Escape Manual

In one of my first posts, we explored souls in the material realm . Somehow or other, we are here. In this realm, every action causes reactions, some direct, some indirect. And most actions have consequences, even if the action was “unavoidable”. The consequences of action and reaction is so mind-boggling complex that the best minds are way too feeble to track and comprehend.

If I sow one seed, and that seed gives rise to 10,000 seeds every year, and just a fraction of them, say 1,000 sprout and give rise to 10,000 seeds every year. In just 100 years, how many seeds will this one initial seed produce?

aprarabdha-phalam papam
kutam bijam phalonmukham
kramenaiva praliyeta
visnu-bhakti-ratatmanam

There are different stages of dormant reactions to sinful activities to be observed in a sinful life. Sinful reactions may be just waiting to take effect [phalonmukha], reactions may be still further dormant [kuta], or the reactions may be in a seedlike state [bija]. In any case, all types of sinful reactions are vanquished one after another if a person engages in the devotional service of Lord Visnu.”

Padma Purana

We have been here a long long time, and every moment here, just by the simple act of breathing, prolongs our cycle of reactions.

To live, I need to breathe, I need to eat.

अहस्तानि सहस्तानामपदानि चतुष्पदाम् ।
फल्गूनि तत्र महतां जीवो जीवस्य जीवनम् ॥ ४७ ॥
ahastāni sahastānām
apadāni catuṣ-padām
phalgūni tatra mahatāṁ
jīvo jīvasya jīvanam
Those who are devoid of hands are prey for those who have hands; those devoid of legs are prey for the four-legged. The weak are the subsistence of the strong, and the general rule holds that one living being is food for another.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/1/13/47/

So how can a being trapped in this endless cycle of action, reaction, birth and death ever escape?

Here is the Escape Manual!

Anyone who reads and strives to apply the principles of the Bhagavad Gita “The Song of God” gets on the trajectory of escape from the material realm. And anyone who begins that journey gains ever-increasing momentum, even if progress may be imperceptible at first.

If you need a copy, let me know!

A Lily for Krishna

One Summer’s day earlier this year, I was exhausted.

Having worked hard to serve Krishna and His dear ones in the Vaishnava Sanga Festival, in the kitchen, but not being expert in that kind of service, I was exhausted.

I set out to be alone, walk around, “do nothing”. My elderly father, visiting us from India, who doesn’t see me much, was so glad to be with me at last. He tried to strike up a conversation but quickly found out that I needed to be alone.

So I set about exploring the beautiful trails, with no aim in mind. I chanted Hare Krishna half-heartedly with my beads, taking in the soothing natural beauty, but felt a little aimless, restless, going here-and-there, searching for fulfillment.

There is a lake on the property, and there were some canoes there. So I decided to take one out. It was beautiful, everything was very nice, but I was still restless.

Then I spotted one, it was beautiful bright yellow, suddenly the thought came to my mind “let me get one for Krishna, to take back”.

So I paddled over near one. I’m not an expert, so I missed it. Of course, when you’re in a canoe, it is easy to fall in, and I almost fell in. But I didn’t. I got one.

Then I saw another one, and paddled to the next one.

And the next one.

And the next one.

All of a sudden, it was exciting, I was on a mission, for Krishna, I had a worthy purpose, and I didn’t care for myself so much. I paddled around and with an expertise I didn’t know I had, I scooped up one Water Lily after another, taking care to leave most behind.

What started as an aimless and restless outing “to be alone”, suddenly turned to be a most enjoyable adventure, and the turning point was the moment I thought about doing something for Krishna.

“Being alone”, “Doing nothing” and “relaxing in the great outdoors”, “being on the lake” for my own sake were all just OK, not fully satisfying. But the nicest, most fulfilling experience was collecting those beautiful yellow water lilies for Krishna, doing something for Krishna – the all-attractive One.

Just like that.

We can transform any moment, any day, and any life into a mission.

Krishna with Water Lilies
Krishna Mercifully accepts the Water Lilies.

And once I had successfully offered those hard-earned lilies to Krishna, I felt very satisfied, and afterwards, everyone else, including my father, felt very satisfied with me too.

So, you want to see God?

Do you want to see God? Who doesn’t! Do you know you already have? But you want to see Him up close and personal? Read on!

If there’s a God, I want to see Him.

George Harrison

It is a common refrain, everyone wants to see God.

One famous Indian monk went around asking many priests, monks, saints, etc., and his question was “Can you show me God?”. And the story goes that none could, except the person who then became his spiritual preceptor.

