Tuesday, November 8, 2016

When it became difficult to call Krishna’s name

Chanting the Hare Krishna maha – mantra isn’t a mundane activity but is in fact a means by which we can experience exponential spiritual pleasure.
Chanting connects us to Krishna provided we chant with utmost sincerity and seriousness. One of the most important requirements of chanting is that we should pronounce each syllable of the maha – mantra clearly and loud enough so that we can hear what we chant.
But many a times we the spiritual seekers chant inattentively without bothering if we are calling the names of Krishna with clarity or not. That the ability to chant Krishna’s name is a gift given to us by Krishna to re-establish our relationship with him is totally forgotten.
Have we ever bothered to ponder what if this gift, the gift of speech, is taken away from us one day? 
Recently I underwent oral surgery and realized what it means not having the ability to speak.
The surgery which lasted for more than 2 hours was quite complicated and very painful. After surgery my mouth and gums were swollen and it was almost impossible for me to open my mouth and speak. Now as per the vow taken during initiation we are supposed to chant 16 rounds of Hare Krishna maha-mantra daily irrespective of any circumstances and so I tried to comply with the vow.
But chanting became a herculean task. With great difficulty I was able to pronounce each syllable of the maha – mantra and in spite of the efforts I was not able to utter the holy names with clarity. And the chanting was so feeble that I had to struggle to hear what I was chanting. Somehow I was able to complete my 16 rounds. But the excruciating pain during chanting forced me to remember those days when I had the ability and opportunity to chant with clarity but I rarely bothered to do so. During those days my mouth just uttered the words, the ear remained oblivious to those words and my mind mostly wandered recklessly taking me into different worlds. I rarely chanted with love and devotion, rarely thinking that the ability to chant Krishna’s name is also a gift given to me by Krishna. And never ever thought what if this precious gift is taken away from me one day. Although Krishna being so kind has not taken this precious gift from me. But the temporary ailment at least made me realize that how casual I have been in my chanting.
Inattentive chanting is the root cause why we do not excel in our spiritual journey. Most of us make multiple material plans but seldom make plans to grow in our spiritual life. We do not realize that our ephemeral body is deteriorating day by day. When we are hale and hearty then we have more opportunity to be Krishna conscious. But sadly we waste those moments pursuing sensual goals. But if we utilize such precious moments in practicing spirituality then result will be phenomenal, we can attain Krishna.
So next time when we have beads in our hands and we are ready to invest time in chanting Hare Krishna maha – mantra then we should invest all our consciousness in it and chant clearly, attentively and reverentially and enjoy the transcendental sound and feel Krishna’s presence in our heart. Hope when I recover fully then I too will become more serious in my spiritual journey.

Published in: Dandavats

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

When terrorists beg for sympathy?

pic source: http://www.india.com

When 8 SIMI terrorists were gunned down by the MP police then the usual suspects – the liberal secularists – started shedding gallons of tears.

How can the police so cruelly kill the “innocent” terrorists? They asked. Don’t they have heart? Would they have not shown compassion towards them?

Wiping their tears they discussed with their secular friends that all the 8 activists (according to The Hindu) who had fled the jail at around 2:30 in the morning after murdering head constable Ramashankar Yadav by slitting his throat would have been hungry. So, as a secular country the government should have first arranged for their morning refreshment. But the communal Indian government and MP government decided to kill them. So horrible! So shameful! All the police personnel who were part of this operation should be immediately suspended, arrested and tried for murder.

These murderers never showed any sympathy while killing others and bombing innocent men, women and children but today their admirers in the media, in the political parties and the Human Rights Organizations are asking why sympathy was not shown to these dreaded terrorists. Whether they were killed in a fake encounter or not needs to be properly investigated first. But the left liberals have already declared that the encounter was fake. They had also previously declared Ishrat Jahan an innocent girl and the Batla House encounter as fake.

Criminals (and their admirers too) since eons have always sought sympathy and talk eloquently about righteousness as soon as they realize that they have been cornered and their end is near.

In Mahabharat we see how Karna upon facing inevitable death was talking about morality. But he had forgotten that he had willingly or unwillingly supported all the evil plans of Duryodhana. Duryodhana had tried to burn the Pandava brothers along with his old mother Kunti alive and later had tried to publicly shame Draupadi. Karna along with Duryodhana had also killed unarmed Abhimanyu mercilessly who was so young.

However this is not to suggest that Karna or Duryodhana were like these dreaded terrorists. These terrorists are zillions times worse than many despicable characters mentioned in Vedic books.

Whether the encounter was fake or real but one thing is sure that today billions of Indians are feeling relived after hearing the elimination of these terrorists.  Only if the Indian judiciary would have been effective then there would have been no need of any encounter – fake or real. But our judiciary drags the case not for years but for decades.

