Monthly Archives: November 2019

Why Would Someone Be Offended At Krishna Being Called A Magician

Krishna's Mercy

[Draupadi sari]“My dear Krishna, Your Lordship has protected us from a poisoned cake, from a great fire, from cannibals, from the vicious assembly, from sufferings during our exile in the forest and from the battle where great generals fought. And now You have saved us from the weapon of Ashvatthama.” (Queen Kunti, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.8.24)

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विषान् महाग्नेः पुरुषाद-दर्शनाद्
असत्-सभाया वन-वास-कृच्छ्रतः
मृधे मृधे ऽनेक-महारथास्त्रतो
द्रौण्य्-अस्त्रतश् चास्म हरे ऽभिरक्षिताः

viṣān mahāgneḥ puruṣāda-darśanād
asat-sabhāyā vana-vāsa-kṛcchrataḥ
mṛdhe mṛdhe ‘neka-mahārathāstrato
drauṇy-astrataś cāsma hare ‘bhirakṣitāḥ

Friend1: One time I was at an assembled gathering and someone was explaining the Draupadi sari incident.

Friend2: You were with devotees?

Friend1: Sat-sanga. Discourse on topics related to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavan. The speaker was of the proper qualification, if that is what you are asking.

Friend2: Alright.

Friend1: In their lengthy discourse, they casually mentioned that Krishna is something like…

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Three Aspects Of Narasimhadeva That Did Not Create Fierceful Havoc Before Prahlada

Krishna's Mercy

[Narasimha killing]“My Lord, who are never conquered by anyone, I am certainly not afraid of Your ferocious mouth and tongue, Your eyes bright like the sun or Your frowning eyebrows. I do not fear Your sharp, pinching teeth, Your garland of intestines, Your mane soaked with blood, or Your high, wedgelike ears. Nor do I fear Your tumultuous roaring, which makes elephants flee to distant places, or Your nails, which are meant to kill Your enemies.” (Prahlada Maharaja, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.9.15)

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नाहं बिभेम्य् अजित ते ’तिभयानकास्य-
जिह्वार्क-नेत्र-भ्रुकुटी-रभसोग्र-दंष्ट्रात्
आन्त्र-स्रजः-क्षतज-केशर-शङ्कु-कर्णान्
निर्ह्राद-भीत-दिगिभाद् अरि-भिन्-नखाग्रात्

nāhaṁ bibhemy ajita te ’tibhayānakāsya-
jihvārka-netra-bhrukuṭī-rabhasogra-daṁṣṭrāt
āntra-srajaḥ-kṣataja-keśara-śaṅku-karṇān
nirhrāda-bhīta-digibhād ari-bhin-nakhāgrāt

“You probably get this question a lot. I am new to bhakti-yoga. I was drawn in by the sound of the chanting of the maha-mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

“I enjoy…

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Why Didn’t Ravana Ask For The Boon Of Defeating God

Krishna's Mercy

[Rama arrow]“Know that all beautiful, glorious, and mighty creations spring from but a spark of My splendor.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 10.41)

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यद् यद् विभूतिमत् सत्त्वं
श्रीमद् ऊर्जितम् एव वा
तत् तद् एवावगच्छ त्वं
मम तेजो-ऽंश-सम्भवम्

yad yad vibhūtimat sattvaṁ
śrīmad ūrjitam eva vā
tat tad evāvagaccha tvaṁ
mama tejo-‘ṁśa-sambhavam

Friend1: It is so interesting that asuras and Rakshasas still worship a higher authority, as documented in Vedic literature.

Friend2: What do you mean by “still”?

Friend1: Oh, because they are known atheists. They deny the existence of God, and yet they still worship.

Friend2: You mean like towards Mahadeva, asking him for powers to destroy the world and the like? Worship in the mode of ignorance.

Friend1: Specific reference to Hiranyakashipu and Ravana. I know there are different variations to the story, since the creation goes through endless cycles of manifestation and destruction…

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Four Daily Activities That I Struggle With

Krishna's Mercy

Krishnas_lotus_feet“O best of the Bharatas, now please hear from Me about the three kinds of happiness which the conditioned soul enjoys, and by which he sometimes comes to the end of all distress. That which in the beginning may be just like poison but at the end is just like nectar and which awakens one to self-realization is said to be happiness in the mode of goodness.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 18.36-37)

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सुखं त्व् इदानीं त्रि-विधं
शृणु मे भरतर्षभ
अभ्यासाद् रमते यत्र
दुःखान्तं च निगच्छति
यत् तद् अग्रे विषम् इव
परिणामे ऽमृतोपमम्
तत् सुखं सात्त्विकं प्रोक्तम्
आत्म-बुद्धि-प्रसाद-जम्

sukhaṁ tv idānīṁ tri-vidhaṁ
śṛṇu me bharatarṣabha
abhyāsād ramate yatra
duḥkhāntaṁ ca nigacchati

yat tad agre viṣam iva
pariṇāme ‘mṛtopamam
tat sukhaṁ sāttvikaṁ proktam
ātma-buddhi-prasāda-jam

The three modes of nature. Goodness, passion and ignorance. Sattva-guna, rajo-guna, and tamo-guna. These are different grades, classifications…

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Doesn’t Failure Put My Faith At Risk

Krishna's Mercy

[Rama with brothers]“Being prayed for by the demigods, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Absolute Truth Himself, directly appeared with His expansion and expansions of the expansion. Their holy names were Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna. These celebrated incarnations thus appeared in four forms as the sons of Maharaja Dasharatha.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 9.10.2)

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तस्यापि भगवान् एष
साक्षाद् ब्रह्ममयो हरिः
अंशांशेन चतुर्धागात्
पुत्रत्वं प्रार्थितः सुरैः
राम-लक्ष्मण-भरत-
शत्रुघ्ना इति संज्ञया

tasyāpi bhagavān eṣa
sākṣād brahmamayo hariḥ
aṁśāṁśena caturdhāgāt
putratvaṁ prārthitaḥ suraiḥ
rāma-lakṣmaṇa-bharata-
śatrughnā iti saṁjñayā

Friend1: Listen, I know about the different methods for passing through a difficult time. This is with respect to Vedic teachings, recommendations and the like.

