This blog is based on Śrī Caitanya-Caritāmṛta (Madhya-līlā 19.138, 144–148) and Madhurya Kadambhini of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarty Thakura translated by Srila Gurudeva!
It is very interesting to see how rare is a true Krishna bhakta! Please read...
I have also placed a pdf version of Madhurya Kadambhiniin our web under BOOKS: https://www.gokulbhajan.com/all-books/books-gaudiya/Madhurya-kadambini-new-book-eng-1ed.pdf
This universe is teeming with countless billions of living entities born as different and different species..
They are of two kinds:
(1) Those that cannot move about (sthāvara), such as trees, and plants, and
(2) Those that can move about (jaṅgama), such as humans, birds and animals.
Among the 8.4 million species of living entities, which include aquatic life, beasts and so on, there are only very few kinds of human beings. And even among humankind, there are races and groups like mlecchas (uncivilized persons), pulindas (primitive clans), buddhists, and śabaras (mountain tribesmen) who do not abide by the Vedas.
Among the remaining members of humankind who do acknowledge the Vedas, half pay lip service to them but fail to carry out the injunctions of the Vedas in regard to dharma (religion), karma (prescribed occupational duties) and so on. Rather, they engage in sinful acts opposed to the Vedas.
Among the remaining people who do undertake the practice of veda-dharma, most are intent on performing karma (fruitive acts), such as yajñas and charity acts and worshipping demi-gods to satisfy their bellies. Among tens of millions of such humans who are devoted to karma, there is hardly one jñānī (enlightened being).
And among tens of millions of jñānīs, very rarely a person reaches the stage of perfection and becomes free of bodily identification (liberated) and so on. Among tens of millions of such liberated persons,
very rarely we may find one individual who happen to be a true devotee of Kṛṣṇa!
Following are the relevant stanzas taken from Sri Caitanya Caritamrta and made as a bhajan/song.
This can be sung in the popular tune that E-14 was also sung, and I added as A-32 in our web. Some one needs to sing a sample.
ei-mata brahmāṇḍa, bhari’ ananta jīva-gaṇa
caurāśī-lakṣa yonīte, karaye bhramaṇa ... (ei-mata)
tāre madhye ‘sthāvara’, ‘jaṅgama’—dui bheda
jaṅgame tiryak-jala, sthala-cara-vibheda ... (ei-mata)
tāra madhye manuṣya, jāti ati alpatara
tāra madhye mleccha, pulinda, bauddha, śabara ... (ei-mata)
veda-niṣṭha-madhye, ardheka veda ‘mukhe’ māne
veda-niṣiddha pāpa, kare dharma nāhi gaṇe ... (ei-mata)
dharmācāri-madhye, bahuta ‘karma-niṣṭha’
koṭi-karma-niṣṭha madhye, eka ‘jñānī’ śreṣṭha ... (ei-mata)
koṭi-jñānī-madhye, haya eka-jana ‘mukta’
koṭi-mukta-madhye durlabha, eka kṛṣṇa-bhakta ... (ei-mata)
If there is time this Friday, one may sing this!
In Gita also Lord Krishna says the same thing. But what do foolish people say? "I have read Gita and I know Krishna. He is a super man!"
kaśhchid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāṁ
kaśh-chin māṁ vetti tattvataḥ (B.G. 7.3)
[Lord Krsna says, "Out of many thousands among men one may endeavor for perfection,
and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly any one knows Me in truth."]
Chanting Hari Nama and performing Nama Sankirtana are the topmost for getting Krishna Bhakti and thus obtaining the mercy of Lord Krishna.
bhajanera madhye śreṣṭha nava-vidhā bhakti
‘kṛṣṇa-prema’, ‘kṛṣṇa’ dite dhare mahā-śakti
tāra madhye sarva-śreṣṭha nāma-saṅkīrtana
niraparādhe nāma laile pāya prema-dhana .. CC Antya 4.70,71
[Of all the different types of spiritual practice, the nine forms of bhakti (śravaṇaṁ, kīrtanaṁ, etc.) are the best because they have tremendous power to deliver Kṛṣṇa and kṛṣṇa-prema. Of these nine practices, nāma-saṅkīrtana is the best. By chanting śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāma
without offense, one obtains the priceless treasure of prema.]
In Kali Yuga, nothing will work except chanting the holy names of Lord Hari. However it is not that every one is able to chant Hari Nama with full attention. If we chant by committing nama aparatha, Krishna Bhakti does not manifest, may be that some sukriti may come. We can see this as how in our own sanga, only very few are able to chant with attention and progress while others are caught under the clutches of ever increasing blazing fire of material desires for wealth, fame, position and so on. Some even think that by chanting Hari Nama they will be materially prosperous. This is non-sense. This madness will last until one leaves the body thus voiding the entire purpose of human birth and wasting the life.
Taste for Hari Nama comes only when one gets closer association with Vaishnavas who are examples for proper chanting. Here is a collected portion from Hari-nama Cintamani : Chapter 12 - Inattention While Chanting. Please read this carefully and find out how we can chant with full attention..
Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura:
jaya jaya mahaprabhu jaya bhakta-gana
yanhara prasade kari nama-sankirtana
Haridasa spoke, "To Sanatana Gosvami in Puri and to Gopala Bhatta when You travelled to South India, You taught the importance of performing one's chanting without inattention. Inattention is counted as one of the aparadhas. Even if one successfully overcomes all the other offenses in chanting, and one is chanting continuously, love of God may not come. One should know that the reason for this is that one is committing the offense known as pramada, or inattention. This offense will block progress to prema.
"Pramada may mean madness, but here the meaning is inattention or carelessness. It is from this offense that all other offenses spring. The wise men recognize three types of inattention: indifference or no attention, laziness, and distraction (attraction to other objects).
"By good fortune, after getting faith, a jiva will take up the name. By chanting regularly, counting on a Tulasi mala carefully, he will develop attraction for the name. However, until that attraction has actually developed, one must be very careful about how one chants. Naturally, the common man, having attachment to material things, will be attracted to these things even while chanting. Though chanting japa daily, if his taste is elsewhere, he will show indifference to the name.
"His heart will not be absorbed in chanting the name but in some material object. How can that benefit him? He may chant 64 rounds counting strictly on his japa beads, but in his heart he has not received one drop of the taste of the name. This indifference or apathy towards the name is one type of inattention. In the heart of a materialist it is unavoidable.
"If indifference or lack of attraction for the name is present, one should take association of Vaisnavas who are properly chanting in some place sheltered from the material influence. By chanting in that situation, his absorption in material things will be reduced; being inspired by the conduct of the Vaisnavas, he will give up that fault. Gradually the heart will get attraction for the name and will be anxious for the nectar of the name.
The advanced devotees have recommended that one live in a place where Krsna had His pastimes, near Tulasi, in the company of Vaisnavas and gradually increase the period of chanting. Quickly the taste for material objects will go away. Another remedy is to carefully chant in a room by oneself with the door locked, or concentrate on the name by covering the eyes, ears and nose with a cloth or the like to prevent stimuli from the exterior. Carefully chanting in this way, an attraction or taste for the nama will develop and indifference will be suppressed.
"If one chants with a sluggish mind, or after chanting a little, one has to stop before finishing his round, it is called laziness. From this, one's taste for the nama cannot develop. The remedy for this is to take association of Vaisnavas who do not waste time in material activity, but constantly chant and remember the holy name, being absorbed only in the Hari Nama. One should follow in their footsteps.
"When one sees how the true Vaisnava or sadhu does not waste time in useless pursuits, he will develop a taste to do likewise. In his mind he will think, "very good." By this, enthusiasm will come to the lazy mind and he will overcome the offense of laziness or inertia. One will become determined to increase his chanting everyday. By this eagerness in his rounds and by the mercy of the devotees, the offense of inertia will quickly go away.
"One should be careful to eliminate the third type of inattention -- distraction. From distraction all types of inattention are born. This fault resides in attraction for women (or men, in the case of women) and wealth, attraction for material success or victory, desire for position, and the cheating propensity. If one has attraction in any of these categories, one will naturally be inattentive to the holy name. One should be careful to eliminate these fixations by following the proper Vaisnava behavior.
"On Ekadasis and Holy days one should stop thinking of eating and all day and night chant in the association of devotees. In this way one will joyfully engage in devotional activities, listening to scriptures of the Lord in association with the Lord's servants, in the Lord's dhama. Gradually the bhakti portion of one's mind will increase and the mind will rejoice in hearing topics about Krsna. The higher taste will come and the lower taste will go away.
"Upon hearing songs about Krsna from the mouths of the pure devotees, one's mind and ears will taste the real nectar. In this way the desire for low material objects will disappear and the heart will be constantly fixed and attracted to singing the name. By avoiding the offense of distraction, one will be able to indulge in the nectar of Hari Nama.
"One should thus never be inattentive to complete one's prescribed number of daily rounds. This should be noted day by day. When chanting these prescribed rounds, one should avoid the different types of inattentiveness. Giving up the desire to increase the number of rounds for show, one should attempt to first concentrate nicely on what one can manage.
"Therefore, the devotee starts by chanting with full concentration in a peaceful place for a short time. He will always be praying to the Lord that he will chant clear, attentive rounds with the mind fixed on Krsna; for on one's own one cannot accomplish anything. Krsna‘s grace is necessary to cross the ocean of material existence. Being anxious in heart, one should beg for mercy, and because Krsna is merciful, He will help. Whoever does not try for that mercy is very unfortunate."
That person who has attained the ornament of the touchstone of the holy name still aspires for the two feet of Haridasa Thakura.."
All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!
It all now seems like a dream that we were in Vrindavan going crazy in the peak of hot summer with our families to get little preview of Vrindavan.
This is my sixth blog on this. The trip to Nandagaon, and Varsana started at the early morning of our 4th day as planned. In spite of several being sick still we all joined and got into our mini bus. Whenever we used the minibus, we always did our morning prayers while traveling. As Medha got our Gokul Bhajan Handbook, along with Neha and Dakshayani and others leading, we all sang.
You can watch this snapshot (http://www.gokulbhajan.com/download/01-Bus%20Bhajans.mp4).
1. Nanda Gaon
We did not realize that the time passed so quickly when we reached the foot hill of Nandagaon. Singing and having good time make the time fly! The bus stopped and we all got down. As soon as we got down, as expected, few pandas started to bother us and somehow we managed it.
I told our group that it is a hiking but not that hard. Every one wanted to join and climb. As it was so early in the morning climbing was a fun to every one. Also as there were water streams running at side from the top of the mountain, we did not feel the heat. We all reached the top, and then entered into the complex which was once the palace of Nanda Maharaj, and now a temple.
When Krishna was growing in Gokul during his early ages, seeing that there were many demons bothering his son Krishna, Nanda Maharaj decided to move away from Gokul and came here to settle. So, Krishna and Balaram actually grew up here and spent more years here than in Gokul. It is said that Nanda Maharaj had 9 lakh (900,000) cows. We can see some traces of those gosalas surrounding the hill.
I was explaining to the group where our Gurudev used to give his Hari Katha and also told the incident that when I was there once, a devotee fell unconscious due to the ecstacy of singing and dancing.
In the palace we see the deities for Nanda Maharaj, Mother Yashoda, Krishna and Balaram. This is the same place where gopis from near and far came along with Smt Radha Rani
and cook for Krishna every day. When mother Yashoda felt that Krishna was not eating well at all, she arranged Smt Radha Rani to come and cook for Krishna every day. Why? Because she heard that Radha Rani received a boon from Durvasa Muni that anything She cooks will be nectar and one who eats it will be super healthy.
After a good darsan in the temple, we all climbed up to the terrace and saw the beautiful surroundings where gosalas were there once. Now there are only houses and temples. If we see closely from the terrace, we can also spot the some very sacred places that we were going to see, the Ter Kadamba and then Yavat the place where Smt Radha Rani was living. Yavat that we did not visit this time is a very favorite place to Gurudev!
As Ter Kadamba is very special, I will write a separate blog on that alone.
2. Asisvara Mahadeva
Very near to Ter Kadamba is the place where there is a famous temple of Lord Sada Siva. During the Kartik parikrama this is the place we used to have our lunch prasadam!
You may know that in all the directions of Vrindavan, we can see the temples of Lord Sada Siva. It is said that when Lord Krishna wanted to perform rasa dance, Smt Radhi Rani appeared from His left side and Lord Sada Siva appeared from His right side. It is Lord Sada Siva who protects the entire Vrindavan. He was the one who rotated the chakra so fast around Govardhan that due to the heat produced by chakra, no drop of water fell on the ground when Lord Indra was pounding Govardhan with flood and thunder. Lord Sada Siva is intimately related to many pastimes of Lord Krishna.
In all over Vrindavan, and also in Nawadwip, we see that Lord Sada Siva receives the prasadam first after offering to Lord Krishna. Why is this? Because Lord Sada Siva is the very first Vaishnava. It is said in Srimad Bhagavatam, "Vaishnavanam Yada Sambhu", ie. of all the Vaishnavas, Lord Sada Siva is the first. This is the reason that in all the Vishnu related temples, we see the Lord Vishnu (or Krishna) touching the top of Siva Linga. Also as per a promise that Lord Krishna gave to Lord Siva as Lord Siva asked a boon, in Dwaraka Krishna even worshipped Siva for getting a son.
