The wonders of Lord Jagannath.

January 13, 2011 at 9:41 am | Posted in Life | 1 Comment
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The manifestation of Lord Jagannath is transcendentally wonderful. His appearance in that form is described by Jaimini Rsi in Skanda Purana to an assembly of sages. The story of King Indradyumna who became the first worshiper of Lord Jagannath, and his life’s expression of devotion, is in itself a great delight. In short, the king was exceedingly eager to see the form of Lord Vishnu on this earth, and at the end of a sequence of miraculous events, the Supreme Lord had revealed through His representatives Narada and Lord Siva that He would appear in a `daru’, a wooden log, and that Vishvakarma would carve His form from that transcendental log. Vishvakarma had stipulated that he not be intruded upon for 21 days during the carving, but when there was a break in the chiseling sound, the greatly anxious king hastily came into the room where the Deities were being carved, only to find what he thought to be unfinished forms of the Deities. The king was in utter despair, thinking that he had committed a great offense. But Sri Narada Muni pacified him by explaining that it was the Lord’s transcendental will to manifest in that particular form.

Then Narada narrated the following pastime of how the Lord had originally manifested this extraordinary form that was now before the king.

Once the residents of Dwaraka became very eager to hear about the childhood pastimes of Krishna in Vrindavana. They knew how attached their Lord was to Vraja and its residents, but they did not know much about His pastimes there.

So they inquired from Rohinidevi, the mother of Balarama and one of the wives of Vasudeva, who happened to stay in Vrindavana with mother Yasoda during the entire childhood of Krishna-Balarama. Rohini was of course very happy to oblige, but there was one concern: if Krishna happened to overhear the glories of the love of the residents of Vrindavana, His feelings and transcendental emotions of separation from them would become attract the attention of Krishna to such a degree that His ecstasies would prevent Rohini from completing her narration of Krishna’s Vraja-lila. Therefore Subhadra devi, the sister of Krishna, volunteered to guard the door and keep Krishna from entering the room where Rohini’s Vraja-katha was taking place. But as Rohini devi started recounting the wonderful pastimes and the depth of intimacy in the loving exchanges between Krishna and the Vrajavasis, Subhadra devi became stunned. Just then Krishna and Balarama came and stood on either side of her hearing these narration and They too became stunned. Their eyes became wide, and in a mood of indescribable ecstasy, Their hands and feet retracted within Their bodies. This is the form of Lord Jagannath – Krishna in Dwaraka, enraptured and overwhelmed in thinking about the unrepayable and intense selfless love of His Vraja-bhaktas.

Narada who happened to be there also requested the Lord to please manifest this most wonderful form for the benefit of the entire world, and thus Lord Jagannatha unfolded the pastime of manifesting in that form to Indradyumna in Sri Jagannatha Puri. This amazing form of the Lord is said to indicate that even though He does not appear to have hands, the Supreme Lord accepts the offerings of His devotees, and even without feet, He comes at once to protect His devotees. Lord Jagannatha is famous as most merciful even to the most fallen and is very affectionate to His devotees.

By: Romapada Swami

http://www.veda.harekrsna.cz/encyclopedia/rathayatra.htm

 

Kartika

November 15, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Posted in Bhakti Yoga, Festivals | 1 Comment
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It’s Kartika my fave time of year, other than Halloween of course and they always overlap. In honor of the month of Kartika I wanted to post the Damodarastikam with lyrics to help us all learn the words.

This song describes the wonderful pastime of Lord Krishna where His mother tries to punish Him for stealing butter from the gopis.

For this special month of Karttika, devotees around the world sing these prayers every day. Each verse describes wonderful qualities or features of the Lord.

This year, Karttika starts on October 22nd and ends on November 21st.

TRANSLATION

1) To the supreme controller, who possesses and eternal form of blissful knowledge, whose glistening earrings swing to and fro, who manifest Himself in Gokula, who stole the butter that the gopis kept hanging from the rafters of their storerooms and who then quickly jumped up and ran in retreat in fear of Mother Yasoda but was ultimately caught – to that Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, I offer my humble obeisances.

