Monthly Archives: October 2017

Three Reasons Ravana Might Not Be Universally Hated

Krishna's Mercy

[Sita-Rama]“The materialists, who are after opulence and material prosperity, may take lessons from the Ramayana that the policy of exploiting the nature of the Lord without acknowledging the supremacy of the Supreme Lord is the policy of Ravana.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 2.7.23 Purport)

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An acknowledged rapist. A thief. A person who went against his own brother, for no reason other than to exercise power. A man-eater on the largest scale. A murderer. The original state sponsor of terrorism, in the form of night-rangers attacking innocent sages living in the woods.

These are different accurate descriptions of the ten-headed one, Ravana, the king of Lanka from a long time ago. He is the main antagonist in the real life drama that is told in the Ramayana, an ancient Sanskrit poem from Maharishi Valmiki.

How could anyone not have a negative opinion…

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Who Wants To Know

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Rama]“The wise who have wanted to know have understood that all regulative principles are meant to lead to one result – having Shri Rama standing in the temple of the mind, holding His bow and arrow.” (Dohavali, 90)

saba sādhana ko eka phala jehiṁ jān’yo so jāna |
jyoṁ tyoṁ mana mandira basahiṁ rāma dhareṁ dhanu bāna ||90||

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“Take two of these and call me in the morning.” This is the famous directive of the doctor offered to the sick patient. There is no explanation needed. Though the white coat and the sterile office setting suffice for authenticity, there is the medical license displayed on the wall to further ease the mind of the worried patient. In so many things in life it is better to simply take the prescription. Don’t ask too many questions, especially when the objective is clear. In this…

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The Temple Of The Mind

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Rama]“The wise who have wanted to know have understood that all regulative principles are meant to lead to one result – having Shri Rama standing in the temple of the mind, holding His bow and arrow.” (Dohavali, 90)

saba sādhana ko eka phala jehiṁ jān’yo so jāna |
jyoṁ tyoṁ mana mandira basahiṁ rāma dhareṁ dhanu bāna ||90||

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It’s not surprising to see so many rules and regulations in spiritual life. The outsider sees many of them as pointless. Why stay home from work on a given day? Is wearing a specific hat going to bring any real benefit? Why intentionally starve yourself for a period of time? Nutrition is important; the body needs proper fuel in order to operate optimally. Each rule of spiritual life has a specific, designated purpose, but the end goal should never be forgotten. Goswami Tulsidas kindly shares…

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Four Miseries The Animal Community Doesn’t Have To Deal With

Krishna's Mercy

[Lord Krishna]“I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas am I to be known; indeed I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 15.15)

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The Sanskrit aphorism athato brahma-jijnasa applies to the human being. Indeed, Sanskrit and other languages are meant for communication among the classes with higher intelligence.

The animals have intelligence. Every living being does, to some degree. This is due to the presence of the Supersoul, which is an expansion of God. The human being is unique because of the higher potential that intelligence can reach. The elevation is in terms of consciousness, and lacking specific training the human existence is inferior to animal life in many ways.

1. Potential loss of job

The animals are not worried about losing of job…

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Four Parties Arjuna Was Worried About

Krishna's Mercy

[Arjuna]“When there is increase of unwanted population, a hellish situation is created both for the family and for those who destroy the family tradition. In such corrupt families, there is no offering of oblations of food and water to the ancestors.” (Arjuna, Bhagavad-gita, 1.41)

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The Vaishnava is known as para duhkha-duhkhi. They feel pain at the suffering of others. This is not strictly from the material sense. A good parent does not mind if the child is crying for a lousy reason. Perhaps they didn’t get the toy they wanted. Maybe they desired to stay up past their bedtime. The short duration of unpleasantness will end up doing them good in the long run.

The devotee of the personal God, Vishnu, is concerned over the rampant lack of spiritual life. They see others engaged in the futile search for happiness through material…

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Four Kinds Of Interaction Between Krishna And Arjuna

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna showing the universal form]“Although Krishna is manifested before Arjuna in His universal form, Arjuna remembers his friendly relationship with Krishna and is therefore asking pardon and requesting Him to excuse him for the many informal gestures which arise out of friendship. He is admitting that formerly he did not know that Krishna could assume such a universal form, although He explained it as his intimate friend.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 11.41-42 Purport)

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There is sufficient room for interaction with Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. At the start there is worship of the deity, which gives the appearance of lacking animating properties. The origin is a statue, made of stone, wood, resin, or some other material substance.

The magic is in the authorized way the deity is worshiped. The methods are passed on in a chain of disciplic succession, from people who understand that the Divine…

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What Does It Mean That God Is Originally A Person

Krishna's Mercy

[Lord Krishna]“The impersonal conception of the Absolute Truth is also a form of the Lord called avyakta-murti. Murti means ‘form,’ but because His impersonal feature is inexplicable to our limited senses, He is the avyakta-murti form, and in that inexplicable form of the Lord the whole creation is resting; or, in other words, the whole creation is the Lord Himself, and the creation is also nondifferent from Him, but simultaneously He, as the original Personality of Godhead Shri Krishna, is aloof from the created manifestation.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 2.6.39 Purport)

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Friend1: What is the preferred translation for the Sanskrit word “Bhagavan”?

Friend2: You really don’t know or is this setting me up for something?

Friend1: The latter.

Friend2: Okay. There is bhaga and van. The first means fortunes or opulences. The second refers to the person who possesses.

Friend1: And I’m assuming…

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Four Ways To Characterize The Demigods

Krishna's Mercy

[Sita-Rama]“May Indra protect you on the East, may Yama protect you on the South and Varuna on the West and Kuvera on the North.” (Sita Devi speaking to Lord Rama, Valmiki Ramayana, Ayodhya Kand, 16.24)

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It is a colorful panorama. The altar is beautifully arranged. One figure has an elephant-like head. Another is seated on a lotus flower, where gold coins fall from her hands, which are four in number. Another is dark in color, with a snake around his chest. One person has four faces, and another looks like a bird.

In the Vedic tradition there are many devas, or gods. Since there is an original source, a supreme who is worshiped by everyone else, another translation for deva is “demigod.” There are different ways to understand exactly who they are.

1. Conditioned souls

Birth and death. Coming and going. Living…

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Three Things The Scientists Can’t See

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“The air enters into water, mud, stool and whatever else is there; still it does not mix with anything. Similarly, the living entity, even though situated in varieties of bodies, is aloof from them due to his subtle nature. Therefore it is impossible to see with the material eyes how the living entity is in contact with this body and how he is out of it after the destruction of the body. No one in science can ascertain this.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 13.33 Purport)

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Observation and experiment. Form a hypothesis and conduct the experiment to reach a conclusion. Incorporate past results into the study. Make progress. Something which held true for centuries can be turned upside down. Progress can only occur when the starting point is flawed to some degree.

As an example, there is no progressing from two plus two equals four…

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