When that story got popularized, especially in India, and those connected with India in some way, people would ask any person of faith “Can you show me God?”, and then smirk as the poor soul stumbled for an answer.

Reporter 6: So, Your Divine Grace, have you realized God?

Srila Prabhupada: What do you think? What is your opinion?

Reporter 6: I can’t say.

Srila Prabhupada: Then if I say “Yes,”, what will you understand? If you are not yourself expert, then even if I say “Yes; I am God realized,” how will you take it as truth? If you do not know what God realization is. then how can you ask this question, and how will you be satisfied with the answer?

Reporter 6: Well. what is God realization?

Srila Prabhupada: First make sure you understand this idea.

Now, for instance, if one medical man asks another man, “Are you a medical man’.” and the other man says “Yes,” then the first man will understand by their exchange of technical terms whether the second man is truly a medical man. But unless one is himself a medical man, what is the use of asking another man, “Are you really a medical man?”

So for you it is useless to ask about my having realized God, unless you are prepared to accept my answer. Are you?

Reporter 6: Yes.

Srila Prabhupada: Then it is all right. I am God realized. I am seeing God at every moment.

Conversation with A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Actually, it is very easy to see God.

O son of Kuntī, I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable oṁ in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether and ability in man.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/7/8/

Have you tasted water? Have you seen the light of the sun and the moon? Have you heard the syllable “Om”? Have you ever heard any sound? Have you seen anyone with any ability?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you have seen God. Of course, you may not realize that, but you have.

Now, you may say, “Hey Das, you say God is a Person“, so where is that God as a Person?

Ah, now, here comes the crux – what is your qualification to see God?

If you want to meet some famous actor personally, then she should want to meet you. If you want to meet a big businessman, he should want to meet you. If you want to meet a politician, the politician should want to see you. Is this not true?

Doesn’t matter if someone is a lawyer, teacher, scientist, doctor, whatever – you need to be qualified to see them!

The greater the personality, the more qualified someone needs to be!

What is this qualification needed to see God?

premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena
santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti
yaṁ śyāmasundaram acintya-guṇa-svarūpaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is Śyāmasundara, Kṛṣṇa Himself with inconceivable innumerable attributes, whom the pure devotees see in their heart of hearts with the eye of devotion tinged with the salve of love.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bs/5/38/

“eyes tinged with the salve of love”, in other words, you love God purely, that is your qualification. And love means you love God without expecting anything in return. And there’s infinite variety in how you can love God!

Krishna, Govinda, Shyamasundara, Lotus Eyed, Effulgent, Love of Love, Lord of Lords, God of All!

So, would you like to see God? Face-to-face? In person? What are you prepared to do to qualify yourself? I’d love to serve you on your way! Please comment, or contact me!

Love of God – the ultimate variety

Some Fear God though God Loves Everyone… But what about our Love for God? Infinite Variety! Read on…

We discussed how, for a beginner who does not yet really know God or is not following the instructions of God, Fear of God is a powerful motivator.

On one beautiful afternoon, during a long walk with one of my brothers in Christ, Steve, we discussed both Fear of God, and Love. He is very much in the stage of feeling Fear of God, but I urged him to go deeper into Love instead of staying on in fear. He then said that in the Bible, these types of love are described…

  • Eros – sensual, or romantic love
  • Storge – familial love, parents and children, brothers and sister…
  • Philia – brotherly love – usually between those of faith
  • Agape (prounounced uh-gaap-eh) – God’s love, or Love of God – immeasurable and incomparable to other types of love

I brought up how our spiritual masters teach us that everything that exists in the material world is a perverted reflection of everything pure that exists in the spiritual world.

So every relationship in the material world, which is, more often than not, selfish and in fact, more lust than love, is simply a perverted reflection of the original relationships that exist in the spiritual realm.

When “Agape” that pure love of God is fully and perfectly reciprocated back towards God by the living entities, then it manifests as the following five types of mellows (called “rasas”) of relationship with God.

  • Shanta – the mood of neutrality
    • I know you’re God, but I’m over here, not actively interacting or serving You, even though I’m in the spiritual world
  • Dasya – the mood of servitude
    • actively serving, often in the mood of great awe and reverence
  • Sakhya – the mood of friendship
    • see God as a Friend, no awe and reverence
  • Vatsalya – the mood of parental love
    • see God as a Son, actually subordinate to yourself, feel protective, and feel that God is your dependent
  • Madhurya – the mood of conjugal love
    • this is the most nuanced and complex of them all, but basically seeing God as your husband or lover

In addition to these, there are the following seven secondary rasas, or mellows…

  • laughing
  • astonishment
  • chivalry
  • compassion
  • anger
  • dread
  • ghastliness

When these five primary mellows combine with each other and with the seven secondary mellows, an unlimited variety of mellows is generated, and these wonderful mellows are relished by those who are purely reflecting the Pure Love of God back to God.

Some combinations of mellows are incompatible of course, whereas others are perfectly compatible. This is an intricate science, this knowledge of rasa (mellow) and rasabhaas (the pretense of a mellow).

These mellows of loving devotional service cannot be imitated. They are manifested by perfectly pure devotees only, those who have not the slightest tinge of material attachment or material inebriety. Not to be imitated or artificially put on. If a soul who is not fully and completely in perfect spiritual consciousness tries to artificially force themselves into an advanced mellow of personal relationship, such as person is known as an offender against God.

One great saint, Srila Rupa Goswami, in the 16th Century AD, combed through vast volumes of Vedic Literature and extracted the essence of all Vedic Literature, among his incredible contributions, left behind for us a delightful text called the Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu (The Ocean of the Unending and Unlimited Nectar of Pure Devotion to God).

Another great modern-day saint, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, wrote a summary study of Rupa Goswami’s Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu, calling it the Nectar of Devotion.

This subject matter is very vast, and very deep. And to be honest, I am not qualified to delve into most aspects of this subject.

However, I’d like to bring out a few of my appreciations for how the theology from different traditions connects and expands our understanding of God The Supremely All-Attractive One. Even though one scripture, say from the Abrahamic traditions may not contain all this detail that is mentioned in another scripture, say, from the Vedic tradition, it must be understood that all genuine scriptures talk about the same One Supreme Absolute Truth. And genuine saintly souls, advanced in their understanding of their own scripture, will understand, accept, and relish this.

As for the others, the analogy is “stay on the tree”, which refers to how a sour mango on a branch of a mango tree reputed for giving sweet mangoes, just by staying on the branch, becomes sweet. In other words, someone who cannot appreciate higher aspects of our tradition or other traditions should, instead of blaspheming other traditions, seek inward purification and consequent broader and deeper understanding from God about His Glories.

More on purely spiritual relationships in future posts, but the important takeway is that spiritual life doesn’t mean negation of relationships, it means harmonizing all relationships through perfecting that one very special relationship each of us has, with our eternal emanator. In fact, the very raison-de’etre for our existence is so that the Supreme can enjoy these relationships with us.

Yes, the taste of an individual soul’s relationship is absolutely unique, no two souls can give the exact same taste to God. Even though there are unlimited millions, billions, trillions of us in this Universe and in other Universes.

Not just those in “human” forms, but every single living entity has a unique irreplaceable relationship with Krishna.

Would you not like to awaken your personal relationship with your best well-wisher and friend? Try this mantra, if you really want to get in…

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna

Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama

Rama Rama Hare Hare

The Hare Krishna Mahamantra

If you want to go deeper, then best to cultivate being a servant of the servant of the servant of the servant…. (ad inifinitum) God – easier said than done! Leave a comment or contact me.

Big Bang Theory – A Fairytale

OK, so here’s the theory… once upon a time, no wait, there was no time even, no space, nothing, but then… just all of a sudden, out of nothing, came a MASSIVE EXPLOSION, and Lo Behold, the Universe as we know it, came out of that explosion. End fairy tale…

In a recent class I gave, I called the Big Bang Theory a fairy tale. A teenager was so upset he walked out. Later on his father came up to disagree with me and get me to accept that what I said was “my perspective”. I had to hold that what I said was true.

OK, so here’s the theory… once upon a time, no wait, there was no time even, no space, nothing, but then… just all of a sudden, out of nothing, came a MASSIVE EXPLOSION, and Lo Behold, the Universe as we know it, came out of that explosion. End fairy tale.

Yes, I know about the variant of that tale which goes “there was the singularity” which was basically an infinitesimal point of infinite energy and mass that suddenly exploded. Where did this infinitesimal singularity come from? What caused it to explode and why?

How absurd is this?

Not a tiny little nanometer cube of space can be created from nothing. Not even one atom can be created from nothing. Let alone this massive Universe that is so full of such beautiful order, such beautiful symmetry.

Please reject the Big Bang Theory, it is unproven garbage. Contest it everywhere you find mention of it. If a textbook must list it, then have it listed as an unproven theory, a mere belief.

Even if it appears in our school textbooks. Even if people get paid salaries and grants to “prove it”. Even if we have been told so much about it that we “believe”.

