Monthly Archives: March 2019

Why Get So Worked Up Over What A Kid Prefers

Krishna's Mercy

[Prahlada Maharaja]“Prahlada Maharaja admitted frankly, ‘My dear teachers, you wrongly think that Lord Vishnu is your enemy, but because He is favorable toward me, I understand that He is the friend of everyone. You may think that I have taken the side of your enemy, but factually He has bestowed a great favor upon me.’” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.5.13 Purport)

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Friend1: Do parents really mind if their young children are into silly things?

Friend2: What do you mean?

Friend1: Let’s say that your kid is suddenly into listening to songs from a particular band on the internet. Putting that music on is the only way to keep them satisfied. Otherwise, they are morose or running around without any control.

Friend2: You obviously are aware that this sort of thing occurs quite frequently. Who doesn’t remember having to play the same video, over and…

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Four People Who Probably Shouldn’t Have Been Granted Asylum

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।।

“I know you don’t like discussing politics, but a major issue in the news recently had me considering the spiritual equivalent. Actually, I’m not sure there is one, but here is the presentation. There is a heated controversy over what the government’s policy should be about admitting people from other countries, i.e. immigrants. More specifically, those that cross physically from a specific border. So many checks and security measures are already in place for those arriving by flight from around the world.

“One side says to not implement any added measures. Allow the people to enter. Why the same people insist on security measures for airport travelers…

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Three Aspects Of Material Life Which Make It Difficult To Practice Bhakti

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Krishna]“To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 10.10)

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तेषां सतत-युक्तानां
भजतां प्रीति-पूर्वकम्
ददामि बुद्धि-योगं तं
येन माम् उपयान्ति ते

teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ
bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ
yena mām upayānti te

Bhakti-yoga, devotional service, is the way to transcendence. In fact, it is the state of liberation itself. Though in the beginning viewed as a series of recommended practices and accompanying stages of enlightenment, any person who brings a dedicated effort is guaranteed of perfection. This is due to the help received from the other side, from the object of devotion. Other paths of spiritual life do not carry the same benefit.

It looks like an easy decision. Why wouldn’t everyone follow? Safe for both the afterlife and the present. The mistakes of the past…

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Three Objections A Young Person Might Hear Upon Taking Up Bhakti

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Krishna]“Being beyond the range of limited sense perception [adhokshaja], You are the eternally irreproachable factor covered by the curtain of deluding energy. You are invisible to the foolish observer, exactly as an actor dressed as a player is not recognized.” (Queen Kunti speaking to Lord Krishna, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.8.19)

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अज्ञाधोक्षजम् अव्ययम्
न लक्ष्यसे मूढ-दृशा
नटो नाट्यधरो यथा

ajñādhokṣajam avyayam
na lakṣyase mūḍha-dṛśā
naṭo nāṭyadharo yathā

Kunti Devi, the mother of the Pandava family described in the Mahabharata and other works of Vedic literature, once praised the Supreme Lord for His great acting ability. He is able to appear in the manifest world and somehow hide His Divine status from so many.

अव्यक्तं व्यक्तिम् आपन्नं
मन्यन्ते माम् अबुद्धयः
परं भावम् अजानन्तो
ममाव्ययम् अनुत्तमम्

avyaktaṁ vyaktim āpannaṁ
manyante mām abuddhayaḥ
paraṁ bhāvam ajānanto
mamāvyayam anuttamam

“Unintelligent men, who know Me not, think that…

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Four Issues Over Which Rivalry Might Develop

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Krishna]“Everyone should be friendly for the service of the Lord. Everyone should praise another’s service to the Lord and not be proud of his own service. This is the way of Vaishnava thinking, Vaikuntha thinking. There may be rivalries and apparent competition between servants in performing service, but in the Vaikuntha planets the service of another servant is appreciated, not condemned.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.5.12 Purport)

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“I’ve reached the conclusion that the spirit of rivalry cannot be avoided in life. This is based on my personal experience, both in receiving outside opinion and noticing the behavior in myself when hearing news, good or bad, about others. I wish this weren’t the case, but I think there is no way around it. It seems like envy will emerge upon word of any change in situation.”

