How to be unhappy

What is the best way to be unhappy? It is the fastest, and the most effective way. And what’s more, we’re past masters at this game of unhappiness.

The easiest way to be unhappy, which most of us have mastered, is to strive for happiness here. What do I mean? Isn’t it the right of every individual to strive for happiness? Shouldn’t one strive to make things better, more comfortable, and more convenient? Isn’t this what life is all about, the search for happiness?

The great little-boy-saint Prahlada spoke these words to God.

सुखाय दु:खमोक्षाय सङ्कल्प इह कर्मिण: ।
सदाप्नोतीहया दु:खमनीहाया: सुखावृत: ॥ ४२ ॥

sukhāya duḥkha-mokṣāya
saṅkalpa iha karmiṇaḥ
sadāpnotīhayā duḥkham
anīhāyāḥ sukhāvṛtaḥ

In this material world, every materialist desires to achieve happiness and diminish his distress, and therefore he acts accordingly. Actually, however, one is happy as long as one does not endeavor for happiness; as soon as one begins his activities for happiness, his conditions of distress begin.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/7/7/42/

The most unfortunate reality is that when we start this search, we completely forget that we are already happy to start with. The definition of the living entity, spirit soul, is “anandamayo ‘bhyasat” or “one who is accustomed to be always in the highest bliss. And what is that bliss? The bliss of spiritual satisfaction “brahma saukhyam tvanantam“, that spiritual happiness which is never-ending and unlimited.

This world is certified as a place of misery by the Creator:

मामुपेत्य पुनर्जन्म दु:खालयमशाश्वतम् ।
नाप्‍नुवन्ति महात्मान: संसिद्धिं परमां गता: ॥ १५ ॥

mām upetya punar janma
duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam
nāpnuvanti mahātmānaḥ
saṁsiddhiṁ paramāṁ gatāḥ

After attaining Me, the great souls, who are yogīs in devotion, never return to this temporary world, which is full of miseries, because they have attained the highest perfection.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/8/15/

Specifically, the words “duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam” above mean duḥkhaālayam — place of miseries; aśāśvatam — temporary.

In this place where misery is abundant, this world which is designed for misery, who can find happiness? Ah, maybe not now, maybe later? If only I do this, or that, or that?

The key problem here is to focus on the happiness derived from the material senses. The moment we ask the senses, are you satisfied, the senses, rejoicing in the attention they get, immediately ask for more. The senses are compared to a raging fire. Gratification of the senses is compared to fuel. When you have a raging fire, you cannot extinguish it by supplying more fuel.

The world is full of people who are striving to increase the gratification available to their mind and senses. They will never be satisfied, they will ever be unhappy.

Even perfectly happy spiritualists can fall into this trap – instead of asking, how may I satisfy God with my thought, word, and deed, they can ask instead “hey, what is this spiritual thing doing for me, what am I getting out of it“. The moment they ask this question, in the name of “self love”, they fall down into crass material sense gratification, and proceed into the deepest darkest misery. In fact, their misery is even greater than the ignorant materialist, because that misery is meant to bring them back to their true position, in harmony with God.

Ask God, no matter what tradition you come from, go and ask God, “what can I do to please you right here right now?” And because the beginner often cannot distinguish between the ranting of the mind and the voice of the Super Soul inside the heart, please check your answer with your mentors, your friends in spiritual life, and the scripture you follow. Triangulating in this way will ensure that you are not making the mistake of assuming your own sense gratification to be the will of God! And it will ensure that you are not unhappy.

Just go deep inside, serve the Supreme with your every thought, word, and deed, and be happy here and now. You already have everything you need. All the other stuff, they are demands of the body and the mind, and you are neither your body, nor your mind.

Difference between Vedanta and Sankhya

What is Sankhya, and what is Vedanta?

Premananda das 20 November 2015

Hare Krishna prabhu

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Gurudeva
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

What is difference between Vedanta and Sankhya?

Are these different traditions mentioned in Vedas?

your servant
Premananda das

Sridhar Das, 20 November 2015

Hare Krishna Premananda Prabhu,
Please accept my humble obeisances!
Jai Srila Prabhupada!

