Monthly Archives: April 2019

Four Kinds Of Sacrifices Prompted By Desires

Krishna's Mercy

[Dasharatha yajna]“There are certain sacrifices to perform to attain a good son or to attain elevation to the higher planets, but sacrifices prompted by desires should be stopped. However, sacrifice for the purification of one’s heart or for advancement in the spiritual science should not be given up.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 18.2 Purport)

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Sannyasa and tyaga. The official renounced order of life and giving up attachment to external objects and objectives. The Vedas offer so many recommendations for sacrifice. Follow this particular procedure at this specific interval. Observe a vow relating to eating and sleeping on a particular day within the lunar calendar.

The opportunity to follow the Vedas or a culture derived from the same based on the distinction between body and spirit is what separates the human beings from the animals. Austerity, cleanliness, compassion and honesty should be the immediate results…

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How Can You Say That Material Knowledge Is Useless

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Krishna]“When Prahlada Maharaja was asked by his father to say something from whatever he had learned, he considered that what he had learned from his spiritual master was the best of all teachings whereas what he had learned about diplomacy from his material teachers, Shanda and Amarka, was useless.” (Shrila Prabhupada, 7.5.23-24 Purport)

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Friend1: In reading the story of Prahlada Maharaja, I found a clever play on words.

Friend2: Yeah? Where?

Friend1: When Hiranyakashipu, the father, took Prahlada on his lap. This was after the teachers assigned to deprogram the boy had finished the first stage of instruction.

Friend2: The father was affectionate at the time. Tears streamed from his eyes and he smelled the child’s head.

Friend1: The father asked what was taught by the teachers. The play on words is with the meaning of “guru.”

Friend2: That Sanskrit word can refer…

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Five Characteristics Of A Place With Gold

Krishna's Mercy

[Parikshit and Kali]“The personality of Kali asked for something more, and because of his begging, the King gave him permission to live where there is gold because wherever there is gold there is also falsity, intoxication, lust, envy and enmity.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.17.39)

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पुनश् च याचमानाय
जात-रूपम् अदात् प्रभुः
ततो ऽनृतं मदं कामं
रजो वैरं च पञ्चमम्

punaś ca yācamānāya
jāta-rūpam adāt prabhuḥ
tato ‘nṛtaṁ madaṁ kāmaṁ
rajo vairaṁ ca pañcamam

1. Falsity

Both in the pursuit and the subsequent possession, honesty does not necessarily yield success and auspiciousness. Take the often-depicted case of a group of travelers reaching an island in search of a treasure chest. Each person has their idea of where to go. Perhaps there is a map. The problem is that one person going towards the actual destination attracts followers. Therefore, lying might be the better option.

“Who, me? I don’t…

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Four Situations Where Agreement Can Quickly Turn Into Disagreement

Krishna's Mercy

[Prahlada with father]“When Hiranyakashipu saw that his child had fallen at his feet and was offering obeisances, as an affectionate father he immediately began showering blessings upon the child and embraced him with both arms. A father naturally feels happy to embrace his son, and Hiranyakashipu became very happy in this way.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.5.20)

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पादयोः पतितं बालं
परिष्वज्य चिरं दोर्भ्यां
परमाम् आप निर्वृतिम्

pādayoḥ patitaṁ bālaṁ
pariṣvajya ciraṁ dorbhyāṁ
paramām āpa nirvṛtim

With applications involving the editing of text there is a concept called, “What you see is what you get.” WYSIWYG for short, the idea is that everything shown during the development phase is how it will appear after publication. No issues with rendering. No unintended side effects. This means that you can more accurately position the various items as you are composing. You don’t need to constantly publish, edit and…

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Should We Not Want Gold And Soft Cushions

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“Hiranyakashipu, the father of Prahlada Maharaja, was simply interested in gold and sense enjoyment. The word hiranya means ‘gold,’ and kashipu refers to soft cushions and bedding on which people enjoy sense gratification. The word prahlada, however, refers to one who is always joyful in understanding Brahman (brahma-bhutah prasannatma [Bg. 18.54]). Prahlada means prasannatma, always joyful.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.5.18 Purport)

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Friend1: I will never forget the first time I learned the meaning of the name of Hiranyakashipu.

Friend2: Aside from the character itself?