As Lord Sada Siva is the protector and guardian of Goloka Vrindavan, without His mercy no one can enter the abode of Lord Krishna. There is also a nice story about when Lord Sada Siva wanted to see and be part
of rasa dance of Lord Krishna. By getting a dip given by Yoga Maya in Kusuma Sarovara in Vrindavan, Lord Siva could become a gopi. We worship Lord Sada Siva as 'Gopiswara Mahadeva'. We say 'Sri Gopiswara Mahadeva ki Jay'!
In Vrindavan, as every gopi wanted to have Krishna as their husband, daily when they were returning from selling yogurt, they used to go to this same temple and pour abhisek water on the linga. Even though gopis did not have to worship any one to win the favor of Krishna, they were doing this thinking that their devotion and love for Krishna was not enough and they need blessings from every God.
When we visited this temple, there was hardly any one and was so silent. Even a family brought a large bucket of water that we all took and poured on the top of the linga praying that we want to get love and devotion to Sri Krishna, so that we can serve Him.
3. Uddhava Kyari (we skipped)
Due to heat and younger children, we skipped the Uddhava Kyari which is another great historic place. This is the place Uddhava the prime minister of Lord Krishna came and met the gopis and gave the message from Krishna.
All the gopis were at that time staying here in this place of the then dense forest renouncing everything including their relatives, sons, daughters, home and everything. Why? The gopis wanted only Krishna and were crying at this place looking for Krishna coming back as He promised to them. When Uddhava came and met, he realized how insignificant his devotion to Krishna compared to that of the gopis.
This is another very favorite place to our Gurudeva and he takes the dust from this place and put on his head. Actually no one except very high rasika devotees come here to weep. For all others, there is nothing here except a little structure and sands! Only rasika bhakta knows that every dust here is priceless!!
By the time we were nearing to Varsana, it was really middle of the day and the scorching sun was making us really uneasy. Our bus driver stopped the mini bus at the foot hill and we were thinking about hiring some people to carry us up to the mountain where the palace (now temple) of Srimati Radha Rani is there. It is actually a very steep climb and often very difficult for elders and small children.
Luckily, a person showed up and told that he could take us in his zeep up to the top for a charge. We were so happy and hopped into it. He took us all the way to the top of the hill. In that heat, there would be no way for us to climb even few feets. It was that intense hot! Never think of visiting Vrindavan during hot summer time.
We entered into the temple and as there was no crowd, we could get a wonderful darsan. It is said that high devotees do see Radha Rani living here. This is also the place very well known for robbers. Taking advantage of the crowd, they come and rob so many devotees.
After the darsan, we all sat down and wanted to sing a bhajan for Smt Radha Rani. As we realized that we did not bring our bhajan book here, we all sang our gokul bhajan, "Bol Radhe Bol".
This palace was very specially built for Radha Rani by Vrasabhanu Maharaj. Vrasabhanu Maharaj was so dear to Radha Rani. That is why Radha Rani is often called as Vrshabhanu Nandhini. Vrshabhanu Maharaj had 11 lakh (1100,000) cows. So, Radha Rani is richer than Krishna whose father had only 9 lakh cows!
After roaming around little bit, we came out and were walking towards a Krishna temple nearby on another peak. After getting good darsan, we all came down and got into our mini-bus and drove back to our hotel!
Varsana has so many rasik places to visit and there are so many wonderful places to visit. Dana Garh, Gahvara Vana, Krishna Kunda, Pilli Pokara, Prem Sarovara, Mayur Kuti, the place where Sr Krishna and Radha Rani danced as peacocks, Sankari Khor (Tax Past time) and many places to see. But due to intense heat, we could not go to any except just one place the palace.
Last time when I went I was so fortunate to see a place where the actual feet impressions of Sri Radha and Krishna standing together in merged form- one leg from Radha Rani, and one leg from Lord Krishna (pl see the picture at end). It is said in several scriptures that any one who could see this is sure to go to Goloka Vrindavan! But it is so far away to walk and find..
Video clip of Singing in bus:
All glories to Srila Gurudeva!
Today, on this auspicious day of Kamika Ekadasi, here is the 7th blog from our Vrindavan trip under the shelter of Srila Gurudeva.
Before reading, I would suggest you to watch this video made from Gokul Bhajan named 'Cuckoo Cuckoo Koovuthadi'. It describes about the scene where every creature in this forest is eagerly looking for to see Krishna.
Here is the link: https://youtu.be/kuAzlSK5JFY
In contrast to worshipping Lord Krishna inside big and modern temples, rasika bhaktas love to see Him only in the forest and banks of Yamuna. He is Vana Chari and Yamuna Chari. Ter Kadamba is very special one in this category! It was a great forest full of His wonderful pastimes.
When Emperor Akbar begged Swami Haridas to accept his request to build a big temple to Banke Bihari (Lord Krishna), his answer was very simple. He said, "No. My Lord does not want to be locked inside any temple. He loves to roam in the forests and the banks of Yamuna."
It is said that real Vrindavan is not visible to mundane eyes or to the materialistic people. Unless one hears the pastimes in depth about these holy places from the mouth of a bonafide guru, and weep, Vrindavan cannot be seen!.
There are so many wonderful pastimes happened at this holy place that only Gurudeva is qualified to tell and I am just telling from his narrations. I do not have any qualification.
It is said that previously this place was full of Kadamba trees and grasses all over, where Lord Krishna and gopas used to bring their calves every day for grazing.
After Lord Krishna left to His abode and as to date, several kadamba trees vanished. Our Gurudeva had planted many new ones with his own hands that we see.
When we see these kadamba trees, similar to those special Tulasis in Nidhuvan that I mentioned in a different blog, all these trees don't grow upwards but grow down pointing to the lotus feet of Lord Krishna who roamed here!.
The gopas used to hang their lunch bags (food wrapped in cloth) on the branches of these kadamba trees and use the leaves as cups to drink. Sri Hrishikesh Maharaja to whom our gurudev was an uncle, is currently taking care of this place with the help of his disciple Srila Syamsundar Maharaj.
Every time we visit this place, we used to see both of them, but this time Hrishikesh Maharaja was not there due to an incident that I have mentioned at the bottom. Whenever we visited this place, we have heard wonderful hari kathas from both of them. Hrishikesh Maharaja even used to dress like a gopi or Krishna and act the pastimes in front of us! We missed all that.
Little far away from Ter Kadamba is Yavat another holy place where Smt Radha Rani was living who got married to Abhi Manyu. Abhi Manyu was actually the shadow of Krishna for the sake of pastimes. As Ter Kadamba is just in the middle between Nandagaon (where Lord Krishna lived) and Yavat (where Smt Radha Rani lived), Ter Kadamba is the glorious place in between for their meetings and so many wonderful pastimes!
Every day, Smt Radha Rani along with the gopis used to come to Nandagaon via this Ter Kadamba forest to cook for Krishna. They also used to carry yogurt in pots via this forest to sell and also in the evening they used to pass thru this place. So, this place is very special.
In Ter Kadamba we see a nice lake where the gopis used to wash their empty pots when they return. This is also the same lake where Krishna, Balaram, Madhumangal and all the gopas used to jump, swim and play during the day times while the cows were grazing around.
Under the direction from Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu (who is Lord Krishna in the mood of Smt Radha Rani), Sri Rupa Goswami had his bhajan kutir at this place. He wrote several great scriptures such as 'Nectar of devotion', 'Ujvala Neelamani' and others at this place!
When we visited, Swamiji showed us one original manuscript page from 'Nectar of Devotion' written by Srila Rupa Goswami by his own hand! Please see the picture.
At the place where the Bhajan kutir of Srila Rupa Goswami is there, now we see a nice building built. Both the Maharajas invited me to come and stay here. May be some day by mercy I can stay. It is my dream place.
When Srila Rupa Goswami was staying at this place mostly under the trees, there used to be many robbers and Smt Radha Rani Herself used to come in the middle of the night from Barsana or Yavat in disguise to protect Srila Rupa Goswami!
One strange thing is that at this place there is no cooking at all. However, some way or other there will be always prasadam. Vrajavasis from near and Nandagaon bring naivedyam, and we often find sweet rice at this place. This time also when we visited, Maharaj gave us sweet rice prasadam.
Talking about sweet rice, there is a nice story told by Maharaj. Please hear his hari katha about Ter Kadamba where you will also see the story of sweet rice from this link:
Lord Krishna used to climb on these kadamba trees and call gopis in the middle of the night using His flute. That is why this place got the name 'Ter Kadamba'. 'Ter' means calling. When he played certain tune, only those gopis would hear. For every gopi He had a tune and only that gopi would hear even if she was far away and would come running.
After hearing the wonderful hari katha from Maharaj, we then proceeded to get darsan of the lake where the gopas used to swim and gopis used to wash their pots. It was so beautiful to see all thinking about those exalted pastimes.
Also next to this place across we see a rasa sthali - the place where Lord Krishna performed rasa dance with the gopis. Also around this wonderful place we see many dear cows of Lord Krishna in different colors as they were! Every one is also written with their names, and are so nice.
Sri Syama Sundara Maharaj also told us an incident that is so saddening. Recently a family with his children visited this place. Not realizing the supreme holiness of this place, the man placed his child on one one of the calves!
When Sri Hrishikesa Maharaj saw it, he got so shocked, and ran and shouting at the man.
"What are you doing? Take the child away.. Take the child away.." - Maharaj could not tolerate.
Maharaj was yelling, "Do you know Krishna worships these cows? and you are sitting on them?"
But the man did not take it seriously and said, "Maharaj, don't worry. I am a Vraja Vasi! I can do anything!" Maharaj got so angry that he beat himself on his head again and again and fell down unconscious on the concrete and damaged his head. He had to be taken to the hospital and had to undergo brain surgery.
When we visit these kinds of holy places, we must understand the holiness and give proper respects. If we do any aparatha, the consequence will be very bad.
Maharaj is still not yet fully recovered and is in big debt. As he is in bed, we could not see him this time.
Other Related Video of a drama: https://youtu.be/T4Fm4ycOZxA
- B K Dasa
[PS: In case if you want to help Maharaj, here is the details: B.B.Hrishikesha, Ph: 09897145851, State Bank of India, Nandagaon, Mathura, A/c 31516068362, IFSC Code: SBIN0011495, Swift Code: SBININBB556]01-Kadamba trees growing down.jpg
Pranams. All glories to Srila Gurudeva.
As you may know, we just returned from a pilgrimage trip to the holy dham Vrindavan from Jun 17th to Jun 23rd.
Our challenges were many: extreme hot weather, small children, elderly who had difficulty walking, jet lag, lack of rest, worries about health, lack of good food and so on. Many said that our trip wouldn't be possible to go in summer. However, due to enthusiasm we took that challenge!!
We made special communication mechanisms. As planned, on Jun 17th we all met in Delhi. The arranged minibus with a/c arrived and we all popped in. The start was excellent. We were 19 people in total and for many, this was the very first trip to Vrindavan.
On the way, in the dhabas we took rest and some had something to drink. So many food items brought from homes were served in the mini bus. When we reached the hotel it was already night and after checking in we had prasadam prepared in the hotel Subham itself. After having prasadam we all took rest looking forward for our first day of parikrama. All our rooms were in the 1st floor continuous.
Every family was assigned with responsibilities. Kishore was our transportation in-charge making sure that minibus, taxi, or rickshaw come on time. He also took care of our common expenses and accounting. Neelima made sure every family woke up on time and ready by the planned time on every day. Prithima was in-charge of food and food breaks and also communications and negotiations. Nilima was our doctor in charge for everyone ‘s health and so on..
On Monday Jun 18th, exactly at 5 am, every door was rung and by 6 am, every one was ready! Our very first one was Govardhan parikrama. The minibus took us to drop us at a place near Kusuma Sarovara. On the bus, we did our morning puja - guru vandana, arati and dvani.
Every one especially the children enjoyed walking as we started early in the morning. We all first got down on bare foot and gave dandavat pranams to the holy land before starting our parikrama. We also hired few auto rickshas to follow us while we were walking. Whenever any one become tired, they could jump into the auto..
We had good fun as every one of us walking around the foothills of Govardhan. Due to hot weather and small children in our group we could visit few places only.
We planned to see the following on half of 1st day (part of Govardhan Parikrama), but could not see all planned.
1) Kusuma Sarovara - Visited
2) Narada Kunda - No
3) Manasi Ganga - Visited
4) Uddhava Kunda - No
5) Harideva Temple - Visited
6) Dhan Ghati - Yes
7) App pl of Srinathji to Madhavendra puri - No
8) Punjari - Yes
9) Govinda Kunda - No
10) Punjari - Visited
Kusuma Sarovara was the first one for us. Here there were so many wonderful flower trees and plants were growing where Smt Radharani and gopis used to come to pick flowers for their worship. I told few stories to the group. This is also the place where Nrada Muni composed the Pancha Ratra that Gaudiyas follow for deity worship and initiations.
We could not see Narada kunda where Narada Muni once was performing tapas to witness the rasa leela after hearing from Vrinda Devi. With the mercy of Vrinda Devi and Paurna Masi he could get a form of a gopi to see the rasa leela.That was Naradiya Gopi.
We visited Manasi Ganga that appeared from the mind of Krishna when His parents wanted to see and bath in Ganga. This is the same lake where gopis fetched water from to fill the Radha Kunda they dug. This is also the same lake from which Govardhan Maharaj drank water when he was asking for water after consuming all the food preparations offered by Vrajavasis during Govardan Puja (instead of Indra Puja). He also drank water from Kusuma Sarovar.
