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

Friday, April 22, 2016

Bhagavad Gita – two-step method to solve problems

In the beginning of Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna gets anxiety attack and then Krishna reacts to his anxiety. Interestingly, Krishna never gives a direct answer to Arjuna’s anxiety attack in terms of problems of war and the people involved in it, which was the basis for Arjuna’s argument. Instead Krishna gave His opinion based on a higher principle.

Similarly, when we face problems in our own lives, we should wear the hat of Krishna in the sense that we should step back from our problem and try to reevaluate from a higher principle. One may ask what is that higher principle that Krishna focused on – the answer to that is upon Himself. In other words, Arjuna was confused thinking of the impending death as a result of war, in that confusion, He forgot Govinda who was standing right next to Him. To remind His intimate friend to be fearless, Vasudeva Krishna had to remind Arjuna about His Own Supreme dominion and that nothing happens without the sanction of Him (Vasudeva). This is the highest principle – that if we step back from our daily anxieties and simply go deeper into this principle that nothing happens without the sanction of the Lord, then as Arjuna, we can also get inspired to fight our daily battles.

So Bhagavad Gita is a two-step process to deal with problems of life whenever it hits us;

  1. First step - to always be reminded (with faith) that Krishna controls everything and henceforth, we should seek His shelter always. In that mood, surrender our intelligence to Him. 
  2. Second step - in this mood of shelter we use our intelligence to solve problems. Now the problem may go away or become worse, regardless if we approach the problem in that mood of shelter, it is always a success because the problem enforces us to get closer to Govinda. 

Materialistic people who have no knowledge of Govinda try to directly solve their problems, sometimes they succeed, sometimes they fail. But because they do not get closer to Govinda, they ultimately only fail. So success and failure in life, per the Gita, is how much we realize Govinda. The rest of our problems are mere details for it is like summer and winter seasons, comes and goes!

Hare Krishna

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Competition among devotees

As long as we are in the world, there will be competition. Even if we choose not to compete, people will compete against you. With this competitive mentality, we enter the environment of devotees and perform services like preaching, kirtan etc. Some do well and some do not. Those who do well, if they have this competitive pride, they will feel proud and those devotees who do not do well, if they have the same pride, they feel inferior and less worthy (viz. inferiority complex).

How to get over this sense of inferiority complex?

  1. We should not first compare ourselves with other devotees.
  2. Other devotees who do well in their services, we feel happy for them that Krishna has empowered them to do so much and in that way we honor them.
  3. But when other devotees compare, we take that comparison as an inspiration to reach our best but not in a competitive way to do better than the other.
  4. In all of this, we try to do our best and appreciate that Krishna has given me the ability to do even this small service. 
  5. Ultimately, Krishna is attracted to a devotee who wants to serve the great and not want to be great himself. Since Krishna is the greatest great, we want to serve Him and serve His great devotees.
It reminds me of the story where when Hanumanji asked the spider to step aside as he was doing big service in constructing the bridge by throwing boulders onto the sea and the spider was rolling dust towards the sea. Seeing Hanumanji's attitude of service, Lord Rama responded saying that for Him both services are equal since both are doing to their capacity.

Therefore, the moral of the story is we do not compare ourselves with anyone and simply we go deeper in our service to cultivate a mood of humility and respect others in that process without pride or competition.

Hare Krishna

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Hodgepodge institution of various concocted ideas - Hinduism

This analysis by Śrī Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, supporting the statements of Śrī Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī, depicts the position of the present so-called Hindu religion, which, being predominantly conducted by the Māyāvāda philosophy, has become a hodgepodge institution of various concocted ideas. Māyāvādīs greatly fear the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement and accuse it of spoiling the Hindu religion because it accepts people from all parts of the world and all religious sects and scientifically engages them in the daiva-varṇāśrama-dharma. As we have explained several times, however, we find no such word as “Hindu” in the Vedic literature. The word most probably came from Afghanistan, a predominantly Muslim country, and originally referred to a pass in Afghanistan known as Hindukush, which is still a part of a trade route between India and various Muslim countries.

- CC Adi Lila 12.73 Purport by Srila Prabhupada

Monday, April 18, 2016

The illusion of knowing Krishna

Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita that He is covered by His internal potency and He purposefully covers Himself. He says He knows all beings past, present and future but Him no one knows. These are significant statements because as devotees we can be complacent sometimes especially those who are in the movement for long years. Familiarity breeds contempt! So our familiarity with Krishna, His Holy Names and pastimes can lead us to a familiar area of territory thus making us complacent towards Krishna and His devotees. We can notice that in ourselves if we are honest. When we listen to lectures, we know the story and so our mind wanders. This is a sign of familiarity. When we listen to the Holy Name, mind wanders, again a sign of familiarity. Therefore, unless we are attentive to our inattentiveness and address this issue of familiarity which will eventually lead to contempt, we can really not understand Krishna.

Let the distracting mind of mine always take shelter of the divine Lotus Feet of the Lord at all trials and tribulations big or small of my life.

Hare Krishna.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Patience in Krishna consciousness

Srila Rupa Goswami says one of the qualities of a devotee is patience. Lack of patience means we are hovering on the mental plane which is material. In material transactions, things fail or succeed in matter of time and we can witness that success or failure. We get a closure and move on. In Krishna consciousness, seemingly, it is endless. We chant, and chant and then chant and still feel we are in the same location. This perception of lack of progress is a mental yardstick which is a factor of time which is material. Since we are used to assessing progress based on time, we tend to assess our progress in Krishna consciousness similarly.

Actually, patience in Krishna consciousness does not mean like a mother waiting 9 months to give birth to a child, that is - the result is obtained after a certain time gap. That is material patience. In Krishna consciousness, patience means to realize our connection with Krishna which we have previously forgotten. To put it differently, the second we connect with the Holy Name and the spiritual master, we are instantly connected. No question about that! But we do not realize it from the depths of our heart due to our mental distractions. So the realization we are always connected with Krishna, for that idea to take hold in our hearts takes time and that means patience. Otherwise, without Krishna there is no question of anything existing.

As devotees, therefore, we should not doubt that we are disconnected and get frustrated and keep trying innovative so-called devotional techniques. Simply we follow the instructions of previous acharyas and perform our dharma materially and spiritually diligently praying to Krishna to give us the inner realization to see His Hand in all of our lives and through that inner vision, we will always be nourished and happy in our duties towards this world and Krishna.

For the prayer to work, we simply need to be focused and humble towards Krishna and gradually the dense fog of forgetfulness will rise to the point where we will see we were never separate from God or Krishna.

Hare Krishna

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Prabhupada and Kaliya

In 1976, when Srila Prabhupada visited New Vrindaban for the last time, the community was caring for four working teams of oxen and over 150 cows. A new barn had been erected in Bahulaban, and Prabhupada visited it to see the cows and four new-born calves. He let one of them lick his hand as a devotee told him how the cows were yielding about 120 gallons of milk every day, which they were turning into ghee, cheese and buttermilk. Prabhupada was pleased. But there was one cow he still hadn’t seen. Kaliya, now fourteen years old, was the retired matriarch of New Vrindaban’s herd. She had given birth to eight calves herself, and up until the previous year, had still been producing about six gallons of milk a day for the Lord and the devotees -- despite having maladies common to aging cows of her breed, such as blindness in one eye and respiratory problems.

Writing in Brijbasi Spirit magazine, cowherd Amburish Das described how Kaliya -- the smallest cow in New Vrindaban at 800 pounds -- never pushed and shoved to eat grain as the other cows did, but stood patiently waiting her turn. “There may be some mild cows, but Mother Kaliya is even more than mild -- she is a devotee,” he said. “Her humility is unmatched.” This rare soul was finally reunited with Srila Prabhupada after seven years in a meeting that left an indelible mark in the minds and hearts of those who witnessed it. Towards the end of his visit,

Prabhupada walked with a large group of devotees to go see Sri Sri Radha Vrindaban Nath in the farmhouse temple at the old Vrindaban farm, where Kaliya resided. It was a beautiful morning, the rays of the rising sun shining hazily through a light mist. As Prabhupada rounded a curve and spotted the Vrindaban farmhouse in the distance, one of the devotees, Advaitacarya Das, pointed to a small herd of cows far up at the top of “Govardhana Hill,” which rose to their left. “Srila Prabhupada, look!” he said. “There’s Kaliya. She’s our first cow. You used to drink her milk.” Suddenly, as Prabhupada looked up at her, Kaliya broke away from her herd and made her way alone down the steep bank. Matching the devotees’ pace, she stepped out right in front of Srila Prabhupada, and began walking with him as if she were his pet calf. “Ah,” Srila Prabhupada said simply. “My dear old friend Kaliya.”

She continued to walk with him for some time, a quiet connection hanging between them that the devotees all felt. Then, finally Kaliya picked up her pace and disappeared over the horizon. “For me, it was a mystical experience,” says Advaita. “Srila Prabhupada was always preaching that we’re all trying to get to Vrindavana, where Krishna and his cowherd boy friends are eternally playing and taking care of the cows. And to see Kaliya come down the hill and walk with him like that just made it all very real.”

- memory by Madhava Smullen (source)

Hare Krishna