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!

The Hare Krishnas are not pessimistic, optimistic, or realistic – we are simply joyful!

Are the Hare Krishnas pessmistic? Are they realistic? Why do they keep talking about death and the futility of the material pursuit? Could it be, could they be, simply… joyful?

Brajanath Das, 20th February 2017

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances!
All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
All glories to Srila Gurudeva!

Please help me to how to explain if someone says that the Hare Krishnas are not realistic but pessimistic

your servant
Brajanath das

Bhaktarupa Das, 21st February 2017

Dear Brajanath Prabhu,

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

You have asked what if someone questions why Hare Krishna’s are pessimistic. You wanted to explain to them that we are realistic and not pessimistic.

One of the dictionary meaning of “pessimistic” is
“tending to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen”.

Dictionary meaning of “optimistic” is
“hopeful and confident about the future.”

If we introspect ourselves, as devotees we follow the regulative principles and chant at least 16 rounds of mahamantra every day.
Generally for non-devotees, following them every day is very austere and difficult. In fact even for devotees in the beginning it is very austere and difficult. But still why do we try to follow them strictly? If there is no benefit in doing so, why do we still do it? The fact is there is immense benefit.

A student who is serious to graduate from school, undergoes severe austerities in studying the subjects thoroughly by spending long hours, sacrificing other recreational activities like watching movies, TV, passing time in browsing internet, Facebook, whats-app, etc. which the student would have engaged in these recreational activities if not serious about graduating from the school. Such taking up of austerities by the student should be criticized as being pessimistic? or appreciate the student as being optimistic who spends time in recreational activities by neglecting to prepare for the graduation?

The sincere student who takes up austerities for graduating is the one who is actually optimistic about the life. The student sees a very bright future and enjoy bigger happiness by taking up these austerities. But the student who does not see the value of graduating from school and spends time in immediate recreational activities is the one who is actually pessimistic. Because the student is pessimistic, looks for all those things that can give immediate sense enjoyments rather than taking up austerities now for a bigger and lasting happiness in the future.

Similarly we “sadhakas” or practicing devotees, also take up austerities now because we are optimistic about our future. We wanted to taste lasting happiness, we realize that the happiness or pleasures provided by the immediate recreational activities did not give us lasting happiness, which every one of us are looking for. This is the exact same thing Lord Sri Krishna and the saintly devotees in the line of disciplic succession are teaching us. We are infected with the disease of ignorance, which hides our original identity, nature and relationships. They teach us on how to get rid of the disease and rise above and situate in the platform of pure last happiness. That process is called Krishna Consciousness. In the beginning these austerities might seem to be very bitter. But Krishna explains that happiness which is bitter in the beginning and becomes nectar in the end is in the mode of goodness. Scriptures explain that this is called “shreyas”, but that happiness which is like nectar in the beginning and becomes bitter in the end is in the mode of passion, called as “preyas”. The sense pleasures provided by the recreational activities are in the mode of passion. It will appear nectar in the beginning but it will turn to be bitter or even poison in the end.

Optimistic people take up austerities to obtain lasting happiness; but pessimistic people settle with immediate temporary pleasures, not seeing the optimistic future. Therefore the Hare Krishna devotees are not only realistic but in fact they are optimistic.

Hare Krishna!

your servant,
Bhaktarupa Das

Dra Varni, 21st February

Hare Krsna!!! Very optimistic, destination and a vehicle for departure. dra

Dra Varni

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 22nd February 2017

Dear Brajanath Prabhu,

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

Thank you for the question, and a rare and wonderful response from Bhaktarupa Prabhu! Thank you!

Such questions really should be answered in the same vein as they are asked – most people asking such questions about Hare Krishnas are really not serious about understanding spiritual life – why should we justify anything to anyone? We don’t owe casual askers anything. When someone is serious, then they ask questions differently, and they accompany their question with actions too, trying to do something about their spiritual progress. So we should know when to answer and when not to answer directly.

Actually, we are truly pessimistic about anyone’s chances in the material world, everyone who was born in the material world eventually dies. And everyone who tries to make some nice situation here fails, at minimum, at death, but mostly everyone fails at other times too. We challenge anyone on this point – so many empires have come and gone, so many people have come and gone, so many great people are totally forgotten – what is the value of material efforts? Zero, it all comes to nought.

And we are immensely optimistic about Krishna’s mercy, in fact, we are not just optimistic, but we are experiencing it every day, so we have got direct confidence by personal experience.

The best answer I got to such questions was “try it and see for yourself”. If someone chants Hare Krishna even just once they will benefit more than anything I can say to them for all my lifetime:

https://www.vedabase.com/bg/9/2

rāja-vidyā rāja-guhyaṁ
pavitram idam uttamam
pratyakṣāvagamaṁ dharmyaṁ
su-sukhaṁ kartum avyayam

This knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realization, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed. BG 9.2

Srila Prabhupada writes in the purport:

“Generally, people are not educated in this confidential knowledge; they are educated in external knowledge. As far as ordinary education is concerned, people are involved with so many departments: politics, sociology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, astronomy, engineering, etc. There are so many departments of knowledge all over the world and many huge universities, but there is, unfortunately, no university or educational institution where the science of the spirit soul is instructed. Yet the soul is the most important part of the body; without the presence of the soul, the body has no value. Still people are placing great stress on the bodily necessities of life, not caring for the vital soul.”

Then he writes: “It is said that the execution of devotional service is so perfect that one can perceive the results directly. This direct result is actually perceived, and we have practical experience that any person who is chanting the holy names of Kṛṣṇa (Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare) in course of chanting without offenses feels some transcendental pleasure and very quickly becomes purified of all material contamination. This is actually seen. Furthermore, if one engages not only in hearing but in trying to broadcast the message of devotional activities as well, or if he engages himself in helping the missionary activities of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he gradually feels spiritual progress. This advancement in spiritual life does not depend on any kind of previous education or qualification. The method itself is so pure that by simply engaging in it one becomes pure.”

