Saturday, January 31, 2009

Peace, Opulence and Bliss - Part 1

krishna_4 Many of us have heard the wonderful explanations and realizations given by our beloved Guru Maharaj on the song ‘Jaya Raadha Maadhava’. I was fortunate to hear one of them and I have tried my best to transcribe the same for all our pleasure. I can never convey the mood of Maharaj through my writing which is full of inebriates and I very much apologize for the same. It is only out of a sincere wish to bring to record the transcendental words of Maharaj, I have made a puny effort.

The kirtans we sing must not be converted into rituals. The importance of feelings when we sing the kirtans is well understood if we understand one supreme truth. Every one of us without exception has to face Yamaraj as our lives are full of sins. Because we have chanted the holy names a bit here and there, we hope that like Ajamila, Vishnu dutas will arrive. We have seen so many people passing away. Some people pass away very calmly and comfortably. They don’t feel anything. It is just a gradual change. Some people have to struggle. The end must be very comfortable. This is our endeavor and where there are names of Krishna, being non-different from Krishna Himself, they should spread the peaceful attitude in the whole of life. Passion should be decreased completely to the minimum except that we are showing passionate mood in the service of Krishna . In service we have to be active. Otherwise our whole being must be exhibiting by now complete peace and this is how we try to understand the Supreme Absolute Truth. As soon as we chant the Mahamantra or a few lines of the kirtana, all peace is pervaded. The names of the Lord being completely transcendental, they do not have any material inebriates in them. The three modes of material nature are completely absent. We are following this culture for the past 25 or 30 years and now is the time our devotional service should mature. Maturity must be exhibited and by understanding these things we can very well exhibit maturity. Even without understanding, the kirtan gives us peace.

We sing the kirtana, ‘jaya radha maadhava..’ We are very clear in mind that the glorification is the monopoly of the Supreme Absolute Truth. We can never have glorification. We are completely consumed and contaminated by the three modes. Somehow or the other, the major part of the day we should try to come out of the modes and the only way is to glorify the Lord through these kirtans.

We sing ‘jaya yashoda nandana..’ and the literal meaning of ‘Yasoda’ is one who gives us the fame. ‘Yash’ means ‘fame’ and this one of the opulence of the Supreme Lord and this opulence we can never have unless we have unflinching faith in the process and thereby in Krishna . We must cultivate unmoving faith. Our constitutional position being parts and parcels of Krishna , there is no other way but to serve the Absolute truth. We may have any one of the relationships with the Lord out of the five relationships. Shantha, daasya, sakhya, vaatsalya and madhurya. All these relationships can very well be realized just by being peaceful. That is the first relationship.

As soon as we see His energies, unknowingly we become peaceful. Suppose we see the mass of water, in beaches, we feel the peace. There is no reason why we should go there but everybody loves to go there. Somehow or the other we are attracted because the mass of water is His energy and not only that, when we deeply think about it, the sea appears calm and this increases our calm attitude. As son as this calmness is introduced in our lives, nothing disturbs us, and any situation we face, we are cool and there are no ripples in our lives. The unnecessary ripples are caused by the lower modes. There are millions of combinations of the three modes and almost non-stop they trouble us. And every time we have to keep them quiet. This is a continuous endeavor. Srimad Bhagavatham says, ‘grnatas ca sva-ceshtitam’. We accept by our own endeavor.

‘Yashoda’ gives us unparalleled fame and every living entity is struggling for that. I want to be famous; you want to be famous but we do not know that this opulence is given by Mother Yasoda. And why is this opulence given by her? Because she is the mother of Krishna . And we very well know from our experience that cow can only produce calf. Hog will produce hog. Equal species can have the same type of children of the same species. Yasoda must be belonging to Krishna’s species. Unless she is Krishna’s species, He will not accept her as His mother. And Krishna’s species means sat, cit and anand. Eternity is there. Complete knowledge is there and because eternity and knowledge are there, the third thing is bound to be there and it is bliss.

There is an ocean of difference between happiness and bliss. All the living entities who are completely and constantly in touch with Krishna, through His names, through Srila Prabhupada’s literatures and through so much other spiritual infrastructure, their ‘yash’ or fame increases. We may have riches but riches and opulence are completely different. We may own so many material things, but opulence means that with all these facilities, we are unflinchingly attached to the devotional service of Krishna . This devotional service is non different from Krishna. In the spiritual world, the process and the goal are the same. We are discussing about Him and he is very well present here and that is why we are keeping quiet and listening. Real opulence means we are saturated with Krishna and this comes by undeviated attention ( ananya cetaah satatam) and this gives us the opulence of fame. But the conditions required are very serious. In Srimad Bhagavad Gita 8.14, the Lord says,

ananya-cetaah satatam / yo maam smarati nityasah
tasyaaham sulabhah paartha / nitya-yuktasya yoginah

"For one who always remembers Me without deviation, I am easy to obtain, O son of Paartha, because of his constant engagement in devotional service."

Each word in the verse being Krishna Himself are very very potent. Our mind has two qualities. Flickering (cancalam) and unsteady (asthiram).We have to make it steady. Enough of monkey behaviour we had. Now is the time to make it steady. The mind must cooperate with us. As soon as the mind cooperates with us, and we have unflinching faith in devotional service, then that will force us to be completely steady and peaceful. We are not disturbed by the ups and downs of life. Always there will be some waves of the modes of material nature, but people who are unflinchingly attached to devotional service are not affected, and this is the opulence.

Maharaj went on to explain how the opulence brings us bliss and the realization of Krishna and I shall try to post it in the subsequent mails.

The Thief of Time

KrishnaButterThief In Srimad Bhagavatam, the result of not utilizing time for devotional service to the Supreme Lord Krishna is very emphatically stated in the following verse: SB 2.3.17

aayur harati vai pumsaam / udyann astam ca yann asau
tasyarte yat-kshano neeta / uttama-shloka vaartayaa

"Both by rising and by setting, the sun decreases the duration of life of everyone, except one who utilizes the time by discussing topics of the all-good Personality of Godhead."

In his transcendental purport, Srila Prabhupada explains:

"This verse indirectly confirms the greater importance of utilizing the human form of life to realize our lost relationship with the Supreme Lord by acceleration of devotional service. Time and tide wait for no man. So the time indicated by the sunrise and the sunset will be uselessly wasted if such time is not properly utilized for realizing identification of spiritual values. Even a fraction of the duration of life wasted cannot be compensated by any amount of gold."

Very often in devotional service, we always give excuses for not reading Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam.. The main reason we give is "time". 'If only I have more time!!'. The fascinating thing that we discover that when we suddenly have "more time", it is quickly taken up. The "new" time we have is somehow eaten up. It's hard to put our finger on it - material society is such that life has become complicated and unnecessarily busy. We rarely have anyone say that they have plenty of time on their hands. We always complain that there aren't enough hours in a day. Every living entity has exactly the same number of minutes - 1,440 minutes in a day. The truth is that everybody wants more time but everybody has all the time there is. It is the one that the poorest beggar on the street or the most powerful person in the world has exactly the same amount of. Everyone starts each new day with a bag filled with 1440 minutes. The problem is the existence of a "thief" - a thief who steals time from us.

