Monthly Archives: February 2019

Three Ways To Understand The Difference Between Paramatma and Parabrahman

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Krishna]“By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.4)

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मया ततम् इदं सर्वं
जगद् अव्यक्त-मूर्तिना
मत्-स्थानि सर्व-भूतानि
न चाहं तेष्व् अवस्थितः

mayā tatam idaṁ sarvaṁ
jagad avyakta-mūrtinā
mat-sthāni sarva-bhūtāni
na cāhaṁ teṣv avasthitaḥ

“Are they the same? Do the two words refer to the same person? Or is it more of a concept, a component of a broader realm of understanding? The ‘para’ word gets thrown around a lot, as does Brahman. Someone might confuse that with Lord Brahma, the creator. Is there a relation to the brahmana caste? Sorry, I meant to say ‘varna.’ I know that the division of work is based on material qualities, guna, and not the circumstances of birth, janma.”

1. The localized superior…

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It Takes Just One Moon

Krishna's Mercy

[Prahlada Maharaja]“Hiranyakashipu had four wonderful, well-qualified sons, of whom the one named Prahlada was the best. Indeed, Prahlada was a reservoir of all transcendental qualities because he was an unalloyed devotee of the Personality of Godhead.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.4.30)

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तस्य दैत्य-पतेः पुत्राश्
चत्वारः परमाद्भुताः
प्रह्रादो ’भून् महांस् तेषां
गुणैर् महद्-उपासकः

tasya daitya-pateḥ putrāś
catvāraḥ paramādbhutāḥ
prahrādo ’bhūn mahāṁs teṣāṁ
guṇair mahad-upāsakaḥ

One challenge often presented to those who openly speak of the virtues of devotional service, bhakti-yoga, and the urgent need to make the human birth saphala, successful, through an overall cultural shift, a change in consciousness from material to spiritual, is that not everyone will be receptive to the message.

“You spend all of this time preaching and yet how many followers do you attract? Maybe one in a thousand? Probably not that successful even. I don’t see the benefit to…

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Five Things Which Cannot Provide Protection Against The Consequences Of Vaishnava Aparadha

Krishna's Mercy

[Prahlada Maharaja]“One’s longevity, opulence, beauty, education and whatever else one may possess as a result of pious activities cannot protect one if one commits an offense at the lotus feet of a Vaishnava. Despite whatever one possesses, if one offends the lotus feet of a Vaishnava he will be vanquished.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.4.28 Purport)

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The Supreme Personality of Godhead gave the assurance. The loka-palas, the guardians of the planets, approached Him when they had no other recourse. Hiranyakashipu instilled fear throughout the world, from the pious to the impious. The good people had not done anything wrong, but they were needlessly put into a precarious condition due to the unlimited greed of a particular person.

The Sanskrit description is mahatmanah. In the future Hiranyakashipu would have a son of saintly qualities. The people who were worried enough to approach Bhagavan…

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Seven Entities To Not Be Envious Of

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna with cows]“When one is envious of the demigods, who represent the Supreme Personality of Godhead, of the Vedas, which give all knowledge, of the cows, brahmanas, Vaishnavas and religious principles, and ultimately of Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he and his civilization will be vanquished without delay.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.4.27)

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यदा देवेषु वेदेषु
गोषु विप्रेषु साधुषु
धर्मे मयि च विद्वेषः
स वा आशु विनश्यति

yadā deveṣu vedeṣu
goṣu vipreṣu sādhuṣu
dharme mayi ca vidveṣaḥ
sa vā āśu vinaśyati

The Sanskrit word is vidveshah. Quarrel. Hatred. Envy. The warning comes directly from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Vidveshah towards certain people and things ultimately leads to doom. Not merely a way to instill fear without reason, there is sound logic behind the concept of showing respect to those who do so much for mankind at large.

1. The demigods

Known as devas in…

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Three Activities In Bhakti Which Are Ultimately Identical

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“The vibration of the Lord’s voice appeared in the presence of all the devotees, and although the person vibrating the sound was unseen to them, they were meeting or seeing the Lord because they were offering prayers and because the vibration of the Lord was present. Contrary to the laws of the material world, there is no difference between seeing the Lord, offering prayers and hearing the transcendental vibration.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.4.25-26 Purport)

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Though only a voice from the sky, the connection qualified as a meeting. Moments prior there was hopelessness, despair, fear, and concern over the situation in the universe. A bad guy’s bad guy had taken such a high post that the administrators of the elements were under his control.

The Vedic philosophy is intelligent design and more. In addition to an intelligent being responsible for the construction of…

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Three Known Arrivals Of An Akasha-Vani

Krishna's Mercy

[Lord Vishnu]“Then there appeared before them a transcendental sound vibration, emanating from a personality not visible to material eyes. The voice was as grave as the sound of a cloud, and it was very encouraging, driving away all fear.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.4.24)

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तेषाम् आविरभूद् वाणी
अरूपा मेघ-निःस्वना
सन्नादयन्ती ककुभः
साधूनाम् अभयङ्करी

teṣām āvirabhūd vāṇī
arūpā megha-niḥsvanā
sannādayantī kakubhaḥ
sādhūnām abhayaṅkarī

Not exclusive to fairytales or artistic productions describing mythology, the truthful history of this world and others included in the vast and continuously expanding Vedic literature features many instances of the appearance of a voice from the sky. Known as akasha-vani in Sanskrit, not surprisingly the celestial announcement always carries tremendous significance.

1. Janaka finding Sita

His dispassion was at such a high level that the title given had real meaning. The king of Videha was indeed without a body, in relation to the…

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Three Praises That Likely Are Not Part Of A Eulogy

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“Materialists are very much advanced in enjoying money and women, yet dissatisfaction prevails within human society because human society cannot be happy and peaceful without Krishna consciousness. As far as material sense gratification is concerned, materialists may go on increasing their enjoyment as far as they can imagine, but because people in such a material condition are servants of their senses, they cannot be satisfied. Hiranyakashipu was a vivid example of this dissatisfied state of humanity.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.4.19 Purport)

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An important personality has passed. More to help the grieving family than anything else, there is a funeral ceremony held shortly after the departure. The final goodbye, getting closure after a typically unwanted and unwelcomed incident. The soul has moved on, but others are left to feel the separation.

At the ceremony friends and family are asked to speak. It is…

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How Can Victory And Defeat Be The Same Thing

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 ’हं नृपेन्द्र रहितः पुरुषोत्तमेन
सख्या प्रियेण सुहृदा हृदयेन शून्यः
अध्वन्य् उरुक्रम-परिग्रहम् अङ्ग रक्षन्
गोपैर् असद्भिर् अबलेव विनिर्जितो ’स्मि

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

Friend1: We’ve probably discussed this before, but I would like to go into a deeper analysis with a specific example. One of the eye-opening teachings at the beginning of bhakti-yoga instruction, at least for me, is the revelation that good and bad are the same.

Friend2: Explain further…

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Is It Necessary To Be Religious For The Earth To Produce

Krishna's Mercy

[surabhi]“As if in fear of Hiranyakashipu, the planet earth, which consists of seven islands, delivered food grains without being plowed. Thus it resembled cows like the surabhi of the spiritual world or the kama-dugha of heaven. The earth yielded sufficient food grains, the cows supplied abundant milk, and outer space was beautifully decorated with wonderful phenomena.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.4.16)

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अकृष्ट-पच्या तस्यासीत्
सप्त-द्वीपवती मही
तथा काम-दुघा गावो
नानाश्चर्य-पदं नभः

akṛṣṭa-pacyā tasyāsīt
sapta-dvīpavatī mahī
tathā kāma-dughā gāvo
nānāścarya-padaṁ nabhaḥ

Friend1: I think this issue comes up every now and then, and I’d like to dig into it a little deeper. This idea of requiring sacrifice, yajna, in order to receive food grains.

Friend2: Well, you receive the rain first. The clouds extract water from the ocean and then distribute rain in a timely manner. In some places of the world the rain only appears…

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Four Aspects To Being The True King Of The World

Krishna's Mercy

[yajna]“Being worshiped by sacrifices offered with great gifts by those who strictly followed the principles of varna and ashrama, Hiranyakashipu, instead of offering shares of the oblations to the demigods, accepted them himself.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.4.15)

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स एव वर्णाश्रमिभिः
क्रतुभिर् भूरि-दक्षिणैः
इज्यमानो हविर्-भागान्
अग्रहीत् स्वेन तेजसा

sa eva varṇāśramibhiḥ
kratubhir bhūri-dakṣiṇaiḥ
ijyamāno havir-bhāgān
agrahīt svena tejasā

In the past a television series called Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous depicted what it was like to possess a lot of money. At least externally, there was the evidence of advanced living, with palatial residences and servants to take care of every single need that could arise throughout the day.

Is such a lifestyle actually worth it? Some of the rich inherit the fortune from their ancestors, but others are described as “self-made.” What exactly goes into being powerful? What enjoyments should be present and…

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