Monday, December 31, 2012

What is the problem in just saying “Thank You”?

We always yearn for others appreciation. We may express it or not but within our hearts we always nurture a desire for admiration from others.

Just imagine. We get up early in the morning and clean the house, fill the water, rush to the shop to purchase milk and groceries, cook the food, clean the vessels, serve food to all, clean the plates, wash the clothes, pay the bills, ensure that all the members of the family have food of their choice and in fact we take care of all their necessities. But to our utter dismay our family members do not even talk to us, they don’t even realize and recognize our existence. How would we feel? Will we muster the same enthusiasm again to serve our family? Definitely Not. We will be broken – hearted, will start sulking and go into depression zone.

If we ever come to know about such ungrateful family members we outrightly condemn them. But there is someone who has been doing everything for us but still we never ever appreciate his love for us. He provides us water, milk, fruits, vegetables, air, sunlight and everything that we need in our life. This material nature, which is one of My energies, is working under My direction, O son of Kunti, producing all moving and nonmoving beings: Bhagavad – Gita 9.10. But still we never thank him or think about him. If we ever remember him then it is mostly to ask for something or to complain about something.

Are we not becoming too ungrateful by not recognizing his love and his gifts? What is the problem in just thanking him for the wonderful gifts he has bestowed upon us for our happiness?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Let us search for the “New” in this “New Year”

Sun will still rise from the east & set in the west. Earth will continue to revolve and rotate in the same trajectory. Most of us will continue to be in the same job, live in the same house, in the same neighborhood, don the same set of clothes, ride the same vehicle, watch the same television programs, news will almost remain on the same line and so on. Practically nothing changes. It’s just the calendar of our house which will change.

Most of us are aware of this simple fact but still we impatiently long to celebrate the New Year. Actually it’s not the New Year which excites us but anything which is new enthuse us - a new dress, a new house, a new car, a new birthday, for children a new toy, a new job, going to a new holiday resort, visiting a new restaurant etc. It all excites us because it gives us a hope of some new concealed excitement.

And there is nothing wrong in it.

As a soul we are pleasure seeking so we always look for something exciting which will bring joy to our life. But unfortunately our entire endeavor for seeking joy in our life boils down to 4 things – eating, sleeping, sexual & sensual pleasure and defending.

However revealed scriptures warn us that our endeavor for seeking material pleasure will always get thwarted. This is why in spite of achieving what we had dreamt for we often feel deprived of inner bliss and serenity. And so we try to find out some new means for happiness.

Srimad – Bhagavatam (7.5.30) says that our attempt for material pleasure is like chewing the chewed – punas punas carvitanam.  If a child does not find anything to play with then he picks the same chewed chewing gum and start chewing it again. Similarly, since we don’t find any new pleasure giving substance in our life, so we start getting involved in the same mundane boring material activities again.

But we have a wonderful & rare opportunity to bathe in the ocean of eternal happiness. Krishna is eternally new (nitya navanavayamana) and so loving Him brings eternal joy and infinite bliss in our life. The opportunity is rare because out of 8.4 million specifies only human beings have got the intelligence to inquire for the highest truth.  

The first aphorism of Vedanta-sutra says athato brahma jijnasa: "Therefore, inquire about the higher dimensions of life." It is very significant that the aphorism starts with the word therefore. “Therefore” implies that since you are humans so “inquire for the higher dimension of life”.

So this New Year we should take a vow to do something really new. And the best way is to befriend with the eternal, infinite, lovable Krishna who is always waiting for us with great eagerness.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Bhagavad – Gita: The oldest & the greatest literature of the world

23rd Dec was Gita – Jyanti, the day when Krishna spoke Bhagavad – Gita to Arjuna around 5000 years ago. The sublime message of the Gita was spoken by Krishna for 45 minutes at a place called Jyotisar in Haryana just before the beginning of the war.

The Gita is called Raja Vidya - the king of all knowledge. If all the Vedic literatures are cows then Bhagavad – Gita is the milk of the cow i.e. it is the essence of all the Vedic literatures. Krishna is the milkman, Arjuna is the calf who drinks the milk, and the same milk has been made available to us in the written form by the great sage, Vyasa – Dev.

This beautiful literature has impacted the conscience of humankind for ages. The glories of the Gita stems from the fact that it transcends all the artificial boundaries of caste, creed, religions, race, nation, gender etc. Bhagavad – Gita is not just 5000 years old.  It has been in existence since the dawn of creation. Krishna informs Arjuna that “I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvan, and Vivasvan instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Iksvaku” B.G. 4.1. Since the knowledge got lost by the influence of time so Krishna again spoke it to Arjuna for the benefit of all of us.

The Gita very vividly talks about Isavara (God), Jivatma (Soul), Kala (Time), Karma (actions) and Prakriti (Nature). It gives us spiritual intelligence to march towards the righteous path. The fundamental question of who am I, who is God, what is my relationship with Him and what is the purpose of this human life is very systematically, logically and pragmatically espoused.

The Gita wasn’t spoken for Hindus or Indians. In fact it is for the entire humanity. Great scholars throughout the ages have sought refuge of this pearl of wisdom when confronted with challenges. It has inspired the world fame leaders like Gandhi, Churchill, Einstein, Newton and several others.  After reading Bhagavad – Gita a Hindu will become a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim, a Christian a better Christian and a Jew a better Jew.

