“I don’t have no time to meditate man”

Meditation? Don’t have the time? But do you realize you’re meditating all the time? What are you meditating on?

I am often out on the street, trying to engage souls in conversation about spirituality. Most ignore me, and I get, it, who wants to talk to a stranger in today’s paranoid times? Some even get angry with me, and make me stronger by trying to abuse me. But after years of practice, I don’t take this all personally. As a messenger of God, my goal is to simply poll every soul I can to see if they are ready. One of my teachers, Vaisesika Dasa, taught me how to try my best to leave everyone with a good impression. So even though I have all sorts of stingers and retorts up my sleeve, I strive to practice humility instead.

But some souls do engage positively, some do take the message, they chant the mantra, or take a book, many even give me a heartfelt donation to help continue the work. It is another thing that we don’t need the money – I am a successful professional in the corporate world, I can afford to give out all those books, all my time and energy, for free… but we do take a donation to help the other soul begin / continue their service to the spiritual cause.

One of the most common responses I get to “Hey, have you ever tried meditation”, is “No time to meditate”, or “I’m too busy for that”, or “I have tried, but I just can’t meditate”. But what most fail to realize is that everyone meditates.

Everyone meditates all the time!

The question is, what do we meditate on? Some of us meditate on the past, some meditate on some imagined future, pleasant or otherwise. Some of us meditate on objects, and some of us on certain sensory experiences.

But meditation on these is pointless and does not give us much benefit. Any benefit, for example, from meditating on conquering the world is temporary because one’s present life is temporary. Meditation on sensory experiences is also futile because such meditation gives no satisfaction, but increases hankering. Meditating on objects is unsatisfying too.

In fact, this is what the Bhavagavad Gita says about meditation on the non-spiritual…

ध्यायतो विषयान्पुंसः सङ्गस्तेषूपजायते ।
सङ्गात्संजायते कामः कामात्क्रोधोऽभिजायते ॥ २.६२ ॥

dhyāyato viṣayān puṁsaḥ saṅgas teṣūpajāyate
saṅgāt sañjāyate kāmaḥ kāmāt krodho ’bhijāyate

While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from such attachment lust develops, and from lust anger arises.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/62/

क्रोधाद्भवति संमोहः संमोहात्स्मृतिविभ्रमः ।
स्मृतिभ्रंशाद्बुद्धिनाशो बुद्धिनाशात्प्रणश्यति ॥ २.६३ ॥
krodhād bhavati sammohaḥ
sammohāt smṛti-vibhramaḥ
smṛti-bhraṁśād buddhi-nāśo
buddhi-nāśāt praṇaśyati

From anger, complete delusion arises, and from delusion bewilderment of memory. When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost, and when intelligence is lost one falls down again into the material pool.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/63/

And, unfortunately, everyone who does not specifically, intentionally meditate on something non-material, something spiritual, ends up feeling increasingly dissatisfied, having to resort to wanton sense gratification, intoxication, and different forms of violence. And this is a cycle, which is how we see most souls in older souls continually grumpy, continually snarky, perennially dissatisfied.

The mind is like a depression on the ground where there is a lot of water – the ditch collects water, and the mind collects thoughts, feelings, and the intents to act. Every single impression is stored somewhere in the mind. And by mind, I don’t mean the “brain” but something more subtle, that is manifested as those synapses and neurons and so on (more on this some other time).

But there is a mediation that takes us out of that negative cycle, that connects us to a source of sublime pleasure that is non-material, pleasure that ever-increases, pleasure that time, distance or anyone else can take away. Purely spiritual, and ever-increasing, this pleasure is endlessly deep, and endlessly delicious, with no sense of boredom and no lack of variety.

When I go out on the street, it is that pleasure that I wish to share with others, some are ready, some are not, and for everyone who is ready, it is a journey.

