Monthly Archives: February 2020

Five Ways To Sacrifice Wealth

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Krishna]“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

You have just come into a large amount of money. Unexpected, to say the least, and in such a vast quantity that you are not sure what to do with it all. You have enough to live off for the rest of your life. Immediate family taken care of, and you don’t really need a new house.

There are ways to sacrifice that wealth. In Sanskrit the word is yajna, and the connotation is…

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Five Takeaways From The Image Of Padmanabha

Krishna's Mercy

[Padmanabha]“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

This is the Vedic contribution to the discussion on the origins of the universe. It can be considered an entry to be compared with others, but in truth parampara does not speculate. The information gets passed down in a chain of teachers. No one could conjure up such an image, regardless, and it is corroborated by many seers of the truth and also many sacred texts of value.

The image is of Padmanabha. This is God, the Almighty, the Supreme Lord, the one without a beginning, “working” at starting the creation. It is a still…

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Three Non-Human Heroes Of The Ramayana

Krishna's Mercy

[Jatayu]“Being thus informed, the grandson of King Vena immediately began to follow Indra, who was fleeing through the sky in great haste. He was very angry with him, and he chased him just as the king of the vultures chased Ravana.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 4.19.16)

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एवं वैन्य-सुतः प्रोक्तस्
त्वरमाणं विहायसा
अन्वद्रवद् अभिक्रुद्धो
रावणं गृध्र-राड् इव

evaṁ vainya-sutaḥ proktas
tvaramāṇaṁ vihāyasā
anvadravad abhikruddho
rāvaṇaṁ gṛdhra-rāḍ iva

Those familiar with the Vedic tradition, through either family ancestry or voluntary immersion in the culture, notice the similarities when consuming popular fiction film and television. A hero beloved by the community suddenly left alone. A trusted sidekick, ready to protect and defend. A spouse in distress, an unfortunate victim at the hands of a ruthless villain.

Then there are the unexpected assistants. New friends that the hero runs into. They do not know the story for long, but…

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Four Things Bhagavad-gita Helps Me Cope With

Krishna's Mercy

[Bhagavad-gita]“Sin will overcome us if we slay such aggressors. Therefore it is not proper for us to kill the sons of Dhritarashtra and our friends. What should we gain, O Krishna, husband of the goddess of fortune, and how could we be happy by killing our own kinsmen?” (Arjuna, Bhagavad-gita, 1.36)

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पापम् एवाश्रयेद् अस्मान्
हत्वैतान् आततायिनः
तस्मान् नार्हा वयं हन्तुं
धार्तराष्ट्रान् स-बान्धवान्
स्व-जनं हि कथं हत्वा
सुखिनः स्याम माधव

pāpam evāśrayed asmān
hatvaitān ātatāyinaḥ
tasmān nārhā vayaṁ hantuṁ
dhārtarāṣṭrān sa-bāndhavān
sva-janaṁ hi kathaṁ hatvā
sukhinaḥ syāma mādhava

A friend is down on their luck. They are in a difficult situation of the mind; one from which they can’t seem to escape. The sadness and despair carries forward into every moment of the day. They are wondering as to the point of it all. Why go on when the end is guaranteed? Why proceed…

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Can You Explain The Ones And Zeroes Thing About Bhakti

Krishna's Mercy

[Sita-Rama]“Shri Rama’s holy name is like a numeral, and all religious practices are like zero. When the numeral is not there, zero means nothing. But when it is present, the resultant value increases tenfold.” (Dohavali, 10)

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नाम राम को अंक है सब साधन हैं सून |
अंक ग_एँ कछु हाथ नहिं अंक रहें दस गून ||

nāma rāma ko aṃka hai saba sādhana haiṃ sūna |
aṃka ga_em̐ kachu hātha nahiṃ aṃka raheṃ dasa gūna ||

Friend1: I have heard His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada explain this concept. Not that he is lacking anything in the presentation. He is about as expert as you can get in presenting the timeless Vedanta philosophy to the modern age.

