Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christ Mass

By Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada
From Krishna Kathamrita Bindu issue 241 (The entire issue can be read or downloaded here: )

Question: If Jesus Christ was a jagad-guru and his instructions are capable of bringing us deliverance, why do we need a spiritual master?
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada: We accept both the universal spiritual master and the initiating spiritual master. By accepting only the jagad-guru, we may face many anarthas. If at present we want to follow Christ’s orders by accepting him as jagad-guru and we think we do not require an initiating spiritual master, we will certainly face doubt about how well we can follow Christ’s orders. The Supreme Lord or universal jagad-guru delivers his instructions about the absolute truth only through the disciplic succession. As I sit on the bank of the Ganga in Nabadwip, far from the Himalayas where the Ganga originates, and am able to touch her water here, the initiating spiritual master similarly brings the Ganga of pure devotional service, which emanates from the lord’s lotus feet, and places it in my hand and on my head. Because I am an ordinary, powerless, poor person, I am not able to climb the Himalayas to touch her water there. Similarly, if the flow of the Ganga from the Himalayas is interrupted on the way, I would have to face the danger of accepting a polluted flow instead of the pure Ganga. If the instructions Jesus Christ gave two thousand years ago do not come to us through disciplic succession, or if we have to sort them out from books, then perhaps we may create a blunder and accept a perversion of the truth taught in the name of Christianity. We may even come to accept something opposite from what he taught, thinking it his actual philosophy.
The initiating spiritual master is also jagad-guru because he is a manifestation of the original jagad-guru. Out of his causeless mercy he delivers the message of the original jagad-guru through the disciplic succession. He does not cheat or flatter the disciple, nor does he yearn for any material gain. He is simply a messenger of the absolute truth.
— Amrta Vani, p. 44. Touchstone Media. Mumbai. 2004.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Moving Water

A beautiful poem by Rumi:

"When you do things from your soul, you feel a moving in you, a joy.

When actions come from another section, the feeling disappears. Don't let others lead you.

They may be blind or, worse, vultures. Reach for the rope of God.

And what is that? Putting aside self-will. 
Because of willfulness people sit in jail, the trapped bird's wings are tied, fish sizzle in the skillet.

The anger of police is willfulness. You've seen a magistrate inflict visible punishment. 

Now see the invisible. If you could leave your selfishness, you would see how you've been torturing your soul. 

We are born and live inside black water in a well.

How could we know what an open field of sunlight is? Don't insist on going where you think you want to go. 

Ask the way to the spring. Your living pieces will form a harmony.

There is a moving palace that floats in the air with balconies and clear water flowing through, infinity everywhere, yet contained under a single tent."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Revelation of Desires

Srila Raghunath das Gosvami's Abhista-sucanam from the book Stavavali:

Text 1
I pray that the wild horse of my heart may become like the cintamani jewel horse Srila Rupa Gosvami, which carries as its rider the desire to serve the gopa prince's beloved.

Text 2
Because of Srila Rupa Gosvami's efforts, my heart is now peaceful, controlled, able to know the nature of spirit, fixed in yoga, and attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Now that I have attained Srila Rupa's smiling, nectarean, compassionate glance, my heart has become wild by remembering the transcendental pastimes of Lord Hari.

Text 3
O doe playing in the forest, you are all very fortunate because with your eyes you always drink the nectar of Lord Krishna's face. As for myself, I am simply an unlucky dog wandering in Vraja trying to fill my belly. I never see Lord Krishna for even a moment.

Text 4
O friend, when you serve Vraja's king and queen, who many times have met in my heart, please give the remnants of Their betel nuts to me.

Text 5
O friend, I see you serving Sri Radha who, languid from many passionate amorous pastimes, and Her cheeks wet with perspiration, rests on the couch of Lord Krishna's chest.

Text 6
May the splendid moon of Lord Krishna, which tirelessly dispels the great darkness of the demons, showers the nectar of pure love on the devotees, cools the white lotus of Sri Radha, and makes the flowers of Her breasts blossom with happiness, protect us.

Text 7
At what very auspicious time will I directly see Sri Sri Radha-Krishna enjoying the sweet rasa-lila, arguing over some yogurt at the base of a hill, and playing with Their friends in waves of joking words pushed by breezes of amorous desire?

