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

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"tooth" breaking discovery



The above picture may re-write the origins of man defined as per the Evolutionary Theory. Yet another discovery to show the fallible nature of man made theories. We collect evidence here and there and conclude based on our linear thought process. The fact is we will never know based on physical evidence if man existed 200,000 years or 400,000 years. Everything is a speculation. Honestly, speculation should be presented and studied as speculation and not as "facts" or "truths". Therefore in Srimad Bhagavatam there are no "speculations". According to Srimad Bhagavat Puran, human beings existed for millions of years in repeated births and deaths in cyclical eras. We either accept this "truth" or "reject" it - no question of physical-evidence based research followed by speculative interpretation.

Below is the story on the recent find.

Israeli archaeologists said Monday they may have found the earliest evidence yet for the existence of modern man, and if so, it could upset theories of the origin of humans.

A Tel Aviv University team excavating a cave in central Israel said teeth found in the cave are about 400,000 years old and resemble those of other remains of modern man, known scientifically as Homo sapiens, found in Israel. The earliest Homo sapiens remains found until now are half as old.

"It's very exciting to come to this conclusion," said archaeologist Avi Gopher, whose team examined the teeth with X-rays and CT scans and dated them according to the layers of earth where they were found. He stressed that further research is needed to solidify the claim. If it does, he says, "this changes the whole picture of evolution."

The accepted scientific theory is that Homo sapiens originated in Africa and migrated out of the continent. Gopher said if the remains are definitively linked to modern human's ancestors, it could mean that modern man in fact originated in what is now Israel.

Sir Paul Mellars, a prehistory expert at Cambridge University, said the study is reputable, and the find is "important" because remains from that critical time period are scarce, but it is premature to say the remains are human. "Based on the evidence they've cited, it's a very tenuous and frankly rather remote possibility," Mellars said. He said the remains are more likely related to modern man's ancient relatives, the Neanderthals.

According to today's accepted scientific theories, modern humans and Neanderthals stemmed from a common ancestor who lived in Africa about 700,000 years ago. One group of descendants migrated to Europe and developed into Neanderthals, later becoming extinct. Another group stayed in Africa and evolved into Homo sapiens — modern humans.

Teeth are often unreliable indicators of origin, and analyses of skull remains would more definitively identify the species found in the Israeli cave, Mellars said. Gopher, the Israeli archaeologist, said he is confident his team will find skulls and bones as they continue their dig. The prehistoric Qesem cave was discovered in 2000, and excavations began in 2004. Researchers Gopher, Ran Barkai and Israel Hershkowitz published their study in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.


The original link

Hare Krishna

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Chant and Be Embraced

Question to Radhanath Swami: I was wondering, what the scriptures say about what it feels like upon returning to the spiritual world.

Answer by Radhanath Swami: Sanatan Goswami, a seventeenth century saint, describes in his work, Brihat Bhagavatamrita, the reunion of a soul with the Supreme Lord Krishna in the spiritual world. He explains how one day Krishna with his cowherd boyfriends (gopas) and cows was returning from the forest of Vrindavana to his home. On the way a soul that has just attained the spiritual world appeared in the cowherd pasture as a beautiful little cowherd boy. When Krishna saw him, he ran to him and embraced him. And in the ecstasy of love, both Lord Krishna and the newly arrived cowherd boy fainted in ecstasy. All the gopas were very much astonished: who is this boy and why is Krishna laying in the ground in an unconscious state? So Balaram, Krishna’s brother, approached Krishna and brought him back to consciousness by singing sweet words and by fanning him.

Then Krishna told that new cowherd boy, “You left me long, long ago. You forgot me. But I never forgot you. Lifetime after lifetime you tried to enjoy the material world, but I was always in your heart waiting for you to turn to me. You suffered storms, diseases, and broken hearts. Sometimes you enjoyed wealth, prosperity, and high education, but eventually it was all taken away. Did you not feel separation from me as I felt separation from you at every minute? Then finally you turned to me and gave your life to me. I saw how difficult it was in that material world for you to turn to me and be faithful. You were ridiculed, prosecuted, criticized, and sometimes you had to beg, but I was always with you there to protect you. Now, finally you have returned home, I welcome you.”

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Fundamental concept of Krishna Consciousness

Please click on the picture for enlarged version

Monday, December 6, 2010

Brahman's big bang


According to modern scientific knowledge, the beginning of material universe is traced back to elementary particles, gases and high temperature/pressure. In other words, the beginning of what we call life is “matter”. This is not surprising because “matter” can be measured and hence scientists state what they collect as physical evidence. This is what we study in school as “truth”.

According to Vedic scientific knowledge, the beginning of material universe is traced back to “false ego”. The Srimad Bhagavatam states that because of “false ego” or "ahankar", Vishnu who is lying on the causal ocean started this creation to satisfy the “false ego” of the individual atomic souls. False ego or ahankar is an indication of spirit (Brahman). According to Vedic science, life is defined as “Brahman” or “spirit soul”. The presence of false ego means the presence of Brahman. In actuality, the spirit soul (Brahman) has an original identity which is the “real and true” ego. But because the spirit soul wants to enjoy without superior order, it is placed in a make-believe world and obtains a make-believe identity. This make-believe identity is what we call false-ego or false-identity. From the creation standpoint, the false-ego of the spirit soul is the beginning of our material universe which also implies “life”. Therefore, from a Vedic perspective, the beginning of time was “life/spirit” and not necessarily “matter”.

The modern scientists are missing the clue that “matter” also implies “life” because matter cannot manifest on its own. For example, the concept of dark matter is mythology if one validates it on physical evidence. But physicists accept dark matter as fact although there is no physical evidence to prove its existence. This is because dark matter impacts things around it and that impact is measurable. So by way of impact, scientists argue there is something that is causing “impact”. Using the same logic, we can argue that matter, explosion etc cannot happen without unlimited energy. Where does that energy come from? What is its source?

From our daily experience, we can get a clue to this question. We know that matter in itself does not emit energy. When a body of matter is set in motion by external force creates momentum releases energy for sustained movement. Once the force is stopped, energy dies, body of matter eventually stops. This means that something "living" has to exert force and not something "dead" or "inert". This "living" which creates force is called "brahman". Similarly, if we extrapolate this idea to the universal scale, there has to be something "living" to assert force on such massive scale to release such massive energy for creation to take place. This explanation is more realistic and grounded in reality versus the complicated models scientists create.

The nature of "brahman" is opposite to the nature of "matter". Matter is visible and measurable. The opposite would mean "brahman" is invisible and not measurable. Therefore, in one sense, brahman represents everything matter does not, so we can also call brahman "anti-matter". But how do we realistically explain the existence of anti-matter? Just as we concluded that dark matter exists by way of its environmental impact it creates, similarly we can conclude the existence of brahman or anti-matter by the force it creates for creation to happen.

Therefore creation begins with brahman or anti-matter!

Hare Krishna

Friday, December 3, 2010

Ascending process of knowledge is imperfect and always changing

Scientists are working hard trying to define life on this planet and elsewhere. Constantly, there are reports on planets "conducive" for life. The scientific world is rife with speculation regarding this. I have seen numerous numbers thrown out stating "earth" like planets in the solar system and that these planets support life. In fact...the movie "Avatar" is based on this romantic idea of advanced life forms in other planets.

This type of mental speculation with mathematical probabilities is the process of "ascending" knowledge. According to this process, knowledge starts from the self- the individual. The scientists use their fertile brain to propose theories and hunt evidence to prove them. This ascending process of knowledge is imperfect because human beings (self) are unimaginably limited in their ability to gather knowledge. This imperfection is visible with glaring effects when we simply evaluate the world around us. The amount of environmental degradation, famine, poverty, cancer etc is a direct result of advancement in science and technology. Why did the scientists when they were busy inventing factories, cars, and oil drilling wells not think of its side-effects? The negative outcomes overtly outweigh the positives and I have just scratched the surface in regards to negative outcomes versus positive. The scientists have to admit that they let the global community down in the past 250 odd years.

This, in my opinion, shows the failure of our educational system which is built on the philosophy of "ascending" process of knowledge gathering. Therefore, our knowledge will never be perfect and constantly in flux. In contrast, descending knowledge from a "pure" source is considered perfect free from human defects. Such a source is KRISHNA.

According to Krishna, life exists everywhere under all circumstances. Below is a conversation by Srila Prabhupada indicating the same.

Recorded on April 18, 1973, in cheviot Hills Park, Los Angeles.

Srila Prabhupada is accompanied by Dr. Thoudam Damodara Singh, Karandhara dasa adhikari, Brahmananda Svami and other students.

Life on Other Planets

Srila Prabhupada. Even on the sun and moon there are living entities. What is the opinion of the scientists?

Dr. Singh. They say there is no life there.

Srila Prabhupada. That is nonsense. There is life there.

Dr. Singh. They say that there is no life on the moon because they did not find any there.

Srila Prabhupada. Why do they believe that? The moon planet is covered with dust, but within that dust the living entities can live. Every atmosphere is suitable for life--any atmosphere. Therefore the Vedas[1] describe the living entities as sarva-gatah, which means "existing in all circumstances." The living entity is not material. Although encaged in a material body, he is not material. But when we speak of different atmospheres, we refer to different material conditions.

Karandhara. They say that the moon's atmosphere is unsuitable for life, but all they can legitimately say is that it is unsuitable for life as they know it.

Srila Prabhupada. The Vedas say that the living entity has no connection with material things. He cannot be burned, cut, dried up or moistened. This is discussed in Bhagavad-gita.[2]

Dr. Singh. Scientists extend their knowledge about life on this planet, thinking that it must apply to life on other planets also.

Srila Prabhupada. Yes. They are thinking foremost of their own selves. They are thinking limitedly, in terms of their own circumstances. This is what we call "Dr. Frog's philosophy. [Laughter.]

Karandhara. The basis of what they call "scientific integrity" is that they talk only about what they can directly experience.

Srila Prabhupada. You may talk about your experience, and I may talk about my experience. But why should I accept your experience? You may be a fool, so why should I also become a fool? You may be a frog, but suppose I am a whale. Why should I take your well as all in all? You have your method of acquiring scientific knowledge, and I have mine.

Dr. Singh. Because the scientists haven't detected any water on the surface of the moon, they've concluded that no life could survive there.

Srila Prabhupada. They haven't seen the whole surface of the moon. Suppose someone were to come here from another planet, drop into the Arabian Desert and then return home. Could he come to a complete conclusion about the nature of the whole earth? His knowledge would not be complete.

Karandhara. They have a device that senses water. They say they've had it orbit the moon, and they've concluded that the moon has no water and therefore no life.

Srila Prabhupada. Even if, as on the sun, there is apparently no water, still there are living entities there. How does a cactus grow in the desert, apparently without water?

Karandhara. It gets water from the atmosphere.

Srila Prabhupada. Yes, because the atmosphere contains all the elements needed to sustain life: earth, water, fire, air and ether. In anything material, all these elements are present. For example, in my body there is water, although you cannot see it. Similarly, you don't see fire in my body, yet my body is warm. Where does this warmth come from? You don't see any fire. Do you see any fire burning in my body? Then where does the warmth come from? What is the answer?

Now...Prabhupada as astute as he is makes perfect sense in his common sense logic. Yet the scientists cannot deny his questions. To prove Prabhupada is correct in that scientists know very little through their ascending process of knowledge gathering and that life can exist in all circumstances has been seen as valid by a group of scientists who have discovered a germ that thrives on arsenic. According to the scientists...this germ redefines the definition of life. Vedic science has been saying this all along for more than 5000 years that life is ubiquitous and yet modern thinking man is stubborn to ignore such perfect knowledge coming down from a perfect source.

Please read the full article here

In conclusion, the ascending process of learning is imperfect, incomplete and unsafe to trust. Modern scientists therefore are imperfect, incomplete and unsafe to trust. This post is one evidence but there are numerous in this regard.

If you have faith in a "perfect" person Krishna, then the knowledge descending from Him is also perfect. According to Him, the goal of life is not to search after life forms or build skyscrapers or conduct harmonic notes for pleasure. The goal of life is to understand the root cause of all suffering and put a stop that root. The root cause of all suffering is repetitive birth and death. The way to stop this is by chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra.

Please chant Hare Krishna

Hare Krishna

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Search for the Truth

Do not try to discover the nature of truth by the exercise of your imagination. Do not endeavor to attain the truth through experience of this world. Do not manufacture truth in order to satisfy your erring inclinations, or hastily accept anything for the reason it satisfies such inclinations. Do not regard as truth anything that has been "built up" or has the support of a majority of people like yourself, nor as truth anything that is rejected by the overwhelming majority. According to the scriptures there will be found hardly one in a crore of human beings who really worships the truth. What is proclaimed by the united voices of all the people of this world as truth may turn out to be false. Therefore, cease to confront the truth in a challenging mood. The truth is not brought into existence by such arrogance. One has to approach the truth in the spirit of absolute submission. It is necessary to listen to truth. Truth is self revealing, and only when it is pleased to reveal itself can its actual nature be known to us, and not otherwise.

- Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Takur

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Surfing



Prabhupada: This morning we were talking about the sufferers, what is called? The sea suffers?

Devotees: Surfers.

Prabhupada: Surfer, yes. (devotees laugh) Surfer. I call "sufferer." "Sea-sufferer." (laughter) Sea-surfer, it is practical because we are creating a situation by which we shall become a fish. Yes. Contamination. Just like if you purposely contaminate some disease you must suffer from that disease. Karanam guna-sango 'sya sad-asad janma-yoniSu [Bg. 13.22], in the Bhagavad-gita. Why there are different varieties of life? What is the reason? That reason means karanam. Krsna says in the Bhagavad..., karanam guna-sango 'sya sad-asad janma-yonisu. Prakrteh kriyamanani prakrti-stho 'pi purusah bhujjante tad-gunan. So the reason is as we are infecting. The nature's law is so perfect that you infect something, some disease, some contamination, then you must suffer. This is nature's law, automatically going on. Karanam guna-sango 'sya.

- Srila Prabhupada May 8 1976 Honolulu

Orcas, or killer whales, positioned themselves prominently and made it clear they were the real experts -- and that no mere human on a surfboard was going to deny them whatever waves they wanted. "They knew what they were doing," Michael Cunningham, a Northern Advocate photographer and witness, told the newspaper. "They looked like they'd done it before."

- Michael Cunningham (Surfer and Professional Photographer) November 13 2010 New Zealand

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sincere devotee versus insincere devotee

A symptom of spiritual advancement is we really want to help others rather than others wanting to help us. It is easy to criticize and easy to find faults. Anybody can do that. You don’t have to be sincere to do that but you have to be very sincere to see whatever opportunity there is to solve the problem. We may see some problems; I don’t want to associate, what am I getting out of it? I am not enlivened. Forget about your enlivenment, more important is how can you enliven others. If you earnestly and sincerely desire to help others then God will empower you to do higher and bigger things in this world. When the devotees are unified in a common spirit to glorify Krishna and serve their Guru and fulfill his desires then there is no power on earth that can impede the progress of this movement. Maya creates disunity. Unity means every single individual must take it his life’s responsibility to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. There are million reasons to not want to associate. There are million faults you can find. But all is necessary is one reason to associate - To serve Guru - To fulfill the desires of Krishna. This is the great sacrifice.

There are so many personality conflicts; there are so many people we don’t like; there are so many things we don’t like; there are so many people who don’t care about me but the question is not how many people care about me but the question is how much I care about them. Saint Francis said seek not to take but to give; seek not to be consoled but to console. We have to give up our selfishness. The tendency is to feel sorry for ourselves but we should learn to feel sorry for others. Why don’t we feel sorry for others and help them rather than feel sorry for us and expect everyone to help us. That is the difference between a sincere devotee and insincere devotee. Every one of us has the capacity to be sincere and hear from the proper sources and accept and follow. That’s all. It takes any fool on the street to find fault in others any fool in the street can talk about his own glories but it takes a great man to see whatever little good quality is in another and not worry about whatever faults may be there.

- H.H.Radhanath Swami

Monday, November 8, 2010

Yet another study linking red meat with cancer

Red and processed meats have been linked to an increase in colorectal cancer and now a possible link has been noted to esophageal and stomach cancers according to a new study by US researchers. Amanda J. Cross, PhD., from the National Cancer Institute, and colleagues have published their findings in the latest issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Please read the whole story here.

Hare Krishna

Sunday, November 7, 2010

"Coffee talk" Krishna

Many times, I have seen that people are forthcoming in discussions about Krishna. They acknowledge His Supremacy so on and so forth. But when it comes to accepting Krishna into their day-to-day world, they start to push back. In other words, people in general like to keep discussions on Krishna or God at a coffee-table level. Lets have a cup of tea and perhaps discuss albeit intensely on the "reality" of Krishna. Once the tea cup empties so is my energy to discuss. Krishna says in the Gita that as one approaches me accordingly I return. In other words, if we want to keep Krishna at a distant just at the coffee table, then Krishna kindly reciprocates our gesture. He will not be a real person but simply a symbolic representation of "a truth" among the many. He will not appeal to us in a manner that will invoke within us a desire to seek Him in truth. A desire strong enough to change my world to fit Krishna's world. My world which consists of career, family life, entertainment, friendship, civic responsibilities etc will not accommodate the world of Krishna. We will see and think that because both worlds are clashing at some point, let me give up Krishna on the grounds of "impracticality" to continue mine.

This very idea that Krishna is a topic for philosophy and scholarly debate only but otherwise not is the reason we cannot attain the favor of Krishna in a real way. Who in their right minds will reject such a favor coming down from a sublime source? A source that is filled with unlimited happiness and freedom. The very ideologies we are desperately trying to achieve in this temporary relative world. For such unfortunate souls who limit Krishna to "coffee talk" will never understand the proximity of Krishna and the happiness one can derive. The reasons can be various for our "coffee-talk" tendency such as laziness, fear of change, just don't like to accommodate Krishna in my life that personally, no faith that Krishna will make any difference, not want to give up my position for Krishna or can be a combination of the above.

I guess when we are fed up searching after happiness and freedom in this world is when we will get rid of the inertia and intentionally try to change our world to fit in Krishna. When this happens, we will see how Krishna Consciousness is simply not philosophy and scholarly but that Krishna is a real person who has unlimited possibilities. Possibilities that can give us unlimited energy to serve Him in different capacities according to our eternal nature. The eagerness to understand Krishna in truth as a Supreme person is directly proportional to our eagerness to give up our conditional inertia.

The choice is ours - to keep Krishna at arms length always (coffee talk Krishna) or open our hearts to actually let Him in and experience a relationship with Him. When we allow Him into our hearts in a real way adjusting the existing furniture, Krishna is no more a symbolic icon of a culture or past with no practical meaning to my life but becomes a real person with feelings.

Hare Krishna

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

One eternal Instruction

Chanting the Names of God is the recommended process for uninterrupted happiness in this age of quarrel and hypocrisy. Yet we face barriers to even start chanting or sustain chanting. Embedded within the concept of chanting is the concept of change. In order to embrace chanting as an eternal principle in our lives, we have to be ready to change the way we think, feel and desire.

Chanting cannot sustain and grow into pure vibration without a constant desire to change the way we perceive people, and its concomitant life incidents. Therefore our first step to chanting is to cultivate a mood of internal reflection based on the instructions of pure self-realized masters and the Vedas such as Bhagavad Gita. Unless we aspire to understand, digest and practically apply the words of a pure master under all trying circumstances, chanting Hare Krishna will simply be an esoteric concept or at best a facet of my religious formality.

Therefore, Mahaprabhu says, to chant without cessation requires humility of heart, tolerance of mind and universal respect, all this, without even a tiny tinge of selfishness. Universal humility, tolerance and respect can be invoked within our hearts only if we open ourselves to it and constantly correct our wrongs internally and externally and strive on changing my selfish approach towards people, and life incidents under all circumstances.

As we strive for constant internal change from selfish desires to selfless desires, our desire to chant and associate with Krishna through His names will only continue and increase.

Chanting is not another religious formality.
Chanting is my life
Chanting is my soul

I will go to any lengths to chant the Names of Sri Krishna and glorify Him in that process. This should be my prayer and my desire. This is the one eternal divine instruction reverberating within the heart of all pure masters and all pure words.

Aspire to change
Aspire to chant

Chant Hare Krishna

Hare Krishna

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Life-after-death is ancient wisdom

I was reading this article on "near-death" experiment and its progressive evidence supporting the same. But what is astonishing and in fact narrow is how scientists simply dismiss previous literature on after-life as valid. The Bhagavad Gita has most lucid explanation of body, mind and soul (consciousness) there is and yet scientists reject it as something "religious". This, in my opinion, is foolish. Why would one want to reject knowledge in the name of "religion"? Knowledge is knowledge regardless of the label one gives. If the Gita can provide literary evidence to body-soul concept and now the scientists are able to prove it empirically...then why not accept the Gita as an authentic source of knowledge?

From this article, clearly, there is something that conventional wisdom has failed to reveal and yet modern science is so stubborn (I am sure due to political reasons) to acknowledge the ancient wisdom of the Gita. The entire Vedic knowledge is built on the fundamental aphorism that "we are not this material body". While a whole culture is formed based on this idea, yet, scientists are treating this "after-life" phenomenon as something no human being has studied before or encountered.

This biased neglect is hypocrisy. The last paragraph of the article says "The self, the soul, the psyche—throughout history, we've never managed to figure out what it is and how it relates to the body," he says. "This is very important for science and fascinating for humankind". This statement reveals the ignorance of the primary researcher Dr. Parnia. To say "we've never figured out throughout history" and generalize this fascination for all humankind is purely insular, ridiculous and hypocritical. It undermines all the great work great philosophers have done in the past. They may not have given statistical information but nevertheless they have shed immense knowledge on this subject.

The entire Vedic culture for the past 5000 years was based on the concept of body and soul. One can find remnants of this culture still present today in different parts of the world especially in the Indian sub-continent. This phenomenon is not new or fascinating. It is an age-old phenomenon which modern man is simply blind towards.

Unfortunately, from whatever I have read and heard, modern science and scientists simply represent a western world view and clearly this is neither scientific nor representing humankind.

The article can be read here.

Hare Krishna

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Happy Meal always happy!


Any difference between the two pictures...visibly NO!

This is a project done by a person for art. She bought a McDonalds Happy Meal and kept it on her kitchen counter for 6 months. She found no visible decomposition. The first picture was taken on the day of purchase and the second after 6months.

Even the micro fungi and bacteria molds reject eating McDonalds type fast-food garbage. Normally fresh foods go stale with blue and green molds growing on it if not consumed within 3 to 5 days what to speak of 180? I am simply amazed how a human can gorge on this what is called as "food". Basically, eating in McDonalds means we lower our standards below micro-organisms. Imagine how long this will sit in the intestine. No wonder meat eaters have a high probability of colon cancer.

In the name of advancement and civilization, we kill animals and consume their flesh when there is ample vegetables, grains and fruits to eat. A civilization cannot sustain on bloodshed, eventually, everything will come falling down.

This happy meal is always happy!

Hare Krishna

Monday, October 11, 2010

random chance and the Supersoul




Modern day science is based on evidence followed by rigorous tested research. The research, then, is reviewed for quality till it is finally published. Research is operationalized through statistical testing and modeling. This is true for most research if not all. Therefore statistical modeling occupies the most significant aspect in modern science and in fact determines the quality of the findings and evidence.

Statistics, at the fundamental level, tries to average out data and report trends etc. In one sense, statistics completely negates the concept of the supersoul. What we call “directive action” conducted by supersoul is called “random action” directed by chance or freak of nature. The unknown that the scientists cannot explain is easily “covered” up as chance or random. This unexplained mystery called “chance” or “random” event underlines all major theories of modern science from the Big Bang to quantum science. The universe just after the big bang explosion randomly combined to form heavy metals from gas form. Another example, through random mutation over time what was soup become cellular organism which later evolved into human beings. In quantum physics particles at the sub-atomic level randomly position itself in relation to the nuclei that can be measured only in clouds called the theory of uncertainty. So like this, the fundamental assertions of modern science of origins, life and creation are filled with stories that are founded on chance occurrences and random variations.

The vedic science, however, completely rejects such an idea. That which is taken seriously as knowledge- random chance-among modern scientists is actually seen as ignorance among the vedic seers. The Bhagavad Gita clearly indicates the position of the supersoul in relation to practical affairs. Nothing is random or by chance. The supersoul directs all actions, origins, life and creation. All good and bad things happening are grandly orchestrated by the supersoul. The supersoul cannot be seen with the naked eye. It is located in the region of the heart within every living entity (fauna and flora alike). The supersoul can be seen through yoga and meditation. The supersoul or Paramatma in sanskrit has blue color body with four arms, bedecked with jewels in His crown, chest. He has flower garland over His neck and different paraphernalia in all His four arms - as described by yogis and pure devotees who have seen Him. Realizing and seeing the supersoul is a goal of life for some. But for others, serving the supersoul in devotion is the goal.

That supersoul who is present in all beings within this creation is called Krishna. If we can understand who Krishna is in truth, then, we can be happy in all conditions of existential life. That is also my goal – to know and understand Krishna in truth and ultimately be happy in all conditions of life.

Hare Krishna

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

True religion is founded on objective inquiry

Stephen Hawking in 2010 said about science and religion “There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, [and] science, which is based on observation and reason. Science will win because it works

Personally, I don’t quite fully agree with his statement as I think it is too general and simplistic. I think science is also authoritative and not entirely based on observation and reason. For example, in schools especially, one does not have much freedom to question based on observation & reason and take a position against the curriculum books unless you want to fail in class. Knowledge albeit “scientific” is thrust upon children with fertile brains. So by the time, they reach college, they take sides supporting or rejecting scientific theories but all within the umbrella of “science”. I don’t think there is an alternate school of thought encouraged or developed if a young child chooses. So in that sense, I think modern science is as authoritative if not more as religion. In fact, out of pressure to maintain one’s social and economic identity, one is forced to choose one way or the other…again within the umbrella of science. Every sphere of life, today, from politics to sports to entertainment is based on the principles of modern science which functions based on authority.

I do agree, however, that modern religion due to unscrupulous leaders has become an appendage with no practical value or reason. Because religious leaders could not bridge the gap between real world life and religious principles, the aspect of authority was stressed and highlighted as the end all. While there is authority in all spheres of life including science and I think authority is necessary for proper order in society, unfortunately, religion simply orders people to do things in the name of higher authority which otherwise puts the followers in face with “eternal damnation”. Therefore out of fear to such authority, by and large people approach religion. When we remove practical reason out of religion, it simply becomes a symbolic value and nothing more. This, in my opinion, is not because “religion” as a concept is false but because the so called torch bearers of religion failed to maintain purity of heart and appeal to the practical matters of the general public.

You see modern science and philosophy is a rebellious offshoot to religion. But this religion is based on a Judeo-Christian tradition. Historically, the forefathers of science moved away from dogmatic religion to empirical science simply to disprove the Judeo-Christian version of reality. The church during the middle ages mishandled their authority and thus gave birth to science. On the other hand, Vedic science is modeled around dialogue. All the great knowledge of Vedic science such as the Bhagavad Gita, Bhagavata Purana etc is based on a dialogue of question and answer between the speaker and questioner. The dialogues originate based on observation and reason and culminates in surrender to a sublime authority (not mundane). In the same breadth, random unreasonable questioning is also discouraged.

Therefore, going back to the original statement by Hawking, true religion which is based on non-sectarian values and beyond external rituals and form actually starts with reason and not authority. But for one to go beyond the external form requires intentional effort from the seeker – that which is founded upon open, humble and introspective inquiry.

Anybody who keeps aside (at least temporarily) his or her preconceived ideas about this world and God, and have faith in a higher power, approaches it with an unmotivated, sincere and humble heart, and in that mood observe and ask questions not to criticize but to learn, to such a heart, true religion will be automatically revealed.

True religion culminates in surrender to a pure authority but is founded on objective inquiry and sustained through sincere and determined practice. True religion will also win as it works!

Hare Krishna

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Supertheory

Modern science and scientists are frantically trying to answer “everything” through one theory. But modern science defines a thing as that which can be measured and tested otherwise it is an anomaly. Essentially "everything" deals with only the seen, touched, smelled or heard directly or indirectly through gadgets. It does not account for the unseen, unheard, and unfelt. Then, how can science call it “everything”. Shouldn’t it be more like “something” or “everything measurable”. Anyways…this is the sheer arrogance upon which scientists and modern science operates.

My point is, there are many “things” even modern scientists acknowledge as “existing” but “not explainable”. This conclusion, they come to, is based on modern scientific testing methods. So by their own standards, they accept that everything cannot be known. For example, below is an excerpt from two physicists on potential paranormal behavior that they are not able to explain through conventional wisdom.

While measuring sound levels, they noticed that, although no sound was heard, their monitor showed a huge deflection, so they concluded that there must have been direct pressure on the crystal in the microphone. They speculated that a similar invisible force could be acting on the pen of the Unireg [electrical instrument showing voltage fluctuations] itself, causing the unnatural loops directly, independently of the electrical current. They speculated further: the same force could be acting on the tiny springs inside the telephone, bypassing the dial. It was active only for short periods, its nature was complex and it was not electrodynamic. Known physics could not explain it”.

There are tonnes of unexplained phenomenon or unknowns similar to this that can never be explained. To propose one theory, then, essentially means to redefine how science fundamentally operates. They should seriously study things that cannot be seen, heard, smelled or felt if they want to find one supertheory to explain everything.

True & superior knowledge, therefore, includes the known (that which can be measured) and the unknown (which cannot be measured). Modern science fails in the unknown and hence inferior knowledge. It cannot comprehensively explain so many crucial aspects of life such as near-death experience, past life memories, alien life forms, science of astrology, dreams, creation of the Universe, creation of Life, ghosts to name a few. They put all this in one big bucket and call it “paranormal” like it is some sort of stepchild to mainstream knowledge.

Even if scientists try to explain things using mainstream logic, to hide their ignorance, they simply call all events either “mental concoction” or “random events”. This type of simplistic explanation and dismissal actually reveals their ignorance about “everything”.

However, all this can be explained if we understand the fundamental aphorism of Vedic science. Vedic science tells us that the gross external body is simply a covering. The real person is a spirit (soul) and made of spiritual qualities (not material). Vedic science defines this “spirit” as “life”. Modern science defines combination of chemicals (anatomy and physiology) as life. These two definitions are diametrically opposite with each other. Because modern science defines chemicals as life, they are not able to account for freaks of nature such as past-life memories or ghosts etc.

Vedic science goes on to explain that this “spirit” or “life” is unique and individualistic. In other words, every atomic spirit has a character and forms the personality of the person. The spirit also cannot be cut, burnt or withered by water. It is transcendental to material designations such as heat, cold, and other physical properties. Just as in this planet, the “spirit” occupies the fish body and is able to live in water according to the environment as opposed to a spirit in human body who cannot live in water; similarly, the “spirit” takes a physical form suiting its environment. By this logic, there can be life forms in all planets depending on the environmental condition. Because spirit is not the body it occupies, sometimes, the spirit can remember the previous bodies it occupied in the past, and this remembrance can explain past-life memories. Also, it can explain the concept of ghosts as spirits wander without physical bodies.

Vedic science explains that “spirit” (aka life) is superior to matter (aka material body) because the body is temporary and inert where as the spirit is unchanging and full of life. Just as in the physical sense, we have a government with one leader; similarly, in the spiritual realm we have a government and a Supreme leader. This explains the concept of astrology, creation of the universe and existence of life. This one Supreme spiritual leader is called “God” by different religions.

The concept of the soul is all-pervading and present everywhere. The soul is guided and directed by one supersoul. Vedic science calls this supersoul “Krishna”. To conclude, if we know the soul, supersoul Krishna and their mutual relationship, we essentially have a “supertheory” that can potentially explain everything.

Hare Krishna

Monday, October 4, 2010

compassion of H.H.Radhanath Swami

We hear so many personal stories about how Srila Prabhupada showed immense compassion to fallen souls to get an opportunity to serve Krishna.

Here is one such story about H.H.Radhanath Swami.

In 1993, a nine year old reached a safe haven—the Lady Nothcote Hindu Orphanage. He was rescued from the perils of child labour by a compassionate monk, Bhagavan Das. The boy had lost his father, while his mother struggled to make ends meet in a remote Maharashtrian village….. I was that boy.

We kids were like small seeds buried in the dry sands of a cruel world. That orphanage groomed us into what we are now—beautiful blossoms that beautify that same world. And our chief gardener was Radhanath Swami.

An incident from those formative years I vividly remember. Every year, we kids at the orphanage were allowed to accompany Radhanath Swami and his congregation on their pilgrimage. One year, spontaneously my thoughts floated to my mother in the village. How I wished she too could join us. My little brain thought little of the financial requirements of a pilgrimage, and I walked straight to Radhanath Swami. “Can my mother join us too?” I spoke to him in Hindi. He nodded with a smile. Again, I had witnessed the affection of the heart transcended all language barriers between us.
Yes, that year my mother joined me on that pilgrimage.

Later, our caretaker monk disclosed to me what had transpired behind my back. Radhanath Swami had called for a meeting of the pilgrimage organizers just to arrange for the finances and every other need of my mother’s pilgrimage. Towards the end he had told a manager, “You should take care of Jyandev’s mother as if she were Mr. Hrishikesh Mafatlal’s mother.” Mr. Mafatlal is a well known Indian Industrialist.

source

Hare Krishna

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Approaching Ayodhya


I have not been following the verdict on Ayodhya temple and Babur mosque issue in the land of Ayodhya, India. The verdict on the Ayodhya issue I believe is today. I am not aware of the full details that encircle the political problem and the current verdict. I have read and heard sentiments being hurt on both sides. Surely, this is a sensitive and sentimental affair.

I remember when I was in high school, the demolition of the Babur mosque took place and as a result there were huge riots with people killing each other. It was party time for politicians who instigate such violent acts in the name of “dharma” or protecting religion. Since then, the Hindu-Muslim divide has only gotten deeper. The mainstream Hindus accept Ayodhya as an iconic and sacred symbol representing their values, culture and heritage. The mainstream Muslims argue the same, thus the ill feelings between both parties.

Ayodhya is not a material idea. By material, I mean, it is not bound by time and geography. It is not represented by brick and mortar. When we argue over brick and mortar, we bring Ayodhya to the mundane plane thus defiling and spoiling its purity. Gold is gold regardless of dirt covering it. Whether there is a mosque or shopping mall, Ayodhya retains its significance as a sacred symbol because Ayodhya is spiritual not constricted by material elements. After all, this body we are occupying will also be demolished one day. Does that mean we cease to exist? Just because the temple was demolished and now a mosque built, does it mean Ram or His Ayodhya Dham does not exist? The external representation made of material elements will eventually fade away with time. This is the law of nature and desired by Lord Ram Himself. Why are we lamenting and fighting over destruction of brick and mortar? Therefore, instead of fighting over the deteriorating body (temple) made of material elements, we should worry about reviving our original Ram Consciousness by chanting His Holy Names. This is the will of Sri Ram.

Today, however, the Hindus who claim to follow Sri Ram and protect Ayodhya are not able to distinguish material from spiritual. As a result they feel pain to see a temple being demolished. They think that their religion is blasphemed due to the presence of Muslims. This type of material sentiment is the reason we have killings in the name of “religion”. Unfortunately, this so-called religious sentiment is anything but spiritual or pure.

Lord Sri Ram is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is Sat Chit Ananda. His abode, paraphernalia and His devotees are all Sat Chit and Ananda. He is seated in everyone’s heart as the Supersoul or Paramatma. He knows each and every individual’s motivation and desires. No one can cheat Him or flatter Him. He is beyond the dualities of this world. Along with Sri Ram accompanies His eternal consort, abode and pastimes and that includes Ayodhya Dham. The Dham of Ayodhya can be realized within everyone’s heart provided we are ready to surrender to the will of Lord Ram. When Mother Sita was kidnapped by Ravan, Lord Ram went in search of Sita. Lord Ram fought the war as a last resort as Ravan was adamant and demoniac. Even during the war when Lord Ram was about to kill Ravan, Ram gave a last chance to Ravan by awarding one day respite. However, Ravan was too foolish to surrender to the will of Ram. The message is that we can fight like Ram or Arjuna only if we are completely on the transcendental platform devoid of false-ego. Otherwise, we have to take the humble position and tolerate the dualities of life.

If Hindus are really and genuinely following their dharma, then they should approach Ayodhya in the mood of Sat Chit and Ananda. They should approach Ayodhya as tiny little jivatmas (atomic spirit) in utter dependence on Sri Ram (Paramatma). They should approach Ayodhya with a desire to give up bodily designations that give rise to lust, greed, anger, pride, illusion and envy and serve Sri Ram in complete devotion just like Lord Hanuman. One who is on this transcendental platform are only qualified to fight.

The true temple of Ayodhya and the dham of Ayodhya are eternal and visible to the eyes of the pure devotees of the Lord who are eternally situated at the Lotus Feet of Ram and serving Him in pure love and devotion. For such pure souls, they see Ayodhya everywhere and in everything. They are never separated from Ayodhya.

If Hindus are really and truly Ayodhya conscious, then the correct method of approaching the Ayodhya issue is not by fighting for it externally by restoring bricks and mortar but fighting for it internally by cultivating bhakti with determination. By desiring to control the mind and senses and execute the will of Ram in Bhakti, in doing so, they will never be separated from Ayodhya whether it is a mosque or even the destruction of one’s own material body.

Hare Krishna

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

complete knowledge constitutes realization of the self

Krishna Consciousness, no doubt, has the flawless philosophy and perfect logic and hence the complete science on Transcendence. There is a caveat, however. It is rendered complete in its fullest glory only when it is studied and practiced properly. Both have to be properly executed – studying and practicing. Theoretical understanding commensurating practical realization constitutes the fullness of Krishna Consciousness. Therefore “knowledge” means theory + practice. Krishna and our relationship with Krishna cannot be known fully by merely studying the scriptures or whimsical practice. Knowledge in full will be revealed to us only if are ready to practice steadily under proper knowledge and guidance. This is the essence of Religion.

Krishna proclaims in Bhagavad Gita (9.2) “This knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realization, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed”.

Here, Krishna directly indicates the supremacy of this science simply because it gives “direct” perception of the self by practical realization. He concludes by saying it is the “perfect religion”. Then, Krishna says that it is joyfully performed. Now, this is the secret. People often ask “how do I know if I am perceiving the self or making any progress spiritually?”…the answer lies here…as we realize the self…we will become increasingly joyful under all circumstances constantly glorifying the mercy of God upon us. In other words, perception of the self leads to inner joy which leads to perceive God in everything and everything in God and ultimately constant glorification of His greatness. This constant glorification is “kirtana” or “chanting” and is considered the goal of life.

For all this, we have to take studying and practice in earnest and be patient and tolerant under all circumstances without ever compromising the practice. If everyone takes their religion in such earnest concentrating within, on one’s own internal frailties as opposed to the external imperfection, this world would be a better place.

Indeed…everything is in the Gita.

Chant Hare Krishna in earnest daily, be patient and eventually you will be happy.

Hare Krishna

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

True knowledge and falsifiable truths

Falsification or falsifiability is a theory popularized by Karl Popper. The theory fundamentally asserts that it is logically possible that a statement or theory can be shown false through observation or experiment. In other words, what it means is that if an idea or theory is indeed false, then that falsehood should be demonstrated. Till then, Popper concludes, the particular idea is considered scientifically valid.

