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

Friday, April 26, 2013

Consciousness does not annihilate after death

We can run but we can't hide is a popular saying from a rock band in the US. In one sense, it is true, we can run from the truth but eventually the truth will catch up with us, we cannot hide from it.

More and more, there is growing evidence from mainstream science - consciousness as separate from the brain and body. Dr. Sam Parnia, a leading scientist and doctor has been conducting studies over the years on patients who were resuscitated from death. Some of them have stories to tell that cannot be denied. Dr Parnia says "The evidence we have so far is that human consciousness does not become annihilated".

If you are interested to know more on this, please read the entire article in this link.

From a Krishna Conscious perspective and Bhagavad Gita, we have no doubts that consciousness is indeed separate from the physical body and mind. We existed in the past, exist in the present and will exist in the future, of this there is no doubt!

Hare Krishna

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Letter to Pope Paul

The letter by Srila Prabhupada to The Pope is as much relevant today as it was in 1968 in fact in my opinion it has gotten worse. Please read carefully the type of culture we are actively promoting for ourselves and our children. As Mahatma Gandhi said "be the change you want to see in the world" and so in that spirit, let us vow to make that change within our heart from materialism to God-centric and in time spread that consciousness to others. The change begins with us. Please read the letter - Hare Krishna.

AN OPEN LETTER TO POPE PAUL VI From A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

ISKCON Radha-Krishna Temple
3720 Avenue Du Parc
Montreal 18
Quebec, Canada
August 3, 1968

His Holiness Pope Paul VI
Vicar of Jesus Christ
State of Vatican
Rome, Italy

Your Holiness:

Please accept my respectful humble obeisances at your Lotus Feet. I beg to introduce myself as an Indian monk, following the Vedic principles of religious life. At the present, I am in the renounced order of Sannyas, aged 72 years, and am preaching God consciousness all over the world. I came to America in 1965, and since then I have many followers belonging to both Christian and Jewish faiths. And I have established a number of Krishna Consciousness temples in the USA and Canada. In the coming months, I am scheduled to go to London on this mission, and maybe I can visit other cities of European countries.

My mission is in the line of Lord Chaitanya, Who is personified Love of Godhead, and Who advented Himself 482 years ago in India, and preached God consciousness all over the world, on the basis of Srimad Bhagwatam (The Science of God). The principle of Srimad Bhagwatam is that any religious faith which helps a man to develop love of God, without any motives, and without being hampered by any material condition, is transcendental religion. And the best process or the easiest process, in this age especially, is to chant the Holy Name of God. From this definition of religion as we find it in the Srimad Bhagwatam, the criterion of religion is how it helps people to develop their dormant love of God. This is not artificially invoked, but it is aroused from within, due to bona fide association with devotees, and by hearing about God.

The human form of life is especially meant for this purpose, namely, to invoke the dormant love of God, because a higher development of consciousness is found in both man and animals. But the special significance of human life is to achieve love of God as the prime perfection of life. Unfortunately, at the present moment people are more concerned about the principle of sense gratification, or the animal part of human life, and they are gradually declining in God consciousness. This tendency is very much increasing, and because Your Holiness is the head of a great religious sect, I think we should meet together and chalk out a program for cooperation.

Human society cannot any longer be allowed to continue a Godless civilization at the risk of decreasing truthfulness, hygienic principles and mercifulness. Because, on account of the decline of these principles at the present moment, the duration of life, strength and memory of the human being is decreasing. Human society is gradually devolving in the matter of religiousness and justice; and "might is right" is gradually taking the place of morality and justice. There is practically no more family life, and the union of man and woman is gradually coming to the standard of sexuality. I understand it from reliable sources that people are trying to get Your Holiness' sanction for the contraceptive method, which is certainly against any religion of the world. In the Hindu religion, such contraceptive method and abortion are considered equivalent to murder.

Therefore, in the matter of sex, the human society is gradually becoming even less than animals. As a result of unrestricted sense gratification, even in ordinary dealing a man cannot trust another man, because the cheating propensity of man has increased beyond imagination. The attraction of young boys for young girls is no longer even a matter of love, but exists only on the basis of sexual potency. And as soon as there is a slackening of sex life, there is immediately a divorce petition.

