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

Friday, April 29, 2011

Death as a transformation point

The philosophy of Krishna Consciousness puts a lot of weight on the concept of “death”. Now for a common man, this may sound morbid and pessimistic. It is morbid and pessimistic only if we think “death” is the end of life. The Krishna Consciousness philosophy does not say that death is the end of life but rather death is seen as a point of transformation of the soul from one body to another. We die only to be transferred into another body with another set of rules and circumstances. It is important therefore, to visualize plan and live our daily lives not as “one life of 100 years" but as endless waves of different life forms (including plants and animals).

Just as, in my youth, I prepare for my next stage of adulthood and from adulthood I prepare for the next stage of retirement (old age), similarly it is important I prepare my current life for the next life. It is only common sense, assuming I accept the concept of transmigration of the soul into different bodies, to find a solution to put an end to the different bodies I will assume in the future. This continuous birth and death seems cyclical without much sense and hence futile (not to speak of the miseries associated with it). Therefore it is ok to talk about death as a tangible reality in the mood of transformation than as an end.

This whole conversation is out of the window if I think I have only one life to live. Of course I believe in the transmigration of the soul from one body to another and hence am preparing my current life for a better future (and that includes for future bodies).

If you believe in the concept of the transmigration of the soul, then please think about your next life and prepare for it now. Chant Hare Krishna!

Hare Krishna

Thursday, April 28, 2011

What Srila Prabhupada really desired for us?

We want to see everyone is happy. That is our mission. ... everyone will be happy if they take to this movement. We want to see that everyone is happy. That is our mission. We don't want to exploit others.

- Interview -July 20, 1972, Paris

Sarve sukhino bhavantu. This is Vedic civilization. "Let everyone be happy." That is Vedic civilization. And the demonic civilization, they're: "Let everyone suffer; I become happy. That's all...Politics means planning for one's own happiness. That is politics. So in our society there should be no diplomacy, no politics. Everyone should be eager how to do good to others. That is Vaisnava. If he's planning something, that "I shall be leader," "I shall be doing something," that is not Vaisnavism.

- Morning Walk -March 15, 1974, Vrndavana

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Power of Words

Two things that impede

Two things impede our progress in spiritual life and our progress towards understanding God in truth and our relationship with Him. They are;

1. Pride
2. Spiritual Laziness

Hare Krishna

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Srila Prabhupada's Kadamba garland

The following narration is from the visionary Memories series of Sriman Siddhanta das Adhikary. It is the remembrance of Sriman Bahushiras das Adhikary given in DVD 44 and in vol. 3, p. 334 of the book Memories-Anecdotes of a Modern-Day Saint.

After Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance, [Patita Pavana das] asked if I’d like to assist Satswarupa’s Lilamrita project by interviewing people in India who had known Srila Prabhupada. One of them was Acharya Prabhakar Misra, Prabhupada’s first disciple. Acharya Prabhakar Misra was clean-cut, well-behaved and articulate. His demeanor impressed me. He held a MA and PhD and was a very cultured Sanskrit scholar and teacher. In Jhansi, Prabhupada had told Acharya Prabhakar. “I met you because I saw you in a dream and I knew that I was supposed to come here.” Prabhupada and he would do bhajan together. They’d hold Rathayatra festivals and they’d have programme in villages in the area.

Acharya Prabhakar said that on Sri Krishna Janmashtami in 1954, he had to go to Delhi. When he returned to Jhansi, he took a little rest, woke up at 1:00 am and heard Srila Prabhupada ecstatically playing mridanga in the temple room. Prabhupada was chanting in total bliss. Acharya Prabhakar went upstairs and saw Srila Prabhupada bouncing around the temple room performing kirtan. Prabhupada was wearing a kadamba flower garland that went all the way down to his feet.Kadamba flowers are very rare in Jhansi and when they are available they are usually the size of a golf ball. But the ones Prabhupada was wearing were big, the size of tennis balls. And he said that the atmosphere right down to the atoms in the room was not material, aprakrita. The place was surcharged with the fragrance of the heavenly planets. Acharya Prabhakar wanted to ask Srila Prabhupada, “Where did this garland come from? It is not available from the market.” But Srila Prabhupada would not answer. His Divine Grace just kept on performing kirtan, bouncing round the room and chanting. The next morning Acharya Prabhakar asked Srila Prabhupada, “Where did you get the garland, why did it have such a rich fragrance, and why were you feeling so blissful?”

Srila Prabhupada told him, “I was chanting to Krishna and feeling some love for Him. And He appeared and gave me this garland. I went to touch His feet and He disappeared. Because of that I was dancing around the temple room.” Srila Prabhupada was crying.

Acharya Prabhakar was very believable and I felt that what he told me was valid. He also said that sometimes Srila Prabhupada’s mood was to performkirtan intensely. He would chant on and on and on for three days straight. We hear that sometimes he wouldn’t eat for long periods, especially near the end of his manifest lila, but remarkably in Jhansi, he was doing kirtan for a long period of time without eating or sleeping. And the result of his bhajanwas that Krishna appeared.

Hare Krishna

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Devotees from Dravida-desa

My dear King, the inhabitants of Satya-yuga and other ages eagerly desire to take birth in this age of Kali, since in this age there will be many devotees of the Supreme Lord, Narayana. These devotees will appear in various places but will be especially numerous in South India. O master of men, in the age of Kali those persons who drink the waters of the holy rivers of Dravida-desa, such as the Tamraparni, Krtamala, Payasvini, the extremely pious Kaveri and the Pratici Mahanadi, will almost all be purehearted devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva. – SB 11.5.38-40

Monday, April 18, 2011

2 cups of milk

The body can be maintained by any kind of foodstuff, but cow's milk is particularly essential for developing the finer tissues of the human brain so that one can understand the intricacies of transcendental knowledge. (Srimad Bhagavatam 3.5.7, Purport)

So if you get milk products, milk, then you can prepare so many preparations full of vitamins, which will nourish your brain. Dull brain cannot understand what is spiritual knowledge. Therefore, that Mr. Bernard Shaw, he wrote a book. Perhaps you know it. You Are What You Eat. If you keep your brain dull, then how you can understand? Because without becoming very intelligent man, one cannot understand Kåñëa consciousness. That is stated in the Caitanya-caritämåta, kåñëa yei bhaje sei baòa catura: "One who takes to Kåñëa consciousness seriously and perfectly, he must be very, very intelligent." Dull brain cannot accept it. Bahünäà janmanäm ante jïänavän mäà prapadyate. So we have to make our brain very clean. And for that purpose you require to drink not very much, at least, one pound or half-pound milk daily. That is essential
. (From a lecture by Srila Prabhupada given in Hawaii, January 15, 1974)

One pound of milk is approximately equivalent to 2 cups of milk. Srila Prabhupada is recommending we drink one or two cups of milk every day. This was spoken mainly to an American audience at that time and Prabhupada was well aware of the cow slaughter industry. Again, Srila Prabhupada is recommending milk consumption (albeit polluted) on the practical grounds of developing good intelligence. In other words, Prabhupada is correlating intelligence with milk. Prabhupada also is talking about cultivating intelligence for attaining spiritual knowledge and use this knowledge for preaching. So if the end purpose is to preach Krishna Consciousness with proper intelligence, then according to Prabhupada, it is ok to drink one or two cups of milk daily (not necessarily more than that). Utility is the principle.

In Sri Isopanishad, Prabhupada talks about “making best use of bad bargain”. Polluted milk is a bad bargain but we can make best use (utility principle) ONLY IF we cultivate intelligence to spread the movement of Krishna Consciousness. The means of milk consumption (1 or 2 cups) should be to the ends of preaching Krishna consciousness, otherwise not. This is how I understand the above two quotes.

Hare Krishna

Friday, April 15, 2011

Realize God in Truth

Modern system of education which is famous for evidence based knowledge promises bright futures. Today, modern science has captured the minds of the common masses. Hand held gadgets such as i-pods, mp3 players etc have captured the imagination of people. If you take it to scale, space age technology gadgets that only fits sci-fi movies such as the CERN particle accelerator has promised a innovative future with myriad opportunities. Our lives at the microlevel have changed dramatically since the creation of “internet” in the past two decades. No doubt scientific advancement and innovations have reached people at every nook and cranny of our world. We can all sit back and pat ourselves in the back hailing our technological advancements ushering us swiftly into the 21st century.

Still, I say, modern science is but a pin-prick to our modern day lives. It has created, as Srila Prabhupada put it, unnecessary necessities. One of the biggest fallout of modern scientific knowledge is the span of inequality it has created among the global population. Sure…if I have enough money in the bank living a Rolls Royce life, then, modern science and its innovations are a plus. However, the story is different for an individual (worse if he is married and with children) who is barely making ends meet traveling two or three times the distance just to get to the job site. The inequality we face today is the biggest ever in the history of modern man. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. According to the 2005 World Bank statistics, approximately 80% of the world population are earning below $10 per day that is 5.15 billion people we are talking. In other words, only 1.3 billion people earn above the poverty index while 80% are below. One may ask why I blame modern science for such inequalities?

Well…today local and central/federal governments pass policies and resolutions based on research done by scientists, sociologists and economists. The federal budget and the economy are run based on “research” based and “evidence” based studies. People invest money based on the national flow of currency which in turn is based on industrial sector growth which in turn is influenced by governmental policies created by a few elite people. The industrial growth machines are run by brains trained in modern day educational system in the fields of physical, social and behavioral sciences. Therefore, modern science not only is responsible for the “cool” gadgets it spits out but also responsible for the economical and social reforms that by and large impact the poor people. It seems, these intellectual reforms have had little effect on the global population, thus in my analysis, modern day economical and social reforms which is based on modern scientific methods of enquiry has only caused more inequalities among the people at large. I have not even touched upon the negative impact of modern technology on our environment.

On the whole, while modern science and its technological advancements is portrayed as a boon to society, analyzing this holistically, we see there are huge gaping holes in the areas of social and economic inequalities and environmental damage, both of which is causing and will cause irreversible damage that we will have to pay the price dearly.

The only solution is to put the brakes on technological advancements and seriously try to solve the social, economical and environmental inequalities as one big global human community. Stop exploiting people, animals and plant resources in the name of “scientific advancement” and bring back a balanced ecosystem to our planet. It is time we break our regional and national barriers and unite under one banner as the residents of planet earth. I don’t just mean human beings but all living beings created by God should be given the right to live.

All this is possible only if we have one global reason to unite. Srila Prabhupada called that reason Realize God in Truth (beyond sentimental and ritualistic ceremonies)- to put God in a real way in the center of our lives.

For all this to happen, every single individual should be sincerely motivated to understand who is God and what is my relationship with God. With a sincere yearning to know God beyond sectarian boundaries, every individual should put that God in the center of his or her lives. Only this can solve our current problems. As Gandhi famoulsy quoted "Be the Change you want to see in the world". Seek and you shall find Him. Seek that one Supreme Lord of our hearts, and He will reveal Himself to you.

Hare Krishna


Here’s a question that was posed to the Dalai Lama:

“What thing about humanity surprises you the most?”

His answer was as follows: “Man”

"Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money Then he sacrifices his money to recuperate his health And then he is so anxious about the future that he doesn’t enjoy the present, And as a result he doesn’t live in the present or the future And he lives as if he’s never going to die, and then he dies having never really lived"

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Relationship building with God

Many times, when Srila Prabhupada was physically present on earth especially the years after ISKCON was established (1966 to 1977), he was approached by numerous reporters, journalists and professors on how to resolve apparently social ills such as crime, poverty, over-population etc etc Srila Prabhupada gave various answers but all of them had one common moral and that is the people today are enjoying the kingdom of God without God. In other words, because we have become Godless in our consciousness and day-to-day life, we are suffering the various social problems plaguing modern society.

Scholars, academicians and politicians may think that Srila Prabhupada’s answer is idealistic and not in touch with reality, that it is too simple of an answer. Become genuine servants of God, we will solve all our problems social, economical, environmental and political. Actually, this solution is the highest truth and the most confidential. Krishna Himself declares in the Gita that the most confidential knowledge is that where one completely dedicates his or her life in the service of God. In other words, whatever occupation we are engaged in or whatever we do, we perform it in the consciousness as the servants of God and not as the enjoyer of the fruits of our occupation. We offer the fruits of our labor whole heartedly to God. If we follow this ideal, we can solve all our modern day problems. This truth is simple yet difficult by many to follow.

The singular reason that we think that it is difficult to follow is because our perception of God is either agnostic, sentimental (ritualistic) or impersonal. We do not see God in a personal way like we see our own father and mother. When we are young, all our needs are fulfilled by our parents. We do not live in fear of not being taken care of…why...because we relate and interact with our parents on a day-to-day basis that we believe that they are our well-wishers. This interaction and relationship is lacking when it comes to our Supreme father – that is- God. We cannot see and relate with God as we see our own mother and father. Therefore, it seems impractical to use God as our all-in-all solution to modern day problems. Srila Prabhupada has given us practical guidelines to engage on a day-to-day basis that by doing we will be able to relate and interact with God on a personal level just as we do with our parents and friends. This relationship as it gets stronger, our faith that God will take care of all our needs will increase just as we have faith on our biological parents.

One paramount relationship-building strategy with God is calling out His names in a mood of helplessness. This calling out of His names in a humble mood is called Mantra Meditation or simply Chanting. Chanting the Names of God is the simplest yet significant method to relate with God and interact with Him in today’s fast paced age. It can be done anywhere, anytime. There are no hard or fast rules. Performing chanting daily will make our relationship with God “real” beyond sentimental attachment and impersonal attachment. This attachment will nourish our soul and give meaning to our daily lives helping us to transcend the social, economical, political and environmental problems. If every individual on this planet chants the names of God, we will reform our own bad habits and live a simple life. Living a simple life with simple needs means less exploitation of people and natural resources thus reversing the damage we are doing to the people, society and the planet earth at large. Chanting God's name is not a sectarian formula. It is universal to all race, class and religions.

