Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Srila Prabhupada's Books Reveal the Perfect Knowledge of the Vedas

If we can accept the importance of this type of inquiry, our next consideration will naturally be where to find authoritative answers to such questions. Clearly, if perfect knowledge concerning questions of the self, the universe, and God, exists at all, it would have to be of a standard higher than just your opinion or my opinion, or for that matter Freud's or Einstein's or anyone else's opinion.

Because all of us have imperfect senses and because we are all prone to make mistakes, our relative opinions about matters beyond our experience can supply neither valid nor reliable information.
Thus our attempt to approach such matters empirically will be fraught with various imperfections and ultimately fail. Therefore, so-called truths established exclusively on the basis of mental speculation cannot help us understand the Absolute Truth, which is beyond the reach of the imperfect senses and mind.
The Vedas explain that if we want to know about things beyond the jurisdiction of our experience-beyond the limitations of human perception and cognition-the process is to hear from one who knows. The transcendental knowledge of the Vedas was first uttered by the Supreme Lord Himself. The Lord, the supremely powerful being, cannot fall under the influence of any other force. As a logical consequence, His knowledge must be perfect. And anyone who transmits that knowledge without change gives the same perfect knowledge. We need only accept this proposition theoretically to progress in our understanding of Vedic thought.

The idea is that the perfect knowledge of the Vedas has been preserved over time by transmission through an unbroken chain of spiritual masters. Srila Prabhupäda represents one such disciplic chain or succession. That succession goes back thousands of years to Lord Krsna Himself. Thus the knowledge found within Srila Prabhupäda's books is nondifferent from that which was originally imparted by the Supreme Lord. Srila Prabhupäda did not manufacture "truths." He merely delivered the timeless teachings of the original Vedas without addition, deletion, or change.

The writings of Srila Prabhupäda are represented mainly by three Vedic texts-the Bhagavad-gitä, Srimad-Bhägavatam, and Caitanya-caritämåta. Together these works of literature comprise more than 25 volumes of detailed information constituting the original Vedic science of God realization, or bhagavata-dharma. Their translation into the English language, along with elaborate explanations, constitutes Srila Prabhupäda's most significant contribution to the spiritual, intellectual, and cultural life of the world.

Hey, You are special. Don't be silly...

There are many forms of life on this planet. There are immovable forms such as trees and plants, and a vast array of aquatic, insect, bird, beast, and mammalian forms as well. Our human form is also one among these varied forms of life, yet even a casual observer would have to agree that we human beings are endowed with unique capacities that distinguish us from all other forms of life. What exactly are those unique capacities?
We can begin answering this question with another. What is it that distinguishes a living form from a nonliving form? The answer is consciousness, or awareness. All living forms display this symptom of consciousness to one degree or another. That is why we call them living rather than dead. Even the small microbial germ or the common houseplant show signs of consciousness, whereas our dining table and chairs do not.

It is also evident that different forms of life display different degrees and levels of consciousness, and the human form represents the highest development of consciousness that we know. It is this greater development of consciousness, then, that distinguishes the human being from all other forms of life on the planet.
But what is it about our consciousness that makes it so different from that of the insect, the bird, the beast, or even the monkey? These creatures eat and we also eat; they sleep and we also sleep; they reproduce and we reproduce; they defend themselves and so do we. That we can perform these functions with greater sophistication may be one indicator that we possess higher consciousness, but it does not fully explain our excellence above all other forms of life.

A more satisfactory explanation is found in our ability to question our existence, reflect upon our selves, and inquire into our own nature and the nature of God. We can create languages, ponder the meaning of life, and puzzle in wonderment over the nighttime sky. Such an endowment is not present in any other form of life.
The Vedas therefore advise that in this human form of life we should be inquisitive to know who we are, what the universe is, what God is, and what the relationship is between ourselves, the universe, and God. We should inquire about the solution to the ultimate problems of life, namely birth, death, old age, and disease. Such questions cannot be asked by the cats and dogs, but they must arise in the heart of a real human being.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The mercy of Krishna

Giriraj Swami: On my walk yesterday I had to heed the call of nature in the bushes, and I quickly hung my bead bag on a branch. Somehow, the picture of Lord Jagannatha on the bag ended up looking at me, and I thought of Srila Prabhupada’s words: “You have seen the dog and the master. The master is so friendly to the dog–out of love. It is a dog, but when it is passing stool, the master is waiting. Why? Is the duty of the master to wait while the dog is passing stool? No. Out of love. Out of love. We can see from practical example. The master may be a great millionaire, but still, he loves the dog so much that on the morning walk he takes his dog and the dog is passing urine . . . What business the dog has got? To pass urine and stool and go this way and that way. But the master is attending. Similarly, God, Krsna, is so affectionate that we have come here to this material world simply to pass stool and urine, and still He’s attending. Just imagine how merciful is Krsna.” (Srila Prabhupada lecture, September 29, 1974)
Hare Krsna.
Giriraj Swami Santa Barbara April 10, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

Book distribution is calling. Where are you?

Doing book distribution in buses while going to office was a inspiration from H.G.Ramvilas Prabhu(He works with Infosys Pune now) . When he was in Bangalore for 2 months, he stayed with us (@ Mathura BACE) , we both used to travel together to office. He took some small books with him. And when we sit in bus, we will occupy different seats. He pushed me also to distribute the small books. We just show the books to the nearby people and ask them if they are interested to read and show the book at the same time. Many will be impelled to take the book in hand. That’s the natural tendency.

We need to carry just 3-5 small books per day, otherwise we may not carry after few days due to overload.

Then when they leave the bus or we get down at our bus stop, we ask them if they are interested to purchase, if they are we collect the proper Lakshmi for that book. It really works well, when we pray to Srila Prabhupada and do it. I was just contemplating further on it and sent to Mathurabace google groups the following calculation:

Sharing my thoughts...

Suppose I meet 2-3 people on the way to office and 2-3 people while return from office. On an average, it is 5 per new people per day.

5 * 22 working days = 110 new people (as a auspicious number keep it as 108) per month.

If all of us take this initiative seriously, say 10 of us. 10 * 108 = greater than 1000 new people per month.

Out of 1000, few may buy books say 50 small . Apart from distributing books, we can speak about Krishna, Hare Krishna maha mantra, inviting to the temple etc.

Devotees who use public transport and even company busses can try this.

We can carry may be few small books and may be 1 Bhagavad Gita. If we try this for a month and give a report of result to temple, Krishna willing, we may inspire many devotees as well to do this.

Just imagine 100 new people * 200 devotees = 20000 new people will get in touch with Krishna's devotees and Holy names.And we never know the amount of books that will get distributed. And it is a good one to one advertisement for our Jagannath mandir also. We have to clearly mention about ISKCON Sri jagannath mandir while we interact. We can send the temple address through sms also for those who are interested. We need to send the sms then and there only.

And our travel will be no more dull and boring... It will be exciting. Shall we do this?If we do this, we can also say Wherever you go our network follows

Expecting at least few will get inspired by this sharing thoughts in the larger section of devotees

In Mayapur, I heard from one of the Sannyasis, forgot the name , that we are coming across so many people every day. We never knew whether they will meet another devotee in their lifetime afterwards. So it is our duty to give Krishna to them. This statement was too inspiring for me. I find giving out books is the best way to give Krishna for people in bus.

If we don’t get a seat also, we can give the books to those who are seated; If we travel in office bus also, we are just sharing the book with our travel partner, not as a professional preacher. Shouldn’t be any problems at all.

The specialty of this service is that it doesn’t require a new infrastructure, not a dedicated time from us, not a separate gathering of people. All it requires is just to sacrifice may be our travel sleep. Simple. And those who have just touched Prabhupada’s books also get the benefit.

Recently on the way to Bangalore from my native, I distributed a Science of Self Realization book in bus by this approach. The receiver was a old man. He was saying, “Even if I don’t join the Hare Krishnas, I wanted to know what is this movement all about. That’s why I am buying”

So… “Book distribution is calling. Where are you?”

Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada,
Partha prana govinda das

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Rain Drops - by H.H.Suhotra Swami

Whenever there is water scarcity in any area, water tankers are at once deployed there at a considerable expenditure to provide relief. In the earth all the land-locked areas are subject to potential water scarcity as all the water is concentrated in the oceans, rivers and lakes. Imagine millions of gallons of water being moved through the airways to provide relief. Sounds unbelievable, but that is what a cloud is – a mobile, air-borne gigantic water-tank.

And the design of this water tank is so astounding that an entire airplane can pass right through it and still there is not much leakage loss! Further, pressure and temperature variations cause the water vapor to form cloud droplets, which come together to form rains drops. But raindrops tend to grow only to a certain size. What if raindrops grew to huge sizes? Then the rains would, instead of sustaining life, destroy it. Experience shows that raindrops usually come down in the right size, and gently, seldom hurting even a blade of grass or the most delicate flower. Thus it certainly requires blind faith to believe that all this wondrous and benevolent arrangement is happening by itself, by chance. No wonder then that the renowned physicist Kelvin has said, “If you think deeply enough you will be forced by science to believe in God.”

Once we have scaled the intellectual hurdle in understanding how God controls nature, the effect of mantras in curing the disease that blocks our spiritual vision. Imagine an illiterate villager, with no prior experience of modern medicine, coming to an allopathic doctor and complaining of severe arm pain. After due diagnosis, the doctor prescribes a painkiller and a medicine for oral administration. The villager protests, “Doctor, don’t fool me. The pain is in the arm, not the mouth.” Just as the uneducated rustic cannot understand the scientific connection between the oral medicine and the muscular pain, uninformed people may not be able to comprehend, with the few grams of their grey matter, the higher dimensional science by which mantra technology can activate our latent spiritual vision.ISKCON Scientist Dr Richard L Thompson in his landmark books Mechanistic and Non-Mechanistic Science and Maya: The World as a Virtual Reality delineates not only the scientific basis for an alternative theistic worldview, but also a spiritual-scientific process which is akin to enhancing our vision with a spiritual telescope to see God. Are atheists who refuse to try out this experiential confirmation of the God hypothesis no less fanatical than the dogmatic clergyman who refused to look through Galileo’s telescope when told that they could themselves confirm the Copernican hypothesis?
- By HH.Suhotra Swami

The Big bang experiment

Recently there was a scientific experiment on Big bang. Scientists were trying to simulate the situation that occurred some billions of years ago. Congrats to CERN scientists for their wonderful achievement.

Just few thoughts from my side on this topic.

Simulating an incident which happened long ago (that's what we are said to believe) required so many great brains of the world to join together and work for so many months and toil day in and day out for making this success. With modern advanced technology and advanced scientists, this is a great achievement. So many intelligent people behind it. Congrats to all of them

If just simulation of the Big bang requires so much intelligent people all around the world, How much intelligence should be behind the real Big Bang ? !! This is the real bang which actually produced so many universes [we don’t have a proper count also], with such wonderful life forms [still uncountable], with such delicate, intricate work in every aspect of nature.

"Do not be afraid of being free thinkers. If you think strongly enough you will be forced by science to the belief in God, which is the foundation of all religion. You will find science not antagonistic but helpful to religion." – Lord Kelvin

Monday, May 10, 2010

What I got by becoming a Hare Krishna? - Part 1

 I had been to chennai recently for the pandal program of ISKCON. One of my friends came there to meet me, but he was not ready to come to the ISKCON program. I put my arguments why he should attend the program. And he put his arguments why he should not attend the program. In due course of the "Cofee-Tofee" discussion, he asked a question "What you got by becoming a Hare Krishna?"

This made me think. And I got a good topic for my blog...

Here are few answers. I think this topic is a blog that will keep coming in part 2,3,4... till I stop blogging or till my life ends.

1.        Got access to the unlimited vedic knowledge through Srila Prabhupada’s books.
2.       Chanting Hare Krishna removed the bodily concept of life in which I had a strong hold
3.       Elevated my consciousness to a platform which I had never imagined
4.       Got access to varieties of prasadam :P I had never imagined.
5.        Got access to a wonderful bunch of people (devotees) in my life. I just love to stay with them. Never had the satisfaction level so high.
6.       Showed me the goal of my life otherwise just hankering around eating,mating,sleeping and defending.
7.        Reminded me of Who is Krishna?
8.       Got access to the unlimited Sankirtan stories – how Krishna helps sincere souls all around the world to get in touch with Prabhupada.
9.       Got access to people who dedicated their lives for Krishna consciousness without bothering their personal comforts
10.     Learnt how miserable is material life
11.      Learnt that even after learning the miseries of material existence, how I am still attached to it.
12.     Learning how maya can trick me in different ways
13.     Learning that how to carefully handle peoples’ and devotees’ feelings. More and better concerned with feelings rather than the monetary value  associated with people
14.     Learnt how intoxication, meat eating, gambling, illict sex makes one forget Krishna and even Krishna becomes more and more inaccessible to people who are indulged in these sinful activities.
15.     Learnt who real guru is and who is bogus.
16.     Learnt that though I have devotees around me, neither I am nor they are liberated souls. There should be disagreements.
17.     Learnt that it is better to have my work simple, so that more efforts can be put in Krishna consciousness.
18.     Learnt that it is not our strength to have our consciousness UP. Requires Krishna’s blessings. Requires our prayers.
19.     Learnt how people are looking after Krishna, but they don’t realize they are looking after Krishna. Or even if we provide Krishna, they have so many of misgivings of their hearts which prevents them to take Krishna consciousness. Requires HEAVY Kirtans !!
20.    Much more… But both you and I may feel bored. Will continue on this topic after some more blogs…