The “science”(dogma) of conjecture

Evolution is a fact. But not the way it is commonly understood… How to understand evolution scientifically?

You may have heard about Darwin’s theory of natural selection… yes, where the claim is that one species evolved into another species because the fittest who evolved survived and the others died off, thereby creating a natural evolution of species just sort of accidentally and randomly. It is in line with the magical wishful thinking of the Big Bang.

But according to the Vedic scripture all 8.4 Million species are created by the arrangement of God. 400,000 of those species are human in nature, and the remain 8 million are sub-human.

“jalaja nava lakshani, sthavara laksha-vimshati, krimayo rudra-sankhyakah, pakshinam dasha-lakshanam, trinshal-lakshani pashavah, chatur lakshani manavah”

Jalaja (Water based) – 0.9 million, Sthaavara (immobile like plants & trees) – 2.0 million, Krimaayo (Reptiles and germs) – 1.1 million, Pakshinaam (Birds) – 1.0 million, Paashavah (terrestrial animals) – 3.0 million, Maanavah (human-like bodies, including human species, demigods, danavas, gandharvas etc) – 0.4 million.

Padma Purana

Some species may be visible at some times, and other species may be present at other times. So what determines whether there are any specimens of any given species are actually on a planet at any given time?

A tiger has no choice…

Karma! Karma is the law action and reaction – every action has an equal and opposite reaction, that is the law of Karma. This most basic law of nature drives the circumstances of a living entities trajectory in the material world… simply put, certain deeds are classified “karma” or deeds that bring pleasing reactions, and certain deeds are classified “vikarma” or deeds that bring unpleasant reactions. Karma and Vikarma is only accrued in human forms of life, the sub-human species are simply living our their karma – the tiger suffers no reaction for killing a deer but a human does.

A human has choices…

अधस्तान्नरलोकस्य यावतीर्यातनादय: ।
क्रमश: समनुक्रम्य पुनरत्राव्रजेच्छुचि: ॥ ३४ ॥

adhastān nara-lokasya
yāvatīr yātanādayaḥ
kramaśaḥ samanukramya
punar atrāvrajec chuciḥ

Having gone through all the miserable, hellish conditions and having passed in a regular order through the lowest forms of animal life prior to human birth, and having thus been purged of his sins, one is reborn again as a human being on this earth.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/3/30/34/

After transmigrating through the millions of different species, we get a human life. What we do in our present human life determines our future trajectory.

It takes a lot of transmigraton through species to get a human life…

Of course, trying to piece together the effects of the law of karma is a fool’s errand, because here’s something – let’s say you have one seed – one karmic action. That seed sprouts, grows into a tree, flowers, and fructifies – each fruit contains many more seeds… those result in more trees and more and more and more. Pretty soon, you don’t know where you started and why you’re enjoying or suffering. All sorts of apparently anomalous phenomena occur, and people ask questions like “why do bad things happen to good people”. In the material world, no one is really fully innocent. We all came here by our own free will, due to the original sin of trying to displace God after all.

A Banyan tree – where did it all start?

There is one kind of action, called “akarma” which can be loosely translated as “inaction in action”…

कर्मणो ह्यपि बोद्धव्यं बोद्धव्यं च विकर्मणः ।
अकर्मणश्च बोद्धव्यं गहना कर्मणो गतिः ॥ १७ ॥

karmaṇo hy api boddhavyaṁ
boddhavyaṁ ca vikarmaṇaḥ
akarmaṇaś ca boddhavyaṁ
gahanā karmaṇo gatiḥ

The intricacies of action are very hard to understand. Therefore one should know properly what action is, what forbidden action is and what inaction is.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/4/17/

कर्मण्यकर्म यः पश्येदकर्मणि च कर्म यः ।
स बुद्धिमान्मनुष्येषु स युक्तः कृत्स्नकर्मकृत् ॥ १८ ॥

karmaṇy akarma yaḥ paśyed
akarmaṇi ca karma yaḥ
sa buddhimān manuṣyeṣu
sa yuktaḥ kṛtsna-karma-kṛt

One who sees inaction in action and action in inaction is intelligent among men, and he is in the transcendental position, although engaged in all sorts of activities.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/4/18/

Statements like this can be mysterious and confusing, and they did end up confusing a lot of western scholars who studied the Bhagavad Gita without the guidance of the disciplic succession, a bona fide Guru.

But it is quite easy to understand with the context, go ahead and click on the link to BG 4.18 and you will get a crystal clear explanation. Basically, you might think you are inactive, but you could be accumulating karmic reactions just by your breathing… but there is a way to do everything so that not only are there no karmic reactions but your existing karmic reactions are burned away…

Coming back to the speculative idea that somehow or other one organism adapted and evolved into another species, and that the fossil record is to be taken as proof is fallacious. The fossil record, is at best, a conjecture.

Why is that?

Fossils are not truly reliable as evidence for evolution…

Because the fossil record simply represents certain events or accidents depending on whose viewpoint you are looking at – some hapless animal got caught in some clay that solidified to rock preserving the skeleton as a fossil, and just because this didn’t happen a billion years before or after doesn’t necessarily give us the time when that species was around. A fossil is essentially like a little child pointing and clicking a camera randomly – you can’t decide what exactly happened that day just from the photos. A lot of room for error.

A great book on this subject is Nature’s IQ by by Balaz Hornyansk and Istvan Tasi.

Nature’s IQ

The introduction to the book reads “It is not at all surprising that insects behave like insects, birds behave like birds, and mammals behave like mammals. They execute most of their intricate behavior in a predetermined, instinctive manner. But how do they know when and how they should act? Where did the intelligence that is manifested in nature come from? Can the current view be true, that inert matter (lacking consciousness) somehow acquired intelligence over the course of a vast span of time? Darwin’s theory of evolution is widely accepted as the explanation for the varieties of life. Evolutionists attempt to explain the origin of behavioral patterns by gradual modifications of more simple behavior forms. But when we try to explain complex animal behavior this way, it becomes impossible! Nature’s IQ invites the reader to investigate an alternative explanation. Is it possible that our world reflects, in many different ways, a supernatural intelligence that has applied its own infinitely ingenious solutions to create the living world?”

One of Darwin’s ideas is that some fortunate specimens of a particular species developed a particular advantage that helped them survive while their peers perished due to the lack of that advantage.

The key idea is that for example, it is conjectured that a giraffe needed a long neck so it could eat the leaves from trees that were very tall and thus have an advantage over those animals that depend on grass and other short plants… one day, a short-necked ancestor of a giraffe developed a slightly longer neck, and its descendants developed longer and longer necks… but the authors make an argument like, OK, what advantage did the giraffe ancestor with a neck only slightly longer than its previous generation have? How could that change continue in the absence of any tangible advantage? What about more complex instincts and behaviours? What about the intelligence that many animals exhibit?

Such examples abound in nature… Michael Cremo writes in his foreword… “These complex behaviors involve many behavioral steps, linked in specific sequences. Without all the parts of the behavior being present in proper sequence, the behavior would not be executed. We can thus say that not only biological form but biological behavior can be irreducibly complex. That means these behaviors cannot have arisen in the step by step fashion that evolution requires. Thus biological behavior also provides evidence of intelligent design.”

In other words, the theory of evolution of species is not much more than mental speculation combined with healthy doses of conjecture. It is the dogma of conjecture.

Another great book is Rethinking Darwin, by Leif Jensen.

Rethinking Darwin

What can we do then? We can evolve back to a higher consciousness with our efforts and lots of mercy.

The Vedic Scriptures say:

aprārabdha-phalaṁ pāpaṁ
kūṭaṁ bījaṁ phalonmukham
krameṇaiva pralīyeta
viṣṇu-bhakti-ratātmanām

For those who are engaged in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, all sinful reactions, whether fructified, in the stock, or in the form of a seed, gradually vanish.

Quotation from the Padma Purana in purport of https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/9/2/

Here is real science. You can know this, follow the process of Bhakti, Loving Devotional Service to the Supreme, and go back home. It is a repeatable process. Countless have done it. You can too. Dear Spirit Soul, you are already perfect in your original state. Over countless lifetimes, you have devolved from your original perfection to a state which is an embarrassment to your true identity. Wake up! Know yourself! Be yourself! Go back home to the spiritual realm where you belong! I pray to serve you on your journey back home, that is why I exist. Ask me how!

Sun Engineering

The sun is our primary source of energy, uses fusion reactions, which are ordinarily understood to be very difficult to control. is it reasonable to assume that the sun remains in equilibrium without engineering and control?

One morning recently, when I went out for a walk, it was chilly. The sun was just out in his golden splendour, the sky was clear, but there was frost on the new spring grass, and the air was a crisp 3 degrees Celsius, about 38 Fahrenheit. As I returned, the frost looked like dew, and it was a tad bit warmer. Later in the day, it is forecast to be a relatively warm (for Toronto) sixteen degrees Celsius, or 61 Fahrenheit.

The sun did not overheat the atmosphere, a little extra spurt of energy and all that grass can easily go up in flames, and a pleasant morning walk can turn into an infernal blaze of a jaunt!

The sun, our sun, looks like a small disc, but is really massive, much much bigger than our earth.

The sun sustains life on our planet. Without the sun no life can exist on our planet. Most energy on our planet comes from the sun, directly and indirectly.

The heat of the sun, the scientists say, is a result of a massive fusion reaction.

Fusion is when one atom fuses, or joins into another, like for example two hydrogen atoms fuse together to become one atom of helium. Wikipedia says that the sun fuses 620 million metric tons of hydrogen and makes 616 million metric tons of helium each second. And in the process, the sun releases a certain gigantic amount of energy all around it. The earth gets a tiny fraction of that energy as heat, light, and so on.

If the rate of fusion increased, we would be burned to a crisp from the heat. If the rate of fusion decreased, we would go into a wintery spiral, freezing all of us to death very quickly.

But clearly, the sun does not get hotter or warmer than it is. There is strict regulation. In fact, even though scientists know how to fuse hydrogen into helium, they have not been able to do it in a controlled fashion yet. In other words, every attempt so far results in what is called a hydrogen bomb, a massive destructive explosion.

