Monthly Archives: July 2018

With One Hand Tied Behind His Back

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Rama's arrow]“He killed fourteen thousand Rakshasas in the forest of Janasthana without the help of His brother. What enemy would not become agitated by this?” (Sita Devi speaking to Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 37.14)

caturdaśa sahasrāṇi rākṣasānām jaghāna yaḥ |
jana sthāne vinā bhrātrā śatruḥ kaḥ tasya na udvijet ||

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This was the reason Ravana resorted to trickery. Sure, he was previously proud of his fighting prowess. He would boast about it after the fact, as well. In between? Not so much. Better to satisfy the senses, in any way possible. You can do damage control later on.

Politicians are known to employ what is called “spin.” They get caught on camera saying something unflattering. They turn against the party and vote for something they promised during the campaign they were against. They did not express themselves properly in an interview, and now…

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There Should Be No Doubt

Krishna's Mercy

[Sita-Rama]“O Vanara, in Raghava there are fortitude, manliness, courage, gratitude, non-maliciousness, prowess and energy.” (Sita Devi speaking to Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 37.13)

utsāhaḥ pauruṣam sattvam ānṛśaṃsyam kṛtajñatā |
vikramaḥ ca prabhāvaḥ ca santi vānara rāghave ||

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There should be no doubt on the matter. The evidence is clear, though the present situation might say otherwise. He is not on the scene at the moment. Does that mean He is not visible? Does that mean He has no witness? Does that mean His mind is elsewhere?

Actually, Shri Rama is there to witness everything automatically. This is accomplished through the feature of Supersoul, also known as Paramatma. It is the superior kind of atma, or soul. Soul is what defines an existence. Without the presence of the soul, nothing could live.

Alongside the individual soul is Supersoul, who is God’s expansion…

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Qualities That Match

Krishna's Mercy

[Sita-Rama]“O best of the monkeys, I hope that my husband will regain me soon, as my heart is pure and the good qualities in Him are numerous.” (Sita Devi, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 37.12)

āśaṃsa iti hari śreṣṭha kṣipram mām prāpsyate patiḥ |
antaḥ ātmā hi me śuddhaḥ tasmin ca bahavo guṇāḥ ||

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In Vedic literature a person finds many names for the Almighty. There are too many to remember offhand, and so there are certain prayers recited to help bring auspiciousness. There is the Vishnu-sahasra-namam, which means “the thousand names of Vishnu.” Each name has a different meaning, revealing a different feature to the person most of the world refers to as God.

Many of those names reference a relationship to a person. Specifically, the Supreme Lord is the husband of the goddess of fortune. He is Vishnu and she is…

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Not Judging A Book By Its Cover

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Hanuman]“O monkey, the eldest daughter of Vibhishana, named Anala, told me this herself, having been sent by her mother.” (Sita Devi, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 37.11)

jyeṣṭhā kanyā analā nama vibhīṣaṇa sutā kape |
tayā mama etat ākhyātam mātrā prahitayā svayam ||

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They say to not judge a book by its cover. The illustrator may be particularly skilled. They have artistic talent; enough to catch the attention of prospective buyers. The cover looks intriguing, but nothing about the visual speaks to what is on the inside. The content can be completely different. The skill of the writer may not be up to the standard of the cover.

The reverse can hold true. The cover might be plain and unappealing. Nothing to catch the eye. Just another book among millions that have been published in the history of the world. Yet the inside can…

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Death Is Looking For You

Krishna's Mercy

[Sita's lotus feet]“Indeed, Ravana is not agreeable to the idea of returning me. Ravana has come under the influence of time, who is seeking his death in battle.” (Sita Devi speaking to Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 37.10)

mama pratipradānam hi rāvaṇasya na rocate |
rāvaṇam mārgate samkhye mṛtyuḥ kāla vaśam gatam ||

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Someone behaves so poorly for so long, it becomes bewildering after a while. Do they not know better? Do they not see the consequences lying ahead? Are they delusional? Do they think this path is sustainable, despite others having failed? The success rate is zero; that is to say no one lasts long choosing this route.

Throwing their hands up in the air, there is only one conclusion left. This person has a death wish. They are inviting death. They don’t want to wait for the uncertain future. Let the inevitable end…

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This Is An Intervention

Krishna's Mercy

[Vibhishana and Ravana]“With great effort the brother Vibhishana tried to convince him about returning me, but he was not inclined.” (Sita Devi speaking to Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, 37.9)

vibhīṣaṇena ca bhrātrā mama niryātanam prati |
anunītaḥ prayatnena na ca tat kurute matim ||

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A scene commonly depicted on the screen, both large and small,a family member or friend is in trouble. They’ve sunk in the deep end, gone to a place from where seemingly no one returns. The descent has begun to affect others, who can’t bear to witness anymore.

The issue is drug or alcohol addiction. It is indeed an addiction, as nothing is working in terms of stopping the behavior. They keep saying they will get their act together. The latest episode was only a minor slipup. Pretty soon they will kick the habit altogether.

[intervention]The friends and family decide to stage an…

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Like Putting An Innocent Person In Jail

Krishna's Mercy

[Sita-Rama]“It should be told to Him to act quickly, for my life will only remain as long as the period of one year is not yet complete. This is the tenth month, and only two remain, O monkey, in the time allotted to me by the cruel Ravana.” (Sita Devi, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 37.7-8)

sa vācyaḥ samtvarasva iti yāvat eva na pūryate |
ayam samvatsaraḥ kālaḥ tāvadt hi mama jīvitam ||
vartate daśamo māso dvau tu śeṣau plavamgama |
rāvaṇena nṛśaṃsena samayo yaḥ kṛto mama ||

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There are many ways to define the Sanskrit word adharma. At its root it is a negation. Dharma is the base word. In the most common context, dharma refers to religion. Religion is what brings duty, honor, codes of morality, and so forth. Basically, the supposed right way to do something is religion or…

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The Threefold Punishment Awaiting The Criminals In Lanka

Krishna's Mercy

[Hanuman burning Lanka]“When will my husband see me, after orchestrating the destruction of the Rakshasas, killing Ravana, and destroying Lanka?” (Sita Devi speaking to Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 37.6)

rākṣasānām kṣayam kṛtvā sūdayitvā ca rāvaṇam |
lankām unmūlitām kṛtvā kadā drakṣyati mām patiḥ ||

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It is a great responsibility to lead people. Not only are they looking to that person for guidance, but there is a tremendous impact from every decision made. For instance, in the case of a leader for a group travelling to an unknown place, making the wrong turn can take them further away from the destination. It is something like a person driving the car; the decisions influence the passengers, as well.

And so when the leader in a particular land goes in a particular direction with respect to behavior, the people living there see the effects. If the president…

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Add Another To The List

Krishna's Mercy

[Sita-Rama]“When will Rama reach the end of this ocean of grief, likened to a man shipwrecked who is swimming at sea?” (Sita Devi speaking to Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 37.5)

śokasya asya kadā pāram rāghavo adhigamiṣyati |
plavamānaḥ pariśrānto hata nauḥ sāgare yathā ||

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It is said that Bhagavan is impossible to define. Indeed, that word is a negation. Think of the things that are possible. With your feature-set in mind, now go one by one and negate them. It is possible to die. It is possible to take birth. It is possible to have a beginning. It is possible to be fallible. It is possible to measure the attributes of an object or living thing.

In each case Bhagavan is the negation. Though He cannot be fully defined, this exercise provides a better way to understand Him. There is a need…

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