Please chant

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

and interact with God and save the planet and its people.

Hare Krishna

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

God’s body NEVER gets old, diseased or dies at any time in the past present or future

God’s body NEVER gets old, diseased or dies at any time in the past present or future. Whoever claims to be God but gets old, and diseased and eventually dies is not God but cheater.

There is a grave misconception among people, mostly among people following Hindu dharma, that God incarnates in flesh and blood and walk among us like a mortal. They even cite examples such as Lord Ram and Krishna to support their case. Such a thought that God comes down as a human being in flesh and blood is offensive and blasphemous. It also exposes the deep ignorance of common man, especially Hindus, on the understanding of the nature of God.

Let us make one point very clear – there is absolutely no scriptural (Vedic) evidence to prove that God descends to earth in flesh and blood. It is also wrong to assume that the so called flesh & blood incarnated God realizes himself as God by way of yoga and meditation. God is always God in the past, present and future and never “practices” yoga or meditation to realize himself as God. Such childish and juvenile understanding is anything but a display of deep seated ignorance of the true glory and greatness of God. Therefore any individual who claims to be God but at the same time possess a “human” body with flesh and blood cannot be considered God. These so called “Gods” are in fact subjected to mundane laws of old age, disease and death at all times. God is above the rules and laws of this material world of old age, disease and death at all times. In other words, God never gets old or diseased or dies at any point in time. If an individual claims to be God but undergoes these three changes of old age, disease and death, then, this individual is not God but a common mortal just like any of us. Sure…he may possess some mystic power but in no way can an individual within the laws of old age, disease and death be considered God.

God’s body and form although appearing as “human” is NOT “human”. God’s body is not made of DNA or RNA or RBC or WBC like the rest of us. The scriptures inform us that
God’s body is “nirguna”-devoid of material qualities of old age, disease and death. God’s body is transcendental full of spiritual qualities. In Sanskrit transcendental body is called SAT CHIT and ANANDA. It means God’s body is ETERNAL (sat), FULL OF KNOWLEDGE OMNISCIENT (chit) and BLISSFUL (ananda). Such a “transcendental” body is anything but like our material body which is made of flesh, blood, pus, stool and urine. God’s body is not subjected to material laws. His bodily parts are interchangeable where as our bodily parts are not interchangeable. For example, we can only chew food with our mouth and not hands. We can walk with our legs but not with our eyes. We can procreate with our genitals but not with our ears. Therefore our bodily parts are fixed with fixed functions. On the other hand, God’s body which is “transcendental” (meaning sat chit and Ananda) can perform the functions interchangeably. God can procreate with His eyes, eat with His eyes or run with His ears etc In other words, His spiritual bodily parts are not fixed to perform fixed functions like our material bodies.

The bottom line - God’s body is transcendental with spiritual qualities. When God descends to this earth planet, still He possesses His transcendental body and He never relinquishes His transcendental body to take a material body of flesh and blood. When Lord Krishna descended 5000 years ago, He never got old. He never got diseased and He never died. Krishna only disappeared out of His sweet will just as the sun disappears from the sky every evening similarly Krishna disappeared from our vision. In the battle of Kurukshetra, Krishna was more than 100 years old…but He never got old…if not how is it possible to be a driver of the chariot for Arjuna in the battle of Kurukshetra? Lord Krishna’s body is not material and was not material. His body was always transcendental to the mundane rules and laws of this world. Lord Krishna’s body, when He was present 5000 years ago, was SAT CHIT and ANANDA (transcendental). His body was eternal, full of knowledge and blissful.

Krishna Himself chides people who consider Him an ordinary being. In the Bhagavad Gita, Ch 9 text 11, He says to Arjuna that “Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My transcendental nature as the Supreme Lord of all that be”. Foolish people think that Lord Krishna possesses an ordinary human body like us whereas Krishna proclaims that His body is transcendental to material nature and laws.

Therefore, please understand that whoever possesses a material flesh and blood body and undergoes the miseries of old-age, disease and death can never become God and is never God past present or future. Please do not be cheated by such cheap Gods. God is great and is NEVER subjected to material laws in the past, present or future. He is transcendental to all dualities of material suffering not only in His spiritual abode but also when He descends to earth or other earthly planets. His body never perishes or deteriorates or dies or subjected to kill. He is eternal, omniscient and blissful at all times and at all places. Anything contrary to this idea is not God but a mortal being like any of us (perhaps with some mystic power)

With this knowledge, we can truly know who is God and who is not!

Hare Krishna

Power of Chanting

source: Iskcondesiretree.com

Please chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra

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

and make your life successful. There is no truth superior to this.

Hare Krishna