Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Kali-yuga : Age of forgetting God



Prabhupada: Yes. Everywhere. This is the age of forgetting God. We say it is Kali-yuga. Kali-yuga means the age of misunderstanding. And that is, I said, dirty things within the heart. So God is so powerful that if we chant the holy name of God, then we become purified. So our movement is based on this principle, chant the holy name of God. We give all facilities to everyone without any distinction that "You come with us. Come in our temple, chant Hare Krsna mantra, and take little prasadam, refreshment, and gradually you become purified." So if the government authorities give us facilities for this business, that we hold mass sankirtana, Hare Krsna, and give them little prasadam, then we are sure the whole place will change.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Daily Deity Darshan from around the world!








 


Meditating always on Krishna



Back to Godhead Magazine #25 (Part three)

A Study in Mysticism
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

An explanation of the mystic techniques offered by the great
Teachers of Vedic wisdom—and their value to contemporary man.

The Goal of Transcendental Meditation

In The Bhagavad Gita, the Sanskrit word "Mam" is frequently used. This word means "unto me." Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead says, "unto Me" -- Krishna. We cannot interpret this in a different way. When I say, "Bring me a glass of water," it means that I am the person in want of the glass of water, and if you supply to me and not to others, then it is right. When Krishna says, "unto Me," that means Krishna. But philosophers are still interpreting -- they say "unto something else." Even grammatically this is wrong.

One who has developed attachment to Krishna is Krishna conscious. They say if you have attachment for your lover you always think of her. That is lover consciousness. It is natural. It is stated that a woman who has another lover besides her husband shows herself very attentive to her household duties, but is always thinking, "When shall my lover and I meet in the night?" This is an example: It is possible, in spite of our false engagement, if we love somebody, to think of him always. If materially it is possible, why not spiritually? That is the whole teaching of The Bhagavad Gita.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => The Goal of Transcendental Meditation

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Anti-material and Devotion



Easy Journey to Other Planets

By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

Antimatter as Devotion

This eternally existing antimaterial world is nonmanifested to the material scientist. He can at best only have information of its existence as being contrary to the modes of material Nature. Full details of the antimaterial realm can be known only from those infallible sources, the liberated authorities who have thoroughly realized the constitution of the antimaterial principle.

This information of the antimaterial world is therefore had by the aural reception of a submissive disciple of the Personality of Godhead. The Vedas or the Vedic knowledge was thus imparted into the heart of Brahma, the first living being in the created material world, and Brahma educated the great saint Narada in this transcendental wisdom.

So it is also with The Bhagavad Gita. The philosophy of the Gita was spoken by the Personality of Godhead long, long ago to the presiding deity of the Sunglobe, and when such knowledge was misinterpreted by breaking the chain of authoritative aural reception, it was repeated by the Personality of Godhead on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. At this time Arjuna took the place of Brahma and of the Sun god to receive transcendental knowledge from Sri Krishna. In order to drive out the misgivings of the gross materialist, Arjuna asked all relevant questions about the Lord, and all relevant answers were given by the Lord to the full satisfaction of a layman.

Those who are too captivated by the glamor of the material world cannot accept the authority of Lord Sri Krishna on account of their polluted life and unclean habits. Therefore, one has to become thoroughly clean in habit and heart before one can understand the details of the antimaterial world. And Bhakti Yoga -- which means the process of purification by devotional service, as enunciated in the Gita -- is the detailed and scientific program of spiritual activity for all beings, from the beginner neophyte to the highest perfection of the line.

The details of the antimaterial world are many times more extensive than the details of the material world. The material world is only a shadow representation of the antimaterial, and intelligent men who are clean in heart and habit will be able to know the facts about the spiritual sphere from the texts of The Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagwatam and similar Vedic scriptures.

The basic points of antimaterial knowledge areas follows: The presiding Deity of the antimaterial world is Sri Krishna, the original Personality, as well as His expansions into many plenary portions. Such Personalities of Godhead can be known only by antimaterial activities, commonly called Bhakti Yoga or devotional service.

