Monthly Archives: February 2019

Four Traits Of The Spiritual Energy

Krishna's Mercy

[Radha-Krishna]“The living entities, who are residents of the spiritual as well as the material expansions, are His marginal energy (tatastha-shakti), and they are at liberty to live in either of the energies, external or internal. Those who live within the spiritual expansion of the Lord are called liberated souls, whereas the residents of the external expansion are called the conditioned souls.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 2.6.17 Purport)

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The living entity is described as a jiva. The functional unit of life is spirit. Long before modern science discovered it, the Vedas described atomic theory. Anu and Paramanu. Get down to the lowest level and you have a basic building block of life.

The living spirit, chetana, is encased in a covering lacking a spiritual component. That is to say a jiva resides within an ever changing-body. Everything is originally sourced in…

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Nothing Is Ever Enough

Krishna's Mercy

[Lord Vishnu]“A demoniac person, in spite of acquiring all the opulences possible to obtain in this universe, continues to be envious of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.4.4 Purport)

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A key lesson to take away from Hiranyakashipu’s interaction with Lord Brahma is that life is not about acquiring stuff. It may often become the central focus, but there is actually no long term benefit. A striking blemish remains, which can eat away at a person like a disease.

It’s only natural to think that I just need a little bit more. A bigger house. Right now the one bedroom apartment is not cutting it. Friends tell me that I’m throwing money away every month on rent. Owning is better. The mortgage payment goes towards a hard asset, which can be sold at a later date. Moreover, the general trend is…

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Hitting The Mark

Krishna's Mercy

[Lord Vishnu]“Then Lord Brahma, who awards infallible benedictions, departed, being worshiped by the best of the demons, Hiranyakashipu, and being praised by great sages and saintly persons.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.4.3)

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ततो जगाम भगवान्
अमोघानुग्रहो विभुः
पूजितो ’सुर-वर्येण
स्तूयमानः प्रजेश्वरैः

tato jagāma bhagavān
amoghānugraho vibhuḥ
pūjito ’sura-varyeṇa
stūyamānaḥ prajeśvaraiḥ

The Sanskrit word amogha says that the benedictions coming from Lord Brahma, who can sometimes be addressed as Bhagavan, hit their mark. That is to say they do not fail. This means that Hiranyakashipu had approached the right person. The standing position maintained for so long, without any food or breathing, was worth it. The severe austerity ended up pleasing the person who is worshiped by so many great personalities, in this world and others.

What exactly did Hiranyakashipu ask for? A new car? A palatial mansion? Food and wine to last a lifetime? Knowing the…

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Four Material Benedictions That Are Difficult To Maintain

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“Material benedictions are not always exactly worthy of being called benedictions. If one possesses more and more, a benediction itself may become a curse, for just as achieving material opulence in this material world requires great strength and endeavor, maintaining it also requires great endeavor. Lord Brahma informed Hiranyakashipu that although he was ready to offer him whatever he had asked, the result of the benedictions would be very difficult for Hiranyakashipu to maintain.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.4.2 Purport)

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Though birth in the material world is likened to a fall for the jiva soul, all hope is not lost. There are ups and downs which are bound to occur. They arrive almost automatically, on a schedule like the winter and summer seasons.

मात्रा-स्पर्शास् तु कौन्तेय
आगमापायिनो ऽनित्यास्
तांस् तितिक्षस्व भारत

mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya
āgamāpāyino ‘nityās
tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata

“O son…

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I Still Don’t Get Why Brahma Had To Help A Bad Guy

Krishna's Mercy

[Lord Vishnu]“Narada Muni continued: Lord Brahma was very much satisfied by Hiranyakashipu’s austerities, which were difficult to perform. Therefore, when solicited for benedictions, he indeed granted them, although they were rarely to be achieved.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.4.1)

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श्री-नारद उवाच
एवं वृतः शत-धृतिर्
हिरण्यकशिपोर् अथ
प्रादात् तत्-तपसा प्रीतो
वरांस् तस्य सुदुर्लभान्

śrī-nārada uvāca
evaṁ vṛtaḥ śata-dhṛtir
hiraṇyakaśipor atha
prādāt tat-tapasā prīto
varāṁs tasya sudurlabhān

Friend1: We all know the story of Hiranyakashipu.

Friend2: Do we?

Friend1: Yeah. The bad guy who tried to kill his son Prahlada because of the boy’s devotion to Vishnu.

Friend2: And who is Vishnu?

Friend1: The Supreme Lord in the personal form. The detail behind the abstract. The person whose shelter means everything. If you approach Him, then you are set.

Friend2: Define “set”?

Friend1: Taken care of.

Friend2: What does that mean? Approaching Vishnu means you will get what…

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Four Ways To Counteract Negative Consequences Due To Arrive

Krishna's Mercy

[Lord Krishna]“A sinful life can be counteracted by various processes of religion such as yajna, vrata and dana—that is, the performance of sacrifices, the taking of a vow for some religious ritual, and the giving of charity. In this way one may become free from the reactions of sinful life and at the same time awaken his original Krishna consciousness.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 4.27.1 Purport)

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Mention the concept of sin or sinful life in general conversation and there may be an immediate disavowal based on past experiences with threats of hellfire and eternal damnation. The dogmatic insistence was too much to take, as logic dictates that flawed individuals can’t correct every error merely through blind allegiance to a particular institution or a profession of faith. Moreover, the people pushing the hardest seem to have the most flaws themselves, deep enough to warrant legitimate…

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Five Reasons We Like Someone

Krishna's Mercy

[Lord Krishna]“When the Supreme Personality of Godhead is pleased with the living entity because of his devotional service, one becomes a pandita and does not make distinctions between enemies, friends and himself. Intelligently, he then thinks, ‘Every one of us is an eternal servant of God, and therefore we are not different from one another.’” (Prahlada Maharaja, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.5.12)

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स यदानुव्रतः पुंसां
पशु-बुद्धिर् विभिद्यते
अन्य एष तथान्यो ’हम्
इति भेद-गतासती

sa yadānuvrataḥ puṁsāṁ
paśu-buddhir vibhidyate
anya eṣa tathānyo ’ham
iti bheda-gatāsatī

1. They are nice to us

This is perhaps the easiest way to develop fondness for another person. As an example, on a trip to the post office things turn stressful rather quickly. The newborn child is with you. It should be a simple process. In and out. File some paperwork and be done with the affair.

The problem is that the…

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Two Things Required From Krishna For Success

Krishna's Mercy

[Damodara and Yashoda]“She gathered more ropes from the house and added to it, but at the end she found the same shortage. In this way, she connected all the ropes available at home, but when the final knot was added, she saw that it was still two inches too short. Mother Yashoda was smiling, but she was astonished. How was it happening?” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 9)

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Every person has to work. They are compelled to. It is an integral aspect of living. Even the severely disabled fictional character depicted in the book and subsequent film about World War I had some type of autonomous action. Despite losing the hands, legs, sight, hearing, and speaking ability, what was left could at least gyrate, sending signals in Morse Code.

The individual has the choice for action, but not every choice brings…

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Five Objects Of Appreciation Associated With Krishna’s Music

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's flute]“My dear gopis, what auspicious activities must the flute have performed to enjoy the nectar of Krishna’s lips independently and leave only a taste for the gopis for whom that nectar is actually meant. The forefathers of the flute, the bamboo trees, shed tears of pleasure. His mother, the river, on whose bank the bamboo was born, feels jubilation, and therefore her blooming lotus flowers are standing like hair on her body.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 10.21.9)

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गोप्यः किम् आचरद् अयं कुशलं स्म वेणुर्
दामोदराधर-सुधाम् अपि गोपिकानाम्
भुङ्क्ते स्वयं यद् अवशिष्ट-रसं ह्रदिन्यो
हृष्यत्-त्वचो ’श्रु मुमुचुस् तरवो यथार्यः

gopyaḥ kim ācarad ayaṁ kuśalaṁ sma veṇur
dāmodarādhara-sudhām api gopikānām
bhuṅkte svayaṁ yad avaśiṣṭa-rasaṁ hradinyo
hṛṣyat-tvaco ’śru mumucus taravo yathāryaḥ

It is an extended vision. A wise person can see well beyond what is in front of them. Take the pencil, for instance. Place it in front of…

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Four Valuable Life Lessons To Learn From Children

Krishna's Mercy

[Radha-Krishna]“Nonsensical habits like smoking, drinking, and meat-eating have entered society simply due to the urges of the tongue. Actually, there is no need for these things. A person does not die simply because he cannot smoke, eat meat, or drink liquor. Rather, without these indulgences he can elevate himself to the highest platform. It is therefore said that one who can control the tongue can control the urges of the other senses also.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Beyond Illusion & Doubt, Ch 12)

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What is an age of a person, really? A measurement in time arbitrarily assigned significance due to the expected presence of attributes and characteristics, the end can actually arrive at any moment. As an example, nine months after the time of birth is no guarantee of specific skills. One infant can already walk after this time has elapsed. Play a basic game…

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