In India, which was once the land of religion and Brahminical culture, things have deteriorated to such an extent that a man in a higher caste is recognized simply by putting a piece of thread on his body as a sign of sanctity. The so-called Swamis are cheating the public because the public wants to be cheated by some cheap method of self-realization. And today, if someone has no sufficient money, it is very hard for him to get justice from the court. And if anyone can simply bluff by so-called advancement of knowledge, he is offered the doctorate degree. If a man is falsely proud, he is accepted as civilized.

By frustration, people are gradually becoming communists and hippies, and the guardians of society must now take up the situation very seriously, without further delay.

The Krishna Consciousness movement is meant for overhauling the whole situation. We are creating men of character, and we are training our disciples to becoming lovers of God, or Krishna. From the very beginning, they are trained to refrain from the following four principles of degradation: 1) sex life outside of marriage, 2) meat-eating, or the eating of any animal food, 3) all forms of intoxication, and 4) gambling and idle sports. Our teachings are based on the authorized movement of Lord Chaitanya, on the principles of Bhagavad Gita, as the beginning, and Srimad Bhagwatam as the graduation.

I do not wish to prolong the body of this letter further, but if you think that my meeting with you will be beneficial for human society at large, I shall be very much pleased if Your Holiness will grant me an interview. Thanking you in anticipation of an early reply, I am

Yours in the service of the Lord,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

- From "Prabhupada-lila" by HH Satsvarupa dasa Goswami

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Charity to the soul

I just got this in my inbox which prompted this post.

Mr.Kalayanasundaram worked as a Librarian for 30 years. Every month in his 30 year experience(service), he donated his entire salary to help the needy. He worked as a server in a hotel to meet his needs. He donated even his pension amount of about TEN(10) Lakh rupees to the needy.

He is the first person in the world to spend the entire earnings for a social cause. In recognition to his service, (UNO)United Nations Organisation adjudged him as one of the Outstanding People of the 20th Century.. An American organisation honored him with the ‘Man of the Millennium’ award. He received a sum of Rs 30 cores as part of this award which he distributed entirely for the needy as usual.

Moved by his passion to help others, Super Star Rajinikanth adopted him as his father. He still stays as a bachelor and dedicated his entire life for serving the society.

Krishna tells Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita "Acts of sacrifice, charity and penance are not to be given up; they must be performed. Indeed, sacrifice, charity and penance purify even the great souls."
- BG 18.5

Charity is done for the purification of one's mind. Charity in the mode of passion or ignorance, on the contrary, can bind one to this world. Therefore charity in the mode of goodness must be performed to liberate one to the spiritual plane. Of all the charities, the best charity is that where the recipient has to never  suffer again and such a charity can happen only on the spiritual strata. While Mr Kalyansundaram's act of charity for the past several years is a humongous act of generosity and that which needs universal commendation, still, his help was focused on the body&mind of a living being.

While charity to the body&mind is important, charity to the soul is most important. It is most important because charity to the soul is not temporary where as charity to the body&mind is. Therefore, enlightening a soul on the real values of human life is the highest and greatest charity one can perform. The perfection of enlightenment is achieved when one is fully Krishna conscious. By preaching about Krishna, and inducing living beings to become Krishna conscious, Krishna will be the swift deliverer of all problems of life during life and at during death,

The US  Government spends approximately 750 billion dollars (11% of GDP) on Welfare every year. Most of the 11% Welfare money goes to people who are victims of drugs, alcohol, sex related abuse/problems and vagary living. 750 billion dollars on Welfare is lot of money. The scale is by no means small. His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada applied spiritual principles to solve such problems of drugs, alcohol, sex and gambling and doing so freed many souls from physical and mental suffering. If the entire US population actually adopts his spiritual strategy, then the Government funding of 750 billion will drastically decrease thus saving billions on Welfare activities. So in my humble opinion, UNO and the Government must award Srila Prabhupada the prize for welfare service. Besides, people who seriously applied these spiritual principles did not recidivate at a later date (recidivism is a big problem in welfare services) and also helped others come out of similar behavioral problems. In my opinion, this is the fullest impact one can achieve through charity and hence charity to the soul is superior to charity to the body&mind.