The top most pastime in this place was when gopis were hurrying to get back to their homes after selling butter and milk on the other side and was very late. That day gopis could not find any boatman except only one! Also that boat man was very old and thin not even interested in taking any one in his boat. Only when gopis begged him to take them to the other side he said he could do only if they first fed him well to get strength. After they fed, he demanded that the gopis should massage him and then he demanded for a nap. After long quarrel he started to row the boat but a big storm appeared. The boat man then demanded that every one should throw every thing out to stop the boat from sinking - even the ornaments...
At Dhan Ghati we offered milk to a large Govardhan sila. This was the same place where Krishna was demanding tax from the gopis and there is still the same tree (not live) where Krishna was standing under.
During the parikrama we saw Giri Govardhan raising high at some places and surrounded by old gosalas used by the gopas when Krishna was there.
It was so hot already and we all jumped into autos. On the way we crossed the Govinda Kunda but it did not have any water. This kunda has the history with Lord Indra. After accepting his defeat, Lord Indra came with sacred Surabhi Cow to beg for forgiveness from Krishna. Lord Indra gave the name 'Govinda' to Krishna at this place and did special abhisek with the milk from Surabhi. Govinda means one who gives bliss to our senses. All the milk and water got collected in this lake became Govinda Kunda.
Later Surabhi cow also wanted to stay and witness the pastime until Lord Krishna returned back to His abode. The place where Surabhi cow was doing tapas is called Surabhi kunda. We could not see this place.
Punjari is the place where the tail of the peacock like Govardhan is there and we turn around to do the parikrama on the other side.
We also saw few small temples around such as Mukharavinda where Govardan gives darsan with a beautiful face, and so on.. We also saw small sand storms around that areas. In spite of of all the bad weather and heat, the sadhus were still performing their dandavat parikramas. Then we went to Harideva temple where Giri Govardhan is giving darsan as Lord Krishna or vice versa. Before going to Radha Kunda and Syama kunda one is supposed to worship the Lord at this temple..
It was hot already and before we proceeded to Radha Kunda area, we all sat and drank sugar cane juice.. I shall write a separate blog about Radha Kunda and Syama Kunda.
- B K Dasa
It has been a while since I wrote my last report on my prison teaching. With the causeless mercy of Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga, following the glorious appearance of Lord Gauranga, as suggested by Bhakta Adam, I started the new course on "Teachings of Lord Caitanya" in the federal prison in Butner.
When I went after a break for months due to my trip to India, the security was found more strict. The volunteers are now given more security and hand stamping, etc. As I have been given a badge (after security background check and several mandatory orientations), no hand stamping for me but the security is found tighter.
I asked chaplain Richard who escorts me most of the time and also attends my program, as why the change in security. He said that in the Baltimore federal prison, a volunteer was shot to death few months back because he was found walking without an escort! The men standing on the corners watching us have the right to shoot any one who is suspicious! All the prison inmates wear kaki dress to differentiate and volunteer cannot wear that color dress.
"Shot to death?" I wondered. Somehow I did not have fear because I am doing this for my Gurudeva - not for me!
Since the starting of the class with many new inmates joined I noticed their curiousity increasing more and more. Almost every one had some book or other from the library books we and IPBYS donated. We have been given the main chapel which is a very nice hall about 4 or 5 times bigger than our new HSNC hall we have. It has computer and nice audio video facility with large screen to project.
Chaplain Richard used to tell about the feedbacks from the inmates. He told, "Dr. Raj you are breaking the ground in Butner as I also hear the same from the inmates". I told, "Actually, I am the dumbest person. I am only telling what my gurudeva has told us. The credit belongs only to Gurudev"
As usual this Thursday was also amazing. Few inmates came to and told, "We are now complete vegetarians. We are also asking our chaplain to arrange so that you can come here every day."
"Every day?", I wondered.
Several also asked, "Can you please get a picture of Krishna so that we can have in our cell? We chant every day.."
'How many rounds do you do?", I asked.
"Sometimes 32, and sometimes even more.. I am trying to increase as you told that 64 rounds is minimum"
"Do you have chanting beads? If you want, I can bring"
"We cannot get beads supplied from outside. So we use our own fingers to count the rounds. Remember you taught us how to?"
After the class chaplain was walking me out. As you may not know he is arranging to have a big nama sankirtan program with Vasanti Didi (founder of Prison Seva), Bimala Didi and Shyam Prabhu from Florida coming for the program on June 10th. He updated me with the status of their mandatory background checks.
On the way out I was thinking...
"O Lord, I am teaching the people here to become vegetarian, and they do not follow.. I request them to come to the program to chant and sing, but they have so many excuses. I beg them to chant every day at least one round and they say there is no time.. But these inmates are luckier than these materialists"
In the classes the inmates chant with me loudly. They are so focused.. They are printing and binding all my presentations in a binder so that they can refer later any time. They also want the videos and bhajan on DVDs.
So, who is actually in the prison? May be I should serve only to those, not to the too worldly. I hope Lord will make my life to change to serve only for the real needy who really have thirst and want to cry for Krishna.
To my surprise, Bimala Didi from our IPBYS suggested that I should re-make the video of the teaching every week at home and post them in their face book. I felt that it is an order coming from Gurudev and Lord Himself as another new thing to carry on my head to serve Sri Gurudeva!
Jay Srila Gurudev!
- B K Dasa
Ego is not an easy thing to eradicate. Even demi gods had it. Lord Indra who is the Lord of all the 330 million gods had it. Lord Brahma who is the topmost and the most intelligent in our Brahmanda and the very first born had it. It is also said that even Lord Siva who is the very first Vaishnava apparently had it!
Ego of Lord Indra:
It was not only at the time of Lord Krishna on earth, but in other times also Lord Indra had ego. Once while with Lord Indra, Lord Krishna was curiously looking at a small flock of tiny ants moving on the ground carrying a tiny speck of food, and Lord Krishna pin-pointed one little ant and said to Indra, "Indra! Look.. look at that tiny ant, do you see that little ant? He was the Indra like you once before! Now he is an ant. Any one can step on it and crush!" That in deed crushed the ego of Lord Indra that time!
About five thousand years ago, just because his worship was diverted in Vrindavan, Lord Indra became so furious and decided to destroy the entire Vrindavan. This became the Govardhan leela. But the question is: Why did Krishna divert the puja at all? He could have kept the Indra puja going on without hindrance.
There are two main reasons:
1) Krishna always wants His devotees and devatas free from ego and if He senses it, He immediately wants to pull out that weed. Devas if they have ego cannot properly govern and run the brahmandas.
2) Taking that opportunity He also wanted to have every dear Vrajavasi together with Him. They had an opportunity to be closer together.
Ego of Lord Brahma.
Once Lord Brahma wanted to see Lord Krishna (by the will of Lord Krishna) and Lord Brahma went with his great ego in his heart that Lord Krishna wanted to pull it out. When he was asked at the gate, he said,"I am Brahma and I came to see Krishna!". The gate keeper went to tell but came back with a question,"Lord wants to know which Brahma are you?". Lord Brahma thought that he was the only Brahma, the mightiest one. He said, "What? I am the only Brahma..." Eventually with his ego, our Brahma with four heads walks in but got a big shock! He saw that inside the hall there were so many brahmas with so many heads. He was the tiniest one and looked like a little mouse there! Walking under the legs of other Brahmas some with even millions of heads, crawled like a tiny mouse he sees Krishna! All those Brahmas with thousands and millions of heads were touching their heads at the feet of Krishna and the sounds of their crowns were everywhere. The ego of our Brahma was killed there!
And five thousand years ago, our same Lord Brahma saw Krishna as a small little boy in Vrindavan and sometimes walking without any clothes and having no shame at all. Even when He was grown up little, He was wandering in Vrindavan forest with his friends playing on a piece of bamboo flute and eating food with His left hand. He had pickles, and chilly between His right fingers and eating yougurt rice with his left hand. Even some of His friends forcefully fed some food in His mouth which they have eaten partially and found very tasty that they wanted Krishna to eat the remaining. Krishna was eating that remnant without any shame!
Seeing these, Lord Brahma got confused and thought, "This boy has no manners! He does not know even very basic behaviors. Who will ever eat with left hand? And which god eats contaminated remnant? How can he be bhagavan. No way!"
His intelligent (ignorant) mind then suggested to test Krishna, and that was why he drove the calves away and captured all the gopas and with the calves he hid them all somewhere. That was Brahma Vimohana leela. This leela also helped to satisfy the love of all the motherly gopis to have Krishna as their own sons and the cows who wanted to have Him as their own calves.
Ego of Lord Siva:
As we also hear from the sastras, Lord Siva who is the very first Vaishnava (vaiṣṇavānāṁ yathā śambhuḥ - Srimad Bhagavatam) also had ego. While every one was worshipping Lord Krishna as the Supreme Lord, Lord Siva wanted to get Him worshipped as well in that position. Because of that ego, He asked Lord Krishna a boon asking that He should be also worshipped like Krishna. Lord Krishna gave the best boon and said, "O sure! I myself will worship you!". This was the reason that Lord Krishna when in Dwaraka worshipped Lord Siva to get His own sons. Worshipping His own dear devotees is something Lord Krishna loves to do! Of all the sixty four qualities, this is also one of qualities of Bhagavan Sri Krishna.
But the real fact is that Lord Sada Siva is the guardian of Vrindavan, and even today we see that He is taking the remnants of the prasadam first offered to Krishna in Vrindavan. This is very similar to how the Goloka Vrindavan is structured above Vaikuntha.
The Power of Guru to Eradicate Ego of Devotees:
When one surrenders to a guru, pulling out the weed called ego also becomes one of the responsibilities of that guru. As one promises at initiation in front of agni (sacred fire) to give his/her words, mind, body and everything to guru, it is the obligation of the disciple to completely give the control to the guru. My gurudeva is so expert in doing this operation. He knows exactly how to knock out the ego and I have seen this in so many occasions. He is not the kind of gurus who take disciples to build an empire or to make themselves fame. A real guru will not be willing to take any disciples by himself.
When a guru looks at a person, he can x-ray and see everything like a crystal clear picture with at most resolution. He can see millions of our lives! If there is ego, his arrows will come shooting from him and piercing our egos into pieces!.
With ego, no one can progress in Bhakti. Some one expanded the term EGO as Edging God Out. Yes, it can really edge God out and keep Krishna far away! Usually the ego builds up as a weed due to wealth, power, and beauty. This is why when Lord Krishna really wants to bless any soul, he will take all these away first.!
How to spot our ego? Very easy. When some one insults you or avoids you, do you feel insulted? If you feel that, that means surely you have ego. The ego of Lord Indra was related to the feeling of insult and loosing fame. The ego of Lord Brahma was due to feeling about his high position and power. The ego of Lord Siva was due to the feeling of missing recognition.
In the case of dear devotees, Lord Krishna out of compassion, He Himself takes the responsibility of taking away this weed called ego. But what happens in the case of others? Their ego makes Krishna far far way and eventually lost.
What does a devotee do when insulted:
A real devotee will first of all thank that person who insulted him. The reason is that by that insult, the past karma of that affected person is getting eradicated.
If one reads the bhajans from Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur and Sri Narottama Dasa Thakur, it is so evident that for devotees, insults are the blessings coming from the Lord, because it makes one to chant more and more. Especially if one is initiated, one should be willing to receive insults. If some one insults, it is a blessing to chant more.
amānināmānadena, kīrtanīyah sadāharih (Sikshashtakam - 3)
"Thinking oneself to be even lower and worthless than the insignificant grass, being more tolerant than a tree, taking no honor but offering respect to all others, one should continuously chant the holy name of Sri Hari."
Only those who has this mind set can actually chant. Others simply cannot. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu asked us to put this sloka around our neck meaning that this so important for Krishna Bhakti.
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna
Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
- B K Dasa
When Lord Caitanya descended to this world about 500 years ago from His Svetadwipa, a part of Goloka Vrindavan beyond Vaikuntha, to inaugurate the kali yaga dharma of hari nama sankirtan, He brought down several gopis, queens and mostly manjaris from Krishna Leela. Lord Caitanya is the combined form of Nanda Nandan Krishna in the mood of Radha Rani. However, in contrast to Krishna Leela, here they all came in male forms. Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika describes the details of all these divine personalities who descended as associates of Lord Sri Caitanya.
Of those who descended from His abode, Jagadananda Pandit was one of them and was a close associate of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. According to Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika, he is said to be the amsa of Queen Satyabhama of Lord Krishna who was well known to rebuke Lord Krishna out of Her divine love. It says:
"kenavantara-bhedena bhedam kurvanti satvatah
[Devotees make no inner distinction between Satyabhama and Jagadananda Pandit. (Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika 51)]
"Jagadananda Pandit is the very life of the Lord. He is known everywhere as being a manifestation of Satyabhama." - (Chaitanya Charitamrita 1.10.29)
In this rare poem by Jagadananda Pandita, that came to me by accident, he glorifies Lord Caitanya and surprisingly the maha mantra is hidden into this poem as the signature. We made a simple video of his poem and hope you like it. below is the youtube link.
In the Caitanya Caritamrta, we see several descriptions of Lord Caitanya with Jagadananda Pandit. He was the Lord's constant companion and especially took part in all the pastimes of the Lord in the houses of Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita and Candraśekhara Ācārya.