Text 8
May Krishna, the leader of the cowherd boys who, as He walks on the path with His friends and surabhi cows, with happiness and concern offers hundreds of blessings to Rohini-devi and the other devotees, and who, as the concerned queen of Vraja tearfully glances at His friends and at the lion-like Balarama, is gazed at with love and pride by the people of Vraja and with words of praise by Radha and His other gopi beloveds, protect us.

Text 9
"Friend who is this girl We have never seen before?"
"She is a vraja-gopi." 
"From where has she come? Why has she come?"
"She has come from Mathura-pura to worship You."
When She heard the playful words "Now You may enjoy with the incomparable Lord Hari" Radha understood thath the girl was Krishna in disguise and at once burst into a smile.

Text 10
O tongue tortured by thirst, please mix the delicious nectar of the name Radha with the wonderfully sweet condensed milk of the name Krishna, ass the fragrant ice of pure love and drink this charming drink at every moment.

Text 11
O moon of Lord Caitanya, please make the lotus of my heart bloom! Please make that lotus beautiful with swarms of dancing bumblebees of meditation upon You! Please shake away the dense darkness of my offenses! o kind Lord, please make sinful me drink the nectar of your lotus feet!

Text 12
I pray that I may fan the two young dancers of Vraja who have become fatigued by happily dancing in Cupid's arena in an incomparable forest grove filled with the instrumental music of the expert cuckoos and the humming songs of the bees.

Text 13
On the strength of the service I have done to the pollen of his lotus feet, I am able to always reside, even times of trouble, by the shore of Radha-kunda at the base of Govardhana Hill. Protected by his friends, I chant and hear Sri Sri Radha-Mukunda's holy names, which defeat the sweetest nectar. I pray that Srila Rupa Gosvami may always protect me.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Radha and Durga

Radhastami is this Wednesday so I've been reading about and meditating on Srimati Radharani. 

In Srila Jiva Gosvami's commentary on Sri Brahma-samhita, verse 3,there is an interesting section talking about Durga and Radha:

"Sometimes Goddess Durga is also described as the supreme controller. This is also correct because there is no difference between the potencies and Lord Krishna, the master of the potencies. This is confirmed by the following words of the Gautamiya Tantra:

'Krishna is Durga. Durga is Krishna. One who sees that They are different will not become liberated from the cycle of repeated birth and death.'

Durga is the personal potency of Lord Krishna, and therefore She is Lord Krishna Himself. For this reason Durga should not be considered manifested from a portion of the Lord's illusory potency, Maya. This fact is confirmed by the following statement of the Nirukti:

'Even if one continually worships Her, Durga is still difficult to understand.'

Durga is also described in Narada-pancaratra, in the following conversation of Sruti and Vidya:

' Durga is the supreme goddess. She is an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. She is the transcendental potency of the Lord. She is manifested from the form of Lord Maha-Vishnu.

' Simply by understanding Her one immediately attains the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is not otherwise.

' She is identical with Gokul's queen Sri Radha, who possesses a great treasure of love for Krishna. By Her grace, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of all living entities, is easily understood.

' She is the potency of personified devotional service. She worships Her beloved Supreme Lord. Because She is understood only with great difficulty, the saintly devotees call Her Durga, (difficult to understand.) She is the personal potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and She is always filled with the nectar of love for Him.

' From Her is manifested the mah-maya potency, the controller of all conditioned souls, who covers them with illusion. By this maha-maya potency the residents of the entire world are bewildered into thinking themselves identical with their external material bodies."

In the Sammohana Tantra, Durga Herself declares:

'I am Durga. I possess all virtues. I am not different from Sri Radha, the eternal, supreme goddess of fortune.'"

Friday, September 10, 2010

Three Kinds Of Bhakti

A wonderful purport from Sri-Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi Lila, Chapter 4, texts 21-22 that I was studying:

In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta three kinds of devotional service are described — namely, bhakti (ordinary devotional service), śuddha-bhakti (pure devotional service) and viddha-bhakti (mixed devotional service).
When devotional service is executed with some material purpose, involving fruitive activities, mental speculations or mystic yoga, it is called mixed or adulterated devotional service. Besides bhakti-yoga, the Bhagavad-gītā also describeskarma-yogajñāna-yoga and dhyāna-yogaYoga means linking with the Supreme Lord, which is possible only through devotion. Fruitive activities ending in devotional service, philosophical speculation ending in devotional service, and the practice of mysticism ending in devotional service are known respectively as karma-yogajñāna-yoga and dhyāna-yoga. But such devotional service is adulterated by the three kinds of material activities.
For those grossly engaged in identifying the body as the self, pious activity, orkarma-yoga, is recommended. For those who identify the mind with the self, philosophical speculation, or jñāna-yoga, is recommended. But devotees standing on the spiritual platform have no need of such material conceptions of adulterated devotion. Adulterated devotional service does not directly aim for love of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore service performed strictly in conformity with the revealed scriptures is better than such viddha-bhakti because it is free from all kinds of material contamination. It is executed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, solely to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Those who are spontaneously devoted to the Lord and have no aims for material gain are called attracted devotees. They are spontaneously attracted to the service of the Lord, and they follow in the footsteps of self-realized souls. Their pure devotion (śuddha-bhakti), manifested from pure love of Godhead, surpasses the regulative principles of the authoritative scriptures. Sometimes loving ecstasy transcends regulative principles; such ecstasy, however, is completely on the spiritual platform and cannot be imitated. The regulative principles help ordinary devotees rise to the stage of perfect love of Godhead. Pure love for Kṛṣṇa is the perfection of pure devotion, and pure devotional service is identical with spontaneous devotional service.
Flawless execution of regulative principles is exhibited in the Vaikuṇṭha planets. By strictly executing these principles one can be elevated to the Vaikuṇṭha planets. But spontaneous pure loving service is found in Kṛṣṇaloka alone.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mode Of Worship

An excerpt from Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur's Sri Caitanya-siksamrta:

"People in various countries on various continents have a wide variety of natures. Although their principal nature is only one, their secondary characteristics are many- you will not find any two people in the world who have identical secondary qualities. Since even twins born of the same womb have some difference in form and quality, can one expect that people born in different countries can ever have exactly the same qualities?

Different countries have different water, air, mountains, forests, and different eatables and clothing. Because of this, the people of these places have naturally developed different physiques, complexions, customs, clothing and food. Similarly, people's mentalities differ. 

Thus, various people's ideas of God though basically similar, will differ in secondary details...

Considered objectively, there is no harm in secondary differences. If there is agreement concerning the essential nature of God and His worship, there should be no obstacle in attaining the same result. Thus Mahaprabhu has taught that we should instruct everyone to worship the pure form of the Lord, but at the same time we should not criticize others' mode of worship."

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Soul Poems by Rumi


One Song

What is praised is one, so the praise is one too,
many jugs being poured 
into a huge basin. 
All religions, all this singing, one song.

The differences are just illusion and vanity. Sunlight looks slightly different on this wall
than it does on that wall and a lot different on this other one, but
it is still one light. We have borrowed these clothes, these time-and-space personalities,
from a light, and when we praise, we pour them back in.


Four Interrupted Prayers

Four Indians enter a mosque and begin the prostrations.
Deep, sincere praying.

But a priest walks by, and one of the Indians, without thinking says, "Oh, are you going to give the call to prayer now? Is it time?"

The second Indian, under his breath, "You spoke. Now your prayers are invalid."

The third, "Uncle, don't scold him! You did the same thing. Correct yourself." 

The fourth, "Praise to God, I have not made the mistake of these three." 

So all four prayers are interrupted, with the three faultfinders being more at fault than the original speaker. 
Blessed is one who his weakness, and blessed is one who, when he sees a flaw in someone else , takes responsibility for it.
Because, half of any person is wrong and weak and off the path.
The other half is dancing and swimming and flying in the invisible joy. 
You have ten open sores on your head. Put what salve you have on yourself. And point out to everyone the disease you are.

That's part of getting well! When you lance yourself that way, you become more merciful and wiser. Even if you don't have a particular fault at the moment, you may soon be the one who makes some act notorious. 

Don't feel self-satisfied. Lucifer lived eons as a noble angel. Think what his name means now.
Don't try to be famous until your face is completely washed of any fear. If your beard hasn't grown out, don't joke about someone's smooth chin.

Consider how Satan swallowed soul poison, and be grateful that you taste only the sweetness of being warned.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Srila Vamsidas Babaji Maharaja

Yesterday was the tirobhava of Srila Vamsidas Babaji Maharaja, a great saint the Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition. Tirobhava, is translated as disappearance, because saints do not die like ordinary mortals. They wrap up their lila, or pastimes on the mundane plane. "He reasons ill who say vaisnavas die, while still living in sound. Vaisnavas die to live and living try to spread the holy name around."

Vamsidas Babaji was born in 1859 in a small village located in what is now known as Bangladesh. He grew up in family of fishermen. Nothing more was expected of him in life than to become a fisherman. Life at that time was very rough due to intense poverty.
He was initiated by the family guru who was from the line of Narottama das Thakura. He began to disassociate himself from this material world. He started spending more time at his guru's ashram. He then took initiation from Narottam das Babaji.

Vamsidas Babaji, like most paramahamsa babajis in Gaudiya Vaisnavism, did not follow certain rules and regulations meant for sadhakas. Rather his love of God flowed naturally that materialistic people cannot understand. 
Vamsidas stood six feet tall, never cut his beard or hair, which was disheveled and matted, he never took a bath, and was prone to go on fasts for many days. His eyes looked wild and he only wore kaupins, or loincloths.
Even though he appeared dirty, he was always healthy and very strong. 
He always spoke of Krishna and devotional service, but due to his intense devotion he could rarely be understood. He spoke in an unintelligible manner with little apparent connection between one sentence and the next. Sometimes he would start shouting the names of Krishna over and over again in ecstatic love.
Vamsidas always thought of Radha's and Krishna's pastimes or Mahaprabhu's and Nityananda's pastimes. He always sang songs about Them and always served Them with great love.
He mostly stayed in Navadvip where he lived in a small bhajan-kutir. There he had deities of Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai, Radha-Krishna and Bal Gopal. He would often carry Bal Gopal around in his right hand. He would spend hours talking to the deities. Srila Prabhupada gave a lecture in Los Angeles stating: "If you think this deity is a brass-made idol, then it will remain a brass-made idol to you forever. But if you elevate yourself to higher platform of Krishna consciousness, then Krishna, this Krishna, will talk with you. There is a Vamsidas Babaji Maharaja, he was talking with his Deity."

There are many beautiful pastimes of Babaji Maharaja. I'm very sorry that I cannot properly describe all of them now. 
One time during his stay in Jagannath Puri, during Ratha-yatra, Lord Jagannnath's cart stopped where Babaji Maharaja was staying. Whatever they tried to do they could not move the cart. After Babaji Maharaja had some intimate conversations with the Lord the chariot started moving again.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura revered Vamsidas as a great saint and were very eager to serve him and receive his association. They first met him in 1903. In later years Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati sometimes crossed the river from Mayapur to visit Babaji Maharaja in Kuliya. Seeing him coming Vamsidas would claim, "Oh, a manjari has come, so won't Radha also come? She will come! She will come!"  Bhaktisiddhanta always had three brahmacaris stay with Babaji Maharaja just to get his food remnants. They would then send the remnants to Mayapur and Vrindavan. The Goswamis in charge of Radha-Raman would eagerly take the foodstuffs. 

It is very difficult to try and understand the great souls from an intellectual and mundane point of view. Attempting to glorify them is great purification. I sincerely seek Babaji Maharaja's blessings.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Where is the mercy I was promised?

Hear I cry and laugh
Laugh at my stupidity
How could it be , that I let my mind flee?
Still I'll tread steadily 
Will you wait for me?
You are miles ahead
I'm struggling to get out of bed
Remember what Gurudev said?

The snow is deep
inhalations burn but now it's my turn
My turn to hold Vasuki and churn
Churn out my desires and impurity
Are you still trying to get through to me?

Shiva don't throw the trident down
In this ocean of milk I'll drown 
Unless you save me...........

Is this the mercy I was promised?

I fall and cry out loud
No, I've been way too proud
Count myself out of the crowd
Read out loud and now I wear the shroud

Forgot the route back to the sky
that blissful sky where you'll go when you die
I let out a heavy sigh and you ask why

Why? Am I alive
or am I dead body decorated with jewels?
I'm only alive to those gross fools

Here I stand proud only to be brought down on my knees
Begging please, please, please

      Show me some mercy..........

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Thought From Yesterday

Yesterday, I had an epiphany that hit me like a wrecking ball. We cannot understand non-sectarianism if we are on the bodily concept of life. Do you agree? Allow me to make my point.

We are eternal spirit souls. That is the very beginning of real knowledge according to all religious and philosophical schools. This body is temporary and full of suffering. It dies, the spirit goes on. This is the first thing to be realized, not just known, but actualized. And this is also something I could go on for pages about, but will not here.

When we are in illusion, we believe we are the body. When we believe we are the body, we think, "I am American, Chinese, Mexican, or what have you." Then, "I am Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, male, female, and so on and so on."

We connect with other people that have similar "body types." The mentality of a person is then very much shaped by the constrictions placed upon the idea of your body.

Non-sectarianism is first understanding that the body has very little value and the soul is the most important thing. In the Bhagavad-gita, Chapter 18, texts 19-21 it is stated, "According to the three different modes of material nature, there are three kinds of knowledge, action and performer of action. Now hear of them from Me. That knowledge by which one undivided spiritual nature is seen in all living entities, though they are divided into innumerable forms, you should understand to be in the mode of goodness. That knowledge by which one sees that in every different body there is a different type of living entity you should understand to be in the mode of passion."

We are divided in our thinking. By freeing ourselves from the bodily consciousness, we will understand the truth: everyone is an eternal servant of God. Everyone no matter what color your skin, no matter what political view you hold, and no matter what religious practice you are a part of. 

How do we place the truth in our heart? The holy name of the Lord is that which will illuminate our heart clearing away all darkness. He will clean everything, so that we can understand properly. Then we can have real peace.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Remembering Aindra Prabhu


As the effulgent sun of Sri Aindra Prabhu’s divine personality has risen in the spiritual world of Goloka Vrindaban, the sun of his physical presence has set in Gokula, the Vrindaban of this world. And we cry in separation.

The glorious life of Aindra Prabhu personifies determination and devotion, all aimed exclusively for the pleasure of Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundara. His heart floods like the Yamuna while being inundated by the monsoon of Srila Prabhupada’s Divine Grace. His love for Vrindaban is the life of his soul.

Aindra Prabhu was infinitely beyond being a musician. He passionately renounced all of the charms of the material world to exclusively dedicate his heart and soul to chanting the Holy Names of God. Day and night his entire being was engrossed in the names of Radha Shyamasundara. He breathed for kirtan. His heart beat for kirtan. Lord Chaitanya empowered his kirtan with an inconceivable sweetness, power and musical skill that attracted our hearts like no other. While singing kirtan Aindra Prabhu’s emotions would erupt like a volcano of devotion that inundated and mesmerized our hearts.

I believe every stone, brick and pillar of Krishna Balaram Temple and every tree and particle of sacred dust in Raman Reti is permeated with the sound vibration of Aindra Prabhu’s devotion. If we open our hearts we will hear. Aindra Prabhu exported the sweetness of Vrindaban’s love throughout the world and we are forever grateful.
As thousands of devotees cry upon the realization of his physical loss, I feel at a loss for words. Aindra Prabhu was so dear a friend and Godbrother to me. The kindness, love and encouragement that he always showered upon me are a treasure that I pray to remember forever.

Aindra Prabhu, your beloved Lordships, Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundara have now brought you into Their eternal pastimes. We celebrate your life with tears of gratitude.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Parents Of Spirit

This material world has so many promises. I remember growing up and feeling like I could be anything I wanted. Teachers and parents encourage you to strengthen your abilities so that one day you can use them in a profession to make lots of money. Will I do this with my daughter? Will I focus on her material assets more than her spiritual growth?

Parents who are following spiritual traditions want their children to also take part in their tradition. If the children decide to go somewhere else to receive spiritual knowledge than the parents become frustrated and sometimes even reject them. Often the children leave the tradition because it is not relevant to them or the parents want the children to be more serious than themselves.

I realize that I have to strengthen my daughter's talents and at the same time give her spiritual knowledge that will be relevant to her life. To do that I myself must have a strong practice and deep knowledge of the culture in which I am receiving spiritual knowledge. Isn't that kids have many questions that adults cannot answer and then that creates disappointment in learning from the adults?

In the Srimad Bhagavatam it is stated, "One who cannot deliver his dependents from the path of repeated birth and death should never become a spiritual master, a father, a husband, a mother or a worshipable demigod." 5.12.12
Today it seems that parents want somebody else to impart upon their children values and spiritual teachings.

A spiritual culture starts with spiritual parents. I have to look at myself when I get up and ask myself am I being a spiritual parent.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

God Is Love

I've been reading The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dosteovsky for the last week. It is a beautiful book that is making me think deeply on many subject matters. I wanted to share an excerpt with all of you that I found very moving.

The setting is a monastery where the hero Alyosha is meeting with his family to discuss things with the elder Zossima. Father Zossima is excused from the family to attend to some guests that are waiting for him. The visitors are peasant women from various places. He meets a few and they tell him their stories and sins. The excerpt is from their meeting:

But the elder had already noticed in the crowd two glowing eyes fixed upon him. An exhausted, consumptive- looking, though young peasant woman was gazing at him in silence. Her eyes besought him, but she seemed afraid to approach.
“What is it, my child?”

“Absolve my soul, Father,” she articulated softly and slowly, sank on her knees and bowed down at his feet. “I have sinned, Father. I am afraid of my sin.”
The elder sat down on the lower step. The woman crept closer to him, still on her knees.
“I am a widow these three years,” she began in a half-whisper, with a sort of shudder. “I had a hard life with my husband. He was an old man. He used to beat me cruelly. He lay ill; I thought looking at him, if he were to get well, if he were to get up again, what then? And then the thought came to me—”

“Stay!” said the elder, and he put his ear close to her lips.
The woman went on in a low whisper, so that it was almost impossible to catch anything. She had soon done.

“Three years ago?” asked the elder.

“Three years. At first I didn’t think about it, but now I’ve begun to be ill, and the thought never leaves me.”

“Have you come from far?”

“Over three hundred miles away.”

“Have you told it in confession?”

“I have confessed it. Twice I have confessed it.”

“Have you been admitted to Communion?”

“Yes. I am afraid. I am afraid to die.”

“Fear nothing and never be afraid; and don’t fret. If only your penitence fail not, God will forgive all. There is no sin, and there can be no sin on all the earth, which the Lord will not forgive to the truly repentant! Man cannot commit a sin so great as to exhaust the infinite love of God. Can there be a sin which could exceed the love of God? Think only of repentance, continual repentance, but dismiss fear altogether. Believe that God loves you as you cannot conceive; that He loves you with your sin, in your sin. It has been said of old that over one repentant sinner there is more joy in heaven than over ten righteous men. Go, and fear not. Be not bitter against men. Be not angry if you are wronged. Forgive the dead man in your heart what wrong he did you. Be reconciled with him in truth. If you are penitent, you love. And if you love you are of God. All things are atoned for, all things are saved by love. If I, a sinner, even as you are, am tender with you and have pity on you, how much more will God. Love is such a priceless treasure that you can redeem the whole world by it, and expiate not only your own sins but the sins of others.”

He signed her three times with the cross, took from his own neck a little ikon and put it upon her. She bowed down to the earth without speaking.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Against The Grain

In this world, the norm is to be self centered. I'm sure someone will disagree with me and start an argument, but allow me to present my case.

We are born. Everybody shows us affection and kindness. People buy us many different things so that we can be comfortable. From blankets to toys we are given the necessities and more. As we grow, our individuality develops and our likes and dislikes are more clear. Relatives and friends then struggle to meet the demands of your likes and keep you from your dislikes.

We continue to grow up. The rest of the adult life is spent focusing your career and marriage. Within the realm of that life you are again struggling to make things as comfortable for yourself as possible. All this time we are meditating on ourselves. True there are spurts of charity and renunciation in between but that is mostly out duty or trying to prove to yourself and others that you're a good person.

What I am trying to get at is that people deep down truly want to be selfless. The problem is that the world is pushing us towards selfishness. The great souls who have struggled on the path of enlightenment have shown us that we must go against this world. Lord Jesus, Lord Buddha, Lord Chaitanya, and many others have told us that we must go against the world. Jesus has spoken, "My kingdom is not of this world." John 18:36. He also told us to be in the world but not of the world.

We should understand that anybody who is sincerely seeking love of God, is not in this world. They are jiva-mukta, or liberated even in this life. They are not on the material plain. Therefore they are not affected by the propaganda of selfishness. Because they have love, real love, not lust, they have compassion and empathy.

Something that came to mind is that people want to be compassionate and loving but want to leave God out of the equation. They want Jesus without the Father, or Buddha without Nirvana. If you think of the people who are the kindest and most gentle in the world what automatically comes to mind? Those who are religious or spiritual. Mother Theresa and the Dalai Lama, or Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.; all these great souls are God Loving.

The sneaky propaganda now is that we can be atheistic and yet have the qualities of saints. Rather, if we do not realize that everything is meant for Krishna's service, then we will exploit whatever resources we have. Even renunciation cannot fully purify the heart, please read Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Chapter 5, Text 2 purport. If we think we can renounce anything that is illusion because everything is actually God's property.

