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.

The Form of God

God has a form. There are specific descriptions of His form. Meditation of His Lotus Feet, for example, dispels all the thick gloom of the heart.

Sometimes spiritualists imagine that since a material form is a limitation, therefore God cannot possibly have a form.

In some religious tradition, the form of God is not at all described.

Some imagine some form of God according to their own concoctions.

It is not that God does not have a form or that His form is imaginary. But it is that one needs to approach the form of God properly.

God’s form is called “saccidananda vigraha”, or that which is composed of sat (eternality), chit(purely conscious knowledge), and ananda(unmitigated bliss). This form of God is unlimited, not constrained by space or time, neither does God’s form deteriorate like material forms.

In a beautiful section of the Srimad Bhagavatam, Lord Kapila, an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, describes the process of devotional service.

Here is one beautiful text, an example for you to relish.

सञ्चिन्तयेद्भगवतश्चरणारविन्दं
वज्राङ्कुशध्वजसरोरुहलाञ्छनाढ्यम् ।
उत्तुङ्गरक्तविलसन्नखचक्रवाल-
ज्योत्‍स्‍नाभिराहतमहद्‍धृदयान्धकारम् ॥ २१ ॥

sañcintayed bhagavataś caraṇāravindaṁ
vajrāṅkuśa-dhvaja-saroruha-lāñchanāḍhyam
uttuṅga-rakta-vilasan-nakha-cakravāla-
jyotsnābhir āhata-mahad-dhṛdayāndhakāram

The devotee should first concentrate his mind on the Lord’s lotus feet, which are adorned with the marks of a thunderbolt, a goad, a banner and a lotus. The splendor of their beautiful ruby nails resembles the orb of the moon and dispels the thick gloom of one’s heart.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/3/28/21/
Krishna’s lotus feet

God has feet, which defeat the splendour of a lotus in full bloom. The soles of His lotus feet are adorned with specific marks.

Each and every mark has specific significance. Just the lustre of His beautiful red toenail can be compared to a full moon.

Meditating on the lotus feet of God dispels all gloom.

The sole of Sri Radha(right) Krishna(left)

Why can we not meditate on the lotus feet of the Lord?

I spend most of my time meditating on all sorts of things. I pray that all these useless meditations may be replaced by unbroken meditation on the lotus feet of Sri Radha Krishna.

Overcoming Dr. Frog Mentality

Why does anyone try to measure God against themselves?

I heard this example from my spiritual master Sri Sankarshan Das Adhikari several times. Once upon a time, Dr. Frog lived in a well. He was the authority on the well. He knew all its inhabitants, he knew the varying water levels. Dr. Frog was born in the well, and knew that of course, his well was the greatest water body in the world.

One day, a little visitor came to his well, hop hop hop. This visitor had just come from the ocean’s edge. Dr. Frog welcomed his little guest, and they got talking. Dr. Frog told him all about his well. The little one said all that was fine but that he had seen a water body much bigger than the well. Dr. Frog couldn’t believe his ears. He decided to humour his little visitor.

He puffed up his chest a little. “This much bigger?” he asked. The little one said, “No Dr. Frog, much bigger”. Dr. Frog was a master puffer. So he puffed himself up some more. And more. And more. Until his chest burst. And that was the end of Dr. Frog.

Similarly, the Dr. Frogs of this world are trying to measure the glory of God in relation to themselves. When they hear Krishna drank deadly poison as a newborn and sucked out the life of Putana the child-killing demoness, they think, surely this is a fairy tale. When they hear how Krishna lifted Govardhan Hill for 7 days and 7 nights on the little finger of his left hand without a break to protect the citizens of Vrindavan, they think this is surely a myth. When they hear Krishna danced with 3 Billion Gopis and made each of them feel that she was the only one, they say, surely this is a male fantasy. When they hear Krishna married 16,108 wives and each of the wives thought she was the only one, they may think surely Krishna must refer to a tribe of men.

Each materialist, atheist, and pseudo-spiritualist tries to measure God against Himself. This is Maya, that which is not, trying to measure God against one’s own puny little self.

But we little fellows, recovering atheists, are going around telling the little Dr. Frogs of the world, sir, there is a God, and God is very very great, much much greater than you, and they simply puff up their chests. We also say God is very very sweet, not an angry old man, and they think we are fools. We tell them we know what God looks like and they think we are idol worshippers.

But everyone should remember that a frog who croaks too loud attracts his own death in the form of a hungry snake.

The snake of time will devour us all, but those of us in a compact of Love with God, death is simply taking a nap and waking up in our eternal form.

Please read the books of Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Please strive to understand and follow them. Please chant Hare Krishna, serve the Krishna Consciousness Movement directly or in any of its many branches like Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, or Islam, and continue your progessive journey home.

If I may serve you on your journey please reach out!

Penn State or State Pen?

Governments fund Universities and the same Governments fund prisons too. Where would you rather be? For 4 years or 80? For this lifetime or eternity?

Some of my nephews, nieces, children of friends, and even new friends recently started with their post-secondary studies. Some are going to trade schools, some to Universities. Some are staying with their parents in their home towns, some are moving to another city, some to another country… some of these students are moving continents.

Even though this is 2020, and many of these studies are happening online, still the students are all free to learn, to make friends, to have new experiences they never had before. They are free to explore and to grow. They have the freedom of choice.

While many of these students or their parents have paid varying amounts in various fees etc., it is understood that most of these educational institutions have been funded by the governments in those places… local governments, state or provincial governments, even national governments.

So, much of what the students are enjoying is paid for by the government.

There are other people, also in the same range as those young people going to colleges and universities. They live in funded facilities too, but their freedom is strictly restricted. They must eat whatever is given to them. They must stay in a cell. They must wear a uniform and follow a certain regime. They may not visit others, and others may visit them in strictly restricted environments… these are inmates in various jails, prisons, penitentiaries, and so on.

While the students have a lot of freedom, the inmates do not.

Why this this?

One set of people have decided to stay on one side of the government’s system, and many of them are practically enjoying the government’s largesse. Another set of people have made choices that lands them in another set of restrictive circumstances.

Is it that the government builds prisons because it wants citizens to go there?

ममैवांशो जीवलोके जीवभूत: सनातन: ।
मन:षष्ठानीन्द्रियाणि प्रकृतिस्थानि कर्षति ॥ ७ ॥

mamaivāṁśo jīva-loke jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ
manaḥ-ṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi prakṛti-sthāni karṣati

The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/15/7/

Similarly, Krishna creates the material world for those who make the choice to go against the laws He makes. He does not want any soul to come to the material realm, but they do, by their own choice. Once they do get here, Krishna diligently tries to help them out. He expands into their hearts, comes Himself personally, He sends His messengers, they leave their personal examples, books, societies and associations behind for those trapped in the material realm.

नादत्ते कस्यचित्पापं न चैव सुकृतं विभु: ।
अज्ञानेनावृतं ज्ञानं तेन मुह्यन्ति जन्तव: ॥ १५ ॥

nādatte kasyacit pāpaṁ na caiva sukṛtaṁ vibhuḥ

ajñānenāvṛtaṁ jñānaṁ tena muhyanti jantavaḥ

Nor does the Supreme Lord assume anyone’s sinful or pious activities. Embodied beings, however, are bewildered because of the ignorance which covers their real knowledge.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/5/15/

It is up to us, the conditioned souls living in the material realm to accept these facilities, get rid of all material contamination and go back home, back to Godhead, where we belong.

Governments fund Universities and the same Governments fund prisons too. Where would you rather be? For 4 years or 80? For this lifetime or eternity?

How may I serve you?

So, you want to see God?

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

If there’s a God, I want to see Him.

George Harrison

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

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

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

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

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

Reporter 6: I can’t say.

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

Reporter 6: Well. what is God realization?

Srila Prabhupada: First make sure you understand this idea.

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

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

Reporter 6: Yes.

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

Conversation with A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Actually, it is very easy to see God.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is this qualification needed to see God?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Significance of the Feeling of Insignificance

Souls in the material world feel important, very important, or most important. It is a root cause of all strife in the world. What about the feeling of insignificance, or humility? Is that significant?

Most of us consider ourselves highly significant. I am not immune to this either. But when I put my own life in context with the world around me, the other souls, especially in relation with God, I begin to feel insignificant.

But then, in many of my personal interactions, I begin to find this feeling of super-significance show itself again. It manifests itself as pride, arrogance, impatience, intolerance, condescension, holier-than-thou, or obnoxious bossy behaviour. Most people can’t stand it when they see it in someone else. But most of us carefully cultivate the root cause of those traits.

