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Karma - Pleasures & Pains

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Both pain and pleasure is purely a result of one's own past actions be it this birth or the previous birth. Every one of us need to pay back dues - if we have accumulated good karma with good deeds and thoughts, we will see only positives in life, whereas the other will show us misery. However, one consolation is the process of pain and pleasure is really one and the same. Ultimately what counts is that our karma balance must come to a zero (similar to a credit card balance, you can get out of a deal with a credit card company only when the balance is a 0) - only then we prevent ourselves from the process of rebirth. So one must be happy to pay off a major bad karma , the more intense the pain the better it is for one's own soul advancement – dues get paid off sooner. Once done with the dues, automatically the pain will vanish. Same case with good karma - once done with the dues, one will stop rejoicing the fruits of good deeds. So ultimately both pleasure and pain should be viewed dispassionately. However, only the wise know that in the process of undergoing pain, prayers will definitely help. Prayers will not stop Karma from what it has to do; however, it will strengthen a person from within and detach the soul from the effects of karma and will attach to the divinity within oneself. So even though one goes through pain materially, the soul is untouched and peace is intact, the pain only becomes incidental and eventually it will zero out. Apart from this, it is wise to learn not to add on to negative karma, because someday sometime one will pay for it. It is ignorance to think we are equal to God without doing the required Sadhana (practice / penance). Diamond / Gold in the raw form is almost useless, one needs to polish / process to make useful jewels out of it. Divinity exists within everybody, but not everybody wants to realize this potential, they get stuck in the mundane world, chasing behind things which are not useful for the ultimate goal of life. We have to tap this divinity; this is possible only by Sadhana - which has different forms – Bhakthi (devotion), Dhyanam (meditating on the Absolute - the formless – basis of Advaita). Bhakthi seems easiest, love God intensely without desiring anything in return - He will hold your hand and lead you within your own self – the absolute truth which is right within you. By virtue of being present in a materialistic world one has to dispatch duties without getting overly carried away by the illusions that sometimes these duties could lead to.


This is my learning about Karma, please advise / let me know if my understanding is correct. I've read that God is only an observer, He lives in His own bliss, without getting attached to the material happenings of this world. But, then my question is, where does Bhakthi figure? So what about great stories like Gajendra Moksham, Draupadi Vasthraparanam etc ? Did God not come to the resuce of His ardent devotee? How come Kali Yugam gives us such different pictures, where one is lead to an utter state of chaos / confusion? How does one know in Kali Yugam that prayers are ultimately being heard? The longing in a devotee's heart? Does Guru play his role?


Too many questions, without many right answers that are convincing. Please help!


With Love,

Deeptha Echampati


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The Search for Sri Krishna


by Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj


Two excerpts: Introduction, and 'The Krishna Conception'<table cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0" width="98%"><tbody><tr><td colspan="2">Introduction </td> </tr> <tr> <td> </td> <td>Everyone is searching for rasa, or pleasure. The status of rasa is the highest. As persons we have our subjective existence, but Rasa, pleasure, has His supersubjective existence. He is a person. He is ahkila rasamrta murtih -- the Reservoir of All Pleasure. He is Krishna. Rasa is Krishna. There cannot be rasa in any other place but Krishna. He is the fountainhead of all different types of rasa. So, by the nature of our constitution we have to search after Krishna. In the Brahma-Sutra it is said, "Inquire after the Supreme Cause of this world. Search!" From where has everything come? How is everything maintaining its existence? By whom? And ultimately, where does everything enter after death? That is Brahma, or Spirit, the most fundamental plane from where everything springs up, remains, and ultimately enters. Where is Brahma? The Brahma-Sutra advises us to inquire after the prime cause, the biggest, the all accommodating. But Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu replaced that, Srimad Bhagavatam replaced that with krsnanusandhana -- the search for Sri Krishna.

Brahma-jijnasa, the search for spirit, is a dry thing. That is only the exercise of your thinking faculty, a jugglery of reason. Leave that behind. Begin the search for Sri Krishna and quench the thirst of your heart. Rasa jijnasa, raso vai sah. The things acquired by your reason won't satisfy you. Jnana, or knowledge, cannot really quench your thirst, so instead of brahma-jijnasa accept krsnanusandhana and begin the search for Sri Krishna.