This theory broadly falls under the inductive methods of modern testing upon which the entire field of modern science rests. It removes metaphysical aspects of science and keeps it purely physical. Unfortunately, a pure physical approach is dependent upon on machines and our ability to collect data both of which limits true knowledge. Therefore, religious statements or spiritual ideas are not considered scientific because if it is indeed false, then how will I demonstrate it? In a nutshell, this is the theory of falsifiability.

The theory is in existence because as humans we are limited in our abilities to know the truth in its entirety. Limited knowledge can result in false theories. Falsification accounts for this falsehood. Implied in this is that knowledge from a finite source is inherently filled with mistakes or considered “false”. To flip this statement, knowledge from an infinite source is not false or perfect.

Krishna is considered the One Supreme Being who is Perfect thus making Him infinite. The Bhagavad Gita was spoken by Krishna and thus perfect. The million dollar question, then becomes, how do I know if Krishna is Perfect?

Serious seekers of truth, at this point, transcend material science & religion to spiritual science & religion based on the unseen and unheard. At this point, knowledge is not “studied externally” but “revealed internally”. A serious student, following the guidance of expert master will question his internal consciousness in relation to external experiences. Constant questioning coupled with determined practice is the struggle the seeker has to patiently endure under all circumstances. This struggle for the truth will reveal in time the answer about perfect knowledge versus imperfect. At this point the seeker would have “no doubts” in his vision of the truth.

“True” knowledge away from falsifiable truths can be gained only if one has unflinching faith, constant practice and perseverance. The million dollar question that Krishna is the only Perfect Supreme Being will be revealed in time.

Hare Krishna

Monday, September 20, 2010

Scientists, God and the power of objective inquiry

1. Little science takes you away from God but more of it takes you to Him - Louis Pasteur, Founder of Microbiology

2. All things are indeed contrived and ordered with singular providence, divine wisdom, and most admirable and incomprehensible skill. And to none can these attributes be referred save to the Almighty – Sir William Harvey, Founder of Modern Medicine

3. In God there is Power, which is the source of all, also Knowledge, whose content is the variety of the ideas, and finally Will, which makes changes or products according to the principle of the best – Wilhelm Leibniz, Founder of Infinitesimal Calculus

4. For me the idea of a creation is inconceivable without God. One cannot be exposed to the law and order of the universe without concluding that there must be a divine intent behind it all – Wernher Von Braun, founder of Aeronautics

5. We feed our Bodies; our Souls are to be fed: The Food of the Soul is Knowledge, especially Knowledge in the Things of God – John Ray, Founder of Modern Biology

6. For religion, God is at the beginning; for science, God is at the end – Max Planck, Nobel Laureate in Physics

7. I only trace the lines that flow from God – Albert Einstein, Nobel Laureate in Physics

8. The wonderful arrangement and harmony of the cosmos would only originate in the plan of an almighty omniscient being. This is and remains my greatest comprehension – Isaac Newton, Founder of Classical Physics

9. When I reflect on so many profoundly marvelous things that persons have grasped, sought, and done, I recognize even more clearly that human intelligence is a work of God, and one of the most excellent – Galileo Galelei, Founder of Experimental Physics

10. I saw in it (the atom) the key to the deepest secret of nature, and it revealed to me the greatness of the creation and the Creator – Max Born, Nobel Laureate in Physics

11. I think only an idiot can be an atheist – Christian B. Anfinsen, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry

If these great modern day scientists' can recognize the existence of God and give credit to Him, then not sure as common man why we should not? Everything we study right from kindergarten till Phd has been written, discovered and invented by one or more scientists listed above. In other words, our knowledge that we have obtained since childhood is attributed to the brilliant brains of these great scientists. How we think, and feel today to an extent is molded and shaped by these great thinkers and scientists. All the great advancements in science and technology cannot happen without the inventions and discoveries of these famous people. If these renowned and brilliant modern scientific brains can, after the countless hours of studying, analysis and critique, can ultimately recognize and give credit to God, then, in my opinion, God wins the race and not modern science.

I know I can never be Newton or William Harvey in this life, but if people like Newton and Harvey can conclude God exists and that because of God we have such complex reality, then I can save time studying complex biology and physics and simply accept the words of the brilliant minds as authority.

So why waste time breaking my head over this complex reality...why don't I just seek the person who created this complex reality...and that is God?

If this mundane reality is so complex that it requires multiple brains of brilliance over years of knowledge transfer, hours of studying and experimenting, imagine how much knowledge and time it would take to know the creator of such complex reality?

Clearly, from these quotes above, we should at the least take a position of doubt if we do not believe or position of inquisitiveness if we believe as to who the creator really is?

Who is God and what is He look like and why did He create our reality so complex?

Please inquire objectively. As humans, this is our gift given by "God". If you are not convinced, that is ok but at least you can be happy you tried.

Hare Krishna

Saturday, September 18, 2010

What is good?

In today's world, everyone does some sort of good to others...well...at least that is what they think. However, there are some genuine thinkers and activists who take up a good cause and run with it. Martin Luther King Jr wanted to do good for the community at large by helping the African American community of USA. Mahatma Gandhi did the same for the people of India and so did Mohammed Ali Jinnah for the people of Pakistan. Nelson Mandela fought against racial discrimination, Mother Teresa against social inequity and poverty. At a more smaller scale, everyone of us common man take up a profession or act with some "good" in mind. As an urban planner, I want to make this world a better place. A doctor would profess goodness by helping the sick. A theoretical physcist would claim good by way of intellectual emancipation by answering fundamental definitions of life such as what is this universe? where did I come from? etc. Everyone has some sense that what they do or represent is actually "good" and that gives them the motivation to do more. I am sure even terrorist operate on the same platform of some twisted "goodness" that they contribute to their own clan, ethnicity, religion, region or leader.

So...really...what then is "good"?

In my opinion, "good" is akin to "selfless act". If I have to quantify loosely, if any given act of mine is part selfless and part selfish, then the part that is selfless is "good" and the rest is not. So an act, according to me, can either be completely (100%) good and or partially (as low as 1% or less) good or in other words an act can be 100% selfless or as low as 1% selfless. So "good" is as good as "selfless" in my book. If I compare this to the examples above of Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Mandela and even the terrorist, surely these people contribute some "selfless" act for their cause.

To add to this cause of selflessness is the concept of time, if this selfless act has temporary results, then the value of good, in my opinion actually is less. In other words, if I have to select an act out of my free-will that is selfless (aka good) but if that selfless act only gives temporary results or temporary goodness, then, really am i really doing good? Because if I purposefully take up something investing my limited resources to a cause (albeit selflessly) but I know will only yield temporary relief, then in one sense, is this temporary relief really good? In my opinion, a selfless act is good but a selfless act with temporary results is of lower quality goodness.

Therefore, if we want to do the best goodness to others, then, we have to act selflessly but act in such a way that it yeilds permnanent results and not temporary. The concept of "permanent" or "eternal" is applicable only within the domain of the soul and Supersoul and not matter. From that standpoint, what Srila Prabhupada did as an act of "selflessness" is the "purest" and the "highest" form of "good" any man can do to a fellow human and actually all species of life.

Why....because his act gives eternal freedom from the bondage of cyclical suffering that comes to us in various forms such as sociology, economics, politics, religion, basic living needs etc. What is his act of selflessness...to tirelessly encourage people to accept God into their lives beyond superficial rituals, by encouraging people to give up bad-habits, and ultimately give what no man has given...that is to encourage and inspire people to chant the Holy Names of Krishna in an unprecedanted scale.

All of Prabhupada's acts have such repurcussion which no cost-benefit analysis can quantify. That is correct, people giving up bad habits (inspired by Prabhuapada) such as meat eating, intoxication, gambling and reckless sexual behavior has saved the Federal Government billions of dollars of benefit money over a period of one's life. Is this not good from an economic standpoint? Giving up bad habits has imparted stability, productivity and positive feelings thus enhancing social & economic relationships at the domestic and community level. Prabhupada inspired everyone to be good productive citizens...and the best part is he did not even explicitly fight for this cause. Being a good productive and equitable citizen, while is the life goal for most activist, for the movement started by Prabhupada, it was a by-product...why because his goal was permanent (not temporary).