बाह्यस्पर्शेष्वसक्तात्मा विन्दत्यात्मनि यत् सुखम् ।
स ब्रह्मयोगयुक्तात्मा सुखमक्षयमश्नुते ॥ ५.२१ ॥
bāhya-sparśeṣv asaktātmā
vindaty ātmani yat sukham
sa brahma-yoga-yuktātmā
sukham akṣayam aśnute

Such a liberated person is not attracted to material sense pleasure but is always in trance, enjoying the pleasure within. In this way the self-realized person enjoys unlimited happiness, for he concentrates on the Supreme.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/5/21/

And this pleasure is available, here is a hint. 🙂

Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami chants the Hare Krishna Mahamantra in great ecstasy

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Time – Insurmountable time

In School, we studied this poem. It struck me then, and it strikes me now, and has ended up being among my all-time favourites…

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert… near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed;

And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings;
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Ozymandias, by Percy Shelley

This is the fate of anyone trying to leave behind a material legacy. Time spares none, and no material result is more permanent than a sand-castle at the beach. Not any amount of money, not any building, not any organization.

Time is an impersonal expansion of God, and is thus insurmountable by anyone except the pure lover of God. Such a pure hearted soul, even if externally in the material realm, lives in the eternal ever-present, with no past, no future, simply the eternal ever-present. Such a person experiences no hankering, sorrow, no anxiety, and no despair whatsoever.

However, in the material realm, for those in material consciousness, time is insurmountable. All talk of transcending time is just childish babbling. Time, in the material realm can never be transcended.

What is it that makes time so powerful?

Bg. 11.32
श्रीभगवानुवाच ।
कालोऽस्मि लोकक्षयकृत्प्रवृद्धो
लोकान्समाहर्तुमिह प्रवृत्तः ।
ऋतेऽपि त्वां न भविष्यन्ति सर्वे
येऽवस्थिताः प्रत्यनीकेषु योधाः ॥ ११.३२ ॥
śrī-bhagavān uvāca
kālo ’smi loka-kṣaya-kṛt pravṛddho
lokān samāhartum iha pravṛttaḥ
ṛte ’pi tvāṁ na bhaviṣyanti sarve
ye ’vasthitāḥ praty-anīkeṣu yodhāḥ

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Time I am, the great destroyer of the worlds, and I have come here to destroy all people. With the exception of you [the Pāṇḍavas], all the soldiers here on both sides will be slain.

https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/11/32/

Time is understood as an impersonal expansion of God.

No matter how powerful someone may be in the material realm, they cannot stand the test of time. In the material world, as I heard a wonderful devotee named Govind Dasa say recently, “even incarnations of God are forgotten with time, what to speak of us”. Time is the greatest of all subduers.

Bg. 10.30
प्रह्लादश्चास्मि दैत्यानां कालः कलयतामहम् ।
मृगाणां च मृगेन्द्रोऽहं वैनतेयश्च पक्षिणाम् ॥ १०.३० ॥
prahlādaś cāsmi daityānāṁ
kālaḥ kalayatām aham
mṛgāṇāṁ ca mṛgendro ’haṁ
vainateyaś ca pakṣiṇām
Among the Daitya demons I am the devoted Prahlāda, among subduers I am time, among beasts I am the lion, and among birds I am Garuḍa.


https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/10/30/

And this is why we cannot understand time. We can only understand that which is inferior to us. In order to solve a problem, one has to be higher than that problem, whether it be with physical force, or mental ability.

Some intricate mathematical or philosophical concepts are beyond the grasp of untrained or incapable minds. Taxes are beyond the control of most humans. Death is beyond the control all living entities. And time, time is beyond all of us.

Is there anything at all that stands the test of time?

Bg. 14.2
इदं ज्ञानमुपाश्रित्य मम साधर्म्यमागताः ।
सर्गेऽपि नोपजायन्ते प्रलये न व्यथन्ति च ॥ १४.२ ॥
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/

And how can one do that?

After acquiring perfect transcendental knowledge, one acquires qualitative equality with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, becoming free from the repetition of birth and death.

A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, BG 14.2 purport

Let’s aim for this perfect spiritual knowledge, and let us live it!

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When and How did the Soul Arrive in the Material World?

Sanjeev, 12th September 2011

Hare Krsna Vaisnavas

Please accept my humble obeisances

All Glories to Srila Praphupada

All Glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga

We learn from the Sastras that because of our past deeds in the spiritual world we, as spirit souls, have obtained this material body and have been put into the material world. Do the Sastras say when and how the conditioned souls accepted the material body?

your eternal servant

Sanjeev

Ashutosh Pandey, 13th September 2011

Hare Krsna!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

We have been captured in this material world since time immemorial….even if someone tells you your exact date of entry into this material world…. how is it going to help you?? What benefit will you get from this information?? Is it going to bring back your forgotten relationship with Krsna without following what others devotees are following??

More intelligent approach is that now you have realised or say know, you are entangled into this material world because of your own sins against Lord Krsna, better accept fault, get surrendered, approach a bonafide guru, follow the instructions and devote this life to serve the Vaishnavas……you have already taken millions and millions of birth for sense gratification..just devote one life for Krsna….

Even though to quench your inquisitiveness: Shastras are meant for God realisation and hence they mention those characters from whose life one can learn a lot to progress in spirituality. Even if one talks about the day he entered into this material world, the time is not going to be same for every one.

Hope this answers your question

your servant,

Ashutosh

Uddhava Presta Das, 13th September 2011

Hare Krsna

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

All Glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga

An apt answer….

your servant,

uddhava presta das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 13th September 2011

Hare Krishna Sanjeev Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Prabhu, your question is valid, and it is a nice question also. Ashutosh Prabhu is right that it is not useful to know when exactly.

However, in the spirit of understanding things as they are as per Guru and Shastra, here are a few points to add to Ashutosh Prabhu’s explanation.

Srila Gurudeva has written on this topic also, please read here – switch to the Q&A section – I am not quoting because it is lengthy:

http://www.sda-archives.com/tftd/2009/nov/tftd_110409.html

1. In the spiritual world, time is eternal also, but not like in the material world, in spiritual world, there is no concept of “passing away” – this is mentioned in Brahma Samhita also, Tirtharaja Prabhu had posted on another thread…

“…where there is eternal existence of transcendental time, who is ever present and without past or future and hence is not subject to the quality of passing away even for the duration of half a moment….”

2. In the material world, there is a start and finish to everything, and being materially conditioned, we cannot imagine timelessness. So we want to know, when, where, etc. It is out of scope for us, unless we are spiritually advanced. Mundane example is that it is like an ant trying to imagine the extent of our roads and railways and airways and shipping routes.

3. We have been coming and going higher and lower, on different planets, different universes, different bodies, since time immemorial… in other words, practically we have been here so long that it is more than 1000, 10,000, million, billion years. For example, it is said that every living entity starts off as Brahma in a particular universe… one day of Lord Brahma lasts 4.32 billion of our years. Lord Brahma lives for 100 of such years. It is just totally inconceivable for us, right?

4. We have been on and off in 8.4 different million species over and over again.

5. In this lifetime, we have the mercy of Guru and Krishna and have received the seed of Bhakti which has been planted in our heart.

brahmānda bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva

guru-krsna-prasāde pāya bhakti-latā-bīja

“”According to their karma, all living entities are wandering throughout the entire universe. Some of them are being elevated to the upper planetary systems, and some are going down into the lower planetary systems. Out of many millions of wandering living entities, one who is very fortunate gets an opportunity to associate with a bona fide spiritual master by the grace of Kṛṣṇa. By the mercy of both Kṛṣṇa and the spiritual master, such a person receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service.” CC Madhya 19.151

Please read the purport here:

http://vedabase.net/cc/madhya/19/151/

I hope this helps. Please let us know if there are any questions, this is a nice topic and should be understood thoroughly. Just the endeavour to understand helps us to advance spiritually, whether we actually understand or not.

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Sanjeev, 13th September 2011

Hare Krsna,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Praphupada.

All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga.

Many Thanks for the very intuituive answers from Mahabhagavat Das Prabhu and Ashutosh Prabhu. This forum is so spiritually enlivening.

May Krsna bless this forum. Hari Bol.

Adding a thread to this question, if the living entity by the process of bhakti yoga gets a second chance to go back to Godhead, will the living entity have learnt his lessons or is there any chance for him to again rebel against the authority of the Supreme Lord and will want to try to enjoy outside his relationship with the Lord once more – meaning coming back to the material world? Will this not then mean that there is no guarantee that the living entity will stay eternally in the spiritual world – it will all depend on his actions there also?

Please forgive my ignorance.

your eternal servant

Sanjeev

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 13th September 2011

Hare Krishna Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you for the appreciation. Actually you are making it so nice with your sincere desire to learn and share. Our mission is to know Krishna and make Him known, and this is best done if as many as possible individuals learn properly from bona fide sources and then go out there and teach in words and deeds.

