Yesterday afternoon, Lalita and I were walking the baby around Butler. The sky was absolutely beautiful. Lalita turned to me and asked, "Isn't the sky the color of Krishna?"
I foolishly turned to her and replied, "Well, Krishna's body is the complexion of monsoon clouds. I think it's darker than the blue sky."
We continued our walk and went home. I sat down to start reading What Is The Difficulty? by Srutakirti Prabhu. I was amazed at what I read:
"October 4, 1972 ISKCON Los Angeles
One evening, while in his garden, Srila Prabhupada looked at the sky and said; "So, is the sky the color of Krishna?"
"The Krishna Book it says that Krishna is dark bluish like a thundercloud," a disciple answered.
"The sky is the color of Krishna," Srila Prabhupada explained. "It is the light from Krishna's bodily effulgence that makes the sky blue."
This made me realize my neophyte position. Srila Prabhupada revealed to me that just studying the scriptures is only one aspect, but really understanding them is much more important. We can think we know so much but really we never end receiving the knowledge handed down by the disciplic succession.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
Sometimes out of laziness, I just put up a video or write something from the scriptures really quick to maintain this blog. I feel as if I'm not pushing myself harder with this chance to really open up and express what different realizations I'm going through. This week has been like a dream. So many distractions that seemed to get in the way of hearing, chanting and my service. What happens is these distractions turn into habits. These habits then turn into a dependency. The dependency is based on comfort. We become attached to feeling comfortable and secure. Most of the time, this comfortable feeling makes a spiritually lazy. No longer is there a real need to cry out to the Lord for His mercy. No longer is there a need to pray because everything is going okay. We forget that this world is not our home. We attempt to make everything nice creating an illusion that we'll never die. Hurricanes, earthquakes, wars, crime, and so many other things keep popping up reminding us that our time here is limited. We have this great gift called the human life. This life allows us to seek self realization. Self realization is to know God and to know God is to know our self. We are the eternal servants of God or Krishna, and Krishna is the most beautiful Supreme Personality of Godhead that wants to have an intimate relationship with us more than we want one with Him.
So, in retrospect, I have a lot on my mind and want to bring the good out. I want to focus on what's really important.
"O my Lord, I do not have any love for You, nor am I qualified for discharging devotional service by chanting and hearing. Nor do I possess the mystic power of a Vaisnava, knowledge or pious activities. Nor do I belong to a very high caste family. On the whole, I do not possess anything. Still, O beloved of the gopis, because You bestow Your mercy on the most fallen, I have an unbreakable hope that is constantly in my heart. That hope is always giving me pain."
-Taken from the Bhakti-Rasamrta-Sindhu by Srila Rupa Goswami
Monday, May 19, 2008
Tonight is a full moon. According to the scriptures the moon gives light which nourishes the vegetation on the planet. The moon is also the deity governing the mind. I thought it would be nice to talk about the moon in the Vedas, but then I watched this and felt it would be more controversial.
What the hell is the spacecraft made out of anyway? Tinfoil?
The scriptures state the moon is a heavenly planet, with lush plants and water. Goes into detail that there are in fact people living there. Also, it states the moon is farther than the sun. Whatever you want to believe, please do not accept anything blindly.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
"I offer my respectful obeisances unto Lord Narasinghadeva, the source of all power. O my Lord who possesses nails and teeth just like thunderbolts, kindly vanquish our demon-like desires for fruitive activity in this material world. Please appear in our hearts and drive away our ignorance so that by Your mercy we may become fearless in the struggle for existence in this material world."
- Spoken by Prahlad Maharaja in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto 5, Chapter 18, text 8.
