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brajeshwara das

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  1. Student: Srila Guru Maharaj, in the Ganesha-kanda section of Brahma-vaivarta Purana, the history of Sri Parasaurama is related. I read there that Lord Siva gave Parasaurama a protective mantra, a Krsna-kavaca. But one devotee told me that in this Age, Kali-Yuga, the only really potent kavaca is Narasimbha-kavaca. My question is: what is true about these kavacas? Is it possible in the present day for anyone to be given, or to accept, these kavacas that appear in the ancient scriptures? Is it necessary or practical? Srila Sridhar Maharaj: The use of kavacas is, on the whole, an external affair. The Mantra (Gayatri) and the Nama (Hare Krishna) are all-useful and all-powerful, and using the kavaca to help externally is a thing of minor importance. The nama, the Lord's Name, and the Lord whose Name it is are one and the same; that is enough. It is sufficient, complete. In the mundane world to help us we can sometimes accept the kavacas, but that is not of very great importance. We may accept either krsna-kavaca or narasimha-kavaca to help our bhajan (worship), but not at the cost of faith in the divine Name, nama-bhajan, which is the best of all; even the (Gayatri) mantra is to help the nama-bhajan. Krsna-mantra haite habe samsara-mocana Krsna-nama haite pabe krsnera carana (Cc. Adi-lila 7.73) "Simply by chanting the Holy Name of Krishna one can obtain freedom from material existence. Indeed, simply by chanting the Hare Krishna mantra one will be able to see the lotus feet of the Lord." The worship of the Name, nama-bhajan, is the highest, and we shall stick to that with our whole concentration. To see or to look for other things to help it may be allowed to a certain extent. But not much attention should be given to those external things; they are only something like a varna, a kind of dress, a covering for protection. So, there is not much harm if we take krsna-kavaca or narasimha-kavaca with this intention: "It has come to help my nama-bhajan life." If meant in this way, it may be allowed, but it is not the highest standard. The general purpose of using a kavaca is to protect us from the external or superficial difficulties. But the pure devotees of Krishna, they won't be afraid of any external difficulties. Rather, they may invite them like Queen Kunti, who said: "External dangers-let them come and attack me. I don't care for them; I shall go on with my service." In using the kavaca there is some karmic connection, but if that is to help the good, then its use may be acceptable. Still, in the highest form of bhajan, everything is depending on His will. The devotee thinks, "Whether I may be in danger or in happiness, I shall go on with my nama-bhajan without any care for the external conditions that may come to me according to my previous karma. I may be in hell, heaven or anywhere else; I won't waste my energy going to any other direction. I will go on with my nama-bhajan." Bhajan done in this mood is of the higher quality. Do you follow? Student: Yes. Srila Sridhar Maharaj: In Prahlada Maharaj, and others, we see such an attitude: "Dangers may come, at their wish, with their extreme power to disturb me; I don't care." So, pasu-pakhi haya tabe-wherever my karma may take me, even to the body of bird or beast, I won't pray to Krishna for favorable circumstances. I shall utilize my energy best only towards Him. I shall only want for Him: "Your sweet will may be victorious. You can make or mar. You can kill me or save me. If it is necessary for Your sweet enjoyment to kill me, You can do that. I am a slave and You have every right over me, to do anything and everything." With this conception in the background we have to make our approach towards Him, and that will be of the highest quality. Our bhajan should be in this line. In our worship we are not seeking comfort from Him or anything outside. We won't pray: "O Krishna, You please create protection. I am going towards You, so please manage my protection." Our bhajan should be of this purest type: "You may do whatever You like; I want Your service. I want only that Your sweet will may be satisfied by me." There is to be such total self-forgetfulness in the service of Krishna. The whole concentration will be: "How can I satisfy You?"
  2. Pay off the mortgages for all the temples I could in my Math. Then the devotees could focus more on preaching. Funding book publishing would be another thing, plus I always wanted to open a restaurant that distributed Prasadam and only asked for donations. Maybe a chain. And just for me move closer to our Ashram in Santa Cruz.
  3. I actually liked wearing dhoties at one point, but now they just seem cumbersome. It is a thing to surrender to, so I think Erik did a good job doing the needful even though it wasn't his desired dress.
  4. Moses heard a shepherd on the road praying, "God, Where are you? I want to help you, to fix your shoes and comb your hair. I want to wash your clothes and pick the lice off. I want to bring you milk to kiss your little hands and feet when it's time for you to go to bed. I want to sweep your room and keep it neat. God, my sheep and goats are yours. All I can say, remembering you, is ayyyy and ahhhhhhhh." Moses could stand it no longer. "Who are you talking to?" "The one who made us, and made the earth and made the sky." "Don't talk about shoes and socks with God! And what's this with your little hands and feet? Such blasphemous familiarity sounds like you're chatting with your uncles. Only something that grows needs milk. Only someone with feet needs shoes. Not God! Even if you meant God's human representatives, as when God said, 'I was sick and you did not visit me,' even then this tone would be foolish and irreverent. Use appropriate terms. Fatima is a fine name for a woman, but if you call a man Fatima, it's an insult. Body-and-birth language are right for us on this side of the river, but not for addressing the origin, not for Allah." The shepherd repented and tore his clothes and sighed and wandered into the desert. A sudden revelation came then to Moses. God's voice: You have separated me from one of my own. Did you come as a Prophet to unite, or to sever? I have given each being a separate and unique way of seeing and knowing and saying that knowledge. What seems wrong for you is right for him. What is poisonous to one is honey to someone else. Purity and impurity, sloth and diligence in worship, these mean nothing to me. I am apart from all that. Ways of worshipping are not to be ranked as better or worse than one another. Hindus do Hindu things. the Dravidian Muslims in India do what they do. It's all praise, and it's all right. It's not me that's glorified in acts of worship. It's the worshipers! I don't hear the words they say. I look inside at the humility. That broken-open lowliness is the reality, not the language! Forget phraseology. I want burning, burning. Be friends with your burning. Burn up your thinking and your forms of expression! Moses, those who pay attention to ways of behaving and speaking are one sort. Lovers who burn are another. Don't impose a property tax on a burned-out village. Don't scold the Lover. The "wrong" way he talks is better than a hundred "right" ways of others. Inside the Kaaba it doesn't matter which direction you point your prayer rug! The ocean diver doesn't need snowshoes! The love-religion has not code or doctrine. Only God. So the ruby has nothing engraved on it! It doesn't need markings. God began speaking deeper mysteries to Moses. Vision and words, which cannot be recorded here, poured into and through him. He left himself and came back. He went to eternity and came back here. Many times this happened. It's foolish of me to try and say this. If I did say it, it would uproot human intelligences. It would shatter all writing pens. Moses ran after the shepherd. He followed the bewildered footprints, in one place moving straight like a castle across a chessboard. In another, sideways, like a bishop. Now surging like a wave cresting, now sliding down like a fish, with always his feet making geomancy symbols in the sand, recording his wandering state. Moses finally caught up with him. "I was wrong. God has revealed to me that there are no rules for worship. Say whatever and however your loving tells you to. Your sweet blasphemy is the truest devotion. Through you a whole world is freed. Loosen your tongue and don't worry what comes out, It's all the light of the spirit." The shepherd replied, "Moses, Moses, I've gone beyond even that. You applied the whip and my horse shied and jumped on itself. The divine nature of my human nature came together. Bless your scolding hand and your arm. I can't say what has happened. What I'm saying now is not my real condition. It can't be said." The shepherd grew quiet. When you look in a mirror, you see yourself, not the state of the mirror. The flute player puts breath into the flute, and who makes the music? Not the flute, The flute player! Whenever you speak praise or thanksgiving to God, it's always like this dear shepherd's simplicity. When you eventually see through the veils to how things really are, you will keep saying again and again, "This is certanly not like we thought it was!" -Rumi
  5. I'm only working from memory here, but here it goes. I looked for it on the net but can't find it. A devotee is in a market and sees a sila being used as a butcher's weight. He acquires the sila from the butcher, takes it home and cleans it and begins worshiping Him. One night in a dream the sila comes to the devotee and says "why did you take me from the butcher? I was having such a nice time there, going up, going down." The moral: you don't know what God wants, so you have to look to the higher Vaisnava (Guru) to tell you what service really is and that service descends to you, not that we can determine the will of the Lord on our own. Even what may be apparently the Lord's will (like being taken from a butcher's shop and worshiped) may be 180 degrees from the Lord's will. Sorry if I made any mistakes in my remembrance of the story.
  6. Sure, the miracle of life. We of course believe the life we see in the material world is a reflection of life in the spiritual world, but most atheists I have known also see the material life as a wonder to be deeply appreciated, respected, protected, and understood. So for me that is the bridge. So the discussion becomes where does consciousness come from, what is consciousness, what are the odds that this is all just random? Without going to specifics of my faith that are transcendental and unexplainable (God is a little blue boy) that would be mocked outright from a non-believer, I rather take the position to let them explain what life is, how we got here, what is the mind, what is consciousness. They may start to see the answers beyond some empty void. I don't argue with atheists, I say it is a matter of faith, if they don't have it then all I can do is wish them to be good open-hearted people, and from there they may find some faith in God if they stay open to the possibility. But most atheists are probably not really atheists as much as anti-religious from bad experiences with overenthusiastic or corrupt theists. The last thing I want is to be another bad experience that keeps them from developing a relationship with Him.
  7. But the evidence that God does not exist is also non-existent and based in faith. Just two polar opposites.
  8. Internet IT -related that can generate good revenue but done anywhere. So devotees can live in or near the Dham, in an Ashram in the USA or a farm community maybe, but earn Western wages. You could work far less potentially and have more time for sadhana. I work in software and always think how good it would be to have a devotee-owned business (like a cooperative) maybe doing web development or software testing. That whole daiva-varnashram model talked about in other threads would need to be in full force in this sort of company.
  9. I personally feel that an atheist has faith that God does not exist. Some sort of faith is there, they are making a leap into the unknown and most atheists would likely acknowledge they are taking some sort of risk on faith, no matter how certain they are.
  10. Like this material world is the Hanging Garden...
  11. Ah, Robert Smith was one of the first vegetarians I was exposed to, he probably had some influence on me becoming a vegetarian Back in the Hanging Garden days. Kind of seems to be talking about the transmigration of souls now I think about it more: "The Hanging Garden" Creatures kissing in the rain Shapeless in the dark again In the hanging garden Please don't speak In the hanging garden No one sleeps In the hanging garden In the hanging garden Catching haloes on the moon Gives my hands the shapes of angels In the heat of the night The animals scream In the heat of the night Walking into a dream . . . Fall fall fall fall Into the walls Jump jump out of time Fall fall fall fall Out of the sky Cover my face as the animals cry In the hanging garden In the hanging garden Creatures kissing in the rain Shapeless in the dark again In a hanging garden Change the past In a hanging garden Wearing furs And masks Fall fall fall fall Into the walls Jump jump out of time Fall fall fall fall Out of the sky Cover my face as the animals die In the hanging garden As the animals die Cover my face as the animals die In the hanging garden
  12. In essence Krishna Consciousness is about getting over focusing on our own likes and dislikes, and instead focusing on the likes and dislikes of Krishna. So if Krishna wants me to wear a dress I will happily wear a dress if that is His desire. That sort of thing. It's not about me, it's about Him. Easier said than done though
  13. Sorry Prabhu, I guess I shouldn't have said 'I think'. I have heard from the Vaisnavas in my Math that affection needs to exist for someone to get instruction and someone to give instruction, affection should exist among the devotees. So also I take that to be affection should exist between husband and wife (they are devotees) that they can serve together with instruction, guidance and service rendered in a sweet mood of camaraderie. I have seen some devotee couples where 'service' was the only consideration, not compatibility of personalities and some natural affinity. And I have seen these fail. I have seen those where I can tell there is affection and these seem to have produces good children, engaged parents, and happy devotees. Also to be clear I'm not saying physical affection either, no temporary amorous attraction but some real understanding and openness of the heart for real communication and service together. I recall hearing of Srila Swami Maharaj Prabhupada saying something to the effect that you should marry an ugly woman so you aren't too attracted and attached, or jealous I would assume. You have that quote somewhere I would assume
  14. Sure, the contents are what is important, not the container. Though you may naturally change everything about yourself in the process of becoming Krishna Conscious, including your clothes.
  15. No, when he originally posted the snippet, it wasn't exactly clear the point he was trying to make in the context of this thread. Note damodar1 also was asking for clarification.
  16. I asked for context. Like when, where, what was being discussed. I happily read what you posted, but you didn't understand the question I guess. No worries. What you posted was vague so that's why I asked. Your point wasn't too clear.
  17. I was wondering that myself. I thought this was a pretty nice thread
  18. Maybe he is saying a devotee needs to be properly trained up before taking a wife, and that an online service doesn't take this into consideration? I don't know.
  19. I completely agree. I think it is misunderstanding bhakti to think that daiva-varnashrama is outside of bhakti. If it is userful in the service of sadhana, then it is part of bhakti. Whatever we do should be connected with Krishna. We naturally have to do something. How else to organize our society if not with some sort of structure? Structure is already in place now in a perverted way that leads to cow slaughter and murder, this is a move to a better structure that allows bhakti to be more easily cultivated. Why reject that? Bhakti is internal, not external. A house built on a firm foundation will be strong, a house built on sand will fall. Varnashram is the foundation, and bhakti is the house. Here is a talk by Srila Sridhar Maharaj about kavacas and how they can be used in Bhakti, but they are not the highest thing. It seems to me varnashrama is in a similar position, so maybe it isn't the highest thing but if used to protect our sadhana it is useful. We all aren't babajis; some of us come to the Lord with families, some of us fall into family life, and some of us aren't ready to fully surrender. Someone needs to grow the food to feed the sanyassis, the pujaris, even the begging babajis. Anyhow, as someone living in general western society I dearly wish I could live in a community doing what comes most naturally to me, with my children in the association of devotees and learning what really needs to be learned, not how to become a demon in the current society.
  20. It's Bill the Cat! Eck!
  21. Jai, nice post Prabhu. I agree, I think the concept of Bodhisattva from Budhism is a good example for us: though I am trying to extricate myself from a burning building, in service we need to grab others that can't see the way out and take them with us. But maybe even after we get out we need to go back in to help others that are still trapped inside. We need to be ready to sacrifice ourselves is service to others like firefighters do in the material world. Kind of like a spiritual catch22 or something, maybe we need to be ready to serve here before we are ready to serve There. Die to live. Even sacrifice being in Goloka so we can help others get there. Real relief work.
  22. So it is so easy to see I am not a Vaisnava. Though the problems are Krsna's, I am habituated to consider them my own. Dayal Nitai, please pull me out of this quagmire.
  23. Dear HerServant, Thanks for your suggestions, I am a grand-disciple of Srila Sridhar Maharaj but will definitely read Sri Guru and His Grace again My parents are actually Anglican so not used to chanting the rosary, I am thinking of my understanding more so we can talk about Lord Jesus and Mother Mary with some more connection and understanding. It isn't that we always talk about spiritual life either, so I guess it is more for my understanding of the position of rasas in the Christian conception of Divinity. If these aren't so clearly defined of course I understand, I know Lord Jesus has His specific message. As theist points out I also see some of the rasas in Christianity so I was wanting to get your take on this.
  24. Just hoping from some nectar from HerServant, mahak, Bija etc. My hope is to help my parents grow in their devotion to Christ, and be able to better relate to Christians in general. Jaya Lord Jesus and Lord Jaganatha!
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