Serving those who serve the Supreme

Serving the servant of God is even more powerful than serving God directly…

This morning, very early, before 4AM, I was driving three souls to the Hare Krishna temple.

As I drove on the nearly empty roads, the car was filled with a buzz, and not just the hum of the tires cruising on the asphalt or the sound of the engine. It was my car-load of chanters…

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna

Krishna Krishna Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama

Rama Rama Hare Hare

The Hare Krishna Maha Mantra

Three voices, chanting this mantra in their own cadence, with their own sweet lilting speciality chanted, some softer than others, some slower than others, but all chanted.

The words of one mantra being chanted by one soul blended with another, it was impossible to clearly tell where the mantra started and where the mantra ended. But I was very happy to hear the mantra in this way, like the buzzing of bees.

Even though I had sacrificed my own chanting to drive, I was very satisfied that I was serving three very exalted souls, while I drove, they could chant. They were all chanting very sincerely. They were tasting the sweetness of the Holy Names of God.

Just by hearing them all, I was feeling very happy. So I resolved to try and serve anyone who was serving the Supreme, in any possible way, small or big.

By serving those who serve the Supreme, we serve the Supreme also. But even more importantly, we serve the souls who are dear to the Supreme.

ye me bhakta-janāḥ pārtha
na me bhaktāś ca te janāḥ
mad-bhaktānāṁ ca ye bhaktās
te me bhakta-tamā matāḥ

“[Lord Kṛṣṇa told Arjuna:] ‘Those who are My direct devotees are actually not My devotees, but those who are the devotees of My servant are factually My devotees.’

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu quotes this verse from the Ādi Purāṇa. The verse is also included in the Laghu-bhāgavatāmṛta (2.6).

https://vedabase.io/en/library/cc/madhya/11/28/

Simple formula, find a servant of God, be their servant. Your own service will be that much sweeter, and God will be pleased with you.

Try it. Even if for a little bit.

Intoxication – do it right

Do you or any one you know do intoxication? Learn to do it right!

I met a young man who “sometimes takes magic mushrooms” to help him “advance spiritually”.

I said to him “mushrooms are a material substance – the spiritual quest is non-material, how can you reach the spiritual dimension with a mere hallucinogen?”

Think about it, if you need a substance to get you in the spiritual mood, then how will you transcend the material? Is that all your “spiritual experience” is? A chemically induced high?

No, the spiritual high is different, potent, and there is no substance that can even come close to the real thing.

Do you or anyone you know like to drink alcohol? Or smoke a little Marijuana? Drugs? Prescription Medication? Or some other hallucinogen? Are you into tea or coffee? Or tobacco in any form? Chocolate anyone?

In human life, our most precious gift is our highly developed consciousness. In other species of life, there is ample facility for the primitive needs of eating, sleeping, mating, and defending, but no other species offers the specific gift of highly evolved consciousness.

In the cycle between birth and death, if a person strives to use their consciousness to transcend the misery of birth, death, old age, and disease, or in other words, rediscover their eternal spiritual nature, that is good use of human life.

The process of liberation is brahma jijñāsā, the search for the Absolute Truth.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/5/5/14/

When someone uses their human consciousness to strive to search for the Absolute Truth, then even if they do not attain to spiritual perfection in this life, they are sure to get another chance…

नेहाभिक्रमनाशोऽस्ति प्रत्यवायो न विद्यते ।
स्वल्पमप्यस्य धर्मस्य त्रायते महतो भयात् ॥ ४० ॥ nehābhikrama-nāśo ’sti
pratyavāyo na vidyate
sv-alpam apy asya dharmasya
trāyate mahato bhayāt

In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/40/

As Srila Prabhupada writes…

Or, as the Christians say, “What profiteth a man if he gain the whole world yet suffer the loss of his eternal soul?”

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/40/

Intoxication of any kind causes a degradation of the consciousness.

Intoxication does not take you higher, it drags you lower.

What happens to a person who takes intoxicants? They lose their sobriety. This loss of sobriety is gross in some cases, such as someone who is drunk, or subtle in others, such as someone who becomes materially attached.

Even the “benign” substances such as tea, coffee, and chocolate keep us bound up to the material world, by increasing our attachment to the material world.

Are you on a spiritual journey? Then intoxicants will act to dampen your enthusiasm for spiritual perfection. Dear fellow spiritualists, please avoid all material intoxicants, and ensure your smooth journey to pure spiritual consciousness.

However, know that there is a Supreme Intoxication, the transcendental sound of the Names of God. There are unlimited names of God. You can chant any of them, and each of them will intoxicate you.

However, if you haven’t tried these Supreme Combination of Syllables, try them now.

The Hare Krishna Maha Mantra, the Mother Mantra, the Source of All Spiritual Wisdom

If you want to know how to do intoxication right, please let me serve you!

What is the Vedic Significance of New Years’ eve?

Bhakta Sunil, 9th January 2017

Hare Krishna

Is there a significance of staying awake till midnight of 31st December , as i understand that this is factually English new year?so is it necessary to stay awake till midnight of 31st December?

Regards,
Sunil

Deepak,9th Jan 2017

As far as i understand there is no significance to awake all night, but if you want chant what can be best than that. we do it for our piece or i can say not to feel embarrassed in society, in other words where people are doing many illicit things on that day, we enjoy and relish it by chanting or by associating with devotees.

Sorry if something wrong I said

your servant
Deepak

Dhrishtadyumna Das, 9th January 2017

Hare krishna
Please accept my humble obesiance

Srila prabhupada told , For us everyday is new year because krishna is everfresh & evernew & we are celebrating him , but these materialist people need to drink this poison to forget all the frustrations, misgivings of past year , we dont need to celebrate by being intoxicated as that is pleasure in mode of ignorance, we can celebrate by being intoxicated in holyname.
Morever this is not new year according to vedic tradition, as per vedic calendar the new year comes on diwali where we light candles, do puja , distribute sweets , gifts, buy new clothes & celebrate on the other hand if u see the way nowadays the people celebrate by getting drunk , vomiting sleeping till next day thus they welcome the new year in hangover, bcos that is the western culture of celebrating things by getting drunk to forget all miseries, people celebrate new year according to english calendar bcos all countries were ruled by british, europeans , thus they passed on their dirty culture to us .
A vaisnava can meditate that i have got a limited time to fulfill my goal to achieve krsna & i am one year closer to death , i should become more serious, sincere , determined & bring urgency in my chanting, taking shelter of srila prabhupada books, , we can welcome the new year by attending mangal arati,chanting in association of devotees, visiting the nearest temple or hearing a tape of our guru maharaj or srila prabhupada.

your servant
Dhrishtadyumna Das

Dra Varni, 9th January 2017

Hello & Hare Krsna! The tradition of ringing in the new year is “eternal time at work” The idea is a cultural tradition born out off cultural satisfaction through participation.

Sincerely,
dra

Naresh Poondla, 9 January 2017

Hare Krishna,
Yes, there is significance of awakening on 31st Dec midnight only

  • if you go to Hare Krishna temple for midnight mangala arthi and listen to kirtans and to be associated with devotees. You whole year will be glorified with the mercy of sri krishna.

Thanks
Naresh

Hemanga Das, 10th January 2017

Hare Krishna !

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

I am part of Toronto congregation, every year we go along with our own Bhakti Marga Swami to Toronto downtown at midnight to share the mercy of Holy names with locals.You will be surprised how many souls get attracted to Harinam! Some come to temple that night with us after their party, chant some rounds and go back home. Can you imagine how much benefit they might have made?

I was one among many lost souls aimless roaming on streets on Dec. 31st night. Vaishnava’s came and saved me. There are many like me just waiting for mercy! Please spread the mercy of Lord Chaitanya. Every town and village

your servant,
Hemanga Das

Dra Varni, 10th January 2017

Hare Krsna, Yes, importance can be a memory attachment to time and other significant action on that day. Chanting rounds on this day can be the best action.

