Jiva Soul – A poem from 1874

Back in in 1874, Bhaktivinode Thakura wrote this sublime poem that gives us the formula for Supreme Spiritual Success! Jiva Soul, from Saragrahi Vaishnava

This is a poem by the great saint Bhaktivinode Thakura… from his 1874 work, “Saragrahi Vaishnava”

The Jiva Soul:

Alas for those who spend their days
In festive mirth and joy.
The dazzling, deadly liquid forms
Their hearts fore’er employ.

The shining bottles charm their eyes
And draw their heart’s embrace;
The slaves of wine can never rise
From what we call disgrace.

Was man intended to be
A brute in work and heart?
Should man, the Lord of all around,
From common sense depart?

Man’s glory is in common sense
Dictating us the grace,
That man is made to live and love
The beauteous Heaven’s embrace.

The flesh is not our own alas;
The mortal frame a chain;
The soul confined for former wrongs
Should try to rise again.

Why then this childish play in that
Which cannot be our own;
Which falls within a hundred years
As if a rose ablown.

Our life is but a rosy hue
To go ere long for naught;
The soul alone would last fore’er
With good or evil fraught.

How deep the thought of times to be!
How grave the aspect looks!
And wrapt in awe become, O, we,
When reading Nature’s books.

Man’s life to him a problem dark–
A screen both left and right;
No soul hath come to tell us what
Exists beyond our sight.

But then a voice, how deep and soft,
Within ourselves is left;
Man! Man! Thou art immortal soul!
Thee Death can never melt.

For thee thy Sire on High has kept
A store of bliss above,
To end of time, thou art O! His–
Who wants but purest love.

O Love! Thy power and spell benign
Now melt my soul to God;
How can my earthly words describe
That feeling soft and broad.

Enjoyment, sorrow — what but lots
To which the flesh is heir?
The soul that sleeps alone concludes
In them it hath a share.

And then, my friends, no more enjoy
Nor weep for all below;
The women, wine, and flesh of beasts
No love on thee bestow.

But thine to love thy brother man
And give thyself to God.
And God doth know your wages fair–
This fact is true and broad.

Forget the past that sleeps and ne’er
The future dream at all,
But act in time that are with thee
And progress thee shall call.

But tell me not in reasoning cold,
The soul is made alone
By Earth’s mechanic lifeless rules
And to destruction prone.

My God who gave us life and all
Alone the soul can kill
Or give it all the joys above
His promise to fulfill.

So push thy onward march, O soul,
Against an evil deed
That stands with soldiers Hate and Lust–
A hero be indeed.

Maintain thy post in spirit world
As firmly as you can,
Let never matter push thee down–
O stand heroic man!

O Sharagrahi Vaishnava soul,
Thou art an angel fair;
Lead, lead me on to Vrindavan
And spirit’s power declare.

There rests my soul from matter free
Upon my Lover’s arms–
Eternal peace and spirits love
Are all my chanting charms.

Love He who made all that

Why do we love someone? Why do we love dogs, cats, and things? What is it about them that we love them or lust for them or are attached to them?

Usually, all living entities have affection for some other living entities. Many living entities also have attachments to things.

If a human does not have other humans to associate with, or if they find those relationships unfulfilling, they often keep a dog or a cat or even fish or a lizard or something else.

Why do we love other living entities? Why are we attached to things?

instead of loving

a dog or a cat

why not love Krishna

who made all that

His Holiness Vishnujana Swami (quoted by His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Everything everyone likes is originally enabled by God. Everyone you love is being personally emanated by God.

Whether its your most precious possession, or your most treasured relationship, there is one source.

Simply recognizing God as the source of every single experience that gives you pleasure is the easiest way to develop love for God.

My spiritual master gives the example of a generous roommate, who keep the fridge full with all kinds of most delicious foods and you are free to use anything you like without any payment in return! What do we pay for the sunlight, the air, the water, the earth, and the life that enables to enjoy it all?

We love or are attached to anyone or anything only because Krishna is manifesting them. Actually our love is for Krishna.

अहं सर्वस्य प्रभवो मत्त: सर्वं प्रवर्तते ।
इति मत्वा भजन्ते मां बुधा भावसमन्विता: ॥ ८ ॥

ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo
mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate
iti matvā bhajante māṁ
budhā bhāva-samanvitāḥ

I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who perfectly know this engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/10/8/

If we recognize this, we will be fully satisfied, fully content, and blissful always.

Why can we not offer meat, fish, and eggs to God?

In the Bhagavad Gita, only leaves, flowers, fruits, and water are mentioned – so why do we offer other things like roots and stems and beans and nuts? Why not offer meat, fish, and eggs to Krishna then?

Bhaktin Suzanne

Hare Krishna!

All glories to Srila Gurudeva!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Dear Devotees,

I have questions after reading this verse from Bhagavad Gita 9:26.

“If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water, I will accept it.”

I have a question.

All foods mentioned in this verse grow above the ground (leaves, flowers, and fruits).

This verse does not mention roots ( potato, carrot, beet etc).

This verse does not mention stems (celery , cinnamon etc.).

And Krishna also does not say He will accept seeds of plants such as nuts, beans. All grains , which are seeds too are not mentioned in this verse.

Krishna does not mention meat fish and eggs in this verse, so we do not offer these to Krishna.

He does not mention seeds, nuts, and roots. He is very specific about which part of the plant He will accept.

Why then do we go ahead and offer to Krishna the other parts of the plant?

Is there another scripture somewhere that says Krishna accepts roots, stems, seeds and grains? Please enlighten me.

Bhaktin Suzanne

Naren Tippavajjula, 21 June 2019

Hare Krishna

Dear devotee Suzanne

The meaning of :

patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati

tad ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam aśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/9/26/

Even water is underground

It doesn’t mean anything specific.

In broad sense, Krishna means, you need not give me silver, gold or keep payasam (opulent sweet) in golden bowl

Even a leaf, a sprinkle of water, a fruit which you give me with pure heart and devotion it is counted and God will see the bhakti and pure heart in you

This is the meaning in this verse

Devotion to God and being enlightened is what God sees in you

Thank you

Naren Tippavajjula

Shridhar Das, 21 June 2019

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisance,

All Glories to Srila Gurudeva!

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada! 

Interesting question. Your attempts to introspect is well appreciated and the act of confirming with a bonafide audience is indeed devotional!

I fully agree with the below answer by Bhakta Narendra. It is the essence. 

Of the 18 chapters of Bhagavad Gita, 7-12 are treasure in the middle and even in their midst, 9th is still further confidential and this particular verse is the crux. Just as a careful person in previous ages would want to guard the jewel by putting it in a case and pack that case inside another and so on until he feels satisfied, so is this verse similarly packed in the middle.

Consider this example: It is very laborious to attain a B.Tech degree with high grades, especially from a very reputed college like IIT (in India) and that too with a Gold Medal. Firstly, to get into a college takes good school grades. Besides that many entrance exams have to be attempted which involves cut-throat competition. But imagine if it was available very simply? It is not so in Material World but Krishna Consciousness, which is the topmost goal of life, aspired by even the greatest sages and demigods with lifetimes of austerity is actually simple to attain. Srila Prabhupada is writing in the purport: 

The process of achieving such a marvelous result is very easy and can be attempted even by the poorest of the poor, without any kind of qualification.

The only qualification required in this connection is to be a pure devotee of the Lord. It does not matter what one is or where one is situated.

The process is so easy that even a leaf or a little water or fruit can be offered to the Supreme Lord in genuine love and the Lord will be pleased to accept it.

Srila Prabhupada now is very staunchly declaring in his magnanimity:

No one, therefore, can be barred from Krishna consciousness, because it is so easy and universal. Who is such a fool that he does not want to be Krishna conscious by this simple method and thus attain the highest perfectional life of eternity, bliss and knowledge? Krishna wants only loving service and nothing more. Krishna accepts even a little flower from His pure devotee. 

Therefore the purpose of mentioning these 4 items are to indicate how simple has Krishna made Himself to be approached.

And He is not even asking all these items, but simply any one of these.(In comparison, some demigod worship involves offering items like meat, some demigod worship requires humongous amount of ghee, gold, perfection in performing rituals, etc.)

And the appearance of the word “bhaktya” in the verse doesn’t indicate error of repetition of the word devotion on Krishna’s behalf but emphasizing the importance of offering them with love and devotion, by a devotee.

As far as your curiosity on what is bonafide to be offered and what not – One sign of love is to offer what is right. Of course, in Kali that is not possible to understand. Therefore, Acharya, direct representative of God comes to teach us and share with us the essence of the oceanic Vedic wisdom. Here also Srila Prabhupada specifies: 

Vegetables, grains, fruits, milk and water are the proper foods for human beings and are prescribed by Lord Kishna Himself. Whatever else we eat cannot be offered to Him, since He will not accept it. Thus we cannot be acting on the level of loving devotion if we offer such foods.

Even within the above, whatever is easy to digest for the body, in goodness, favorable for our consciousness, should also be offerable to Krishna although Krishna accepts betel nuts as well which is not suitable for us. The lives of great Acharyas simplifies for us what is offerable and what is not. More details on this can be presented by other devotees. 

your servant

Shridhar das

Brajanath Das, 22 June 2019

Hare Krishna Suzanne Mataji,

Please accept my humble obeisances!

All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All glories to Srila Gurudeva! 

Interesting question and enlightening answers by Narendra Prabhu and Sridhar Prabhu. Here is my humble attempt to give a context of my 2 cents on this subject.

“… a leaf, a fruit, a flower, or water.” This means that vegetables, fruits, nuts, juice, and all kinds of produce can be offered to Him and then eaten. We also offer dairy products that aren’t mentioned in that verse.

Out of His kindness, Krishna will accept even the smallest token of our faith — even a little water or a Tulasi leaf — if it is offered with love. When Krishna asks us to make such an offering, He is really inviting us to reawaken our eternal, blissful relationship with Him. He wants our love. Therefore the key ingredient in the preparation and offering process is our affection for Him, our desire to please Him.

This verse explains how Krsna emphasizes the love and devotion of the devotee and that is what He sees when we offer Him something.

We develop our love for Krishna by offering/accepting the things He likes and rejecting the things He dislikes. Lord Krishna begins Bg 9.26 with the word patram to explain that pain does not exist in the performance of bhakti to Him, and it can also be performed with ease.

The word bhaktya has been used in the second line and also again in the third line in the word bhakty-upahatam. The repetition emphasizes that, if someone other than My bhakta offers Me fruits or flowers with superficial devotion, I do not accept it, but I accept (açnami) whatever My bhaktas give Me, be it even a leaf. In other words, I fully enjoy that which is offered to Me with bhakti, but I do not enjoy the offering of someone who has been forced to do it. 

Vidura’s wife, Vidurani, felt such great ecstasy at the opportunity to serve Krishna personally that she offered Him a banana peel instead of the fruit and Krishna ate it with great relish.

Sabhari, a devotee of Lord Rama offered Him fruits after biting each piece to ensure that they didn’t taste sour and Lord Rama ate them with great relish.

One can satisfy the Lord simply by devotional service. Gajendra did this by offering a flower, and thus the Lord was satisfied with him (SB 7.9.9).

We are supposed to be essence seekers.

I hope that helps.

your servant,

Brajanath Das

Suzanne Inwood, 22 June 2019

Hare Krishna!

All glories to Srila Gurudeva!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Dear One,

Your response is gentle and soothing to my mind and heart.

Thank you.

Devotee Suzanne

Rasika Krishna Das, 22 June 2019

Hare Krishna!

Please see below excerpt from Sri Valmiki Ramayan:

As per the instructions of Guru Vishwamitra all of them decided to take night rest there. Ram and Lakshman,both the brothers, collected “Kanda-Mool-Fala” (eatable bulbs, roots and fruits/ vegetables) from forest and dedicated to the sage. With the Guru, both the brothers also ate the collected items considering that as boon. After completing the bath and worship, Ram and Lakshman listened variety of stories and religious discourse told by Vishwamitra. Finally, after providing appropriate services to Guru and getting permission from him, they laid down to their gross beds pronouncing the holy “Gayatri Mantra”.

your servant,

Rasika Krishna Das

Suzanne Inwood, 22 June 2019

Hare Krishna.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Thank you to all devotees responding to my question.

I am carefully reading and studying your offerings to all of us.

your servant,

Bhaktin Suzanne

Shridhar Das, 23 June 2019

Oh, I am very enlightened by reading all the answers! Especially the examples below and from Ramayan. 

Few more examples:

Sudama Brahman was shy and embarrassed to offer the chipped rice that his wife had given him in dirty wrapped clothes. Sudama and his wife had no proper clothes to wear. Only 1 pair. They were torn and besides that dirty as well. Coming to Dwarka and being honored by Krishna in the best possible way, experiencing the topmost opulence and welcome in Dwarka, Sudama indeed felt that his gift was not worth offerable to Krishna. Krishna being the Supersoul asked Sudama, “Do you wish to gift me something?”. When Sudama replied No, Krishna told Sudama that he doesn’t taste anything material that His devotees offer. He tastes the spiritual love and devotion and Krishna snatched the chipped rice and honored with great relish.

Another pastime:

Srila Raghunath Das Goswami once gave up begging food as a renunciant in Jagannath Puri and in the deepest of his humility exhibited topmost renunciation by honoring the rice that was coming out from the drainage of Jagannath Puri temple. That rice was the most rejected in material state, being leftovers after the cows had chewed and spit them. This was Srila Raghunatha Das Goswami’s feast everyday. When Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu heard of this, The Supreme Lord Himself came and snatched that Prashadam from hands of Raghunath Das Goswami and told that He had never tasted anything delicious like this. Lord was tasting the devotional renunciation of Srila Raghunath Das Goswami.

your servant

Shridhar das

Naren Tippavajjula, 23rd June 2019

Hare Krishna

There is another verse from purusha suktam

antar bahischa tatsarvam vyapya narayanastitaha

Meaning, in all of us and everyone, the lord Vishnu is present, we are offering the one which God gave us

Regarding offering in Bhagavad-Gita it’s written as 3 types

Satvik food

Rajasik food

Tamasik food

We should take and even offer only satvik food for the God

As rajasik and tamasik if we take ,it gives rise to anger ,greed and other 5 evils kama,krodha,lobha,madam,matsaryam

So Krishna suggested us not to take those food items by which we can reach eternal happiness

Thank you for your valuable questions

Naren Tippavajjula

Suryakant Vibhandik, 25 June 2019

Hari bol. Thank you so much for all the observation by various prabhus. I would also like to add something i have heard.

Patram is to offer a page of our day’s activities. We are daily writing something on this page with the help of the supersoul.

Pusham is to offer a petal of our heart’s love. We cannot bestow our love fully on anyone or anything in this material world.

But the love can be reciprocated with the Supreme Lord and both are fully satisfied fully by this exchange of love.

Phalam is to offer the results of our activities.

Toyam is to offer a tear with love and devotion for the supreme person. Lord Krishna came to help Draupadi when she helplessly cried for help. She tried her best to save herself by herself but when she raised her both hands Krishna came by the mediam of her tears.

Thank you guru maharaj for providing a platform to express and receive opinions of enlightened souls. Please correct and rectify me. Hari bol.

Bhakta Sunil, 25 June 2019

Hare Krishna

would like to add a speck to the wonderful answers,

All the foods mentioned in the Verses are in mode of goodness, accordingly only foods in mode of goodness are to be offered

Bhakta Sunil

Mahabhagavat Das, 25 June 2019

Dear Mother Suzanne,

Hare Krishna!

The Bhagavad Gita is a summary of the vast Vedic literature, just 700 verses, or 1400 lines in all, spoken in a little over an hour. Bhagavad Gita was spoken in the Vedic context by the Greatest Vedic Authority to a highly advanced and learned disciple who got it in one shot. One lifetime, or a hundred of our current lifetimes are not sufficient to study the entire Vedic literature.

In Bhagavad Gita, for example, it is not directly mentioned “Chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare”.We rely on the spiritual masters to tell us that this mantra is what Krishna means when He says amongst all types of sacrifices, “japa” is the highest and best. यज्ञानां जपयज्ञोऽस्मि yajñānāṁ japa-yajño ’smi  Of sacrifices I am the chanting of the holy names [japa] https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/10/25/

In addition to scripture, we have two other sets of authority., You mentioned scripture, or Shaastra… the other two are “Sadhu” – the great saintly personalities, and “Guru” – the spiritual masters in disciplic succession. So just as I don’t need to wait on a DNA test to determine who my mother and father are, I take their word for it unless I’m in some unusual circumstances! 🙂

So therefore we read scriptures in the association of the devotees, because reading alone, it is possible that we reach some strange conclusions – so many conspiracy theorists, tin-foil hats, despots, tyrants, murderers, and other such persons have claimed to have “direct communion” with God or the scripture they were reading…

These 3, Guru, Sadhu, and Shastra are our GPS triangulation points. We consult all 3 to determine our course of action. That is why the International Society for Krishna Consciousness exists, to provide all three, Guru, Sadhu, and Shaastra, plus a large community of those trying to follow them carefully.

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Bhaktin Suzanne, 28 June 2019

Thank you for your response.

Hare Krishna

Bhaktin Suzanne

J. Austin Tomlinson, 28 June 2019

Hare Krishna

Krishna will also accept stems and roots.

He cares more for your spiritual enlightenment and liberation and transcendence. He is very specific that he cares more about you than you know. Krishna is the supreme person. He will also accept beans and nuts. Imagine he is your best friend and you are his guest. Also imagine his power. This I say in Krishna consciousness. Hare Krishna

J. Austin Tomlinson

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How to be detached without being callous?

Spiritual Knowledge often stresses Detachment. How can a Mother be detached from her children? Is there something wrong with this instruction? What is the proper understanding?

Rashmi Chhabra 09 Apr 2019

Hare Krishna all.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srila Prabhupada

I m at a very beginning stage of Krishna consciousness. Please forgive my offenses.

In a recent class of Srimati Gurumataji, I heard about the weapon of detachment. I have 2 small kids, well whom I love a lot as a mother. And I think they are the only ones with whom I m attached at most in material life. Most rest things don’t matter to me.

My question is, should I start getting less attached to them? Or at least start that process of detachment?

Kindly enlighten.

Thank you all.

Hare Krishna.

Rashmi

Amogha Lila Das, 10 April 2019

Hare Krishna mataji. Please accept my pranams. All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

We are all relatively new to Krishna consciousness, some little more some little less.

The idea of detachment can be understood as not deliberate but through the process of bhakti. When we engage our mind, body and intelligence in Krishna bhakti, then gradually we shall lose taste for material mundane things, not by force, but through getting a higher taste.

Arjuna wanted to detach himself from his duties as a kshatriya warrior, but eventually surrendered to the will of the Lord.

By doing our duty keeping Krishna in the center, we can utilize our lives for Krishna.

Every thing belongs to Krishna. Caring for your children is your duty as a mother and love for them is natural.  Raising them in Krishna consciousness will be the best thing you can do as a loving mother, because our aim is to utilize everything that we possess in the service of Krishna.

Hence detachment will come from the understanding that everything is Krishna’s property and we just have to utilize what already belongs to him in his service.

Hope this helps somewhat….

your humble servant,

Amogha Lila Das

Rupa Manjari devi dasi, 10 April 2019

Hare Krishna Mataji,

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Gurudev

All glories to Srimate Gurumata

All glories to Srila Prahbupada

Prabhu gave a very nice answer.

For further clarification I suggest you read this book by Sila  Prahbupada, from start to finish.  ‘The teachings of Queen Kunti. ‘  This is a wonderful book which Prabhupada explains your question perfectly.  As you read this book you understanding and realization will increase  step by step so by the end of it everything will be perfectly clear to you.

your servant

Rupa Manjari dd

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 11 April 2019

Dear Mother Rashmi,

Hare Krishna!

Your question is simply wonderful! Many parents must have this question, but may not ask… worse they may keep a misunderstanding within their hearts also. We must educate the whole world on this point.

What Amogha Lila Prabhu and Mother Rupa Manjari have written is truly profound.

To be detached actually means to be attached to Krishna and Krishna’s… To learn to see how Krishna has given you this important service of raising His own dear part-and-parcel souls “mamaivaamsho” is a great exercise in humility and gratitude. Please protect these children from untoward association, especially television, phones, computers, newspapers, food that is not cooked as a loving offering for Krishna, and materialistic association… Please give them Krishna constantly, in a way that they can accept… please make them best friends of Krishna.

Whatever Amogha Lila Prabhu wrote is fully supported by scripture… here it is from SB 10.14, the stealing of the cowherd boys by Lord Brahma, Krishna expanded Himself as all of them. The cowherd boys’ mothers and the calves’ mothers loved the expansions of Krishna appearing like their offspring more than they loved their own offspring – this was surprising, since a mother loves her child more than anyone else, so the Q&A between Maharaja Parikshit and Shukadeva Goswami is below, it is very nectarean, please dive into it prayerfully:

Text 49:

King Parīkṣit said: O brāhmaṇa, how could the cowherd women have developed for Kṛṣṇa, someone else’s son, such unprecedented pure love — love they never felt even for their own children? Please explain this.

Text 50:

Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: O King, for every created being the dearmost thing is certainly his own self. The dearness of everything else — children, wealth and so on — is due only to the dearness of the self.

Text 51:

For this reason, O best of kings, the embodied soul is self-centered: he is more attached to his own body and self than to his so-called possessions like children, wealth and home.

Text 52:

Indeed, for persons who think the body is the self, O best of kings, those things whose importance lies only in their relationship to the body are never as dear as the body itself.

Text 53:

If a person comes to the stage of considering the body “mine” instead of “me,” he will certainly not consider the body as dear as his own self. After all, even as the body is growing old and useless, one’s desire to continue living remains strong.

Text 54:

Therefore it is his own self that is most dear to every embodied living being, and it is simply for the satisfaction of this self that the whole material creation of moving and nonmoving entities exists.

Text 55:

You should know Kṛṣṇa to be the original Soul of all living entities. For the benefit of the whole universe, He has, out of His causeless mercy, appeared as an ordinary human being. He has done this by the strength of His internal potency.

Text 56:

Those in this world who understand Lord Kṛṣṇa as He is see all things, whether stationary or moving, as manifest forms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such enlightened persons recognize no reality apart from the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa.

Text 57:

The original, unmanifested form of material nature is the source of all material things, and the source of even that subtle material nature is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa. What, then, could one ascertain to be separate from Him?

Text 58:

For those who have accepted the boat of the lotus feet of the Lord, who is the shelter of the cosmic manifestation and is famous as Murāri, the enemy of the Mura demon, the ocean of the material world is like the water contained in a calf’s hoof-print. Their goal is paraṁ padam, Vaikuṇṭha, the place where there are no material miseries, not the place where there is danger at every step.

All the purport are amazing, just like the verses… everyone should please read these carefully, and this will be the perfection of all our relationships if we can implement properly.

In the purport to SB 10.14.50, we find this (italics mine):

quote

Sometimes modern thinkers become puzzled when they study the psychology of moral behavior. Although every living entity is inclined toward self-preservation, as stated here, sometimes a person voluntarily sacrifices his own apparent interest through philanthropic or patriotic activities, such as giving his money for the benefit of others or giving his life for the national interest. Such so-called selfless behavior appears to contradict the principle of material self-centeredness and self-preservation.

As explained in this verse, however, a living entity serves his society, nation, family and so on only because these objects of affection represent the expanded concept of false ego. A patriot sees himself as a great servitor of a great nation, and thus he sacrifices his life to gratify his sense of egotism. Similarly, it is common knowledge that a man feels great pleasure by thinking that he is sacrificing everything to please his dear wife and children. A man derives great egotistic pleasure by seeing himself as a selfless well-wisher of his so-called family and community. Thus, to gratify his proud sense of false ego, a man is prepared even to lay down his life. This apparently contradictory behavior is yet another demonstration of the bewilderment of material life, which has neither rhyme nor reason, being a manifestation of gross ignorance of the nonmaterial soul.

unquote

And in the purport to SB 10.14.55, we find this (italics mine) :

In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līla, Chapter Twenty, text 162, Śrīla Prabhupāda comments on this verse as follows: “Parīkṣit Mahārāja asked Śukadeva Gosvāmī why Kṛṣṇa was so beloved by the residents of Vṛndāvana, who loved Him even more than their own offspring or life itself. At that time, Śukadeva Gosvāmī replied that everyone’s ātmā, or soul, is very, very dear, especially to all living entities who have accepted material bodies. However, that ātmā, the spirit soul, is part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. For this reason, Kṛṣṇa is very dear to every living entity. Everyone’s body is very dear to oneself, and one wants to protect the body by all means because within the body the soul is living. Due to the intimate relationship between the soul and the body, the body is important and dear to everyone. Similarly, the soul, being part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord, is very, very dear to all living entities. Unfortunately, the soul forgets his constitutional position and thinks he is only the body (dehātma-buddhi). Thus the soul is subjected to the rules and regulations of material nature. When a living entity, by his intelligence, reawakens his attraction for Kṛṣṇa, he can understand that he is not the body but part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. Thus filled with knowledge, he no longer labors under attachment to the body and everything related to the body (janasya moho ’yam ahaṁ mameti). Material existence, wherein one thinks, ‘I am the body, and this belongs to me,’ is also illusory. One must redirect his attraction to Kṛṣṇa.Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.7) states:

vāsudeve bhagavati bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ

janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam

By rendering devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment from the world.’

In the purport of SB 10.14.56, we find this written (italics are mine):

quote

Everything exists within Lord Kṛṣṇa, and Lord Kṛṣṇa exists within everything. Still, the order of progression is always from the energetic to the expanded energy. Lord Kṛṣṇa is the original identity, from whom all other identities emanate. He is the supreme energetic, from whom all categories and dimensions of energy become manifest. Thus, our personal bodies, self, family, friends, nation, planet, universe and so on are all manifestations of the Supreme Lord, who expands Himself through His personal potencies. Lord Kṛṣṇa is certainly the supreme object of our love and attraction, and other objects, such as body, family and home, should be secondary objects of our affection. Moreover, a close analytic study of the actual situation will reveal that even the secondary objects of love are also manifestations of Lord Kṛṣṇa. The conclusion is that Lord Kṛṣṇa is our only friend and object of love.