2) Upon seeing His mother’s whipping stick, He cried and rubbed His eyes again and again with His two lotus hands. His eyes were fearful and His breathing quick, and as Mother Yasoda bound His belly with ropes, He shivered in fright and His pearl necklace shook. To this Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, I offer my humble obeisances.

3) Those superexcellent pastimes of Lord Krsna’s babyhood drowned the inhabitants of Gokula in pools of ecstasy. To the devotees who are attracted only to His majestic aspect of Narayana in Vaikuntha, the Lord herein reveals: “I am conquered and overwhelmed by pure loving devotion.” To the Supreme Lord, Damodara, my obeisances hundreds and hundreds of times.

4) O Lord, although You are able to give all kinds of benedictions, I do not pray to You for liberation, nor eternal life in Vaikuntha, nor any other boon. My only prayer is that Your childhood pastimes may constantly appear in my mind. O Lord, I do not even want to know your feature of Paramatma. I simply wish that Your childhood pastimes may ever be enacted in my heart.

5) O Lord, the cheeks of Your blackish lotus face, which is encircled by locks of curling hair, have become reddened like bimba fruits due to Mother Yasoda’s kisses. What more can I describe than this? Millions of opulences are of no use to me, but may this vision constantly remain in my mind.

6) O unlimited Visnu! O master! O Lord! Be pleased upon me! I am drowning in an ocean of sorrow and am almost like a dead man. Please shower the rain of mercy on me; uplift me and protect me with Your nectarean vision.

7) O Lord Damodara, in Your form as a baby Mother Yasoda bound You to a grinding stone with a rope for tying cows. You then freed the sons of Kuvera, Manigriva and Nalakuvara, who were cursed to stand as trees and You gave them the chance to become Your devotees. Please bless me in this same way. I have no desire for liberation into Your effulgence.

8) O Lord, the entire universe was created by Lord Brahma, who was born from Your abdomen, which was bound by a rope by Mother Yasoda. To this rope I offer my humble obeisances. I offer my obeisances to Your most beloved Srimati Radharani and to Your unlimited pastimes.

Chaturmasya is the four-month period, consisting of the rainy and autumn seasons in India, during which Vaishnavas perform austerities to invoke the mercy of the Lord.

Traditionally, itinerant priests and preachers would take a break from their travels during this time. Nowadays, observers refrain from eating certain foods. The last month of Chaturmasya is known as Karttika, and is the holiest month of the year for Vaishnavas.

Two major festivals during Karttika are Diwali and Govardhan Puja.

Itinerant priest and preacher Sacinandana Swami has this to say about Karttika:

“During the month of Karttika, which falls across October and November in the lunar calendar, devotees of Lord Krishna are advised to increase their concentration on His worship by dedicating their daily devotional hearing and chanting to Srimati Radharani, His eternal consort. . . anyone can apply this principle anywhere by chanting the Hare Krishna mantra, which addresses both Radha and Krishna: ‘O energy of the Lord (Radha), O Lord (Krishna), please engage me in your service.'”

—an excerpt from the article
Kanai Natashala: Where Sri Chaitanya’s Ecstasy Awakened

For more information please visit http://www.krishna.com/

HH Lokanatha Swami Kirtan in New Dwarka (LA, CA)

October 4, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Posted in Bhakti Yoga, Festivals, Life | Leave a comment
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Musings

August 22, 2010 at 12:50 am | Posted in Bhakti Yoga, Life, vegetarian | Leave a comment
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After working part time for the last two years returning to work full time is weird. I like being able to pay my bills but the lesson I have learned is that free time is priceless. It allows me to stay in a better consciousness and focus on my spiritual life more and be a calmer, nicer, broker person. I am finally beginning to adjust back to the old way, but with a new improved perspective. The last two years were very austere and I learned a lot. I am thankful to be one of Americas employed masses and not just another statistic. I am now better prepared to work in the material world as I try to work at my mundane job in the spirit of bhakti and offer the results to Krishna. This non-attachment to the results of my work while trying to endeavor nicely and do a good job really reduces the burden of stress that I would normally feel. It enables me to be truly happy when my co-workers do good and not be envious. Which I think is amazing as I work in a competitive sales environment.  This is an environment that could easily bring out greed, jealousy, and animosity. True bhakti means not attached to the results of our work and also not being attached to renunciation too. Bhakti recognizes that we can’t renounce whats not ours as everything is Krishnas.

