My Sentiment Is Better Than Yours

Krishna's Mercy

[Lord Krishna]“Religion without philosophy is sentiment, or sometimes fanaticism, while philosophy without religion is mental speculation. The ultimate goal is Krishna, because the philosophers who are also sincerely searching after the Absolute Truth come in the end to Krishna consciousness. This is also stated in the Bhagavad-gita. The whole process is to understand the real position of the self in relation to the Superself.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 3.3 Purport)

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Friend1: Do you ever get tired of explaining Krishna consciousness?

Friend2: Why? Do you?

Friend1: I understand that explaining is kirtanam, which is chanting. Chanting and discussing, empowered by authority, are the same thing. I know that.

Friend2: Right. Kirtanam is not just chanting congregationally. It can surely be, enjoying the maha-mantra with a group: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. But…

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Five Symbolic Aspects Of The Bhagavad-gita

Krishna's Mercy

[Hanuman flag on chariot]“The emblem of Hanuman on the flag of Arjuna is another sign of victory because Hanuman cooperated with Lord Rama in the battle between Rama and Ravana, and Lord Rama emerged victorious. Now both Rama and Hanuman were present on the chariot of Arjuna to help him. Lord Krishna is Rama Himself, and wherever Lord Rama is, His eternal servitor Hanuman and His eternal consort Sita, the goddess of fortune, are present.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 1.20 Purport)

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Authority is what allows knowledge to proceed. Imagine you are a first grade school teacher. You are ready to provide instruction on things like simple addition and the alphabet. One problem. No one in the class will listen. They challenge everything you say. They don’t respect you. They refuse to acknowledge authority. How, then, will they learn?

In Vedic culture there is something called parampara

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Shouldn’t I Try To Learn Something From Every Religion

Krishna's Mercy

[Shrimad Bhagavatam]“My dear Lord, please pacify your anger completely and hear patiently whatever I submit before you. Please turn your kind attention to this. I may be very poor, but a learned man takes the essence of knowledge from all places, just as a bumblebee collects honey from each and every flower.” (Mother earth speaking to Maharaja Prithu, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 4.18.2)

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Friend1: What would your advice be to someone who is interested in learning about the bhakti culture or God in general?

Friend2: Those are two very different things.

Friend1: How so?

Friend2: Bhakti is a way of life. The objectives are clearly defined, as are the different ways to practice. God, meanwhile, is open for interpretation.

Friend1: Well, that’s what I’m asking. Say they want to know God for sure, beyond doubts.

Friend2: “Now hear, O son of Pritha [Arjuna], how by practicing…

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The Fruit Of Suffering

Krishna's Mercy

[Sita-Rama]“I have brought this ring, given by the high-souled Rama, for the purpose of gaining your trust. All good fortune unto you. Please have confidence that the fruit that was your distress has ended indeed.” (Hanuman speaking to Sita Devi, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 36.3)

pratyayārtham tavānītam tena dattam mahātmanā |
samāśvasihi bhadram te kṣīṇa duhkha phalā hi asi ||

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“Why am I suffering so much? How could this be happening to me? It’s one thing after another. I don’t remember having done something bad. It must be from a previous life. My chickens have come home to roost. The suffering is finally hitting where it hurts. I wish it would just end already.”

This lamentation is not uncommon, as man has an inherent understanding of right and wrong. It’s called the conscience; the little voice inside your head that tells you that…

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Carrying Something Important

Krishna's Mercy

[Hanuman giving Rama's ring to Sita]“O most fortunate one, I am a Vanara, messenger of the intelligent Rama. And behold this ring, O Devi, marked with Rama’s name.” (Hanuman speaking to Sita Devi, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 36.2)

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vānaro aham mahābhāge dūto rāmasya dhīmataḥ |
rāma nāma ankitam ca idam paśya devi angulīyakam ||

You’ve got something important to send. In addition to accounting for speed of delivery, there is attention to safety for the parcel. It can’t get lost. It would be a real shame if someone opens it prior to reaching the intended destination.

One safeguard is to purchase insurance. The person behind the counter informs you that the insurance isn’t that expensive. The key is to put a monetary value on the contents of the package. Over a certain amount, the price of the insurance goes up.

[Parcel]A long time ago a messenger was carrying…

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Just As Fortunate

Krishna's Mercy

[Sita-Rama]“O most fortunate one, I am a Vanara, messenger of the intelligent Rama. And behold this ring, O Devi, marked with Rama’s name.” (Hanuman speaking to Sita Devi, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 36.2)

vānaro aham mahābhāge dūto rāmasya dhīmataḥ |
rāma nāma ankitam ca idam paśya devi angulīyakam ||

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The Sanskrit word “Bhagavan” is peppered throughout the sacred Bhagavad-gita. Indeed, the title of that book has a similar name found within, as does the Bhagavata Purana, also known as the Shrimad Bhagavatam. The wise know that the most accurate English translation for Bhagavan is “God.” The more complete description, kindly provided by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, is “Supreme Personality of Godhead.”

There are competing versions of God, after all. One religion bars its members from crafting any images of the Divine. This is heresy, idol worship…

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Why Didn’t Krishna Show Duryodhana The Future

Krishna's Mercy

[Krishna meeting with Duryodhana]“All the sons of Dhritarashtra along with their allied kings, and Bhishma, Drona and Karna, and all our soldiers are rushing into Your mouths, their heads smashed by Your fearful teeth. I see that some are being crushed between Your teeth as well.” (Arjuna, Bhagavad-gita, 11.26-27)

Friend1: Do you remember playing that game as a child, where you had to spot the object that didn’t match with the others?

Friend2: For sure. It was in books. I saw it on Sesame Street, too.

Friend1: There you go. It was a great learning tool, wouldn’t you say?

Friend2: Definitely.

Friend1: Let’s play a version of that game today.

Friend2: Why?

Friend1: I’m trying to present my question in a clever way.

Friend2: Sure. Go for it.

Friend1: Markandeya.

Friend2: A great rishi.

Friend1: Let me finish the list, please.

Friend2: Sorry.

Friend1: Markandeya, Kakabhushundi. Yashoda. Arjuna. Duryodhana.

Friend2: You are…

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