Sri Caitanya Caritamrta says that Jagadānanda Paṇḍita was accustomed to provoking loving quarrels with the Lord. There was always some disagreement between them. It says that the affectionate loving exchanges between Jagadānanda Paṇḍita and Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued in this manner, exactly like the exchanges between Satyabhāmā and Lord Kṛṣṇa related in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
There are so many incidents... Once Jagadananda Pandit brought a pot of scented medicinal oil to rub on the heads of Lord Caitanya so that He does not become sick. He brought it out of deep affection and wellness of the Lord. However, Lord Caitanya refused to accept it because He was a sannyasi. Jagadananda Pandit became angry and went in hunger strike locking himself in his room for days. Then next day he came out carrying the scented oil and broke it in front of Lord Caitanya (see the picture) and again went back into his room and locked up.
After a while, Lord Caitanya knocked on the door asking Jagadananda to cook meal for the Lord. Hearing it, Jagadananda Pandit gave out his anger and prepared extensive prasadam for the Lord. You can read many more like this in the Caitanya Caitamrta.
From all these, we can see the power and nature of raga bhakti compared to vaidhi bhakti. Compared to worshipping the Lord in the mood of opulence (vaidhi bhakti), we can see how deep love to the Lord actually manifests in various amazing moods that we can't even imagine. Lord Krishna says in Srimad Bhagavatam that only His dear most devotees who has deep love in raga bhakti can even control Him. That is the power of this deep divine love.
Sadhavo hrdayam mahyam
Sadhunam hrdayam tv aham
Mad-anyat te na jananti
Naham tebhyo manag api .... (S.B. 9.4.68)
[ Lord Krsna says, "My pure devotee is always within the core of My heart, and I am always
in his heart. My devotee does not know anything else but Me, and I do not recognize
anyone else as mine."]
It is also said that only by chanting the maha mantra, this kind of deep love can manifest. No other mantra has that power! None!
So, please chant:
Hare krsna hare krsna
Krsna krsna hare hare
Hare rama hare rama
Rama rama hare hare
Here is the poem covered in the video that has the maha mantra hidden in it. Pl see the video to see the full details.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Sri Gauranga!
It is my pleasure to introduce to you all, a special devotee who took shelter under Srila Gurudeva. While I am still not qualified to give shelter to any one, being his teacher in his prison for several years, mainly by the will of Srila Gurudeva, as almost no one was ready to accept him, he took shelter through me when he came out of his prison see the light of this world again.
On the day we first met outside the prison, surprisingly I had prasadam from Puri Jaganath Temple, and I put the Jagannath prasadam in his mouth and gave him the name on behalf of Srila Gurudev as 'Jagan Mohan Dasa' along with other formalities. I was not even prepared that such a thing would happen and aunty also witnessed. Since then he is chanting amazingly and reads scriptures every day without fail. He gets up at 3 am and chants from 4 am regularly.
Here is an incident that happened just yesterday that I would like to mention in this blog. As I was busy doing nothing after my trip to India and the jet lag, Jagan Mohan was desperate to contact me yesterday for some reason, and he had to call Vasanti Didi to tell me to contact him urgently. He usually texts me every other day, even when I was in India, but I was idle for few days.
Yesterday he texted me saying that he was in a plane! I was shocked, as I know that he has never would have flown in a plane as he is so poor. He texted that the plane was about to take off to Tennessee.
I asked, "What? You are flying? why?"
He then asked me if I could give him permission and blessings to chant for a child of 8 years old about to die of cancer. He also asked if he could use my teachings that I gave him in the prison that could be taught to the child about Krishna. I said, "why not? use whatever I have given to you! They are from Gurudeva." I then realized that he was in an amazing trip for the life of a dying child.
Jagan Mohan Prabhu was born as an American in Bronz New York if I am right, and lost both of his parents early. His family background was full of drugs, smoking and alcohol. As he was put in jail for lying to a police officer to help one of his friends, all his relatives left him one by one. So practically, for him I am kind of everything for now. He texts me very often, almost every other day, if not every day!...
He said that he was sitting in the plane wearing a dhoti and kurta that I gave to him, and with tilak on his forehead and chanting mala in his hand that he got during initiation. He said that wearing dhoti in plane was making him feel cold.
I asked, "You are almost penniless, and how is it happening?"
He said, "O, my boss in the hospital I work is sending me there! This child was transferred to that hospital in TN and I am going there."
In my mind, things were then flashing....
With so much of difficulties and efforts and meetings and drivings to meet him, and with some help and advice, finally he got a job as a chaplain in a hospital there in Morganton. He was struggling for so long to get a job as no one was willing to give a job to him with felony and was in prison.
To make the story short, with the blessings of Sri Guru and Krishna, now he has a job as chaplain with his own office. He filled his office with so many Radha Krishna pictures (that I gave him before) on all the walls. He is preaching Krishna Consciousness to every one around and is also distributing our CDs, and books by Srila Gurudeva. Right from when he was in prison where I was preaching, he was converted to full vegetarianism and was chanting. His dream was to help any one who needs spiritual advice and he got his dream job now!
When he came out of prison, no one was giving him any job due to his felony. As he is still in probation, even to go to grocery, he has to get permission to go out it seems. Any meagre job he was interviewed for, was exploiting him with lowest wage. In addition, as he was so strict not to deal with meat, even in the place he tried to work, he was left with almost no choice. Once when we visited and my wife (aunty) asked why he had to be that strict about handling meat while he was literally starving. He quickly responded that he is following everything exactly as I taught him in the prison! He was such a loyal and dedicated to my teachings which is from Gurudeva!
Even when he was struggling and bed ridden due to an appendix operation with no job and no money even to buy a single meal, he would not yield to seeing meat where he had to work to earn a penny. Starving for many days, he simply refused to work in any place where meat is handled. Such a vairagya he had! No wonder why he came under Gurudeva.
Seeing his conditions we used to drive there to meet him. Once when he was in urgent need of us, we drove even skipping a house warming (where I was invited to just break some coconuts)! When we met him, he said that the best meal he ever enjoyed was the little prasadam aunty used to make that we carried for him whenever we visited.
.. So, yesterday, miraculously he landed at the place just about 30 minutes before the child was about to leave the body. I sent him the picture of Goloka Vrindavan and some guidelines via whatsapp to show to that child to visualize the world of Lord Krishna, and asked to tell the dying child that "surely" he will be taken care of Krishna! Jagan Mohan said that it worked out so good that he could chant nicely with that eight year old boy. While chanting with the child, the child finally left the body..
See the luck of that child! The child left the body when chanting the holy names of Lord Krishna. How many of us will get this opportunity? Mostly the dying people will be connected with so many tubes and instruments and the relatives will be crying!
Jagan Mohan also said that, surprisingly the parents of the dying child completely yielded to his chanting of maha mantra even though they were with different belief. In their mind they also would have chanted with Jagan Mohan, and the child left the body while Jagan Mohan, an initiated devotee, chanting the holy names of Lord Krishna!
In Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says:
yaḿ yaḿ vāpi smaran bhāvaḿ
tyajaty ante kalevaram
taḿ tam evaiti kaunteya
sadā tad-bhāva-bhāvitaḥ BG 8.6
"Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, O son of Kunti, that state he will attain without fail."
So, where did that soul of that child go?
When I heard the whole story yesterday and rest of it today morning, tears were about to come out. I murmured, "O Gurudeva! You mercy is unbelievable! Through your devotee Jagan Mohan, you are making a wonder to this child! This child will "surely" get Krishna!"
I texted to Jagan Mohan, "O my boy, Jagan Mohan! I am proud of you!"
Even though I didn't want to end the conversation as he also seemed to keep texting more and more, I typed "Hare Krishna!" and he also typed "Hare Krishna!"...
Whenever I leave after preaching in prison I used to think, 'While these souls in prison are so interested and ready to give their lives for Krishna, and follow the teachings so nicely, why our families here are ignorant and dumb?" As Subal Sakha prabhuji said, "The prisoners are in boiling water, and our people are in Jacuzzi".
But how long will they be in the Jacuzzi?
About Jagan Mohan, this sloka from Srimad Bhagavatam came in my mind:
harishye tad-dhanam śanaih
tato 'dhanam tyajanty asya
svajanā duhkha-duhkhitam.. Srimad Bhagavatam 10.88.8
The Personality of Godhead Bhagavan Sri Krishna said: "If I especially favor someone, I gradually deprive him of his wealth. Then the relatives and friends of such a poverty-stricken man abandon him. In this way he suffers one distress after another."
Yes, Krishna had taken away all his relatives, all his wealth (as even his only little home was also sold in auction leaving his wife and only son homeless on the street due to his imprisonment and no income to support his family). Yes, Jagan Mohan really got the favor from Lord Krishna and is tightly connected to Krishna!
When Jagan Mohan came to our Janmashtami program, I did not introduce him to our materialistic families who might think that it could be unsafe to meet one who came from a prison. But now I am sure that not all our families have qualification to meet him, a very high devotee! He is not only my first, but one of my best ones.
When he was here at our home for Janmashtami, he said in front of other devotees, that if he didn't end up in that prison, his life would have been totally spoilt further as he would not have met me. He said that Krishna favored him by connecting him to me and gurudeva!
He has completely giving his life to spread Krishna Consciousness and change the lives! Vasanti didi was mentioning yesterday after seeing these, that even a movie can be made about how prisoners are being turned into best devotees. They are the most fortunate ones and making me also fortunate to serve them!
hare krsna hare krsna
krsna krsna hare hare
hare rama hare rama
rama rama hare hare
Whenever I visit India, nowadays I find that maha mantra is being sung in many places. While the good thing is that the maha mantra is being sung, the bad news is that they are not singing the maha-mantra as described in the scriptures. They sing the maha mantra as:
"hare rama hare rama, rama rama hare hare
hare krsna hare krsna, krsna krsna hare hare"
However, when we see the scriptural evidences as you can see later below, the original maha mantra is quoted as:
"hare krsna hare krsna, krsna krsna hare hare
hare rama hare rama, rama rama hare hare"
Every time we visit India, we used to go to Guruvayur temple because that is the only Krishna temple that we know near our place. In all the other places there are only demi-god worships. We hardly even see temples for other expansions of Lord Krishna. Even in those temples, for example in Guruvayur, I saw them chanting the maha mantra wrongly.
Some may argue that eventually when it is sung again and again, the end result is that it sounds same. But, in contrast to what they say, every mantra has strict rules to start (bhija), pronounce and chant. Usually, when mayavadis sing the maha mantra we see this difference. I used to think that there may be a reason that they may not be qualified to chant the right mantra and thus misguided by Lord Krishna's arrangement..!
If we want to become a devotee of Lord Krishna, it is very important that we chant His mantra correctly. In fact when Lord Krishna appeared as Lord Caitanya appeared 500 years ago to inaugurate the dharma of kali yuga, which is chanting the holy names, saw this very same problem, corrected and gave the right mantra again.
Many still say that it should start with 'hare rama' because Lord Rama came first and Krishna came later. This is out of their ignorance. What they don't know is that this mantra is eternal and it was there even before Lord Rama appeared. It is not that Lord Krsna was not there before Lord Rama. As Lord Krsna says in Bhagavad Gita, He was the only one from the very beginning, and no one else. He also says that He taught Bhagavad Gita to the Sun God millions and millions of years ago.
While many people think that the word 'rama' is for Lord Rama, it is pointed out by great saints that the word 'rama' actually represents 'raman' - one who is blissful. While the word krsna means 'all attractive', the word 'rama' means 'all blissful'. Lord Rama and any such expansions of Lord Krsna come under this word 'rama'. So, they are also included.
Some even argue that in any Lord Ram Temples, the maha mantra should be chanted starting with 'hare rama'. By having this kind of wrong faith and altering the original mantra, we only spoil our devotion. Chanting a mantra wrongly will not give the benefit. Mantras are very strict, and they are not man-made. It is nama aparadha (offense) to change the original mantra.
Even worst mutilations are happening to the original maha mantra. Some even added the name(s) of siddhas (who even claim they are Krsna or God) and mutilated the maha mantra even further. As Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita, the spiritual knowledge gets mutilated and misunderstood and that is why He has to appear in every yuga! So, He had to come as Lord Caitanya to correct many things including this Maha Mantra.
Corrected Mantra in a Town (Kottaram):
In my nearby home town called Kottaram, situated near to Kanyakumari where the famous Bhagavati Amman Temple is there ( where Lord Caitanya also visited), they were chanting and singing the maha mantra in the wrong way for ages. One day I explained to them from the scriptures about the correct mantra as mentioned in the sastras, and they have now corrected and from now they are singing the maha mantra in the right way.
Who can chant Maha Mantra?
The maha mantra in previous times had to be given by a qualified authentic guru to a qualified disciple very secretly. The disciples were not to reveal the mantras to others because of the fear that if it is given to the public they will make the mantra an ordinary and mutilate (as it is happening now) or use it for material gains.
You may remember the story about Sripad Ramanujacharya. His guru told that if any one chants the maha mantra they will go to Vaikuntha or liberated. He also told that this should not be given to any ordinary people. If it was given, the disciple would go to hell. But out of compassion, after getting the mantra, he climbed on the flag pole and called every one and gave the mantra to the public! When his guru came to know he became angry and reminded about the promise. Ramanujacharya said that he wouldn't mind going to hell if this delivers so many jivas!
When Lord Caitanya, who is none other than Lord Krsna came in the mood of the most merciful Smt Radha Rani, out of compassion to all the fallen jivas He distributed the maha mantra to every one. He gave the right maha mantra as it is in the scriptures.
Receive Maha Mantra from a pure devotee
Maha mantra should be actually received from an authentic guru. When received from an authentic bonafide guru, it comes with a seed 'bhakti lata bhija'. This seed can be obtained only from a pure devotee of Lord Krishna, and not just from any one. Only those pure devotees who have Krishna in their hearts can give this seed. No one else can give because they do not have it. When that disciple chants that right maha mantra, the seed sprouts and the bhakti lata (the preme to Lord Krsna) grows to reach Goloka which is the the highest abode of Lord Krishna beyond Vaikuntha.
If the mantra is not obtained from such a devotee, it gives only sukriti (punyas) so that the jiva who is chanting will eventually get a guru in matter of time or in some birth. But if one chants the mantra wrongly, the spiritual benefits are highly questionable.
Claims for wrong maha mantra
The people who claim that the maha mantra should start with 'hare rama..' have the following to say:
1) 'Kali Santarana Upanishad' published by Venkatesa Press says that it starts with 'hare rama..' 2) 'Kalyana' published by Gita Press of Ghorakhpura quotes it starting as 'hare rama..'.
3) Some say that as Lord Krsna appeared after Lord Rama, it should start with 'hare rama...'
All above are baseless!
1) Earlier publication of the same Santarana Upanishad says that the maha mantra starts with 'hare krsna...' Only later, they mutilated it. If we see the original version of this Upanishad, there we find the correct one!.
2) The 'Kalyana' by Gita Press is not bonafide.
3) Maha Mantra has no effect (changes) due to change of yugas. Maha mantra is eternal and is eternally vibrating in Goloka - it has no beginning and no ending.
Original Sastric evidences for correct maha mantra
In the Ananda Samhita, it is said that in different yugas different mantras were used as the prime means for liberation. For satya yuga, it was 'narayana para vedah, narayana para ksarah, narayana para mukti, narayana para gati' and so on. For Treta yuga it goes like, 'rama narayana ananda mukunta madhusudana.. and so on. For Dwapar yuga it is 'hare murare, madhu- kaita-bhare,.. gopala govinda mukunda.. and so on.' For Kali yuga it is 'hare krsna hare krsna, krsna krsna hare hare, hare rama hare rama, rama rama hare hare'.
1) One may ask the question why only the maha mantra is recommended for kali yuga? The reason is that in the kali yuga all the other mantras become less beneficial due to the influence of kali. Only maha mantra cannot be touched by kali. That is why it is called 'maha' mantra! Only the maha mantra (when received authentically and rightly chanted) can give Krishna Prema. No other mantra can give Krishna Prema. This way, the kali yuga has some merits that the other yugas do not have.
2) Ananda Samhita states that the maha mantra is: 'hare krsna hare krsna, krsna krsna hare hare, hare rama hare rama, rama rama hare hare.'
3) In Brahma Yamah, when Lord Siva was asked, He says that the correct maha mantra is 'hare krsna hare krsna, krsna krsna hare hare, hare rama hare rama, rama rama hare hare.'
4) Narada Muni received the mantra from Lord Brahma as, 'hare krsna hare krsna, krsna krsna hare hare, hare rama hare rama, rama rama hare hare.'
5) In Radha Tantra, Maha Maya responds to a question by a devotee about the highest mantra, and She says that it is: 'hare krsna hare krsna, krsna krsna hare hare, hare rama hare rama, rama rama hare hare.'
6) In Radha Hrdaya Khanda of Brahmanda Purana, Ramaharsana Suta prays to Vyasa Deva for the greatest mantra. Vyasa Deva says that it is: 'hare krsna hare krsna, krsna krsna hare hare, hare rama hare rama, rama rama hare hare.'
7) Lord Caitanya came to correct the mutilated maha mantra and now all the Gaudiya Vaishnavas sing the right and original maha mantra.
It should be also understood that the word 'hare' stands for Smt Radha Rani in a hidden way. Some even started to chant the mantra as ''radhe krsna radhe krsna, krsna krsna radhe radhe, radhe rama radhe rama, rama rama radhe radhe.' This is wrong and we should not be making any change to the original mantra. All such moods should be internal and the mantra reveals so many truths when obtained from a bonafide guru and chanted with nishtha.
There is also some interesting facts about the words 'rama' and 'krsna'. It is said that the word 'rama' actually means 'raman' of Radha Raman, and Lord Rama is included.
The Sata Nama Strotra and Brahmanda Purana say that uttering 'rama' three times is equal to uttering one time 'krsna'. We also see that even in Vishnu Sahasranama (which is mostly a karmic scripture as it is from Maha Bharata and it asks for so many favors), it is said that uttering 1,000 names of Lord Vishnu is equal to uttering the name 'rama' once. So, the conclusion is that when we chant the name 'krsna' just once is equal to chanting 3,000 names of Lord Vishnu!. One may ask that, then why should we spend 40 minutes to chant the entire Vishnu Sahasranama just once while just chanting once the 'krsna' nama which has the benefit of chanting the entire Vishnu Sahasranama three times (3x40 = 120 mins)! This is a question to the Vishnu Sahasranama chanters!
It is also said in the Brhan Naradiya Purana that the maha mantra and names of Lord Hari are the only means for liberation for Kali Yuga. It says,'Harer nama harer nama, harer namaiva kevalam, Kalau nasty eva nasty eva, nasty eva gati anyatha', which means: "For deliverance in this Kali Yuga, there is no other way, there is no other way, there is no other way except chanting the holy names of Lord Hari". It says three times that 'there is no other way.' When something is said 3 times, it affirms the truth.
1) As per original scriptures, the correct maha mantra starts with 'hare krsna..' and NOT 'hare rama..'
2) Maha mantra should be formally obtained from an authentic guru as he is the only one who can give the seed of Krishna bhakti.
3) Only when we chant any mantra in the original form, it gives the full benefit.
4) The fruit of chanting maha mantra is Krishna Bhakti (Prema). Krishna Prema is extremely difficult even for Devas to get.
So, please get the maha mantra from a pure devotee and then chant it correctly. There is a huge difference!
hare krsna hare krsna, krsna krsna hare hare
hare rama hare rama, rama rama hare hare
- Bhagavati Kanta Dasa
Earlier I had mentioned about the ghosts’ structure and their organization in a blog. When a person worships ghosts or spirits he/she will be surely grabbed by the ghostly gangs as a Bhuta when the person dies. For 10000 bhutas there is a lead Preta. For 10000 Pretas there is one Vedala and for 10000 Vedalas there is a Brahma Rakshasha (or Brahma Rakshashi). For 10000 of them the lead is Lord Siva. On the side they have Vinayakas as special leads of whom Ganapathy is very famous due to the 14th or 16th century saint called Mudgala Rishi who received a darsan and made Ganapathy famous...
Here is another real story about the deliverance of a brahma-rākṣasa by one of our parampara acharyas. Thanks to Sripad Vishnu Daivata Maharaj to share this incident..
Pūjyapāda Śrīmad Bhakti-bhūdeva Śrautī Mahārāja, a disciple of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Prabhupāda, was preaching in east India. He was a close friend and god-brother of Parama-gurudeva Śrīla Bhakti-prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja.
He preached pure devotion to the elderly people and children of the villages. Once, after a preaching program, he inquired from the children of the village about where to spend the night. The children directed him to a nearby abandoned house.
He entered the isolated home, put his mat on the floor, and took rest for the night. At about midnight he awoke to a terrifying voice: “I am a brahma-rākṣasa. I devour anyone who stays in this house, and I am going to devour you.”
Despite the terrifying voice, Śrīmad Bhakti- bhūdeva Śrautī Mahārāja remained completely unperturbed. He knew that the only way to rescue this wretched soul who was suffering in a ghostly body was to give him the spiritual benefit of following one ekādaśī.
Generally, having a ghostly body is even more distressful than being in hell. Śrīmad Bhakti-bhūdeva Śrautī Mahārāja took some water in his hand and sprinkled it in the direction of the brahma-rākṣasa, blessing him with the benefit of following one ekādaśī.
Immediately, he heard a voice that conveyed, “Thank you for delivering me. The benefit of observing one ekādaśī has rescued me from the ghostly body of a brahma-rākṣasa. I am feeling tremendous relief. I cannot repay you for your magnanimous gift; I am eternally indebted to you.”
After offering obeisances to Śrīmad Bhakti-bhūdeva Śrautī Mahārāja, that soul left for a better body in which he would be able to practice the various forms of devotional service.
Worship of ghosts and spirits is still predominant in South India even though hundred percent literacy rate is claimed here. But what is the use?
Here, by the mercy of Gurudev and devotee families every week I am able to preach in different places to propagate the teachings of our Gurudev. Two main things we focus are: Harinama chanting and Ekadasi Vrata. Many new people followed the last Ekadasi for the first time and today we have a bigger program in a home and will be stressing the importance of the both and the Ekadasi is on this Sunday here in India.
In this Kali Yuga, as the evil effects of modern living and education take control, we tend to neglect our sacred culture and language. Some children even find it odd to memorize Sanskrit slokas. Even in India itself, we see that almost no one is interested in learning Sanskrit. Every one there is becoming a slave to the modern languages. But we hear that in Germany, the need to learn Sanskrit has grown so much that the country is struggling to meet the demand! The influence of Sanskrit in olden days spread all the way to Cambodia, Laos and other places without any force.
Here are few amazing facts about Sanskrit that you may find interesting.
Sanskrit is a divine language. It was not invented by ordinary people, but was revealed to us by saints from the divine world. Sanskrit is still the base for all the Vedic based religions - Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. The grammar and linguistics in Sanskrit is simply unprecedented. What is the secret behind? This divine language and divine scriptures were revealed by those very powerful saints who had 12 strands in their DNA as per some beliefs. Most of the population (about 99.9%) has only the junk-DNA that are based on two strands and hence our intelligence and divine vision are very limited.
You might be wondering what was the national language in India before the Arabs' invasion. It was Sanskrit! As the Sanskrit texts were greatly destroyed by the Muslim rulers, and later by the British who invaded India. They systematically up-rooted and forcefully removed Sanskrit from every school.
Besides all these, you may be wondering which language is the mother of all modern languages. Well, it is found to be sanskrit. The UNO has confirmed that Sanskrit influenced at least 97% of the world's languages! In this regard, if we learn Sanskrit, we simply pave the way to learn the modern European and Indian languages faster than ever.
The Vedas, that have the oldest and richest texts compared to any language in this world, were written in Sanskrit. The more amazing fact is that in spite of preserved orally, it remained absolutely unchanged over millennium! Sanskrit has more than 100 common meters with the prosody books listing over 600. Even talking about synonyms, Sanskrit has the vastest treasure troves for any single object. For example, just for the elephant, there are more than 100 synonyms! Many scholars have clearly concluded that Sanskrit was also the mother for all the Dravidian languages.
According to NASA scientist Rick Briggs, Sanskrit is the only unambiguous language in existence. It is simply amazing to hear from Forbes magazine that Sanskrit is by far the most computer-friendly language. Nowadays Sanskrit is highly praised to aid in speech therapy.
If we do not show interest in Sanskrit, we are simply killing our own mother. It is so nice to hear that Uttarkhand in India named Sanskrit as their official language! The Mattur village in Karnataka still speaks Sanskrit! We all should join to bring up the glory of Sanskrit again! So, at least memorize and recite our slokas!
Everything about our world and spiritual world beyond us, are all revealed in our scriptures written in Sanskrit. The fact that our sun is powered by fusion of Hydrogen, the velocity of light, sound, making vimana, and everything is in the Vedas written thousands and thousands of years ago. As we know that we have only 6% of the originally revealed Vedas, just imagine what a collection we could have if we have all those missing!.
Just look at this sloka. This reveals the value of pi (3.1415 92653 58969 32384 62643 38327 9) !
खलजीवितखाताव गलहालारसंधर ॥
(Gopibhagya madhuvrata srngisodadhisandhiga|
Thanksgiving day, Christmas day and New Year day are all gone by now for good. In the name of traditions, and taking the advantages of unclean religions, there are so many people who eat meat to satisfy their tongues. Many argue and try to find loop holes from the mutated teachings and scriptures looking for ways to eat meat without guilt. Just to satisfy their tongues they kill so many cows, goats and other animals without mercy. Here is a video we made for Thanksgiving you may like.
In the pure sattvic shastras it is said that there are seven kinds of people who incur sin when eating meat. They are: (1) the one who raises the animal for meat, (2) the one who transport it to be killed, (3) the one who holds (or arranging) it to be killed, (4) the one actually kills the animal, (5) the one who sells the meat, (6) the one who cooks the meat, and (7) the one who eat the meat. The interesting thing is that every one gets equal amount of sin.
When it becomes intolerable on this earth due to too much of these atrocities of killing innocent animals, natural disasters such as flood, famine, and wars and similar calamities manifest and people are mercilessly killed. But the people ignorantly complain how God can be so merciless and do not protect the people from being killed in war, famine, etc. This is a typical atheist question who do not know about karma and karmic reactions.
You all very well remember the life of Meerabai, one of Lord Krishna's dear devotees, who refused to accept any meat inside her palace even though she belonged to a 'warrior' (kingly) family. Even though the meat was offered to mother Kali, she utterly refused to allow even a bit of it to enter in her palace and hence forced to drink poison.
Eating meat is intensively against pure bhakti and incurs great sin. Following is something that touched me and wanted to share it with you. This is from Saint Kabir. If you like it, please share it with others as well.
