Monthly Archives: January 2019

The Two Paths For Human Activity

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“According to Vedic instructions, there are two paths for human activities. One is called pravritti-marga, and the other is called nivritti-marga. The basic principle for either of these paths is religious life. In animal life there is only pravritti-marga. Pravritti-marga means sense enjoyment, and nivritti-marga means spiritual advancement. In the life of animals and demons, there is no conception of nivritti-marga, nor is there any actual conception of pravritti-marga. Pravritti-marga maintains that even though one has the propensity for sense gratification, he can gratify his senses according to the directions of the Vedic injunctions.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 4.25.39 Purport)

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1. Pravritti-marga

This is the way for the animals, as they don’t know any better. Neither do they have the potential to think rationally, to question why they behave the way they do. For instance, the lion cannot make the following inquiry:

“Why…

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Five People Associated With Rama Who Find Trouble

Krishna's Mercy

[Rama meeting Jatayu]“All of these subjects in the Ramayana seem very pitiable, and they may appear to be very distressing to the reciter, but actually this is not so. Otherwise, why would Hanuman, the great devotee of Lord Ramachandra, read daily about the activities of Lord Ramachandra, as described in the Ramayana itself?” (The Nectar of Devotion, Ch 34)

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“I thought devotional service is known as hari-sharanam? This means receiving the shelter of the Supreme Lord, whose many names include Hari, the one who takes away distresses. In studying the life of Shri Rama, as described in the Ramayana, we see that the closer people are to Him, the more distress they suffer. I thought it should be the other way around. I can give you examples.”

1. Dasharatha

He is the birth-father. The janma of the Supreme Lord is a little different…

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Wasn’t It Wrong For Hanuman To Enter Lanka By Force

Krishna's Mercy

[Hanuman punching Lanka]“Even a man of knowledge acts according to his own nature, for everyone follows his nature. What can repression accomplish?” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 3.33)

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सदृशं चेष्टते स्वस्याः
प्रकृतेर् ज्ञानवान् अपि
प्रकृतिं यान्ति भूतानि
निग्रहः किं करिष्यति

sadṛśaṁ ceṣṭate svasyāḥ
prakṛter jñānavān api
prakṛtiṁ yānti bhūtāni
nigrahaḥ kiṁ kariṣyati

Friend1: Likely the most well known depiction of Shri Hanuman’s lila is the carrying of the mountain.

Friend2: Flying through the air, with an enlarged form, making the typically superior in size object appear small.

Friend1: Like he’s holding a basketball or something. Effortlessly gliding through the air, not breaking a sweat.

Friend2: For the purpose of rescuing Lakshmana, Shri Rama’s younger brother. The task was to find a specific herb, which was located on that mountain. Time was of the essence, and rather than risk a misidentification, Hanuman picked up the entire area and…

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Why Would A Devotee’s Ancestors Get Liberated Too

Krishna's Mercy

[Prahlada and Narasimha]“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

Friend1: One of the key teachings of the Bhagavad-gita is that a person gets the kind of existence in the next birth based on their consciousness while quitting the body.

Friend2: Yes, the yam yam vapi smaranshloka:

यं यं वापि स्मरन् भावं
त्यजत्य् अन्ते कलेवरम्
तं तम् एवैति कौन्तेय
सदा तद्-भाव-भावितः

yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran bhāvaṁ
tyajaty ante kalevaram
taṁ tam evaiti kaunteya

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The Dream Is My Reality

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“The material body has no factual existence in relation to the eternal soul. It is something like a dream. In a dream we may think of flying in the sky, or sitting on a chariot as a king, but when we wake up we can see that we are neither in the sky nor seated on the chariot. The Vedic wisdom encourages self-realization on the basis of the nonexistence of the material body. Therefore, in either case, whether one believes in the existence of the soul, or one does not believe in the existence of the soul, there is no cause for lamentation for loss of the body.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 2.28 Purport)

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“Boy what a terrible night. Difficulty sleeping, to say the least. Eating too much. Stress during the day from work. Thinking that getting rest at the end would be easy…

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Does Krishna Consciousness Have A Lot Of Associated Difficulties

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“That which in the beginning may be just like poison but at the end is just like nectar and which awakens one to self-realization is said to be happiness in the mode of goodness.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 18.37)

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यत् तद् अग्रे विषम् इव
परिणामे ’मृतोपमम्
तत् सुखं सात्त्विकं प्रोक्तम्
आत्म-बुद्धि-प्रसाद-जम्

yat tad agre viṣam iva
pariṇāme ’mṛtopamam
tat sukhaṁ sāttvikaṁ proktam
ātma-buddhi-prasāda-jam

Friend1: I have a particular area to where I want to direct today’s conversation, but let’s begin with a verse from the Bhagavad-gita.