While we need people like Kalyanasundaram to perform charity on the physical platform, however, we absolutely need a personality such as Srila Prabhupada to perform charity to the soul. Such charity to the soul can relieve one from all material problems once and for all.

Hare Krishna

Friday, April 12, 2013

Mood of a Vaishnava

This is something I aspire, desire - the gold standard of a Vaishnava - but woefully falling short. I beg unto all assembled Vaishnavas over the internet to bless me to follow in the footsteps of what Maharaj is saying;

Usually we are envious of our superiors, fight with our rivals or equals and lord it over our juniors. But the devotees of Lord Caitanya are so happy when we get His mercy - “O! Prabhu! You made it! You became so advanced! It's so wonderful! Please bless me I can become advanced like you!” This is a non-envious mood of the humble Vaisnava....We should never use this movement to get fame and name or show how great we are, show our talents off and get appreciation,our real test is when we are humble when we are corrected,we know we are humble when we don't think that we are all knower and all perfect,we are humble when we see our own faults and try to change them and see good in others and appreciate them,this movement is The Lord's mercy on us,we must humbly try to serve and serve and serve and please the devotees,then we can get The Lord's favor,else there is no hope, only suffering awaits those who use this process for their sense gratification ,who are engaged in gramya Katha (mundane talks) and Khuti nati (hypocrisy) or fault finding.We must be very clean in our heart.

- H.H.Mahanidhi Swami

Hare Krishna

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Vidvad Rudhi

Vidvad rudhi means conventional meaning of a word or act from the perspective of an enlightened soul. So if you find people fighting over religion that is because they interpret their scripture in a sectarian and narrow way. Such narrow interpretations are from unenlightened people or called ajnana rudhi.

Unenlightened people with sentimental faith most often than not engage in sectarian discrimination. A true lover of God and genuinely enlightened soul does not make such distinction. There are also unenlightened people with sentimental faith who dilute the sacred scriptures and project their own selfish interpretations. To put it differently, you have unenlightened people who are either fanatic about their God or people who dilute the existence of a personal God to make it universally appealing.

Truly enlightened souls, rather,  speak categorically about God, God's will and our duty towards God without dilution or tone of fanaticism. They preach about God in such a way that it is universally applicable to all nationalities, class, and religion and at the same time maintain the integrity of a personal Supreme Being. Such a soul who can speak the essence of all great scriptures is truly enlightened and messenger of God.

"Perhaps you have marked it in my preaching work that I love Lord Jesus Christ as good as Krishna; because He rendered the greatest service to Krishna according to time circumstances and society in which He appeared  Similarly Hajrat Mohammed and Lord Buddha also rendered greatest service to the human society according to circumstances"

- Srila Prabhupada - Letter to Kirtananda April 7 1967

Hare Krishna

Monday, April 8, 2013

Non duplicitous glorification of Krishna

Krishna conscious preaching is not about telling others what to do. Of course if someone wants personal guidance, that is another thing. But generally speaking, preaching mostly entails glorifying Krishna. When the listener hears the non duplicitous glorification of Krishna, automatically the listener will cultivate a sense of desire, and yearning to know more  eventually leading to faith in Krishna. This faith will eventually make the listener Krishna conscious and also give up bad material habits.

Once Srila Prabhupada wrote a letter to a college preacher (do not remember the exact reference), he said preach in such a way that the students will realize on their own what to do and what not to do. Prabhupada also said to the college preacher that even if they accept one aspect of the philosophy which is "we are not bodies but spirit souls" will be deemed success from a preaching perspective.

So we can take a cue from the above letter (which I paraphrased) that today every one is like a college student in the sense every one is very informed through the internet and the computer. Naturally every one is skeptical in the beginning just as students are trained to do in college. So if we get an opportunity to speak about Krishna, using Prabhupada logic, we can speak in such a way that the listener will realize his material conditioning and want to become Krishna conscious.

Although I have not closely associated with temple devotees of Chowpatty, I believe H.H.Radhanath Maharaj uses his realization, speaking abilities simply to glorify Krishna in his lectures and this genuine glorification has created the huge congregation in Mumbai. In my opinion & experience thus far, Indians are tough to preach to and if Maharaj can convince them of Krishna, then surely it is by his narrations of unalloyed glory of the Supreme Absolute Truth Krishna.

