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

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Faith - It is an active expression

Service towards Krishna increases as our realization of Him increases. So service and realization are not mutually exclusive, they go hand-in-hand. Service and realization is a direct product of faith in Krishna.

The faith i am talking about is not the blind faith people profess in a superior being.
The faith i am talking about is an active expression of simple living and high thinking.
The faith i am talking about is an active expression of a life enriched with gratitude towards God with a desire to serve God and all living beings of this world free from envy and fault finding.

Such active expressions of faith is the life force of a true devotee of God. This faith is not sectarian because selfless service to God is not sectarian. Without this faith within the heart of a devotee, there is no dharma or goodness in this world. Everything else is a detail but one must guard carefully like a mother her baby to ensure that this faith is nurtured and protected.

On the threshold of a new year, I wish the faith which is burning within each of us either slow or hard, continues to grow to the point where we can offer our heart, mind, body and words with due diligence at the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna.

Happy New Year 2016!

Hare Krishna.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Bhagavad Gita stresses bhakti over other paths

Some people argue that Prabhupada misinterpreted Bhagavad Gita in the sense that the verses are translated to suit bhakti. In Bhagavad Gita, Krishna speaks about karma, gnana, yoga and bhakti and hence all paths are as good as other paths. This is their argument. But such criticisms are indications that people read Bhagavad Gita for other purposes and not for surrendering to Krishna.

In the Srimad Bhagavatam, Krishna speaks similar Gita to Uddhava entitled Uddhava Gita. There, Uddhava asks Krishna this very type of question. Uddhava asks that dear Krishna you have referenced many paths, which is the ultimate one? Krishna clearly says that bhakti is the ultimate path. Krishna continues to Uddhava that I speak so many other things besides just bhakti to cater to the different needs of the people. Keep in mind, as Supreme Being, it is the desire of Krishna to attract all souls and not just who are disposed towards bhakti. So the only way to do that is to offer different platforms from where one can elevate one’s self from that platform to bhakti.

If we carefully read the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna, Krishna uses superlative degree whenever He talks about bhakti. He does not use superlative degree when Krishna speaks about karma or gnana or yoga. This is an indication that not all paths are the same and negates the common man’s criticism. If we stress on one point versus the other means not all points are equal. Similarly Krishna stresses that only through bhakti (none other) can one reach Him. Now if all paths were equal He could have said by any path one can reach me but He does not thus clearly placing bhakti above karma, gnana and yoga.

If the speaker of a book is meant to be the central figure of the book thus attracting everyone to the central figure, then it is clear as daylight that Krishna is the central figure of Bhagavad Gita and He wants all those who read Bhagavad Gita to be attracted to Him and He also says that I am attracted fully "only" through bhakti. Therefore, Srila Prabhupada as the translator staying true to the central figure of Bhagavad Gita Krishna through out the entire eighteen chapters focuses on bhakti as the essential ingredient to access that central figure Krishna.

If, however, we “do not” want to approach the central figure of Bhagavad Gita (i.e. Krishna) and we have ulterior motives, then other paths will seem attractive to us. However, those who read Bhagavad Gita with an open mind keeping aside material considerations and selfish motivations, will surely recognize that bhakti to Krishna is the ultimate path and through bhakti only can one solve man’s timeless problem of struggle for existence in this material world.

note: bhakti here refers to pure bhakti (not mixed)

Hare Krishna

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

dvaita vada as hinduism

When the vedas was first spoken by Lord Brahma (the first created being of this universe), it was understood by his sons in different ways. Later, Mahamuni Vyasa took birth to translate these esoteric timeless sound into text format especially favoring kali yuga residents. Vyasa also wrote the succinct version of the vedas by taking its conclusions and coding it in short texts called the sutras. Because it contained the conclusive truths in coded form, it was called vedanta sutra.

Later, a great saint some 2000 years ago by name Adi Shankaracharya wrote a commentary on the vedanta sutras called the sariraka bhasya. Today, most if not all of hinduism follows this version of the vedanta sutra. Western scholars who study hinduism define hinduism based on the interpretation of Shankara's sariraka bhasya commentary. The philosophy pushed forward by Shankara is called Advaita vada where in the ultimate sense, everything is one called brahman. The varieties we see in this world is simply an illusory transformation of that non-distinguisgable brahman. Hence, one can adhere to any ishta-deva and still attain the same destiny as anyone else in brahman. Later, famous people such as Ramakrishna, Chinmoy, Vivekananda, Aurobindo etc and the likes basically presented their flavor of Adi Shankara's sariraka bhasya. This is the understanding of hinduism today by hindus and non-hindus.

The fact, and the more serious students must be aware, is that there are more sophisticated commentaries than sarirak bhasya presented by Ramanuja and later by Madhwa. Unfortunately, their commentaries of the vedanta sutras are not as popular as the Advaita vada of Shankara. Srila Prabhupada's teachings come in the line of these two saintly people. In this teaching, the ultimate reality is dual - Supreme Being Ishvara or God and the subordinate being jiva or soul. As per the dualistic philosophy (dvaita vada), Vishnu or Narayana is the Supreme. He is a Person with attributes. He is the creator, maintainer and destroyer in the ultimate sense. All other devas, and the universes are subordinate to His ordain.

The dualistic commentary of the vedanta sutra is a natural commentary as opposed to the massaged commentary of Shankara. It is natural because it is harmonious with the world around us and has no contradictions. Anyone interested in hinduism in a real way should study dvaita vada commentary of vedanta sutra and understand the religion in that way.

Hare Krishna

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Lila vs siddhanta

If an exalted soul or God descends to this planet and performs activities, in sanskrit it is called lila. The difference between lila type activities and activities of normal humans is that lila is not out of compulsion of the demands of the body and mind rather it is out of supreme independence or adherence to a divine plan. Lila therefore cannot be interpreted within the realms of normal behavior and hence cannot be applied to human beings en masse. In order for us to understand the lila of an individual requires the back up of siddhanta (perfect conclusions) based on evidence from revealed scriptures coming through the mouth of a self-realized soul.

In the western religious order such as Christianity and so forth, there is little to no siddhanta backing the lila of Jesus or other saintly characters. Hence over zealous religionists take the scriptures literally citing evidence of apparent contradictions and fight. This fighting has been going-on since the dawn of these religions. The crusades, inquisitions, jihad, anti-semitism etc are simply a manifestation of the misunderstandings of the activities of saintly people or God and with false prestige/ pride commit offense against contradicting parties. Western religious order does not have the concept of teacher-disciple lineage as they do not believe in self-realization but only salvation through a savior.

In eastern traditions such as Hinduism also we have similar scenarios where the stories of Gods are misinterpreted to suit one's own false pride stemming from a bodily concept of life. Therefore, within the teachings of the six Goswamis of Vrindavan, the stress is given to the need to understand the categorical differences between exalted souls and normal souls. The stress is given to understand the context, and inner meaning behind certain activities. One is advised not to imitate but to follow. So it is essential to have a grasp of this inner meaning or conclusions (siddhanta) coming down to us in the order of disciplic succession. When we recite stories from scriptures to a group of people or make a drama or movie out of it, without the proper siddhanta, merely reciting stories will cause disturbance in society than good.

Hare Krishna

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Bhagavad Gita in a few words

Introduction

Bhagavad Gita is fundamentally built on the platform that the soul is eternal and the body is temporary and that both are unique and distinct but co-existing. The entire theme the reader will encounter in the later chapters are founded on this fundamental idea. If we miss this point, Bhagavad Gita will seem incompatible with practical life. If we assimilate this point, Bhagavad Gita is the most practical book in life. So it is a matter of consciousness, are we reading the book as a spiritual being or a material being?

Karma

Krishna then envelops layers of thought (like an onion) around the body-soul paradigm. The first layer is the idea of doing one's duty. Krishna urges Arjuna to perform one's duty. He urges him to rise above the three modes to perform duty with equanimity of mind to success or failure, honor or dishonor, heat or cold etc. This equanimity of mind, Krishna tells is the foundation of yoga. To perform one's duty without attachment to the fruits of one's labor is superior to performing one's duty with attachment. Krishna also warns Arjuna that it is better to doing one's duty faultily (that is with attachment) than without doing it at all.

Gnana

Krishna envelopes a further layer of thought called brahman or brahma-nirvana. He says that as one performs one's duty without attachment to the fruits of labor thus maintaining equanimity of mind in yoga, and also by controlling the breathing process within ashtanga (eight fold system), one is able to attain to the pure state of consciousness called brahman. In this state Krishna says one can find happiness in the self. The stage of brahman is above the stage of performing result-free duty. 

Knowledge of this world

On the other side, Krishna also shows the contrast of lifestyle of one who is on the bodily platform, those who are mired by the three modes of goodness, passion and ignorance. Constantly harassed by the modes, the jiva is shuttling up and down, left and right and is struggling with the six senses which include the mind. The struggling jiva driven by kama and krodha worship different gods and aspire to acquire possessions within this world not knowing that the gods and this world are under Krishna.  However, Krishna says to those miscreant jivas,  I come as death. Krishna displays His universal form to prove His Supreme status of all the worlds and gods. Krishna says to Arjuna to not seek shelter within maya (this world) for Krishna says maya (world) is under "My" control and is "Mine". Krishna impels Arjuna to give up this materialism by fighting for Him - Krishna God of Gods.

Ananya Bhakti 

The final super layer of thought enveloping all ideas is ananya bhakti (unalloyed devotional service). Krishna says if one can raise above the stages of the three modes, karma, and brahman one can reach the stage of ananya bhakti which Krishna says is the final refuge for the conditioned jiva. Because through ananya bhakti only, can one know Krishna in full truth. Other paths are progressive paths to this stage of ananya bhakti. Henceforth, Krishna urges Arjuna to bow down to Him in surrender and unconditional bhakti. This Krishna says is the most confidential of all truths spoken within the pages of Bhagavad Gita. By simply engaging in bhakti under the guidance of a spiritual master, Krishna says one can transcend this world of death and attain to His abode of eternality and bliss.

Summum Bonum

After saying all this, Krishna looks at Arjuna with compassion and says to him you may do as you like Arjuna! Arjuna with mind cleared up and doubts dispelled surrenders to the words of Krishna with a desire to execute the order of Krishna. Such willful surrender in devotion of the jiva to Krishna is the pinnacle of yoga and represents the summum bonum of this esoteric book called Bhagavad Gita.

Hare Krishna

Friday, December 18, 2015

Selfless service

Mere academic study of Bhagavad Gita or Bhagavatam will not give us entry into the mysteries of Krishna. What then is the appropriate mood of study - it should be done in a mood of inner desire to transform our hearts to serve without selfishness. When we intellectually assimilate and digest Krishna, and when that intellect of Krishna translates to seva, then the study is fruitful, otherwise not. Then, as our seva becomes free of selfishness, Krishna will reveal His identity. So yes it begins with knowledge (gnana) but culminates in selfless seva or service.

Below is a verse on the aspect of revelation as given by Srila Prabhupada in a letter to Guru Das prabhu.

Sincere souls who are engaged in the service of Lord Krishna are benedicted by the Lord by revelation. Sri Krishna, His Name, Form, Entourage, Paraphernalia and Pastimes are not material; they are purely spiritual. Therefore, in the beginning they are not appreciated by our materially conditioned senses, but as we go on chanting Hare Krishna with service mood and attitude, the Name, Qualities, etc., become revealed as Reality. For the unbeliever Krishna and His Name etc are fictitious, but those who are advanced realize that K.C. is pure and eternal.

Letter to Guru Das, Aug. 24 1967

Hare Krishna

Monday, December 14, 2015

Become budhah first!

Many eastern traditions of the world talk about enlightenment as the goal of human life. They call it in different names - moksha, nirvana, mukti, kaivalya, budhah etc. Of course, the Judeo-christian traditions do not focus on enlightenment but only on salvation. Unfortunately without enlightenment one cannot get salvation. Hence today there is so much fighting in the name of religion (all religions) because people sidestep enlightenment to salvation and each religion claims their way is the “only” way to salvation. This attitude of monopoly of self-righteous salvation through their own professed faith is a symptom of non-enlightenment, in other words, the very opposite of enlightenment. To put it differently, non-enlightenment is ignorance or avidya.

When we stop seeking knowledge from this world, saintly people, and scriptures of the world and fail to traverse the path of enlightenment, then all our religious, social, philanthropical, political etc activities will be tainted with avidya which will be the cause of our misery. When one reaches the platform of enlightenment (Budhah), then one will see the universality of beings and creation. This is the first step towards understanding anything transcendental. But to get there, one must first come to the deep realization, “I thought I knew, but actually I do not know anything that is beneficial for me, please enlighten me”. Once this realization deeply dawns within the horizon of our heart, we must approach someone who is enlightened and enquire submissively.

Personally, having been exposed to many of the eastern traditions that focus on enlightenment, I find this common criteria towards enlightenment among all traditions – to come to the realization of our own avidya, humbling ourselves before an enlightened soul, inquiring from him and serving him thus paving our way for becoming a Budhah or enlightened soul. 

Hare Krishna

Monday, November 23, 2015

Two components of Bhakti

Bhakti primarily has two components. One is aversion or natural disliking towards materialistic enjoyment such as pleasures related to the body/mind such as entertainment, family, employment etc. The other component is the cultivation of taste (rasa) towards spiritual activities such as chanting, reading, and listening about Krishna. 

Srila Narottam Das Takur, a great medieval saint says that when we give up these habits of enjoyment for this world as a controller and possessor of things and people, then, to the proportion we do that, to that proportion one's spiritual vision develops. Srila Krishnadas Kaviraj goswami goes on to say that while we give up tendencies of adoration, profit and distinction and simultaneously cultivate attachment, and love towards Krishna, Kaviraj goswami says that the real identity of Holy dhams on planet earth will be revealed to us in its true spiritual glory as Chintamani dham.  Then, we can see Krishna and His friends perform eternal pastimes even here on earth right now. It will no more be a mundane geography on a map!

So it is important as practitioners of bhakti to understand that real progress in spiritual life is to give up impure material habits while cultivating pure spiritual ones!

Hare Krishna

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The real India

Of course, today, India is a conglomeration of various thoughts, and culture. Still, I feel there are places all over the country with edifices so old no one can estimate its origins. When people visit India as a tourist spot, they approach India from a 21st century mindset coupled with their time frame. If a westerner visits India, he or she is used to the biblical time frame which at the most is 6000 years old or so and within that time relevance experience India. If one is a rational thinker he or she visits India withe a modern vs non-modern perspective about India. All of these lenses may infuse certain relative truths about the country, however, the real India is not modern or non-modern or 6000 years old, it is actually a timeless piece of history like walking into a vast museum where we can see artifacts from a timeless age. The buildings, practices, values, rituals, sentiments, emotions all of it stem from that timeless age. Unless a visitor to India has this vision of a timelessness, he or she cannot and will not appreciate the real and true Indian culture.

Even to this day, parts of India has this timeless culture rooted in its spiritual values. People still glorify and desire to have a leader like Lord Ramachandra, From North to South, Lord Ram and His transcendental companions are glorified and worshipped. According to Vayu Purana and Matsya Purana, it is mentioned that Lord Rama appeared in Treta yuga of the 24th Manu cycle, which translates to about 18 million years before today. According to modern science, 18 million years ago  there was no human beings as we know today and yet Lord Rama ruled over a vast kingdom with human subjects.

So if we really want to appreciate the "Real India", then we have to approach it in this timeless manner. In doing so, the land will speak to you and embrace you as its own!

Hare Krishna

Friday, November 20, 2015

Absoluteness in a relative setting

In my last post, I talked about how there are different types of devotees and we should be aware not all of them are of the same qualitative nature. Similarly, when we do outreach or as in ISKCON called preaching, there are different types of audiences.

Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita (7.3) that among the millions of people, very few will know Him as He is. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu made it more liberal by distributing this message to one and all. Srila Prabhupada following Mahaprabhu's footsteps took up that order of practically distributing this message. However, in many instances Prabhupada himself acknowledged that this Krishna consciousness movement is not for everyone in the sense that not all will accept it. Yet Prabhupada was always finding ways to present this message to the public at large even if only few may accept at the end. In that mood of large scale presentation (with the knowledge not all can appreciate the value), we have to strategically present this message.

I say strategic because not all audiences have the same mood, intellectual acumen and capacity to assimilate and digest the information. When we get into this place of relativity, then we also have to think about self image, marketing and messaging at all types of social, political, religious, economic etc levels to suit the particular audience. In other words, we have to employ all means to reach out to the public. As my boss in my office once said, which I liked, we have to "meet people where they are". In that spirit, we have to present the message without compromise and in digestible bits so the audience can bare the brunt of the message such as "we are not these bodies" and yes "we will die" etc.

So the challenge is presenting an Absolute truth in a relative setting maintaining the purity of the message and the messenger. Indeed, as Prabhupada said "purity is the force". Without purity of heart, this message will not penetrate the hearts of the audience. Besides,  if purity is lacking, there are always the chance that the messenger can go to the dark side.  Purity is cultivated through tolerance and perseverance. But ultimately we become pure by taking shelter of Krishna and come to the realization that we are not the ultimate doers but the instruments of Krishna.

I will end with this - Prabhupada once said that we are happy to sit under a tree and chant Hare Krishna but you (pointing to the reporters and general public) will not come if we simply did that, so we have to build big temples, dramas, music, food etc to attract as many as possible.

Hare Krishna.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Pure devotion

In ISKCON, we have many varieties of devotees from entry level to advanced. While all of them look similar externally, they are not internally. The mood and prayer of a devotee is very difficult to judge by one's external outfit or behavior. To a certain extent, one can judge based on one's words and actions, however, even that can be deceptive. Therefore, we have to be careful as to who is elevated and who is not. To really understand who is elevated requires understanding of lives of great vaishnava devotees, understanding of scriptures and also one should try to aspire for one's self. When we do all of the above, the Lord who is within our heart will help us identify who is pure and not pure. Till then, it is best we engage ourselves as best as we can in a mood humble prayer and service.

There are many great devotees who have shared their inner thoughts through poems and prayers. Below is one such prayer I found by King Kulaśekhara in his Mukunda Mala stotra (5) to be very inspiring. When we constantly meditate on such prayers, our consciousness will distill the dirt in our heart and we will start to see the shining light of Godhead emerge in the horizons of our consciousness.

nāsthā dharme na vasu-nicaye naiva kāmopabhoge
 yad bhāvyaṁ tad bhavatu bhagavan pūrva-karmānurūpam
etat prārthyaṁ mama bahu-mataṁ janma-janmāntare ’pi
 tvat-pādāmbho-ruha-yuga-gatā niścalā bhaktir astu

I have no attraction for performing religious rituals or holding any earthly kingdom. I do not care for sense enjoyments; let them appear and disappear in accordance with my previous deeds. My only desire is to be fixed in devotional service to the lotus feet of the Lord, even though I may continue to take birth here life after life.

Hare Krishna

Friday, October 30, 2015

The outcome of a mechanistic view of an organism

As scientists attempt to understand a living system, they move down from dimension to dimension, from one level of complexity to the next lower level. I followed this course in my own studies. I went from anatomy to the study of tissues, then to electron microscopy and chemistry, and finally to quantum mechanics. This downward journey through the scale of dimensions has its irony, for in my search for the secret of life, I ended up with atoms and electrons, which have no life at all. Somewhere along the line life has run out through my fingers. So, in my old age, I am now retracing my steps, trying to fight my way back.

- Szent-Gyorgyi A.- Noble Laureate in Medicine

Friday, October 23, 2015

How Srila Prabhupada Preached – A Case Study

Srila Prabhupada went to the US - first to Boston and then to New York. From New York harbor, he went to Butler, Pennsylvania. From Butler, he went to Ananda ashram and stayed with a Dr. Mishra (a mayavadi guru). Ananda ashram is near New York. Then from there, with the help of Dr. Mishra, he moved to a small box room in uptown Manhattan and from there Prabhupada gradually manifested his magic.

I want to present a case study of sorts from which we can learn how Prabhupada first spoke about Krishna consciousness to a visitor to the Ananda ashram. Dr. Mishra was teaching Raja yoga and impersonal philosophy in the ashram. A visitor by name Harvey Cohen was present there. To my knowledge, I think this was the first preaching of any kind done by Prabhupada. By studying this first conversation, I thought we can learn how Prabhupada preached.

The setting
Prabhupada, at this time, around 1965 is perhaps just one month or thereabouts in the USA. He barely knew the culture, and the people. He is in an ashram where he is not allowed to speak about Bhaki Yoga to Krishna. Then, by the arrangement of Krishna, Prabhupada is with Harvey Cohen in a room, just the two of them. When Prabhupada asked Harvey about the reason for the visit to the ashram, Harvey responded nonchalantly displaying his lack of interest in Raja yoga. Prabhupada saw an opportunity to preach and he directly went to the point.

Points to consider while this conversation is taking place


  • Prabhupada and Harvey are total strangers.
  • Prabhupada is new to the US and does not fully understand US customs.
  • Prabhupada was not allowed to speak about Krishna at the ashram as an official policy laid down by Dr. Mishra.
  • Prabhupada sensed Harvey’s lack of interest in Raja yoga.
  • Harvey was favorable towards some form of yoga system thus prompting Prabhupada to speak more on the subject.


  • The message delivered
    In this seemingly unfavorable setting, Prabhupada spoke the following about yoga.
    • There are better things than this. There are higher, more direct forms of yoga. 
    • Bhakti yoga is the highest it is the science of God devotion. 
    • We are all dependent. No one is independent. 
    • Everyone here is thinking “Who am I?” I can answer that in one second, I am a servant. We are all servants. Servants of what? Of whom? Servants of God. All of us are serving someone or something, a boss a cat or dog, our family, our country. Why don’t we admit this? We should serve the highest master. We should serve the Supreme Lord. 
    • This is our constitutional position and the only way to be happy and become liberated from material bondage.
    Analysis
    • First Prabhupada downplays Hatha yoga. 
    • Then he gives hope by saying there are higher forms of yoga inspiring the listener to seek for more and not settle for less (Prabhupada, I want to remind, is precise and not wasting words. He gets to the point without repeating himself or overdoing the points - sensitive to time, place and circumstance). 
    • After piquing the interest of the listener, Prabhupada delivers his punchline - Bhakti to God is the highest form of yoga
    • Then he scientifically (using logic and rationale) justifies that point by comparing his punch line with the experiences of this relative world thus providing fodder for thought for the listener. 
    • Finally, he ends by stating the goal of yoga for which the listener was in the ashram in the first place - bhakti yoga to God is (1) our constitutional position – i.e we are servants no matter where we are material or spiritual (2) only way to be happy (3) liberation from all suffering. 
    Three point strategy employed by Prabhupada;
    1. De-emphasize the current system quickly followed by stating the highest and best system.
    2. Provide relative logic and rationale driving home the value of the highest system (the listener will relate to the logic of this world reducing the gap between speaker and listener)
    3. Once the listener is close, he empathizes with the speaker. Not wasting time, end by providing a positive picture to our current and future states of existence using the highest system as the solution (provoking the listener for more).
    Case closed
    • Harvey Cohen later became Haridas das brahmachari and devoted his life to Krishna

    Bigger picture
    Harvey prabhu was interested in yoga so Prabhupada presented a higher yoga system. To Prof. Kotovsky in Russia, Prabhupada just talked about body-soul dual paradigm, to Jean Daniélou – the French cardinal, he just spoke about cow slaughter and in temple audiences (varied), Prabhupada spoke in general terms touching mainly on the basics such as body-soul, miseries of this world, and how Krishna consciousness is the panacea for all of our troubles. Prabhupada clearly was in-tune with his listeners and accordingly delivered his message in a short and precise manner. An important point to note is that not everyone took up the message as Harvey did so we have to give credit to the listener as well. If the listener is too materialistic, these strategies will not work. At that point, we simply serve Prasadam and perhaps give a book. 

    Final thoughts
    Srila Prabhupada walked the walk and talked the talk. In this example, Harvey prabhu noticed Prabhupada even before the said conversation took place and he saw how Prabhupada was serene and content. This was also crucial for Harvey to accept Prabhupada's instructions. Therefore preaching is simply not speaking intelligently and strategically but actual preaching is to practice what we preach - Example is better than precept. This is the most powerful and this movement began and thrived in the 60s and 70s simply by the purity and love of Srila Prabhupada. We have to strive for purity and love in our own lives.

    Hare Krishna

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

    What is humility?

    Few people have asked me what is humility? I give an answer but for some reason I am never satisfied with my answers. Below is an answer Prabhupada gave to a devotee Harivilas das.

    Humility means that you are convinced beyond any doubt that there is nothing in this world, absolutely nothing in this world, not your money, not your family, not your fame, not your gun, not your education, nothing that will save you except the mercy of Krishna. When you are convinced like this, then you are humble - words of Prabhupada as recalled by Harivilas das

    Prabhupada, I gather, is basically saying any number of material security or plans to safeguard one's self is futile but to take shelter of Krishna is the only way. Real humility begins with acknowledging one's own helpless nature and at the same time acknowledging Krishna's supreme dominion and in that mood to take shelter of Krishna.

    Hare Krishna

    Friday, October 16, 2015

    Q&A by Mahaprabhu Chaitanya

    Krishna spoke the Bhagavad Gita - no argument there. Some 4500 years later, Krishna appeared as Lord Chaitanya to demonstrate how one should practice devotional service to Krishna. Once, in a conversation with His close associate Ramananda Raya, Lord Chaitanya reveals the ultimate purpose of human life.

    Below is the Q&A between Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Ramananda Raya.

    Question by Lord Chaitanya: Please quote some verses from scripture about the ultimate goal of human life

    Answer1 by Ramananda Raya: "By following one's qualities of work, every man can become perfect. By worship of the Lord, who is the source of all beings and who is all-pervading, a man can attain perfection through performing his own work." - BG 45-46

    Reason for rejection by Lord Chaitanya: Lord Caitanya said that such a life is simply external, indicating that if a man has a material conception of life he cannot attain the highest perfection, even if he follows all the ritualistic regulations. Indirectly He asked Rāmānanda to describe something superior to such an external exhibition.

    Answer2 by Ramananda Raya: It is better to give Kṛṣṇa the results of one's fruitive activities. He quoted "O son of Kuntī, whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you sacrifice, whatever you give away, and whatever austerity you undergo to achieve some goal, everything should be dedicated to My service." - BG 9.27.

    Reason for rejection by Lord Chaitanya: A worker’s identification with material existence cannot be changed without proper guidance. Such fruitive activity will continue one’s material existence. A worker is simply instructed here to offer the results of his work to the Supreme Lord, but there is no information given to enable one to get out of the material entanglement.

    Answer3 by Ramananda Raya: “Give up all kinds of religiousness and just surrender unto Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. I shall protect you from all sinful reactions, and you will have nothing to be aggrieved over.” - BG 18.66

    Reason for rejection by Lord Chaitanya: Renunciation in itself is not sufficient. There must be positive engagement. Without positive engagement, the highest perfectional stage cannot be attained.

    Answer4 by Ramananda Raya: “When by cultivation of knowledge a person realizes himself to be nondifferent from the Supreme Absolute Truth, he becomes joyful and is freed from all kinds of lamentation and material desires. At that time he perfects his Brahman realization by seeing everyone on the same spiritual level. Such Brahman realization can elevate one to the transcendental stage of devotional service.” - BG 18.54

    Reason for rejection by Lord Chaitanya: Simply by renouncing material results in Brahman realization one does not realize the spiritual world and spiritual activities. Although there is no material contamination when one attains the stage of Brahman realization, in that stage one is still not perfectly pure because there is no positive engagement in spiritual activity. Because it is still on the mental plane, it is external.

    Final answer by Ramananda Raya:“My dear Lord, one should give up monistic speculation and the cultivation of knowledge altogether. He should begin his spiritual life in devotional service by receiving information of Your activities from a realized devotee of the Lord. If one cultivates his spiritual life by adhering to these principles and keeping himself on the honest path in life, then although Your Lordship is never conquered, You become conquered by the devotee following such a process.” - SB 10.14.3

    Reason for acceptance by Lord Chaitanya: In this age, because most people are fallen and because there is no time to elevate them by a gradual process, the best course, according to Lord Caitanya, is to let them remain in whatever condition they are in but to engage them in hearing of the activities of the Supreme Lord as those activities are explained in the Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. The transcendental messages of the scriptures should be heard from the lips of realized souls. In this way a person may continue to live in whatever condition he is in and still make spiritual progress. Thus one can surely advance and fully realize the Supreme Personality of Godhead (goal of human life).

