Monday, October 09, 2006

Album

Hare Krishna!!!

http://www.bddswami.org/


With Love.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Who is Krishna?





In the African countries, when someone sees the cover of a book like Krishna, he immediately asks, “Who is Krishna? Who is the girl with Krishna?” etc.

The immediate answer is that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. How is that? Because He conforms in exact detail to descriptions of the Supreme Being, the Godhead. In other words, Krishna is the Godhead because He is all-attractive. Outside the principle of all-attraction, there is no meaning to the word Godhead. How is it one can be all-attractive? First of all, if one is very wealthy, if he has great riches, he becomes attractive to the people in general. Similarly, if someone is very powerful, he also becomes attractive, and if someone is very famous, he also becomes attractive, and if someone is very beautiful or wise or unattached to all kinds of possessions, he also becomes attractive. So from practical experience we can observe that one is attractive due to

(1) wealth, (2) power, (3) fame, (4) beauty, (5) wisdom and (6) renunciation.

One who is in possession of all six of these opulences at the same time, who possesses them to an unlimited degree, is understood to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. These opulences of the Godhead are delineated by Parashara Muni, a great Vedic authority.



We have seen many rich persons, many powerful persons, many famous persons, many beautiful persons, many learned and scholarly persons, and persons in the renounced order of life unattached to material possessions. But we have never seen any one person who is unlimitedly and simultaneously wealthy, powerful, famous, beautiful, wise and unattached as Krishna in the history of humanity. Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is a historical person who appeared on this earth 5,000 years ago. He stayed on this earth for 125 years and played exactly like a human being, but His activities were unparalleled. From the very moment of His appearance to the moment of His disappearance, every one of His activities is unparalleled in the history of the world, and therefore anyone who knows what we mean by Godhead will accept Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. No one is equal to the Godhead, and no one is greater than Him. That is the import of the familiar saying “God is great.”

There are various classes of men in the world who speak of God in different ways. But the Vedic literature and the great acharyas, the authorized persons versed in the knowledge of God in all ages, like Shankaracharya, Ramanujacharya, Madhvacharya, Vishnuswami, Lord Caitanya and all their followers by disciplic succession, all unanimously agree that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As far as the followers of Vedic civilization are concerned they accept the Vedic authority in all matters, like the history of the universe. According to the Vedas the universe consists of different planetary systems like Svargalokas, or the higher planetary system, Martyalokas, or the intermediary planetary system, and Patalalokas, or the lower planetary system. The modern historians of this earth cannot supply historical evidences of events that occurred before 5,000 years ago, and the anthropologists say that 40,000 years ago Homo sapiens had not appeared on this planet because evolution had not reached that point. But the Vedic histories, the Puranas and Mahabharata, relate human histories which extend millions and billions of years into the past.

For example, from these scriptures we are given the histories of Krishna's appearances and disappearances millions and billions of years ago. In the Fourth Chapter of the Bhagavad Gita Krishna tells Arjuna that both He and Arjuna had had many births before and that He (Krishna) could remember all of them and that Arjuna could not. This illustrates the difference between the knowledge of Krishna and that of Arjuna. Arjuna might have been a very great warrior, a well-cultured member of the Kuru dynasty, but after all, he was an ordinary human being, whereas Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the possessor of unlimited knowledge. Because He possesses unlimited knowledge, Krishna has a memory that is boundless.

Krishna's knowledge is so perfect that He remembers all the incidents of His appearances some millions and billions of years in the past, but Arjuna's memory and knowledge are limited by time and space, for he is an ordinary human being. In the Fourth Chapter Krishna states that He can remember instructing the lessons of the Bhagavad Gita some millions of years ago to the sun-god, Vivasvan.

Nowadays it is the fashion of the atheistic class of men to try to become God by following some mystic process. Generally the atheists claim to be God by dint of their imagination or their meditational prowess. Krishna is not that kind of God. He does not become God by manufacturing some mystic process of meditation, nor does He become God by undergoing the severe austerities of the mystic yogic exercises. Properly speaking, He never becomes God because He is the Godhead in all circumstances.

[ From: Krishna : The Supreme Personality of Godhead by His divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada ]

With Love.

Why Do We Celebrate Festivals?

Everybody loves to celebrate a festival, isn’t it? Especially in India, with its diverse and rich culture, festivals are myriad. But with Indians increasingly losing touch with their own culture, festivals have become at the most social obligations which have to be fulfilled, and more often than not, a break form work and business, to be spent in relaxation and merry-making. But traditionally, in Vedic culture, festivals had a much deeper significance. They were usually related either to the Supreme Personality of Godhead Shri Krishna or some of the demigods. More significantly they reminded the people of the Goal of Human Life, which was to get out of the material world and go back home to Godhead. Of all the festivals, Krishna Janmashtami is the most popular in India. People, irrespective of caste and creed celebrate Janmashtami.

What is so special about Janmashtami?

Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the creator and maintainer of this cosmic manifestation. He has created this world in order to offer the rebellious souls a chance to rectify their mentality of trying to enjoy this world independent of Krishna, and enjoy eternal life and bliss with Him in the spiritual world [hyperlink]. Most people in this world have no idea of who they are, what is the goal of life and who God is. Atheists think that there is no God whereas some modern philosophers like Neitsze would have us believe that God is dead! Again, other philosophers like the medieval Christian philosophers and scientists like Leibniz and even Newton believed that God created a clockwork universe, which went on without His intervention once He had created it. Still others known as impersonalists think that God has no form.

The appearance of Lord Krishna on this earth is the answer to all such speculative theories about God.



With Love.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Attitude of A Devotee




One’s attitude is very important in Krsna consciousness, as stated in the preface of the Nectar of Instruction: “Advancement in Krsna consciousness depends on the attitude of the follower.”

This attitude is described in various ways, one of which is the attitude of renunciation, by which one is given a chance to advance to the platform of devotional service (1) and also the attitude of a devotee, who does not seek shelter in the fruits of his activities but acts as a matter of duty because he has been ordered to do so by the Supreme Lord. (2)

(1) “Those who work without fruitive results are also perfect in their attitude. They are given a chance to advance to the platform of devotional service in Krsna consciousness.” –Bg. 13.25 Purport

(2) “The transcendental attitude of the devotee in the performance of activities is actually that of renunciation, and this is called sannyasa. As stated in the first verse of the Sixth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita, one who acts as a matter of duty because he has been ordered to do so by the Supreme Lord, and who does not seek shelter in the fruits of his activities
(anasritah karma-phalam), is a true renouncer. Anyone acting under the direction of the Supreme Lord is actually a sannyasi and a yogi, and not the man who has simply taken the dress of the sannyasi, or a pseudo yogi.” –Bg.10.3 Purport

The devotees’ attitude is that he believes in everything that Krsna says, not that he only accepts those things that tally to his imagination. (1)

(1) “Only the devotee, or he who is in personal touch with the Supreme Lord, enters into the Vaikuntha planets or the Goloka Vrndavana planet.

The Lord further adds that of this “there is no doubt.” This must be believed firmly. We should not reject that which does not tally with our imagination; our attitude should be that of Arjuna: “I believe everything that You have said.” Therefore when the Lord says that at the time of death whoever thinks of Him as Brahman or Paramatma or as the Personality of Godhead certainly enters into the spiritual sky, there is no doubt about it. There is no question of disbelieving it.” –Bg. Introduction.

With Love.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Words of Wisdom from BT Swami




"Worry is a prayer for something one does not want. To avoid an
undesirable outcome, people can learn to control their thoughts,
especially when they are under stress and have an emotional
investment in a desired outcome. At such times, stress and emotions
represent thought energy fueling the creation of the image being held
in their minds. Instead of worrying, one can replace the negative
thought with a visual image of the desired outcome, and then help
that image manifest rather than the unwanted one. As people get into
the habit of energizing only the positive, their thoughts, words, and
actions will automatically reflect this higher state of mind. They
will, in effect, stop creating new negative karma, because they will
no longer generate energy that has to be rebalanced, and their
positive energy will begin paying off some of the debits on their
scoreboard."

Leadership I, Chap 3

With Love.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Japa Workshop: Process, Techniques, and Methodology

Chanting, while mostly devotional, is also a technical process of meditation. This section will help you to understand more of what is involved and how to improve your japa meditation.

The proper use of beads
Start from bead no.1; turning at bead no.108
Turn each bead in the fingers.
Don’t chant on or cross the larger bead where you start
Pronunciation
One should note in this connection that chanting involves the activities of the upper and lower lips as well as the tongue. All three must be engaged in chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. The words “Hare Krishna” should be very distinctly pronounced and heard. Sometimes one mechanically produces a hissing sound instead of chanting with the proper pronunciation with the help of the lips and tongue. Chanting is very simple, but one must practice it seriously.
(Srila Prabhupada, Cc Adi 7.32 purport)

On one hand, there are different pronunciations throughout India and the sastra does state that the holy name is still effective even if improperly pronounced, but it is beneficial to concentrate and practice clear pronunciation.

Typical faults

‘H’ in Hare: sometimes dropped
‘A’ in Hare: mispron. ‘O’ as in Lorry; should be ‘uh’ as in Hurry.
‘R’ in Hare: sometimes sounds more like ‘D’
‘E’ in Hare: mispron. ‘I’ as in Bit; should be ‘ay’ as in Ray.
‘K’ in Krishna: sometimes sounds more like ‘G’ in Grip.
‘R’ in Krishna: sometimes dropped: ‘Kishna’
‘SH’ in Krishna: ‘G’ as in Genre (French pronunc.) or ‘S’ as in Snug.
‘N’ in Krishna: sometimes dropped: ‘Krisha’
‘A’ in Krishna: run together with the next Hare: ‘Krishna-ray’
Rama: be careful not to call out for Rum.
Sometimes with ‘Rama Rama Rama,’ you get the ‘revving-up-the-motorbike’ effect: ‘manar-manar-manar-manarrrr!’ (trying to chant too fast)
Note: Both Ram and Rama are OK.
Chanting speed
In the beginning you may be slow (around 10 minutes per round)
It is important to practice proper pronunciation
But in time you should naturally speed up (no more than 7 – 7½ minutes per round)
Ultimately it is individual, but most devotees find that speeding up increases the intensity of their chanting and their concentration level
If your rounds are taking too long, it could mean that you are distracted
Try to maintain good, clear pronunciation with a good speed
Some devotees can chant a round in 5 – 5½ min, but be careful not to lose the clarity of the syllables!
Posture
One’s mental and physical state is affected by one’s bodily posture and can be altered by changing the posture. That is why practicing asanas is integral to the yogic process, which is a highly developed science.
Importantly, you can affect the mind’s ability to concentrate.
Remain peaceful, and accept the proper attitude by adopting certain postures
Perhaps you have already experienced the difference between chanting sitting in a conventional chair (legs down) and sitting cross-legged
Basically, sit cross-legged with a little extra support under your bottom. The back and neck should be erect in a straight line, the head up. Breathing should be deep and rhythmic.
Discuss further with your tutor.

Common pitfalls
“Prajalpa-japa”: Unnecessarily talking while chanting
“Dive-bomb japa”: Falling asleep while chanting (head nodding off)
“Radar japa”: constantly looking all around the room
“Machine-gun japa”: much too fast while shaking the finger
“Jibber-japa”: it is just gibberish, no one can understand it
“Day-dreamjapa”: not concentrating, following the wandering mind
Attentiveness
This is the most essential part of chanting: how attentive are you?

Imagine you are driving a car and you have a passenger sitting next to you. The passenger is continually pointing things out and trying to draw your attention to them: “Oh, look there’s a shoe sale on! Look at those nice shoes! … Ah, look at that guy with the funny hat! … Are those your gloves on the back seat? … Look out, no, no, turn left! Oh, I thought we had to go left. … Look at the TV shop – is that your favorite football team playing? … Uh-oh, check this out: there’s a guy getting arrested over there….” If you keep getting distracted by what your passenger is saying, you’re going to crash the car.

The passenger is like your mind, and driving the car is like chanting your rounds. If you keep talking to someone and they are continuously ignoring you, eventually you are just going to shut up. That is the best way to deal with the mind: just ignore it and keep your attention on “the road”, it will eventually shut up.

Tip
Keep a paper and pencil to note anything down that should not be forgotten. Then you can tell your mind that you will think about it later.

An interesting exercise
Keep a list of all the subjects brought up by the mind during your japa and then review it at the end. Usually you can just throw away the whole list because you didn’t need to think about any of these things at all. It is a very graphic way of proving to yourself that you don’t need to take the mind so seriously (the mind won’t like that and will try to convince you that you should take it very seriously).

The big picture
Now, chanting is not just about getting the technique right. It is important to not lose sight of the big picture. We are ultimately not independent of Krishna, and we must always humbly pray to Him and seek His shelter and guidance. In the larger picture, we must always see that we have to get to the platform of taste in our chanting and ultimately attain love for Krishna.

Attitude
Your mood, attitude, or mentality is also very important while chanting. Chanting is not just a mechanical process. It must be accompanied with the appropriate feelings, performed for the right purpose, and with proper consciousness.

Enthusiasm/Great Eagerness: One should realize that love for Krishna is the ultimate goal. He should have total eagerness to attain it, even to the point of crying for it, like a baby. That is the price one must pay.
Prayerful: Remember that the maha-mantra is a prayer. Remember the meaning of the prayer, and offer it in a prayerful mood: a communication between you and God – a very personal experience.
Helpless/Dependent: A devotee feels helpless without the Lord’s mercy and dependent on the holy names. Example: small child and grown teenagers.
Humility/ Reverence: When we take darsan of the Deity, we must first take our shoes off, ring a bell, bow down, conch shells blow, the curtains are drawn – we are seeing the form of the Lord. The same respect and reverence should be given to the holy name.
Service: Chanting is a kind of service. It should be performed in a serving mood, serving the holy name by uttering it. Not that we are the master of Krishna, causing Him to manifest.
Grateful: Be thankful to the Lord for the mercy that He is bestowing upon you and all the fallen souls in the form of His holy name
Tolerant: All difficulties and obstacles of the mind must be tolerated. One may not have any taste for chanting or find the process hard to follow. All discomforts must be tolerated for Krishna’s satisfaction.
Patient: It may take a lot of practice before one gets better at chanting. One must patiently continue to endeavor. We are eternal, so there is no need to panic.
Determined: Never become discouraged. Always continue with determination knowing that success is ultimately guaranteed.
Important/Essential: Be conscious of the importance of this chanting process. Remember that it is essential to spiritual advancement.
Faithfully: We must cultivate our faith in the holy name, put our trust in it.
Please let me in: Ask Krishna to allow us to enter into the inner realizations of chanting the holy names.

With Love.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Initiation Ceremony






With Love

Transgressing Ones Adhikara

Transgressing Ones Adhikara


The following is a letter from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada where he speaks about the qualification for hearing and preaching about raganuga-bhakti.
sri sri guru-gaurango jayatah
[All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga]
Sri Chaitanya Matha, Sri Mayapur, 13 December 1928
sneha-vigrahesu ______ [Dear _______],
I am very happy to see the substance of all the sastras in your letter. By carefully considering all the topics, you will understand that in the true sense immature intelligence is unable to give results because it is born of laziness. We tiny living entities are followers of vidhi, formal rules and regulations, but we are not against raga-marga, the path of spontaneous attraction. Raga is the highest topic, but it does not look good in our mouth. Hearing big topics from a small mouth, the bhajananuragi-gana, devotees on the spontaneous platform, will laugh at us.
The mahajanas always say that if someone has not realized Krishna and is trying to attain a higher position in devotional life, that is due to laziness.
The name of Bhagavan and Bhagavan are one. Those who think there is a difference between the name of God and God do so based on their own understanding. The devotees of the associates of Sri Gaurasundar have taught that to become free from anarthas one must serve a bhajana-kusala-jana, a person who has achieved the platform of auspiciousness because of performing bhajan. If we just repeat without realization like a parrot (tota-pakhira nyaya), then they will call us prakrta-sahajiya and thus reduce our self-conceit. Prakrta-sahajiyas drown in the mud of misery. In order to display the glories of raganuga-bhakti to the mundane sahajiyas as well as similar other sects who glorify their positions even though they have fallen into the mire of such misfortune (panke gauriva sidati), one has to personally become expert in the worship of the Supreme Lord before preaching it for others’ welfare. Therefore, try your best to understand the above topics. Bhajana is not an external activity or for making a show for others. Chant hari-nama loudly so that the desires of sense-gratification in the form of laziness will not capture us.

With Love,

Qualities Of Sri Krishna


Qualities of Sri Krsna

“Srila Rupa Gosvami, after consulting various scriptures, has enumerated the transcendental qualities of the Lord as follows: (1) beautiful features of the entire body: (2) marked with all auspicious characteristics; (3) extremely pleasing: (4) effulgent; (5) strong; (6) ever-youthful; (7) wonderful linguist; (8) truthful; (9) talks pleasingly; (10) fluent; (11) highly learned: (12) highly intelligent; (13) a genius; (14) artistic; (15) extremely clever; (16) expert; (17) grateful; (18) firmly determined; (19) an expert judge of time and circumstances; (20) sees and speaks on the authority of Vedas, or scriptures; (21) pure; (22) self-controlled; (23) steadfast; (24) forbearing; (25) forgiving; (26) grave; (27) self-satisfied; (28) possessing equilibrium; (29) magnanimous; (30) religious: (3l) heroic; (32) compassionate: (33) respectful: (34) gentle; (35) liberal; (36) shy; (37) the protector of surrendered souls; (38) happy; (39) the well-wisher of devotees; (40) controlled by love; (4l) all-auspicious; (42) most powerful: (43) all-famous: (44) popular: (45) partial to devotees: (46) very attractive to all women; (47) all-worshipable; (48) all-opulent; (49) all-honorable; (50) the supreme controller.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead has all these fifty transcendental qualities in fullness as deep as the ocean. In other words, the extent of His qualities is inconceivable.
As parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord, the individual living entities can also possess all of these qualities in minute quantities, provided they become pure devotees of the Lord. In other words, all of the above transcendental qualities can be present in the devotees in minute quantity, whereas the qualities in fullness are always present in the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Besides these, there are other transcendental qualities which are described by Lord Siva to Parvati in the Padma Purana, and in the First Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam in connection with a conversation between the deity of the earth and the King of religion, Yamaraja. It is said therein, “Persons who are desirous of becoming great personalities must be decorated with the following qualities: truthfulness, cleanliness, mercy, perseverance, renunciation, peacefulness, simplicity, control of the senses, equilibrium of the mind, austerity, equality, forbearance, placidity, learning, knowledge, detachment, opulence, chivalry, influence, strength, memory, independence, tactfulness, luster, patience, kindheartedness, ingenuity, gentility, mannerliness, determination, perfection in all knowledge, proper execution, possession of all objects of enjoyment, gravity, steadiness, faithfulness, fame, respectfulness and lack of false egotism.'’ Persons who are desiring to become great souls cannot be without any of the above qualities, so we can know for certain that these qualities are found in Lord Krsna, the supreme soul.
Besides all of the above-mentioned fifty qualities, Lord Krsna possesses five more, which are sometimes partially manifested in the persons of Lord Brahma or Lord Siva. These transcendental qualities are as follows: (51) changeless; (52) all-cognizant; (53) ever-fresh; (54) sac-cid-ananda (possessing an eternal blissful body); (55) possessing all mystic perfections.
Krsna also possesses five other qualities, which are manifest in the body of Narayana, and they are listed as follows: (56) He has inconceivable potency. (57) Uncountable universes generate from His body. (58) He is the original source of all incarnations. (59) He is the giver of salvation to the enemies whom He kills. (60) He is the attractor of liberated souls. All these transcendental qualities are manifest wonderfully in the personal feature of Lord Krsna.
Besides these sixty transcendental qualities, Krsna has four more, which are not manifest even in the Narayana form of Godhead, what to speak of the demigods or living entities. They are as follows: (61) He is the performer of wonderful varieties of pastimes (especially His childhood pastimes). (62) He is surrounded by devotees endowed with wonderful love of Godhead. (63) He can attract all living entities all over the universes by playing on His flute. (64) He has a wonderful excellence of beauty which cannot be rivaled anywhere in the creation.
Adding to the list these four exceptional qualities of Krsna, it is to be understood that the aggregate number of qualities of Krsna is sixty-four. Srila Rupa Gosvami has attempted to give evidences from various scriptures about all sixty-four qualities present in the person of the Supreme Lord.”
.
(Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 21)

With Love.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

His Divine Grace A.C.
Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupada












Founder Acarya
of the International
Society for Krsna
Consciousness.

Listen Srila Prabhupada
http://www.chantandbehappy.com/prabhupada/index.html