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

Friday, March 23, 2012

Optimistic...but where is God?

Technological advancement, Prabhupada pointed out, was not real civilisation. "They do not know what is advancement. They had no knowledge that: 'I have to die, and I have to accept another body after death.' They do not know it. So long as this body is there, they are trying to have a very comfortable position. But they do not know that after this body, they have to accept another body. So how will this technology help them? If, in this life, by technological advancement they live very comfortably, and next life they become a dog, then where is the advancement? That they do not know."Prabhupada gave the example of the three-week visa they had obtained to come to Australia. "Suppose in Perth I begin one skyscraper knowing that I shall remain here for only three weeks. Is this intelligence? Similarly, at any moment I can be kicked out."

Later, Prabhupada summed up. "Caitanya Mahaprabhu said: sunyayitam jagat sarvam govinda-virahena me. Sunyayitam means zero. The advancement of modern civilisation is zero, but if you add many thousands of zeros, does the value increase? No, it simply remains zero. But if you add a "one" it will increase the value. That "one" is Krsna consciousness. That will make this material civilisation important -- a hundred, a thousand times more important."

- Srila Prabhupada
- "The Great Transcendental Adventure" by HG Kurma Prabhu

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Nothing wrong in believing but...

In today’s world every individual living being has his or her belief system. I believe this; I believe that etc etc. In accordance to their belief system, people seek friendship, relationships, career, politics, religion etc. In other words the personal belief is about “me” and not necessarily about the issue at hand. For example, I believe in God not because God is great and Supreme but because it makes sense to me that there has to be a supreme force above our normal life or ask God for our daily needs. I do not believe in sexual abstinence because it does not make sense to me as I have to curb that which is natural to my instincts. I believe in Sai Baba because he helped me from my diseased state or performed a miracle by manifesting a Shiva linga. Like this everyone has their belief system that is pertinent to them (primarily).

What is wrong in that one may ask? Well…there is nothing wrong in believing as it is the mark of individuality. The problem is the belief system solely is driven to fulfill one’s own desires or the extension of one’s own desires. For example I do not believe in abstinence of sex because then I have to refrain from illicit sex. I believe in a Supreme force but not necessarily a Personal God because then I have to listen and submit to that God. It is very convenient to have our own beliefs as long it ties smoothly with my life. I believe in patriotism and hence am willing to sacrifice my pleasure for my country. Still however patriotism is about “my” country.

So as long as our belief system is tainted by a selfish motive tied to our body and mind that belief system no matter how noble is considered contaminated. Such a belief system will simply cause distress than good. Therefore an intelligent individual will believe in the best good that one can gain for oneself and for the community at large. Such a belief system has to start with pure knowledge. Pure knowledge that is universal and applicable to the benefit of all living beings including plants and animals. One has to seek such knowledge which transcends sectarian concepts such as “I” and “mine”.

The Bhagavad Gita is such knowledge. It is pure and infallible and was spoken for the benefit of all human beings. It begins by saying that “I am not this body but pure consciousness”. So like this we have to cultivate our belief through knowledge that is universal and infallible.

Hare Krishna

Monday, March 19, 2012

When devotees glorify me

Glorification is very intoxicating. When someone glorifies me especially devotees I feel adrenaline rushing and levels of serotonin and dopamine levels increasing. This increase gives a rush to the brain thus giving a pleasing effect of the body and senses. To simply put – sense gratification. This is the gross experience.

At a more subtle platform I become proud that people especially devotees listen to me and that I am “someone” in this world especially among the devotee community. I am someone in this world to the point where I enjoy being around devotees and at some level this boost of ego is the fuel to perform devotional service. Unfortunately if this is my condition, I am practicing bhakti yoga for all the wrong reasons.

The foundation of practicing yoga is to dismantle this hard knot of “I” and “mine”. However if devotee glorification actually enhances this “I” and “mine”…then I would as an extreme step not associate. I take this step because maya works in such a way that this ego boost will eventually lead to fault finding of devotees and thus aparadh. This is dangerous. So when we are around devotees we should be grave internally practicing detachment of body and mind. Speak the truth for the pleasure of Guru and Gauranga, and serve to our best capacity. If the mind is hankering for acknowledgement just “ignore” the mind. This strategy actually was given by Prabhupada that is - to ignore the wandering mind. The more we practice the art of ignoring the egoistic mind, the more we will be detached from it. This detachment will bring us peace and ultimately happiness. This happiness is in the mode of goodness and conducive for our spiritual growth.

If we feel happy and elated internally when devotees glorify us then perhaps we need to check our motives. However when devotees glorify us and spontaneously transfer the glory without any ownership to Guru, Prabhupada and Krishna, and in that mood feel happy, then we are on the right track. We have to be determined and convinced that glorifying Guru and Krishna is in our best interest and anything else is not. It is very subtle and hence we have to be on watch constantly especially when we are showered with glorious words by devotees.

One who is truly Krishna consciousness will treat words of glory and disgrace equally and not be mentally disturbed. This is the true test of a devotee of Krishna.

Hare Krishna

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Conclusion of the Vedas

In India and also in the west there are so many so called Vedic scholars who have studied the Vedas systematically and use it for their own ulterior motives. In the age of Kali, it is not possible to study the Vedas because of the lack of spiritual teacher. Not only is there lack of proper teacher but also the full body of Vedas is missing.

Originally the One Veda was divided into four by Srila Vyasadev. Then the follower's of Vyasadev sub-divided the Vedas into 1130 branches.

eka-vimsati-bhedena rg-veda krtavan pura
sakhana tu satenaiva yajur-vedam athakarot

sama-veda sahasrena sakhana prabibheda sah
atharvanam atho veda bibheda navakena tu

Formerly the Rg Veda was divided into 21 branches, the Yajur Veda into 100 branches, the Sama Veda into 1,000 branches, and the Atharva Veda into 9 branches.Kurma purana 52. 19-20

Each of these branches has 4 subdivisions called Samhita, Brahmana, Aranyaka, and Upanisad. So all together the Vedas consist of 1,130 Samhitas, 1,130 Brahmanas, 1,130 Aranyakas, and 1,130 Upanisads, a total of 4,520 titles. By the influence of time, however, many texts have been lost. At present only about 11 Samhitas, 18 Brahmanas, 7 Aranyakas, and 220 Upanisads are available. This constitutes less than 6% of the original Vedas (source: Veda - Vedic Knowledge online)

Therefore it is in our own self interest to seek out the essence of the Vedas. After all the idea behind studying the Vedas is to find the truth. The truth has been succinctly explained by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. He says;

vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo
vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva cāham

By all the Vedas, I am to be known. Indeed, I am the compiler of Vedānta, and I am the knower of the Vedas- BG 15.15

Anyone serious to understand the conclusions of the Vedas should not waste time searching for it but simply accept the words of Krishna as truth. Indeed there is no other scripture or being in this world that declares such a bold statement - krsnas tu bhagavan svayam, Lord Sri Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead.

Hare Krishna