So by surrendering unto the Lord and His servants we are able to cleanse the heart from selfishness. But to do so we must go against the grain.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Holy Names

By chanting the Holy Names of the Lord we are able to purify our hearts. By purifying our hearts we are able to understand who we actually are. Some people are prone to visiting psychiatrists to learn more about themselves. I am not against this because in some cases people need someone to really guide them and listen. But if we want to know our true selves, then we must cleanse the mirror of the heart.

By karma we have been given a certain body with traits that reflect our desires carried over from our past lives. We identify with this material body. When we wake up and look in the mirror most of us say I'm looking at myself. But in truth we are only looking at the vehicle that the soul is riding in. Yantrarudhani mayaya- or the machine in which the soul is seated. This is the false ego.

The chanting of Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare is the sacrifice for this age. What is sacrifice? The main sacrifice in this day and age is time. People are busy either in sense gratification or gaining money. Time is seen as valuable if you're engaged in these two activities. So, the chanting is sacrificing your time for the Lord. Instead of using your time for your own selfish agendas, you take the Holy Names.

To those who see sacrifice as a burnt offering or throwing grains into the mouth of Lord Vishnu, the sacrifice of the Holy Names is offering our minds and hearts unto the Lord by concentrating on His Names which are non-different than Him.

So by chanting the Holy Names we sacrifice our time to be with the Lord and by associating with the Lord we are able to establish our true ego- the eternal servant of God. The example given is the iron rod. If you place an iron rod in fire it will become like fire. Anything you touch it to will be burnt. If you place it in the cold, that rod will be cold. So by associating with the Lord we will be placed in our spiritual nature.

How do we receive inspiration for chanting? By associating with the Lord's devotees who are the representatives of Lord Krishna. So really everything depends on association. If we are truly introspective, we will use our intelligence in knowing what is good association and bad association. And we will know when to give our association to help others.

To really surrender to the Holy Names we must cultivate the six symptoms of surrender, which are: accepting that which is favorable for our Krishna consciousness, rejecting that which is unfavorable, knowing that the Lord will give protection, knowing the Lord is your guardian, full self surrender, and humility. And by surrendering to the Holy Names, Krishna will reveal everything to us.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Here is an excerpt from a lecture by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura that I read and thought I should spread it to others. It is dated November 10, 1936:

"I see the statue"- this kind of thinking is in the spirit of enjoyment, whereas "THe deity sees me, my uncovered pure self" is deity darshan. I f in the same way that I see a movie, drama, or gymnastic display or hear a song I think, "I can see the deity with my eyes and fathom Him by my intelligence," such an attempt will be on the material platform. One will derive no benefit from such inclinations not meant for satisfying the Lord's senses. Faith in the Lord entails not having faith in mundane enjoyment or renunciation. If one has faith in this world, then that is bhoga (enjoyment): "The objects of the world are for my enjoyment." Such a mentality is due to not having initiation and spiritual knowledge.

Worldly people are completely different from devotees. Difficulties occur when one thinks that He who is to be served should serve oneself: "O Lord, take notice of me. I am coming to collect dues from You in the form of dharma-artha-kama-moksha for sense gratification." Hiding this inner intention, a person says, jagannatha svami nayana-patha-gami bhavatu me and other such delerious karma-kandiya words. This is not bhakti. "I went and saw the holy place. I went and saw the tree. I went and saw Jagannath. I went and saw the sadhu. Bestowing upon them a degree, I have dismissed them and come here"- all of this is a matter of enjoyment and cannot at all be called service. If the consideration of "Who am I?" has not entered the heart, and if sambandha-jnana concerning my eternal object of worship never arises, then how will sraddha and saranagati develop?

Witout faith one cannot have darshan of the Lord or His devotee. Instead, malice and envy will appear. Why envy? One will become envious when another person rises higher than himself. In the opening of Bhagavatam, bhagavata-dharma is called the dharma of those sadhus who are without envy. All humanity is careering around only with the concept of dharma-artha-kama-moksha.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Essence of Religion

Today I was meditating on how violence and racism is being spread by so called religious people. Rather than coming together and helping one another we are working against each other. Because of this atheism is actually spreading. I thought to write a blog about this and then I saw this video by my spiritual master. Please watch it and then pass it on to others so that we can all be inspired to spread love, compassion and tolerance.