On Friday 31 Oct 2008, Srila Sankarshan Das Adhikari wrote:

“Once having tasted the miseries of this material world and then having regained your original position in the spiritual world you will not make the same mistake twice. Once burned, twice shy. You will not come here again. So now take your human form of life seriously and finish up your business once and for all.”

Then again on 2 Aug 2009, he wrote:

“All of us here in this material world were originally with Krishna in the spiritual world serving Him as His devotees. By misuse of our minute independence we fell down into the cycle of birth and death. Just as it is sometimes said, “Once burned, twice shy,” if we realize our mistake and go back to Godhead, we will not make the same mistake twice. Of course, since we have free will eternally we could fall a second time. But who would stick their hand in the fire a second time after already being burned once?”

your servant,

Mahabhagavat Das

Vishal, 13th September 2011

Hare Krsna,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Praphupada.

All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga.

Very philosophical answer. The quotes from Srila Gurudeva are indeed very deep thinking. No doubt this forum is helping, I am sure, everybody to learn a lot.

I read a quote from Srila Praphupada (Hawaii, 1969) where he said that in this age of Kali, it is more important to create devotees than to construct temples. So your comments are very valid Praphu – we should learn from bona fide sources before being able to teach others as recommended by Lord Chaitanya Mahaprahu.

Hari Bol

Your eternal servant

Sanjeev

Bhaktarupa Das, 14th September 2011

Dear Mahabhagavat prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeissances.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva,

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you very much for reminding Srila Gurudeva’s wonderful thought for the day. Infact this reminded me of Srila Gurudeva’s another amazing Thought for the Day titled – “Time Went Backwards” published on Friday 2 January 2009.

http://sda-archives.com/tftd/tftd/2009/jan/tftd_010209.html

Quote:

Today on 31 December 2008 I arrived in Santiago, Chile at 12:55pm flying in from Auckland, New Zealand. The most amazing thing about this journey was that I left Auckland at 5:25pm on 31 December 2008, which is 5 1/2 hours after I arrived in Santiago. I arrived in Santiago before I left Auckland. In other words time went backwards. If I told this to someone who is not familiar with what happens when one crosses the international date line, he would think that I had lost my marbles, that I was crazy. Crossing the international dateline always does uncanny things to one’s calendar no matter which way he crosses it.

There is another crossing point known as the Viraja River, which is the crossing point between the spiritual and material worlds. It acts in ways that are even more amazing and inconceivable than the international date line. On one side of the Viraja, the material side, is the realm of past, present, and future. And on the other side of the Viraja, the spiritual side, there exists the realm of timelessness, described as follows by Srila Prabhupada:

“In the transcendental realm there is no creation and no destruction, and thus the duration of life is eternal unlimitedly. In other words, everything in the transcendental world is everlasting, full of knowledge and bliss without deterioration. Since there is no deterioration, there is no past, present and future in the estimation of time. It is clearly stated in this verse that the influence of time is conspicuous by its absence.”

This means that even though we fell from the spiritual world into the material world (due to our envy of the Lord) because there is no time in the spiritual world there is no time that we fell into this material world. And when we become purified by the process of Krishna consciousness and reawaken our original love for the Supreme Lord there will be no time when we returned. We will always have been there.

Just as time goes backwards when one crosses the international date line from Auckland to Santiago, time also goes backwards when the jiva crosses the Viraja on his return trip back to home, back to Godhead. Time will go back to that moment when he fell from the spiritual sky. In other words, he will never have fallen. This is why it is sometimes said that no one falls from the spiritual world even though countless numbers of jivas have fallen into this material existence due to misuse of their minute independence by desiring to take the position of being the center of existence.

Some may argue that time cannot go backwards. But if the Lord has true supremacy over everything within existence, He must have the power to fast forward, rewind, or freeze time. And he can do it differently for each individual person. It’s not that everybody has to be on the same program. This is why some souls exist in the timeless spiritual realm as nitya-siddhas, eternally liberated souls, and some souls exist in the material realm of past, present, and future as nitya-baddhas, eternally conditioned souls.

unquote.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

I had these type of questions in my heart unanswered for a long time. But when I started subscribing to Srila Gurudeva’s emails, all these questions were answered convincingly without me even having to ask them.

Hare Krishna,

your servant,

Bhaktarupa das

Rahul Mangla, 14th September 2011

Hare Krishna,

What a wonderful explaination by Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari Maharaj. I suppose this should clear all doubts.

Hari Bol,

Rahul

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