Where is Krishna? Our real want will be satisfied only by getting the service of Krishna; not by anything else. We want to satisfy the innermost demands of our hearts. We don't care to know where we are or what is controlling everything, but we really want to quench our thirst for rasa, for madhurya, for sweetness. We must search neither for knowledge nor for the controller of this world; we must search after rasa, anandam, after beauty and charm.

</td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2"> Beg for Krishna </td> </tr> <tr> <td> </td> <td>Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Srimad-Bhagavatam have taught us what to beg for, what to pray for, what to want. They have taught us, "If you beg, beg for Krishna, not for anything else." So the fate of the Vaishnavas, the students of the Bhagavat and the followers of Mahaprabhu, is sealed in the search for Sri Krishna. We want nothing else but Krishna. The Vedas say srnvantu visve amrtasya putrah -- "O, you sons of nectar, sons of the nectarine ocean sea: please listen to me. You were born in nectar; you were born to taste nectar, and you must not allow yourselves to be satisfied by anything but nectar. So, however misguided you may be for the time being, awake! Arise! Search for that nectar, that satisfaction." The Vedas tell us, "Om!" Om means a big "Yes!What you are searching for -- that is! Don't be disappointed." The Vedas say that the object of our inner search exists. The common search of all your hearts is existing, and your thirst will be quenched. By your constitution you are meant for that and you deserve that, so don't be afraid; don't be cowed down. It is already given in your being. And you can never be satisfied with anything else.

So prepare your self, after your long search, to receive that long missing nectar in its full form and quality. Awake! Arise! Search for your fortune and you cannot but have that. It is your birthright. It is the wealth of your own soul. It cannot but be within you. You have no other business, no other engagement but krsnanusandhana, the Search for Sri Krishna -- Reality the Beautiful.

</td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2"> <hr> The Krishna Conception </td> </tr> <tr> <td> </td> <td>Surrender is not a lip transaction. Surrender means not only to surrender one's possessions, but to realize that the possessions themselves are false. I am not a master of anything. I am not even master of myself. Surrender means to give everything to the Guru, and rid ourselves of the unholy connection of so many possessions, so that they may not disturb us by always suggesting, "You are my master," and in this way misleading us. We should think, "Everything belongs to the Lord and His delegation, the Guru. I am not the master of anything." That sort of knowledge we should imbibe, and that will be helpful to our real spiritual progress. This is reality. We have to realize that fact. We want the truth, and we want to free ourselves from false notions. So, proper diksa, spiritual initiation, imparts the divine knowledge that nothing belongs to us; not only that, but everything belongs to God, including ourselves. That is the conception of diksa: "I belong to Him; everything belongs to Him. I am His servant, and these are the objects of His service."

</td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2">Fool's Paradise </td> </tr> <tr> <td> </td> <td>This is reality, and we are suffering under nonreality in an imaginary world. We are living in a fool's paradise. We should do away with the fool's paradise and try to enter into real paradise. When we have a peep into the characteristic of the absolute environment of reality, and even a little regard for the truth, we can no longer relish the paraphernalia of this world as we did previously. Because we have had a real taste of the higher truth, we will have no charm for this material world. We will no longer feel encouragement to meet with the duties that are relating to this world of enjoyment. We will be indifferent. We know that the connection with the present enjoying mood brings a painful reaction. We can realize that, but we cannot leave it behind. We cannot cut off the connection completely in the stage of sadhana, spiritual practice. Still, we have no other alternative. Our affinity for the positive truth should be increased more and more and gradually our affinity for our paraphernalia and obligations will all disappear. Although repeatedly we may not be successful, still we will be unable to give up the idea. We will attempt again and again to make progress towards the truth, and when we are unsuccessful, our heart will ache to think that we are repeatedly being defeated by the enemies who are all around us.

But the fire of Krishna consciousness is there, and that fire is not to be quenched. It is a spark of eternal truth. So, the fire will continue, and the day will come when the enemies that are surrounding us will have to retire once and for all. One day we will find that Krishna has gradually captured our whole heart, and the others have retired forever; they are no longer present to trouble us in our mental circle. We will find that those unwanted things were like mushrooms: they came out from our mental soil, and now they have all gone and died. They have all gone away, and Krishna alone is in the heart. At that time, the heart is only full of Krishna, full of the Krishna conception.

