Recently in the news the topic of Puri Jagannatha temple prohibiting western devotees from entering came up due to some unfortunate confrontation between a German devotee and a temple priest outside the temple. Many devotees tend to say that just because the Lord doesn’t intervene to stop a bad thing that it indicates it is sanctioned by the Lord and is the Lord’s will. Thus they conclude that the temple policy to discriminate against devotees based on their skin color must be the Lord’s desire and his own policy. There are many things the Lord doesn’t change, which doesn’t...Read More
Byline: Jahnava Nitai Das
A visit to the ashram of Nityananda Baba in Odisha. A very interesting sadhu with much mystic insight. He is accomplished in many forms of esoteric inner yogic sadhana and spends most of his time (20 hours a day) in meditation. In the future I will try to write some of my experiences with him, including a few mystical experiences which helped me to understand his position. This video was recorded when we visited him on full moon night. He performs a special puja every full moon and new moon night, which lasts till the morning. An interesting thing you can see in this video is the “yogic” arati, in which he is offering the flame through his internal meditation, over the area of the dhuni (yagya kunda), according to what he sees in the third eye. If you wish to meet him, his small ashram is located in Chadheya village, near to Bhadrak city, in Odisha. If you have any questions you would like me to ask him, please message them to me and I will ask them the next time I go to visit him. I hope to make a better quality recording next time I visit, with him explaining some aspects of yogic sadhana, and english subtitles can be included....Read More
The following photos are of Hanuman Das Baba of Vrindavan, who may be one of the oldest living saints on earth. Once I asked this Baba how old he was. He Replied he could not remember his age, but recalled that he was 12 years old when Jhansi Rani fought the British. You can deduce his age from that. Jhansi Rani fought the British in 1857, so he would be around 170 years old. He mentioned to me that he had grown a second set of teeth after all of his teeth had fallen out, something that happens to some people after 100 years. I have seen and heard of some other babas who also grew second sets of teeth after 100 years. When young, Hanuman Das Baba left his home and came to Vrindavan to become a devotee of Lord Krishna. He founded a wonderful goshala (cow sanctuary) there, where 1,000 cows are currently being served and protected. When he was a child, his mother was a servant of the queen of Jhansi, who died in 1858. The ashram of this Baba is located along the Vrindavan parikrama path, a short distance from the Krishna Balarama Mandir. He stays in a tiny room, just a few feet wide. Whenever you visit Vrindavan, please take the opportunity to meet this rare living saint. You will be amazed by his...Read More
[ From the IndiaDivine email discussion group. ] Since the topic has come up, I would like to write a little bit on the topic of religion and conversion as taught within our Vedic texts. The word “dharma” does not refer to a particular sectarian faith, but to the very function of the soul. The shastras teach us that it is the inherent nature of everyone to render service. When that service is directed ultimately towards ourselves, in a selfish manner, it becomes the source of our own bondage in the material world. When that same service propensity is directed to the absolute truth, it becomes the key to our liberation from bondage. That selfless service, when directed towards the absolute is “sanatana-dharma”, or the eternal function of the living entity. As is implied by the word “sanatana” (eternal) there is no question of changing or stopping this inherent nature of service. We may misdirect our service in a selfish manner, but we can never cease engaging in service. Thus dharma, or sanatana-dharma is not merely a matter of faith or belief, but it is the reality of the self. It is the quality of the soul. The quality of an object does not change based on a belief or faith. Water does not become wet due to our belief that it is wet. It’s factual nature is that...Read More
The following are ten verses from the Brahma-vaivarta Purana that were spoken by Lord Krishna to Mother Ganga just before the beginning of Kali yuga (the age of quarrel and strife). Kali yuga began approximately five thousand years ago, and it has a duration of 432,000 years, leaving us with 427,000 till the end of the present age. [For a description of Kali yuga, please read the related article “Predictions for the age of Kali”.] Within this 432,000 year period, there is a period of 10,000 years that will be a golden age. That golden age is being described below by Lord Sri Krishna. This text is taken from the Brahma-vaivarta Purana. Text 49 bhagarathy uvaca he natha ramanashreshtha yasi golokamuttamam asmakam ka gatishcatra bhavishyati kalau yuge Translation Ganges said: O protector, Supreme enjoyer, on your departure for the perfect abode, Goloka, thereafter what will be my situation in the age of kali? Text 50 sri-bhagavan uvaca kaleh pancasahasrani varshani tishtha bhutale papani papino yani tubhyam dasyanti snanatah Translation The blessed Lord said: On the earth 5,000 years of kali will be sinful and sinners will deposit their sins in you by bathing. Comments: We have presently passed through just over 5,000 years of Kali yuga. As was predicted by Lord Krishna, this period from the end of the previous age to the present comprising 5,000 years was a...Read More
If one is truly serious about achieving the ultimate goal of human life by perfecting his spiritual inquiry, he must adopt a life style that is conducive to the cultivation of self-realizing knowledge. This life style can be beautifully summarized in the phrase ‘simple living and high thinking’. Here simple living is in relation to maintenance of the body, and high thinking is in relation to the aim of one’s intellectual pursuits. In order to exist in this world it is necessary to maintain one’s bodily existence, but as will be shown later, maintenance of the body is not progress towards the goal of life. Maintenance just allows one to perform the activity of existing in a particular body, which does not denote any accomplishment of a goal. This maintenance of the body involving mainly our activities of eating, sleeping, mating and defending is not in itself any great feat or achievement. Even the animals are engaging in these activities of bodily maintenance. The cows also eat, the birds also mate, the hogs also sleep and the dogs also defend. Simply engaging in these activities of maintenance does not actually make one human. For this reason, one who is interested in achieving the real, permanent goal of life does not focus solely on these activities of bodily maintenance, but he rather focuses primarily on the path of perfection. This...Read More
That the human form of life is special and unique in comparison to other species is accepted in practically all fields of scientific and philosophical knowledge. But what makes the human species so uniquely different from everything else is often lost in the whirlpool of academic pursuit. And because of this, one may sometimes feel that, since the fundamental distinguishing characteristic of man is so often missed by great philosophers and thinkers, it must therefore be an infinitely intricate and complex truth. But to the contrary, one may be surprised at the utter simplicity of this distinguishing trait of man, that due to is very simplicity, has caused it to remain a great mystery to many tremendous thinkers throughout history down to our present day. Though the uniqueness of the human species can be explained from various angles of vision, they all come down to one point – blossomed intellectual capabilities. All species of life can be observed to show signs of intellectual capabilities to various degrees. For example, if you put your hand in front of a cockroach, the insect will immediately turn and run the opposite direction. This is a very simple example of the use of consciousness and intellectual faculties. So we can see that even simple life forms such as insects, trees, etc., are utilizing intelligence, but when it comes to human beings we speak...Read More
(Originally published in Tattva Prakasha Newsletter.) The Bhagavata Purana, commonly referred to as the Srimad Bhagavatam, is considered the ripened fruit of all Vedic knowledge. Sri Vyasa Muni, the compiler of the Vedic texts, advises us as follows: nigama-kalpa-taror galitam phalam shuka-mukhad amrita-drava-samyutam pibata bhagavatam rasam alayam muhur aho rasika bhuvi bhavukah “O expert and thoughtful men, relish Srimad Bhagavatam, the mature fruit of the desire tree of Vedic literatures. It emanated from the lips of Sri Shuka Muni. Therefore this fruit has become even more tasteful, although its nectarean juice was already relishable for all, including liberated souls.” Srimad Bhagavatam is the galitam phalam, or ripened fruit, of all Vedic knowledge. It is exactly like amrita, for by hearing its recitation we can cross beyond birth and death. The Srimad Bhagavatam describes the various incarnations of Lord Hari, and in the process of these descriptions ten important subject matters are explained, namely sarga (the elemental creation), visarga (the secondary creation), sthanam (the planetary systems), poshanam (protection by the Lord), utayah (the creative impetus), manvantara (the periods of Manu), isha-anukatha (the science of God), nirodha (dissolution), mukti (liberation), and ashraya (the supreme shelter). The reciters of Srimad Bhagavatam have utilized three methods to explain these ten subjects, namely by vedic reference (shrutena), by direct explanation (arthena), and by summary explanations given by the great sages (anjasa). The following is...Read More
What will happen to me after death? In the second chapter of Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna explains this subject to Arjuna in great detail. Arjuna was faced with a situation where, in order to uphold dharma, he had to fight and kill people who were very dear to him, his own relatives and friends. As one might expect, it caused great disturbance to Arjuna, and when he finally saw the people with whom he was going to fight, he lost all composure and began to cry. Arjuna threw down his bow and told to Lord Krishna, “na yotsya”, I shall not fight. His anxiety and grief was based on his false identification of the body as the self. He thought the self ceases to exist when the body dies. To correct this misconception and to establish Arjuna in full knowledge of the self, Lord Krishna spoke the Bhagavad Gita on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. He began by first establishing the eternality of the soul: na jayate mriyate va kadacin nayam bhutva bhavita va na bhuyah ajo nityah sasvato ’yam purano na hanyate hanyamane sarire “For the soul there is neither birth nor death at any time. He has not come into being, does not come into being, and will not come into being. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.”...Read More
A question someone wrote to us: In Srimad Bhagavatam 5.17.12, Srila Prabhupada explains that people have sex in the spiritual world and there is no possibility of conception there. How is sex possible between different persons in the spiritual world and how can they be Krishna conscious at the same time? The term sex is in reference to the sanskrit concept of rasa, the original spiritual relationships. In the material world this rasa is best reflected as mundane sex. But even in this there are many gradations according to the degrees of covering by the three modes. The Taittiriya Upanishad describes the degrees of enjoyment among the different human species, from the common man, to the gandharva, apsara, siddha, deva, devadeva, devendra, brahma, etc. Each being one hundred times greater or more complete than the previous. As you go from lower species to higher species, what we refer to as sex exists in many different ways. It is the same for all the sensory activities. For example, our system of digestion is very gross. After we eat, the food is digested, and the waste is passed out. In the higher species such as gandharvas, the waste products are evaporated into the air automatically. There is no passing of waste. So the entire system of digestion is much more subtle, which is in tune with their own subtle existence. The...Read More
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