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

Monday, September 30, 2013


William Wallace gave his entire life in pursuit of freedom. At the end of the movie Braveheart, William was being tied to the stake and about to die, I was anticipating with eagerness William's next move? Is he going to seek forgiveness from the British Rule and be released from death or continue his defiance towards the King? I was surprised - William does not relent but shouts out "freedom" as he lay his life for his motherland Scotland. The feeling is still fresh, I was drenched with feelings of awe towards William Wallace's chivalry and his pursuit of freedom.

I had the same if not even intense feelings of awe and reverence towards Krishna when I first read the Bhagavad Gita As it is. It also was a scene set in a battlefield in pursuit of freedom. Krishna urges Arjuna to fight to annihilate adharma and reinstate dharma. But the freedom of Bhagavad Gita and the movie is not the same. Although William's cause was noble as he sacrificed his life for his countrymen, still he and his countrymen were bound to the identity of being a Scotsman. After we die we are neither British nor Scot nor Indian etc. We are spiritual beings encased within a physical body. So when the identity of the physical body is enhanced then our cause will be bound to this material world of birth and death - a temporary world. We will believe that pursing freedom for sensual enjoyment is the highest and ultimate purpose of life. We will not cultivate a desire to practice austerity to give up the physical identity. In that sense William's pursuit of freedom was binding.

Today this is also our thinking. Practicing rules of spiritual purity such as chanting God's names, refraining from eating meat, intoxication, illicit sex and gambling in a regulated manner is seen as a restriction. We think these rules restrict us from enjoying this world. This idea of binding restriction is there within us because we are intensely attached to this body and mind. We think it is unnatural to practice such rules which brings pleasure to the body & mind. In the ultimate sense, we think such rules bind us against living our life freely - the opposite of freedom!

Krishna, however, says that these very same regulative principles that we think is the opposite of freedom actually give us freedom. It gives us freedom by reinstating us back to our spiritual world free from the bondage of this physical world of birth and death. We no longer have to be subjected to state, physical, material and karmic laws. We no longer are forced to suffer old age, disease and death or miseries caused due to the body/mind, or natural disturbances or other living beings. According to Krishna, this is real freedom.

William Wallace gave freedom from the rule of British and Krishna is giving us freedom from the rule of this entire material creation (not just the British). So it is in our benefit that by practicing the regulative principles as enunciated in the Gita, we can achieve eternal freedom from the clutches of cruel death.

But a person free from all attachment and aversion and able to control his senses through regulative principles of freedom can obtain the complete mercy of the Lord.- BG 2.64

Hare Krishna

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Glory of Srimati Radharani

Krishna attracts everyone, but devotional service attracts Krishna. The symbol of devotional service in the highest degree is Radharani. Krishna is called Madana Mohana, which means He is so attractive that He can defeat the attraction of thousands of Cupids. But Radharani is still more attractive, for (because) She can attract Krishna. Therefore devotees call Her Madana Mohana Mohini, the attractor of the attractor of Cupid.

- Srila Prabhupada in the Nectar of Devotion

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Do you want to be shackled or liberated?

There are two types of people. An enlightened soul and a soul in ignorance. Externally speaking, both of them look alike. Both of them can be wearing the dress of a sadhu and speaking Vedanta. But once they start speaking, whether they are enlightened or ignorant will be revealed. As listeners we need to know the criterion for what makes one individual enlightened or ignorant.

An ignorant fool will think like this...

An enlightened soul meditate on this...

The ignorant fool thinks he is the body and his entire philosophy of living life is based on that fact - "I am this body" and "everything related to this body is mine"...so let me enjoy my life to the fullest. His entire culture, religion, and the company he keeps will also be so he can enjoy his body and mind to the fullest. Such a man will be proud of his family, attached to his past laurels and future goals, will approach God in a sentimental manner devoid of knowledge. In essence, a man on the bodily concept of life will increasingly promote enjoyment of people, relationships and things of this world (as the picture suggests). Doing so such a man becomes bound more and more to the shackles of Maya and will continue to suffer within the cycle of samsara - birth and death.

An enlightened soul will also live in the same world but will not take it seriously. He will be like a water on a lotus petal performing his duties dedicating his activities, consciousness and relationships in the service of God Krishna. Such a man will also have family but will not be proud that his family is part of his creation, he will not be attached to his past activities or future goals. His goal in life will not be to enjoy life but to serve God Krishna. Such a man will meditate on the Greatness of God Krishna at all times and try his best to use his family, money, intelligence, and energy in the service of God Krishna. Doing so, such a man becomes enlightened from within and forever liberated from the miseries of birth and death and transcends to the spiritual kingdom of God Krishna. The second picture illustrates the beginning of genuine spiritual life.

Do you want to be shackled or liberated?

Hare Krishna

Thursday, September 5, 2013