Friend2: Where people are hung up on smartphones. Where they research vital information by going to chat rooms and online forums instead of reading books…

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Four Things Desirable In This Material World

Krishna's Mercy

[Lord Vishnu]“Shrila Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura explains in this regard that the very word harih means ‘one who takes away.’ If one connects himself with Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Lord takes away all his miseries, and in the beginning the Lord also superficially appears to take away all his material possessions, reputation, education and beauty.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 8.19.32 Purport)

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada provides the list. No need to speculate. No need to ponder endlessly into the day and night about what should be desired. In terms of material life, there are four primary beneficial conditions or situations. These are desirables, but they sometimes become impediments towards the highest goal of realizing the self.

1. Good parentage

In times past, if you ran into a stranger on the road, you might ask some basic details about their…

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Three Areas Of Hard Labor In Mental Speculation

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Krishna]“Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the cause of all causes, the primeval Lord Govinda. Ishvarah paramah krishnah sach-chid-ananda-vigrahah anadir adir govindah sarva-karana-karanam.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 7.3 Purport)

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada glorifies shastra, revealed scripture, by highlighting the truth that just one shloka can complete billions of years of hard labor in mental speculation.

A shloka is a verse, a series of words, a couplet in the Sanskrit language. Shastra is composed of shlokas. Not that there is a governing body which must first give the stamp of approval. Shastra descending through the ages is unchanged. No one can trace the origin of Vedic literature with any degree of certainty, and the number of volumes is not fixed.

In keeping with the tradition, a person can add their own thoughts, recollections and experiences. They can glorify Bhagavan…

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How Could A Dynasty Fall Under Krishna’s Watch

Krishna's Mercy

[Brahma and Bhumi]“Bhumi assumed the shape of a cow and presented herself before Lord Brahma with tears in her eyes. She was bereaved and was weeping just to invoke the Lord’s compassion. She related the calamitous position of the earth, and after hearing this, Lord Brahma became much aggrieved, and he at once started for the ocean of milk, where Lord Vishnu resides.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 1)

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Friend1: We know that Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appears in this world from time to time.

Friend2: Whenever there is a decline in adherence to religious principles, dharma. A corresponding rise in irreligion, adharma.

Friend1: To give protection to the saintly people, sadhu. To give the proper punishment to the miscreants.

Friend2: The avatara, referring to someone who descends from the spiritual world.

Friend1: Since the…

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Three Things We Think Of To The Neglect Of God Consciousness

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“Death does not wait for any man; it will immediately carry out its duty. Since death must take away the living entity without hesitation, it is the ultimate God realization of the atheists, who spoil their lives thinking of country, society and relatives, to the neglect of God consciousness.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 4.28.22 Purport)

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As much as we may try not to, worry takes over. Concern for the future. It is unknown, after all. No one can accurately predict. The experts give their estimations for the upcoming jobs report. They think the gross domestic product will increase at a certain rate.

When the actual numbers get released, there is always a difference. The jobs numbers defied expectations. The growth was less than expected. In truth, no one ever knew. The macro level was too complex and involved for anyone to get a…

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Why Should We Take On More Responsibility In Devotional Service

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna and Arjuna]“Therefore get up and prepare to fight. After conquering your enemies you will enjoy a flourishing kingdom. They are already put to death by My arrangement, and you, O Savyasachin, can be but an instrument in the fight.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 11.33)

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तस्मात् त्वम् उत्तिष्ठ यशो लभस्व
जित्वा शत्रून् भुङ्क्ष्व राज्यं समृद्धम्
मयैवैते निहताः पूर्वम् एव
निमित्त-मात्रं भव सव्य-साचिन्

tasmāt tvam uttiṣṭha yaśo labhasva
jitvā śatrūn bhuṅkṣva rājyaṁ samṛddham
mayaivaite nihatāḥ pūrvam eva
nimitta-mātraṁ bhava savya-sācin

Friend1: Do I do everything or is it Krishna?

Friend2: You are, of course, familiar with the Bhagavad-gita verse about the doer.

प्रकृतेः क्रियमाणानि
गुणैः कर्माणि सर्वशः
अहङ्कार-विमूढात्मा
कर्ताहम् इति मन्यते

prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni
guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
ahaṅkāra-vimūḍhātmā
kartāham iti manyate

“The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself to be the doer of activities, which are in actuality carried…

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