Monthly Archives: March 2020

The Three Step Process Of Advancement For A Community

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“One who is not in transcendental consciousness can have neither a controlled mind nor steady intelligence, without which there is no possibility of peace. And how can there be any happiness without peace?” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.66)

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नास्ति बुद्धिर् अयुक्तस्य
न चायुक्तस्य भावना
न चाभावयतः शान्तिर्
अशान्तस्य कुतः सुखम्

nāsti buddhir ayuktasya
na cāyuktasya bhāvanā
na cābhāvayataḥ śāntir
aśāntasya kutaḥ sukham

By no means is this list created or supported through a scientific study. Edge cases here and there surely exist. Exceptions to the rule. Instances that break the pattern. But there can be no denying the initial spark, the desire that drives the progression.

A community goes through phases with respect to advancement. From beginning to end, the change could occur gradually, over several decades, in fact. The acharya of the bhakti tradition of spiritual life is waiting at the completion stage…

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Three Potential Accusations Against Hanuman’s Character

Krishna's Mercy

[Hanuman carrying brothers]“Though all of these unsuspecting wives of Ravana were seen by me, my mind has not been disturbed even a little.” (Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 11.40)

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कामं दृष्टा मया सर्वा विश्वस्ता रावणस्त्रियः।।
न हि मे मनसः किञ्चिद्वैकृत्यमुपजायते।

kāmaṃ dṛṣṭā mayā sarvā viśvastā rāvaṇastriyaḥ।।
na hi me manasaḥ kiñcidvaikṛtyamupajāyate।

Hinduism isn’t really a religion. It is a term derived from outsiders to describe the variety in spiritual practices they see as belonging to one collective culture. Indeed, in the sacred texts of reference, there is no hint of such a word, and neither would anyone be classified as belonging to a particular sect.

The closest equivalent to the concept of religion in that tradition would be sanatana-dharma. This is the Sanskrit for describing the eternal way of living. Without a beginning and without an end. The constitutional position of the living…

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Why Is Stopping At Brahman Realization Considered Catastrophic

Krishna's Mercy

[Rama and Lakshmana]“The king went and received blessings and then paid so much honor and respect after that. When he saw Rama, he experienced a happiness one hundred times that of Brahman realization.” (Janaki Mangala, Chand 5.2)

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नृप गहे पाय असीस पाई मान आदर अति किएँ |
अवलोकि रामहि अनुभवत मनु ब्रह्मसुख सौगुन किएँ ||

nṛpa gahe pāya asīsa pāī māna ādara ati kiem̐ |
avaloki rāmahi anubhavata manu brahmasukha sauguna kiem̐ ||

“It has been my understanding that any kind of realization in spiritual life qualifies as liberation. The entry stage is the distinction between body and spirit. This is the boon of the human birth. Realizing that I am not the form that covers me. I am something much more. Beyond the consciousness of the animals.

Bhagavad-gita provides the necessary information to begin the process. Arjuna learns that destiny is already…

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The Eyes They Never Close

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Krishna]“Everywhere are His hands and legs, His eyes and faces, and He hears everything. In this way the Supersoul exists.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 13.14)

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सर्वतः पाणि-पादं तत्
सर्वतो ऽक्षि-शिरो-मुखम्
सर्वतः श्रुतिमल् लोके
सर्वम् आवृत्य तिष्ठति

sarvataḥ pāṇi-pādaṁ tat
sarvato ‘kṣi-śiro-mukham
sarvataḥ śrutimal loke
sarvam āvṛtya tiṣṭhati

A common game in philosophy to play. Sort of like a puzzle. Something to make you think, for many hours. Today, one person is on this side of the argument and their counterpart on the other. Tomorrow, the roles could reverse.

Debate teams in school work in this way. What better way to learn the intricacies of the issue than putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and seeing how they feel. Armed with double-sided experience, come to a rational conclusion; one that you will be firmly convinced of.

The question posed goes something like this:


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What To Do If A Bhakti Institution Is Hindering My Progress

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.2.6)

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स वै पुंसां परो धर्मो
यतो भक्तिर् अधोक्षजे
अहैतुक्य् अप्रतिहता
ययात्मा सुप्रसीदति

sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
ahaituky apratihatā
yayātmā suprasīdati

Friend1: I’ve probably raised a variation on this question before, but it is worth further discussion.

