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

Monday, June 18, 2012

Illicit Sex according to Prabhupada

I was reading this letter on Prabhupada'a categorical take on this issue. In my mind it settles it. Please read below.

You have asked what is meant by illicit sex. Sex should be used only in marriage for begetting nice children to raise in Krsna Consciousness. Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita that I am sex life performed according to religious principles. Sex life for any other purpose means illicit sex. The use of contraceptive method for sex enjoyment is very sinful. Restraint in the matter of these four sinful activities is achieved by tasting the superior mellows of Krsna Consciousness.

- Srila Prabhupada letter to Mr. Suresh Chandra
18 June 1973

Hare Krishna

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Prayer that changed the world

As I entered the living room from the bedroom, I saw a movie playing on television. A man was asked to leave the kingdom and soldiers were escorting him out onto the desert with a day’s ration. Surely, I thought this man will die crossing the desert. The scene was from the movie Ten Commandments and this happened when I was nine years old. Although this happened sometime back, still, I remember it like it was yesterday.

The story of a man as messenger of God who changed people’s lives had a lasting impression on my young psyche. For some reason as I was reminiscing the movie, what stood out for me was the scene where Moses met God as the Burning Bush. It is a pivotal scene where God commands Moses to follow His instructions. Moses humbled himself and asked God for guidance on how to relieve people from bondage. This incident forever changed the history of the world.  Although it is a cinematic depiction the entire scene was shown in a mood of awe and reverence. Below is the scene on the meeting of Moses and God on the mountain.

That scene reminded me of a similar historical prayer by our own Srila Prabhupada on his arrival to Boston on Jaladuta. Prabhupada was praying with deep emotion on how to present the philosophy of Krishna consciousness to the western minds to drag them out of material bondage (a bondage of a different kind) just as prayer in the movie . Below is his prayer, and it is very much in line on how Moses (in the movie) prayed to God for guiding Him to relieve people from bondage of slavery.

My dear Lord Krsna, You are so kind upon this useless soul, but I do not know why You have brought me here (USA). Now You can do whatever You like with me But I guess You have some business here, otherwise why would You bring me to this terrible place?

Most of the population here is covered by the material modes of ignorance and passion. Absorbed in material life, they think themselves very happy and satisfied, and therefore they have no taste for the transcendental message of Vasudeva. I do not know how they will be able to understand it. But I know Your causeless mercy can make everything possible because You are the most expert mystic. How will they understand the mellows of devotional service? O Lord, I am simply praying for Your mercy so that I will be able to convince them about Your message.

All living entities have become under the control of the illusory energy by Your will, and therefore, if You like, by Your will they can also be released from the clutches of illusion I wish that You may deliver them. Therefore if You so desire their deliverance, then only will they be able to understand Your message. How will I make them understand this message of Krsna consciousness?

I am very unfortunate, unqualified and the most fallen. Therefore I am seeking Your benediction so that I can convince them, for I am powerless to do so on my own. Somehow or other, O Lord, You have brought me here to speak about You. Now, my Lord, it is up to You to make me a success or failure as You like. O spiritual master of all the worlds! I can simply repeat Your message, so if You like You can make my power of speaking suitable for their understanding.

Only by Your causeless mercy will my words become pure. I am sure that when this transcendental message penetrates their hearts they will certainly feel engladdened and thus become liberated from all unhappy conditions of life. O Lord, I am just like a puppet in Your hands. So if You have brought me here to dance, then make me dance, make me dance, O Lord, make me dance as You like. I have no devotion, nor do I have any knowledge, but I have strong faith in the holy name of Krsna. I have been designated as Bhaktivedanta, and now, if You like, You can fulfill the real purport of Bhaktivedanta

Signed−the most unfortunate, insignificant beggar
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami,
on board the ship Jaladuta, Commonwealth Pier,
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
dated 18th of September, 1965

Hare Krishna

Just hang in there...Krishna will come to the party

This material world is very unforgiving. It can be ruthless and merciless. We can get beat down and depressed as a result. So we seek relief and solace. In Krishna consciousness we are to follow rules and regulations and at times that can also be stressful as we may not be "perfect". If we are not spiritually evolved, this situation can be overwhelming and overall depressing. We would be lucky to have a crying shoulder in a friend who would not judge us but will be ready to help and guide us. Many times that friend may also not be there. We will be alone not able to grapple material problems and not able to comprehend the higher plans of Krishna.

My motto in such a situation is - just hang in there. Do not over analyze the situation. This is a good time to actually implement what Krishna says without much analytical reasoning and logic (perhaps blindly) after all not much hope there is. If anything we need to remember at these trying times, it should be the sixty sixth verse from chapter eighteen of Bhagavat Gita. Just surrender unto Me giving up all duties are His (Krishna's) words. So...we will do that. In other words we will simply hang in there (tolerance and patience) with the problem not fighting it and just pray to Krishna for help. More than we may think we will feel relief.

So people...just hang in there and Krishna will come to the party.

Hare Krishna

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Personalities attract

Krishna consciousness is perhaps the most sublime and pure philosophy there is. It is because it is very personal. Unlike other paths where God is either faceless and formless or God is old sterile and mute, in Krishna consciousness, God is portrayed as an active Personality where all other personalities emanate. He is seen as the fountainhead of all other personalities. So one can imagine how dynamic Krishna or God should be that all types of people can see a portion of them in Krishna. This feature is the most attractive and unique to Krishna consciousness.

Just as the material counterpart, for example, when we think of any particular field of interest say cricket. What comes to mind, perhaps great players of the game such as Vivian Richards or Sachin Tendulkar etc. No one thinks about a bat, or a ball or a 22 yard cricket pitch. This is because cricket is made attractive by different personalities. They bring flair and character to the game. Otherwise what attraction is there to a round ball and a wooden bat. This is true for all fields from academics to entertainment to sports to politics. It is the person that attracts the minds and not the mundane field per se.

