(dis) United Nations

In 1945 when the United Nations was setup, there were 74 countries. Now there are 194. Since 1945, more than 285 wars have been fought. So clearly the nations are disunited! Did you know why we can never achieve unity through negotiations and resolutions?

In 1919, the League of Nations was established to maintain world peace. It went bust in 1946, after being unable to prevent the second world war.

In 1945, the United Nations was setup, another attempt at maintaining world peace.

Since 1945, the Nations have been anything but “United”… some nations became superpowers, some others teamed up with one or the other, and yet others formed their own little group of have-nots.

And what has the United Nations accomplished?

There were 74 sovereign countries in 1945.

There are now 194 countries in the world, as I write this, in 2022.

And within every country, there are groups of people who want to separate into their own country… think about India, now is Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh.

Think about Yugoslavia, it is now seven different countries… Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, and Kosovo… actually I had a hard time figuring that out, with the almost continuous change there.

And wars? How many wars have been fought since the “war to end all wars” – the second world war?

Since 1945 till 2001, 194, and from 1945 to 2020, there were more than 285! In other words, about 91 in less than 20 years! (source Uppsala Conflict Data Program)

And what about the wars going on today around the world?

Let’s face it, the United Nations is impotent and useless.

At this rate, every village will be a country. Why stop at that, every family, and every individual wants to declare independence!

So, actually, to anyone who has a little spiritual knowledge, that comes as no surprise.

After all, we came here to this material world to declare “independence” from God!

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.

We are all eternal fragmental parts of God. We are simultaneously one and different with Him, described as the philosophy that synthesizes all philosophy. In other words, we are different in identity, but one in quality and are meant to be one in purpose too.

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

Just like your hand is a part of you, but is not you, similarly you are a part of God but not God. And if the hand doesn’t serve you, then it is diseased.

Similarly, us, here in the material world are diseased, and continuously split into smaller and smaller groups, because, let’s face it, if we can’t get along with God, we can’t get along with anyone.

Why is that?

God is so tolerant, forbearing, forgiving, and magnanimous!

र्वधर्मान्परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज ।
अहं त्वां सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा श‍ुच: ॥ ६६ ॥

sarva-dharmān parityajya
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ 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.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/18/66/

In fact, no matter how you approach God, you benefit!

Putana was a witch who specialized in killing little babies. She smeared poison on her breast and disguised herself as a wet nurse… she took baby Krishna on her lap to “feed” him. Krishna, He is God and cannot be killed. He took her milk and her poison, but also sucked out her very life. With that act of what appears to be “killing”, he killed the nastiness of Putana completely. So much so that she attained the service of serving as one of Krishna’s mothers in the spiritual world.

अहो बकी यं स्तनकालकूटं
जिघांसयापाययदप्यसाध्वी ।
लेभे गतिं धात्र्युचितां ततोऽन्यं
कं वा दयालुं शरणं व्रजेम ॥ २३ ॥

aho bakī yaṁ stana-kāla-kūṭaṁ
jighāṁsayāpāyayad apy asādhvī
lebhe gatiṁ dhātry-ucitāṁ tato ’nyaṁ
kaṁ vā dayāluṁ śaraṇaṁ vrajema

Alas, how shall I take shelter of one more merciful than He who granted the position of mother to a she-demon [Pūtanā] although she was unfaithful and she prepared deadly poison to be sucked from her breast?

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/3/2/23/

So, coming back to our original topic… how can nations be united. No amount of negotiation and discussion and deal-making can help us be united.

There is only one thing that can help us be united.

तस्मादेकेन मनसा भगवान् सात्वतां पति: ।
श्रोतव्य: कीर्तितव्यश्च ध्येय: पूज्यश्च नित्यदा ॥ १४ ॥

tasmād ekena manasā
bhagavān sātvatāṁ patiḥ
śrotavyaḥ kīrtitavyaś ca
dhyeyaḥ pūjyaś ca nityadā

Therefore, with one-pointed attention, one should constantly hear about, glorify, remember and worship the Personality of Godhead, who is the protector of the devotees.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/1/2/14/

Let us admit that all these ways of trying to be united without God in the centre have not and will never work, and let us meet on the platform of glorification of God.

Sankirtan = Samyak Kirtan – Complete Glorification of God is the only solution to the problems of the world.

param vijayate sri krishna sankirtanam! Eternally victorious is Sri Krishna Sankirtana!

The weapon guaranteed to backfire

If you had a weapon that was guranteed to backfire each time you use it, would you ever employ it? But we routinely do! What is this weapon that is guaranteed to hurt the owner?

Suppose you had a weapon. And you felt a reason to use it too. But every time you loaded it up, pointed at the target, and fired, the weapon would fire back at you. Your weapon was guaranteed to hit you every time you tried to use it.

Would you use such a weapon? Would you not throw it away?

But most of us diligently maintain and regularly use exactly such a weapon! And we repeatedly get hurt by this weapon of ours, but we continue to use it. Over and over again.

What does that sound like?

It’s called envy. Jealousy is another word that is sometimes used as a synonym. Sometimes, envy is perceived as being greater than jealousy. In any case, both are harmful.

Envy is an emotion which “occurs when a person lacks another’s
superior quality, achievement, or possession and either desires it or
wishes that the other lacked it”. Aristotle defined envy as pain at the
sight of another’s good fortune, stirred by “those who have what we
ought to have.”

Wikipedia

Very often, the target of the envy does not even know about the resentment someone bears towards them.

Envy is a weapon that’s guaranteed to burn the bearer.

Sometimes, like in the case of people eating meat (you die so I can enjoy) or assaulting (your pain is my pleasure) others, or a community or a nation waging war (let’s attack them, even if they haven’t harmed us, just think, it would set them back at least by 30 years), it does also hurt the target, but not without hurting the bearer of envy first.

Envy of other living entities forms the basis of eternal life in the material world. Anyone who is envious is guaranteed to remain here.

Envy is the fundamental characteristic of a conditioned soul trapped in the material world.

Would you like to do a quick test whether you are conditioned or liberated?

Here we go!

To want to enjoy anything for ourselves, to take credit, to claim proprietorship – this means we are conditioned. Even in spiritual life, to compete, to not co-operate, this is envy… we’re secretly hoping someone ahead of us will fall down, so others will see someone is not as good as I am! Condescension, Holier-than-thou, all this is envy!

Envy is a weed

Where does this envy spring up from?

Ultimately, Envy damages our relationships.

  • In an ideal relationship, there is reciprocation
  • In an imbalanced relationship, there is exploitation
  • Where there is envy, one tries to cause damage to the other
  • Envy is exploitation taken to the maximum!
  • No possibility of happiness for the envious.
  • We need to recognize envy, understand its source, and overcome it

This is the root cause of all evil. It is the original sin of being envious of God.

God, or The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, as I know Him, but also called variously as Allah, Jehovah, Rama, Yahweh and countless other names, is the Supreme Enjoyer.

Material consciousness line of thought…

  • I want all the pleasure, the greatest pleasure, all for me
  • Even if others have to die, let them, me first!
  • Who has the greatest pleasure right now?
  • Krishna has the greatest pleasure
  • Therefore, I want Krishna to not be Krishna
  • I want to be Krishna instead
  • Let me kill Krishna and take Krishna’s place

This is material conditioning!

The spiritual world is a place where everyone is trying to increase God’s pleasure. The material world is a place where everyone is trying to be #1, trying to be God.

We see this everywhere, on the streets, in traffic, in the social fabric, in lifestyles, envy rears its ugly head with saddening regularity.

Envy of God translates to Envy of God’s!

  • An envious person tries to kill God
  • By Science, by Politics, or by Religion, the envious person tries to kill God
  • Many tried, Ravana, Hiranyakashipu, Duryodhana, and many others
  • An Atheist is necessarily envious of God, even just the very idea
  • If an envious person gets frustrated by not being able to kill God, then?

Envy everyone else!

Envy, disguised

  • Hunting comes from envy, Fishing from envy
  • Meat Eating comes from envy
  • Economic Exploitation comes envy
  • Abuse (Physical, Emotional, Mental) comes from envy
  • Hedonism (avoid pain, seek pleasure at all costs) comes from envy
  • Insensitivity comes from envy
  • Discord in relationships, family, society, nations, all comes from envy
  • Essentially all problems in human society come from one root cause!
  • Religious Extremism comes from Envy too!
  • ENVY IS THE ROOT CAUSE OF ALL EVIL!

What is interesting to note is that when we envy someone, anyone, no matter whether it is for their possessions, relationships, beauty, fame, knowledge or any other quality… we actually envy God!

Why is that? Because anything that anyone has is by the direct sanction of God! Lord Rishabhadeva offers a most insightful instruction to his sons, meant for the benefit of all of us…

सर्वाणि मद्धिष्ण्यतया भवद्भ‍ि-
श्चराणि भूतानि सुता ध्रुवाणि ।
सम्भावितव्यानि पदे पदे वो
विविक्तद‍ृग्भिस्तदु हार्हणं मे ॥ २६ ॥

sarvāṇi mad-dhiṣṇyatayā bhavadbhiś
carāṇi bhūtāni sutā dhruvāṇi
sambhāvitavyāni pade pade vo
vivikta-dṛgbhis tad u hārhaṇaṁ me

My dear sons, you should not envy any living entity — be he moving or nonmoving. Knowing that I am situated in them, you should offer respect to all of them at every moment. In this way, you offer respect to Me.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/5/5/26/

In other words, if, by offering respect to everyone, we respect God by respecting His creation, then by envying any living entity, we actually envy God!

How to be free from envy?

There are direct and indirect methods of getting free from envy.

Krishna, for example, advises us thus:

But if one happens to meet a great devotee, a mahātmā who is a representative of the Personality of Godhead, one is immediately purified. To become purified, one isB enjoined to worship the fire, the sun, the moon, the earth, the water, the air, the sky and the mind. By worshiping all the elements and their predominating deities, one can gradually become free from the influence of envy, but all the sins of an envious person can be nullified immediately simply by serving a great soul.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/kb/84/

Love is the only antidote to envy!

And what is Love? That is discussed in these articles…

Living based on Envy

Unfortunately, there are actually many “religious” systems and organizations that are actually based on envy…

How can a religious system that produces envy of one’s self
and of others be beneficial for oneself and for them? What is
auspicious about following such a system? What is actually to
be gained? By causing pain to one’s own self due to self-envy
and by causing pain to others, one arouses Your anger and
practices irreligion.


Any religious system but the process of bhāgavata-dharma —
service as an eternal servant of the Supreme Personality of
Godhead — is a system of envy of one’s own self and of
others.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/6/16/42/

What is the use of following such a religious system that does not breed love but envy and hatred?

धर्म: स्वनुष्ठित: पुंसां विष्वक्सेनकथासु य: ।
नोत्पादयेद्यदि रतिं श्रम एव हि केवलम् ॥ ८ ॥

dharmaḥ svanuṣṭhitaḥ puṁsāṁ
viṣvaksena-kathāsu yaḥ
notpādayed yadi ratiṁ
śrama eva hi kevalam

The occupational activities a man performs according to his own position are only so much useless labor if they do not provoke attraction for the message of the Personality of Godhead.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/1/2/8/

Here is one way…

O King Parīkṣit, anyone who
aurally receives the narrations
concerning the characteristics of
Lord Rāmacandra’s pastimes will
ultimately be freed from the
disease of envy and thus be
liberated from the bondage of
fruitive activities.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/9/11/23

Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada writes…

Here in this material world, everyone is envious of someone else. Even in religious life, it is sometimes found that if one devotee has advanced in spiritual activities, other devotees are envious of him. Such envious devotees are not completely freed from the bondage of birth and death. As long as one is not
completely free from the cause of birth and death, one cannot enter the sanātana-dhāma or the eternal pastimes of the Lord. One becomes envious because of being influenced by the designations of the body, but the liberated devotee has nothing to do with the body, and therefore he is completely on the transcendental platform. A devotee is never envious of anyone, even his enemy. Because the devotee knows that the Lord is his supreme protector, he thinks, “What harm can the so-called enemy do?” Thus a devotee is confident about his protection. The Lord says, ye yathā māṁ prapadyante tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham: “According to the proportion of one’s surrender unto Me, I respond accordingly.” A devotee must therefore be completely free from envy, especially of other devotees. To envy other devotees is a great offense, a vaiṣṇava-aparādha. A devotee who constantly engages in hearing and chanting (śravaṇa-kīrtana) is certainly freed from the disease of envy, and thus he becomes eligible to go back home, back to Godhead.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/9/11/23/

What is the ultimate solution?

A devotee who constantly engages in hearing and chanting (śravaṇa-kīrtana) is certainly freed from the disease of envy, and thus he becomes eligible to go back home, back to Godhead.

In conclusion… Recognize Krishna, and Krishna’s…

  • Krishna is the Supreme Enjoyer
  • Anything anyone else has is also given by Krishna
  • Krishna is our best friend
  • If Krishna doesn’t give something, good reasons…
  • I should do everything to please Krishna
  • When you’re looking in the mirror, when you decorate yourself, the reflection
  • in the mirror also gets decorated
  • Turn to Krishna, serve Krishna, Please Krishna.
  • Love me, love my dog
  • Who is not Krishna’s?

Recognize envy, and root it out!

  • The roots of a weed can be deep, and not pulling out the roots
  • can result in the weed growing back
  • The root of all evil is envy towards Krishna
  • Recognize sense gratification as a mirage
  • Recognize that the way to nourish the plant is to water the root
  • Krishna is our root

स वै पुंसां परो धर्मो यतो भक्तिरधोक्षजे ।
अहैतुक्यप्रतिहता ययात्मा सुप्रसीदति ॥ ६ ॥

sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
ahaituky apratihatā
yayātmā suprasīdati

The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/1/2/6/

Praying for our success! Hare Krishna!

Did Arjuna always know that Krishna is actually the Supreme Personality of Godhead?

Arjuna addressed Krishna as Madhusudana in BG 1.35, before Krishan revealed Himself as The Supreme Personality of Godhead. So how did Arjuna know that Krishna was Hayagriva before?

Brajanath Das, 01 March 2016

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees!

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

While reading Bhagavad-Gita 1.34 where in Arjuna calls Krishna as Madhusudana, “the killer of the Madhu demon,” I got the following doubt –

Madhu was killed by the avatar of Hayagriva, who came before the Krishna avatar. Since Arjuna did not know that Krishna was the Supreme Personality of Godhead at that time, so how did he know that Madhusudana was Krishna? Did Arjuna know that Hayagriva and Krishna are the same? If so, how?

your servant,

Brajanath Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 02 March 2016

Dear Sriman Rao,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Arjuna knows Krishna’s identity very well, his apparent “illusion” was a device by Krishna to make Arjuna the recipient of knowledge intended for us.

In the Mahabharata, for example, in the assembly of Kurus where great sages like Narada Muni were present, during the Rajasuya Yajna performed by Maharaja Yudhisthira, Krishna was unanimously (except for Shishupala who was then delivered by Krishna) chosen as the head of the assembly in the presence of so many exalted personalities.

See https://vedabase.io/en/library/kb/74/

It is best if we all read the entire chapter, as the Krishna Book of Srila Prabhupada is the 10th Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam.

There are many other indications, for example Arjuna’s choice of Krishna over Krishna’s army which went to Duryodhana… from Srila Prabhupada’s lecture “Arjuna was satisfied with Kṛṣṇa. That’s all. Kṛṣṇa also divided Himself. Because it is family quarrel. So He said, “I cannot take part with anyone and even if I take part, side, of any of you, I shall not fight. Directly I shall not fight. I may be on your side or that side, but I’ll not fight.” Still, Arjuna was satisfied. So Kṛṣṇa, in order to satisfy Arjuna, that “I shall not fight, but I shall become your charioteer. I shall drive your chariot.”” Source http://vanisource.org/wiki/Lecture_on_BG_1.2-3_–_London,_July_9,_1973

Actually it was an openly known fact that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but still, many people did not choose to accept Him as such.

“So here, Dhṛtarāṣṭra, he is jealous. He cannot give any good government. Kṛṣṇa knew it. Kṛṣṇa sent a messenger, Akrura. You have read in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Before this Battle of Kurukṣetra from Dvārakā, He sent His uncle Akrūra: “Just go to Hastināpura, New Delhi, and see what is the situation.” So Akrūra understood that Dhṛtarāṣṭra was planning something. So he talked with him that “Why you are implicated in such planning? Kṛṣṇa does not want it.” Although Dhṛtarāṣṭra knew that Kṛṣṇa was the Supreme Personality of Godhead… So Dhṛtarāṣṭra said that “I know that what I am planning, that is not good. I know Kṛṣṇa—the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And He has requested me. But I tell you frankly, I cannot do without it. So when Kṛṣṇa will be pleased upon me, I may be.”

So this is the position of the materialistic person. A materialistic person knows that he is sinful. A materialistic person knows that whatever he is doing is wrong, but he cannot check. Just like the thief. A thief knows that if he commits stealing, he will be arrested, he will be punished. He knows. Because he heard from law books, from other sources, and he has also seen that a thief is arrested and he is taken by the police for being punished. So we have got two kinds of experiences: by hearing and by seeing directly. In Bengali it is called dekhā-śunā. In India it is called. The two kinds of experience: one by seeing, practically experiencing, hand to hand; another by hearing. So one who is intelligent, he gets his experience simply by hearing from the right source.” Source http://vanisource.org/wiki/730707_-_Lecture_BG_01.01_-_London

By corollary, the devotee can recognize Krishna as He is always.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

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

Did Arjuna disobey Krishna’s orders in regards to Ashwatthama?

Ashwatthama murdered little children in their sleep. Krishna ordered him killed. But Arjuna spared his life. So did Arjuna disobey Krishna?

Todd, 23 August 2016

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my greetings.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Can you help understand more clearly how it is that Krishna’s word is not followed by Arjuna in regards to Asvatthama’s death?

In 1.7.53-54 Krishna says he must die, correct? Is it that the Lord meant figuratively the whole time? 

Then 1.7.57 is also confusing to me.

Please help me to understand more clearly.

Thank you in advance

Sincerely,

Todd

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 26 August 2016

Dear Sriman Todd,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you for your question.

Some context is in order, for those who may not be familiar with the full picture.

Ashwatthama is the son of Dronacharya, the military teacher of both the Pandavas and the Kauravas, the two sides of the mighty war of Kurukshetra 5000 years ago, where Srila Prabhupada says 640 million warriors fought and we know hardly anyone went back home.

Dronacharya and his son Ashvatthama fought on the Kauravas side. The Kauravas lost and were killed. Dronacharya was killed also. Ashvatthama survived. He did not like the way his father was killed in battle and as revenge, vowed to wipe out the Pandavas dynasty, and hence he killed the 5 sons of the Pandavas who were all children at the time, and this was done while they were sleeping also.

Now, the conundrum was that Ashvatthama was the son of a Brahmana (priestly and intellectual class of society), or the son of their teacher, and therefore meant to be revered. But he had done this abominable thing of killing defenseless children in their sleep.

In the Srimad Bhagavatam, First Canto (which our Bhagavata Online Academy of 2011 will start reading shortly, but it took 5 years of preparation to get there… all classes of Bhagavata Online Academy will get there, and more details to follow from Hemanga Prabhu…), this incident is described in some detail in the chapter “The son of Drona punished”, which readers can access at https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/1/7/

The verses in question are:

SB 1.7.53-54 — The Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa said: A friend of a brāhmaṇa is not to be killed, but if he is an aggressor he must be killed. All these rulings are in the scriptures, and you should act accordingly. You have to fulfill your promise to your wife, and you must also act to the satisfaction of Bhīmasena and Me.

SB 1.7.55 — Sūta Gosvāmī said: Just then Arjuna could understand the motive of the Lord by His equivocal orders, and thus with his sword he severed both hair and jewel from the head of Aśvatthāmā.

SB 1.7.56 — He [Aśvatthāmā] had already lost his bodily luster due to infanticide, and now, moreover, having lost the jewel from his head, he lost even more strength. Thus he was unbound and driven out of the camp.

SB 1.7.57 — Cutting the hair from his head, depriving him of his wealth and driving him from his residence are the prescribed punishments for the relative of a brāhmaṇa. There is no injunction for killing the body.

Arjuna, being a pure devotee, never fails to follow Krishna’s word, but not in a mood of slavery, but in the mood of clear understanding and harmony with Krishna.

Krishna often uses situations involving his dearest devotees, such as Narada Muni, the Gopis, and Arjuna, to illustrate important points and create situations that may be bewildering to some but the way that those devotees behave sets exemplary precedent for others to follow.

This can be roughly compared to modern courts, which rely on precedence – judges presiding over court cases even today base their judgements from precedents set by other landmark cases elsewhere… in fact, it can be roughly generalized that the practice of law is to know the law, know case law precedence, and apply logical and ethical arguments judiciously using that knowledge. Great lawyers and great judges are those that set precedent in difficult situations.

Similarly great devotees are those who set precedence, for example, Srila Prabhupada’s application of scriptural knowledge is exemplary in the history of the world.

So here was the conundrum:

1. A Kshatriya (or anyone else, for that matter) shall not kill a Brahmana, no matter what, unless of course, a Brahmana is trying to kill a Kshatriya, which Ashvatthama did do, he killed the pandavas’ minor children while they were sleeping

2. Krishna is “go brahmana hitaya cha” – protector of cows and the Brahmanas

3. But Krishna is ordering Arjuna (a Kshatriya) to kill Ashvatthama (a Brahmana), is Krishna, as Supreme Personality of Godhead, inconsistent with His own principles?

4. Bhima, Arjuna’s elder brother is going with a particular understanding of scriptural law, and as he is elder, Arjuna is duty-bound to follow his instruction

4. Draupadi is pleading with Arjuna not to kill Ashvatthama out of compassion for his mother and respect for the individual, even though her own children were the ones Ashvatthama killed, and Arjuna is also duty-bound to fulfill his wife’s lawful and reasonable wish.

5. Arjuna is the devotee who must apply scripture, Krishna’s words, and also carry out his elder brother’s instruction and wife’s desire

In the Bhagavad Gita it is clearly stated that for an honorable person, dishonour is worse than death – BG 2.34 “People will always speak of your infamy, and for a respectable person, dishonor is worse than death.”

So Arjuna fulfilled all requirements by taking away Ashvatthama’s respectable signs, his hair, and the jewel attached to his head from birth.

1. Ashvatthama, being an illustrious warrior, and a member of the Brahmana class, was certainly respectable (until he committed this crime).

2. To be humiliated in this way is worse than death, and yet, he was not killed

So, Ashvatthama was killed and not killed, in fact he lives to this day trying to heal/fill the raw wound open gaping hole in his head caused by the forced removal of the jewel by Arjuna, but no one wants to associate with him and thus he is in a very abominable situation – neither living nor dead.

All of this is confirmed by the verse and Srila Prabhupada’s purport to SB 1.7.55

quote

Sūta Gosvāmī said: Just then Arjuna could understand the motive of the Lord by His equivocal orders, and thus with his sword he severed both hair and jewel from the head of Aśvatthāmā.

Purport: Contradictory orders of different persons are impossible to carry out. Therefore a compromise was selected by Arjuna by his sharp intelligence, and he separated the jewel from the head of Aśvatthāmā. This was as good as cutting off his head, and yet his life was saved for all practical purposes. Here Aśvatthāmā is indicated as twice-born. Certainly he was twice-born, but he fell down from his position, and therefore he was properly punished.

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in SB 1.7.55

We are often in a situation where instructions given by different respectable individuals can be apparently contradictory, and we follow the example of expert devotees who follow perfectly while resolving apparent contradictions through their behaviors.

Does this help?

Devotees, please feel free to add your understanding and perspectives to this question as it is a wonderful example of trying to understand Srila Prabhupada’s books extensively and very much an example of how Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva want us to study Srila Prabhupada’s books.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

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

No reason for hopelessness, despair, and negativity

Sometimes there is hopelessness, despair, negativity in our life. Sometimes we don’t understand what’s going on and why. But spiritual life is a scientific process. A scientific process produces a repeatable results each time. So, always remember Krishna (GOD) and never forget Krishna (GOD). But how practically?

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 27 August 2020

Hare Krishna!

Some of us have received messages to the group or to individuals which convey a sense of hopelessness, despair, and negativity. This may be natural at a time like this, but please know that there is no reason for all that.

Simply striving to understand the process of Krishna consciousness, follow it as best as one can, and find ways to render spiritual service to everyone around us will both gradually and immediately remove all causes of negativity in our lives.

1. You all are already part of the eCourse. Please read the daily message carefully and try to imbibe it deep inside your consciousness – those messages are truly effective. I have been receiving them since 2004, so I have 17+ years experience now. Even though we might not remember the details of each message, it is like a meal packed with nutrients and love and pure spiritual power – even if you don’t remember specifically what you had 10 days ago, it has still made you stronger.

2. You all have access to the daily live lectures, broadcast twice a day. I can rarely attend the lectures, but when I do manage to, I feel very enlivened and energized. Just this morning, an answer to my question by Gurumataji pulled me out of some grave misunderstandings!

3. We have a dedicated team of souls helping to imbibe Srila Prabhupada’s books in an organized fashion… Bhagavata Online Academy – if you are not already on one of those groups, then let me know – we will be soon creating a new group… if you are, then please read those messages, even if you cannot read the actual book, just that message alone is packed with positive energy!

4. Please chant Hare Krishna as much as you can, take Krishna Prasada as much as you can, and serve Krishna and His dear ones as much as you can.

The process of Krishna consciousness works. I have sincerely (and mostly imperfectly) tried it for over 20 years. The only time something goes awry is when I slip on following the process diligently.

If there are any relevant questions, please ask the group – please follow the group guidelines carefully – only messages that follow the guidelines are posted to the group.

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Maxine, 27 August 2020

Hare Krishna thank you I will be doing so as you said I should do I ask you to please add me to the group you have coming up I tried to sign up for a group but I received no email from the action I am thankful  for your words and I look forward to do as you say and want to be in a group I want to learn all of Lord Krishnas words and follow and serve him thank you again the material body  I am in is I’ll at the moment but my soul and mind are fine and I am listening to all you teach and all I can read I will follow your words I know we can save all and make this world for Krishna your humble servant maxine

Maxine

Araon Joy, 27 August 2020

And, if I may add what I tell people and keeps me not being hopeless:

God, Lord Krishna, never abandons us and never forgets us (nor do I believe God is sitting back laughing at us as we fail/pass his tests, as I had one Christian tell me earlier this year). We just don’t see the big picture. We don’t see God’s divine plan for our lives or the world. We do not see always how God is constantly working in the world. If I have a moment of fear, as I do not know what is next, I remind myself that somebody else knows what is next and has my best interests at heart (or a really good lesson or something I need in my life) and I trust Krishna completely. Completely.

While I keep doing what I feel moved to, and what dreams I have I continue to pursue, and what art/creativity I want to create I continue to create.

Srila Prabhupada said to Bob Cohen (in the booklet “Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers”) in a series of conversations that miracles are simply things we do not understand. Someone might think a chemical reaction is a miracle, but for a scientist who knows the process it makes sense. We do not understand God’s process in the world. It may seem like miracles or a lack of miracles, but we simply don’t understand the process that has been put in play by the greatest scientist. I trust that scientist. Have faith. Read Gita and Prahbupada’s books. Associate with those of us who are like minded. Remember Krishna daily.

Just my few thoughts.

Hare Krishna

Aaron Joy

Portland Maine USA

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

Ascending vs. Descending Process of knowledge

What is knowledge? What is ignorance? How do we acquire knowledge? Which method actually works? Finding out things the ascending way, or hearing from an authority? How to acquire perfect knowledge beyond all doubt?

Knowledge is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?

Are these people getting anywhere? Are they “progressing”?

With knowledge, comes power. Power to do good, and also power to do evil. Knowledge can be a liberator, but also can be a tool for enforcing bondage.

Also, what qualifies as knowledge anyway? If, for example, a person acquired some knowledge on “how to rob a bank” and applies that knowledge, landing in prison, or even if they escape somehow, was that really knowledge? Or was it ignorance?

There are 2 main types of knowledge:

  1. Knowledge of the material world -material knowledge
  2. Knowledge of what lies beyond this material world through the scriptures – spiritual knowledge – In Sanskrit “परोक्ष” or “parokṣa”

There are many means of acquiring knowledge:

  1. By Direct experience or perception – In sanskrit “प्रत्यक्ष” or “pratyakṣa”
  2. By hypothesis/logic/conjecture/guessing – In sanskrit “अनुमान” or “anumāna”
  3. By hearing from a higher authority – In Sanskrit “शब्द” or “śabda”

Ultimately, there are 2 fundamental processes of acquiring knowledge:

  1. Ascending Process – build up knowledge from building blocks – In Sanskrit “आरोहपन्था” or “ārohapanthā
  2. Descending Process – Knowledge descending directly from God and His messengers – In Sanskrit “अवरोहपन्था” or “avarohapanthā

In an article, with an example of an ant who wanted to map the Universe, I discussed the futility of the ascending process of knowledge, especially about items that are outside of our realm of perception.

Much of what we know exists, is actually too subtle to perceive.

These are the material elements, listed in the Bhagavad Gita:

Gross Material Elements:

  1. Earth
  2. Water
  3. Fire
  4. Air
  5. Ether (Space/Sky)

Subtle Material Elements:

  1. Mind
  2. Intelligence
  3. False Ego

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

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

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

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/7/4/

The Material-Spiritual Disconnect

Earth is the most gross of the material elements, more subtle is water, even more subtle is air, and ether is quite subtle, you can’t touch or feel space, but we can still perceive it. Now, when we get to the mind, that is even more subtle. Intelligence is still more subtle, and the most subtle material element is false ego, our sense of identity.

However, none of the material elements can directly approach that which is non-material, namely the spiritual is outside of the realm of material elements, even subtle.

If we see our material means of acquiring knowledge, the mind, intelligence, and our sense of identity are all material in nature, and therefore, the ascending process of acquiring knowledge cannot possibly extend to the spiritual realm.

There is another main reason why the ascending process of knowledge is flawed… all of us who are “conditioned” to accept a material identity, have 4 defects:

  1. Tendency to be illusioned (In Sanskrit “भ्रम”or “bhrama”) – we often misunderstand facts and are illusioned about things as they are
  2. Tendency to make mistakes (In Sanskrit “प्रमाद” or “pramāda”) – there is no conditioned souls who can say they never make mistakes
  3. Tendency to cheat others (In Sanskrit “विप्रलिप्सा”or “vipralipsā”) – this is a great weakness, to want to appear better than we are, or know something we don’t, etc.
  4.  We possess imperfect senses (In Sanskrit “करण पाटव” or “karaṇa-pāṭava”) – all our senses are quite imperfect, and we miss a lot from our senses

So, with these 4 defects, it is impossible to acquire perfect knowledge using only our senses. Why is that? It is because with an imperfect instrument, you cannot make something that is perfect. No matter how hard we try, our imperfections stand in the way.

The common example is if we’re doing some mathematical calculation or solving an equation… a tiny mistake somewhere along the way can get us a wrong answer.

Let’s say, for example, someone didn’t know who their father was… they can do some detective work, or a DNA test of every man in the world, or they can take the answer from their mother. The mother’s answer is authoritative and a lot easier too.

Reconnecting Material to the Spiritual

The only way to acquire perfect knowledge, then, is through the descending process, “avarohapantha”. In this process, the Supreme Absolute Perfect (generically called God, specifically named Krishna, Allah, Rama, Govinda, Buddha, Jehovah, Yahweh, etc.) conveys the perfect knowledge, and whoever hears this knowledge passes it on without addition or subtraction.

Perfect Knowledge means something that never changes. Compare this to our ascending process of knowledge. Researchers make a career out of making mistakes! First they publish one paper hypothesizing (and sometimes also offering “proof”) one particular thing… the laypeople accept that as the truth, and then a little while later, that or another researcher publishes another paper contradicting the original hypothesis or proof. In this way, the so-called philosophers and scientists bumble about, going from imperfection to imperfection. This is not called knowledge, this is called nescience, or ignorance.

Why is that? Because material knowledge gives the impression of advancement, whereas it actually traps us in bigger and bigger problems, requiring more and ever more complexity. A material “solution” is only another problem in disguise… it is simply creating one problem in place of another. Therefore, material knowledge is not called knowledge, but ignorance. And those who pursue material knowledge excessively are said to be ignorant.