And during these period the innocent men, women and children live in fear because no one knows when these enemies of humanity may break the jail, hijack the plane or bomb the train. 

And the most disgusting part is that there powerful sympathizers are ever ready to come to defend them.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Enjoy the envy in the neighbours’ eyes!!!

“Buy the car and enjoy the envy in your neighbours’ eyes”. With this tagline a car company hopes to lure more people to buy their brand. And what’s wrong with the message if today people prefer buying products not because of their needs but because of their desire to flaunt their wealth to prove their worth.  So before buying a car they measure the length of their neighbours’ car to make sure that their car is bigger than that of their neighbours. People stand in queue for hours to buy the latest electronic gadgets so that they are not labelled as downmarket.


But in the quest to be the best we lose mental peace and remain in constant anxiety. We do not cherish our achievements rather we fear others accomplishments.  “What if my friends/relatives/colleagues/neighbours surpass my material position and possessions?”   “What if I lose things which are now so dear to me?”  Our miserable and not so miserable state depends on what I have which others don’t have.  If others are materially better than us then we start envying them and if we are better than others materially we start demeaning them.


Envy isn’t a godly quality to be cherished but is in fact a deadly sin which eventually implodes injuring us severely. Envy impels people to act impiously and in many cases violently. Duryodhana was so envious of Pandavas’ name, fame and virtuous kingdom, Indraprastha,  that he devised plans to not just destroy them but went to the extent of disrobing Draupadi, his  own sister in law. Envy never allowed Duryodhana to be peaceful; he always remained in anxiety and he finally died ignominiously. Whereas Pandavas, irrespective of favourable or unfavourable situations and circumstances, always remained peaceful and satiated because they never envied anyone.


With envy in the eyes, hatred in the heart and anger in the word we can never be happy in this world. This is why in Bhagavad Gita 16.3 Krishna tells us that freedom from envy is a virtuous quality. So, instead of trying to enjoy envy in others eyes we should try to treasure the gifts which God has given us with a thankful heart.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Why I Am Not God


                                                    Published in India Opines
A well-known spiritual speaker thundered, “I am here to tell you a very astonishing secret which will change your life.” The audience waited with bated breath to known the life transforming secret. The speaker after a long pause roared, “You all are GOD. It is just that you have forgotten that you are GOD.”  The revelation charmed the hearts of the listeners and they greeted him with thunderous applause.

5000 years ago at the battlefield of Kurukshetra, when Krishna told to Arjuna that I have spoken this imperishable science of yoga to sun god Vivasvan (Bhagavad Gita 4.1) then Arjuna questioned how could it be possible because the sun god is very senior to you by birth?(Bhagavad Gita 4.4).  Krishna said, “Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them, but you cannot” (Bhagavad Gita 4.4).

We may wonder why?

It is because Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and Arjuna is just a living entity. Brahma – Samhita describes that Lord never forgets Himself and so is called acyuta (infallible) but the living entities like us are prone to forgetfulness.

So the logic given by some spiritual gurus that “We all are God and we have just forgotten that we are God” is not supported by the Vedic scriptures.

Vedic books very clearly delineates as who God is.

  • isvarah paramah Krishna – “Krishna who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead” (Brahma-samhita 5.1);
  • Krishna tu bhagavan svayam – “Lord Sri Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.3.38).
  • “Devaki’s son [Krishna] is the Supreme Lord” [Narayana Upanisad (4)].
  • Even Krishna speaks about His supreme position: mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya – “O conqueror of wealth, there is no truth superior to Me” (Bhagavad-Gita 7.7).
  • Arjuna too accepts that Krishna is the Supreme Lord: You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the ultimate abode, the purest, the Absolute Truth. You are the eternal, transcendental, original person, the unborn, the greatest. All the great sages such as Narada, Asita, Devala and Vyasa confirm this truth about You, and now You Yourself are declaring it to me. (Bhagavad-Gita 10.12-13)
    We desire to be the controller and the proprietor and so we feel elated when someone comes and tell us that we are God.  Some spiritual charlatans share some secret mantras assuring us that by chanting these words we would become God. Some tell us that by performing yoga or certain type of meditations we will merge into God and become God.
    Krishna did not chant any mantras or perform any yoga or meditation to become God. He was God before he decided to enter into the womb of Devaki and after coming out of the womb he was still God. And since the moment he appeared he performed many extraordinary miracles which a living entity cannot perform.
    When little Krishna opened his mouth in front of mother Yashoda then she saw the entire universe in Krishna’s mouth. Is there any spiritual guru or his disciples who can show the entire universe in his or her mouth?  The answer is: NO.
    We need to understand that we are not God and we can never become God. God is always God.
    Some false gurus decorate themselves with the ornaments of scriptural knowledge and renunciation and mislead their followers by making them believe that they too can become the Supreme Being. To buttress their point they even misinterpret the scriptures.
    So, we need to be very cautious whenever we approach any spiritual teacher.  Whatever he teaches we should always vet it with the Vedic books.  If it matches with the Vedas then he can be accepted else rejected.
    As Krishna says in Gita, “As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly” (Bhagavad Gita 4.11) which means we get what we desire in this world. If we desire cheaters we will get cheaters who will take us away from God. And if we desire genuine spiritual knowledge then we will be directed towards those who are dedicated devotees of the Lord selflessly serving the people by bringing them closer to God.
        (pic source: http://hiswordinwood.com/)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Art Of Dying