Hare Krishna

Friday, April 5, 2013

I am in a dream

Hanuman: In your books you say that the world is like a dream.

Prabhupada: Yes, it is dream.

Hanuman: How is it a dream?

Prabhupada: Dream…well, it has no value. It is gone. And again, this night, when you'll sleep, you'll forget all these things. You'll dream. You don't remember during night, when you are dreaming, that "I have got my house, I have got my wife I have..." You all forget. So it is dream.

Hanuman: But I have the impression that "This (day) is true, and my (night) dream is not true." What is the dif...?

Prabhupada: No, no. Everything is untrue. How it is true? If it is true, why you forget at night? Why you forget? If it is true. Do you remember at night?

Hanuman: No, I don't remember.

Prabhupada: Then? How it is true? As you don't remember the dreams which you saw last night..., That, therefore we say "dream." Similarly this thing, because you forget at night, this is also dream.

Hanuman: But I have...

Prabhupada: This is day-dream, that is night-dream. That's all.

Bahulasva: When you dream at night, then you think that is real.

Prabhupada: Yes. That is real. You cry... It is dream, but you are crying, "There is tiger, tiger, tiger!" Where is tiger? But you are seeing it is fact, tiger. "I am being killed by a tiger." But where is tiger. [break] ...in dream you are embracing some beautiful girl. Where is that beautiful girl? Therefore it is called maya-sukhaya. The same thing, that at night you are dreaming you are embracing nice beautiful girl, as there is no such thing, similarly, in the daytime also, whatever advancement you are making, this is also like that. Maya-sukhaya. We are happy, we are dreaming, "This process will make me happy. This process will make me happy." But the whole process is dream only. You are taking this day-dream as reality because the duration is long. At night, when you dream, the duration is for half an hour. And this is for twelve hours, or more than that. That is the difference. It is a twelve hours' dream, and that is half an hour dream. But actually, both of them are dream. And because it is twelve hours' dream, you are taking it as, accepting it as real. That is called illusion.

Bahulasva: Illusion.

Prabhupada: Yes. We are making distinction between animal and ourself, but we're forgetting, we are forgetting, the animal also will die and I will also die. So where is my advancement? Will you remain? You'll also die. So where is your advancement upon animals? That is stated in sastra: ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam ca samanam etat pasubhir naranam. Business -- eating, sleeping, sex-life and defending -- this is also animal's business. And you are also doing the same. How you are distinct from animal? You'll die. The animal will die. But if you say, "I'll die after one hundred years, and this ant will die after one hour," that does not mean that you are in reality. It is a question of time. Just like this huge universe. It will be all be destroyed. As your body will be destroyed, this will be destroyed, annihilation, dissolution. Nature's way, everything will be dissolved. So therefore it is dream. It is a long duration dream. That's all. Nothing else. But the advantage is that even in this dream you can realize the reality, God. That is the... So if you don't take advantage of this dream, then you are missing.

Prabhupada: Therefore Vedas says, uttisthata. "Get up, get up, get up!" Jagrta. "Become awakened." Prapya varam nibodhata. "Now you have got the opportunity. Utilize it." This is Vedic injunction. Uttisthata jagrta prapya varam nibodhata. This is Vedic in... Tamasi ma jyotir gama. These are Vedic injunctions. So we are preaching the same thing, that "Reality is here, Krsna. Don't remain in this darkness. Come to this consciousness." That is our preaching. Tamasi ma jyotir gama. [break] ...experienced the sunshine, bright day, and this gloomy day. So when you are in darkness, we must have to admit, "There is light." Because darkness means absence of light. So as we are in the darkness of this material existence, there must be something life of light. That is spiritual world. That is reality. [break] ...aham brahmasmi. "Oh, I don't belong to this darkness, darkness atmosphere. I belong to the light atmosphere." That is self-realization. Aham brahmasmi.

Prabhupada: When you are chanting Hare Krsna. That is reality. When Krsna is there, then Krsna is there with everything. Krsna cannot be alone.

Bahulasva: This is the real science, Srila Prabhupada.