Unfortunately many mundane academic – scholars presented their own interpretation of Bhagavad – gita, thus misleading the masses. The most important message of the Gita is to know Krishna and to return back to the spiritual world. Srila Prabhupada was very much concerned about the misinterpretation of Krishna’s original message. He therefore decided to translate the original Sanskrit text into English language and named the book as Bhagavad Gita As It Is. The word “As It Is” stresses the fact that the book is an unadulterated translation of the original Sanskrit text. In his translation there is meaning of each Sanskrit word, translation of entire verse and purport with various scriptural references like Srimad – Bhagavatam, Brahma Samhita, Isopanisad, Puranas etc. At present this is the largest selling translation of the Gita all over the world. The book has been further translated into more than 70 languages.  Bhagavad Gita As It Is has transformed the lives of millions of people all over the planet.

The main focus of the Gita is to make us understand that if we want to lead a happy life then we need to connect ourselves to Krishna. Krishna is not imposing his will but is trying to show us the right path. It’s like a father trying to persuade his unruly son to give up suicidal path and return back to his own home where he will get lots of love and care.

Krishna is too accommodative, every living being has different level of consciousness and so He suggests various paths through which one can perfect their life. He speaks about karma – yoga, jnana yoga and dharma yoga. Dharma – Yoga is the topmost but everyone may not be able to adhere to it. So Krishna also recommends Karma – Yoga and Jnana – Yoga

After hearing the topmost knowledge Arjuna reveals, “My dear Krishna, O infallible one, my illusion is now gone. I have regained my memory by Your mercy. I am now firm and free from doubt and am prepared to act according to Your instructions. “B.G. 18.73

Just like Arjuna we too need to promise to Krishna that “I am prepared to act according to Your instructions”. And Krishna guarantees “Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.” Bhagavad – Gita 18.66

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Unseen can be known by seen

We often hear the argument that I believe in what I see and since I can’t see God so I don’t believe in Him. Do we just need to see to believe in something?  Let us see how we can prove the unseen from our daily life experience.  

We cannot think our life without water. But have we ever thought that how this most important necessity of our lives is so easily fulfilled.  Let us examine it. Ocean contains massive quantity of water. But the ocean water is salty so we cannot use it. Salt is the most simple and easily available preservative. Salt ensures that the millions of gallons of water remain preserved for millions of years in the ocean. Now at the right PVT (Pressure – Volume – Temperature) ocean water gets evaporated and forms a cloud. To ensure the exact PVT is so difficult. Scientists try hard to ensure it in the laboratory but they hardly succeed, this is why we still depend on natural rain and not any artificial rain. But in nature there is such a right balance. Is it just happening by chance or there is a supreme intelligence behind it?

Clouds have hundreds of litres of water within it and it is floating in the sky effortlessly. An airplane, a bird or any other object can easily pass through it without making any leakage in it. Is there anything in this world which is airplane proof? But the cloud is airplane proof.  Now when the time comes for the rain then all the water vapour present condenses into tiny droplets. The droplets are of such a size that when it falls then it does not even harm a tiny little grass. Now the scientist themselves are not aware that how it happens that when the water vapour starts condensing then the moment it becomes a small droplet it starts falling down. Just imagine if all the water vapour would have condensed and formed a huge droplet then what would have been our condition! And finally when we get the water then it is pure and not contaminated.

Now let us see at our home how we get water. Pipes are laid down, water is stored in huge water tanks, electric motors are used to pump the water and water is purified at the source and destination as the water gets putrefied during the entire process. Several engineers, mechanics, workers are involved for smooth running of this entire process. And then finally water reaches our homes.

Suppose that a villager comes to a city and opens a water tap. He sees that water starts flowing. He will be surprised and will think it is happening automatically because he does not see anyone around who is ensuring the water in the tap. But anyone having a little understanding of the process will be aware that there is a well placed mechanism involving several highly qualified brain who work hard to ensure the availability of water.

If the tap water needs such a sophisticated mechanism and dedicated persons for its smooth execution then how can we say that the huge quantity of rain which we get does not need a designer, controller and executioner? Our naive assumption that the entire mechanism of ocean storing water - > water getting evaporated by sun - > formation of water vapours -> formation of clouds -> condensation of water vapours -> formation of small droplets of water - > droplets falling as soon as it takes a particular size and having the exact PVT during the entire process is completely wrong. How can we say that all these are happening automatically?

Just like the villager we may not see the person who ensures this entire process but our not seeing does not mean that there is no one behind it. There is the controller, God, who controls all these and ensures that there is no scarcity of water for us.

(Reference: Lecture of H.G. Chaitanya Charan Prabhu)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Newton proves the existence of God to his atheistic friend.

Newton, the great scientist, was a firm believer in God. However one of his atheistic friends would not agree with him that there is a supreme designer behind everything. So one day Newton made a gyroscope – a replica of the solar system. When his friend came then he was struck with the preciseness of the model. He asked Newton - How did you make it. Newton replied – I did not do it. It came by chance. His friend laughed and said – Do you think that I am a fool that I will believe you? But Newton kept on insisting that it came by chance. Finally his atheistic friend got annoyed and said - If you don’t want to tell me then its fine but don’t think that I am a fool that I will believe your foolish argument. And then Newton replied – You say that the entire universe which has so much preciseness & is so beautiful came by chance then why do you have difficulty in believing that this tiny model could not come by chance. His atheistic friend was speechless and accepted that the universe has not come by chance but there is a hand of the Supreme designer behind this beautiful creation.

Krishna confirms this in Bhagavad – gita, “I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me” (Bhagavad – gita 10.8)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

20 kids murdered in Kindergarten School in USA.

Adam Lanza killed 26 including 20 kids and his mother in Newtown, Conn.,elementary school, USA on Dec 24. Is it just the tip of the iceberg? Are we preparing ourselves to witness more such mayhem? Such tragedies shake our conscience and force us to introspect. How can one stoop so low that he can mercilessly massacre innocent children and his own mother? While murdering them what he would have been thinking and feeling? What was the state of his mind at that moment when he would be seeing the dead bodies of little children?

As a society we call ourselves modern and also civilized.  In our pursuit for modernity we are trying to kill the most basic necessity of human existence i.e.  the “feelings” which we have for fellow humans. Most of us have become so self-centered that we do not care for anyone else.

Empty heart becomes a breeding ground for envy and hatred. We don’t find pleasure within and outside. Heart cries in agony and the eyes want to see tears in everyone’s eyes.  We give to the world what we have. Adam Lanza’s heart was devoid of love and gratitude and so he thought every other individual to be his enemy.

The tragedy would have never happened if he would have understood that every living being are his own brothers and sisters. We will love and care for others only if we understand that we are all children of one Supreme Father, God.

Srila Prabhupada explains, “All living beings are eternally connected by their common participation in the divine existence of God. When this existential oneness is obscured through atheism and agnosticism, people are not inclined to be merciful to one another; they cannot recognize their self-interest in promoting the welfare of other living beings. In fact, people are no longer even merciful to themselves: they systematically destroy themselves through liquor, drugs, tobacco, meat-eating, sexual promiscuity and whatever other cheap gratificatory processes are available to them” Srimad Bhagavatam 12.2.1.

So as a society we should strive to civilize ourselves by accepting and respecting the higher principles of lives as explained in the revealed scriptures. And as an individual we should endeavour to elevate our consciousness by connecting ourselves to the Absolute Truth.

Let us pray for the departed souls including that of the killer who later committed suicide and also pray that such incidents never ever happen in future.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Why different religion & different paths?

  • Suresh was advised by the doctor to smoke just 2 cigarettes per day.
  • Father told Arvind, if he scores pass marks in mathematics then he would gift him a bicycle.

Do the above examples show that the doctor is promoting smoking and the father discouraging his son from scoring 100% in maths?

Absolutely Not. Suresh was a chain smoker and Arvind an irresponsible student. So to bring them on right track they gave them a means by which they can improve themselves. Suresh does not have to smoke daily instead he should gradually give it up. And Arvind should start studying hard so that he can score very good marks in the long run.

We find that people in this world have different levels of consciousness.  Some are in mode of goodness (sattva - guna), some in passion (rajo – guna) and some in ignorance (tamo – guna).

God as the supreme father of all the living entities deals with each person as per his individual level of consciousness. This is why we find that in this world we have different religion and in Vedas also different processes have been suggested to the people based on their individual ability and capability.

For e.g. the meat eaters are allowed to sacrifice a goat. While sacrificing a goat they are supposed to utter the words that in this life I am killing you and in the next life you can kill me. But this is not the highest path.

When Jesus Chirst came to this world then he tried to preach the absolute truth but he was not able to impart complete knowledge because his followers at that time were mostly fishermen. This is why Jesus told that I want to tell you more but you would not understand them. Similarly when Prophet Mohammed preached then his followers were mostly tribesman who would not have the capability to understand the complete aspect of the world. However when Krishna spoke Bhagavad – gita then his student was Arjuna. Arjuna was a very learned scholar, a great warrior. He possessed all the qualification. This is why Krishna gave him the highest knowledge.  

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Arjuna, because you are never envious of Me, I shall impart to you this most confidential knowledge and realization, knowing which you shall be relieved of the miseries of material existence. (Bhagavad – Gita 9.1).”

God is one.  Everything starts from Him. We were happily living with Him in the spiritual world. However we decided to rebel against the wishes of the Lord and so we were sent to this world.

The purpose of all the religions of the world is to gradually elevate our consciousness so that we can develop love for God. One can develop love for God whether one is following Christianity, Islam or Hinduism; the only qualification required is that one should follow the scriptures as it is. One should not misinterpret it as per one’s own liking.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Have we become complaining machines?

  • I am not able to properly chant my rounds and even complete my rounds because I don’t get sufficient time.
  • My job is too tough.  Practicing devotional life is too difficult for me.
  • If only my spouse would have been more cooperative I would have practiced Krishna consciousness very sincerely.  
  • I don’t have sufficient money. I need to earn more to properly maintain my family. After I have accumulated sufficient wealth then I will sincerely absorb myself in Krishna’s service.
  • I don’t have association of sincere devotees.
  • What can I do? I am like that only. It is due to my past conditioning.