</td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2">Krishna Captures The Heart </td> </tr> <tr> <td> </td> <td>Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Prabhupad once instructed a disciple at the time of initiation into the Hare Krishna mantra that Krishna should be allowed to land in our hearts, just as an army is landed by the navy. An army is carried by a ship, and when they have landed, the fight begins, and they capture the country, just as Julius Caesar said, "Veni vidi vici -- I came, I saw, I conquered." So, we have to allow Krishna to land in our hearts. Then the fight will begin. What is the proposal of Krishna consciousness, and what is the proposal of so many other conceptions? They are all giving us their assurances from time immemorial, saying, "I shall give you this, I shall give you that," but the Krishna conception will enter and say, "My claim is this: the whole thing is Mine, and you are all trespassers!" The fight will begin; the unwanted things are sure to withdraw, and Krishna consciousness will capture the whole heart. This is the process. Krishna consciousness has only to land within our hearts. Somehow or other, from a pure devotee, a bit of real Krishna consciousness should enter through our ears into our hearts, and Krishna will supply whatever is required. One who has imbibed even a slight regard for Krishna consciousness is assured of success in spiritual life, today or tomorrow.

We may have erected high walls on all sides to protect ourselves so that Krishna consciousness may not enter, but Krishna is a thief -- and a thief requires no invitation. No preparation is necessary for His welcome. He will enter for His own interest, and that is our consolation. Our solace is that Krishna is a thief. Maya has erected her high walls on all sides, but nothing is sufficient to stop Krishna consciousness. Krishna is a thief, and stealthily He will enter one day.

</td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2">Hope For The Hopeless </td> </tr> <tr> <td> </td> <td>A devotee may become hopeless, thinking, "The enemy is within my own house; my own kinsmen are my enemies. I am hopeless." We may become disappointed, but Krishna consciousness will not leave us in any way. Krishna will persevere, and in due course of time, He will conquer. And other things, no matter how closely related they may be in private and well-protected rooms in our hearts, will have to go. They must take leave from every corner of our hearts. Krishna will conquer. Krishna will capture the whole thing. The unwanted lusty desires of our hearts are foreign things. They are only mushrooms. Like mushrooms, they come out; they have no permanent stability or root. They are not rooted to the soil. We may think that what we have stored in our hearts is very near and dear, and that is already mixed with us as a part of our existence, but when Krishna consciousness enters, they will all float like mushrooms.

After all, they are mushrooms; they have no footing, no connection with the soil. They are only floating. All material interests are only floating on the surface. They are not deeply rooted within and without the whole of our existence. Only Krishna consciousness has its existence everywhere, within all parts of our existence. So, the mushrooms will have to vanish one day. This is confirmed in the Srimad Bhagavatam [2.8.5]:



pravistah karna-randhrena svanam bhava-saroruham

dhunoti samalam krsnah salilasya yatha sarat


When Krishna enters the heart through the ear, He captures the lotus of the heart and then gradually makes all the dirt in the heart disappear. Just as when the autumn season comes, all the water everywhere becomes pure, so also, when Krishna enters our hearts, all the impurities within will gradually vanish, and only Krishna will remain forever.</td></tr></tbody></table>

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Thank you Sir,


I whole-heartedly agree with what you've written. My sense of despair comes in when I think of the Kali Yugam. We do not see Gurus / saints who are authentic, we do not get to see God with our naked eyes. So how do we know for sure we are proceeding on the right lines? In the Treta & Dvapara Yugam people could have easy access to saints / realized souls / could be lucky enough to see and interact with God directly. With the evil age of Kali, we see so much wickedness and ill-will all over (right from closest of relatives till the unknown), because of which human suffering is at peak, how do we know for sure God is reaching out, after all the sadhana we do for His love? Not that I doubt God's existence / love/ presence in the heart of a devotee, but it is just that it is frustrating for a person who is striving for perfection in love and feel the ultimate glory of God, to be unaware of what God's side of story is!


So does it all boil down to one fact? How you percieve a God to be without attributing any definitive boundaries for his qualities ?


Thank you - Deeptha Echampati

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Why Do We Not Like To Love Krsna?

Mathura, India October, 1996

Srila Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Maharaja


We want to do what pleases us most. The liking for that activity is called ruci. Why do we not like to love Krsna? Why do we not like to serve Him? This is the point of our discussion today. We like that which gives us pleasure through our senses; but Krsna is such that He cannot be known by our senses. He is transcendental, and therefore He transcends our senses. Our senses cannot know Him nor can they reach Him. Through our senses, we cannot taste if He is sweet or not.

