Sankirtan Adventures – Old City Hall, Guelph, Online, Janmashtami

Sankirtan during the Pandemic, a look back at 2020…

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 21 August 2020

Dear Devotees,

Hare Krishna!

Please kindly accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I pray that you are all well and in good health and spirits.

By your blessings I am able to participate in this Hare Krishna movement, despite my disqualifications. Thank you!

Summary:

14 Jul 2020 Old City Hall

16 Jul 2020 Old City Hall

19 Jul 2020 Downtown Guelph Harinam

23 Jul 2020 Old City Hall

23 Jul 2020 Walking Harinam Old City Hall to ISKCON Toronto

28 Jul 2020 Email/WhatsApp Sankirtan

11 Aug 2020 Janmashtami Sankirtan

21 Aug 2020 Old City Harinaam

————————————-

Total 8 Outings

It has been a very nice summer generally. The Pandemic is a pity, because it is really hard to meet Canadians at close quarters when it gets cold. Yes, there is the phone, email, WhatApp, zoom, etc., Sankirtan, but a majority of “laying the groundwork” happens out there, on the street, in summer festivals, knocking on doors… The devotees have been largely absent from public consciousness.

As the Pandemic wears on, the attention to social media has waned, and many are not as receptive to online platforms as they were before. So, at least based on the reception we’re getting outside, the devotees should cautiously resume outdoor Harinaam Sankirtan, even though it will probably not immediately result in a lot of books distributed. Right now, we are circling amongst ourselves, preaching to ourselves, which, no doubt,needs to be done, but we also need to distribute the mercy outside of those we know presently.

I had some really nice experiences, in Guelph with Paramahamsa Prabhu, on Janmashtami, with Yogesh who had never been out on Harinam Sankirtan before. He took many books home with him, especially the smaller ones we don’t seem to be distributing a lot of these days. What is more, he is a customer for books that we could not distribute because they were “old looking”! 🙂 And Yogesh is reading those books intently – Mahaprabhu has already brought Yogesh into His tidal wave.

Especially now, the people are very needy for Harinam Sankirtan, while a lot of Harinam may be going on behind closed doors and behind virtual closed doors like Facebook and Zoom, we do need to get out there.

Especially in Toronto – the restaurants are open, the bars are open, the cinemas are open, the liquor shops are open and liquor is now being sold in the grocery stores. The brothels are open, the casinos are open, the malls are open, the offices are open. But the devotees are indoors. Harinam Sankirtan is a closed club. It is indeed a cause for concern that those who know we are not the body but spirit souls are sitting indoors even when the risk has gotten so low. We are supposed to be the fearless Hare Krishnas. Where is our “abhayam”? We are supposed to be surrendered to the Lotus Feet of Sri Abhaya Charanaravinda, where is our Abhaya?

Where possible, I’m urging devotees to get out there and not be lazy/afraid/overly cautious. Please, the world needs us and what we have.

Writing about one experience from yesterday, though there were many more…

I was on Harinam yesterday… Many were responding, many were not, but one man, unsteady on his feet due to being inebriated, cigarette in hand, came close. He asked “Indian song?” I said “yes I am from India but this is the song of the heart”. He listened really intently, thankfully he kept his distance. But I felt somewhat uncomfortable… I  mean, it is easier to be ignored than to be scrutinized like that. He then started singing, suddenly asked me, “Do you need some change”, I asked him “Do you need a book”, so he took 2 books, one by Srila Prabhupada and one by my spiritual master Sankarshan Prabhu. He gave me a donation and immediately started reading the book. He did say “Always Christ” and I said “All the way my brother”. I was intensely praying to Lord Chaitanya “please give this man your mercy and the Lord did shower His mercy upon that soul! So we can see how one can get instant feedback while out on Sankirtan.

Go out where you can. Go out when you can. Go out in ones or twos. Go out with a mask if you have to. Stay outdoors. Wash your hands, stay far away from others, but let the sound of your voice become the humble vehicle for the Holy Name to go out there and do His magic. There is no other way, no other way, no other way, except Harinam Sankirtan Harinam Sankirtan Harinam Sankirtan.

I reported my Sankirtan outing this morning and my spiritual master was pleased. So, dear devotees, please let us please our spiritual masters.

quote

So we have to be very careful. The age is very bad, the Kali-yuga. You are experiencing. We have to simply take shelter of krsna and always cry,

krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, he!

krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, he!

krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, raksa mām!

krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, pāhi mām!

krsna, keśava, krsna, keśava, krsna, keśava, raksa mām!

rāma rāghava, rāma rāghava, rāma rāghava, pāhi mām!

Like that, as Caitanya Mahāprabhu taught us. The time is very dangerous. And still, in this dangerous time… Just like in epidemic condition where every people is being contaminated and dying, still, the doctors appointed by the government, they have to go into the epidemic area and try to treat the person and save them. Our duty is like that. The whole atmosphere is epidemic, whole atmosphere, this Kali-yuga. And still, by the superior orders we have to preach this krsna consciousness movement. Therefore our only shelter is krsna. krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, krsna, raksa mām. Very dangerous position. The foolish people, they are thinking that “We are very happy and we are very safe.” But nobody is safe. Nobody is safe. So we have to deal with persons very carefully, and at the same time, we have to push our missionary activities. Aho kastam dharma drsam.

– from SB 6.2.1-5 in Calcutta, India

unquote

My 2020 goal is 108 outings, and I have 88 left to go, with just over 130 days left. 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

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What does it mean “uttama sloka vartaya”? What is Sloka?

What is the meaning of “uttama-sloka-vartaya”? What does “sloka” mean?

Raul, 23 January 2020

Hare Krishna!!

What is the meaning of uttama-sloka-vartaya?

Is this reference to the eight slokas the Lord Caitanya left in writing known as the Siksastaka?

What exactly is the meaning of the word sloka?

Best regards,

Raul

Haladhar Das, 27 January 2020

Hare Krsna prabhu

All glories to Srila Gurudeva

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

What is the meaning of uttama-sloka-vartaya?

Lord Krsna is known as uttama sloka as He is glorified in the transcendental literatures by the choicest poetry or perfect transcendental words. The demigods and devotees worship Lord Krsna to the best of their God given ability in the most profound words. So He is known as uttam sloka. 

Similarly pure devotees of the Lord are known as punya sloka, being in constant association of the Lord by way of chanting His holy names or serving Him in various prescribed methods, they are so purified, that even by coming in their contact or taking their names, one can be purified too or delivered from the kuntha jagat.

Is this reference to the eight slokas the Lord Caintanya left in writing known as the Siksastaka?

What exactly is the meaning of the word sloka?

Yes Lord Chaitanya also glorifying the holy names of Lord as non-different from Him and being manifested with full potency of the Lord. 

I don’t know the Sanskrit language, but my understanding is, a verse or combination of words in Sanskrit is known as sloka like Bhagavad Gita 700 verses.

Thank you.

your servant

Haladhar Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 28 January 2020

Dear Sriman Raul – thank you for two nice questions!

Dear Haladhar Prabhu, thank you for your wonderful answers.

Requesting all the devotees on this group to come closer together by asking and answering questions about spiritual life, about Krishna, about helping ourselves and each other. Simply by asking and answering questions according to our disciplic succession the Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Sampradaya, under guidance and shelter from Srila Prabhupaa and Srila Gurudeva, we will make all advancement in spiritual life and make the world a better place…

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

Descartes did not understand Consciousness

Many believe that animals and other species in other bodies outside of humans are not souls, that they are mere automations. The misunderstanding can be traced back at least to Descartes’ “cogito ergo sum”, where he sadly misunderstood something very important…

René Descartes was a great thinker, an eminent Christian scholar, and his thoughts have arguably shaped the foundations of Christianity.

Unfortunately, he got at least one basic thing wrong, “cogito ergo sum” – translated as “I think, therefore I am”. This statement shows Descartes’ ignorance. Consciousness is not dependent on “thinking”.

Consciousness is the fundamental symptom of life – all living entities have lower or higher consciousness, some can think at a more advanced level based on how evolved their consciousness is, and some at a less advanced level.

Who am I to be criticizing the great Descartes? Yes. I must admit that I am not even a tiny fraction of that mighty thinker. I am just a little recovering atheist. But my knowledge, that is not mine, it is not original. I am not speaking on anything that I have come up with myself, but relying on the words of God Himself. The Bhagavad Gita is quite literally “The Song of God”. I rely on the Bhagavad Gita. But there are way too many mis-translations and misinterpretations of this Divine Book unfortunately, which have been written by speculators with a poor fund of knowledge.