“A karmi works for his own sense gratification, and a bhakta works for Krishna’s sense gratification. That is the difference between a nondevotee and a devotee.” – Srila Prabhupada

“You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty.” – Bhagavad Gita 2.47

And now for some nice quotes on Vegetarianism:

“A vegetarian is not a person who lives on vegetables, any more than a Catholic is a person who lives on cats. “

“I was a cannibal for twenty-five years. For the rest I have been a vegetarian.”

“A man of my spiritual intensity does not eat corpses.”

All three- George Bernard Shaw

Mayapur Dham

The Glories of Lord Caitanya

April 25, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Posted in Bhakti Yoga, Life, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Nityananda Darshan

(This is part 6 of a series from BTG Magazine, 1985)

Saviors of the Most Fallen

More merciful than the most merciful Lord Caitanya
is Nityänanda Prabhu. Together, He and Lord Caitanya offer
the simplest and most sublime method of self-realization.

by Mandalesvara dasa

Continuing a special series of articles commemorating the five-hundredth anniversary of Lord Caitanya’s appearance in Mäyäpur, West Bengal. By His life and teachings. He inaugurated the Hare Krishna movement.

Throughout the world, members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness worship Lord Caitanya along with His principal associate, Nityänanda Prabhu. The altar of every ISKCON temple is graced either by a worshipable painting or by lovingly dressed and cared-for icons (known in Sanskrit as mürtis) of Nityänanda Prabhu (Nitäi) and Lord Caitanya (Gaura). And in virtually every kértana, ISKCON devotees raise their voices in the jubilant chant “Nitäi Gaura Hari-bol!”

Just as Lord Caitanya is Krishna Himself, so Nityänanda is Balaräma. Srila Prabhupäda explains, “There is no difference between the spiritual positions of Lord Caitanya and Nityänanda Prabhu, or Krishna and Balaräma. All of Them are but different manifestations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” This Vedic truth is illustrated in the following pastime from the Sri Caitanya-caritämåta:

One day Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu exhibited to Lord Nityänanda Prabhu a six-armed form bearing a conchshell, disc, club, lotus flower, bow, and flute. Thereafter the Lord showed Him His four-armed form, standing in a three-curved posture. With two hands He played upon a flute, and in the other two He carried a conchshell and disc.

And the story continues. Though Nityänanda Prabhu is God and therefore one with Lord Caitanya, He is simultaneously a separate personality from Lord Caitanya. And He sees Himself as a servant of Lord Caitanya. So the Sri Caitanya-caritämåta informs us. He arranged for a formal ceremony in worship of the Lord. But when, during that ceremony. He went to put a garland around the neck of Lord Caitanya, He saw the Lord assume yet another form of Godhead. This time He saw Himself within Lord Caitanya. “During this special ceremony,” writes Srila Prabhupäda, “all the devotees of Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu could understand that there is no difference between Lord Caitanya and Nityänanda Prabhu.”

And as They are one, so Their mission is also one. Following Lord Caitanya, Nityänanda Prabhu also popularized the public chanting of the holy names—through His many disciples and personally, by His preaching door to door and by His ecstatic manner of chanting and dancing in divine love. In fact, Nityänanda Prabhu is sometimes said to be more merciful than the most merciful Lord Caitanya Himself. This is not a contradiction but is simply one aspect of the personality of the manifestation of God who is variously described as the most merciful, the most unconventional, and the funniest. Indeed, Caitanya-caritämåta states that Nityänanda Prabhu is “very merciful and very funny.”