At the start of every new day, a bag full of minutes is delivered to us and at that very moment onwards, the thief of time strikes at our hearts. He will rob us of our valuable time with the Supreme Lord Krishna, to do our daily chanting and reading of scriptures. This thief's name is 'Later', and he has dedicated his 'life' to stealing the living entity's time. Whenever he meets somebody who wants to engage in the process of devotional service, he says, ".. Very good. But not today. Today you should clean your car, spend time with your family, catch up on your sleep". He will urge you to do anything and everything except devotional service - that comes later! The truth is that there is no way for us to progress in devotional service until we deal with this creature. His power lies in his stealth; if you see him you have him beaten.

Therefore, as our beloved Guru Maharaj says: "No matter how small a step towards devotional service - start it now and do not delay." If the task is too great - break it down into small parts. We must be involved in a daily battle with "later" in devotional service. He must not allow us to be robbed of the chance to engage in the transcendental service of the Lord.

In the Bhagavad-gita (2.40) the Lord has explained such contact in the following words: "Endeavors in devotional service are never baffled. Nor is there failure. A slight beginning of such activities is sufficient even to deliver a person from the great ocean of material fears."

Friday, January 30, 2009


SimplicityBigCropMsharp In Bhagavad Gita Chapter 13 verse 8 Lord Krishna while explaining Arjuna about what all comprises to be knowledge says

amaanitvam adambhitvam    / ahimsaa kshaantir aarjavam
aacaaryopaasanaḿ shaucam / sthairyam aatma-vinigrahah

"Humility; pridelessness; nonviolence; tolerance; simplicity; approaching a bona fide spiritual master; cleanliness; steadiness; self-control"  are some of the important qualities which Krishna is declaring to be knowledge.

Here the quality - aarjavam is worth meditating. Srila Prabhupada gives very nice definition for this word in his purport to the above verse. He says - "Simplicity means that without diplomacy one should be so straightforward that he can disclose the real truth even to an enemy."

Our life should be simple. The way we think should be simple. Our speech and actions should be simple. Our interaction with other living entities must also be simple. Only when we are in this position, we will be able to peacefully and blissfully perform devotional service. On the other hand if we are having duplicit nature, then we will be constantly meditating on how to revenge/retaliate other living entities and there will hardly be any room for Krishna in our thoughts, heart or even in our homes.

Devotional service is simple for simple-hearted people and complex for the complicated souls. We can see this practically in children. They are innocent and their hearts are not filled with anarthas like us and so they pick up the process of bhakti at a greater speed than compared to us. I was fortunate to have the association of few young devotees from a village near Chennai and I was casually asking each one of them how many rounds they chant - Those devotees were in the age group of 5 to 12 and each one of them were saying 8,12,16 etc. One boy among them was chanting 40 rounds daily. I was simply surprised when he said that. His friend immediately remarked that he spent all his spare time chanting - and that's why he was able to chant at least 40 rounds. Here I was struggling to chant 16 rounds daily and even on days when I had spare time - I didn't bother to chant extra rounds and even when I did, it indeed requires a great effort to convince my obstinate mind to chant those extra rounds - in spite of knowing the importance of Holy Names.

Another practical experience many of us would have experienced is that children learn the shlokas faster than us. Basic reason being  the children are more eager and receptive to hear about the Lord whereas our minds are not 100% present there when we do it . We think about ‘n’ different things and engage ourselves superficially in this process. Since we keep complicating our lives with so many things, even after years of practice - we are not able to relish the process of chanting or study of scriptures.  So how to improve our fabric of devotional service ?  Maharaj always insists upon giving this valuable gift of bhakti to the next generation - Reality is he very well knows our complex minds and that’s why is insisting on us to take association of simple children and in the process of teaching them shlokas, bhajans etc, we not only get into the habit of studying the scriptures and also practically learn from them how to simply love Krishna. Couple of weeks back in one of the classes, one child was telling me happily that she had invited Krishna for her sister's b'day party. Indeed Krishna would have been very pleased by her loving gesture and I was just wondering how many times I have missed to talk to Krishna with the same loving mood like her. I thank Gurudev and Krishna for the association of such children and hope that I give away all complex thoughts and approach the Lord with simple heart like these children and perform sincere devotional service.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

No Arguments Against Vedic Literature

worship We were fortunate to have the wonderful association of Maharaj in Rajkot. Maharaj gave very illuminating and wonderful explanation on Srimad Bhagavatam verse 1.6.25

etaavad uktvopararaama tan mahad / bhutam nabholingam alingam ishvaram
aham ca tasmai mahataam mahiyase / shirsnaavanaamam vidadhe ‘nukampitah

Then that supreme authority, personified by sound and unseen by eyes, but most wonderful, stopped speaking. Feeling a sense of gratitude, I offered my obeisances unto Him, bowing my head.

Purport: That the Personality of Godhead was not seen but only heard does not make any difference. The Personality of Godhead produced the four Vedas by his breathing and He is seen and realized through the transcendental sound of the Vedas. Similarly, the Bhagavad Gita is the sound representation of the Lord, and there is no difference in identity. The conclusion is that the Lord can be seen and heard by persistent chanting of the transcendental sound.

Anyone who does the transcendental vibration they will never go wrong. Vibrations are very important. By vibrating the verses of Srimad Bhagavatam and Srimad Bhagavad Gita we can achieve perfection in pronouncing the vibrations. This matter is very much settled by the verse 1.6.25 Vibration is the way to see Krishna. This is settled matter. No arguments. Nirnayam – decided matter. No appeal.. If we can develop faith in these transcendental vibrations our devotional service will increase leaps and bounds. We should not object the Vedic literature and that is Vedic culture. It is called ved vakya which is never to be questioned or argued. Each and every phase of the purport is very important and we have to realize these statements.

The whole Srimad Bhagavatam has got a general purpose – It is included in this verse

Each and every canto has got a specific purpose – It is included in this verse.

Each and every chapter has got a specific purpose – It is included in this verse.

Each and every verse has got a specific purpose – It is included in this verse

Each and every word has got a specific purpose – It is included in this verse.

There is no other literature with so much of vast literature available in this planet. It is important to think about these things. Srimad Bhagavatam is exclusively meant for conditioned souls. We are all conditioned souls and also reconditioned. TV/AC/Fridge are reconditioning us always. Therefore in order to get out of this conditioned and reconditioned life this Vedic literature is very important. Nobody can disagree with anything mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatham. We don’t require anything else in this world except Srimad Bhagavatam. We have to have unflinching faith in the Vedic literature. By this process we will increase our devotional service.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Krishna - The All Wonderful Absolute Person

krishna_killing_kansa_hb80 In Srimad Bhagavatam, we find in many places that Krishna is glorified as "adbhuta karmana" (one whose actions are wonderful). In the 10th canto, we come across this word when Sri Sukadeva Goswami recites the Lord's pastimes related to the killing of demons like Putana, Dhenukasura, Aghasura etc. A question came up in my mind, "The Supreme Lord is the creator, maintainer and annihilator of this material world and this activity cannot be done by anyone else. He does all this just by His sankalpa. For such a person, it is not at all a difficult task to destroy the demons who are tiny specks in creation. He is the one who gives powers to these demons. Then why He is called 'adbhuta karmana', just because He kills demons or defeats Jarasandha's army and why Srila Sukadeva Goswami should explain such incidents in great details with great wonder ?" Its like glorifying a great boxing champion as wonderful when he kills a mosquito. The person may actually get offended by this glorification(?). However by the blessings of Maharaj, I came across the answer for the above question in the following shloka of Srimad Bhagavatam (10.50.29)

sthity-udbhavaantam bhuvana-trayasya yah
samihite 'nanta-gunah sva-leelayaa
na tasya citram para-paksha-nigrahas
tathaapi martyaanuvidhasya varnyate

"For Him who orchestrates the creation, maintenance and destruction of the three worlds and who possesses unlimited spiritual qualities, it is hardly amazing that He subdues an opposing party. Still, when the Lord does so, imitating human behavior, sages glorify His acts."

Though the Lord is all powerful and can do anything He likes, even small (from His point of view) deeds such as killing demons are glorified as wonderful because of the following reasons.

  1. For devotees who forget that the Lord is the Absolute Truth (because of their excessive love for Him), these superhuman activities appear wonderful because they see the Lord as their companion and not the Supreme Person.
  2. For others who do not recognize Him as the Absolute Truth and consider Him to be just a powerful human being, these activities sound very wonderful because they cannot be imitated by normal human beings.
  3. For great sages and scholars, the Lord's activities are wonderful because they are completely spiritual (beyond the material modes) and just by hearing them, one can attain liberation from birth and death. Nowhere, we have the instance of a person becoming liberated by hearing somebody's activities. In Bhagavatam, the pastimes of baby Krishna stealing the butter etc in Vrindavan is described in a few shlokas. Everyday many living enitities in this material world steal. But great sages like Sukadev Goswami do not glorify them or record them in the scriptures. Also we cannot attain liberation by listening to our pastimes.
  4. All His activities are wonderful because whatever the Lord does is beneficial to all living entities. When He kills the demons, the demons attain liberation from material sufferings being purified by the Lord's direct touch. People who hear about such activities also become purified and walk straight on the path back to Godhead. In this regard, Srila Prabhupada writes - "God is Absolute. So even His killing is good. When He becomes angry at someone, even His object of anger is blessed". So all His actions are nothing but expression of His compassion towards all living entities. We should submissively study the scriptures with faith to appreciate this fact.

It is because of this reason the Lord makes a solemn declaration in Bhagavad Gita verse 4.9

janma karma ca me divyam / evam yo vetti tattvatah
tyaktvaa deham punar janma / naiti maam eti'so arjuna

One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.

In this regard Maharaj was explaining to us in Rajkot, "Why to think about His creation of this world? If we just see our body, we can understand that Krishna is adbhuta karmanah. Our mouth is the most sophisticated plumbing system. It produces the exact amount of saliva required to digest the food. There is food pipe, wind pipe inside our body. When I eat and breath at the same time, the food never goes to the wind pipe. It is so perfectly arranged. The blood vessels in our body are so much intertwined and they work in perfect co-ordination to ensure continuous pumping of blood throughout our body. In this way, if we just study our body we can understand that Krishna's acts/creation are wonderful. No one can imitate His actions."

All we need to do is to submissively study and hear His glorious activities and by such purification process we can reach His lotus feet.

I pray at the lotus feet of Maharaj and Srila Prabhupada so that I will get some taste and faith in listening to the pastimes of the Supreme Lord and get purified.

Taking Shelter Of Scriptures

Taking Shelter Of Scriptures When we face difficult situations in our lives, and do not know how to handle those situations, we should take shelter of sadhu/spiritual master and submissively inquire from him and learn what needs to be done and what should not be done. During times, when we are not blessed with the physical association of sadhus, we should turn our attention to scriptures bestowed by Supreme Lord, wherein He has very clearly explained the do's and dont's in our lives. Krishna resides as "mantra-murti" in these shastras and mercifully reciprocates to our queries in mind if we learn them with faith.

Srimad Bhagavatam verse 1.1.2 very nicely glorifies the beauty of Bhagavatam and also about the qualifications required for us to understand this great scripture.

dharmah projjhita-kaitavo 'tra paramo nirmatsaraanaam sataam
vedyam vaastavam atra vastu shivadam taapa-trayonmulanam
shrimad-bhaagavate mahaa-muni-krte kim vaa parair ishvarah
sadyo hrdy avarudhyate 'tra krtibhih shushrusubhis tat-kshanaat

"Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhagavata Puraana propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart. The highest truth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all. Such truth uproots the threefold miseries. This beautiful Bhagavatam, compiled by the great sage Vyasadeva [in his maturity], is sufficient in itself for God realization. What is the need of any other scripture? As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhagavatam, by this culture of knowledge the Supreme Lord is established within his heart."

The quality of the person who will be able to understand the message revealed through the scriptures is very clear defined in this verse. Only if we are 100% pure in heart - nirmatsaraanam - non-envious, then we would be able to understand the message of Bhagavatam. We would not be able to gain any kind of knowledge or instruction from the scriptures - either by possessing the scriptures at home, or by reading it in challenging mood. Unless we are simple and straight forward in our thoughts, words and deeds, we will not be able to even touch the scriptures. It is not only important to seek shelter of scriptures, it is equally more important to follow the instructions provided in them.

In verse 16.23 of Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna very nicely explains the position of those who don't follow the scriptural injunctions.

yah shaastra-vidhim utsrjya / vartate kaama kaaratah
na sa siddhim avaapnoti     / na sukham na paraam gatim

He who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme destination.

In his purport to the above verse, Srila Prabhupada very nicely explains the meaning for whimsical nature and also the result of this attitude - "The word 'kaama-kaaratah' is very significant. A person who knowingly violates the rules acts in lust. He knows that this is forbidden, but still he acts. This is called acting whimsically. He knows that this should be done, but still he does not do it; therefore he is called whimsical. Such persons are destined to be condemned by the Supreme Lord. Such persons cannot have the perfection which is meant for the human life."

By the mercy of spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, Sri Krishna and Srimad Bhagavatam - we are provided with all the details of what needs to be done and what should not be done. Even after knowing these instructions, if we are lethargic and negligent in following them - then we are digging our own graves. I pray at the lotus feet of Srila Gurudev to bless me to to take shelter of the scriptures sincerely and to give up this whimsical nature.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Go Green

Grow Trees Now-a-days we see so many people insisting upon saving the environment, growing more trees, "Go-GREEN", etc. Trees are also part of Krishna's creation and killing them mercilessly is also an offense. Srimad Bhagavatam being amala-puran and practical theistic science for people of all ages - very nicely explains the importance of preserving trees.  When Maharaj Parikshit inquired about the potency of the Supreme Lord, by which he brought out the secondary creation, Sukadeva Goswami explained to him about the activities of king Prachinabarhi and his ten sons Pracetas - who were bestowed with responsibility of increasing the population. The Pracetas underwent long austerities under water and when they emerged from water, they saw the entire surface of the world covered by trees. Somehow they were annoyed by this and using the mystic power gained by their austerities - started burning the trees to ashes using fire coming from their mouth. When Soma - king of the trees and predominating deity of the moon saw their misuse of powers, he advised them very nicely - not to misuse their anger in destruction of trees which are created by Krishna for a very special purpose. In verses 6.4.7 through 15 of Srimad Bhagavatam, King Soma very nicely insists on the importance of trees.

hand_plant Soma says that duty of government or king is not only to protect the citizens, but also other living entities like animals and trees. No living entity should be killed mercilessly. He also explains how fruits and flowers of trees serve as food for birds, insects - grass and legless entities serve as food for the cows and buffaloes and food-grains serve as food for human-beings. In verse 6.4.12-13 he says

tokaanaam pitarau bandhu / drshah pakshma striyaah patih
patih prajaanaam bhikshunaam / grhy ajnaanaam budhah suhrt

"As the father and mother are the friends and maintainers of their children, as the eyelid is the protector of the eye, as the husband is the maintainer and protector of a woman, as the householder is the maintainer and protector of beggars, and as the learned is the friend of the ignorant, so the king is the protector and giver of life to all his subjects. The trees are also subjects of the king. Therefore they should be given protection."

antar deheshu bhutaanaam / aatmaaste harir ishvarah
sarvam tad-dhishnyam ikshadhvam / evam vas toshito hy asau

circle_of_friends "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is situated as the Super-soul within the cores of the hearts of all living entities, whether moving or nonmoving, including men, birds, animals, trees and, indeed, all living entities. Therefore you should consider every body a residence or temple of the Lord. By such vision you will satisfy the Lord. You should not angrily kill these living entities in the forms of trees."