"In the following couplets, Saint Kabir warns all non-vegetarians of the world, not to ignore the after effects of eating flesh and liquor. He asks them why are they so merciless and harsh? They shouldn't forget that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Also, he tells us to survive by eating plants, fruits and vegetables. When so much of advanced planning and management is done for worldly businesses, why don’t be cautious on the spiritual path?
The poor goat which eats only grass and leaves
Suffers fate of being flayed;
What will be the fate
Of those who eat the goat?
All flesh is same, be it of cow, deer or hen.
Flesh is a dog’s food,
not his who is blessed with a human form;
If a man allows meat to enter his mouth,
he will one day enter
The Gates of Hell.
They who kill will in turn be killed,
Whether they kill for eating or for sport;
They will be dragged by their hair
and taken to task
by the ruthless minions of Kaal (Satan).
If one eats even a grain of fish,
And then gives a million cows in charity,
to the holy saw at Kasi (Varanasi),
Still the inevitable result
Will be a seat In flames of hell.
The suffering of all beings is the same,
but foolish man is blind to other’s pain;
Why not cut your own throat
So that the bliss of liberation you attain?
To the mullah says the hen:
Ruthlessly you cut my neck,
But one day the Lord will demand
An account for your deed -
Then you will suffer
Endless agony and pain.
Blacken the face of your ritual laws,
Banish duality from your heart;
All souls belong to the One Lord -
O fatuous Mullah, forbear from killing
Any being of God.
Cut the throat of wrath, your urge to cruelty destroy;
He who ruthlessly kills the five,
will surely meet the Lord.
-Kabir Sakhi-Sangrah, p.162:3-12; Belvedere Press
The man who eat meat
is a demon in human form,
Keep away from him -
His company will ruin your meditation.
Who eat meat and fish, who relish drugs & wine,
Their very roots as human beings
will be wiped out,
Like radishes uprooted by the farmer.
-Kabir Sakhi-Sangrah, p.161:1-2; Belvedere Press
Who eats grain is a man,
Who eats meat, a dog;
Who renders a living being dead
Is a demon incarnate.
-Satt Kabir, p.356:886; Mehta & Patel, Ahmedabad 1957
You violently slaughter innocent animals,
And claim it to be in keeping
with the canons of your creed;
But when God places before you
the record of your cruel deeds,
What will you fate be?
Kabir, eat porridge to your fill
with the seasoning of salt;
Who would eat meat
and get his own throat cut?
-Adi Granth, p.1375:199, 1374:188
Th Qazi and the Priest, both embraced delusion
And took to the ways of the world -
God and religion they forgot
The moment they took knife in their hands.
The evil ones, even sitting in worship
Eat meat and drink wine;
They will never gain salvation,
In the fires of hell, they will sink a million times.
-Kabir Granthavali, p.33:7, 33:13; Hindi Parishad Allahabad 1961
Hindus have no kindness, Turks no mercy
In their hearts; says Kabir,
Both will be dragged down,
by the currents of the eighty-four.
I tell you, O men, again and again I warn,
Remember what I say:
Whose throat today you cut,
will cut yours one day.
-Kabir Sakhi-Sangrah, p.163:15-16; Belvedere Press
O man, such indeed is your utility
That your meat can be put to no use:
Nor from your bones can ornaments be made,
Nor can your skin, be mounted on a drum.
-Bijak Sakhi, 199; Gopiganj 1914
Cherish kindness and mercy within your heart;
Man, why should you become
Merciless and harsh
When from the tiny ant, to the mighty elephant
All beings belong to God?
-Satt Kabir, p.356:940; Mehta & Patel, Ahmedabad 1957
Please be a pure vegetarian,
and chant Lord's name daily without fail.
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna
Krsna Krsna Hare hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
- B K Dasa
The kali yuga is surely progressing! Now even the most sinful activity gets considered as dharma - the normal thing.
In olden days, if a person drinks alcohol, the whole village used to condemn that person as "drunkard" and no one used to give him any respect or hear from that person. He would be like an unwanted animal separated from the society. But now, every one publicly drinks. We are even seeing parents drinking in front of their own children. Then when the child later goes for drugs for continuos addiction, they yell and shout at them!
The number of video games have really proliferated. Children and every one is dragged by Kali so badly with no possibility of returning. We see every one poking on their phones all the time!. Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakura said that Kali is always creating newer and newer forms of games to lead people away from purity.
What they do not know is that they are actually committing sins that would close the very door of Krishna Consciousness. We repeat the four pillars of Krishna Consciousness at the end of every class, but never have time to go in details, and many do not think seriously about.
In Srimad Bhagavatam, the four pillars of Krishna Consciousness are mentioned.
abhyarthitas tadā tasmai
sthānāni kalaye dadau
dyūtaṁ pānaṁ striyaḥ sūnā
yatrādharmaś catur-vidhaḥ (SB .1.17. 38)
"Sri Sūta Gosvāmī said: Mahārāja Parīkṣit, thus being petitioned by the personality of Kali, gave him permission to reside in places where gambling, drinking, prostitution and animal slaughter were performed."
Now let us see what they are in more details:
(1) Dyūtaṁ: Playing dice, cards, chess, horse racing, lottery, and other sorts of gaming or gambling. Surely in this kali yuga, dyuta has taken more forms such as video games on mobile and other devices, soap opera, and television series. Not to mention about the big big casinos for gambling.
The basis of dyuta is falsehood, and it destroys all the virtue of truthfulness. Another dangerous form of dhuta is the addiction in stock market. As this is based on speculations, it corrupts and pollutes our mind.
(2) Pānaṁ: Alcohol, wine, ganja, tobacco, opium, coffee, tea and other intoxicants including soda and energy drinks.
Its basis is pride, and slavering our mind to the addictive substances and destroys the virtue of mercy and purity.
(3) Striyaḥ: Illicit association with the opposite sex, attachment to one's spouse only for the same, and association with those who engage in illicit association. Surely it also includes seeing any related media, late night movies and reading or chatting about it.
Its basis is lust, and it destroys the virtue of purity.
(4) Sūnā: Taking the life of an animal for the sake of one's own body is called suna. Its basis is violence, and it destroys all virtues such as truthfulness, mercy, cleanliness, and austerity. Anyone who kills an animal, as well as anyone who prepares, cooks, transports, sells, serves, or eats it, is implicated in such sin.
When Parīkṣit Mahārāja gave the above four places for kali to stay, kali said that it was simply impossible to find such bad places at that time (now there are plenty!). So, Kali asked for one more thing. That was Jata! What is jata?
(5) Jata: Gold, silver, money, and other forms of wealth. Within these, falsehood, pride, lust, violence, and enmity are all present. Stocking up gold or silver coins, and even dealing with the modern invention of bitcoin, ethereum and so on, all these are included in jata.
While above are only the very basic rules and regulations of Krishna consciousness, people may complain that these are very difficult to follow. Giving up even coffee and tea? People say, "I can never leave my tea. I do not even need food, but without my tea how can I survive?"
Once my siksha guru was advising an old lady who was asking how to get into Krishna consciousness. Maharaj said about the basic principles stated above, but when she heard she also had to leave her addiction to tea, she was perplexed. Maharaj said firmly, "You 'must' leave your addiction to tea and coffee!"
The lady went away and not seen maharaj for a very long time. Later maharaj heard that one of his disciples actually saw and talked to her in a market place. The disciple said that she had a tough decision to leave her addiction to tea and she had made a decision.
"Good, so she finally left her tea?", maharaj was curious and feeling happy.
"No maharaj. She said that it was easy for her to leave 'you' than her tea. So she left you!"
Even Srila Prabhupada had the similar problem in his grhasta life and had to leave his wife because of her addiction to tea and coffee.
Srimad Bhagavatam as quoted above, says that by avoiding above sinful activities one will be pious. Otherwise, the door to Krishna Consciousness is closed. Even if we sing bhajans and chant, they all are outside the door of Krishna Consciousness.
These regulations are like learning the alphabet. Without learning the alphabet, how can one possibly read a book - the Krishna Consciousness?
Does Krishna live in our home and heart? Let us all see our own home and see if we have any trace of Kali by checking against any listed above. If we find any, then surely Kali has taken residence at our home - not Krishna for sure!
- B K Dasa
We missed you all for two weeks, and now we are back from our India trip!!
In India we had a nice get-together during the engagement function as one of the duties from my first birth (Gurudev gave the second birth by initiation).
For the engagement function, many of our relatives far and near came and attended. One of our relatives happened to be the judge who gave the jail sentence to Sasikala. We all had a wonderful time chatting with them, eating with them and laughing with them. But at the end, we all had to say goodbye with emotion!
In this material world, we have many inherited relatives, and then we add new relationships. Are they real and permanent relations?
Our life is compared to a long train journey. In a long train journey, especially in India, we meet many people in the compartment. We quickly make friendships with the fellow passengers, chat with them, laugh with them and even share our foods. But when we reach the destination, we all have to say goodbye and forget about them.
This is also the nature of our births we take. Every birth is like a train journey. In every birth, we inherit relatives, meet new people and make new relationships, but across our births we forget about them! We don’t even remember any one from our immediate past birth!
The fact is that every one of us, as a soul, is independently taking our own journeys as lives in so many universes. ‘Brahmanda bhramite kona’ - we the jivas travel thru worlds after worlds taking so many bodies, and also visiting hells and heavens. Sometimes we are born in lucky places and sometimes in hellish places. We don’t have any choices to choose from. Depending on what we do we will be forced to take different bodies in different wombs.
While in every birth we forcefully inherit and also build more relationships, we have to understand about an important fact. That is, we have forgotten about our real permanent relationship! This is very sad. We forgot that permanent relation due to our ignorance to enjoy the mayic worlds. We are miserably wandering all over the universes searchinga1 for our real relation. That eternal relative is Lord Krishna.
“pitaham asya jagato, mata dhata pitama...” bg 9.17
- ‘I am the father, mother, support and grand father..’
So, the jivas in the material worlds are like run-away-from-home cases! We have forgotten our very real relation and ran away from our father and mother!
Sastra says that every jiva is permanently related to Krishna- some as neutral, some as servants, some as friends, some as parents, some as married, some even belonging to Him very closely and even controlling Him!
The amazing beauty of Gaudiya Sampradaya is that one who turns to this path is mostly intrinsically related to Krishna in conjugal love. Others won’t come or stay. The main reason of Gauranga Mahaprabhu’s descension was to give this special mercy to the deserved. So, we are the most fortunate! In this particular relation, we actually belong to Radha Rani serving Her. ‘Radha Dasyam’ is the highest spiritual relation to serve Radha Krishna yugala.
Let us see how it will look like when one gets married or related in conjugal love to Krsna. Lord Balaram becomes the brother-in-law! Mother Yashoda will be our mother-in-law and Nandababa will be our father-in-law. Brishabanu maharaj is like our father and Kritida devi is like our mother.
We under Lord Caitanya belong to Radha Rani serving Her and Lord Krishna. Not every one may have this taste and have this kind of very special relation. So we are extremely special. When one takes shelter under a rasika guru, all these are realized and find the real and permanent relative, who is Lord Sri Krishna!
Our desire should never be to merge in Brahman, or to think that we ourselves Krishna. That is ‘asat sastra’ and paratha and we should not go in that route and get lost. Lord Krishna asked Lord Siva to take all His non-devotees away by teaching themselves as god. Lord Siva coming as Sri Sankaracharya gave twisted meaning to ‘aham brahmasmi’ and dumped all non-devotees in brahman which is nothing but an effulgence of Lord Krishna.
want Krishna, who is para brahma, the one who is above and source of Brahman. We should never worship sidhas or demi-gods. We want only to be connected to Krishna Himself directly in service as a patni.
‘Jivera svarupa haya, krisnera nitya dasa ‘ - the original svarupa of jiva is to serve Krishna.
That is our real relation and not brahman.
Once that relation is realized, not only our wanderings thru universes and taking births end, but also achieve the topmost spiritual realm. With the mercy of sri guru we simply go to Goloka Vrindavan. (Note that we did not fall from Vaikunta and may not want to go to Vaikuntha)
In summary here is what we have discussed about our topmost relation:
1) Our one and only relatiion is Lord Sri Krishna
2) By taking shelter under a rasika guru, we get re-connected to Krishna - sambandha
3) Radha Dasyam is the topmost spiritual relation for service - prayojana
To realize above, here are the only two things we should do (abhideya):
‘sadhu sange krsna nama ei matra cai
samsara jinite ara kauna vastu nai- cc adi 1.120’
“Other than associating and taking shelter from pure devotees of Lord Krishna, and chanting the holy names of Lord Krishna, there is nothing else that is essential in this world!”
Hare krsna hare krsna
Krsna krsna hare hare
Hare rama hare rama
Rama rama hare hare
Thank you and see you all soon!
- Bhagavati Kanta Dasa
You might have heard about a recent disturbing news in CNN and also a video about several boys standing near a lake in Florida laughing and joking on a person drowning right in front of them. None of the teens attempted to save that dying person!. They did not even call emergency. Instead, they yelled, "No, we won't help you!.." They even video recorded the drowning man until he died in front of them!. When he died at last, the boys joked,"..Oh, he just died!".
The very scene that the man was desperately screaming for help actually stroked my mind. Life is very precious to every one. No one wants to die. We do whatever we can, to avoid our death. Even though we know for sure that one day we all must die, we still want to hang on to our life as much as possible.
... In our native place at the very south of India, when I was a very small boy, right next to our poor mud home, to the front left side we had a good sized pond. Next to that pond was a village temple. Water from that pond was used for that temple as well. I used to take bath in that pond sometimes and other times in the nearby stream also running next to our house also feeding water to this pond. Our village was then brimming with so much of beauty with nature and lush fruit trees as we were part of the state of Kerala which is still the garden of India.
The pond was really deep immediately after the first half of its area. It is said that in those olden days, our grandparents used to have there a large deep well which actually supplied water to the entire area. Then later it was converted into a large pond. When I was a boy then, in the pond there were two stages. At the entrance, it was shallow where only small children take bath. Beyond that was the place of the old well and hence was really deep. Unless one knows good swimming, no one was supposed to go beyond that shallow area. It was dangerous.
Once when I went to take bath along with few other children, it was not as usual. As I was not careful but playful, some one pushed me back and I was thrown beyond that shallow water boundary! Children are children! While no one was noticing, I was pulled into that deep water area. That time I did not know swimming yet. When I realized my situation, I tried to jump to the front towards the shallow area. But the water was pulling me down more and more. It was way deep. More I tried to pull, more I was getting dragged in. I was gulping for air but drinking the water from the pond every time I tried to jump up. I shouted for help. But, no one could hear me. They were playing!. Also what could those children even do? They are too small to help, and I thought I was surely going to die!.
But I was not giving up! By this time I had already drunk so much of water from the pond and made me even heavier. I felt I was literally drowning with no one helping. But I did not want to die! I gave real big pushes up giving all my strength! But I failed all the times. The water was pulling me more down. I was now fighting for my last breath. I did not want to give up at all, and fought for my very life. I tried more times and felt weaker and weaker. Just before I was about to give up, I realized that I can do one last try. I brought up all my remaining strength and did a real big jump.
Yes!. I could get forward and barely touched the shallow area by landing on a stone that was part of the boundary line. I pushed myself once again hard from it with my toe to get on to the shallow area. Yes, I made it..! Yes, I survived!
By this time I almost ran out of my breath and was about to be fainted. I told the boys who were still playing on the water. But they never bothered and I did not have strength to even explain to them! Only I know what happened to me. That incident went so deep into my memory for ever. I did not tell this to my parents out of fear because I knew that I would be the one getting beaten as they would chastise me for why I crossed the shallow area in the first place!.
In fact, my nephew whom I never saw him because I heard he was dead before I was born, died in another deep well a mile away. I was told that he got stuck beneath a stepping stone leading into the well and could not get out as he was hitting against that stone with his head again and again when he tried to come up. He finally died and the body floated and got stuck right under that very stone inside the well.
My own experience never went away from my memory. The recent Florida incident only brought this back with more intensity! I was not thinking about teens who did not help him, but how that person might have felt when he was dying by drowning.
After my boyhood incident, my life really changed. I wanted to know more about life and death. I knew at least something about what will a person feel when he dies. I almost touched it! Subsequently, my curiosity made me to read more about death, and gods and other worlds. My parents used to mock at me, because from the school library the only books I always used to bring home was about gods, puranas, books about dying and miseries. I wanted to read only those books not the school books.
Whenever I saw people carrying dead bodies for burial in front of our home on the narrow path with sounding conch and crying, my heart always wanted to read about gods. I even wished to go to the grave yards and sit there for no reason. To make the story short for now, finally I found my most precious gurudev of my life and he taught me how to really follow the 'art-of-dying', the dying to live for ever!
Life and death are real mysterious things to understand and experience. Even more mysterious is that not every one is interested in knowing about it, especially the ones who are lost in this western world with so much of comforts and safety. Believe me, these comforts won't lost long. We don't know as what and where we will be born next.. What will we do with all our comfort homes, careers, material education, cars and money? Nothing will come with us and our death is actually coming. Every day we are taking a step towards our own death... in fact every second.
Our real study should be to understand about ourselves, our own soul and our relation to our spiritual world that we really belong. That world does not have any deaths. We have a loving father, mother and real families waiting there. They are so loving and no one can love more than them! We should get back to them.. For that life we should actually die for! We should not attempt to live for ever here in this world. We should die to live there in the spiritual world!
So, let us not drown in this material world!
Please chant your rounds and sing daily for our sweet Lord..!
- B K Dasa
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srila Prabhupada!
It is the fact that in the entire material world all the way up to the topmost Satya Loka, including Lord Brahma every one undergoes through Birth and Death. In between, every jiva undergoes through diseases and old age miseries with so much of suffering.
Diseases and old ages are actually the constant alarms arranged by the Lord for us to wake up. We are supposed to use our intelligence and work on the real remedy to put an end to our sufferings for ever. But hardly any one really wakes up to these calls. We keep on pressing the snooze button hoping that this ever ongoing alarm won’t sound again. We try to fix and pray that we will be healthy, and do the best to live comfortably even in old age. Actually this is ignorance. We can never win this rat race happening in every single birth we take. As long us we don’t put an end to our birth for ever, we can never win this rat race.. never!
When my mother was in the hospital, every single day various reports and test results were constantly coming. All those only showed how bad each of her organ was! While feeling very sad for her dragging on suffering in agony, I was convinced that Lord Krishna is using my mother to make me intensely realize something special. One of them was about how Sri Guru is the only one who can permanently put an end to all of our sufferings!
Sri Guru is our spiritual father and mother and actually way higher than one’s own mother and father who only gave birth to our material body. A guru not only gives us the second birth out of compassion, but also burns all our karmas that our material parents cannot!
... In the hospital one report came and said that my mother's whole body was infected by floods of bacteria and even entered into the brain! They were trying to convince to even replace the whole blood and but administered many costly drugs! Even then she went in semi-coma. Her thyroid was also suspected to have developed cancer. She already had three strokes (hardly any one survives three stokes) and was highly diabetic. Several years ago she fell down and broke her leg and steel plates were inserted and she could barely walk. This kind of cases are so common in every family with old age people..
In the hospital another specialist said that her urine flow was very bad. They told that dialysis was not an option due to her very advanced age. So instead, they administered costly injections that are known for severe side effects. They asked me to sign several times to accept the consequences whenever they tried these!
To make the long story short, my mother was finally abandoned by the hospital and we brought her to our home with tubes for liquid food and tube for urine and wipes and diapers for stool and so on. We appointed a full time nurse at home.
Every time with the nurse we cleaned her, we realized how bad is our material body with foul smell. We simply could not face it. By then many sores and wounds also developed on her back and other places as blisters, and all the skins were coming out exposing red flesh all over! Our body by nature is foul but we try to hide with so many scents and sprays! Due to her being in intense pain, pain killers and sleeping medications were administered. Our only prayer then was begging the Lord to relieve her soul out of her body that was giving so much of agony!
What is the nature of our body? This sloka gives the fact.
krumi koti praavishtam
thur kantha mala moothrakam
chleshmarak tattva chaamaansair
naththam chaithath varaanane (Guru Gita 54)
Lord Siva is telling Parvathi, “O dear one! The material body contains millions of foul smelling bacteria and worms. It contains with foul smelling stool and urine. It is made of phlegm, blood, skin and flesh and is actually very disgusting!”
So our material body and this world has so many problems. Out of the 3 miseries (atyatmika - due to body and mind, ati-bautika- due to others, ati-daivika- due to nature and gods), this misery from our body is just one of the many miseries in this world called dukka-alaya!
While we think that we are enjoying and climbing high in the life, by raising our standards of living up and up, actually we are fallen deeper and deeper into hellish conditions in this samsara ocean..
yasmaath uththarathe sarvaan
thasmai sri gurave Namath (Guru Gita 55)
“One who are climbing on the tree of samsara of birth and death, are actually falling in the ditch of hell. Only Sri Guru can rescue and save them. To that auspicious guru, I pay my obeisances”
This should be the realization one must get in this living. Otherwise we will be lost in the hellish samsara ocean.
On the other hand if one is really intelligent and serious, he/she will take shelter under a guru who will pull us out from this hell. The guru will clean us by burning all our karmas and taking the charge as a captain of our boat and take us to the other side of the deadly and endless samsara ocean! Only he knows the route!
So, glorious is that guru, who is way higher than our own mother and father. As Sri Guru takes us to the eternal abode of Sri Sri Radha Govinda, we are eternally indebted to Sri Guru. We can never repay for what he does for us!
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/N0_VmiVTmpY
Jay Srila Gurudeva!
Jay Srila Prabhupada!!
All glories to Srila Gurudeva!
Whenever I manage our gokul bhajan videos in youtube, invariably some popular or marketing videos used to pop up on my screen. Usually I don't even notice them unless it is...
There was one video that was explaining high techniques and giving advices as how to collect the dog stool effectively from the dog when taking it outside to walk. It got a hit of about 4.5 million views! While our videos on Guru and Krishna in average hit only few hundreds top, those videos that go after dog instead of god, make the top most hits!
Today I saw another one.. It said, "Top 10 things for success" by some world famous rich man. I smiled, and said to myself, "I have heard all these a lot... so disgusting..", and I continued chanting my rounds.
From my Gurudeva's words, collecting more wealth and going after material successes have no spiritual value. It is like collecting stools from the dogs and many millions will go for it! Collecting more than what is necessary to keep our soul in the body, will jeopardize the spiritual progress (ref: Upadesamrta text 2). While becoming a CEO, CTO, CFO all sounds like big achievements, in the spiritual platform they have no value at all. If one has extra wealth, the proper way is to use in the service of Guru and Krishna to bring people to Krishna Consciousness, and not to endeavor for more and more or mad in enjoying it.
Srimad Bhagavatam puts an amazing depth in this subject. It suggests that material success is considered a big obstacle to one's spiritual development. That is why, if Lord Krishna wants to favor any soul, He does not give material success to that devotee. What does He give then?
hariṣye tad-dhanaṁ śanaiḥ
tato ’dhanaṁ tyajanty asya
svajanā duḥkha-duḥkhitam .. SB 10.88.8
Lord Krishna said: "If I especially favor someone, I gradually deprive him of his wealth. Then the relatives and friends of such a poverty-stricken man abandon him. In this way he suffers one distress after another."
Srila Prabhupada once quoted this same verse when he was giving a hari-katha when he got the news that his only left-over little shop was also robbed and finished, leaving him now with absolutely nothing in possession. His wife, his children all abandoned him already. Why did he undergo this big sufferings, sorry blessings? Because this is the greatest favor Lord Krishna gives to His dear devotees!
Many people when they see the above sloka will run away from Krishna and instead run towards Maya! In my native place people in their homes won't even have any Krishna statue with flute in His hand. They say that Krishna will blow away all their money from the house by His flute! When I was very young and attracted to every Krishna statue I used to see, and once brought a little statue with very beautiful flute to my home, my sister broke His flute when I was not at home!
So, every one is so mad about wealth, fame and beauty. Actually all these are big maya! In every sastra such as Gita, Bhagavatam and so on, Lord Krishna says that He is the Bhagavan, the Supreme. He says that there is no one equals to Him or above Him. But hardly one goes to Krishna. Why? He never gives any material success to His devotees. He would give even Himself, but not material things! So, every one is afraid that Krishna will 'blow' away their money and hence they go some where else!
Where do these people go then? They go to the wonderful Maya Devi! She has so many wonderful names: Durga, Kamakshi, Uma, Dakshayani, Amba, Parvati, and so on. They all run to her crazy. They don't even bother taking long train journeys to visit her temple and asking for big big money. Maya Devi doesn't say that She is the supreme, but every one runs only to Her. This is the nature of this world! Crazy people!
On the other hand, only a handful are interested in Krishna. 'Ati durlabham eka krsna bhakta'. These are the most fortunate. Their interest is due to their sukriti, the good deeds that made Krishna happy. When the mercy from Lord Krishna reaches them, they get naturally attracted to Krishna. Deep from their hearts they enjoy in hearing about Lord Krishna, singing about Lord Krishna and chanting His holy names. When this attraction comes spontaneously it means they are very special and blessed by the Lord!
This world is nothing but Maya. Our life in this temporary and mayic world is very temporary like a bubble. It will burst soon and we have to vacate this place. When Yama comes, we can't file for any extension form. We have to go with our bare hands with absolutely nothing. Whatever we accumulate materially in this life is a total waste. That time, the only thing that matters is how much bhakti we have developed to Krishna. That is the only thing that will come with us. So if we are wasting all your time in becoming materially successful, we are actually spiritually doomed..!
So running behind material successes and enjoyments is Maya. All our acharyas have given us examples. They renounced their wealthiest positions and jobs. How? just by surrendering to the lotus feet of Lord Krishna.
Daivi hy esa gunamayi
Mama maya duratyaya
Mam eva ye prapadyante
Mayam etam taranti te (B.G. 7.14)
[ Lord Krishna says, "This energy (maya) of mine is extremely difficult to overcome but those who have surrender unto Me can very easily cross beyond it."]
Think that every single day, every single second is actually given to us to work on our spiritual success and not for material success. Our goal in this very rare human birth is to develop Bhakti and go back to Krishna.
But, are we doing that? In the attached picture, the white and black rats chewing the branch represent the day and night chewing our life span in this world. The waiting snakes represent our imminent death waiting that we cannot avoid. The elephant pulling the tree is like our life can be pulled any time by accident or deadly disease. Like fools, even when there are so many bees representing sufferings stinking in this life every second, that man is determined to taste that trickling drop of honey the material success and enjoyment. What kind of fool he is?
So, please chant the holy names of Krishna and accumulate spiritual success in our life, that we can take with us.
hare krsna hare krsna
krsna krsna hare hare
hare rama hare rama
rama rama hare hare
Maya is so powerful!
Want to go to hear a Hari-Katha?
Great! But this is how Maya will catch you and convince you that you should NOT go to hear hari-katha on Krishna!
Maya maya maya!
Catch me maha maya
Anyone calls for Krishna
Block and hold me maya! (Maya)
I say I have work,
I say I am sick!
I say I have guest,
Array I want rest! (Maya)
I say I am driving,
I say I am shopping!
I say body paining,
Array it is raining! (Maya)
O my mother maya
How I thank you maya
So I gave my daughter
Your name O’ maya! (Maya)
O my maha maya
Radha rani chaya!
When you have me maya
Why Krishna? Haya! (Maya)
- B K dasa
Recently, when in VA, some one asked this question. Even though the answer was given, I was thinking that this shall be shared with others as well.. The question is: What is the difference between chanting OM and Maha Mantra?
There are many mantras people chant and meditate for various reasons. The word mantra means that one which can control the mind when chanting and take one to a specific destination. Most of the mantras used by Hindus are aimed for liberation and to merge in brahman which is just the ever pervading effulgence of Svayam Bhagavan Lord Sri Krishna. There are also mantras for particular devatas that can take the chanters to the destinations of those devatas. Higher mantras bestow higher abodes in the spiritual world.
As per the topmost scriptures, only one mantra is called 'Maha' Mantra, and nothing else. This means that it is the highest of all the mantras. That is 'Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare'. This is the only mantra that is totally unaffected by the influence of Kali in this current yuga. While some chant starting with 'Hare Rama', the original mantra starts with 'Hare Krishna' not 'Hare Rama'.
As with any mantra, it is not just any one can just pick, learn and chant. It should be properly received from a genuine guru. Otherwise, as there is no seed given with it, the mantra won't give the full benefit.
Now, coming to the comparison of Om and Maha Mantra, it is important to note the following key differences:
Chanting Om, kills ones mind, intelligence and false ego. After all, that is what is required in order to get liberated so that one can reach the brahman and loose one's identity. In Buddhism, this state is called Nirvana or Voidism.
The goal of the impersonalists is to merge into the Brahman effulgence, where they lose all of their individual characteristics. There they remain as an inactive spiritual spark, floating in the rays of the brahmajyoti. They do not develop any spiritual body that would give them the opportunity to engage in various spiritual activities because they do not know about such engagement that can be found in the spiritual Vaikuntha planets and Goloka which are way above this brahman effulgence.
As because by chanting OM one looses one's identity and loose consciousness, it is also called 'Spiritual Suicide'. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and all the descendants say this same thing. It is like killing one's own soul because there is no way to be with the original Svayam Bhagavan and serve Him.
Most importantly, when one chants OM, it does not develop love of God. This is a very important point. There is no one in the entire history obtained loving devotion to God by chanting OM. Never!
On the other hand, by chanting the Maha Mantra, one's mind gets completely purified and love of god manifests.
sarvātma-snapanam param vijayate
(Sikshashtakam - 1)
"..chanting of the holy name of Sri Krsna alone, which cleanses the mirror of the
heart and completely extinguishes the blazing forest fire of material existence... "
Also one's intelligence gets perfect and the false-ego changes to true ego. Thus one realizes the absolute fact that every soul by original nature is the servant of Lord Krishna.
Jivera svarupa haya
Krsnera tatastha sakti
Bhedabheda prakasa ... (C.C. Madya 20.108)
[ The original nature of Jiva is to be an eternal servant of Sri Krsna. Jiva is the
part and parcel of Krsna and also a manifestation simultaneously one with and also different from the Lord.]
So, the answer is easy:
If you want to kill your soul and become nothing, then please chant OM. It does a very good job of killing you, the soul.
If you want to reach the temporary heavenly planets of devatas and live there until the end of pralaya (annihilation), then you can chant their mantras.
On the other hand, if you want to transcend beyond brahma-jyoti and be with Lord Sri Krishna and serve Him eternally and happy forever, then you please chant the Maha Mantra.!
The choice is yours!
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna
Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
- B K Dasa
This is a blog about love and relation..
In this world, in our very own life here, we see and feel love. But they are in different gradations.
Our employers say that they love and care about us. But when we do not work hard enough or when the company is running in loss and to cut employees, they won't mind to throw you out with just a few hours of notice! This is barely any love!
Our friends and neighbors (hopefully) also love us. But when we move out to another place or town, the relation fades and eventually stops.
Our brothers and sisters also love us..
But when we have quarrel, we yell and fight with each other and some times we don't even talk for days, months and even years. But eventually we forget and love each other again. So, this kind of love has limitation and hence conditioned.
Then comes our parents. Our father and mother, especially mother love us the most.
This love is special. It is so special that even if we make mistakes, the mother forgives us. Father may take a while to forgive, but the mother is more merciful. She is the one who cares about what we need and be happy. Even if she has to beat us for our mistakes, it is always a beating out of love and care - for our sake and to learn our lesson. We hear that even mother Yashoda punished Kanniah by binding Him on the grinding mortar. It is purely out of love!
I have seen several families (especially in North India) where the children, as soon as they get up, they touch the feet of their parents. When the parents say anything, the children never utter a word against and they hear by standing as to honor. It is the duty of every child to honor their parents. In this world, it is mata (mother), pita (father) and guru to be honored.
Above our parents come our grand parents - the grand fathers and grand mothers. How much love they have on us? It is a common saying that if one wants to spoil their children, they can simply leave them with their grand parents! Guaranteed that they would be spoiled!.
Why? Because their love is so higher than the parents that anything the grand children do, they never see them as wrong at all..! They are blinded by love - not that their eye sight is bad for their old age. They will never want to give even a slightest punishment!
I remember (and also heard from my mother) that when I was a boy I was so mischievous that often they tie me on a rope, because if they let me go I beat every one around in our village. The complaints would come every day (if I was not in rope), and my father would take a stick and chase me to beat. But if my grand mother was there, I would simply run to her and she would never allow my father or my mother to touch me!. My grand mother would even blindly argue that I never beat any one, but instead blame the other innocent boy, even when she could see blood coming from the other boy!
Before I was born, my grand father already passed away and I had no chance of seeing such blind love from my grand father. Some times if my grand mother was not found when my father chased me, I would simply run zig zag and as I was a very good runner, and he could never catch me, or by that time my grand mother will be yelling at my father to stop! This was how I was spoiled by my grand parents!
So, the level of love is increasing as we see with higher and higher relations.. Now, imagine if we had grand-grand parents, or grand-grand-grand parents! How their love would be. Surely higher than even the grand parents!
So, if we project this logic, who is our real super grand father and mother? That is Lord Krishna. How old is He for us. He is the oldest and says in Bhagavad Gita that he is the ultimate grand shire!
Pitāham asya jagato
Mātā dhātā pitāmah
................................... B.G 9.17
[I am the father of this universe, the mother, the support and the grand shire...]
So, Lord Krishna is our grand shire! How old is He? He is the oldest! Grand-grand-grand-grand shire... so many grand!... No one was before Him! So, He must be the most loving!
So, we see a gradation of love in transcendence.. The higher the relation we go, the sweeter and even bind the love is! No wonder why all our acharyas say that there is no one who can beat the love of our Lord - either in this world, or in any other worlds!
But the question is: Are we related to Lord Krishna? The fact is that our relation is damaged as we came down to enjoy ourselves - independent from the Lord. But to those devotees who have re-established the relation, he is surely related. For them He is the real grand.. grand... father or mother. His love is really blinded!
How can we believe this? Pl look at this sloka that He Himself said!
api cet su-duracaro
bhajate mam ananya-bhak
sadhur eva sa mantavyah
samyag vyavasito hi sa ... B.G. 9.30
[Even if one commits the most abominable actions, if he is engaged in devotional service, he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated.]
This surely brings the memory of my grand mother and yours! Really blind!
You must have heard about the case when a terrorist who tried to bomb a flight few years ago was on a trial, and his mother was arguing that simply her son surely would not have done it as he is the best person in this entire world!
Out of love, Lord Krishna is also saying the same thing! Even when His fully surrendered devotee makes the most abominable mistake, Lord Krishna says that He forgives. He is blind. Even though a fully surrendered devotee will never make any mistake, this sloka gives us the glimpse of His love.
But why don't we feel His love? Because we forgot about this glorious relation and ran away from Him. But when a soul re-establishes this forgotten relation, His incomparable love becomes manifest. Then we end up in crying and crying to get back to Him. This sentiment was revealed by Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu for us. When He was about to end His pastimes, He was weeping very bitterly and jumped into the deity of Tota Gopinath because He could not bear the separation.
Are we feeling that type of separation from Krishna? If yes, we are surely connected to Him. Then, any mistake we do, He is totally blind, yes totally blind! On the other hand, if we do not feel that separation, we are under the control of karmic law instituted by Paramatma - we are not under Svayam Bhagavan Lord Krishna.
How can revive our relationship? Simply by chanting the maha mantra every day, we re-establish our lost relation and open the flood gate of unconditional love - both way!
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna
Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
- B K Dasa
Today I was checking my mail box. Usually I get so much of junk mail every day. But today to my surprise, there was nothing except a little paper. I thought, 'Great! some trees got saved', and I pulled out that xeroxed paper. It appeared that whoever placed it must have made so many copies and placed in every single mail box in and around our entire community.!
The paper said,"Lost my dog named 'Darling'. Last seen on Sept 10th, near the block 210 of Never Lost Drive next to the Ever Happy Road in Durham. If found, please feed him and contact us. Sure you will be rewarded.." It even had a printed map of the surrounding area where it was seen last.
... I thought, 'Well.. that dog might have found an attracting female dog and ran behind!. As any fallen jiva, it is free to do whatever it wants to.. Why should this lady feel this much separation out of affection? Then I realized that any pet one has becomes like a family member so attached!' Whoever has a dog know this attachment. I was told that at the time when their old dog becomes useless and is 'put to sleep' forever by injection, the master usually cries and do not eat anything for days out of separation!
In reality, exactly like that dog did, every one of us also ran away from our loving master Lord Sri Krishna! We found that the maya was more attractive to us!, So, like that dog who ran behind a female dog, we also ran behind maya, leaving Lord Krishna weeping!
Instead of loving God, we all love dog! We all ran away behind maya in search of wealth, fame, beauty and our silly trickling sense enjoyment!
We do not understand that our master is always weeping for us, the lost lambs to return back one day! He is constantly sending so many of His dear ones to find us and bring us back to Him!
This lady seems to be weeping even though she might have bought that dog from a shop for few hundred dollars! But, we are not like that. We are eternally related to Krishna from time immemorial. We came from Him and belong to Him. Do any one of us really know how much sorrow He would feel? No! That dog which ran away, does not know how much its master is feeling, and thus we may not know how much sadness Krishna is feeling on us.
Gurudeva once told this real story about a dog. A dog was happily living with its dear master who gave shelter and bath every day, who gave food every day, and gave so much of time to play with it and take care every single day.
But the dog was getting old.. It lost its health, got diabetes, lost its eye sight and everything one by one. The medical bill was getting too much to bear.. The master was wondering what to do. Then he thought about a plan..One day he took his dog in his car and drove far away.. He reached a beach and took his dog with him and removed the chain and let it go..
The dog never knew its master's plan and when it saw a female dog, even at its very old age and lost vision, ran behind that female dog.. It was running and running as much it could, and after a while it got so tired. It finally decided to return back to his master. But when it returned, its master was not found any where. But it had the hope that its master will never leave him. It was searching and approaching every one to check if it is his master.
Days went by, and weeks went by. That dog did not eat anything at all.. Even when it was so weak and lost its eye sight, it never stopped searching for its master. It thought, "My master will surely come tomorrow!". Whenever it saw a car, he would run towards and look at the face of the person. Finding it was not his master, he would be sad and cry, and again wait for the next car, or any person walking by.
Now it is months.. It did not find its master! But still it did not loose its faith on its master even a bit. It strongly believed that its master will never leave him, and surely come to take him! Tear was always flowing from its eyes and there are so many flies now on his eyes. It had never taken any bath for months now, not eaten for months and never slept for months. But with full hope, it was waiting for its master!
But alas! Its master never came and one day it died there on the very beach! Its body was getting washed and pushed by the rising sea tide. The dead body was floating and started decaying. A beach guard saw thais and threw the body in a garbage!
... So, when we all ran from God, we were running as this dog. But that dog is way superior than us! It never lost faith in its master. But we do not have that faith. We don't even want to get back to our master who is so kind, so loving and so caring and waiting for us. We think our home is this material world!
Without any shame like the naked dog on the streets, we are roaming on so many universes, one after another! Brahmanda Brahmite Kona!
In the case of that dog, the master himself threw it away. But even then the dog did not loose its faith! But what is our case? We do not have any faith in our master, but our master will never neglect us - even when we are decaying.
He says that there is no one in all the worlds who love us more than Him! But when will we understand our pitiable condition and the truth and cry for Him? He is sending so many of His dear ones, but we never listen to them!
... Well, I did not throw away that paper immediately because it gave these thoughts to write this blog!
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare!
PS: Kartik special month is starting from tomorrow! Wish you all have a great Kartik!
- B K Dasa