Some companies are trying to perfect controlled fusion and they may very well be able to do this one day. Some say it will solve the energy woes of the world even, but all attempts at fusion are tightly engineered, there is a tremendous amount of complex machinery being used to try and successfully control nuclear fusion reactions.

There are scientists, engineers, operators, and mathematicians, and many more very highly educated souls at work in trying to perfect fusion. There are billions of dollars of venture capital investments too.

Is it then reasonable to expect the the sun remains at a precise temperature without anyone looking after it? Does it make sense to understand that this large power source is without some sort of controller?

The Vedic texts tell us that the sun has a chief engineer. His name is Vivaswan. He has a whole team of scientists and technicians assisting him.

Well of course, there is another modern misconception that goes like “well the sun is so hot there is no chance of life on the sun”. Is that a reasonable assumption? I cannot live under water, I cannot live in the sky, I cannot live inside the mud or deep inside the earth. Doesn’t mean there aren’t bodies suitable for those environments.

Similarly, if an environment is made up of fire, then there are bodies made of fire, just like within the depths of the ocean, there are watery bodies.

The Universal Cosmic arrangement is carefully designed, the planets don’t stay in orbit by accident as much as an airplane remains on its flight path or satellite remains in its orbit by accident. Financial markets don’t remain accidentally in equilibrium without astute traders and managers carefully controlling them. There are all sorts of small and big controllers keeping track of all this. This is true within man-made systems, though we often lose control of systems we created. The Universal arrangement is no accident too.

There is a higher power, and a Supreme Controller of all controllers…

भोक्तारं यज्ञतपसां सर्वलोकमहेश्वरम् ।
सुहृदं सर्वभूतानां ज्ञात्वा मां शान्तिमृच्छति ॥ २९ ॥

bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ
sarva-loka-maheśvaram
suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati

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

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/5/29/

Jiva Soul – A poem from 1874

Back in in 1874, Bhaktivinode Thakura wrote this sublime poem that gives us the formula for Supreme Spiritual Success! Jiva Soul, from Saragrahi Vaishnava

This is a poem by the great saint Bhaktivinode Thakura… from his 1874 work, “Saragrahi Vaishnava”

The Jiva Soul:

Alas for those who spend their days
In festive mirth and joy.
The dazzling, deadly liquid forms
Their hearts fore’er employ.

The shining bottles charm their eyes
And draw their heart’s embrace;
The slaves of wine can never rise
From what we call disgrace.

Was man intended to be
A brute in work and heart?
Should man, the Lord of all around,
From common sense depart?

Man’s glory is in common sense
Dictating us the grace,
That man is made to live and love
The beauteous Heaven’s embrace.

The flesh is not our own alas;
The mortal frame a chain;
The soul confined for former wrongs
Should try to rise again.

Why then this childish play in that
Which cannot be our own;
Which falls within a hundred years
As if a rose ablown.

Our life is but a rosy hue
To go ere long for naught;
The soul alone would last fore’er
With good or evil fraught.

How deep the thought of times to be!
How grave the aspect looks!
And wrapt in awe become, O, we,
When reading Nature’s books.

Man’s life to him a problem dark–
A screen both left and right;
No soul hath come to tell us what
Exists beyond our sight.

But then a voice, how deep and soft,
Within ourselves is left;
Man! Man! Thou art immortal soul!
Thee Death can never melt.

For thee thy Sire on High has kept
A store of bliss above,
To end of time, thou art O! His–
Who wants but purest love.

O Love! Thy power and spell benign
Now melt my soul to God;
How can my earthly words describe
That feeling soft and broad.

Enjoyment, sorrow — what but lots
To which the flesh is heir?
The soul that sleeps alone concludes
In them it hath a share.

And then, my friends, no more enjoy
Nor weep for all below;
The women, wine, and flesh of beasts
No love on thee bestow.

But thine to love thy brother man
And give thyself to God.
And God doth know your wages fair–
This fact is true and broad.

Forget the past that sleeps and ne’er
The future dream at all,
But act in time that are with thee
And progress thee shall call.

But tell me not in reasoning cold,
The soul is made alone
By Earth’s mechanic lifeless rules
And to destruction prone.

My God who gave us life and all
Alone the soul can kill
Or give it all the joys above
His promise to fulfill.

So push thy onward march, O soul,
Against an evil deed
That stands with soldiers Hate and Lust–
A hero be indeed.

Maintain thy post in spirit world
As firmly as you can,
Let never matter push thee down–
O stand heroic man!

O Sharagrahi Vaishnava soul,
Thou art an angel fair;
Lead, lead me on to Vrindavan
And spirit’s power declare.

There rests my soul from matter free
Upon my Lover’s arms–
Eternal peace and spirits love
Are all my chanting charms.

Mind is like a child, Intelligence is like the mother

How does a mother take care of the child? Your intelligence should take care of your mind the same way. Read to find out more!

Hearing a class by my spiritual master Srila Sankarshan Das Adhikari on SB 3.31.15, he made this statement “The mind is like a child, and the intelligence is like the mother of that child”.

When I first heard this many years ago, I was startled by the clarity of the example, especially when after some time, I observed my wife with our son.

Even though every child is unique in a way, children are also very similar to each other. They often have short attention spans, are easily distracted, can be either very easy to convince or stubbornly refuses to co-operate. Children are also extremely imaginative and inventive, and usually don’t bear grudges against the mother even though the mother may be strict.

