Monthly Archives: December 2019

Why Is Detachment Superior To Attachment

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna and inverted tree]“The real form of this tree cannot be perceived in this world. No one can understand where it ends, where it begins, or where its foundation is. But with determination one must cut down this tree with the weapon of detachment. So doing, one must seek that place from which, having once gone, one never returns, and there surrender to that Supreme Personality of Godhead from whom everything has begun and in whom everything is abiding since time immemorial.”  (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 15.3-4)

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न रूपम् अस्येह तथोपलभ्यते
नान्तो न चादिर् न च सम्प्रतिष्ठा
अश्वत्थम् एनं सु-विरूढ-मूलम्
असङ्ग-शस्त्रेण दृढेन छित्त्वा
ततः पदं तत् परिमार्गितव्यं
यस्मिन् गता न निवर्तन्ति भूयः
तम् एव चाद्यं पुरुषं प्रपद्ये
यतः प्रवृत्तिः प्रसृता पुराणी

na rūpam asyeha tathopalabhyate
nānto na cādir na ca sampratiṣṭhā
aśvattham enaṁ su-virūḍha-mūlam
asaṅga-śastreṇa dṛḍhena chittvā
tataḥ padaṁ tat parimārgitavyaṁ
yasmin gatā na nivartanti bhūyaḥ
tam…

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Three Tasks Where My Efforts Go Unappreciated

Krishna's Mercy

[Rama and Lakshmana]“I am His younger brother, Lakshmana by name. Due to His transcendental qualities, I have taken up service to Him, as He is grateful and very knowledgeable.” (Lakshmana speaking to Hanuman about Rama, Valmiki Ramayana, Kishkindha Kand, 4.12)

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अहमस्यावरो भ्राता गुणैर्दास्यमुपागतः
कृतज्ञस्य बहुज्ञस्य लक्ष्मणो नाम नामतः

ahamasyāvaro bhrātā guṇairdāsyamupāgataḥ
kṛtajñasya bahujñasya lakṣmaṇo nāma nāmataḥ

Goswami Tulsidas has many reasons for recommending pure devotional service, bhakti-yoga, to the Supreme Lord in the avatara of Shri Rama.  There is enough justification to fill volumes upon volumes of sacred texts, beautifully composed in poetry-style in Sanskrit derived languages.

One inspiration for further study is gratefulness.  The tendency of the human being is to forget; part of the greater defect of committing mistakes.  It is simply impossible to remember everything. At the very least, we should keep in mind good work done in our favor…

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What If Someone Doesn’t Want To Give Up Material Attachment

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Krishna]“The embodied soul may be restricted from sense enjoyment, though the taste for sense objects remains. But, ceasing such engagements by experiencing a higher taste, he is fixed in consciousness.”  (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.59)

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विषया विनिवर्तन्ते
निराहारस्य देहिनः
रस-वर्जं रसो ऽप्य् अस्य
परं दृष्ट्वा निवर्तते

viṣayā vinivartante
nirāhārasya dehinaḥ
rasa-varjaṁ raso ‘py asya
paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate

Friend1:  I have heard it said that the more you advance in Krishna consciousness, the more detached from material life you become.

Friend2:  It has to be the case.  Advancement here is a stronger, solidified link to the Divine.  Genuine yoga. Always thinking of the Supreme Lord, in the personal form.  Every activity dedicated to Him.

Friend1:  Authorized, of course.  We don’t just go around shooting people and declaring after the fact that it is done in Krishna’s honor.

Friend2:  Proper behavior.  Respecting the basic responsibilities of…

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Three Cases Helped By Political Favoritism

Krishna's Mercy

[Sita-Rama]“O son of Kunti, all that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away, as well as all austerities that you may perform, should be done as an offering unto Me.”  (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.27)

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यत् करोषि यद् अश्नासि
यज् जुहोषि ददासि यत्
यत् तपस्यसि कौन्तेय
तत् कुरुष्व मद्-अर्पणम्

yat karoṣi yad aśnāsi
yaj juhoṣi dadāsi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
tat kuruṣva mad-arpaṇam

They are in a position of power for a reason.  They have the potential to help. All you have to do is ask.  Sure, there is the issue of concurrency. How many requests can they handle at a single time?  Is the policy, “first-come, first-serve”? How to assign priority? Which constituent is more important?  Never mind, just see what the politician can do for you.

