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!