Friend2: Repeated discussion is good for both the person inquiring and the one answering. Approach the issue from all angles of vision. Gain more confidence in the presentation. At least study every different side to try to understand from where a person comes.

Friend1: That’s a good way of looking at it. As per usual, let us start with the situation of someone who is…

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Four Things Hari Might Take Away From Me

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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It is a strange concept, for sure. The customary view, the default image of religious life, is sitting in a house of worship. The mood is serious. The attendees are in some kind of distress. They are looking for relief. Who better to offer assistance than the person controlling the entire universe?

His name in this respect is Jagannatha. The Lord of the entire collection of planetary systems. A person with a watchful eye, dispersed throughout space in the impersonal form…

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Four Reasons I Would Not Want To Have Dinner With God

Krishna's Mercy

[prasadam]“If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit, or water, I will accept it.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.26)

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पत्रं पुष्पं फलं तोयं
यो मे भक्त्या प्रयच्छति
तद् अहं भक्त्य्-उपहृतम्
अश्नामि प्रयतात्मनः

patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ
yo me bhaktyā prayacchati
tad ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam
aśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ

A newly formed organization looks for ways to bring the participants closer together. The personnel do not know each other. Direct hires through people on the inside is the best way, but if your network of friends and colleagues isn’t wide enough, it may be difficult to fill every vacancy. Moreover, that expert programmer you recommend for the job could be quite content at the place they work for currently.

One way to get to know each other is an ice-breaker game. Go around the room and ask each person to describe their perfect…

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Five Difficult Questions With Corresponding Answers From Shastra

Krishna's Mercy

[Rama's arrow]“Just as a tree starts to blossom during the proper season, so the doer of sinful deeds inevitably reaps the horrible fruit of their actions at the appropriate time.” (Lord Rama speaking to Khara, Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kand, 29.8)

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अवश्यं लभते जन्तुः फलं पापस्य कर्मणः।
घोरं पर्यागते काले द्रुमाः पुष्पमिवार्तवम्।।

avaśyaṃ labhate jantuḥ phalaṃ pāpasya karmaṇaḥ।
ghoraṃ paryāgate kāle drumāḥ puṣpamivārtavam।।

As a fictional psychiatrist character on a television sitcom once told his onscreen brother in a joint therapy session, “No hanging up on the hard ones here,” so in Vedic culture no question is off-limits for the expert teacher.

There is active encouragement to bring doubts to the table. Have them settled by the acharya, the genuine representative in the line of teachers who trace their origin to the person who is without one, anadi.

A person might find it…

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Three Tasks Where We May Get Filibustered

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.2.6)

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स वै पुंसां परो धर्मो
यतो भक्तिर् अधोक्षजे
अहैतुक्य् अप्रतिहता
ययात्मा सुप्रसीदति

sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
ahaituky apratihatā
yayātmā suprasīdati

You are enthusiastic. Ready to put in the extra effort. This is not a case of idleness or disenchantment with the process. That will surely come later, as a result of the opposition on the other side. Despite the eagerness to continue, to produce good work, there are forces at play which suppress the output of service.

1. Coding project at the office

“There was an issue in production. A specific query was running slow, and my department got called out…

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How Was Hanuman Able To Compose Sanskrit So Quickly

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Hanuman]“He speaks clearly, joyfully, and with a pleasing glow on his face. The heroic Hanuman, son of the wind-god, does not appear to speak anything that is false.” (Lakshmana speaking to Lord Rama about Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Kishkindha Kand, 4.32)

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प्रसन्नमुखवर्णश्च व्यक्तं हृष्टश्च भाषते |
नानृतं वक्ष्यते वीरो हनुमान्मारुतात्मजः ||

prasannamukhavarṇaśca vyaktaṃ hṛṣṭaśca bhāṣate |
nānṛtaṃ vakṣyate vīro hanumānmārutātmajaḥ ||

Friend1: I heard an interesting incident from Chaitanya-lila the other day. These are the pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His preacher manifestation. Appearing on this earth during the medieval period in India, the golden avatara to teach the highest rasa of the bhakti path.

Friend2: Madhurya. Beyond awe and reverence. Bhakti goes past the God-fearing posture. Then once you get into devotion, there are different levels.

Friend1: Rasas, which are like conjugal mellows. I’ve heard that one is not…

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