Monthly Archives: October 2018

Five Paths Arjuna Could Have Chosen Prior To The Bharata War

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna and Arjuna]“I would consider it better for the sons of Dhritarashtra to kill me unarmed and unresisting, rather than fight with them.” (Arjuna, Bhagavad-gita, 1.45)

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Arjuna was worried. There was concern over the future. Perhaps the doubts lived in the back of his mind for a long time, only to manifest in full at this critical moment. On the precipice of a great war, the leading fighter for his side, the one representing dharma, or righteousness, did not want to proceed further.

Taking the matter to his guru and well-wisher, Shri Krishna, there was hope that the proper decision would be reached. No more doubts. No chance of incurring sin, and no regrets after the fact. The teacher happened to also be the charioteer. Thus Arjuna did not require visiting a distant place. The guidebook for living in any time period was there…

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Why Couldn’t Arjuna Retire And Meditate On Krishna

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna and Arjuna]“O Govinda, of what avail to us are kingdoms, happiness or even life itself when all those for whom we may desire them are now arrayed in this battlefield? O Madhusudana, when teachers, fathers, sons, grandfathers, maternal uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers-in-law and all relatives are ready to give up their lives and properties and are standing before me, then why should I wish to kill them, though I may survive? O maintainer of all creatures, I am not prepared to fight with them even in exchange for the three worlds, let alone this earth.” (Arjuna, Bhagavad-gita, 1.32-35)

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Friend1: I know that the Bhagavad-gita discusses yoga.

Friend2: What is that?

Friend1: You know, the mystic thing. Sitting down in a secluded place. Laying down a rug made of deerskin. Concentrating the eyes on the tip of the nose and so forth.

“One should…

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Three Ways Yudhishthira Was A Saintly King

Krishna's Mercy

[Yudhishthira]“Maharaja Yudhishthira was the ideal and celebrated pious King of the world, and still he was greatly afraid after the execution of the Battle of Kurukshetra because of the mass killing in the fight, all of which was done only to install him on the throne. He therefore took all the responsibility for sins committed in the warfare, and to get rid of all these sins, he wanted to perform three sacrifices in which horses are offered at the altar.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.12.34 Purport)

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The famous paintings depicting scenes from the Bhagavad-gita show a confused, but capable warrior speaking with an authority figure on all matters of life, including the spiritual side. Question and answer, back and forth, with visual aids included, the transcript of the conversation turns into a Sanskrit work for the ages. In fact, the core teachings predate…

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Dussehra 2018

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Rama]“The mighty Rama, who possessed extraordinary strength, consecrating in accordance with the mantras prescribed in the Vedas, taking that great arrow – which was capable of removing the fears of the entire world and the Ikshvaku dynasty, capable of taking away the glory of His enemies, and conducive to His own happiness – fixed it on His bow.” (Valmiki Ramayana, Yuddha Kand, 108.13-14)

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The newborn continues to reach important milestones. While one day they are content playing on the floor mattress, jumping up and down and rolling over countless times, suddenly they realize that crawling can get them to wherever they want to go.

They venture out into unchartered territories, sometimes taking a quick peek back to see if the parents are watching. Maybe they know deep down that they shouldn’t be entering the kitchen. Those curtains in front of the patio door…

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How Is It Possible For The Greatest To Expand Into Everyone

Krishna's Mercy

[Kapiladeva and Devahuti]“As the Supreme Personality of Godhead, You have taken birth from my abdomen. O my Lord, how is that possible for the supreme one, who has in His belly all the cosmic manifestation? The answer is that it is possible, for at the end of the millennium You lie down on a leaf of a banyan tree, and just like a small baby, You lick the toe of Your lotus foot.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 3.33.4)

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Friend1: God is great. That is the general idea.

Friend2: Of the believers.

Friend1: Sure. Even the non-believers, if they were to think of what the concept of God is, greatness would likely be the first vision.

Friend2: Better than everyone else. Exhibiting superior ability in every area where an exercise can make a determination.

Friend1: Staying above, in the heavenly region, looking down on everyone else.

Friend2: Situated…

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Four Books Unavailable At The Local Library During Hanuman’s Time

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Hanuman]“Hearing those wonderful words from the best of monkeys, Maithili’s every limb was thrilled with joy. She then spoke to Hanuman as follows: ‘O Hanuman, how can you desire to carry me such a great distance? Verily I think this is due to your apishness, O chief of the monkeys.’” (Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 37.28-29)

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The subscription library system came about in the eighteenth century, an idea from a wise Colonial who would later become one of the founding fathers to a nation. Books were in short supply. Not every person could afford to purchase. Why not keep just a few copies in a single place and allow members to borrow them for a period of time? This way everyone in the community could benefit from the presence of books.

Those works are nothing more than recorded thoughts and observations; the same communication…

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Four Analogies Used In The Bhagavad-Gita

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna and Arjuna]“O mighty-armed Krishna, does not such a man, being deviated from the path of Transcendence, perish like a riven cloud, with no position in any sphere?” (Arjuna, Bhagavad-gita, 6.38)

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The material world bears similarities to the spiritual world. Something like the saying, “Man is made in the image of God,” so the manifest space consisting of higher, middle and lower planetary systems resembles the imperishable and forever unmanifest planetary system in many ways.

“That supreme abode is called unmanifested and infallible, and it is the supreme destination. When one goes there, he never comes back. That is My supreme abode.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 8.21)

How to properly explain unmanifest versus manifest? How to understand the difference between the negation of perceivable attributes and the existence of unlimited attributes, which are inconceivable in nature?

The teachers of the Vedic science take advantage of the…

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The Creation And Its Instruction Manual

Krishna's Mercy

[Bhagavad-gita]“All the instructions of Bhagavad-gita are intended to awaken this pure consciousness, and therefore we find at the last stage of the Gita’s instructions that Krishna is asking Arjuna whether he is now in purified consciousness. Purified consciousness means acting in accordance with the instructions of the Lord. This is the whole sum and substance of purified consciousness.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, Introduction)

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Friend1: What would you say to the people who complain that God threw us into this land to fend for ourselves, without any guidance?

Friend2: How would you reach that conclusion?

Friend1: Just see how much of a struggle there is. Difficult questions to answer on a daily basis. How should we treat our neighbor who is making too much noise? Should we cut off that friend who is annoying and offensive from time to time? That relative who made a…

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How Do You Guarantee Someone Else’s Consciousness

Krishna's Mercy

[Radha-Krishna deities]“One who cannot deliver his dependents from the path of repeated birth and death should never become a spiritual master, a father, a husband, a mother or a worshipable demigod.” (Rishabhadeva, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 5.5.18)

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Friend1: Okay, so anyone who is familiar with the Shrimad Bhagavatam knows about the crucial piece of advice given to parents.

Friend2: Which one? From the Dhruva story, about how to approach Vishnu for fulfilling desires instead of anyone else? From the Prahlada story, about describing the science of self-realization to the child in the womb in hopes that they end up a devotee?

Friend1: I’m talking about the advice on the purpose. That is to say the idea behind having children.

Friend2: Okay.

Friend1: Where it says that a person should not become a mother or father unless they can release their dependents from the cycle of birth…

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Why The Heavy Reliance On Analogies To Explain Vedic Concepts

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna deity]“First a child is shown the branches of a tree, and then he is shown the moon through the branches. This is called shakha-chandra-nyaya. The idea is that first one must be given a simpler example. Then the more difficult background is explained.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya 21.30 Purport)

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Friend1: I receive this question every now and then from people. In reading books by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada there are so many analogies used.

Friend2: Well, to be technically correct here, the analogies are in the Vedas themselves. The genuine acharya does not invent anything. They simply take the baton and pass it on.

Friend1: Another analogy!

Friend2: Just for you [eye wink]. It’s membership in a team. The founder is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavan. The Vedas are like the instruction manual for living. I know what…

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