    Conclusion: There is a clear hierarchy from low to high - (1) discharging one’s duties in the varṇāśrama-dharma system (2) devotional service mixed with fruitive activity (3) renunciation (4) devotional service mixed with the culture of knowledge. All of the above has mixture on the material plane.

    The final destiny for the soul, therefore according to Mahaprabhu Chaitanya, is to listen submissively from a pure devotee about Krishna and accordingly engage in favorable discharge of devotional service free from selfish motives.

    Hare Krishna

    Tuesday, October 13, 2015

    He went for the jugular

    This woman here is the official reception director for VIP's coming to Paris. In fact, she was the woman who arranged for Srila Prabhupada's reception at the Paris City Hall. The protocol was made very clear to us - that when we go into the reception room, everyone should stand and the mayor will give his opening remarks and then Srila Prabhupada can reply. The way it worked out was somewhat different.

    The mayor waited and Prabhupada sat, and the mayor started getting nervous and Prabhupada sat. Then everyone was looking at Srila Prabhupada and I leaned over and said, "Srila Prabhupada, they're waiting for you to stand." Srila Prabhupada looked at me and said, "I'm supposed to stand for who?" and refused to stand. So the mayor started his remarks and gave his greeting to Srila Prabhupada seated, probably the first time in the history of the country that anyone had been received in City Hall without standing up. Then when the mayor was finished saying how Paris has always been such a spiritual city, Srila Prabhupada stood at that moment and said, "Mr. Mayor, you have spoken very nicely about how France is such a spiritual country, etc.

    Let us examine what is spiritual," and went right for the jugular, that there is a soul within the body and any government that is unaware of the difference between the soul and the body is a demonic government. "Just like your Napoleon Bonaparte," (he pronounced the name "Napoleon Bona-partee"), "he said, 'I am France.' France is there. Where is Napoleon? The soul is gone. Where has it gone? This is the importance of proper spiritual training is to understand the difference between the body and the soul

    - Following Srila Prabhupada - Rememberances by Yogeswara das

    Srila Prabhupada ki jay!
    Hare Krishna

    Friday, October 9, 2015

    Who is qualified to translate and speak the Bhagavad Gita?

    It is no secret that Bhagavad Gita is spoken by numerous speakers in various settings all over the world. Today, anyone who is little qualified in Sanskrit and English language thinks himself qualified to speak or translate the Gita. However,this is not how it is supposed to be as per the norms set by Krishna in the Gita. Just as it is appropriate for a doctor who practices medicine to speak about medical science, or a physicist who is active in his field to speak about the universal laws, similarly it is only appropriate for a follower of Krishna who practices Bhagavad Gita everyday to speak about Krishna.

    Within Bhagavad Gita, Krishna clearly delineates repeatedly in different chapters the core characteristics (qualities) one has to have to live his or her daily life, based upon which one is qualified intuitively to speak, interpret and translate the Bhagavad Gita. Otherwise the Bhagavad Gita remains a mystery. In chapter four, text 3, Krishna clearly mentions this very point. If the speaker himself is not fitting Krishna's standard of living and hence not privy to the meaning of the Gita, then how can he enlighten the audience?

    So the key to all this is that by simply reading a book called Bhagavad Gita, one cannot learn about its mysteries. One has to accept this knowledge from a person who possess certain key qualities as mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita. They are;

    • A person interested in the Gita must learn it by approaching a spiritual teacher in parampara who is fixed upon the truth as defined in the Bhagavad Gita (4.2, 4.34)
    • He must practice control of mind towards worldly activities and duties (4.19 - 24, 18.54, 2.44)
      • No hankering and lamenting
      • No attachment to bhoga (sense-enjoyment) and aiswarya (material opulence) pertinent to worldly activities such as eating, sleeping, sex, fearing, profit, adoration, distinction etc
      • Equanimity of mind towards duties related to parenting, job, country, community etc
    • He must practice dedication of one's work or the essence of one’s work to Krishna either as duty or in devotion (3.9, 3.30)
    • He must practice devotion and surrender to Krishna with mind attached to Him taking full shelter of Him in all circumstances (7.1, 18.55, 18.65, 18.66)
    I have only cited few references supporting the qualities above, there are many more verses spoken by Krishna referencing the points mentioned above. 

    Anyone with an open ear and heart willing to listen submissively from such a qualified speaker, no doubt, will return with mind steady, peaceful and heart transformed ready to face this world with supreme optimism (despite all obstacles) just as Arjuna did!

    Hare Krishna

    Wednesday, October 7, 2015

    Lover of the Lord



    Jai Srila Prabhupada!
    Hare Krishna

    Tuesday, October 6, 2015

    3S

    Q: How can one be in the state of blissful spiritual consciousness in the office?

    A: If one is actually in the state of God Consciousness, one will be in that state anywhere. We need to have a good spiritual foundation for that. A good spiritual foundation consists of primarily 3 things;

    1. SATSANG - Association with a community of people, who actually inspire one another, is so very important. By associating with people who are striving for enlightenment or who are enlightened, the doors to our life of liberation and happiness open. 
    2. SADHANA - The time we devote everyday to our spiritual cultivation, our daily spiritual practice, our sadhana. If you don’t eat for many days, how will you perform in your office? If you have not slept in many days, how are you going to act in office? Your body and mind need rest and food in order to have strength to do your work. Similarly, if you want spiritual strength, our spiritual practice (chanting, hearing etc) is our food that nourishes us spiritually. 
    3. SADACHAR - We need to live with good character and values. In our office we may have to compete, we may have to challenge, but it should be with dignity, respect, integrity, and compassion. With a good spiritual foundation when we go into office, we are like Arjuna in Kurukshetra after he heard the Bhagavad Gita. Even if there are all kinds of things going on in our office – all kinds of arrows shooting in different directions – we are spiritually strong, we have integrity, we have bhakti. 
    - by HH.Radhanath Swami (disciple of AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada)

    Sunday, October 4, 2015

    Krishna - The God of Gods


    No other religious/spiritual text proclaims the supremacy of God as Bhagavad Gita does. In Bhagavad Gita, Krishna proclaims His supreme dominion as supreme God of all that be in a poetic and awe-inspiring manner. Arjuna who was the direct first-hand recipient of this knowledge conceded to the supremacy of Krishna after Krishna proclaimed His supremacy. Following, Arjuna himself glorifies Krishna in his own words as follows.

    You are the supreme Brahman, supreme abode and ultimate purifier, the eternal divine Person and original God - unborn and almighty. All seers, such as Devarsi Narada, Asita, Devala and Vyasa, say this of you, and You in fact are personally telling me. Kesava, I accept as true all that You tell me. Neither gods nor demons know your personality, Lord. Only you yourself know your Self by your Self, O Supreme Person Who causes beings to be! God of gods! Master of the World! Kindly describe fully your vast, divine powers - powers by which You continue to pervade these worlds.

    - literal translation of Bhagavad Gita 10.12-16 by HH H.D. Goswami

    Hare Krishna

    Wednesday, September 30, 2015

    How to realize the true nature of religion?

    Dharma or religion is of two types (1) material and (2) spiritual . Normally, when people talk about religion or god, it is the material version. That sort of religion is primarily practiced for selfish reasons. Men have unlimited desires so the reasons to practice religion selfishly is also unlimited. By and large these desires are to promote one's own family, social, economic and political status. In short, material opulence and selfish desires impel one to practice some sort of religion. However, we see in today's day and age, even that sort of religious adherence is declining because people find alternate avenues to satisfy their passions. As a result, all places of worship today is either closed or functioning as a cultural relic.

    Srila Prabhupada very astutely captures this idea in his book Teachings of Lord Chaitanya.

    Thus driven by sense gratificatory consciousness, men perform religious rituals and pious activities with the aim of acquiring some material gain. But if such material gain is obtainable in another way, this so-called religion is neglected. This can be seen in modern human civilization. Since the economic desires of the people appear to be fulfilled in another way, no one is interested in religion now. The churches, mosques and temples are practically vacant, for people are more interested in factories, shops and cinemas than in the religious places erected by their forefathers. This definitely proves that religious rituals are generally performed for the sake of economic development, which is needed for sense gratification. And when one is baffled in his attempt to attain sense gratification, he takes to the cause of salvation in order to become one with the supreme whole. All these activities arise with the same aim in view – sense gratification. - Ch 23 Teachings of Lord Chaitanya

    Unless we address our material desires for this world in a sober and balanced manner, it would be very difficult to have any meaningful realization of the true nature of religion or dharma.

    Hare Krishna

    Tuesday, September 29, 2015

    Presuppositions

    The “four pillars” of evidence supporting the Big Bang theory are:

    1. The observable expansion of the Universe.
    2. Origin of the cosmic background radiation.
    3. The abundance of light elements.
    4. Formation of galaxies and large-scale structure.
    The above evidences are valid only if we assume (presuppose) that the universe and its laws are uniform at all times and in all places (the universe by the way is so big even scientists do not have a complete idea). Because modern scientific methods can never test the presuppositions of science, in my opinion, science is founded on principles of faith.

    "Nowhere in science do we start from scratch. There is only one place where we can start, that is from where we are...Science is no miraculous creation out of nothing, no spontaneous generation of knowledge from ignorance. When presuppositions are denied a logical status, we remain mired in skepticism" - Abraham Kaplan (philosopher).

    "For science does not have any choice about whether or not to accept presupposition of the species-individual structure. It must accept it because, any classification, induction, and gathering of experience in certain laws would be entirely impossible. For there would be an infinite series of experiences without any possibility of connecting one experience with another" - Andrew van Melsen (philosopher)

    The quotes from modern philosophers question the objectivity of science as science cannot be purely objective. The bottom line is we are limited beings with limited access to the natural world. If we can recognize this limitation within our knowledge system, we can be more open to other avenues of knowledge gathering.

    Hare Krishna

    Wednesday, September 23, 2015

    Monday, September 14, 2015

    Gratitude - an essential ingredient

    Continuous feelings of gratitude and thanks within our heart is an essential ingredient for the heart to cultivate bhakti or devotional service. The more we are conscious of our gifts, and feel grateful, the more the seed of bhakti has a favorable environment to blossom into the mature fruit of love of God. This feeling of thanks when uninterrupted by mundane dualities of life grows deeper within us softening and preparing the heart for love of God. Therefore, in the beginning stages, as a matter of practice one must exercise discipline in spending time to express thanks to the Absolute Truth. Such disciplined prayer gradually will develop into a stream of unending mellow of tears of gratitude continuously flowing from our heart even amidst life threatening situations.

    Below are thoughts on how gratitude can evolve and become uninterrupted within our hearts as we evolve as a devotee of God. This evolution of gratitude will attract the mercy of the Lord thus reviving our dormant love for Him.

    • Feeling grateful even during toughest times by meditating on how there are more people worse than my current state of existence. This will help us to not get into a mood of self-pity and complaint. 
    • Feeling grateful towards mother nature for her gifts towards living beings. Gifts such as sunshine, water, air, solid ground, grains etc can help us appreciate even the bare-bones of life. Without this - life cannot exist! Being cognizant of this can help us cultivate humility and a positive outlook towards life under all circumstances. We should do this as a daily exercise.
    • Personally thanking the gods for daily sustenance by way of periodical ceremonies. This will not only enhance our humility but also a sense of personal connection with the gods.
    • Grateful to guru, sadhu, and shastra for revealing the knowledge about the Supreme Absolute Truth. This is the beginning of our connection with the Supreme Being. This will begin our journey in the cessation of all miseries by way of cutting our bonds to this earthly existence. Feeling a deep gratitude for that knowledge on how to cut bonds, cease our miseries, and establish a personal connection with the Supreme Being will soften our hearts even more than the above mentioned points
    • Grateful for being allowed to engage in loving and submissive service to that Supreme Absolute Truth. As our service becomes more and more unalloyed and uninterrupted, our gratitude also increases. Love of God will germinate from here on as we will see all incidences, things and beings as an opportunity to engage in that loving unalloyed service. Being grateful for those opportunities will give us a sense of supreme positivity and happiness in our lives!

    Hare Krishna.

    Monday, September 7, 2015

    The holy names are the only solace

    This world is a miserable place, the Holy Name and pure devotees are our only shelter.


     


    vancha-kalpatarubhyash cha
    kripa-sindhubhya eva cha
    patitanam pavanebhyo
    vaishnavebhyo namo namaha

    I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Vaishnava devotees of the Lord. They are just like desire trees and can fulfill the desires of everyone, and they are full of compassion for the fallen conditioned souls.

    Hare Krishna

    Thursday, August 27, 2015

    The essence

    The Vedic scriptures are indeed vast so vast we cannot estimate the beginning and end of it. One reason for its vastness is to do with the myriad nature of this world, in other words, there are so many varieties of people in the combination of three modes that one size does not fit all. Therefore the Vedas is but a reflection of this diversity and variety of this world and its people.

    A self-realized soul or atmatattva darshis may not know all intricacies of Vedas, in fact is not needed to know. They only know the essence or saransham of the Vedas. If we want to understand the inner meaning of the vast body of knowledge, (a) we should have pure motivation (b) we should seek the appropriate spiritual master (c) we should in all humility surrender to that spiritual master. Once we do these three steps, the inner import, and essence of the Vedas will be revealed from within our own heart.

    Yet, Srila Prabhupada very much wanted for his books to be distributed far and wide. The purpose for this is to make available to people genuine spiritual knowledge (gnana) and with that knowledge people are inspired to come to the stage of practice (vignana) which entails the three steps I mentioned above.

    Unless we practice what we read (both external practice and internal introspection); we cannot 'realize' ourselves atmatattva, it simply will be like licking the outside of a honey bottle. Therefore gnana+vignana will reveal within us the essence or inner import of the Vedas.

    yasya deve parā bhaktir
    yathā deve tathā gurau
    tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ
    prakāśante mahātmanaḥ

    Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed - Yajur Veda - Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.23

    Hare Krishna

    Thursday, August 20, 2015

    Who is dear to Krishna?

    Please read carefully. By trying to follow even can make us dear to Krishna.

    One who is not envious but who is a kind friend to all living entities, who does not think himself a proprietor, who is free from false ego and equal both in happiness and distress, who is always satisfied and engaged in devotional service with determination and whose mind and intelligence are in agreement with Me-he is very dear to Me. He for whom no one is put into difficulty and who is not dirturbed by anxiety, who is steady in happiness and distress, is very dear to Me. A devotee who is not dependant on the ordinary course of activities, who is pure, expert, without cares, free from all pains, and who does not strive for some result, is very dear to Me. One who neither grasps pleasure or grief, who neither laments nor desires, and who renounces both auspicious and inauspicious things, is very dear to Me. One who is equal to friends and enemies, who is equiposed in honor and dishonor, heat and cold, happiness and distress, fame and infamy, who is always free from contamination, always silent and satisfied with anything, who doesn't care for any residence, who is fixed in knowledge and engaged in devotional service, is very dear to Me. He who follows this imperishable path of devotional service and who completely engages himself with faith, making Me the supreme goal, is very, very dear to Me. - BG 13-20 

     Hare Krishna

    Thursday, August 13, 2015

    My gratitude to His Divine Grace!

    Today 50 years ago, a great personality boarded the ship with perhaps three people sending him off. Today, in Kolkata, it was reported 20,000 visitors commemorated his journey, thousands more all around the world. Many have spoken, written and sang about Prabhuapda's legacy in this world. I am one of the fortunate souls to have been personally benefited from Prabhupada's journey.

    I would be hard pressed to imagine my life without Srila Prabhupada. Practically, he has been like a father to me guiding me through his books. I have gotten guidance and inspiration numerous times by simply reading his books, it is as if he speaks to me directly! It is very special to my heart - the way he appeals to his readers. I felt and always feel a close and personal connection with Prabhupada when I turn the pages of his books. Indeed, he lives through his books!

    On this momentous occasion, with whatever humility and gratitude at my disposal, I offer my prostrated obeisances unto the glorious master who traversed the world to share love of God - the final purpose of human life - freely to one and all!

    Jai Srila Prabhupada!

    Hare Krishna

    Saturday, August 8, 2015

    Mother Cow

    Mother Cow!

       

    Hare Krishna

    Monday, August 3, 2015

    boundaries of observed science

    "It is possible to ask whether there is still concealed behind the statistical universe of perception a ‘true’ universe in which the law of causality would be valid. But such speculation seems to us to be without value and meaningless, for physics must confine itself to the description of the relationship between perceptions" -About the intuitive content of quantum mechanics and kinematics, Journal of Physics, Heisenberg 1927, pg 197

    The above quote in my opinion is the bedrock of modern science. Einstein, however, disagreed with this. Einstein believed that science describes the objective universe independent of our observation. But Neils Bohr and Heisenberg were of the opinion that the universe exists as we 'observe' it and not in its 'true' sense. In other words, Bohr opined that science simply describes how matter is observed to behave and not the constitutional nature of matter itself implying that science is limited to our perception of the universe and does not describe the 'true' universe. The quote above captures this idea.

    When scientists, therefore, pose questions and quantify evidence within the confines of observed behavior of the universe, then the laws of nature as defined by science is merely in fact laws of 'observed' nature and not 'true' nature. Quite often the boundaries between these two exclusive ideas have been purposefully amalgamated.

    What is the nature of the universe in its existential true objective state is not explicable within the boundaries of observed science. We have to look for answers elsewhere!

     Hare Krishna

    Friday, July 31, 2015

    all animals deserve to live - not just cecil!

    I am surprised at how people are reacting to one dentist killing one lion. Yet, every year, in the US alone more than 150 million cows and pigs are slaughtered. Apparently, these people who cry wolf don't care about Rosy the cow and Honky the pig (I made those names up).

    I understand that lion's are endangered species (at least this is my thought), still people's reaction on social media is that lion's deserve to live and not killed. Why they do not extend this idea to a cow, pig, chicken etc. This is yet another symptom of kali where hypocrisy rules.

    People think while a lion deserves to live, a cow or pig can be slaughtered for selfish reasons. This sort of mentality is the reason why we engage in constant quarrel and fight (another symptom of kali). Cecil deserves to live and so do all other cows, pigs, chickens, aquatics etc.

    Why is there such discrimination and hypocrisy!

    Hare Krishna

    Wednesday, July 29, 2015

    He is no more...

    When someone dies, for example I was reading APJ Abdul Kalam's recent death, the author of the article writes “he is no more”. Well…actually he is very much more. He is just no more in the form he took as brown skinned Indian looking male form etc. No more he will continue in that form. Based on his past karma, he will be given another form to continue his life journey. So when someone dies, we should not think he is no more rather think he does not exist in the same form but has taken a new form.


    Hare Krishna

    Sunday, July 19, 2015

    Four Horsemen

    Often times, we hear Prabhupada criticize the modern system of instant gratification and how its pervasive nature has and will spoil this world - indeed - we are living in a world of the cheater and cheated.

    This documentary is a tell tale of the phenomenon of the cheater and cheated. I think every thinking individual should watch, understand, and realize this documentary and its impact on modern day living. If we are not part of the solution, we are...part of the problem!

    The solution is simple living high thinking in God consciousness!

    Enjoy the watch, it is 98 mins long.




    Hare Krishna

    Thursday, July 9, 2015

    culture of vilification

    We live in a culture of vilification where if someone commits a mistake or even a crime, even a bad one, by publicizing and putting that person to shame and throwing harsh words at that person kills any chance of that person to repent and change. No one is immune to mistakes. We all can succumb to temptations and make poor choices in life. No one is out of it. Therefore till we become perfect, it is improper for us to judge others no matter how bad the mistake may be. We should let the authorities and experts deal with the criminal or misdemeanor. But today we live in such a fault finding culture that the media feeds on this tendency like vultures. That is why all we see in the news is negative news, such negativity is everywhere and the media is cashing on it.

    We live in a culture of cynicism, fault finding and intense doubt. How can anyone be happy in this negative culture? A bad person or criminal is never given a chance to repent and change due to media character assassination (vilification). Whatever happened to cast the sin and not the sinner! Therefore we have to be careful to not fall into the trap of finding fault with these people. Rather we should pray to Krishna (or at least stay neutral). My basic point is we should let the experts deal with misdemeanor or bad behavior and not allow such negative stories hamper our consciousness.

    Hare Krishna

    Monday, July 6, 2015

    All that I know...

    Before accepting the Bhagavad Gita, I wasn't very inclined to understand God or anything like that. So today after few years, honestly, nothing has changed except all that I know is...

    1. I am not this body, 
    2. Krishna is God
    3. Chant Hare Krishna and
    4. Prabhupada rocks! 
    So somehow, with these four things, I share, speak and write. Some like it, many don't and call me out on my shallow understanding of the truth. It hurts for sometime but I convince myself to continue and do the show all over again. No one listens, no one cares but still I repeat the four things I know.

    With only these four things not sure when the show will end though!

    Hare Krishna

    The ranking of Puranas

    Suta Goswami spoke all eighteen major Puranas at Naimisharanya, and the sages present accepted them as authentic. Nonetheless, three groups of six Puranas each are meant for three different audiences, depending on which of the three modes of nature predominates each audience. But for each individual Purana the situation is more complex because most Puranas display some mixture of the modes. For example, the pastimes of Lord Krishna and those of Lord Ramachandra, which are in the mode of pure goodness (suddha satva), are described to some extent in most of the Puranas.

    Despite vedic references, sometimes people criticize ISKCON saying that ISKCON ignores other Gods and other Puranic literature beyond Srimad Bhagavatam. I think ISKCON maintains vedic integrity (thus authentic in my opinion) than any so-called new-age advaita vadis.

    The way to reconcile all the contradictory nature of the scriptures is by following in the footsteps of Mahajans (Mahajano yena gata sapamta). This is the criterion to understand Godhead or anything spiritual. On our own, reading scriptures is not permitted in the Vedas. It should be studied under a bonafide spiritual master following the parampara system.

    Lord Shiva is one of the Mahajans and we follow His instructions. Below are His words to His wife Mother Parvati. It is taken from Padma Purana Uttara Khanda 236.18 - 20.

    vaishnavam naradiyam cha
    tatha bhagavatam shubham
    garudam cha tatha padmam
    varaham shubha-darshane
    sattvikani puranani
    vijneyani shubhani vai

    "O beautiful one, the Vishnu Purana, the Narada Purana, the auspicious Bhagavata Purana, and the Garuda, Padma, and Varaha Puranas all belong to the mode of goodness. They are all considered auspicious.

    brahmandam brahma-vaivartam
    markandeyam tathaiva cha
    bhavishyam vamanam brahmam
    rajasani nibodhata

    "Know that the Brahmanda, Brahma-vaivarta, Markandeya, Bhavishya, Vamana, and Brahma Puranas belong to the mode of passion.

    matsyam kaurmam tatha laingam
    shaivam skandam tathaiva cha
    agneyam cha shad etani
    tamasani nibodhata

    "And know that these six Puranas belong to the mode of ignorance: the Matsya, Kurma, Linga, Shiva, Skanda, and Agni Puranas.

    Reading these puranas come with its consequences. The whole point is to elevate one to higher consciousness and not degrade. However, one who is against God will degrade. Below Lord Shiva mentions the result of reading such scriptures.

    satvika moksadah prokta 
    rajasah sarvadashubhah 
    tathaiva tamasa devi niraya prapti hetavah
    tathaiva smrtayah prokta trsibhis trigunanvitah

    Sattvika Puranas are said to give liberation, rajasika Puranas is everything inauspicious and tamasika Puranas cause one to go to hell, oh Devi!. Thus they should be remembered as endowed by three gunas. - Padma Purana Uttara Khanda 236.21-22

    In these puranas stories are narrated in such a way to incite devotion to a particular god. Satvik puranas invoke devotion to Vishnu, rajasic to Brahma and tamasic to Shiva. As a result, one will find contradictions in Supremacy. Below is a criterion given by Lord Shiva to reconcile such contradiction.

    ata uktam skande shanmukham prati sri-sivena
    siva-sastresu tad grahyam
    bhagavac-chastra-yogi yat
    paramo visnur evaikas
    taj jnanam moksa-sadhanam
    sastranam nirnayas tv
    esas tad anyan mohanaya hi. iti.

    The statements of the Siva scriptures should be accepted only when they agree with the Visnu scriptures. Lord Visnu is the only Supreme Lord, and knowledge of Him is the path to liberation. That is the conclusion of all the scriptures. Any other conclusions are meant only to bewilder the people."  - Lord Siva to Karttikeya - Skanda Purana

    In conclusion, if one is serious to ascertain the identity of the Supreme Personality of Godhead without doubt, then one must approach a bonadide tattva darshi (not self proclaimed so-called sadhus).

    Vaisampayana rishi who is a great sage has this to say;

    ankhyam yogas ca sanatane dve
    vedas ca sarve nikhile 'pi rajan
    sarvaih samastair risibhir nirukto
    narayanam visvam idam puranam. iti.

    Sankhya and yoga are both eternal. All the Vedas are also eternal. All the sages declare that Lord Narayana is the ancient Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of all the worlds - Moksa-dharma, Narayaniyopakhyana

    Hare Krishna

    Friday, June 26, 2015

    Care for Kruma Rupa Prabhu

    Care for Cows is an organization started by HG Kurma Rupa das prabhu in Vrindavan. The organization protects abandoned cows. Today I heard that HG Kurma Rupa prabhu is in an advanced stage of cancer. He may leave his body at any moment. Please pray for prabhuji so he can go back to loving embracing arms of Sri Gopal and their transcendental cows.

    Below is an email from H.H BB Govinda Swami maharaja who met HG Kurma Rupa prabhu yesterday in Vrindavan.

    Hare Krishna

    From BB Govinda Maharaj:

    June 25th, 2015

    Dear All,

    Obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

    Our wonderful god-brother Kurma Rupa Prabhu is dying of cancer in Vraja. Today may be his last day. He was diagnosed a few weeks ago with stage four cancer .. a big tumour at the base of his stomach. He has lived in Vraja approximately 31 years. 

    He served with the Gurukula and later started the “Care For Cows” program. I went to see him the other evening. He was very weak but we spoke for about an hour. I asked him about his japa and he said he was too weak to chant. But then he shared that for many years he had chanted 64 rounds a day. And he said that during those rare, special moments of his life when Krishna would bless with a drop of mercy .. he could see that his only desire and aspiration was to serve Sri Gopal and His cows. He said that many great souls speak of service to the servants of Sri Radha, and, that he offers his obeisances to them millions of times. But all he prays for is the service of Sri Gopal and His cows. The next day he was planning to leave the room he was staying in return to “Care For Cows.” 

    He said he wanted to be there to “hear the cows, smell the cows, have the dust of the cows walking cover his body.” Take a moment and offer a prayer to Sri Gopal that He quickly embrace Kurma Rupa Prabhu . and that arm and arm they walk together amidst 900,000 cows.

    Hare Krishna. 

    Affectionate regards.
    Your servant,
    BB Govinda Swami 

    Friday, June 19, 2015

    All right take it!

    It is said that a pure devotee of Lord Sri Krishna is more powerful than God Himself in the sense that God is subserviant to that devotee. Therefore it is essential to seek the mercy of such a pure devotee of the Lord. Whatever the pure devotee desires, Krishna will fulfill without fail. Below is a nice story illustrating the compassion, and mercy of Srila Prabhupada and how Krishna was willing to fulfill Prabhupada's desire.

    The scene is set in Mayapur where in Guru das prabhu is wanting Prabhupada's darshan late at night. The sky is overcast but no rain. Somehow, Guru das prabhu attracted the attention of Prabhupada. Below are the words of Guru das prabhu himself.

    "Srila Prabhupada walked up and down on the balcony with me, then turned towards the fields and walked to the balcony railing. He looked out and said 'The farmers beg Krishna for rainwater.' He paused briefly. 'All right, take it!'. As Prabhupada swept his hand down as if dispensing rain, a lightening bolt crashed; suddenly the sky opened and rain came down furiously. ' Take it,' he said quietly, and walked into his room."

    Srila Prabhupada ki jay!

    Hare Krishna

    Wednesday, June 17, 2015

    a favored disciple

    Sometimes, actually many times we may witness that a devotee does nice service and feels proud that he or she is close to his/her spiritual master - that he/she is special in the eyes of the spiritual master. Such thinking is not compatible with suddha bhakti.

    Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Takur Prabhupada had this to say regarding a disciple feeling puffed up and favored by the guru.

    "If a student feels favored, he is like a mosquito perched on the lap of a king, thinking 'All these people are my subjects,' but all he can really do is bite the king" - by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Takur

    A lesson duly to be noted if we are sincere!

    Hare Krishna

    Tuesday, June 16, 2015

    Two verses characterizing the Gita and Kurukshetra battle

    The Bhagavad Gita opens with a question by Dhritrashtra. His opening question is an indication of a veiled doubt - assembled in the battlefield to fight what happened between his children and Pandu's children? His question was laced with doubt filled with anxiety. He knew deep inside, however, his sons' will lose. He wanted Sanjaya to allay his anxiety.

    Sanjaya in the last and final verse of the Gita does the opposite. He answers Dhritrashtra's question unequivocally by saying that your sons' will not win because wherever there is Krishna with His pure devotee Arjuna, there is surely to be victory, opulence and moral justice. I think Sanjaya's final answer put to rest in a poetic yet definitive manner any optimism on the part of Dhritrishra had towards his sons.

    As an outsider, simply studying these two verses symbolize the characters involved in the Gita and sets the stage and outcome of the Kurukshetra battle respectively.

    Hare Krishna

    Friday, June 12, 2015

    True quality of a vaishnava

    Lord Chaitanya famously said that by speaking about Krishna to whomever you meet, you become guru. There is no need to move one's physical location. This is one qualification of guru- constant speaking about Krishna. To constantly speak about Krishna requires a significant quality - one of humility. The quality of humility cannot be over stressed, it is so important that it can tell the difference between a neophyte vaishnava and advanced. In Chaitanya Charitamrta Madhya Lila Ch 22 Text 131, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says one should associate with a devotee more advanced than oneself and who are endowed with a similar type of affection for the Lord. So we should seek the association of a vaishnava who is humble by nature and associate with him or her.

    Below are the words of a pure saintly person stressing on the value of humility.

    "One who is real guru never says, “I am guru.” He sees everyone according to jīvera ‘svarūpa’ haya kṛṣṇera ‘nityadāsa’— he sees their svarūpa, he sees that all are servants of Krishna. The guru has such a vision. His vision is not material vision, therefore he is guru. Through him we get bhagavān, Krishna. Guru says, tṛṇād api sunīcena — “I am lower than the straw in the street.” He is so humble. He has no pride in being a guru. But if someone says, “Don’t you know who I am? I am a great guru! Great ācārya!” This is dambha, pride. It is a demoniac characteristic, not a divine characteristic. It is not a characteristic of a vaiṣṇava-sādhu-guru. A real guru has humility. If one thinks, “I am guru.” Then he is not guru. He is goru, a quadruped, a cow or a bull."

    - HH Gour Govinda Swami Maharaj

    Hare Krishna

    Monday, June 1, 2015

    Everyone is searching after Krishna

    Everyone is searching after Krishna either directly or indirectly. Krishna means all-attractive and hence we are attracted. In the Standard English dictionary, Krishna is defined as a Hindu God or a mythological person. But when seers of non-dual truth talk about Krishna, they do not refer to Krishna as a Hindu God. Therefore, in essence, there are two Krishnas, (1) Krishna as seen by mundane vision through scripture, popular media and/or modern day guru/scholars (2) Krishna as seen through spiritual vision by pure lovers of God. The second Krishna is the real Krishna. The first one is a shadow. It is this second Krishna that seers of truth claim as the Universal Truth (not Hindu God). It is this second Krishna that permeates all time, all space and all beings and unto this second Krishna that all beings are directly or indirectly searching. Devotees directly summon the mercy of the Lord but non-devotees summon the energy of the Lord.

    Krishna has multifarious energies or shaktis. When people search for mundane opulence in the form of money, fame, popularity, family, pleasure, pain, beauty, intelligence, food, piety etc etc, they are indirectly searching for Krishna through His energy. Because the mundane opulence which is an energy of Krishna derives its attractiveness from the attractiveness of Krishna. So actually it is the attractiveness of Krishna that is perceived within this world and that everyone is attracted to, and eventually searching after.

    Why not just directly be attracted to Krishna?

    Hare Krishna

    Thursday, May 14, 2015

    Vulnerable yet Almighty!



    When we define God with precision, we can be labeled fanatics because in precision there is no doubt or haziness. Although God is infinite still He can be precisely explained as if He is finite and because finite is a material quality, materialistic religionists negate finiteness. In that negation, they are but left with infiniteness. Because infiniteness is beyond human conception, God who is infinite is also beyond human conception and as a result a question can be raised as to how can one be precise about God who is infinite and beyond human conception?  So modern day religion simply operates on the platform of belief. For a simple minded person this is ok but today we live in a world of gadgetry, experience and doubt. In other words without direct evidence to something transcendent, religion is seen as primitive and less intelligible. 

    The only way to reverse the primitive attitude towards religion is to portray God in a precise manner. To portray God as someone who is actively part of our daily life and that disobeying His laws can cause unintended consequences. A sense of realism can be injected into the psyche of modern man when God is shown as someone who is real, and tangible. All of this can happen when God is defined with precision, that He is blackish blue in color with a peacock feather. He never gets old always sixteen. He has many friends, girlfriends, parents, has pets etc etc He likes things offered to Him when it is fresh and clean. He does not like when people criticize, find fault and fight with each other. In this way God can be defined precisely. When people see God as one of them, they will take Him seriously. 

    As far as my limited knowledge goes, only Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam explains God in a precise and detailed manner. I do not think there is any scripture in this world that defines God as precisely as these two books do. This was one simple reason I myself adopted a spiritual way of life. Because when God is portrayed precisely, He becomes endearing to our hearts. 

    Who can resist such a vulnerable yet Almighty God?!

    Hare Krishna


    Wednesday, May 13, 2015

    What smart people do?

    What smart people do?
    1. They make smart decisions - they do not engage in self-destructive behavior
    2. They learn from their mistakes - they do not continue to enjoy in this world despite experiencing and seeing misery all around
    3. They don’t have all the answers - they do not pretend to be self-righteous. They are humble and constantly seek the truth.
    4. They surround themselves with smart people - they seek the truth by surrounding themselves with elevated souls such as pure devotees of the Lord and revealed scriptures and make decisions accordingly
    5. They are resourceful. - they always chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra
    6. They can reason - they always introspect from life incidences through reason, logic and guidance from a higher authority
    7. They don’t follow fads - they do not engage in modern day fashionable vices like eating meat, consuming alcohol, gambling and illicit sex
    8. They don’t live beyond their means - they follow simple living and high thinking i.e. material minimalist
    Hare Krishna



    Tuesday, May 12, 2015

    Facebook or Facelessbook?

    I am not a big fan of social networking. It is something like empty calories except these are empty likes and friends. Empty calories give us a head rush and hence we feel good for a short time but because it is empty it does not really nourish us physically and hence we crave for more. Similarly empty likes and friends on facebook, twitter etc give us a rush of being liked and important for a short while but because it is virtual inside a computer screen, there is really no bond or connection with the person.

    It is simply another form of consumerism where we advertise our self (self-image) in the best possible manner and hope to impress others. We are consuming our own flaring ego. The bottom line is social media cannot satisfy us as it is impersonal and artificial.

    Real likes and friends have to be made in the real world with real people as there will be no rehearsals in what you will say, no photoshopping of the self, no grammar corrections, and editing…it will be with the real me with all my bells and whistles. When we bond with an individual in this real manner, we will feel satisfied. I guess I am old fashioned! Real friendship is with real people not virtual avatars!

    I consider Krishna as my best friend! Krishna in chapter five of Bhagavad Gita says that among the friends we have in a real way (not virtual) Krishna says I am the best of all friends. The common adage “friend in need is a friend in deed” is so true to Krishna. We may have our best friend, wife or companion. But these relationships are unreliable in the sense they cannot always be with you at the time of need. But Krishna who is seated within our heart says “I am always with you and you just have to turn your face towards me and call out my name in time of need. I will be the swift deliverer from all your problems”. Who can be a better friend than that?

    The video although does not talk about Krishna does describe how the social aspects of human beings have evolved and transformed, showing how we have regressed from a social standpoint and how the more we “connect” online, the less actual human interactions we have, making us actually fairly unsocial, In other words, impersonal and artificial!



    Hare Krishna

    Wednesday, May 6, 2015

    We say - They say

    We say: God created this world for our enjoyment. Otherwise, God will not create this material world.

    They say: If this world is created for our enjoyment, then why are there so many problems in this world?

    We say: There are so many problems today because  we all want to be masters. If in an office, everyone is the CEO, will there be order? Similarly in the material world, everyone wants to be the master and enjoy here, hence there is disagreement between people leading to quarrel and fight from individual level to global level.

    They say: Why then is there disease, old age and death if God created this world for our enjoyment?

    We say: Because our original position is spirit souls (atma) and our real home is in Vaikunta or spiritual world, the only way we will realize this truth is when there is temporariness built within this material world. That temporariness will eventually lead to frustration thus provoking the individual atma to seek for a permanent position - that is - Vaikunta. That provoking factor is old age, disease and death.

    Hare Krishna

    Wednesday, April 29, 2015

    Keep the goal and method clear and simple

    If we keep our priorities clear and simple, our life will become less cluttered.

    People who make it to the top, have a clear goal and a clear method in reaching the goal. Because the goal and method is clear, obstacles do not faze them. So the key to have a clear goal and clear method is to keep it as simple as possible. To keep the goal and method simple and clear is the key to success in any field. This is no different in our spiritual career. By keeping things simple yet clear, we are able to be flexible to the changing environment simultaneously not losing sight of our destination.

    From the perspective of God, a person who claims to follow God, should also have his or her goal and method simple and clear thus ensuring success to see God face to face. What is the goal and method?

    Goal - To satisfy the desires of God
    Method - Align/employ our desires and material resources/circumstances to satisfy God's desires (Let Thy Will be Done not my will)

    The above two simple yet clear ideology can ensure success to see God face to face. If you note above, part of simplicity is that the goal and method is singular not plural.

    Devotees of Krishna often confuse chanting as the method. Actually chanting (at least in the conditional state) is a method to achieve the above stated method. Chanting in the conditional state will purify our desires to the point where we can align our desires/circumstances to satisfy God's desires.

    Once we align our desires with God's desires, then the method and goal merge as one. Till that happens, we have to keep the goal and method simple and clear. In doing so, any barrier to implement the above will only help us progress towards our goal.

    Hare Krishna

    Monday, April 27, 2015

    Symptoms of Kali Yuga

    We can see all these symptoms today. It was predicted 5000 years ago but these things are considered fashionable.

    In Kali-yuga, wealth alone will be considered the sign of a man’s good birth, proper behavior and fine qualities. And law and justice will be applied only on the basis of one’s power. Men and women will live together merely because of superficial attraction, and success in business will depend on deceit. Womanliness and manliness will be judged according to one’s expertise in sex, and a man will be known as a brāhmaṇa just by his wearing a thread. - Srimad Bhagavatam 12.2.2-3

    Thursday, April 23, 2015

    montage of life



    Human life is short. We can make it worthwhile by inquiring into the metaphysics of life!

    Hare Krishna

    Thursday, April 16, 2015

    Pa-Varga


    In sanskrit grammar, Pa stands for five and varga stands for divisions or categories so put together Pa-Varga means five divisional categories. These five categories begin with five letters namely pa, pha, ba, bha and ma. These five letters or Pa-varga outlines the sequence of material outcomes a soul has to undergo in order to survive in this world.

    1. The first varga begins with Pa meaning Parishrama. Parishrama in sanskrit means to work with lot of effort or simply put hard labor. For a living being in this world to survive has to work hard from morning to night. This is especially true for human beings. This hard struggle for existence scientists call survival of the fittest. To the degree we are able to use our human faculties to think and act in a timely and efficient way, we can make progress materially in this world. Therefore an individual in order to succeed must always be vigilant and pro-active to solve life's problems. This requires effort and hard labor. This is the beginning of material life if you will - Pa or Parishrama.
    2. The second varga begins with Pha meaning Phena. Phena in sanskrit literally means foam. Following hard labor comes exhaustion. Exhaustion exaggerated is called foaming in the mouth. Of course, in animals like say donkeys or horses, we can actually see the foam of exhaustion in their mouths. This symbolic foaming in human beings manifest as stress and other mental and physical anomalies. In other words, with hard labor, human beings begin their material life but to sustain their social and economic stature requires consistent performance which can result in stress and other concomitant problems (foaming in the mouth) - Pha or Phena.
    3. The third varga begins with the letter Ba meaning Vyarthataa. Vyarthataa in sanskrit means frustration. Human beings have to work hard to the point they are stressed out (foaming) and despite such hard labor, the outcome may not be satisfactory or at best temporary. This unsatisfactory or temporary results can lead to frustration. To get relief from this frustration, people take a break from mundanity in the form media entertainment, vacations, drinking, dining, sex etc. For a self satisfied person, a need for extraneous relief does not exist . This is called Ba or Vyarthataa.
    4. The fourth varga begins with the letter Bha meaning Bhaya. Bhaya in sanskrit means fearfulness. Although fearfulness is a constant companion for living beings, fear will become bigger and bigger as we approach old age, and disease. This fear especially is more telling to individuals who are completely devoid of anything spiritual. Materialistic people live their whole lives following Pa and Pha just to avoid Ba and Bha. But eventually Bha or Bhaya will catch up.
    5. The fifth and final varga begins with the word Ma meaning Mrtyu. Mrtyu in sanskrit means death. While fear is a constant companion all our lives, it catches up on us as we approach old age and it is fully blown at the time of  death. Death or mrtyu has the last laugh for individuals who completely ignore the existence of the soul and Supersoul. Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita that He is death and will come at the end of life. - Ma or Mrtyu

    To summarize, a living being especially human beings are born, grow, work hard in labor to the point of stress (foaming) leading up to frustration with fear (of losing or left behind) as their constant companion only to finally end their miserable life in death. This is the fate of material civilization - Pa-Varga. No one is exempt from it.

    The solution is to follow the principle of apa-varga. Krishna is apavarga hence He is God. Krishna is not disturbed by the Pa-vargas of material existence. He is beyond material existence. So as long as we intimately identify and associate our self with material life (Pa-varga), we will have to undergo the above five transformations. If however, we associate with Krishna who is apavarga, then we will also become apavarga (liberated) from the hard knot of material existence. 

    Hare Krishna


    Tuesday, April 14, 2015

    Etymology of KṚṢṆA

    K - Kamala Kanta
    R - Rama
    S - Sad guna pati (Lord of the six opulences)/ Lord of Svetadvip
    H - Nara-Narayana Rishi
    N - Narasimha
    A - Agni bhuk (ultimate beneficiary of all fire sacrifices)/the eternal one

    by Garga Muni in Sri Garga Samhita

    Hare Krishna

    Tuesday, March 17, 2015

    Life is easy till we complicate it

    Western culture means complicated superficial culture. Western culture believes in industrialization and today all of the world is following this culture thinking it to be the most civilized culture. But if we look at data objectively, you will find all the diseases, depression, wars, natural resources depletion takes place in urban populated centers, not in places where there is no industrialization. In other words, the true cost of industrialization is our own physical and mental health.

    On the other hand, people from the east are supposed to be more spiritual in tune with nature more. Unfortunately, more and more this is not the case any more. The art of simple living and high thinking is completely lost. Srila Prabhupada constantly preached the concept of a simple life on what he called "getting away from unnecessary necessities". People today are more connected with facebook than they are with their next door neighbors.

    Anyways...here is a man who is showing us how to live a simple yet a very happy life - example is better than precept. From watching this video, I concluded, he may not be a university graduate but surely a very intelligent, sensitive and common sense individual - things you don't learn in universities.





    Hare Krishna

    Monday, March 16, 2015

    Prayer of a pure devotee

    An Acharya is teaching by example. If this is humility in Krishna consciousness, then I consider myself less than a neophyte.

    Personally, I have no hope for any direct service for the coming crores of births of the sojourn of my life, but I am confident that some day or other I shall be delivered from this mire of delusion in which I am at present so deeply sunk. Therefore let me with all my earnestness pray at the lotus feet of my divine master to allow me to suffer the lot for which I am destined due to my past misdoings, but to let me have this power of recollection: that I am nothing but a tiny servant of the Almighty Absolute Godhead, realized through the unflinching mercy of my divine master. Let me therefore bow down at his lotus feet with all the humility at my command.

    - Srila Prabhupada's Vyasa Puja Offering, 1936

    Hare Krishna

    Tuesday, March 10, 2015

    Satyam Bruyat Priyam Bruyat

    Satyam bruyat priyam bruyat ma bruyat satyam abruyat. It is social convention that if you want to speak truth, you speak truth very palatable, flattering. Don't speak unpalatable truth. But we are not meant for that purpose, social convention. We are preacher, we are servant of God. We must speak the real truth. You may like it or may not like it, that a godless civilization cannot be happy in any stage. That is a fact. Therefore we have started this Krsna consciousness movement to awaken this godless civilization, that you try to love God.

    -Srila Prabhupada lecture to College Students -Seattle, October 20, 1968

    The scriptures advise satyam bruyat priyam bruyat, "in the material world only palatable truths should be spoken. Unpalatable truths should be carefully avoided." Devotees always humbly offer respect to everyone, but when there is a discussion on a point of sastra, they do not observe the usual etiquette, satyam bruyat priyam bruyat. They speak only the satyam although it may not be necessarily be priyam

    - Srila Prabhupada Letter to Sumati Murarji, 1976

    Hare Krishna

    Tuesday, March 3, 2015

    Symptoms of one who will take to Krishna Consciousness

    There are symptoms for us to know if someone will take to the science of Bhagavad Gita or Krishna Consciousness or not. 

    One symptom is if someone understands and accepts that this world is temporary will take to the message of Krishna in earnest. What I mean is when we internally accept the message of temporariness, then all so called problems of this world will come into focus more clearly. It will also help us to gradually give up our attachments of this world.

    Another symptom of someone who will take to the message of the Gita is the fact that we are spiritual beings encased within a physical body. This also will help put things into focus as far as this world is concerned. This also will impact the way we live our daily lives as parents, student, employees, friends etc

    If we study the Gita, we will find that Krishna also begins His message by speaking about these two crucial points. (1) we are spiritual beings (2) this world is temporary and that we should simply perform our duty without being disturbed.

    These two points can be used as a way to assess if someone will take to Krishna Consciousness or not!

    Hare Krishna