Equal rights, alleviating poverty, politics etc all are good for brief periods of time, but what Prabhupada wanted to give us was to transcend all suffering all together. While he stressed the value of character and discipline, he taught us the ultimate purpose in life is to "love God with all Thy heart, mind and soul". This he taught us by first correcting our character and at the same time (simultaneously) call out God's names. When we become a self-controlled disciplined individual giving respect to all living entities including the plants and animals and at the same time call out God's names, he said and also demonstrated through his practical life that love for God will gradually invoke within us. This, Prabhupada said, is the fullest and most comprehensive solution to all problems of life now and forever.

In conclusion, the two criteria for a "good" act are:

1. degree of selflessness associated with the act and
2. the amount of time the goodness endures as a result of the act

Therefore, in my humble opinion, yes...there are many great people who have done good in the past for brief periods and in the future will do good to others for brief periods, but none can compare to Prabhupada who did and does acts which are pure, 100% selfless and timeless and that in my opinion is the highest and purset form of "good" one living entity can do to another. We should aspire to do good like he did.

To such a tireless, and selfless master, I bow down in full prostration.

Please do a good act that can permnanetly solve your problems. Chant Hare Krishna.

Hare Krishna

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How to be free from miseries and anxiety?

As long as the motivation for your activities is your own pleasure, you will find so much pain in your life.

As long as the motivation for your activities is your own happiness, you will find so much distress in your life.

As long as the motivation for your activities is to find honor you will suffer so much dishonor in your life.

Until you work and you act for the pleasure of Krishna you have to suffer the dualities of material existence. So as long as we do what we like to do we should understand that we are extending the perplexities of our own bondage in material existence.

But as soon as we do what Krishna wants us to do, what the great devotees on behalf of Krishna are telling us to do, through that process we gradually become free from all the miseries and anxieties of the material world.

H.H.Radhanath Swami

Forgiveness

Two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey, they had an argument and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand, "today my best friend slapped me in the face”.

They kept on walking until they found an oasis where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him. After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone, "today my best friend saved my life".

The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, "after I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone. Why?" the friend replied, "when someone hurts us we should write it down in sand, where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it".

Learn to write your hurt in the sand of forgiveness and carve the good by others in stone.

Hare Krishna

source: another blog

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mood of a Vaishnava

I want one soul saved, that is more than millions of dollars.

- Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk -- December 14, 1975, New Delhi

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Carob fudge cake



For Krishna, on His appearance day on wednesday, I made two-tiered carob cake with carob vienna icing. The recipe was taken from Great Vegetarian Dishes book written by Kurma Dasa (a disicple of Srila Prabhupada).

Below is the recipe

Preparation Time: 15 mins
Baking Time: 30 mins
Yield: 1 two-tiered 20 cm (8-inch) carob fudge cake

Ingredients
125 g(4 ounces) butter, room temperature
1 cup (250 ml) caster sugar (i used regular sugar)
1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla essence
1 cup (250 ml) carob powder
1/2 cup (125 ml) hot water
2 teaspoons (10ml) imitation chocolate essence (optional)
2 teaspoons (10ml) fresh lemon juice
1 cup (250 ml) milk
13/4 (435 ml) plain flour (all-purpose flour)
1 teaspoon (5ml) baking powder
1 teaspoon (5ml) bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
Carob Vienna icing

1. Cream the butter , sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Blend the carob powder in the hot water, add the imitation chocolate essence, and mix to a smooth paste. Gradually add the carob powder to the butter and sugar mixture.

2. Add the lemon juice to the milk to sour it.

3. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt and add it to the creamed mixture alternately with sour milk. Mix thoroughly.

4.Spoon the cake mixture into two buttered 20 cm (8-inch) cake tins and bake in a moderate oven (180 deg C/355 deg F) for 30 mins or until the tops spring back when lightly pressed.

5. Allow the cakes to cool in their tins for 10 mins. Turn out and allow to cool completely. Fill and ice with Carob Vienna Icing

Carob Vienna Icing
125 g (4 ounces) butter
21/2 cups (625 ml) icing sugar (confectionery sugar)
4 tablespoons (80ml) carob powder
2 tablespoons (40ml) hot water
1 teaspoon (5ml) imitation chocolate essence (optional)

1. Beat the butter until creamy. Sift eh sugar. Blend the carob powder with the hot water and chocolate essence. Add the icing sugar to the butter alternately with the carob mixture until it reaches a spreading consistency. It should not be too thin or thick.

Alternative: Spread the center with jam and whipped cream. I used strawberry fruit spread instead of jam and came out well. Cover and ice as above.

Kachori



After about 2 years, I am uploading a recipe post. It is a well known fact that Srila Prabhupada relishes kachoris. Coming from southern part of India, I have never tasted kachoris in my life till I made it myself this thursday for Srila Prabhupada on his appearance day. I wanted to do this because I know he likes kachoris.

Below is the recipe.

Makes 12 Kachoris.

Ingredients for crust:
1 cup All Purpose flour (plain flour or maida)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup-1 tablespoon chilled water
Ingredients for filling:

1/4 cup yellow moong dal
1 teaspoon coarsely grinded fennel seeds (saunf)
1 teaspoon coarsely grinded coriander seeds (dhania)
1 teaspoon red chilly flakes
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon mango powder (amchoor)
Pinch of asafetida (hing)
1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust to your taste)
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons water
Oil to deep fry
Method:

To make crust:
Mix the flour, salt and oil. Add the chilled water slowly, mixing with your fingers as you pour.
Do not knead the dough. The dough should be soft. Cover the dough and let it sit for at least fifteen minutes.

To make filling:
Grind the moong dal dry until it almost becomes a powder. Mix 1 tablespoon of oil and dal powder in a frying pan and roast on medium heat for about two to three minutes or dal changes color lightly, stirring constantly. Turn off the heat. Add all the spices and mix it well and let the mixture cool off. Add two tablespoons of warm water and mix it well. Let it sit for ten minutes and cover with demp cloth.

To make the Kachoris:
Take the dough and knead it for a few minutes. Divide the dough in twelve equal parts. Take one part of the dough and with your fingers flatten the edges and make into 3-inch circle. Leaving center little thicker then edges around. Mold the dough into a cup and place 1 teaspoon of filling in the center. Pull the edges of the dough to wrap the dal filling. Repeat with the rest. Let the filled ball sit for 3 to 4 minutes before rolling. Set the kachoris on a surface with the seams facing up. Using the base of your palm, slowly flatten them into about 3 inch circle. Heat about 1 1/2 inche of oil in a frying pan on medium heat. To check if oil is ready put a little piece of dough in the oil, it should sizzle and come up slow. Fry them on medium-low heat. After they start to puff, slowly turn them over. Fry until golden-brown on both sides. If the kachoris are fried on high heat, they will be soft and will not be crispy.

Tips:
Don’t roll the kachoris with a rolling pin. Rolling pins will cause the kachoris to have small holes in the dough, allowing oil to fill the kachoris. Also, when using a rolling pin, the kachoris are uneven and when frying one side will be thicker than the other.

Variation:
Instead of using moong dal, you can use washed urad dal or chana dal. The rest of the recipe stays the same.

Serving suggestions:
Kachoris can be served plain, with a variety of chutneys, with chola, or with dam aloo. Serve them as a chat, pouring plain yogurt and chutney on top.

Friday, September 3, 2010

symptoms caused by the soul is not "life"

Craig Venter’s laboratory cell violates the divine law of recreation, says Kanchi Sankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati, who believes that creating life in a laboratory is an act of defiance against God, as man is created based on his deeds in his previous birth. “Venter’s work violates karma, which alone decides the nature of life for all humans and, besides, creating life in lab could cause cultural degradation as it eliminates the need for marriage and family values,” the swami told DC when his attention was drawn to the creation of synthetic cells in Venter’s laboratory in Rockville, Maryland.

This kind of scientific advancement could be used to provide vital needs like water, the pontiff said, welcoming the use of research to make vaccines and biofuels. “But if a man is synthetically created, he would not be guided by past karma and would behave just like a machine. This should be avoided,” he advised. Asked if the Venter success did not mean achieving greater hei-ghts in decoding the mysteries of life, he shot back, “God first created the entire world and made man and animals. He ensured man benefited through his creations. The synthetic cell will affect all of creation and should be stopped.”

