Friday, 16 November 2012

Srila Prabhupada is my compassion. I am often heartless and cold. He reminds me what it means to be a Vaisnava

A person in Krsna consciousness, a devotee of the Lord, is always compassionate. He is

not satisfied that only he himself is a devotee, but he tries to distribute the knowledge of

devotional service to everyone. There are many devotees of the Lord who faced many

risks in distributing the devotional service of the Lord to people in general. That should

be done.

SB 3.21.31

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Take time to offer a Lamp in Kartik Month

(Sri Radha Damodarji at Sri Vrindavan)
Just as there is no yuga equal to Satya-yuga, no scripture equal to the Vedas, and no place of pilgrimage equal to the Ganges, so there is no month equal to Kartika. Even unserious persons who execute devotional service according to the regulative principles during the month of Karttika, and within the jurisdiction of Mathura (or Vrindavana) in India, are very easily awarded the Lord's personal service". During the Kartika month millions of devotees worship Damodara Krishna with ghee lamps and devotional bhajans, glorifying His playful childhood pastime of stealing yogurt. (H.H. Mahanidhi Swami)
 "When one offers a lamp during the month of Karttika, his sins in many thousands and millions of births perish in half an eye blink."

"Please hear the glories of offering a lamp during pleasing to Lord Kesava. O King of brahmanas, a person who offers a lamp in this way will not take birth again in this world."
"By offering a lamp during the month of Karttika one attains a pious result ten million times greater than the result obtained by bathing at Kuruksetra during a solar eclipse or by bathing in the river Narmada during a lunar eclipse."
"O Tiger among sages! For a person who thus offers a lamp burning with ghee or sesame oil, what is the use of performing an asvasmedha-yajia? "
"Even if there are no mantras, no pious deeds, and no purity, everything becomes perfect when a person offers a lamp during the month of Karttika."
"A person who during the month of Karttika offers a lamp to Lord Kesava has already performed all yajnas and bathing in all holy rivers. "
"The ancestors say: When someone in our family pleases Lord Kesava by offering to Him a lamp during the month of Karttika, then, by the mercy of the Lord who holds the Sudarsana-cakra in His Hand, we will all attain liberation."
"By offering a lamp during the month of Karttika one burns away a collection of sins as big as Mount Meru or Mount Mandara. Of this there is no doubt."
"A person who offers a lamp during the month of Karttika attains a result that cannot be obtained with even a hundred yajnas or a hundred pilgrimages."
"Even a person addicted to all sins and averse to all pious deeds who somehow offer a lamp during Karttika becomes purified. Of this there is no doubt."
"O Narada, no sin exists anywhere in the three worlds that will not be purified by offering a lamp to Lord Kesava during Karttika."
"A person who offers a lamp to Lord Krishna during Karttika attains the eternal spiritual world where there is no suffering."
"As fire is present in all wood and may be extracted by friction, so piety is always present in the offering of a lamp during the month of Karttika. Of this there is no doubt."
"O King of brahmanas, when someone offers Him a lamp on the full-moon day of the month of Karttika, Lord Krishna, finding that He does not have sufficient money to repay that gift, gives Himself in exchange for that lamp."
"One who offers a steady lamp to Lord Hari during the month of Karttika enjoys pastimes in Lord Hari's splendid spiritual world."
Even one who never performs religious rituals or even the worst sinner will surely be purified by this offering. O Narada, in the three worlds there is no sin that can stand before this Kartika dipa. In fact, by presenting this dipa before Lord Vasudeva, the eternal abode can be reached without obstruction.
"All the results acquired by donating grains during pitri-paksha or by distributing water in the hot months of Jyeshtha or Ashadha are easily gained in the course of Kartika merely by reviving (relighting) a dipa offered by someone else."
All glories to beautiful Lordship Sri Sri Radha Damodarji!
All glories to Kartik Masa!

"In Kartik month, after bathing in the morning, one should worship Lord Damodara. At night, one should light brilliant lamps filled with either ghee or sesame-seed oil, and place them in these places - in the Lord's temple, around the base of tulasi plants, and in the sky. During the month of Kartika, one should eat only vegetarian foodstuffs and Bhagavan's prasad remnants. There should be incessant harinama-kirtana and smarana.The sole activity to be done during the observance of Damodara-vrata is the worship of Sri Sri Radha-Damodara." – Srila Bhaktivinod Thakura 

Monday, 12 November 2012

Forgotten to love Krishna

Krishna is Complete. Sad-aisvarya purnah. He is complete with full six opulences. He is the richest, He is the wisest, He is the most famous, He is the most strong, influential, and renounced order. Everything is complete there. Then why He is asking that patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati? He is so rich, so opulent, still He is begging that "Little flower, a little water, a little fruit, if offered to Me with devotion and love, I accept and eat it." So the real fact is that we have lost our devotion, faith, in God. So He is begging therefore that love and faith. Not your money. Because He is already opulent. What you can give Him? And what belongs to you? Nothing belongs to you. You come from the womb of your mother openhanded, and when you die you go openhanded. So what does it belong to you? Nothing belongs to you. That's a fact. Simply by illusion, you come here for some days and you think, "This is mine." That's all. This is called maya. Actually, nothing belongs to you. Everything belongs to God, or Krsna. But you claim that it belongs to you. That is your maya. Therefore here it is said, manam janad avidusah karuno vrnite. Out of His causeless mercy He begs sometimes, "Give Me this." Just like sometimes father asks his child, "My dear boy, will you kindly give me a little cake from your portion?" And if the child is very fond of her (him), immediately gives. And sometimes he refuses, "No, I shall not give it." Similarly, Krsna is full. Why He's begging? He's begging your love. That's all. Whenever Krsna wants some service from you or begs something from you, it does not mean that He is in need of it. He is not in need of it. But He is in need of your love because you have forgotten how to love God, how to love Krsna. That he is practiced(?). There is a story that some sannyasi went to a householder, because a sannyasi goes to householder for begging. They are begging also like that. They are not beggars, but they introduce as beggar so that the householder may receive and take some advantage of his knowledge. He is not beggar. So one beggar went to a householder, and the housewife said, "Oh, this beggar has come from door to door. Give him some ashes." So the sannyasi replied, "All right. Give me some ashes. Just begin your charity." Just begin your charity. So similarly, Krsna, when He wants, "Give Me a little flower, a little fruit, a little water," it does not mean that He is begging. He is just inducing me to the practice of offering everything which belongs to Krsna. 

Ref. VedaBase => Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.9.11 — Montreal, August 17, 1968 

Srila Prabhupada in cowherd boy mood!

One day, while Prabhupada was sitting in his room receiving his massage, he began talking and laughing. As he sat on the floor with one leg tucked under his body and one leg outstretched before him, he told the two or three devotees present how Krsna, carrying the lunch His mother had packed for Him, would go to the forest with His cowherd boyfriends, who were also carrying lunches from home. Krsna and His friends would all sit together sharing their lunch, and Krsna always had the best laddus and kachauris. Prabhupada's eyes flashed, and he rubbed his hands together, smiling. "I simply want to go to Krsnaloka, so I can have some of Krsna's laddu and kachauris. I do not have any great diversion from this. I simply want to go there so that I can enjoy eating laddus and kachauris with Krsna and the cowherd boys." Opening his eyes widely, he glanced at Devananda, who was massaging him, and at the others in the room. "Oh," he said to them, "if you will give me laddus and kachauris, then I will bless you." >>> Ref. VedaBase => SPL 7-2: Opening a Temple in Los Angeles, 1968

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Daily Darshan from Sri Vrindavan - 22.10.2012

Modes of Nature; Prayers

Krishna dances on Kaliya
Summary:  Sometimes we may feel despondent that our material conditioning is an impediment to our devotional service. Kaliya’s prayer to Lord Krsna gives us inspiration to continue despite whatever our material conditioning might be.

Reading Assignment

“With folded hands, he (Kaliya) humbly began to pray to the Supreme Lord Krsna: ‘My dear Lord, I have been born in such a species that by nature I am angry and envious, being in the darkest region of the mode of ignorance. Your Lordship knows well that it is very difficult to give up one's natural instincts, although by such instincts the living creature transmigrates from one body to another.’
It is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita that it is very difficult to get out of the clutches of material nature, but if anyone surrenders unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, the modes of material nature can no longer act on him.
‘My dear Lord,’ Kaliya continued, ‘You are the original creator of the modes of material nature, by which the universe is created. You are the cause of the different kinds of mentality possessed by living creatures, by which they have obtained different varieties of bodies. My dear Lord, I am born as a serpent; therefore, by natural instinct I am very angry. How is it then possible to give up my acquired nature without Your mercy? It is very difficult to get out of the clutches of Your maya. By Your maya we remain
enslaved. My dear Lord, kindly excuse me for my inevitable material tendencies. I surrender unto You. Now You can punish me or save me, as You desire.’"
Krsna Book, chap 16

How Can I Clear a Clogged Heart?

Reach deep into your core being, searching, probing. How's the feel, the texture? Carefully, honestly note the lumps, indeed maybe the chunks.
Most likely we're blaming someone for something that happened in our life—or didn't happen.
You see, the blame-game, so popular though so unsatisfying, hardens areas of the heart. And loading guilt-trips on others will backfire on us in the same way. The stonelike lumps in the heart affect not only our material life but our spiritual advancement too.
Amazingly, even devotees, though not easily admitting, burying it in the heart, aim blame at Krishna.
"Why did He let this happen to me? Why didn't He let me have this, or that?" Even we are more direct, charging (devotionally, of course): "Why did He do this to me?"
The demons outright accuse Krishna maliciously. Consider Sishupala and Dantavakra, for example, who Narada Muni says, as infants were blaspheming Krishna even before they could talk.
As they grew, so did the venom of their accusations against Him. Sishupala, especially ablaze after Krishna stole Rukmini from his marriage ceremony, denounced Krishna's activities as creating mass havoc in society. He consummated his last harangue by declaring Krishna a low-class, garbage-hunting bird, a crow.
Dantavakra's madness peaked after Krishna liquidated his friend Shalva.
"Krishna, You're my cousin, and I shouldn't have to kill You. But You killed my friend Shalva, and so now, because I always pay my debts to my friends, I have to eliminate You, a boil needing surgical removal."
Our own accusations against Krishna, veiled, not demoniac, generally owe to material disappointment and frustration in bhakti. We may subtlety maintain that our material desires and conceptions weren't handled [by Krishna] the way we thought best. Or we are bewildered that, in spite of our "undeniable goodness," nevertheless bad things still came our way. "We are devotees—why did [Krishna let] material nature show us its vicious side."
Especially: "After all the service I tried to do for Krishna, why did [He let] devotees misunderstand me?'
Accusing Krishna produces heart-stones that impede our bhakti flow. Our chanting and practical service gradually become problematic, sputtering, even flickering out, but we don't know why.
Krishna really deserves our guilt-trips?
"I am completely under the control of My devotees. Indeed, I am not at all independent. Because My devotees are completely devoid of material desires, I sit only within the cores of their hearts. What to speak of My devotee, even those who are devotees of My devotee are very dear to Me." (S. bhag. 9.4.63)
Krishna has neglected or maltreated His devotee? Promise me today you'll search out any such notions in your bhakti heart and vanish them. Minus these stones, our spiritual life will go so much better, when we no longer even just subconsciously or indirectly accuse Krishna of shortcomings.
"O best of the brahmanas, without saintly persons for whom I am the only destination, I do not desire to enjoy My transcendental bliss and My supreme opulences." (9.4.64)
Dissolve the lumps clogging the heart, by removing Krishna from the blame list. Never mind if you don't understand completely why some challenge targeted you in the past, or even now. Though we may never fully comprehend the whys and wherefores of a difficult passage in our life, nevertheless—winter, spring, summer, or fall— we want our service to Krishna marching on, dancing on, free of bhakti blockages.

Arya Sangama - Association of Devotees

Srimad Bhagavatam 4.20.6: My dear highly glorified Lord, if one, in the association of pure devotees, hears even once the glories of Your activities, he does not, unless he is nothing but an animal, give up the association of devotees, for no intelligent person would be so careless as to leave their association. The perfection of chanting and hearing about Your glories was accepted even by the goddess of fortune, who desired to hear of Your unlimited activities and transcendental glories.

Purport: The association of devotees (ārya-saṅgama) is the most important factor in this world. The word ārya refers to those who are advancing spiritually. In the history of the human race, the Āryan family is considered to be the most elevated community in the world because it adopts the Vedic civilization. The Āryan family is distributed all over the world and is known as Indo-Āryan. In prehistoric days all of the members of the Āryan family followed the Vedic principles, and therefore they became spiritually advanced. The kings, known as rājarṣis, were so perfectly educated as kṣatriyas, or protectors of the citizens, and so greatly advanced in spiritual life, that there was not a bit of trouble for the citizens.