The Personality of Godhead is the Supreme Truth and He is the whole antimaterial principle. Material principles as well as antimaterial principles are emanations from His Person. He is the root of the complete tree. When water is poured onto the root of a tree the branches and leaves of the tree develop automatically. And in the same way when Sri Krishna, the Personality of Godhead, is worshiped, all the details of all the worlds are given into the heart of the devotee, without laboring in the materialistic way. This is the secret message of The Bhagavad Gita.

Swan of My Mind - Prayers by King Kulashekara



Nitai Pada Kamala

Prayers of King Kulasekhara

Mukunda Mala StotraVerse 33

The Swan of My Mind

Audio


krsna tvadiya-pada-pankaja-panjarantam
adyaiva me visatu manasa-raja-hamsah
prana-prayana-samaye kapha-vata-pittaih
kanthavarodhana-vidhau smaranam kutas te

O Lord Krsna, at this moment let the royal swan of my mind enter the tangled stems of the lotus of Your feet. How will it be possible for me to remember You at the time of death, when my throat will be choked up with mucus, bile, and air?
NITAI PADA KAMALA

Audio

Purport to Prayers of King Kulasekhara
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
This verse, prayer, is taken from one book known as Mukunda-mala-stotra. This prayer was offered by one king whose name was Kulasekhara. He was a great king, at the same time a great devotee. There are many instances in the history of Vedic literature that the kings were very great devotees, and they are called rajarsis. Rajarsis means: although they are on the royal throne, they are all saintly persons. So this Kulasekhara, King Kulasekhara, is praying to Krsna that "My dear Krsna, the swan of my mind may now be entrapped with the stem of your lotus feet. Because, at the point of death, the three elements of bodily functions, namely the mucus, and the bile, and the air, they will overlap, and there will be a choking in the voice, so I shall not be able to utter your sweet Holy Name at the point of my death.'' The comparison is given in this way, that the white swan, whenever it finds a lotus flower, it goes there and sports by diving into the water and entangling him in the stem of the lotus flower. So King Kulasekhara wants that in the healthy stage of his mind and body, he may be immediately entangled with the stem of the lotus feet of the Lord and die immediately. The idea is that one should take to Krsna consciousness while his mind and body is in good condition. Do not wait for the last stage of your life. Just go on practicing Krsna consciousness while your body and mind is in a healthy state, and then at the time of death you shall be able to remember Krsna and His pastimes and be immediately transferred to the spiritual kingdom.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => CD 14-6 (02:51 Min.)  Purport to Prayers of King Kulasekhara

At the Final Hour of Death - Lessons from life of Ajamila


Sukadeva Gosvami continued: Ajamila then saw three awkward persons with deformed bodily features, fierce, twisted faces, and hair standing erect on their bodies. With ropes in their hands, they had come to take him away to the abode of Yamaraja. When he saw them he was extremely bewildered, and because of attachment to his child, who was playing nearby, Ajamila began to call him loudly by his name. Thus with tears in his eyes he somehow or other chanted the holy name of Narayana. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.28-29)

Anxious to Save Themselves from Death

At the time of death people become very anxious to save themselves, especially those who have been sinful. Of course, the soul itself is not subject to death (na hanyate hanyamane sarire [Bg. 2.20]), but leaving the present body and entering into another body is very painful. At death the living entity can no longer bear to remain in his present body -- the pain is so acute. Sometimes when a person's life becomes too painful he commits suicide. But suicide is a sin punishable by the laws of karma.

When Ajamila was dying, he saw three ferocious and very frightening persons with ropes in their hands, unruly hair on their heads, and bodily hair like bristles. These assistants of Yamaraja, the Yamadutas, had come to drag Ajamila out of his body and take him to the court of Yamaraja. Sometimes a dying man cries out in fear when he sees the Yamadutas. Ajamila, too, became very fearful.

Fortunately, even though Ajamila was referring to his son, he chanted the holy name of Narayana, and therefore the order-carriers of Narayana, the Visnudutas, also immediately arrived there. Because Ajamila was extremely afraid of the ropes of Yamaraja, he chanted the Lord's name with tearful eyes. Actually, however, he never meant to chant the holy name of Narayana; he meant to call his son.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => SC 4: Neither Birth Nor Death

Submissiveness - A necessary quality of a Devotee



Bhagatji comes into the kitchen in Prabhupada's back garden every lunchtime to cook Prabhupada's chapatis. He is very expert at this and when I was learning to cook Prabhupada had me learn chapati making from him. Prabhupada likes Bhagatji very much, and so when Bhagatji brings the last chapati into the prasadam room for Prabhupada, he lets him sit and chats with him until the end of his meal.

I told Bhagatji today about my decision to not do any special vrata for Karttika. He was surprised and tried to cajole me into continuing, stressing that one must observe some special vrata in order to get the benefit of Karttika. But I held my ground. I told him that the observance of the vrata was useless if it meant I couldn't do my service to Srila Prabhupada. He conceded that it was a higher principle and relented.

Bhagatji also frequently attends managerial meetings and Prabhupada's afternoon darsanas. This afternoon at about 4:00 p.m. he brought some news about Nitai. He told Srila Prabhupada that he has been seen in Vrndavana with Yogananda dasa. Bhagatji was good friends with Nitai, and out of sentiment, he pleaded with Srila Prabhupada to allow him to bring Nitai to see him. He thought that if Srila Prabhupada could personally talk to him, he could straighten him out.

Prabhupada dismissed his request without prolonged discussion on the matter. "No. Unless he is prepared to come of his own accord, then what will be the use? Unless a man is submissive, then it is useless to speak with him."

>>> Ref. VedaBase => TD 4-5: Sri Vrndavana-dhama

Just continue chanting!


Just keep chanting Hare Krishna and moving the beads and focus on listening to the syllables of the Holy Names. As the mind wanders, we shouldn’t get agitated. Just keep chanting; don’t give up the process and eventually the mind cooperates."

HH Radhanatha Swami

Holy Name week special!

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Devotional Service



Śrīla Bilvamańgala Ṭhākura has said:

bhaktis tvayi sthiratarā bhagavan yadi syād
daivena naḥ phalati divya-kiśora-mūrtiḥ
muktiḥ svayaḿ mukulitāñjali sevate 'smān
dharmārtha-kāma-gatayaḥ samaya-pratīkṣāḥ

"If I am engaged in devotional service unto You, my dear Lord, then very easily can I perceive Your presence everywhere. And as far as liberation is concerned, I think that liberation stands at my door with folded hands, waiting to serve me — and all material conveniences of dharma [religiosity], artha [economic development] and kāma [sense gratification] stand with her." (Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta 107) 

Krishna - the eternal well wishing friend!



In His Paramātmā feature, Kṛṣṇa is the old friend of everyone. According to Vedic injunction, Kṛṣṇa is sitting with the living entity side by side. According to the śruti-mantra (dvā suparṇā sayujā sakhāyāḥ), the Lord is sitting within the heart of every living entity as suhṛt, the best friend. The Lord is always eager to have the living entity come home, back to Godhead. Sitting with the living entity as witness, the Lord gives him all chances to enjoy himself materially, but whenever there is an opportunity, the Lord gives good counsel and advises the living entity to abandon trying to become happy through material adjustment and instead turn his face toward the Supreme Personality of Godhead and surrender unto Him. When one becomes serious to follow the mission of the spiritual master, his resolution is tantamount to seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As explained before, this means meeting the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the instruction of the spiritual master. This is technically called vāṇī-sevā. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura states in his Bhagavad-gītā commentary on the verse vyavasāyātmikā buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana (Bg. 2.41) that one should serve the words of the spiritual master. The disciple must stick to whatever the spiritual master orders. Simply by following on that line, one sees the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Paramātmā, appeared before the Queen as a brāhmaṇa, but why didn't He appear in His original form as Śrī Kṛṣṇa? Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura remarks that unless one is very highly elevated in loving the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one cannot see Him as He is. Nonetheless, if one sticks to the principles enunciated by the spiritual master, somehow or other he is in association with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Since the Lord is in the heart, He can advise a sincere disciple from within. This is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (10.10):
teṣāḿ satata-yuktānāḿ
bhajatāḿ prīti-pūrvakam
dadāmi buddhi-yogaḿ taḿ
yena mām upayānti te
"To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me."

