Sunday, 29 April 2012

Chandan Yatra Darshan from Sri Vrindavan Dhaam - 30.04.2012

You should study only the one truth - Krishna's feet. One who knows that truth has the ornament of devotion for the Lord. (Text 11)

The sastras describe that anything other than this is ignorance. Do not study anything other than devotion to Sri Sri Radha-Krishna! (Text 12)

Persons intoxicated with pride in their learning, wealth, and birth do not attain Krishna. By devotional service one easily attains Krishna, the Lord of the Yadus. (Text 13)

Krishna is conquered by the nectar of devotional service. To prove this I quote these words from the sastras: (Text 14)

Where was the hunter Dharma's piety, Dhruva's maturity, and Gajendra's knowledge? Where was Kubja's beauty? Where was Sudama's wealth? Where was Vidura's noble birth? Where was Ugrasena's chivalrous strength? Lord Madhava is pleased only by devotional service and not by material qualifications. (Text 15)

Quoting Rupa Goswami's Padyavali, text 8
--Adapted from Srila Lochan Das Thakur's Caitanya-mangala, Madhya 1.11-15

Practicing Tolerance during Reversals

Lord Brahma speaking to Maharaja Prithu, Srimad Bhagavatam 4.19.34

TRANSLATION "My dear King, do not be agitated and anxious because your sacrifices have not been properly executed due to providential impediments. Kindly take my words with great respect. We should always remember that if something happens by providential arrangement, we should not be very sorry. The more we try to rectify such reversals, the more we enter into the darkest region of materialistic thought."

PURPORT Sometimes the saintly or very religious person also has to meet with reversals in life. Such incidents should be taken as providential. Although there may be sufficient cause for being unhappy, one should avoid counteracting such reversals, for the more we become implicated in rectifying such reversals, the more we enter into the darkest regions of material anxiety. Lord Krsna has also advised us in this connection. We should tolerate things instead of becoming agitated.

Summary by HH Romapada Swami: While we certainly must attend to illness, fire, accidents, circumstances which are causing impediments to our service, etc -- we must not become obsessed with the situation. There is a time and place for simply accepting these things as providential.

Care for Krishna's Devotees

1. [from Hari Sauri's Transcendental Diary #3]
"Shortly after eight thirty he [Prabhupada] brought the meeting to an end. As he prepared to retire to the house, he looked at one of the women, Gopalasyapriya dasi, who was rather under dressed considering the chill of the evening. He was concerned and he turned to Kuladri, the temple president. "Um hmm. This girl? This cloth is sufficient? So you have no covering? They do not require covering?"
Kuladri was casual about it, trying to explain it away to assuage Srila Prabhupada's disquiet. "It is warm for us, Srila Prabhupada."
But Srila Prabhupada wouldn't allow it to be passed off lightly. "No, if they require, they must be supplied. You must ask them what you need, and provide them. Because they do not say, you'll also keep silent -- that's not good. Every month they should be asked what they need. Necessities, they must be supplied. We have already discussed this point. The women, they  require protection, children, women."
[Later, Srila Prabhupada requested the managers/leaders in NV to check monthly with those under their care to see if the devotees need anything.]

2. On a morning walk, a devotee was not wearing shoes although it was quite chilly and the path was dirt with small rocks and gravel. Srila Prabhupada noticed the devotee without shoes and asked "You do not have shoes?" The devotee replied with a string of flowery praise "Oh Srila Prabhupada, when I am with you I do not feel any material discomfort or pain".
Srila Prabhupada replied "There is enough difficulty in life without inventing more. Go get your shoes" and Srila Prabhupada waited until the devotee retrieved a pair of shoes before continuing his walk.

Mission of Krishna Consciousness

Srila Prabhupada

I repeatedly say that this is not a religious cult, that we want to supersede another type of religion. That is not our business. Our aim is to make all people happy. Sarve sukhino bhavantu. This is the Vedic mission. Everyone should be happy. But they are trying to be happy, but they do not know how to, how to become... Na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum [Srimad Bhagavatam 7.5.31]. They are misguided. They cannot be happy without becoming Vaisnava. This is open declaration in the sastra. They cannot become happy. Na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum durasaya [Srimad Bhagavatam 7.5.31]. If they are trying to become happy otherwise, that is durasaya, hopeless thing. It will never be fructified. It will never be successful. Na te viduh. They do not know. Therefore our business is to make them know that "This is the way of perfection. Take Krsna consciousness. Make your life perfect. Be happy, and go back to home, back to Godhead." This is our mission.
Ref. VedaBase => The Nectar of Devotion -- Vrndavana, November 6, 1972

this Krsna consciousness movement is a propagation to teach people how to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is our mission, because without relationship with God, without reviving our eternal affinity with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we cannot be happy. The Vedic injunction is sarve sukhino bhavantu: "Everyone become happy."
Ref. VedaBase => Ratha-yatra -- New York, July 18, 1976

Our Vedic mission is sarve sukhino bhavantu: everyone be happy. This is our mission. And we know how to become happy. That is our credit. We know. How to become happy we know. Therefore, you can inform others also how to become happy. Happiness is our birthright. Anandamayo 'bhyasat (Vedanta-sutra 1.1.12). Living entity is anandamaya, full of happiness, but they have fallen in a different condition. Therefore unhappy. Different condition. Just like fish taken out of the water and put into the land, a different condition, and it is throbbing, flapping, unhappy. Take it, put it in the water again, and it will be happy. That's it.
Ref. VedaBase => Room Conversation -- June 30, 1972, San Diego

This is our message. Sarve sukhino bhavantu. By spiritual realization everyone will become happy. Without spiritual realization, nobody can become happy. This is our mission.
Ref. VedaBase => Room Conversation with Sanskrit Professor -- August 13, 1973, Paris

You become Indian or American, it doesn't matter. You are human being. Take to this culture and you will be happy. This is our mission. We want to make everyone happy. Sarve sukhino bhavantu: "Everyone be happy" -- with Krsna. That is our mission.
Ref. VedaBase => Morning Walk -- April 7, 1975, Mayapur

Mahamsa: The village people are very happy.
Prabhupada: Yes, they should be. That I want. Sarve sukhino bhavantu. This is our mission.
Ref. VedaBase => Morning Walk -- January 6, 1976, Bombay

Starting Point of Loving Relationships

HH Romapada Swami in Hyderabad Feb 2003
There is this sutra or distilled down little phrase in Krsna consciousness that loving relationships are suspended by common service together. Like this nice chandelier is suspended from a chain in the ceiling, but the chain in the ceiling is connected to this little rivet up there, and the rivet is connected to the beam. So loving relationships are suspended by common service together. The essence or the starting point of that common service is that we come together and hear and chant. We assist one another. Just like in a marriage, we assist one another to awaken and restore Krsna consciousness. That’s the Krsna conscious marriage anyway. And in any other kind of loving relationship -- friend to friend, or parent to child, or whatever it is -- that’s the essence from a Krsna conscious perspective. When that happens, not just material miseries cease to exist, but material existence ceases to exist.

Adapted from a lecture by His Holiness Romapada Swami on SB 11.3.3, entitled “Remembrance of Krsna Through Our  Loving Relationships with His Devotees” given in December 2011 at Chicago.


HH Romapada Swami in Vrindavan Oct 2009
April 23, 2012

The position of happiness is not achieved by whatever particular activity we are engaged in or the particular circumstances we find ourselves in. Happiness is found within.  Happiness from a spiritual perspective is our loving relationship with Krishna.

Adapted from a lecture given by Srila Romapada Swami on SB 5.8.1-11, The Pastimes of Bharata Maharaja – Part 2, in March 2011 in Vrindavan

Great Souls under the protection of Divine Nature

Bhagavad-gītā As It Is 9.13
mahātmānas tu māḿ pārtha
daivīḿ prakṛtim āśritāḥ
bhajanty ananya-manaso
jñātvā bhūtādim avyayam

O son of Pṛthā, those who are not deluded, the great souls, are under the protection of the divine nature. They are fully engaged in devotional service because they know Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, original and inexhaustible.

In this verse the description of the mahātmā is clearly given. The first sign of the mahātmā is that he is already situated in the divine nature. He is not under the control of material nature. And how is this effected? That is explained in the Seventh Chapter: one who surrenders unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, at once becomes freed from the control of material nature. That is the qualification. One can become free from the control of material nature as soon as he surrenders his soul to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is the preliminary formula. Being marginal potency, as soon as the living entity is freed from the control of material nature, he is put under the guidance of the spiritual nature. The guidance of the spiritual nature is called daivī prakṛti, divine nature. So when one is promoted in that way — by surrendering to the Supreme Personality of Godhead — one attains to the stage of great soul, mahātmā.

The mahātmā does not divert his attention to anything outside Kṛṣṇa, because he knows perfectly well that Kṛṣṇa is the original Supreme Person, the cause of all causes. There is no doubt about it. Such a mahātmā, or great soul, develops through association with other mahātmās, pure devotees. Pure devotees are not even attracted by Kṛṣṇa's other features, such as the four-armed Mahā-Viṣṇu. They are simply attracted by the two-armed form of Kṛṣṇa. They are not attracted to other features of Kṛṣṇa, nor are they concerned with any form of a demigod or of a human being. They meditate only upon Kṛṣṇa in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. They are always engaged in the unswerving service of the Lord in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Most Awaited Darshan of Sri Sri Radha Krishna - ISKCON Chennai

Overcoming Fault Finding Tendency

Q. I have a "natural" tendancy to be very critical and hence find mistakes/faults in people. Most of the time, I find fault with people at the mental level and not necessarily express it. This habit also extends to devotees. I feel and know I am not supposed to do this. But, like I said, this has become a habit and I am finding it hard to relinquish it. In this whole process, I know I am wrong and hence I am always upset with my behavior (but this happens as a reflex action and not able to control my mind). Please advise me as to what I should do and how I should stop this habit of mine! I feel this will hamper my devotional process and that Guru and Krishna will not be happy with me.

HH Romapada Swami: There is a very simple and sure solution recommended to overcome fault-finding tendency -- deliberately cultivate the opposite habit! Search out and heartily appreciate the genuine good qualities in others, particularly in relation to how these qualities are the gift of Guru and Krishna, and are to be used in their service.

You can begin by making a very deliberate & conscious effort, as a daily exercise, of acknowledging and appreciating good qualities in devotees, and whenever circumstances allow, verbally expressing such appreciation and praise. Even better are opportunities to offer heartfelt service to devotees in a humble mood, and while offering such service doing so as a meditation and expression of appreciation of specific good qualities you find in them - such genuine service to vaishnavas can soften the heart and purge all critical mentality. You can also seek out the association of those who themselves have such a quality of genuine appreciation for others and serve in their company.

As you practice appreciating others, rather than arbitrarily praising some independent traits, it would be much beneficial to try to identify in what way Krishna's descending mercy is flowing into & transforming these devotees' lives and how they are making sincere efforts according to their capacity to take shelter of Krishna and His devotees. It is by this one good quality -- "krsna-eka-sharana" - that a devotee in time develops all desirable qualities, whereas it is concluded that a non-devotee has no good qualities whatsoever, because he is hovering on the mental plane. (Cf BG 1.28 purport)

Ultimately, we are interested neither in criticizing so-called bad qualities nor in praising mundane good qualities. Krishna decorates His faithful devotees with transcendental good qualities and by appreciating His devotees we are actually praising the manifestation of His mercy. You will find that even if there may be some factual, minor discrepancies in devotees, these become insignificant in comparison to the more significant factor of how their original nature is unfolding in relationship with Krishna, just like the black spots on the moon become insignificant in comparison to the flood of cooling illumination it provides.

Another very helpful meditation you can cultivate is to learn to see through the eyes of scriptures what the praiseworthy qualities in a devotee are. You can repeatedly study relevant sections from the Bhagavad-Gita or Srimad Bhagavatam where Krishna glorifies those engaged in His devotional service and how very dear they are to Him. E.g see BG 7.16-18, 9.14,15,22, 9.29-34. By regularly meditating on these passages, we can cultivate very deep respect and appreciation for the actual position of devotees beyond the external, circumstantial and temporary characteristics that we generally tend to focus on and instead appreciate their essential characteristic of taking shelter in Krishna.

By developing this spiritual vision, it can then also be extended to those who are not devotees; rather than being disturbed by their faults, we can learn to see the root cause of their difficulties viz. their disconnection from God and thus develop compassion for them.

Moreover, remind yourself of the fact that devotional service rendered sincerely is *SO* powerful that it can wipe out all discrepancies, in us and in others.

The process of devotional service is very powerful and by adopting the right means and applying oneself to them, lifetimes of habits and conditioning can be easily overcome. Have trust in this fact and with enthusiasm take up these positive steps. When we are actively cultivating the positive, there is no room for the negative; and the converse is also true! You are recognizing what is wrong and why it is wrong and you also feel genuine regret, but now do not dwell on it and let yourself be defeated by negative thoughts of frustration or anger towards yourself or how you are displeasing Guru and Krishna. Instead take up the positive and liberating process of rectification -- this will be most pleasing to them and attract their descending mercy which will further fill your heart with deeper appreciation of the glories of vaishnavas.

Keeping a Cool Mind while working hard to achieve things

Q. If a person has set an aim to achieve,(something) which is rather difficult, and is working hard to achieve this, is it okay for that person to get irritated and rude when dealing with their loved ones, or being selfish to an extent? How can they deal with the different pressures they have to face and keep a cool and composed mind?

HH Romapada Swami: It is neither justified, nor is it really necessary, to yield to the pushings of anger, irritation or harshness, under any circumstances. A thoughtful person should avoid the trap of the mode of passion, of which these pushings are the symptoms. The modes of passion and ignorance always lead to misery in the long run.

A thoughtful person is enjoined to cultivate the mode of goodness, and not to strive for extravagant goals beyond one's reach. Over-endeavoring for gains (prayasa), beyond what can be achieved by virtuous and natural means, can destroy all good qualities. Particularly in relation to achievements in the material sphere, as well as in regard to one's commitments towards spiritual life, a spiritualist is recommended to be dutiful but detached, being satisfied with whatever results come of their own accord after one's honest efforts.

Victory is always on the side of virtue. Our real aim and best efforts must be to act virtuously, and to please the Supreme Lord Krishna, rather than to achieve a specific goal. By acting virtuously, which includes being respectful and considerate to everyone at all times, one's efforts will finally be rewarded with success, beyond what can be accomplished by pushing one's way ahead unmindful of all other considerations.

The Story of Kalachandji - 'The Beautiful moon-faced One'

Five hundred years ago in India, Kalachandji, literally translated as "the beautiful moon-faced one," was worshipped as the Supreme Personality of Godhead by thousands of devotees. Impeccable craftsmen constructed an elaborate temple for Him; famous artisans decorated it. Accompanied by drums, cymbals and tambouras, His followers filled the halls with melodious prayers throughout the day, and the air was sweet with myriad varieties of richly fragrant incense. Daily He was offered sumptuously prepared foods of all descriptions made from grains, milk products and fresh vegetables. Everyone, from the King to the street sweeper, visited Kalachandji, paying respects and obeisances. No one could imagine passing the day without having His audience.

From one generation to another the tradition continued, and then, suddenly, the Moguls invaded India. Fearing for Kalachandji`s safety, His devotees hid Him from the plunderers, and thus the opulence and worship which He had formerly enjoyed all but came to an end. With grief in their hearts, His followers prayed for the day when His true position could be established again.

Centuries later, the great devotee of Krishna and founder of this Palace, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, arranged to have Kalachandji brought to America where he had a large temple building in Dallas. And so it was that "the beautiful moon-faced one" found a home in a new land.

At the outset of 1972 Srila Prabhupada, founder-acarya of ISKCON, instructed two of his lady disciples, Kausalya devi dasi and Srimati devi dasi to travel to Jaipur, India to secure marble deities for his Denver, Detroit, Montreal and Dallas temples.

Kausalya had been living in India for the last two years and Srimati, having just arrived in India, saw her as a perfect guide and companion. Arriving in Jaipur, while attempting to check into a hotel Srimati realized she had forgotten her passport in Delhi. The hotel receptionist made special note of this and agreed to let them stay. The next morning, after having attending Mangala-arti for Sri Sri Radha-Govinda, the famous Deities of Srila Rupa Goswami, Kausalya began singing bhajans for Their Lordships in the temple. At this time a large crowd gathered to see the American devotees, perhaps for many of them the first time they has ever seen foreigners worshipping Radha-Govinda. Kausalya was not only able to sing but ended up lecturing about Srila Prabhupada to her audience. They were also fortunate enough to meet one of the pujaris of Sri Sri Radha Govinda.

Later, returning to their hotel room, they were met by the police who were ready to arrest them, having been informed by the receptionist that Srimati had no passport. And rightly so, the Indian-Pakistan War had just begun with India siding with Russia and Pakistan siding with the U.S. So what right had an American to be in India without any travel documents?

Eventually, all this led to the ladies calling upon the pujari of Radha_Govinda to vouch for them. The pujari, upon arriving on the scene, recalled their singing and preaching, and proclaimed that they were actual devotees. Not only did he vouch for them, but he ended up sponsoring them and inviting them to come and stay in his home with his wife and family. The police finally relented under the condition the devotee ladies would not leave Jaipur until Srimati’s passport was sent from Delhi and presented before them.

Through the pujari Srila Rupa Goswami seems to have have assisted Srila Prabhupada and Kalachandji. What seemed to have been a tragedy unfolded into a great opportunity as the pujari began introducing the ladies to many of the respected families of Jaipur and instructing them how to obtain the deities they had been sent to look for. Mother Kausalya recalls: "I simply began telling everyone I met about Srila Prabhupada and chanted to Radha –Govinda. Gradually by Srila Prabhupada’s and Radha-Govinda’s mercy, people became so enthusiastic that recognized local industrialists, businessmen, and even the Maharani of Jaipur were inviting us for lunch to hear about Srila Prabhupada. Many of them became so interested to meet Srila Prabhupada that they sponsored Srila Prabhupada to come to Jaipur and organized a large pandal program in which Srila Prabhupada installed the Radha-Govinda Deities of New York City and awarded sannyasa to His Holiness Tamal Krishna Goswami.

It was during that time that Srimati found her way to some to the finest murtiwalas of Jaipur. Srimati recalls how pleased Srila Prabhupada was. She remembers: " I was walking from shop to shop, thinking what type of deity would be suitable for Dallas, Texas. Suddenly I saw this beautiful deity! He had a large round face and fine soft features, As soon as I saw Him, the first thing that crossed my mind was that this is the deity of Dallas!"

The deity was holding the door of a showroom open, having been placed as a doorstop. The deity looked ignored, completely unkempt, nothing like the deities she had previously seen for sale. As she approached the man in charge of the shop, he explained that this particular deity was not for sale. "This deity is very old," said the man, and he tried to interest her in other newly carved deities describing and pointing out the newest styles. Srimati simply became more determined and continued pursuing her original interest. Looking at the deity again the man kept saying the deity is very old, more that 500 years old, some type of museum piece.

Srimati continued requesting the man to give her the deity, explaining that the deity would be sent to Dallas. Finally she began talking money. As the price became more lucrative, the man finally consented.
As there was not deity of Radharani to match, Srimati started looking at other deities and had the murtiwala carve a suitable one to complete the set. Previously, Srila Prabhupada had written Srimati directing her how to pack the deities she was shipping to guard against breakage.

It was Mother Lokamimoni who received a telegram from Mithaheli devi dasi, explaining that the deities must be waiting in New York. Anxiously, she and her husband Jagadisa Prabhu called Mithaheli and located the deities along with two other sets of Radha-Krishna deities which were meant for Detroit and Montreal. They dispatched the deities to the respective temples.

After installing the Deities in Dallas, Srimati recalls how pleased Srila Prabhupada was. Prabhupada had even handwritten a document after the installation:

"Sri Sri Radha-Kalachandji, The Deity of Dallas! A.C. Bhaktivedenta Swami

Purpose of Life

Life is for the glorification of topics on Hari. If that is stopped, then what need is there to carry on life.

By Srila Bhakthi Siddantha Saraswati Thakur

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Chandan Yatra Darshan of Sri Sri Radha Madhava (Mayapur Dhaam)

April 24, 2012

Vasudeva Anudhyanam - Always Thinking of Krishna

The method for purifying thoughts recommended by Arjuna is vasudeva-anudhyanam. Anu means constantly, and dhyanam means meditation. These days people have manufactured so many meditations without Vasudeva – their so-called transcendental meditation club and yoga asanas. But go there, what do you meditate on? Zero! They cannot call this transcendental meditation. What is this transcendental meditation? No rascal will be able to explain. But they call big, big words. "Transcendental meditation." What is that transcendental meditation? Please explain. It cannot be explained! 

We have got to develop vasudeva-anudhyanam. Here is Vasudeva Krsna, you come here and see how Vasudeva is dressed nicely, how He is playing on His flute, how He is situated with His eternal consort, Srimati Radharani. How He is enjoying Her company. So nice thing for meditation, but why you are after zero? Ha, just see the rascaldom. Here is such nice object for meditation and they are trying to meditate on zero. Therefore Bhagavad-gita says,
kleso 'dhikataras tesam
avyakta hi gatir duhkham
dehavadbhir avapyate

For those whose minds are attached to the unmanifested, impersonal feature of the Supreme, advancement is very troublesome. To make progress in that discipline is always difficult.

 This Krsna conscious movement is only meant to train people how to think of Krsna and how to become devotee of Krsna. You will become a devotee if you think of Krsna. This is very easy. So please go on thinking, thinking, thinking of Krsna, and you will be attached. But you must think of Krsna in association with the devotees. Alone will not do. Then you will go to hell. Association is so strong that anyone who is coming to our association will naturally want to become a devotee. Therefore Naratomma dasa Thakura says, "let me be engaged in the service of the acarya guru , and in the association of the devotees birth after birth. This is my desire." – That is devotee!

- Srila Prabhupada

Think Big by HH Bhakti Tirtha Swami

Panca-Tattva Mangla Darshan - Sridham Mayapur
Srila Prabhupada once said that he had a disease. The disease was that he could not think small.So Prabhupada was not just giving us an ordinary religion, trying to make us accept dharma. No, he was very carefully giving us the most expedient, practical way how to perform sananata-dharma.

Srila Prabhupada said that he wanted to have Lord Caitanya, the Pancha-tattva Deities in Mayapur, to appear in life-size forms. This is very significant, because when we hear about a great person, we also think about the name [nama], appearance [rupa] and qualities [guna] of this person. And most important, what goes on in this person's life, what is the lila? And the greater the person, the more animated and the more exciting it is as we hear about these things. And the greater the person, the greater legacy they leave after they are gone, and the greater effect they have when they are present. They make an impact which permeates.

Prabhupada not thinking small means that we, his followers, are also never to think small. Because the big danger of thinking small means that we are not fully accepting Krsna's power and supreme dominion over all things. So we may think small of our own limitations, but not small in terms of what Krsna can do, and will do, if we allow Him to use us and work through us.


CC Madhya 22.78-80

Devotees are always merciful, humble, truthful, equal to all, faultless, magnanimous, mild and clean. They are without material possessions, and they perform welfare work for everyone. They are peaceful, surrendered to Krsna and desireless. They are indifferent to material acquisitions and are fixed in devotional service. They completely control the six bad qualities. They eat only as much as required, and they are not inebriated. They are respectful, grave, compassionate and without false prestige. They are friendly, poetic, expert and silent.

Different Levels of Reciprocation from the Lord

Devotee: This question is from Guru Gauranga prabhu. In relationships reciprocation is important. First point: how does a surrendered devotee recognize the Lord’s reciprocation? It is direct or indirect? It is through the other devotees or can it be direct from the Lord?

BCS: Yeah, see, the reciprocation can be both, but initially, when the direct communication or the direct perception is not established, yeah, then it will be indirect. Like, for example, we can see the reciprocation when the rains come. What do we see? There is a scarcity like in Ujjain now there is scarcity of water. Everyone is saying, “Where is water? Where is water?” So when the rain comes, how does he see that? He sees that it is the mercy of the Lord, “The Lord is offering His mercy upon me. I needed water. He gave me water.” Similarly, when we are eating the food we can see the mercy of the Lord that, “He has sent me the food and that’s why I can eat it.” Krishna baro doyamoy, koribare jihva jay, sva-prasad-anna dilo bhai. [Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura, Gitavali (Prasada Sevaya Song one)] Krishna is very merciful and in order to maintain me He has given me this food. Or we can go even further, we can see that I am breathing. I need oxygen and we can see that without oxygen we cannot live, we cannot survive. But we are taking oxygen and giving out carbon dioxide and we may get into anxiety that, “Oh, what will happen if the oxygen is exhausted? I won’t have any oxygen to breath.” But then we think, “Well, Krishna has taken care of it. Krishna has created these trees and plants and Krishna has made the arrangement for the trees and plants to convert carbon dioxide to oxygen. So this is how the Lord is being merciful to us. So this is how we can see His mercy indirectly, at every step. I am sitting here but look at my condition actually. The earth is moving at a tremendous speed and I am sitting here peacefully. Nothing is happening to me. Why? Actually, what should have happened? In that condition what should have happened? Long before I should have been somewhere else, thrown out in the space, but I am sitting here comfortably, without any difficulty. Why? Because the Lord has made the arrangement that this movement of the earth is not going to affect me through His gravitational energy. So these are the indirect ways of perceiving the Lord’s mercy.

