Monthly Archives: August 2018

Playing The Game Of I Can

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Krishna]“The Supreme Personality of Godhead is described in the scriptures as adhokshaja, which indicates that He is beyond the perception of all material senses.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 46)

It’s a television reality show. The primary focus is on competition. Each episode features an elimination round. Two contestants are eligible. They go head-to-head in one of four games, chosen at random. In this particular episode one of the players has a distinct size and weight advantage. If the competition relies mostly on strength, the smaller player is doomed.

Things seem to be headed in that direction, as the game is called “I can.” There is a large crate on the ground with two handles in front. On the side is a bag filled with a seemingly endless supply of coconuts. It looks to be some sort of weightlifting competition. The larger guy is in the…

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Five Different Ideas People Have About God

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Krishna]“The first syllable of the word bhagavan is bha, which means ‘sustainer’ and ‘protector.’ The next letter, ga, means ‘leader,’ ‘pusher’ and ‘creator.’ Va means ‘dwelling’ (all living beings dwell in the Supreme Lord, and the Supreme Lord dwells within the heart of every living being). Combining all these concepts, the word bhagavan carries the import of inconceivable potency in knowledge, energy, strength, opulence, power and influence, devoid of all varieties of inferiority.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi 2.10 Purport)

Mention the word “God” and you get a variety of responses. In some places there might be universal acceptance, with smiling faces abound. In other areas the frown is the immediate change. They’ve got their arms up, in a ready position. They are prepared to argue the invalidity of the idea of creation and an intelligent designer.

The lack of uniformity in responses is due to the different ideas people…

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Three Nonnegotiable Requirements From Different Paths Of Spirituality

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Krishna]“You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.47)

“That’s fine that you accept bhakti-yoga. It is a mechanism, just like the other ones. It is a means to an end. In my opinion, it is for the less intelligent. That is because eventually you have to cast aside the devotion. The worshipable form, the archa-vigraha, merges into the spiritual nothingness, Brahman. Everything will become one. Whatever way a person arrives at that destination is bona fide.”

This conclusion based on mental speculation misses one key factor. If the Almighty is truly for everyone, then He cannot be limited by requirements. Bhakti-yoga is the constitutional position. That is to say while it is…

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Two Miracles Associated With The Beginning

Krishna's Mercy

[Lord Vishnu]“The Causal Ocean is created by the Lord as the mahat-tattva, as a cloud in the spiritual sky, and is only a part of His different manifestations. The spiritual sky is an expansion of His personal rays, and He is the mahat-tattva cloud also. He lies down and generates the universes by His breathing, and again, by entering into each universe as Garbhodakashayi Vishnu.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 2.6.39 Purport)

The what

Before everything came into existence, when there was no man and no animal, when everything existed in a potential state, what was there? If someone could paint a picture, what would it look like? Is there an image to satisfy the curious mind?

The where

If such an image were generated, what location would it reference? Where exactly did everything exist? Could we find it on a map? Are there precise coordinates?

The when

How many years into…

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What Is Wrong With Speculating

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Krishna]“The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, and His plenary portions cannot be understood by mental speculation nor by the nondevotees. If anyone wants to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he has to take to pure devotional service under the guidance of a pure devotee. Otherwise, the truth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead will always be hidden.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 18.55 Purport)

Friend1: I’ve heard it said that there is actually a fifth regulative principle.

Friend2: You mean in addition to the prohibitions on meat eating, gambling, intoxication and illicit sex?

Friend1: Yes.

Friend2: I know what it is.

Friend1: So do I. But it only gets mentioned some of the time.

Friend2: I think there might be a loose association with gambling.

Friend1: Really?

Friend2: Yes.

Friend1: It is mental speculation.

Friend2: Don’t do it. You’ll get in trouble [laughing].

Friend1: You know I will have to…

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Four Things That Could Go Wrong Approaching A Pretender Guru

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“A person who is wallowing in carnal pleasures and material comforts, who is confused about the human goal of life and is devoid of bhakti, and who poses as a guru, such a depraved charlatan must be rejected.” (Mahabharata, Udyoga-parva, 179.25)

“A guru is compulsory. Not only do you need to approach a spiritual master, but you have to obey their commands. Render service and inquire submissively. Do not be challenging. That does not mean there are no doubts. Bring them to the table, but like you would in a classroom setting, where the teacher is the established authority figure. You can’t achieve perfection by consulting the books directly, as they were compiled thousands of years ago. You don’t know how to transition the lessons to the modern day, how to adjust for time and circumstance.”

These recommendations certainly are valid and based in authority. The Bhagavad-gita makes specific…

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Krishna Showing That Cute Face

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna stealing butter]“When mother Yashoda thought to chastise her boy after hearing all the complaints, she saw His pitiable face, and smiling, she did not chastise Him.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 8)

People tried to warn you, but you didn’t listen. Let everything play out on its own, you thought. No need to stress at the moment. Everything is in the future. There will be people to help. Your involvement will be minimal. The mother is there, after all.

Of course the experience of being first-time parents is never easy. Especially in the modern day, the likelihood is that you have to go it alone. Family members live elsewhere. Friends have their own lives to manage. This new child is solely your responsibility, twenty-four hours a day, into the foreseeable future.

As the father, the primary issue of concern is crying. You can’t really enjoy…

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Is It Alright To Homeschool

Krishna's Mercy

[Prahlada Maharaja]“The proof of Prahlada’s natural devotion is that even when he was a small child he did not play with his playmates, but was always eager to preach the glories of the Lord. Instead of joining in their sportive acrobatic feats, he remained as an inactive child because he was always in trance, meditating on Krishna. As such, there was no possibility of his being touched by the external world.” (The Nectar of Devotion, Ch 38)

Friend1: A little off-topic today, but what is your opinion of homeschooling?

Friend2: Real quick, what would be considered “on-topic”?

Friend1: Issues relating to devotional service, bhakti-yoga. How to make people Krishna conscious.

Friend2: You mean reawaken. Everyone has love for God the person in the heart. At present that love is likely in a dormant state. Just give people a nudge, such as through chanting the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna…

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Two Things Parikshit Was Without Towards The End Of Life

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's pastimes]“Even at the risk of death such a devotee is never bereft of the transcendental loving service of the Lord. A glorious example of this ecstatic love was exhibited by King Parikshit when he was at the point of death. Although he was bereft of his entire kingdom, which spread over all the world, and although he was accepting not even a drop of water in the seven days remaining to him, because he was engaged in hearing the transcendental pastimes of the Lord from Shukadeva Gosvami, he was not in the least distressed.” (The Nectar of Devotion, Ch 37)

Loss is an inevitable part of life, but who actually has an easy time dealing with it? Death and taxes – they are assured. As soon as there is birth, there must come an end to the life that started. That is simply the way things are. Nothing can be…

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How To Make Use Of The Body Machine

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 18.61)

Friend1: Do you like machines?

Friend2: What kind of question is that? You might as well ask me if I like the sun and the rain.

Friend1: Those are aspects of nature. Machines are invented by man.

Friend2: So you’re talking about technology specifically or anything created that involves mechanics?

Friend1: You have to get so technical every time.

Friend2: It’s called precision. If we’re going to answer questions, at least refine down to the essence. This way there are no doubts at the conclusion.

Friend1: Okay, let’s take a modern-day invention. Something like an automobile, plane, or train. You could even take one of those kitchen helper thingies.

Friend2: The ones that mix the…

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