Monthly Archives: August 2018

A Tale Of Two Sins

Krishna's Mercy

[Rama's lotus feet]“It is My vow that if one only once seriously surrenders unto Me saying, ‘My dear Lord, from this day I am Yours,’ and prays to Me for courage, I shall immediately award courage to that person, and he will always remain safe from that time on.” (Lord Rama, Valmiki Ramayana, Yuddha Kand, 18.33)

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At the most basic level, sin is the wrong way of doing something. The different individual misdeeds can be grouped together into what is known as sinful life. Think gambling, drinking, women hunting, lying, cheating, stealing, and the like.

There is sin because the individual gets pulled away from the ideal destination. That is to say it will take them longer to get back on track after the fact. Think of the person who must go to a rehabilitation center to shed addiction. If successful, they return to a…

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Five Things God Could Do To Prove To Me He Exists

Krishna's Mercy

[Markandeya and Krishna]“Just then the child inhaled, drawing Markandeya within His body like a mosquito. There the sage found the entire universe arrayed as it had been before its dissolution. Seeing this, Markandeya was most astonished and perplexed.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 12.9.27)

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On the surface it seems like a reasonable enough request. Require visible evidence. Empirical proof. Not just belief. When the man knocking at the door says he is with the police, there has to be some validation. Show me the badge. Otherwise, I am right to be skeptical.

When boarding an airplane, the pilot has a specific uniform. If further credentials are requested, they can be provided. That is to say there is some certificate or written evidence substantiating the claim that this person is capable of safely operating an aircraft.

What might get overlooked in these instances is the element of faith. The…

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Three Obvious Signs Of Adharma From Ravana’s Behavior

Krishna's Mercy

[Rama and Lakshmana]“Smelling the fragrance of Rama and Lakshmana, like a dog smelling a tiger, certainly you will not be able to stand.” (Sita Devi speaking to Ravana, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 21.31-32)

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In the days of the VHS tape, with every copy of a recording made the quality of the subsequent version would diminish. There was something known as a “highly generated” copy, which meant that it was a copy of a copy of a copy, and so forth, many generations removed from the original.

A similar tendency is there when original historical accounts described in the Vedas are translated, reinterpreted and presented in different languages throughout the course of time. Add the increased tendency towards sense gratification and sinful life in future generations and it is not surprising to come across commentaries such as these:

“Ravana wasn’t so bad of a guy. He…

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Three Ways The Still Image Of Life May Mislead

Krishna's Mercy

[Sita-Rama]“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)

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As with Hiranyakashipu, the case of Ravana can be studied for a lengthy period of time. Not necessarily staying on one aspect, as the journey through life continues from boyhood to old age, so there are new ways to apply the lessons from the life of the king of Lanka. Vedic literature is magical in this way; the historical incidents are presented in such a manner that they provide valuable teachings for every age group and every kind of situation encountered.

One lesson to take particularly from Ravana’s time in Lanka after stealing the princess of Videha is the illusory aspect to a still image. While a…

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The Two Sides To The Devotee Shown By Sita’s Time In Lanka

Krishna's Mercy

[Sita-Rama]“How can that female swan who is accustomed to sporting with the king of swans amidst lotus flowers ever cast her eyes on a water-crow that stays amidst bunches of grass?” (Sita Devi speaking to Ravana, Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kand, 56.20)

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They are supposed to be brahmanas. This is the priestly class. Distinct from the warriors, the businessmen and the laborers, there is a typical body type associated with the occupation, whose qualifications come from guna and karma, or material quality and work.

“According to the three modes of material nature and the work ascribed to them, the four divisions of human society were created by Me. And, although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the non-doer, being unchangeable.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 4.13)

The devotees of the Lord, coming in different shapes…

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Three Issues With The “I Trust Science” Philosophy

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“The unalloyed devotees of the Lord know the glories of the Lord in the sense that they can understand how great the Lord is and how great is His expansion of diverse energy. Those who are attached to the perishable body can hardly enter into the realm of the science of Godhead. The whole materialistic world, based on the conception of the material body as the self, is ignorant of the science of God.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 2.7.42 Purport)

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The true believers in God have likely run into such an argument. Challenged about their beliefs, they are asked to show indisputable truths. Facts. Visual evidence. Until such can be produced, the challengers cling steadfastly to their faith in science.

“Listen, I think it’s interesting to compare the different philosophies and religious views. The Christians have their idea. The Hindus another. I like…

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What Is The Vyasasana

Krishna's Mercy

[Vyasadeva]“The great sages offered the speaker of the Bhagavatam an elevated seat of respect called the vyasasana, or the seat of Shri Vyasadeva. Shri Vyasadeva is the original spiritual preceptor for all men. And all other preceptors are considered to be his representatives. A representative is one who can exactly present the viewpoint of Shri Vyasadeva.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.1.5 Purport)

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Friend1: People new to Krishna consciousness come across so many terms with which they are unfamiliar.

Friend2: Isn’t that the meaning of “new”? Of course it will be unfamiliar. You are probably going somewhere with this, but let me just interrupt with a mini-lecture to start.

Friend1: Okay.

Friend2: It is perfectly natural to be unfamiliar. Do you know how long I thought the word “Chaitanya” was actually pronounced with a “k” sound in the front?

Friend1: Oh, because of the…

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The Law Of Holes

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“From anger, delusion arises, and from delusion bewilderment of memory. When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost, and when intelligence is lost, one falls down again into the material pool.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.63)

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Friend1: Talk to me about this idea of attachment.

Friend2: What about it? You mean like is it good or bad?

Friend1: Apparently that is what keeps us in this world.

Friend2: Technically, kama is the culprit. Defined most often as ordinary desire, but it can quickly turn into lust. When that lust is not satisfied, which is entirely likely, then there is anger.

Friend1: From anger comes bewilderment of memory, delusion and finally a return to the same place in the next life.

Friend2: You forgot loss of intelligence. The simple example I like to give relates to sports. Imagine you are playing golf. You’re having a good…

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Something Coming From Nothing

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Hanuman]“O Vaidehi, taking you on my back and coursing through the sky, I shall undoubtedly return in the same manner that I arrived here.” (Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 37.27)

yathā eva aham iha prāptaḥ tathaiva aham asaṃśayam |
yāsyāmi paśya vaidehi tvām udyamya vihāyasam ||

There are popular internet images relating the same idea. It is a quick and straightforward counterargument to the standard logic of the atheists. As they discount the idea of God, relegating it to mythology or some faint hope for a brighter future in the afterlife, by their very claim so many contradictions arise.

One of the obvious relates to the origin. Forget the past for a moment. Put aside predictions of the future. We know what exists right now. We can see for ourselves. We can smell, taste, hear and touch, also. There is no doubting that we have trees. There is no debate…

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What Kind Of Parent Is Krishna

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Krishna]“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)

Friend1: Having a baby around is pretty amazing.

Friend2: Some people might choose a different word.

Friend1: Such as?

Friend2: Tiring. Exhausting. Frustrating.

Friend1: Haha, don’t get me wrong, I have those sentiments sometimes, too. But to see the changes, and how suddenly they occur. I mean who would believe that something so tiny could start to move so quickly in a matter of days.

Friend2: You mean like learning to walk?

Friend1: There is the standard progression, where the first significant change is sitting up. Then they likely roll over, followed by…

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