But then of course when you become more advanced then you begin to see how the Lord is reciprocating from the heart. Sometimes we are in difficulty, the Lord says from the heart, “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you. Don’t worry. There is nothing to be in anxiety.”

And then we become even more advanced and we go back to Godhead. There we see the direct reciprocation. Krishna says, “Let’s see what you have in your plate. Oh! It looks so nice! Please give it to Me?” And Krishna takes that from me, and then I say, or you say rather that, “Oh, Krishna, what is that in Your plate?” Krishna: “Want to have it? Come take it.” Krishna gives it to you from His plate. So this is how Krishna directly reciprocates. Krishna sees you and says, “Oh, My friend! I am so happy to see you!” And Krishna embraces you. This is how Krishna directly reciprocates.

So there will be different levels of reciprocation or perception of reciprocation according to our spiritual advancement.


How a surrendered soul thinks ..

A person who is surrendered he never takes credit for anything. That is the meaning of being surrendered. When we want to take credit that means that we are not surrendered. “I have done this! I have done this!” But a surrendered soul, how will he think? “Somehow I got this opportunity to do this job, but he, my master, has provided me with all the facilities.” Like, I was talking about that person from America, who came to India to set up a big project for a big company. Now he’ll naturally think that, “I am simply an employee,” He is not thinking that, “I am the creator of this project.” “I am an employee. The company sent me here. The ticket to come to India was given by the company. When I came people were there to receive me, they took me to the hotel. That hotel was also booked by the company. Then I started the project, all the money came from the company, and that is how I have been able to do it.” Or if he thinks that, “Well, I have done this, so I am the enjoyer”, then what will happen? Then what will happen? Immediately the company will kick him out. They’ll say, “You rascal! You think that you are the proprietor. Get lost!” [laughs] So that’s what happens in the material nature also in a bigger sense. The moment we think that we are the proprietor, then Krishna kicks us out and says, “Okay, now you are on your own. Do it! Let’s see.” And we try to enjoy, what do we get when we try to enjoy? When we try to enjoy we get the sufferings inflicted by maya: “Oh, you want to enjoy?!” So maya just keeps beating us again and again, whereas a surrendered soul he becomes dear to Krishna.

- HH Bhakti Charu Swami

Why is the guru so heavy?

The etymological meaning of the word ‘guru’ is heavy. So there is some personality sitting on the vyasasana and he is a heavy dude:
‘Okay guys, get your act together! With all this sense gratification, you are just attached to material things! When are you going to get serious in Krishna Consciousness?’
Is that the meaning of a guru being heavy? Sometimes, maybe but not necessarily. The meaning of guru being heavy – is that the guru is so ultimately heavy that you cannot move him from his position, since he stays fixed at the Lotus Feet of Krishna and that’s why he’s so heavy! I mean all others are light…so light that sometimes just shake him on the path, or sometimes a little push like a boat which has been put out of its course by the wind.
But the spiritual master is heavy and he is there at the Feet of Krishna – as time goes by he hasn’t changed, since he’s still there: still serving Krishna; still talking about Krishna; still chanting Hare Krishna and so many things have happened:
‘I mean, oh Lord I didn’t see you for a long time. So many things have happened!’
‘And in the cause of that, what about Krishna?’
‘Yeah I’m still into that but things have changed a bit.’
But for the spiritual master nothing has changed, completely nothing! Just the same and that is a great relief to know that there is someone who is still just doing it! Or there is someone who is still a devotee, and is still chanting Hare Krishna; someone who just didn’t change and that we find shelter at his lotus feet. It’s not about:
‘Is he the greatest intellectual on the planet? He can quote more verses than anybody else!’– maybe not.
‘Can he explain the most complicated philosophy? Does he know the most stories?’
‘My guru is senior to your guru, because he was a very close associate of Prabhupada, whilst your guru had joined much later!’
‘No, but my guru had spent longer in Vrindavan and that is why he is more rasic than your guru.’
‘My guru is an eternal associate of Lord Caitanya, Prabhupada said!’
‘Well you know, my guru knows the entire Bhagavad-Gita by heart!’
Okay that is very nice I guess with this one it speaks for itself – this is kindergarten, and that’s all I will say about this. We are not taking these things too seriously. So it’s not the external:
‘My guru is skinny.’
‘Well mine is fat.’

It doesn’t matter since it is mentioned that, one should not judge the spiritual master by his external appearance. One should see that he is firmly fixed onto the Lotus Feet of Krishna, and therefore by connecting with him, then we will also be fixed, because he is always there. Anytime we connect to him then we are also automatically connecting to the Lotus Feet of Krishna! We are connecting to the spiritual master and before you know it okay then you are going to be doing something for Krishna! It is like that because all his activities are connected to Krishna. He’s joking and he is laughing with you and just playing around but before you know it (with all the playing and the joking) you are doing service for Krishna and that’s what’s happening, because he is on the way to Krishna!

- HH Kadamba Kanana Swami

Krishna knows it!