Friend2: Sure. Which one?

Friend1: Where it says that something in the beginning feels like poison but in the end tastes like nectar.

Friend2: Oh. Yeah, that’s related to the mode of goodness, I believe. Makes sense if you think about it.

Friend1: Something like the saying, “No pain, no gain.”

Friend2: Exactly. You may not like…

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Five Areas Of Potential Auspiciousness For The Human Being

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“The working senses are superior to dull matter; mind is higher than the senses; intelligence is still higher than the mind; and he [the soul] is even higher than the intelligence.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 3.42)

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इन्द्रियाणि पराण्य् आहुर्
इन्द्रियेभ्यः परं मनः
मनसस् तु परा बुद्धिर्
यो बुद्धेः परतस् तु सः

indriyāṇi parāṇy āhur
indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ
manasas tu parā buddhir
yo buddheḥ paratas tu saḥ

It is an evolution of sorts, but not in the way commonly speculated. It is an achievement, for sure, but not the final destination. It arrived perhaps after a long period of time, up to millions of years, as long as the existence of the creation, even, but the past is the past.

Athato brahma-jijnasa. The time is now. It couldn’t happen before. Nature prevented it. No longer the case, so make the most of this amazing…

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The Four Components To Animal Life

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Krishna]“It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kunti, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 14.4)

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सर्व-योनिषु कौन्तेय
मूर्तयः सम्भवन्ति याः
तासां ब्रह्म महद् योनिर्
अहं बीज-प्रदः पिता

sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya
mūrtayaḥ sambhavanti yāḥ
tāsāṁ brahma mahad yonir
ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā

1. Eating

Fuel. Sustenance. The growth of cells. The vitality of the different aspects of the body. Plant life takes nourishment from the sun and water, which through nature’s way arrive on their own. The animals are different in that they can move to some degree to take care of this vital necessity.

From Shrimad Bhagavatam we learn that the most basic law of nature was described thousands of years ago. Known prior to that, even, but documented in written form in ancient times:  the food…

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Five Questions To Get A Rundown On The Vaishnava Tradition

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“A Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist or Christian is in all circumstances a servant of someone. The particular type of faith professed is not sanatana-dharma. Sanatana-dharma is the constant companion of the living being, the unifier of all religions. Sanatana-dharma is the rendering of service.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Easy Journey To Other Planets, Ch 1)

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1. What religion do you belong to?

I would never refer to it as a religion, as the common use of the term does not apply to sanatana-dharma, which is the real definition of spiritual life. That way of living can only be one, though because of time and circumstance it may manifest in a variety of ways. Some people receive only a rudimentary understanding, as due to their situation this is all they are able to digest at the time.

Others get a more complete explanation, where they…

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How Can You Say That Vedic Literature Has No Final Chapter

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Krishna]“In time, great scientists may be able to count all the atoms of the universe, all the stars and planets in the sky, and all the particles of snow, but who among them can count the unlimited transcendental qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead? He descends on the surface of the globe for the benefit of all living entities.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 10.14.7)

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गुणात्मनस् ते ’पि गुणान् विमातुं
हितावतीऋनस्य क ईशिरे ’स्य
कालेन यैर् वा विमिताः सु-कल्पैर्
भू-पांशवः खे मिहिका द्यु-भासः

guṇātmanas te ’pi guṇān vimātuṁ
hitāvatīṛnasya ka īśire ’sya
kālena yair vā vimitāḥ su-kalpair
bhū-pāṁśavaḥ khe mihikā dyu-bhāsaḥ

Friend1: I like the idea that sanatana-dharma is not limited to a single book.

Friend2: Which goes by the term “Hinduism” in common conversation.

Friend1: Yes, but I will not use that. Might as well be accurate when discussing with like-minded individuals.

Friend2: We…

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