Monthly Archives: May 2019

Why Aren’t The Bhagavatam Benefits An Offense To Bhakti

Krishna's Mercy

Shrimad_Bhagavatam_cover“In the Shrimad-Bhagavatam it is said that anyone who hears the story of the Syamantaka jewel or describes it or simply remembers it will be free from all kinds of defamation and the reactions of all impious activities and thus will attain the highest perfectional condition of peace.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 2, Ch 2)

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Friend1: Though bhakti-yoga is beyond rules and regulations, we know that there are certain offenses to be avoided.

Friend2: Particularly when chanting the holy names. By the way, these are really an offense to other devotees. The Supreme Lord does not mind. He is not some angry, old man living in the clouds, hovering over everyone in disappointment.

Friend1: He is always in bliss, ananda, and attractive in every way.

Friend2: Shri Krishna has the most justification for being offended. Consider how many people…

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Isn’t Ignorance Better

Krishna's Mercy

Shri_Krishna_5“One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman. He never laments nor desires to have anything; he is equally disposed to every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 18.54)

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ब्रह्म-भूतः प्रसन्नात्मा
न शोचति न काङ्क्षति
समः सर्वेषु भूतेषु
मद्-भक्तिं लभते पराम्

brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā
na śocati na kāṅkṣati
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām

Friend1: Do you think that Krishna is sad?

Friend2: This is Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead?

Friend1: Yes.

Friend2: Why would He be?

Friend1: Because He is all-knowing. I was pondering this the other day. You and I don’t know everything.

Friend2: We could argue who is more deficient in that area.

Friend1: I’m sure you’ve come across this situation. You are happy about something. There is good news, reason to celebrate. In the midst of…

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Three Activities As Timeless As The Supreme Lord

Krishna's Mercy

Shri_Krishna_4“Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.14)

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सततं कीर्तयन्तो मां
यतन्तश् च दृढ-व्रताः
नमस्यन्तश् च मां भक्त्या
नित्य-युक्ता उपासते

satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ
yatantaś ca dṛḍha-vratāḥ
namasyantaś ca māṁ bhaktyā
nitya-yuktā upāsate

In the Bhagavad-gita we get the explanation from Shri Krishna about who is actually at the beginning. The basic concept of religion is that there is someone. Not that everything came together randomly. There are certain insects which have wings that perfectly resemble a fallen leaf in the forest. This serves as a kind of camouflage; others likely won’t notice the presence of life when making eye-contact.

At the macro level there is the amazing sun. Rising and setting at predictable intervals, it provides heat and light without requiring an external source of energy. There…

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How To Handle Learning Your Guru Sometimes Uses A Mild Intoxicant

Krishna's Mercy

Krishnas_lotus_feet“Even if you are considered to be the most sinful of all sinners, when you are situated in the boat of transcendental knowledge, you will be able to cross over the ocean of miseries.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 4.36)

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अपि चेद् असि पापेभ्यः
सर्वेभ्यः पाप-कृत्-तमः
सर्वं ज्ञान-प्लवेनैव
वृजिनं सन्तरिष्यसि

api ced asi pāpebhyaḥ
sarvebhyaḥ pāpa-kṛt-tamaḥ
sarvaṁ jñāna-plavenaiva
vṛjinaṁ santariṣyasi

Friend1: One of the aspects of the Vaishnava tradition, as it is presented in the modern day, is the underlying renunciation recommended. This is what stands out from other kinds of religion, which seem more like faiths to me than distinct ways of living.

Friend2: You mean vairagya?

Friend1: Or nivritti-marga. Whatever you want to call it.

Friend2: Hmm. I thought the emphasis was on the positive activities. In the simplified version, chanting, dancing and feasting. Chant the holy names: Hare…

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Three Strategies For Improving Data Retrieval

Krishna's Mercy

Vyasadeva_teaching“Originally there was only one Veda, and there was no necessity of reading it. People were so intelligent and had such sharp memories that by once hearing from the lips of the spiritual master they would understand. They would immediately grasp the whole purport. But 5,000 years ago Vyasadeva put the Vedas in writing for the people in this age, Kali-yuga. He knew that eventually the people would be short-lived, their memories would be very poor and their intelligence would not be very sharp.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shri Ishopanishad, Introduction)

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You want to study the natural world. That is your initial inclination when trying to make sense of anything. Before accepting information from someone’s word, prior to believing one hundred percent in a particular philosophy, better to study what you can.

The main issue is that there is just so much information. Even if…

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Three Training Classes Likely No One Would Take Today

Krishna's Mercy

Shri_Krishna_3“Of all creations I am the beginning and the end and also the middle, O Arjuna. Of all sciences I am the spiritual science of the Self, and among logicians I am the conclusive truth.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 10.32)

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सर्गाणाम् आदिर् अन्तश् च
मध्यं चैवाहम् अर्जुन
अध्यात्म-विद्या विद्यानां
वादः प्रवदताम् अहम्

sargāṇām ādir antaś ca
madhyaṁ caivāham arjuna
adhyātma-vidyā vidyānāṁ
vādaḥ pravadatām aham

You are passionate about what you do. It’s fun. There is the saying that if you enjoy your occupation then you will not work a day in your life. Sure, there are the tedious tasks. There are the clients that irritate you, the ones you wish you could reject. But getting up in the morning is not difficult. Generally, you look forward to new days and you are surprised at how quickly the time passes.

If you are really good…

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Three Reasons Bhagavan Is Described As Urukramanghrim

Krishna's Mercy

Narasimha_deva“Unless they smear upon their bodies the dust of the lotus feet of a Vaishnava completely freed from material contamination, persons very much inclined toward materialistic life cannot be attached to the lotus feet of the Lord, who is glorified for His uncommon activities. Only by becoming Krishna conscious and taking shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord in this way can one be freed from material contamination.” (Prahlada Maharaja, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.5.32)

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नैषां मतिस् तावद् उरुक्रमाङ्घ्रिं
स्पृशत्य् अनर्थापगमो यद्-अर्थः
महीयसां पाद-रजो-’भिषेकं
निष्किञ्चनानां न वृणीत यावत्

naiṣāṁ matis tāvad urukramāṅghriṁ
spṛśaty anarthāpagamo yad-arthaḥ
mahīyasāṁ pāda-rajo-’bhiṣekaṁ
niṣkiñcanānāṁ na vṛṇīta yāvat

The creation attributed to Him should be enough. To have a massive object that floats in space and produces endless heat and light is itself uncommon. To configure an engine of earth, water and air delivery, with predictable and reliable movements, should be…

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Three Areas Where Vairagya Makes An Immediate Positive Impact

Krishna's Mercy

Shri_Krishna_2“The Vedas prescribe two different types of occupation for the human being. One is called the pravritti-marga, or the path of sense enjoyment, and the other is called the nivritti-marga, or the path of renunciation. The path of enjoyment is inferior, and the path of sacrifice for the supreme cause is superior.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.2.6 Purport)

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The relationship with the Vedas is to accept an entire culture. Not merely faith. No following blindly, with a quick way towards prosperity, without having to work for it. Not based only on ancestry, where the parents present a way of life and then the subsequent generations follow.

Accept with some conviction. Be convinced of the path. One of the components to that way of life is known as nivritti. It is the way of renunciation, vairagya. Give things up, but not merely…

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Three Accusations Against Religion Strengthened By A Pretend Leader

Krishna's Mercy

Shri_Krishna“Unless they smear upon their bodies the dust of the lotus feet of a Vaishnava completely freed from material contamination, persons very much inclined toward materialistic life cannot be attached to the lotus feet of the Lord, who is glorified for His uncommon activities. Only by becoming Krishna conscious and taking shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord in this way can one be freed from material contamination.” (Prahlada Maharaja, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.5.32)

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नैषां मतिस् तावद् उरुक्रमाङ्घ्रिं
स्पृशत्य् अनर्थापगमो यद्-अर्थः
महीयसां पाद-रजो-’भिषेकं
निष्किञ्चनानां न वृणीत यावत्

naiṣāṁ matis tāvad urukramāṅghriṁ
spṛśaty anarthāpagamo yad-arthaḥ
mahīyasāṁ pāda-rajo-’bhiṣekaṁ
niṣkiñcanānāṁ na vṛṇīta yāvat

Human beings are rational, after all. This means that they can develop a rationale to support any decision. What bigger choice is there than the direction in life based on the belief or lack thereof in a higher power?

The question comes down…

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Would You Say The Material Body Is Contaminated

Krishna's Mercy

[Narasimhadeva]“Becoming Krishna conscious brings about anartha-apagamah, the disappearance of all anarthas, the miserable conditions we have unnecessarily accepted. The material body is the basic principle of these unwanted miserable conditions. The entire Vedic civilization is meant to relieve one from these unwanted miseries, but persons bound by the laws of nature do not know the destination of life.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.5.32 Purport)

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Friend1: Would you say the material body is contaminated?

Friend2: Where is this question coming from? I don’t believe I’ve ever heard that characterization before, unless you are referring to a specific disease.

Friend1: It’s from something Prahlada Maharaja said. You can’t become disinterested in material life unless and until you take the dust of the lotus feet of a spiritually realized person, a great soul who has nothing to do with this material world.

Friend2: That only makes…

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