Prabhupada: Yes. Vijnana. Yad vijnana-samanvitam. Jnanam parama-guhyam me yad vijnana-samanvitam. Is it not? Jnanam me... "My knowledge is very confidential and it is full of science." Jnanam parama-guhyam me yad vijnana-samanvitam. And in the Bhagavad-gita there is said, "Knowing this knowledge..." Yaj jnatva neha bhuyo 'nyaj jnatavyam avasisyate. In the Vedas it is said, kasmin tu bhagavo vijnate sarvam idam vijnatam bhavati. So this is the way. Try to understand Krsna and everything will be known. [break] ...guhyam pavitram paramam idam. Eh? Bhagavad-gita. Raja-vidya, the knowledge, the king of knowledge. [break]

Hanuman: Without your mercy, there's no way out of the dream of material life.

Prabhupada: Krsna's. Krsna's mercy. Yes. (pause) [break]

- Morning Walk -January 9, 1974, Los Angeles

If you do not believe the above conversation, please read the article in this link. Please pay special attention to the last line in the article.

Indeed, it is a dream!!

Hare Krishna

Thursday, April 4, 2013

hellish life for more than 10 million lifetimes

tomarā jīyāite nāra, — vadha-mātra sāra
naraka ha-ite tomāra nāhika nistāra
go-ańge yata loma, tata sahasra vatsara
go-vadhī raurava-madhye pace nirantara

Since you cannot bring killed cows back to life, you are responsible for killing them. Therefore you are going to hell; there is no way for your deliverance. Cow-killers are condemned to rot in hellish life for as many thousands of years as there are hairs on the body of the cow.

- Cc Adi Lila 17.165-166

The above statement was spoken by Lord Chaitanya to a Muslim ruler. This conversation took place some 500 years ago. If you doubt the authority of Lord Chaitanya, there are many references to Him in the Vedas as the Supreme Absolute Truth. So the above statement is the most authentic sruti (sound). It is to be considered "dharma" for all living beings including Indian, American, Paksitani, Jew, Christian, Hindu etc etc

However, in the current age, there is rampant slaughtering of cows. Just in the USA, per year, an estimated 35 million cows are slaughtered. This is a colossal proportion. In other words, per year, approximately one cow is killed for every 10 individual in the USA or approximately 90 to 100 pounds of beef is consumed by one person every year in the USA. So if an individual lives for say 100 years, then mathematically one individual in the USA will consume approximately 8 to 10 cows whole (a cow on average weighs 1000 pounds). Of course, this is just for the sake of calculation and such calculations cannot be applied in practice. But by the pounds of beef consumed and number of cattle killed, and total US population, one can estimate around 10 cows eaten whole by one person in 100 years in the US. So if a cow say has million hairs on his body, then one individual in the US will rot in hellish life for at least 10 million life times. This is very conservative estimate because surely there may be more than million hairs on a cow.

Anyways, when you are walking on the road and see a fellow American (or for that matter any cow eater), you can safely say this fellow will rot in hell for the next 10 million life times (at the least) based on the above sloka. That is like associating with criminals who are condemned to prison for life. If you think life imprisonment is harsh, imagine hellish life for more than 10 million life times. Citing such gloomy future for the condemned souls, Srila Prabhupada therefore based on the grounds of pure and unconditional compassion did what he did - crossed the ocean despite repeated heart attacks, lived in poverty for a year or so and still persisted on to spread the glory and mercy of Lord Chaitanya. Doing so, he saved many souls from hellish life.

Let us again use some creative math. Let's say Srila Prabhupada saved around 10,000 souls when he was physically present and all 10,000 were meant to rot in hell for more than 10 million lifetimes, then, by argument one can say Srila Prabhupada saved a cumulative of at least 1 trillion lifetimes of hellish life for all these souls combined. Now that's a huge number. But for our part, if we can save even one soul, then that adds to 10 million lifetimes of hellish life saved, still a huge number. So we have to continue to try to push on this movement for our own benefit (so we don't fall back into the lap of Maya) and also for the  benefit of others.

There is also one more point I think is important in that he created a genuine spiritual path and he made it visible for the entire world to see by establishing temples, distributing books and devotee association. So now the condemned souls cannot say there was no access to genuine spiritual literature. If people reject Krishna consciousness, that is ok, but at least they were given an option and in that sense devotees have done their job.