                                                      Published in India Opines

We have heard innumerable stories of great men and women planning meticulously so that they can enjoy living like a king or queen. For them life is precious and for its safety and security they try to build invincible fortress so that life threatening formidable enemies – disease and death – could be warded off.   But almost all the times without fail the enemy is too powerful to confront and all have to ultimately surrender in front of it.

When Srila Prabhupada had gone to the western countries to teach the message of Vedic literatures then one person challenged him, “Indians are poor people and so there the death rate is so high?” Srila Prabhupada promptly replied, “Death rate all over the world is hundred percent.” Anyone who is living has to die sooner or later.

So when death knocks at the door then what should be done? Should we become fearful and hide ourselves behind the curtains or should we look into its gazing eyes and say boldly, “Yes, I am ready to go with you!” Such fearlessness can be achieved only when we have thoroughly prepared ourselves for the ultimate reality of life.

Srimad Bhagavatam tells the story of a King named Parikshit who was unperturbed when he came to know that his death is inevitable. Instead of strategizing how to avoid it he decided to face it gloriously. And so he decided to approach the saintly people who could help him to face the challenge of death heroically.


King Parikshit had been cursed by a brahmana boy named Shringi to die in 7 days by the bite of a poisonous snake. Shringi was furious because the king had shown disrespect to his father.  It was indeed true that the king’s action was improper but it was not so grievous that he should have been condemned to die.  The scripture and the saintly people explain that the brahmana boy had misused his power and it was in fact the beginning of the fall down of brahmanas. Lord Krishna had departed from this material world and soon after Kaliyuga, the age of downfall, began.

Shringi misusing his power proves that as Kaliyuga entered brahmanas started misusing their power to establish their authority leading to the decline of Vedic culture which was based on unbreakable religious principles.

Parikshit was a saintly king and he too had the power to not just nullify the curse but he could have counter cursed Shringi. But he contemplated on it and concluded that those who are born have to die. “May be as per the will of providence my time to leave this mortal world has come so why not to embrace it”, he thought. And so without delay he relinquished his kingdom, his kiths and kin and immediately approached the sages for their guidance.

In the assembly of sages was Sukhadeva Goswami, son of Ved Vyas, a highly realized soul.  Approaching him, the king said, “You are the spiritual master of great saints and devotees. I am therefore begging you to show the way of perfection for all persons, and especially for one who is about to die.” Srimad Bhagavatam. 1.19.37

Here we see that the king who was about to die did not beg the sage to give him any benediction or mantra so that his life can be saved. We generally find people approaching God or saintly people for countless material benedictions – wealth, health, success, safety and a long life. But the king wanted to know the best way by which he can leave his mortal body. The king did not fear death because he was well aware that there is life after death. Death dissipates the body but does not destroy the soul because soul is eternal.


Sukhadeva Goswami was happy to hear the transcendental query. He replied, “O descendant of King Bharata, one who desires to be free from all miseries must hear about, glorify and also remember the Personality of Godhead, who is the Supersoul, the controller and the savior from all miseries. The highest perfection of human life, achieved either by complete knowledge of matter and spirit, by practice of mystic powers, or by perfect discharge of occupational duty, is to remember the Personality of Godhead at the end of life. S.B.2.1.5-6.

Death is a certainty; none of us can avoid it. So instead of fearing it we should be prepared for it. Life is a preparation and death is the final examination.  How we lead our life determines our next destination.  And how to lead a virtuous life has been explained in the holy books. These holy books have been given to us so that we can know about the righteous and unrighteous actions and also learn the art of dying. If we adhere to these guidelines then we can be happy in this life and can be sure of glorious destination when we bid farewell to this world.

King Parikshit was finally bitten by the poisonous snake and the saintly king’s body burned to ashes by the fire of the snake’s poison. (Srimad Bhagavatam 12.6.13). King faced the death confidently because he was confident of reaching a glorious destination after leaving his mortal body and this mortal world.

The king knew that he would die in 7 days and so he planned his last few days in a way so that he remain absorbed in remembering the Lord but we do not know when we are going to die.