So therefore, spiritual knowledge is worth pursuing, and such knowledge cannot be “discovered/created/invented” by anyone else other than the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

धर्मं तु साक्षाद्भ‍गवत्प्रणीतं
न वै विदुऋर्षयो नापि देवा: ।
न सिद्धमुख्या असुरा मनुष्या:
कुतो नु विद्याधरचारणादय: ॥ १९ ॥

dharmaṁ tu sākṣād bhagavat-praṇītaṁ
na vai vidur ṛṣayo nāpi devāḥ
na siddha-mukhyā asurā manuṣyāḥ
kuto nu vidyādhara-cāraṇādayaḥ

Real religious principles are enacted by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Although fully situated in the mode of goodness, even the great ṛṣis who occupy the topmost planets cannot ascertain the real religious principles, nor can the demigods or the leaders of Siddhaloka, to say nothing of the asuras, ordinary human beings, Vidyādharas and Cāraṇas.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/6/3/19/

But, one may ask, it’s not like the Supreme Personality of Godhead is directly perceivable to a materially conditioned soul. So what is to be done?

Fortunately, there is a clear way…

स्वयम्भूर्नारद: शम्भु: कुमार: कपिलो मनु: ।
प्रह्लादो जनको भीष्मो बलिर्वैयासकिर्वयम् ॥ २० ॥
द्वादशैते विजानीमो धर्मं भागवतं भटा: ।
गुह्यं विशुद्धं दुर्बोधं यं ज्ञात्वामृतमश्नुते ॥ २१ ॥

svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ
kumāraḥ kapilo manuḥ
prahlādo janako bhīṣmo
balir vaiyāsakir vayam

dvādaśaite vijānīmo
dharmaṁ bhāgavataṁ bhaṭāḥ
guhyaṁ viśuddhaṁ durbodhaṁ
yaṁ jñātvāmṛtam aśnute

Lord Brahmā, Bhagavān Nārada, Lord Śiva, the four Kumāras, Lord Kapila [the son of Devahūti], Svāyambhuva Manu, Prahlāda Mahārāja, Janaka Mahārāja, Grandfather Bhīṣma, Bali Mahārāja, Śukadeva Gosvāmī and I myself know the real religious principle. My dear servants, this transcendental religious principle, which is known as bhāgavata-dharma, or surrender unto the Supreme Lord and love for Him, is uncontaminated by the material modes of nature. It is very confidential and difficult for ordinary human beings to understand, but if by chance one fortunately understands it, he is immediately liberated, and thus he returns home, back to Godhead.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/6/3/20-21/

Now, at least some of those personalities have established disciplic successions on this planet.

There are 4 main authorized disciplic successions to receive perfect knowledge in discipic successions. A disciplic succession is known as “Sampradaya” or “That which gives completely”.

A mango, intact, passed down

A useful example is that if a ripe mango is high in a tree, then if the mango is handed from person to person from those who are at various heights pass the mango down from hand to hand, vs. trying to throw the mango down to the ground…

A Sampradaya delivers spiritual knowledge perfectly, without addition or subtraction
  1. Brahma Sampradaya and its branches, especially expounded by the great teacher Madhva, Lord Chaitanya, and their followers.
  2. Rudra Sampradaya and its branches, especially expounded by the great teacher Vishnu Swami and his followers.
  3. Sri Sampradaya and its branches, begun by Lakshmi devi, the Goddess of Fortune, consort of Lord Narayana, and especially expounded by the great teacher Sri Ramanuja and his followers.
  4. Kumara Sampradaya and its branches, especially expounded by the great teacher Sri Nimbarka and his followers.

What about the rest?

To the extent the teachings of others are in line with one of these descending lines of discipic succession, they are valid, and anything outside of these is at best a stepping stone to one of these 4 lines of disciplic succession. In the worst case, it is a materialistic business masquerading as a genuine spiritual tradition.

Those who claim to be part of a certain tradition but add or subtract from the fundamental principles or twist the teachings are called “apasampradayas” or “anti disciplic successions”.

His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari

By the mercy of my parents and then my spiritual master His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari who is a disciple of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada The Founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, even though personally unworthy, I am connected to one of these lines of disciplic succession, called the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya, and seeking to pass on those pure instructions to whoever may want to follow, without adding or subtracting any principle, only, if need be, adjusting details to suit the individual and times.

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)

And what is a principle and what is a detail? That, Srila Prabhupada said, requires some intelligence. I pray for this intelligence, which in my case, I simply ask my spiritual master with a clear description of context.

Ultimately however, knowledge coming from the scriptures and the spiritual master in disciplic succession must be realized in the heart through a process of personal effort (sadhana) and purification. Then the paroksha jnana or scriptural knowledge through scripture, becomes “aparoksha” or that which is beyond the reach of the material senses. In order to experience such knowledge in action, one’s senses must be spiritually awakened, or re-spiritualized.

Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead

Pure devotional service to Krishna is the Ultimate goal of all knowledge, and anything besides this is a waste of time.

Questions? I remain your servant on your spiritual journey! Hare Krishna!

How George Harrison found complete satisfaction

Why can we not find satisfaction? A poor person, middle class person, and rich person all are dissatisfied. Even the richest person sometimes wants a carefree life of the poor… how to get satisfaction in life?

Nisarga, 30 June 2020

When a poor man sees a middle class person he wishes that if I atleast have a life like him I will be satisfied. Similarly that middle Class person will find his happiness in a rich person’s life and the rich person also won’t be that satisfied or happy in his life…he will sometimes wish that he had a life to live like that poor man without any worries .why does this happen and how do we break this loop and find satisfaction and happiness within oneself.

Nisarga

Mahabhagavat Das, 08 September 2020

Dear Nisarga,

Hare Krishna!

A spirit soul is purely spiritual. But when the spirit soul identifies with matter, then the soul seeks satisfaction in material sense gratification. But because the soul is spiritual, everything material does not satisfy.

Actually, the spirit soul is in search of Krishna, as said perfectly by George Harrison…

quote

Everybody is looking for KRISHNA. Some don’t realize that they are, but they are.

KRISHNA is GOD, the Source of all that exists, the Cause of all that is, was, or ever will be. As GOD is unlimited HE has many Names. Allah-Buddha-Jehova-Rama: All are KRISHNA, all are ONE.

God is not abstract; He has both the impersonal and the personal aspects to His personality which is SUPREME, ETERNAL, BLISSFUL, and full of KNOWLEDGE. As a single drop of water has the same qualities as an ocean of water, so has our consciousness the qualities of GOD’S consciousness… but through our identification and attachment with material energy (physical body, sense pleasures, material possessions, ego, etc.) our true TRANSCENDENTAL CONSCIOUSNESS has been polluted, and like a dirty mirror it is unable to reflect a pure image. With many lives our association with the TEMPORARY has grown. This impermanent body, a bag of bones and flesh, is mistaken for our true self, and we have accepted this temporary condition to be final.

Through all ages, great SAINTS have remained as living proof that this non-temporary, permanent state of GOD CONSCIOUSNESS can be revived in all living Souls. Each soul is potentially divine. Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita: “Steady in the Self, being freed from all material contamination, the yogi achieves the highest perfectional stage of happiness in touch with the Supreme Consciousness.” (VI,28)

YOGA (a scientific method for GOD (SELF) realization) is the process by which we purify our consciousness, stop further pollution, and arrive at the state of Perfection, full KNOWLEDGE, full BLISS.

If there’s a God, I want to see Him. It’s pointless to believe in something without proof, and Krishna Consciousness and meditation are methods where you can actually obtain GOD perception. You can actually see God, and Hear Him, play with Him. It might sound crazy, but He is actually there, actually with you.

There are many yogic Paths–Raja, Jnana, Hatha, Kriya, Karma, Bhakti–which are all acclaimed by the MASTERS of each method. SWAMI BHAKTIVEDANTA is as his title says, a BHAKTI Yogi following the path of DEVOTION. By serving GOD through each thought, word, and DEED, and by chanting HIS Holy Names, the devotee quickly develops God-consciousness. By chanting:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna – Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare

Hare Rama, Hare Rama – Rama Rama, Hare Hare

one inevitably arrives at KRISHNA Consciousness. (The proof of the pudding is in the eating!)