From my limited understanding, I’ve always been able to connect Vedanta with Vedanta-sutras or the whole Vedic literature treasure. Sharing from what I recently had heard in a lecture from our founder acharya His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada:

So actually the Vedanta-sutra, everything is bhakti. But unfortunately, people have taken Vedanta in a different way, after the Sariraka-bhaṣya. But all the acaryas, Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, they have all, they have commentated on the Vedanta-sutra. So Vedantist does not mean simply the Mayavadis. Actually Vedantists are the devotees. Because veda anta. Veda means knowledge, and anta means the last word. The last word is bhagavan. That is Vedanta. Here it is said, brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate [SB 1.2.11]. If you understand by studying Vedanta simply Brahman realization, that is not perfect. If you understand Paramatma realization by studying Vedanta, that is also not perfect. When you come to understand Bhagavan, that is perfect. That is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita: vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ [Bg. 15.15]. By studying Vedanta or all Vedic literatures, if you do not understand Krṣṇa, then srama eva hi kevalam [SB 1.2.8].

(Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.12, Oct 23rd, ’72,Vrindavan)

Because the best I could remember of Sankhya was from 13th chapter of Bhagavad Gita, I searched that and am quoting that. Sankhya refers to authentic Sankhya philosophy as per Vedas:

The Sankhya philosophers analyze this material world into twenty-four elements, and they place the individual soul as the twenty-fifth item. When they are able to understand the nature of the individual soul to be transcendental to the material elements, they are able to understand also that above the individual soul there is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is the twenty-sixth element. Thus gradually they also come to the standard of devotional service in Krishna consciousness. (BG 13.25 purport)

Conclusion: From my limited understanding based on above, both are aimed at Bhakti yoga. Both are Vedic ‘subjects’ but Vedanta covers the whole Absolute Truth just from its first verse – janmady asya yatah. Sankhya is a subset of Vedanta hence.

Bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyante, after many many births such souls, who have adopted Sankhya philosophy, may come to the conclusion of the existence of even transcendental existence beyond matter. May.

I remember Srila Prabhupada quoting elsewhere the scientists of the modern world and comparing them with Sankhya philosophers. And we can see how many are able to conclude even the Brahman aspect what to speak of Bhagavan.

To even attain Brahman platform is an applaudable success of human birth although partial.

If the scientists succeed to conclude also, it will take mercy of a devotee to make them conclude the Bhagavan aspect of the Absolute Truth for they will be attracted and stuck in the gyana process which itself is impractical for this age of Kali but considerable for some spiritual progress.

your servant
Sridhar Das

Premananda das, 20 November 2015

Thank you Sridhar prabhu .The meaning of Vedanta is meaningful. Veda means knowledge and anta means last word that is Bhagavan

your servant
Premananda das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 20 November 2015

Hare Krishna!

Please take some time to read the various contexts in which the words Sankhya and Vedanta are used.

This may help:

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Premananda das, 22 November 2015

Thank you Mahabhagavat prabhu indeed one word in sanksrit but different meaning and used in different contexts .

Indeed sanksrit language is a poetry and so beautiful.

your servant
Premananda das

Jayendran, 20 November 2015

Hare Krishna Premananda Prabhu,
Dandavat Pranams,

When Sankhya is spoken along with Vedanta, it refers to a different darsana. In earlier times, there were many darsanas. There were 6 in number namely, Nyaya, Purva Mimamsa, Yoga, Sankhya, Vaisesika and Vedanta(Uttara Mimamsa).

Nyaya, Purva Mimamsa, Vaisesika are all different varities of atheism as they do not believe in a Isvara who is in charge of this world . Vaishnavas have used these elements in their philsoophy to promote Vaishnava Siddhanta. Like we read Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu as Nimai Pandit was a great Naiyayika. But they do not agree with the tenets of the Nyaya shastra in of itself. Purva Mimamsa believes by doing different sacrifices to devatas(demigods) one can attain a certain fruit. Many Asuras believe in Purva Mimamsa. In Srimad Bhagavatam, we see King Pracinabarhis who believes in this philosophy and then Narada convinces him of the futility of this philosophy.

