Monthly Archives: March 2020

Never You Hear Discouraging Lies

Krishna's Mercy

[Chaitanya Mahaprabhu]“Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave protection to devotees and killed many demons in the course of His preaching work. He specifically mentioned that the Mayavadi philosophers are the greatest demons. Therefore He warned all others not to hear the Mayavada philosophy.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi 17.53 Purport)

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Friend1: The Mayavada philosophy is so dangerous that the recommendation is to stay away from it, if possible.

Friend2: Can you explain what that philosophy is?

Friend1: Take the two terms individually. Maya is the illusory energy. Illusion. The literal translation is “that which is not.”

Friend2: What does the “that” refer to and what is it really supposed to be?

Friend1: Everything that we see around us. That hand. That leg. That skyscraper building. That pizza pie fresh out of the oven. Those things are not the Absolute Truth. They are not what they seem.

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If We Are All Just Chemicals Why Not Worship Krishna

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Krishna]“If, however, you think that the soul is perpetually born and always dies, still you have no reason to lament, O mighty-armed.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.26)

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अथ चैनं नित्य-जातं
नित्यं वा मन्यसे मृतम्
तथापि त्वं महा-बाहो
नैनं शोचितुम् अर्हसि

atha cainaṁ nitya-jātaṁ
nityaṁ vā manyase mṛtam
tathāpi tvaṁ mahā-bāho
nainaṁ śocitum arhasi

Friend1: I hate to lump so many groups into the single category of “atheist.” I feel like it is offensive to those who are still inquisitive, but have yet to firmly reach a conclusion about the origins of the universe and how life will or will not continue moving forward.

Friend2: I understand where you are coming from, but shastra has simplified things for us. There are the two words, sura and asura. One is on the godly side. The other is against. Even if I am not actively engaged…

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What If You Could Be Successful In Everything You Wanted

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Krishna]“It is said, ‘Man proposes, God disposes.’ Thus a person may desire many things, but unless these desires are fulfilled by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they cannot be fulfilled. Fulfillment of desire is called satya-sankalpa.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 8.16.22 Purport)

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Friend1: This is a commonly revisited topic, but I always feel the need for clarification. Maybe not so much an explanation, but some encouragement. Support so that I know what I am doing is correct, that there is hope; a light at the end of the tunnel.

Friend2: I take it you don’t want me to bring up the section in the Mahabharata where it advises to give up on hope entirely?

Friend1: Oh man, that’s funny. I’m sure that has to do with material success. A good transition, actually. The issue I raise is for people firmly entrenched in the…

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Three More Opposite Conditions And How They Apply To God

Krishna's Mercy

[Rama arrow]“Neither the demigods nor any exalted personalities were there helping Rama, for He acted alone. You should not entertain any doubt on this matter. Indeed, Rama shot feathered arrows, plated with gold, which turned into five-headed serpents that devoured all the Rakshasas. The Rakshasas were oppressed with fear, and wherever they went and wherever they turned, they saw Rama in front of them. In this way, O spotless one, have your Rakshasas been destroyed in the forest of Janasthana by Rama.” (Akampana speaking to Ravana, Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kand, 31.18-19)

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नैव देवा महात्मानो नात्र कार्या विचारणा।
शरा रामेण तूत्सृष्टा रुक्मपुङ्खाः पतत्रिणः।।
सर्पाः पञ्चानना भूत्वा भक्षयन्ति स्म राक्षसान्।
येन येन च गच्छन्ति राक्षसा भयकर्शिताः।
तेन तेन स्म पश्यन्ति राममेवाग्रतः स्थितम्।
इत्थं विनाशितं तेन जनस्थानं तवानघ।।

naiva devā mahātmāno nātra kāryā vicāraṇā।
śarā rāmeṇa tūtsṛṣṭā rukmapuṅkhāḥ patatriṇaḥ।।
sarpāḥ pañcānanā bhūtvā bhakṣayanti sma rākṣasān।
yena yena…

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Three Questions About The Angry God Image

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna and Arjuna]“This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 4.2)

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एवं परम्परा-प्राप्तम्
इमं राजर्षयो विदुः
स कालेनेह महता
योगो नष्टः परन्तप

evaṁ paramparā-prāptam
imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ
sa kāleneha mahatā
yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa

The Vedic tradition is based on parampara. A succession of relationships, between teacher and disciple. Passing on the information from the most authorized source. No deviations; hopefully. No cheaters within the line. No dangerous curiosity to twist and shape the sacred gift for furthering personal, temporary goals.

If there should happen to be a weak link in the chain, there is no reason to panic. The origin either descends Himself or sends a bona fide…

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Doesn’t The Teaching About Not Being The Doer Take Away Credit

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna's lotus feet]“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 out by nature.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 3.27)

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प्रकृतेः क्रियमाणानि
गुणैः कर्माणि सर्वशः
अहङ्कार-विमूढात्मा
कर्ताहम् इति मन्यते

prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni
guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ
ahaṅkāra-vimūḍhātmā
kartāham iti manyate

Friend1: Outcomes are not entirely under my control. Go from something as complex as stock trading.

Friend2: Picking the winners and losers. Guessing how the price will change over time.

Friend1: Which can involve thousands of trades. You’re trying to predict how a collection of people will react to a host of stimuli.

Friend2: Market news. Price fluctuations. Volume increases. Earnings reports.

Friend1: Industry changes. Imagine investing in a newspaper thirty or forty years ago. Or in anything that involved paper. Today the business world is trying to get rid of…

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Four Opposite Conditions And How They Apply To God

Krishna's Mercy

[Trivikrama]“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

Better than internet videos running the entire day, though educational they might be. Superior to racing toy cars back and forth across the living room floor. Avoiding the sugar rush and the subsequent crash and also the fixation on tiny screens with video games.

The new parent wants their child to learn to some degree. Put some books in their hands. As toddlers are known to tear things apart and even attempt to eat them, find the small picture books that are something like blocks. This way they can’t be torn apart and there is a chance…

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Five Examples Of Lack Of Satya-Sankalpa

Krishna's Mercy

[Lord Krishna]“It is said, ‘Man proposes, God disposes.’ Thus a person may desire many things, but unless these desires are fulfilled by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they cannot be fulfilled. Fulfillment of desire is called satya-sankalpa.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 8.16.22 Purport)

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It is yet another way to describe the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is beyond the limits of the imagination. He is not bound by dualities. He is both up and down. He is high and low, simultaneously.

One of the limitations for the mere mortals is the lack of fulfillment of every desire. I can think of something. I can contemplate, but the future manifestation is not guaranteed.

1. Hoarding napkins

“It’s part of the daily routine. Visit a certain restaurant for lunch. Order takeout. The cashier always stuffs the bag with napkins. Way more than I need for a…

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Is Chanting Different Mantras Considered To Be Tapasya

Krishna's Mercy

[Chaitanya sankirtana]“In this age of Kali, people who are endowed with sufficient intelligence will worship the Lord, who is accompanied by His associates, by performance of sankirtana-yajna.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 11.5.32)

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कृष्ण-वर्णं त्विषाकृष्णं
साङ्गोपाङ्गास्त्र-पार्षदम्
यज्ञैः सङ्कीर्तन-प्रायैर्
यजन्ति हि सु-मेधसः

kṛṣṇa-varṇaṁ tviṣākṛṣṇaṁ
sāṅgopāṅgāstra-pārṣadam
yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair
yajanti hi su-medhasaḥ

Friend1: Let’s talk about tapasya.

Friend2: Austerity and penance.

Friend1: It is particularly important in the Vedic tradition.

Friend2: You could say that the emphasis begins from the very time of birth.

Friend1: Would that be considered cruelty to children, though?

Friend2: Not that you make them engage in austerity, but you automatically create conditions where sense attachment is not artificially inflated. The idea is that kids are not very smart. It makes sense, as they are so young. You could put them in an empty room with a few boxes and they would find a way…

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What Is Satya-Sankalpa

Krishna's Mercy

[Shri Krishna]“It is said, ‘Man proposes, God disposes.’ Thus a person may desire many things, but unless these desires are fulfilled by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they cannot be fulfilled. Fulfillment of desire is called satya-sankalpa.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 8.16.22 Purport)

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Friend1: I heard an interesting term the other day.

Friend2: What is that?

Friend1: It’s in the Sanskrit language. I am familiar with many of the terms, but I hadn’t heard this one before. Satya-sankalpa.

Friend2: That is interesting. Satya is truthfulness. That which is real. Sankalpa has several meanings.  Determination. Desire.

Friend1: Yes and you put them together to get the concept of fulfilling desires immediately.

Friend2: Explain further.

Friend1: Say that I want to build a house. A large property. Three floors, with the basement as the modern day man-cave. A backyard sufficient for the children to play…

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