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

Sunday, March 28, 2010

something...

Something is better than nothing,
if I am doing something, then do it right,
If I am doing it right, then do it right now!

Hare Krishna

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Svayam Bhagavan Sri Krishna - The Original Personality of Godhead



In the Vedic literature (Gopāla-tāpanī Upaniṣad 1.1) the following statement appears:

sac-cid-ānanda-rūpāya
kṛṣṇāyākliṣṭa-kāriṇe
namo vedānta-vedyāya
gurave buddhi-sākṣiṇe

"I offer my respectful obeisances unto Kṛṣṇa, who has a transcendental form of bliss, eternity and knowledge. I offer my respect to Him, because understanding Him means understanding the Vedas and He is therefore the supreme spiritual master." Then it is said, kṛṣṇo vai paramaṁ daivatam: "Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead." (Gopāla-tāpanī Upaniṣad 1.3) Eko vaśī sarva-gaḥ kṛṣṇa īḍyaḥ: "That one Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He is worshipable." Eko 'pi san bahudhā yo 'vabhāti: "Kṛṣṇa is one, but He is manifested in unlimited forms and expanded incarnations." (Gopāla-tāpanī Upaniṣad 1.21)

The Brahma-saṁhitā (5.1) says,

īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ
anādir ādir govindaḥ
sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam

"The Supreme Personality of Godhead is Kṛṣṇa, who has a body of eternity, knowledge and bliss. He has no beginning, for He is the beginning of everything. He is the cause of all causes."

Elsewhere it is said, yatrāvatīrṇaṁ kṛṣṇākhyaṁ paraṁ brahma narākṛti: "The Supreme Absolute Truth is a person, His name is Kṛṣṇa, and He sometimes descends on this earth." Similarly, in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam we find a description of all kinds of incarnations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and in this list the name of Kṛṣṇa also appears. But then it is said that this Kṛṣṇa is not an incarnation of God but is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself (ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam).

Similarly, in Bhagavad-gītā the Lord says, mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat: "There is nothing superior to My form as the Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa." He also says elsewhere in Bhagavad-gītā, aham ādir hi devānām: "I am the origin of all the demigods." And after understanding Bhagavad-gītā from Kṛṣṇa, Arjuna also confirms this in the following words: paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitram-paramaṁ bhavān, "I now fully understand that You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth, and that You are the refuge of everything." Therefore the universal form which Kṛṣṇa showed to Arjuna is not the original form of God. The original is the Kṛṣṇa form.

Hare Krishna

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Informed Faith to Fact - Krishna Conciousness

When we say Krishna Consciousness is a science, what does it mean?

In modern science, normally, when we test any theory, first the scientists create what we call a null hypothesis. A Null hypothesis is one type and a prevalant method of testing.

A Null hypothesis is basically the opposite of the original hypothesis. So to begin with, normally, the burden of proof is on the researcher to prove that there is some sought of association or connection between the variables tested. After collecting evidence, the researcher will either reject the null hypothesis or fail to reject the hypothesis.

For example, low education levels lead to low socio-economic status. This is the hypothesis. Now the null hypothesis will be that there is no relationship between low education level and socio-economic status. The researcher will collect evidence to either reject the null hypothesis or will fail to reject the null hypothesis.

Similarly, coming back to Krishna Consciousness, the hypothesis is - Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The null hypothesis will be that there is no connection between Krishna and His position as the Supreme Godhead.

Then, we collect evidence to test. The only difference between material and spiritual science is that evidence in material science is collected externally such as in a lab, or inside the ground or in the sky or in a community etc. In spiritual science, the evidence is internal inside our heart. This is the big difference. Nevertheless, there is evidence. Hence this collection of evidence internally in spiritual circles is called self-realization. Therefore as we practice the methodology (chanting and serving) of collecting evidence (purification and self realization), we will eventually "realize" Krishna as the Supreme God and I as the servant.

This can happen this life time or multiple lifetimes after depending on the researcher who takes to this process with due diligence and proper execution of methodology (chanting and serving).

Therefore, to conclude, just as in any science there is literature and practical experiments. Similarly in Krishna Consciousness we have vast literature in the form of Bhagavad Gita and the like and practical experiments of which primary is chanting followed by humble service. Studying the literature and executing the practical aspects of the literature will lead the researcher to finding evidence and so one day can transit from informed faith (hypothesis/theory) to fact.

My journey as a researcher is in this continuum of going from informed faith to fact that Krishna is Supreme God!

Hare Krishna

Monday, March 8, 2010

Growing low-oxygen zones in oceans


Lower levels of oxygen in the Earth's oceans, particularly off the United States' Pacific Northwest coast, could be another sign of fundamental changes linked to global climate change, scientists say.

They warn that the oceans' complex undersea ecosystems and fragile food chains could be disrupted.

In some spots off Washington state and Oregon , the almost complete absence of oxygen has left piles of Dungeness crab carcasses littering the ocean floor, killed off 25-year-old sea stars, crippled colonies of sea anemones and produced mats of potentially noxious bacteria that thrive in such conditions.

Please the rest here - link

We are messing with nature and one day we will have to pay the price dearly!

Hare Krishna

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ardi



Ardi also known as Ardipithecus ramidus is a fossilized hominid skeleton. They are millions of years old. Ardi share features that are common to both human and ape. Scientists speculate that Ardi might be the “holy grail of anthropology”, the famous missing link between humans and apes.

This is precisely my point, why should one consider Ardi as an intermediate or link species? Why can’t it be seen as its own species (not as an intermediate species) that lived simultaneously with other species but happened to have elements of human and ape? The scientists over the years have created a linear time frame model based on fossils and soil stratification (as far as I know) and try to fit in the fossils within this time frame model. The assumption is older species evolve into newer ones over time depending on where they are placed. This linear assumption is fine as long as we can prove that species did not coexist at the same time.

The null hypothesis in this case is that Ardi is not an intermediate or link species. Therefore the scientists first of all should have enough evidence to reject the null hypothesis that Ardi is an “intermediate/link” species between ape and human and at the same time also prove that Ardi did not exist simultaneously during the period of apes and early humans. Only this can show without doubt that Ardi is indeed in-between species suggesting the concept of link or intermediate species. This still does not prove an ape species evolving to Ardi species evolving to human. Testing this hypothesis will only put Ardi type species in a time frame between an ape and human suggesting a link.

Perhaps genetic mapping between the species can establish the concept of link but still does not isolate the question of simultanoeous existance.

I guess I am not convinced fully that merely by placing a species in between a time range and similar physical and other features makes it a link?

Hare Krishna

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Qualities of a Spiritual Leader



Ever since Srila Prabhupada left the planet in 1977, ISKCON as an institution has seen lot of ups and downs. I have read so many articles and posts on how devotees have been manhandled so to speak. In other words, rank and file devotees ignored. This all reflects on its leadership.

ISKCON is a brand ambassador for the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition – which means its philosophy, culture, food, clothing, plus how to deal with people. It is easy to cook (relatively speaking), easy to speak high philosophy, and it is easy to dress up externally as a vaishnava but it is not easy to deal with people in a vaishnava way. If the philosophy, food, culture and clothing do not distill down to practical action for people to see…then essentially ISKCON is setting itself for it to fail in the long run and surely people can see and sense the disharmony between words and action. Ultimately ISKCON will become another “Hindu” temple showing off its deities to please Indians and temple board members of Indian origin.

A good leader before he goes out should gain trust and confidence within, among his peers, juniors and seniors. A good leader should be a part of every devotee’s life and much more. One person being a part of every devotee’s life is a demanding job and to do with spiritual integrity requires utmost purity. This level of purity is required at all levels of leadership roles even down to the bhakti vriksha and namahatta level.

In my own personal journey within ISKCON life, I have seen among so many devotees a common standard – devotees apparently who have been around a lot are very eager to tell new comers what to do yet are not willing to hear and associate in a way the new comers feel welcomed and naturally fit in. It is like the new comers or neophyte devotees have to “prove” themselves by speaking and acting in a “devotional” way so they can be a part of the ISKCON clan. Readers…I would like to disclaim this is my personal observation and experience. As a result of this, personally, I found it very hard to reveal my mind to any senior devotee as I could not create a trusting and loving relationship. I was only told what to do versus in a way that suited my false-ego. Unfortunately, that is the truth. I have a big ego and if the leaders told me in a way to please my ego and at the same time make me Krishna Conscious…I would have had more confidential relationships. This is the greatness of a spiritual leader. A leader who is pure when he goes down into the ditch to pick me up should acknowledge the ditch (which is where I am) but at the same time make me realize my ditch life by not hurting my ego so much. At the same time, the leader should not be disturbed by my ditch qualities and associate with me like a lotus in a dirt pond. One example that props in my head right now is the story of the interaction between Nimai Pandit and Keshava Kashmiri. Nimai Pandit (Lord Krishna Himself) defeated the great digvijay pandit Keshava Kashmiri but in a way as not to hurt his false ego. Once to his senses, Keshava Kashmiri himself realized his folly. This is the sign of real knowledge - to say and at the same time not to say - not easy!

Anybody can float around the temple for a week, read a 101 on Krishna Consciousness, wear a dhoti or sari, know to say the right things to the right people and then “tell” new comers what to do. This is easy and in one sense also necessary. But a leader is one who out of his/her purity of heart should tolerate, guide, lead and ultimately love (without any condition) the neophytes to get closer to Krishna. In this mood, the leader does not even have to “tell”…trust me the new comers will volunteer for service. This all also is possible provided the leader is untouched by the false ego and problems of the new comers. So when I say guidance and love…it is all not sweet talk but a genuine appreciation for new comer’s false ego and other limitations but ultimately to convey the message that it is the duty of the new comer to take his/her life seriously and aspire him/her more to live a Krishna Conscious life. Ultimately…the leader can do all this and still the new comer may not be satisfied. Not disturbed…the leader should continue!

So…like this when a leader earns the trust and love of all devotees…then he can go out and proclaim war against the agents of Maya…if not…our cry for war is like the will-o'-the-wisp (another illusion).

Hare Krishna