Similarly Krishna conscious philosophy is most attractive because of the most attractive Krishna and because of the great personalities that directly come from Krishna such as the great devotees Ramanujacharya, Madhvacharya, Narada Muni, Nanda Maharaj, Kunti Devi, Arjuna, Rupa Goswami, Prabhupada etc The scriptures are filled with stories of these great personalities that it easily attracts the minds of people and because of this attraction one naturally evokes love for God. Therefore one can say Krishna consciousness is the purest and most sublime form of religion.

Hare Krishna

It is just a matter of taking sides

If you work hard tirelessly everyday, hours on end, with little eat and sleep to fulfill a material goal such as education, career, sports or family you will be hailed for your determination and will power. You do the same in the pursuit of God you will be labeled a fanatic or an outcast. Apparently God has little relevance to people’s lives today beyond mundane ritualism and designations.

Hare Krishna

Monday, June 4, 2012

symptom of a self-realized soul

In India today, especially, there are so many bogus gurus cheating the public. The commonly asked question is how to recognize a bonafide guru who is spiritually enlightened. Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita that one should seek the shelter of a self-realized soul in order to find the truth. So just because one claims to be self-realized and wears a saffron robe cannot be considered self-realized. What then is the symptom of by which one can realize a self-realized soul?

The answer is this - If one does not become angry when attacked for no apparent reason, and if one does not become enlivened when glorified or worshiped, then one has passed the test of self-realization and is considered fixed in spiritual intelligence. - SB 11.11.15

There...when one finds such a soul, we should catch hold of his instructions for dear and never let go, rest assured our destiny is secure. As for other so called gurus and self styled spiritual teachers, we reject them.

Hare Krishna

Friday, June 1, 2012

Once there was a pigeon…

Once there was a pigeon who lived in the forest along with his wife. He had built a nest within a tree and lived there for several years in her company. The two pigeons were very much devoted to their household duties. Their hearts being tied together by sentimental affection, they were each attracted by the other's glances, bodily features and states of mind. Thus, they completely bound each other in affection. Naively trusting in the future, they carried out their acts of resting, sitting, walking, standing, conversing, playing, eating and so forth as a loving couple among the trees of the forest. Whenever she desired anything, O King, the she-pigeon would flatteringly cajole her husband, and he in turn would gratify her by faithfully doing whatever she wanted, even with great personal difficulty. Thus, he could not control his senses in her association.

Then the female pigeon experienced her first pregnancy. When the time arrived, the chaste lady delivered a number of eggs within the nest in the presence of her husband. When the time was ripe, baby pigeons, with tender limbs and feathers created by the inconceivable potencies of the Lord, were born from those eggs. The two pigeons became most affectionate to their children and took great pleasure in listening to their awkward chirping, which sounded very sweet to the parents. Thus with love they began to raise the little birds who were born of them. The parent birds became very joyful by observing the soft wings of their children, their chirping, their lovely innocent movements around the nest and their attempts to jump up and fly. Seeing their children happy, the parents were also happy. Their hearts bound to each other by affection, the foolish birds, completely bewildered by the illusory energy of Lord Viṣṇu, continued to take care of the young offspring who had been born to them.

One day the two heads of the family went out to find food for the children. Being very anxious to feed their offspring properly, they wandered all over the forest for a long time. At that time a certain hunter who happened to be wandering through the forest saw the young pigeons moving about near their nest. Spreading out his net he captured them all. The pigeon and his wife were always anxious for the maintenance of their children, and they were wandering in the forest for that purpose. Having obtained proper food, they now returned to their nest. When the lady pigeon caught sight of her own children trapped within the hunter's net, she was overwhelmed with anguish, and crying out, she rushed toward them as they cried out to her in return. The lady pigeon had always allowed herself to be bound by the ropes of intense material affection, and thus her mind was overwhelmed by anguish. Being in the grip of the illusory energy of the Lord, she completely forgot herself, and rushing forward to her helpless children, she was immediately bound in the hunter's net. Seeing his own children, who were more dear to him than life itself, fatally bound in the hunter's net along with his dearmost wife, whom he considered equal in every way to himself, the poor male pigeon began to lament wretchedly.

The male pigeon said: Alas, just see how I am now destroyed! I am obviously a great fool, for I did not properly execute pious activities. I could not satisfy myself, nor could I fulfill the purpose of life. My dear family, which was the basis of my religiosity, economic development and sense gratification, is now hopelessly ruined. My wife and I were an ideal match. She always faithfully obeyed me and in fact accepted me as her worshipable deity. But now, seeing her children lost and her home empty, she has left me behind and gone to heaven with our saintly children. Now I am a wretched person living in an empty home. My wife is dead; my children are dead. Why should I possibly want to live? My heart is so pained by separation from my family that life itself has become simply suffering.

As the father pigeon wretchedly stared at his poor children trapped in the net and on the verge of death, pathetically struggling to free themselves, his mind went blank, and thus he himself fell into the hunter's net. The cruel hunter, having fulfilled his desire by capturing the head pigeon, his wife and all of their children, set off for his own home.

In this way, one who is too attached to family life becomes disturbed at heart. Like the pigeon, he tries to find pleasure in mundane sex attraction. Busily engaged in maintaining his own family, the miserly person is fated to suffer greatly, along with all his family members.

MoralThe doors of liberation are opened wide to one who has achieved human life. But if a human being simply devotes himself to family life like the foolish bird in this story, then he is to be considered as one who has climbed to a high place only to trip and fall down.

Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 11 Chapter 7 Texts 53-74 

Hare Krishna