I request that you take advantage of this book KRISHNA, and enter into its understanding. I also request that you make an appointment to meet your God now, through the self liberating process of YOGA (UNION) and GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE (KRISHNA) HARI BOL.

GEORGE HARRISON 31/3/70

unquote

The only satisfaction is in pure Krishna Consciousness.

Does this help?

Sincerely,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Nikhil Mishra, 08 September 2020

Jai..Hari Bol. Thanks for quoting George Harrison.

I guess Swami Prabhupada must be very pleased with the services of

George Harrison. I have heard that in his last days, Prabhupada asked

caretaking devotees to give his ring to Mr. (Bhakta) George Harrison.

Sincerely

Nikhil

Reason and Love : “Reason helps Love to maintain its proper bounds in the Spiritual world. Love often tends to degrade itself by exercising its function on objects other than God and converts itself into lust for women, wine, meat and gold. Here Reason advises her to rise higher till she reaches her proper sphere above.”

– Bhaktivinoda Thakura

Mahabhagavat Das, 09 September 2020

Yes, George Harrison is a great Vaishnava. He has done tremendous services in the Krishna Consciousness movement when it was needed the most. He chanted Hare Krishna right till the end of his body. Srila Prabhupada surely has arranged for his onward journey. Now it is time for us to strive hard, get out of complacency and be truly Krishna conscious, and give this one life to Krishna. What are we waiting for? 

Mahabhagavat Das, dasadas.com

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

Why do I fail in my studies even though I work so hard?

Some students work so hard, but they don’t achieve success? Why is it that hard work alone is not an indicator of success?

Amulya Gowda, 02 August 2020

Hare Krishna! As i need to know that why i am getting failures in my studies as i do much hard work

Amulya Gowda

Bhaktarupa Das, 02 August 2020

Dear Amulya,

Hare Krishna!

A similar question has been answered by Srila Gurudeva in the Thought for the day published 21st May2020,

Hope this answers your question.

Hare Krishna!

yours sincerely,

Bhaktarupa Das

https://ultimate-self-realization.blogspot.com/2020/05/tasting-unlimited-bliss-in-total.html

Answers According to the Vedic Wisdom

Question: Slow in Study Problem

Hare Krishna, Prabhu,

You are a possessor of divine knowledge, so you can provide the most correct solution to every problem.

Things like concentration and intention to study can be developed in any person. But what will you say to a student who processes things slowly,

that is, who is slow in study even after having full concentration and intention?

Your servant ,

A medical student

Answer: Offer Yourself Fully to Krishna

From: ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

My Dear Medical Student,

Please accept my blessings.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

If you will offer yourself fully to Krishna as His eternal servant under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master, you will become expert in everything that you do.

I hope this meets you in the best of health and in an ecstatic mood.

Your ever well-wisher,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari  

Akanksha Vishwakarma, 03 August 2020

Amulya Gowda, Shri Krishna also faced so many problems to defeat Jarasandha, a King of Magadha and he is also a father in law of kansa. Shri Krishna tried 16 times to defeat Jarasandha but again and again he got failure but 17th time he defeated Jarasandha.

So, with the help of this event which happens in Krishna’s life I want to say that you don’t feel so depressed about your failures. There are so many challenges in life. Please face that challenge and accept it, make everyday New plans and work on it. One day will come when you achieve your aim like Krishna. When the right time comes everything will be O. K. and leave each and everything on Shri Krishna. 

Ab Saup diya is jeevan ka sab bhaar tumhare charno mein. 

Hai Jeet Tumhare Charno mein, Hai Haar Tumhare Charno mein. 

Akanksha Vishwakarma

Subodh, 03 August 2020

Hare Krishna, 

When you try to catch rajdhani express then you are supposed to wait for while, but waiting at station is not a easy task, for that Srila Prabhupada has given us chanting of the mahamantra during that course of times, in between plenty of passenger train is passing towards your destination, but don’t catch it, it takes longer time, please wait for your rajdhani, one more things in any route there are the few rajdhani but plenty of locals are there, like that Krishna is preparing the rajdhani express but we supposed to wait and chant for him, passing of passenger train is looking like failure of life, but ignore it through holy name of lord, certainly our time of train will come, 

Hare Krishna

Subodh

Bhaktarupa Das, 04 August 2020

Dear Akanksha,

Hare Krishna!

Regarding the fight between Jarasandha and Krishna, it is described in scriptures that Jarasandha attacked Mathura 17 times, but did not succeed, when he attempted 18th time, Krishna performed His pastime of running away from the battle field, just to deliver His devotee Mucukunda. All these are very nicely described in Krishna book (chapters 50 to 52) and Srimad Bhagavatam.  

https://vedabase.io/en/library/kb/50/

Krishna is also worshipped as Ranacora for this wonderful act. 

Krishna is the strength of the strong, intelligence of the intelligent, prowess of all powerful men. ( refer B.G. 7.10 and 7.11)

One who can understand Krishna’s transcendental nature of Krishna’s appearance and activities in truth, does not take birth again and returns back to Krishna (refer B.G. 4.9)

Krishna says with a single fragmental portion He pervades and supports the entire universe (refer B.G. 10.42)

Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we are all at part and parcels of Krishna, meant to serve Him, but not imitate His actions. It is because we wanted to imitate His actions, we have landed up in this material world suffering to do so, like the fish is trying to be happy on the land instead of being happy in water.

Hare Krishna!

yours sincerely,

Bhaktarupa Das

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

Slaughtered in moments on the 401

Death can come at any moment. We experience death regularly, whether of a fish that just got caught, or a person who died in a car accident, or someone who had a heart attack. Animals, birds, fish and insects can’t do anything about their death. But as humans, how can we prepare for death? How can we transcend it altogether?

My current office is near the waterfront. Some days when I can take a walk along the waterfront, especially in summer, I see these birds diving into the water. They look like Cormorants, but I’m not a bird expert.

The birds dive into the water and surface after a little while. Sometimes, they have a writhing fish in their beaks, which they then promptly swallow.

Cormorant with a fish in it’s beak

The fish was probably happily swimming around enjoying its fish life, until, out of the blue comes death. Of course, the fish can’t really do much about this, when death comes, death comes.

One summer day a couple of years ago, early into the pandemic, we were driving west on what is one of the busiest highways in the world, the Ontario 401. Suddenly, my map instructed me to take the next exit and took me a detour, which I followed… as we re-entered the highway at another point, I saw some vehicles on the empty stretch of highway behind me, they were stopped, and covered with tarpaulins.

Later in the afternoon, on my way back, I saw the vehicles still at the same spot, still covered with tarps. Clearly it had been a bad collision.

I continued to follow the incident, and found out it was an incident involving three cars. One eastbound car, for some reason, lost control and hit another eastbound one in the fast lane, which caused this second car to jump the barrier and land in the westbound lane – resulting in a head-on collision with a westbound car travelling in the fast lane.

Three people lost their lives in that collision, and death was almost immediate. The first responders had no chance, and had to cut open the cars to extract the mortal remains. It was surely gruesome.

I read about the people, a man in his forties in one car, and a woman in her thirties and her father-in-law in his sixties in the other car. I cannot imagine any of them expected to lose their lives on the 401 that morning.

Do we think any meal could be our last meal?

I wondered how their mornings were… did they have their breakfast their morning and say bye to their loved ones? What did they go through during those fatal moments? Did they feel a lot of pain? Did they have family members who were grieving for them? Did they have unfinished business? Maybe an incomplete project?

Death can come at any moment. No ordinary soul can predict the exact moment of their death. And when death comes, everything that was so important until the moment before ceases to matter. It’s just like when I live in an apartment with noisy neighbours and then move to another apartment, the noise in my previous apartment ceases to matter. What happens after death?

Death can come at any moment

Some say that we are just a bunch of chemicals, and nothing more significant than a halt of the electrochemical reactions in the body. Or in other words, after death, there is nothingness. But that logic is faulty on so many levels, after all, a bottle of chemicals doesn’t care about itself and other bottles of chemicals don’t lament it’s loss.

The logic that some combination of material elements somehow develops consciousness is faulty, as I wrote about Descartes’ ignorance about consciousness. His “cogito ergo sum” (I think, therefore I am) should have been something like “sum ergo cogito” (I am, therefore I think).

Actually, the law of momentum applies to us all – just like my baby body is “dead”, my child body is gone too. I still have memories of when I was a baby or a child, even though every single cell of my body back then is dead, this means that I transcend my body, more about that in detail another time.

Beyond Birth and Death. I am not this body.

But anyways, while the fish cannot do anything about their death, us, as human beings, with our highly developed sense of consciousness, can. We can inquire into our true nature, we can inquire into the Supreme Absolute Truth, indeed, human life begins only when we reach that stage of inquiring beyond eating, sleeping, mating, and defending, or rise above the animal propensities.

This stage is called “athāto brahma-jijñāsā“.

The human form is meant for the understanding of Kṛṣṇa consciousness (athāto brahma-jijñāsā), for inquiring about the Supreme Brahman. In the human form, everyone has a chance to understand the Supreme Brahman. The so-called leaders of human society do not know the real aim of human life and are therefore busy with economic development. This is misleading. Every state and every society is busy trying to improve the quality of eating, sleeping, mating and defending. This human form of life is meant for more than these four animal principles. Eating, sleeping, mating and defending are problems found in the animal kingdom, and the animals have solved these problems without difficulty. Why should human society be so busy trying to solve these problems? The difficulty is that people are not educated to understand this simple philosophy. They think that advancement of civilization means increasing sense gratification.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/cc/madhya/19/159/ purport

In fact, accidental or not, death awaits everyone who has taken birth… so, if we are sure to die, then we can at least prepare for it. How?

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

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

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

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

The moment of death, in fact, is quite significant. We can reach any destination by adjusting our consciousness at the moment of death.

यं यं वापि स्मरन्भावं त्यजत्यन्ते कलेवरम् ।
तं तमेवैति कौन्तेय सदा तद्भ‍ावभावित: ॥ ६ ॥

yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran bhāvaṁ
tyajaty ante kalevaram
taṁ tam evaiti kaunteya
sadā tad-bhāva-bhāvitaḥ

Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, O son of Kuntī, that state he will attain without fail.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/8/6/

The moment of death is actually a great opportunity, a rare portal through which we can escape birth and death altogether!

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

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

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

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

If I were to live every moment thinking that it could be my last, then certain longer-term things could not reasonably be done, but on the other hand if I don’t think about death then it will surely take me by surprise.

So how to live? My spiritual master gave me the perfect instruction in this regard.

My spiritual master
His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari

He said, live as if you could die in the next 80 seconds or live for the next 80 years. And his life is a living proof of his instructions, so I choose to follow in his footsteps.

I remind myself that this life of mine can end at any moment, but I work diligently in Krishna Consciousness as if I have another 80 years to go.

Would you like to learn how? Drop me a line!

2019.61-71 Old City Hall, Vaishnava Sanga, Janmashtami, Trinity Bellwoods, Cabbagetown, Travel

2019 Summer Sankirtan Adventures. Krishna is Adventure. When you go out on Sankirtan, your life becomes an adventure too! Sankirtan is life. Live it!

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 05 October 2019

Dear Devotees,

Hare Krishna!

Please kindly accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Even though it appears that summer may be coming to a close, at least as far as my Sankirtan Life is concerned, the summer of Sankirtan continues on, thanks to blessings from the spiritual master and the devotees!

Being out on Sankirtan is the most adventurous thing one can do. When we are out on Sankirtan, we literally put our lives in the hands of Sri Krishna. We beg for His mercy, we remember Him intensely, we make ourselves vulnerable as beggars, and we just go out on a limb to serve the disciplic succession. It is truly a privilege and pleasure to serve in this way.

Sankirtan is also the surest way – second only to marriage 🙂 to remind oneself about one’s false pride in action, and to see what a sad and sorry state the present world in, and just how much everyone just suffering.

Like all genuine pleasures, it takes time to begin to appreciate, and it takes time to practice and hone, it takes time to appreciate every single experience, but once one is in that circle of mercy, truly in that circle of mercy, then one hankers to be back in that flow, that zone of intense Krishna consciousness.

Nowhere does one witness the magic of Krishna consciousness more than being out on Sankirtan. Miracles happen at every moment, and the most unlikely experiences occur, and each experience is hand-picked by Krishna for one’s own betterment.

If you want to see Krishna’s hand in your life, then go out on Sankirtan! If you want to lose attachment to material pleasure, then go out on Sankirtan,. If you want to be humbled, then go out on Sankirtan. If you want to feel pride for Krishna, then go out on Sankirtan. Little or a Lot, PLEASE, do go out on Sankirtan!

Summary:

10 Aug 2019 – Old City Hall

14-17 Aug – Vaishnava Sanga  (3 outings in Shawinigan, Quebec)

23 Aug – Sri Krishna Janmastami (2 outings in the temple)

31 Aug – Trinity Bellwoods Park

31 Aug – Sri Radha Shyamsunder Janmashtami

4 Sep – Downtown Individual Outing (after a LONG time!)

8 Sep – Cabbagetown festival

17-30 Sep – Business Trip Sankirtan in Toronto, New York, San Luis Obispo, San Francisco, Los Angeles, etc.

———-

Total 11 Outings

Vaisesika Prabhu and His wave of Sankirtan mercy

Vaisesika Prabhu distributes books on the street

Whenever great Sankirtan warriors descend, in their presence and in their footsteps we experience tremendous empowerment. Old City Hall was another magical experience, with the devotees performing Harinam right in front of Old City Hall, and so many devotees greeting the souls milling about. We also got an opportunity to bathe in the nectar shower that was his Vyasa Puja in ISV.

Michael, Dennis, and Wes all gave me their contact information, in fact that’s the only reason I still remember them – they gave me their contact information! Especially Dennis was coming “home” to Canada via Russia, China, and London, England. He felt at home with Krishna too, saying “Hey you’re a Krishna guy, I’ve seen your guys all around”. Wes was back to Toronto after a long stretch in Australia.

Right after that outing, in the temple, I met Karishma and Raghav who were visiting the temple for the first time. They both also took books, gave donations, chanted Hare Krishna and heard all about Radha Kshir Chor Gopinath! And yes, they did share their contact info.

If I can only follow up effectively with everyone I meet (remember these are the cream of the crop, they stopped, gave their time, attention, money, took a book, and left a contact!), ISKCON Toronto will surely be forced to expand into the church across the street! 🙂

Vaishnava Sanga magic

On Harinam in Shawinigan during Vaishnava Sanga

Right after Vaisesika Prabhu left, we got a solid dose of inspiration from the great souls gathered in St. Mathieu Du Parc in Quebec. I got to serve in the kitchen on 2 days, it was blissful service, cooking for all these delightful Vaishnavas! But what’s more, I got to go out on the famous Shawinigan Harinams, not once, not twice, but thrice!

These Shawinigan Harinamas are directly from the spiritual world (like every other Harinama, but I experienced the magic most here. First of all, its not a bunch of shy newbies, but veterans of the art of Harinam, senior devotees, disciples of Srila Prabhupada, advanced souls like Bhaktimarga Swami, Mahatma Prabhu, Krishnadas Kaviraj Prabhu, Lakshminath Prabhu, Guru Prasad Prabhu, and many more elevated souls! And accompanied by such young veterans of the art of Harinam as Krishna Dulal Prabhu and Prana Gauranga Prabhu! It was a pleasure to take the little town of Shawinigan by the storm of Sri Harinam Sankirtan.

Right before, we had stopped at ISKCON Montreal and stocked up on those elusive French books on Krishna consciousness. With a nice box full of books, we set out, only to almost run out on day 1! 🙂

ISKCON Montreal

Here we witness the power of the Holy Name. One can’t speak French or Quebecois to save one’s life, except for a hearty Bonjour (surely said with the wrong accent)! So how these books get distributed, and how donations come in is just a complete mystery to me. Well, not only me, but many many devotees took books, our own Vrajalalana Mataji, and Mathieu Prabhu from Ottawa, and many others, they just congregated on the books and within a very short time almost all the books were gone!

Quebec, Canada

A few years ago, I had met the wife of the owner of a restaurant, she was from Mauritius. Now this time I met her husband and his employees, who all took books and made donations! Now the circle is complete, the whole family has Srila Prabhupada’s books. I am convinced that Krishna has a GRAND plan for this family – I mean he sent a whole Harinam Party after them, not once, not twice, but SO MANY times! 🙂 And His pure devotee’s books! He has accepted donations from them, and allowed them to serve the devotees with drinking water (in that hot weather, it is the most precious thing)… I can’t wait to see what Krishna unfolds in due course of time!

