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

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Epistemology of Sri Sri Shikshashtaka

While teaching topics of spiritual knowledge to both the students and teachers of the mundane schools of Navadvipa, Sri Gaurasundara composed the first verse of Sikshahstaka

cheto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam
shreyah-kairava-chandrika-vitaranam vidya-vadhu-jivanam
anandambhudhi-vardhanam prati-padam purnamritasvadanam
sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate shri-krishna-sankirtanam

Glory to the Shri Krishna sankirtana (congregational chanting of the Lord's holy names), which cleanses the heart of all the dust accumulated for years and extinguishes the fire of conditional life, of repeated birth and death. That sankirtana movement is the prime benediction for humanity at large because it spreads the rays of the benediction moon. It is the life of all transcendental knowledge. It increases the ocean of transcendental bliss, and it enables us to fully taste the nectar for which we are always anxious.

In the second verse of Sikshashtaka there is an elaboration of the first.

namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-shaktis
tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalaha
etadrishi tava kripa bhagavan mamapi
durdaivam idrisham ihajani nanuragahah

O my Lord, Your holy name alone can render all benediction to living beings, and thus You have hundreds and millions of names, like Krishna and Govinda. In these transcendental names, you have invested all Your transcendental energies. There are not even hard and fast rules for chanting these names. O my Lord, out of kindness You enable us to easily approach you by Your holy names, but I am so unfortunate that I have no attraction for them.

In the third verse the Lord reveals to the world the method of properly serving the first verse.

trinad api sunicena
taror api sahishnuna
amanina manadena
kirtaniyah sada harihi

One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street; one should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige, and should be ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly.

In the fourth verse Sri Gaurasundara describes the process for giving up desires that are not related to Krishna.

na dhanam na janam na sundarim
kavitam va jagad-isha kamaye
mama janmani janmanishvare
bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi

O almighty Lord, I have no desire to accumulate wealth, nor do I desire beautiful women, nor do I want any number of followers. I only want your causeless devotional service, birth after birth.

In the fifth verse the Lord describes giving up realization of the Supreme Lord's opulences while worshipping the supremely blissful Absolute Truth and chanting the holy names as an eternal servant.

ayi nanda-tanuja kinkaram
patitam mam vishame bhavambudhau
kripaya tava pada-pankaja-
sthita-dhuli-sadrisham vichintaya

O son of Maharaja Nanda [Krishna], I am Your eternal servitor, yet somehow or other I have fallen into the ocean of birth and death. Please pick me up from this ocean of death and place me as one of the atoms at Your lotus feet.

The reactions of the body, mind, and speech as one progresses in chanting the holy names are described in the sixth verse.

nayanam galad-ashru-dharaya
vadanam gadgada-ruddhaya gira
pulakair nichitam vapuh kada
tava nama-grahane bhavishyati

O my Lord, when will my eyes be decorated with tears of love flowing constantly when I chant Your holy name? When will my voice choke up, and when will the hairs of my body stand on end at the recitation of Your name?

According to the consideration in the seventh verse that the holy names and the Lord are non-different, a practitioner achieves perfection by attaining the state of apana-dasa, realization of one's original constitutional position.

yugayitam nimeshena
chakshusha pravrishayitam
shunyayitam jagat sarvam
govinda-virahena me

O Govinda! Feeling Your separation, I am considering a moment to be like twelve years or more. Tears are flowing from my eyes like torrents of rain, and I am feeling all vacant in the world in Your absence.

Lord Gaurasundara taught the eighth verse so that the same practitioner could become decorated with all symptoms of complete surrender by freeing himself from the bad association of aversion to Hari while giving up the concept of enjoyment in the course of chanting the holy names and thus attain Krishna prema. 

ashlishya va pada-ratam pinashtu mam
adarshanan marma-hatam karotu va
yatha tatha va vidadhatu lampato
mat-prana-nathas tu sa eva naparaha

I know no one but Krishna as my Lord, and He shall remain so even if He handles me roughly by His embrace or makes me brokenhearted by not being present before me. He is completely free to do anything and everything, for He is always my worshipful Lord, unconditionally.

Other than this, Lord Gaurasundara forbade all of His beloved devotees from discussing any topics indirectly related to Krishna. The living entities bereft of Sri Krishna Caitanyacandra's affection do not accept the Supreme Lord, who is full of transcendental rasa, as their beloved, because their hearts are dry and hard. No one other than svayam-rupa Krishna is bold enough to impart such instructions.