The glorification of the Supreme Lord can be very much appreciated by the Āryan family. Although there is no bar for others, the members of the Āryan family very quickly catch the essence of spiritual life. How is it that we are finding it very easy to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness among the Europeans and Americans? History reports that the Americans and Europeans proved their capability when they were anxious to expand colonization, but at the present time, being contaminated by the advancement of material science, their sons and grandsons are turning into reprobates. This is due to their having lost their original spiritual culture, which is Vedic civilization. Presently these descendants of the Āryan family are taking this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement very seriously. Others who are associating with them and hearing the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra from the lips of pure devotees are also becoming captivated by the transcendental vibration. Transcendental vibrations are very much effective when chanted among Āryans, but even though one does not belong to the Āryan family, he will become a Vaiṣṇava simply by hearing the mantra because the vibration has great influence over everyone.

Mahārāja Pṛthu points out that even the goddess of fortune, who is the constant companion of Lord Nārāyaṇa, specifically wanted to hear about the Lord’s glories, and for the association of the gopīs, who are pure devotees, the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī, underwent severe austerities. The impersonalist may ask why one should bother chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra continually for so many years instead of stopping and trying for kaivalya, liberation, or merging into the existence of the Lord. In answer, Mahārāja Pṛthu maintains that the attraction of this chanting is so great that one cannot give up the process unless he is an animal. This is the case even if one comes in contact with this transcendental vibration by chance. Pṛthu Mahārāja is very emphatic in this connection — only an animal can give up the practice of chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. Those who are not animals but actually intelligent, advanced, human, civilized men cannot give up this practice of continually chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.

Mother Durga

The significance of Durga in the Hindu cultural and religious tradition has been ingrained since Vedic times. For most Hindus, the idol of Durga killing the demon Mahisasura with a lance, after he appears from the slain body of the buffalo in which he had been hiding, is ingrained into the Bengali psyche and of most Hindus as well. By this slaying, Durga personifies the victory of good over evil, something that all spiritually inclined persons would seek and cherish.

The mother goddess Durga is thus portrayed as the most powerful ‘mother’ who protects her children. Durga protects, Durga provides, and Durga punishes. When children are beaten or chastised by their mother, all of them invariably think that they are ‘innocent’ and that they have been unjustly punished. Durga is the personification of the material forces that govern all processes in the material world.

Material life is invariably full of happiness and distress which come and go on their own, without our even having to make an effort for them, The Srimad Bhagavad Gita warns ( 2.14 ) : “O son of Kunti, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of the winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.”

Material nature is very powerful. At every moment of our lives we are under its influence. The circumstances and situations through which each of us passes are all determined by the various actions and interactions of material nature. Since mother Durga represents the full force and fury of material nature, Hindus generally worship devi Durga for protection and succour.

Each jiva or atma is a separate and independent fragmental part of the Lord, Who is also known as paramatma, similar to Him in quality, just as a drop of water is similar in quality to the vast ocean. At some point in time, each jiva desired to ‘enjoy’ matter separately from the Lord. It is immaterial to know at which point in time the individual jiva desired to enjoy separately from the Lord. In response, the Lord, who grants everyone his wishes, put the countless jivas into play by injecting them into material nature. “It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kunti, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father .” ( Srimad Bhagavad Gita 14.4 ).

Once the jiva or atma or the living entity is injected into material nature into any one of the 84,00,000 species of wombs, he has to act under the overall jurisdiction and superintendence of the material energy, also known as maya, and personified by the goddess Durga. And so, as individual living entities, even though we feel that we are moving and acting independently, we are all under the strict rules and regulations imposed by material nature, which includes the processes of birth, ageing, disease and death. Hence Durga, also known as Mayadevi or just maya, is the personification of the material creative forces.

Since all manifestations and energies in the whole of creation are emanations from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the power of devi Durga is also a part of the Lord’s inconceivably tremendous power and potency. The Lord is full of various potencies. The individual jiva or atma is a fragment of His internal spiritual potency ( just as a drop of water is of the same quality as the vast ocean ). On the other hand, the material energy which manifests and transforms the whole of the material creation, and keeps it in a constant state of flux, is also a marginal potency of the Lord, and is called bahirangi maya, which is the sum total of all material creations and processes.

Where does devi Durga stand in the Lord’s overall scheme of things ?

The Srimad Bhagavatam states ( 1.3.2 purport ) : “Material nature has no power to create without the power of the purusa, just as prakriti, or woman, cannot produce a child without the touch or connection of a purusa, the man. The purusa impregnates while the prakriti delivers. We should not expect any independent creative powers from prakriti, or the material ingredients. We must believe in the power of the purusa, who impregnates prakriti or material nature.”

It is advised by scriptures such as the Srimad Bhagavad Gita as well as the Srimad Bhagavatam that we should be less obsessed with the material condition and be more concerned for the journey of our soul, which is eternal. Our material concerns in this life will end with this body. Yet we are obsessed with this body and its attainments, its successes, its honour, its glory, its material possessions, bank balance, familial connections, etc; instead of being periodically punished and thrashed by maya, we should strive to come out of her clutches, since we are just her playthings, like a doll in the hands of a child.

The Srimad Bhagavatam states ( 1.2.29 purport ) : “Therefore, all culture of knowledge, austerities, sacrifices, and activities should be aimed at changing the quality of the influence that is acting upon us, the living entities. For the present, we are all being controlled by the external energy of the Lord ( apara prakriti ), and just to change the quality of the influence to the internal superior energy of the Lord ( para prakriti ), we must endeavour to cultivate spiritual energy. In the Bhagavad Gita (9.13-14), it is said that those who are mahatmas, or those whose minds have been so broadened as to be engaged in the service of Lord Krishna, are under the influence of the internal potency, and the effect is that such broad minded living beings are constantly engaged in the service of the Lord without deviation.

In our desire to lord it over material nature, we, as individual living entities, think that we are masters of all we survey and that we shall achieve this and we shall achieve that. But each achievement is also attended by countless anxieties, frustrations, sufferings, and sometimes, complete reversals. Each individual has strong aspirations to enjoy, and there is competition among living beings as to who will be able to garner the maximum enjoyment. But ultimately all our efforts are thwarted by death, and sometimes much earlier too. In the material world, every individual is given the chance to enjoy, and side by side, also the chance to understand his true constitutional position as an eternal servitor of the Lord. Those fortunate living entities who catch the truth and surrender unto the lotus feet of Lord Krishna after many, many births in the material world, join the eternally liberated souls and are thus allowed to enter the spiritual kingdom.

Hence the worship of mother Durga is just a preliminary or intermediate stage in our journey to develop lasting love for the Supreme Lord Krishna. In our attempt to progress toward the eternal and ultimate Truth, the Supreme Lord, we are dazzled, intimidated and foxed by His variegated displays in the form of natural phenomena and the powerful interplays of material nature ( His external marginal potency ). In the process, we tend to forget or overlook the Lord Himself and His eternal spiritual form in Vaikuntha, where He resides in His satchitananda vigraha form ( eternally full of knowledge and bliss ), surrounded and lovingly served by His pure devotees and associates. As we progress steadily in our spiritual path, we begin to realize that maya can no longer have any effect on us and that we come directly under the Lord’s personal protection, and we begin to reestablish our broken relationship with Him, which is a result of our past foolishness and desire for independence from Him.


Sunday, 30 September 2012

How to deal with pain in life?

1. Take responsibility for the pain that has come to your life. It is due to some karma. You can't judge the world.

2. Connect your consciusness with Krishna and His mercy, so that the pain becomes tolerable.

3. Offer with your body, mind and words full obeisance to Krishna, connect to Him.

Krishna said when one does these steps, he or she will become the heir of His mercy!

- HH Sacinandana Swami

Deity Darshana - 28.09.2012

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Co-operative Behaviour between Vaishnavas

There are many cases in which a person becomes an offender to the lotus feet of a Vaiṣṇava and later becomes repentant. Here also we find that although the King of heaven, Indra, was so powerful that he accompanied Lord Viṣṇu, he felt himself a great offender for stealing Pṛthu Mahārāja’s horse that was meant for sacrifice. An offender at the lotus feet of a Vaiṣṇava is never excused by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are many instances illustrating this fact. Ambarīṣa Mahārāja was offended by Durvāsā Muni, a great sage and mystic yogī, and Durvāsā also had to fall down at the lotus feet of Ambarīṣa Mahārāja.

Indra decided to fall down at the lotus feet of King Pṛthu, but the King was so magnanimous a Vaiṣṇava that he did not want Mahārāja Indra to fall down at his feet. Instead, King Pṛthu immediately picked him up and embraced him, and both of them forgot all the past incidents. Both King Indra and Mahārāja Pṛthu were envious and angry with each other, but since both of them were Vaiṣṇavas, or servants of Lord Viṣṇu, it was their duty to adjust the cause of their envy. This is also a first-class example of cooperative behavior between Vaiṣṇavas. In the present days, however, because people are not Vaiṣṇavas, they fight perpetually among one another and are vanquished without finishing the mission of human life. There is a great need to propagate the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement in the world so that even though people sometimes become angry and malicious toward one another, because of their being Kṛṣṇa conscious such rivalry, competition and envy can be adjusted without difficulty.

[ Srimad Bhagavatam 4.20.18 Purport ]

Accepting Instructions of the Lord

One should accept the instructions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead by bowing down at the lotus feet of the Lord. This means that anything spoken by the Personality of Godhead should be taken as it is, with great care and attention and with great respect. It is not our business to amend the words of the Supreme Personality of Godhead or make additions or alterations, as it has become a custom for many so-called scholars and svāmīs who comment on the words of Bhagavad-gītā. Here the practical example of how to accept the instruction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is shown by Pṛthu Mahārāja. This is the way to receive knowledge through the paramparā system.

[Srimad Bhagavatam 4.20.17 Purport]

Secret of pleasing the Lord

Srimad Bhagavatam 4.20.16: My dear King, I am very captivated by your elevated qualities and excellent behavior, and thus I am very favorably inclined toward you. You may therefore ask from Me any benediction you like. One who does not possess elevated qualities and behavior cannot possibly achieve My favor simply by performance of sacrifices, severe austerities or mystic yoga. But I always remain equipoised in the heart of one who is also equipoised in all circumstances.
Lord Viṣṇu was very pleased with Mahārāja Pṛthu’s good character and behavior and offered him a benediction. The Lord openly says that performing great sacrifices or undergoing the austerities of mystic yoga practice cannot satisfy Him. He is pleased only by elevated character and behavior. But these cannot develop unless one becomes a pure devotee of the Lord. Anyone who has developed unalloyed, unflinching devotional service unto the Lord develops his original good qualities as spirit soul. The spirit soul, as part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, has all the good qualities of the Lord. When the spirit soul is contaminated by the material modes of nature, one is considered good or bad with reference to the material qualities. But when one is transcendental to all material qualities, all the good qualities come out. These qualities of a devotee, twenty-six in number, are listed as follows: (1) kind to everyone, (2) does not quarrel with anyone, (3) fixed in the Absolute Truth, (4) equal to everyone, (5) faultless, (6) charitable, (7) mild, (8) clean, (9) simple, (10) benevolent, (11) peaceful, (12) completely attached to Kṛṣṇa, (13) has no material hankering, (14) meek, (15) steady, (16) self-controlled, (17) does not eat more than required, (18) sane, (19) respectful, (20) humble, (21) grave, (22) compassionate, (23) friendly, (24) poetic, (25) expert, (26) silent. The Lord is satisfied by development of the transcendental qualities of the living entity and not by artificial performance of sacrifices and mystic yoga. In other words, unless one is fully qualified to become a pure devotee of the Lord, one cannot expect to be liberated from material entanglement.

Tension, War and Anxiety!

Srimad Bhagavatam 4.20.14:
To give protection to the general mass of people who are citizens of the state is the prescribed occupational duty for a king. By acting in that way, the king in his next life shares one sixth of the result of the pious activities of the citizens. But a king or executive head of state who simply collects taxes from the citizens but does not give them proper protection as human beings has the results of his own pious activities taken away by the citizens, and in exchange for his not giving protection he becomes liable to punishment for the impious activities of his subjects.
Excerpt from the Purport: This same principle can be applied to parents and spiritual masters as well. If parents simply give birth to children like cats and dogs but cannot save their children from imminent death, they become responsible for the activities of their animalistic children. Lately, such children are turning into hippies. Similarly, if a spiritual master cannot direct his disciples to become free of sinful activities, he becomes responsible for their sinful acts. These subtle laws of nature are unknown to the present leaders of society. Since the leaders of society have a poor fund of knowledge and the citizens in general are rogues and thieves, there cannot be an auspicious situation for human society. At the present moment the whole world is full of such an incompatible combination of state and citizens, and therefore there is constant tension, war and anxiety as an inevitable result of such social conditions.

Full Purport available at --->

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Swamis and Perfume

Flooded by waves of femininity, engulfed by bright photo-displays of women posing as if their total satisfaction emanated from a particular scent, nostrils tickled by exotic fragrances in the air, the two swamis struggled, floundering in the perfume section of the duty-free store at the Kiev, Ukraine airport.

It was the day before Radhastami. Niranjana Swami and I had just finished the colossal Ukraine jumbo festival—8,000 devotees this year. Now we were traveling to New Vraja Dhama in Hungary for celebrating the appearance of Srimati Radharani. Godbrothers Candramauli Swami and Suresvara Prabhu were part of the trip also.

While clearing passport control, Niranjana Swami had the idea to purchase a gift for Krishna's dearest companion. "Let's go to the duty-free shop and buy some perfume for Her."First I thought to myself, "How devotional. Why didn't I think of that." Then I remembered I knew nothing about perfume. Assuming Niranjana Swami did, I transcended my inhibitions, as we marched into the store.
What a beautiful idea—purchasing a fine scent for Sri Sri Radhe-Syama, the presiding Deities of New Vraja Dhama.
Two minutes into our mission, we looked at each other and decided, "Hare Krishna. Let's get out of here."

As we swiftly escaped into the main terminal area, Niranjana Swami remembered last year how so easily a grihastha couple traveling with him had purchased perfume for the Deity.  Purusartha Prabhu's wife ducked into the duty-free shop and five minutes later emerged, pointing confidently to small box in her hand: "This is the good stuff." Well, she made the mission look too possible. The swamis had to admit they were bewildered. We quickly gave up.

"I just wanted to get a gift for Srimati Radharani," Niranjana Maharaja expressed. "Offer Her a song; chant for Her," I suggested.
Later, on the plane bound for Budapest, the idea came up: "Maybe we should have asked one of the sales staff for help in choosing a brand of perfume."

Knowing devotees who worked in duty-free shops, I wasn't too sure about that. They told me that a man's approaching a lady salesperson for advice on perfume is like a woman's consulting a used car dealer for his choice of a good car—both customers are every sales person's dream. Just as women generally know nothing about car mechanicals, similarly men know nothing about the world of female fragrances. In both cases, the sales person either offloads some junk at an exorbitant price or pushes the the most expensive product at double its normal price.

We concluded this episode with a healthy appreciation for those who know the science of acquiring and offering Radha and Krishna the finest scents. On Radhastami day we offered to Srimati Radharani what we could—we made kirtans and lectures, danced and feasted, crying and begging through Srila Prabhupada that She may recommend us to Her Krishna.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Material World - Simply Fear

Akuto-bhayam. Here in this material world -- simply bhayam, only fearfulness. Nobody is safe here. At any moment the life may be finished. Nobody can guarantee. Padam padam yad vipadam [SB 10.14.58]. In the sastra it is said that here in this material world there is danger in every step. You are walking very nicely, and sometimes suppose there is a skin of plantain, and you slip, and your leg may be broken. Padam padam. Even walking, even sitting-heart failure.

So there is no guarantee. Any moment, we can die. And it is therefore called mrtyu-loka, "The place where death is," I mean to say, "sure." "As sure as death." People give surety example: "As sure as death." As nobody can avoid death, it is sure. You may be very strong and stout in your health and go on exercising on the beach daily, but you can die any moment. There is no guarantee. But everyone wants akuto-bhayam: "There may not be... I must be very safe and sound in every respect, in my social position, so far my health is concerned, anything." Everyone wants that security. But there is no security. That is called struggle for existence. There is no security, and the rascals are struggling to get security. How it is possible? If this place is meant for that purpose, padam padam yad vipadam, then how you can get security? This is foolishness, mudha. There is no possibility of security; still, they are making security in this way, that way, this way, that way, that way.

Therefore Krsna says, manah sasthanindriyani prakrti-sthani karsati. Mamaivamso jiva-bhutah: [Bg. 15.7] "All these living entities..." Krsna does not say that "I am for the Hindu living entities or the Indian living entities." Where it is in Bhagavad-gita? Why the foolish men take it that Krsna Hindu, Krsna Indian? Krsna says that suhrdam sarva-bhutanam: "I am friend of all living entities," sarva-bhutanam. Not only human society, but animal society, the plant society, the aquatic society, there are so many living entities. Ananta-koti. Sa anantyaya kalpate. The living entities, there is no limit. There are so many quantities. And Krsna says that suhrdam sarva-bhutanam jnatva mam santim rcchati: "When one understands that I, Krsna, is the friend of everyone..." Krsna, when says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66], He does not say to Arjuna. He says to all living entities, without any exception. Sarva-bhutanam. Suhrdam sarva-bhutanam. This is position of Krsna.

So by giving up Krsna... We have now given up Krsna. We are canvassing. This Krsna consciousness movement, we are canvassing everyone, every door, "Please come to Krsna." This is our business. But they will not come. They have forgotten Krsna or they have rejected Krsna. This is the position. Therefore they are always in fearfulness position, always fearful. Bhayam dvitiyabhinivesatah syat. This is certain(?). When there is fear? When one understands there is something else than Krsna, then he is fearful. Then he is fearful. Dvitiyabhinivesatah. Dvitiya means forgetfulness of Krsna. "I am Krsna's eternal servant. I am Krsna's eternal part and parcel, son, or most intimate relationship." Aham bija-pradah pita, Krsna says. Sarva-yonisu kaunteya [Bg. 14.4], Krsna says. There are so many forms of life, 8,400,000. But Krsna claims aham bija-pradah pita, "I am the seed-giving father of everyone." So where is Krsna Hindu or Indian? Where it is stated? Why people take like that? That is not fact. Therefore they are in the fearful condition of life, always afraid, "What will happen next?" Sada samudvigna-dhiyam asad-grahat [SB 7.5.5]. Asad-grahat. People have taken something which is asat. The Vedic instruction is asato ma sad gama: "Don't remain in the asat, in the untruth. Come to the Truth." So at the material world we have forgotten Krsna, and we are situated in the asat, which is not truth. Therefore there is bhaya, fearfulness. Just like a child, if he is forlorn by the father and mother, then he is always in fearful condition, crying on the street, "Where is my father? Where is my mother?" This is our position.

So if you want to be not fearfulness, no more fear, abhayam sattva-samsuddhih, if you become out of fearfulness then you have to take shelter of the lotus feet of Krsna. Therefore Krsna is begging. Because we are Krsna's sons or we have got very intimate relationship with Krsna and we have given Him up and we have forgotten Him, therefore we are suffering. So Krsna, being father, Krsna, being friend of everyone, He comes, and He canvasses, and at last He says, "You rascal," sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam... [Bg. 18.66], aham tvam sarva-papebhyah. "You are rotting here by repeatedly committing sinful life. Therefore you are changing from one body to another, and this is your material condition." Bhutva bhutva praliyate [Bg. 8.19]. "You are thinking... When you are a human being or American, you are thinking, 'Now I am in very good position,' but next moment you can become a dog, you can become an insect." Tatha dehantara-praptih [Bg. 2.13]. But the rascals, they do not know. They, he's thinking, "I am secure." And although he is fearful, he is thinking secure. This is called maya. He is always fearful. Still, he is thinking that he is secure. This is called maya.

- Srila Prabhupada

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Thank you God for everything!

Radhanath Swami - Thank you God for everything!

‘It doesn’t take a great person to blame others or to complain, but it takes a very very great person to thank god in difficulties.’ – Radhanath Swami

According to our karmas (manifest/unmainfest effects of our actions), we have a particular destiny. But however good our karma is, there will be honor and distress, pleasure and pain, success and failure, heat and cold etc because this is a world of dualities. You cannot have one without the other. But if you become attached to the positive side, to that degree you will suffer when the negative side inevitably comes before us. The solution to this is given by Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita, He tells us that we should transcend the dualities of life. But, how to transcend dualities of love/hate in a marriage or happiness/ distress in the work place or pride/humility when we have competition or pleasure/pain while raising children?

We can transcend dualities by seeing the Lord in everything, by looking upon circumstances in our lives as His mercy that has come to help us grow into a beautiful person, beyond our vision. And when we learn to offer the fruits of our action as an act of service for god, we can instantly transcend the dualities of material existence and enter the divine realm, beyond love/hate relationships and we are then able to see the other person as a gift of God who has come to us to help us get over our own anarthas (contamination’s) that block our spiritual growth.

tat te ‘nukampäà su-samékñamäëo

bhuïjäna evätma-kåtaà vipäkam

håd-väg-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te

jéveta yo mukti-pade sa däya-bhäk.

(Srimad Bhagvatam 10:14:8)

Radhanath Swami explains,“When a person is undergoing serious tribulations, and in that condition with folded palms and tears of sincerity in his heart he thanks god saying I deserved worst, but I know my lord you have a purpose behind this and I am grateful.”

Monday, 3 September 2012

Sri-Vrindavana Dhama at Home

tāvad rāgādayaḥ stenās
 tāvat kārā-gṛhaṁ gṛham
tāvan moho ’ṅghri-nigaḍo
 yāvat kṛṣṇa na te janāḥ

My dear Lord Kṛṣṇa, until people become Your devotees, their material attachments and desires remain thieves, their homes remain prisons, and their affectionate feelings for their family members remain foot-shackles.

Apparently, the residents of Vṛndāvana, the abode of Lord Kṛṣṇa, are simple householders engaged in ordinary affairs such as herding cows, cooking, rearing children and performing religious ceremonies. However, all these activities are intensely engaged in the loving service of Lord Kṛṣṇa. The residents of Vṛndāvana perform all activities in pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness and thus exist on the most exalted platform of liberated life. Otherwise, the same activities performed without Kṛṣṇa consciousness constitute ordinary bondage to the material world.

Thus, one should not misunderstand the exalted position of the residents of Vṛndāvana, nor should one consider oneself highly religious simply because one performs ordinary domestic affairs very enthusiastically, but without Kṛṣṇa consciousness. By focusing our passionate attachment on our family and society, we are completely deviated from the progressive path of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Conversely, if we engage our family in the loving service of the Lord, our endeavors to maintain our family become part and parcel of our progressive spiritual duties.

In conclusion, by studying the extraordinary status of the residents of Vṛndāvana, we can see that the essential quality of their lives is pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness — the rendering of loving service to the Lord without a trace of material desire or mental speculation. Such loving service to the original Personality of Godhead immediately creates the atmosphere of Śrī Vṛndāvana-dhāma, the kingdom of God.

Darshan from Sri Vrindavan Dhaam - September 03, 2012

SB 10.14.34: My greatest possible good fortune would be to take any birth whatever in this forest of Gokula and have my head bathed by the dust falling from the lotus feet of any of its residents. Their entire life and soul is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Mukunda, the dust of whose lotus feet is still being searched for in the Vedic mantras.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Deity Darshana - September 02, 2012

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.14.30: My dear Lord, I therefore pray to be so fortunate that in this life as Lord Brahmā or in another life, wherever I take my birth, I may be counted as one of Your devotees. I pray that wherever I may be, even among the animal species, I can engage in devotional service to Your lotus feet.

Laws of Karma - Do we have a Choice in Life?


Question to Radhanath Swami: If everything is fixed by our previous karma, i.e. ‘whatever is destined to happen will happen,’ why should we bother about doing the right things in life?

Radhanath Swami: Not everything is ‘fixed.’ What we have done in the past has fixed our present destiny. But now, how we react to that destiny will create our future destiny. For example, one may get one million dollars due to his past pious work.But what he does with that money decides his future destiny. If he invests that money in heroine or cocaine and makes ten million dollars, his future destiny might be that he gets smashed in a car accident, or gets robbed of everything. Conversely, if he uses it to feed the poor or to hospitalize the sick he gets pious results, and if he uses that one million for illuminating people’s hearts in service to God he gets tremendous spiritual benefit. One should never mistakenly think that what one does with that money is also fixed by one’s past karma. This is a very serious and dangerous misconception. We always have free will and it will never be taken away from us, though we may use it for a wrong purpose impelled by strong inclinations which we have developed because of our previous activities.

It is very important to associate with people who have pure aspirations. Because in their association it is easier to overcome our previous conditionings and use our free will in a beneficial way than in a harmful way. There may be a drug addict and due to his/her previous conditionings the natural state of his/her mind is to be on drugs 7 days a week. And if he/she lives with other drug addicts, that association will only perpetuate that consciousness. But that person always has a free will to give up the addiction and if that person has some sincerity, the first thing he/she will do is to associate with people who are not taking drugs. That will give him/her the strength to give up those strong tendencies.

Similarly, if with our free will we choose to associate with people who have pure and spiritual aspirations, we get the strength to use our higher self to conquer lower propensities. If we nourish our lower propensities, the divine virtues become weak and helpless. Then it is very difficult to make the right choice.

Finally, if we had no free will and whatever was going to happen would happen, why did Lord Krishna speak Bhagavad Gita? Why did Prophet Mohammed give the holy Koran? Why did Jesus Christ give the New Testament? Why there are so many incarnations, prophets and yogis that descend in the world to teach us how to live, how to make the right choice—if we have no choice at all?

Confusion - A Blessing in Disguise


Question to Radhanath Swami - Swamiji, I guess we are all made for a purpose. But if we are at a confused state of life, how would we really know what our purpose in life is?

Answer by Radhanath Swami- Confusion is a blessing. Because when we are confused, it shakes us from our complacency, and we start asking the questions that you are asking today.

And this is the basis of the Bhagavad Gita: Arjuna was in total illusion. Then he became extremely confused; he thought his illusion was truth. The Bhagvad Gita begins were Arjuna is telling Krishna why he will not fight and he cannot fight. He had such good logic, such good scientific philosophical socialistic reasons. But ultimately all of his reasoning couldn’t really save him from distress, because the nature of the world is that things happen that we just don’t want to happen, but it’s going to happen anyways; it’s the nature of this place.

Then Arjuna was confused and in his confusion he turned to God. kārpaṇya-doṣopahata-svabhāvaḥ pṛcchāmi tvāṁ dharma-sammūḍha-cetāḥ. “Now I am bewildered, I am confused, I don’t know what is to be done and what is not to be done. Please instruct me.” Confusion can shake us from our complacent comfort zone and that’s often times what we need to grow, to grow beyond from where we are; and in that confusion we seek answers. And when we seek it in Satsang—in the association of saintly people, in spiritual literatures, in the names of God—then we can find the real faith, the real conviction, the real realization that forever frees us from this confusion. So confusion is a blessing, if we respond accordingly.

Sri Jagannathashtakam

kadacit kalindi-tata-vipina-sangita-taralo
jagannatha svami nayana-patha-gami bhavatu me (1)

Who sometimes fervently plays His flute on the banks of the Yamuna river in Sri Vrindavana, who is like a bumblebee that blissfully tastes the lotus faces of the Vraja-gopis, and whose feet are worshipped by great personalities such as Laksmi, Shiva, Brahma, Indra, and Ganesha -- may that Sri Jagannatha-deva be the object of my vision.

bhuje savye venum shirasi shikhi-piccham katitate
dukulam netrante sahacara-kataksham ca vidadhat
sada srimad-vrindavana vasati-lila-paricayo
jagannatha svami nayana-patha-gami bhavatu me (2)

Who holds a flute in His left hand, who wears a peacock feather on His head and a fine yellow silken cloth around His hips, who from the corners of His eyes bestows loving sidelong glances upon His companions, and who is forever known as the one who performs wondrous pastimes in the divine abode of Sri Vrindavana -- may that Sri Jagannatha-deva be the object of my vision.

mahambhodhes-tire kanaka-rucire nila-shikhare
vasan prasadantah sahaja-valabhadrena balina
subhadra-madhyasthah sakala-sura-sevavasara-do
jagannatha svami nayana-patha-gami bhavatu me (3)

Who on the shore of the great ocean resides in a palace situated on the gold-like crest of Nilachala Hill accompanied by His powerful brother Baladevaji and between Them, His sister Subhadra, and who bestows the opportunity to serve Him upon all the demigods -- may that Sri Jagannatha-deva be the object of my vision.

kripa-paravarah sajala-jalada-shreni-ruciro
rama-vani-ramah sphurad-amala-pankeruha-mukhah
surendrair-aradhyah shruti-gana-sikha-gita-carito
jagannatha svami nayana-patha-gami bhavatu me (4)

Who is an ocean of mercy, whose bodily complexion is as beautiful as a row of blackish rainclouds, who sports with Laksmi-devi and Sarasvati, whose face is like a spotless fully-blossomed lotus, who is worshipped by the foremost demigods, and whose transcendental glories have been sung in the topmost scriptures -- may that Sri Jagannatha-deva be the object of my vision.

ratharudho gacchan pathi milita-bhudeva patalaih
stuti-pradurbhavam prati-padam-upakarnya shadayah
daya-sindhur-bandhuh sakala-jagatam sindhu-sutaya
jagannatha svami nayana-patha-gami bhavatu me (5)

When Jagannatha's Ratha-yatra cart is moving along the road, at every step assemblies of brahmanas sing His praises. Upon hearing them, Jagannatha, being an ocean of mercy and the true friend of all the worlds, becomes favourably disposed towards them -- may that Sri Jagannatha-deva be the object of my vision.

param-brahmapidah kuvalaya-dalotphulla-nayano
nivasi niladrau nihita-carano ananta-shirasi
rasanandi radha-sarasa-vapur-alingana-sukho
jagannatha svami nayana-patha-gami bhavatu me (6)

Who is the crown-jewel of transcendence, whose eyes are like the petals of a fully-opened blue lotus, who resides at Nilachala, whose feet are placed on the head of Sesa, who is blissfully immersed in bhakti-rasa, and who derives happiness from embracing the rasa-laden body of Srimati Radhika -- may that Sri Jagannatha-deva be the object of my vision.

na vai yace rajyam na ca kanaka-manikya-vibhavam
na yace 'ham ramyam sakala-jana-kamyam vara-vadhum
sada kale kale pramatha-patina gita-carito
jagannatha svami nayana-patha-gami bhavatu me (7)

I do not pray to Jagannatha for a kingdom, nor for gold, jewels, wealth, or even for a beautiful wife as desired by all men. My only prayer is that Sri Jagannatha-deva, whose splendid glories are always sung by Shiva, be the constant object of my vision.

hara tvam samsaram drutataram-asaram sura-pate!
hara tvam papanam vitatim-aparam yadava-pate!
aho dine 'nathe nihita-carano nishcitam-idam
jagannatha svami nayana-patha-gami bhavatu me (8)

O master of the demigods! Quickly deliver me from this worthless worldly existence. O Lord of the Yadus! Purge me of my limitless host of sins. Aho! You have promised to bestow Your feet upon the fallen and shelterless -- O Jagannatha Swami, please be the object of my vision.

jagannathastakam punyam yah pathet prayatah shuci
sarva-papa-vishuddha-atma vishnulokam sa gacchati

One who carefully recites this sacred Jagannathastakam, upon becoming sinless and purehearted, will attain entrance into Vishnuloka.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Protection from Material Desires

Dhruva prays that Lord is the causelessly merciful maintainer

Summary: Material desires can easily draw us to the position of being taken far from the path of devotional life. A sincere devotee is quite aware of this danger, and takes all precautions to not indulge; even a small indulgence very quickly draws one into significant foolishness! To receive the Lord's protection from these desires, we need to be very very sincere in our purpose! Due to the amazingly merciful nature the Supreme Lord, recognizing our deeper sincerity of purpose, He may, according to His sweet will, both provide us with the means to see our desires fulfilled (as the cow supplies milk to the calf), but also supply protection from the sense gratification component of consciousness when coming in contact with the very object of those desires (as the cow protects her calf).

Dhruva recognizes this amazingly merciful nature of the Lord, just by dint of the purity he has received from the mercy which came from Narada, and the purification received from the devotional service rendered under the direction of Narada. He is feeling *extremely grateful* for this mercy of Narada! To qualify ourselves for this unique mercy of the Lord, as Dhruva did, what must each of us do? We must place ourselves in the care of Sri Naradaji or his representative, which means we must sincerely carry out the instructions we receive from such representative, stirred by feelings of great gratitude in our hearts for the mercy received. That was Dhruva's qualification, and it needs to become ours.

a) Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.9.17
TRANSLATION My Lord, O Supreme Lord, You are the supreme personified form of all benediction. Therefore, for one who abides in Your devotional service with no other desire, worshiping Your lotus feet is better than becoming king and lording it over a kingdom. That is the benediction of worshiping Your lotus feet. To ignorant devotees like me, You are the causelessly merciful maintainer, just like a cow, who takes care of the newly born calf by supplying milk and giving it protection from attack.

PURPORT Dhruva Maharaja was cognizant of the defective nature of his own devotional service. Pure devotional service is without material form and is not covered by mental speculation or fruitive activities. Pure devotional service is therefore called ahaituki, unmotivated. Dhruva Maharaja knew that he had come to worship the Lord in devotional service with a motive - to get the kingdom of his father. Such an adulterated devotee can never see the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face. He therefore felt very grateful for the causeless mercy of the Lord. The Lord is so merciful that not only does He fulfill the desires of a devotee who is driven by ignorance and desires for material benefit, but He also gives such a devotee all protection, just as a cow gives milk to a newly born calf.
In the Bhagavad-Gita it is said that the Lord gives intelligence to the constantly engaged devotee so that he may gradually approach the Lord without difficulty. A devotee must be very sincere in his devotional service; then, although there may be many things wrong on the devotee's part, Krsna will guide him and gradually elevate him to the highest position of devotional service. The Lord is addressed herein by Dhruva Maharaja as purusartha-murti, the ultimate goal of life. Generally purusartha is taken to mean execution of a type of religious principle or worship of God in order to get material benediction. Prayers for material benediction are intended for satisfying the senses. And when one is frustrated and cannot fully satisfy the senses in spite of all endeavor, he desires liberation, or freedom from material existence. These activities are generally called purusartha. But actually the ultimate goal is to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is called pancama-purusartha, the ultimate goal of life. Lord Caitanya therefore taught us not to ask from the Supreme Personality any benediction such as material wealth, popularity or a good wife. One should simply pray to the Lord to be constantly engaged in His transcendental loving service. Dhruva Maharaja, being cognizant of his desire for material benefit, wanted protection from the Lord so that he might not be misled or deviated from the path of devotional service by material desires.

What to do when you don't have control over the Mind?

You practice. Best to practice bringing the mind to that which will make the mind pure. The Supreme pure is the best for making the mind pure. So in the condition that you described, what should the person do? They should continue to chant, calling from their heart: “My dear Lord Krishna, I know that my mind is all over the place and that it is not with You. That’s my condition. I am disclosing my condition which You already know because You are in my heart. But that's my condition. Please help me. Please pick me up from this dark place of an uncontrolled mind, by Your supreme compassion and purity.” That's what one should do.

Adapted from a lecture entitled “Limbs of Surrender: Humility”, given by His Holiness Romapada Swami in Chicago during March 2012.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Earnestly Awaiting for Lord's Causeless Mercy

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.14.8

tat te ’nukampāṁ su-samīkṣamāṇo
 bhuñjāna evātma-kṛtaṁ vipākam
hṛd-vāg-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
 jīveta yo mukti-pade sa dāya-bhāk

My dear Lord, one who earnestly waits for You to bestow Your causeless mercy upon him, all the while patiently suffering the reactions of his past misdeeds and offering You respectful obeisances with his heart, words and body, is surely eligible for liberation, for it has become his rightful claim.

Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmī explains in his commentary that just as a legitimate son has to simply remain alive to gain an inheritance from his father, one who simply remains alive in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, following the regulative principles of bhakti-yoga, automatically becomes eligible to receive the mercy of the Personality of Godhead. In other words, he will be promoted to the kingdom of God.

The word su-samīkṣamāṇa indicates that a devotee earnestly awaits the mercy of the Supreme Lord even while suffering the painful effects of previous sinful activities. Lord Kṛṣṇa explains in the Bhagavad-gītā that a devotee who fully surrenders unto Him is no longer liable to suffer the reactions of his previous karma. However, because in his mind a devotee may still maintain the remnants of his previous sinful mentality, the Lord removes the last vestiges of the enjoying spirit by giving His devotee punishments that may sometimes resemble sinful reactions. The purpose of the entire creation of God is to rectify the living entity’s tendency to enjoy without the Lord, and therefore the particular punishment given for a sinful activity is specifically designed to curtail the mentality that produced the activity. Although a devotee has surrendered to the Lord’s devotional service, until he is completely perfect in Kṛṣṇa consciousness he may maintain a slight inclination to enjoy the false happiness of this world. The Lord therefore creates a particular situation to eradicate this remaining enjoying spirit. This unhappiness suffered by a sincere devotee is not technically a karmic reaction; it is rather the Lord’s special mercy for inducing His devotee to completely let go of the material world and return home, back to Godhead.

A sincere devotee earnestly desires to go back to the Lord’s abode. Therefore he willingly accepts the Lord’s merciful punishment and continues offering respects and obeisances to the Lord with his heart, words and body. Such a bona fide servant of the Lord, considering all hardship a small price to pay for gaining the personal association of the Lord, certainly becomes a legitimate son of God, as indicated here by the words dāya-bhāk. Just as one cannot approach the sun without becoming fire, one cannot approach the supreme pure, Lord Kṛṣṇa, without undergoing a rigid purificatory process, which may appear like suffering but which is in fact a curative treatment administered by the personal hand of the Lord.

Deity Darshana