In lighter vein, pointing to a newspaper advertisement on astrological predictions, the seer said, “Even this would be affected." - Deccan Chronicle


The above as spoken by the revered Indian Guru Jayandra Saraswati Shankaracharya. Below are the words spoken by the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna

For the soul there is neither birth nor death at any time. He has not come into being, does not come into being, and will not come into being. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.- BG 2.20

Krishna's words contradicts with modern science and the guru. Although the guru condemns synthetic life, he does not know the real definition of life. From Krishna, from the Bhagavad Gita, we understand life can never be created or destroyed. Therefore the life the scientists talk about is not the same as what Krishna is talking.

Krishna is referring life to the actual soul which is pure spirit, where as the synthetic life per the scientists (and that which is opposed by the Guru) refer to "symptoms" caused by the soul. In other words, the "symptoms" caused by the soul are exhibited via matter, if not, one cannot perceive the presence of the soul. However, the symptoms caused by the soul is not exactly the same as the soul per se. Something like the symptom of a moving car implies a driver which we all know the car is different from the driver. Similarly the symptom of a moving cell or combination of cells implies a soul which means the moving cell is different from the soul.

The scientists can only manipulate the cells thus creating the illusion of creating life. Cloning, test-tube babies etc all are similar manipulations (of existing matter) through which the soul is injected by karma (or higher authority) and thus ultimately bringing into "life" dead matter or combination of cells. If scientists were really on the verge of creating life...the real test is to bring the dead back to life (all dead people and not just certain type of dead people, after all if everything boils down to cells & tissues, then the scientists should be able to reconstruct a human body from scratch).

The conclusion, the scientists and the Indian Guru do not have a clue as to what life really is? Unfortunately, these are the leaders of today's society.

Hare Krishna

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Point in space called Takashi

As I sat on the doorway of my house, I became aware of a sudden blinding flash. Soon, everything around me turned dark. I crouched on the floor unaware of what would happen next. I could see things falling all around me. After what seemed like a long time to me, I got up and saw destruction everywhere. My house was reduced to rubble. Bloody-faced, I looked around and searched for my mother, but could not find her anywhere.

I was rescued by a neighbor, who promised to search for my mother once calm returned. We accompanied a group, which fled to escape the engulfing flames. I caught a glimpse of a lady, who was stuck amid the destruction. She was helpless and unable to move anything but her head. Her face has haunted me since.

As they fled, droplets of black rain fell. My neighbor used a cloth to protect me, but was drenched. She died two months later succumbing to the burns caused by the rain.

Soon the group got to a safer place. I found my friend, whom I had last seen in my hometown. His clothes appeared to be in tatters. I never expected what I saw next. Shreds of skin began to peel off from my friend's body. I lost him after three days.

I, later, learnt from my sister that my mother was found at a river bank close to home. Unable to recover from her severe injuries, she died on August 15, 1945, nine days after the bombing
"

- Takashi Teramoto

This is no narrative from a movie plot but real life experience of a survivor from the Hiroshima nuclear bombing of Aug 6 1945. The truth is indeed bitter. The pain of seeing loved ones die and the pain of the body is excruciating. So much misery!

What are we so proud about – our modern technology or our advanced civilization? What has technology achieved? It has managed to successfully murder people in mass numbers in such short periods. The official death toll for Hiroshima bombing is 140,000 people. Things only have gotten worse since then. In the past 65 years, hatred towards one another and wars have only increased.

As a global civilization, what have we accomplished? Is all the technological advancement worth it for Takashi? Perhaps his family members and rest of the 140,000 would still been alive if not for modern technology and culture.

The story of Takashi unfortunately has become all too common these days that we have cultivated thick skin for such experiences. After all, the hard struggle for existence has to go on with or without Takashi. Takashi is simply a distant memory of the past. Unfortunately, no one really cares about a point in space called Takashi. This is the modern world we live in, our modern culture and civilization we are so very proud of?

The bare truth is we are all Takashis’ – a point in space that this modern world can care less about. We will also soon be a distant memory of the past. What do we learn from such heart wrenching stories? - that this material world is no place for a “gentleman”.

Lord Sri Krishna has promised an alternate reality for us. A reality filled with freedom, joy and eternal happiness. Krishna promises a blissful reality provided we constantly glorify His Names. Is that too difficult?

By constantly chanting Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, we no longer have to suffer the pangs of this exploitative modern culture like the experience of Takashi.

There is still some hope – please chant Hare Krishna!

Hare Krishna

True Love

Some people think love is some pleasure sexual pleasure or some family security or an emotion or sentiment that comes and goes but real love is a feeling of complete sacrifice and surrender to the beloved and factually there is only one personality that can completely reciprocate and fulfill all our desires in total sacrifice and surrender and that is Bhagavan that is Krishna.

H.H.Radhanath Swami

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

how to know God?

Reading the scriptures we cannot know God.
Reading the scriptures we can know how to know God - that is - surrender to Him and His pure representative

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Technology - is it even necessary?

I have heard people argue on the merits of technology and how it has helped humanity more than otherwise. Before we think about its merits and de-merits, people...is technology even necessary to live happily? Sure, it has given us toys to play with and keep adults occupied but at what cost?

I take the view that technology has made lives more complicated than it should be. Seems like, I need to know ten things before I need to accomplish a simple manual task. The test of merit, in my opinion, is does technology actually make life simpler, happier and fulfilling? I think technology for the most part has made things more intricate (complicated), more work (stress) and less yielding on an individual level. The only value I see is the operationalzing of the word “mass”. In other words, mass communication, mass transport, mass data sharing etc. Technology has made mass exchange of data, things, and people happen thus today we have globalization across fields. However, I don’t think mass operations and globalization makes my life simpler and happier. On the contrary it brings layers of scrutiny only increasing process.

In the field of medicine, a special field, people argue on the merits of technology helping people cure diseases. I agree, technology in medicine has made great strides to help people recover illness and live happy lives. But at a philosophical level, still, we have more medical issues today than before due to our way of living which by the way was caused by technology in the first place. Cramped living, docile living, exploitation of Mother Nature & animals all have over the years’ impacted human body. These unnatural living conditions caused due to man's desire for technology have caused more disease than a simple life. Thus while medicine is necessary for cure, I think a simpler way of living does not need high-tech medicines to cure the human body. There is no necessity of performing high-end operations to cure heart attacks. In my opinion, all these diseases are a by-product of technology for the most part. I do agree that there are patients born with congential disorders and modern medicine does a good job of curing or at the least alleviating the problem. However, that population in comparison to the overall medical needs is absolutely minscule. The majority (99%) of the population seek medical services mostly influenced by the quality of living, eating and sleeping. This quality is invariably impacted by modern technological advances.

So while technology has created cures at one level, in another and bigger level is the cause of the illness. No more is preventive health practiced anymore.

The same can be said about landing a man on the moon or digging the earth for fossil records or creating realities at the nano-quantum scale. All this…is it necessary for me to live a simple, happy and fulfilling life? If I can live in a simple way without much complication, to me, is a litmus test for my quality of life. Perhaps without advent of technology, I would not have seen the Niagara in my lifetime if I was living on the other side of the planet (of course I would not worry about Niagara if I did not even know it exists), but at the least I would not have to sit in my car for 2 hours every day to get to work to just put food on my table and to counteract that stress, take anti-depressant and sleep-aid pills and for that pay 30% of my income to the insurance and doctors.

Honestly, to me, it all boils down to this – to eat healthy food, to have an active healthy life (not sedentary) and to sleep peacefully - to that end - is technology really needed?.

You are the judge!

In summary, technology has exploited our natural resources to the point of global reversals. Opulence is measured by government approved paper. This is our current state of affairs.

Srila Prabhupada reflects my sentiment succinctly “What is that higher standard? When there was no industry, in India, there was full of gold, jewelries. And now there is plastic”- A Transcendental Diary Vol 4" by HG Hari Sauri Prabhu

Hare Krishna