So should we not be always prepared to face the ultimate truth of life?

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Animals too cry

pic: www.ibnlive.com

Article published in India Opines

The image of injured Shaktiman, the unfortunate horse, who broke his leg during a rally in Uttarakhand, India moved many.  But Shaktiman was fortunate because his pain got wide publicity and he gained lots of sympathy.  But there are many friends of Shaktiman in the animal kingdom who are not so fortunate.  They too are dealt savagely and they die a silent death.

Cruelty against animals is nothing new in India. And if the animal is a cow then the secularists, the left intellectuals, the leftist media try their best to justify violence against cow.  The reason is pretty simple - Hindus worship cow and secularists abhor ‘Hindus’ and so they celebrate atrocity against cows.

In Mahabharata it is mentioned that ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam i.e.eating, sleeping, mating and defending are the common characteristics of both man and animal. What differentiate between the two is that humans have more evolved consciousness as compared to animals. As humans we can differentiate between righteous and unrighteous behaviour. Animals mostly act on their instinct. Their stimulus and response is intertwined.  If we throw bread in front of a dog it will ponce upon it. If a cat sees a rat then it will run behind the rat. But we as humans think before we do anything and so we are considered to be more civilized. Animals do not feel ashamed when naked but we humans do. Animals can urinate at any place, at any time, even while eating but a respectable person won’t.  However many would argue today that such differences are gradually shrinking.

Since we are superior beings so Vedic scriptures ask man to take proper care of animals. We are told not to inflict pain on animals. There are references in the holy books as how animals were well treated. In Ramayana it is mentioned that when a dog was badly beaten by a man who was a Brahmana then the dog came to Lord Rama to seek justice and got it. Srimad Bhagavatam narrates the story of King Bharata who saved the life of a baby deer. It is said that a ruler should not just take care of his fellow citizens who are human beings but should also take care of animals because animals are also inhabitants of his kingdom.

But it seems that as we are advancing technologically we are becoming more mechanical and we are soon forgetting our core values of compassion and care. The situation is worsening day by day. And this is evident with the number of slaughterhouses - both legal and illegal – which is increasing where animals are mercilessly butchered.  Many think that animals are just meant to satisfy their needs, wants and desires.   The law says that if animals become unproductive then they could be slaughtered. Although the poor animal might have served his master for years but since now they have become old or have got some disease they have become useless so could be killed. In fact the same logic is applied when children send their parents to old age homes because they start considering their old parents as burdens.

We can be called as humans only if we humanely treat others especially those who are weak and need our support for survival. Using others for our selfish motives make us worse than the animals.  Animals too have emotions; they too have souls; they too long for love and care. They also want to live like us and not want to be killed in a slaughterhouse. They too cry like us when in pain and smile when in love.  

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Call For ‘Bharat Ki Barbadi’ At India’s JNU?

Article published in India Opines

Like every Indian (or rather majority of the Indians), I was enraged when I heard the slogan in JNU: “Go India… Go back… Kashmir ki Azadi tak… Jung Rahegi… Jung Rahegi…Bharat Ki Barbadi Tak… Jung Rahegi… Jung Rahegi. And like every Indian (or majority of the Indians), I too thought that we all will unite against the handfuls of anti-nationals and soon they will be caught by the police, rusticated by the college and put behind bars. But I was totally shocked to find that these anti-nationals have their sympathisers too that to in India and not in Pakistan or in Taliban.  The congress and the communists and the AAP came together in their support. And when the sedition charges were levelled against them and one of the members were arrested, the left liberal cried – Rising Intolerance. Freedom of expression is under threat in the regime of Hindu Modi. This strategy has been very successfully used by the left liberals since Modi came to power. 

After 9/11 there has been no terror attack in USA but in India there is no end to terrorists attack or Maoists attack. Why? Because in USA there is no direct or indirect support to terrorists or anti – nationals but the same cannot be said in India. Remember, when 76 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans were killed by Maoists in Dantewada then there were celebrations in JNU. And when in 1962 China attacked India then one of the communist parties in India took the side of China.

The left liberals have mastered the art of shielding themselves against all the scrutiny. No one can dare to question them.  And if anyone tries then they are immediately labelled as fascists or Hindu nationalists. The video clippings of JNU unequivocally prove that the students were not just raising anti-India slogans but they were in fact, threatening that they will not rest till India is destroyed. But according to left liberals the students have a right to espouse such ideas and no actions should be taken against them. In fact, soon a morphed video was widely circulated which claimed that ABVP members were shouting anti-India slogans. However, Delhi police Chief, BS Bassi, has categorically said that ABVP members were not involved in anti-India sloganeering, the video is fake. But when have the secular liberals cared for the facts, it is they who decide what is right and what is wrong. For e.g. for them Ishrat Jahan was an innocent girl. Although Intelligence Bureau (IB) of India gave the evidence that she is a terrorists, Lashkar e Taiba’s website accepted that she is their operative and David Coleman Headley too told the court that she was a member of the terror outfit. But still she is an innocent girl according to them. When the entire world accepted that the 26/11 attack on Mumbai was carried out by Pakistani terrorists then our secular brigade wrote a book - RSS ka shadayantra, 26/11".  The book claims that RSS had planned attack on Mumbai, and the book launch function was attended by our dear Digvijay Singh.