The original sankhya is theistic as it was given by Kapiladeva, an incarnation of Krishna. The more popular one is the atheistic Sankhya. The atheistic Sankhya does not believe in an Isvara. It mentions that there are many Purushas(living entities) and Prakrti. By combination of Purusha and Prakrti the world is carried forward. Suffering is because the Purusha misidentifies with Prakrti. As soon as the Purusha understands it is spiritual, transcendental to the 24 elements, it attains liberation. The method to do this is through one’s buddhi. It does not bring Krishna into the picture.

Krishna talks about this in the latter part of the 2nd chapter. The version Krishna speaks is the theistic Sankhya. Usually, when we hear people talking outside the devotee circle about Sankhya, it refers to the atheistic one . Hope that helps prabhu! 🙂

your servant,
Jayendran

Premananda das, 22 November 2015

Thank you Jayendran prabhu it is interesting that 3 of 6 different traditions are atheistic but Sankhya originally was theistic.

your servant
Premananda das


Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at www.sda-archives.com), written fresh every day from his travels around the world sharing the highest spiritual knowledge with everyone. Sign up now at www.joincourse.com.

Recovering from the arrogance of modern civilization

We are an arrogant bunch, no doubt. But we have been brought to our knees by this insignificant little virus. While we’re on our knees, here’s something useful we can do…

Modern civilization is arrogant beyond bounds. We think we can do whatever we want with impunity, thinking ourselves the be-all and end-all, the crown jewel of the Universe. We think that the Universe came out of nothing, that there is no Supreme Soul in control, that everything happens randomly. We mistake lust for love, and we are, in general, fools.

As I write this, around the world, everything is gradually shutting down, airports, railways stations, educational institutions, businesses, restaurants, cinemas, people are terrified. A single throat-clearing cough sends people scurrying for safety. A single sneeze caused by a particle of dust is enough to put one in quarantine.

World leaders have gone into hiding. The rich and the powerful have practically disappeared from society, leaving the hoi polloi to bear the brunt of this virus crisis.

And yet, this is the civilization that talks about immortality and how humans will live forever one day. This is the civilization that foolishly talks about “colonizing” other planets. This is the civilization that believes that we are capable of anything we want. And this is the very same civilization cowering from a tiny microscopic organism that’s travelling the world, piggybacked off us.

Yes, it is true that human life is the crown jewel of 8.4M species in the material manifestation. Yes, you read that right. Eight Million, Four Hundred Thousand species. Of these, Four Hundred Thousand Species are human.

The key difference between the various species, apart from all the wondrous physical and biological features, is actually consciousness. A plant is conscious, an insect is more so, a fish, animal, primate, human, all gradually getting more well-endowed in terms of consciousness.

When it comes to humans, we have a very finely honed sense of consciousness, with a key ability that is not to be found in another 8 Million species – the ability to inquire into the Supreme Absolute Truth.

However, leaving aside the main purpose of human life, we have degenerated into all sorts of abominable behaviour.

श्री भगवानुवाच
काम एष क्रोध एष रजोगुणसमुद्भ‍वः ।
महाशनो महापाप्मा विद्ध्येनमिह वैरिणम् ॥ ३७ ॥

śrī-bhagavān uvāca
kāma eṣa krodha eṣa
rajo-guṇa-samudbhavaḥ
mahāśano mahā-pāpmā
viddhy enam iha vairiṇam

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: It is lust only, Arjuna, which is born of contact with the material mode of passion and later transformed into wrath, and which is the all-devouring sinful enemy of this world.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/3/37/

You might be forgiven for thinking that the Coronavirus pandemic caused by COVID-19 is the main enemy of this world. It is not. In fact, the COVID-19 is simply a symptom of this degraded consciousness.

It is our degraded consciousness that is the real enemy of this world. Time to turn the tide!

Time to reverse this manifestation of our own lust and anger, envy, greed, illusion, madness, caused by that one problem, a degradation of our consciousness from the divine to the mundane.

This inquiry is the beginning of the Vedānta-sūtras, wherein it is said, athāto brahma-jijñāsā: one should inquire into the Supreme. And the Supreme is defined in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam as janmādy asya yato ’nvayād itarataś ca, or, “The origin of everything is the Supreme Brahman.” Therefore the origin of lust is also in the Supreme. If, therefore, lust is transformed into love for the Supreme, or transformed into Kṛṣṇa consciousness – or, in other words, desiring everything for Kṛṣṇa – then both lust and wrath can be spiritualized. Hanumān, the great servitor of Lord Rāma, exhibited his wrath by burning the golden city of Rāvaṇa, but by doing so he became the greatest devotee of the Lord. Here also, in Bhagavad-gītā, the Lord induces Arjuna to engage his wrath upon his enemies for the satisfaction of the Lord. Therefore, lust and wrath, when they are employed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, become our friends instead of our enemies.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/3/37/

May we wake up and see where our arrogance has once more brought us. While we are on our knees would be a good time to look back upon our Best Friend and Well-Wisher.

Rama. Krishna. Allah. Jehovah. Yahweh. Adonai. Rahman. Rahim. Buddha.

Call upon these names with love and see for yourself how it transforms the consciousness of the world, starting with yourself.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

Wake up sleeping soul.

Science vs Scriptures

Is it science vs. scripture? Could ancient scripture be so advanced that modern science cannot yet understand it?

Nikhil Mishra, 16 October 2017

Hare Krsna devotees

Please accept my humble obeisances

Though this is true that my heart feel peace when i sing glories and pastimes of Lord yet there arise confusions in my mind when we read in shastras that Suryadev and Chandradev were demigods while science says them to be just planets and similar other such confusions.

Only thing that is left in such confusions is to beg from Lord to keep my mind hooked into His names and reveal His merciful presence in my heart.

May be at some later stage, i would be able to understand all this better.

Hari Bol
nikhil

Bhakta Sunil, 16 October 2017

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble respects

All glories to Srila Gurudeva

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Vedic science comes long before the mundane science and is constant whereas theories of mundane science keeps changing because mundane science is based on our Limited senses

The following thought for the day based on the vedic version helps us to understand this :-
Life Did Not Explode Out of Nothing — 17 July 2011

Uploaded from Bhaktivedanta Ashram, Austin, Texas USA

There is no doubt that we’ve been given the most challenging assignment imaginable. Our spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, has ordered us to deliver everyone from illusion by teaching them what is their origin and how to perfect their relationship with that origin. At the present moment the popular theory is that life has evolved from a random combination of chemicals, which originally exploded out of nothing. It’s no wonder that people are so bewildered and frustrated when such an empty, meaningless and dogmatic cosmology is being crammed down their throats. Therefore out of compassion upon these poor suffering fellows we must constantly tax our brains to how to drive away this cosmological cloud of illusion with the brilliant sun of transcendental knowledge so that everyone will understand who they are and how to be who they are and thus become unlimitedly happy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

www.joincourse.com

Sincerely,

Bhakta Sunil

Nikhil Mishra, 19 October 2017

Thank you so much sunil prabhu for your answer. I beg mercy of exalted vaishnavas so that i can calm down my argumentative mind in light of realisation (which does occur in glimpses but then fades away).
thanks again

nikhil

Manoj Tripathi, 19 October 2017

Hare Krsna Prabhujis and Matajis,

There are several articles, books, lectures and videos by HG Sadaputa Prabhu (Dr. Richard L. Thompson) and other devotees which are very good at removing the conditioning caused by the modern so-called-scientific dogma.

Some things that I remember from his books:
One of the greatest problem with the modern world-view is that a model for understanding the things around us is taken to be the reality. This model assumes that

  1. The laws valid around us are applicable at all points in space and time (that is how they talk about things happening in distant stars and black holes etc.)
  2. These laws are simple mathematical statements, and all phenomena is reducible (that is why modern scientists tend to assume that consciousness is “made up of” constituent material elements, although the vedic version is that the soul which causes consciousness is irreducible)
  3. That which exists is observable (observable by their choice of methods. If we say, chant Hare Krsna and you will see Krsna face to face, they won’t accept this method of observation).
    As Srila Prabhupada said, this modern science is atheism in the garb of science.

May we develop more and more faith in Srila Prabhupada’s words and his pure representatives’ words.

Please forgive me and correct me if anything is incorrect/not in parampara.

Nikhil Mishra, 21 October 2017

Thanks manoj prabhu for carry forwarding the discussion.

Somehow besides having faith in shastras , some stuff keep appearing in mind. for example, now when i see sun, i dont say that suryadev has arrived on his chariot but mind thinks , so here comes another rotation of earth on its axis and a new day starts.

i also understand that mind enjoys such intellectual thoughts but avoid real work. when it comes to wake up early and chant hari-naam, it does not obey. if i have a flight at 5 am, i wake up but for hari naam, no!!

i beg mercy of all vaisnavas and creator of this world to kindly remove tamo and rajo guna from my inside.and let Krsna in my heart propel me towards His will.

sincerely
nikhil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 27 October 2017

Dear Nikhil, Sunil, and Manoj,

Hare Krishna!

Please kindly accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Sriman Nikhil, thank you for breaking a long drought. The last question asked in this forum was who knows when! 🙂

Also, thank you both Sriman Sunil and Sriman Manoj for encouraging a healthy understanding of this subject matter! This is what this group is for – Srila Prabhupada said “discuss it threadbare” and Srila Gurudeva encourages us to have these discussions, and that is why this group exists.

This is what I have gathered…

Positioning science “vs” shastras is not beneficial to anyone. I learned this from Chaitanya Charan Prabhu in detail. They are complementary – Srila Gurudeva and Srila Prabhupada maintain that the genuine scientist will end up at the lotus feet of Krishna eventually, even if it takes longer than necessary.

But as Vaisesika Prabhu taught me “you can take a horse to the water – you cannot make him drink, you can lead a man to wisdom – you can’t make him think”.

For example, science can tell you that when the trigger of a gun is pulled when the gun is loaded with
ammunition, a projectile bullet will accelerate and proceed at a certain velocity in a certain trajectory. It can also tell you what will happen when that bullet hits the body of a human being in terms of physics and biology. However, science cannot say “should that trigger be pulled?”, and “what will be the future consequence of that trigger pull?” and “why was that trigger pulled”.

Shastra is meant to give us understanding of that which is essentially beyond our understanding materially speaking. For example, take the modes of material nature, 3 in number. When those 3 combine, they make 9 combinations. When the 9 combinations of those combine, they make 81 variants. When the 81 variants combine, they make 6561 variables, and when they combine, they make 43,046,721 combinations. This combination continues infinitely, and each of us is governed by the specifics of the modes of material natures we have acquired over billions of lives. For the sake of discussion, let’s stop here for now – now, when two individuals each governed by 43 million variables interact with each other, their interactions are governed now by 1,800 trillion variables, plus the results of each person’s past karmic reactions and karmic debts to others and each other. When we get to that level of complexity, no material science can help you to understand what is exactly going on. Surely, we can speculate, but we cannot find a solution to this ever-endingly increasing complexity, seen as “chaos” or “randomness” by those who can’t see the nuances.

But, the intelligent person will ask, OK, how can I dissolve the modes of material nature acting upon me? Devotional service is the only way. The shastra or scripture does not waste time in useless frivolous pursuits like trying to categorize the millions billions trillions of combinations of the modes of material nature, but tells us how to get rid of them altogether, and we can experience our lives getting simpler and simpler when we practice devotional service. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

apraarabdha phalam paapam
kutam bijam phalonmukham
kramenaiva praliyeta
vishnu bhakti rataatmanaam

From Padma Purana – the complexities of karmic actions and reactions, lying in the form of hidden seeds, sprouting plants, and those flowering and bearing fruit, can all be systematically countered by executing vishnu bhakti

Think about a banyan tree which gives thousands of fruits with hundreds of seeds inside each fruit. Material science can never answer the question “how many trees are inside this seed”, but spiritual science can just fry that seed and ensure zero trees inside the seed.

Now for example, your question about the planets… take this passage from Srila Prabhupada’s introduction To the Bhagavad Gita As It I:

For instance, the Lord has control over the universal affairs of material nature, as will be explained in the later chapters of Bhagavad-gītā. Material nature is not independent. She is acting under the directions of the Supreme Lord. As Lord Kṛṣṇa says, mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sa-carācaram: “This material nature is working under My direction.” When we see wonderful things happening in the cosmic nature, we should know that behind this cosmic manifestation there is a controller. Nothing could be manifested without being controlled. It is childish not to consider the controller. For instance, a child may think that an automobile is quite wonderful to be able to run without a horse or other animal pulling it, but a sane man knows the nature of the automobile’s engineering arrangement. He always knows that behind the machinery there is a man, a driver. Similarly, the Supreme Lord is the driver under whose direction everything is working.”

Is there a single instance of any machine we have created that works on its own without direction? Even the most advanced machine learning systems need someone to set up the test set, the training set, the specific implementation of some algorithms, and a feedback network… does any computer suddenly manifest out of thin air without someone trying to make it come about? Does a cell phone just manifest without effort by someone? So if such insignificant things require so many tens of thousands of people to conceive, design, plan, produce, ship, stock, sell, buy, and operate… is it not naive to assume that the planets are working so beautifully in tandem and in perfect harmony all by themselves with no controller?

Just because I may not see a controller, is that sufficient evidence to conclude that there is no controller? Isn’t that an absurd conclusion? Sure, a material scientist can say “I don’t know that there is a controller”, but the same scientist would be a blind follower if he said “I know that there is no controller”. Similarly, many scientists who are honest say “I don’t know if there is a God”, we can accept that they are admitting their ignorance, but if they say “I know there isn’t a God”, we would call them a fool and proceed to ignore them, they deserve to be ignored.

So Suryadev, or Vivaswan, and Chandradev, both “are”, not “were”. If you qualify yourself, you can see them face to face, in fact, if you qualify yourself, you can occupy their post too. But why waste your time in the material realm when Krishna is waiting for you to return to Him in the spiritual realm where there is no necessity of sun. moon, stars, where everything and everyone is self-effulgent?

I hope this helps. Setup 1,2, 3 or more alarm clocks in 2-3 minute increments, leave them far from your bed, and then rise early and chant with loving determination

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

every morning, minimum 16 rounds on your garland of 108 beads daily.

And anyone or anything that opposes this program, you can overcome it with every single bit of power you can muster. This is war, for your own sake. Your prayers are already answered – Krishna has sent you Guru, and Krishna has put you in a community where you will be well supported to fulfill your spiritual desires. Krishna has given you all facility.

Dear jiva going by the name of Nikhil, “you” are at stake here. You stand to be liberated from all material bondage if you follow this process. And if you don’t make the right choices, you stand to remain trapped in another birth, another old age, another set of diseases, and yet another death, one after another ad infinitum. And not to mention slavery to the mad mind.

But, little jiva, the choice is yours to make, the consequences of your choices are yours to deal with also.

Now, what will you choose to do?

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Nikhil Mishra, 29 October 2017

Thanks Mahabhagvat prabhu for such an illustrative answer.

The whole discussion comes to this: “follow the process and verify the claims yourself made by shastras(Scriptures).”

Though i am still skeptical seeing God face to face ( though i was always fancied from stories of Bhakta Dhruva and Prahlad having darshan of God face to face), still i do realise presence of Him in terms of peaceful state of mind when i read holy-books and chant holy-names or participate in kirtan. May be i taste occasionally Shant-rasa.

Through your advice and process , i would work to change the neuroplasticity of my stubborn mind to get up early in morning and take shelter of hari-naam. Lets see what happens next !

Thank you so much again for the trouble you took to write such a long answer.

Hari-bol.
sincerely
Nikhil

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at www.sda-archives.com), written fresh every day from his travels around the world sharing the highest spiritual knowledge with everyone. Sign up now at www.joincourse.com.

Despite COVID-19 you go on forever

The COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic is serious. But rest assured you are immortal.

With all the hue and cry over the worldwide pandemic caused by the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19, there is tremendous stress.

Some people are sick, others have had to move out of their bodies to their next destination. Some have lost their jobs, others can’t get supplies. Some have seen their lifetime savings diminish on the stock market.

It is a good time to remind ourselves of some of these fundamental truths.

