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

Friday, March 31, 2017

Planning makes a man perfect!

I am a proponent of planning. I plan my day if it is outside my routine, plan my trips if I am taking any, plan my domestic priorities, plan my work duties daily etc. In other words, all of us practice the art of planning our duties and based on the plan we prioritize our daily activities.

Similarly, we have to plan our journey back to Krishna. Not that just chant some rounds, read some books, listen some stories, do some puja in temple and magically we land up with Krishna. Unless we plan our spiritual life, determination will not come. Because we have so many other things to do, it is best to have a clear and simple plan (for spiritual priorities) to execute at every phase or stage of our life. Then once we create a plan based on our strength and or weakness, we can gradually implement them with determination. If we cannot implement our plan, then we revisit them and tweek the plan.

Personally, I think this is important and helps me keep track of my spiritual progress both externally and internally. Please sit down and meditate where you would like to be in 6 months, 2 years, 5 years, 10 years and end of life. This is important!

Hare Krishna

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Dhanaraj, Balaraj and Ananda

Once upon a time there lived a king in Benaras with 3 sons named Dhanaraj, Balaraj and Ananda.

Suddenly one day the king left his body and the kingdom was seized by the minister.

The minister took charge of the kingdom and cheated the 3 prince by giving them a small house to live in a village which was located outside the kingdom.

Now these three began to contemplate on the situation.

The eldest one asked, “What is the finest thing in the world?”

The youngest one said,  “I dont know?”

The middle one Balaraj said, “Power is the finest thing, the minister would not have snatched our kingdom without power.”

The elder prince disagreed saying, “The finest thing in the world is money. With money we can have power also. I will go to China and return with lots of money.”

Prince Balaraj said,  “I will go to Turkey and raise a big army.”

The brothers decided to meet at the same place after 10 yrs .

Years passed by and one fine day a huge army came from one side and a huge caravan full of gold and jewels came from the other.

They were led by Dhanaraj and Balaraj, both the brothers embraced each other.

Dhanaraj told Balaraj, “I am the richest man in the world. I can bribe your soldiers.”

Balaraj proudly said “My soldiers can loot your money.”

They looked out for their younger brother Ananda. He came out from the small house with a young woman and 2 children.

Dhanaraj and Balaraj asked “Did you find the finest thing in the world?”

Ananda said, “Yes. I have found that contentment is the finest thing in the world, without it power and wealth are all useless.”

The brothers suddenly realized that its true, still they wanted to fight the Minister.

Ananda laughed and told that the Minister died years ago and people wanted to make him the king. But he was too contented to leave. So, all their efforts had been in vain.

Here we see that the youngest prince Ananda was happy with whatever he had and thus was living peacefully.

Moral of the story.

If you are happy with whatever you have, i.e. you are content with what you have there is no regrets. Then there is no desire and if there is no desire, you will be peaceful.

Here is the verse from the shastras which says:

santosha trishu kartavyah svadhaare bhojane dhane
santosha trishu na kartavyah svaadhyaah japa dhaanayoh

“One should be always satisfied with these three things:
1) their spouse
2) the food
3) the amount of wealth they obtained.

One should never be satisfied with these three things:

1) the amount of scriptural study
2) the amount of chanting
3) amount of charity they perform

We always want to accumulate wealth for future, want to build a house, take up life insurance policies and what not.

Every one tries to possess more and more. How much ever we endeavor we shall get only that which is in our prarabdha.

Lord is taking care of our needs right from the time we are in our mothers womb. As soon as the child comes out mothers body is filled with milk. Still we try to make all arrangements. This is because we don't have faith in him.

Hare Krishna

Friday, March 10, 2017

oral vs aural tradition

Is is said western religions primarily spread through oral dissemination. In other words, through story telling. People inspired by the stories converted to the respective religions. This is how the religions spread primarily in the western hemisphere and gradually to the east.

The Vedic tradition also has an oral component as there were no written books back then. However, the stress is not oral but aural reception. In other words, the student through attentive hearing, questioning and active service of the instructions realizes the truth from within. Aural reception invokes in the student a sense of higher knowledge followed by humble service followed by transcendental realizations.

While oral tradition is more focused on telling a story, aural reception is more focused on enlightenment of the self, story telling is secondary. Sentiments and inspirations form the core value of oral tradition whereas humility, austerity and self-realization form the core value of aural reception. Oral is externally focused versus aural is internally focused.

East or west, in plain words, without aural reception, mere oral tradition becomes another form of story telling, a sort of cultural and religious entertainment!

Hare Krishna

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Big bang and a fizzle in the long run

Since everything is at the end temporary, no matter how grand the show may be materially speaking, in the grand scheme of things is simply fluff. The opening and middle may be grand but the end is it ends. The scene changes, people change and everything has to be dismantled. Of course, then the next group arrives, sets up their tent and the show continues. Regardless, all things must pass and this temporariness of this world makes reality less valuable than it is presented to us.

Below is a nice description, I thought, sort of describing this grand but temporary show.

aja-yuddhe muni-śrāddhe
prabhāte megha-ḍambare
dam-pate kalahe caiva
bambhārambhe laghu-kriyā

Aja yuddhe means two goats fighting. I vividly remember growing up in India, I have often seen two goats fighting clashing their horns and heads. Literally one can hear the noise of the clash like two gladiators in a ring. Then, the owner comes and shews the goats away and they are like friends again. This exaggerated fight between goats represents our grand illusory world.

Muni-śrāddhe means the sage or muni is trying to have a grand ceremony but living in the forest, what can they possess, some fruits, leaves etc. Although it is a ceremony but not very ceremonious. Again grand in stage but not much to show in terms of offering.

Prabhāte megha-ḍambare is rumbling of the clouds but no rain. This is very common. Everyone must have had this experience of dark ominous clouds with thundering sound but either there is little rain or no rain. One more instance of grand opening but just fluff.

Dam-pate kalahe, this is the most common although now a days this is not just innocent. When a husband and wife fight with each other, they chastise and shout at each other but a true loving couple do not continue the fight. After things calm down, they get back as if nothing happened. However, this is not the case much anymore but certainly once couples never separated despite arguments and fighting. In that sense, such fighting is not fighting.

All the above examples give us a clue that we should deal with life and life incidences with a smooth handle. In other words, if things get sour, let time heal the wounds because after all everything begins with a bang bambhārambhe, but ends with fluff laghu-kriyā (not very significant).

This is the nature of this world.

Hare Krishna

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Devotee means...

Vaiṣṇava devotee means give me simply a place to lay down, little prasādam, whatever little service you have got please give me, that's all. -Śrīla Prabhupāda's Letter to: Gurudāsa, Yamunā — Bombay 19 December, 1972

Devotee means he is able to tolerate all kinds of discomfort and whims of the material nature, and because he is so much absorbed in serving Kṛṣṇa, he takes no time to become angry or take offense with others or find out some fault. -Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Letter to: Haṁsadūta — Ahmedabad 10 December, 1972

Devotee means very liberal and kind to everyone, always gentleman under all kinds of conditions of life. -Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Letter to: Haṁsadūta — Ahmedabad 10 December, 1972

Devotee means one should be firmly convinced of his being the eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa.  -Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Letter to: Mr. Kair — Los Angeles 8 July, 1969

So to become devotee means to do the best service to the family. -Śrīla Prabhupāda, Discussion on Deprogrammers -- January 9, 1977, Bombay

A devotee means he knows everything. -Śrīla Prabhupāda’s room Conversation with Professor Francois Chenique -- August 5, 1976, New Mayapur (French farm)

Devotee means the first sign will be happy, brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā [Bg. 18.54]. If he's not prasannātmā, he's a rascal. He has not entered even devotional life. He's outside. That is the test.-Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Morning Walk -- April 24, 1976, Melbourne

Devotee means tattva-darśī. He has seen the real truth. -Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Morning Walk -- March 25, 1976, Delhi

Devotee means who follows Kṛṣṇa. -Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Morning Walk -- March 25, 1976, Delhi

Devotee means sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate [Bg. 14.26]. He is above these material laws. That is devotee. -Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Morning Walk -- March 25, 1976, Delhi

Devotee means brahmacārī. Pure devotee means brahmacārī. Anyabhilasita-sunyam [Brs. 1.1.11]. He has no other desire. That is brahmacārī. -Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Morning Walk -- November 3, 1975, Bombay

Devotee means serious devotee. -Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Conversation with Professor Hopkins -- July 13, 1975, Philadelphia

Devotee means he has no sense gratification. -Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Room Conversation with Tripurāri -- March 2, 1975, Atlanta

Devotee means one who has taken shelter of Kṛṣṇa. -Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Morning Walk -- June 13, 1974, Paris

Devotee means he does not know anything better than Kṛṣṇa, that's all. -Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Room Conversation -- November 4, 1973, Delhi

The devotee means who is always pleasing Kṛṣṇa. He has no other business. That is devotee. -Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Talk with Bob Cohen -- February 27-29, 1972, Māyāpura

Devotee means to hear about Kṛṣṇa, to chant the glories of Kṛṣṇa, to think of Kṛṣṇa, to offer fruits and flowers to Kṛṣṇa. -Śrīla Prabhupāda’s Departure Address -- Los Angeles, July 15, 1974

Devotee means to become fully qualified with all the noble qualities. -Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 20.119-121 -- New York, November 24, 1966

Devotee means he must be sinless.-Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.6.1 -- Madras, January 2, 1976

Devotee, means he is prepared to do anything for God. That is pure devotee. -Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.5.22-30 -- London, September 8, 1971

Devotee means not with four hands or four legs, no. The hands, legs are the same. But his mode of thinking different. That's all. That is devotee. Devotee does not depend on the country, color or religion or circumstance. Devotee means the mind. Anyone who is always thinking of Kṛṣṇa, he is devotee. -Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 6.1.50 -- Detroit, June 16, 1976

Devotee means he's not blind.-Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam1.7.40 -- Vṛndāvana, October 1, 1976

Devotee means he does not ask anything from God.-Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam1.3.7 -- Los Angeles, September 13, 1972

A devotee means who is abiding by the laws given by God. -Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam1.1.2 -- London, August 17, 1971

Devotee means complete spiritual. -Śrīla Prabhupāda, Bhagavad-gītā 4.2, Bombay, March 22, 1974

Devotee means he is firmly convinced about his relationship with God.-Śrīla Prabhupāda, Bhagavad-gītā 4.1-6 -- Los Angeles, January 3, 1969

Devotee means servant—not paid servant—but servant by affection. -Śrīla Prabhupāda, Bhagavad-gītā 4.1 -- Delhi, November 10, 1971

Devotee means he can act anything and everything for the Lord. -Śrīla Prabhupāda, Bhagavad-gītā 4.1 -- Montreal, August 24, 1968

Devotee means one who has engaged his senses cent percent for the service of the Lord, he is devotee, pure devotee. -Śrīla Prabhupāda, Bhagavad-gītā 3.6-10 -- Los Angeles, December 23, 1968

Devotee means although he is very, very powerful, he never thinks that "I am powerful." He thinks that "I am acting simply by the order of the powerful." -Śrīla Prabhupāda, Bhagavad-gītā 2.15 -- London, August 21, 1973

Devotee means to finish all miserable conditions of materialistic life. -Śrīla Prabhupāda, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 4.12.46

Hare Krishna