These and many more problems confront us daily while practicing devotional life.  Most of us have the philosophical understanding at least at the theoretical level that human life is very rare and it should be utilized to practice Krishna Consciousness. When we would have heard for the first time that our real home is the spiritual world where life is eternal and bliss is unlimited then we would have been overjoyed. Delighted at this pearl of wisdom we would have promised to ourselves, “I will dedicate my life for Krishna and ensure that this life would be my last life in this miserable material world”. However soon we fall prey to our old habits of finding excuses for not doing the right things.

One of the biggest problems of our life is our uncontrolled senses. 

Give spiritual sense to the senses

Our senses make us senseless because we don’t have the sense to utilize it for pleasing Krishna’s senses. Our senses always drag us in different directions because most of the time we nourish non – devotional desires. Mind will always give us some idea which will take us away from Krishna. We should not allow our mind to enslave us. Subduing senses with artificial means is impossible; senses can be subdued by engaging in devotional activities. For e.g. we should utilize our eyes in relishing the divine beauty of the Lord, ears should be utilized in hearing the glories of the Lord, tongue should be utilized in chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra and in tasting Krishna prasad. In fact, we should dovetail all our activities for the pleasure of the Lord. Soon we would find that our senses is completely spiritualized and is in Krishna’s control. Srila Prabhupada confirms, “But if one is engaged in Krishna consciousness, then, automatically, sense desires subside without extraneous efforts.” (Bhagavad – gita 2.55 Purport). Material world troubles us because we fail to befriend with Krishna’s wishes. Remember Krishna rewards us as per our wishes, “As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly” (Bhagavad – gita 4.11).

Our great fortune

Devotional life is not so easy. But due to the mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu practicing devotional life and achieving perfection has become so easy for all of us in this age of Kali-yuga. Srila Prabhupada taught us how we can practice devotion while being in this material world. He opened hundreds of temples and wrote several books so that we can take advantage of these facilities.

Although we have these facilities but still we prefer to suffer in this material world. We lack strong determination and firm dedication. We need to have the determination of the tiny little sparrow who challenged the mighty ocean.

Dare to dry the ocean

The ocean had stolen the eggs of the sparrow and the little bird wanted her eggs badly. She was determined to get it back. The little bird thundered, “Return my eggs else I will dry you”. Hearing this ocean started laughing. But the sparrow was resolute in her purpose. With her tiny little beak she took few drops of water from the ocean and threw it on the surface. She did it again and again. Everyone was amused; the ocean could not control his laughter. But nothing deterred the sparrow. She continued with her endeavour without thinking about success or failure. News spread everywhere about the resolve of an insignificant creature to dry the gigantic ocean. Finally her efforts attracted the attention of Garuda, the king of the birds and the carrier of Lord Vishnu. Garuda threatened the ocean and said, “Return her eggs immediately or else I will completely dry you now.” Seeing the huge size of Garuda, ocean became frightened and within no time retuned back the eggs of the bird.

Most of the time we accept defeat even before giving a try. We get discouraged thinking that this is an impossible task for me to accomplish. Material world is like a gigantic ocean. No matter what we do, our efforts will appear to be insignificant. We do not have the capacity to cross this ocean on our own. But if we are keen to cross the ocean then we need to have the determination of the little sparrow. In our day to day life we come across several difficult situations which appear to be a hindrance in our practice of Krishna consciousness. However instead of counting our problems and becoming a complaining machine, we should cry out for Krishna’s help. Krishna is ever eager to elevate us to the eternal spiritual world. For every material problem there is always a spiritual solution.

For e.g. most of us face problem in controlling our lust. We may try hard to control it but we often get knocked down by lusty desires. However, if we take proper guidance of senior devotees and follow their instructions then success is guaranteed. Our efforts will please the Lord and he will completely burn our uncontrolled lusty desires. Similarly, if we are not getting time for chanting or taste for chanting then still we should try our best to chant & complete our rounds. Lord tests our sincerity. We just need to endeavour to the best of our ability.  . Our determination and sincerity  pleases the Lord as the efforts of the sparrow pleased Garuda.

God helps those who help themselves

To remain happy in this world is very simple but to remain simple is very difficult. Material nature always allures us. We should not get bogged down by our material positions and possessions. We should practice Krishna consciousness in whatever circumstances we are in. “Whether one is without desire [the condition of the devotees], or is desirous of all fruitive results, or is after liberation, one should with all efforts try to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead for complete perfection, culminating in Krishna consciousness”. Srimad – Bhagavatam 2.3.10.

Practicing devotional life does not mean that we have to do things perfectly. We just need to put in our best efforts. Lord Rama was pleased with the efforts of the tiny squirrel who was helping the monkey warriors during the construction of the bridge.

We have to take the decision. Do we want to rot in this world again or do we want to go back to the spiritual world where there is unlimited bliss? If yes, then instead of being a complaining machine and finding excuses for our spiritual lethargy, we should smartly utilize each moment of our life to get closer to Krishna.   Srila Prabhupada explains, “If anyone follows the principles with great determination, the Lord will surely help, for God helps those who help themselves.”  (Bhagavad – gita 6.24 Purport)

So, let us take a vow to dry the ocean of material existence and show our efforts by practicing devotional life with utmost sincerity keeping complete faith in Krishna’s mercy.  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Relationship – So valuable but now rarely valued

  • And finally he decided to send his old parents to the old age home. It was difficult for him to deal with them.
  • Both were good friends since school days. But now one of them is a business magnate and the other one is just having a simple job in an office. It became difficult to sustain the friendship. Now they rarely meet. It’s verily said that friendship is possible only among the equals.
  • 2 brothers lived together, played together and studied together. But now they are not living together. It’s practically impossible. As they have to realize their independent dreams, they live independently. Also today they cannot tolerate each other.