Of course, it’s easy to think that we’re super-significant, after all, we came out of the spiritual world to feel that way, and the material world is designed to make us feel that way too.

It all started with the envy of God. Envy, not jealousy. What is the difference, one may ask. One very advanced spiritualist, Chakri Dasa, a disciple of Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada made it very clear in a class in Durban, South Africa, many years ago… He said “Jealousy means you don’t like that someone has what they have”, he continued “But Envy, that is different, it means, I don’t like that you have what you have. I wish that I had what you have. I wish that you didn’t have it, I wish you were dead and I could have that instead”.

So, envy of God means that we want God to be subservient to us (or dead), and instead that we would rather be God. This is actually the “Original Sin”.

This is why the spirit soul comes to the material world. God says, “well, you are you, and I am Me, but if you want, I can send you to a place where you can think that you are God”. And reluctantly He makes arrangements for us to come here, but comes along with us as the Super-Soul or Paramatma!

Therefore, we have the unfortunate situation where everyone in material consciousness is trying to dominate one another.

Is it any wonder then, that as a recovering atheist, I still have these feelings of super-significance! I came here to be God in the first place! 🙂

By now I know that I am not God, but this tendency to try to lord it over the material world, and all others stubbornly persists.

But what is incredible, truly incredible, is that God Himself does not consider Himself very significant, whereas He sees service done unto Him as highly valuable! I found that amazing, and thought you might too.

किञ्चित्करोत्युर्वपि यत् स्वदत्तं
सुहृत्कृतं फल्ग्वपि भूरिकारी ।
मयोपनीतं पृथुकैकमुष्टिं
प्रत्यग्रहीत् प्रीतियुतो महात्मा ॥ ३५ ॥ kiñcit karoty urv api yat sva-dattaṁ
suhṛt-kṛtaṁ phalgv api bhūri-kārī
mayopaṇītaṁ pṛthukaika-muṣṭiṁ
pratyagrahīt prīti-yuto mahātmā

The Lord considers even His greatest benedictions to be insignificant, while He magnifies even a small service rendered to Him by His well-wishing devotee. Thus with pleasure the Supreme Soul accepted a single palmful of the flat rice I brought Him.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/10/81/35/

In this chapter (and the previous one) of the Bhagavatam, there is an account of a saintly gentleman by the name of Sudama, who was a boyhood school friend of Krishna, in the school of Sandipani Muni.

While Krishna, as the husband of the Goddess of Fortune is Supremely Opulent, Sudama, as a simple spiritualist, was satisfied with whatever came of its own accord. When his wife, frustrated by the extreme poverty (bony bodies, torn clothes, starvation), persuaded Sudama to seek a favour from Krishna, his boyhood Friend, he reluctantly agreed, more joyful for the opportunity to meet Krishna than to ask for some benediction.

He joyfully went to see Krishna, taking a humble gift of 4 handfuls of flattened rice, begged by his wife from a neighbour. But when he saw the opulence of Krishna’s palace, he was too ashamed to give Krishna the humble gift.

He also forgot to ask Krishna for anything at all! He was just so happy to see Krishna, reminisce, etc.

Krishna of course, being the All-knowing Super Soul dwelling in everyone’s heart, knew everything, snatched the rag-parcel of flattened rice, and in return gave Sudama opulence equal to that of the king of heaven.

Sudama felt insignificant in front of Krishna. Krishna felt His gift of opulence insignificant in front of Sudama’s love.

अहो ब्रह्मण्यदेवस्य द‍ृष्टा ब्रह्मण्यता मया ।
यद् दरिद्रतमो लक्ष्मीमाश्लिष्टो बिभ्रतोरसि ॥ १५ ॥ aho brahmaṇya-devasya
dṛṣṭā brahmaṇyatā mayā
yad daridratamo lakṣmīm
āśliṣṭo bibhratorasi

[Sudāmā thought:] Lord Kṛṣṇa is known to be devoted to the brāhmaṇas, and now I have personally seen this devotion. Indeed, He who carries the goddess of fortune on His chest has embraced the poorest beggar.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/10/81/15/

It is not possible for a person in material consciousness to feel that kind of humility. It is impossible to feign. Only a soul in pure spiritual consciousness, pure Allah/Christ/Yahweh/Adonai/Buddha/Krishna, consciousness can feel such deep humility…

Humility is a precious gift, and true humility comes from knowing and being in one’s own constitutional position as an infinitesimal fragmental part-and-parcel of our glorious emanator.

Oh! When will I feel the genuine insignificance felt by the pure spiritualist? When will I be free of my false pride? When will I actually recover from this horrible atheism I am afflicted with? Oh! My dear Krishna, how and why did I ever allow this horrible poisonous envy enter my heart?

Love, not Fear

Why “Fear of God”? Why not “Love of God”? Why fear when you can love instead? How can we transform fear to love?

It’s a fact that many religious systems are based on fear, “do this or you will go to hell”, “listen to me or eternal damnation”, “believe this or the unending eternal fires for you”.

Some are less dire, more business-like “If you displease God, then God will punish you for your sins”. Quid pro quo.

But God is not a bully. God is not insecure. God is not a sadist. God is not even a business-person!

God is Full of Knowledge, Full of Bliss, and is Eternal. No person who has those qualities can be petty, shortsighted, or vindictive.

īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ
anādir ādir govindaḥ
sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam

Kṛṣṇa who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes.

https://www.vedabase.com/en/bs/5/1

God is also our emanator, which makes Him our caretaker practically. Which parent wants their offspring to suffer eternally?

ईश्वर: सर्वभूतानां हृद्देशेऽर्जुन तिष्ठति ।

भ्रामयन्सर्वभूतानि यन्‍त्रारूढानि मायया ॥ ६१ ॥

īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ

hṛd-deśe ’rjuna tiṣṭhati

bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni

yantrārūḍhāni māyayā

The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/18/61/

Schools and Universities give additional attempts, more chances to students who failed to make the grade. The judicial systems of many countries grant bail, parole, or pardon, in other words, a chance to live life inspite of having made mistakes.

So why on earth do most religious systems and their adherents relate to God in fear? Why are people “God-fearing”? Why are they not “God-loving”?

It is in part because most people know what is sinful and yet do not stop committing that sin. That is like a criminal who knows what they are doing is wrong but persists.

Yes, God is powerful, and God is practically distant, unknown even, to a materially conditioned soul. So, it may be somehow natural to fear this entity that has power over life and death. But remember, the jaws of a cat are death only to a mouse, they are happy and safe and comforting to her kitten.

To a criminal, the Police are to be feared. To an ordinary law-abiding citizen, the Police are no cause for fear. To many, the Police are even a cause of reassurance and/or relief.

God is Loving, and God is not very happy when the relationship is based on awe and reverence.

itīdṛk sva-līlābhir ānanda-kuṇḍe 

sva-ghoṣaṁ nimajjantam ākhyāpayantam 

tadīyeṣita-jñeṣu bhaktair jitatvaṁ 

punaḥ prematas taṁ śatāvṛtti vande

By such childhood pastimes as this He is drowning the inhabitants of Gokula in pools of ecstasy, and is revealing to those devotees who are absorbed in knowledge of His supreme majesty and opulence that He is only conquered by devotees whose pure love is imbued with intimacy and is free from all conceptions of awe and reverence. With great love I again offer my obeisances to Lord Damodara hundreds and hundreds of times.

Sri Damodarashtakam, Verse 3 (Padma Purana, spoken by Satyavrata Muni)

The origin of fear is in lust actually, because fear is an unavoidable factor of life in the material world, or more specifically, life in material consciousness.

It is lust that has brought us into this material nightmare and lust that keeps us here. When we can transform that lust into pure love we become liberated from the pangs of this material existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari, Transforming Lust into Love

Lust means we want, gimme, gimme, gimme. What do we do when we really love someone? We serve them. And we don’t badger them for this, that, and the other. Instead, we just love them, cherish them, and serve them.

Yes, God is Great, but He is also incredibly Sweet and Loving. What can we do to actually Love God?

NO FEAR!

God and The Absolute Truth

Who is God? What is the Absolute Truth? Does all God do is work to keep us all in line? What gives?

J Raul C, 12th November 2016

Hare Krishna!!

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada and Gurudeva!!

vancha-kalpa-tarubhyashcha

kripa-sindhubhya eva cha

patitanam pavanebhyo

vaishnavebhyo namo namaha

Dear devotees,

Please help me to understand the conception of God and the conception of Absolute Truth.

I have read and heard so many times in the scriptures and purports that God is Krishna and at the same time we talk about Absolute Truth as the supreme person or param satyam also we know Krishna as the Supreme Person

Please elaborate as God and Absolute Truth are not on the same level.

Thank you kindly,
J Raul C.

Premananda das, 12th November 2016

Hare Krsna Vaisnavas

Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

God means controller and Absolute Truth means the source and end of everything and all the energies that exist.

Actually the conception of Absolute Truth is way beyond God.

Absolute Truth actually makes an impression on the mind that it is not just a religious enthusiasm but profound philosophy.
It answers the most important question that He is the origin and destination of everything.

In the Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 1.1.1 it is explained that Krsna is beginning and end of everything and it also defeats the idea that matter is the source of creation which is prominent in today’s modern world.

It is not only om namo bhagavate not vague but it is Vasudevaya son of Vasudeva and Devaki primeval Bhagawan.

This list is check point of whether someone is God and Absolute Truth.

Absolute Truth is Sri Krsna son of Vasudeva and Devaki.

oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya
janmādy asya yato ’nvayād itarataś cārtheṣv abhijñaḥ svarāṭ
 tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ
tejo-vāri-mṛdāṁ yathā vinimayo yatra tri-sargo ’mṛṣā
 dhāmnā svena sadā nirasta-kuhakaṁ satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi

O my Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, son of Vasudeva, O all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. I meditate upon Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa because He is the Absolute Truth and the primeval cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance and destruction of the manifested universes. He is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations, and He is independent because there is no other cause beyond Him. It is He only who first imparted the Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahmājī, the original living being. By Him even the great sages and demigods are placed into illusion, as one is bewildered by the illusory representations of water seen in fire, or land seen on water. Only because of Him do the material universes, temporarily manifested by the reactions of the three modes of nature, appear factual, although they are unreal. I therefore meditate upon Him, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is eternally existent in the transcendental abode, which is forever free from the illusory representations of the material world. I meditate upon Him, for He is the Absolute Truth.

He is the source and end of everything.
He is supremely conscious and independent.
He is the original source of all knowledge.
He is the original source of bewilderment.
He makes the three worlds appear real like mirage.
He resides in the eternal abode free from illusion.
He is the highest Truth to be mediated upon.(Son of Vasudeva)

your servant

Premananda Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 16th November 2016

Dear Sriman Raul,

Hare Krishna!

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

Who is “God” – this is the generic name for some kind of administrative and executive function/position in the creation, maintenance, and dissolution of the manifestation. Actually Krishna is greater than “God”, because Krishna is the source of “God”.

It is like saying “Man”, does not identify a specific individual but a class of individual.

This is why Srila Prabhupada used the phrase “Supreme Personality of Godhead” to describe Krishna, though he did call Krishna God in some specific contexts, like when he explained the phrase “krishnas tu bhagavan svayam”.

There are many “gods”, like for example each of us control something in our own and others’ lives… and because Krishna expands Himself unlimitedly in Vishnu Tattva expansions actually one can say that there are also many “Gods”… but the “gods” and “Gods” are all servant Gods, and everyone is ultimately serving Krishna in some way or another.

A riverhead is the source of a river. A river is a continuously flowing stream of water… even though we say “here is a river”, it is not the same at any two moments – the water in it is different at every moment practically.

Similarly, “God” is a concept that is impossible to explain materially, and is dynamic. Krishna is the source of that infinite dynamism, the source of the power of all powers, all energies, all living entities. If the word Godhead is considered, then that Godhead is the Source of “God”, but that Source of God has many many personalities, like Balarama, Sankarshana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha, and then the second set of those, Maha Vishnu Garbhodakashayi Vishnu, Kshirodakashayi Vishnu, etc.

We read from the Srimad Bhagvatam how Krishna expands “bahu syam” (I shall be many) into different types of expansions, “svamsha” or Vishnu Tattva expansions, and “vibbinamsha” or separated jiva expansions. Then there are the shaktis, the shiva tattva. There are the potencies of hladini, sandhini, samvit, and so many further expansions and so much complexity in the spiritual and material manifestation.

But in the end, Krishna has nothing to do, He simply plays His flute, and enjoys pastimes with His associates, no “duty” to do, like having to keep track of who is doing what, punishment and reward, that is the “God” function which is played by His arrangements in so many elaborate ways.

I hope this helps.

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

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How do I become pure and sinless?

How do I become pure and sinless? Do I fear God? What do I do to be pure and sinless? How do I avoid doing things that are sinful?

Deepak A, 25th March 2016

Hare Krishna devotees

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

Am not a devotee! But i believe god is there in all things.I fear for him.

I always will be correct to my conscience and do things right.

But i have did some things wrong suddenly i feel like am away from god and he is angry on me for deeds i did.

Please tell me what Lord Krishna say about committing sin and how to come out from that.

I want to be pure as god both in deeds and heart .

Please help me!!!

your humble servant
Deepak Appu

Sridhar Das, 25th March 2016

Hare Krishna Deepak!

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

Many answers that shall fully clarify all your doubts are coming up. I however just wanted to state:

I’m sure our understanding of God is that Krishna is the Supreme Person–ality of Godhead, who is one without a second, the rest being his servants/representatives.

We must try to confirm our understanding/sentiments from Vedas to assure we’re understanding correct which you’ve done sincerely.

When we read Bhagavad Gita with the mood of a devoted learner, an aspiring devotee, we will understand what is right, what is wrong, what Krishna wants, what pleases Him, what displeases Him.

When you feel Lord’s anger for you, I wish to correct that this is Krishna’s actual nature confirmed from His statements:

samo ‘haḿ sarva-bhūteṣu

na me dveṣyo ‘sti na priyaḥ

ye bhajanti tu māḿ bhaktyā

mayi te teṣu cāpy aham

I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all. But whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me, and I am also a friend to him.(BG 9.29).

The solution to sins is:

sarva-dharmān parityajya

mām ekaḿ śaraṇaḿ vraja

ahaḿ tvāḿ sarva-pāpebhyo

mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ

Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear. (18.66)

And if one simply accepts that I’m a servant of God or Krishna and I must obediently serve Him then whether one be the most sinful person addicted to most sinful activities but if He accepts this truth, Krishna guarantees to not only forgive their sins but even remove them and liberate the person like a caring father. For such a soul Krishna says:

api cet su-durācāro

bhajate mām ananya-bhāk

sādhur eva sa mantavyaḥ

samyag vyavasito hi saḥ

“Even if one commits the most abominable action, if he is engaged in devotional service he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated in his determination.” (BG 9.30)

When we serve the Lord and His devotees, automatically their godly qualities descend upon us if they’re pleased.

So the conclusion is to engage in some devotional service to Krishna in association of His devotees and all your problems (not current but complete lifetime) shall be solved.

Thank you for the nice question.

your servant
Shridhar Das

Bhakta Sunil, 27th March 2016

Hare Krishna Deepak bhai,

Please accept my humble respects,
All Glories to Vaishnavas,

If one does something wrong and feel away from God, it indicates that one has to purify oneself to prevent mistakes and misdeeds which can prick the conscience,

As long one has impurities in heart, one is forced to act in a way depending on the modes of material nature which one has acquired from one’s past desires and actions,

“Bhagavad Gita As It Is” Chapter 3 Verse 5 helps us to understand this point, as follows :

Translation :

Everyone is forced to act helplessly according to the qualities he has acquired from the modes of material nature; therefore no one can refrain from doing something, not even for a moment.

Purport :

It is not a question of embodied life, but it is the nature of the soul to be always active. Without the presence of the spirit soul, the material body cannot move. The body is only a dead vehicle to be worked by the spirit soul, which is always active and cannot stop even for a moment. As such, the spirit soul has to be engaged in the good work of Krishna consciousness, otherwise it will be engaged in occupations dictated by the illusory energy. In contact with material energy, the spirit soul acquires material modes, and to purify the soul from such affinities it is necessary to engage in the prescribed duties enjoined in the sastras. But if the soul is engaged in his natural function of Krishna consciousness, whatever he is able to do is good for him. The Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.5.17) affirms this:

tyaktva sva-dharmam caranambujam harer
bhajann apakvo ’tha patet tato yadi
yatra kva vabhadram abhud amusya kim
ko vartha apto ’bhajatam sva-dharmatah

“If someone takes to Krishna consciousness, even though he may not follow the prescribed duties in the sastras or execute the devotional service properly, and even though he may fall down from the standard, there is no loss or evil for him. But if he carries out all the injunctions for purification in the sastras, what does it avail him if he is not Krishna conscious?” So the purificatory process is necessary for reaching this point of Krishna consciousness. Therefore, sannyasa, or any purificatory process, is to help reach the ultimate goal of becoming Krishna conscious, without which everything is considered a failure.

Regarding your asking about freedom from sins, please read the Question-Answer taken from daily “Thought for the Day” emails , dated 7th June 2015 :

Question: Freedom from My Many Sins?

I am 23 years old. Now when I look back I can recollect many sins which I have done. The reason that I was not aware until now that this was sinful is due to my own karma from my previous birth. So even though I did not have the knowledge of right and wrong, I am solely responsible for this because it was my choice to be in ignorance. If in this birth I do good, is it possible that I may get spiritual knowledge in my next birth?

What is initiation? What is the complete process for getting initiated?

Can we live a grihastha (married) life after getting initiated?

Your reader

Answer: Surrender to Krishna Frees You from All Karma

There is no need to wait until your next birth to get spiritual knowledge and live a pure life. You can be born again right through the process known as initiation. In this way you will qualify to enter the eternal abode of Lord Sri Krishna at the time of death.

Initiation is when you take a vow to strictly follow the principles of Krishna consciousness for your entire life. This means that you agree to chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day on japa mala beads and that you also agree to strictly avoid illicit sex, meat eating, intoxication, and gambling for your entire life. At the time of initiation you also accept a highly advanced devotee who is fixed in Krishna consciousness as your spiritual master and you agree to always abide by whatever instructions he gives you. By becoming initiated and keeping your vow, you are a fully surrendered devotee of Krishna. The spiritual master and Krishna free you from the reactions from all of your previous sinful activities for millions of lifetimes in this material world. Initiation is essential for one who wants to attain genuine happiness.

Srila Prabhupada emphasizes the importance of initiation in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 10.2.18:

“Unless one is initiated by the right person, who always carries within his heart the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one cannot acquire the power to carry the Supreme Godhead within the core of one’s own heart.”

He also writes in his purport to Caitanya Caritamrita Madhya Lila, 24. 331:

“As far as the time of diksha (initiation) is concerned, everything depends on the position of the guru. As soon as a bonafide guru is received by chance or by a program, one should immediately take the opportunity to receive initiation.”

Regarding your question about married (grihastha) life, many of our disciples are married and are progressing very nicely in Krishna consciousness. This option remains open to you. If you like, you can marry a nice Krishna conscious girl who is already a dedicated member our Krishna consciousness movement and raise children in Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
www.joincourse.com

Hope this helps,

Sincerely,

Bhakta Sunil

Shyamapriya devi dasi, 30th March 2016

Hare Krishna

Actually, you are a devotee! We all are devotees. Even the trees, animals, birds, every living entity. However, we all are in a state of forgetfulness, just like a man who has lost his memory has difficulty to identify himself and where he belongs to. Then with the help of a doctor the patient is made to remember his past life (i.e. his real life) with the help of pictures, videos,etc. Slowly the patient recovers. But this is a very crude example to make us understand of our actual position.

A mango will be called a mango, whether it is at an unriped stage or at a completely ripened, sweet nectarean stage. Just like an unriped mango also has to work its way towards that ripened stage, we all devotees, slowly and slowly have to work on removing those layers and layers, heaps and heaps of dust (ignorance) covering our hearts under the expert guidance of a doctor i.e. a spiritual master to come to that mature, pure devotee stage. So if you haven’t found a doctor yet, this is a very good time to find one (from the wonderful list of spiritual masters in ISKCON and one of them, as you know, is our Srila Gurudeva) and start working your way to becoming completely pure as your wonderful desire is to be.

Sridhar Prabhu has already given well researched answer to your question.

But if you still feel to enquire further, our many experts on board are always there to help you.

Thankyou
Sincerely,
Shyamapriya devi dasi

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Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 01st April 2016

Dear Deepak,

Hare Krishna!

The scriptural references you have, and also encouragement from the devotees.

