Monthly Archives: September 2017

Dussehra 2017

Krishna's Mercy

[Rama and Vibhishana]“Ravana was killed by Lord Ramachandra and was destined for hellish life, but by Lord Ramachandra’s advice, Vibhishana, Ravana’s brother, performed all the duties prescribed in relation to the dead. Thus Lord Ramachandra was kind to Ravana even after Ravana’s death.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 9.10.29 Purport)

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The ten-headed one had a rather lengthy rap sheet. As leader of a kingdom, he would host visitors every now and then. Operating in that capacity he one time indeed “shot the messenger,” devouring the flesh afterwards. He was a Rakshasa, which is a kind of man-eater. Ravana would send his men to kill innocent sages living in the forest, attacking right at the time of yajna [sacrifice]. To take over Lanka he scared away his non-threatening brother Kuvera.

He had a reign of terror. Ravana’s kingdom was filled with gold, beautiful women, wine, and animal…

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Five People Who Are Not Exempt From The Challenges Of Material Life

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna as the swift deliverer]“For one who worships Me, giving up all his activities unto Me and being devoted to Me without deviation, engaged in devotional service and always meditating upon Me, who has fixed his mind upon Me, O son of Pritha, for him I am the swift deliverer from the ocean of birth and death.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 12.6-7)

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Compassionate in nature, the mature adult looks to help others. They have been blessed with good fortune. They see the images on television. They read about the horror stories. They desperately want to help, in any way they can.

The truth of the matter is that the challenges of material life do not discriminate. Every kind of person faces them, even those we wouldn’t think to be in a position requiring help.

1. The poor man

The need here is rather obvious. The poor are not…

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Your Humble Servant

Krishna's Mercy

[Hanuman carrying brothers]“Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 18.65)

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Friend1: Devotional service. We use that term quite often.

Friend2: It’s the preferred English translation for “bhakti-yoga.”

Friend1: Bhakti is love and devotion. Where does this idea of service come in?

Friend2: Yoga is a connection, a link. The individual with the Supreme. It’s a link in devotion.

Friend1: Yeah. So?

Friend2: How else would that link be established and maintained, other than service?

Friend1: You can be devoted to someone and not be their servant.

Friend2: As in?

Friend1: The spouse. That is a partner. A good friend. An equal.

Friend2: I’ve got news for you. Each one of those people is…

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Four Images From Krishna’s Gokula Lila

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna holding calf's tail]“Sometimes the naughty babies would crawl up to the cowshed, catch the tail of a calf and stand up. The calves, being disturbed, would immediately begin running here and there, and the children would be dragged over clay and cow dung. To see this fun, Yashoda and Rohini would call all their neighboring friends, the gopis.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality Of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 8)

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Gokula is the sacred land to which the father Vasudeva brought the new child, whose birth and subsequent survival were something of a miracle. The mother Devaki had children previously, but she never saw them grow up. Her wicked brother, Kamsa, was the king of Mathura and he was deathly afraid of any children born to his sister. The focus was on the eighth child, but since death was the cause of fear, Kamsa decided to not…

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Four Reasons Krishna’s Form Is More Attractive Than The Virata-Rupa

Krishna's Mercy

[Lord Krishna]“Your mind has been perturbed upon seeing this horrible feature of Mine. Now let it be finished. My devotee, be free from all disturbance. With a peaceful mind you can now see the form you desire.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 11.49)

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The virata-rupa is the universal form. It is a divine vision, produced only by the Divine. It is something like placing everything that exists into a single image. The time factor is also accounted for. With the unique version displayed on the battlefield of Kurukshetra to the bow-warrior Arjuna, the outcome to the impending war was shown. Practically all the soldiers, with the exception of Arjuna and his brothers, were seen rushing into the many mouths of Krishna, who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

“All the sons of Dhritarashtra along with their allied kings, and Bhishma, Drona and Karna, and all our…

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Three Asuras Who Were Successful Worshipers Of Lord Shiva

Krishna's Mercy

[Shiva and Banasura]“Narada could understand the plan of the demon, and he advised him, ‘You had better worship Lord Shiva; then you will quickly get the desired result. Lord Shiva is very quickly satisfied and very quickly dissatisfied also. So you try to satisfy Lord Shiva.’ Narada also cited instances wherein demons like Ravana and Banasura were enriched with great opulences simply by satisfying Lord Shiva with prayers.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 2, Ch 33)

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He is known as Ashutosha. This means that Lord Shiva is easily pleased. It doesn’t take much to get benedictions from him. If there is a strong hankering for something, wanting it delivered quickly, Mahadeva is the person to approach.

The wise take note, however. They understand that if something can arrive quickly, it can vanish in the same amount of time. Material desires are known to…

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Five Reasons A Materialist Should Worship Vishnu

Krishna's Mercy

[Lakshmi and Vishnu]“Victory is always with persons like the sons of Pandu because Lord Krishna is associated with them. And whenever and wherever the Lord is present, the goddess of fortune is also there because the goddess of fortune never lives alone without her husband. Therefore, victory and fortune were awaiting Arjuna, as indicated by the transcendental sound produced by the conchshell of Vishnu, or Lord Krishna.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 1.14 Purport)

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The spiritual guide says that renunciation is the key. The Sanskrit word is vairagya. This means the absence of attachment. A teacher is required because otherwise seeing the benefit of giving up the pursuit to gather stuff is not so easy. The idea is that there will be more happiness when there is less to think about. More stuff essentially results in more problems.

I’ve heard the advice. I’ve accepted it. I…

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Four Worlds To Which The Mind Can Escape

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna and Balarama with cow]“Sometimes the sakhas would take care of the cows who were going hither and thither. They would tell Krishna, ‘Your cows were going off here and there,’ and Krishna would thank them.” (The Nectar of Devotion, Ch 32)

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Feeling bored? Just got through something major and now there is nothing to occupy the time? How should the days be passed? What will stir the passions? Fortunately, there are different worlds to which the mind can escape. Attachments can be formed instantly, leading to both happiness and sadness.

1. Workplace drama

You were away on vacation for two weeks. It was lovely. No meeting anyone at work. No dealing with the pressure of deadlines. No having to tolerate the irrationality of your bosses and clients.

But now you are back. Already, on day one, you are upset. People in the office inform you of…

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Why Is Mayavada So Popular

Krishna's Mercy

[Lord Krishna]“The last illusion, the last snare of maya to trap the living entity, is the proposition that he is God. The living entity thinks that he is no longer a conditioned soul, but God. He is so unintelligent that he does not think that if he were God, then how could he be in doubt? That he does not consider. So that is the last snare of illusion.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 18.73 Purport)

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Friend1: I’m going to describe a personal experience to you.

Friend2: Okay.

Friend1: There’s a purpose. I’d like you to explain the cause at the end.

Friend2: Alright.

Friend1: When I first read the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, I had no problem accepting that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavan. There was really no resistance on my part.

Friend2: Any reason for…

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Four Places Where Being Dhira Is Required

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“Any man who has perfect knowledge of the constitution of the individual soul, the Supersoul, and nature—both material and spiritual—is called a dhira or a most sober man. Such a man is never deluded by the change of bodies.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 2.13 Purport)

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One meaning to the Sanskrit word dhira is “sober.” The word gains prominence through a verse from the Bhagavad-gita. The words are spoken by Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is the all-attractive, best well-wishing friend to every person. One place where that compassion is highlighted is through the friendship to Arjuna, the bow-warrior about to lead the Pandavas to victory on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.

Arjuna needs some help first. He’s concerned with the bodily welfare of the opposing side, which includes elders within the family and spiritual guides. Arjuna isn’t really worried about what…

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