One pastime—the deliverance of Jagäi and Mädhäi—acquaints us well with the mercy of Nityänanda. One day Nityänanda Prabhu was walking down a main road of Navadvipa when He came upon a roaring crowd. Upon inquiring. He learned that two drunken brothers, former brahmanas now fallen into debauchery, were making fools of themselves before everyone and creating a disturbance. Nityänanda Prabhu concluded that these degraded brothers were ideal recipients of Lord Caitanya’s mercy. If these two were to be delivered, He reasoned, then that would glorify Lord Caitanya as the deliverer of the most fallen. With this in mind. He began to push His way through the crowd toward the two brothers.

Emerging into an opening in the center of the crowd, Nityänanda approached the rowdy pair, humbly asking them to chant the holy name of Lord KåKrishna. This enraged the two brothers, however, who began to swear at Nityänanda Prabhu and chase Him. Of course, no one can defame or harm Nityänanda Prabhu, as He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but such is His transcendental pastime as a humble yet bold preacher of Krishna consciousness. When Lord Caitanya learned later that day that Nityänanda Prabhu had attempted to deliver such fallen persons, He was very happy.

The next day, Nityänanda Prabhu went to see the two brothers, but as soon as He approached them, Mädhäi threw a piece of earthen pot at Him, striking Him on the forehead and causing blood to flow from His transcendental body. This, of course, was a great offense, yet Nityänanda Prabhu, out of His great compassion for these doomed souls, forgave them and again humbly requested them to chant Hare Krishna.

Jagäi was astounded. Immediately he fell at the feet of Nityänanda Prabhu, begging Him to pardon his foolish brother, an act of divine mercy Lord Nityänanda had dispensed even before Jagäi had requested it. But Mädhäi again turned on Lord Nityänanda to harm Him. This time Jagäi stopped him and implored him to surrender to Nityänanda Prabhu.
Suddenly Lord Caitanya appeared on the scene, furious that someone had offended Nityänanda Prabhu. Invoking His ultimate weapon, the Sudarçana disc. Lord Caitanya prepared to kill the two offenders. But Nityänanda changed the course of events. Although Lord Caitanya was ready to kill the two degraded brothers, Nityänanda Prabhu reminded Him of His mission of delivering the most sinful. In essence. He reminded Lord Caitanya that if He resorted to killing miscreants (as He did in so many other incarnations), there would be no one left to preach to, since almost everyone in this age is addicted to the same sinful as were Jagäi and Mädhäi. Lord Nityänanda requested that rather than kill them, Lord Caitanya deliver them. Lord Caitanya agreed to accept Jagäi and Mädhäi, but only on the condition that they would reform their behavior. The brothers agreed.

Srila Prabhupäda writes in this connection, “This is the specific kindness of Lord Caitanya. In this age no one can say that he is free from sin. It is impossible for anyone to say this. But Lord Caitanya accepts all kinds of sinful persons on the one condition that they promise not to indulge in sinful habits after being spiritually initiated by the bona fide spiritual master.”

This pastime of Lord Caitanya and Nityänanda Prabhu demonstrates the especially merciful combination of these two divine personalities, appearing together to deliver the most fallen souls. The saìkértana movement of chanting the holy names of Krishna is Their movement. They began it, and They continue it. Our great fortune is that we are being given the opportunity to participate in it.

When Srila Prabhupäda established the Deities of Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityänanda in ISKCON temples throughout the world, he was acting in perfect accord with the mission and will of Lord Caitanya and Nityänanda Prabhu. Consider these facts:

(1) Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityänanda are the most merciful and munificent manifestations of Godhead. They appear in the most godless age to deliver the most sinful persons. They offer the highest of all spiritual perfections: pure love of God. They teach the simplest and most sublime of all spiritual practices: the chanting of Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna KRishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Räma, Hare Räma, Räma Räma, Hare Hare.

(2) By Their inconceivable (yet perceivable) presence within Their many Deity forms in temples around the world. Lord Caitanya and Nityänanda Prabhu accept the sincere service of the thousands of converted “Jagäis and Mädhäis” who, like their prototypes, have received the forgiveness and the mercy of Gaura-Nitäi and have given up all sinfulness.

(3) By Their presence within ISKCON temples, within the devotional chanting of ISKCON devotees, and within the hearts of the devotees. Lord Caitanya and Nityänanda Prabhu continue to bless the fallen souls of this age. Thus They direct Their own spiritual movement.

How easy it should be for us to appreciate the wisdom, the compassion, and the munificence of Lord Caitanya and Nityänanda Prabhu. By Their desire and by the subsequent desire of Their servants, transcendental mercy is spreading everywhere. As the Caitanya-caritämåta states, “I offer my respectful obeisances unto Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityänanda, who are like the sun and moon. They have arisen simultaneously on the horizon of Gauda to dissipate the darkness of ignorance and thus wonderfully bestow benediction upon all.”

So, like the sun and moon together. Lord Caitanya and Nityänanda Prabhu have appeared to brighten our lives and dissipate our ignorance. If you want to avoid Them, you’ll just have to close your eyes.

Jagai and Madhai


Some Ekadasi food for thought

April 24, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Posted in Bhakti Yoga, ekadasi | Leave a comment
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Today is Ekadasi when Vaishnavas eat no grains or beans as sin hides in these foods on this day. I found some nice quotes in the Vedabase from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu regarding Ekadasi that I wanted to share with you.

These quotes are from the Sri Chaitanya Caritamrta- Adi Lila 15.9

One day Sri Caitanya Mahäprabhu fell down at the feet of His mother and requested her to give Him one thing in charity.
Ädi 15.9

His mother replied, “My dear son, I will give You whatever You ask.” Then the Lord said, “My dear mother, please do not eat grains on the Ekadasi day.” Adi 15.10

PURPORT

From the very beginning of His childhood life Sri Caitanya Mahäprabhu introduced the system of observing a fast on the Ekadasi day. In the Bhakti-sandarbha, by Srila Jiva Gosvämi, there is a quotation from the Skanda Purana admonishing that a person who eats grains on Ekadasi becomes a murderer of his mother, father, brother and spiritual master, and even if he is elevated to a Vaikuntha planet, he falls down. On Ekadasi, everything is cooked for Vishnu, including regular grains and dhal, but it is enjoined that a Vaishnava should not even take vishnu-prasädam on Ekadasi. It is said that a Vaishnava does not accept anything eatable that is not offered to Lord Vishnu, but on Ekadasi a Vaishnava should not touch even mahä-prasädam offered to Vishnu, although such prasädam may be kept for being eaten the next day. It is strictly forbidden for one to accept any kind of grain on Ekadasi, even if it is offered to Lord Vishnu.

Mother Saci said, “You have spoken very nicely. I shall not eat grains on Ekadasi.” From that day, she began to observe fasting on Ekadasi. Adi 15.11

PURPORT

It is a prejudice among smärta-brahmanas that a widow must observe fasting on Ekadasi but a woman who is sa-dhava—who has her husband—should not. It appears that before Lord Caitanya’s request, Sacimata, being sa-dhava, was not observing Ekadasi. Sri Caitanya Mahäprabhu, however, introduced the system that a woman, even if not a widow, must observe the Ekadasi and must not touch any kind of grains, even those offered to the Deity of Vishnu.

Vedic Thoughts

April 18, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Posted in Bhakti Yoga | Leave a comment
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The Vedic statements are self-evident. Whatever is stated there must be accepted. If we interpret according to our own imagination, the authority of the Vedas is lost.

Sri Caitanya Mahäprabhu
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lilä 6.137

To prepare oneself for the next life is common sense, and it is a principle of the Vedic civilization, but presently people throughout the world do not believe in a next life. Even influential professors and other educators say that as soon as the body is finished, everything is finished. This atheistic philosophy is killing human civilization.

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Ädi-lilä 9.43, purport

Just as a deer, because of ignorance, cannot see the water within a well covered by grass, but runs after water elsewhere, the living entity covered by the material body does not see the happiness within himself, but runs after happiness in the material world.

