Monthly Archives: December 2018

Should Someone Feel Guilty About A Supposed High Birth

Krishna's Mercy

[Rama and Ahalya]“By remembering Shri Rama’s holy name, even those who are born into a low caste become worthy of fame, just as the wild trees that line the streets in the heavenly realm are famous throughout the three worlds.” (Dohavali, 16)

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राम नाम सुमिरत सुजस भाजन भए कुजाति |
कुतरूक सुरपुर राजमग लहत भुवन बिख्याति ||

rāma nāma sumirata sujasa bhājana bhae kujāti |
kutarūka surapura rājamaga lahata bhuvana bikhyāti ||

Friend1: I know that we have discussions on how someone of low birth can rise to the status of liberated devotee.

Friend2: It’s just a circumstance, if you think about it. Maybe that person will never be accepted into circles that base their judgment off birth alone, but outside opinion is of no issue. We’re talking about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, here.

Friend1: He is the ultimate arbiter.

Friend2: He can override…

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What Is Wrong With Service To Man

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Krishna]“O son of Kunti, all that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away, as well as all austerities that you may perform, should be done as an offering unto Me.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.27)

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यत् करोषि यद् अश्नासि
यज् जुहोषि ददासि यत्
यत् तपस्यसि कौन्तेय
तत् कुरुष्व मद्-अर्पणम्

yat karoṣi yad aśnāsi
yaj juhoṣi dadāsi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
tat kuruṣva mad-arpaṇam

Friend1: You’ve heard it many times.

Friend2: What is that?

Friend1: It arrives with a specific attitude. Defensiveness. Though no one is specifically challenging them, they feel they need to retort, to present a counterargument.

Friend2: Who is “they”?

Friend1: The people who push forward this philosophy.

“Service to man is service to God. Be kind to the poor. Elevate the downtrodden. That is more important than opening a temple and worshiping a deity

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Mr. Reliable

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Rama's arrow]“O chief of the Vanaras, who can withstand Rama, the destroyer in battle, fixed in determination like the elephants of the quarters of the earth, whose arrows resemble the rays of the sun at the end of a yuga, along with Lakshmana?” (Sita Devi, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 37.65)

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सलक्ष्मणं राघवमाजिमर्दनं दिशागजं मत्तमिव व्यवस्थितम्।
सहेत को वानरमुख्य संयुगे युगान्तसूर्यप्रतिमं शरार्चिषम्।।

salakṣmaṇaṃ rāghavamājimardanaṃ diśāgajaṃ mattamiva vyavasthitam।
saheta ko vānaramukhya saṃyuge yugāntasūryapratimaṃ śarārciṣam।।

It is said that nothing is as forgiving as the earth. It bears such a burden based on the moving population alone. There are also the nonmoving beings, achara, who at the very least add weight to the total. There are earthquakes from time to time, but the earth does not give in. She is a mother who is tremendously forgiving.

या चेयं जगतां माता देवी लोकनमस्कृता।
अस्याश्च चलनं भूमेर्दृश्यते सत्यसंश्रव।।

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Three Amazing Things Moms Are Known To Do

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna and Yashoda]“Mother Yashoda was firmly convinced of the Vedic injunctions about the importance of cows and the holy name of Vishnu; therefore she took all shelter in the cows and the name of Vishnu just to protect her child Krishna. She recited all the holy names of Vishnu so that He might save the child.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 6)

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The child is crying in the middle of the night. It won’t go to sleep. The labor was intense enough. What man could survive painful contractions, five to ten minutes apart, straight through for twenty-four hours or more? The experience creates a bond like no other between mother and child.

The mother to the newborn can do amazing things. Change diapers, feed at odd hours, go without sleep, and still maintain the household. They have super-strengths, which are on…

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Five Torture-like Situations That Hanuman Amazingly Endured

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Hanuman]“It is said that it is possible for a stronger party to live if they develop enmity with a weaker party. Therefore a weaker man desiring self-preservation should not develop enmity with one who is stronger.” (Hanuman speaking to Angada, Valmiki Ramayana, Kishkindha Kand, 54.12)

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विगृह्यासनमप्याहुर्दुर्बलेन बलीयसः।
आत्मरक्षाकरस्तस्मान्न विगृह्णीत दुर्बलः।।

vigṛhyāsanamapyāhurdurbalena balīyasaḥ।
ātmarakṣākarastasmānna vigṛhṇīta durbalaḥ।।

The rising of the sun in the morning is to be celebrated. Not for the renewed opportunity at sense gratification, of pushing the body to the limit, breaking your back, just for experiencing a taste which is something like chewing the chewed.

श्री-प्रह्राद उवाच
मतिर् न कृष्णे परतः स्वतो वा
मिथो ’भिपद्येत गृह-व्रतानाम्
अदान्त-गोभिर् विशतां तमिस्रं
पुनः पुनश् चर्वित-चर्वणानाम्

śrī-prahlāda uvāca
matir na kṛṣṇe parataḥ svato vā
mitho ’bhipadyeta gṛha-vratānām
adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisraṁ
punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām

“Prahlada Maharaja replied: Because of their uncontrolled senses, persons too addicted to…

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Four Questions The Mature Human Being Should Ask

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“The living entity is ignorant of his origin. He does not know why this material world was created, why others are working in this material world and what the ultimate source of this manifestation is. No one knows the answers to these questions, and this is called ignorance. By researching into the origin of life, important scientists are finding some chemical compositions or cellular combinations, but actually no one knows the original source of life within this material world.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 4.25.33 Purport)

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1. What is my origin

I may not be able to trace it out, but at least let me contemplate. This goes beyond the mother and father. Obviously, I entered this world through the womb of the mother. From observing others and studying modern science, I understand that the union of a man and a woman has the…

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How To Take Seriously A Story Involving Talking Monkeys And Ten-Headed Kings

Krishna's Mercy

[Ravana in disguise]“Then the ten-necked one, who was hiding nearby, quickly assumed the form of a wandering mendicant and approached Vaidehi.” (Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kand, 46.2)

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तदासाद्य दशग्रीवः क्षिप्रमन्तरमास्थितः।
अभिचक्राम वैदेहीं परिव्राजकरूपधृक्।।

tadāsādya daśagrīvaḥ kṣipramantaramāsthitaḥ।
abhicakrāma vaidehīṃ parivrājakarūpadhṛk।।

Friend1: Based on the many discussions we’ve had, it would be safe to say that we are fans of the Ramayana.

Friend2: Which one?

Friend1: There is only one, in fact. The Hindi poem of Goswami Tulsidas is actually called Ramacharitamanasa.

Friend2: It was so wonderfully received, so much adored by the general public that people began to informally refer to it as the Ramayana.

Friend1: The Tulsi Ramayana, as opposed to the Valmiki Ramayana.

Friend2: The latter is the original written account of the life and pastimes of Shri Rama.

Friend1: Though the term original doesn’t really apply, since the lila of…

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Fixed In Orbit

Krishna's Mercy

[Rama and Lakshmana]“O chief of the Vanaras, who can withstand Rama, the destroyer in battle, fixed in determination like the elephants of the quarters of the earth, whose arrows resemble the rays of the sun at the end of a yuga, along with Lakshmana?” (Sita Devi, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 37.65)

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सलक्ष्मणं राघवमाजिमर्दनं दिशागजं मत्तमिव व्यवस्थितम्।
सहेत को वानरमुख्य संयुगे युगान्तसूर्यप्रतिमं शरार्चिषम्।।

salakṣmaṇaṃ rāghavamājimardanaṃ diśāgajaṃ mattamiva vyavasthitam।
saheta ko vānaramukhya saṃyuge yugāntasūryapratimaṃ śarārciṣam।।

As Shri Rama states in the Ramayana, for the mature human being there is no greater fear than death. That is the only guaranteed outcome moving forward. The rest of the future is uncertain. The comparison is to the ripened fruit. It hangs from the tree and has no other fate than to fall. Everything else necessary has reached completion.

यथा फलानां पक्वानां नान्यत्र पतनाद्भयम्।
एवं नरस्य जातस्य नान्यत्र मरणाद्भयम्।।

yathā…

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Granting Of A Writ Of Certiorari

Krishna's Mercy

[Dhruva and Vishnu]“In the Hari-bhakti-sudhadaya there is another example, forwarded by Maharaj Dhruva. He says there, ‘My dear Lord, I have practiced austerities and penances because I was desiring to receive something from You, but in exchange You have allowed me to see You, who are never visible even to the great sages and saintly persons. I had been searching out some pieces of broken glass, but instead I have found the most valuable jewel. I am therefore fully satisfied, my Lord. I do not wish to ask anything more from Your Lordship.’” (The Nectar of Devotion, Ch 46)

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Friend1: Did you know that the Supreme Court doesn’t accept every case that comes its way?

Friend2: This is for the United States?

Friend1: Yes.

Friend2: What do you mean by every case? I think courts have to be selective in some way.

Friend1: I mean…

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Three Potential Destinations In Life Covered In Vedic Teachings

Krishna's Mercy

[Parikshit hearing from Shukadeva]“Shukadeva Gosvami, after citing the example of Maharaja Khatvanga, who prepared himself for the next life within a very short time, encouraged Maharaja Parikshit by saying that since he still had seven days at his disposal, he could easily take advantage of the time to prepare himself for the next life.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 2.1.14 Purport)

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The rational human being, matured into adulthood or close to it, eventually asks themselves questions along these lines:

“What is the point to it all? Why am I here? What is the purpose of living? When I am old and gray, reflecting on the many days past, looking toward the inevitable end of death, which is quickly approaching, what will I want to have accomplished? How will I want to have lived my life?”

Religion is known to be a way of addressing these concerns, but…

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