We might have heard or even witnessed these events in our lives many times. Relationship of this world does not last long. Unfortunately most of the relationship is based on the philosophy of “What is there for me in it?” Selfless relationship has become like an endangered species. Few years back love of a mother for her child was considered to be selfless. But this has also changed. Today’s mother does not hesitate to murder her child in her womb by undergoing abortion. And if somehow the child is born then some mother consider him to be a burden. Relationship between a husband and wife are more at physical level than at emotional level these days.

This is why today’s major diseases are loneliness and depression. In our journey we may achieve many things which are material. But these material things will not have much value. The most invaluable gift is the relationship. And the relationship can only be possible if it is centered on God. 

If we just have a glimpse of our rich Vedic heritage we will find innumerable examples of selfless love and loving relationship.

  • Shravan Kumar is championed as an ideal son who dedicated his life taking care of his old and blind parents.
  • Bharat had the opportunity to become king of Ayodhya. But he refused because he wanted his elder brother Lord Rama to be the king.
  • Lord Krishna and Sudama were great friends. Although Krishna had become the king of Dwarka but still he never forgot Sudama. The moment he heard that Sudama had come to his door, he rushed to meet him and embrace him.
  • Love of mother Yasoda for Krishna is well known. Such loving reciprocation between a mother and her child is even sung today.

Happiness is in sharing. Joy is in giving. Life is in loving. We can love all if we understand that every one of us is children of one Supreme Father, God. Let us try to rebuild our society based on the wisdom of Vedic literatures. It will open the door of endless love and never – ending happiness.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Damodar lila - Controlling the controller with the ropes of love

Krishna was hungry. He wanted milk and so he went to his mother. Mother Yasoda was churning butter at that time. When she saw Krishna, she immediately understood that he was hungry and so she started feeding him. Meanwhile a pot of milk which was getting boiled on the oven started overflowing. Mother Yasoda kept Krishna aside and rushed to attend the boiling milk on the oven. Seeing that Mother Yasoda had stopped feeding him the milk, Krishna became angry. He hit the pot of churning butter with a stone, broke it, and entered another room.

When Yasoda saw that the pot was broken she immediately understood that it’s the mischief of Krishna. In the room Krishna was standing on a mortar which he had put upside down. He was stealing butter and was also feeding it to the monkeys. When he saw his mother, he became afraid and started running away. Mother Yasoda became angry, she thought to punish Krishna.

She caught Krishna and decided to bind him with a rope. However, when she tried to put knot on the rope she found it short by 2 fingers. She took more ropes and tied the ropes together. But when she tried to put the knot it was again short by 2 fingers. She did it again and again but each time the rope was short by 2 fingers. She became tired, she started perspiring. Krishna saw her mother and felt great love for her. He could not bear her pain. So, he decided to get bound by her ropes.

Saints and sages meditate for millions of years yearning for a glimpse of the lord. But here mother Yasoda was so fortunate that she was constantly relishing the pastimes of the Lord and even was punishing Him. This is why Krishna is called Bhakta Vatsala. We too can get an opportunity to associate with Krishna. The only qualification required is our eagerness & our desire to associate with him. Krishna confirms, “As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly” Bhagavad – Gita 4.11.

Let us also try to bind Krishna with the ropes of love.
(Reference: Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead by Srila Prabhupada)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

4 persons were going but only 3 would be returning back. One will never return back.

There were 2 options – departure date and return date. I was booking train tickets for 4 persons. But when I saw the option for return journey, I got numb. 4 persons were going but only 3 would be returning back. One person will never return back.

One of the devotees in Kolkata had slipped into coma, doctor said that he will not survive and will die in few days. Family members thought to take him to Vrindavan during his last moment so that he can leave his body in a spiritual place. 3 other persons had to accompany him. I was given the service of booking the ticket. And while filling up the booking form I came across this situation that there is no need to book a return ticket for him. Such situation in life baffles us; we are at a loss to express our emotion.

But this is the hard reality of this world. Everyone of us has to go through this situation when we will not return back to our home, to our family, to our friends, to our relatives.

This life is very valuable. We have got a human body which is very rare. Let us make the best use of this opportunity. Let us go back to our home where there will be no death, where life is eternal, relationship is eternal and happiness is eternal. Krishna says in Bhagavad – gita 15.6, “"That supreme abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by fire or electricity. Those who reach it never return to this material world."

The only qualification required to go to that eternal abode is by developing love for Krishna. We can develop love for him by chanting his holy names:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

Krishna promises us, "And whoever, at the end of his life, quits his body, remembering Me, attains immediately to My nature; and there is no doubt of this." [Bg. 8.5].

So let us best utilize our lives and get back to our original home. There is no use in rotting in this useless world.   

Saturday, October 20, 2012

When Krishna blinks & When he does not blink?

Krishna has a unique quality – he blinks his eyes & he does not blink his eyes. Krishna blinks to overlook our mistakes & he never blinks when he sees us sincerely being engaged in devotional service.

In this world we find just the opposite. People blink when you do something good to them and never blink if you are doing something which is unpalatable to them.

