Bhakti Philosophy for the mind and Krishna’s Pastimes for the Heart?

How does Bhakti/Devotional Service deal with the intellectual / logical / analytical side of us as well as the emotional/feeling side of us? Does catering to one mean neglecting the other?

Brajanath Das, 02 November 2016

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Please help me to understand the following phrase – 

“Pastimes of the Lord are for the heart and philosophy is for the mind.”

your servant,

Brajanath Das

Bhakta Sunil, 09 November 2016

Hare Krishna Prabhu

Dandavats!

The pastimes of the Lord help to easily realize the impurities in hearts by direct perception in story formats and reading philosophy engages the mind

Inversely , the reading of philosophy purifies the heart too and pastimes of the Lord engage the mind too

For example if we read this pastime of Lord Nrsimhadeva , not only we get moral by mind but also purifies our Hearts irrespective of how many times we read this, this transcendental literature is ever fresh contrary to mundane literature in news media and magazines :

THE PASTIMES OF LORD NRSIMHADEVA

There was once a great demon who was overwhelmed with rage: his brother Hiranyaksa had just been killed by the incarnation of Vishnu known as Lord Varaha. Thus he became very determined to become the emperor of the entire universe. In order to increase his power, he performed very powerful austerities. This penance was so severe that it disturbed the demigods. In fact, the demigods requested Lord Brahma to stop him. The chief of the demigods, Lord Brahma, therefore descended to pacify him by granting him a wish.

“Please grant that I not be killed by any created living being,” commanded Hiranyakasipu, “that I not die inside or outside any residence, during the daytime or night, nor on the ground or in the sky; that I not be killed by any being created by you, nor by any weapon, nor by any human being or animal indeed that I not meet death from any entity, either living or non-living; that I have no competitor; that I have sole lordship over all living entities and presiding deities, and that I acquire all mystic powers.”

After Brahma had granted him all these requests, Hiranyakasipu very swiftly conquered all the planets in the universe, took up residence in the lavish palace of King Indra, and forced the demigods to bow down to his feet. He even stole the sacrificial oblations meant for the demigods. Intoxicated physically by wine and mentally by power, Hiranyakasipu ruled the universe very severely.

During this time his queen, Kayadhu, returned to the palace of her husband and bore him a son, Prahlada. He was a reservoir of all transcendental qualities because he was a pure devotee of Lord Visnu. Determined to understand the Absolute Truth, he had full control over his senses and mind. He was kind to all living creatures and the best friend of everyone. Toward respectable persons he behaved just like a menial servant, to the poor he was like a father, and to his equals he was always like a sympathetic brother. Always very humble, he considered his teachers and spiritual masters to be as good as the Lord Himself. Indeed, he was completely free of any pride that might have arisen from his good education, riches, beauty, and aristocratic birth.

Hiranyakasipu wanted to raise his son to be a powerful demon, but Prahlada only wanted to learn about devotional service to Lord Visnu. After Prahlada attended school for some time, Hiranyakasipu took him on his lap and affectionately inquired, “My dear son, please tell me about your favorite subject in school.”

Fearlessly, Prahlada said, “Hearing (sravanam) and chanting (kirtanam) about the holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia, and pastimes of the Supreme Lord; remembering (smaranam) them; serving the lotus feet of the Lord (pada-sevanam); offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia (arcanam); offering prayers to the Lord (vandanam); becoming His servant (dasyam); considering the Lord one’s best friend (sakhyam); and surrendering to Him (atma-nivedanam, in other words, serving Him with body, mind and words); these nine processes are known as pure devotional service, and I consider anyone who has dedicated his life to service of Lord Visnu through these nine methods to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge.”

Blinded by anger, Hiranyakasipu threw Prahlada from his lap onto the ground. “Servants! Take him away and kill him at once!” he screamed. However, Prahlada just sat silently and meditated on the Personality of Godhead, and the demons’ weapons had no effect on him. Seeing this Hiranyakasipu became fearful and contrived various ways to kill his son. His servants threw Prahlada beneath an elephant’s feet; they cast him into the midst of huge, fearful snakes; they cursed him with destructive spells; they hurled him from a hilltop; they gave him poison; they starved him; they exposed him to severe cold, winds, fire and water; they threw heavy stones to crush him. Hiranyakasipu even sent his sister Holika to burn him, but instead she herself was burned. But throughout these trials Prahlada was simply absorbed in thoughts of Lord Visnu, and thus he remained unharmed. Hiranyakasipu became very anxious about what to do next.

“You say there is a being superior to me,” said Hiranyakasipu, “but where is He? If He is present everywhere, then why is He not present in this pillar you see before you? Do you think He is in this pillar?” “Yes,” Prahlada answered, “He is there.”

Hiranyakasipu’s rage flared more and more. “Because you are speaking so much nonsense, I shall now sever your head from your body. Now let me see your most worshipable God come to protect you. I want to see it.” Cursing him again and again, Hiranyakasipu took up his sword, got up from his royal throne, and with great anger struck his fist against the column.

Then from within the very pillar that he had singled out came a wonderful half-man, half-lion form never before seen. The Lord’s form was extremely fearsome because of His angry eyes, which resembled molten gold; His shining mane, which expanded the dimensions of His fearful face; His deadly teeth; and His razor-sharp tongue. Lord Nrsimha then proceeded to battle with the wasp-like Hiranyakasipu.

Finally at twilight, Lord Nrsimha captured Hiranyakasipu and placed him in His lap on the doorway of the assembly hall. As He began ripping the demon to pieces with His many, many hands, Lord Nrsimha’s mouth and mane became sprinkled with drops of blood, and His fierce eyes, full of anger, were impossible to look at. Licking the edge of His mouth with His tongue, the Supreme Lord decorated Himself with a garland of intestines taken from Hiranyakasipu’s abdomen. Lord Nrsimha uprooted Hiranyakasipu’s heart and finally threw him aside and destroyed an army of Hiranyakasipu’s faithful followers.

By His transcendental cleverness, Lord Nrsimhadeva was able to kill Hiranyakasipu without contradicting any of Lord Brahma’s benedictions. The execution took place neither inside nor outside, but in the doorway; neither on land nor in sky, but on the Lord’s lap; neither during the day nor during the night, but at twilight; neither by man, beast, or demigod nor by any created being, but by the Personality of Godhead; and not by any weapon, but by the Lord’s own lotus hand, relieving the whole universe of Hiranyakasipu’s demonic activities.

Having been protected by the Lord, Prahlada Maharaja offered many prayers in a voice that faltered with love:

“My dear Lord Nrsimhadeva, please, therefore, allow Your angry feature to diminish, now that my evil father Hiranyakasipu has been killed . . . [The saintly persons] will always remember Your auspicious and fearsome incarnation, for it frees them from fear. In this way, my Lord, You appear in various incarnations as a human being, an animal, a great saint, a demigod, a fish or a tortoise, thus maintaining the entire creation in different planetary systems and killing the demoniac principles.”

Adapted from Srimad Bhagavatam, 7th Canto

Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.

Hope this helps with your query

your insignificant servant,

Bhakta Sunil

Mahabhagavat Das, 11 November 2016

Dear Brajanath Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

“Pastimes of the Lord are for the heart and philosophy is for the mind.”

Such questions would greatly benefit from inclusion of context. Please do this going forward. A statement out of context is a perfect recipe for misunderstanding and confusion. Who said it, who was it said to, and in what specific context was that statement made? Without context, our answers may be insufficient or cause more misunderstandings.

Bhakti Yoga is a perfect synthesis of “heart” and “mind”. Thinking, feeling, willing, words, deeds, body, and mind, fully engaged in concert in harmoniously pleasing Krishna.

Generally, Bhakti means loving devotional service, there is no intellectual analysis needed or done in such pure devotional service, pure devotees simply love Krishna and act accordingly very naturally, doing whatever is needed for Krishna’s pleasure. They know “in their heart” what pleases Krishna. In this regard, hearing or chanting the pastimes of the Lord are devotional service.

Often, arguments and logic are undesirable in relishing Krishna’s sweetness.

Srila Rupa Goswami says, and Srila Prabhupada summarizes in the Introduction to his Nectar of Devotion

“Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī prays to his spiritual master, Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, for the protection of Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu—”The Ocean of the Pure Nectar of Devotional Service”—from the argumentative logicians who unnecessarily meddle in the science of service to the Lord. He compares their arguments and logic to volcanic eruptions in the midst of the ocean. In the midst of the ocean, volcanic eruptions can do very little harm, and similarly, those who are against devotional service to the Lord and who put forward many philosophical theses about the ultimate transcendental realization cannot disturb this great ocean of devotional service.”

But for someone who is conditioned by material energy, the mind and intelligence generally stands in the way of what is simply a matter of natural course of being true to our spiritual self. Such conditioned souls require philosophy and intellectual analysis to convince them to not do material nonsense but to render some devotional service, which, when done sincerely, gradually reawakens love of Krishna within the heart.

A pure devotee often engages in philosophizing on the pastimes, as our Acharyas, Srila Prabhupada and his disciples and grand-disciples do, but this is for our benefit, the benefit of the conditioned souls.

I hope this helps.

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Dra Varni, 12 November 2016

Hare Krsna!!   This is a supreme question. While I am not a devotee I have had this experience. There are many answers, but “pastimes” and “theory” are not two separate things in this case. By this I mean one could not be without the other. And the outcome is not synthesis.  Elevation, in my experience, came from reading “pastimes” and “hearing” pastimes. Primarily, reading of Sri Caitanya Caritamrta, not all 17

Dra Varni

Dra Varni, 02 December 2016

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!, Dhruva Maharaja!

Hare Krsna!

“Bhakti Yoga is a perfect synthesis of  “heart” and “mind”. Thinking, feeling, willing, words, deeds, body, and mind, fully engaged in concert in harmoniously pleasing Krishna.”

I have taken time to respond to the above statement because its components are complicated and fragile . Above is the context of the message I received . I have a problem with the word “synthesis”. Below is my rendering to screen of why. I am sure too be only person with such thinking.

It is important to remember that the heart and mind are a continuum, not two distinct and separate energies. Given the age of Cali there is a compartmentalized effort to split everything. Objects for synthesis must be in direct opposition. Other look-a-likes are called “binary-oppositions” they just have the appearance of opposition. Used as a metaphor “Synthesis”would be fine depending on genre. And Bhakti Yoga would be the perfect synthesis of “heart”and “mind” if they were in opposition. 

Dra

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Supreme Conviction and Supreme Reciprocation – a Poem by Saritha Devi

A poem written by a devotee for Bhakta Prahlada & Lord Narasimha

Poetic Service

Saritha Devi, 06/06/2019 

Dear Devotees,

Hare Krishna to all.

Just a small poetic service to Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva and Prahlada Maharaja :-

Supreme Conviction and Reciprocation:

When great pure soul Prahlada Maharaj

Was tormented by demonic nature

offered to bodily agony and hellish setting

and subjected to fatality with sharp arms,

dumped under giant beings, the elephants and thrown from mountains

strived to kill the great soul in thousands other ways,

still the great soul proved his purity and stable in his conviction for Lord

demonic efforts were in vain due to Lord’s compassion to his servant.

One grand evening, Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva incarnated from a pillar

in His violent form with fire eyes, sharp tongue, fearful face, with terrible teeth,

His body expanded till sky like a moon with His opulence

to dawn the demonic aura in this world

And to bring sunshine of peace and assurance in devotees’ lives

to answer His servants’ prayers with His great mercy by laying His kind hands

your servant,

Saritha

Vishwajit Bhadrashetty, 06 June 2019

Wonderful poem Sarita mataji

May God bless you

Sincerely,

Vishwajit 

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Is God present everywhere? How to understand this?

is God present everywhere? If yes, why can’t we find God? Why can atheists even argue that God does not exist? What is the qualification to see God personally?

Lipsa, 17th March 2013

Hare Krishna
Please accept my humble obeisances
Glories to all the Devotees
All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumataji
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Kindly clarify my doubt,

When Prahlada Maharaj replied his father that God resides everywhere, the father angrily asked whether his God was within one of the pillars of the palace, and the child said yes. At once the atheist king
shattered the pillar in front of him to pieces, and the Lord instantly appeared as Narasimha!

So does this mean that the Lord is within non-living objects also in the form of His material energy and He appears to favor His pure devotees? If it is true then is He in every object we see around us,
good or bad (like is He present in books, in the walls, in the things we use, etc…) ?

your unworthy servant,
Lipsa

Rathin Mandal, 18th March 2013

Hare Krishna,

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

This entire manifestation is created by Sri Krishna. Energies of Krishna are of three types internal potency, marginal potency and inferior potency. In the spiritual world everything is created by internal potency. While this material world is created by inferior energy and we are part of the marginal potency. All this potencies come from Sri Krishna hence everything is part and parcel of him just like we are.

Something may appear non-living to us, but it is actually not. The Deities in temple are manifestation of Krishna in material world. Deities form is Krishna’s expansion as ‘archa vigraha’. You can read pastime of Lord as ‘Saksi Gopal’. Same is true with picture also. One should know that when he looks at the picture of Krishna, Krishna is also looking back at him. The book of Krishna is non-different from Krishna. Because all the words contained in the book emanate from Krishna. That is way we worship Bhagavat Gita, because it is a gift given by Krishna.

BG 7.5: 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.
In the above verse Sri Krishna said that we being part of the superior energy have control over the inferior energy and hence we can use it to an extend. And we are using it to make building, aeroplane and weapons to kill. This clearly proves we have some control over the material energy.

This material is also created by Krishna, so He can use this energy to manifest Himself at any place He likes. But one should remember that the material energy cannot touch Sri Krishna because it is inferior to Him. This is confirmed in the following verse:
BG 4.13: According to the three modes of material nature and the work associated with them, the four divisions of human society are created by Me. And although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the nondoer, being unchangeable.

your Servant
Rathin

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 18th March 2013

Dear Lipsa Mataji,

Hare Krishna!

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

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Yes, Krishna is present in non-living objects, inside every atom and within the space between the smallest particle (which is unknown as yet to the material scientists). As Rathin Mandal said, when it comes to the transcendental name, fame, pastimes, form, image, etc., of Krishna, then He is personally present, not just in the particles.

But if you take items such as laptops, electric cables, tables, chairs. mud, stones, toothbrush, toothpaste, walls, paper, etc.,

Here is what is said in the Bhagavad Gita As It Is:

Verse BG 7.7

mattaḥ parataraḿ nānyat

kiñcid asti dhanañjaya

mayi sarvam idaḿ protaḿ

sūtre maṇi-gaṇā iva

O conqueror of wealth, there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread.

From the purport etc., it is to be understood that while everything comes from God, everything is not to be taken as God, though it is a manifestation of God’s energy.

From purport to BG 7.4:
quote
The science of God analyzes the constitutional position of God and His diverse energies. Material nature is called prakṛti, or the energy of the Lord in His different puruṣa incarnations (expansions) as described in the Sātvata-tantra:

viṣṇos tu trīṇi rūpāṇi puruṣākhyāny atho viduḥ

ekaḿ tu mahataḥ sraṣṭṛ dvitīyaḿ tv aṇḍa-saḿsthitam

tṛtīyaḿ sarva-bhūta-sthaḿ tāni jñātvā vimucyate

“For material creation, Lord Kṛṣṇa’s plenary expansion assumes three Viṣṇus. The first one, Mahā-Viṣṇu, creates the total material energy, known as the mahat-tattva. The second, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, enters into all the universes to create diversities in each of them. The third, Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, is diffused as the all-pervading Supersoul in all the universes and is known as Paramātmā. He is present even within the atoms. Anyone who knows these three Viṣṇus can be liberated from material entanglement.”

unuote

From purport to BG 7.25:

quote

Also in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.7) there is this prayer by Brahma: “O Supreme Personality of Godhead, O Supersoul, O master of all mystery, who can calculate Your potency and pastimes in this world? You are always expanding Your internal potency, and therefore no one can understand You. Learned scientists and learned scholars can examine the atomic constitution of the material world or even the planets, but still they are unable to calculate Your energy and potency, although You are present before them.” The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna, is not only unborn but also avyaya, inexhaustible. His eternal form is bliss and knowledge, and His energies are all inexhaustible.

unquote

Srila Sankarshan Das Adhikari, Srila Gurudeva wrote on 11 June 2012:

“It is God in the form of Ksirodakashayi Vishnu who dwells within every atom, not Garbhodakashayi Vishnu. The scientists have not been able to find Him through their gigantic atom smashing machine. The real God particle, Ksirodakashayi Vishnu, is so small that no matter how much they smash atoms to get smaller and smaller particles of matter they will still not be able to find Him. However, the Supreme Lord can easily be found within one’s heart and within every atom by one who has awakened his love for God. Therefore there is no need for a gigantic atom smashing machine to find God. All you need is love.”

I hope this helps.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Lipsa, 20th March 2013

Hare Krishna
Please accept my humblest obeisances
Glories to all devotees
All glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumataji
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Thank You Rathin Mandal Prabhuji, Mahabhagavat Das Prabhuji for the answers with references.

your unworthy servant,
Lipsa

Bhakta David, 22nd March 2013

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All glories to Srila Acaryadev and Srimati Guru Mataji.

All glories to Sri Sri Nitai Gauracandraji.

Hare Krishna

How do you top those answers? Perfect explanation supported by sastra and Gurudev.

Thank you to Lipsa Tripathy for asking this question. And thank you to Rathin Prabhuji and Mahabhagavat Prabhuji for their wonderful answers. I have learned a lot from the responses.

your servant,
Bhakta David

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.backtohome.com. com

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