Because our senses can taste worldly things we either become attracted to those things or we reject them. We never try to attain something that is not pleasing to our senses. We do not like Krsna because we cannot perceive Him with our senses. Our eyes cannot see Him, our ears cannot hear His flute-playing, our nose cannot smell His flavor, and our tongues cannot speak His name or qualities. Because it is all beyond our senses and we are not tasting His attractiveness, we have no affection for Him. If we could taste Him, we could love Him. As long as we cannot taste His sweetness, we are not attracted to Him and we cannot know if He is good or bad.

With our ears we hear from others that Krsna is very attractive and sweet, and that He is the best. Such hearing is devoid of realization, so we can either choose to believe what we hear or not. Those who believe it may attain Him after striving for Him, but those who do not believe it will never attain Him at any time. Is this not the truth? Therefore, what do those people who seriously want to attain Him have to do?

tasmad gurum prapadyeta

jijnasuh sreya uttamam

sabde pare ca nisnatam

brahmany upasamasrayam

“Any person who seriously desires to achieve actual happiness must seek out a bona fide spiritual master and take shelter of him by initiation. The qualification of a spiritual master is that he must have realized the conclusion of sastra by deliberation and argument and thus be able to convince others of these conclusions. Such great personalities, who have taken complete shelter of the Supreme Godhead, leaving aside all material considerations, are to be understood as bona fide spiritual masters.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.29.55)

If we want to know the best subject, Krsna, we should surrender to a person with complete knowledge of Him who is appointed to teach that subject. That person is Gurudeva. Gurudeva can explain Krsna to us because he is very near to Him and because he is serving Him. Gurudeva is Krsna's very intimate potency. Unless and until we accept Gurudeva's shelter, we cannot know the sweetness of Krsna. This is the reason why we do not like Him, or have no ruci for Him.

maya-mugdha jivera nahi svatah krsna-jnana

jivere krpaya kaila krsna veda-purana

“The conditioned soul cannot revive his Krsna consciousness by his own effort. But out of causeless mercy, Sri Krsna compiled the Vedic literature and its supplement, the Puranas.” (Caitanya-caritamrta, Mad. 20.122)

At our stage, we are so overpowered by maya that we have no knowledge of Krsna. Who is Krsna? We cannot explain. We have no idea of who He is. The human being overpowered by maya has no knowledge of Krsna or God He cannot see Krsna. He can see an airplane and how it works, and he can describe this to others. But he cannot explain who Krsna is because he has no knowledge of Him.

Why are we wise to material matters, but not transcendental matters? Krsna, prema and bhakti all are transcendental. Unless and until we take shelter of that person who is transcendental, we cannot know anything of the transcendental realm. Tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigaccet, "One must approach a bona fide guru to learn that transcendental knowledge." (Mundaka Upanisad 1.2.12) Our scriptures give this instruction. One who wants to know Krsna should go to a person who knows Him. That person is Gurudeva, the Divine Master.

You may say that one who endeavors with a sincere heart will receive everything, just as Ekalavya did. Although Dronacarya did not accept Ekalavya as his student, Ekalavya had a picture of Dronacarya in front of which he endeavored to perform the art of archery. Ekalavya was so successful that he possessed sabda bhedi bana, the skill of accurately shooting an arrow simply by hearing the sound of his target. Someone may quote the example of Ekalavya to ask why we can't attain knowledge of Krsna. "If we try, surely we will get it, so what is the need of surrendering to a guru? Krsna is not purchased by just some people; He is for all. He is not partial. Why will He not bless me? I will surely get His blessings if I try to get them." This sort of questioning is present in our knowledge.

But why did Ekalavya succeed in his archery and we have not in the matter of attaining God? Why? The answer is that archery is a material science. By a material process we can attain material knowledge. But spiritualism is not materialism, and Krsna cannot be attained by a material process. He is spiritual and the process to attain Him must also be spiritual, but we have no knowledge of spirit.

The education we received in school or college pertained to material subjects, not spiritual ones. They impart knowledge indirectly, not directly. They say that something exists that is spiritual but what that thing is, they cannot say. The physicians or the surgeons operate on this body but do not find the spirit. Until now, no instrument has been devised that can find it, that can know that spirit. However, everyone is bound to accept that when the spirit leaves the body, the body does not function. The presence of spirit is the main cause of the body's functioning.