1. Job

My colleague got a new job…

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Why Did Arjuna Fight If The Vaishnava Does Not Delineate Friends And Enemies

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“Demons think of everyone as a friend or enemy, but Vaishnavas say that since everyone is a servant of the Lord, everyone is on the same platform. Therefore a Vaishnava treats other living entities neither as friends nor as enemies, but instead tries to spread Krishna consciousness, teaching everyone that we are all one as servants of the Supreme Lord but are uselessly wasting our valuable lives by creating nations, communities and other groups of friends and enemies.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.5.12 Purport)

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Friend1: I know there is the teaching from Prahlada Maharaja about not drawing distinctions between friends and enemies.

Friend2: Found in the Shrimad Bhagavatam?

Friend1: Yes.

Friend2: Do you know the context?

Friend1: I know the story in general. Prahlada is one of four sons to the king named Hiranyakashipu. The father gets upset when he sees devotion…

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Questionable Interrogation Techniques

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“When Prahlada Maharaja’s teachers and demoniac father asked him how his intelligence had been polluted, Prahlada Maharaja said, ‘As far as I am concerned, my intelligence has not been polluted. Rather, by the grace of my spiritual master and by the grace of my Lord, Krishna, I have now learned that no one is my enemy and no one is my friend. We are all actually eternal servants of Krishna, but under the influence of the external energy we think that we are separately situated from the Supreme Personality of Godhead as friends and enemies of one another. This mistaken idea has now been corrected, and therefore, unlike ordinary human beings, I no longer think that I am God and that others are my friends and enemies.’” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.5.12 Purport)

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A questionable tactic, but certainly widely employed, law enforcement officials…

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Don’t You Get Tired Of Praising Devotees

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“In any assembly where there are discourses about saints and devotees, O King Yudhishthira, even the enemies of the demons, namely the demigods, what to speak of you, would cite Prahlada Maharaja as an example of a great devotee.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.4.35)

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यं साधु-गाथा-सदसि
रिपवो ’पि सुरा नृप
प्रतिमानं प्रकुर्वन्ति
किम् उतान्ये भवादृशाः

yaṁ sādhu-gāthā-sadasi
ripavo ’pi surā nṛpa
pratimānaṁ prakurvanti
kim utānye bhavādṛśāḥ

Friend1: There is the statement by Narada Muni about how Prahlada would be praised in any assembly of devotees and certain other kinds of people.

Friend2: Do you understand why that needs to be stated, i.e. why that is remarkable?

Friend1: Because Prahlada was an outstanding devotee at just five years of age, showing wisdom well beyond his years?

Friend2: It’s primarily because of the great contrast. He was born in a Daitya family. These were typically enemies to…

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Five Body Parts Which Can Be Shown Through Medical Imagery

Krishna's Mercy

[Demigods_worshiping_Vishnu]“Brahma, it is I, the Personality of Godhead, who was existing before the creation, when there was nothing but Myself. Nor was there the material nature, the cause of this creation. That which you see now is also I, the Personality of Godhead, and after annihilation what remains will also be I, the Personality of Godhead.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 2.9.33)

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अहम् एवासम् एवाग्रे
नान्यद् यत् सद्-असत् परम्
पश्चाद् अहं यद् एतच् च
यो ऽवशिष्येत सो ऽस्म्य् अहम्

aham evāsam evāgre
nānyad yat sad-asat param
paścād ahaṁ yad etac ca
yo ‘vaśiṣyeta so ‘smy aham

It is a luxury that generations past never had. The reliance was on faith and the best guesses of the people involved. There were instruments to take measurements from the outside. As an example, you see smoke coming out of the building. A good guess is that an uncontrolled fire…

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Four Activities That Might Not Reflect Well On My Character

Krishna's Mercy

[Sita-Rama]“I am faithfully engaged in the service of Rama, who is a hero and prince of wide renown, who has full control over His senses and mind [jitendriyam], who is mighty-armed, and whose face resembles a full moon.” (Sita Devi speaking to Ravana, Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kand, 47.36)

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पूर्णचन्द्राननं रामं राजवत्सं जितेन्द्रियम्।
पृथुकीर्तिं महात्मानमहं राममनुव्रता।।

pūrṇacandrānanaṃ rāmaṃ rājavatsaṃ jitendriyam।
pṛthukīrtiṃ mahātmānamahaṃ rāmamanuvratā।।

Some people dread it. It’s the last thing they want to happen while they are out. If they are lucky enough to spot the other person first, they look for a way to hide. Move to another aisle in the supermarket. Pretend to be reading the ingredient list on a particular item. Turn around and walk the other way.

Yet the difficulty of the situation is precisely that the person you happen to run into hasn’t been in your vision for…

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