Thank You dra

Bhakta Sunil, 12th January 2017

Thanks again and again to each one for conversing on this topic which i relished

your insignificant servant,
Bhakta Sunil

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Consciousness, Higher or Lower

The quality of our consciousness can be chosen, either actively or passively. Where do you want to take your consciousness today?

Everything we think, say, or do, affects our consciousness. Everything we eat or drink affects our consciousness. Everything we hear or see affects our consciousness too. Our consciousness is shaped by our experiences. Does that sound hopeless or hopeful to you? You can choose your consciousness!

Recently I met one young aspiring spiritualist who had once imbibed some intoxicating substance to “reach a higher plane of consciousness”. I told him that if attaining to a higher plane of consciousness was so cheap that a mere substance could take us there, then all the drug addicts of the world would be sages, great saintly souls who can see the past, present and future, act with perfect equanimity, and help everyone they meet. But this is not the case.

A drunk man may be entertaining or irritating, but a drunk man is a drunk man, not a sober human even.

When we are intoxicated, we hallucinate. Hallucination is not a “higher plane of consciousness”, no matter what the drug peddler might tell you. Hallucination is a lower form of consciousness. Don’t hallucinate with substances, you can reach a higher plane of consciousness by proper meditation.

Substances like tea, coffee, chocolate, alcohol, cannabis, opioids, and drugs, they are all intoxicants. They don’t take our consciousness to a higher level, but to a lower level.

These are, at a high-level, states of consciousness:

  • Unconscious
  • Sub-conscious
  • Conscious
  • Super-Conscious

When most of us are asleep, we’re mostly unconscious, though there are certain things that happen at a sub-conscious level also.

When we’re awake, we’re generally conscious, but there are certain things that happen at a sub-conscious level too.

At the sub-conscious level, usually it is instincts, but also other complex phenomena, like for example suggestions and advertisements that are on a subtle level, always playing with our consciousness, inserting suggestions into our consciousness… making us feel that it is us who want those things or experiences…

यथा प्रकाशयत्येक: कृत्स्‍नं लोकमिमं रवि: ।
क्षेत्रं क्षेत्री तथा कृत्स्‍नं प्रकाशयति भारत ॥ ३४ ॥ yathā prakāśayaty ekaḥ
kṛtsnaṁ lokam imaṁ raviḥ
kṣetraṁ kṣetrī tathā kṛtsnaṁ
prakāśayati bhārata

O son of Bharata, as the sun alone illuminates all this universe, so does the living entity, one within the body, illuminate the entire body by consciousness.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/13/34/

Because consciousness is the symptom of the soul, a symptom of life itself, all living entities are conscious. The quality, the fidelity of consciousness varies though. A plant is aware of very little, and hence conscious at a very low level, insect at a higher level, animal at an even higher level, and so on. Both a drunk human and a sober human are conscious, just that the drunk human’s consciousness is said to be closer to the consciousness of an animal than the sober human’s, in most cases anyways.

A soul in a dog’s body, even though conscious, can’t do much about it’s level of consciousness except accept whatever consciousness was imposed upon it by nature, viz, act like a dog.

Humans, on the other hand, possess a rare gift, in it that they can actively choose a state of consciousness. Consequently, humans can, if they choose to, act like animals or like trees or fish or birds or insects. That is a freedom afforded in human life.

However, only humans can actively choose a higher form of consciousness, super-consciousness. To be aware of what is going on, inside us at a spiritual level, inside our bodies and minds… to be able to see what consciousness someone else is at, and as this gets further developed, know more than can be afforded by the limits of space and time.

Every single thought, word, and deed we engage in, or are part of, for example, reading a novel or a newspaper, watching a movie or television, hanging out with a friend who loves politics or sports… each such experience shapes our consciousness.

When someone practices a genuine form of meditation that is centered around the Supreme Absolute Truth, such as, for example, the chanting of the Maha Mantra “the great chant”:

हरे कृष्ण हरे कृष्ण कृष्ण कृष्ण हरे हरे |
हरे राम हरे राम राम राम हरे हरे ||

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare

When properly heard and chanted, this mantra lifts the consciousness of the chanter towards super-consciousness. Try it out. Just hear yourself saying this mantra, and let me know if I can help.

इदं ज्ञानमुपाश्रित्य मम साधर्म्यमागता: ।
सर्गेऽपि नोपजायन्ते प्रलये न व्यथन्ति च ॥ २ ॥ idaṁ jñānam upāśritya
mama sādharmyam āgatāḥ
sarge ’pi nopajāyante
pralaye na vyathanti ca

By becoming fixed in this knowledge, one can attain to the transcendental nature like My own. Thus established, one is not born at the time of creation or disturbed at the time of dissolution.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/14/2/

Where do you want to take your consciousness today?

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The Best Sacrifice / Yajna for this age

Deepak, 26th May 2015

Hare Krishna to all
Please accept my humble obeisances.
All Glories to GuruDev.
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

My question is :- which Yajnas should be perform in this Kaliyug and how to perform it

Hare Krishna

Rathin Mandal, 27th May 2015

Hare Krishna Deepak,

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

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

For this age only Sankirtana Yajna is recommended. For doing the yajnas that were recommended in other ages, neither do we have that much of life span, nor physical strength and not enough resources. That is why other yajnas are not recommended.

your Servant
Rathin

Sridhar Das, 06th June 2015

Hare Krishna Deepak,

My humble obeisances to you,
All Glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumata!
All Glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!

You have correctly read that Sankirtan Yajna is the recommended Yajna for this age as confirmed below:

kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ
 tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ
dvāpare paricaryāyāṁ
 kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt

“Whatever result was obtained in Satya-yuga by meditating on Viṣṇu, in Tretā-yuga by performing sacrifices, and in Dvāpara-yuga by serving the Lord’s lotus feet can be obtained in Kali-yuga simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.” (SB 12.3.52)

It can be performed by anyone irrespective of any past qualifications, irrespective of family backgrounds and can be chanted anytime and any place (we don’t carry beads in the bathroom though).

your servant
Sridhar Das

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Chanting Consciously or Attentively

Vandana Neeraye, 28th May 2015

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisance

All Glories to Shrila Prabupada

All Glories to Shrila Gurudev and Guru mataji

Hare Krishna

i know that when we chat it has to be without any offenses. But what does it mean to chant attentively or consciously.

Thank you

your servant,
Vandana

Sacinandana Das, 28th May 2015

Hare Krishna Vandana Mataji,
Please accept my humble obeisances!
All Glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji!
All Glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!

If your question is whether there is a difference between chanting attentively and consciously, I had the same question months back. Ultimately, I preached to the mind to keep things simpler – Just hear the Holy Names attentively.

In other words, I find both as the same thing. Consciously hearing each syllable in Mahamantra – Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare also means chanting attentively. And chanting attentively means consciously hearing each syllable in the mantra.

Offenceless chanting means chanting while avoiding all the 10 offences. If we chant without offences, i.e. avoid all the ten offences, we will then automatically be able to chant attentively. This was told to me by Srila Gurudeva personally. Also that, sometimes, the last thing in the list is the most important thing (as found here).

So we must keep striving to chant attentively despite success or failures, which happens by determination, enthusiasm, patience and causeless mercy of Guru and Krishna. Attentive chanting in brahma-muhrat is the ideal-most start of the day.

I seek prayers of all the readers that I may be able to do so.

your servant
Sacinandana Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 28th September 2015

Dear Mother Vandana,

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

Thank you for this question and Bhakta Shreyas’ nice answer which is complete.

I wanted to add a personal perspective.

As long as we remain alive in this body, it is impossible to chant “completely without consciousness”, because we know that dead bodies cannot chant Hare Krishna. However, it is possible for us to chant in a distracted or mechanical way, which is not fully effective, though any kind of chanting is always better than no chanting. The best thing to do is to notice when we are not paying attention to hearing our own chanting, and focus attention back to hearing the Mahamantra.

Srila Prabhupada once said, as recounted as “the shortest japa workshop” by one of his close disciples, when asked “what do with the distracted mind” that there is the mouth which chants, and the ears which hear, there is no question of the mind, in other words, chanting is as simple as chanting and hearing what one chants.

The example of mechanical chanting is Krishna has come to your door, knocking on your door, and you simply ignore Him. This is because the Hare Krishna Mahamantra is non-different from Sri Radha Krishna, as Krishna is non-different from His name “nama chintamani krishnas chaitanya rasa vigraha, purna shuddho nitya mukto abhinnatvam nama naminoh” – “abhinna’ = non-different, “nama” = name, and “naminoh” = owner of the name (Krishna).

When devotees say chant with attention, it means to recognize that Krishna is in His name and to pay attention to Hearing Him as He visits us out of His causeless mercy.

It is a daily and constant endeavor to anyone who is trying to chant.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das


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Chanting mainly because of anxiety- reducing effect?

Bhakta Sunil, 14th March 2013

Hare Krishna

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

I have experienced that chanting on japa mala helps quieten mind and reduce anxieties and negative thoughts

I would like to know  is it correct if one develops addiction to chanting mainly because of anxiety-reducing-effect of chanting

Regards,
Sunil

Rathin Mandal, 15th March 2013

Hare Krishna,

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

I will agree with you that chanting Hare Krishna Mahamantra reduces anxieties and help in keeping the negative thought away. That is also the power of the Holy Name. Even I experience it sometimes.
I heard it in one of the lecture, that this is the initial process of getting cleansed. The Holy Name first cleans the material covering around us that is in form of anxiety, anger, and envy. Anxiety arises from illusion and then the mind plays all kind of tricks upon us. So by chanting the material covering gets reduced and spiritual consciousness awakens, one experience the bliss of all merciful.
In another lecture, I have heard that in neophyte state whatever may be the reason, one should keep on chanting. By continuous chanting of Hare Krishna Mahamantra one is sure to get realization of Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality. Another reason is that by chanting one is associating with the Supreme Lord.

your Servant
Rathin

Bhakta Sunil, 15th March 2013

Wow! Very satisfying and nice answer Rathin prabhu

My repeated humble obeisances to you

Regards,
Sunil Vaswani
Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 15th March 2013

Dear Sunil, Why not? “yena kena prakaarena manah krishna niveshayet”, “some way or another, the mind should be invested in Krishna”. So by all means, be addicted to chanting Hare Krishna, but don’t neglect practical service to Guru, Krishna, family, community etc., we are in the business of serving others, we are transcendental paramedics in this battlefield of material nature. We need to maintain our own health, and then go go go out to serve those who need spiritual guidance in the darkness of material illusion.

Nikhil Mishra, 15th March 2013

Hare krsna devotees
My humble obeisances to all of you.
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

“Is it correct if one develops addiction to chanting mainly because of anxiety reducing effect of chanting “.
Sunil Prabhu this statement does not sound 100% convincing to me. I think it is OK to pray to God in a mood of complete surrender but this surrender is not anxiety but it comes after inquiring about the reality from a healthy mind .We can take the example of Srila Sanatan and Rupa Goswami who surrendered to Godhead after discussion with Mahaprabhu.So get my point. Just don’t take chanting as a means of overcoming anxiety. If you are habitually anxious then discuss things with senior devotees and Guru personally. May be you need some kind of counseling.   Kindly understand the intention behind the words of Mahabhagvat Prabhu “don’t neglect practical service to Guru, Krishna, family, community etc.”…. ……“We need to maintain our own health, and then go out to serve those who need spiritual guidance”.

Sincerely
Nikhil

Bhakta Sunil, 15th March 2013

Respected Mahabhagavat Prabhu

I understand!

with regards,
Sunil

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