1.  Visa application for a foreign-born spouse

“Don’t even get…

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Five Reasons Krishna Did Not Fight In Arjuna’s Place

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna and Arjuna]“Therefore, Arjuna, you should always think of Me in the form of Krishna and at the same time carry out your prescribed duty of fighting. With your activities dedicated to Me and your mind and intelligence fixed on Me, you will attain Me without doubt.”  (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 8.7)

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तस्मात् सर्वेषु कालेषु
माम् अनुस्मर युध्य च
मय्य् अर्पित-मनो-बुद्धिर्
माम् एवैष्यस्य् असंशयः

tasmāt sarveṣu kāleṣu
mām anusmara yudhya ca
mayy arpita-mano-buddhir
mām evaiṣyasy asaṁśayaḥ

“I have to ask this question.  We know Bhagavad-gita translates to ‘Song of God’ when explaining in English.  This sacred text is not merely words from a prophet sent from above. It is not hearsay information or something four or five generations removed from the original.

“It is the actual words from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavan.  The original script and language remain to this day: Devanagari and Sanskrit. …

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Why So Much Emphasis On Not Criticizing Others

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“Offending or blaspheming a Vaishnava has been described as the greatest offense, and it has been compared to a mad elephant. When a mad elephant enters a garden, it ruins all the creepers, flowers and trees. Similarly, if a devotee properly executing his devotional service becomes an offender at the lotus feet of his spiritual master or a Vaishnava, his devotional service is spoiled.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Antya 3.213 Purport)

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Friend1:  This is one of those rules that seems rooted in duality to me.  It is not absolute in the least, for I can quickly find cases where following it will cause harm.

Friend2:  It would help if I knew what you were talking about.

Friend1:  In observing some recent initiation ceremonies of the bhakti tradition, sometimes the guru will ask the person being initiated to also take a vow…

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Evolution’s End

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Krishna]“Anyone who quits his body, at the end of life, remembering Me, attains immediately to My nature; and there is no doubt of this.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 8.5)

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अन्त-काले च माम् एव
स्मरन् मुक्त्वा कलेवरम्
यः प्रयाति स मद्-भावं
याति नास्त्य् अत्र संशयः

anta-kāle ca mām eva
smaran muktvā kalevaram
yaḥ prayāti sa mad-bhāvaṁ
yāti nāsty atra saṁśayaḥ

Friend1:  I know you don’t subscribe to the theory of evolution.

Friend2:  I am glad you appropriately referred to it as just that, a theory.  It is not like a scientific law, such as chemicals mixing together to form a specific compound or how gravity functions.

Friend1:  It is based more or less on mental speculation.  There is some observation, for sure. No experiment, though.  They can’t put a species in a lab and have it automatically generate a new kind of species…

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Four Places Shri Hanuman Gets To Visit

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Hanuman]“Covered with various flowers, shoots and buds, that monkey, resembling a cloud, became beautiful to behold, looking like a mountain with fireflies.” (Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 1.51)

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स नानाकुसुमैः कीर्णः कपिः साङ्कुरकोरकैः |
शुशुभे मेघसंकाशः खद्योतैरिव पर्वतः

sa nānākusumaiḥ kīrṇaḥ kapiḥ sāṅkurakorakaiḥ |
śuśubhe meghasaṃkāśaḥ khadyotairiva parvataḥ

“Not that I am keen on travelling.  If I am visiting a friend who lives in another city, I do not bother them every day to go to tourist sites.  I am fine just sitting at home, relaxing, chatting, eating good food and the like. The change of setting is enough for me.

“From hearing about life in bhakti-yoga, or genuine spiritual practice in general, it seems like a person might get stuck in the same place for a while.  You hear about these yogis going to live in a remote cave. They don’t have possessions…

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What Determines The Particular Pose For A Deity

Krishna's Mercy

[Rama darbar]“Being the eternal servant of Lord Ramachandra, Hanumanji has been respectfully worshiped for many hundreds and thousands of years.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya 8.300 Purport)

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Friend1:  They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  I am reminded of that saying every time I enter a Vishnu-related temple.

Friend2:  When seeing the deity?

Friend1:  After the moment of the grand unveiling.  The deity is not some cheap object to be treated as an artwork decoration.  It is the chief resident in the establishment, and it is honored in a timely manner.

Friend2:  With the proper respect shown.  To the less intelligent, it is merely a statue.  A collection of material elements meant for the purpose of remembering.

Friend1:  When in truth it is an authorized way for the Supreme Lord, the one who is nirguna, to manifest, to…

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