Friend2: There is more than one way? We’re not supposed to just tolerate, as Shri Krishna advises with respect to the winter and summer seasons?

मात्रा-स्पर्शास् तु कौन्तेय
शीतोष्ण-सुख-दुःख-दाः
आगमापायिनो ऽनित्यास्
तांस् तितिक्षस्व भारत

mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya

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Four Ways The Tree Relates To Bhakti Life

Krishna's Mercy

[Tulasi plant]“O son of Kunti [Arjuna], I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable om in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether and ability in man.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.8)

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रसो ऽहम् अप्सु कौन्तेय
प्रभास्मि शशि-सूर्ययोः
प्रणवः सर्व-वेदेषु
शब्दः खे पौरुषं नृषु

raso ‘ham apsu kaunteya
prabhāsmi śaśi-sūryayoḥ
praṇavaḥ sarva-vedeṣu
śabdaḥ khe pauruṣaṁ nṛṣu

In one particular section of the Bhagavad-gita, Shri Krishna describes various aspects of life and how He is the essence of them. The taste of water. The light of the moon. The penance of the ascetics.

Whatever object you know, understand that it has an essence. Something like a defining characteristic. Then know that the Supreme Lord, God the person, is the reason for that object’s existence.

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada recommends applying the same principle…

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Why Is Material Life So Difficult

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 15.7)

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ममैवांशो जीवलोके जीवभूतः सनातनः।
मनःषष्ठानीन्द्रियाणि प्रकृतिस्थानि कर्षति।।

mamaivāṃśo jīvaloke jīvabhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ।
manaḥṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi prakṛtisthāni karṣati।।

“Spoiler alert: Life is difficult. I can’t even begin to describe the mountain of responsibilities for the typical adult. There is no time for proper sleep, because I am even worrying over the next day. I want to make everyone in the family happy. Yet they seem to enjoy fighting with one another.

“If they could just cooperate a little bit, my life would be so much easier. Less stress. Fewer concerns. Instead, I am left to feel guilty over having to choose between them. Assigning priorities, whereas previously I never had to.

“Bearing…

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Why Wouldn’t Krishna Just Walk Around As Narayana

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna birth]“Vasudeva saw that wonderful child born as a baby with four hands, holding conchshell, club, disc, and lotus flower, decorated with the mark of Shrivatsa, wearing the jeweled necklace of kaustubha stone, dressed in yellow silk, appearing dazzling like a bright blackish cloud, wearing a helmet bedecked with the vaidurya stone, valuable bracelets, earrings and similar other ornaments all over His body and an abundance of hair on His head.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 3)

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Friend1: When we speak of the residents of Gokula-dhama, the sacred land where Shri Krishna appeared some five thousand years ago, we say that they were unaware as to His Divine nature.

Friend2: They hand an inkling. How could you not think something was up after an infant survives being fed poison by a witch? He tore apart a giant…

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What To Say To Someone Who Says They Have No Need For Religion

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Rama]“When your personal and supreme interests can be easily obtained from one place, it is not sensible for you in weakness to beg at the doors of others, O Tulsi.” (Dohavali, 54)

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स्वारथ परमारथ सकल सुलभ एक ही ओर |
द्वार दूसरे दीनता उचित न तुलसी तोर ||

svāratha paramāratha sakala sulabha eka hī ora |
dvāra dūsare dīnatā ucita na tulasī tora ||

Friend1: Someone is going through life just fine. Steady income. Spouse and children. Friends and family living close by. Excitement over the new season of the favorite sports franchise. Visiting exotic destinations for vacation.

Friend2: Okay.

Friend1: Why would they want to take up religion? They may raise the following objection:

“Thanks, but I think I am fine right now. Religion sort of turns me off, anyway. I don’t like the whole institutional aspect to it. ‘Surrender now…

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Five Things I Could Unexpectedly Find To Brighten My Day

Krishna's Mercy

[Janaka finding Sita]“While he was tilling a field with a plow in his hand, it is said that I, the daughter of that king, arose from underneath the earth’s surface.” (Sita Devi speaking to Anasuya, Valmiki Ramayana, Ayodhya Kand, 118.28)

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तस्य लाङ्गलहस्तन्य कर्षतः क्षेत्रमण्डलम्।
अहं किलोत्थिता भित्वा जगतीं नृपतेस्सुता।।

tasya lāṅgalahastanya karṣataḥ kṣetramaṇḍalam।
ahaṃ kilotthitā bhitvā jagatīṃ nṛpatessutā।।

Samyoga. Kizmit. Serendipity. Whatever the preferred term to use, sometimes things go our way without much effort. Shri Krishna sheds light in the Bhagavad-gita, where He explains the arrival of happiness and sadness.

मात्रा-स्पर्शास् तु कौन्तेय
शीतोष्ण-सुख-दुःख-दाः
आगमापायिनो ऽनित्यास्
तांस् तितिक्षस्व भारत

mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya
śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ
āgamāpāyino ‘nityās
tāṁs titikṣasva bhārata

“O son of Kunti, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O…

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