The body is inert and material. It is always material. It is not sometimes spiritual and sometimes material. For example, I can move this stick. Has it become spirit just because it is moving? No. It is always material and inanimate. It has no sense, no feeling, no movement, etc. This body is just like that. But we think we are moving because of the presence of matter. No, the body moves because of the presence of spirit. What is that spirit? From where does it originate? Where does it reside? Our Vedas educate one in that spiritualism, sanatana-dharma.

Spiritual culture is present in India but not in other parts of the world. Therefore, people come to India to learn spiritual science. The Vedas, the Upanisads, all are present here. But we are sorry to say that we are ignorant of our own sciences. This is described by one Bengali poet, Michael Madhusudana Datta, who went to England for an education, for higher knowledge, and became a Christian. At the end of his life he wrote this lamentation:

he bharat bhandare tave vividaratan ta save avadani paradhame lobhe kodi bhavan paradesi dikha dikhi duhka 'nyasu.

“What is not present in India? The best is here, but I am such a fool, I went to a Western country for a higher education.”

So we are also foolish like that, going to England, America and Russia to get a higher education even though people from those countries admit that they are getting the best knowledge from India. We are so overwhelmed by maya, however, that we disrespect and disobey our superiors, our rsis and our scriptures, and we say that our scriptures are a myth. This true history is now called mythology. We consider it unnecessary to read our scriptures, thinking them good for nothing, and we educate our little boys accordingly. In this way they are becoming atheistic.

nilakasera kauna khane, porira sab korche khela parijate phul bone mithya aulik kalpana. kam-dhenu svarna lata chalanaya bhulbo na.

“In which part of the blue sky are the angels playing? In the forest of parijata flowers. This is untrue and imaginary. 'There are wish-fulfilling cows and golden vines…' I will never forget these cheating statements.”

One Bengali lady poet named Man Kumari, said: "That there are angels in the blue sky is completely false. In what part of the sky are they present? It is said that they are playing there, but this is false. We have not seen them with our eyes; therefore they are not present." Her thinking is like this: "I am blind. I have no power to see, and therefore everybody is blind." She concludes that angels do not exist. She says, nilakasera kauna khane, porira sab korche khela. "In which part of the sky are they playing?" Parijata phul bone, "They are playing in the forest of parijata flowers. This is all false and imaginary; it is not true" Kam-dhenu svarna lata… "Wish-fulfilling cows and golden vines? These statements are false."

Regarding the kama-dhenu, a wish-fulfilling cow, a description is given in the Mahabharata about a fight to secure that kama-dhenu from the father of Parasurama and Jamu. But Man Kumari says they are all false and that our scriptures are full of false explanations and statements. Such education is imparted to our boys, and so they have no regard for our sastras. She says, "There is no svarna lata ø the creepers are not made of gold."

In Vrndavana the plants are called kalpataru. Whatever you want from them, they can give. They say this is false. The earth and the sand of Vrndavana is made of precious gems, cintamani. Whatever you pray to them for, they can bestow. The water of Vrndavana is amrta, nectar. If you drink it, you will not die, you will never again take birth from a womb. Such are the statements about Vrndavana. But because we cannot perceive these realities with our senses, we conclude they are false and can never be true. Can a seven-year-old boy lift Govardhana hill? We think it is a falsehood. Because we are overpowered by maya, we do not know who Krsna is. We think that because we cannot perceive God with our eyes and other senses He is shapeless. Such is our thinking.

In the Upanisads it is stated:

yato va imani bhutani jayante yena jatani jivanti

yat prayanty abhisam-visanti tad brahma tad vijijnasasva

“You should understand brahma to be He from whom all living beings are born, by whose help they live and progress throughout life, and in whom they again enter.” (Taittiriya Upanisad 3.1)

This is a description and definition of brahma. All these creations, animals and beasts are created out of brahma. In this creation, of which He is the creator, we see that human beings and other beings have a shape. How, then, is it possible for God to have no shape? That a child, a son, has a shape proves that his father and mother have shape. Unless they have shape, the child could not have shape. Mustard oil comes by pressing mustard seeds. This proves that mustard seeds contain mustard oil. If you press rubbish no oil will come out, because the potency to produce oil is not present in that rubbish. That everything comes from brahma and that there are various shapes in this creation, proves that all shapes are present in the Creator.

This is not only accepted in our sanatana-dharma, but in every dharma, as in the Christian religion. The Bible says: "God created man in His own image." What does this mean? Your form is not shapeless. In Christianity there are two schools of thought. One admits God has a shape, and the other does not. This is also stated in the Muslim religion where we see that there are also two differing views. Their scripture says, ina allaha khalaka main surat hi "Allah created human beings in His own image."

Therefore, God is not shapeless. He has shape. Furthermore, He has every shape perceivable by our senses. He is omnipotent, the possessor of all power. We cannot imagine the extent of His power. We could never imagine a seven-year-old boy being able to lift Govardhana Hill. Only Krsna can do this. He also killed the demon Putana, whose breasts were smeared with poison. Krsna sucked and Putana died. But if we had sucked her breasts, we would have died. Putana had killed so many children in this way and she wanted to kill Krsna like this, also. But Krsna is not like other babies. He is the Creator, the source of all creation, but Putana could not understand this. If Krsna appears before us like an ordinary boy, we will not recognise Him as the Supreme Lord, the Almighty, because our senses cannot understand Him.

How, then, can He be understood? Tad-vijnanartham sa gurum eva abhigacchet, "To learn that transcendental subject matter, one must approach a spiritual master." (Mundaka Upanisad 1.2.12)

Dhruva went to the forest and cried, "O Madhusudana, come to me and fulfill my desire. I want to sit on my father's throne." To attain this, he gave up everything, even eating. With much endeavor he performed great austerities. Although Narayana was satisfied with Dhruva, He could not appear before him. He called his son Narada and said, "Narada, go and see how Dhruva is suffering."

Why did Narayana Himself not go to him? Narada could have said, "You go; he is calling You", but instead he went personally to Dhruva Why was it necessary for Narada to go to Dhruva when Dhruva was actually calling for Narayana?

The reason is that if Narayana had gone to Dhruva, he would not be able to understand who He was. To enable him to understand, Narada was sent there as that Divine Master, that agent of God's purpose, Gurudeva, who can bestow all knowledge about the reality of God. Unless and until we accept that agent, we cannot know and understand Sri Krsna, nor can we have ruci for Him.


santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti

yam syamasundaram acintya-guna-svarupam

govindam adi-puruñam tam aham bhajämi

“I perform bhajana of the primeval purusa, Sri Govinda, who is Syamasundara Krsna. His form has inconceivably unique qualities, and His suddha-bhaktas perpetually see Him in their hearts with the eye of devotion anointed with the salve of love. (Brahma-samhita 5.38)

With these material eyes He is not visible. But the eyes must be smeared with that anjana, or salve. That salve is called prema. Therefore, devotional eyes are necessary. The highest stage of devotion is called prema. That sum of all knowledge is known through the subject matter of prema. Unless and until we apply that premanjana, it is not possible to know Him, to love Him or to get a sweet taste, ruci, for Him.

This prema, however, is not easily attained. We have to progress through different stages.

adau sraddha tatah sadhu-

sango 'tha bhajana-kriya

tato 'nartha-nivrttih syat

tato nistha rucis tatah

athasaktis tato bhavas

tatah premabhyudancati

sadhakanam ayam premnah

pradurbhave bhavet kramah

“In the beginning one must have a preliminary desire for self-realization. This will bring one to the stage of trying to associate with persons who are spiritually elevated. In the next stage one becomes initiated by an elevated spiritual master, and under his instruction the neophyte devotee begins the process of devotional service.

By executing devotional service under the guidance of the spiritual master, one becomes free from all material attachment, he attains steadiness in self-realization, and acquires a taste for hearing about the Absolute Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna. This taste leads one further forward to have attachment for Krsna consciousness, which is matured in bhava, or the preliminary stage of transcendental love for Krsna. Real love for Krsna is called prema, the highest perfectional stage of life.” (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.4.15-16)

Since many stages are there, one must graduate from many classes. The first is sraddha. What is sraddha?

sraddha'-sabde--visvasa kahe sudrdha niscaya

krsne bhakti kaile sarva-karma krta haya

“Sraddha is confident, firm faith that by rendering transcendental loving service to Krsna, one automatically performs all subsidiary activities. Such faith is favorable to the discharge of devotional service.” (Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 22.62)

If one serves Krsna, all will be served. But we do not even believe in the very first stage. We think, "What is the value of serving Krsna in the temple when there are human beings suffering due to lack of food and clothing? What is the need of pouring milk on Govardhana Hill? Daily so much milk goes down the drain; there is such a waste of food. What is the necessity of pouring ghee on the fire? Why waste so many flowers? All these things are useless. If we offered them to the poor, it would be more practical." This is the thinking of people who have no faith, no sraddha. But such thinking has no value. Krsne bhakti kaile sarva-karma krta haya, "by serving Krsna, everyone is served." Tasmin tuste jagat tustah, "When one pleases Him, everyone is pleased." But nowadays one prefers to give pleasure to the poor instead of giving pleasure to God. Their thinking is opposite to this conclusion of sastra, as is the doctrine they preach.

These ideas also prevail in the political sphere. People are thinking, "It is not necessary to worship God and there is no need of our religion. There is no God." It is a godless society. If we ask them where this phenomenal world comes from, they answer, "From nature". But when we ask, "Where, then, does nature come from?" there is silence. However, Krsna has said: mama yonir mahad-brahma tasmin garbham dadamy aham. "My prakrti, or material nature, is the womb which I impregnate with the jivas." (Bhagavad-gita 14.3)

bhumir apo 'nalo vayuh

kham mano buddhir eva ca

ahankara itiyam me

bhinna prakrtir astadha

“My material external energy has eight divisions: earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego.” (Bhagavad-gita 7.4)

apareyam itas tv anyam

prakrtim viddhi me param

jiva-bhutam maha-baho

yayedam dharyate jagat

“O Maha-baho, you should know that my external energy, which consists of eight divisions, is inferior. There is another potency of mine known as the jiva-svarupa, which is superior and which accepts this material world for the purpose of enjoying the fruits of karma.” (Bhagavad-gita 7.5)

Krsna says, "Everything has been created by Me."

pitaham asya jagato

mata dhata pitamahah

vedyam pavitram omkara

rk sama yajur eva ca

“I am the mother, the father, the maintainer and the grandsire of the universe. I am the object of knowledge and the purifier. I am the syllable om. I am also the Rg, Sama and Yajur Vedas.” (Bhagavad-gita 9.17)

sarva-yonisu kaunteya

murtayah sambhavanti yah

tasam brahma mahad yonir

aham bija-pradah pita

“O Kaunteya, the mahad brahma, great material nature, is the mother from whose womb all species of life are born, and I am the seed-giving father.” (Bhagavad-gita 14.4)

Everything is created by Him. Pita ø He is the father of all beings. By serving Him, everything connected with Him is satisfied. Everything has a connection with Him. He is the shelter of all. Nothing can rest without His shelter. Tasmin tuste jagat tustah, "When one pleases Him, everyone is pleased."

yatha taror mula-nisecanena

trpyanti tat-skandha-bhujopasakhah

pranopaharac ca yathendriyanam

tathaiva sarvarhanam acyutejya

“By giving water to the root of a tree one satisfies its branches, twigs and leaves, and by supplying food to the stomach one satisfies all the senses of the body. Similarly, by engaging in the transcendental service of the Supreme Lord one automatically satisfies all the demigods and all other living entities.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.31.14)

By watering the root of a tree, every part of the tree will be served. The root will distribute water to every part of the tree, according to its necessity. Our senses are functioning: our eyes are seeing, our ears are hearing, our hands are working, etc. What should we do to nourish them? Should we feed them separately by giving some butter and bread to the eyes and ears? No. That is not the proper process. Through the mouth we supply the stomach with food and the stomach distributes it throughout the body as necessary. Tathaiva sarvarhanam acyutejya, "In the same way, only by worshipping Sri Bhagavan is everyone worshipped."

I will serve Acyuta, who is the root. By serving the root everyone is served. This is stated in the Vedas and Puranas. We endeavour to serve everyone with our hearts and souls, but the result is opposite to what we expect. The more we try, the more opposite is the result. We think that by such service we will become increasingly happy, but instead we become more unhappy. Why? Because the process is wrong.