When we compare our mind to a child, the comparison fits very nicely! So, for most people struggling to control the mind, look no further than the means adopted by an expert mother.

What does a mother do? The mother treats the child very lovingly. She coaxes, cajoles, and pleads with the child. But she is also firm with the child when it is time to be firm. She sometimes shouts at the child, she also sometimes yells and when it comes to it, offers correction in an appropriate way. It sometimes happens that the mother walks away from the child too and the child often suddenly complies with the wishes of the mother and follows along with her. Sometimes, others may see a mother as being harsh, but more often than not, she knows what she is doing!

The playful child, the whimsical child, the recalcitrant child, the stubborn child, the angry child, the sad child, the moody child, they all find their match in the same mother, behaving in specific different ways.

This is how intelligence is meant to be used, to act just as a mother.

The mind has three functions, thinking, willing, and feeling. And the mind is like a flip-flop switch – the same situations will cause it to react differently and keep changing around, often for no rhyme or reason. Sometimes the mind will think positive, sometimes it will act negative, sometime it will be cheerful, and sometimes it will be gloomy, sometimes it will be hardworking, sometimes it will be lazy. But just as a mother can get a child to act for his own welfare, similarly the intelligence is meant to perform that service.

Here are some examples, conversations between the intelligence and mind.

OK mind, so you want to do that? Why is that? Does it make sense? (the mind rambles on) “Hey look at this!” (intelligence distracts the mind)

Mind, mind, my dear mind, do you know what an amazing surprise I have for you today? (mind eagerly follows the intelligence waiting for the surprise).

Mind, if you continue to do this, I will have to take (names a privilege) away.

Mind, you can do whatever you want, but I’m not going there with you (mind follows).

OK, I cannot do justice to the nuances of the range and subtleties of the conversation between any mother and child in such an abbreviated manner, but I am hoping the examples point you in the right direction. On the spiritual path, the mind may present many such obstacles every moment, but we are meant to use our God-given intelligence properly.

It may take some time apparently (it does not have to, many have attained spiritual perfection in a moment, but that is rare), Sri Krishna instructs us in this encouraging way…

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/

Krishna also says this, specifically…

यतो यतो निश्चलति मनश्चञ्चलमस्थिरम् ।
ततस्ततो नियम्यैतदात्मन्येव वशं नयेत् ॥ २६ ॥

yato yato niścalati
manaś cañcalam asthiram
tatas tato niyamyaitad
ātmany eva vaśaṁ nayet

From wherever the mind wanders due to its flickering and unsteady nature, one must certainly withdraw it and bring it back under the control of the Self.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/6/26/

Again, please note that we are not the mind. We are spirit soul. The intelligence, mind, and our sense of identity all are part of what is known as our “subtle body”, but more on that another day.

And how to make sure that our intelligence is being a “good mother” to the mind?

अध्येष्यते च य इमं धर्म्यं संवादमावयो: ।
ज्ञानयज्ञेन तेनाहमिष्ट: स्यामिति मे मति: ॥ ७० ॥

adhyeṣyate ca ya imaṁ
dharmyaṁ saṁvādam āvayoḥ
jñāna-yajñena tenāham
iṣṭaḥ syām iti me matiḥ

And I declare that he who studies this sacred conversation of ours worships Me by his intelligence.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/18/70/

Study Bhagavad Gita daily. Try it!

With gratitude to my spiritual master, who mercifully came back to the material world just to save me, and many others like me. Dear Srila Gurudeva, I pray to assist you in your mission, moment after moment, day after day, and life after life, more and more and more eternally ever-increasingly.

What “the great” took with him

Alexander “the great” took nothing of his conquests with him, or did he!

Alexander the great was a great conqueror, great emperor, and is still famous.

His empire extended across large swathes of Asia, Europe, and Africa.

But time, inexorable time, took away his life one day, while away from home, in a camp, surrounded by his doctors and generals.

As Alexander the Great lay on his deathbed, waiting to breathe his last, he told his generals that he had three last wishes.

  1. That his physicians should bear his coffin
  2. That the path leading to the grave should be strewn with the treasures he had in his treasury
  3. That his hands were to be left dangling out of the coffin.

His generals tearfully agreed, but asked why the emperor made such strange last wishes.

Alexander explained that no one was able to stop death, not even the best physicians of the most powerful emperor on earth.

He then explained that all that he had accumulated, all his treasures, were left behind.

Finally, he explained that he was taking nothing with him, that he was going empty handed.

Those were profound realisations, but there is something he did not realize.

The soul who was called “Alexander the Great” came with a lot of pious credits, the karmic credits needed to become an emperor of the world. While fulfilling his karmic destiny, he accumulated a lot of karmic reactions too.

Think of all the soldiers who died fighting for him.

Think of all the soldiers who died fighting against him.

He also took with him the results of any acts of kindness.

All for what? Just so Alexander could be a great conqueror? What did Alexander really accomplish? As he fortunately realized, better late than never, he took nothing of his achievements with him. But yes, his karmic reactions, he will carry with him.

Soon after his death, the mighty empire that he had put together after all those battles in which he was unconquered, crumbled. His once mighty body, also disintegrated.

After all, there is no endurance of the body.

नासतो विद्यते भावो नाभावो विद्यते सतः ।
उभयोरपि दृष्टोऽन्तस्त्वनयोस्तत्त्वदर्शिभिः ॥ १६ ॥

nāsato vidyate bhāvo
nābhāvo vidyate sataḥ
ubhayor api dṛṣṭo ’ntas
tv anayos tattva-darśibhiḥ

Those who are seers of the truth have concluded that of the nonexistent [the material body] there is no endurance and of the eternal [the soul] there is no change. This they have concluded by studying the nature of both.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/16/

While Alexander had some realizations on his deathbed, he did not have anyone to instruct him on this important truth…

आयुर्हरति वै पुंसामुद्यन्नस्तं च यन्नसौ ।
तस्यर्ते यत्क्षणो नीत उत्तमश्लोकवार्तया ॥ १७ ॥

āyur harati vai puṁsām
udyann astaṁ ca yann asau
tasyarte yat-kṣaṇo nīta
uttama-śloka-vārtayā

Both by rising and by setting, the sun decreases the duration of life of everyone, except one who utilizes the time by discussing topics of the all-good Personality of Godhead.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/17/

There is something else he could have taken with him. Anything spiritual he may have done. Alexander was tutored by Aristotle, the illustrious student of Plato, who is widely regarded as one of the primary contributors to Western Religion.

You may feel blessed with many gifts, or you may feel impoverished. Whether you have been given a lot or you have somehow acquired a lot, please know that you will take none of it with you.

You will however take your spiritual assets with you eternally.

नेहाभिक्रमनाशोऽस्ति प्रत्यवायो न विद्यते ।
स्वल्पमप्यस्य धर्मस्य त्रायते महतो भयात् ॥ ४० ॥

nehābhikrama-nāśo ’sti
pratyavāyo na vidyate
sv-alpam apy asya dharmasya
trāyate mahato bhayāt

In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/40/

And what is this endeavor?

As Srila Prabhupada writes…

Activity in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or acting for the benefit of Kṛṣṇa without expectation of sense gratification, is the highest transcendental quality of work. Even a small beginning of such activity finds no impediment, nor can that small beginning be lost at any stage. Any work begun on the material plane has to be completed, otherwise the whole attempt becomes a failure.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/40/

How to stop death

How to stop death? Most people don’t understand that death can actually be stopped. Would you like to understand how?

A lot of souls are interested in stopping death. Trillions of dollars are being spent all over the world in the attempt to stop death. Some are trying to prolong life, some others are trying to conquer this or that disease. Some are taking special diets and pills, yet others are striving to edit their genes to clip out the parts that cause our bodies to grow old.

Some have accepted the inevitability, but are trying to externally patch up their appearance with cosmetic surgery or other cosmetic treatments.

Yet others have accepted the inevitability, and are trying hard to perpetuate themselves through wills, estates, and institutions.

Most don’t realize that there is a simple way to stop death, though.

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/

It is a fact that if someone has taken birth then they have to die. And someone who has died must take birth again.

So, if you want to stop death you must stop (re)birth.

Krsna’s advice in the Bhagavad-gita is that we tolerate this temporary suffering. Just as your body is not permanent, so your diseases are also not permanent. You should tolerate the temporary suffering and solve the real problem—you must stop your repetition of birth and death. But people do not know that birth and death can be stopped, so they are simply busy with the temporary problems.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Back To Godhead Magazine, Conversation with Mr. Chugani

As we cultivate a certain consciousness, practically we prepare our next body. For example, there may be a very rich man, and he may be striving to figure out how to protect his wealth from those who want to take it from him… such a person may bury his wealth somewhere, and after death, be born as a poisonous snake that bites anyone who goes in that area. In fact, such an occurance is described in the seventh chapter of the Gita Mahatmya section of the Padma Purana, spoken by Lord Shiva to Parvati Devi. We won’t get into the details here, but this is how it works…

If I cultivate the consciousness of a hog by thinking and acting like one, the mother nature will give me the body of a hog. If I cultivate the consciousness of a dog by thinking and acting like one, then mother nature will mercifully give me the body of a dog.

However if I do cultivate my original consciousness, that I am a spirit soul, part of the Supreme Whole, and spend my life thinking, feeling, willing, speaking, and acting in that purely spiritual way, then, there will be no death for that person, and where there is no death, there is no (re)birth. Where there is no rebirth, there will be no death.

अन्तकाले च मामेव स्मरन्मुक्त्वा कलेवरम् ।
य: प्रयाति स मद्भ‍ावं याति नास्त्यत्र संशय: ॥ ५ ॥

anta-kāle ca mām eva
smaran muktvā kalevaram
yaḥ prayāti sa mad-bhāvaṁ
yāti nāsty atra saṁśayaḥ

And whoever, at the end of his life, quits his body remembering Me alone at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/8/5/

For example, if you have spent your lifetime caring for your wealth, possessions, family, or employees or your community or nation, at your moment of departure, you will think of how your projects will continue. You may even ask your physician to give you more time to manage your affairs and leave them properly done. You cannot suddenly think of God. But no one can extend your lifespan even by a single moment.