Nothingness does not exist, and nothing comes out of nothing.

The Universe is not nothing. Therefore the Big Bang Theory is false.

Modern day scientists claim that the universe began 14 billion years ago with a big explosion that they have named the Big Bang. Of course, they did not witness this Big Bang. They merely theorize that it must have happened because according to their calculations our universe is an expanding universe. But if we logically analyze the Big Bang theory, we can see that using it to explain the origin of the universe is problematic. The biggest problem is that we have never experienced an explosion that creates order. Explosions are very good at disrupting order, but they never create order. Therefore it is illogical to assume that our highly ordered universe has manifested from an explosion

Sankarshan Das Adhikari www.joincourse.com

Why do people believe in this fanatical religious dogma that is the big bang theory? If you want to know more about how the Universe came into existence, contact me, or leave a comment in the comments section.

Allah is not your God? Krishna is not your God?

Are you a follower of Allah? Are you a follower of Krishna? Are you a follower of Rama? Are you a follower of Jehovah? Did you answer no to any of these questions but yes to at least one of these questions? Then read on!

In the world today, there is great strife between the followers of different spiritual and religious traditions about the name of God. In fact, some are so frustrated by this bickering that they take to atheism because at least the atheists agree that there is no God whatsoever.

Some say Allah is the Only God and there is none other. They say that Allah has 99 names and any other name does not refer to Allah.

Yet others say that Lord Rama or Lord Krishna is the True God.

Yet others say that Yahweh, not Krishna or Rama is THE name of God.

There is all this terrible discussion about “false gods”, and how the follower of this or that tradition is surely going to hell!

But you know, when a follower of Rama disparages Allah, they are disparaging their own beloved Rama?

When a follower of Jehovah disparages Krishna, do you know they are actually blaspheming Jehovah Himself?

Do you know that a person who commits sacrilege against the names Rama and Krishna are actually blaspheming Allah Himself?

Blasphemy of Any name of God is a blasphemy of All names of God. Be careful!

ŚB 10.14.7

गुणात्मनस्तेऽपि गुणान् विमातुं
हितावतीर्णस्य क ईशिरेऽस्य ।
कालेन यैर्वा विमिता: सुकल्पै-
र्भूपांशव: खे मिहिका द्युभास: ॥ ७ ॥ guṇātmanas te ’pi guṇān vimātuṁ
hitāvatīṛnasya ka īśire ’sya
kālena yair vā vimitāḥ su-kalpair
bhū-pāṁśavaḥ khe mihikā dyu-bhāsaḥ

In time, learned philosophers or scientists might be able to count all the atoms of the earth, the particles of snow, or perhaps even the shining molecules radiating from the sun, the stars and other luminaries. But among these learned men, who could possibly count the unlimited transcendental qualities possessed by You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who have descended onto the surface of the earth for the benefit of all living entities?

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/10/14/7/

No one tradition knows everything possible about God, because God is infinite! We all stand to gain from sharing the unlimited glories of God with each other.

This is called Sankirtan, or “samyak kirtan”, “complete glorification of God”.

Any name of God from a bona fide historical scripture that refers to the Supreme Absolute Truth refers to the exact SAME person!

Don’t believe me?

American English: sun
Arabic: شَمْس
Brazilian Portuguese: sol
Chinese: 太阳
Croatian: sunce
Czech: slunce
Danish: sol
Dutch: zon
European Spanish: sol
Finnish: aurinko
French: soleil
German: Sonne
Greek: ήλιος
Italian: sole
Japanese: 太陽
Korean: 태양
Norwegian: sol
Polish: słońce
European Portuguese: sol
Romanian: soare
Russian: солнце
Latin American Spanish: sol
Swedish: sol
Thai: พระอาทิตย์
Turkish: güneş
Ukrainian: сонце
Vietnamese: mặt trời

Would it make sense for the Vietnamese person to say that mặt trời does not mean the same as the Ukranian word сонце or the Japanese word 太陽?

There is only ONE source to the Universe.

All of us from different spiritual traditions are but emanations of that ONE personality.

Krishna, for example means, “The All-Attractive One”. Is Allah not All-Attractive? So is Allah not Krishna? Is Jehovah not All-Attractive? So then, is Jehovah not Krishna?

The word Rama means “The source of All Pleasure”… Are Allah or Jehovah not the source of all pleasure? So are Allah and Jehovah not Rama?

Why fight over differences in language? Let’s learn each others’ languages! Use the comments section… What is the name of God in your language? And what does this name mean?

Regulate to be Free

Want to be free? Do whatever you want? Can a regulated life lead to freedom? Can we regulate to be free?

Sounds like an Oxymoron right? Regulated Freedom? Is this some kind of slavery?

After all, dictionary.com says this about the word “regulate”

regulate [ reg-yuh-leyt ]

verb (used with object), reg·u·lat·ed, reg·u·lat·ing.
to control or direct by a rule, principle, method, etc.: to regulate household expenses.
to adjust to some standard or requirement, as amount, degree, etc.: to regulate the temperature.
to adjust so as to ensure accuracy of operation: to regulate a watch.
to put in good order: to regulate the digestion.

And freedom is listed as follows:

freedom [ free-duh m ]
noun
the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint: He won his freedom after a retrial.
exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
the power to determine action without restraint.
personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery: a slave who bought his freedom.
exemption from the presence of anything specified (usually followed by from): freedom from fear.

But we also see that a free society is a regulated society. If society is not regulated with laws, enforcement, etc., then no one is truly free, everyone has to live in fear as we see wherever there is anarchy.

When I began my journey in spiritual life, I was completely against all kinds of regulation. I stayed away from anything that looked like discipline or commitment.

My idea of freedom was to do anything I wished to do.

But then, I realized that I am not my mind, and doing what “I” wished to do, was, more often than not, doing what my mind wanted me to do. In other words, that a person doing what they wished to do, unless they were perfectly spiritual, were really, slaves of the mind!

उद्धरेदात्मनात्मानं नात्मानमवसादयेत् ।
आत्मैव ह्यात्मनो बन्धुरात्मैव रिपुरात्मन: ॥ ५ ॥ uddhared ātmanātmānaṁ
nātmānam avasādayet
ātmaiva hy ātmano bandhur
ātmaiva ripur ātmanaḥ

One must deliver himself with the help of his mind, and not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/6/5/

That was interesting.

mana eva manuṣyāṇāṁ
kāraṇaṁ bandha-mokṣayoḥ
bandhāya viṣayāsaṅgo
muktyai nirviṣayaṁ manaḥ

“For man, mind is the cause of bondage and mind is the cause of liberation. Mind absorbed in sense objects is the cause of bondage, and mind detached from the sense objects is the cause of liberation.”

(Amṛta-bindu Upaniṣad 2) (quoted from BG 6.5)

When I looked around me, those that were the most free were those who had the fewest consequences to deal with. That’s right, thoughts and actions all carry consequences. While all karmic actions bind us to the resultant reactions, that is a topic for another day.

Right now, I wanted to mention the 4 things anyone could do to lead a more carefree and worry-free life.

Follow these regulative principles voluntarily, or at least do your best…

  • No Intoxication – no alcohol, mind-altering drugs, caffeine, coffee, or tea
  • No Meat Eating – including fish and eggs, avoid onions, garlic, and mushrooms also
  • No Illicit Sex – do not engage in any kind of sex except for procreation – this includes monosex, homosex, heterosex, or any kind of sexual titillation
  • No Gambling – do not engage in any kind of slot machines, car games, slot machines, or even lucky draws if you want to be safe. If you do want to gamble, give your life to the spiritual pursuit!

Anyone who follows these principles becomes strong, energetic, and attractive. And we will examine the effects of not following these regulative principles in other articles.

It took me a while to get there, to be honest with you. But it really works. Try it out, read more about it here.

If you have any difficulties, of f you need any help or encouragement, let me know!

This is supported by the greatest spiritualists (and many materialists too!) who have ever lived, and here is what the Gita says about regulation…

रागद्वेषविमुक्तैस्तु विषयनिन्द्रियैश्चरन् ।
आत्मवश्यैर्विधेयात्मा प्रसादमधिगच्छति ॥ ६४ ॥ rāga-dveṣa-vimuktais tu
viṣayān indriyaiś caran
ātma-vaśyair vidheyātmā
prasādam adhigacchati

But a person free from all attachment and aversion and able to control his senses through regulative principles of freedom can obtain the complete mercy of the Lord.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/64/

Of course, regulation is not possible without also developing a higher taste…

विषया विनिवर्तन्ते निराहारस्य देहिनः ।
रसवर्जं रसोऽप्यस्य परं दृष्ट्वा निवर्तते ॥ ५९ ॥
viṣayā vinivartante
nirāhārasya dehinaḥ
rasa-varjaṁ raso ’py asya
paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate
Though the embodied soul may be restricted from sense enjoyment, the taste for sense objects remains. But, ceasing such engagements by experiencing a higher taste, he is fixed in consciousness.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/59/

It’s worth it!