If we are unable to help anyone, at least we must refrain from hurting them. So even if we don't plant and grow trees, let us not indulge in the sinful act of killing them but rather protect the existing trees in whatever way we can for His pleasure.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

How To Relish Transcendental Vibration?

Transcendental-meditatiion Chanting of the holy names, studying Srimad Bhagavatam and Srimad Bhagavd Gita involves transcendental vibrations. To perceive this transcendental vibration is very difficult for neophytes like me. Many times we enjoy kritans sung in new tunes. But when sung in normal tunes we may not. This shows that we are not truly relishing the transcendental vibration of the holy names. This difficulty can be overcome by being satisfied in our material things. In this connection, I would like to share one important shloka which our Guru Maharaj had instructed us when we were in Rajkot last month.

To relish the transcendental vibrations we should remember the verse S.B 8.19.26.,so that our mind is focused on the vibrations.

yadrcchaa-laabha-tushtasya / tejo viprasya vardhate
tat prashaamyaty asantoshaad / ambhasevaashushukshanih

"A brahmana who is satisfied with whatever is providentially obtained is increasingly enlightened with spiritual power, but the spiritual potency of a dissatisfied brahmana decreases, as fire diminishes in potency when water is sprinkled upon it."

Tej means spiritual potency. The spiritual potency increases as we are satisfied in our situation. We should be completely satisfied and never blame anything. We are suffering for our own activities which we have done.

bhunjaana evaatma aatma krtam vipaakam

- (SB 10.14.8) This is our condition. For the reactions of our activities we suffer. Either enjoyment or miserable condition.This is vipaakam (reactions to our activities). Once we come to this conclusion then we close the material accounts by being satisfied. If we are not satisfied then material accounts continue, but then we don't want to continue our material accounts. It must be stopped or reduced to a minimum. This is santosh.

We are waiting to see the Lord at the time of death, whatever condition we are in - whether we are sinful or not. The devotees are not scared of death instead they are happy to see the Lord. That’s why their spiritual potency does not decrease. On the contrary, the spiritual potency increases because of santosh. To get santosh we should accept the material things as they are, and again that which cannot be changed should be accepted as such.

In shastras it is mentioned

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

"One should be always satisfied with these three things - their spouse, the food, and the amount of wealth they obtained. One should never be satisfied with these three things - the amount of scriptural study, the amount of chanting and the amount of charity they performed."

In these three things we should be satisfied - Svadhaare, Bhojane, Dhane. We should be satisfied with our life partner,food and money - For satisfaction gives all opulences. If we are dissatisfied in these three things then our spiritual potency decreases. This is asantosh. Then we start hankering. With this hankering we cannot relish the transcendental vibrations. The gist is that in order to relish the transcendental vibration we should be satisfied completely.These instructions should continuously remain in our mind, so that this material account is completely closed.

I pray to the Lotus feet of our Gurudev, Prabhupad and Sri Krishna that i remain satisfied in all aspects so that i could relish the transcendental vibrations.

What Is In A Name?

fo2u0 It is said that the sweetest sound for any person is the sound of one’s own name. Whenever we hear someone talking about us mentioning our name, immediately we become attentive. Nowadays the parents are so crazy to see that their children’s name is on the top of the list that the majority of parents name their child beginning with the alphabet ‘A’ so that their child’s name will be in the top of the list at least alphabetically, if not by any other merit. We are mad about numerology and give all kinds of meaningless names to our children without giving proper thoughts. Even if we give them a nice name, we tend to abbreviate it in so many crazy ways and call them in that way. On the day of initiation we are given a Krishna daasya naama (name of Krishna’s servant) and even after being so fortunate, we do not endeavor to remember or call by this initiated name but continue with the karmic name. I came to understand what a great misfortune it is to do like this, after I went through the pastime of Ajamila. We find that Ajamila named his youngest son as Narayana and he was very much attached to this child. Because the child’s name was Narayana, the old man always chanted the holy name of Narayana.

While describing the life of Ajamila to Maharaj Parikshit Sukadev Goswami says in Srimad Bhagavatam 6.1.26 -

bhunjaanah prapiban khaadan / baalakam sneha- yantritah
bhojayan paayayan mudho / na vedaagatam antakam

"When Ajamila chewed food and ate it, he called the child to chew and eat, and when he drank he called the child to drink also. Always engaged in taking care of the child and calling his name, Naarayana, Ajamila could not understand that his own time was now exhausted and that death was upon him."

Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport to SB 6.1.25 that although Ajamila was referring to the small child and not to the original Narayana, the name of Narayana is so powerful that even by chanting his son’s name he was becoming purified. Prabhupada also mentions that Ajamila was saying, ‘Narayana, please come eat this food. Narayana, please come drink this milk.’ Somehow or the other therefore he was attached to the name Narayana. This is called ajnaana sukriti. Then in his purport to SB 6.1.26 Srila Prabhupada makes a very very powerful statement which is worth remembering by all of us. Although calling for his son, he was unknowingly chanting the name of Narayana, and the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is so transcendentally powerful that his chanting was being counted and recorded.

How much kind the Lord is to the conditioned souls like us? This reminds us of the statement by our beloved Guru maharaj , ‘whatever condition you are in, please chant on japa mala beads. If you cannot chant on the beads, then at least chant on your fingers and if you cannot chant on your fingers, at least start chanting and KRISHNA WILL COUNT for you.’

Ajamila was engaged in so much abominable sinful activities and the question arises in our mind as to how he could name his son as ‘Narayana’ to become eligible for all this fortune. Srila Prabhupada gives a wonderful explanation in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatham 6.2.32

‘In the beginning of his life Ajamila was certainly very pure, and he associated with devotees and brahmanas.; because of that pious activity, even though he was fallen, he was inspired to name his son Narayana. Certainly this was due to good counsel given from within by the Supreme Personality Of Godhead. The Lord, who is situated in everyone’s heart, is so kind that if one has ever rendered service to Him, the Lord never forgets him. Thus the Lord, from within, gave Ajamila the opportunity to name his youngest son Narayana, so that in affection he would constantly call ‘Narayana! Narayana!’ and thus be saved from the most fearful and dangerous condition at the time of his death. Such is the mercy of Krishna. In our Krishna consciousness movement we therefore change a devotee’s name to a form that reminds him of Vishnu. If at the time of death the devotee can remember his own name, such as Krishna dasa or Govinda dasa, he can be saved from the greatest danger. Therefore the change of names at the time of initiation is essential. The Krishna consciousness movement is so meticulous that it gives one a good opportunity to remember Krishna somehow or other.’