Krishna is not some mean-bully-in-the-sky type personality.
Krishna is your best friend and supreme well-wisher.

If Krishna gives you correction, it will be in the mood of a loving parent who gives some punishment to a child, not some vindictive revenge-seeker-mentality.

Anyways, you know that what you did was not right, so you are feeling some remorse and guilt, but use this to go closer to Krishna by taking up some activity that will reduce the chance of you performing similar actions again.
Guilt is useless, but if we leverage remorse to lead us in the right direction, then that is ideal. Doing something practical that uplifts our consciousness is the key:

kecit kevalayā bhaktyā
 vāsudeva-parāyaṇāḥ
aghaṁ dhunvanti kārtsnyena
 nīhāram iva bhāskaraḥ

Only a rare person who has adopted complete, unalloyed devotional service to Kṛṣṇa can uproot the weeds of sinful actions with no possibility that they will revive. He can do this simply by discharging devotional service, just as the sun can immediately dissipate fog by its rays. SB 6.1.15

This is the final answer of Sukadeva Goswami to the question of Maharaja Parikshit which was as follows:

kvacin nivartate ’bhadrāt
 kvacic carati tat punaḥ
prāyaścittam atho ’pārthaṁ
 manye kuñjara-śaucavat

Sometimes one who is very alert so as not to commit sinful acts is victimized by sinful life again. I therefore consider this process of repeated sinning and atoning to be useless. It is like the bathing of an elephant, for an elephant cleanses itself by taking a full bath, but then throws dust over its head and body as soon as it returns to the land. SB 6.1.10.

The verses from SB 6.1.10 to SB 6.1.15 are a wonderful exchange. Please consider reading at http://www.vedabase.com/sb/6/1/10

Have you carefully read any of the books of Srila Prabhupada, even if it is a small book? Have you tried chanting Hare Krishna? Have you rendered any practical devotional service to the devotees?

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Deepak, 26th May 2015

Hare Krishna to all
Please accept my humble obeisances.
All Glories to GuruDev.
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

My question is :- which Yajnas should be perform in this Kaliyug and how to perform it

Hare Krishna

Rathin Mandal, 27th May 2015

Hare Krishna Deepak,

Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji,

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

For this age only Sankirtana Yajna is recommended. For doing the yajnas that were recommended in other ages, neither do we have that much of life span, nor physical strength and not enough resources. That is why other yajnas are not recommended.

your Servant
Rathin

Sridhar Das, 06th June 2015

Hare Krishna Deepak,

My humble obeisances to you,
All Glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumata!
All Glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!

You have correctly read that Sankirtan Yajna is the recommended Yajna for this age as confirmed below:

kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ
 tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ
dvāpare paricaryāyāṁ
 kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt

“Whatever result was obtained in Satya-yuga by meditating on Viṣṇu, in Tretā-yuga by performing sacrifices, and in Dvāpara-yuga by serving the Lord’s lotus feet can be obtained in Kali-yuga simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.” (SB 12.3.52)

It can be performed by anyone irrespective of any past qualifications, irrespective of family backgrounds and can be chanted anytime and any place (we don’t carry beads in the bathroom though).

your servant
Sridhar Das

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived at 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

I am Flower Bearing Spring

Do you have trouble seeing God?

It’s a famous frequently asked question, and being the recovering atheist I am, I’ve been asked the question many times, can you show me God?

A great saint, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, wrote this article to answer just that question… http://www.backtogodhead.in/how-to-see-god-by-his-divine-grace-a-c-bhaktivedanta-swami-prabhupada/

In the Song of God, The Bhagavad Gita, God says

ṛtūnāṁ kusumākaraḥ “, or ” of seasons I am flower-bearing spring

BG 10.35

I had that experience recently, when one night it was still winter, and seemingly, the next morning, all of a sudden, it was spring. Some trees had fresh green leaves, others had flowers in profuse numbers, some bright and colourful, some fragrant, some both… Here are some pictures so you can see God for yourself.

Apple Blossoms, still buds yet… God’s smile, about to unfold…
Wild Apple Blossoms, in full Bloom, God’s beautiful smile…
Do you have trouble seeing God? Why not see what God says about how we can see Him? Spring anyone?
More Apple Blossoms, this time against the Brilliant Sun, also the eye of God…

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