In conclusion, if a disciple is very serious to execute the mission of the spiritual master, he immediately associates with the Supreme Personality of Godhead by vāṇī or vapuḥ. This is the only secret of success in seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Instead of being eager to see the Lord in some bush of Vṛndāvana while at the same time engaging in sense gratification, if one instead sticks to the principle of following the words of the spiritual master, he will see the Supreme Lord without difficulty.

- Srila Prabhupada

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Man's Endeavor



Realizing how precious the human life is, and knowing that Death is certain and may snatch us at any time, we should be ever alert to achieve the object of our life, we should not make the least delay but make every possible haste to gain our object, just as a widower is most anxious to get himself married to a new bride, or just as a king leaves no stone unturned to seek his lost son. So with all earnestness and speed, we should strive to attain our end, i.e., self.realization. Casting aside sloth and laziness,
warding off drowsiness, we should day and night meditate on the Self. If we fail to do this, we reduce ourselves to the level of beasts.

Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

Valuable Gems

This was the instruction of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to Raghunatha dasa Gosvami:

amani manada hana krsna.nama sada la'be
vraje radha.krsna.seva manase karibe
["Do not expect honor, but offer all respect to others. Always chant the holy 
name of Lord Krsna, and within your mind render service to Radha and Krsna in 
Vrndavana." (CC Antya 6.237)]

Life is an Echo



A son and his father were walking in the mountains. Suddenly,his son falls, 
hurts himself and screams: "AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!"
To his surprise, hears the voice repeating, somewhere in the mountain: 
"AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!"
Curious, he yells: "Who are you?" He receives the answer: "Who are you?" Angered
at the response, he screams: "Coward!"
He receives the answer: "Coward!"
He looks to his father and asks: "What's going on?" The father smiles and says: 
"My son, pay attention." And then he screams to the mountain: "I admire you!" 
The voice answers: "I admire you!" Again the man screams: "You are a champion!" 
The voice answers: "You are a champion!"
The boy is surprised, but does not understand. Then the father explains: "People
call this echo, but really this is life. It gives you back everything you say or
do. Our life is simply a reflection of our actions.
If you want more love in the world, create more love in your heart. If you want 
more competence in your team, improve your competence. This relationship applies
to everything,in all aspects of life; life will give you back everything you 
have given to it."

Value of a cow

Pastime from Mahabharata


In the course of his pilgrimage, Sage Chyavana reached Prayag where Ganga and 
Yamuna merge. He entered the river and stayed under water in the stage of 
Samadhi. A big group of fish surrounded the sage and was in total peace with 
him. The sage also was at ease with the fish around him and stayed thus for 
twelve years. One day, a group of fishermen came to that place and threw big 
nets into the river. Along with the fish, the sage also was caught in the nets 
and the fishermen were surprised to see the sage along with the fish. The 
fishermen were frightened and fell at the feet of Sage Chyavana and requested 
for his forgiveness. They also asked him to give them further directions.
The sage reassured them that they did do not anything wrong and since he was 
part of the catch, they should sell him for a suitable price. The fishermen did 
not know what to do and went to their king Nahusha and reported the whole 
matter and requested the king to come and take care of them.

King Nahusha came to see the sage along with his ministers and other staff. He 
prostrated himself at the feet of the sage and expressed remorse at the actions 
of the fishermen and requested the sage to guide them further. The Sage Chyavana
replied: “Oh King! What is there to feel bad? The fishermen did nothing wrong 
and were simply doing their duty. There is no mistake from their side. Now 
listen to my advice. Since I am their catch, they should be compensated and I 
suggest that you compensate them suitably.”

The king was happy that the Sage was not angry with him or the fishermen and 
ordered his ministers to pay the fishermen a thousand madas (some gold coins of 
that era). The sage heard that and told the king and the ministers to pay a fair
and just price to the fishermen. The king went on increasing and finally offered
the whole kingdom, but the sage simply asked the king to sit and confer with the
ministers and decide the fair compensation.

The king and the ministers were wondering what to do when would great wise man 
named Kavi Jatha came that way and he assured the king that he will fix the 
suitable price for the sage and asked them not to worry. The king and the 
ministers were very happy and were a relieved a lot. Then Kavi Jatha said, “The 
value of a cow and a Brahmin is equal. Lord Brahma made cow as the cause of all 
havis in yaga and the Brahmin as the head of all mantras. No one can fix the 
price of a Brahmin or a cow. So, offer a cow instead of the sage to the 
fishermen.” The king was pleased and went to the sage and told the sage that he 
was incapable of fixing the rate for him and instead would offer a cow to the 
fishermen. The sage was very happy to hear this and said: “Oh king! I am glad 
that the proper value has been fixed. The cow is holy and contains Agni and 
Amrita (the nectar). It is fit to be worshiped even by the gods. I am pleased 
with your decision. So, give a cow to the fishermen.”
So, the king gave a good cow to the fishermen. They accepted the cow and then 
went to the sage and bowed to him and pleaded with him that he had been very 
kind to them and so he should kindly accept the cow from them. The sage was 
pleased with their devotion and agreed. By the mercy of the sage, the fishermen 
and the acquatics became purified and went to heaven. The king also became very 
happy and from that time onwards began to worship the cows. The great sage then 
returned to his hermitage.

Sri Gita Mahatmyam

Sri Gita Mahatmyam - from Sri Varaha Purana


dharo uvaca
bhagavan paramesana bhaktir avyabhicarini
prarabdham bhujyamanasya
katham bhavati he prabho

1. The Earth said: O Lord! The supreme one! How can unflinching devotion arise
in him who is immersed in his worldly life, O Lord?

sri visnur uvaca
prarabdham bhujyamano hi
gita abhyasa ratah sada
sa muktah sa sukhi loke
karmana no 'palipyate

2. Lord Visnu said: Though engaged in the performance of worldly duties, one who
is regular in the study of the Gita, becomes free. He is the happy man in this
world. He is not bound by karma.

maha papadi papani
gita dhyanam karoti cet
kvacit sparsam na kurvanti
nalini dalam ambuvat

3. Just as the water stains not the lotus leaf, even so, sins do not taint him
who is regular in the recitation of the Gita.

gitayah pustakam yatra
yatra pathah pravartate
tatra sarvani tirthani
prayaga 'dini tatra vai

4. All the sacred places of pilgrimage like Prayaga, etc., dwell in that place
where the book, the Gita, is kept and where the Gita is read.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Mangala & Morning Darshan from Sri Vrindavan Dhaam - August 16, 2013

Photo: Mangal Aratik Today









Avoiding Maya's Traps

Spiritual World - Simply working to satisfy Krishna



Disciple: Srila Prabhupada, those people who focus their attention on advancing to the higher material planets, where sense enjoyment is even more easily available—do they have even more opportunity to become entrapped?

Srila Prabhupada: No. Anyone within this material world is entrapped by this sense enjoyment. Either in the higher planets or in these middle planets or in the lower planets. For instance, among the human beings there is sense impetus, and among the lower animals there is sense impetus.

So both the human beings and the animals have sense impetus. Therefore we must ask, What is this so-called human being? We so-called civilized beings—what are we doing? The same thing that the lower animals are doing, namely eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. The same thing that the dog is doing.

Anyway, wherever you go in the material world, either in the higher planets or in these middle planets or in the lower planets, sense gratification is prominent. Only in the spiritual world is there no sense gratification. In the spiritual world there is simply an endeavor to satisfy Krishna. Here everyone is merely trying to satisfy his own senses. That is the law of the material world. That is material life. And as long as you go on trying merely to satisfy your own senses, you will stay in this material world.

But as soon as you turn your senses toward satisfying the senses of Krishna, you reawaken your spiritual life. It’s a very simple thing. Hrishikena hrishikesha-sevanam: use your senses to satisfy Krishna, the Lord, the master of your senses. That is bhakti. That is devotional service.

You have senses. So you have to satisfy them. Because you have these senses, you have to satisfy them. The question is how you can actually satisfy them. The proper method. But you do not know the proper method. The conditioned soul does not know that when he simply tries to satisfy Krishna’s senses, his senses will be automatically satisfied.

For instance, as I have said many times, if I want to see to the health of a tree’s branches and leaves, I do not pour water directly on them. Rather, I pour water on the root. Or if I want to see to the health of my arms and fingers, instead of trying to feed them directly I give the foodstuffs to my stomach, and automatically my arms and fingers are satisfied.

This secret we are missing. We are thinking we shall be happy by trying to satisfy our senses directly. Krishna consciousness means don’t try to satisfy your senses directly—try to satisfy the senses of Krishna. Automatically your senses will be satisfied. This is the secret of Krishna consciousness.

The opposite party—the karmis, or materialists—they are thinking, “Oh, why shall I satisfy Krishna? Why shall I work for Krishna the whole day and night? Let me work for my own satisfaction.” The devotees are working the whole day and night for Krishna, and the karmis are thinking, “What fools they are. We are very intelligent. The whole day and night we are working for our own sense gratification, and what benefit are they getting from working for Krishna?”

This is the difference between the materialists and the spiritualists. The spiritualists’ endeavor is to work the whole day and night strenuously, without any halt, simply for Krishna. That is spiritual life. And the materialists make the same endeavor, always trying to satisfy their personal senses. This is the difference between the materialists and spiritualists.

So the Krishna consciousness movement means that we have to train our senses to satisfy Krishna. That’s all. For so many thousands and millions of lifetimes we have simply tried to satisfy our personal senses. Let this lifetime be dedicated for satisfying Krishna’s senses. That is Krishna consciousness. At least dedicate this one lifetime. For so many lifetimes we have simply tried to satisfy our personal senses. Let this lifetime—at least this one lifetime—be dedicated for satisfying Krishna’s senses. Let me try and then see what happens. And we will not be the loser. Even if we sometimes wonder whether we are being inconvenienced by not directly satisfying our senses, still we will not be the loser. 

Love & Compassion



Some people think that if a person becomes spiritual, he or she becomes de-motivated; but it’s just the opposite.

A mother’s love for a child – what profits is she getting from it? A mother is 24 hours a day in service, especially when the child is small. What is the motivation behind her staying up all night when the baby is sick? I know mothers who didn’t sleep for days and days because of the difficulties that the children were having. It’s love.

A business person, a politician, an educator, whatever we may be or want to be, if we are motivated by compassion and love, when we see all the sufferings of this world, we understand from our heart we are all one family, we are all God’s children. And therefore we will be motivated to make a difference through our character, through our integrity, and through our efforts.

- HH Radhanath Swami

Bringing Krishna Consciousness to Schools

Article Dandavats.com - August 15, 2013

The sky was overcast: it was drizzling: not unusual for Melbourne, Australia! But we planned a big program for Albert Park College’s annual Multicultural Day. So we really prayed to Radha-Ballabha to clear the sky by mid-morning.
Just as last year - for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada - we prepared a range of workshops and lunchtime activities. They showcased the rich culture of India and gave students a taste of what our local Hare Krishna temple has to offer.
‘We’ were a big team of volunteers from our temple and congregation. Workshops included Yoga & Meditation, Henna Art, Indian Music and Dance, Indian Cooking, the Festivals and Culture of India, as well as Garland Making, Indian Weddings and Traditional Costumes. We also hosted various displays around the school, focussed on topics like Vegetarianism, Bhakti Yoga, Knowledge and Peace.
The sky cleared. Even before the prasädam stall was set up for lunch, there was an enthusiastic crowd of students and staff queuing to taste delicious Hare Krishna cuisine, all sponsored by the temple.
Many students enjoyed prasädam so much that they came back for seconds! The Henna Art and Gopi Face Painting crews were kept busy by the long line of students patiently awaiting their turn. We also gave students tastes of dressing in särés and dhotés.
But the main highlight during lunch was the ecstatic Harinäma led by Jyoti Mätäjé and Jaya Jagannätha Prabhu, who had students and teachers singing and dancing to the Mahämantra for almost an hour.
Mathew Styles (Multicultural Day co-ordinator) remarked that, “Both the staff and students had a wonderful day and have nothing but praise for all of the exciting activities you all had on offer. The students embraced the day and the staff had the opportunity to get involved and enjoy themselves as well.”
The icing on this (egg-free) festival cake was the profuse appreciation of College Principal Steve Cook, who said he would love the Hare Krishnas to come back every year to help make Multicultural Day a special event!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Quality of a Devotee - Simplicity


Srila Bhaktisiddanta Saraswati, the beloved spiritual teacher of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, emphasized that the foundational quality of a true devotee is simplicity. Without this, bhakti cannot be real or deep.

What is simplicity? In one sense it means we don’t need a lot of things to be happy. We are content with simple things. Watching the sunrise, and then waiting some time and watching the sunset. These are very simple joys in life. Hearing the birds singing in the trees, sitting on the banks of a river contemplating messages and the wisdom of nature. Simple relationships – affection is a simple thing. A child by nature is quite simple, especially when they are young. They just want to be loved and to love. Doesn’t cost money but just the simple gifts of life.

Ultimately, when we connect to our love for God and actually realize God’s love for us, there is nothing more satisfying and we can find that satisfaction in whatever situation we are in, and we can be happy. When we are agitated, lonely or bored from within, then we need all sorts of distractions to cope. But the distractions only divert our attention from that emptiness within. They can’t fill the need that we have, and this is a serious problem. Instead of understanding what the real problem is in human society and what we really need and want, we try to find distractions to somehow or other occupy our minds.

In an evolved human society, people love people and they use things. But unfortunately how the world is today, all too often, people love things and use people to get them. That is a symptom of a shallow life. Simplicity can be found in the natural gifts that God has given us. We have developed simplicity when we are happy and we want to share those gifts with others. Experiencing that God consciousness within us and the desire to share it with others through compassion and integrity is true satisfaction because it is receiving love and giving love. When our relationships with each other are based on those principles that is a simple life.

So as technology is spinning and spinning to higher and higher dimensions we have to balance that with what is actually required to have quality in life. Things alone cannot give us quality in life. Appreciation, gratitude for natural gifts, for each other and for God’s grace—that  gives quality in life. And when we use our education and the incredible resources that are available in the world with that spirit we can be instruments of enormously positive change within the world. And making that inner connection to the simple essence of life can be fulfilled by sincerely chanting God’s names. —Radhanath Swami

Devotee Association

SB 4.24.59: The devotee whose heart has been completely cleansed by the process of devotional service and who is favored by Bhaktidevī does not become bewildered by the external energy, which is just like a dark well. Being completely cleansed of all material contamination in this way, a devotee is able to understand very happily Your name, fame, form, activities, etc.

PURPORT

As stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (3.25.25):
satāḿ prasańgān mama vīrya-saḿvido
bhavanti hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ
taj-joṣaṇād āśv apavarga-vartmani
śraddhā ratir bhaktir anukramiṣyati
Simply by the association of pure devotees one can understand the transcendental name, fame, quality and activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has repeatedly said:
'sādhu-sańga', 'sādhu-sańga' — sarva-śāstre kaya
lava-mātra sādhu-sańge sarva-siddhi haya
(Cc. Madhya 22.54)
Simply by associating with a pure devotee, one becomes wonderfully advanced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Sādhu-sańga, or association with a devotee, means always engaging in Kṛṣṇa consciousness by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and by acting for Kṛṣṇa. Specifically, chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra purifies one, and this chanting is therefore recommended by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam: [Cc. Antya 20.12] by chanting the names of Kṛṣṇa, the mirror of the heart is cleansed, and the devotee loses interest in everything external. When one is influenced by the external energy of the Lord, his heart is impure. When one's heart is not pure, he cannot see how things are related to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Idaḿ hi viśvaḿ bhagavān ivetaraḥ (Bhāg. 1.5.20). He whose heart is purified can see that the whole cosmic manifestation is but the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but he whose heart is contaminated sees things differently. Therefore by sat-sańga, or association with devotees, one becomes perfectly pure in heart.
One who is pure in heart is never attracted by the external energy, which urges the individual soul to try to dominate material nature. The pure heart of a devotee is never disturbed when he executes devotional service in the form of hearing, chanting, remembering, etc. In all, there are nine processes one can follow in the execution of devotional service. In any case, a pure-hearted devotee is never disturbed. The bhakti-yoga process must be carried out by avoiding the ten offenses one can commit while chanting the mahā-mantra and the sixty-four offenses one can commit while worshiping the Deity. When a devotee strictly follows the rules and regulations, Bhaktidevī becomes very much satisfied with him, and at that time he is never disturbed by anything external. A devotee is also called a muni. The word muni means "thoughtful." A devotee is as thoughtful as a nondevotee is speculative. The nondevotee's speculation is impure, but a devotee's thoughts are pure. LordKapila and Śukadeva Gosvāmī are also called muni, and Vyāsadeva is addressed as Mahāmuni. A devotee is addressed as muni, or thoughtful, when he purely understands the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The conclusion is that when one's heart is purified by the association of devotees and by the avoidance of the offenses committed when chanting and worshiping the Lord, the transcendental name, form and activities of the Lord are revealed by the Lord.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Krishna wants only loving service



"Krishna wants only loving service and nothing more. Krishna accepts even a little flower from His pure devotee.He is not in need of anything from anyone, because He is self-sufficient, and yet He accepts the offering of His devotee in an exchange of love and affection. "

- Srila Prabhupada

Acquisition of wealth by a devotee




A pure devotee may be attracted to accumulating wealth just like an ordinary man, but the difference is that a devotee acquires money for the service of the Lord, whereas the ordinary man acquires money for his sense enjoyment. Thus the acquisition of wealth by a devotee is not a source of anxieties, as is the case for a worldly man. And because a pure devotee accepts everything in the sense of serving the Lord, the poisonous teeth of accumulation of wealth are extracted. If a snake has its poison removed and bites a man, there is no fatal effect. Similarly, wealth accumulated in the cause of the Lord has no poisonous teeth, and the effect is not fatal. A pure devotee is never entangled in material worldly affairs even though he may remain in the world like an ordinary man. 

(Prabhupada purport SB 3.9.6)

Lord Narsimhadeva



Narsimha Caturdashi this year on 24.05.2013

"Another special feature of Lord Nrsimhadeva is that He is our protective deity. He is our deity for protection. He is the ista-deva of protection but he is not the ista-deva of most devotees trying to understand our eternal relationship, but He is our ista-deva, our worshipable Lord for protection to remove the obstacles on the path of bhakti. This is why He is so special. That is why Srila Prabhupada introduced worship of Lord Nrsimha in ISKCON. Bhaktisiddhanta also had the deity of Laksmi-Nrsimhadeva installed at the Yogapitha. And Nanda Baba also worships a form of Lord Nrsimhadeva in Goloka, so it is like parampara. It goes on in Goloka and the reason Nanda Baba worships Lord Nrsimhadeva is to protect Krishna. He is a protective deity...So we worship Him as our protective deity, to remove the obstacles on the path of devotional to Radha and Krishna."

His Grace Jananivas Das, head pujari of Sri Prahlad-Nrsimha in Mayapur

Deity Darshana (Special Chandana Yatra Darshana) - 23.5.2013


Bhagavad Gita 10.10-11


tesam satata-yuktanam bhajatam priti-purvakam
dadami buddhi-yogam tam yena mam upayanti te

tesam evanukampartham aham ajnana-jam tamah
nasayamy atma-bhava-stho jnana-dipena bhasvata


To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me. To show them special mercy, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance.


 







Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Change in Consciousness by Krsna Consciousness


Powerful and heart transforming lecture by HG Gaur Gopal Prabhu on 
'Preparing Consciousness'