The Supreme Lord is omniscient. He is present everywhere. He knows everything. The Supreme Lord knows everything that goes on in the heart of every living being. He knows the thoughts of every creature! Image that, it is a lot of thoughts, and He can also separate them all and he can keep track. Imagine that everyone’s thoughts which is mixing and we would really get confused and think:
‘Who’s thinking what?’
But the Supreme Lord is omniscient, all knowing!

Flower Darshan from Sri Vrindavan Dhaam - April 24, 2012

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Thoughts on Earth Day

On Earth Day, I thought of a prayer that resonated with me in my youth. “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For He has founded it on the seas, and established it on the floods. Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord, or who shall stand in His holy place? He that has clean hands, and a pure heart; who has not lifted up his soul to vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord.” (Psalm 24:1-5)

Later, when I met Srila Prabhupada, I came across a verse, spoken by the Lord Himself, Krishna, which confirmed and expanded the same principle. “A person in full consciousness of Me, knowing Me to be the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods, and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attains peace from the pangs of material miseries.” (Bhagavad-gita 5.29)

How, then, should we deal with the earth and its resources? “Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong.” (Isopanisad 1)

Thus one should be happy and satisfied in Krishna (God) consciousness.

Hare Krishna

Monday, 23 April 2012

Offenses against the Holy Name of the Lord

Ecstatic Symptoms of Love of God - Does that happen to us when we hear or chant the Holy Names of the Lord? Srila Visvanatha Cakravatri Thakura has pointed put that if upon chanting the Holy name of the Lord, one or more of the ecstatic symptoms of Love of God do not manifest in one's body, this means one is still guilty of committing one or more of the ten offenses of the Holy Name of the Lord.

- HH Indradyumna Swami

Chant from the Heart!

Nectar of the Holy Name

(Taken from the Nectar of the Holy Name)

In Kali-yuga, simply by chanting the holy name one can attain the goal of life.

The Srimad-Bhagavatam advocates nama-sankirtan as the essence of religion. In the age of kali chanting the holy name is the sum and substance of sanatana-dharma. In kali yuga Krsna has incarnated as the holy name in order to deliver the sinful who are suffering greatly in the age of logic, argument and disagreement, the chanting of Hare Krsna is only means of self-realization.

Learned scholars in the age of kali worship lord Krsna through nama-sankirtana. The kaliyuga dharma, chanting the holy name, is introduced by lord caitanya. The best purpose of vedic rituals, vedanta philosophy and vedic mysticism is served by chanting the holy name:

aho bata ‘sva-paco’to gariyan
yaj-jihvagre vartate nama tubhyam
tepus tapas te juhuvuh sasnur arya
brahmanucur nama grnanti ye te

“O my lord, a person who is chanting your holy name, although born of a low family like that of a candala [dog-eater], is situated on the highest platform of self -realization. such a person must have performed all kinds of penances and sacrifices according to vedic rituals and studied the vedic literatures many, many times after taking his bath in all holy places of pilgrimage such a person is considered to be the best of the[ Aryan family].

Congregational chanting of the holy name fulfils the highest religious purpose in this age by chanting the holy name, one can be delivered regardless of caste, creed, colour or social position; the loud chanting of the holy name benefits even plants, creepers, insects, and animals.

In this age Krsna has descended as sound vibration- as his holy name, the holy name is as perfect as the lord himself in fullness, purity, and eternity. There is no difference between meditating on the eternal forms of Radha Krsna and chanting the maha mantra.
Even the faint light from the holy name brings liberation.


You have to associate with kīrtana. The reading is also kīrtana, and chanting on the beads, that is also kīrtana. There is no difference. So make your life in such a way.
Srila Prabhupada Lecture on BG 13.4

Happiness in Suffering!

(Kadamba Kanana Maharaja, 7 April 2012, Durban, SA)
When Krsna gives us austerity by taking things away, it is Krsna’s arrangement to make us stronger. So Krsna tests us to give us the strength. The suffering in this world is in the design. Why is there suffering in the world? It is exactly for that purpose- to force us to become stronger and we can grow. When Krsna takes things away, we should not think that, ‘oh, now He is punishing me! Oh, now I’m being tested! Oh, why do I have to go through all these difficulties?’ No, we should think that Krsna wants me to grow and He’s forcing me to go through these difficulties but it would make me stronger. So actually the struggle in this world is Krsna’s blessing upon us. If there was no suffering in this world, imagine what it would be like…it would just be a little empty. No suffering but just a little empty because there would be no spiritual ecstasy. Maybe we would feel comfortable but then we will feel bored and empty and we wouldn’t feel so motivated. But when we suffer, then we have to do something about it. So the suffering is an impetus to give us strength and as we are working on a solution, we gain strength and with that strength we come up. That is what Krsna wants from us; Krsna doesn’t want us cheaply but Krsna wants us with quality. And therefore Krsna gives us tests so that we can grow. So that’s His blessing…

Everything belongs to Krishna!

HH Kadamba Kanana Swami, Melbourne, Australia, October 2011)
(Transcribed by Smita Krishna Devi Dasi)

At the time of initiation, we are receiving diksa or transcendental knowledge. Such transcendental knowledge means that we understand that:
‘bahūnāṁ janmanām ante
jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti
sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ’, (Bg 7.19).

After many life times, we come to the point where we actually realise that Krishna is everything and that the ultimate goal of life is Krishna. So it’s very rare, ‘ sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ’. ‘Su-durlabhaḥ’ means very rare.
It is said, that mostly the living entities are busy with the material energy and they are trying to milk the material energy in various ways and get some benefit from the material energy and that is really what every one is doing in the world. Some are doing it in pious ways, by following the direction of the scriptures. Others are doing it in an impious way, but mostly people are hoping for material happiness therefore ‘bahūnāṁ’,its very rare that someone comes to this point to understand that Krishna is the real goal of life and actually everything is meant for Krishna.

It’s logical because everything was created by Krishna, He is Isvara-parama Krishna. He is the origin of everything and therefore naturally, we are returning to Him what belongs to Him, just like sometimes we take bath in the Ganga and we scoop up some water from there and offer it back to Ganga because the Ganga is pure. So we want to make pure offering, and therefore we are offering Gangajal to Ganga. Like this, we are offering to Krishna what belongs to Him already!

Everything, even our bodies are also Krishna’s energy, yes – everything in this world belongs to Krishna – including our very bodies, including our children, our house, including all our possessions!
Therefore, everything is meant to be used for Krishna. We ourselves, of course, need to live. we need residence for the shelter, we need to eat and so on, but we are doing that all on behalf of Krishna. One should eat only remnants of what is offered to the Lord only that which is left over from yagna, no other things a devotee will take. It says because otherwise one gets involve in sinful reactions because whatever is the consciousness of the cook, will affect whatever is eaten and subsequently, it will effect our consciousness and thus, new material desires will be born.

Therefore we are careful in our eating, we are careful that our house is Krishna’s house and that we are in that house and only doing things that are favourable to Krishna. So that is what it means!

Loving Exchanges between Devotees

by HH Devamrita Swami

Krishna's devotees the ultimate yogis, are one another's life and soul. When we want to push past the neophyte level, cherishing the association of devotees, despite differences and even disagreements, is an essential ingredient of spiritual advancement. Just an effort in this department yields so much benefit.
So how do the oldest devotees relate? I'll try to feed you a tasty illustration later in this note. But first . . . more urging.
In our Vaishnava dealings sometimes disappointments and crises afflict us. But at least any quarrels or debates center, more or less, upon serving Krishna
Observe the world of material relationships—whether family, friendship, or romance. Though full of letdowns and mirages, still, who wants to go it alone? Are hermits everywhere? 
In both material and spiritual societies, humans are indeed social creatures, judged by the company they keep, tolerating differences.
My advice to you: keep trying to increase your intimacy with Vaishnavas, through thick and thin. 
In case you're curious, here's an example, from my own efforts to execute what I recommend to you.
For the occasion of the vyasa-puja of my Godbrother His Holiness Jayapataka Swami, I sent this letter, glorifying his spiritual exertion despite a stroke that debilitated part of his physical capacity.

Dear Jayapataka Swami,
Please accept my obesiances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

For the celebration of your most auspicious appearance day, let me offer an accurate record of a conversation among three of your Godbrothers, mid-March 2012, in Bali, as they discussed the glories of Srila Prabhupada's devotees.

"Can you fathom Jayapataka Maharaja's bhakti determination!"

"During the Navadvipa parikrama, he visited all seven parties, sometimes eating and sleeping in a car."

"Devotees in the Russian parikrama parties would shed tears upon his arrival, feeling his immense determination to share Mayapur-dhama with them, despite his physical condition."

"I watched him take a full 15 minute just to get out of a car, what to speak of go up some stairs.
Yet, after the intensity of such labored efforts, when his devotee team finally got him to the top of the stairs, where I already was, the first words out of his mouth were: 'How are you feeling? How is your health? Is everything ok for you here in Mayapur?'"

"How soft his heart is, tenderized by genuine love and concern for all!"

In this way Niranjana Swami, Kavicandra Swami, and my lowly self tasted the nectar of devotion.
 your servant,
Devamrita Swami

Then Jayapataka Maharaja surprised me, by having his assistant transcribe a letter to me, sent from his mobile phone. Prepare for a shower of nectar pouring from the heart of an all-weather Vaisnava, whose service never ceases, no matter the circumstances.

My Dear Godbrother Devamrita Maharaj,
 Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was a great general (sena-pati) of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He spread Krishna Consciousness to every continent of the world. 
In 1968 Srila Prabhupada told me to be  a member of Lord Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu's army. I joined this transcendental army. I got wounded but in spite of this I am still serving in Lord Krishna Caitanya's army, under Srila Prabhupada. We don't use weapons of violence. We should try to give out the mercy of Nitai-Gaurasundar. 
I am trying to do this in spite of physical impediments. It would be great spiritual bliss to be able to do anything in service to guru and Gauranga. 
You have qualified [commended] me but I can't do anything without blessings of Lord Krishna and Srila Prabhupada. If I do anything, it is only due to their mercy. 
I take this opportunity to offer my heartfelt obeisances to you. I am very grateful you remember me. I hope I can have your prayers and blessings to serve our spiritual father with every breath until I breathe my last in this body. 
I hope this finds you healthy & blissful in Krishna Consciousness.
 Your servant,
Jayapataka Swami