Chant Hare Krishna and spread the glory!

Hare Krishna

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

sexual behavior - test of culture

A first class culture is one that is centered around God, according to the Bhagavad Gita. In such a culture, spiritual values such as austerity, cleanliness, mercy and truthfulness are practiced. As a result every living being is pleased. The concepts of exploitation, crime and poverty does not exist in such pristine culture. This was the case, once upon a time, in India (not anymore though!).

Today, there is rampant materialism across the globe where such spiritual values of austerity and truthfulness is a taboo. One can test the barometer of materialism by studying the sexual activity of young people within a culture. The reason I use sexual behavior as a test of materialism is because sex is considered the highest form of pleasure within the mundane world and sex among young adults is the most exhilarating as it is a new and often sought after experience by young adults. Therefore, today, promiscuity is openly glorified in all forms of entertainment and media and is a multi-billion dollar industry. By studying the sexual behavior of young adults, we can ascertain if a culture is primarily material or spiritual.

The United States is a leader in material culture. Here, everything material is glorified. Even religion and God is worshiped on the material plane. So it is not a surprise that sex and cross-gender mingling is very open, common and casual. In fact, not having a boyfriend or girlfriend means there is something wrong with the individual. Below are some stats on sexual behavior among young adults in the US. Again, this only reiterates my original point that a culture is considered deeply material when sex is openly glorified and practiced from very young age.

The data is taken from a survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics. It is arguably the best source of information on sexual activity, and contraceptive use. The investigators evaluated data from 3,242 females and 3,104 males born during the years 1984 to 1993, who responded to the survey in the years 2006 to 2010.

19% girls have had sex by age 15
32% by age 16
By age 20, an estimated 74% reported to having sexual intercourse

2% boys have had sex by age 12
5% by age 13
10% by age 14
22% by age 15
35% by age 16
74% by age 20

Contraceptive use
By age 15, 80% reported using contraception the same month they first had sex, as did 85% of 17- to 18-year-olds.

Overall, it is estimated that the median age for first-time sex in the U.S. over the past 50 years is 17 years. In other words, more than half of Americans have sex when they reach 17 years old. However, according to the Census, the median age of first time marriage ranges from 26 years to 28 years. Also, the average age couples become first time parents is around 27 years. So obviously premarital sex is promoted by main stream culture and part of healthy relationships. Obviously no surprises here, in my opinion, US is extremely material and the whole world is following its promiscuous ways. You can read the entire article here.

The spiritual standard of living according to Bhagavad Gita is that a boy and girl can have sex only under the umbrella of marriage and that too only for procreation. Any sex before marriage is considered against the codes of dharma and hampers one's spiritual evolution. So from a data perspective, it should ideally read, 0% had sex before marriage. Unfortunately, today, such opinions on sexual behavior is highly inappropriate, unpopular and inane. Therefore our culture is very much enveloped in materialism where spiritual values of austerity, cleanliness, mercy and truthfulness are rarely practiced. How then can all living beings live happily in peace without fighting...in my opinion, highly unlikely!

Hare Krishna

Monday, April 1, 2013

Life is very short

"First thing is memory is very short. We cannot remember. Life is very short. Life is short, at the same time, so much disturbed by anxiety, by disease, by natural disturbances. Roga-sokadibhih. Short life; that is also disturbed by disease and lamentation. Every moment there is something for which you have to lament. "Oh!" Roga-sokadibhih. And disease. This body is a breeding ground of all kinds of disease. Life is short and it is so much disturbed.

So how it is possible to practice? Therefore, this one practice -- chanting Hare Krsna, and hearing -- that is very nice. And praying to Krsna, "Please give me strength." Hare, "O Energy of Krsna, O Krsna, I am fallen, I have no strength. Please accept me." That's all. "I have no qualification. I am frail. I am trying, but I am failing." All these appeals should be made. And Krsna is all-powerful, He can do anything.

Even we, we do not perform, trying our best, if we fail, Krsna will help us. Just like a child tries his best, but he falls down. The mother takes up and, "All right. Come on. Walk."

Morning Walk Srila Prabhupada 1968