Sunday, January 24, 2016

What inspired 4 friends to become dedicated devotees of the Lord?

4 friends had assembled together to discuss what inspires each to practice devotional life.  Out of the 4, one was a celibate monk, 2 others were householders living with their wives and one was although a married person but had lost his wife. So the discussion began.

1st friend: I decided not to enter into a family life so that I can devote my entire time for the Lord.   I do not have any material responsibility so each and every moment I try to spend in nurturing my spiritual life.

2nd friend: When my wife died I realized that how miserable and temporary this material world is. Only thing eternal in this world is our relationship with Krishna and so I conscientiously try to cultivate that relationship.

3rd friend: My wife has made my life hell so much so that I shudder at that of returning home. Krishna consciousness is the only solace for me and devotees association my only shelter.

4th friend: My wife is so nice that she has made our house a Vaikuntha. I feel the presence of Lord in the house and it motivates me to become dedicated in my spiritual pursuit.

4 friends had different material situations and circumstances but none gave excuse not to practice Krishna Consciousness but instead each gave reasons for being Krishna Conscious.

In spite of our material disposition and position we can practice spiritual life. A householder, a celibate, a rich, a poor, a man, a woman all can develop love for Krishna if they have the determination. Material circumstances may present multiple challenges but if we are determined to practice devotional life then no force in this world can stop us.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Let not tears torment us

At the battlefield of Kurushetra, Arjuna put aside his weapons and with tears in his eyes looked at Krishna expecting compassion. But in return he got chastisement. Tears of sorrow did not impress Krishna but rather it displeased him. If a child refuses to appear in an exam then his mother won’t be sympathetic although her child may give several reasons for not giving the exam. Mother being the best well -wisher of her child knows how important exam is for her child’s career.

Krishna being the best friend of Arjuna expected him to exhibit exemplary qualities befitting a great personality. Tears of lamentation, moroseness and reluctance to do once ordained duty isn’t appreciated by Krishna. These are the qualities of people in mode of ignorance. And devotees are expected to come to mode of goodness which is characterised by enthusiasm, hard work, patience and perseverance. Off course devotees of the Lord do their duties keeping Lord in the centre so they rise above goodness. 

The celebrated devotees of the Lord are not those who gave up their responsibilities whimsically but are those who were highly dedicated and devoted in their duties. Victory or defeat never bothered them; they were just driven with a service attitude to please the Lord. Jatayu fought ferociously but lost the battle with Ravana but won the heart of Lord Rama.

Arjuna’s tears were wiped by Krishna’s grace and he ultimately won the battle for Krishna. Yes in our life too challenges will come bringing tears in our eyes but we should not get torn apart by any unpleasant circumstances. If we take shelter of Gita’s wisdom words then we will find solution to our problems and get tremendous strength to do our duty with grit and enthusiasm. We too will then become competent enough to do something wonderful in this world to please Krishna. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Krishna’s service temporarily not available

Imagine if a message suddenly flashes on the sky: “Due to a technical fault the supply of oxygen will remain unavailable for some time all over the world. Next update about the issue in another hour”. What would happen to us? There won’t be just utter chaos but soon the earth will become a graveyard.  Not even vultures and jackals would be alive to feast on the dead bodies. But has it ever happened? Never.  Can it happen in future? Sceptics and agnostics may say, “Yes”.  But it has never happened in millions of years and so will never happen ever because Lord’s creation is flawless and his day to day management is perfect. 

With a desire to become a creator like God and be worshipped as God we try to make faultless machines but our product always have certain limitations and need continuous improvement.  Rockets sent by us in the space survive only for few years. But the planets created at the time of creation are still smartly dancing along the designated trajectory not losing its path even by an inch. Quite often man tries to belittle God.  Titanic was created to prove that man can defy God.  It was advertised as the unsinkable ship.  “Even God cannot sink it”, the makers claimed. But their ego did not last long and the ship sank.  Of course God did not have to personally come to sink the ship, the material nature is sufficient to crush the ego of man.  

It’s true that we do possess certain remarkable qualities and so we can also do marvellous deeds. But our design, development and execution have limitations because our knowledge isn’t unlimited. Nature is supremely perfect because she works under the guidance of the Supreme Lord. She provides us all the necessities of life and the supply is never discontinued unless we mess with it. Before we started polluting the river, the river gave us abundant pure drinking water. Earth gave plentiful grains till the time we had not started injecting her with poisonous chemical fertilizers. Cows happily gave and still long to give nutritious milk but still we don’t hesitate to kill her.  Rain came on time making sure that there is no flood or famine. Nature is our mother and a mother is the best well – wisher of her child. Nature punishes us not because she likes to do so but because she is forced to do so.  To live happily we have to be in harmony with nature. We are the makers of our own destiny. If we choose the path given by God then we open the floodgates of happiness else we march towards disaster.

In fact in Gita 3.10 Krishna explains that if we all live as per the laws of nature as prescribed in Vedic books then we can live peacefully and happily in this world.  We won’t be deprived of anything, everything will be provided to us.  We just have to accept it, respect it and live in harmony with it. 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Mikey becomes a monk

Sitting on a bench in a park Mikey was pondering over his life. What went wrong in my life? This could happen to me, I had never thought. Life had overwhelmed him, bewildered him and deceived him so many times that he had not just lost hope but also interest in life. Today he had even lost his job. It was dusk and he did not know where he will spend his night.

