• "Here in this world there are thousands of newspapers and magazines reporting the stale, repetitious happenings of this limited space. So for reporting the news of the unlimited spiritual realm, concerning the eternal, ever-fresh Supreme Personality of Godhead, we could publish a newspaper at every second, what to speak of daily."
    - Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura
Bala Gopala's Mrdanga : An insignificant attempt (by an insignificant entity) to render service to this instruction.


The Relationship Between Varnasrama-dharma and Bhakti-yoga

Categories: Realizations, Essays

Satisfaction of Vishnu is the ultimate goal of life. If we also accept this to be the inherent natural proclivity of every living entity we could, with broader vision, acknowledge that there could be many ways to achieve this aim depending on time, place and circumstance. In the first six chapters of Bhagavad-Gita there are several paths delineated, however bhakti-yoga, or the direct path of pure devotion, is declared to be the topmost means of pleasing the transcendent Lord. A nice analogy to illustrate this point is the story of a world traveler who is planning his journey while looking at a globe of the Earth planet. If, for instance, he desired to travel from Calcutta to Delhi he could choose to travel in many different directions. He could map out a route from Calcutta eastward that traversed the globe, crossed many oceans and deserts, and finally arrived in Delhi after several months of circumambulating the planet. A more direct route would be to simply catch the Rajdhani Express from Howrah station and arrive in Delhi the next day. Besides devotional service, another system of satisfying Vishnu discussed in Bhagavad-Gita is that of varnasrama-dharma. While this is not as direct as bhakti-yoga the two paths are interrelated in at least a few different ways that will be discussed herein.

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Attachment to Krishna Forms Character

Categories: Realizations, Essays

Srila Prabhupada writes in the purport to 8.28:

“Study of the Vedas is not meant for the recreation of armchair speculators, but for the formation of character.”

What is character? Good character can be seen as the mature quality of a person who endeavors to act based on the understanding of principles rather than reactively and according to circumstance. This can have both a positive and negative context. In the negative sense a devotee may be presented with an opportunity to enjoy unrestricted sense gratification but due to having an understanding of sastric principles he restrains himself. In the positive instance there might be an opportunity to serve devotees by distributing prasadam at a feast. He understands the principle behind serving Vaisnavas therefore he acts accordingly and further reinforces his good character. Because the sastra emphasizes such principles, when someone studies the scriptures under the guidance of the spiritual master with the proper sense of urgency and submission their character will, by the grace of the Lord, improve.

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Seeing Is Not Believing For A Thoughtful Person : Part One

Here are some images sent to me by HG Jaya Tirtha Caran das. They inspired me to write this article. I hope its not too 'navel gazing' for anyone out there.

For many folks, these days, ‘seeing is believing’. Due to the advancements in scientific achievement we have experienced over the last century it has become a commonly acceptable philosophical outlook to acknowledge that whatever can be proven by some physically tangible evidence can be accepted as fact. Moreover, it follows that any concept, entity, substance or energy that cannot be experienced directly by our senses should be taken with a grain of salt. Real proof for most people these days lies largely in the ability to see something with their own eyes.

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Of Mice And Meat

By Dwarakadhisa-devi Dasi:

Consider for one moment the plight of the carnivorous beast. Skulking about the forest brush, sniffing and listening with intense concentration, hunger gnawing at his belly and burning his eyes, he searches for prey. His meditation is single-pointed in hopes of a kill. But, his task is difficult: to find his prey inattentive and unwary. He must be ready - for whenever the opportunity comes- and his attack must be swift, fearless and lethal. And at last it does come - the kill: the fearful eyes of the victim, the screams of pain and terror, and the stench of fresh blood. For us this would certainly be a repulsive task simply for the business of eating. And this sort of act - this barbarity, this furtive slaughter - marks the difference between civilized and bestial existence.

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Developing a Vaishnava Community?

Categories: Readings, Essays

By Bir Krishnadas Goswami:

My specialty is developing Vaisnava communities. I am trying to form communities based on the example of community that we have in Fiji. Devotees form extended families. All the devotees are like a family. If someone needs help, the devotees go to help; maybe financially, or if someone is building the house . . . in every way. Devotees invite each other over for prasadam, which is very nice. Women know how to cook, and they always have guests. Vedic culture is based on cooking. In the Upadesamrita of Rupa Goswami, there are descriptions of six kinds of love. Prabhupada says that our movement will spread because of these six symptoms. This is culture; it is in the sastra. People share everything, and sharing starts with prasadam. Prabhupada said that family life means that before sitting down to eat, a householder goes out in the street and calls out to see if there is anyone who is hungry. Prabhupada stressed that this is a culture of sharing, especially sharing Prasadam (food). This actually builds community; a model of sharing, a model of helping each other. Many people join because of social structure - because of friends because they like people who are in the Hare Krishna movement. Preaching is also a kind of sharing, the sharing of philosophy with people, rather than "preaching". It is sharing of Krishna consciousness.

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Hinduism and Ecology - A Sustainable Relationship

Categories: Essays

In setting out to write an article on the subject of ‘Hinduism and Ecology’ I felt a necessity to come up with at least some functional definitions of the two terms. Ecology was the easiest to define. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica it is explained as “the relationship between organisms and their environment.” When we place this into the context of sustainability, the ‘organisms’ could refer to us – the human beings of the Earth. Of course, it is a clear observation that human beings carry the enormous responsibility of making decisions that directly have ramifications upon the ecologies of all the other species of life on this planet. Having such a position of accountability to uphold is, to many humans, an expression of a relationship with the Creator of our collective ecology. As the historian Lynn White observed,

"What people do about their ecology depends on what they think about themselves in relation to things around them. Human ecology is deeply conditioned by beliefs about our nature and destiny—that is, by religion." (1)

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"There is No Other Way" - Fanatacism and Spiritual Authority

Categories: Essays

In the introduction to Sri Isopanisad Srila Prabhupada emphatically states:

“The Vedas are not compilations of human knowledge. Vedic knowledge comes from the spiritual world, from Lord Krishna. Another name for the Vedas is sruti. Sruti refers to that knowledge which is acquired by hearing. It is not experimental knowledge. Sruti is considered to be like a mother. We take so much knowledge from our mother. For example, if you want to know who your father is, who can answer you? Your mother. If the mother says, "Here is your father," you have to accept it. It is not possible to experiment to find out whether he is your father. Similarly, if you want to know something beyond your experience, beyond your experimental knowledge, beyond the activities of the senses, then you have to accept the Vedas. There is no question of experimenting. It has already been experimented. It is already settled. The version of the mother, for instance, has to be accepted as truth. There is no other way.”

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Patita Pavana - Srila Prabhupada

Categories: Realizations, Essays

Srila Prabhupada writes in the preface to NOD: “The principle of Lord Caitanya’s movement in educating and elevating everyone to the exalted post of a gosvami is taught in The Nectar of Devotion.” Here he reveals his purpose in presenting the summary study of Srila Rupa Goswami’s Bhakti-rasamrita-sindu. He very plainly wants to elevate and educate everyone to the exalted position of a gosvami. Srila Prabhupada himself had the vision of a gosvami and thus he knew how to present the teachings of the acaryas in such a way that it could be adopted by all people of the world in the present times.

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Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare