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

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Prabhupada in trance

I was listening to a lecture by Srila Prabhupada on the life of Ajamila. Prabhupada very nicely explains the significance of Holy Names especially at the time of death. The class runs 27 mins and is very interesting.

Another thing that excited me was at the end when Prabhupada was imitating Ajamila by chanting "Narayan". After Prabhupada chanted "Narayan", there was an eerie silence for about 20 seconds at the end. Finally Prabhupada concludes the lecture saying "Thank you very much". After I heard the pause two or three times, I was convinced Prabhupada went into trance calling the names of Narayana. I wanted to verify my doubt so I did some research online to find if there were any eye witness to this lecture. Lo and behold I found a passage about this encounter by Satyaraja Dasa (Steven Rosen) in his book "The Agni and the Ecstasy".

In page 71 of his book, he writes "On the fourth day of Prabhupada’s Chicago lectures, another miracle occurred. After repeating Narayana’s name many times in telling the story of Ajamila, Srila Prabhupada fell into trance. This was something he rarely did in public. An intense silence engulfed the room. We all felt blessed to witness the transcendental phenomenon. Through purely calling out Narayana’s name, in telling the story, Prabhupada was seeing Narayana face-to-face. His trance-like state and his inability to speak lasted two minutes. Although I have read about the ecstatic symptoms of a pure devotee, I was amazed to see them. Those of us who were in the room will never forget his spiritually uplifting expression, as tears rolled down his face. After two seemingly eternal minutes, Srila Prabhupada said, “All right. Thank you very much.” He then gestured that kirtana should begin, and one of the most intense chanting sessions I had ever experienced permeated the large hall.

 You can listen to the lecture below.


 Hare Krishna

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Skeptical Origins

Not sure what to make of this but surely science is less convincing in answering the fundamental aspects of life such as origin of life on earth, creation of planetary systems, evolution etc. In Vedic scriptures such as Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam, there is in-depth explanation of life and its origins. Granted, we cannot prove those theories via modern science or by collecting physical evidence. So in one sense, even theories from the Gita and Bhagavatam are highly skeptical from a modern scientific perspective. However, the reason Gita and Bhagavatam will score higher than science for me at least is because it was presented by great saints such as Mahamuni Vysa, Sukadev Goswami and Bhagavan Sri Krishna Himself. Our validation of the subject is based on the speaker and not so much based on return of evidence. Modern science gives no credence to the character of the scientists per se, it is all about the ability to collect, and interpret data. 

Unless we transcend sensual science, it is very difficult to understand the concept of life, creation and the value of saintly speakers such as Sukadev Goswami.

Hare Krishna

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

We need quality

Everyone has got some followers. This.... What is that? Guruji Maharaja. He has got also so-called followers. The T.M.,(Transcendental Meditation of Mahesh Yogi)  - - - he has got also some followers. Everyone has got some followers. But what kind of followers they have ? That is quality. Everything has quality. Simply quantity is not. There are many Christians. Even up to date, some Christian fair or.... Many millions will come. What is the quality ? Quality is all meat-eater. But Christian means he should not kill. Where is the Christian ? So we have to test by the quality, followers. Not many followers, the quality of the followers. My Guru Mahäräja used to say like that, that "If I get at least one quality disciple, then all my labor will be success." He was saying like that: quality, not the quantity.

- Srila Prabhupada (Room Conversation  -  The Spirit of Preaching is to Make Perfect Disciples
- May 2, 1976, Fiji)

Hare Krishna

Thursday, April 10, 2014

What are the odds?

In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says that devotional service unto Him is very very rare, so rare that even if accept Krishna as Supreme, it is impossible to understand Krishna. These are pretty tough odds to beat especially if this statement is coming directly from the Supreme Being Himself.

So let us try to "quantify" the odds in our very own idiosyncratic sense.

Our criteria for devotion is anyone who chants the Holy Names of Krishna consistently everyday because in this age of Kali, there is no other way to be His devotee. So what are the odds one will chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra everyday in this kali yuga setting?

Odds of being born in this kali yuga

When Brahma goes to sleep, there is partial destruction of planets of this universe and when he wakes up during the day, creation takes place again. So in that sense since this day of Brahma has begin, 2 billion years have passed in earthly time. Krishna appears once every day of Brahma. It is in this 28th divya yuga in dwapara yuga of 7th manvantara Krishna has appeared and Lord Chaitanya only appears every time after the appearance of Krishna. Those reading this post happened to also be born just at the cusp of the appearance of Krishna and Chaitanya. This is important because we cannot chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra without Lord Chaitanya.

So the odds to be born in this kali yuga just after Krishna and Chaitanya is 1 in 2 billion.

Odds of being born as a human being

In the Padma Purana, it is said that there are 8.4 million species of life (84 lacs). For the sake of this calculation, we will assume we take birth once in each species  (this is unlikely because typically we take multiple births within the same species).

So the odds to be born as human is 1 in 8.4 million.

Odds of meeting a devotee

Currently, there are estimated 7 billion humans in this world. Of them say 3.5 billion are between 25 to 64 (active adults). If anything we would most likely come in touch with a devotee within that age range. Of course Prabhupada was beyond that age when he initiated this whole movement but of course Prabhupada is special. Of the 3.5 billion, I estimate there would be 1 million devotees in that age range (this is very liberal the odds actually will be much higher)

So the odds of meeting a devotee is 1 in 1 million

Combining all, the odds of being born in this kali yuga and meeting a devotee is 1 in 2.01 billion. Assuming you meet a devotee and take up chanting seriously, you are looking at an odd akin to winning the powerball lottery at least 11 times in one life. This is equivalent to a prize money of 440 million dollars.

This is an illustration to show that on our own, one cannot serve and love God because the odds are stacked against us. To the degree we are free from false-prestige and pride, and with utter humility and tolerance take shelter of Krishna, to that degree Krishna will nourish the seed of bhakti within our heart.

Hare Krishna

Monday, April 7, 2014

Spiritual inertia

There is a general feeling when it comes to God (not religion) that we work or relate or interact with God only when we feel like it (in a spontaneous sense). When we don't "feel" the love from God, we do not really worry about God. But actually our Acharyas teach that we have to "force" certain issues. Krishna asks Arjuna to "control" his mind through practice and detachment. Practice means we have to force our mind to behave in a certain way.

Spiritual inertia is a natural element of material culture. Our culture is advancing in the name of technology to increased levels of inertia or simply put laziness. Think about it - inventions such as automobiles, tractors, cell phones, computers make things efficient, quick and orderly but creates a mentality that machines will do the work and I just need to control the machine. Science is advancing more and more towards increasing technology however it is also drastically promoting laziness. When was the last time you wrote a letter by hand and mailed it to your loved one? So this is the situation - this inertia has largely impacted our spiritual life as well.

We fear change, and lack the drive to beat the blues in terms of spiritual inertia or laziness. But if we want to progress towards Krishna, then no machine or sporadic spontaneous feelings of God will cut it. We have to approach this "military" style meaning with intent and conviction. We have to force our enthusiasm to be in Krishna consciousness.

The more we show our conviction towards Krishna in terms of disciplining our mind (forcefully) then surely Krishna will reciprocate and when that reciprocation happens, we know He exists and there is no greater feeling than knowing that Krishna exists and He is looking out for us. This experience or realization will cultivate within us a spontaneous attachment towards Krishna.

So yes purity is the force, so lets force it!

Hare Krishna

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

Between 1968 and 1977 Srila Prabhupada created a spiritual revolution around the world. This is an understatement. The following are simply his accomplishments which are tangible and document-able. To his sincere followers, Srila Prabhupada means more than words can describe, however if I want to write a resume on Srila Prabhupada's accomplishments, then perhaps we can cite the following.

  • He dictated total of 22,000 pages of text.
  • He translated and wrote purports to 10 cantos of Srimad Bhagavata Puranam - Reading one verse with purport daily would take the reader 50 years to complete
  • He translated and wrote the purports to the 700 verses of Bhagavad Gita - Reading one verse with purport daily would take two years to complete
  • He translated and wrote the purports to the 17 volumes of Caitanya Caritamrita - in total 2,170 pages or 11,555 verses! - Reading one verse with purport daily would take the reader 31.6 years to complete. Reading one page daily would take 5.9 years to complete
  • He also wrote Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Nectar of Devotion, Teachings of Lord Kapiladeva, Sri Isopanishad.
  • He created Back to Godhead magazine of which 1 million copies are distributed every year.
  • He wrote more than 7000 letters to His disciples, which were published in 5 volumes of books.
  • Just the Srimad Bhagavatam lectures which he gave, are compiled in 11 volumes of books.
  • Bhagavad Gita lectures are compiled in 7 volumes of books.
  • His conversations have been compiled in 42 volumes of books.
  • He published 147 books. Reading one book monthly would take 13 years.
  • If one started to read one book monthly now, in 2014, he would not finish till 2031.
  • He produced innumerable devotional musical recordings.
  • He established 108 worldwide temples.
  • He traveled around the world 14 times.
  • Beside this, he changed the lives of at least 5000 people who become his initiated disciples and numerous grand disciples.
And all of this Srila Prabhupada did in ONLY 9 years in the age between 70-80!!!

Therefore we say "Al glories to Srila Prabhupada"

Hare Krishna