So I rely on the great Acharyas, teachers who received this knowledge in disciplic succession from God. If I threw a mango from the top of a tree to the ground, it would smash, and become unfit to consume, but if I organized a chain of people from the topmost branch of the mango tree to the ground, with ladders and so on, as needed, then the mango could make it safely into my hands.

In the disciplic succession, Parampara, each person in the chain acts as an honest messenger – they repeat everything exactly in line with what their predecessor did, without any addition or subtraction – and you can verify what they said by checking up on what their spiritual master said. So, even if a particular link in the chain may be accepted as ordinary (though none of them can actually be ordinary, that is a matter for another day), still, the message is pristine and perfect.

So I rely on the Bhagavad Gita As It Is, by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who is 32nd (from Krishna, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead), 28th(from Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa, the Literary Incarnation of Krishna), or 11th(Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Krishna Himself, appearing as His devotee to show us how to be one) link in the chain originating from God Himself. And even though I have not met Srila Prabhupada personally, I am a disciple of His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari, who is a direct disciple of Srila Prabhupada, which makes my spiritual master 33rd, 29th, or 12th in line from God Himself. Not only my own spiritual master, but I have benefited from the thousands of disciples of Srila Prabhupada, and I have benefited from many other souls who are in other branches of the same tree of disciplic succession, going back at least 5,000 and 500 years. However, the knowledge of the Bhagavad Gita has been extant in civilized society in our Universe for at least 40 Million years. However, as the Universe is 114 Trillion years old, this knowledge is that ancient in this Universe.

However, as this Universe is just like a flash in the pan, a proverbial flash of lightning in the fabric of eternity, this knowledge is actually eternal.

The fact that my knowledge is not “original” but is coming from a long line of teachers originating from God Himself, that is my only strength. On the purity, strength, and intelligence of these great souls, I dare say Descartes is wrong.

A crude example is that a small child may say 2+2=4, not know how that is so, but it does not change the fact that the child is right. The child heard this from someone who does understand numbers and addition, so on the strength of that person’s knowledge, the child is right.

Or let’s take the example of a normal person, perfectly capable when sober, but when they are intoxicated, they are no better than an animal, at least temporarily. If another man were to kill the drunken person, would that not count as murder? So even a short-term mental disability is not grounds for ny mistreatment.

Now take for example two sons of the same father. One, the elder, is strong, intelligent, and capable… the other, younger, let’s say, for the purpose of this example, a whimpering idiot, cannot learn anything, cannot do much, and cannot, for the life of him, stand up to his brother. Comparing

If the capable boy were to propose to the father that they kill the retarded younger son, because, he might say, let’s face it, he’s no better than an animal, would the father agree? Even if the father agreed with the elder son’s assessment of the younger brother, still, he would not allow the younger son to be killed, even with his long-term disability.

On the streets of various cities in the world, I have personally met many drunk or drugged humans, and to be honest, they are actually lower than some animals!

Animals are no less than the mentally challenged human, whether long-term or short-term. They are spirit souls encaged in a body and mind that don’t permit higher consciousness, not very difficult from a drunk or drugged human. But this conflation of thinking with the presence or absence of a soul has caused a grave injustice in this world.

If only Descartes was fortunate enough to receive instruction from the Song of God!

सर्वयोनिषु कौन्तेय मूर्तय: सम्भवन्ति या: ।
तासां ब्रह्म महद्योनिरहं बीजप्रद: पिता ॥ ४ ॥

sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya
mūrtayaḥ sambhavanti yāḥ
tāsāṁ brahma mahad yonir
ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā

It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kuntī, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/14/4/

Descartes’ grave error has encouraged the Christians around the world to commit murder with impunity. They interpret the commandment “Thou Shalt Not Kill” as “Thou shalt not kill another human unnecessarily”. This is leading hosts of Christians into endless lifetimes of suffering birth, death, old age, and disease, being born as animals repeatedly, only to be mercilessly slaughtered.

In modern times there is really no excuse for eating meat. Fruits, Roots, Nuts, Vegetables, Grains are abundantly available and milk products obtained from Ahimsa farms can be made available too.

Christians and others who follow any kind of spiritual tradition need to rise above the sad ignorance of Descartes and stop eating meat unless it were a matter of life and death, because Meat is not for spiritualists, meat is for animals, even if the animals happen to be in human form.

Read the Bhagavad Gita As It Is today, and be a better Christian, Jew, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, or Jain or any other type of spiritualist. Do you need a copy?

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