"Unless one is completely freed of all material desires, which are caused by the dense darkness of ignorance, one cannot fully engage in the devotional service of the Lord. Therefore we should always offer our prayers to Lord Narasinghadeva, who killed Hiranyakashipu, the personification of material desire. Hiranya means "gold," and kashipu means "a soft cushion or bed." Materialistic persons always desire to make the body comfortable, and for this they require huge amounts of gold. Thus Hiranyakashipu was the perfect representative of materialistic life. He was therefore a great disturbance to the topmost devotee, Prahlad Maharaj, until Lord Narasinghadeva killed him." -excerpt from Srila Prabhupad's purport on the above verse.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
"Devotee association is not just a matter of being together in the same environment. Actually, some devotees even avoid each other because they do not want to have to look at themselves honestly. Some find it more peaceful to avoid interacting with others. However, we do not just want peace. We want realization, and the unfoldment of realization is not always a peaceful process. It is peaceful to be in ignorance; it is peaceful to be in denial; it is peaceful to avoid dealing with issues by living a cloistered lifestyle, but the real challenge arises when we have to interact with people because it tests our genuine level of realization. Our associates give us the opportunity to look at ourselves in a mirror so that we get a clearer vision of our strengths and weaknesses. This reflection on ourselves allows us to introspect more authentically and evaluate our proficiency as we follow the process of devotional service."
Taken from Bhakti-tirtha Swami's Reflections on Sacred Teachings, Volume Five: Srila Bhaktisiddhanta's Sixty-Four Principles For Community.
Taken from Bhakti-tirtha Swami's Reflections on Sacred Teachings, Volume Five: Srila Bhaktisiddhanta's Sixty-Four Principles For Community.
In the past week, we have seen and heard much suffering in this world. The cyclone in Burma, the volcano in Chile, tornadoes in America, and recently the earthquake in China. That's not even mentioning the Iraq war, people dying from starvation, dying of depression, dying of cancer and other diseases. This is just some of the sufferings in the human society, but what about the animal kingdom?
This world is known as Mrityu-loka, the world of death. This is a place of suffering. In Buddhism, Lord Buddha spoke of the Four Noble Truths: 1. Life means suffering; 2. The origin of suffering is attachment; 3. The cessation of suffering is attainable; 4. The Path to the cessation of suffering. As mentioned by Lord Buddha, attachment is the origin of suffering. This is why we suffer. In Bhagavad-gita Chapter 2, text 62-63 states: "While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from such attachment lust develops, and from lust anger arises. From anger, complete delusion arises, and from delusion bewilderment of memory. When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost, and when intelligence is lost one falls down again into the material pool."
We are attached to I and Mine. I am this material body and whatever is connected to the material body for sense pleasure is mine. The material I and mine created by the false ego is temporary. The bodies are born and must die. The soul is eternal, ever existing as a spark from God. Due to ignorance, we identify with the material rather than the spiritual. We seek pleasure in the temporary. The soul is ever pleasure seeking. The only problem is we don't seek spiritual pleasure.
Why is there suffering at all? We create the suffering. Klesha is the Sanskrit word for suffering. There are three main sufferings: 1. Suffering caused by other living entities; 2. Suffering caused by our mind; and 3. Suffering caused by natural disasters which are controlled by demigods. We become attached to this dreamlike world and must suffer because of our material attachments.
Now, karma also plays a part in our suffering. We are unable to perceive our actions in previous lives, and therefore find it hard to deal with the reactions we are receiving. If you stole from someone in a past life then in this life that person will get the chance to steal from you. You will be flabbergasted at the reaction but this is the science of the soul. We are the cause of our troubles. You can't blame God or anybody else. We must accept responsibility and change our ways. People are frustrated when good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. But with spiritual vision we can understand perfectly.
Natural disasters especially happen by the arrangement of Providence to relieve Mother Earth of so much burden. Our Mother feels the heavy burden of populations who are committing violence to Her and others. It is stated that Mother Earth can almost tolerate everything, except a liar. This is why wars are also arranged. To materialists this can be easily misunderstood as the universe and God being punishers and executioners, but they do not understand that these people are simply changing bodies as if they were changing clothes. The body dies, the soul is eternal. This is mercy on those who create violence so they can be free from their karma and have a higher birth.
Those who believe in karma are not hard hearted. Spiritual people are in fact supposed to be extremely soft hearted. A spiritual person should cry hearing the sufferings of others. In fact this is the only way a spiritualist suffers. Para-duhkha-duhkhi: The spiritualists suffering is the suffering of others. In many instances, Srial Prabhupada would cry. One time is when he saw some retired men playing golf. He couldn't believe people were wasting their human lives. Another time was in India when the dogs were eating next to a village where kids didn't even have enough food. That's when he said, "No one should go hungry where we have set up our temples. We should feed everyone."
When we are free from the false ego we will not suffer due to external objects. But this suffering should be a wake up call to be detached and remind us that this world is not comfortable. We may have a great house, great bank balance, high position in society, but at any moment we can get kicked out of our comfort zone. And sooner or later cruel death will take everything away. So we should take shelter of that which is spiritual. That which can give us real shelter.
Friday, May 9, 2008
Last night I had a very strange dream. I was in the backyard of some one's house sitting around talking. Suddenly, a swarm of bees started trying to sting me. There was no pain, but rather a botheration. I began to roll on the ground attempting to flee, but had no luck. Then, I woke up.
I immediately went to our dream symbols book. There were a couple of meanings, but one struck me. It states that bees can be gossip, or piercing words. Yesterday, I engaged in a lot of prajalpa, unnecessary speaking. Some controversial news came out about two devotees and my tongue went wild. Living in a small community also has it's advantages and disadvantages. Everyone in the community wanted to talk about.
When I woke up today, I had been given a chance to see my faults. Now the problem is rectifying. So today I meditated on sound vibrations. Sounds are all around us in the ether. We can't see them, and sometimes we can't even hear them, but they are there. Radio waves, cell phone waves, and many other waves of subtle sound are passing through our bodies and surrounding us constantly.
Sound vibrations can either degrade us or elevate us. So when we talk, we either degrade or elevate ourselves. Every action, thought and speech effects us on many different levels. Our speech should be gentle, nonviolent, positive and mostly, centered around Krishna (God).
In Srimad-Bhagavatam Second Canto, Chapter 3, text 17 it says: "Both by rising and 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."
By chanting and speaking the glories of God and God's servants, we not only purify ourselves, but we also purify the listener. Gossip, mundane talk, debating, takes away from talking about Krishna. I realize that I am failing in this department. The urge to speak is there. If we choose to talk something mundane then it is compared to the frog's croaking that's calling the snake. We are calling death.
Bhagavad-gita Chapter 10, text 9 says: "The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are fully devoted to My service, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss from always enlightening one another and conversing about Me."
In Caitanya-caritamrita, it is described that the soul has wandered all over the universe accepting and rejecting so many bodies. Finally, the soul is awarded the human form of life. By the Lord's mercy, the living entity comes in contact with the Lord's representative. The Lord's servant engages that person in the service of God by hearing and chanting about Krishna. In the heart is planted the seed of devotion. We water this seed by hearing and chanting. But, sometimes weeds grow up. We instead sometimes water the weed rather than the creeper of devotion.
So, I must beg for the mercy from Krishna and the devotees to give up mundane talk which includes gossip, politics, and especially fault finding.
Srila Raghunath das Gosvami writes in his Manah-siksha (Instructions to the Mind): "My dear mind, you must categorically relinquish frivolous and mundane talk, which is like a prostitute who steals all your intelligence and resolve."
Like prostitutes, mundane subjects plunder a man's knowledge and his resolve. A prostitute cunningly relieves her customers of their riches, and mundane talks rob a man of his wealth of knowledge. After all, one's predilection for spiritual upliftment is his only treasure, and such a treasure is everything to the sincere transcendentalist. Grossly materialistic subject matters and dealings with topics unrelated to the Absolute Truth plunder this treasure because they are unreal, illusory, and temporary.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Everybody is looking for Krishna.
Some don't realize that they are, but they are.
Krishna is GOD, the Source of all that exists, the Cause of all that is,
was, or ever will be.
As GOD is unlimited, HE has many Names.
Allah-Buddha-Jehovah-Rama: ALL are KRISHNA, all are ONE.
God is not abstract; He has both the impersonal and personal aspects to His personality, which is SUPREME, ETERNAL, BLISSFUL, and full of KNOWLEDGE. As a single drop of water has the same qualities as an ocean of water, so has our consciousness the qualities of GOD'S consciousness... but through our identification and attachment with material energy (physical body, sense pleasures, material possessions, ego, etc.) our true TRANSCENDENTAL CONSCIOUSNESS has been polluted, and like a dirty mirror it is unable to reflect a pure image.
With many lives our association with the TEMPORARY has grown. This impermanent body, a bag of bones and flesh, is mistaken for our true self, and we have accepted this temporary condition to be final.
Through all ages, great SAINTS have remained as living proof that this nontemporary, permanent state of GOD CONSCIOUSNESS can be revived in all living Souls. Each Soul is potentially divine.
Krishna says in Bhagavad-gita: "Steady in the Self, being freed from all material contamination, the yogi achieves the highest perfectional stage of happiness in touch with the Supreme Consciousness." (VI, 28)
YOGA ( a scientific method for GOD (SELF) realization) is the process by which we purify our consciousness, stop further pollution, and arrive at the sate of Perfection, full KNOWLEDGE, full BLISS.
If there's a God, I want to see Him. It's pointless to believe in something without proof, and Krishna Consciousness and meditation are methods where you can actually obtain GOD perception. You can actually see God, and hear Him, play with Him. It might sound crazy, but He is actually there, actually with you.
There are many yogic paths-Raja, Jnana, Hatha, Kriya, Karma, Bhakti-which are all acclaimed by the Masters of each method.
Swami Bhaktivedanta is, as his title says, a BHAKTI Yogi following the path of DEVOTION. By serving GOD through each thought, word and DEED, and by chanting HIS Holy Names, the devotee quickly develops God-consciousness. By chanting
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama
Rama Rama, Hare Hare
one inevitably arrives at Krishna Consciousness. (The proof of the pudding is in the eating!)
I request that you take advantage of this book, Krishna, and enter into its understanding. I also request that you make an appointment to meet you God now, through the self-liberating process of YOGA (UNION)
and GIVE PEACE A CHANCE.
All you need is love (KRISHNA) Hari Bol
George Harrison 31/3/70
What is a saint? One whose wine has turned to vinegar.
If you're still wine-drunkenly
brave, don't step forward. When your sheep becomes a lion,
then come. It is said
of hypocrites, "They have considerable valor among themselves!"
But they scatter when
a real enemy appears. Muhammad told his young soldiers, "There
is no courage before
an engagement." A drunk foams at the mouth talking about what
he will do when he gets his sword
drawn, but the chance arrives, and he remains sheathed as
an onion. Premeditating,
he's eager for wounds. Then his bag gets touched by a needle,
and he deflates. What sort of
person says that he or she wants to be polished and pure,
then complain about being
handled roughly? Love is a lawsuit where harsh evidence must
be brought in. To settle
the case, the judge must see evidence. You've heard that every
buried treasure has a snake
guarding it. Kiss the snake to discover the treasure! The
severe treatment is not toward
you, but the qualities that block your growth. A rug beater
doesn't beat the rug, but
rather the dirt. A horse trainer switches not the horse, but
the going wrong. Imprison
your mash in a dark vat, so it can become wine. Someone
asks, "Don't you worry
about God's wrath when you spank your child?" "I'm not
spanking my child, but the demon
in him" When a mother screams, "Get out of here!" she means
the mean part of the child.
Don't run from those who scold, and don't turn away from
cleansing conflict, or you will
remain weak. Also, don't listen to bragging. If you go along
with self-importance, the work
collapses. Better a small modest team. Sift almonds. Discard
the bitter. Sour and sweet
sound alike when you pour them out on the rattling tray, but
inside they're very different.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
This is an excerpt from the book Saints of Vraja written by O.B.L Kapoor.
"For the saints of Vraja have worshiped and realized God, not in His ordinary aspect as the Creator and Controller of the universe, as the mere bestower of boons or dispenser of justice, but in His highest aspect as Love and Sweetness (madhurya), in which He does no fret or frown over our faults and weaknesses, but loves and adores us in spite of our failings, if only we love Him; an aspect in which He seeks us, as much as we seek Him, loves us as much as we love Him, needs us as much as we need Him; an aspect, in which He is more natural than supernatural, more human than super human, in which He has all the failings and weaknesses of the humans, but in which paradoxical as it may seem, failings become His embellishments and add to His sweetness and perfection, instead of detracting from it, because they stem not from any weakness inherent in Him, but from His nature as Love and His love for those who love Him."