An unnamed brahmana
Srimad-Bhägavatam 7.13.29

What relish can there be for material enjoyment when we are exposed to hunger, thirst, disease, decrepitude, emaciation, growth, decline, and death. The universe is tending to decay—grass, trees, animals spring up and die. Mighty men are gone, leaving their joys and glories. Beings still greater than these have passed away. Vast oceans have dried, mountains have been thrown down, the polar star displaced, the cords that bind planets rent asunder, the whole earth deluged with flood. In such a world, what relish can there be in fleeting enjoyments? Living in such a world, are we not like frogs jumping in a dried-up well?

Srila Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvati Thäkura
Immanent and Transcendent
(The Scorpion and the Fire)

The great personality Brahmä, with great attention and concentration of mind, studied the Vedas three times, and after scrutinizingly examining them, he ascertained that attraction for the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna is the highest perfection of religion.

Sukadeva Gosvämi
Srimad-Bhägavatam 2.2.34

For a person who has suitable shoes on his feet, there is no danger even when he walks on pebbles and thorns. For him, everything is auspicious. Similarly, for one who is always self-satisfied there is no distress; indeed, he feels happiness everywhere.

Närada Muni
Srimad -Bhägavatam 7.15.17

Excerpted from Back To Godhead Magazine #28- 06, 1994

Diety Darshan, Spanish Fork Utah

March 19, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Posted in Bhakti Yoga, utah | Leave a comment
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Some recent pictures that I took at the temple…

Picture of the day.

January 27, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Posted in Bhakti Yoga | 1 Comment
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I have been doing a lot of cooking lately, but of stuff that I cook all the time so you have already seen pictures of these things in the past or I have posted the recipe. So today I am just going to post some pictures and an excerpt from a lecture by Srila Prabupada.

Excerpt from a lecture in LA February 10th, 1969.

Prabhupada: After each and every verse we chant, govindam ädi-purusha tam aham bhajami **. Similarly, we repeat Krishna—Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Räma, Hare Räma, Räma Räma, Hare Hare. Why we repeat? The more we repeat means we learn to love. That is required. Anything which you do not love, you cannot repeat. It will be disgusting. Anything, any word you take, if you simply repeat, you’ll feel disgusted. Sometimes those who are not in Krishna conscious life, they also feel this repetition as disgusting, hackneyed, because they have not developed love. Rüpa Gosvami says that “What shall I chant with one tongue and what shall I hear with two ears? If millions of tongue I would have possessed, then I could chant little.” And they’re tasting… Because they have got love for Krishna, they are tasting the nectarean of chanting. They cannot give up. In the material world also, there are many slogans. We repeat because we love.

So real thing is to develop love for Krishna. That is the Våndävana standard. In Vrindavana, Nanda Mahäräja and Yasodä-mayi, Radharani, gopis, the cowherdsmen, boys, cows, calves, trees, they do know that Krishna is God. You have read in Krishna book, sometimes when Krishna does something wonderful, they take Him as a wonderful child, boy, that’s all, or child. They do not know that Krishna is God. But they love Krishna more than anything. They do not know except Krishna. That is wanted. Not very much philosophy. Whether Krishna is God or not, whether the symptoms of God are there or not, the Vrindavana nhabitants, they do not care for it. Krishna may be God or a man, but they love Him. That’s all. That is wanted. We have to increase our love for Krishna; therefore this worship, temple worship. If you always be engaged in Krishna’s service, naturally you develop love for Krishna. That is wanted. Premä pumartho mahan. Caitanya Mahäprabhu says that prema, love for Krishna, love for God, that is the highest achievement in human life. Prema pumartho mahan. It is not religiosity. Religiosity is different thing. Everyone goes to church or temple with some material purpose generally, to get… Just like in church they go: “God, give us our daily bread.” That is material purpose. Not only church, everywhere, that is the system. Arto artharthi. Of course, that is good. Four classes of men whose background is pious life, they go to God, church or temple, when they’re distressed. Others, those whose background is not piety, simply mischief, they cannot go. Therefore even one goes to God for praying something material, they’re better than those who do not go to God. Just like in Communist country, they do not believe in God: “Why we shall go to God? We shall create things. We shall create bread.” In the Communist country the propaganda was that these Communists would go to villages, ask the villagers to come to church and pray to God, “Give us our daily bread,” and they would ask, “Whether you have got bread?” Of course, in the church where is the bread? They will say, “No, we haven’t got bread.” “All right, you ask us.” And they ask the Communist leader, “Give us our daily bread,” and they give sumptuously. “Why should you go to church?” They preached godlessness in this way, that “You are not getting bread from the church. You are getting bread from us. Why not worship Lenin and his followers? He gave sufficient bread.” In this way they tried to make people godless, that “Don’t go to church.” Still their propaganda.
But our relationship with God is so permanent that artificially we may try to banish God some way or other—it cannot go on. To become atheist, not to believe in God, they’re simply artificial. These godless persons, when they’re actually in danger, they think of God. I have seen it. Automatically they think of God. So this godlessness is not our natural life. To love God, that is our natural life. (end)

