Saturday, November 30, 2013

Diet for an unhealthy heart

Material Compassion, lamentation, hankering, tears and fear are the shields of an ignorant person to justify the weakness of their heart. Inadequate and improper foods make our body weak and prone to various bodily diseases. Similarly if we do not nourish our heart with a healthy diet then it becomes weak and prone to material diseases. The virus of lust, greed, pride, anger, envy, illusion and false ego easily attacks a diseased heart. Happiness gives way to helplessness and we constantly struggle to do the right thing in our life.  Sometimes such a person even succumbs to his lower self and indulges in despicable activities.

Heart gets nourished by a pure spiritual diet. Dollops of spiritual food should be fed to the heart at regular intervals; it will make our heart strong. Our intelligence and will-power will flourish in such a spiritual environment.   The list of spiritual foods necessary to nourish our hearts has been given by Prahlad Maharaj:  

Sravanam kirtanam visnoh

Smaranam pada – sevanam

Arcanam vandanam dasyam

Sakhyam atma – nivedanam

(Srimad Bhagavatam 7.5.23)

“Hearing and chanting the name of Lord Visnu, remembering and serving his lotus feet, offering worship and prayers to him, becoming his servant and best friend and surrendering everything to him are the most important spiritual activities”.

If we spiritualize our life as per the above process then we would never succumb to petty weakness of the heart. We will always be blissful and will carry out the prescribed duties of our life with dexterity.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Are there 33 crore gods or only “ONE GOD”

Some scholars masquerading as spiritualists opine that in Hinduism there are 33 crore gods and one can chose anyone and worship as per their liking. It’s just like a quack telling a diseased person to choose any medicine as per his taste and it will cure his disease. In the present age many such spiritual quacks swarm the world misguiding the people.
The various gods which are mentioned in the Vedic literatures are in fact demigods who have been given certain responsibilities by the Supreme Lord.  For e.g. the Sun- god, the Moon – god, Indra, Vayu, Agni etc have specific duties to carry out but they aren’t the supreme controller. And who is that Supreme Lord or bhagavan has been very logically explained by Parasara Muni, father of Vedavyas. He explains that the Supreme Lord has 6 attributes in totality (completeness) – He is (i) very beautiful, (ii) very powerful, (iii) very intelligent, (iv) very famous, (v) proprietor of everything and (vi) and very detached. No one can claim to possess all these qualities fully. Further description of that Supreme Lord has been given by Brahma in Brahma – Samhita - "There are many personalities possessing the qualities of Bhagavan, but Krishna is the supreme because none can excel Him. He is the Supreme Person, and His body is eternal, full of knowledge and bliss. He is the primeval Lord Govinda and the cause of all causes." (Brahma-Samhita 5.1). Srimad Bhagavatam 1.3.28 further explains "All the lists of the incarnations of Godhead submitted herewith are either plenary expansions or parts of the plenary expansions of the Supreme Godhead, but Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself."  In the Govardhan pastime it was proved that Indra although the king of the heaven have certain jurisdiction and power but he gets his power from the Supreme God, Krishna, and he cannot work independently on his own.
So let us not get obfuscated by hearing about 33 crore gods. Vedic books and genuine Vedic scholars have established unequivocally that there is only one Supreme God and he is Krishna.  

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Solving life’s perplexities

In Bhagavad Gita 2.7, Arjuna says, “karpanya – dosopahata – svabhavah”, “Now I am confused about my duty and have lost all composure because of miserly weakness.”   Here the word “karpanya” has been used which means “miserliness”. A miser person is one who neither enjoys and do not even allow others to enjoy. Srila Prabhupada explains that a miser person do not take trouble to solve the problems of life. He remains engrossed in the material life and also keeps his family members entangled in the material conception of life. Such a life neither benefits him and nor does any good to his family members. Brhad – aranyaka Upanisad (3.8.10) explains, "He is a miserly man who does not solve the problems of life as a human and who thus quits this world like the cats and dogs, without understanding the science of self-realization."

Arjuna being very intelligent and compassionate was thinking whether the war will be of any benefit to the humanity or not and so he approached Krishna for guidance.  Krishna’s guidance removed Arjuna’s ignorance.  In confusion or in desperation we too can take Krishna’s help, our eternal friend and guide, by reading Bhagavad Gita reverentially. He will help us to get out of our miserly weakness and guide us to get out of material perplexities.

Monday, November 25, 2013

To attain peace and bliss serve Krishna

If we water the roots of a tree then automatically each and every parts of the tree gets nourished. We then do not have to separately water the branches, the leaves, the twigs, the flowers or the fruits. But if we neglect the root but only take care of the different parts of the tree then sooner or later the tree will dry.

Krishna is the root and we all are his offshoots, we exist only because of him. Just like watering the root of the tree nourishes each and every parts of the tree, similarly by serving Krishna our senses gets completely satisfied as we are Krishna’s parts and parcels. If we do not abide by this principle and try to serve our own senses neglecting Krishna then we would never feel satiated. Our heart will be like a barren ground where the flowers of happiness will never blossom. Srila Prabhupada explains that the central point of Bhagavad Gita is to make people realize that to achieve peace and happiness one should try to serve the senses of Krishna rather than serving their own senses. The formula to attain peace and bliss is to “serve Krishna”; it is panacea for all material dissatisfaction.

“A person in full consciousness of Me, knowing Me to be the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods, and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attains peace from the pangs of material miseries.” (Bhagavad Gita 5.29)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Uncontrolled lust caused downfall of Tarun Tejpal

In Bhagavad Gita 3.39, Krishna calls “lust as an eternal enemy” because it can never be satisfied and it always burns like fire.  If unchecked lust can be devastating, it can ruin a person’s life forever. Few days ago Tarun Tejpal was considered one of the most prominent journalists of India but today he is one of the most hated figures. He is charged with attempted rape and sexual assault.  Whether it is Bill Clinton or Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former chief of International Monetary Fund (IMF chief), lust addiction has caused the downfall of scores of reputed personalities. While counseling Yudhisthira, Vidura told that lust is one of the main reasons why people commit heinous crimes. History is filled with such examples - It was lust only which destroyed Ravana and which brought ignominy to Jayadratha.
This is why since ages sages have been voicing their opinion against lust addiction. The fire of lust should be doused before it becomes devastating. Lust can be checked by inculcating strong moral values and simultaneously cleansing our heart by sincerely chanting the holy names of the Lord like the Hare Krishna Mahamantra – Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
“There are three gates leading to this hell—lust, anger and greed. Every sane man should give these up, for they lead to the degradation of the soul”. (Bhagavad Gita 16.21).

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Self Control brings success

A person who remains undisturbed and unbewildered amidst internal and external chaos is called self controlled. One of the foremost reasons as why a person fails to accomplish his coveted goal is because of his inability to rein in on his emotions.  Just like a person possessed by alcohol becomes insane, similarly a person overpowered by his emotions behaves irrationally.  A person may possess the intelligence and may have abundant talents to succeed in life but if he does not have the ability to control his inner life then the chances of him doing some remarkable deeds will be very minimal. We should never get bogged down by our emotions but act as per the writ of the life transforming literatures like Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. This world is full of duality – good and bad things will keep on happening in our life. Bu without getting too much disturbed by life’s negativity we should determinedly march ahead.

“A person who is not disturbed by the incessant flow of desires—that enter like rivers into the ocean, which is ever being filled but is always still—can alone achieve peace, and not the man who strives to satisfy such desires.” Bhagavad – Gita 2.70.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Envision the world through the prism of Gita

When confronted with adversities we look towards God and hope that he will change the situation as per our own liking. We expect God to do a magic in our life. But we see that in case of Arjuna the external situations and circumstances always remained the same. When Arjuna was utterly confused, he beseeched Krishna to show him the right path. “Now I am confused about my duty and have lost all composure because of miserly weakness. In this condition I am asking You to tell me for certain what is best for me. Now I am Your disciple, and a soul surrendered unto You. Please instruct me.” (Bhagavad Gita 2.7). Before Krishna spoke to him the message of Gita he was about to fight the war and after the Gita was spoken he still had to fight. Externally nothing changed. Krishna showed Arjuna the right path by purifying his consciousness.

Spirituality does not necessarily change the circumstances but it spiritualizes and cleanses our consciousness helping us to distinguish between righteous and unrighteous path. If we bring Krishna in our life then like Arjuna he will grant us a vision to envision the world through the prism of Gita which would help us to overcome any difficulties of our life.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Are we still spiritually blind?

The message and the messenger was the same but still two different people interpreted it in different ways. Arjuna heard the message of Gita from Krishna directly and Dhritarashtra heard from Sanjay, his assistant. After hearing the wisdom words Arjuna’s life completely got transformed, his all doubts got dispelled and he became ready to face the battle of life.  But in spite of hearing the astute words of Krishna, Dhritarashtra remained spiritually blind. His desire to enjoy the kingdom overpowered his intelligence. Dhritarashtra lost all his 100 sons and was responsible for the death of thousands of warriors.
Gita’s message is not just for Arjuna but for entire humanity. We need to introspect and find out if we are following the footsteps of Arjuna or of Dhritarashtra. Do we want to remain materially diseased like Dhritarashtra and keep on hankering for material positions and possessions at the cost of our spiritual life? The only reason why Arjuna emerged victorious was because he acted as per the wishes of Krishna. Are we listening to Krishna’s words or are we succumbing to our material lust, we need to ask ourselves.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Not just what we want, do what He wants

After elaborately explaining to Arjuna about the righteous and unrighteous activities, Krishna did not impose his will on Arjuna. Krishna gave Arjuna the option to choose – yathecchasi tatha kuru what you wish to do. But Krishna also advised Arjuna to deliberate on the knowledge which he had given before making any decision - vimrsyaitad asesena.

In our life while making any choices we should also deliberate fully on the pros and cons based on the teachings of books like Bhagavad Gita. Most of the times our decisions are sentimental or whimsical which provides only temporary benefit. But if we want permanent benefit (shreyas) then we need to follow the footsteps of Arjuna. Arjuna emerged victorious because he finally did what Krishna wanted him to do - karisye vacanam tava - and not what he wanted to do.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Weapons to face the challenges

Our consciousness shapes our vision. External world may not change for us or will never change for us but if we purify our consciousness then the way we see the world will drastically change. Just before the Mahabharata war Arjuna was in a miserable situation failing to understand the righteous and unrighteous path.  But Krishna’s guidance completely transformed his life. The situation for Arjuna remained the same. He had to fight the war; he had to fight against his great grandfather Bhisma, guru Drona and his cousin brothers. But Krishna’s timely intervention dispelled all his ignorance. Arjuna’s consciousness changed and he became ready to battle against mammoth army of Kaurava.

If we imbibe the true spirit of Gita then we won’t get bewildered when we encounter difficulties. Gita’s wisdom nourishes intelligence, strengthens will power and imparts discriminatory power. Armed with these weapons we can face the challenges of life with vigour.