जातस्य हि ध्रुवो मृत्युर्ध्रुवं जन्म मृतस्य च ।
तस्मादपरिहार्येऽर्थे न त्वं शोचितुमर्हसि ॥ २७ ॥

jātasya hi dhruvo mṛtyur
dhruvaṁ janma mṛtasya ca
tasmād aparihārye ’rthe
na tvaṁ śocitum arhasi

One who has taken his birth is sure to die, and after death one is sure to take birth again. Therefore, in the unavoidable discharge of your duty, you should not lament.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/27/

However, most importantly, it is the body that can be harmed, not that which enlivens the body…

वासांसि जीर्णानि यथा विहाय
नवानि गृह्णाति नरोऽपराणि ।
तथा शरीराणि विहाय जीर्णा-
न्यन्यानि संयाति नवानि देही ॥ २२ ॥

vāsāṁsi jīrṇāni yathā vihāya
navāni gṛhṇāti naro ’parāṇi
tathā śarīrāṇi vihāya jīrṇāny
anyāni saṁyāti navāni dehī

As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/22/

And finally, you reading this, and me, writing this, and all other living entities, will not, cannot die.

न जायते म्रियते वा कदाचि-
न्नायं भूत्वा भविता वा न भूयः ।
अजो नित्यः शाश्वतोऽयं पुराणो
न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे ॥ २० ॥

na jāyate mriyate vā kadācin
nāyaṁ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ
ajo nityaḥ śāśvato ’yaṁ purāṇo
na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre

For the soul there is neither birth nor death at any time. He has not come into being, does not come into being, and will not come into being. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/20/

That said, these bodies, especially human bodies, are gifts from God, meant to realize that Supreme Absolute Truth, knowing which, one never returns to the world of the temporary flickering manifestations…

आब्रह्मभुवनाल्ल‍ोका: पुनरावर्तिनोऽर्जुन ।
मामुपेत्य तु कौन्तेय पुनर्जन्म न विद्यते ॥ १६ ॥

ā-brahma-bhuvanāl lokāḥ
punar āvartino ’rjuna
mām upetya tu kaunteya
punar janma na vidyate

From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kuntī, never takes birth again.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/8/16/

These are good reminders. Yes, I may feel discomfort, I may feel pain, I may even feel the pain when my soul is ripped out of this body. But no matter what, I will go on, as will you, regardless of COVID-19.

Imperfection is no excuse

There are many travails on the spiritual journey, tests of faith, challenges, mainly our own imperfection, but imperfection is no excuse…

I have heard this from many aspiring spiritualists, the train of thought goes somewhat like this… “I have tried, I have tried so hard, but I couldn’t… everything I did was imperfect… it is hopeless, so I might as well not bother”.

This could be about rising early in the morning, it could be about the Four Regulative Principles, it could be about Chanting Hare Krishna, it could be about being kind to others… or any of the beautiful goals spiritualists aspire for.

For a conditioned soul, imperfection is a given. Sometimes, it feels like I can get nothing right. I try one thing, it results in disaster. I try another thing, it is a failed attempt. No matter how hard I try, my faults dominate my effort! Wot to do?

Keep trying!

Sri Krishna says these most encouraging words…

सहजं कर्म कौन्तेय सदोषमपि न त्यजेत् ।
सर्वारम्भा हि दोषेण धूमेनाग्न‍िरिवावृता: ॥ ४८ ॥ saha-jaṁ karma kaunteya
sa-doṣam api na tyajet
sarvārambhā hi doṣeṇa
dhūmenāgnir ivāvṛtāḥ

Every endeavor is covered by some fault, just as fire is covered by smoke. Therefore one should not give up the work born of his nature, O son of Kuntī, even if such work is full of fault.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/18/48/

Have you ever seen a little child learning to walk? They fall. Many times. Over and over again. And for a long long time, children who recently learned to walk are known as “toddlers” – because, yes, they are unsteady on their feet, they tend to fall down.

But just as a healthy little child has the innate ability to walk, so, you, dear spirit soul, you have the innate ability to regain your spiritual perfection.

In fact, you are already perfect, your consciousness may be contaminated, but that can be rectified. I may be imperfect, but my Best Friend has no weakness!

So arise, awake, and don’t give up on your spiritual goals, because even though every endeavor is covered by fault, still…

शनै: शनैरुपरमेद्‍बुद्ध्या धृतिगृहीतया ।
आत्मसंस्थं मन: कृत्वा न किञ्चिदपि चिन्तयेत् ॥ २५ ॥ śanaiḥ śanair uparamed
buddhyā dhṛti-gṛhītayā
ātma-saṁsthaṁ manaḥ kṛtvā
na kiñcid api cintayet

Gradually, step by step, one should become situated in trance by means of intelligence sustained by full conviction, and thus the mind should be fixed on the Self alone and should think of nothing else.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/6/25/

“A big shot is a little shot who kept shooting”. DON’T GIVE UP!