It is not just the terrorists and Maoists who are dangerous for the sovereignty of India but it is also their ideological mentors who propagate anti-India sentiments. And they need to be exposed and apprehended and should not be nurtured. It is widely known that in the garb of freedom of expression anti-India and also anti-Hindu activities are carried out in JNU but it never used to come in public domain because their powerful sympathisers in the media never allowed this to happen. But today thanks to the social media the common man does not have to depend only on mainstream media to know the truth.  After the anti-India videos were circulated on social media, millions of patriotic Indians came to know about the nefarious activities which are being carried out by some JNU students. Sadly we also saw that the menace has also spread in Jadavpur University, Kolkata, where again anti - India slogans were raised by few anti-nationals. Today the mood of the nation is that strong action should be taken against the anti – nationals.

If Kamlesh Tiwari can be behind bars for using derogatory remark against Prophet Mohammed then why not those who are shouting anti-India slogans and calling for India’s “Barbadi” and disintegration be behind bars? 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Insulting Hanuman & Goddess Kali not good for secular India

With the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution of India in 1976, the word “secular” was incorporated in the Preamble. The state will respect all the religions and every Indians will be treated equally irrespective of their religious beliefs.

However in due course of time a very alarming and disturbing trend begun wherein it became very common to denigrate the religious beliefs of Hindus and that too in the garb of secularism and freedom of expression. If the Hindus protested then immediately they were labelled as fascists and intolerant.

Now the practice of defaming Hindu religious icons have become so common that anyone can do it and get away with it very easily. In fact for those who aspire to be counted as “secular” and “liberals” it is mandatory for them to vilify Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Teesta Setalvad compared Hindu Gods with ISIS. She posted a photoshopped image of Goddess Kali with the face of an ISIS terrorist on twitter. The Hindu published a cartoon on JNU row insulting Hanuman and Lord Rama. The cartoon shows Hanuman setting ablaze JNU on the order of Narendra Modi. In the cartoon Hanuman is uncouth, have wicked smile and is carrying a weapon which generally demons use. Modi depicted as Lord Rama is happy to see Hanuman fulfilling his divisive agenda.  This cartoon was shared by Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi, on his twitter account. The purpose of such depiction is to show that the Hindu religious icons are terrorists and hooligans. There was no outcry, no condemnation by mainstream politicians and reputed journalist and columnists – the torchbearers and upholders of Indian secularism.

Compare this with Kamlesh Tiwari incident who made derogatory remarks against Prophet Mohammad.  He was immediately arrested under NSA and put behind bars. But certain sections of Muslims were not satisfied with this and they demanded death penalty for him. Lakhs of Muslims protested in several parts of India. In West Bengal’s Malda district around 2.5 lakhs Muslims while protesting turned violent, they burned local police station, shops and houses belonging to Hindu community. India’s secularists looked the other way and some justified saying that Muslims have been hurt so the violence.

It’s not that the Hindus should also start using violence against the blasphemers but at least as per the laws those who insult Hindu religion and tradition should be dealt with. Hinduism is a peaceful religion, it teaches people to accommodate others faith too and this is why we see in India both Islam and Christianity have not just thrived but there adherents are free to practice their faith without any fear. But contrast this with the condition of Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh; they have been virtually wiped out. Those Hindus who have fled Bangladesh recounts many horrific incidents which forced them to leave the country. However the tolerance of Hindus should not be taken for granted or else we may reach to a point where Hindus may retaliate which will destroy peace and harmony of this country.

Teesta Setalvad and her ilks and the leftist newspapers like The Hindu are known to abhor Hinduism and so nothing much better can be expected from them. But Arvind Kejriwal, being a responsible politician, should uphold the dignity of his chair and refrain from supporting those who insults Hinduism and tries to sow the seed of hatred.

India will flourish only when all Indians respect each other’s faith and belief and live together in harmony.  India will not become more secular by insulting Hanuman and Goddess Kali but it will become a vibrant secular republic when Hindu religion is also treasured.

Pulsihed in India Opines

Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Inseparables

As fragrance from flower and sweetness from sugar is inseparable so is Nitai inseparable from Nimai. They enjoy each other’s company, appear on earth together and together they perform many pastimes to attract the heart of those who left the beauty of the spiritual world and got caught in this not so happy place.

Nitai is none other than Lord Balaram and he enjoys serving Krishna anywhere and everywhere. As Ananta-Shesha he is the bed of Lord Vishnu in Vaikuntha, as Ananga manjari he assists Srimati Radharani in her amorous pastimes with Krishna, as Lakshmana he is ready to do anything and everything for Lord Rama and in Kaliyuga he accompanies Lord Chaitanya to introduce sankirtan movement to distribute mercy of Krishna to all the living entities without caring and bothering about the recipients’ qualification.

We cannot get the mercy of Radha and Krishna without getting the mercy of Lord Chaitanya, and we cannot get the mercy of Lord Chaitanya without getting the mercy of Lord Nityananda.

Rupa Goswami (the abhidheya acharya), Sanatana Goswami (the sambandha acharya), Raghunath Das Goswami (the prayojana acharya) who played a very vital role in spearheading bhakti movement got the mercy of Lord Chaitanya through Lord Nityananda.

Chaitanya Bhagavata and Chaitanya-charitamrta, the two most authoritative and authentic biographies of Lord Chaitanya were written by the inspiration of Lord Nityananda. Nityananda Prabhu ordered his disciple Vrindavana Dasa Thakura to write Sri Caitanya Bhagavata and he appeared in the dream of Krishna Dasa Kaviraja Goswami inspiring him to author Chaitanya-charitamrta.

Upon the instruction of Lord Chaitanya, Nityananda Prabhu and Haridas Thakura were approaching each person beseeching them to chant the names of Krishna. While distributing the sublime love of Krishna freely they encountered Jagai and Madhai, the two wicked personalities. They were so sinful that pious residents upon seeing them used to bathe in Ganges to get purified from contamination.

But Nityananda Prabhu decided to deliver them too but in return Madhai assaulted him with an earthen pot. Lord Chaitanya upon getting this news became so angry that he called his sudarsan chakra to kill Madhai but Nityananda prabhu begged the Lord to forgive the offender. In this age of Kaliyuga the Lord was not supposed to kill the sinner but was to kill their sin using the weapon of the holy name. Seeing the magnanimity of Nityananda Prabhu, Jagai and Madhai surrendered to them giving up all ungodly behaviour and decided to chant the name of Krishna and serve all the Vaisnavas.

Lord Chaitanya is always present at these 4 places:
At mother Sachi’s house
At the kirtan of Srivas Pandit
At the house of Raghav Pandit
At the place where Lord Nityananda is dancing while performing kirtan.

And Lord Nityananda is always present where Lord Chaitanya is glorified. So the best way to please Nityananda Prabhu is by distributing Lord Chaitanya’s message profusely.

Nitai and Nimai freely distributed one way ticket to the spiritual world to everyone. We too can get that ticket if we take shelter of Nityananda prabhu’s lotus feet. He is so magnanimous that he will surely take us back to the kingdom of Krishna if we are sincere and carry desire to serve the Lord. 

Published in Dandavats

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Shankaracharya’s false allegation against Iskcon

Iskcon’s extraordinary success in spreading its wing in mere 50 years shows that there are people all over the world who still have great affinity for India’s Vedic culture and tradition.  When Srila Prabhupada incorporated Iskcon then he refused to dilute the Vedic teachings to make it more acceptable to non-Indians. Not just the philosophy but even the attire and the food he introduced in the west were completely Vedic.  Men were supposed to wear Dhoti-kurta and had to have sikha and tilak and women were required to don saree and wear tilak. And all devotees were supposed to take sanctified vegetarian food. Before Srila Prabhupada and after Srila Prabhupada many Indian spiritual leaders went to the western world but most of them refused to present the Vedic scripture “as it is” because they feared lack of following.  But Srila Prabhupada had not gone to west to become a famous preacher.

He was not mesmerised seeing the material beauty of the western world. Although he praised the western men and women for their workmanship but reminded them unambiguously that material advancement will not bring ultimate satisfaction in their life.  He told them that the purpose of human life is to know God and he begged them to chant the holy name of the Lord to revive their relationship with the Lord. In return he did not expect anything for himself. He did not identify people based on their nationality or gender or colour of the skin or caste or creed. He saw everyone as children of one God and he was clear who that God is. Krishna is the Supreme God, he declared, and he backed it with numerous references from the Vedic literature.
Today Iskcon has become one of the most prominent spiritual organizations of the world. It has more than 600 temples spread all over the world. And also there are numerous farm communities and vegetarian restaurants. Vedic literatures are being distributed in thousands every year in all the major languages of the world. Krishna Conscious devotees can be seen everywhere - in USA, in Europe, in Asia, in Africa, in Australia. Many of them are materially very influentially and many of them are from humble background. Temples are not just located in important cities like New York, New Delhi, Mumbai, Moscow, London or Luxembourg but is also located in small towns and villages. Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra is celebrated in hundreds of cities of the world.

One would have expected that such phenomenal success would invite all round appreciation especially from fellow Indians. But there are some who are levelling false allegation against Iskcon. Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand  recently alleged that Iskon temples are center of religious conversion and Iskcon temples in India are collecting money and sending to the west. But he failed to provide any proof regarding this.

Does Iskcon indulge in religious conversion?
Iskcon does not use any money to purchase people’s faith as is being done by some missionaries in poor countries. And Iskcon never uses violence and force people to follow their philosophy as is being done by ISIS. When Srila Prabhupada went to the west, he was penniless and had no permanent place to stay and no guarantee of daily food. To spread the message of Krishna Consciousness he shared with them the timeless teachings of Vedic literature and introduced the chanting of the holy name of the Lord. He did not promise his followers any material benefit, he just told them that re-establishing relationship with the Supreme Lord will make you eternally happy. And the same preaching strategy is still being employed by followers of Srila Prabhupada. Iskcon does not indulge in religious conversion but only believes in transformation of people’s heart. One can belong to any religion or any nationality and can still practice Krishna Consciousness. People do not have to convert to Hinduism to practice Krishna Consciousness. 

Do Iskcon temples in India send money to the west?
Those who follow Iskcon closely will laugh at this allegation. Each Iskcon temples are required to raise their finances separately. However all Iskcon temples are also supposed to support the Iskcon project in Vrindavan and Mayapur. And few months back devotees from Mayapur were travelling all over the world to collect fund to build a magnificent temple of Lord Krishna and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in Mayapur. So actually the funds are coming in India and not going from India.

There will always be ill informed people who will try to spread rumours but Krishna being the best judge and protector of devotees will make sure that Krishna Consciousness keeps on flourishing. During 1970s when Krishna Consciousness was rising in the west a Bollywood movie was made in which it was shown that devotees are taking drugs and chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra. But the reality was that each committed devotes are supposed to follow 4 regulative principles - no meat eating, no gambling, no intoxication and no illicit sex. But the attempt to defame Iskcon did not succeed and Krishna Consciousness movement has grown from strength to strength and with the mercy of Lord Chaitanya will continue to grow. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Women rishis

(pic source: http://www.iskcondesiretree.com/)

If God created both – men and women – then why does he discriminate between them?  Few activists supported by left liberal pseudo secular activists raise this question frequently. The recent controversy is about the right of women to enter the Shani temple in Maharashtra. It is not that the women are not allowed to enter the Shani temple; it is in the sanctum sanctorum where they are not allowed.  Out of several thousand of temples in India, in few of the temples, may be couple or at the most less than half a dozen, where they are not allowed. And the restriction isn’t whimsically there is a logic given behind that. And there are some temples where men are not allowed such as in Linga Bhairavi.

Why the outrage?
Is it that the activists who desperately want to enter the temple and their pseudo secular supporters have developed deep love for the demigod Shani. Defintely not. Their purpose and motive is quite obvious, to indulge in their favourite pastime - Hindu bashing.

Let us put aside this unending cacophony for a while and try to analyse the Vedic perspective on the position and status of men and women in human society.

Vedas about men and women and the spiritual goal
In Bhagavad Gita 2.13, Lord Krishna informs us that we are neither man nor woman but we are actually souls. As a soul presently we are occupying a man’s body or may be a woman’s body. In the next life a man can become a woman and a woman a man. However scripture not just tell us to forego bodily designation but asks us to get out of this cycle of repeated birth and death and attain liberation by entering into the spiritual kingdom where life is eternal and there is no death and disease.  To become eligible to enter the spiritual kingdom it is mandatory that we eschew all our material desires of worldly positions and possessions and along with this it is required that we give up the attraction for opposite sex. Because as long as a man is attracted towards woman or a woman is attracted towards a man there is no possibility of liberation. And this is why Vedas recommend 4 ashrams – brahmacharya, grihasta, vanaprastha and sannyas. Suppose that we live for hundred years, then for 25 years we should be in a brahmachari life wherein strict vow of celibacy is observed, next 25 years we should spend in grihasta ashram wherein a brahmachari if he so desires he can enter into a householder life, after 50 years both husband and wife is supposed to enter into vanaprasta ashram where both husband and wife dedicate their life completely in practicing spiritual life and they do not have any physical relationship between them and finally there is sannyasa ashram where both men and women decide to completely dedicate their life in the service of the Lord and just want to make sure that neither of them becomes a cause of bondage to each other in this material world. This material world is temporary and all relationship of this world is temporary, our eternal relationship is only with the supreme Lord and so we have to get detached from this temporary relationship and develop ever- lasting permanent relationship with the Supreme Lord.  Vedas focus on this aspect of life and continuously asks all humans to adhere to it.

The scriptures does not discriminate between men and women but in fact give various methodologies and processes by which both – men and women – develop love for the Supreme Lord and thus attain liberation from this ephemeral world. And this is why there are certain rules for men and also for women. 

Women rishis
In fact during the Vedic period there were even women rishis such as Romasha, Gargi, Maitreyi, Apala, Aditi and others. And few hundred years back we had great women devotees of the Lord - Mira Bai, Sri Gangamata Goswamini, Sri Jahnava Mata, Sri Sita Thakurani etc. These women rishis were well versed in Vedas. The 126th hymn of the first book of Rig Veda was revealed to Romasha, a woman.

Women are also given an opportunity for deity worship, and this can be seen in ISKCON temples all over the world. In Iskcon temples, the women devotees also give discourse on literatures like Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam and are accorded equal right to practice spiritual life just like men.

Now let us gloss through few of the statements of Vedas on women.

     Bhishma to Yuddhisthira: "O ruler of the earth the lineage in which daughters and the daughters-in-law are saddened by ill treatment, that lineage is destroyed. When out of their grief these women curse these households, such households lose their charm, prosperity and happiness." (Mahabharata, Anushashanparva, 12.14).

    Vedas state that when a woman marries then she enters “as a river enters the sea” and “to rule there along with her husband, as a queen, over the other members of the family”. (Atharva-Veda 14.1.43-44). 

And there are many such statements in the sacred book about women. So where is the discrimination against women?

Those who are genuine and open minded, when they read the sacred Vedas then without doubt comes to the conclusion that Vedas do not discriminate against men or women. The Supreme Lord is our father and Vedas are our mother. So how can a loving and caring father and mother discriminate against their own children? 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

False guru analysis

(pic source: http://www.adaringadventure.com/)

Quack doctors flourish in places where people are mostly uneducated or do not have much exposer to scientific worldview. The quacks claim to have all the requisite skills to cure a patient.  He dons the dress of a doctor; display medicinal books and also flaunt some fake degrees to convince people that he is indeed a qualified medicinal practitioner.

Just like quack doctors there are clan of quacks who masquerade as spiritual gurus. Such quack gurus too don the saffron robe of a sannyasi, memorize few verses and advertise themselves as God’s representative.

Just by buying a book of medicine and studying it on its own a person cannot become a medical doctor. Similarly just by reading books of Vedas and without being trained in any authorized sampradaya one cannot become a spiritual guru. There are four sampradayas or chain of disciplic succession descending from important acharyas or spiritual preceptors - Sri sampradaya (main exponent Ramanujacharya, it originated from Goddess Lakshmi), Brahma sampradaya (main exponent Madhvacharya, it originated from Lord Brahma), Rudra sampradaya (main exponent Vishnu Swami, it originated from Lord Shiva), Kumara sampradaya (main exponent Nimbarka, it originated from Kumaras, Lord Brahma’s sons)

To become a doctor one needs to join a government authorized institution and need to be trained by a qualified teacher, similarly to become a guru one needs to be part of these authorized institutions and be trained. It is mandatory for a guru to receive scriptural knowledge from a bonafide spiritual practitioner in a disciplic succession - srotriyam brahma – nistham.

A quack doctor is never able to diagnose the disease correctly and so his prescription fails to completely cure the patient.  Many times because of wrong treatment patient even dies. An unauthorized spiritual guru too fails to provide correct solution to the diseased souls as he is unable to comprehend the true purpose of the Vedic literature. Vedas exhort all to inquire for the higher spiritual goals - athato brahma jijnasa - and not get bogged down by the flickering pleasures of this material world which is anyway temporary. However fake gurus dole out tons of misinformation claiming it to be the message of sacred books and engage the gullible people in mundane activities of amassing wealth and striving for position and power in this ephemeral world.

Before visiting a doctor we make sure that the doctor is genuine, his degrees are authentic and he has got it from a recognized university. So if we are serious about our spiritual life then before accepting anyone as our guru we have to make sure that the gentleman’s credential isn’t fake and he has been trained in an authorized spiritual university which is part of the 4 sampradayas.

And along with this we should be cautious about the gurus overall conduct. Whatever he speaks should be as per the scripture and should be in line with the teachings of the renowned spiritual seers. A genuine guru lives by the scripture and preaches by his own exemplary example.

Human life is utterly precious; it gives us an opportunity to get reunited with the Supreme Lord. So we should be extremely cautious in selecting a guru, a representative of God, because a guru unites us with the Supreme Lord. And he can do so only if he himself is having sublime relationship with the Lord.