Monthly Archives: July 2018

No Burden Too Much

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Hanuman]“Or I shall release you even today from these miseries caused by the Rakshasas. Do you ascend my back, O irreproachable lady.” (Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 37.19)

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athavā mocayiṣyāmi tām adya eva hi rākṣasāt |
asmāt duhkhāt upāroha mama pṛṣṭham anindite ||

There is the tale of two friends. One eats healthy. They don’t indulge in pizza, ice cream, large meals at restaurants and the like. The outside establishments intentionally add more fat to their dishes in order to enhance taste. Patrons have made the decision to leave the home, to have a night out, so why should there be austerity? The items on the dessert menu often have as many calories as the entrees served during the meal.

[pizza]This friend monitors their caloric intake. They exercise on a regular basis, and as such they appear to be relatively fit. They are…

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On His Recommendation

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Hanuman]“Rama will arrive here as soon as he hears from me, with a great advancing military force filled with monkeys and bears.” (Hanuman speaking to Sita Devi, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 37.18)

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śrutvā eva tu vaco mahyam kṣipram eṣyati rāghavaḥ |
camūm prakarṣan mahatīm hari ṛkṣa gaṇa samkulām ||

You come into this world alone and you leave it the same way. It is the consciousness at the individual level which determines the next destination. It is not what others think of you. There is no way for another person to force that change in consciousness to a desired configuration.

“Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 8.6)

Spiritual life is at the individual level, so why the emphasis on accepting a spiritual master? If everything…

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Credible On Either Side

Krishna's Mercy

[King Janaka with Sita]“The king went and received blessings and then paid so much honor and respect after that. When he saw Rama, he experienced a happiness one hundred times that of Brahman realization.” (Janaki Mangala, Chand 5.2)

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Friend1: This is a basic contradiction.

Friend2: What is?

Friend1: What I’m about to bring up.

Friend2: Okay. What do you mean by basic?

Friend1: That it’s easy to understand. It’s ideal for the example, to study, explain, what have you. You don’t need to go to something more complicated.

Friend2: I’m assuming this has some relevance to spiritual life.

Friend1: Of course. I’m not going to bring up a contradiction for no reason.

Friend2: Great.

Friend1: So I get the idea of dispassion.

Friend2: Vairagya.

Friend1: Be renounced. It doesn’t have to be some type of formal renunciation, where you put on a specific outfit and…

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Limited Eating And Sleeping

Krishna's Mercy

[Sita-Rama]“To Sita, who was speaking thus, who was emaciated by grief on account of Rama, and whose eyes were filled with tears, the monkey Hanuman spoke the following words.” (Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 37.17)

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iti samjalpamānām tām rāma arthe śoka karśitām |
aśru sampūrṇa vadanām uvāca hanumān kapiḥ ||

From the acharyas in the Vedic tradition of bhakti, we learn that the grief suffered by Sita in the Ashoka grove is not ordinary. The outward symptoms may appear to be so. There was lamentation. There was concern over the uncertain future. As a result, there was no eating. The Ramayana says that her body was emaciated by grief. She would not accept any food offered by the Rakshasas in Lanka.

They were man-eaters, after all. The food they prepared was contaminated with their sinful ways, which started from the top. The leaders…

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Three Potential Pitfalls To Temple Worship

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“Every religion has a tirtha. The Muslims have Mecca and Medina, and the Christians have Golgotha. Similarly, the Hindus also think they must travel very far to find a tirtha. But actually, tirtha-kurvanti tirthani: a tirtha is a place where there are saintly persons. That is a tirtha. Not that one goes ten thousand miles and simply takes a dip in the water and then comes back.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Journey Of Self-Discovery, Ch 6.4)

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You need association. The proper term is sadhu-sanga. Just as business professionals meet in clubs, groups and networking gatherings, so the people interested in advancement of the consciousness should congregate. Anyone sincerely interested in spiritual life, in following the rules and regulations, is either already a sadhu or on their way towards becoming one.

One translation for sadhu is saint. Meet with other saintly people. The good qualities…

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Two Things That Real Religion Should Be

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“The Bhagavatam says: dharmam hi sakshad-bhagavat-pranitam—the path of religion is directly enunciated by the Lord. Therefore, mental speculation or dry arguments cannot help one progress in spiritual life. One has to approach a bona fide spiritual master to receive the knowledge.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 4.34 Purport)

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Is it faith? Do we argue with others on this basis? My religion is better than yours. My religion says this. Your religion says that. How to reconcile amongst the different holy books? What is the correct term for the Divinity? In whom to place all trust? Why are we here? Where will we go after death? Is it all just a way to cope with those things that can’t be explained?

The two words in the Sanskrit term that describes genuine religion help to clear up the confusion. Both are necessary. That is to say the…

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What About Music As An Expression Of Consciousness

Krishna's Mercy

[Hanuman singing]“O son of Kunti [Arjuna], I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable om in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether and ability in man.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.8)

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Friend1: Let’s talk about the different ways to realize God.

Friend2: Well, first define who is God.

Friend1: The Almighty. The Supreme Being. The one watching over us. The concept that explains the unexplainable. The origin.

Friend2: Don’t forget Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Friend1: Right, but let’s not get too technical here. The starting point is a person trying to connect with the spiritual. They want to realize the Divine.

Friend2: Okay.

Friend1: And so there isn’t just one path. Different people realize in different ways.

Friend2: Well, that is true based on understanding alone.

Friend1: What do you mean?

Friend2:…

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