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

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Vaishnava dharma is the only supreme religion

Once, I met Reverend Ridley De. After he quietly listened to my lecture for two or three hours, he said, “Since you are saying things that are so similar to Christianity, why don’t you declare yourself a Christian?” To this I said, “Christianity is only a partial representation of – or a step on the ladder of – Vaiṣṇava dharma. Apart from that, we have more, which supplements what Christianity teaches. Things that have not been said in Christianity because qualification is there in a fuller extent in Vaiṣṇavism. Vaiṣṇava dharma is the only supreme religion for all living entities. The other religious systems are either stages of Vaiṣṇavism or perversions of it. To the degree that they are stages, they can be accepted for particular classes of people; if they are perversions, they should be rejected.

- Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada, Uncommon Dialogues,pg 83

Monday, February 27, 2017

Everyone is special!

These are pictures of snow flakes taken by Wilson Bentley in 1885 when he was 20 years old. He went on to take over 5,000 pictures of different and individual snowflakes. A book having over 2,500 images was released in the name of Snow Crystals. This book is in print since 1931. Wilson Bentley provided visual evidence that no two flakes are alike - source.

If two small snow flakes are not alike, then how can more complex human beings be alike? Today biological science categorizes species and living beings on their external likeness (morphology). Social science categorizes behavioral patterns among like living beings. Chemists test drugs based on the commonalities in human anatomy and physiology. Categorizing, normalizing and standardizing may be okay to study patterns of behavior and functions among living beings but it is certainly not okay to evaluate an individual. Today, we (including myself) very easily judge people based on these common traits. But actually no two living being is identical, hence we should see them and relate with them entirely on an individual basis.

Because we live in an impersonal and a time-constraint world, we neither have the desire nor the time to know the person we come in contact with. How can we understand God, He is invisible?

Hare Krishna

The Power of Chanting

One who chants the holy name of the Lord is immediately freed from the reactions of unlimited sins, even if he chants indirectly [to indicate something else], jokingly, for musical entertainment, or even neglectfully. This is accepted by all the learned scholars of the scriptures.

If one chants the holy name of Hari and then dies because of an accidental misfortune, such as falling from the top of a house, slipping and suffering broken bones while traveling on the road, being bitten by a serpent, being afflicted with pain and high fever, or being injured by a weapon, one is immediately absolved from having to enter hellish life, even though he is sinful.

Authorities who are learned scholars and sages have carefully ascertained that one should atone for the heaviest sins by undergoing a heavy process of atonement and one should atone for lighter sins by undergoing lighter atonement. Chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, however, vanquishes all the effects of sinful activities, regardless of whether heavy or light.

As a fire burns dry grass to ashes, so the holy name of the Lord, whether chanted knowingly or unknowingly, burns to ashes, without fail, all the reactions of one’s sinful activities.

If a person unaware of the effective potency of a certain medicine takes that medicine or is forced to take it, it will act even without his knowledge because its potency does not depend on the patient’s understanding. Similarly, even though one does not know the value of chanting the holy name of the Lord, if one chants knowingly or unknowingly, the chanting will be very effective.

Spoken by Yama Dharmaraja to Yamadutas

- SB 6.2.14-19

Hare Krishna

Friday, February 24, 2017

Ignorance in the guise of literary embellishment

When a person speaks about spiritual subject matter, normally the statements are conjectural and ambiguous. It is somewhat poetic and meant to be uncertain.

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer. - Rainer Maria Rilke

Now, I think I understand what the quote says but still the quote wants me thinking about it more. This is because the author expresses a vague subject vaguely. Mundane scholars do not admit to themselves and to others that they actually do not know what lies beyond!

Srila Prabhupada is different. Srila Prabhupada is self-realized. Srila Prabhupada is an expert in spiritual truths. Therefore, when he speaks there is no ambiguity indicating his gravity. One example is a statement by Prabhupada in his purport to Bhagavad Gita chapter 1 text 1. He says “It (referring to Bhagavad Gita) is the perfect theistic science because it is directly spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa”. One philosophy teacher simply could not digest this categorical statement because he was not used to accuracy and perfection in his field of philosophy. 

While it is highly refined to applaud subtle messages expressed in poetic language, it is still more refined to accept language (poetic or otherwise) that expresses the truth without duality. The underlying message is more important than literary embellishments for it will set us free!

Hare Krishna

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Symptoms of spontaneous love for God

Offenseless chanting of Krishna's Holy Name even once can liberate one from the pangs of material miseries. Srimad Bhagavata Purana sets the standard for pure chanting. This standard can be achieved by one who is on the stage of bhava or spontaneous loving sentiments towards Krishna. Below are the symptoms of such a soul.

tad aśma-sāraṁ hṛdayaṁ batedaṁ
yad gṛhyamāṇair hari-nāma-dheyaiḥ
na vikriyetātha yadā vikāro
netre jalaṁ gātra-ruheṣu harṣaḥ

Certainly that heart is steel-framed which, in spite of one’s chanting the holy name of the Lord with concentration, does not change when ecstasy takes place, tears fill the eyes and the hairs stand on end. 

Symptoms of bhava;
  1. Kṣānti - cessation of material desires 
  2. Avyārtha-kālatvam - utilization of every moment in the transcendental loving service of the Lord 
  3. Nāma-gāne sadā ruci - eagerness for glorifying the Lord constantly 
  4. Prītis tad-vasati sthale - attraction for living in the land of the Lord 
  5. Virakti - complete detachment from material happiness 
  6. Māna-śūnyatā - pridelessness 

- Srimad Bhagavata Purana 2.3.24

Hare Krishna