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.