A cut from above

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

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

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

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

A knife, but an instrument…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Queen Kunti, one of the greatest saints of all time

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

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

vipadaḥ santu tāḥ śaśvat tatra tatra jagad-guro

bhavato darśanaṁ yat syād apunar bhava-darśanam

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

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

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

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

mat-prāṇa-nāthas tu sa eva nāparaḥ

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

Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

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

भोक्तारं यज्ञतपसां सर्वलोकमहेश्वरम् ।

सुहृदं सर्वभूतानां ज्ञात्वा मां शान्तिमृच्छति ॥ २९ ॥

bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ sarva-loka-maheśvaram

suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānāṁ jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati

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

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

Watch out for the little guys

Do you watch out for the little guys when you are out and about? Yes, the ants,the snails, and others with smaller bodies than you?

Whenever I need to take the train to get to the office, I pass by an area that is home for snails. Yes, the slow and slimy little fellows with the shell.

For some reason, at around sunrise, many of them decide to cross the paved path that leads to the train station, out from their grassy home onto the bare asphalt. I took the time to pick them and put them back into the grass. Fortunately I didn’t miss my train. One famous so-called spiritual leader called that “stupid compassion”. I then learned that even though he is Buddhist, he eats meat. He lost my respect as a spiritual leader at that time, and now I see him as a mere social and political leader.

For people walking, running, or dashing to catch the train, these snails are practically invisible, to some they are a game “crunch, crunch, crunch”. Crushed under someone’s foot. I feel tremendous sorrow to see those that were crushed.

Imagine getting crushed to death! No need to imagine… we have indeed been crushed many times. The only reason we don’t remember is because otherwise we would be down with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder! As spirit souls, we have wandered around many many times in practically every one of the 8.4 million species of life. Yes Eight Million Four Hundred Thousand species.

We are all coming from the same eternal source. A genuine spiritualist feels oneness with all living entities. Not that all of us “are one” or that there is no individuality, but we are “of the One”. In other words, all of us have the same Original father and mother.

When we have that vision and realization, how can we possibly crush our own brothers and sisters under our feet? Would we not want to watch out for them? If you had a weak little sibling, would you crush him under your feet when he was in your way? Would you crush your little baby under your foot when she was crawling across the living room floor? Why then would one not extend the same kindness to an ant or a snail?

Unavoidable accidents are one thing, but any human should do their best to watch out for the little fellows in our way. In some cases, such as in fighting disease or pestilence, it may be necessary to kill other living creatures, indeed, we can’t even breathe without killing so many micro-organisms. But how can we transform ourselves to being more compassionate towards the little ones?

The famous example of this is Mrgari, the hunter – and here is an instructive lesson from the Chaitanya Charitamrita. A hunter, who once took pleasure in half-killing animals was inspired to become a great saint. Here is the entire incident in brief, if you would like to read… here is a beautiful summary for your pleasure…

Once upon a time the great saint Nārada, after visiting Lord Nārāyaṇa in the Vaikuṇṭhas, went to Prayāga to bathe at the confluence of three rivers — the Ganges, Yamunā and Sarasvatī.
Nārada Muni saw that a deer was lying on the path through the forest and that it was pierced by an arrow. It had broken legs and was twisting due to much pain.


Farther ahead, Nārada Muni saw a boar pierced by an arrow. Its legs were also broken, and it was twisting in pain.
When he went farther, he saw a rabbit that was also suffering. Nārada Muni was greatly pained at heart to see living entities suffer so.


When Nārada Muni advanced farther, he saw a hunter behind a tree. This hunter was holding arrows, and he was ready to kill more animals.
The hunter’s body was blackish. He had reddish eyes, and he appeared fierce. It was as if the superintendent of death, Yamarāja, were standing there with a bow and arrows in his hands.


When Nārada Muni left the forest path and went to the hunter, all the animals immediately saw him and fled.
When all the animals fled, the hunter wanted to chastise Nārada with abusive language, but due to Nārada’s presence, he could not utter anything abusive.
The hunter addressed Nārada Muni: ‘O gosvāmī! O great saintly person! Why have you left the general path through the forest to come to me? Simply by seeing you, all the animals I was hunting have now fled.’
Nārada Muni replied, ‘Leaving the path, I have come to you to settle a doubt that is in my mind.

‘I was wondering whether all the boars and other animals that are half-killed belong to you.’
Nārada Muni then inquired, ‘Why did you not kill the animals completely? Why did you half-kill them by piercing their bodies with arrows?’
The hunter replied, ‘My dear saintly person, my name is Mṛgāri, enemy of animals. My father taught me to kill them in that way.

 ‘When I see half-killed animals suffer, I feel great pleasure.’
Nārada Muni then told the hunter, ‘I have one thing to beg of you.’
 ‘I have many skins, if you would like them. I shall give you either a deerskin or a tiger skin.’
Nārada Muni said, ‘I do not want any of the skins. I am asking only one thing from you in charity.
 ‘I beg you that from this day on you will kill animals completely and not leave them half-dead.’


The hunter replied, ‘My dear sir, what are you asking of me? What is wrong with the animals’ lying there half-killed? Will you please explain this to me?’
Nārada Muni replied, ‘If you leave the animals half-dead, you are purposefully giving them pain. Therefore you will have to suffer in retaliation.’
Nārada Muni continued, ‘My dear hunter, your business is killing animals. That is a slight offense on your part. But when you consciously give them unnecessary pain by leaving them half-dead, you incur very great sins.’
Nārada Muni continued, ‘All the animals that you have killed and given unnecessary pain will kill you one after the other in your next life and in life after life.’


In this way, through the association of the great sage Nārada Muni, the hunter was a little convinced of his sinful activity. He therefore became somewhat afraid due to his offenses.
The hunter then admitted that he was convinced of his sinful activity, and he said, ‘I have been taught this business from my very childhood. Now I am wondering how I can become freed from these unlimited volumes of sinful activity.’
The hunter continued, ‘My dear sir, please tell me how I can be relieved from the reactions of my sinful life. Now I fully surrender unto you and fall down at your lotus feet. Please deliver me from sinful reactions.’


Nārada Muni assured the hunter, ‘If you listen to my instructions, I shall find the way you can be liberated.’
The hunter then said, ‘My dear sir, whatever you say I shall do.’
The hunter replied, ‘If I break my bow, how shall I maintain myself?’
Being thus assured by the great sage Nārada Muni, the hunter broke his bow, immediately fell down at the saint’s lotus feet and fully surrendered. After this, Nārada Muni raised him with his hand and gave him instructions for spiritual advancement.
Nārada Muni then advised the hunter, ‘Return home and distribute whatever riches you have to the pure brāhmaṇas who know the Absolute Truth. After you have distributed all your riches to the brāhmaṇas, you and your wife should leave home, each of you taking only one cloth to wear.’
Nārada Muni continued, ‘Leave your home and go to the river. There you should construct a small cottage, and in front of the cottage you should grow a tulasī plant on a raised platform.
 ‘After planting the tulasī tree before your house, you should daily circumambulate that tulasī plant, serve her by giving her water and other things, and continuously chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.’
Nārada Muni continued, ‘Every day I shall send sufficient food to you both. You can take as much food as you want.’


The three animals that were half-killed were then brought to their consciousness by the sage Nārada. Indeed, the animals got up and swiftly fled.
When the hunter saw the half-killed animals flee, he was certainly struck with wonder. He then offered his respectful obeisances to the sage Nārada and returned home.
After all this, Nārada Muni went to his destination. After the hunter returned home, he exactly followed the instructions of his spiritual master, Nārada.

The news that the hunter had become a Vaiṣṇava spread all over the village. Indeed, all the villagers brought alms and presented them to the Vaiṣṇava who had formerly been a hunter.
In one day enough food was brought for ten or twenty people, but the hunter and his wife would accept only as much as they could eat.


One day, while speaking to his friend Parvata Muni, Nārada Muni requested him to go with him to see his disciple the hunter.
As the saintly sages approached the hunter’s place, the hunter could see them from a distance.
With great alacrity the hunter began to run toward his spiritual master, but he could not fall down and offer obeisances because ants were running hither and thither around his feet.


Seeing the ants, the hunter whisked them away with a piece of cloth. After thus clearing the ants from the ground, he fell down flat to offer his obeisances.
Nārada Muni said, ‘My dear hunter, such behavior is not at all astonishing. A man in devotional service is automatically nonviolent. He is the best of gentlemen.
 ‘O hunter, good qualities like nonviolence, which you have developed, are not very astonishing, for those engaged in the Lord’s devotional service are never inclined to give pain to others because of envy.’


The hunter then received the two great sages in the courtyard of his house. He spread out a straw mat for them to sit upon, and with great devotion he begged them to sit down.
He then fetched water and washed the sages’ feet with great devotion. Then both husband and wife drank that water and sprinkled it on their heads.


When the hunter chanted the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra before his spiritual master, his body trembled and tears welled up in his eyes. Filled with ecstatic love, he raised his hands and began to dance, waving his garments up and down.
When Parvata Muni saw the ecstatic loving symptoms of the hunter, he told Nārada, ‘Certainly you are a touchstone.’
Parvata Muni continued, ‘My dear friend Nārada Muni, you are glorified as the sage among the demigods. By your mercy, even a lowborn person like this hunter can immediately become attached to Lord Kṛṣṇa.’


Nārada Muni then asked the hunter, ‘My dear Vaiṣṇava, do you have some income for your maintenance?’
The former hunter said, ‘Please do not send so much grain. Only send what is sufficient for two people, no more.’
Nārada Muni approved his not wanting more than a daily supply of food, and he blessed him, saying, ‘You are fortunate.’ Nārada Muni and Parvata Muni then disappeared from that place.


Thus I have narrated the incident of the hunter. By hearing this narration, one can understand the influence of association with devotees

https://vedabase.io/en/library/cc/madhya/24/

Compared to all the other living entities, the “littleness” is only in the external covering, otherwise, as spirit souls, all of us are the same size. The crusher becomes the crushed, and the crushed becomes the crusher. So, compassion is in our own best self-interest, first and foremost. The only stupidity is to be devoid of compassion.

Your freedom ends where my nose begins. Your freedom ends where the ant’s body begins. Your freedom ends where the snail lies across the road. Take note dear spiritualists, and try your best to tread lightly in this world, and watch out for those brothers and sisters everywhere around us.

This can be taken literally as well as figuratively. You may be a big businessperson, famous artist, some big shot in a religious organization, or just more powerful than others in some way.

If we don’t see those little ones around us or if we don’t feel compassion, then what can we do? We can hang out with those who do feel compassion. We can receive their association. The pure Vaishnavas are most compassionate, they wouldn’t hurt an ant or snail, let alone bigger animals. We can accept their instructions. And this we can be eligible for spiritual advancement. Please let me know how I may assist you? I know a lot of compassionate saints!

Why did Chaitanya Mahaprabhu come as a Secret Incarnation of God?

Hemanga Das, 23rd March 2014

Hare Krishna Devotees,

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

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to spread the love of God to everyone irrespective of cast and religion. My question is why does he has to come as a secret avatar if he wants to give mercy to everyone?

your servant,
Hemanga Das

Srivatsa Das SDA, 28th March 2014

Hare Krishna Prabhuji
Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Gurudeva

The three principal purposes of the appearance of Lord Caithanya were the following:
The first purpose was that Shri Krishna wanted to relish the objectivities of Shrimat Radharani Who is prime reciprocator of transcendental love of Shri Krishna. He wanted to relish the loving mellow in the position of Radharani.
Shri Krishna wanted to enjoy such ecstacy of loving service in the position of Radharani who enjoyed the transcendental beauty of Shri Krishna.
Shri Krishna wanted to know Himself as such why He was so enjoyable by Shrimati Radharani. He thought it wisely that there must be something in Him which was so much enjoyable by Shrimati Radharani and by which Radharani’s achievement of transcendental mellow, was far more greater than Shri Krishna. As Shri Krishna it was impossible for Him to enjoy in the position of Shrimati Radharani because it was completely foreign to Him.
Since the above three were the main objective of Lord Caithanya, The Lord came as a secret Avatar.  The other purposes of the appearance were secondary.

This might be the reason of the Lord to appear secretly.

your servant
Srivatsa Das

Bhakta Sunil, 31st March 2014

Hare Krishna everyone

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

Respected Hemanga Prabhuji I understand that reason for secret incarnation is that if Lord would Himself say that He is Lord then many may not beleive and may therefore not accept the teaching and mercy

Also the reason for secret incarnation can be to teach that one is not His devotee , but the devotee of His devotee is His devotee

Thus it can become easier to give mercy as secret incarnation

humble regards from Bhakta Sunil

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 01st April 2014

Dear Hemanga Prabhu,

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

This is a very nice question, and nicer answers also.

The Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi Lila Chapters 3 (The External Reasons for the Appearance of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu) and 4 (The Confidential Reasons for the Appearance of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu) gives more detail about this.

One reason, after reading those chapters, appears to be that the more advanced a devotee is, the more confidential their service and activities are. Srimati Radharani is The Supremely Advanced Devotee, no one more advanced than Her. So therefore, as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in the mood of Srimati Radharani, He acted in very confidential ways befitting Srimati Radharani’s moods.

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Bhakta Shashank, 01st May 2014

Hare Krishna Devotees,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All Glories to Srila Gurudev and Srimati Gurumata.

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.
All Glories to Devotees.

Krishna wanted to know how Radharani is enjoying more than Himself, so He came as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu as a devotee of Himself.

your servant,
Bhakta shashank.

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 03rd May 2014

Dear Devotees,

I just read this thought for the day which I had before missed… where Srila Gurudeva His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari quotes very concisely and perfectly, from Srila Prabhupada’s purports “Lord Caitanya knew that in Kali-yuga there would be many bogus incarnations pretending to be God, and therefore He avoided asserting Himself as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”

This is from thought for the day dated 14th March 2014, copied below.

quote

Lord Caitanya is the hidden incarnation of Godhead described by the term channah, which means covered, in the Srimad Bhagavatam 7.9.38 as follows:

itthaṁ nṛ-tiryag-ṛṣi-deva-jhaṣāvatārair
lokān vibhāvayasi haṁsi jagat pratīpān
dharmaṁ mahā-puruṣa pāsi yugānuvṛttaṁ
channaḥ kalau yad abhavas tri-yugo ‘tha sa tvam

“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. According to the age, O my Lord, You protect the principles of religion. In the age of Kali, however, You do not assert Yourself as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore You are known as Triyuga, or the Lord who appears in three yugas.”

Srila Prabhupada wonderfully explains the appearance of Lord Caitanya in his purport to this verse as follows:

“As the Lord appeared just to maintain Lord Brahma from the attack of Madhu and Kaitabha, He also appeared to protect the great devotee Prahlada Maharaja. Similarly, Lord Caitanya appeared in order to protect the fallen souls of Kali-yuga. There are four yugas, or millenniums–Satya, Treta, Dvapara and Kali. In all the yugas but Kali-yuga, the Lord appears in various incarnations and asserts Himself as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but although Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who appears in Kali-yuga, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He never asserted Himself as such. On the contrary, whenever Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was addressed as being as good as Krishna, He blocked His ears with His hands, denying His identity with Krishna, because He was playing the part of a devotee. Lord Caitanya knew that in Kali-yuga there would be many bogus incarnations pretending to be God, and therefore He avoided asserting Himself as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is accepted as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, however, in many Vedic literatures, especially in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.5.32):

kṛṣṇa-varṇaṁ tviṣākṛṣṇaṁ
sāṅgopāṅgāstra-pārṣadam
yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair
yajanti hi sumedhasaḥ

In Kali-yuga, intelligent men worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is always accompanied by His associates such as Nityananda, Advaita, Gadadhara and Srivasa. The entire Krishna consciousness movement is based on the principles of the sankirtana movement inaugurated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Therefore one who tries to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead through the medium of the sankirtana movement knows everything perfectly. He is sumedhas, a person with substantial intelligence.”

So if we are intelligent, we will take advantage of the most sublime process of self-realization given in this age by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the congregational chanting of the holy names of God.

unquote

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Nashvin, 04th May 2014

Hare Krsna!

I don’t know whether this a bona fide realization, but I think that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was also a secret incarnation because he wanted to promote the holy name of the Lord as the incarnation for this age:

http://vedabase.com/cc/adi/17/22/en
“kali-kāle nāma-rūpe kṛṣṇa-avatāra”
“In this Age of Kali, the Holy name of the Lord, the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, is the incarnation of Lord Kṛṣṇa.”

your servant,
Nashvin

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

%d bloggers like this: