Monthly Archives: January 2019

The Three Factors In Accord When Accepting Spiritual Life

Krishna's Mercy

[Prabhupada]“One should accept a thing as genuine by studying the words of saintly people, the spiritual master and shastra. The actual center is shastra, the revealed scripture. If a spiritual master does not speak according to revealed scripture, he is not to be accepted. Similarly, if a saintly person does not speak according to the shastra, he is not a saintly person. Shastra is the center for all.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya 20.352 Purport)

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1. Sadhu

This is the saintly person. If I am seeking higher knowledge, the best choice is to approach someone who has some familiarity. Another seeker will be beneficial in the sense that I won’t feel alone. Less peer pressure when your peers are travelling in the same direction. It’s not necessarily good to follow the herd, but going it alone sometimes is too much stress to bear…

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Is The Focus On The Next Life Or This One

Krishna's Mercy

[Lord Krishna]“When the embodied being is able to transcend these three modes, he can become free from birth, death, old age and their distresses and can enjoy nectar even in this life.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 14.20)

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गुणान् एतान् अतीत्य त्रीन्
देही देह-समुद्भवान्
विमुक्तो ऽमृतम् अश्नुते

guṇān etān atītya trīn
dehī deha-samudbhavān
vimukto ‘mṛtam aśnute

Friend1: I often hear His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada speak about the need to prepare for the next life. Do in this body to influence the next kind of body.

Friend2: And the principle is tied to the scientific truth of transmigration of the soul. What is referred to as reincarnation in general conversation is known as the changing of bodies, the basic effects of time on the visual manifestation. Demystifying the concept, Shri Krishna says that a dhira person, one who is sober, does not…

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Two Ways Not To Treat Material Nature

Krishna's Mercy

[Lord 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)

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ये तु सर्वाणि कर्माणि
मयि सन्न्यस्य मत्-पराः
अनन्येनैव योगेन
मां ध्यायन्त उपासते
तेषाम् अहं समुद्धर्ता
भवामि न चिरात् पार्थ
मय्य् आवेशित-चेतसाम्

ye tu sarvāṇi karmāṇi
mayi sannyasya mat-parāḥ
ananyenaiva yogena
māṁ dhyāyanta upāsate
teṣām ahaṁ samuddhartā
bhavāmi na cirāt pārtha
mayy āveśita-cetasām

We’re living in the ocean of suffering, samsara. It is like a spinning wheel, chakra. The birth-death cycle perfectly symbolizes the sequence of events. Accept and then reject. Potential and then the abrupt end. Hope followed by despair.

How should…

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Three Amazing People Who Didn’t Have A Great Ending

Krishna's Mercy

[Arjuna]“O Emperor, now I am separated from my friend and dearmost well-wisher, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore my heart appears to be void of everything. In His absence I have been defeated by a number of infidel cowherd men while I was guarding the bodies of all the wives of Krishna.” (Arjuna, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.15.20)

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सो ऽहं नृपेन्द्र रहितः पुरुषोत्तमेन
सख्या प्रियेण सुहृदा हृदयेन शून्यः
अध्वन्य् उरुक्रम-परिग्रहम् अङ्ग रक्षन्
गोपैर् असद्भिर् अबलेव विनिर्जितो ऽस्मि

so ‘haṁ nṛpendra rahitaḥ puruṣottamena
sakhyā priyeṇa suhṛdā hṛdayena śūnyaḥ
adhvany urukrama-parigraham aṅga rakṣan
gopair asadbhir abaleva vinirjito ‘smi

It goes in a cycle. A microcosm of the general pattern of life, where the paired events of birth and death have the accompanying contradictory emotions of hope and despair. Birth brings almost unlimited potential. The newborn can turn out to be anything. They have opportunities in front…

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Two Things That Don’t Happen To Honor

Krishna's Mercy

[Narasimha and Prahlada]“The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Prahlada, O most pure, O great saintly person, your father has been purified, along with twenty-one forefathers in your family. Because you were born in this family, the entire dynasty has been purified.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.10.18)

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श्री-भगवान् उवाच
त्रिः-सप्तभिः पिता पूतः
पितृभिः सह ते ’नघ
यत् साधो ’स्य कुले जातो
भवान् वै कुल-पावनः

śrī-bhagavān uvāca
triḥ-saptabhiḥ pitā pūtaḥ
pitṛbhiḥ saha te ’nagha
yat sādho ’sya kule jāto
bhavān vai kula-pāvanaḥ

1. Descends

It’s the easy way out. Life in the material world is difficult, after all. So many factors to consider. With each one a degree of uncertainty. Who is actually guaranteed of making it, however that is defined? Danger is lurking around every corner, and so many forces conspire to suppress.

Why not take the advantage provided by predecessors? Claim a high status based…

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You’ve Fallen But You Think You’re Flying High

Krishna's Mercy

[Lord Krishna]“Forgetting Krishna, the living entity has been attracted by the external feature from time immemorial. Therefore the illusory energy [maya] gives him all kinds of misery in his material existence.” (Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya 20.117)

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कृष्ण भुलिऽ सेइ जीव अनादि-बहिर्मुख
अतएव माया तारे देय संसार-दुःख

kṛṣṇa bhuli’ sei jīva anādi-bahirmukha
ataeva māyā tāre deya saṁsāra-duḥkha

Friend1: I know people have debates about the fall of the jiva.

Friend2: What do you mean by “fall”? And define “jiva.”

Friend1: Jiva is the conditioned living entity. Technically belonging to the marginal energy of God.

Friend2: What are on the sides of this margin?

Friend1: The spiritual energy and the material energy. Everything is eternal since it emanates from the Almighty, but the two sides are opposite in nature.

Friend2: How so?

Friend1: With the spiritual energy there is no degrading influence of time. Spirit and…

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Four Sets Of Life Condition Pairs Covered By Sanatana-Dharma

Krishna's Mercy

[Lord Krishna]“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)

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चातुर्वर्ण्यं मया सृष्टं गुणकर्मविभागश
तस्य कर्तारमपि मां विद्ध्यकर्तारमव्ययम्

cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ
tasya kartāram api māṁ
viddhy akartāram avyayam

It’s not just a religion. Not merely a faith, either, to put in a basket to include with the others.

“Pick and choose your favorite one. Rely strictly on inheritance from the family. Whatever past generations subscribed to, that is the path laid out for you, as well.”

Sanatana-dharma is a way of life. Based on the definition of the two component terms, there is universal applicability. Just as the law of gravity pays no…

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Can We Experience Liberation Prior To Death

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“When the soul is situated in his original constitutional position of existence, he is said to be liberated. It is possible to engage in transcendental loving service to the Lord and become jivan-mukta, a liberated soul, even while in the material body.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi 2.91-92 Purport)

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Friend1: I know that the foundational teaching of the spiritual science that is Vedanta is the difference between matter and spirit.

Friend2: It’s an issue of proper identification. You wouldn’t want to continue to see things improperly, would you? If there is a corrective lens that can help you to read the sign in the distance, is it not worth utilizing?

Friend1: Sure. The improper identification is from the time of birth.

Friend2: You can’t blame the individual in that sense. Children are called innocent for a reason. The only objective is immediate enjoyment,

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Built By Karma

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“The Personality of Godhead said: Under the supervision of the Supreme Lord and according to the result of his work, the living entity, the soul, is made to enter into the womb of a woman through the particle of male semen to assume a particular type of body.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 3.31.1)

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श्री-भगवान् उवाच
कर्मणा दैव-नेत्रेण
जन्तुर् देहोपपत्तये
स्त्रियाः प्रविष्ट उदरं
पुंसो रेतः-कणाश्रयः

śrī-bhagavān uvāca
karmaṇā daiva-netreṇa
jantur dehopapattaye
striyāḥ praviṣṭa udaraṁ
puṁso retaḥ-kaṇāśrayaḥ

“This person looks completely different now. Granted, I haven’t seen them in ten years. But still, it is not like going from youth to adulthood. They were in their twenties before and in their thirties today. They are so fit. The face looks more attractive. Muscles bulging in the arms and legs. A complete transformation.”

“This person also looks different. It is the reverse situation. They used to have a…

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Four Ways Indra Could Have Reacted To The First Govardhana Puja

Krishna's Mercy

[Indra-Govardhana]“When Indra understood that the sacrifice offered by the cowherd men in Vrindavana was stopped by Krishna, he became angry, and he vented his anger upon the inhabitants of Vrindavana, who were headed by Nanda Maharaja, although Indra knew perfectly well that Krishna was personally protecting them.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 25)

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Shri Krishna, the darling child of mother Yashoda and Maharaja Nanda, on the spot decided upon a new ritual. This would be a puja, or ceremony of worship. Not for getting a new toy. Not for receiving the privilege to stay up later into the night, past the normal bedtime. Not for creating a general atmosphere of auspiciousness.

This was for worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the animals most dear to Him: the cows. The suggestion was to take the preparations for…

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