“Hello! Would you like to have this book?” The call of a stranger who looked strange because of his strange attire broke his chain of thoughts. Before he could say anything, Mikey had book in his hand.  Although he did not want anyone to disturb him but he just could not say no to the stranger. He started glossing over the book and soon started getting absorbed in it. He found it meaningful. “Who are you and what is this book about?” Mikey asked. “The book is Bhagavad Gita and I am a Hare Krishna monk”, the stranger replied.  The book has answers to all your questions about life.

Can the book tell me why so much suffering in my life?

“The book will not just tell about your cause of suffering, it will not just give solution to your suffering but most importantly it will give you a formula so that you will never ever suffer in your life, neither in this life nor in any life”, said the monk. The monk said this with tons of enthusiasm. Mikey wasn’t just impressed by his words. But to him the monk looked like to be the happiest person he has ever met.

He wanted to speak more to him, he thought him to be his well-wisher, a dear friend who has been especially sent to him.

He wanted to know more about the mysteries of life, about himself, about the purpose of life and so on. The monk obliged and when Mikey told him that he did not have any place to stay tonight, the monk invited him to the temple.

And he was now happy to follow him. Mikey spent the rest of the night in the temple reading the book and contemplating on the message.  Temple’s spiritual ambience comforted him; he felt natural attraction for Krishna. It looked like he has got all answers to his life’s questions.

If depressed Mikey would have not met a Hare Krishna devotee that night he would have taken any extreme step. But Krishna never leaves a soul alone, he always sends someone to him. Many a times people do not reciprocate and miss a great opportunity to get reunited with Krishna. Mikey did not miss the opportunity.

Today Mikey is a monk in a Hare Krishna temple in Hungary. He is shaven headed with a shikha, wears dhoti kurta and neck bead and chants the name of Krishna. And he loves to distribute books of Srila Prabhupada especially Bhagavad Gita. Who knows someone in some corner of the world is waiting for Mikey to come and deliver him!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The attractive offer of 72 virgins

                                                     (pic source: Indian Express)

“I am heading towards martyrdom”, a terrorist told his crying mother over phone while on a mission to launch an attack in Pathankot, Punjab, India.  The terrorists on such missions are aware that they would never return alive. 

It is not easy to convince a person to give up their life because everyone wants to live. So the terrorists’ recruiters employ multi-tier strategy to prepare men for suicide mission. First of all they are totally cut off from the mainstream society so that they do not get exposed to modern rational viewpoint, they are then gradually fed with dollops of hate messages and visuals till they are transformed into killers.

Besides these and most importantly all the recruits are given a hope and a lucrative offer which is too difficult for them to resist and i.e. the opportunity to reside in heaven and enjoy sex with 72 gorgeous virgins. For people who have bodily concept of life for them sex is the utmost pleasure and too difficult to resist. 

Terrorism is flourishing in places where intolerance is at its peak, alternative worldview is not allowed to flourish, where books especially of other religions are banned, where people of other faiths are marginalised and subsequently eliminated.

Vedas inform that as Kaliyuga will progress irreligion will become religion and religion will become irreligion (Srimad Bhagavagtam 12.2.1). And we see today its happening.  Terrorism has become religion for many and whether we like it or not there are people who support the terrorists and eulogize their ideology. 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Let us make a journey to Krishna’s pleasure mine


How beautiful our life would have been if every day would be filled with joy and just joy. When in life there would not be any fear of calamity, no fear of betrayal, no fear of losing our loved ones - life with full of hope, full of happiness and no anxiety.

However in spite of all our wishful thinking the world where we currently dwell in sadly does not provide us a luxury of being happy every moment because this world is filled with duality where happiness and  sadness walk side by side and have equal right on our life. None in this world, no matter who he or she is, would say that they haven’t experienced any unpleasant moment in his or her life.

But as a sentient being when we suffer adversity then should not we question as why suffering is inevitable in this world? Why can’t the rising sun daily brings us tonnes of happiness, why can’t every moment of the day is delightful and why can’t every night is extremely satisfying.
But it does not really happen and Krishna too confirms in Gita that just like summer and winter accompany each other similarly happiness and distress will always be parts and parcel of our life and he asks us to tolerate it (Bhagavad Gita 2.14). Lest we not get into a depression zone thinking that our quest for perennial happiness will never ever be realized scriptures informs us that this condition of ours is temporary and will trouble us as long as we are engaged in our mortal body. As soon as we understand that we are souls, parts and parcels of the supreme Lord we immediately become oblivious to worldly pleasure and pains. And as soon as we start connecting ourselves to the supreme Lord we simultaneously connect ourselves to the inexhaustible pleasure mine which ensures that for the rest of life we would not be happiness deprived.  

And when the time comes for us to leave this body and this material world we do not become morose, depressed or broken hearted because death reunites us with our family members of the spiritual world where they eagerly wait for us. In the spiritual world there is joy and just joy which we continuously look for, pray for and desire for.