And finally, to conclude (purport continues but for this point – this is sufficient):

“The process of devotional service is a very happy one (su-sukham). Why? Devotional service consists of śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ, so one can simply hear the chanting of the glories of the Lord or can attend philosophical lectures on transcendental knowledge given by authorized ācāryas. Simply by sitting, one can learn; then one can eat the remnants of the food offered to God, nice palatable dishes. In every state devotional service is joyful. One can execute devotional service even in the most poverty-stricken condition. The Lord says, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam: He is ready to accept from the devotee any kind of offering, never mind what. Even a leaf, a flower, a bit of fruit, or a little water, which are all available in every part of the world, can be offered by any person, regardless of social position, and will be accepted if offered with love. There are many instances in history. Simply by tasting the tulasī leaves offered to the lotus feet of the Lord, great sages like Sanat-kumāra became great devotees. Therefore the devotional process is very nice, and it can be executed in a happy mood. God accepts only the love with which things are offered to Him.”

We are not even realistic, we are simply joyful! 🙂

Srila Prabhupada’s final words in that purport?

“Thus the process of devotional service, of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is the king of all education and the king of all confidential knowledge. It is the purest form of religion, and it can be executed joyfully without difficulty. Therefore one should adopt it.”

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

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Bible and Bhagavad-gita

A discussion on the similarities and differences between the Bhagavad Gita and the Holy Bible…

Kaspars, 06 August 2016

Dear devotees.
Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Gurumata.

Yesterday I was reading Bible and found an amazing similarity with Bhagavad gita. Every text of these quotes, goes in the same meanings and in the same order. Further in both scriptures, devotional service is explained. What do you think about it?

Bible Psalm 90

A prayer of Moses the man of God.
1 Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. 2 Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. 3 You turn man back into dust And say, “Return, O children of men.” 4 For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it passes by, Or as a watch in the night. 5 You have swept them away like a flood, they fall asleep; In the morning they are like grass which sprouts anew. 6 In the morning it flourishes and sprouts anew; Toward evening it fades and withers away. 7 For we have been consumed by Your anger And by Your wrath we have been dismayed.

Bhagavad gita Chapter 8

8.15 — 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.
8.16 — 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.
8.17 — By human calculation, a thousand ages taken together form the duration of Brahmā’s one day. And such also is the duration of his night.
8.18 — At the beginning of Brahmā’s day, all living entities become manifest from the unmanifest state, and thereafter, when the night falls, they are merged into the unmanifest again.
8.19 — Again and again, when Brahmā’s day arrives, all living entities come into being, and with the arrival of Brahmā’s night they are helplessly annihilated.

Hare Krishna
Thank you.
Kaspars

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 08 August 2016

Dear Kaspars,

Hare Krishna!

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

Thank you for this nice reflection.

There are some similarities and differences too, for example, the reference to thousand years in Moses’ prayer and thousand ages in Krishna’s precise instruction, are quite different in their meaning.

Once we read Srila Prabhupada’s books though, we begin to see all scriptures in the light of Srila Prabhupada’s purports.
I began studying The Holy Bible when I was 10 years of age, and I did a very detailed course with Q&A reviewed by teachers etc., and I have come across so many wonderful passages from the Bible over the years also.

But I understood more from all the scriptures (Vedic and otherwise) I had read after I read Srila Prabhupada’s books. And I got a very non-sectarian understanding of religion, so much so that I have begun to say whenever someone asks me which religion I follow, that “I am past the labels at this point”, which typically leads to a positive discussion in more togetherness.

Consequently now though, having seen that the Vedic scriptures are the source of all the scriptures in the world, I don’t spend time studying other scriptures, but focus my energies on studying Srila Prabhupada’s books in a deeper way.

Other devotees should contribute their reflections and perspectives to make this a rich and useful conversation.

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Nikhil Mishra, 8 August 2016

Hare Krsna Kaspars Prabhu

Thats indeed a very nice comparison. And i am sure, you will end up finding many many other similarities if you research more.
Long time back, i read Paramhamsa Yogananda ji and he also compares Bible and Gita beautifully.

Srila prabhupada as well as Srila gurudeva says, essence of all religions is to know and love God .So you see , to a sincere seeker like you, lines of Holy Bible are making so much sense .

Wishing you more bhakti(devotion) and Gyan(knowledge) and begging the same for me..

Hari bol. Praise the Lord.

Nikhil

Kaspars Gulbis, 09 August 2016

Dear Mahabhagavat Prabhu.
Hare Krishna.
Athough there are difference between thousand years and thousand ages, still the way they are compared… like a one day to God, and then again, to night. Every text and meanings goes in the same order in both scriptures, and I understand from this, that Moses knew Bhagavad gita. Its obvious.

As Prabhupada said, Bible is like small pocket dictionary, Bhagavad gita and Srimad Bhagavatam is like big dictionary, where every smallest thing is explained. We now can actually understand Bible better. I think nothing bad reading Bible. With the mercy and help of our beloved Gurudev and Prabhupada, we can now understand the true meaning of scripture. As our Gurudev teaches, we can remain in our religions, and with the help of Krishna consciousness, we can be better Christians, better Muslims, better Buddhists. The universal principle of love of God still remains the same. In one of the recent Thought for The Day Gurudev declared, that he is actually a Christian, who is following the will of God, and that was especially important sign to me personally, because I want to remain close contact with Cristianity and Christians, and Jesus. Because was not Jesus, we would be nowhere. Mlechas would be nowhere. Jesus is the way. Christianity shows the way of holy life, they teach that there IS God. And from that we can ask, Who is God? I think many people then are curious, if there is God, how does He look like. And true Christians with open heart will deffinetely meet a devotee with Prabhupadas books. And I heard a story that one Cristian has actually seen Paramatma as we just know from our books. And now this Cristian would offer full dandavats if he sees Harinama party singing, even if it is raining, wet and dirty ground.

Please comment.
Everyone is welcome to say something.

Thank you
Kaspars

Chenthil Piruthu, 09 August 2016

Respected Kaspars Prabhu

Hare Krishna.

Thank you so much for your mail, your conviction is truly inspirational.

Thanks,
Chenthil.

Premananda das, 09 August 2016

Hare Krsna Bhakta Kaspars
Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Gurudeva
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Whether one is a Christian,Hindu,Muslim,Jain,Buddist etc the essence of religion is to become a lover of God.The original constitutional position of living entitiy is to be a servant of servant of servant of the servant of Krsna.Krsna has unlimited names and incarnates in many forms like Rama,Nrsimha,Vishnu,Vamana ,Varaha,etc but the original form is the beautiful form of Krsna a blusih boy with two -handed form and playing a flute.In Brahma-samhita Lord Brahma mentions that Krsna is original cause of all the causes and has an eternal body full of knowledge and bliss.He is unborn,original and maintainer of all living entities.
In Bhagavat Gita 8..14 it is mentioned Krsna has various plenary expansions and incarnations such as Rama,Nrisimha ,Varaha etc and a devotee can choose to fix his mind in loving service on any of his transcendental forms of the Supreme Lord ,such a devotee does not meet other problems that plague the practitioners of other yogas.Bhakti yoga is very simple,pure and easy to perform.It starts with simply chanting Hare Krsna.It is mentioned that the lord is merciful to all but one who serves Him with exclusive devotion without deviation is helped by Krsna.
A pure devotee can not forget Krsna for a moment and similarly the Supreme lord cannot forget His pure devotees for a moment.
This is the great blessings of Krsna conscious process that by chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra-Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare one becomes freed from all material contamination and attains to his natural position as a servitor to Krsna.

your servant
Premananda Das

Kaspars Gulbis, 09 August 2016

Thank You, Chenthil Prabhu,
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Yes lets try to share some inspiration when ever this is possible. May our Gurudev be pleased. I think every one of us has some story, lets share in this group and discuss..

With love
Kaspars

Kaspars Gulbis, 09 August 2016

Thank You Premananda Prabhu,

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
This is wonderful short inspirational essence explained by you, to know who we are, to know who God is, original God Krishna, in His various forms, and wonderful process of chanting His names.

Thank you
Kaspars

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 09 August 2016

Dear Kaspars,

Hare Krishna!

You are right about Lord Jesus Christ, if you recall, he helped me a lot and is helping me to this day 🙂 Srila Prabhupada mentions him as a Shaktyavesha Avataar, or empowered incarnation of God.

“Now, in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, perhaps in the Third Chapter in the First Canto, you’ll find there is description of different incarnations, principal incarnations—not all the incarnations, principal, in different yugas. So in that list of incarnations you’ll find Lord Kṛṣṇa’s name also, Lord Rāma’s name also, Lord Buddha’s name also. Lord Buddha is mentioned in that list. So we, Vaiṣṇavite, we respect Lord Buddha as incarnation, incarnation. So do not think that the Hindus, they have got disregard for Lord Buddha or for Lord Jesus Christ. No. They have all regard. Anyone who comes as representative of God, or as God, as powerful incarnation, they are all welcome. According to time, according to place, according to the audience, they may speak, speak something which is, which may be different from the Vedic conclusion, but they are accepted as powerful incarnations. ” Lecture on CC Madhya-lila 20.154-157 — New York, December 7, 1966

Srila Prabhupada and the other Acharyas in disciplic succession from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu are for everyone, including myself, who could easily be seen as worse than a mleccha (uncultured uncivilized person who does things like kill the mother cow).

I do agree with you in general, but there is no authoritative information to agree on the details at this point. For example, the 1000 ages Krishna mentions are not even a day of “God”, they are simply one day of Brahma, who is not God – God’s time scale has no days and no nights, simply the eternal ever-present. We do accept that all great prophets and teachers around the world across ages know the same Absolute Truth in varying degrees of understanding, realization, and detail.

Re “It is obvious”, we don’t argue on the basis of personal opinions in this tradition. We can certainly accept that certain devotees have certain realizations, and we don’t begrudge them their realizations, but that is not always accepted as the Parampara understanding of a particular situation.

I am not saying someone should not do this or that – you please do as your spiritual master instructs you. I was simply expressing my own situation. My spiritual master has instructed me to carefully study Srila Prabhupada’s books and share them with the whole world, and I feel that this one lifetime will not be enough for that purpose. If, during that attempt and process, I get to read certain other sacred texts, wonderful.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Jayendran C, 10 August 2016

Hare Krishna Kaspar prabhu
Dandavats Pranams

All glories to Srila Prabhupada
All glories to the assembled devotees
I have attached an excerpt from Bhaktisiddhanta Vaibhava which depicts Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakuras, views on the Bible and Christianity . I hope this adds constructively to the discussion.

“Christ’s message in its pristine and fully blossomed form is included in Lord Caitanya’s philosophy, for Mahāprabhu’s gifts are of an altogether higher dimension than the acceptance of God’s existence, the promises of reward and threats of punishment, and the moral injunctions that form the basis of Christianity; and whereas Christianity expounds the fatherhood of Godhead, Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava dharma goes further, to the transcendental son-hood and consort-hood of Godhead.

Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura described that to consider the Lord our parent entails “the rotten concept that He is our servitor and we the enjoyers.”. As he told the challenging Professor Suthers, “We claim to be greater and better Christians than Westerners.”While lauding Jesus as a śaktyāveśa-avatāra3who “did not teach the ‘eat, drink, and be merry’business,”
Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura clearly delineated the superior position of Gaura-bhaktas over that of Lord Jesus: In the Western countries, Christians believe that the magnanimous Lord Jesus Christ is the only guru, who appeared in this world to accept the burden of all sins of the jīvas. But associates of Śrī Gaura like Śrī Vāsudeva Datta Ṭhākura and Śrī Haridāsa Ṭhākura are unlimitedly millions of times more advanced and liberal than Jesus Christ, because they taught Vaiṣṇava prema-bhāva to benefit all people in the universe.

In Śrī Vāsudeva Datta Ṭhākura, selflessness by relinquishing mundane self-interest, and others’ and one’s own spiritual welfare in the form of serving Viṣṇu, are superbly harmonized. Recognizing Śrī Gaurasundara as the ultimate reality devoid of all illusion and the original Personality of Godhead, Vāsudeva Datta bore on his shoulders the burden of the material disease of all jīvas—their indifference to Kṛṣṇa—and not only their sins, but superlatively more formidable, their multitudinous terrible offenses. Thus he sincerely prayed with mind, body, and words to free the jīvas from the malady of material existence. This example of compassion is far beyond the imagination of the greatest karmīs and jñānīs, not only in this world, but in all the fourteen worlds. Since the jīvas, prone to violence because of seeing differences arising from false identity due to illusion, revere and idealize karma and jñāna in the world of duality, most of them become bad karmīs and bad jñānīs. On hearing of the desire of Vāsudeva Datta Ṭhākura, the servant of the spiritual world, to suffer in hell for these jīvas, such persons, who are impelled by innate malice and a dualistic outlook, give him great respect, seeing him as a regular pious karmī or jñānī. But Datta Ṭhākura’s compassion for the jīvas is unlimitedly millions of times greater than that conceivable by bad karmīs and bad jñānīs. This is not highly prejudiced exaggeration or interpretation, but straightforward elucidation of the truth. Verily, the world is blessed by the coming of such servants of Gaura, by whom not just this earth, but all jīvas everywhere, have become fortunate. Eloquent speakers’ tongues reach perfection by glorifying the qualities of such devotees of Lord Caitanya. And the pens of poets and historians who have forsaken mundane research attain their highest success in describing the qualities of these mahā-bhāgavatas imbued with selfless devotion to the Lord. Such is the “greatness among greats”and “gloriousness among the glorious”of the servants of the abundantly magnanimous Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya.

Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī detected the flaw in philosophically attempting either to humanize God or deify man, which albeit present in perverted Hinduism in a conceptually quite different manner, was the very foundation of Christianity. When some Christian priests proposed to him that mādhurya-rasa is also an aspect of Christianity, as evidenced by those medieval mystics who sought unity with Christ as their bridegroom, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī rejected that claim, for such esoteric endeavors were focused on the son of Godhead rather than directly on the Supreme Lord Himself. Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura shed the light of Gauḍīya siddhānta on certain Biblical teachings. He equated Jesus’ famous submission “Thy will be done,”spoken from the position of a devotee, to the similarly well-known conclusion of Bhagavad-gītā, sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja (Abandon all varieties of dharma and just surrender unto Me), uttered from the standpoint of Godhead. He cited Biblical instructions to chant the names of God as being in accord with the saṅkīrtana movement, and stated that if offered in unmixed devotion, church prayers are also kīrtana. He deemed the supplication “Give us our daily bread”as being far from true devotion, for God should not be regarded as a servitor to be called upon to provide corporal demands; rather, one should request food for the soul. He would often quote the commandment “Do not take the name of the Lord in vain”and comment that it had been misinterpreted by “pseudo-teachers”; God should not be called upon for supplying temporal needs, and thus to not take His name in vain means to chant without anyābhilāṣa (motive other than pure devotion): Pure devotees do not chant the Lord’s names to counteract sinful reactions, accumulate piety, or attain supernal pleasures, nor to mitigate famine, pestilence, social unrest, civil insurrection, or disease, nor to obtain wealth, an earthly kingdom, or any other object of personal enjoyment.

Since the name of Bhagavān is directly the Supreme Personality of Godhead, to ask Him to fulfil our wishes is to consider Him, the supremely worshipable, our servant. This is an offense. Therefore, calling the Lord’s names for any reason other than to attain His devotional service is useless. Jesus Christ told us not to take the Lord’s name in vain, or uselessly. Yet this doesn’t mean that we do not need to chant the Lord’s names constantly—while sleeping, while dreaming, while eating, or when walking about. To chant the Lord’s name, begging for His service, is not a useless activity; it is our only duty. But to make a show of chanting for some other purpose, for actualizing our own desires, is useless. We should not take up chanting the Lord’s names in vain. We should not chant to attain dharma-artha-kāma-mokṣa. Instead, we should always chant to attain service to Bhagavān. Do not chant the name for elevation or salvation, whereby you will entangle yourself instead of attaining service to the Absolute.

In Christians’ emphasis on mundane charitable works, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī perceived ignorance of the rudimentary spiritual principle of difference between body and soul. And he detected aversion to Godhead in the concept of a Beelzebub, or a rival of Godhead. He declared that hearing and chanting of Hari-kathā is the actual method for purgation of sins, and that the Western system of confession is hypocritical.He stated that through the misconceptions that there can be only one guru in the total course of history, and that the soul has only one birth, Semites had introduced many obstacles to legitimate spiritual understanding, and that such misunderstandings must be dispelled.* He also warned that if the semitic psychology, represented by the notion of an undefinable Supreme Being, was tantamount to asserting that God is formless, then it struck at the very root of all genuine spiritual activity.10 Similarly, he found a whiff of voidism in the Christian doctrine of creation ex nihilo. And in a letter sent to Saṁvidānanda Prabhu in London, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī confided that because the outlook of Westerners was based one hundred percent on sense enjoyment, their belief in God was not solid, but tenuous and blurred.

The Harmonist analyzed Christianity and mundane empiricism as concordant, inasmuch as both “justify the life of refined eating and drinking,” and also deemed: “The Bible contains some indirect references to transcendence hopelessly mixed up with precepts of mundane ethical expediency.” Further: The questions that will require to be discussed in connection with the teaching of the Bible, as it is current among the Christians of our day, will be as follows: Nebulous conception of the Personality of Godhead. Mundane and numerically limited conception of saviorship (guru). Confusion between conditioned and free spiritual functions. Overvaluation of hollow mundane morality. Confusion between so-called moral and spiritual conduct. Mundane organization of the Christian church. Superstitious rituals and doctrines opposed to philosophical and scientific experience.

Circa 1903 Śrī Siddhānta Sarasvatī was traveling with Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura by train from Ranaghat to Krishnanagar when a Christian dignitary, Reverend Butler, entered their coach. Seeing the japa-mālās in their hands he inquired about their identity, to which Śrī Siddhānta Sarasvatī replied, “Like you, we are missionaries. We are preachers of Śrī Caitanya’s dharma.”Immediately the priest challenged that the dharma of Śrī Caitanya consisted of idol worship and taking the Lord’s name in vain. After hearing Śrī Siddhānta Sarasvatī’s protracted response, Reverend Butler declared that previously he had discussed the same topics with many reputed paṇḍitas and religious leaders of Navadvīpa, but unlike Śrī Siddhānta Sarasvatī, none had been able to give an intelligent response.When told that no one in Vṛndāvana could proffer a satisfactory rebuttal to a visiting Christian priest who had accused Kṛṣṇa of flouting Vedic principles by dancing with others’ wives, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī commented that Vṛndāvana is inhabited by neophyte devotees. Christians who came in contact with Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism tended to become perplexed at how a doctrine so theistic and devotional could yet be founded on what they considered indelicate tales of the adulterous liaison between Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. They invariably made the seminal miscalculation of ascribing the abysmal condition of contemporary Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava dharma to an intrinsic amorality, an opinion that modern-thinking Hindus typically dittoed. Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura and his followers invested tremendous energy to refute such claims and establish Kṛṣṇa’s purity as far beyond that imaginable by mundane moralists, whose insistence that Godhead must conform to behavioral standards was actually an impertinent imposition on His absolute freedom. “

your servant,
Jayendran

Kaspars Gulbis, 11 August 2016

Dear Jayendran Prabhu

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Reading your wonderful explanation I got Perfect understanding of bad faults in so called Christianity, and understood, many good ideas how to improove in pure devotional motives, attitude, pure prayer, pure devotional actions, and many subtle details.

Thank you so much.
Kaspars

Jayendran C, 22 August 2016

Hare Krishna Kaspers prabhu,

This was one of the excerpts I distinctly remembered that we had read in our local center on the occassion of Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswat Thakur’s appearance day. All glories to HH Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura and HH Bhakti Vikasa Swami who compiled all this ! 🙂

your servant,
Jayendran

Kaspars Gulbis, 23 August 2016

Dear Nikhil

Hare Krishna

Thanks for your inspiring words, encouragement and blessings, your words means so much to me.

Thank you
Kaspars

Bhakta Sunil, 23 August 2016

Hare Krishna dear Kaspars Prabhu,

Please accept my humble respects,
All Glories to Vaishnavas,

Nice points you noticed and nice answers too,

Jesus Christ is a great Vaishnava, thus we notice so many similarities between the Scriptures,

In this connection , i would like to share a very recent “thought for the day” of 2nd August 2016, via http://www.backtohome.com which helps us to understand Jesus Christ’s teachings in it’s original pure form including the knowledge which Jesus has not revealed yet :

Which Path to Follow?
uploaded from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

Often times people are baffled in their attempt to understand which path they should follow. But the answer is very simple. In which scriptures has God most fully revealed Himself? In the Bible Jesus says that there is more knowledge that he has not revealed yet. But in the Bhagavad-gita 7.2 Krishna says, “

jñānaṁ te ‘haṁ sa-vijñānam
idaṁ vakṣyāmy aśeṣataḥ
yaj jñātvā neha bhūyo ‘nyaj
jñātavyam avaśiṣyate

“I shall now declare unto you in full this knowledge, both phenomenal and numinous. This being known, nothing further shall remain for you to know.”

There are no scriptures in the world in which God is more fully revealed than in the Vedic wisdom. From the Vedas we learn about His names, His qualities, His pastimes, His abode, His associates, etc. No other scriptures give us such complete information. So considering this, it doesn’t take half a brain to understand that one should obviously follow the path of the Vedas, which culminate in understanding the Supreme Lord as Krishna, if he wants to have the highest level understanding and realization of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Sincerely,
Bhakta Sunil

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

There is life everywhere in the Universe (and beyond)

Can life exist in other environments? Does life exist only on this planet and exactly as we know it? Could there be life on other planets? Are there of bodies that survive in harsh (to us humans) environments?

Recently, I came across a a piece that said something like “scientists have discovered a planet orbiting a star that may have conditions favorable for life”.

There’s an implicit assumption there, which says “life exists only on this one planet that we inhabit, and only in the ways we know”. This is a very myopic understanding. Why is that, you ask?

नैनं छिन्दन्ति शस्त्राणि नैनं दहति पावकः ।

न चैनं क्ल‍ेदयन्त्यापो न शोषयति मारुतः ॥ २३ ॥

The soul can never be cut to pieces by any weapon, nor burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind.

Bhagavad Gita 2.23

Because life is actually spiritual in nature, and spirit souls have no need for any specific material circumstances to exist. Only bodies do.

भूमिरापोऽनलो वायु: खं मनो बुद्धिरेव च ।
अहङ्कार इतीयं मे भिन्ना प्रकृतिरष्टधा ॥ ४ ॥

bhūmir āpo ’nalo vāyuḥ khaṁ mano buddhir eva ca ahaṅkāra itīyaṁ me bhinnā prakṛtir aṣṭadhā

Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego – all together these eight constitute My separated material energies.

अपरेयमितस्त्वन्यां प्रकृतिं विद्धि मे पराम् ।

जीवभूतां महाबाहो ययेदं धार्यते जगत् ॥ ५ ॥

apareyam itas tv anyāṁ prakṛtiṁ viddhi me parām jīva-bhūtāṁ mahā-bāho yayedaṁ dhāryate jagat

Besides these, O mighty-armed Arjuna, there is another, superior energy of Mine, which comprises the living entities who are exploiting the resources of this material, inferior nature.

Bhagavad Gita 7.4-5

Souls can inhabit any type of body according to their “karmic earnings” – just like one person can afford to live in an expensive penthouse suite in a desirable location, another one in a sprawling estate, yet another in a shared apartment in a dilapidated building in an unsavory part of town, and yet another one has to just sleep on the side of the street.

Our bodies (I’m talking about human bodies here) consist primarily of water, about 50-75% water. There are also a lot of dissolved gases in there and many materials that qualify as “earth”. Our bodies take up some space, and for anyone who knows about all the amazing chemical reactions taking place inside, there is definitely “fire” inside our bodies too. But in our bodies, there is the mind, the intelligence, and the sense of identity.

And the spirit soul inhabits this body made of the material elements.

If you logically consider this, you will see that there could be bodies made predominantly of earth, very little water. There are gigantic bodies that take up a lot of space, and bodies that can hardly be seen under a microscope. Living entities can exist even where we cannot. Here is an example… deep within the earth, where there is no light, very little water, very high temperature, living entities still exist, “teeming with life” this article says. http://www.geologyin.com/2018/12/scientists-reveal-massive-biosphere-of.html

Why then would one assume that a body cannot exist without hydrocarbons or oxygen or a “comfortable temperature”? We may not be able to detect such a body ourselves with our current limited instruments, but logically, why should the presence or absence of certain chemicals or environmental conditions hinder the soul? There could be bodies made predominantly of air, or fire!

As on this earth planet we have a multivariety of living entities, we can understand from Vedic literatures that in the sun also there is a variety of living entities, but their bodies are made of fire, just as ours are made of earth

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (On the Way to Krsna)

It may seem far-fetched, that there are living entities with bodies made of fire, but how about these bacteria that survive high temperatures we cannot?

How do we get there to these other worlds? It is not possible to go there by mechanical means, because of the “karmic credit balance” and also practically because a body designed for the earthly environment cannot survive the realities of other environments for too long. A deepwater fish cannot survive in a swimming pool. A freshwater fish cannot survive in the ocean. To survive fire, one needs a body made of fire, to survive gaseous environments one needs a body predominantly made of gases. These types of bodies may be outside of our immediate direct experience, but can we at least logically accept the possibility?

Want to read more? Check this out: https://www.vedabase.com/en/ej/preface

A decaying, limiting, embarassing body made of material elements does not befit the spirit soul, instead, through a process of spiritual purification, one can acquire a body that is purely spiritual, no material contamination. Would you like to obtain a spiritual body? Let me know!

The process of quitting this body and getting another body in the material world is also organized. A man dies after it has been decided what form of body he will have in the next life. Higher authorities, not the living entity himself, make this decision. According to our activities in this life, we either rise or sink. This life is a preparation for the next life. If we can prepare, therefore, in this life to get promotion to the kingdom of God, then surely, after quitting this material body, we will attain a spiritual body just like the Lord’s.

Bhagavad Gita As It Is, Introduction

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What is the difference between occupational duty and prescribed duty?

What is the duty of a human being? What is prescribed? What about our ability? How to ensure that we can do what’s most important, what’s most urgent, and what’s most urgent and important? How to prioritize?

Bhakta Sunil, 06th January 2016

Hare Krishna every one,

Please accept my humble respects
All Glories to Vaishnavas

Please enlighten about occupational duty and prescribed duty , are both same or different?

Thanks in anticipation,
sunil

Prasadj dube, 08th January 2016

Hare Krishna!

Occupational duty means to attend the works of his livelihood. Prescribed duty means doing the eternal service to the Supreme Lord by devotedly chanting his name hare krishna hare krishna .

Prasadj dube

Shyamapriya devi dasi, 08th January 2016

Hare Krishna,

Thank you for this question!

The English dictionary says ‘occupation’ means job or profession and the word ‘prescribed’ means advisable or authorized.

And as per vedic understanding-

Occupational duties or Varnasrama-dharma are duties related to the four divisions of material— (namely brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya and śūdra) and and spiritual life (brahmacarya, gṛhastha, vānaprastha and sannyāsa).[SB 4.20.9] and

Prescribed duties or Sva-dharma mean duties enjoined according to one’s psychophysical condition, under the influence of three modes of material nature. [Bg 3.35]

Srila Prabhupada, explains more on prescribed duties as follows in the purport of Bg 3.35 :

“One should therefore discharge his prescribed duties in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness rather than those prescribed for others. Materially, prescribed duties are duties enjoined according to one’s psychophysical condition, under the spell of the modes of material nature. Spiritual duties are as ordered by the spiritual master for the transcendental service of Kṛṣṇa. But whether material or spiritual, one should stick to his prescribed duties even up to death, rather than imitate another’s prescribed duties. Duties on the spiritual platform and duties on the material platform may be different, but the principle of following the authorized direction is always good for the performer. When one is under the spell of the modes of material nature, one should follow the prescribed rules for his particular situation and should not imitate others. For example, a brāhmaṇa, who is in the mode of goodness, is nonviolent, whereas a kṣatriya, who is in the mode of passion, is allowed to be violent. As such, for a kṣatriya it is better to be vanquished following the rules of violence than to imitate a brāhmaṇa who follows the principles of nonviolence. Everyone has to cleanse his heart by a gradual process, not abruptly. However, when one transcends the modes of material nature and is fully situated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he can perform anything and everything under the direction of a bona fide spiritual master. In that complete stage of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the kṣatriya may act as a brāhmaṇa, or a brāhmaṇa may act as a kṣatriya. In the transcendental stage, the distinctions of the material world do not apply. For example, Viśvāmitra was originally a kṣatriya, but later on he acted as a brāhmaṇa, whereas Paraśurāma was a brāhmaṇa but later on he acted as a kṣatriya. Being transcendentally situated, they could do so; but as long as one is on the material platform, he must perform his duties according to the modes of material nature. At the same time, he must have a full sense of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.” [ Purport Bg 3.35]

From the above reading we understand that, since every living entity (in human form) has acquired a particular nature (under the influence of three modes of nature -goodness, passion and ignorance), the vedic injunction accordingly prescribes one of his duty (through the institution of varna and asrama) by which one can gradually elevate oneself to the stage of transcendence, where one is free from the influence of these three modes.

Now, coming back to your question- both occupational and prescribed duties in vedic sense mean one and the same. i.e the vedic authorities prescribe a living entitiey to take up a certain profession or occupation (as a brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya or sudra) based on one’s pscho-physical condition (a consequence of three modes of nature). Along with this, it also reminds us to perform such duties not with the motive of material gain but to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead ultimately, then only can one be happy and content.

In conclusion, whatever our occupational or prescribed duties may be, the essence remains the same Jivera svarupa haya krsnera nitya dasa. The real occupation duty or Santana-dharma of a spirit soul or a living entity as prescribed by the authorized sources/scriptures like Bhagavad-gita is ultimately to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna by eternally serving Him with love.

I would appreciate if others can fill in the lacunae in the above explanation.

Sincerely,
Shyamapriya devi dasi

Guru Vandana devi dasi, 09th January 2016

Hare Krishna!

Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.6, Suta Goswami says, “The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self.”

Here Srila Prabhupada purposefully translates the word ‘dharma’ as occupation and not as religion. He says the word religion is misunderstood. It is taken as faith which can change but dharma or occupation is which cannot change.

When one is on bodily platform he manufactures some occupation to earn his livelihood according to his body, mind and circumstances. As a medical doctor one may have a livelihood by medical practice, as a civil servant one may serve his country etc.. But these occupations are temporary. It is finished as soon as the body is finished.

The question asked here is to describe about occupational duty. We must now inquire and understand what is our real occupational duty?

In verse 1.2.6 it is mentioned as ‘paro dharma’. Para means transcendental . Suta Goswami explains ‘bhaktih adhoksaje’. Our real dharma is -loving devotional service.

Krishna came to teach us this real occupational duty. The merciful Lord says to just give up all bodily occupation, mental occupation, intellectual occupation and surrender unto Him. It doesn’t mean these occupational duties as an engineer, lawyer, doctor, householder, etc .are not of real consideration and to be given up thinking that devotional service is executed under whatever circumstances we may whimsically decide. Arjuna performed his occupational duty not as a material obligation but as a devotional service.

Prescribed duty- Just like animals if we are simply interested only in eating, sleeping, mating and defending then there are no prescribed duties. But who wants to rise above animal life for him prescribed duties are there. According to the modes of nature Krishna has given prescribed duties in verses BG 18.42, 18.43,18.44

Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, knowledge, wisdom and religiousness—these are the natural qualities by which the brahmanas work.

Heroism, power, determination, resourcefulness, courage in battle, generosity and leadership are the natural qualities of work for the ksatriyas.

Farming, cow protection and business are the natural work for the vaisyas, and for the sudras there is labor and service to others.

When I asked Srila Gurudeva what my prescribed duty is , His Grace replied, “Your prescribed duties are what I give you.”

Are both same or different?

One’s occupational duties are prescribed in scriptures and by Guru and Vaishnavas. So for those who are interested in real occupation both occupational duties and prescribed duties are one and the same.

your servant
Guru Vandana devi dasi

Premananda das, 12th January 2016

Thank you for the wonderful question by Bhakta Sunil and beautiful answers by Mother Guruvandana and Mother ShyamaPriya.

your servant
Premananda Das

Premananda das, 13th January 2016

Hare Krishna

My apologies for the major and very careless typo error .I had written But Krishna was married to Draupati and Subhadara.
I was referring to Arjuna.
This is certainly my fault and only due to kindness and due diligence of Mahabhagavata prabhu I am glad to be corrected.Hare Krishna

Occupational duty is the external activities people are engaged for example a traveling monk,student ,businessman,housewife etc.
Prescibed duty means to make the purpose behind these responsibilities one with the purpose of loving God (Krishna).
This becomes natural when we are in association with saintly people who are already doing that.
It means to give up separate motives.
Lord Krishna told Arjuna .”You should surrender unto me .”But Arjuna was a married man.He was married to Draupadi and Subhadra and he had eight children and even grand children.He was a warrior.After hearing Bhagavat-Gita he did not become a sannyasi, a person in the renounced order.
He performed his duty of fighting because he was a military man and he continued to maintain his family.But he did all these in the spirit of service rather than spirit of greed and exploitation .He did it as an expression of love for God.
In this way he rightly oriented his occupation and domestic situation.He did not renounce it but renounced greed,envy pride and lust .
With a pure state of consciousness and a desire to serve he aspired for the ideal love of God through the situation he was in.
In conclusion as Srimati Gurumata and Srila Gurudeva always instructs that all actives should be dovetailed in Krishna consciousness.Krishna is the Centre of all our activities.Krishna is the Supreme enjoyer and we are His servants who are enjoyed by Him.Jivera swarupa Hoya Nitya Krishna Das. Our constitutional position is that we are all servants of Krishna.In this situation only we will be happy.

your servant
Premananda Das

Dra Varni, 15th January 2016

Hare Krsna, Thanks you for all the wonderful insight. For a contribution I would say to remember “you are not this body”

drv

Bhakta Sunil, 17th February 2016

A delayed but hearty Thank you very much! to prasadj dube Prabhu , Shyamapriya devi mataji , Guru Vandana Devi Mataji , Premananda Prabhu , Dra Varni ji and every one who contributed to enlighten on this nectar which at my stage , i could not dive deeply into , and relish as much as it actually is

All Glories to your replies!

your insignificant servant,
Bhakta Sunil

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

How many corpses have you carried?How many more do you have?

If you are reading this, you are a spirit soul. As a spirit soul, you are alive and conscious, and actually eternal, knowledgeable, and blissful.

But chances are that the body you currently inhabit is not eternal, is a network prone to ignorance, and often far from blissful

So there you are, dear spirit soul, dear “Atma”, you are carrying around a dead body. It’s heavy.

