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

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Two or Two Hundred

Yamuna Devi: Srila Prabhupada, although we are very happy where we are, we are prepared to go wherever you would like to send us in order to have your blessings.

Srila Prabhupada: You westerners are always are restless. Why can’t you stay where you are?

Yamuna Devi: But we have been told that because we don’t have the association of devotees, we cannot make any advancement.

Srila Prabhupada: Association can be two or two hundred. But you must be compatible. If you are two and you are compatible, you can go back to Godhead. But if you are two hundred and not compatible (his eyes opened widely), then no one will make any advancement.

Yamuna Devi: But Srila Prabhupada, some of the leaders are saying that we have lost your mercy because we left ISKCON, and without your mercy, there is no meaning to our lives.

Srila Prabhupada: ISKCON is where you are chanting the Holy Names of Krishna. This is ISKCON

-Yamuna Devi, A Life Unalloyed Devotion, Offering the Gift of Bhakti to Others, ch 9 p68,by Dinatarini Devi

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Srila Prabhupada airport arrival

The first time I saw Srila Prabhupada was in the L.A. airport. I think it must have been about 200 devotees went to greet him. We were a huge crowd and the loud kirtan and everyone was pushing forward, and there was a space above the partition where the passengers were coming out and you were able to see if it was a tall person. I remember a Stetson hat came by and something else came by, and then we could understand.."Is that.. ? No, that's not Prabhupada." We kept pushing forward more and more and the kirtan was bigger and bigger; and then I felt someone pushing behind me and I thought that's odd because I'm at the back of the crowd, I was a very new devotee.

So then I turned to look and there were two businessmen behind me, mid-20's, suits and briefcases and everything else, but they were looking and looking to see who we were waiting for. Then suddenly we saw a danda raised above the partition and we knew, "Oh, Prabhupada must be coming." So then Prabhupada came out and we all paid our obeisances and there was the most amazing feeling like a tidal wave rushing through me from the very depths of my being and pouring out, and I cried and cried and cried. Then finally when I stood up to go and follow the devotees who were following Srila Prabhupada, I turned and these two businessmen were standing there with tears pouring down their faces. That was such an amazing experience to see how they were touched just by a moment's association with Srila Prabhupada.

- Racitambara dasi

Originality vs borrowed plumes

Everyone wants to be original – to offer something unique to this world. They want to contribute to the welfare of this world by showing their unique identity. This desire to show off originality is very natural and common in this world. In fact, this idea is promoted right from kindergarten.

As for devotees are concerned, they do the exact opposite. They do not offer anything unique to this world. They simply repeat what has already been spoken for thousands of years. In other words, they do not take pride in “borrowed plumes”. Peacocks look very beautiful with their plumes especially when the rainbow is out. If we borrow a plume from a peacock and show it off as our own, what credit do we get? Therefore, devotees give all credit to the teacher or Guru who teach to repeat knowledge as it is.

Unlike materialistic people who take pride in their originality, devotees express humility in the repetition of knowledge. This is one way to remain humble.

Hare Krishna

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Answer to queries

Someone asked me these questions, I thought to share my answers in this blog.

How do we respond to atheism regarding Krishna consciousness which tend base itself on analysis and evaluation of hard evidences and thus discarding the idea of god and Krishna altogether through an objective eye?

Atheism  basically stems from modern education and modern science because in science, the idea of God is not taught to students. Science as you say is based on evidence and its analysis. Evidence as per science is defined as that which can be observed and put to experimentation and from that experimentation derive mathematical constructs within Cartesian space. This is called empiricism or empirical science. If scientists cannot collect and subject evidence within Cartesian coordinates, then such evidence or theory is not scientifically valid. But God can never be a "subject" or be "subjected" to human control. God is always an "object" (never the subject). So unless scientists and their followers (atheists) give up this pride of subjecting evidence to test, they cannot and will never understand God.

So the first principle to understand God is to do the opposite of what atheists and scientists do - that is instead of "subjecting" evidence to human control, we "subject" humans to God's control. The idea, however, is the same. It is simply a matter of who is the subject and who is the object. Scientists have their "objective" such as research and grants and peer review papers. With this "objective" they "subject" evidence. If we want to understand God, we put God as the "objective" and we volunteer our self as the "subject" to be "subjected" to God's control. So when we become the evidence to God's experiment or plan, then from within our heart, that very God who is unscientific dogmatic idea will become a scientific truth or fact. The bottom line is - it is a matter of which methodology we want to pick but there is truth in both spheres, God and science.

On the road to spiritual path, how can we expand our spiritual roots while resolving dilemmas of day to day life. How to act more purposefully in our practical life? 

The whole Bhagavad Gita was spoken for this purpose and obviously I cannot summarize all of it here. For us to solve our dilemmas of daily life, we simply have to connect our self back to our source who is God. Right now we are disconnected, hence we face dilemma, doubts and fears. When we connect back to Krishna or God, then all of our daily issues will be automatically resolved. So the answer to your question is simple, connect back to Krishna or God and stay connected (because you have free will to disconnect). Now, how to connect and stay connected is the reason the Gita was spoken. But basically Srila Prabhupada has given us few principles to stay connected always with Krishna. They are (1) chanting (2) listening to lectures by Srila Prabhupada (3) reading Bhagavad Gita (4) associating with devotees (5) eating prasadam daily cooked with love for Krishna. When we do these five things daily sincerely, seriously and without selfishness, gradually we will revive our lost connection with God and will be able to stay connected with Him always. In this connection, all of our material troubles will be resolved.

Hare Krishna

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Lord has feelings

Just like us, the Lord has feelings. When someone glorifies the Lord, He is happy but if someone speaks ill words, the Lord feels pain in His heart. The pastime between Varaha and Hiaranyaksha is a display of Lord's feelings.

Hiranyaksha spoke of Lord Varaha "When You fall dead with Your skull smashed by the mace hurled by my arms, the demigods and sages who offer You oblations and sacrifice in devotional service will also automatically cease to exist, like trees without roots." Hearing this the Lord was pained by the shaftlike abusive words of the demon, however, He bore the pain. - SB 3.18.5-6

So every time when we chant Hare Krishna Mahamantra, it is a personal glorification of the Lord. We can understand from the above verses that the Lord must feel happy when we chant. However, we should be careful not to speak or think ill of Him or hear others' speak in that manner.

Hare Krishna

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Questioning our ethos

Our modern society, at least since my birth since the seventies, has operated based on the idea that we live only one life/birth. The Bhagavad Gita on the contrary was spoken by Krishna on the basis that life is not limited to one birth. If we really want to understand Bhagavad Gita then we have to broaden our definition of life. We simply cannot cram the ideology of Bhagavad Gita to our singular lifetime with all of its’ natural, social, cultural, religious and economic ethos. If we do that, our understanding of the Gita will be tremendously skewed to the point where we will be forced to remove the idea of a Supreme Being. In other words, our understanding will be impersonal and at best conceptual. However, to broaden our vision of life beyond one birth is not a small thing because it basically brings to question everything we hold sacred and vile.

Hare Krishna

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Our first step in our thousand-mile spiritual journey

Every living being especially humans have two natures (1) spiritual nature (2) material nature. Spiritual nature and material nature are completely independent of each other yet co-exist. Material nature is time sensitive and is created from material elements. The human body for example is a combination of these time sensitive elements. A person’s character, way of speaking, dressing, walking, and general beliefs is primarily influenced by the society he or she lives. This society in turn is formed over time by human beings. There is a symbiotic relationship between man and his surroundings and both influence each other constantly. Therefore, we have to intellectually appreciate the difference between the true self and the externally influenced self. Typically, we merge the two.

The externally influenced self is constantly changing and we should learn to see ourselves separate from it. Whereas the internal true self which does not change is our real self or identity. This non-changing self is spiritual and the changing self is material. When we slow down our life and step back from our externally influenced changing self, we will realize the existence of a non-changing self. In order to step back from the changing self, we need to practice the art of careful dissociation from the changing external agents such as our physical body/mind, family, children, wealth, career and in that moment of dissociation meditate on the non-changing identity of our self.

This is our first step in our thousand-mile spiritual journey!

Hare Krishna

Thursday, June 2, 2016

2016 Sadhu Sanga Retreat

Last weekend I was in North Carolina, in the picturesque setting of Whispering Hills, Boone County. It was a memorable time as we engaged in constantly glorifying the Lord from morning to night in sankirtan. Although physically tiring, spiritually enlivening. I was told around 1500 devotees assembled for the retreat. I took some videos using my iphone.


Hare Krishna