Purport by His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Takur Prabhupada
Sri Chaitanya Bhagavata, Madhya Kanda, part three, chapter twenty eight text 27, page 530-31

Monday, February 17, 2014

Etymology of the name Kṛṣṇa

The bhu-vacaka or attractiveness indicated, in the verbal root "Kṛṣ" refers to complete eternal existence or complete eternal knowledge, and "ṇa" refers to spiritual pleasure. In qualities and objects not related to Krsna there is a possibility of difference between the cause and the effect, but since "Kṛṣ" and "ṇa" are both the attractors and the attracted, there is no difference between the cause and effect in their qualities and objects. Krsna is non-different from His names, forms, qualities and pastimes.

Purport by His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Takur Prabhupada
Sri Chaitanya Bhagavata, Madhya Kanda, part three, chapter twenty eight text 26, page 529

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My prayer to Lord Nityananda Rama!

Today is the most auspicious day of the appearance of Lord Nityananda Rama. He is none other than Lord Balarama who is the self same Supreme Being.

We live in a world where service and love is strongly reposed to the things and people of this world. In this condition of spiritual aridity, it is next to impossible to understand God and the eternal dharma of love of God despite the presence of many religions, places of worship and godmen.

Lord Nityananda prabhu appeared 500 years ago as the spiritual oasis to spread the sanatana dharma of prema pumartha mahan: to achieve love of Supreme Godhead Krishna as the topmost perfection of life.  There is no truth superior to this. Without the mercy and blessing of Lord Nityananda one cannot gain access into the eternal lila of Radha and Krishna. In fact, one cannot even understand in theory the position, greatness and sweetness of Krishna and His eternal consort Radha.

So on this day, we must aspire in a humble way to be the servant of the servant of Lord Nitynanda - to desire to be free from false prestige that arises from our attachment to our body and mind. We must take our Krishna conscious life seriously, sincerely and without any self motivations. When we struggle hard for this simple position of servant of servant free from false pride & prestige, then surely Lord Nityananda will be pleased with our endeavor and will grant entrance into the eternal lila of Radha and Krishna.

I pray to that Supreme Lord Nityananda prabhu to give me the desire, faith and determination to remain humble and chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra in a way that attracts Sri Sri Radha and Krishna.

Lord Nityananda Prabhu ki jay!

Hare Krishna

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

To cheat is an inherent quality within us

We talk much about how as humans we have inherent defects within us. No one is exempt from it. One of the four defects is cheating. While it may be hard to accept we have a cheating propensity, pure saints from vedic age say that such a propensity indeed exists within every singly individual and hence the cause of miseries.

Below is an excerpt on the cheating propensity of FDA (i.e. the US Govt), the pharmaceutical industry and our friendly neighborhood doctor.

Dr. Gregory A. Smith, who founded a medical group that focuses on integrative medicine for the treatment of chronic pain and prescription narcotic dependence and addiction explains how powerful pharmaceutical corporations legally manufacture and distribute addictive and often deadly medications with the full authority of the US government. Although the US citizenry constitutes only 5 percent of the global population, Dr.Smith revealed, Americans consume a whopping 80 percent of the world's hydrocodone, which is found in painkillers like Vicodin and Norco, as well as 50 percent of all the prescription drugs in the world.

This overwhelming reliance on medication is due to a deliberate shift in medical philosophy which has focused on the treatment of symptoms rather than solving the root cause of ailments. Driving that agenda, he said, is the pharmaceutical industry, which reaps huge profits by ensuring that people continuously need medication. "Let's face it, sick people that don't die are great for business," he observed, "because they keep coming back every 30 days for a prescription," often for years or even decades over the course of their lifetime. Additionally, he said, economic factors like taxes and regulations have forced doctors to treat more patients per hour than in previous years in order to simply keep their practices in business. As such, doctors who devote time trying to treat their patients' ailments often make far less money than their colleagues who merely prescribe drugs to combat symptoms.

Since the FDA receives the majority of their funding from the pharmaceutical industry, Smith said, the government is unlikely to put a stop to this broken medical system and, therefore, the onus of protecting one's health falls on the individual. "The days are over where you can simply just blindly trust the doctor or the system to do what's right for you," he warned, "you have to ask questions." To that end, Smith suggested that people ask their doctor if their are alternatives, specifically natural remedies, to drugs prescribed to them. Should they be dissuaded from such an approach, Smith said, "it's time to look for a new doctor." Ultimately, he stressed that people need to take a more proactive and informed approach to their own health care. 

- Dr Smith - Comprehensive Pain Relief Group

One fix to a problem yields another problem in a cyclical fashion- this is material nature.

Therefore Lord Sri Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita, that we must tolerate (rather than find solution) our material problems and simultaneously cultivate the inner heart to seek, find and take shelter of the infallible Being Krishna. As long as we take shelter of fallible soldiers of this world such as the Govt, drugs and doctors, we cannot get rid of this cycle of miseries as evidenced by Dr.Smith above.

Hare Krishna.

Saturday, February 8, 2014