For e.g. A person may work tirelessly for a company but the company does not hesitate even for a moment to throw him out, if the management feels that the person is no longer profitable for the organization. Parents spend their entire life serving their children but when the children grow up they discard their parents thinking them to be a burden.

But Krishna is not like that. He remembers even our tinniest of contribution and repays it back in multiples. Once when Krishna’s finger was cut then Draupadi tore her sari and wrapped it around Krishna’s finger. Krishna saw Draupadi’s love without blinking his eyes. He was so pleased with her service. And when Draupadi was being disrobed then he repaid it by providing her unlimited saris.

When Putana came to kill little Krishna then Krishna blinked. He blinked because he wanted to overlook her demoniac mentality. Instead he focused on the fact that the lady wanted to serve him by offering her milk to him. This pleased Krishna and he decided to reward her. As a reward she became a nurse in the spiritual world and got an opportunity to serve Krishna.

This is Krishna’s greatness. He loves us even though we don’t love him. So, just imagine how much he will love us when we start loving him.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Don’t sink but sail

While constructing the Rama-setu bridge, the monkey - warriors used to write the name of Lord Rama on the stones and would throw them in the mighty ocean; the stones used to float.  Once Lord Rama Himself threw the stone in the ocean and surprisingly the stone sank.  When Hanuman saw this he started smiling.  Hanuman with folded hands said, “My dear Lord this is just one of your lilas.  You make huge planets float in the sky so what is the difficulty for you to make these stones float in the ocean? By this act of yours, you just want to highlight that those who take your shelter will fearlessly cross this ocean of material existence but those who are discarded by you will sink in this ocean.

When we take shelter of Lord Rama then all bodily and mental suffering, disease, lamentation, distress & fear completely get vanished.  Thus we can very swiftly sail through this ocean of nescience and reach to our ultimate destination.  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Understanding Different Living Entities

Lord Chaitanya explained that there are 2 kinds of living entities in this world – eternally liberated and eternally conditioned. Eternally conditioned living entities can be divided into 2 types viz moving and non-moving. Living entities like trees for example remain in one place fixed and so are categorized as non-moving entities.**

Moving entities are divided into 3 categorizes – those that can walk on land (human beings), swim in water (fish) and fly in sky (birds). Out of millions and trillions of living entities found on land, human beings comprise a small portion. Out of these small portions most of them are ignorant about spiritual life. In fact there is no difference between the lives of these spiritually dead people and that of an animal. Both of these living entities are only bothered about eating, sleeping, mating and defending.


Those fortunate human beings who believe in the scriptures and the existence of God there are 2 categories – righteous and unrighteous. Those who are righteous execute fruitive activities to derive material benefits for sense gratification. Out of many such persons there are few who actually come to know about the Absolute truth. These are called jnanis, empiric philosophers.


Out of these many thousands of people very few actually attain liberation. These liberated souls theoretically understand that living entities are not made of material elements but is in fact a spirit soul. They understand the difference between matter and spirit.


However Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says that a liberated soul is one who actually understands that his real constitutional position is to serve the Lord. Such liberated souls engage completely in the service of the Lord with his mind and body. They dedicate their lives for the pleasure of the Lord and they have only one aspiration i.e. to become a humble servant of the Lord. These fortunate souls are called as Krishna Bhaktas.


These Krishna Bhaktas are free from all material desires and are very peaceful. This is even confirmed in Srimad Bhagavatam:

Muktanam api siddhanam

narayana – parayanah

sudurlabhah prasantatma

kotisv api mahamune

O great sage, out of many millions of liberated persons and persons who have achieved success in mystic yoga, one who is completely devoted to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and who is filled with peace is very hard to find.” (S.B. 6.14.5)


Devotees of the lord always think for the welfare of other living entities by spreading the message of Krishna and by engaging people in the service of Krishna. They engage themselves fully in the service of the Lord.


**[Here it should be noted that our ancient Hindu scriptures since time immemorial have clearly categorized ‘trees’ as living entities. Renowned scientist Jagdish Chandra Bose scientifically demonstrated this fact.]


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Worldly Problems Spiritual Solutions/A seminar at IIT Kharagpur by H.H. Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaj

Suicide rates are increasing at an alarming rate today. Suicide rates are higher between the age group of 15 – 29. Peer pressure, high academic expectations, job anxiety etc. have been the major reasons for suicide. However, today the situation is so deplorable that young students are ending their life for trivial reasons - an IIT student committed suicide because he was not able to secure admission to the branch of his own choice. Human life is precious, but the youths are getting so overwhelmed by the precarious conditions that they do not hesitate to do the unthinkable.”

The opening speech by Prof. Kanchan Chaudhary, an IIT Kharagpur Professor, echoed the sentiments of several people all over the world.  

The occasion was the seminar organized by IIT KGP on the topic “Wordly Problems, Spiritual Solutions”. The honourable speaker on the occasion was H.H. Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaj. He is a senior disciple of Srila Prabhupada and travels throughout the world spreading the timeless Vedic wisdom.

The program began at 6:30 p.m. in the S.N. Bose auditorium of IIT KGP on 6th Oct. The auditorium was completely packed with IIT Professors, IIT students and with other staff members of the institute.