By the Grace of God, Step by Step, you will shoot down all your imperfections. By the Grace of God, Step by Step you will make it, just dont’ stop trying.

My dear Best Friend and Well-Wisher, Sri Krishna, I pray to try, every single day, every single moment, keep trying to be Your pure unmotivated devotee. Please help me.

The Dark Well of the Material World

Material existence is compared to a dark well… why such a dark analogy? Well read on!

Vasudevan K, 4 December 2017

Respected devotees,

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisanaces.

All glories to Srila prabhupada

All glories to srila gurudeva and gurumathaji

I have heard that there is a sloka in bhagavatham which describes material world as dark well and living entity who has fallen into the well is catching a creeper and that creeper is constantly chewed by 2 rats – One white and one black. Insdie the darkwell there is a phython with it’s mouth wide open and on top of the well there is a tiger which is ready to devour the living entity if he comes out. At that time some few drops of honey falls on the mouth of the person and he completely forgets his precarious condition.

The creeper is the life span, 2 rats (black and white ) are the day and night, phython is the jaws of death and tiger is the liberation.

Can you please let me know the sloka for it with it’s sloka number?

Always an insignificant servant,

Hare Krishna,

Vasudevan K

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 29 January 2018

Dear Sriman Vasudevan,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Sorry for the extreme delay in getting back to you. As a group, we are guilty of ignoring your sincere question and we beg your forgiveness for our tardiness.

The analogies you mention, at least most of them, are included in the later conversation between Jada Bharat, the great realized soul, and Maharaja Rahugana, a-proud-but-receptive-king-turned-disciple.

These analogies are mentioned in the 13th Chapter of the 5th Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam.

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/5/13

Summary text of the chapter is as follows:

“The brāhmaṇa Jaḍa Bharata became very kind to King Rahūgaṇa, and to disassociate him from the material world, he spoke figuratively of the forest of the material world. He explained that this material world is like a great forest in which one becomes entangled due to association with material life. In this forest there are plunderers (the six senses) as well as carnivorous animals like jackals, wolves and lions (wife, children and other relatives) who are always anxious to suck the blood from the head of the family. The forest plunderers and the carnivorous blood-sucking animals combine to exploit the energy of a man within this material world. In this forest there is also a black hole, covered by grass, into which one may fall. Coming into the forest and being captivated by so many material attractions, one identifies himself with this material world, society, friendship, love and family. Having lost the path and not knowing where to go, being harassed by animals and birds, one is also victimized by many desires. Thus one works very hard within the forest and wanders here and there. He becomes captivated by temporary happiness and becomes aggrieved by so-called distress. Actually one simply suffers in the forest from so-called happiness and distress. Sometimes he is attacked by a snake (deep sleep), and due to the snakebite he loses consciousness and becomes puzzled and bewildered about discharging his duties. Sometimes he is attracted by women other than his wife, and thus be thinks he enjoys extramarital love with another woman. He is attacked by various diseases, by lamentation and by summer and winter. Thus one within the forest of the material world suffers the pains of material existence. Expecting to become happy, the living entity changes his position from one place to another, but actually a materialistic person within the material world is never happy. Being constantly engaged in materialistic activities, he is always disturbed. He forgets that one day he has to die. Although he suffers severely, being illusioned by the material energy, he still hankers after material happiness. In this way he completely forgets his relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”

It is risky to read verses or chapter summaries without context – especially without Srila Prabhupada’s purports, so I invite everyone to please read the entire interaction from start to finish.

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/5/10

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/5/11

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/5/12

and of course

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/5/13

and for better understanding, followed by

https://www.vedabase.com/en/sb/5/14

However, everyone one of us is meant to study Srila Prabhupada’s books in great detail. To this end, we have the Bhagavata Online Academy, the 2017 class of which is about to stop accepting applications and the 2018 class is about to begin accepting applications.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at www.sda-archives.com), written fresh every day from his travels around the world sharing the highest spiritual knowledge with everyone. Sign up now at www.joincourse.com.