Friend1: The story is amazing. Yes, I understand that it is a historical account. Do not mistake me for the cheater who ill-advisedly teaches others that the Vedas are meant to be understood only symbolically.

Friend2: They get that from mental speculation. If they were to acknowledge the factual nature of the events, they would have to surrender…

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Three Terms Derived From The Names Of Prahlada And Hiranyakashipu

Krishna's Mercy

[Prahlada Maharaja]“Hiranyakashipu, the father of Prahlada Maharaja, was simply interested in gold and sense enjoyment. The word hiranya means ‘gold,’ and kashipu refers to soft cushions and bedding on which people enjoy sense gratification. The word prahlada, however, refers to one who is always joyful in understanding Brahman (brahma-bhutah prasannatma [Bg. 18.54]). Prahlada means prasannatma, always joyful.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.5.18 Purport)

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The accounts described in Vedic literature are mostly factual. There are allegorical stories sprinkled in here and there, such as with Puranjana in the Shrimad Bhagavatam, but more or less the conversations involve eyewitness testimony. Much like stories have been transmitted since the beginning of time, someone sees, documents the events either in writing or memory, and then shares with others.

Since there is an initial link to the Divine, there are so many layers to the events and the…

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Argumentum Ad Baculum

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“When the two seminal brahmanas Shanda and Amarka failed to extract from Prahlada Maharaja the cause for his having opinions different from those of his father, they called for a stick with which to chastise him to satisfy their master, Hiranyakashipu. Because Prahlada had become a devotee, they considered him to be contaminated by bad intelligence and to be the worst descendant in the family of demons. As it is said, where ignorance is bliss, it is folly to be wise. In a society or family in which everyone is a demon, for someone to become a Vaishnava is certainly folly.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.5.16 Purport)

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It is the way of a civilized person. The world is a complicated place. What is applicable to one situation may not be so for another. One person has their life experiences, which include outside instruction…

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Rama Navami 2019

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Rama]“Of all the aquatics the shark is one of the biggest and is certainly the most dangerous to man. Thus the shark represents Krishna. And of rivers, the greatest in India is the Mother Ganges. Lord Ramachandra, of the Ramayana, an incarnation of Krishna, is the mightiest of warriors.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 10.31 Purport)

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It is a date marked in bold on the Vedic calendar, which is based on the lunar cycle. This means that the observance does not necessarily fall on the same date every year in the modern calendar, but the season and month are more or less predictable. The occasion of Rama Navami is for celebrating the appearance in this world of the Supreme Lord Rama. He is considered an avatara, or one who descends. As stated in the Bhagavad-gita, there is a specific purpose along with…

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Four Ways Prahlada Exhibited Life In Liberation

Krishna's Mercy

[Narasimhadeva]“Prahlada Maharaja sometimes felt that the Lord was far away from him and therefore called Him loudly. When he saw that the Lord was before him, he was fully jubilant. Sometimes, thinking himself one with the Supreme, he imitated the Lord’s pastimes, and in separation from the Lord he would sometimes show symptoms of madness.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.4.40 Purport)

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Attempt to conduct basic research on a contentious issue and you are bound to run into websites tagged with the modern-day term, astroturf. They look innocuous on the surface. They may present themselves to be an unbiased authority, to provide checks to facts presented by different sides. In truth, they are a propaganda machine intended to push forward a specific point of view.

One of the common methods of persuasion displayed is piling on. The telltale sign is phrases such as the following:

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Three Things You Might Have To Trick Your Children Into Doing

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Krishna]“I am the Self, O Gudakesha, seated in the hearts of all creatures. I am the beginning, the middle and the end of all beings.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 10.20)

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अहम् आत्मा गुडाकेश
अहम् आदिश् च मध्यं च
भूतानाम् अन्त एव च

aham ātmā guḍākeśa
aham ādiś ca madhyaṁ ca
bhūtānām anta eva ca

So, you thought this was going to be easy? Nothing would change in life, eh? The wife and extended family would take care of everything. Sleeping would continue on the normal schedule. Watch as much television as you desire on a given night. Drive around here and there, but no extra responsibilities falling upon you.

Of course, things turned out a little differently. You can’t even remember what life was like before becoming a father. Raising a child is a full-time responsibility. One of the aspects that catches…

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