Friday, December 4, 2009

A Nice Poem by Rumi

There are those who accept the law of Moses and not the grace and love of Jesus,
like the Jewish king who killed Christians. This is not seeing right. Moses is,
inside the soul of Jesus and Jesus is in the soul of Moses.
One era belonged to one;
then it was the other's turn, but they are one being. A teacher said to a slightly
cross-eyed student, "Hand me the glass bottle there."
"Which one?"
"There are not two."
"Don't scold me, teacher, but I see two."
"Smash one of them."
Of course, both were broken. This is how it is when we see through the
double vision of lust, anger, or some religious self-interest.
A bribed judge cannot distinguish the one who's been cruel from the victim.
A good prayer is, Lord, help us see both worlds as one.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Complacent War

The feeling of beginning something new. The freshness the atmosphere has while starting the journey. Whatever it may be there's something exciting about beginning something, everything is new. On the spiritual journey, no matter what religion you might be a part of, the beginnings are always great. You receive a lot of mercy and grace and you learn so many new things about yourself and of philosophy.

But, as we tread on we start noticing stones and pebbles. Difficulties arise, we seek protection and we overcome fears. The battle dies down and then there's a secret war. A war that you don't even know you're a part of. THe war of complacency. What you've learned becomes basic knowledge and we carry out our rituals lazily just to get them over with. We become distracted by things we once had no attraction for because we were so enthusiastic in our spiritual practices.

Today I read some quotes by Thomas Merton that started me thinking about what I wrote above. Here they are:

"One cannot begin to face the real difficulties of the life of prayer and meditation unless one is first perfectly content to be a beginner and really experience himself as one who knows little or nothing, and has a desperate need to learn the bare rudiments. Those who think they "know" from the beginning will never, in fact, come to know anything."

"We do not want to be beginners. But let us be convinced of the fact that we will never be anything else but beginners, all our life!"

And there's a passage in Nectar of Devotion written by Srila Prabhupada that is very instructive in being enthusiastic:

"In other words, one should learn how to cry for the Lord. One should learn this small technique, and he should be very eager and actually cry to become engaged in some particular type of service. This is called laulyam, and such tears are the price for the highest perfection. If one develops this laulyam, or excessive eagerness for meeting and serving the Lord in a particular way, that is the price to enter into the kingdom of God. Otherwise, there is no material calculation for the value of the ticket by which one can enter the kingdom of God. The only price for such entrance is this laulyam lālasāmayī, or desire and great eagerness."

So please help me fight.

Friday, November 27, 2009

My Discovery of Kabir

Poem by Kabir das:

1) Poet Kabir Das says, “When I was born, the world smiled and I cried. However, I will do such deeds that when I leave, I will be the one smiling and the world will be the one crying.” This life is like a very thin transparent shawl which should be drenched in the holy name of Lord Rama, the Reservoir of Pleasure.

2) The eight lotuses is the spinning wheel using the five earthly elements to make the chadar (the body). In nine or ten months, the chadar is completed; however, the fools will destroy it.

3) When the chadar is completed, it is sent to the dyer -rang rej-(the spiritual master) to color it. The dyer (the spiritual master) colored it as such that it is all red (the color of self-realization).

4) Do not have doubts or fears while wearing this chadar. It is only given to you for two days and it is temporary too. The foolish people do not understand the temporariness of this chadar, and they day by day destroy it.

5) Great devotees such as Dhruva Maharaja, Prahlad Maharaja, Sudama, and Śuka have worn this chadar as well as purified their chadars as well other chadars (souls). The servant, Kabir Dasa, is attempting to wear this chadar as given to him originally by his guru.

Kabir on the greatness of God:

"I have done nothing and nothing can I do,
this body is capable of nothing:
Whatever is done is the work of Hari,
It is He who made Kabir `Kabir'!

If I made the seven seas my ink
and the trees of the forest my pen,
If the whole expanse of earth were my paper,
still I could not write greatness of Ram!

Kabir, what good deed can you do,
if Ram comes not to your aid?
Since every branch you step upon
yields and gives way!"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Holiday Cheer

Tis the season to be jolly. Oh the holiday season has arrived. Children are writing their list for Santa, parents are rushing here and there to get presents, families are getting together, and the mood of the world is lighter.
This time of the year, people also start asking themselves big questions. Obviously the television and theater shows aid the public in this area. THe classics are played to get people into this mood. The classics such as: It's A Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol, and Jesus of Nazareth.
The underlying themes are gratitude and selfless service. Especially when we are with family during the holidays, we forget about all the craziness that happens during the rest of the year. We are grateful we are surrounded by loved ones and focus on their positive qualities.
People, at this time, also focus on selfless service. Jesus Christ is the epitome of selfless service. Everyone is in the giving mood no matter what position you may hold. Unless you're Scrooge.
The hard part is accepting that this atmosphere is quickly forgotten. Kids go back to school, parents go back to work, and the world is once again back to "normal." Everyone is busy and distracted.
For those who are sincerely seeking spiritual truth, gratitude and selfless service are constantly in the foreground, not just at holiday times. It is a struggle. Most of the world wants to go with the flow. The incessant flow of material desires and bad habits. The spiritual seeker must struggle against the flow.
When we are busy and swept away by the swift flow, then we start thinking about our time. We start thinking what are others doing for me? I'm doing so much, why aren't others working as hard as me? This is our false ego keeping us from diving deeply into a mood conducive for spiritual awareness.
So let us help each other cultivate the holiday mood, not just on Thanksgiving or Christmas, but throughout the year and in doing so we will advance together rather than alone.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

On Haridas Samadhi [ A Saragrahi Vaishnava] by Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura

O! Born of Muslim parents, Haridas!
And trained in youth in Muslim creed,
Thy noble heart to Vaishnava truth did pass!-
Thy holy acts thy candor plead!

Is there a soul that cannot learn from thee
That man must give up sect for God?-
That thoughts of race and sect can ne'er agree
With what they call religion broad?

Thy love of God and brother soul alone
Bereft thyself of early friends,-
Thy softer feelings oft to kindness prone
Led on thyself for higher ends!!

I weep to read that Kazis and their men
Oft persecuted thee, alas!
But thou didst nobly pray for th' wicked then!
For thou wert Vaishnava Haridas!

And God is boundless grace to thee, O man!
United thee to one who came
To save the fallen souls from evil's plan
Of taking human souls to shame.

And he it was who led you all that came
For life eternal, -holy,-pure!
And gave you rest in Heaven's enduring name
And sacred blessings ever sure!

Thy body rests upon the sacred sands
Of Swargadwar near the sea,
Oh! Hundreds come to thee from distant lands
T' enjoy a holy, thrilling glee!

The waters roar and storming winds assail
Thy ears in vain, Ah! Vaishnava soul!
The charms of Brindaban thy heart regale,
Unknown the wheel of time doth roll!!

He reasons ill who tells that Vaishnavas die
When thou art living in sound.
The Vaishnavas die to live and living try
To spread a holy life around!

Now let the candid man that seeks to live
Follow thy way on shores of time,
Then posterity sure to him will give
Like one song in simple rhyme!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


My head dunks underneath the water
Sound is absent...
I hold my breath as long as I can
The sun creates a beautiful seen on the waves...

My mind begins to wander
I try to search for my source of happiness
Is it there in my daughter's face?
Is it there in the laughter of my wife?
I witness my brothers and sisters struggling everyday

They struggle for their position and money
They struggle for a social life... They struggle for sex

Spiritual life is also a struggle...
The illusory potency is so strong and cruel
She presents the best offers possible only to blow you over like a twig in a hurricane
I have to admit that I flirt with her daily
Somehow by the devotees' insurmountable mercy I am still struggling

Let's go to the desert
The desert is actually in our hearts
Jesus went to the desert for forty nights and forty days
His heart was flooded by the pure waters of God's love
Flirting with maya is like putting a drop on the desert like soil of our hearts
We torture ourselves with a drop
When the ocean is there at any moment

Lust, anger and greed trample me when I should show restraint
I pray and curse my fickle mind
O Lord, what will You do with such a foolish person?

I struggle to chant Your holy names
My brother struggles for temporary sense gratification
So many people in anxiety and living with fear
I curse myself because I allow them to live this way
Why don't I struggle to help them?
Instead I criticize them to show how I'm better than them

Where is my humility?
Where is my compassion?
O Radha, You are the keeper of Krishna's heart
You give energy to the devotees
You are most merciful
When shall this fallen soul gain the most precious opportunity of serving the devotees of Your devotees?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Finally More Poems and Prayers

Got No Water by Matisyahu:

"You quench my thirsting soul and you fill my appetite
I give myself to you because you treat me right
Put my trust in the world and the world gets tight
Shift my trust to you it's like a crystal clear night
Expand in all directions get the sections to unite
Hashem's rays fire blaze light my way light of my life
And these days well wait no longer night
I´m reaching for my God like skyscrapers in the night
I said I know it's hard inside is empty galus (exile) cuts like a knife
Internalize torah vibes bound to feel alright

Whirlwind of praise from below to above
Take flight in the sky got wings like a dove,
We Soaring to shamayim (heaven) where the angels call in love
And the glory of Hashem fits like a glove

Hashem rules the world and Israel is his wife
Love you yes my God with all my heart my soul and my might
When I feel you by my side yes I'm flying like a kite
When I feel you by my side yes I'm soaring like a kite

You open up my eyes and give me sight
Super energized and everyday I feel you give me life
I seen the ways of the world intoxifying on pride
Young man don't you know drugs impurify your mind
When Israel left mitzrayim four fifths got left behind
If you got no water how you gonna survive
Roots lead you to the well springs so you could stay alive
Pharaoh claimed to be a God and claimed to make the Nile
A crocodile could smile and show his teeth
You could see beauty shining externally but that's the story of Greece
Inside America bleeds, Israel won't you get up from your knees
Its just lies in disguise Torah's truth won't you please alive
Given to the humble one on Mt. Sinai


Shma Y'sroel, Hashem Elokainu, Hashem Echad
(Hear Israel, the lord is our God, the lord is one)

The world could just crumble to dust it's just us it's not two it's just one
The middle road called truth, Torah you sooth my brain bruise
Open up peruse with knowledge of God
And move up an arousal from below till the secrets start to ooze
Don't snooze it's pure light the most high wants us alive
What's the proof?
We got life!
Chabad philosophy that's the deepest well-spring
Gaining knowledge of God while your gaining money
Fill up yourself with the light of his majesty
In a world of separation that's the only way to be
It's time we leave we won't flee just walk out easily

If you got no water how you gonna survive


Excerpt from The Masnavi Book 4 by Rumi:
"He loved music because he heard in it a mysterious conversation. Voices singing, the low menace of the drum, clear flute and trumpet. Philosophers have said that we love music because it resembles the sphere sounds of union. We've been part of a harmony before, so these moments of treble and bass keep our remembering fresh. But how does this happen within these dense bodies full of forgetfulness and doubt and grieving? It's like water passing through us. It becomes acidic and bitter, but still still as urine it retains watery qualities. It will put out a fire! So there is this music flowing through our bodies that can dowse restlessness. Hearing the sound, we gather strength. Love kindles with melody. Music feeds a lover composure, and provides form for the imagination. Music breathes on personal fire and makes it keener."

Psalm 133:
"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing- life forever more."

Third Eye by Tool:
"Dreaming of that face again. It's bright and blue and shimmering. Grinning wide and comforting me with it's three warm and wild eyes. On my back and tumbling down that hole and back again rising upand wiping the webs and the dew from my withered eye. In Out In Out In Out A child's rhyme stuck in my head. It said that life is but a dream. I've spent so many years in question to find I've known this all along. "So good to see you. I've missed you so much. So glad it's over. I've missed you so much. Came out to watch you play. Why are you running?" Shrouding all the ground around me. Is this holy crow above me. Black as holes within a memory and blue as our new second sun. I stick my hand into his shadow to pull the pieces from the sand. Which I attempt to reassemble to see just who I might have been. I do not recognize the vessel, but the eyes seem so familiar. Like phosphorescent desert buttons singing one familiar song... "So good to see you. I've missed you so much. So glad it's over. I've missed you so much. Came out to watch you play. Why are you running away?" Prying open my third eye. So good to see you once again. I thought that you were hiding. And you thought that I had run away. Chasing the tail of dogma. I opened my eye and there we were. So good to see you once again I thought that you were hiding from me. And you thought that I had run away. Chasing a trail of smoke and reason. Prying open my third eye."

Here I sit pouring over transcendental literatures
My mind struggles to retain, as my intelligence struggles to apply
O Lord Krishna this world is full of struggling
By Your mercy I somehow strive
I am thankful to be alive...
I am grateful to be allowed the opportunity to know Your most intimate pastimes
Most grateful to be allowed to chant Your holy names
All of this is a gift from my Gurudeva whose humility and devotion is as deep as the ocean
I pray to you Srila Prabhupada!
You have relieved me from the burden of impersonalism
What will I do with these rare jewels?
Will I keep them on a shelf some place?
Sitting and staring at the ocean
The breeze surrounds me and lifts my spirits
Chanting as I watch the waves crash
I sincerely pray to pray sincerely...
Bal Gopal das writes this as he meditates on the lotus feet of His Holiness Radhanath Swami

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Vaikuntha Children

For me being a father has been a great joy, not only for material reasons, but being being a father has allowed me to attain great insight into my spiritual life. There's struggles and tears involved but I would not trade anything in the world for those great experiences that have enriched my life these past few years.

Upon thinking about this, I recently read a great purport by Srila Prabhupada from the Tenth Canto, Chapter Seven, Verse Four. We hear so many stories today about people either giving up their children or killing their children. It's a very sad time in the human history that so many of these things are going, what to speak of abortion. So here's the purport all glories to the beautiful Vaikuntha children.

"There is no question of overpopulation or of children's being a burden for their parents in a Vedic society. Such a society is so well organized and people are so advanced in spiritual consciousness that childbirth is never regarded as a burden or a botheration. The more a child grows, the more his parents become jubilant, and the child's attempts to turn over are also a source of jubilation. Even before the child is born, when the mother is pregnant, many recommended ritualistic ceremonies are performed. For example, when the child has been within the womb for three months and for seven months, there is a ceremony the mother observes by eating with neighboring children. This ceremony is called svāda-bhakṣaṇa. Similarly, before the birth of the child there is the garbhādhāna ceremony. In Vedic civilization, childbirth or pregnancy is never regarded as a burden; rather, it is a cause for jubilation. In contrast, people in modern civilization do not like pregnancy or childbirth, and when there is a child, they sometimes kill it. We can just consider how human society has fallen since the inauguration of Kali-yuga. Although people still claim to be civilized, at the present moment there is actually no human civilization, but only an assembly of two-legged animals."

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Devotional Scriptures Part Two

This is an excerpt from Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto 1, Chapter 5, text 10 purport given to us by Srila Prabhupada. I thought I should add this beautiful purport to balance my ramblings.

"Similarly, there are different kinds of literature for different types of men of different mentality. Mostly the market literatures which attract men of the crow's categories are literatures containing refused remnants of sensuous topics. They are generally known as mundane talks in relation with the gross body and subtle mind. They are full of subject matter described in decorative language full of mundane similes and metaphorical arrangements. Yet with all that, they do not glorify the Lord. Such poetry and prose, on any subject matter, is considered decoration of a dead body. Spiritually advanced men who are compared to the swans do not take pleasure in such dead literatures, which are sources of pleasure for men who are spiritually dead.

These literatures in the modes of passion and ignorance are distributed under different labels, but they can hardly help the spiritual urge of the human being, and thus the swanlike spiritually advanced men have nothing to do with them. Such spiritually advanced men are called also mānasa because they always keep up the standard of transcendental voluntary service to the Lord on the spiritual plane. This completely forbids fruitive activities for gross bodily sense satisfaction or subtle speculation of the material egoistic mind.

Social literary men, scientists, mundane poets, theoretical philosophers and politicians who are completely absorbed in the material advancement of sense pleasure are all dolls of the material energy. They take pleasure in a place where rejected subject matters are thrown. According to Svāmī Śrīdhara, this is the pleasure of the prostitute-hunters.

But literatures which describe the glories of the Lord are enjoyed by the paramahaḿsas who have grasped the essence of human activities."

Devotional Scriptures

Attempting to read the great literary works in front of my eyes, I become bored and restless. I feel emptiness wash over my mind. The thoughts and emotions seem so trivial and pointless. I want something to shake me out of my materialistic slumber! I want something to smash my heart into a million pieces! I want to break down and cry!

I want truth. And I want that truth to be straight to the point. Truth that clears doubts. Truth that feels like you're walking through a park on a Sunday morning when the dew on the grass is just about to disappear from the Sun's rays splashing across the land. That's what I need to keep me going. Honestly there's only one place to find literature like that.

After reading Bhagavad-gita, Henry David Thoreau, one of the greatest writers and intellectuals of the modern day wrote: "In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonical philosophy with which our modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial."

That literature that speaks of devotional service, or bhakti, is the most thrilling and emotional. To tell you honestly, I enjoy reading the Bible and the Koran but they seem very dry for the most part. To really get some juice you have to dive deep and immerse yourself in prayer. The scriptures that explain bhakti act very quickly on the heart because they are not contaminated by the modes of material nature. Some of the Vedas are categorized in the mode of ignorance, so I'm not attacking anyone's scriptures, I'm merely pointing out that bhakti-sastra's, or scriptures pertaining to bhakti, are enriched with emotional ecstasy from the very beginning.

On one hand I very much enjoy Rumi and Christian mystics who have penetrated the rituals of their particular religion and have gone to a place very few people dare to travel. That's because to a certain degree they have bhakti. Bhakti is universal. Love of God. Prema-bhakti cannot be contained by a society or organization. It flows from the heart. Case in point Saint Francis showed how a Christian can become a pure lover of God. Rumi revealed to the world how a Muslim can become the greatest lover of Allah. Sectarianism destroys bhakti. In Caitanya-caritamrta it's stated in 2.22.65: "A faithful devotee is a truly eligible candidate for the loving service of the Lord." And in 2.22.71: "A devotee is considered superlative or superior according to his attachment and love."

So, getting to the point, it is the spiritual masters causeless mercy to be able to get a taste for reading the scriptures. But a very nice point is that we should read the scriptures in the association of the devotees to get the full benefit. Srila Prabhupada writes in Bhagavad-gita Chapter 12, text 9 purport: "And one should constantly hear Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam from pure devotees. This practice can help anyone rise to the level of love of God, and then he is sure of his progress into the spiritual kingdom of God."

The bhakti-sastras give us wonderful histories that teach us great instructions on how to love the Lord, they give us lessons on psychology, they give us culture, and most importantly they give us entrance into the spiritual realm of Sri-Sri-Radha-Krishna.

I guess to end this ranting about how great the scriptures are I should give an example of how rich they are. To me I really want to get a taste for that which is truly spiritual. But something spiritual that will make my heart explode with spiritual emotions.

This is a poem written by Srila Raghunath das Gosvami named Sri Abhista-prarthanastaka.

"Even though her eyes wew filled with tears as she caressed her playful son, and even though Rohini largely blocked her view, Mother Yasoda carefully noted the entrance of Sri Radha. When will I humbly offer betel nuts to Visakha's friend, Sri Radha?

When, again and again taking jewels from the box and placing them in Sri Radha's hand as in Her home She and Her friends make necklaces for Lord Hari, will the vine of my hand bear fruit?

When will Sri Radha, my queen, happily playing with the cuckoos, bees, and other citizens in Her pastime kingdom of Vraja's forest, fill me with transcendental bliss?

Stringing flower garlands with three or four friends by the Yamuna's shore, Radha bends down. Hiding Krishna suddenly approaches and earnestly tries to embrace Her. She resists, knitting Her eyebrows. When will I fan Sri Radha as She enjoys these pastimes?

In the splendid rasa dance arena on the sandy shore, Lord Hari became a blue lotus testing stone to test the value of a host of golden-complexioned girls intoxicated with pride. When will Sri Radha, the greatest treasure among them, delight us all?

When will this person draw a picture of Radha's beloved Krishna? When will this person give the picture to the flowering vine that is Visakha's dear friend Radha as She sits with Her friends on thrones of flowers deep in beautiful Bhandiravana Forest? When will this person show that picture to Krishna?

When in a solitary place at the top of a mountain will She point out the various cottages of flowering vines and recount the pastimes She enjoyed there? When, filled with happiness and embarassment will SHe eagerly ask me a question in stuttering words?

This lake is my eternal home. It is everything for Radha's friends. It is filled with the glory of Radha's love for Krishna. Krishna loves it as much as He loves Radha. I pray at this lake Lalita's friend Radha may eternally enjoy pastimes before my eyes."

Monday, June 1, 2009

What's New

I haven't written anything in a very long time. The blog is usually filled up with quotes from Rumi, saints, Thomas Merton and videos I happened to enjoy, rather than anything I've actually written.

Three years ago I was going on writing spurts pumping out notebooks of various poems and short stories. For me that period helped me realize a lot about my personality. It also allowed me to grow in many different ways. It was, you could, say therapeutic.

When my daughter was born I stopped writing so much mainly due to a lack of time. I picked up the pen and started writing here and there, but I was just in a different mind space that I couldn't really write what I was feeling. I felt that I was writing on some platform that I couldn't relate to.

A year ago, I went through my notebooks and felt embarrassed. My writings felt superficial and nonsensical. I had wasted time on temporary feelings that were brought about by lust and hatred. That's because I grew up turning those emotions into something that helped me escape situations. After ten years of striving to have a personal relationship with God, I decided my writing had to stop so that I could focus on chanting, reading, and hearing.

The writings of this world are mostly in the mode of ignorance and the mode of passion. I don't want to produce something covered by the modes of material nature. I want to dig deep into myself and excavate unwanted desires that are keeping me from producing a message of love and compassion. To whomever is reading this now, I want to express gratitude and love for you.

We are all brothers and sisters. We have lost our way home and we have only each other to help each other find the path.
So I have made some changes to the blog and will be making changes in my personal life to really write something that means something. This will be mainly for my own purification. I'm done treading water, I want to swim.

Thank you for tolerating my many short comings. All glories to Sri Sri Guru Gauranga who are always guiding us in this world darkness.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Love Love Love

This was written by the great Christian scholar Thomas Merton:

Our philosophy of life is not something we create all by ourselves out of nothing. Our ways of thinking, even our attitudes toward ourselves, are more and more determined from the outside. Even our love tends to fit ready-made forms. We consciously or unconsciously tailor our notions of love according to patterns we are exposed to day after day....

Love [Merton begins to examine one of these patterns] is regarded as a deal. The deal presupposes that we all have needs which have to be fulfilled by means of exchange. In order to make a deal you have to appear in the market with a worthwhile product, or if the product is worthless, you can get by if you dress it up in a good-looking package. We unconsciously think of ourselves as objects for sale on the market. We want to be wanted. We want to attract customers. We want to look like the kind of product that makes money. ...In doing this we come to consider ourselves and others not as persons but as products, as "goods," or in other words, as packages. We appraise one another commercially. We size each other up and make deals with a view to our own profit. We do not give ourselves in love, we make a deal that will enhance our own product, and therefore no deal is final. Our eye is already on the next deal, and this next deal need not necessarily be with the same customer. Life is more interesting when you make a lot of deals with a lot of new customers.

The trouble with this commercialized idea of love is that it diverts your attention more and more from the essentials to the accessories of love. You are no longer able to really love the other person, for you become obsessed with the effectiveness of your own package, your own product, your own market value.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Hero's Journey

I've been watching Joseph Campbell videos lately and learning about the Hero's Journey. We are all heroes treading on this path. So I found this video that describes the Hero's Journey step by step using The Matrix. Hope you enjoy and strive to live the hero life.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lord Nrsimhadeva's Appearance Day Tomorrow

These are some beautiful verses from Srila Rupa Goswami's Sri Laghu Bhagavatamrta pertaining to Lord Nrsimhadeva, whose Appearance Day is tomorrow:

"Let me offer my obeisances unto Lord Nrsimhadeva, who is always enlightening Prahlada Maharaja within his heart and who always kills the nescience that attacks the devotees. His mercy is distributed like moonshine, and His face is like that of a lion. Let me offer my obeisances unto Him again and again.

Lord Nrsimhadeva is always assisted by Sarasvati, the goddess of learning, and He is always embracing to His chest the goddess of fortune. The Lord is always complete in knowledge within Himself. Let us offer obeisances unto Nrsimhadeva.

Narada Muni described to King Yudhsisthira the anger of the pillar's son (Lord Nrsimha), which with its deep roar stunned lotus-born Brahma.

THe hair on Nrsimhadeva's head shook the clouds and scattered them here and there, His glaring eyes stole the effulgence of the luminaries in the sky, and His breathing agitated the seas and oceans. Because of His roaring, all the elephants in the world began to cry in fear.

Airplanes were thrown into outer space and the upper planetary system by the hair on Nrsimhadeva's head. Because of the pressure of the Lord's lotus feet, the earth appeared to slip from its position, and all the hills and mountains sprang up due to His intolerable force. Because of the Lord's bodily effulgence, both sky and all directions diminished in their natural illumination.

Although very ferocious, the lioness is very kind to her cubs. Similarly, although very ferocious to non-devotees like Hiranyakasipu, Lord Nrsimhadeva is very, very soft and kind to devotees like Prahlada Maharaja."

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Poems of Love

"Do you know, my friends, where the real saints are?
Wherever I look, wherever I want them, they're there.

My words bounce off the loveless like an echo from stone.
Do you know, whoever hasn't got at least an atom of love,
lives in a wilderness?

Don't be a liar, don't lie to love.
Whoever lies here, earns a sentence in the other world.

Oh, you unaware of Yourself,
you don't understand the meaning of words,
if you desire the realness of Truth,
here it is in knowledge and in the Quran:

If Allah says, "He is Mine,"
Allah keeps giving the realness of Love,
has the realness of God within.

Many people tell Yunus,
"You're too old to be a lover,"
but this love is so new and fresh."
-Yunus Emre

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Love suffers long and is kind;love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; Does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;

Does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
-1 Corinthians Chapter 13

I write of love, I speak of love,
yet I am entangled in the web of lust...
Struggling on the path
I slip and barely keep from falling

Here I stand with the sun caressing my face
The room appears clearer
I chant Your holy names as my hand counts the beads
My voice drifts into the background
Illusion overcomes me once again

I force my eyes close
I want to taste love.... To do that I must beg for love
Prayer is love.... The Names are the essence of love
Failing to practice this throughout the day
I feel shame as my hypocrisy is revealed
-Bal Gopal das

Monday, April 20, 2009

Kula Shaker- Govinda

God's Will

If you want to know what is meant by "God's will", this is one way to get a good idea of it. "God's will" is certainly found in anything that is required of us in order that we may be united with one another in love. ...Everything that is demanded of me, in order that I may treat every other person effectively as a human being, "is willed for me by God under the natural law." ...I must learn to share with others their joys, their sufferings, their ideas, their needs, their desires. I must learn to do this not only in the cases of those who are of the same class, the same profession, the same race, the same nation as myself, but when those who suffer belong to other groups, even to groups that are regarded as hostile. If I do this, I obey God. If I refuse to do it, I disobey Him. It is not therefore a matter left open to subjective caprice. - Written By Thomas Merton.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta Ādi 2.96


"One who knows the real feature of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and His three different energies cannot remain ignorant about Him.


Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī states in his Bhagavat-sandarbha (16) that by His potencies, which act in natural sequences beyond the scope of the speculative human mind, the Supreme Transcendence, the summum bonum, eternally and simultaneously exists in four transcendental features: His personality, His impersonal effulgence, particles of His potency (the living beings), and the principal cause of all causes. The Supreme Whole is compared to the sun, which also exists in four features, namely the personality of the sun-god, the glare of his glowing sphere, the sun rays inside the sun planet, and the sun's reflections in many other objects. The ambition to corroborate the existence of the transcendental Absolute Truth by limited conjectural endeavors cannot be fulfilled, because He is beyond the scope of our limited speculative minds. In an honest search for truth, we must admit that His powers are inconceivable to our tiny brains. The exploration of space has demanded the work of the greatest scientists of the world, yet there are countless problems regarding even fundamental knowledge of the material creation that bewilder scientists who confront them. Such material knowledge is far removed from the spiritual nature, and therefore the acts and arrangements of the Absolute Truth are, beyond all doubts, inconceivable.

The primary potencies of the Absolute Truth are mentioned to be three: internal, external and marginal. By the acts of His internal potency, the Personality of Godhead in His original form exhibits the spiritual cosmic manifestations known as the Vaikuṇṭhalokas, which exist eternally, even after the destruction of the material cosmic manifestation. By His marginal potency the Lord expands Himself as living beings who are part of Him, just as the sun distributes its rays in all directions. By His external potency the Lord manifests the material creation, just as the sun with its rays creates fog. The material creation is but a perverse reflection of the eternal Vaikuṇṭha nature.

These three energies of the Absolute Truth are also described in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa, where it is said that the living being is equal in quality to the internal potency, whereas the external potency is indirectly controlled by the chief cause of all causes. Māyā, the illusory energy, misleads a living being as fog misleads a pedestrian by blocking off the light of the sun. Although the potency of māyā is inferior in quality to the marginal potency, which consists of the living beings, who are part and parcel of the Lord, it nevertheless has the power to control the living beings, just as fog can block the actions of a certain portion of the sun's rays although it cannot cover the sun. The living beings covered by the illusory energy evolve in different species of life, with bodies ranging from that of an insignificant ant to that of Brahmā, the constructor of the cosmos. The pradhāna, the chief cause of all causes in the impersonal vision, is none other than the Supreme Lord, whom one can see face to face in the internal potency. He takes the material all-pervasive form by His inconceivable power. Although all three potencies — namely internal, external and marginal — are essentially one in the ultimate issue, they are different in action, like electric energy, which can produce both cold and heat under different conditions. The external and marginal potencies are so called under various conditions, but in the original, internal potencies there are no such conditions, nor is it possible for the conditions of the external potency to exist in the marginal, or vice versa. One who is able to understand the intricacies of all these energies of the Supreme Lord can no longer remain an empiric impersonalist under the influence of a poor fund of knowledge.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Some Vegetarian Quotes I Found Online

"For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love."
Pythagoras, mathematician

"The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men."
Leonardo da Vinci, artist and scientist

"To a man whose mind is free there is something even more intolerable in the sufferings of animals than in the sufferings of man. For with the latter it is at least admitted that suffering is evil and that the man who causes it is a criminal. But thousands of animals are uselessly butchered every day without a shadow of remorse. If any man were to refer to it, he would be thought ridiculous. And that is the unpardonable crime."
Romain Rolland, author, Nobel Prize 1915

"If a group of beings from another planet were to land on Earth -- beings who considered themselves as superior to you as you feel yourself to be to other animals -- would you concede them the rights over you that you assume over other animals?"
George Bernard Shaw, playwright, Nobel Prize 1925
"What is it that should trace the insuperable line? ...The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?"
Jeremy Bentham, philosopher

"In their behavior toward creatures, all men are Nazis. Human beings see oppression vividly when they're the victims. Otherwise they victimize blindly and without a thought."
Isaac Bashevis Singer, author, Nobel Prize 1978

"Our task must be to free ourselves . . . by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty."
"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet."
Albert Einstein, physicist, Nobel Prize 1921

"I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being."
Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. President

"You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity."
Ralph Waldo Emerson, essayist

"As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields."
"What I think about vivisection is that if people admit that they have the right to take or endanger the life of living beings for the benefit of many, there will be no limit to their cruelty."
Leo Tolstoy author

"I cannot fish without falling a little in self-respect...always when I have done I feel it would have been better if I had not fished."
Henry David Thoreau, author

"While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered beasts, how can we expect any ideal conditions on this earth?"
"Atrocities are not less atrocities when they occur in laboratories and are called medical research."
George Bernard Shaw

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
"To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being."
Mahatma Gandhi, statesman and philosopher

"I am not interested to know whether vivisection produces results that are profitable to the human race or doesn't...The pain which it inflicts upon unconsenting animals is the basis of my enmity toward it, and it is to me sufficient justification of the enmity without looking further."
Mark Twain, author

"Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages."
Thomas Edison, inventor

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Song of Offerings by Rabindranath Tagore

O now beneath your feet's dust let
My head kneel on the ground.
Yield up my arrogance to tears,
Let all my pride be drowned.
If glory to myself I offer
It is self-insult that I suffer-
And then I die within myself,
Turning around, around.
Yield up my arrogance to tears,
Let all my pride be drowned.

Let me not advertise myself
In various things I do-
But let my deeds fit your desire,
That your will may come through.
O for your true peace is my longing,
And your dear image's belonging.
Within my heart of lotus petal
May your shield be found.
Yield up my arrogance to tears,
Let all my pride be drowned.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Sri Rama-Navami 2009

Today is the most glorious appearance day of Lord Ramacandra, also known as Rama-navami. Lord Rama appeared in the Treta-yuga with His three brothers, Laksmana, Bharata, and Satrughna. They are all vishnu-tattva. Lord Krishna expands Himself as Lord Balarama to increase His transcendental pastimes. Lord Balarama expands Himself as the catur-vyuha: Vasudeva, Sankarshana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha. These four expands have appeared as Lord Rama and His brothers. They were born from Maharaja Dasaratha who had previously appeared as Vasudeva, Kashyapa, and Nanda.

Lord Rama was always accompanied by His younger brother Laksmana. In Sri-Caitanya-caritamrita, Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja gives an in depth study of the character of Laksmana: "Lord Nityananda Svarupa formerly appeared as Laksmana and served Lord Ramacandra as His younger brother. THe activities of Lord Rama were full of suffering, but Laksmana, of His own accord, tolerated that suffering. As a younger brother He could not stop Lord Rama from His resolution, and so He remained silent, although unhappy in His mind." This not only gives us a psychological study of Laksmana but also the mood of Lord Rama's pastimes.

The Ramayana, written by Valmiki Muni, is the authoritative scripture that deals with the pastimes of Lord Rama. The Ramayana is considered to be one of the first epic poems written. In the adventures of Lord Rama, we find romance, drama, fierce battles and deep friendship.

It all began with Pulastya Muni's son, Visrava. He was a powerful brahmana who is also the father of Kuvera. He was approached by a rakshasi, demoness. Together they had many children. But since she had approached him at an inauspicious time, she gave birth to terrible demons. Ravana was born with ten heads and twenty arms. Kumbha Karna was a huge demon who was eating anything and anyone. But their last son was a great devotee of the Lord. His name was Vibhisnana.

Ravana was given many benedictions by Lord Brahma. He began terrorizing the universe. The demigods prayed for the Lord to appear. Lord Rama descended in the Raghu dynasty to appease the demigods. The Sri Ramarcana-dipika describes the Lord's birth: "During the ninth tithi, when five planets were exalted, when Jupiter was conjoined with the moon in the constellation Punarvasu in Cancer on the ascendent, and when the sun was in Aries, from the arani wood of Ayodhya was kindled a sacrificial fire of unprecedented power manifested to burn the palasa wood fuel (of a great host of demons)."

Here are some excerpts from the Ninth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam depicting the padtimes of Lord Sri Rama:

"To keep the promise of His father intact, Lord Rāmacandra immediately gave up the position of king and, accompanied by His wife, mother Sītā, wandered from one forest to another on His lotus feet, which were so delicate that they were unable to bear even the touch of Sītā's palms. The Lord was also accompanied by Hanumān [or by another monkey, Sugrīva], king of the monkeys, and by His own younger brother Lord Lakṣmaṇa, both of whom gave Him relief from the fatigue of wandering in the forest. Having cut off the nose and ears of Śūrpaṇakhā, thus disfiguring her, the Lord was separated from mother Sītā. He therefore became angry, moving His eyebrows and thus frightening the ocean, who then allowed the Lord to construct a bridge to cross the ocean. Subsequently, the Lord entered the kingdom of Rāvaṇa to kill him, like a fire devouring a forest. May that Supreme Lord, Rāmacandra, give us all protection."

"O King, the pastimes of Lord Rāmacandra were wonderful, like those of a baby elephant. In the assembly where mother Sītā was to choose her husband, in the midst of the heroes of this world, He broke the bow belonging to Lord Śiva. This bow was so heavy that it was carried by three hundred men, but Lord Rāmacandra bent and strung it and broke it in the middle, just as a baby elephant breaks a stick of sugarcane. Thus the Lord achieved the hand of mother Sītā, who was equally as endowed with transcendental qualities of form, beauty, behavior, age and nature. Indeed, she was the goddess of fortune who constantly rests on the chest of the Lord. While returning from Sītā's home after gaining her at the assembly of competitors, Lord Rāmacandra met Paraśurāma. Although Paraśurāma was very proud, having rid the earth of the royal order twenty-one times, he was defeated by the Lord, who appeared to be a kṣatriya of the royal order."

"O King Parīkṣit, when Rāvaṇa, who had ten heads on his shoulders, heard about the beautiful and attractive features of Sītā, his mind was agitated by lusty desires, and he went to kidnap her. To distract Lord Rāmacandra from His āśrama, Rāvaṇa sent Mārīca in the form of a golden deer, and when Lord Rāmacandra saw that wonderful deer, He left His residence and followed it and finally killed it with a sharp arrow, just as Lord Śiva killed Dakṣa."

"After constructing a bridge over the ocean by throwing into the water the peaks of mountains whose trees and other vegetation had been shaken by the hands of great monkeys, Lord Rāmacandra went to Lańkā to release Sītādevī from the clutches of Rāvaṇa. With the direction and help of Vibhīṣaṇa, Rāvaṇa's brother, the Lord, along with the monkey soldiers, headed by Sugrīva, Nīla and Hanumān, entered Rāvaṇa's kingdom, Lańkā, which had previously been burnt by Hanumān."

"After thus rebuking Rāvaṇa, Lord Rāmacandra fixed an arrow to His bow, aimed at Rāvaṇa, and released the arrow, which pierced Rāvaṇa's heart like a thunderbolt. Upon seeing this, Rāvaṇa's followers raised a tumultuous sound, crying, "Alas! Alas! What has happened? What has happened?" as Rāvaṇa, vomiting blood from his ten mouths, fell from his airplane, just as a pious man falls to earth from the heavenly planets when the results of his pious activities are exhausted."

Raghupati Raghava Raja-Ram
Patita Pavana Sita-Rama
Lord Sri Rama Ki Jaya!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sri Gauranga-stava-kalpa-vrksa by Srila Raghunatha das Gosvami

When everyone sees His graceful motions they revile the graceful mad elephant and when they see His face they spit at the moon. He is as splendid as a gold mountain and the waves of His words are nectar. The appearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, awakening in my heart, maddens me.

Decorating Himself with the jewels of paleness, becoming stunned, stuttering, trembling, shedding tears, and bodily hairs erect with joy, and laughing and perspiring, as He danced for the pleasure of Lord Jagannath, may Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu rise in my heart and make me mad with love.

Staggering about in ecstasy, sprinkling everyone with water from the reddish syringes of His eyes, joyfully biting His charming lips with His teeth, and trembling as he dances, may Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu rise in my heart and make me mad with love.

Sometimes Sri Caitanya would go to the house of Kasi Misra. There would be greatly aggrieved, feeling separation from Krishna. The joints of His transcendental body would slacken, and His arms and legs would become elongated. Rolling on the ground, the Lord would cry out in distress in a faltering voice and weep very sorrowfully. The appearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, awakening in my heart, maddens me.

How wonderful it is! Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu left His residence without opening the three strongly bolted doors. Then He crossed over three high walls, and later, because of strong feelings of separation from Krishna, He fell down amidst the cows of the Tailanga district and retracted all the limbs of His body like a tortoise. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who appeared in that way, rises in my heart and maddens me.

Because of separation from His many friends in Vrindavana, who were like His own life, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu spoke like a madman. His intelligence was transformed. Day and night He rubbed His moonlike face against the walls, and blood flowed from the injuries. May that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu rise in my heart and make me mad with love.

"My dear friend the doorkeeper, where is Krishna, the Lord of my heart? Kindly show Him to Me quickly." With these words Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu addressed the doorkeeper like a madman. The doorkeeper grasped His hand and replied very hastily, "Come, see Your beloved!" May that Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu rise within my heart and thus make me mad also.

Near Jagannath Puri was a great sand dune known as Cataka-parvata. Seeing that hill, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, "Oh, I shall go to the land of Vraja to see Govardhana Hill." Then He began running madly to it, and all the Vaisnavas ran after Him. This scene awakens in my heart and maddens me.

Under a charming pavilion at the swing festival, with Svarupa Damodara and the other devotees He sweetly sang the holy names of Lord Krishna. May Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu rise in my heart and make me mad with love.

As Lord Narayana is kind to Garuda, He is kind to Govinda dasa. As Lord Krishna is devoted to His guru, He is devoted to Isvara Puri. As Lord Giridhari loves Subala, He loves Svarupa Damodara. May that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu rise in my heart and make me mad with love.

Although I am a fallen soul, the lowest of men, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu delivered me from the blazing forest fire of great material opulence by His mercy. He landed me over in great pleasure to Svarupa Damodara, His personal associate. The Lord also gave me the garland of small conch shells that He wore on His chest and a stone from Govardhana Hill, although they were very dear to Him. That same Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu awakens within my heart and makes me mad after Him.

One who, with the water of careful reading mixed with the medicine of strong faith, waters this celestial tree, its charming branches the verses of this poem, and the splendor of its flowers pure love for Lord Gauranga, will reap that tree's heavy fruit: the sight of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Monday, February 16, 2009

Justify My Soul

This is a nice prayer by one of my heroes, Thomas Merton. I hope it inspires:

"Justify my soul, O God, but also from Your fountains fill my will with fire. Shine in my mind, although perhaps this means "be darkness to my experience," but occupy my heart with Your tremendous Life. Let my eyes see nothing in the world but Your glory, and let my hands touch nothing that is not for Your service. Let my tongue taste no bread that does not strengthen me to praise Your great mercy. I will hear Your voice, and I will hear all the harmonies you have created singing your hymns. Sheep's wool and cotton from the field shall warm me enough that I may live in Your service; I will give the rest to the poor. Let me use all things for one sole reason: to find my joy in giving You glory."

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Appearance Day of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura

This is a song written by His Divine Grace Srila Bahaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur:

O wicked mind! What kind of vaisnava do you think you are? Your pretentious show of chanting Lord Hari's holy name in a solitary place is only for the sake of attaining false prestige of a worldly reputation- it is nothing but pure hypocrisy.

Such materialistic prestige is as disgusting as the stool of a hog. Do you not know that it is only a mere illusion cast by the potency of Maya? What is the value of contemplating day and night your plans for enjoying wealth and women? All these things are only temporary.

When you claim wealth as your own, it creates in you ever-increasing desires for material enjoyment. Your riches should be used for serving Madhava, the Lord of all wealth. Neither is it your proper place to indulge in lust for women, whose only true proprietor is Lord Yadva.

The demon Ravana (lust-incarnate) fought with Lord Ramacandra (love-incarnate) in order to gain the tree of worldly reputation- but that oasis turned out to be a mirage cast in the desert wasteland of the Lord's illusoory material potency. Please cultivate fixed determination to attain only the steady and solid platform whereupon a Vaisnava ever stands. If you neglect worshiping the Lord from this position, then you will ultimately attain a hellish existence.

Why do you needlessly suffer the torment of blaspheming the devotees of Lord Hari, attempting to achieve their eminence, thereby only proving your own fruitless foolishness? The desire for spiritual eminence is easily fulfilled when one becomes a devotee of the Lord, for eternal fame automatically follows the heels of a Vaisnava. And that fame is never to be considered a temporary worldly opulence.

The relationship between a devotee and Lord Hari is devoid of even a trace of worldly illusion; it has nothing to do with the materialistic cheating propensity. The prestige of so-called popularity in the material realm is compared to a treacherous dog-eating witch, and the attempt to live in solitude to supposedly engage in unalloyed bhajan is compared to an entangling network of distraction. Please know that anyone striving in either of these ways verily lives in the hell of Maya's illusion.

"I shall give up chanting the Lord's name publicly in kirtan and retire to solitude, thus smearing myself with worldly honor." Dear mind, what is the good of seeking such so-called glory? I will always remind you that the great soul Madhavendra Puri never deceived himself in that regard by committing theft in his own storehouse of perception the way you do.

Your cheap reputation is equal to the stool of a hog. An ordinary ambitious man like you can never be equated with a devotee of Madhavendra Puri's eminence. Under the sway of envy, you have drowned yourself in the filthy waters of material enjoyment after having abandoned the excellent perfection of congregational kirtan.

Truly, O wicked mind, the glories of so-called solitary worship are propagated only by false yogis using unscrupulous means to deceive others. To save yourself from these pitfalls, please contemplate the instructions that the Supreme Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu kindly gave us while addressing Srila Sanatana Goswami with the utmost care.

Do not forget for a moment the two most valuable concepts that He taught: 19 the principle of dry, apparent renunciation as opposed to real, appropriate renunciation; and 20 the principle of a soul being trapped in the bondage of matter as opposed to a soul who is liberated. Don't ever make the mistake of thinking that these conflicting concepts are on the same level. Please remember this while engaging yourself in chanting the Lord's holy names as loud as you possibly can.

One is truly a Vaisnava who has given up the habit of falling victim to the ferocious tigress of wealth, beauty, and fame. Such a soul is factually detached from material life, and is known as a pure devotee. Someone with this consciousness of detachment has thereby become victorious over the mundane world of birth and death.

One is indeed detached who moderately partakes of worldly things that are deemed necessary for living in devotional service; a devotee acting in that manner does not fall prey to the disease of material infatuation. Thus devoid of selfish attachment, and endowed with the ability to see things in relation to the Lord, all sense objects are then directly perceived as being Lord Madhava Himself.

This is the standard of befitting renunciation, and one who realizes this is most fortunate indeed.Everything involved in such a devotee's life represents Lord Hari's personal spiritual opulence as manifest in the world of matter. On the other hand, one who engages in chanting the Lord's name with hopes of enhancing his own material reputation finds that all his activities and paraphernalia represent only the riches of hypocrisy.

O mind, please reject the company of two types of persons- those desiring impersonal liberation from the material world, and those who desire to enjoy the pleasure of material sense objects. Both of these are equally non-devotees. The things that are used in relation to Lord Krishna are objects belonging directly to the transcendental realm, and thus having nothing to do with matter they cannot be either owned or forsaken by persons interested in mundane enjoyment or renunciation.

An impersonal philosopher is opposed to thinking of Krishna as an object of devotion, and thus being puffed up with the false pride of imaginary liberation he dares to criticize the true devotees of the Lord. O mind, you are the servant of the Vaisnavas, and you should always hope for attaining devotion. Why then do you make such a loud commotion by calling to me and trying to prove the supposed supremecy of your practice of solitary worship?

One who falsely gives up things that could actually be used in the Lord's service proudly calls himself a 'renunciate' but unfortunately he can never become a Vaisnava by such an attitude. Abandoning his servitorship to the lotus feet of Lord Hari, and resigning himself to his solitary home- whatever is gained by that exercise can only be the worthless treasure of deception.

Ever engage yourself in the service of Sri Radha, and keep allof from the vicious snake of materialistic sense gratification. The glory of participating in the Lord's kirtan is not meant to bolster anyone's ambitions for personal recognition. O mind, why then have you abandoned the identity of being Radha's eternal servant in favor of retiring to a solitary place to practice the cheating process of so-called bhajan?

The most valuable treasures amongst the Lord's preachers are the eternal personalities residing in Vraja-dham. They never occupy themselves with begging for worthless material reputation, which is cherished only by the living dead. The Vraja-vasis are truly infused with life, and therefore they preach in order to give life to the walking corpses of the mundane world. All the songs that the Vraja-vasis sing about the glories of Lord Krishna are devoid of any tinge desire for fame.

This humble servant of Radha and Her beloved Krishna always hopes for kirtan, and he begs all to loudly sing the names of Lord hari. The transcendental power of congregational chanting automatically awakens remembrance of the Lord and His divine pastimes in relation to one's own eternal spiritual form. Only at that time does ti become possible to go off to a solitary place and engage in the confidential worship of Their Lordships.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sri-Caitanya-Caritamrita Adi Lila, Chapter 2, Text 5 Purport

The compilers of the Upaniṣads speak very highly of the impersonal Brahman. The Upaniṣads, which are considered the most elevated portion of the Vedic literatures, are meant for persons who desire to get free from material association and who therefore approach a bona fide spiritual master for enlightenment. The prefix upa- indicates that one must receive knowledge about the Absolute Truth from a spiritual master. One who has faith in his spiritual master actually receives transcendental instruction, and as his attachment for material life slackens, he is able to advance on the spiritual path. Knowledge of the transcendental science of the Upaniṣads can free one from the entanglement of existence in the material world, and when thus liberated, one can be elevated to the spiritual kingdom of the Supreme Personality of Godhead by advancement in spiritual life.

The beginning of spiritual enlightenment is realization of impersonal Brahman. Such realization is effected by gradual negation of material variegatedness. Impersonal Brahman realization is the partial, distant experience of the Absolute Truth that one achieves through the rational approach. It is compared to one's seeing a hill from a distance and taking it to be a smoky cloud. A hill is not a smoky cloud, but it appears to be one from a distance because of our imperfect vision. In imperfect or smoky realization of the Absolute Truth, spiritual variegatedness is conspicuous by its absence. This experience is therefore called advaita-vāda, or realization of the oneness of the Absolute.

The impersonal glowing effulgence of Brahman consists only of the personal bodily rays of the Supreme Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Since Śrī Gaurasundara, or Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, is identical with Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself, the Brahman effulgence consists of the rays of His transcendental body.

Similarly, the Supersoul, which is called the Paramātmā, is a plenary representation of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. The antar-yāmī, the Supersoul in everyone's heart, is the controller of all living entities. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā (15.15), wherein Lord Kṛṣṇa says, sarvasya cāhaḿ hṛdi sanniviṣṭaḥ: "I am situated in everyone's heart." The Bhagavad-gītā (5.29) also states, bhoktāraḿ yajña-tapasāḿ sarva-loka-maheśvaram, indicating that the Supreme Lord, acting in His expansion as the Supersoul, is the proprietor of everything. Similarly, the Brahma-saḿhitā (5.35) states, aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu-cayāntara-stham. The Lord is present everywhere, within the heart of every living entity and within each and every atom as well. Thus by this Supersoul feature the Lord is all-pervading.

Furthermore, Lord Caitanya is also the master of all wealth, strength, fame, beauty, knowledge and renunciation because He is Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself. He is described as pūrṇa, or complete. In the feature of Lord Caitanya, the Lord is an ideal renouncer, just as Śrī Rāma was an ideal king. Lord Caitanya accepted the order of sannyāsa and exemplified exceedingly wonderful principles in His own life. No one can compare to Him in the order of sannyāsa. Although in Kali-yuga acceptance of the sannyāsa order is generally forbidden, Lord Caitanya accepted it because He is complete in renunciation. Others cannot imitate Him but can only follow in His footsteps as far as possible. Those who are unfit for this order of life are strictly forbidden by the injunctions of the śāstras to accept it. Lord Caitanya, however, is complete in renunciation as well as all other opulences. He is therefore the highest principle of the Absolute Truth.

By an analytical study of the truth of Lord Caitanya, one will find that He is not different from the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa; no one is greater than or even equal to Him. In the Bhagavad-gītā (7.7) Lord Kṛṣṇa says to Arjuna, mattaḥ parataraḿ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya: "O conqueror of wealth [Arjuna], there is no truth superior to Me." Thus it is here confirmed that there is no truth higher than Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya.

The impersonal Brahman is the goal of those who cultivate the study of books of transcendental knowledge, and the Supersoul is the goal of those who perform the yoga practices. One who knows the Supreme Personality of Godhead surpasses realization of both Brahman and Paramātmā because Bhagavān is the ultimate platform of absolute knowledge.
The Personality of Godhead is the complete form of sac-cid-ānanda (full life, knowledge and bliss). By realization of the sat portion of the Complete Whole (unlimited existence), one realizes the impersonal Brahman aspect of the Lord. By realization of the cit portion of the Complete Whole (unlimited knowledge), one can realize the localized aspect of the Lord, the Paramātmā.

But neither of these partial realizations of the Complete Whole can help one realize ānanda, or complete bliss. Without such realization of ānanda, knowledge of the Absolute Truth is incomplete.
This verse of the Caitanya-caritāmṛta by Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī is confirmed by a parallel statement in the Tattva-sandarbha, by Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī. In the Ninth Part of the Tattva-sandarbha it is said that the Absolute Truth is sometimes approached as impersonal Brahman, which, although spiritual, is only a partial representation of the Absolute Truth. Nārāyaṇa, the predominating Deity in Vaikuṇṭha, is to be known as an expansion of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, but Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Absolute Truth, the object of the transcendental love of all living entities.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009

Spiritual Love

"There are different states of God realization. The idea of merging into God or entering into the all-pervading oneness, beyond this temporary existence, is a very preliminary partial understanding of God realization. That type of mukti, or salvation, or nirvana, is to be completely free from the sufferings of this world, and to enter a state of total peace. You're really non-existent as far as a personality. You're simply resting in an atmosphere of utter peace. Yes?

But a higher realization of the Absolute is love. What is higher peace or love? To some people they may want peace. But actually peace is the negation of all disturbances. Just like when you fall asleep, you're peaceful because you forget everything. When you have a nightmare it's different, but when you're just sleeping it's very peaceful because everything is forgotten. When you go into a deep state of meditation you enter a state where you're oblivious to the world. There's peace. And this is a spiritual realization that type of peace.

But a more complete and full spiritual realization is love or prema. Prema is ecstatic. It's actually a higher ecstasy to suffer for your beloved than to be in peace. Because even in suffering for, on a spiritual platform, suffering for God is an expression of very, very deep love. And it transcends and goes beyond even the peace of oneness.

So yes, we should understand that the real craving of the heart is for this love. Spiritual love."

-His Holiness Radhanath Swami Maharaja