You may follow another tradition from mine, that is alright. But please understand this fact, that the consciousness you cultivate will determine if you die or live at the moment of your inevitable death. Please purely cultivate God Consciousness, in any tradition.

Hare Krishna!

Poor St. Patrick

St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, he brought Christianity to Ireland. Why then is he associated with excessive alcohol consumption? Poor St. Patrick.

As I write this, it is St. Patrick’s day. St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland. While Christianity is a wide range of beliefs, and some Christians are more austere than others, it is amazing to note how many people use St. Patrick’s day to eat like hogs and transform their consciousness to a lowly animal-like state, all in the name of St. Patrick.

Legend has it that St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland, though some say there were no snakes there to begin with. Some others say that this is a reference to how, by the introduction of Christianity, St. Patrick drove out paganism, represented by snakes.

And how did it start that the poor old St. Patrick got saddled with excessive indulgence to mark his day, the day of his disappearance? Note I say disappearance, not death, because great saints never die, they simply disappear from our vision, even an ordinary soul does not really die, simply changes bodies.

many Christians fast for Lent, the period of time before Easter. The regulations are strict, some live only by bread and water for 40 days before Easter. Someone made a foolish decision to let the Christians put their restrictions aside and indulge in eating, drinking, and all sorts of merry-making on this day. And, this easing was interpreted in this sort of pathetic, drunken, animalistic behaviour as we see on St. Patrick’s day especially much of the western world.

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 is clearly stated that in order to let go of a lower taste, one must develop a higher taste, and without this, after the end of denial comes overindulgence – because the underlying taste remains!

It also shows the calibre of the leadership and populace who cannot change the consciousness from a lower taste to a higher taste…

श्वविड्‍वराहोष्ट्रखरै: संस्तुत: पुरुष: पशु: ।
न यत्कर्णपथोपेतो जातु नाम गदाग्रज: ॥ १९ ॥

śva-viḍ-varāhoṣṭra-kharaiḥ
saṁstutaḥ puruṣaḥ paśuḥ
na yat-karṇa-pathopeto
jātu nāma gadāgrajaḥ

Men who are like dogs, hogs, camels and asses praise those men who never listen to the transcendental pastimes of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the deliverer from evils.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/19/

Since St. Patrick is associated with driving away the snakes of ignorance, please see here what the Bhagavatam says…

बिले बतोरुक्रमविक्रमान् ये
न श‍ृण्वत: कर्णपुटे नरस्य ।
जिह्वासती दार्दुरिकेव सूत
न चोपगायत्युरुगायगाथा: ॥ २० ॥

bile batorukrama-vikramān ye
na śṛṇvataḥ karṇa-puṭe narasya
jihvāsatī dārdurikeva sūta
na copagāyaty urugāya-gāthāḥ

One who has not listened to the messages about the prowess and marvelous acts of the Personality of Godhead and has not sung or chanted loudly the worthy songs about the Lord is to be considered to possess earholes like the holes of snakes and a tongue like the tongue of a frog.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/20/

Poor St. Patrick! May he be at peace even after knowing that most of those he tried to save have completely strayed from his instructions to them and are making a mockery of his memory.

As for Ireland, and everyone who wishes to be saved from sliding down, following in the footsteps of St. Patrick, this is the fastest method for a consciousness upgrade. Just chant…

Chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra is the fastest way to a consciousness upgrade.

St. Patrick may not have known this Maha mantra himself as Europe was in the dark ages an not yet ready for this sublime mantra back then. But when St. Patrick hears this mantra, he will surely join us. Now we are in the Golden Age. This would be the real St. Patrick’s day if you could chant this mantra even once! Try it!

The sack of rice

There is enough for every creature’s need, but there isn enough even for one man’s greed.

My 7 year old son Vitthal Bhakta told me this story.

Once upon a time, there was a farmer. He used to earn his livelihood by selling rice he grew on his farm. One year, after the harvest, he was on his way to Pandharpur, which was four hours away. He was blissfully chanting Harinam Sankirtan (names of God) during the journey. On his way by bullock cart with sixty four sacks of rice, one of his sacks fell off the cart but he was so engrossed in his singing that he did not notice.

One of the villagers along the road cried out “You lost one of your sacks, it fell down back there”. When he heard that he came to external consciousness and opened his eyes. He tied up his bulls to a nearby tree and walked back. He saw that the bag had burst open and the grains of rice had spilled out on the ground, white grains shining in the sun.

Sparrow eating grain

When he came closer, he noticed there were some birds eating the rice. So the saintly farmer hid behind a tree to wait for the birds to finish their meal. A goat and a cow also joined the birds, and they all ate their fill. Then they went away.

Sweet Cow

When they were finished, before the farmer could come out from behind the tree, another man suddenly appeared and began to drag away the heavy bag of rice.

Greedy Man

The farmer said “wait, that is my bag of rice, it fell from my cart, and I have come to take it back”. The farmer gave the person several handfuls of rice and took the bag back to his cart.

When he reached Pandharpur, he sold fifty of his sacks to get enough money to live till the next season, and offered the remaining fourteen sacks to Lord Vitthal of Pandharpur. He said to the Lord “I learned a lesson today, that the birds and the animals, they take whatever they need, and then they go away. But man is so greedy that he hoards more than he needs”. He concluded, “there is enough in this world for every creature’s needs, but there is not enough for a single man’s greed”.

Lord Vitthala of Pandharpur

All food and all necessities of life are provided by God. We may work in the fields, we may work in the factories, but all that we need and want is actually the property of God. Just because we transform it does not make it ours. The earth, the water, the sunlight, and the power of a seed to grow, we make none of these, we have no power over these. We may know how to utilize these, but that does not make them ours.

We cannot make a single thing by ourselves or live for a single day without the mercy of God.

To consider something “mine to do with as I want” is a crime. We should be responsible curators of the gifts that have been bestowed upon us.

अन्नाद्भ‍वन्ति भूतानि पर्जन्यादन्नसम्भवः ।
यज्ञा‍द्भ‍‍वति पर्जन्यो यज्ञः कर्मसमुद्भ‍वः ॥ १४ ॥

annād bhavanti bhūtāni
parjanyād anna-sambhavaḥ
yajñād bhavati parjanyo
yajñaḥ karma-samudbhavaḥ

All living bodies subsist on food grains, which are produced from rains. Rains are produced by performance of yajña [sacrifice], and yajña is born of prescribed duties.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/3/14/
Paddy Field in the rain

कर्म ब्रह्मोद्भ‍वं विद्धि ब्रह्माक्षरसमुद्भ‍वम् ।
तस्मात्सर्वगतं ब्रह्म नित्यं यज्ञे प्रतिष्ठितम् ॥ १५ ॥

karma brahmodbhavaṁ viddhi
brahmākṣara-samudbhavam
tasmāt sarva-gataṁ brahma
nityaṁ yajñe pratiṣṭhitam

Regulated activities are prescribed in the Vedas, and the Vedas are directly manifested from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Consequently the all-pervading Transcendence is eternally situated in acts of sacrifice.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/3/15/

What is sacrifice? Sacrifice means to please God with our thoughts, words, and deeds. Every thought, word, and deed should be to please God, who is giving us so much at every moment.

The Ishopanishad says this best:

īśāvāsyam idaḿ sarvaṁ
yat kiñca jagatyāṁ jagat
tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā
mā gṛdhaḥ kasya svid dhanam

Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/iso/1/
Sri Ishopanishad - the Science of God

Hare Krishna!

Whose Consciousness have you eaten?

What is the most intimate act? Do you know how consciousness can get transferred just from the food you eat? Did you know you are literally eating someone’s consciousness?

What is the most intimate physical act?

What is the most intimate mental act?

What is the most intimate thing you can share with someone else?

I don’t know what your answers were to the above questions, but I will tell you what the most intimate is…

The most intimate thing you can do is to eat something prepared by someone else. When a person cooks something, it is not just the ingredients getting combined and heated together to produce something… the consciousness of that cook quite literally descends into whatever they are making.

This is why something that your mother or grandmother made can never be replicated by anyone else.

So when a person cooks, especially with grains, then every single element of their consciousness enters into the food they are preparing.

Every source of jubilation

Every source of anger

Every source of sorrow

Every single source of satisfaction

And Frustration

Every hope, desire, longing

Every single fear, every single moment of embarrassment

Every intention, every belief, every single trait

It is all there in that food they have prepared.

It is all there, in what you eat.

Consciousness, you eat

And you are eating it. You will imbibe it all, all their joys and sorrows, their satisfaction and their frustration, every single one of their hopes, desires, and longing will be in your heart too. Every single fear and moments of embarrasmens, every single intention and belief, their very character descends in your heart.

And there it all mixes and mingles with all the other consciousness you have imbibed, from all the other food you have eaten in your life.

Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said

viṣayīra anna khāile duṣṭa haya mana

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in https://vedabase`.io/en/library/cc/adi/12/50/

Srila Prabhupadw writes in the purport to that verse…

It is very risky to accept money or food from materialistic persons, for such acceptance pollutes the mind of the charity’s recipient…In fact, a Vaiṣṇava should not even accept charity or food from persons who do not follow the rules and regulations of the Vaiṣṇava principles.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, in purport to https://vedabase.io/en/library/cc/adi/12/50/

My grandparents never used to eat outside in restaurants, etc. This was exactly for this reason, that they did not want to pollute their consciousness.

Do you know who works in those restaurants? Do you know what goes on there? Do you know the character of your cook? You should, because you are about to eat his consciousness, quite literally.

Next time you feel tempted to order take-out or go to some fancy restaurant or even a fast-food place, remember, you are buying more than just a plate of food. You are inviting all those people who work there to come and sit in your heart, feed you their thoughts and desires… it could be a lot more than you bargained for.

Before the pandemic, there were more than 70,000 restaurants in Canada alone. In the United States there were over 660,000 restaurants! Just think of how many meals of darkness are being spread? How many are inside you?

It is no use of course, to tell someone not to do something without giving them an alternative!

The ideal would be to take food prepared by an advanced spiritualist in sacrifice to God. Not meat or other dirty things, but clean pure vegetarian foodstuffs, prepared in a clean state of body and mind, clear consciousness, and in loving devotion to Krishna. The person should be cooking only to please God, not for money or any other such mundane reason.