स्वप्नायितं नृपसुखं परतन्त्रमीश
शश्वद्भ‍येन मृतकेन धुरं वहाम: ।
हित्वा तदात्मनि सुखं त्वदनीहलभ्यं
क्लिश्यामहेऽतिकृपणास्तव माययेह ॥ २८ ॥ svapnāyitaṁ nṛpa-sukhaṁ para-tantram īśa
śaśvad-bhayena mṛtakena dhuraṁ vahāmaḥ
hitvā tad ātmani sukhaṁ tvad-anīha-labhyaṁ
kliśyāmahe ’ti-kṛpaṇās tava māyayeha

O Lord, with this corpselike body, always full of fear, we bear the burden of the relative happiness of kings, which is just like a dream. Thus we have rejected the real happiness of the soul, which comes by rendering selfless service to You. Being so very wretched, we simply suffer in this life under the spell of Your illusory energy.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/10/70/28/

Why is the body called corpselike? Well, it has no value, no use after the soul leaves it! No matter how beautiful a man or woman may have been, while millions might desire that person while they were alive, no one wants to associate with a dead body (with exceptions, there are always exceptions).

Why is that? If it was the body we really wanted, we’d have no problems associating with corpses. What we really crave for is the association with the spirit souls that animates and enlivens that corpse.

Which brings us the point – how do we get a ‘corpselike’ material body?

Material desires! What are material desires? Desire to be #1, the desire to be Lord and Master of all I survey, Desire to be the Center of the Universe, the Desire to be this, that, and other, the Desire to be what we are not.

Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown

William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part II, 1597

Well before Shakespeare, it was known that material desires create material bodies.

One material body per material desire, at least.

Influenced by the illusory material energy that is all around us, we’re creating our next millions and billions of material bodies right now. The desire for money, the desire for sex, the desire for fame, the desire to be powerful, the desire to have blue eyes or smooth skin or long hair, the desire to do this or that… all corpses in disguise, seductive but deadly.

But why do we want to create yet another corpse? How many have we carried already? How many do we have yet to carry?

Better to be free of this material bondage, repeated, birth, death, old age, and disease!

जन्ममृत्युजराव्याधिदु:खदोषानुदर्शनम्

janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-

duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam

the perception of the evil of birth, death, old age and disease

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/13/8-12/

A genuine spiritual practice, devoid of the trickery of material sense gratification disguised as religion leads to this perception of who I am, not this body, but a pure spirit soul, eternally part-and-parcel of God.

Not carrying a corpse in the material world, as a spirit soul, free to be me!

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Truly Great Leaders

Everyone recognizes that we need great leaders. Some aspire to be great leaders, others aspire to follow great leaders. Some quarrel about who a great leader was or not, others are leaders without followers, and many are leaders with followers or without direction. Many leaders are also misguided, having led their followers to terrible destinations.

यद्यदाचरति श्रेष्ठस्तत्तदेवेतरो जनः ।
स यत्प्रमाणं कुरुते लोकस्तदनुवर्तते ॥ २१ ॥ yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas
tat tad evetaro janaḥ
sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute
lokas tad anuvartate

Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/3/21/

So it is a fact that whenever some kind of greatness is perceived by others, they strive to follow that greatness.

Knowing that everyone has some great qualities, we can see that society is full of leaders, big or small.

Parents are leaders. Teachers are leaders. High school students are leaders. College seniors are leaders. Work supervisors are leaders. Businesspeople are leaders. Artists are leaders. Comedians are leaders. Actors are leaders. Scientists are leaders. Farmers are leaders. Policemen are leaders. Soldiers are leaders. Politicians are leaders. Doctors are leaders. Mathematicians are leaders. Corporate Officers are leaders. Practically everyone is leading someone else in some way.

In a society with so many leaders, how come so many of us are directionless, clueless, unhappy?

In the Srimad Bhagavatam, a merciless tyrant named Jarasandha captured 20,400 kings, all leaders, and imprisoned them. They were eventually freed by Lord Krishna.

They prayed as follows…

Text 10: Infatuated with his opulence and ruling power, a king loses all self-restraint and cannot obtain his true welfare. Thus bewildered by Your illusory energy, he imagines his temporary assets to be permanent. Text 11: Just as men of childish intelligence consider a mirage in the desert to be a pond of water, so those who are irrational look upon the illusory transformations of Māyā as substantial. Texts 12-13: Previously, blinded by the intoxication of riches, we wanted to conquer this earth, and thus we fought one another to achieve victory, mercilessly harassing our own subjects. We arrogantly disregarded You, O Lord, who stood before us as death. But now, O Kṛṣṇa, that powerful form of Yours called time, moving mysteriously and irresistibly, has deprived us of our opulences. Now that You have mercifully destroyed our pride, we beg simply to remember Your lotus feet. Text 14: Never again will we hanker for a miragelike kingdom — a kingdom that must be slavishly served by this mortal body, which is simply a source of disease and suffering and which is declining at every moment. Nor, O almighty Lord, will we hanker to enjoy the heavenly fruits of pious work in the next life, since the promise of such rewards is simply an empty enticement for the ears.

Text 15: Please tell us how we may constantly remember Your lotus feet, though we continue in the cycle of birth and death in this world.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/10/73/

The problem seems to be that almost every leader is “infatuated with his opulence and ruling power”. The parent is infatuated with the power she has over her child, the husband infatuated with the power he has over his wife… the teachers infatuated with the power over their students, and so on.

It also appears that with childish intelligence, we see the mirages in the material world as actual water. When we miss the “great” for being blinded by the “good”.

Most of our leaders are too busy fighting other leaders, over the intoxication of power, wealth, and personal fame. We hanker for that which is temporary, and slipping through our hands like the sands of time.

No matter what we may be a leader in, we need to remember that time is a most powerful force. And all the good we may do on the material level is reduced to insignificance.

But by always remembering the Lotus feet of God, we can transcend being mediocre leaders, and truly lead ourselves and the world out of confusion.

What type of leader do you want to be?

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