Friday, January 23, 2009

Importance of Recitation

krishna Last month when we went to Shree Shree Radha Neela Madhava dham, our spiritual master was insisting on the importance of recitation of shlokas. Maharaj said that recitation has a subtle and sublime effect on us. But we fail to understand the importance of the same and keep ignoring it or do it in a very sporadic and mechanical manner. We also tend to do the recitation in a very whimsical manner - when we are pressed down by problems  or when our near and dear ones are sick etc...Such behavior only depicts our fruitive attitude. Maharaj said that if all the family members are engaged in devotional service, then time should be adjusted in such a way that each member of the family does the  recitation for significant time in a day - so that the recitation continues through-out the day in the house. The effect of such auspicious vibration, will purify not only our minds - but also the whole environment around us.

We tend to forget the value of these statements. So to hammer this point on our dull brains, Maharaj insisted that whenever we recite Bhagavad Gita and Bhagavatam, we should make it a habit to recite the following two verses along with their translations as they very nicely brings out the glories of recitation.

nivrtta-tarshair upagiyamaanaad
bhavaushadhaac chrotra-mano-’bhiraamaat
ka uttamashloka-gunaanuvaadaat
pumaan virajyeta vinaa pashughnaat

"Glorification of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is performed in the parampara system; that is, it is conveyed from spiritual master to disciple. Such glorification is relished by those no longer interested in the false, temporary glorification of this cosmic manifestation. Descriptions of the Lord are the right medicine for the conditioned soul undergoing repeated birth and death. Therefore, who will cease hearing such glorification of the Lord except a butcher or one who is killing his own self?"

Srimad Bhagavatam 1.6.25 Srila Narada Muni, while explaining to Vyaasadev about his first meeting with Supreme Lord says

etaavad uktvo pararaama tan mahad
bhutam nabholingam alingam ishvaram
aham ca tasmair mahataam mahiyase
shirshnaava naamam vidadhe anukampitah

"Then the Supreme authority personified by sound, unseen by eyes, yet most wonderful, stopped speaking. Feeling a sense of gratitude, I offered my obeisances unto Him, by bowing my head."

In his purport to the above verse Srila Prabhupada says - "That the Personality of Godhead was not seen, but only heard does not make any difference. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, produced the four Vedas by His breathing and the Lord can be seen and realized through the transcendental sound of the Vedas. Similarly the Bhagavad Gita is the sound incarnation of the Lord and there is no difference in identity. The conclusion is that the Lord can be seen and heard by persistent chanting of the transcendental sound."

I pray that I remember this instruction of Gurudev and practice it daily in my life and chant the shlokas lovingly for His pleasure.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Health tips (health, personality, society, life)

apple Health:

  1. Drink plenty of water.
  2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
  3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
  4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
  5. Make time to practice meditation, yoga, and prayer.
  6. Play more games.
  7. Read more books than you did in 2008.
  8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
  9. Sleep for 7 hours.
  10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk every day. And while you walk, smile.


  1. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  2. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
  3. Don't over do. Keep your limits.
  4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  5. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
  6. Dream more while you are awake.
  7. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  8. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your resent happiness.
  9. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
  10. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
  11. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  12. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
  13. Smile and laugh more.
  14. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree..


  1. Call your family often.
  2. Each day give something good to others.
  3. Forgive everyone for everything.
  4. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
  5. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
  6. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  7. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.


  1. Do the right thing!
  2. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
  3. GOD heals everything.
  4. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  5. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
  6. The best is yet to come.
  7. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
  8. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Commanding the Lord

The scriptures recommend that we should become the servants of the servant of Lord Krishna. But if we really become servants of the servants, then, instead of us serving the Lord, the Lord serves us beyond all our imaginations. Of course this is an embarrassment for pure devotees; their motive of service is not to get service from the Lord, but the Lord being bought over by the unmotivated service of His sincere devotees, does anything for their welfare. In Srimad Bhagavatam 1.16.16, there is a list of menial service that Lord Krishna did to the Pandavas which we cannot normally imagine the Supreme Lord to do for anyone.

saarathya paarashada sevana sakhya dautya
viraasanaanugamana stavana pranaamaan
snigdeshu paandushu jagat pranatim ca vishnor
bhaktim karoti nr-patis caranaaravinde

J-Radha-Govinda4-v "Maharaja Parikshit heard that out of His causeless mercy Lord Kirshna [Vishnu], who is universally obeyed, rendered all kinds of service to the malleable sons of Pandu by accepting posts ranging from chariot driver to president to messenger, friend, night watchman, etc., according to the will of the Pandavas, obeying them like a servant and offering obeisances like one younger in years. When he heard this, Maharaja Parikshit became overwhelmed with devotion to the lotus feet of the Lord."

Lord Krishna performed services like:

1. Sarathy - He served as the Charioteer of Arjuna in the Battle. Being a charioteer is one of the most menial service one can do. In the battlefield, since the fight will be so intense and fast that the fighter will not have time to tell the charioteer which way to turn. So, many times, the fighter commands the charioteer with signs using his legs hitting the back of the charioteer.Krishna took such a low position of service to serve Arjuna in the battlefield. At the end of everyday, Krishna would also feed and bathe the horses and maintain the Rath clean for Arjuna.

2. Paarashada - Yudhishtira Maharaj wanted the Lord to preside over the Rajasuya ceremony and worship Him. Without any hesitation the Lord accepted the request of the Pandavas and in the process He delivered Sishupala who did not like Krishna being worshiped in that ceremony.

3. Sakhya - The Lord acted as the intimate friend of the Pandavas, especially Arjuna. During informal interactions, Arjuna would often deal with the Lord as if He is his side-kick, but Krishna would always enjoy such informal interactions wherein Arjuna and the other Pandavas would forget the opulence of the Lord and deal with Him as if He is one among them.

4. Dautya - When every attempt failed to stop the war, the Lord volunteered to go to Duryodhana as a messenger on behalf of the Pandavas begging at least 5 villages for them so that there would not be unnecessary loss of lives on either sides. In that process He was even insulted by Duryodhana but the fact is that the Lord was willing to go to any extent to serve His pure devotees.

5. Viraasana - Once the battle is over for the day, both the camps will do strategic planning for the next day's fight. During that time, the Lord would act as a night watchman for the Pandavas camp so that the spies won't sneak in from the opposition camp to learn about their next day's strategy. He was doing this to protect the Pandavas at any cost.

6. Anugamana - Krishna was always following the instructions of Yudhishtira Maharaj, Kunti Maharani, Vidura etc even though He is the almighty Lord.

7. Stavana - Whenever the Lord went to meet the Pandavas, He would says glorifying prayers to them and greet them lovingly, eventhough it should have been the other way round.

8. Pranaamaan - The Lord was offering obeisances to the Pandavas whenever He met them.

He did all these to the Pandavas only because they were malleable to the will of the Lord. They were willing to act in whatever way the Lord desired. The interesting word we should observe in this connection is jagat-pranatim - The whole world is obeying the Lord, but the Lord is obeying His sincere servants.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bhakti - The Only Way to Realize Krishna

image001 In our day to day life, we come across so many kinds of incidents both in our lives as well as in the external world. If we try to comprehend the reasons for these things using our mind, or try to manipulate why Krishna has allowed these things, it will simply lead to bewilderment. Our senses are limited and Krishna is unlimited - so we can never judge or ascertain Krishna's actions.

In the 4th Mantra of Sri Isopanishad it is said

anejad ekam manaso javiyo / nainad devaa aapnuvan purvam arshat
tad dhaavato 'nyaan atyeti tishthat / tasminn apo maatarishvaa dadhaati

"Although fixed in His abode, the Personality of Godhead is swifter than the mind and can overcome all others running. The powerful demigods cannot approach Him. Although in one place, He controls those who supply the air and rain. He surpasses all in excellence."

There are few points we can learn from the above verse:

i) Although fixed in His abode - It means that though Krishna is fixed in one place, localized and the greatest, He can be simultaneously omni-present.A very good example of this is found when the Lord stood before Kunti mata as she was glorifying him. However,at the very moment, Uttara mata shouted and called out to Krishna as the Brahmastara was about to kill Parikshit Maharaj in her womb. The Lord was still standing before Kunti Mata but simultaneously he covered the child with his own energy and protected Parikshit Maharaj. Also during His pastimes in Dwaraka with His queens, with His friends in Vrindavan and in so many other places we find the Lord exhibiting His omnipresent nature - though He eternally continues to reside in His Supreme abode. This act of the Lord is inconceivable by mental speculation and unexplainable by material standards. This is due to our limited understanding and potency to understand the Lord's actions.

ii) The personality of Godhead is swifter than the mind and can overcome all others running - Our mind is supposed to be swifter than our actions. But this verse clearly points out Krishna is swifter than the mind. Since Krishna is the Supreme personality of Godhead, He is the fastest and the most excellent. No one is greater or equal to Him. He can do anything He wants. He is the cause of all causes. It is stated by the Lord personally that He is the cause of all the demigods and sages. Even the demigods and great sages cannot understand Krishna as their energies are limited.

Glorifying these potencies of Supreme Lord, Prajapati Daksha prays in Srimad Bhagavatam verse (6.4.29) :-

yad yan niruktam vacasaa nirupitam
dhiyaakshabhir vaa manasota yasya
maa bhut svarupam guna-rupam hi tat tat
sa vai gunaapaaya-visarga-lakshanah

"Anything expressed by material vibrations, anything ascertained by material intelligence and anything experienced by the material senses or concocted within the material mind is but an effect of the modes of material nature and therefore has nothing to do with the real nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Supreme Lord is beyond the creation of this material world, for He is the source of the material qualities and creation. As the cause of all causes, He exists before the creation and after the creation. I wish to offer my respectful obeisances unto Him."

Daksha very carefully points out that material designations cannot be names of the worshipable Lord: yad yan niruktam vacasaa nirupitam. Nirukta refers to the Vedic dictionary. One cannot properly understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead merely by picking up expressions from a dictionary. In praying to the Lord, Daksha does not wish material names and forms to be the objects of his worship; rather, he wants to worship the Lord, who existed before the creation of material dictionaries and names. As confirmed in the Vedas, yato vaaco nivartante/ apraapya manasaa saha: the name, form, attributes and paraphernalia of the Lord cannot be ascertained through a material dictionary. However, if one reaches the transcendental platform of understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he becomes well acquainted with everything, material and spiritual

In the above verse, Kind Daksha clearly tells us that we cannot understand Krishna through the process of mental speculation or using our mind. If we try to speculate about Him, then Krishna will be illusive to us. The Lord is Supreme Pure and we are completely impure. The only way we can understand the Lord is through the purificatory process of Bhakti which is non-different from the Lord. So instead of speculating the reasons for each and every happenings using our mind, let us simply accept His Supremacy and simply endeavor to act in a manner pleasing to Him.

Helpful tips on building a household budget (and sticking to it!)

budget green

  1. Be realistic. Sure, we could all save a bundle if we didn't have to eat or entertain ourselves. You can cut your grocery bill by up to 15% or so, but a 25% or more reduction in spending is just unrealistic. Plan on spending some money on entertainment, everybody needs some reward.
  2. You're budgeting your money to save money. You're doing this for a reason- make it count. Try to save at least 5% of your income each month.
  3. Track your actual spending. Don't fall into the trap of setting up a detailed budget and then forget to track against it. Track your spending daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly, hourly, whatever- just make sure you're tracking what you actually spend!
  4. Make a list of free things to do each month. A concert in the park, hiking on the weekend, volunteer time at a soup kitchen. Be creative.
  5. Correcting bad spending habits. You've invested your hard earned money into a budget spreadsheet or budget software, now make it pay off. How do you correct bad spending habits? Discipline and learning from your past mistakes.
  6. Plan for the unexpected. Make sure you put aside some emergency funds for unexpected events (medical bills, automobile repair, loss of employment, etc.)
  7. Don't panic. If you spend more than you make in a given month, treat it as a lesson learned, not the end of the world.
  8. Reward yourself. Try to reward yourself at the end of each month for a job well done. This will help you stick to your goals in the future.
  9. Stick with simple budgeting tools. Don't get lost with the latest and greatest budget software that has the most bells and whistles. The more robust the budget program, the more confusing. Keep it simple.
  10. Don't let your budget rule your life. The world is stressful enough today, it doesn't need any help from you. Stick to your budget as best you can, learn from your mistakes and try to improve every month.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Procrastinate And Perish

10-1-07sunrise2 In Srimad Bhagavad Gita, while describing the worker in the mode of ignorance, Lord Shri Krishna says in 18.28

ayuktah praakrtah stabdhah / shato naishkrtiko ‘lasah
Vishaadi dirgha- sutri ca / kartaa taamasa ucyate

"The worker who is always engaged in work against the injunctions of the scripture, who is materialistic, obstinate, cheating and expert in insulting others, and who is lazy, always morose and procrastinating is said to be a worker in the mode of ignorance."

‘Dirgha-sutri as meaning a long thread. Supposing the newspapers are lying here, within few minutes we can clear them. But we do not clear it and then every time we see the newspapers, we keep saying, ‘it is to be done. Tomorrow I will do it’. Or otherwise we ask so many people to do it. What can be done in three minutes, we keep on postponing to tomorrow and tomorrow never comes. Tomorrow will be today again. This is the long thread and this attitude has to be avoided. That which is to be done, should be done immediately. Procrastination is the thief of time. As soon as we postpone, so much breath is wasted ordering others. It really steals our time.

Srimad Bhagavad Gita gives us the direction. At the moment we are without direction. Then how can we go to the destination? Suppose a steamer is there, there will be a sail. If we open the sail, we will be dragged in the direction of the wind. If the sail is not opened, the boat will go hither and thither. Our sails are completely closed. So again and again we are in birth, death, old age and disease. There is no sail and we don’t have the time to spread the sail. And we do not have time to take advantage of the direction of the wind when it is favourable. At the moment, the wind is favourable to us. The cupboards are full, but we are lamenting. Why? Because our sails are closed. We keep on saying, I will open the sail tomorrow. But who knows, tomorrow, the direction of the wind may change and as soon as the direction of the wind changes, we start blaming the wind. ‘Ah! I wanted to open the sail. But the wind is not favourable.’ But when it was favourable, why did you not do it? This is procrastination.

Every one of us is a dirga sutri. Unless we are forced, we will not do the material activity and unless we are extremely forced, we will not do the spiritual activities. In the beginning force is required. The urgency is that we should utilise the time when the winds are favourable. Now prasadam is there, bathing facilities are there, bed is there, tables are there, light is there, everything is there but we are procrastinating. Then in miserable conditions we blame the whole world, except us. This tendency has got to be stopped.

Any work has to be done immediately and finished off never to be left for the next second. When you are getting out of the house, if there is any impediment on the pathway, we immediately clear it. We don’t step over it and go. If we do that, then again the next time we get out, the same impediment is there. So better clear it off for once and all. Then we become completely free to be with Srimad Bhagavatham and Bhagavad gita.

Material activities cannot be ignored because in kaliyuga we require to perform them for our maintenance and so many other things. Expertise in material activity is the spiritualization of material activity. Whatever activity we do, that activity has to be performed so very nicely, that the employer or customer whoever it is, should be completely pleased with us. This pleasing effect is Krishna. Bliss is flowing from Him. As soon as we are pleased with the dealings between us, that is Krishna. If we perform the activities very clearly, thinking that we are dealing with Krishna, seeing Krishna everywhere, then the activity becomes relishable. You are happy and the persons who come in contact with you, they are dancing. That is the spiritualization of activities.

In the spiritual activities, because the results are not tangible, we postpone the activity for the whole of our life and the whole life time passes away. Procrastination is a thief of our time and a thief has got to be imprisoned so that it doesn’t come in to our life again. Lord Brahma’s life time is only a blink in the eternal time and our life time is not even a blink and hence we have to be very serious about these things.

The Debt Owed to the Mother

vivekananda Once a youth asked Swami Vivekananda, “It is said that to repay a mother’s debt is difficult. Why is that so?”

In his reply, Swami Vivekananda asked a counter question, “Do you want a practical answer to your query?”

“Yes, Your Holiness!”

“Fine! Take some courage. Pick up that stone lying there, tie it onto your belly and go to your office. Meet me in the evening after you return.”

Imagine the plight of one who has to work with a 2 to 3 kg stone attached to his stomach.

He returned in the evening, exhausted, and reported to Vivekananda, “I have gone through a veritable ordeal in order to get the answer. Now please enlighten me about the debt owed to the mother.”

“When did you tie the stone?”

“Early in the morning.”

“So, it has not been more than a day, right?”


“You became tired in just one day while your mother carried you for months together. Just imagine, how difficult it must have been for her? But she never complained. Do you need any further practical answer?“


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Evaporation of Miseries

682643_58228025_1 In the second chapter of Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Shri Arjuna is asking Shri Krishna about the symptoms of a transcendentally situated personality. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is clearly answering this question by explaining the qualifications of such a personality and I was listening to a lecture given by our beloved Maharaj on one of the qualifications from Srimad Bhagavad Gita 2.56 and I am summarising herewith a few of the points spoken by Maharaj.

duhkheshv anudvigna-manaah / sukheshu vigata-sprhah
vita-raaga-bhaya-krodah / sthita-dhir munir ucyate

"One who is not disturbed in mind even amidst the threefold miseries or elated when there is happiness, and who is free from attachment, fear and anger, is called a sage of steady mind."

Maharaj was telling that it is very difficult to come to the conclusion that in both happiness and misery, we should become very steady. It is nearly impossible in this age because this age is particularly meant for activities which are increasing the sense gratification and as soon as there is some impediment into it, we become angry and agitated. Here Krishna advises us that if we can cultivate Krishna consciousness in our life, then when there is misery we won't be miserable. One thing we have to understand is that everything is under the control of Krishna and as soon as we remember this control of the Supreme Authority, then whatever comes, we take it as His mercy and He never does anything wrong for us. It may appear to us that this is not good for me, but in the end it proves to be a very nice thing for us. For a few moments or few months we may feel what Krishna is doing with me. But later everything becomes clear for us.

Sudama was completely poor and he was an intimate friend of Lord Krishna but he was not at all dissatisfied with his condition and because he was equal minded in poverty too, in the end, Krishna gave him so much that he got all the opulences. On the other side, there were the two sons of Kuvera - Manigriva and Nalakuvera. As we know, rich man’s son gets easy money and as soon as the riches are there and they see that they are going to inherit the father’s property then three things follow.

  1. stri – illicit connection with women
  2. dyutam – gambling
  3. aasavam – intoxication

These three things are there without fail, when easy money is there. Once in order to enjoy, they entered into the Kailasha gardens and were playing in the waters of the lake, completely intoxicated along with some girls. And it so happened by their destiny, that Narada muni passed that way. They were completely shameless and did not even care for Narada muni and they remained naked. Those who drink wine, they completely forget themselves and their lives are described in Srimad Bhagavad Gita 16.7 as

pravrttim ca nivrttim ca / janaa na vidur aasuraah
na shaucam naapi caacaro / na satyam teshu vidyate

"Those who are demoniac do not know what is to be done and what is not to be done. Neither cleanliness nor proper behavior nor truth is found in them."

The mentality of persons intoxicated with riches is wonderfully spoken by the Lord in Srimad Bhagavad Gita 16.13-15:

The demoniac person thinks: “So much wealth do I have today, and I will gain more according to my schemes. So much is mine now, and it will increase in the future, more and more. He is my enemy, and I have killed him, and my other enemies will also be killed. I am the lord of everything. I am the enjoyer. I am perfect, powerful and happy. I am the richest man, surrounded by aristocratic relatives. There is none so powerful and happy as I am. I shall perform sacrifices, I shall give some charity, and thus I shall rejoice.” In this way, such persons are deluded by ignorance.

When Narada muni saw that these 2 boys were behaving like trees standing naked, he cursed them to accept the body of the trees. By the causeless mercy of Narada muni, they became the yamalarjuna trees in the courtyard of Nanda maharaj and they were delivered by Krishna. The point is that if we do not behave properly, then we are going to glide down. Intoxicated by riches, if we ignore the saintly elderly persons, then the horrible results awaits us. That is why Krishna advises us that in miserable conditions we should not be disturbed at all. When we are in nice situations, we should not be elated, as this elation will throw us into bad activities.

Nobody really can escape the miseries and we all have 7 problems (birth, death, old age, disease, adhibautic, adhyatmic, adhidaivic) in front of us. These 7 problems are inevitable and there is no cure for it.

Krishna advises us to get attached to Him and all these miseries even though inevitable become happily bearable. Without Krishna we cannot face the misery. That is why Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Prabhupada insist us that we chant the holy names of Krishna. Communion with the Lord through the transcendental sound vibration is the complete perfect way out of our miseries. If we take advantage of these transcendental vibrations, then we cannot go wrong at all. In the same way, if we learn a few verses and we sing them, we become completely elevated from the material platform to the spiritual platform. As soon as we speak a verse from Bhagavad Gita, we are speaking out Krishna. As soon as we get in touch with the whole spirit Krishna, our mind leaves the limited boundary and there is complete evaporation of miseries.

Importance of Arcanam

gita-005b While explaining about the nine process of devotional service Prahlad Maharaj says in Srimad Bhagavatam verse 7.5.23 as follows..

shri-prahraada uvaaca

shravanam kirtanam vishnuh / smaranam paada-sevanam
arcanam vandanam daasyam / sakhyam aatma-nivedanam
iti pumsaarpitaa vishnau / bhaktis cen nava-lakshanaa
kriyeta bhagavaty addhaa / tan manye 'dhitam uttamam

Prahlada Maharaja said: Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Vishnu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one's best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind and words) — these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service. One who has dedicated his life to the service of Krishna through these nine methods should be understood to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge.

Among the above nine process - arcanam means worshiping the Deity. Deity worship is very essential for householders. The bliss and benefit of having Deity at home can only be experienced individually and indeed cannot be expressed in few words. Deities regulate our life and force our dirty, lazy minds to keep things clean. They eliminate the feeling of voidness in the home and our lives and keeps us going at all times. We remember our Maharaj giving the example of how even an adult feels scared to enter a big hall when its dark - whereas if we have Deity of Lord, even a small child enters the hall bravely without any fear. Such is the power and potency of the Deity. The process and mood with which we should worship the Deity is very nicely explained by His Divine Grace in his purport to the above verse.

He says - "Especially for householder devotees who are opulent in material possessions, the path of Deity worship is strongly recommended. An opulent householder devotee who does not engage his hard-earned money in the service of the Lord is called a miser. One should not engage paid brahmanas to worship the Deity. If one does not personally worship the Deity but engages paid servants instead, he is considered lazy, and his worship of the Deity is called artificial. An opulent householder can collect luxurious paraphernalia for Deity worship, and consequently for householder devotees the worship of the Deity is compulsory."

Having Deity at home is to revive our lost relationship with the Supreme Lord. So understanding this, we should serve the Deities with our own endeavor and not employ others for serving Them. If we keep servants for serving our Deities at home, then even after millions of birth, we will not be able to revive our relationship with Him. We might very well see that even in case of our own relatives like parents, grand-parents or our children, the loving reciprocation which we experience, the satisfaction which we get when we serve them directly is much more than when we employ care-takers for the same.

Our hunger cannot be satisfied, if we ask someone else to eat for us. Similarly we will never remember Krishna - if  we keep delegating to others, even the basic service which we are supposed to do Him. Ambarsih Maharaj was the king of the whole planet and had so many people under his control. But still He used to clean the temple with his own hands (karau harer mandira-maarjanaadishu - SB 9.4.18-20), bathe the Deities, offer flowers to Them, perform pooja etc.

We are nothing when compared to Ambarish Maharaj's powerful position. So let us atleast sincerely endeavor to serve our Deities at home to the best of our capabilities. Indeed the only way to control our wavering senses, is to engage them in the service of Deity who is non-different from the Lord of Senses - Hrshikesha.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Whom To Invite

28465_f520 Recently I came across a following story which very nicely tells what level of importance needs to be given to wealth, success and love. Once a woman came out of her house and saw 3 old men with long white beards sitting in her front yard. She did not recognize them. She said "I don't think I know you, but you must be hungry. Please come in and have something to eat."

"Is the man of the house home?", they asked.

"No", she replied. "He's out."

"Then we cannot come in", they replied.

In the evening when her husband came home, she told him what had happened. "Go tell them I am home and invite them in!" The woman went out and invited the men in.

"We do not go into a house together," they replied.

"Why is that?" she asked.

One of the old men explained: "His name is Wealth," he said pointing to one of his friends, and said pointing to another one,"He is Success, and I am Love." Then he added, "Now go in and discuss with your husband which one of us you want in your home."

The woman went in and told her husband what was said. Her husband was overjoyed. "How nice!!", he said. "Since that is the case, let us invite Wealth. Let him come and fill our home with wealth!"

His wife disagreed. "My dear, why don't we invite Success?"

Their daughter was listening from the other corner of the house. She jumped in with her own suggestion: "Would it not be better to invite Love? Our home will then be filled with love!"

"Let us heed to our daughter's advice," said the husband to his wife. "Go out and invite Love to be our guest." The woman went out and asked the 3 old men, "Which one of you is Love? Please come in and be our guest." Love got up and started walking toward the house. The other 2 also got up and followed him.

Surprised, the lady asked Wealth and Success: "I only invited Love, Why are you coming in?"

The old men replied together: "If you had invited Wealth or Success, the other two of us would've stayed out, but since you invited Love, wherever He goes, we go with him. Wherever there is Love, there is also Wealth and Success!!!!!!"

The word "Love" is being used very loosely and rampantly in this misguided civilization. The point is that love is present, but it is a perverted form of love. Why ? Because this material world is a reflection of the spiritual world and thereby everything is topsy turvy and it is not eternal. This does not mean that we don't know how to love and what to love.

In Caitanya-cartitamrta (Madhya 22.107) it is said "Pure love for Krishna is eternally established in the hearts of living entities. It is not something to be gained from another source. When the heart is purified by hearing and chanting, the living entity naturally awakens."

Nectar of Instruction Text 4 shows the right path :

dadaati pratigrhnaati / guhyam aakhyaati prcchati
bhunkte bhojayate caiva / sad-vidham priiti-lakshanam

There are six kinds of activities :

  1. giving charity to the devotees
  2. accepting from the devotees whatever they may offer in return
  3. opening one's mind to the devotees
  4. inquiring from them about the confidential service of the Lord
  5. honoring prasada, or spiritual food, given by the devotees
  6. feeding the devotees with prasada.

"The International Society for Krishna Consciousness has been established to facilitate these six kinds of loving exchanges between devotees."

He further adds : "The life of the Krishna conscious society is nourished by these six types of loving exchange among the members, therefore people must be given the chance to associate with the devotees of ISKCON because simply by reciprocating in the six ways mentioned above an ordinary man can fully revive his dormant Krishna consciousness."

So Whom should we invite? The answer is we must invite Krishna. Will He come by just mere utterance of invitation. No. We have to invite with LOVE. One an only way is by sincerely calling out

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

This is the only way to purify our existence. I sincerely pray to our beloved Maharaj to bestow upon me his love and blessings which will allow me to chant lovingly.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Supreme Lord's Will is Supreme

krishna21 Atheistic persons, in order to avoid Krishna consciousness, in order to avoid Krishna, the Supreme Person, they push forward the theory that life is caused by matter. But that is not the fact. It is Krishna who has entered this material world and He is supervising all the actions and reactions of this material world. Therefore it is moving. Foolish persons, they are thinking that material world is by chance and the prakrti is working automatically. Prakrti is jada. Jada-prakrti. without any sense. The motor car has got the wheels, the machine, everything, but it has no sense. So unless there is a sensible driver there, it cannot move. But we are so foolishly educated that we do not accept this fact. We say that:"Matter is the cause of life. We do not accept this theory that life is the cause of matter." As soon as they accept that life is the cause of matter, they have to accept God. Immediately. Immediately they have to accept God.

Lord Krishna said in Bhagavat Gita 9.10:

mayaadhyakshena prakrtih / suyate sa-caraacaram
hetunaanena kaunteya / jagad viparivartate

"This material nature, which is one of My energies, is working under My direction, O son of Kunti, producing all moving and nonmoving beings. Under its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again."

It is clearly stated that the Supreme Lord is the Supreme director Supreme will and the background of this material manifestation, but the management is being conducted by material nature and without the superintendence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, cannot do anything. The Supreme Lord by His mere glance injects all the living entities into the womb of material nature, and they come out in their different forms and species, according to their last desires and activities. He simply glances over material nature; material nature is thus activated, and everything is created immediately according to supreme will. In this context there is a story of Jagannathji. In Puri temple every day at night at the time of Shayan arati, the Lord wears new dress because after closing the Jagannathaji temple the demigods visits the temple. One night when demigods were taking darshan of Lord Jagannathji. Yamaraj saw one bird sitting on one of the pillar. Garuda dev saw Yamaraj looking at the bird and thought that Yamaraj will take the life of this small bird because once Yamaraj drshti is cast on someone, it means he is sure to die.To save this bird Garuda dev took the bird and left him at long distance in a tree hole near Mansarovar in Himalaya and thought that Yamaraj cannot find the bird. After darshan when Yamaraj saw up, the bird was not there he got angry on Jagannathji and said that you tell us to do our work properly and on the other hand you are interferring in our work. I saw a bird who was sitting here, his life had come to an end but you gave him protection. Then Jaganathji himself looked into the matter and said that this bird is suppose to die after 2 minutes by snake in a hole on the tree at Manasarovar. and Garuda dev kept this bird at the same place. This means every thing happens according to Supreme will of the Lord.