Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Justice for others but mercy for me!

Can any one of us very confidently say that we have never done anything wrong in our lives? We haven’t behaved in a shoddy or disrespectful way with others? The interesting aspect of our life is that we tend to forget something wrong which we do to others but always remember what others have done to us. We always vie for a person’s blood who misbehaved with us, spoke to us arrogantly or did not show any respect to us. The sight of that person agitates us, their success pains us. We always pray that god should do justice with me and punish our insulters severely. However if we have done something wrong to others then we always hope that god will be merciful and will surely forgive us. Is it not a double standard? If we seek forgiveness for our mistakes from God then should we also not desire forgiveness for others? It would not be better if we ourselves forgive that person who tried to hurt us.

Forgiveness is a great virtue which we should always nurture. History is inundated with the stories of people who are revered today because they had the heart to forgive others. Hiranyakashipu tried all means to savagely kill his 5 year old son Prahlad but Prahlad begged to Lord Nrsimhadeva to forgive his father, Lord Rama was always ready to forgive Ravana, Lord Nityanand Prabhu forgave Jagai and Madhai although they humiliated him and injured him, Hardias Thakura were beaten at 22 market places but throughout his ordeal Haridas Thakura begged the Lord to forgive those who were tormenting him, Jesus Christ begged for forgiveness for those who were crucifying him. Carrying grudge towards others is like carrying a burning charcoal in our hand. It burns us always and increases our suffering. Forgiveness reflects our magnanimity, it also purifies our heart. Once we forgive others then our heart experiences a deep serenity. This is why in Bhagavad Gita 16.3; forgiveness is categorized as one of the divine qualities. So, let us try to follow the footsteps of these great souls and try our best to forgive those who once brought pain in our life.


Saturday, April 13, 2013


“Realizing that we are not suspended in the uncertainty of uncaring chance, but are enveloped in the certainty of unfailing love is life’s greatest discovery”: Chaitanya Charan Das reminds us in his newly published book The Gita for Daily Enrichment. The book has been released recently.

365 short and crispy articles adorn the book. An article a day for 365 days for a reader to meditate upon. Several meditational books flood the market but this is the first book which offers thought for daily mediation based on a verse from the Bhagavad - Gita.

An electronics engineer by profession, the author has been an ISKCON monk for last fifteen years. The creative and pragmatic presentation of the message of the Gita with several contemporary examples reflects his profound and insightful understanding of this great literature. Each verse of the Gita is explained very succinctly, intelligently and interestingly. The language is lucid and style is contemporary. It nudges the reader to think, reflect and then act.

Today the importance of Gita has not waned, as the skeptics want us to believe. The present day society is marred with several perplexities - relationships are in tatters, insecurity looms large, fear of future and failure keeps us always in anxiety. Today neither the inflation nor the temperature is increasing at a higher rate than the suicide and drug consumption rate. During these troubled times we need wisdom of Gita to skilfully confront any challenge.

The book empowers the reader with spiritual intelligence to take the right decision. The author prods the reader to understand the importance of human life. He strongly argues that the human life is not just meant for seeking material pleasure but is to strive for eternal spiritual pleasure. The daily nuggets explain about the higher dimensions of life. The author constantly reminds the reader to rise from the intellectual level to spiritual level and to engage in practical devotional service to Krishna if they seriously want to relish the spiritual nectar.

The author is fundamentally acquainted with the subject and he knows his audience well. The book does not quote the verse or its translation verbatim but instead it tries to focus on the applicability of each verse in the present context. Sincere practitioners, genuine seekers, academic - scholars, young and old, men and women, all will find something to contemplate upon. The reputed Hinduism author Steven Rosen phrases the appeal of this book succinctly: “Chaitanya Charan das unlocks many of the mysteries of the Bhagavad-gita, allowing contemporary readers access to an otherwise often impenetrable scripture.”

Overall the 365 articles inspire the reader to embark on a spiritual path. One develops deep appreciation for Gita and also feels closer to Krishna, the ultimate object of one’s meditation. In total, there are 365 good reasons to purchase the book.

The book is available on Amazon as a kindle edition. The hard copy of the book can also be ordered from the author’s site www.thespiritualscientist.com and from amazon.com.

(Purushottam Kumar is a member of congregation at ISKCON Kolkata. He works in Tech Mahindra, Kolkata.)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

We will never die

Upset over the exam result, a student commits suicide. A man was facing acute economic hardships so he decided to end his life along with his wife and children. Many such incidents we regularly read in newspapers or hear about it. Sometime people get so overwhelmed by their situations and circumstances that they feel by ending their life all their miseries will cease to exist.

But this is not going to happen because we are souls and so our life will never end i.e. we are never going to die. This is confirmed in Bhagavad – Gita 2.13:- As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death.

Human life is a gift of God, so committing suicide is a sin. So, if someone ends his life on his own then he is in fact aggravating his miseries and not reducing it. Our past karma will always accompany us.

The problems which we are facing now are because of something wrong which we have done in the past. Let us try to face the challenges which life offers us with positive mindset and not get too much disturbed by it.  In fact in this world we cannot expect “no miseries”. Bhagavad – Gita 2.14 provides an approach to deal with challenges “O son of Kunti, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed”