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  1. Thanks prabhu for that link. Thanks krsna_das prabhu for that link also.
  2. Haribol, I need to somehow fully understand this, but only by mercy.
  3. its very nice to hear that trip and how you felt Pankaja_dasa. I've heard that by good association you will advance nicely in bhakti.
  4. You can find some information about the origin of Maha-Siva Ratri here: http://www.salagram.net/parishad88.htm
  5. I hope you have a very nice time there. Its just a phase in your life that you are having this bad time prabhu, as I am experiencing this shifting phase of happiness and sadness nearly monthly. But when you become again out of this phase, you will feel like it was nothing. Enjoy the temple visit /images/graemlins/smile.gif
  6. that I can later on post a journal which I just started writing about how my transition from sattva to rajas/tamas is going, if thats ok.
  7. I put the blindfold and closed myself in my basement so it was dark enough and surprisingly not that scary. Also, I kept my eyes open although the blindfold was covering my eyes. All I could see was darkness. At the beginning of the chanting, it was disorienting and the feeling was new. Then gradually I got used to just listening to the air vibration of the mantra. Then sometimes I thought of the meaning of what I was saying but those times were rare. Also, I found out that I am servant in a interesting way. For example, read the following: Now, please reflect on your honest reaction. If the reaction was negative (which was for me most if not all the time) then that means the mind is telling why should I be servant of Sri Krsna? But wait, if that thought crosses your mind and you succumb to it, then you are a servant of that thought which is of the mind. In this way to some small extent it was shown to me that I am servant no matter what. I have never tasted pure devotional service and I am complaining I don't want to serve. I could just be missing the opportunity of a long, long time. Furthermore, when you actually get insights it feels like you are pulled up by a big hand from the depths of an ocean and you are able to, for even a slight fraction of a second, see where exactly you are (the ocean). It is unexplainable so it must be revealed to someone. I wouldn't say anything big was revealed to me but its something that is different from anything I've ever experienced before. Its all in the mind.
  8. These are some questions answered by Swami B.V. Tripurari Maharaja which I hope you find helpful. I found them using the following search in google: "taste chanting site:www.swami.org" You can do that search in google without the quotes and see if you find anything helpful. Here are the questions answered by Swami Maharaja: Q. My question is about guilt. I am so pained by feelings of guilt that I am often cursing myself. I feel useless in comparison to good devotees and these negative feelings are driving me further away from spiritual practice. I tried to examine the nature of my problem and, in gaining knowledge of what it means to be a pure devotee, I also came to understand more clearly my own dismal position. My position is such that I have never had a taste for chanting japa, which I find tedious. When I try to chant my mind won't stop distracting me so eventually I give up. I can't ever see myself chanting sixteen rounds in this lifetime and I feel so discouraged by my inadequacies that I sometimes become depressed. Maybe I'm succumbing to narcissism, I don't know, but I don't feel capable of making spiritual advancement and this causes me to feel more and more guilty. I feel very bad that I don't love Krsna and keep thinking that Krsna is upset with me. I don't expect you to wave a magic wand but I was hoping you might help me with some insight. A. You should not feel guilty because you have no taste for chanting Krsna nama or that you are unable to pay attention while chanting his name. Don't be discouraged either. Krsna is not upset with you. If you cannot pay attention while chanting japa on beads, try chanting in kirtana instead. As you become purified through kirtana, you will be better able to pay attention while performing the japa of Krsna nama. If it is difficult for you to perform kirtana, engage yourself in self-sacrificing activities in which the fruit of such activity is offered in the service of Krsna and his devotees. This will purify your heart and enable you to engage more readily in hearing and chanting followed by remembering (japa). Over and above this, seek out holy association and try to find an advanced Vaisnava in whom you can take shelter with full faith and be guided by. Q. I am a businessman and daily I chant one round of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. I chant when I am in a car or whenever I am alone. But I am not happy and fully confident that Lord Krsna will bestow his mercy on me to the extent I am expecting him to. My concern is that people do lot more to get his attention and I feel I am doing too little. What else should I do to get his attention? A. Bhaktivinoda Thakura taught that one should begin chanting one round of nama japa (chanting on beads). As one's taste for chanting increases, one should increase to two rounds and never chant less than this. In this way one should gradually increase one's chanting, never decreasing the number of rounds one chants daily. In all of this it is essential to chant under the guidance of an advanced devotee whom one accepts as his guru. One should regularly hear his gurudeva's teachings and follow him in all respects. Nothing will please Krsna more than this. Indeed he himself is trying to serve such devotees, and if you assist him in this, this is real service.
  9. Before I begin, I'd like to say that I have been away for awhile because I have been experiencing new things, internally. This is all due to association with advanced Vaisnavas (various website(s)). Also, I was careful not to input too much information into my brain (via forums) since that would confuse my mind very much. So now, whatever I found or rather shown, I hope to share. Please forgive me if I haven't been of service to this forum, because when I was in need there was always someone here to help me out. I write this out of service mood which I think I am currently in. I hope you will find use of this. This information is what I found from studying how the influence of the gunas transformed and affected me. Currently, according to astrology, the Sun is in Aquarius as of Feb 27/05. I have Jupiter in Aquarius in my chart. Thus, my guna is predominantly sattva I believe at the moment since I speculate is due to Jupiter(sattvik planet according to astrology) is in the planet the sun is in at the moment. NOTE: I read from advanced devotees about the blindfold japa method which Thakur Bhaktivinoda recommended, thus I was doing that method for awhile, and probably might even continue to employ that method. So this is what I found out from my little trip: 1)Although I am using my mind to write this right now, I had this sort of feeling where I could perceive how my mind affected ME, but I don't who ME is at the moment. All I knew was that I was not the mind. The mind, being heavily influenced by the gunas and the senses was dragging me, and even now is maybe subconsciously dragging me here and there. I hope the motivation for writing all this is out of service to Vaisnavas. 2)I also realized that when I was in the rajas/tamas influence, it was impossible to know how they were affecting me. I didn't even know what sattva guna felt like because the senses were very, very strong and the mind was unbelievably flickering here and there. When I compare the status of my mind right now with before, it is unbelievable as to how unstable it was. Confirming what I've heard from advanced devotees, the mind is a collection of thoughts which I (whoever "I" am), try to hold on to. Then the mind mixes these thoughts with the gunas and it gets so complex that its impossible to practice spiritual life because you are constantly dragged from here to there within the mind. Its hell! Please excuse me if I am too harsh with the language here. 3)The main transformation I could perceive was that I can now pray without thinking that Lord Krsna will punish me for my aparadhas committed in the mind due to the influence of rajas/tamas. Now I can almost think of Him as a guardian, but not fully think of Him as such. Before in the rajas/tamas period, I was thinking that my life is meaningless and I couldn't see the Vaisnavas properly because of FEAR of my aparadhas. Now its more of begging mercy and guidance(due to sattva guna influence) 4)I also realized, or rather, was able to do so by mercy from above, that who the Vaisnavas were. If you look around, the enemies of the mind (I think 6 of them are there) are in control of major people like presidents of the world. So who is in control? The president or the enemies of the mind? I think you would say the enemies of the mind. So who is in control of the planet? Definitely not George Bush, but the senses and the enemies of the mind, they are the masters, and I've heard somewhere before that the senses are the masters of this world. Thus the Vaisnavas, who the masters of the senses, then, are the masters of the world, literally. This fact is easier to realize when I was not focusing too much externally (due to influence of rajas/tamas) and focusing on the substance (due to influence of sattva) 5)I was also able to focus more on chanting, on the substance of the sound and what the name "Krsna" and "Rama" actually meant. Before, due to the influence of the rajas/tamas modes, I chant because my mind is in fear and anxiety and especially fear of aparadhas. I couldn't even chant properly, just simply vibrating the air. Now, its more of concentration...at least for awhile. 6)I also developed a offensive behaviour towards the dictation towards my mind as soon as I was able to realize that "I" was in fact the servant of the demands of the senses and the mind. The mind is always telling me to follow this thought or that thought but now I am able to ignore that due to the sattva influence. This will change surely in the future as the planets change alignment, but before that if I share this with you guys I hope I would have done some seva. 7)I also realized that the mind is my GREATEST enemy, no one else, nothing else. This is because whatever I hear/see, my mind being influenced by the gunas I think, somehow, tends to immediately force ME to think I am being offended, when in reality the mind is like an evil advisor telling you to do this or that etc, and always showing who is my friend and enemy etc, but in fact when you stop and think about WHO/WHAT is telling you to do the things you do, then you say "Why should I listen to you". Of course, this is how I reacted, but this could differ from person to person. Finally, please note that the above was typed because I hope to do some seva to the Vaisnavas here. I hope you find some knowledge to help you. This was MY experience, and surely everyone has a different experience. But this is what I saw and I hope you benefit from this. Please also note, I am a neophyte, so don't fully take my words and believe it, but with the advanced devotees' association and your chanting I hope you directly experience all this. Praying to Sri Nityananda Prabhu helped me also. Humbly in your service, jayaisvara
  10. krsna prabhu, that the souls in Goloka Vrindavan have amassed their pious activities for many trillions of lifetimes and now they are with The Lord. I have heard that I believe in a lecture from Swami Prabhupada.
  11. The link is www.swami.org and click on "Submit Question" on the menu at the left on the mainpage.
  12. Pankaja_dasa prabhu, I think you should email Swami B.V. Tripurari Maharaja and ask him about what to do in your situation. He and his disciples have helped me very much and you will surely benefit from association with such advanced vaisnavas.
  13. That day, when we realize that, will be a very nice day /images/graemlins/smile.gif
  14. thanks gHari prabhu, I think you are trying to say theory and application works.
  15. I never thought of it that way. I thought that Gita was something else, I am not quite sure what, although I know its sacred (although I don't know its full sacredness) and its the conversation between God and His devotee. Thanks guest for that nice explanation. If it is a process though, then when trying to understand each verse, should I only move on to the next verse after understanding the first verse? Because I simply can't understand everyday a new verse, thats impossible for me.
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