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

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

An offering to His Divine Grace

Dear Srila Prabhupada

Please accept my humble obeisance. All glories unto your divine Lotus Feet.

Every year on this day of your auspicious appearance, devotees around the world meditate and thank you for the sacrifice you performed for the sake of the lost souls seeking pleasure in this world. If you did not take the pains to travel to the West, preach tirelessly, write volumes of books, build temples, conduct festivals, and give personal instructions to your disciples, today, we would not have the luxury of a global Vaishnava community who are connected with one another either in person or virtually – Thank you very much!

I am happy that I am still chanting, reading and doing some service trying to please you. When I got introduced to Krishna Consciousness, I was doubtful if this is just a phase in my life. I was doubtful if my attachment to you and your words was simply a passing cloud. After all these years, I am happy that I am still chanting implying that perhaps it is not a phase and perhaps it may be something substantial. Having said that, I am still in a phase in my Krishna Consciousness where I ebb and flow with the highs and lows of my life. It is my desire that I am steady in my Krishna consciousness regardless of these high and low points. I submit unto you please accept my services though it may be of idiosyncratic nature.

Pride and anger are two pillars leading to the nether worlds. As long as one harbors such feelings it is not possible to understand sublime truths. In Chaitanya Charitamrta (Adi 1.55), you say that “The development of submissiveness is the cause of proportionate spiritual realization, by which one can ultimately meet the Supreme Lord in person, as a man meets another man face to face”. Living in a place where devotee association is few and far between can promote independence and not submissiveness. Independence is a breeding ground for pride leading to anger. Dear Prabhupada, please always guide me from within and through your books to tolerate the urges of my mind which I sometimes feel is my worst enemy. In the past year, there were many incidences which I could have averted despite outside provocation but because of inherent pride, I became angry and engaged in combative behavior. This, you have said, is on the bodily platform. Going forward, I pray unto you to give me the strength to overcome this elephant like disease of competitive pride and anger.

In the past year, I have tried my best in my capacity to share the word of Krishna to others. I have tried my best to be more introspective with respect to my own sadhana. Going forward, given my limitations, I want to continue to share and introspect. By giving I receive. I hope you were pleased with whatever little sharing and introspection I did in the past year. Please bless me in my attempt to share and introspect more as I get older.

I cannot say this enough and perhaps I will say this till the sun burns out. Without you and your divine instructions, I would be like a ship without a rudder lost in the vast ocean with timingila like fishes ready to gobble me up. It was by your mercy, and blessings I was able to steer this lost ship in a direction where there is hope and freedom. Hope towards an ageless life and freedom from the miseries of life. It does not stop there- you have given us a road map where beyond hope and freedom, we reach the shores of service and bliss – service towards the Supreme Being who is blackish blue in complexion like the rain cloud with lotus like eyes, reddish lips and curly hair. By serving Him unconditionally, one regains His original position of blissful self. What more can we ask for?

Thank you Prabhupada for not only picking me up from the quagmire of this world but also teaching me to clean my act and march towards that Supreme Being. For this I am forever indebted. A debt I can never pay back!

On this divine appearance day of yours, please accept my prostrated dandavats at your divine lotus feet.

Your servant aspiring to be insignificant
Ananda Jagannath Das

Hare Krishna

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

what is shanti or peace?

God is great, and we are most insignificant servant of God. Our business is to give service to God. When you come to this stage, then there will be shanti. Otherwise there is no possibility of shanti....He knows, "Krsna is there. Whatever I need, He will supply." And Krsna said, yoga-ksemam vahamy aham, tesam nityabhiyuktanam: [Bg. 9.22] "Those who are constantly engaged in My service, I take care how to supply their necessities of life." Then why shall I disbelieve Krishna if I am Krishna conscious? Let me do my duty as servant of Krishna, and whatever necessities are required, He will arrange for them. If you become confident about this thing and completely engage yourself in Krishna consciousness, that is the stage of shanta

- Srila Prabhupada, Dec 30 1974

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Patience, confidence, and enthusiasm

As devotees, we should know our limits of spiritual purity. We should not imitate pure devotees in terms of eating, sleeping and other mundane bodily functions. Srila Prabhupada enforced minimum rules such as four regulative principles, chanting 16 rounds and honoring prasadam. If we practice this sincerely and diligently, we can advance towards Krishna. But out of false-pride and duplicitous nature, if we make a show of advancement of sleeping irregular hours, eating little, engaging in bhajana etc, then such show will eventually pull us down. Therefore we have to be humble in progressing towards Krishna.

What does that mean? It means we have to wait till Krishna allows us to get to the next level of purity whatever it may be. We have to perform to our current capacity with sincere diligence and wait for Krishna to give us confidence within us to go to the next level. Either that or we advance purely based on our attachment to our Guru. This is not so common. Intense attachment to Guru can enable one to disband material hankerings instantly and take up to deep levels of Krishna consciousness.

However, those who are not at that level of attachment can however practice vaidhi bhakti gradually till they receive higher taste from Krishna and in that way progress towards spontaneous bhakti. But for all of this to happen, we have to acknowledge our insignificant nature, and in that mood practice our sadhana (whatever we have committed to) strictly every day and beg for Krishna’s mercy to make progress towards Him.

Patience, confidence and enthusiasm is the key.

Hare Krishna