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

Monday, July 18, 2016

The power of holy name of Hari

The Yamadūtas had considered only the external situation of Ajāmila. Since he was extremely sinful throughout his life, they thought he should be taken to Yamarāja and did not know that he had become free from the reactions of all his sins. The Viṣṇudūtas therefore instructed that because he had chanted the four syllables of the name Nārāyaṇa at the time of his death, he was freed from all sinful reactions. In this regard Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura quotes the following verses from the smṛti-śāstra:

nāmno hi yāvatī śaktiḥ
 pāpa-nirharaṇe hareḥ
tāvat kartuṁ na śaknoti
 pātakaṁ pātakī naraḥ

“Simply by chanting one holy name of Hari, a sinful man can counteract the reactions to more sins than he is able to commit.” (Bṛhad-viṣṇu Purāṇa)

avaśenāpi yan-nāmni
 kīrtite sarva-pātakaiḥ
pumān vimucyate sadyaḥ
 siṁha-trastair mṛgair iva

“If one chants the holy name of the Lord, even in a helpless condition or without desiring to do so, all the reactions of his sinful life depart, just as when a lion roars, all the small animals flee in fear.” (Garuḍa Purāṇa)

sakṛd uccāritaṁ yena
 harir ity akṣara-dvayam
baddha-parikaras tena
 mokṣāya gamanaṁ prati

“By once chanting the holy name of the Lord, which consists of the two syllables ha-ri, one guarantees his path to liberation.” (Skanda Purāṇa)

These are some of the reasons why the Viṣṇudūtas objected to the Yamadūtas’ taking Ajāmila to the court of Yamarāja.

- Purport by Srila Prabhupada, SB 6.2.7

You come down and write these books

Srila Prabhupada said, "This world is a horrible place, but Lord Krishna said to me, 'You come down and write those books.' And I said, 'Oh, I do not want to go there. It is a horrible place.' And Lord Krishna said, 'No, no, you come down and write those books. I will take care of everything.' And I said, 'No, no, I do not want to go there,' but He insisted, 'You come down and write those books. I will take care of everything.'" So he said, "You just see how Krishna has taken care of everything for me." And he said, "You know, the Goswamis slept under a different tree every night. So they had their tree, I have my temples. I can stay in a different temple every night. They had their light, I have my light. They were translating their books, I'm translating my books." That was a great revelation, an extraordinary thing that Prabhupada was saying. And I looked at Upendra and he looked at me and it was just electric, the atmosphere.

- Memories of Srila Prabhupada by Bhavananda das

Wednesday, July 13, 2016


Today marks a half century for ISKCON. It is predicted to progress for 100 centuries. From that perspective, ISKCON is pretty much in its infancy. But from where we are standing, 50 years seems a long journey since its official inception July 13 1966.

I have been privileged to be a part of this esteemed institution. I have had the opportunity to meet many like minded souls and very pure souls. I cannot say I can find any other place in this entire planet earth where brilliant minds and pure souls gather in all in one place. I have made many friends in part due to this institution. For that, I am very grateful.

Initially, the incorporated ISKCON was simply a band of lose devotees in one building under an effulgent leader. Who knew, after 50 years, it would truly become a global organization that it is today. This also means global challenges. When we have devotees from diverse backgrounds gathering in one place, there is bound to be difference of opinion perhaps not in ideology but in execution of ideology. Therefore, it is necessary to have leaders who have sound management skills who can manage resources and people efficiently. As for ideological differences if any, we must go back to the books and tapes of Srila Prabhupada.

As long as ISKCON puts its Founder Acharya always in the center by following his instructions’ strictly, then I believe nothing can stop ISKCON for the next 100 centuries. I want to thank all the devotees’ who tirelessly work as a cohesive unit, despite differences, to serve the different instructions’ of Srila Prabhupada, a beacon of light for this dark age of quarrel and hypocrisy.

My humble obeisances and heartfelt gratitude to the Founder Acharya of ISKCON His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami to have the vision to establish a spiritual movement that is a receptacle for genuine seekers of truth!

Hare Krishna

Thursday, July 7, 2016

There are four things for a preacher

For a preacher, there are four things:

īśvare tad-adhīneṣu
bāliśeṣu dviṣatsu ca
yaḥ karoti sa madhyamaḥ -SB 11.2.46

When in the lower stage of devotional service, he cannot become preacher. When he's in a little upper, second stage, he can become preacher. So preacher has to see four things. First of all God, īśvara, and tad-adhīneṣu, and those who are devotee. God, His devotees, and bāliśa, innocent, he does not know anything about... So three = God, devotee, and the innocent. And dviṣat, and envious, atheist class. He has to see four things, and he has to deal with four persons differently.

  1. With God, īśvare prema: how to advance my love for God, these dealings. 
  2. Prema-maitrī: and to the devotees, we have to make friendship with them. Prema-maitrī. 
  3. And to the innocent, we have to preach, kṛpā: "Oh, here is an innocent person. He does not know; he's eager to learn." There teaching is required. Teaching, you cannot teach God or you cannot teach God's devotee. But you can teach only the innocent. 
  4. And those who are dviṣat, atheist, upekṣā, don't go there, save yourself. These are the four things. So when one is not open to hear, then don't bother yourself. That requires very strong preacher to convince the atheist class, provided he is reasonable also. If he's stubborn, obstinate, then it is also very difficult. 
But preaching is meant, innocent; that one who is actually sincere but he does not know what is God, what is my relationship with God, there is necessity of preaching. Not to the envious or those who are already advanced, or to God.

- Lecture July 5 1976, Washington DC, Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 20.100 by Srila Prabhupada

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Is everything really happening for the good?

I have heard this phrase that whatever happens is for our good. Honestly, at least in the past could not find meaning to this phrase till I came in contact with Bhagavad Gita.

According to Bhagavad Gita (8.16), nothing in this material creation is actually good. We have a choice to accept what Krishna says or we can accept our own idea of good. But from Krishna’s perspective, this place is a place of misery and it is temporary. Even if we accept this place as good it is still temporary. Regardless, both misery and good is temporary according to Bhagavad Gita.

Having said that, if we re-define good as spiritual good and not material good, then everything is indeed happening for the good. By spiritual good, I mean good for the atma or soul and not deha or body. The body will deteriorate and die no matter what but the atma is eternal and hence real goodness can only mean spiritual good or good for the soul.

In our vision of one life time, it is difficult to evaluate how “all” souls are benefiting. But from Krishna’s position of past, present and future, “all” infinite souls in this material creation will eventually go back to Krishna. Krishna repeatedly sends His messengers or comes Himself to redeem these lost souls. So in that long standing sense of past, present and future, everything is slowly but surely churning towards Krishna and because Krishna is all good, everything indeed is good.

As they say “the mills of God grind slowly but surely”. We simply have to practice patience and tolerance in the face of dualities of life and meditate on our soul and Supersoul Krishna and as we make our journey towards Krishna, everything is good.

It is this journey towards Krishna which is all good, everything else is washed away by the waves of time anyways!

Hare Krishna