Also followed up with another contact I met a couple of years ago – her family attended one of the events at the Vaishnava Sanga!

I met a couple visiting Quebec from Brazil!

Many many souls took books, not only French, but also English. Very successful in reaffirming the magic of Sri Harinam to me!

A lady who accepted books 3 years ago in Shawinigan texted me excitedly “Hi Krishna das do you have Mahabharat in French?”. So I’m asking around.

Here are a few I remember from the other Sankirtan outings…

On Sri Krishna Janmashtami, I was almost exclusively at the book table, eagerly approaching visiting guests with our books, some took, some didn’t but so what, “next”! Our two little Sankirtan warriors, Govinda and Vitthal Bhakta wanted to distribute books too. And they did. Not only did they distribute books, but also collected handsome donations for Krishna. I was distressed to see these little children treated badly by a couple of guests who treated them as if they were some sort of street urchins begging for themselves! But they are small enough not to notice the insults, and happily and enthusiastically carried on. However, this drives home to me how careful we need to be to protect these little innocent devotees from nastiness (unlike some other Sankirtan warriors who did not get that kind of protection as children or vulnerable adults), so their Sankirtan outings need to be carefully planned and arranged so that they have happy childhood experiences of Sankirtan.

Get Spiritual Books

At the Janmashtami celebration of Sri Radha Shyamsunder close to Toronto, there was this one lady who wanted to begin the Bhagavatam but couldn’t commit to the full set. So she took the personal copy of teh first Canto copy Mother Sucaru! Mother Sucaru was in the midst of reading that particular copy, but she graciously allowed the distribution of her own copy… I had thought that the devotees could replenish, but apparently that big First Canto is not being printed at the moment! She reminded me of Srila Prabhupada who gave his personal copy away for distribution!

Devotees at a Book Table

Two sisters from Wales visited our booth, and said “cool, our Mum is a yoga teacher” and “she probably has tha’one and tha’one”, until suddenly one of them said “tha’one, tha’one I’d like to read”, and took a couple of books, made a donation. They also chanted Hare Krishna “no problem, we’ve chanted before”.

Abhishek was a gas station attendant, a bright young man from Nepal. This was at a gas station close to ISKCON Berkeley – New Jagannath Puri Dham. He didn’t know about this amazing temple! He told me he was reading Paramahamsa Yogananda’s “Autobiography of a yogi”. He said he’d read the Bhagavad Gita As It Is before, promised to read again, accepted a couple of books, and said “sometimes we follow this path, sometimes that path”. And then he acknowledged “without guru we cannot make spiritual advancement, so a group of us are looking for a genuine guru”. He gave me all the contact information and responded with a “Hare Krishna. Thank you very much”

David chanced upon us – on a bike with his toddler son, in Trinity Bellwoods, and was gracious enough to ask very intelligent questions, get a Bhagavad Gita and make a generous donation. He didn’t want to go further in terms of giving me contact details etc., but at least he has the Gita!

Krishna the gas station attendant at a Shell said “Hare Krishna” and pointed to his name badge. He didn’t know about the ISKCON of Silicon Valley, so I wrote down the address for him. He passed the book back to me saying “and your contact information also, in case I have questions”.

Syed, from Lahore, Pakistan had been chased out of a cushy job in Dubai after it was discovered that he was the wrong kind of Muslim – a Shia instead of a Sunni. He’s arrived just 5 months ago, and we could tell he was feeling the cold – with his car warmed up like an oven and togged up with a hoodie with the hood on inside that baking hot car today with 18C weather outside. We had a good philosophical conversation about how God is fair to all and no one sect has a monopoly on God. He had said he liked to cook, found it amazing that I liked to cook too, and accepted a Higher Taste, saying “I like vegetarian food”.

J, a colleague in California, has steadily accepted (and read) Srila Prabhupada’s books over the last couple of years. I started with Prasadam, and cookbooks, and now she has Devamrita Swami’s Hiding in Unnatural Happiness and the Bhagavad Gita As It is.

Bhagavad Gita As It Is

Wonderful Serendipitous meeeting with Book Distribution General Vijaya Prabhu – on our way to Los Angeles we stopped at Ahimsa Cafe for some Prasada. This is a restaurant run by Tukaram Prabhu and his wife, in Long Beach California. I was reluctant, but the family was eager… and as I parked the car and walked over, what do I see but Vijaya Prabhu relishing Prasada! I got some undeserved mercy from a very humble Vaishnava who was out distributing the Bhagavad Gita at the Long Beach College. I pray that I may be able to follow in his footsteps, and 10, 20, 30, more years from now always continue to distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books, Srila Gurudeva’s books, my spiritual mentors’ books.

Vijaya Dasa Master Book Distributor & Inspirational Speaker

In Los Angeles lives a saint, His Holiness Amala Bhakta Swami. About 87 years of age, he doesn’t travel anymore, but is the prime example of “tirtham kurvanti tirthani”, for him, a picture of Sri Krishna is not just a picture, but directly Krishna. He took us around a tour of his Ashram, asking us “why would I need to go anyplace else”? He said his focus was on chanting and praying and purifying himself, and that he would preach in New Dvaraka but not leave those auspicious premises. He was extremely encouraging with my book distribution efforts. He told us about some of his early experiences, how he transitioned from a Hollywood actor to a Sadhu gradually, but with firm determination. Meeting him was a great highlight of my life, and when I distribute books, I do so in the hope of pleasing great souls such as him. He is one of the few, in addition to my spiritual master, who have taken the effort to actually correct me, caution me, warn me and guide me in the right direction. To these souls I remain grateful.

Amala Bhakta Swami, a modern-day saint

I’ve been writing this in bits and pieces for many days, actually over 3 weeks, but I fear that it is already too long and may tax you, dear devotee more, so even though I have a lot of amazing stories, they will have to wait for some other day.

My Sankirtan outings goal for 2019 is 108, and write about them all, and I now have 37 to go. Please bless me that I may humbly perform this service. I am very greedy for your blessings. In fact, I am 100% convinced that I can only go out on Harinam Sankirtan because of your blessings, because otherwise I am just a useless fool.

Praying to be always out on Harinam Sankirtan, or at least be in Harinam Sankirtan consciousness 24X7, this is my humble desire, though I must admit that unfortunate as I am, I still maintain all sorts of material attachments.

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Chaitanya Das, 05 October 2019,

Hare Krishna Prabhuji. Dandavat Pranam. Please accept my humble obeisances.

Thank you so much for sharing, hope one day i should also be able to do it, seeking your blessings Prabhuji.

your servant,

Chaitanya Das.

Rasika Krishna Das, 6 October 2019

Hare Krishna Prabhuji,

Jaya!! All glories to your Sankirtan outings.

your servant,

Rasika Krishna Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 08 October 2019

Dear Chaitanya Prabhu,

Hare Krishna!

Thank you for your kind encouragement.

Why not let today be the day? Today you can give a book by Srila Prabhupada or Srila Gurudeva to one of your family members, friends, or colleagues. And if no one is around, then give to yourself, meaning, read to yourself 🙂 The power emanated by vibrating the contents of a pure devotee’s writings changes the world for the better. Please try it.

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

dasadas.com

Chaitanya Das, 08 October 2019

Hare Krishna Prabhu. Please accept my humble obeisances. Thank you so much Prabhu, will do. Will read Srila Prabhupada’s books everyday and distribute whenever i can. Hare Krishna. 

your servant,

Chaitanya Das

Tapas Chakraborty, 09 October 2019

Hare Krishna

Thanks for sharing the enormity of your involvement in spreading the Krishna conscious movement and experience which will benefit us immensely in our determination to progress with higher enthusiasm. We firmly believe setting targets will enable the resolve to reach greater heights of spiritual and transcendental knowledge.

With warm Regards

Tapas

Please subscribe to daily inspirational emails from His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari (Writings and lectures archived), written fresh every day from his travels around the world sharing the highest spiritual knowledge with everyone. Sign up now at www.joincourse.com

%d bloggers like this: