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ng dasa

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  1. The point made here is very essential when we have the oppurtunity, or, have been given the freedom to take siksa from many different acarya's. What may seem an apparent contradiction or de-emphasing of a particular aspect may not be so. It is most likely due to our neophyte perceptions. At my neophyte level, the above quote is an important meditation;having been given access to such depth and variety of style in the acarya's teaching approach.
  2. I would like to confirm that I have also found the teachings of AC Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada a great blessing. In Bhagavad Gita Chapter 7 verse 16 it says: There are many schools of thought which can be classed under the category of Hinduism. Swami Prabhupada teaches in the line of Bhakti-Yoga, Devotional Yoga. This Bhakti-Yoga teaches that God (Krishna) has a personal tangible form, that He is fully loving, and that the living entity can enter a fully loving reciprocal relationship with Him. My spiritual quest was initiated by many questions on the nature of suffering. And I have found much peace in this Bhakti(Devotional) Yoga process. There is a very small book by Swami Prabhupada called ,"Beyond Birth and Death." www.krishna.com/e-books/ , and the first chapter is entitled, "We Are Not These Bodies." Swami Prabhupada goes on to say that the very first step in self(spiritual)-realisation is realising one's identity as seperate from the body. "I am not this body but am spirit soul." One's identity as pure spirit soul can be detected by its symptom, which is consciousness. I can highly recommend Swami Prabhupada's books, as he has a great gift in explaining very simply and concisely higher spiritual truths. If read very closely his books hold many keys for spiritual growth and awakening. Anyhow, I wish you all the best on your spiritual journey, and as Theist so nicely said:
  3. Thank you for your clear and balanced response, I have read it thoroughly this morning. It is interesting that last night, I continued this discussion briefly with my family member and the above Isopanisad verse was very clearly prompted in my mind. It is a sad thing indeed that in the particular environment of an economy based climate, that we are surrounded by here, that spiritual life seems to take a second place. I am saying this purely from personal encounters with the environment where I live. I have begun a re-study of some of AC Bhaktivedanta's small books and I would like to quote the small book, Beyond Birth and Death, final paragraph in chapter three, Liberation from material planets: It is interesting to read your post where it says that without God percieved as the center and fountain of all life that we can lose the quality of mercy and develop more Darwinian survival instincts. Therefore it would seem that without God consciousness as central for the living entity, any economy centered activities may possibly only increase suffering on this planet, in the long run. So yes, the real question is, what sort of economic development is best for society? And the verse from Isopanisad answers this so nicely.
  4. I was having a discussion with a senior family member about what is the goal of human life. The response given was, "that for today's world the goal is economic development. To rise the standard of living for all human beings." I would much appreciate some balanced spiritual comments on this response. Comments based either from AC Bhaktivedanta's teachings or from an over all Hindu perspective is fine. Thanks.
  5. Thank you very much Imran and gHari for this nice conversation. Faith in scriptures etc. has been a gradual process for me and to be honest still is. As in the above quote I have borrowed heavily from the faith of a saintly teacher whose association I have been most fortunate to recieve. Gradually over time I have noticed the seed of faith within me starting to grow. This experience of noticing faith starting to blossom is a most relishable experience. Some realisations I have are a knowing that the process and scriptures I am directing this faith towards are right for me. That yes, this process is developing love in my heart to God. And due to this faith, these days when I read Bhagavad Gita, Bible, Qu'ran (which I have in my library and love), I can feel my saintly teachers understandings and love for God within these books.
  6. A beautiful version of the Gita, entitled "The Hidden Treasure of the Sweet Absolute", can be found online here: www.guardian-of-devotion.de/books/books.htm
  7. Thanks for sharing that Pankaja. I appreciate your faith. I have come to learn here at this forum also. Being fairly isolated geographicly from a community of like minded souls, I have come here seeking association over the net. So in that sense, forums are good. And I sure have a lot to learn here. When pockets of followers of Caitanya Mahaprabhu begin to appear in many vast areas of the world, not near established Hare Krsna communities, maybe this type of online association will become much used. So maybe we are pioneers in a way.
  8. Watching the world stage over the last years I have often thought too, what would happen if a fundamentalist form of our tradition was in power. Probably the same breaches of human rights would go on. It is such a wonderful pastime of Lord Caitanya when he shows the pathanas that the qu'ran also teaches devotional service. Oh, I long for that day when the wisdom of Caitanya may ease some of the madness that goes on these days in the name of God.
  9. Not all Islam can be stereotyped like this, comparing all Islam to the more extreme forms you are pointing out in this thread. Recently I had a short dialogue with some Sufi's, and I found them very open to my differing faith, it was such a nice encounter. I actually looked up their internet site and was quite surprised. Many things they were saying were very similar to what I have learned from the Hare Krsna movement. Sufi Islam for example is an esoteric tradition, much like our movement has many esoteric qualities. The Sufi ability to extract the "essence" from their scriptures is very nice. After studying their website I actually felt inspired, for a deeper appreciation of our own practices and love for Mahaprabhu.
  10. Thanks, learning many things at Audarya.
  11. Could someone please assist me with a bit of technical advice, as I am relatively new to computer technology. When I wish to respond to a post and use Quote. How do you quote just a segment and not the whole post. And as in some responses a segment is quoted and then later some more segment is quoted and so forth. I would be very grateful if someone could assist me. Thanks.
  12. "If you change your diet you change your entire lifestyle. Or you lifestyle changes with your diet. According to your modes you will be inclined to not change for the better. This is called 'Conditioning' by the modes of material nature in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. So it is difficult to change for that reason because your sences will not allow you to. As they are conditioned to act a certain way. That is why Bhakti-yoga is such a perfect process." Quote Pankaja dasa. I can see by what you are saying, that Bhakti yoga is such a bonafide, perfect process. Krsna, even though fully self satisfied, still accepts an offering made in love from His devotee. And the foods He asks us to offer Him are vegetables, fruits, grains, milk and water. These foods in themselves are wholesome, and when accepted as remnants from the Lord's plate, not only make us healthy but being tanscendental, purify and release us from the conditioning of the modes of nature. I read on the internet the other day that the little cookbook, "The Higher Taste", is being re-written by Kurma Prabhu from Iskcon. I am looking forward to its release. Is anyone aware of any other simple cookbooks on the market, that are very simple and handy to make simple preparations for the Lord?
  13. "Srila Bhaktisiddanta Saraswati Thakura has the following verse as a 'Key' in the Bhagavad-gita: Bg:17.9 Foods that are too bitter, too sour, salty, hot, pungent, dry and burning are dear to those in the mode of passion. Such foods cause distress, misery and disease."Quote from above post. Could you please share a little by what you mean that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta has this verse as a key in Bhagavad Gita? I find it interesting that we can get attached to certain modes of nature, and similarly we get attached to foods in different modes. I also find it interesting how, what we eat affects our consciousness so much. I recall reading somewhere that a high percentage of the worlds population today is operating in the mode of passion. Also, of all the things regarding sense control, I have found diet the most difficult to regulate. Is this common?
  14. Any comments on diet and spiritual life would be much appreciated. ...Bhagavad-Gita As It Is... Bg17.8 TEXT 8 TRANSLATION Foods dear to those in the mode of goodness increase the duration of life, purify one’s existence and give strength, health, happiness and satisfaction. Such foods are juicy, fatty, wholesome, and pleasing to the heart. Bg 17.9 TEXT 9 TRANSLATION Foods that are too bitter, too sour, salty, hot, pungent, dry and burning are dear to those in the mode of passion. Such foods cause distress, misery and disease. Bg 17.10 TEXT 10 TRANSLATION Food prepared more than three hours before being eaten, food that is tasteless, decomposed and putrid, and food consisting of remnants and untouchable things is dear to those in the mode of darkness. PURPORT The purpose of food is to increase the duration of life, purify the mind and aid bodily strength. This is its only purpose. In the past, great authorities selected those foods that best aid health and increase life’s duration, such as milk products, sugar, rice, wheat, fruits and vegetables. These foods are very dear to those in the mode of goodness. Some other foods, such as baked corn and molasses, while not very palatable in themselves, can be made pleasant when mixed with milk or other foods. They are then in the mode of goodness. All these foods are pure by nature. They are quite distinct from untouchable things like meat and liquor. Fatty foods, as mentioned in the eighth verse, have no connection with animal fat obtained by slaughter. Animal fat is available in the form of milk, which is the most wonderful of all foods. Milk, butter, cheese and similar products give animal fat in a form which rules out any need for the killing of innocent creatures. It is only through brute mentality that this killing goes on. The civilized method of obtaining needed fat is by milk. Slaughter is the way of subhumans. Protein is amply available through split peas, däl, whole wheat, etc. Foods in the mode of passion, which are bitter, too salty, or too hot or overly mixed with red pepper, cause misery by reducing the mucus in the stomach, leading to disease. Foods in the mode of ignorance or darkness are essentially those that are not fresh. Any food cooked more than three hours before it is eaten (except prasädam, food offered to the Lord) is considered to be in the mode of darkness. Because they are decomposing, such foods give a bad odor, which often attracts people in this mode but repulses those in the mode of goodness. Remnants of food may be eaten only when they are part of a meal that was first offered to the Supreme Lord or first eaten by saintly persons, especially the spiritual master. Otherwise the remnants of food are considered to be in the mode of darkness, and they increase infection or disease. Such foodstuffs, although very palatable to persons in the mode of darkness, are neither liked nor even touched by those in the mode of goodness. The best food is the remnants of what is offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In Bhagavad-gétä the Supreme Lord says that He accepts preparations of vegetables, flour and milk when offered with devotion. Patraà puñpaà phalaà toyam. Of course, devotion and love are the chief things which the Supreme Personality of Godhead accepts. But it is also mentioned that the prasädam should be prepared in a particular way. Any food prepared by the injunctions of the scripture and offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead can be taken even if prepared long, long ago, because such food is transcendental. Therefore to make food antiseptic, eatable and palatable for all persons, one should offer food to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
  15. Dear Ambika, Thanks for your kind response. I think we have something in common, I love all fruits, bananas, nectarines, pineapple, melon, etc. ,but I have never ever liked apples also. Soon I will be trying to honor ekadashi by offering a fruit platter to Gaura-Nitai and partaking of these remnants only. Chanting Nitai-Gauranga and the Hare Krsna Mantra is the most peaceful and wonderful gift I have ever been given. Om Shanti.
  16. Some keys I have found useful healing from such subtle mental states are as follows. I have realised that the mind/body is such a finely tuned organism. It needs the utmost care and attention. Intoxicants are a hindrance to this finely tuned mind/body running smoothly. Finding time to really slow down and relax. Smooth, gentle deep breathing. Relaxation with soothing music is helpful. Eating well, lots of vegetables and fruits is essential, and 1 and a half to two litres of water each day is good for cleansing the system. When disturbing thought patterns arise, rather than grappling or fighting with them, gently acknowledge them and let them go without attachment. Over time this gently releasing thoughts will become a habit and very beneficial. And will help stop more thoughts arising from the initial thoughts. Plenty of rest and sleep. Keeping stress to a minimum, going for a walk each day helps to de-stress. Confiding in someone who you can trust. And chant/sing the names of Nityananda/Gauranga and the Hare Krsna Mahamantra everyday. take care, wishing you well.
  17. It interesting to read sastra about how we are not these mind and bodies. With incessant flow of thoughts which can develop with constant use of ganga and the like, I think realising we are not these minds and becoming detached from the thought patterns is a helpful tool in healing from such states. The principal of no intoxication sure has its benefits. And yes chanting Hare Krsna as much as possible helps the mind become refocused, and realisation of our transcendental nauture above the material subtle realm is one benefit.
  18. It is a compilation of material. Did you compile this Pankaja dasa? Material from Sri Krsna Caitanya Mission, with writings of BV Puri Maharaja, Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada and others . Very nice.
  19. ...A kanishta(my) wrestling with an asslike demon... One of the greatest obstacles in my spiritual life thus far, has been my wrestling with the mentality(asslike) as mentioned in the above article by Bhaktivinoda Thakura. This condition which can afflict both kanishta and madhyama devotees first presented itself to me, early on in my decision to seek spiritual life sincerely. In my quest to find a spiritual path that was very pleasing to my ideals which I held at the time, I decided to leave a tradition which I had held from birth, and be brave and investigate other options which might satisfy what was not being satisfied in my inner being. This search led me to various groups and practices, and eventually by the grace of several kind devotees, led to my settling in the Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition. Up until this final settling, I had built friendships along the way with those in other sects, when I had been investigating and joining in with their practices. To this day I still have very nice friendship with many of these spirtual minded people. For this I am very grateful. But unfortunately when I finally made the choice to externally present myself as in the Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition, some friendships that I had treasured turned sour. At the time that this falling away of friendships occured I was greatly perplexed and confused. I did not understand why people began to shut shop with me, considering I was very careful about not preaching to them about my new found spiritual choices. Due to the asslike mentality mentioned by Bhaktivinoda Thakura, certain friends began to now consider me a great threat and did things like warning me not to go near their families, considering that I was influenced by demon phenomena and was potentially dangerous. Now this is where the "irony" occurs. Because of the strong negativity from certain individuals, I began to manifest these same symptoms toward them. In my heart and words I began to criticise parts of a tradition which I had been in for many years, and percieve these certain individuals as inferior in their spiritual understandings in some way. It was like the "asslike" mentality was like a wild fire and now it had caught hold in my being also. Over a period of a few years, due to the association of Sadhus and their books, I eventually began to heal from this affliction. And again began to relish the diversity of religious vocation manifest in this world. Each month, I read the above article from Bhaktivinoda's Krsna Samhita, to refresh his wise words within my being. When I may read for example scriptures from other traditions I try and see and extract the essence from them, which for me,is Love of God. By presenting Bhaktivinoda's writing in the above post I hope I have not contributed in any way to the wild fire of the asslike mentality(demon). But that Bhaktivinoda's wise words may be a healing balm for anyone like mysef, and that they may lead us to a "swanlike approach".
  20. Sectarianism in Spirituality by Shrila Sacchidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura in Shri Krishna Samhita Sectarianism is a natural byproduct of the Absolute Truth. When acaryas first ascertain and instruct the Truth, it is not polluted with sectarianism. But the rules and regulations received through disciplic succession regarding the goal and the method of achieving it are changed in due course of time according to the mentality and locale of the people. A rule that is followed by one society is not necessarily accepted in another society. That is why one community is different from another. As a community gradually develops more respect for its own standards, it develops hatred towards other communities and considers their standards inferior. These sectarian symptoms are seen in all countries since time immemorial. This is prominent amongst neophytes and found to some extent amongst madhyama-adhikaris. Amongst uttama-adhikaris, however, there is no trace of sectarianism. Adherence to a particular standard is the prominent symptom of a society. There are three types of standards-alocakagata, alocanagata and alocyagata. Alocakagata is when sectarianists accept some external signs. Examples of alocakagata are tilaka, neck beads, saffron robes, and the baptism that is practiced abroad. The different activities practiced in the process of worship are called alocanagata. Examples of alocanagata are sacrifices, austerities, fire sacrifices, vows, studying scriptures, deity worship, constructing temples, respecting the purity of various trees and rivers, dressing like sannyasis, acting like acaryas, dressing like brahmacaris or grhasthas, closing one's eyes, respecting particular types of books, rules and regulations in eating, and respecting the purity of particular times and places. The examples of alocyagata are attributing personalism or impersonalism on the Supreme Lord, installing deities, exhibiting the mood of an incarnation of the Lord, speculating on heaven and hell, and describing the future destination of the soul. The different forms of these spiritual activities create divisions of sectarianism. Differences that arise from places, times, languages, behaviors, foods, dresses, and natures of various communities are incorporated within people's spiritual practices and gradually make one community so completely different from another community that even the consideration that everyone is a human being may cease to exist. Due to these differences there is disagreement, cessation of social intercourse, and fighting, even up to the point of killing on another. When an ass-like mentality becomes prominent within the kanishta-adhikaris, they certainly indulge in these things. But if they develop a swanlike mentality, then they do not take part in quarrels; rather, they endeavor to attain a higher level. Madhyama-adhikaris do not quarrel so much about external standards, but they are always attacked by philosophical disagreements. Sometimes they condemn the standards of neophytes and establish their own standards as superior. They condemn the neophytes' deity worship in order to establish the worship-able Lord as formless. In such cases, they are also considered ass-like people. Otherwise, if they had a swanlike mentality and a desire to attain a higher level, they would respect others' practices and inquire about higher topics. Contradictions actually arise only due to ass-like mentality. Swanlike persons consider the necessity for different practices to one's qualification, so they are naturally detached from sectarian quarrels. In this regard, it should be understood that both ass-like and swanlike people are found amongst the kanishta-adhikaris and madhyama-adhikaris. I do not expect that asslike people will accept this book with respect. If neophytes and madhyama-adhikaris become completely indifferent in regard to the contradictions found in varoius practices and try to advance further, then they become swanlike. Then they are our respectable and dear friends. Although swanlike personalities may accept a particular practice from birth or childhood according to instructions they have recieved, they nevertheless remain indifferent and nonsectarian.
  21. Lord Caitanya is maha-vadanyavatara, the most magnanimous incarnation of God. He comes to give the highest treasure to the most fallen souls of kali yuga. And Nityananda Prabhu is so merciful that he leads these fallen souls to Lord Caitanya. They are so merciful that they take no consideration of offences when chanting their names. AC Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada implemented the Panca-Tattva mantra: Jaya Sri Krsna Caitanya Prabhu Nityananda Sri Advaita Gadadhara Srivasadi Gaura Bhakta Vrinda to be chanted before the Mahamantra. There are no offences taken into consideration in chanting the Panca-tattva mantra. Personally I chant this mantra before every round of the Maha-mantra, not just as a passing thing, but with full feeling and concentration. This is the key for souls like ourselves. If you have not already tried this, I humbly implore you, worship them with all your heart. Then you will know, forgiveness is Nitai-Caitanya's gift, for love and mercy are their natures.
  22. Caitanya-bhagavata adi khanda 9.385 nityananda-hena bhakta sunile sravane avasya paibe krsnacandra sei jane Madhavendra Puri: " If one simply hears the name 'Nityananda' even once, he or she will most certainly attain the lotus feet of Lord Krsnacandra irrespective of any other considerartion." Caitanya Bhagavata madhya 3.134 vani adhama murkha ye karila para brahmanda pavitra haya nama laile yanra "The entire universe is purified by chanting the name of Lord Nityananda as it is only He who delivered the fallen, the foolish, and the merchants." purport Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada. .....nityanandera prabhura nama shravana karile sakala lokera papa-pravrtti prashamita haiya pavitra tara udaya haya. vanik, adhama, murka-iharau pavitra haiya brahmajna u bhagavad-bhakta hana. "Simply by hearing the name of Lord Nityananda, the sinful inclinations in the hearts of all living entities in the universe are permanently destroyed and their inherent purity is automatically awakened. On hearing the name of Lord Nityananda, even the merchants, degraded, fallen and foolish people are purified and immediately become realised in the Absolute Truth and devotees of the Lord."
  23. Read this just after I posted on the impersonalism/qur'an thread. Please accept my apologies for posting against your decision.
  24. "another way is to look at the particular type of editing to which he responded with that instruction to understand WHAT CAUSED HIM TO GIVE THIS INSTRUCTION and make sure that such errors are not made again, EVER"quote as above post. I am very unqualified to comment, please bear with me. The point you have brought forward here is an important one. It is very important that these final instructions are taken in context. When instructions are not taken in context so much confusion can be the result.
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