But there are various grades of consciousness, try to find the person with the best consciousness then.

Of course, you can try cooking yourself. Cooking for God is such as wonderful loving personal service to God. Why don’t you try it?

A cut from above

Have you ever experienced a cut from above ever? Did you recognize it? I was fortunate to experience this…

Early this morning I was excited to be able to offer some sugarcane to Krishna. In India, sugarcane is abundantly available, and especially children and youthful persons with strong teeth enjoy chewing the sugarcane and tasting the sweet juice from the sugarcane.

It is quite the miracle, one can reflect on this, how is it that God has made it that a hard stick-like plant growing in the ground can be filled with delicious sweet juice.

In Canada sugarcane is rare, and Aruna Keshavi had managed to procure some. And to offer to Krishna, I was cutting it. There were two knives, one was like a saw, serrated edges, and he other had a straight edge to peel the hard bamboo-like exterior to expose the sweetness.

A knife, but an instrument…

It happened in a flash. The knife with the serrated edge slipped and my right index finger came in its way. Deep cut. I will spare you the gory details but it was quite bad. The wound has now dried up but it throbs as I type this out.

Immediately I started chanting Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare. At first in pain and in fear, but then as realization dawned, then in appreciation, gratitude, and finally in ecstasy. Aruna Keshavi found me ecstatic when she came down, and she did not know that a cut had sparked this ecstasy.

I reflected how it was that one little cut produced so much pain but only because I inhabited this body. A dead body feels no pain. To feel pain is a sign of life. I am alive.

I reflected how the same knife could be an instrument of loving devotional service, a source of pain, an interruption of service, a dangerous weapon or an instrument of mercy. Time, Place, and Circumstance, intent and consciousness made all the difference.

I reflected how much pain we cause those living entities on a daily basis. The ones we breathe in and kill, the ones we accidentally ingest, the ones we step on, the ones we regard as pests… the ones we eat too. I cannot imagine how anyone can think that any living entity can be “painlessly killed”, even if following the Kosher process or the Halal process. It is idiocy to think that any living entity can be peacefully killed. We should strive to minimize the pain of course, but only take as much as needed to keep body and soul together. Not one extra grain of rice. And only in an act of sacrifice to God. Of course, God is no bloodthirsty demon, so God accepts no fish or flesh.

I reflected that the knife could have cut off my finger entirely. It was a big knife, and I was using a lot of force But my finger still works. I am typing with it right now. So I knew that some big calamity had been averted by Krishna. Krishna took a mountain-load my my karma, and gave me a token, little cut instead, just to remind me of His immense mercy.

In Vedic tradition, especially Bhakti (Tradition of Loving Devotional Service to God), the index finger represents the false ego, false pride… index fingers are used to point fingers at others. When we chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra on our meditation beads, we chant with our right hand we leave the index finger outside the bead bag. We chant with the thumb and middle fingers on the beads. So this cut represented a cut to my false ego, which I need and will gladly take any day. My false ego is what keeps the subtle and not-so-subtle traces of atheism still present in my heart. With no false ego, I would be a pure devotee of Krishna!

One day will surely come when I will need to leave this body. I am attached to this body and everything connected to it. Best to remember that I am a tenant in this apartment, and I don’t exactly how long my lease is for. I am passing through. But that is a subject for another post.

I could still chant Hare Krishna. I could complete my entire morning service, without any significant problems. In fact, when I was deeply engrossed in my meditation I could not even feel the pain. So, it was a fact that my consciousness determined whether I felt material pain or spiritual bliss. And I became aware of this. Above all, it was confirmation that I am not this body.

So, I am very deeply grateful for this. It was indeed a “cut from above”.

There have been many other such situations, and each time, I ended up with an ecstatic experience, by the mercy of Sri Krishna.

Queen Kunti, one of the greatest saints of all time

So I am today praying Queen Kunti’s prayer. She said…

विपद: सन्तु ता: शश्वत्तत्र तत्र जगद्गुरो ।
भवतो दर्शनं यत्स्यादपुनर्भवदर्शनम् ॥ २५ ॥

vipadaḥ santu tāḥ śaśvat tatra tatra jagad-guro

bhavato darśanaṁ yat syād apunar bhava-darśanam

I wish that all those calamities would happen again and again so that we could see You again and again, for seeing You means that we will no longer see repeated births and deaths.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/1/8/25/

I am Krishna’s dog. Krishna can kick me or starve me. Krishna can keep me or kill me. Krishna can do whatever He likes with me. I pray to remain. I am happy to be “Das”. Please bless me that I may remain servant of the servant of God.

Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, God in the form of His own devotee!

mat-prāṇa-nāthas tu sa eva nāparaḥ

He alone, and no one else, is the worshipable Lord of My heart.

Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

Krishna can give me a pat on my back, or a kick on my backside. In all circumstances Krishna is my Supreme Well Wisher and Best Friend, and I pray never to forget.

भोक्तारं यज्ञतपसां सर्वलोकमहेश्वरम् ।

सुहृदं सर्वभूतानां ज्ञात्वा मां शान्तिमृच्छति ॥ २९ ॥

bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheśvaram

suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati

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

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/5/29/