In his Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrīla Prabhupāda comments on this verse as follows: “Without being an expansion of Kṛṣṇa, nothing can be attractive. Whatever is attractive within the cosmic manifestation is due to Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is therefore the reservoir of all pleasure. The active principle of everything is Kṛṣṇa, and highly elevated transcendentalists see everything in connection with Him. In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is stated that a mahā-bhāgavata, a highly advanced devotee, sees Kṛṣṇa as the active principle in all moving and nonmoving living entities. Therefore he sees everything within this cosmic manifestation in relation to Kṛṣṇa.”

unquote

When you see your children as Krishna’s children and love them as Krishna’s children, and they realize that they are Krishna’s, then your devotion will be perfect, and their lives also will be perfect. All of you will be attached to Krishna’s lotus feet, and there will be no one more happy than Srimati Gurumataji and Srila Gurudeva.

Mahabhagavat Das, dasadas.com

Priya Harinath, 11 April 2019

Hare Krishna devotees

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji

What a wonderful question and what glorious answers from Amogha Lila Das Prabhu and Rupa Manjari mataji. Jaya! And what nectar from Mahabhagavad Das Prabhu. Thank you for guiding and enlightening fallen souls like me. Vaisnava association is the highest blessing anyone can get and it is possible only by the mercy of Guru and Krishna. We are indeed fortunate to have this in the form of this online bhagavata academy and devotees group.

Rashmi mataji, your question is wonderful and is in the mind of any parent. I am a mother of two and I have had this question in my mind in various ways every day. Just to add on to all the above wonderful answers, I had asked Srimati Gurumataji in one of the morning online Bhagavatam classes what should I do as a mother to guide my children towards Krishna. And she gave me a straight amazing answer.  She said, “First become fixed in devotion yourself. Work towards become an initiated devotee and then you will automatically become an example for your children to follow.” [Her words in quote].

You will be doing the greatest service to them if you guide them towards Krishna.

your humble servant

Priya

Rashmi, 11 April 2019

Hare Krishna everyone

Thank you so much for explaining. It’s really helps

Rashmi

Rashmi Chhabra, 11 April 2019

Hare Krishna Mahabhagavat Prabhuji

All glories to Gurudeva and Prabhupad

Thank you so much for guiding. I really need guidance at every step it seems, as I am the most useless person. Sometimes I have so many questions to enquire I myself don’t know where to start.

The ways you have devised to follow for bringing up kids in Krishna consciousness are superb. I was doing something like that, but little. Now i have been guided for the same.

It will definitely take time and patience from my end, but I’ll definitely put my best efforts in it.

Again thank you,

Hare Krishna

From Rashmi

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So, you want to see God?

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

If there’s a God, I want to see Him.

George Harrison

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

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

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

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

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

Reporter 6: I can’t say.

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

Reporter 6: Well. what is God realization?

Srila Prabhupada: First make sure you understand this idea.

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

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

Reporter 6: Yes.

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

Conversation with A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Actually, it is very easy to see God.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is this qualification needed to see God?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love of God – the ultimate variety

Some Fear God though God Loves Everyone… But what about our Love for God? Infinite Variety! Read on…

We discussed how, for a beginner who does not yet really know God or is not following the instructions of God, Fear of God is a powerful motivator.

On one beautiful afternoon, during a long walk with one of my brothers in Christ, Steve, we discussed both Fear of God, and Love. He is very much in the stage of feeling Fear of God, but I urged him to go deeper into Love instead of staying on in fear. He then said that in the Bible, these types of love are described…

  • Eros – sensual, or romantic love
  • Storge – familial love, parents and children, brothers and sister…
  • Philia – brotherly love – usually between those of faith
  • Agape (prounounced uh-gaap-eh) – God’s love, or Love of God – immeasurable and incomparable to other types of love

I brought up how our spiritual masters teach us that everything that exists in the material world is a perverted reflection of everything pure that exists in the spiritual world.

So every relationship in the material world, which is, more often than not, selfish and in fact, more lust than love, is simply a perverted reflection of the original relationships that exist in the spiritual realm.

When “Agape” that pure love of God is fully and perfectly reciprocated back towards God by the living entities, then it manifests as the following five types of mellows (called “rasas”) of relationship with God.

  • Shanta – the mood of neutrality
    • I know you’re God, but I’m over here, not actively interacting or serving You, even though I’m in the spiritual world
  • Dasya – the mood of servitude
    • actively serving, often in the mood of great awe and reverence
  • Sakhya – the mood of friendship
    • see God as a Friend, no awe and reverence
  • Vatsalya – the mood of parental love
    • see God as a Son, actually subordinate to yourself, feel protective, and feel that God is your dependent
  • Madhurya – the mood of conjugal love
    • this is the most nuanced and complex of them all, but basically seeing God as your husband or lover

In addition to these, there are the following seven secondary rasas, or mellows…

  • laughing
  • astonishment
  • chivalry
  • compassion
  • anger
  • dread
  • ghastliness

When these five primary mellows combine with each other and with the seven secondary mellows, an unlimited variety of mellows is generated, and these wonderful mellows are relished by those who are purely reflecting the Pure Love of God back to God.

Some combinations of mellows are incompatible of course, whereas others are perfectly compatible. This is an intricate science, this knowledge of rasa (mellow) and rasabhaas (the pretense of a mellow).

These mellows of loving devotional service cannot be imitated. They are manifested by perfectly pure devotees only, those who have not the slightest tinge of material attachment or material inebriety. Not to be imitated or artificially put on. If a soul who is not fully and completely in perfect spiritual consciousness tries to artificially force themselves into an advanced mellow of personal relationship, such as person is known as an offender against God.

One great saint, Srila Rupa Goswami, in the 16th Century AD, combed through vast volumes of Vedic Literature and extracted the essence of all Vedic Literature, among his incredible contributions, left behind for us a delightful text called the Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu (The Ocean of the Unending and Unlimited Nectar of Pure Devotion to God).

Another great modern-day saint, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, wrote a summary study of Rupa Goswami’s Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu, calling it the Nectar of Devotion.

This subject matter is very vast, and very deep. And to be honest, I am not qualified to delve into most aspects of this subject.

However, I’d like to bring out a few of my appreciations for how the theology from different traditions connects and expands our understanding of God The Supremely All-Attractive One. Even though one scripture, say from the Abrahamic traditions may not contain all this detail that is mentioned in another scripture, say, from the Vedic tradition, it must be understood that all genuine scriptures talk about the same One Supreme Absolute Truth. And genuine saintly souls, advanced in their understanding of their own scripture, will understand, accept, and relish this.

As for the others, the analogy is “stay on the tree”, which refers to how a sour mango on a branch of a mango tree reputed for giving sweet mangoes, just by staying on the branch, becomes sweet. In other words, someone who cannot appreciate higher aspects of our tradition or other traditions should, instead of blaspheming other traditions, seek inward purification and consequent broader and deeper understanding from God about His Glories.

More on purely spiritual relationships in future posts, but the important takeway is that spiritual life doesn’t mean negation of relationships, it means harmonizing all relationships through perfecting that one very special relationship each of us has, with our eternal emanator. In fact, the very raison-de’etre for our existence is so that the Supreme can enjoy these relationships with us.

Yes, the taste of an individual soul’s relationship is absolutely unique, no two souls can give the exact same taste to God. Even though there are unlimited millions, billions, trillions of us in this Universe and in other Universes.

Not just those in “human” forms, but every single living entity has a unique irreplaceable relationship with Krishna.

Would you not like to awaken your personal relationship with your best well-wisher and friend? Try this mantra, if you really want to get in…

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna

Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama

Rama Rama Hare Hare

The Hare Krishna Mahamantra

If you want to go deeper, then best to cultivate being a servant of the servant of the servant of the servant…. (ad inifinitum) God – easier said than done! Leave a comment or contact me.

Significance of the Feeling of Insignificance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love, not Fear

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ईश्वर: सर्वभूतानां हृद्देशेऽर्जुन तिष्ठति ।

भ्रामयन्सर्वभूतानि यन्‍त्रारूढानि मायया ॥ ६१ ॥

īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ

hṛd-deśe ’rjuna tiṣṭhati

bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni

yantrārūḍhāni māyayā

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

itīdṛk sva-līlābhir ānanda-kuṇḍe 

sva-ghoṣaṁ nimajjantam ākhyāpayantam 

tadīyeṣita-jñeṣu bhaktair jitatvaṁ 

punaḥ prematas taṁ śatāvṛtti vande

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

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

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

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

Sankarshan Das Adhikari, Transforming Lust into Love

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

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

NO FEAR!

Love or Lust, take your pick

Radha Krishna, our Best Friend and Supreme Well-Wisher

Love, Love, Love!

Who doesn’t want to love and who doesn’t want to be loved!

Much desired, much discussed, fantasized about, hankered for, in songs, literature, poetry, even science.

Here is what a great saint says about Love:

ātmendriya-prīti-vāñchā — tāre bali ‘kāma’
kṛṣṇendriya-prīti-icchā dhare ‘prema’ nāma

The desire to gratify one’s own senses is kāma [lust], but the desire to please the senses of Lord Kṛṣṇa is prema [love].https://vedabase.io/en/library/cc/adi/4/165/

Looking at it deeper, it means that whenever one desires someone or something for one’s own pleasure, that is not Love, that is Lust.

When we reflect on everything that has been given to us, air, water, this body, the ability to reflect, consciousness, the freedom to act, sunshine, food, and relationships… everything under the sun and beyond, we see that the source of it all deserves gratitude, and Love.

Krishna is the name for that Supreme Source, and Allah, Jehovah, Buddha, Rama, Yahweh, all refer to that one Supreme Soul, the Source of Everything that exists.

It is alright if you take exception to the above statement and disagree with me there. No matter what your own nomenclature for the Single Supreme Source of All is, whether it be Allah, Christ, Jehovah, Buddha, or some other name… When you try to gratify that Supreme Being’s senses, that is Love, and everything else is merely Lust.

All those love songs, all of those poems and ballads, dramas and theatre, perfumes and fantasies, they are actually of Love only when directed to the Supreme Divine, and lust otherwise.

I had a wonderful experience of this, traveling once with a sincere, loving, generous and humble saint, His Holiness Amala Bhakta Swami, from Toronto to Los Angeles, and he was clearly in ecstasy about something he was listening to. When I looked at him inquiringly, he took out one of his ear buds connected to his phone, and gave it to me… and he pressed play, I heard this song for the very first time in my life…

Unforgettable, that’s what you are
Unforgettable though near or far
Like a song of love that clings to me
How the thought of you does things to me
Never before has someone been more

Unforgettable in every way
And forever more, that’s how you’ll stay
That’s why, darling, it’s incredible
That someone so unforgettable
Thinks that I am unforgettable too

Unforgettable in every way
And forever more, that’s how you’ll stay
That’s why, darling, it’s incredible
That someone so unforgettable
Thinks that I am unforgettable too

-Nat King Cole (also performed by Barbara Streisand and others)

Think about this. While one can be forgiven for being carried away by temporary waves of emotion for our “TSO” – “temporary significant other” (phrase courtesy His Holiness Devamrita Swami), that song only consistently and forever makes sense when in relation to God. Because God stays in our heart and keeps us alive, gives us consciousness, even if we may have chosen to forget. Even though we may forget God, God never ever forgets us. I will never forget Amala Bhakta Swami Maharaja’s gift to me, in being able to relate everything wonderful and unforgettable back to the Supreme Divine, Krishna.

In fact, life after life, God travels in our heart, in His expansion as “Super Soul” or “Paramatma”

ईश्वरः सर्वभूतानां हृद्देशेऽर्जुन तिष्ठति । भ्रामयन्सर्वभूतानि यन्त्रारूढानि मायया ॥ १८.६१ ॥ īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
hṛd-deśe ’rjuna tiṣṭhati
bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni
yantrārūḍhāni māyayā

The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy. –https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/18/61/

No matter if a soul is in the body of a worm, an ant, a fish, a vulture, a hog, a dog, a camel, or an ass… or a human being, the Supreme Divine accompanies us all.

That is Love.

And to express affection back, and to render service to He who has never abandoned me, despicable me, who let my Best Friend and Well-Wisher down originally, and over and over again, but not again now, is worthy of my Love. Not “gimme this gimme that gimme gimme gimme” but “What can I do for you my dearest friend?”

Love or Lust, what will it be for you?

Love is what I seek to give, so please help me God.

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Free Will, Love Me or Leave Me

Say you love me, tell me you love me, or I’ll blow your brains out

This is not love, these are words of a psychopath who is obsessed about someone and is distressed that the obsession is not mutual (example heard from my spiritual master Sankarshan Das Adhikari)

God is not a psychopath. In fact, one of God’s attributes is “Atmarama” or “fully satisfied within Himself”, not needing anything from anyone else to be fully complete.

So then, all living entities, parts-and-parcels of that Supreme, have the free will to either Love God or Leave God.

Those who choose to leave get God’s love, as do those who choose to stay.

In fact, the entire material realm, consisting of millions, billions, countless Universes, is a manifestation of God’s pure love. And within this material realm, God manifests Himself inside each atom, and in the space between the atoms, but also alongside every living entity, as the localized Supersoul, Paramatma.

But, but, but, the material realm is far from perfect, there is so much pain here, so much hatred, and imperfections of all kinds. How could this be a manifestation of God’s love?

says a person who doesn’t want to take responsibility for being in the material realm

Love doesn’t mean coddling. A parent loves their child. They don’t let the child do whatever, they discipline the child in different ways, sometimes lovingly, sometimes strictly, sometimes by bribing, sometimes by taking away a privilege. But the parent also makes great sacrifices for their child. Even though God is a loving parent to all of us, God is in no way imperfect like an ordinary parent. So God’s arrangement for love are also perfect.

So in this way, the pain and suffering we see in the material realm is simply and perfectly just, everyone gets exactly what they deserve through their past actions on the material plane “every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. Sometimes, the surf’s up, and sometimes not, but it is not at all accidental.

Atheists are not denied the basic necessities of life, air, water, food, health, opportunity, just because they are atheists… its all set up in a fair and equitable way according to past actions and their resultant reactions.

And that is why, “good things happen to bad people“, that is why “bad things happen to good people“. Because no one in material consciousness is a perfect saint, nor a perfect sinner. And God very kindly accommodates both and all shades of gray in between.

When, however, a soul becomes fully perfect in their spiritual consciousness, in full knowledge of their identity and is ready to “be who you are, be who you really are“, then that soul leaves the material realm and rejoins other perfect souls and the Supreme Perfect Soul in endless loving exchanges, the realm of the eternal ever-present, where every word is a song, and every word, a dance. Let’s go there!

Bg. 9.29
समोऽहं सर्वभूतेषु न मे द्वेष्योऽस्ति न प्रियः ।
ये भजन्ति तु मां भक्त्या मयि ते तेषु चाप्यहम् ॥ ९.२९ ॥
samo ’haṁ sarva-bhūteṣu
na me dveṣyo ’sti na priyaḥ
ye bhajanti tu māṁ bhaktyā
mayi te teṣu cāpy aham

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

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/9/29/

Bg. 18.61
ईश्वरः सर्वभूतानां हृद्देशेऽर्जुन तिष्ठति ।
भ्रामयन्सर्वभूतानि यन्त्रारूढानि मायया ॥ १८.६१ ॥
īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ
hṛd-deśe ’rjuna tiṣṭhati
bhrāmayan sarva-bhūtāni
yantrārūḍhāni māyayā
The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.

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

Bg. 18.63
इति ते ज्ञानमाख्यातं गुह्याद्‌गुह्यतरं मया ।
विमृश्यैतदशेषेण यथेच्छसि तथा कुरु ॥ १८.६३ ॥
iti te jñānam ākhyātaṁ
guhyād guhya-taraṁ mayā
vimṛśyaitad aśeṣeṇa
yathecchasi tathā kuru
Thus I have explained to you knowledge still more confidential. Deliberate on this fully, and then do what you wish to do.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/18/63/

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