat papasya sanksayam
tasmad dikseti sa prokta
desikais tattva-kovidaih

Experienced scholars have explained the meaning of diksa, or spiritual initiation, in this way: diksa is the process through which transcendental knowledge is imparted by the preceptor to the disciple. As a result, all the disciple's previous bad tendencies are crushed. Through diksa, all previous commitments are cleared, and one gets the light of new life in relationship with the transcendental Lord. Diksa, or initiation, is a process by which we are given a noble connection with the absolute center and at the same time, our previous commitments are all finished. It is an inner awakenment of life that brings divine knowledge. That wealth is there within us, but it is suppressed. Diksa means discovering one's inner wealth, and getting relief from all outward obligations.

With inner awakenment, the outward commitments vanish, just as when you reach home, all other arrangements you may have contracted for your comforts are all cut off, for at home you find full comfort. When we are in a foreign land, we may seek the comforts which are supplied in hotels, but when we reach home, the hotel comforts are discarded; we find no more use for them. Sometimes a minor is kidnapped from home. Later, while visiting his native place he may stay in a hotel, but if he suddenly finds his father's house, and retums home, his parents will recognize him and say, "O, my son! You were stolen from us when you were young. We recognize your face. I am your mother, this is your father, here is your sister." Then the hotel is no longer needed. In a similar way, with the inner awakenment of the soul, when we return back home, back to Godhead, we will find our comfortable home with Krsna. So, to make a connection with our real home and dispense with our outward links is known as diksa
. – Sri Guru and His Grace ch 2

Sridhar Maharaja has very nicely explained the essence of initiation. If one really wants to understand the essence of Guru Tattva, a good book to read is Sri Guru and His Grace by Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Deva Goswami Maharaj.

From the explanation above, we can see initiation is not just fire ceremony. But due to improper understanding, we tend to think initiation to be a fire ceremony. Especially within ISKCON, my experience so far, devotees treat other non-initiated devotees differently from initiated ones. Over the years, I have had some experiences of my own where devotees naively attribute initiation to just a fire ceremony. Due to this naiveté, devotees become puffed up thinking they are “initiated” and act in ways befitting their neophytic nature and ultimately end up offending sincere hearted devotees. Therefore we should be careful to guard ourselves against pride swelling up in our hearts when devotees glorify us as being initiated. Initiation has been seen too ritualistically within ISKCON simply due to improper understanding of the fundamental principles of Krishna Consciousness.

While the ceremony is essential and important to confirm our vows in front of Guru and Krishna, actually initiation is the inner change or inner resolve one makes in progressing towards Krishna. Srila Prabhupada once quoted that a person is initiated simply when he/she starts to read his books. Therefore it is of utmost importance, using this initiation as an example, we should not see Krishna Consciousness in a ritualistic way as mere external formalities but of one where we sincerely strive to change our inner heart.

When the core of our heart is transformed and filled with gratitude, we can only appreciate and humble ourselves in front of Guru and Krishna and desire to be the instrument of their will, thus ultimately pleasing Guru and Krishna. This, I think, is the essence of initiation and Krishna Consciousness.

Hare Krishna

Saturday, July 26, 2008

child birth

I am sure it won't be all that musical during the process of birth!

Birth of a child is a cause of joy world wide. Let us view this process of birth from the perspective of the spotless purana - Srimad Bhagavatam. I have copied verses from Canto 3 Chapter 31 text 1-27 translations.

The Personality of Godhead said: Under the supervision of the Supreme Lord and according to the result of his work, the living entity, the soul, is made to enter into the womb of a woman through the particle of male semen to assume a particular type of body.

On the first night, the sperm and ovum mix, and on the fifth night the mixture ferments into a bubble. On the tenth night it develops into a form like a plum, and after that, it gradually turns into a lump of flesh or an egg, as the case may be.

In the course of a month, a head is formed, and at the end of two months the hands, feet and other limbs take shape. By the end of three months, the nails, fingers, toes, body hair, bones and skin appear, as do the organ of generation and the other apertures in the body, namely the eyes, nostrils, ears, mouth and anus.

Within four months from the date of conception, the seven essential ingredients of the body, namely chyle, blood, flesh, fat, bone, marrow and semen, come into existence. At the end of five months, hunger and thirst make themselves felt, and at the end of six months, the fetus, enclosed by the amnion, begins to move on the right side of the abdomen.

Deriving its nutrition from the food and drink taken by the mother, the fetus grows and remains in that abominable residence of stools and urine, which is the breeding place of all kinds of worms.

Bitten again and again all over the body by the hungry worms in the abdomen itself, the child suffers terrible agony because of his tenderness. He thus becomes unconscious moment after moment because of the terrible condition.

Owing to the mother's eating bitter, pungent foodstuffs, or food which is too salty or too sour, the body of the child incessantly suffers pains which are almost intolerable.

Placed within the amnion and covered outside by the intestines, the child remains lying on one side of the abdomen, his head turned towards his belly and his back and neck arched like a bow.

The child thus remains just like a bird in a cage, without freedom of movement. At that time, if the child is fortunate, he can remember all the troubles of his past one hundred births, and he grieves wretchedly. What is the possibility of peace of mind in that condition?

Thus endowed with the development of consciousness from the seventh month after his conception, the child is tossed downward by the airs that press the embryo during the weeks preceding delivery. Like the worms born of the same filthy abdominal cavity, he cannot remain in one place.

The living entity in this frightful condition of life, bound by seven layers of material ingredients, prays with folded hands, appealing to the Lord, who has put him in that condition.

The human soul says: I take shelter of the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who appears in His various eternal forms and walks on the surface of the world. I take shelter of Him only, because He can give me relief from all fear and from Him I have received this condition of life, which is just befitting my impious activities.

I, the pure soul, appearing now bound by my activities, am lying in the womb of my mother by the arrangement of māyā. I offer my respectful obeisances unto Him who is also here with me but who is unaffected and changeless. He is unlimited, but He is perceived in the repentant heart. To Him I offer my respectful obeisances.

I am separated from the Supreme Lord because of my being in this material body, which is made of five elements, and therefore my qualities and senses are being misused, although I am essentially spiritual. Because the Supreme Personality of Godhead is transcendental to material nature and the living entities, because He is devoid of such a material body, and because He is always glorious in His spiritual qualities, I offer my obeisances unto Him.

The human soul further prays: The living entity is put under the influence of material nature and continues a hard struggle for existence on the path of repeated birth and death. This conditional life is due to his forgetfulness of his relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, without the Lord's mercy, how can he again engage in the transcendental loving service of the Lord?

No one other than the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as the localized Paramātmā, the partial representation of the Lord, is directing all inanimate and animate objects. He is present in the three phases of time — past, present and future. Therefore, the conditioned soul is engaged in different activities by His direction, and in order to get free from the threefold miseries of this conditional life, we have to surrender unto Him only.

Fallen into a pool of blood, stool and urine within the abdomen of his mother, his own body scorched by the mother's gastric fire, the embodied soul, anxious to get out, counts his months and prays, "O my Lord, when shall I, a wretched soul, be released from this confinement?"

My dear Lord, by Your causeless mercy I am awakened to consciousness, although I am only ten months old. For this causeless mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the friend of all fallen souls, there is no way to express my gratitude but to pray with folded hands.

The living entity in another type of body sees only by instinct; he knows only the agreeable and disagreeable sense perceptions of that particular body. But I have a body in which I can control my senses and can understand my destination; therefore, I offer my respectful obeisances to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by whom I have been blessed with this body and by whose grace I can see Him within and without.

Therefore, my Lord, although I am living in a terrible condition, I do not wish to depart from my mother's abdomen to fall again into the blind well of materialistic life. Your external energy, called deva-māyā, at once captures the newly born child, and immediately false identification, which is the beginning of the cycle of continual birth and death, begins.

Therefore, without being agitated any more, I shall deliver myself from the darkness of nescience with the help of my friend, clear consciousness. Simply by keeping the lotus feet of Lord Viṣṇu in my mind, I shall be saved from entering into the wombs of many mothers for repeated birth and death.

Lord Kapila continued: The ten-month-old living entity has these desires even while in the womb. But while he thus extols the Lord, the wind that helps parturition propels him forth with his face turned downward so that he may be born.

Pushed downward all of a sudden by the wind, the child comes out with great trouble, head downward, breathless and deprived of memory due to severe agony.

The child thus falls on the ground, smeared with stool and blood, and plays just like a worm germinated from the stool. He loses his superior knowledge and cries under the spell of māyā.

After coming out of the abdomen, the child is given to the care of persons who are unable to understand what he wants, and thus he is nursed by such persons. Unable to refuse whatever is given to him, he falls into undesirable circumstances.

Laid down on a foul bed infested with sweat and germs, the poor child is incapable of scratching his body to get relief from his itching sensation to say nothing of sitting up, standing or even moving.

In his helpless condition, gnats, mosquitoes, bugs and other germs bite the baby, whose skin is tender, just as smaller worms bite a big worm. The child, deprived of his wisdom, cries bitterly.

In this way, the child grows into boyhood, to youth, old age and death. If in this process, we just waste our times running just behind material sense enjoyment and so called material accomplishments, then we will have to go over this whole process one more time and this suffering will never end.

Therefore, it is the duty of responsible parents, elders and learned men to make sure their children and communities are educated in proper spiritual knowledge and not allow for degradation.

This age of Kali, however, is full of degradation and is practically impossible to meet or see a pious individual seeking higher purposes of life. Therefore, Mahaprabhu has made everything easy by just chanting the Maha-mantra

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

This is the Yuga dharma and the only way we can save ourselves and break this vicious cycle of birth and death.

Hare Krishna

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Rosewater Pistachio cupcake

My wife made some delicious rosewater pistachio cupcakes last week. It came out really good, except i thought the icing was too sweet for me. But i loved the cupcake and for those cupcake lovers, this is a must do!

The recipe was taken from the book "Vegan Cupcakes Take over the world" - Isa Chandra & Terry Hope.
Check out the book and the recipe...its a keeper!
Hare Krishna

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Since his arrival back in Los Angeles, Prabhupada has been stating his intention to go to London. Things are going well in England in spite of not yet establishing a center. Therefore, Prabhupada makes arrangements to fly to Germany, instead. Sivananda has managed to establish a base in Hamburg with the help of Krsna dasa, and Prabhupada wants to encourage the new center. He hopes the London devotees will be inspired by his presence in Europe to make arrangements for his stay in London.

When he finally announces his intention to leave for Germany, the Los Angeles temple begins to experience the pangs of separation even before his departure. Late one evening, Visnujana and Mohanananda decide to have a final private darshan with their spiritual master.

Mohanananda: Prabhupada's room was just off the temple room in La Cienega, and Visnujana and I sneaked back to see him one time. I was a new devotee and I was just following Visnujana. I would have followed him absolutely, anything he did. We could see light coming out of Prabhupada's room as if there were some kind of spotlight. We actually thought it was a spotlight. There was this effulgent light coming out through the cracks of the door. It was a long room with a long hallway. So we crept in. It looked as if someone was shooting a movie under a high halogen lamp. Prabhupada was sitting at the end of the hallway on his pillow. He looked absolutely effulgent. Brahmajyoti. The spiritual sky. It was pure, bright yellow light, like an aura, with Prabhupada at the center of it. Tears were just flying out of his eyes, across his desk, across the room. I was amazed. Tears literally flew out of his eyes. It was a remarkable thing to see his tears.

Visnujana turned to me and just said, "He's talking to Krsna." I was dumb struck. I thought this was an incredible experience, because it was one of the first rare visions of personalism that I had been given. We were absolutely awestruck. We just hit the floor and backed out. Prabhupada never acknowledged us.

Mohanananda is a very cheerful devotee and always has a big smile on his face. Now he is convinced that Prabhupada is the Messiah. He feels connected to the highest plane of consciousness on the planet. This encounter firmly settles it in his mind. Realizing they were somewhere they shouldn't have been, Visnujana suggests that they not make the experience public knowledge. But Mohanananda can't control his exuberance to share the vision of Prabhupada's trance with others.

- From the "Radha-Damodara Vilasa" by HG Vaiyasaki dasa

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

computer problems

For the past two days, I had some serious issues with my office computer and hence could not get anything done. This was an eye opener for me simply because I could not believe my whole life would stop because of a messed up computer. To be honest, I was a little depressed as I could not practically engage in any work. I was just sitting idly the whole two days. It was not a nice feeling. Krishna says in BG 3.5 that one has to work and it is not possible to refrain from work even for a moment. Artificially renouncing work, for me, can only lead to symptoms of depression.

I was also reminded of a saying by Srila Prabhupada that how we have created unnecessary necessities in this modern day world, perhaps the invention of computer is one such (un)necessity. Hard to say but if my whole day is rendered useless because of a malfunctioning computer, then either I should find a different job or seriously find alternate ways to efficiently function without the virtual crutches’ – computer.

Anyways, the computer is back to 95% of its capacity (still work needs to be done)…but at least I can write blogs during work…yes…nothing like being back to work full time!

Hare Krishna

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My salutes to a Krishna Conscious soldier

For those who do not know, HG Partha sarathi prabhu is serving in the US Army in Iraq in intense conditions and at the same time setting high standards in sadhana bhakti to Krishna.

I wanted to take an opportunity pay my salutes to H.G.Partha sarathi prabhu for his valor and determination to stay fixed in his Krishna Consciousness. In spite of intense material conditions, he is showing me and many more on how to practice bhakti to Krishna. Personally, he has been a great inspiration to me, though I do not know him personally.

If he reads this post, I just wanted to say, prabhuji – thank you for being such a role model in Krishna Consciousness to show neophytes such as myself that duty towards our guru and Krishna is above all material considerations even above duty to one’s country. Thank you for your inspiration. I hope one day to serve with such determination and focus like you.

I sincerely pray and hope you fulfill your desire of service to Guru and Gauranga. Please bless me in my service to my guru and Gauranga!

Thank you for everything you do.

Hare Krishna

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

India Today

The pictures are indeed revealing. These are the pictures and topics that take precedence in cover pages of important magazines and confronts every youth in India.

India Today is famous for various reasons such as software markets, Indians ability to speak english, bollywood, cricket, growing economy etc etc. India is being recognized for everything but for its spiritual culture. Today, there are as many spiritual practices as there are stars in the sky. Due to lack of proper spiritual knowledge the youth of India have completely rejected its importance and have turned themselves towards the western world and western minds. At the best we can find people with a sentimental ritualistic approach towards the concept of philosophy and religion. This indeed is a sorry state of affair and a bane of globalization.

While as Indians we are supposed to educate the whole world on spiritual ways of life, we have forgotten our roots and have become addicted to temporary cheap pleasures of life. Excessive indulgence in subjects such as cable TV, movies, mundane politics, culture of shopping, frivolous sports, internet surfing etc etc are some of the socioeconomic indicators for mundane aspirations.

Who is to blame for this current spiritual crisis? Is it the government for having the lack of foresight to educate young children, the schools, the leaders, or the parent? It can be any one reason or combination of many. But at the end of the day, the onus is on the individual. It is the individual person’s sincere desire to seek the true meaning of life and not waste it on temporary and mundane subject matters. Then the supersoul within will guide the individual to the right place. If, however, our seeking is not determined and committed we can easily be detracted to the sidelines.

If it is an individual’s responsibility, how is it that being an Indian is special? Being an Indian is special for the following reason

bhārata-bhūmite haila manuṣya janma yāra
janma sārthaka kari' kara para-upakāra
CC Adi Lila 9.41

One who has taken his birth as a human being in the land of India [Bhārata-varṣa] should make his life successful and work for the benefit of all other people.

Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport, the highest benefit or gift one can give to anyone is the gift of Krishna Consciousness or God Consciousness. If one Indian (Srila Prabhupada) at the age of 70 could spread the glorious message of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the Vedic culture worldwide and influence millions of lives, imagine what the youth of India can do?

From the day we are conceived to the day we die, we follow so many rituals. All these rituals were originally intended for just one purpose – bhakti to God. The scriptures say this is true knowledge. As Indians we have the first hand privilege to this knowledge. It is our utmost duty to perfect this knowledge and give it to others and this is the request of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Prabhupada.

India Today should be famous for just one reason and that is to show the world how to practice bhakti towards that Supreme God! There is no other knowledge or occupation supreme than this!

Hare Krishna.

Monday, July 7, 2008

All glories of Lord Narasingha Bhagavan!

Below is a true modern incident exhibiting the mercy of Lord Narasingha Bhagavan. Perhaps you must have read the story, but it is worth to read it one more time. All glories to Lord Narasingha Bhagavan! - Hare Krishna

Dear Devotees,

Please accept our humble obeisance's!
All glories to Srila Prabhupad !
All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!!
Wonderful pastime of Narasimha Deva -(submitted by HG Shyam gopal prabhu)

Now allow me to tell a true story that happened some 10 years ago in South-Africa. The father and the daughter who experienced this event told this story to my friend, a sannyasi and devotee of Lord Nrisimhadev. This stories was also found in the newspapers, and several witnesses of this truck-accident after this incident became devotees of Lord Nrisimhadev. This happened to a simple Vaishnav family that lives there. They had a back then 5 years old daughter. This girl was a great `fan' of Nrisimhadev âa“ she found Him simply funny, as he looked half lion half man and felt very attracted to Him. She often told her playmates about her favorite God, a lion and the kids always wondered about what of God this could be a lion.

What can a five years old girl know about God, she wasn't initiated, not even her parents, as far as I can remember. The father of the family followed a guru and surely later accepted initiation. But there was a small Hindu-community they were in close touch with.

So, one day the girl was playing outside with her ball together with other kids, beside the street. The ball, how else could it be, fell on the street, and the girl ran after her precious ball. There was nearly no traffic, a rarely used country road. But this time a very fast truck came running down the road. The girl in her play didn't see the truck coming.

The father was in the first floor of the house and saw his baby girl running on the street âa“ but he also saw the huge truck coming down, closer to his daughter with huge speed. The father yelled at her, but she didn't hear him. So he jumped out of the window of this first floor to save his daughter, and broke both his legs, when coming down, and remained laying on the ground in pain.

He had to watch how his little girl was hit by the truck and thrown through the air, some 20meter away. All children and neighbors around who observed this froze the blood. The father later said his only desire when he saw this was to die.

From the other direction came a police car that also witnessed the accident. The truck went on and the policeman stopped his car across the street to stop him. The truck-driver hardly stopped his truck and he seemed to be very drunk.The policeman immediately called the ambulance and ran over to the motionless laying girl in the grass.The closest hospital was a small private clinic and the ambulance came, but refused to take the girl, being afraid they wouldn't have the necessary devices and machines to help the injuries the girl must have. They advised the policeman to call the main hospital, as only they could efficiently help her, as her spine must be broken, etc. The policeman was in despair, not even knowing where the father of the girl
was. Actually he didn't even know if the girl was still alive, as he didn't dare to touch her, not knowing how injured she was. However, in the end she was brought to a right hospital, the policeman accompanied the girl, and also finally the father there.

The chief-doctor heard then what has happened to the girl, and they immediately x-rayed her to see first results. The policeman wanted to rest assured how the girl was doing, and waited there to see the results. Everybody was shocked to hear what terrific accident had happened to the girl.

So the nurse brought the x-ray pictures to the doctor, who became very upset and started yelling at the nurse she should for-God's-sake bring the right pictures, things were about death and life. He threatened to fire her, as it was unacceptable to make such mistakes. The nurse was scared and didn't understand what was happening. Those were the pictures of the five year old girl that was hit by the truck. The nurse wasn't aware yet of what had
happened to the girl.The doc said this cannot be on the x-ray there was not a single broken bone. So, the doc all the time again and again repeated impossible it can't be'.

Then suddenly the girl awoke from her faint and then told a story at full consciousness which made its tour through the media.

In the moment she picked up the ball from the street, she saw the truck coming up to her. And the only thing she could do was to yell out for help. She didn't call for mommy or daddy, but for her Nrisimhadev. In this moment when the truck should hit her, she suddenly saw how Nrisimhadev picked her up from the ground, smiled at her, and said, `don't be afraid, nothing will happen to you'. The girl continued her story that the Lord had put her on the other side of the street into the grass. But when putting her down, He accidentally scratched her waist, which still hurt her a bit.

She spoke about how beautiful Nrisimhadev was, His hair, His eyes, etc. But his claws were very sharp, He should cut themâaN he wore a golden dhotie, etc. The doctor didn't understand anything and told the policeman she still was in shock and hallucinated, which is normal.

So, the girl was profoundly checked for any injuries, but the only injury they found on her body were those scratches and the doctor said this must be from a wild animal like a lion, as he had cases like this before. So, he was disturbed and asked if they had brought the girl to hospital as this one was inured by a wild animal, not a truckâaN Nobody was clear what had happened. The same doctor and the nurse who took care of her later became devotees, as they later learned from the parent who `that lion' was.

As we can see miracle still today happen. Not only in Mahabharata, Puranas or shastras that are more than thousands of years old. The little girl was very attracted to this form of God, and in her despair she called Him for help. Lord Nrisimhadev did not look if she was initiated and have the right to call His name He protects His devotees, that sincerely worship Him in their hearts.

I am sure this litte girl was no common soul, who knows what she did in her previous life. The sannyasi heard that she very much liked to eat sweets, and prepared a big plateful of sweets for her to rest assured she will not be able to eat it all up. He gave her the mounted plate of sweets, she took some of the sweets and ran out playing with her friends.

As soon as she was gone of the room, the sannyasi went over that plate and took the rest, as for him, this was the best maha-prasad available! Who last time has met Lord Nrisimhadev? Narada Muni maybe?? The girl for sure, and she must be a great soul.

Jai Narsimhadev!
Hari bol

Sunday, July 6, 2008

will work for food

This material world is unforgiving and ruthless. As kali advances people will become more and more sense gratificatory and heartless. This would be evident in the amount of people suffering. The disparate allocation of resources will cause a wide gap between the haves and have-nots. The rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer. This already exists in developing nations such as countries in the African continent and Asian continent (especially).

United States is considered an advanced country and one of the most powerful nations in the world economically, technologically and military wise. However, all is not rosy in this country. I work in the social industry and this is my job to study the socio-economic disparities within the community. When we dig in more, based on national and state data sources, one can evidence immense disparities in socio-economic conditions among people. This is one reason in the 1960s we had what is called in the “city planning” world “white flight”. White flight means predominantly white people moving to the suburbs during the 1960s to start a new era in planning called suburbia. Due to this massive movement, we have urban sprawl in almost every major city in the US which means more dependence on automobiles to commute from work to home and that also means heavy dependence on gasoline to fuel the cars. Due to this type of lifestyle choice people make and are still making, we have wars on terror for OIL.

As a result of this massive suburban movement, the inner cities became dilapidated, neglected and ignored by the city government (because the rich people could afford to move to the suburbs leaving behind the poor people) thus the increase of crime and grime. This lead to social decay in the inner cities (rapid rise in drugs, violence and vandalism). Basic amenities such as affordable housing, quality education and health care became an issue and are still an issue.

As a result of this and other major factors, in the 1980s, there was another big problem that started to surface which the government is not able to handle. This is the issue of “homelessness”. There is a rapid rise in homelessness across all the major metros in the US and now is externally/visually visible in all the public settings such as parks, downtown area, river banks, public libraries and other such public and open places.

Homelessness literally means people are without homes. People stay in camps, shelter homes, boxes, cars and other temporary shelter which do not have adequate facilities. This is a tragedy, problem and shame to the US government because it is not able to curb the count of homeless people. It is estimated (difficult to measure homeless people) that approximately 1% of the metro population, on any given day, is homeless. So, for example, the estimated population of New York is 19 million, that means approximately 190,000 people are homeless in New York. Since homelessness is a difficult concept, this figure is a rough estimate. Nevertheless is a huge number. The biggest tragedy of this homeless issue is more than 50% of the homeless are single mothers with children. Srila Prabhupada, back in the 1960s, criticized this so called equality for women and today his words are coming true. Women are being abused to be left alone with children on the streets. The government is just not adequate to protect them.

The rapid rise in homeless people (mostly women with children) is growing across the country including “small town” Iowa. I was driving to Wal-mart Super center yesterday and right at the entrance to the huge parking lot, was a homeless woman holding a sign “will work for food”. Actually, I saw the same women the second time. The first time I saw her, I ignored her presence. But this time, I could not be so hard hearted.

Another big precipitating cause for homelessness is substance abuse and mental illness. Homeless people (more than 50%) mostly have both the problems concurrently. So I was a little hesitant to approach a homeless women who may be mentally ill or substance abuse. Since she was standing alone near the entrance of the parking lot, the only way was to walk up to her which I was not sure I wanted to do. I knew giving her food will not solve the problem so I wanted to somehow give her Krishna Consciousness as well. My wife encouraged me and so we mustered the strength to walk up to her (after I finished my shopping).

I and my wife approached her and I went like this “will you accept cash”…I could not have said the most ridiculous thing on earth like I was talking to a cashier “do you accept credit card or cash”….anyways the women looked at me and said “what?”….and I raised my voice thinking she was deaf and said “will you take money for food” and she said “why not” and I handed her a five dollar bill. Then I said “I want to give you something else”. At that moment, I did not have a book or anything Krishna Conscious, but I had my Hare Krishna visiting cards which state the mantra and its benefits. I gave her three cards and I helped her to read the mantra once. She chanted the mantra one time loudly to me. I assured her the mantra will protect her from all dangers. Overall, she became very happy and was grateful to us. She said she valued this gift more than the money. She said she will chant daily. I asked her to give the other cards to her friends in the camp.

We spoke a little while on the merits of chanting and other general stuff as well and departed. I could see how by coming in contact with something sublime, she appreciated its value. I hope she chants!

Personally, I was praying Krishna to give me intelligence to do the right thing. It is very encouraging to see how people’s faces light up when they appreciate Krishna. This woman had many lines on her face with no frontal teeth and yet she looked blissful when I showed her the mantra.

I wish Krishna gives me the strength and compassion in my heart to spread His holy names to others as well rich and poor alike.

Hare Krishna

Saturday, July 5, 2008


I was listening to H H Radhanath swami maharaj lecture and he talked about tragedy of life. I was thinking what is the tragedy of life?

A destitute child begging her way through life...tragedy!

A one legged man feeling his way through...tragedy!

The inequalities of the material world. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. A man pulling more than he can pull to make ends meet...tragedy!

A burning Buddhist monk demonstrate against the repressive government, he died without moving a muscle...tragedy!

The photo was taken during the wars in Former Yugoslavia. It shows a column of Krajina Serbs being expelled by Croat forces in 1995 during Operation Storm. Over 450,000 Serbs were expelled in total...tragedy!

The famous 9-11 terrorist strike. The fall of the twin- towers. More than 3000 people died...tragedy!

A fall to death. A man is plunging to his death from the 9-11 attack...tragedy!

An image of a father trying to protect his son in an Israel gunfire, the son died into his father's lap from the crossfire. The image was taken just before the son's demise...tragedy!

The photo won a Pulitzer prize taken during the Sudan famine. The vulture is waiting for the child to die so that it can eat him...tragedy!

These are powerful pictures depicting the condition of the material world. Only a fool will enjoy in this place!

While these are tragic conditions prevailing around us...what is the most tragic of them all?

wasting our human form of life in mundane sense enjoyment in the name of education, career, family, art, architecture, literature, movies, philanthropy, religion etc etc etc

It takes millions and millions of births to attain a human body, and then wasting it over mundane sense enjoyment is the highest tragedy of them all. So more than all the heart breaking photos above, the most tragic situation is when we frivol away our human life for mundane enjoyment. The Upanishads calls those types of people as "atma-ha" or soul-killers.

ṛṣabha uvāca
nāyaḿ deho deha-bhājāḿ nṛloke
kaṣṭān kāmān arhate viḍ-bhujāḿ ye
tapo divyaḿ putrakā yena sattvaḿ
śuddhyed yasmād brahma-saukhyaḿ tv anantam
SB 5.5.1

Lord Ṛṣabhadeva told His sons: My dear boys, of all the living entities who have accepted material bodies in this world, one who has been awarded this human form should not work hard day and night simply for sense gratification, which is available even for dogs and hogs that eat stool. One should engage in penance and austerity to attain the divine position of devotional service. By such activity, one's heart is purified, and when one attains this position, he attains eternal, blissful life, which is transcendental to material happiness and which continues forever.

Here in Lord Rishabadev a great saint and incarnate of Krishna clearly defines the role one should take when one reaches the human form of life. Lord Rishabadev prescribes devotion for Krishna as the ultimate purpose of human life. However it is not easy. Krishna says in the Gita

manuṣyāṇāḿ sahasreṣu
kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāḿ
kaścin māḿ vetti tattvataḥ
BG 7.3

Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth.

bahūnāḿ janmanām ante
jñānavān māḿ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ
BG 7.19

After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.

We can infer from the verses above that human life is attained after millions of births and takes millions and millions more just to surrender to Krishna. So if we waste this one golden chance of human life in mundane affairs, then what can be a bigger tragedy than this?

so much suffering, so much pain, so many tragedies...all can be averted by simply chanting

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

This is the benediction in this golden age!

Please chant!

Hare Krishna

Friday, July 4, 2008

south Indian samayal

Samayal means cooking and the other day i got inspired to cook south indian style cooking. My wife was browsing a south indian cooking blog and seeing the blog, i decided to try couple of recipes.
I made kolukattai (coconut jaggery filled dumplings), rava dosa (semolina crepe) and coconut chutney
Kolukattai is a tradtional Sout Indian sweet that is made with rice flour and coconut jaggery filling. Growing up, my mother used to make this all the time for Ganesh Chaturthi. It is a traditional sweet that fills the tummy. I remember i used to stuff myself with just this sweet to my stomach's full. It is very easy to make.
Rava doasa (semolina crepe) is another traditional south Indian dish that is popular among the tamil speaking masses. Although i am not a big fan of Rava dosa, on the request of my wife, i made this dish. Rava in english is semolina/farina. The semolina really gives the crispiness to the dosa and it gives a tasty combination with different chutneys. I made coconut chutney as a side.
Folks...if you want to taste a traditional south Indian style dish....it cannot get more traditional than this.
For the Rava dosa recipe, please visit the link - http://theyumblog.wordpress.com/2007/08/06/rava-dosa/
There are many more recipes in the link, you can try them as well.
Hare Krishna

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Ten reasons NOT to be a Hare Krishna

I was thinking....what possible reasons people could give to not become Krishna Conscious, below are 10 reasons I could think of....feel free to add more if you can think of any - Hare Krishna

1. Do you have evidence…?
2. I cannot eat meat…not for me man!
3. No intoxication…I don’t think so.
4. Ok…I can take no meat eating and no intoxication but no illicit sex… you gotto be kidding me!
5. I already have another religion.
6. I thought I was God?
7. Get a life dude…there is no such thing as God – we came from monkeys!
8. I don’t have the time for this
9. All pathways lead to the same goal.
10. It is my own GIANT FALSE EGO!

Beauty of Mathematics

"To those who do not know mathematics it is difficult to get across a real feeling as to the beauty, the deepest beauty, of nature ... If you want to learn about nature, to appreciate nature, it is necessary to understand the language that she speaks in"
Richard Feynman

Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty — a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture, without appeal to any part of our weaker nature, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music, yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show. The true spirit of delight, the exaltation, the sense of being more than Man, which is the touchstone of the highest excellence, is to be found in mathematics as surely as poetry. (The Study of Mathematics, in Mysticism and Logic, and Other Essays, ch. 4, London: Longmans, Green, 1918.)

The beauty of numbers!

1 x 8 + 1 = 9

12 x 8 + 2 = 98

123 x 8 + 3 = 987

1234 x 8 + 4 = 9876

12345 x 8 + 5 = 98765

123456 x 8 + 6 = 987654

1234567 x 8 + 7 = 9876543

12345678 x 8 + 8 = 98765432

123456789 x 8 + 9 = 987654321

1 x 9 + 2 = 11

12 x 9 + 3 = 111

123 x 9 + 4 = 1111

1234 x 9 + 5 = 11111

12345 x 9 + 6 = 111111

123456 x 9 + 7 = 1111111

1234567 x 9 + 8 = 11111111

12345678 x 9 + 9 = 111111111

123456789 x 9 +10= 1111111111

9 x 9 + 7 = 88

98 x 9 + 6 = 888

987 x 9 + 5 = 8888

9876 x 9 + 4 = 88888

98765 x 9 + 3 = 888888

987654 x 9 + 2 = 8888888

9876543 x 9 + 1 = 88888888

98765432 x 9 + 0 = 888888888

1 x 1 = 1

11 x 11 = 121

111 x 111 = 12321

1111 x 1111 = 1234321

11111 x 11111 = 123454321

111111 x 111111 = 12345654321

1111111 x 1111111 = 1234567654321

11111111 x 11111111 = 123456787654321

111111111 x 111111111 = 12345678987654321


From a strictly mathematical viewpoint: What Equals 100%?What does it mean to give MORE than 100%?Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%?We have all been in situations where someone wants you to GIVE OVER 100%. How about ACHIEVING 101%? What equals 100% in life?

Here's a little mathematical formula that might helpanswer these questions:



is represented as

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26


H-A-R-D-W-O- R- K

8+1+18+4+23+ 15+18+11 = 98%


K-N-O-W-L-E- D-G-E

11+14+15+23+ 12+5+4+7+ 5 = 96%


A-T-T-I-T-U- D-E

1+20+20+9+20+ 21+4+5 = 100%

THEN, look how far the love of God will take you:

L-O-V-E-O-F- G-O-D

12+15+22+5+15+ 6+7+15+4 = 101%

Therefore, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that:

While Hard Work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude willget you there, It's the Love of God that will put you over the top!

Hare Krishna

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Corporate religion

There are many so called religions in this world. Some of the major ones are Christianity, Islam and Hinduism accounting to approximately 70% (according to one site) of the world population. Most of the religions came about in different times according to time, place and people. Although, the definition and names of God differed according to time, place and people, we can agree (isolating all the variants) that religion is about practicing the eternal principles of love, tolerance and compassion to all living beings and submit to the Supreme God in humility…you can call Him Allah, Jehovah, Krishna etc etc. But in spite of these pure principles, today religion is considered a big NO in the public domain. Why so?

People consider you a fanatic or crazy fellow in pursuant of dogma or blind belief. Yet, some draw a middle ground by merging together as much as possible science and religion and live a so called “religious” yet “rational” life. In other words, it seems rational thinking and religious principles/practice does not go well together. It also seems that rational thinking and logic is consistent only with modern scientific enquiry and not religious principles. Why so?

If one would think deeper, there are many factors but one of the major factors that contribute to this “dogma” type attitude towards religion is because people who profess their respective religions are dogmatic. In other words, people in authoritative positions such as the priests or the pastor or the mullahs are dogmatic. Because of this dogmatic approach towards religion, today religion is just another industry, another corporate world. It has its CEO heads and clerks, it has its power structure and hierarchy, and it is vicious and selfish just as any corporate company.

The sole purpose is to gain money, power and prestige. It can be done only if it has the mass following. To get the masses to follow their religion and not other religions is to make their practice highly sectarian and give the followers a sense of pride and safety net (a place in heaven). It is like Coco Cola Company and Pepsi Cola Company fighting for people to buy their product. Today, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and other religions are fighting to buy their products – that is their God over the other Gods.

Religions are selling their Gods (company products) in fanciful and different ways to attract the minds of the people. It is no more about tolerance, compassion and love…it is all about satisfying the whims of the masses. So, when the so called torch bearers of “truth” behave in ways that is beyond rational thinking…religion obviously becomes a “belief” system…when God is portrayed as a “super hero” with no real tangible value in our daily lives…then religion obviously become a “belief” system.

Bottom line, the common man is too busy with his or her lives to worry about things such as God. But when religious authorities preach pure spiritual values of love and compassion, then for the common man it is no more a matter of ‘belief’ but a matter of spiritual values. But when the religious leaders are focused on money, power and prestige by selling their product (God and scripture) as better than other products by focusing on sectarianism…then religion is reduced to corporatism and all the politics that come with corporatism.

My fear is….if we do not do anything about it….ISKCON may be headed in that direction!

So it is our topmost duty to make sure we sincerely follow the pure principles of love, compassion, tolerance and humility towards all living beings thus making us eligible for prema bhakti towards Krishna. This will ensure the progressive movement of Srila Prabhupada’s divine mission – ISKCON.

Hare Krishna