Lessons learned from a little bird.

December 23, 2009 at 6:24 pm | Posted in Bhakti Yoga, Life | Leave a comment
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Yesterday I was chilling in my living room watching the snow fall when I heard a very loud thump on my dining room window. I looked up and saw some feathers and crud on the window so I put on my shoes and went outside. There was a little grey and red bird lying on the ground upside down with his little feet contracted in. He was still alive so I scooped him up in my shirt and brought him inside my warm house. (He was lying in the snow.) I made him a little nest in a colander out of a towl and petted him and prayed to Krishna to save this little soul. I know that Krishna was listening to my prayer because both my cats fell esleep and they love to chase birds. :) After 15 or 20 minutes he began to recover. He must have stunned himself pretty bad as he hit that window really hard! When he began to move around I put him outside to see if he wanted to fly away, but not yet so I brought him back inside and stroked his back some more. As I was calling the vet he hopped up onto the edge of the colander and began to look around so I got off the phone and took him back outside. He didn’t imminently take off, he let me stroke his back some more and then he looked at me one last time and took off. I hope he is happy and well back with his bird friends and family. It really made me think of my own mortality. We are all spirit souls on our own individual paths back to Godhead, I hope that by hearing the name of Krishna that little bird will have an accelerated journey. This verse sums up my experience with the  bird perfectly. (Bolding of text is my own to express my own realization a little more fully.)

Bhagavad Gita 5.18  with purport by Srila Prabupada

“The humble sages, by virtue of true knowledge, see with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste].”

PURPORT

A Krishna conscious person does not make any distinction between species or castes. The brahmana and the outcaste may be different from the social point of view, or a dog, a cow, and an elephant may be different from the point of view of species, but these differences of body are meaningless from the viewpoint of a learned transcendentalist. This is due to their relationship to the Supreme, for the Supreme Lord, by His plenary portion as Paramatma, is present in everyone’s heart. Such an understanding of the Supreme is real knowledge. As far as the bodies are concerned in different castes or different species of life, the Lord is equally kind to everyone because He treats every living being as a friend yet maintains Himself as Paramatma regardless of the circumstances of the living entities. The Lord as Paramatma is present both in the outcaste and in the brahmana, although the body of a brahmana and that of an outcaste are not the same. The bodies are material productions of different modes of material nature, but the soul and the Supersoul within the body are of the same spiritual quality. The similarity in the quality of the soul and the Supersoul, however, does not make them equal in quantity, for the individual soul is present only in that particular body whereas the Paramatma is present in each and every body. A Krishna conscious person has full knowledge of this, and therefore he is truly learned and has equal vision. The similar characteristics of the soul and Supersoul are that they are both conscious, eternal and blissful. But the difference is that the individual soul is conscious within the limited jurisdiction of the body whereas the Supersoul is conscious of all bodies. The Supersoul is present in all bodies without distinction.

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