H.H. Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaj said that if we want to understand the problems of this world then we should get into the root of it.  To analyse the root cause of the problems we need to understand - Nature of the Material World, Nature of the soul, Why do the souls (we) come to this material world? & What is our relationship with God, Krishna? We are all parts and parcel of the Supreme Lord but due to our desire to enjoy separately from the Lord we are sent to this material world. For e.g. spark is nothing but fire but when it gets separated from fire and falls on ash then it becomes just like ash. Similarly we are sac – cid – ananda i.e. eternal, blissful and full of knowledge but since we get separated from the Lord, we fall into this material world and we start identifying ourselves with matter. This is the root cause of all sufferings in this world.

H.H. Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaj further said that our salvation lies in re-establishing our relationship with the Lord. The spark can regain its fiery quality only when it reunites with fire. We can eliminate all our worldly problems and regain our blissful constitutional position if we again re-establish our forgotten relationship with the Lord. And doing this is very easy. H.H. Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaj then explained that “love” is the inherent quality of a soul. Love unites and hatred separates. So if we want to get united with the Lord then we have to offer our love to Him. Love means action and if we really want to express our love then we need to work for the pleasure of the lord. This is called bhakti.

Such a profound philosophy touched the hearts of every soul who were present in the hall.

After the talk, an unending Questions & Answers session began.  Everyone present had something to ask from the speaker. However lack of time compelled the organizers to stop the Q&A session in the middle.

Prof. Kanchan Chaudhari thanked H.H. Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaj for sparing his time for this program. He further said that the speaker’s spiritual solution for the worldly problems were both practical and powerful.  He expressed the need for organizing such thought provoking seminars on a regular basis.


At the end there was a melodious kirtan of Hare Krishna Mahamntra led by H.H. Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaj. Everyone joyfully participated in the kirtan.

Bhagavad – gita stall was put up outside the auditorium. All the 50 Bhagavad – gita’s were distributed within few minutes. Everyone was eager to imbibe and apply the timeless principles of this great literature in their own lives.
Finally everyone relished the Dinner Prasad.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Krishna is individual and we are individuals

Many people have misconception that after performing certain type of meditation he/she can become God by merging into God. However none of the revealed scriptures support this argument. In fact we are always individual and we will always remain so. 

Nowhere in Bhagavad – gita it is said that Arjuna wanted to merge with Lord Krishna.  Bhagavad – gita clearly says that the Supreme Lord is individual and the living entities are individuals.

“Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be” (Bhagavad – Gita 2.12)

Srila Prabhupada explains: “The Lord says clearly that He Himself, Arjuna and all the kings who are assembled on the battlefield are eternally individual beings and that the Lord is eternally the maintainer of the individual living entities both in their conditioned and in their liberated situations. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the supreme individual person, and Arjuna, the Lord's eternal associate, and all the kings assembled there are individual eternal persons. It is not that they did not exist as individuals in the past, and it is not that they will not remain eternal persons. Their individuality existed in the past, and their individuality will continue in the future without interruption. Therefore, there is no cause for lamentation for anyone.”

In Bhagavad – Gita 18.65 Lord Krishna says, “Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend”:-  (Bhagavad – Gita 18.65)

The plurality of the individual soul and of the Lord is an eternal fact which is confirmed by all the revealed scriptures.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Offer your love & Reunite with him

Spark is nothing but fire. It has all the qualities of the fire. But when the spark gets separated from the fire and falls on ash then it loses its fiery quality and it becomes ash. Similarly we are parts and parcel of the Lord and in the spiritual world we were happily living with Krishna. However we misused our intelligence and decided to enjoy separately from the lord. Krishna confirms this in Bhagavad – gita (15.7), “The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.”

Spiritual world is a place where everyone willingly and lovingly serves the Lord and no one have any separate desire other than satisfying the Lord. As in this material world we see that those citizens who do not abide by the rule of the land are put behind bars so that the law abiding citizens can live happily. Since, we became the law – breakers in the spiritual world so we were put into this material world so that there is no disruption in the service of the Lord in the spiritual world. After falling in this world we lost all our spiritual qualities and we started identifying ourselves with the material nature.

Spark can re-gain its fiery quality when it re-unites with fire. Similarly we can regain our spiritual identity only when we re-unite with the Supreme lord. The best way to re-unite with Lord is by offering our love to him. And the simplest way to offer our love to the most lovable lord is by chanting his all – auspicious holy names.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Friday, October 12, 2012

Unique position of Lord Shiva

Lord Shiva has a very unique and significant position in the cosmic manifestation. In fact Lord Shiva is the most powerful, second only to Lord Vishnu. Shiva is an expansion of Lord Krishna. Revealed scriptures explain that Krishna has 64 qualities.  Lord Brahma posses 78% of these qualities and Lord Shiva possesses 84% of these qualities. Since living entities are also like Brahma so they also possess 78% of these qualities but in lesser extent. None of them possess all 100%.  

Srila Prabhupada explains, “The living being can never possess attributes like Shiva, Vishnu or Lord Krishna. A living being can become godly by developing the seventy-eight-percent transcendental attributes in fullness, but he can never become a God like Shiva, Vishnu or Krishna. He can become a Brahma in due course: - Srimad Bhagavatam 1.3.28 purport

Lord Shiva has connection with the material nature but Lord Vishnu (or Lord Krishna) is transcendental to material nature. The position of Lord Shiva is very beautiful explained in Brahma – Samhita (Verse 45),”Just as milk is transformed into curd by the action of acids, but yet the effect curd is neither same as, nor different from, its cause, viz., milk, so I adore the primeval Lord Govinda of whom the state of Shambhu is a transformation for the performance of the work of destruction”.

The scriptures like Srimad – Bhagavatam, Brahma – samhita, Padma – Purana etc. explains the position of Lord Shiva in this universe.

1.      Srimad – Bhagavatam (S.B) (12.13.16) states vaisnavanam yatha sambhu i.e. Lord Shiva is the best of the Vaishnavas, the devotee of Lord Krishna.

2.      S.B (6.3.20) informs us that Lord Shiva is one of the 12 Mahajanas, the authorities on Vaisnava philosophy.

3.      In S.B 4.24.76, Lord Shiva states that if anyone reads his Rudra geeta prayer then he will invoke the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna.

4.      Lord Shiva tells his wife that he drank hala hala, the poison which came out during the churning of the ocean, to please Lord Vishnu.(S.B. 8.7.40)

5.      In Padma Purana Shiva tells his wife Sati,”sri rama rama rameti rame rame manorame sahasra namah tat tulyam rama nama varanane.” Lord Shiva clearly speaks here that he relishes chanting the names of Lord Rama.

6.      Lord Shiva got bewildered when he saw the female form of Lord Vishnu, Mohini Murti. Lord Shiva later reveals that he is unable to completely understand the illusory energy of Lord Krishna. This is stated in S.B. (8.12.10).

7.      When Krishna displayed his Universal form then Arjuna said: “My dear Lord Krishna, I see assembled in Your body, all the demigods and various other living entities. I see Brahma sitting on the lotus flower, as well as Lord Shiva and all the sages and divine serpents.” Bhagavad-gita (11.15).

8.      During Lord Krishna’s pastimes in Vrindavan, Lord Shiva wanted to participate in the rasa – lila dance along with the cowherd damsels and he desired to become a gopi.

(Reference: Self – Manager by H.G. Radheshyam Das, President Iskcon Pune)

Braham Samhita (verse 10) clearly establishes that Lord Shiva derives his power from Lord Vishnu, “The person embodying the material causal principle, viz., the great lord of this mundane world [Maheshvara] Shambhu, in the form of the male generating organ, is joined to his female consort, the limited energy [Maya] as the efficient causal principle. The Lord of the world Maha-Vishnu is manifest in him by His subjective portion in the form of His glance.”

Lord Shiva is neither an avatara nor avesha and is also not in between them. Lord Shiva is the greatest demigod, even greater than Lord Brahma. He is the spiritual master of the entire universe. He has his own spiritual line (sampradaya) called the Rudra – sampradaya. At present this sampradaya is represented by Vishnusvami-sampradaya, or the Vallabha-sampradaya.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

100% return guaranteed

When the share market has an upward swing the investors joyfully celebrate and when the market crashes the investors miserably laments. No investment can guarantee 100% return in this world. Even the most promising company itself does not have secure future then how can it guarantee a secure return. During the recent recession banking giants like Lehman brothers, Merril Lynch etc. collapsed. Insecurity and fear accompany our every endeavour.

However there is something to cheer about. Timeless Vedic wisdom informs us about an investment opportunity where 100% return is guaranteed. The process of investing in it is also very easy – no paper work, no ID proof and no threat of being duped.

One just need to invest some time and can be assured of high returns.

Arjuna invested his time in developing friendship with Krishna and in return Krishna removed all the hurdles from his life and made him victorious. Similarly we should invest our time in developing friendship with Krishna. It’s very easy to do. We just need to dovetail our activities as per Krishna’s advice. And Krishna assures us, “In this endeavour there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear” (Bhagavad – Gita 2.40)

In this endeavour 3 things are guaranteed

1.       Whatever you invest, you will get it back with a higher rate of return.

2.       Protection from greatest type of danger.

3.       The return is not only limited to this life time but will also benefit you in next life time.

So why not be a smart investor and invest our little time in remembering the lord by chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. It will make our present as well as our future secure and blissful.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Why not ‘Why’?

  • How should I increase my fortune?
  • How should I pass the exam?
  • How to impress my boss?
  • How the earth moves around the sun?
  • How beautiful the weather is today.

The list is endless. Throughout the day and throughout our lives we are either busy understanding as “How things work in this world” and “How can it be utilized to fulfill the mundane requirements of our life”. 

Do we ever bother to ask ‘Why’?

  • Why should I earn money?
  • Why am I working?
  • Why someone in this world is born rich and someone as poor?
  • Why earth moves round this sun?
  • Why do we grow old?
  • Why do we die?
  • Why relationship of this world is so fragile and temporary?
  • Why our life is temporary and not permanent in this world?

Unless we try to seek answers to these questions we will fail to do any justice to ourselves. Such inquiry is called Athato brahma – jijnasa. Let us not utilize our human intelligence in solving the problems of ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithun – eating, sleeping, defending and mating.  Animals can do it better than us and that too without much struggle.

Let us utilize our human intelligence for some meaningful purpose. So let us begin by asking “Why” first and then seek answer for “How”. For e.g. let us inquire, “Why everything in this world is temporary?” Once we find answer to this question then we should ask “How to transfer ourselves from this temporary realm to the eternal world?”