In ancient days everyone worshipped God. Everyone tried to satisfy Him by their actions. But nowadays everyone thinks: "It is unnecessary to serve God. Instead serving of God, we should worship and satisfy the depressed and the poor." We are now pursuing such thought, but Krsna says: "If you love Me, everyone will be served." This is the teaching of sastra.

avajananti mam mudha

manusim tanum aSritam

param bhavam ajananto

mama bhuta-mahesvaram

“When I appear in My human-like form, foolish people with mundane intelligence disrespect me, because they cannot comprehend My nature as the Supreme Lord of all beings.” (Bhagavad-gita 9.11)

This is the statement of Krsna. Avajananti mudha. "Those who are overwhelmed by maya have no proper knowledge. They regard Me as a mere man.Krsna is a cowherd boy," they think. They do not know who He is. Sri Krsna says, "What of them, even Brahma could not understand Me. In My lila in Vraja, Brahma saw Me with the cowboys and thought,'This is My creation. I created Nanda Maharaja, and Krsna is his son.'" Later, Krsna revealed Himself to Brahma, and upon receiving such mercy Brahma prayed:


naumidya te 'bhra-vapuse tadid-ambaraya


vanya-sraje kavala-vetra-visana-venu-

laksma-sriye mrdu-pade pasupangajaya

“Lord Brahma said: "My dear Lord, You are the only worshipable Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore I offer my humble obeisances and prayers just to please You. O son of the king of the cowherds, Your transcendental body is dark blue like a new cloud, Your garment is brilliant like lightning, and the beauty of Your face is enhanced by Your gunja earrings and the peacock feather on Your head. Wearing garlands of various forest flowers and leaves and equipped with a herding stick, a buffalo horn and a flute, You stand beautifully with a morsel of food in Your hand." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.14.1)

"O Lord You are worshipped by everybody. You are my worshipable object. I am not worshiped by You." Uncountable times Brahmaji became perplexed before Krsna. This place where Brahmaji became bewildered is still present in Vrndavana and we shall go there. This pastime is not a myth, although our schools and colleges teach that it is. It is in fact the truth This sort of education destroys our faith and should be revised and replaced with the traditional method of the olden days. We should not give up the education of our ancient Vedas and Puranas.

Now we receive education according to Western teachings: "Eat, drink and be merry". We think that if we dress in a coat and in trousers and speak English, we will be a high-class man. New ideas are introduced: "Why should we control marriages? Marriage should be performed anywhere and with anyone we like." Everything has been destroyed and European and Western styles have been introduced. And we say: "See, we are like you, we are following you. We have become so free, we have become your slaves."

This tendency not to submit to and learn our Vedic knowledge and culture, is the main reason why we do not have sraddha and thus why we do not in turn develop a liking for Krsna. This should be considered. Hare Krsna.

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Very true - we can say the Waves belong to the Ocean, but does the Ocean belong to the waves? The converse is not true. Similarly, We belong to God, but God could never belong to us. We are but a part & parcel of the Almighty, but can never become Him.


However, Advaita preaches otherwise, personally, I am comfortable with the thought that I owe my being to God, but can never equal Him. Guess what is most important is one's belief system.


Though sometimes Advaita is sometimes misquoted among a lot of people, stating - We are equal to God, the Great Acharya, Adi Shankara Himself composed the Shatpadi Stotram on Maha Vishnu - This sloka contains the rasam of devotion and surrender.



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Sriman Mahaprabhu said "achintya bedhabed"--simultaneously and inconceivably one and distinct. The oneness is real and eternal, and so is the distinction.


We can certainly "lose" ourself in the Lord, whether as "The Light" or as Shyamasundar. Sriman Mahaprabhu, in His later pastimes, was fully engrossed in His internal lila and became like a madman.


To the extent that the Lord chooses, we can be empowered by Him without limitations.



Very true - we can say the Waves belong to the Ocean, but does the Ocean belong to the waves? The converse is not true. Similarly, We belong to God, but God could never belong to us. We are but a part & parcel of the Almighty, but can never become Him.


However, Advaita preaches otherwise, personally, I am comfortable with the thought that I owe my being to God, but can never equal Him. Guess what is most important is one's belief system.


Though sometimes Advaita is sometimes misquoted among a lot of people, stating - We are equal to God, the Great Acharya, Adi Shankara Himself composed the Shatpadi Stotram on Maha Vishnu - This sloka contains the rasam of devotion and surrender.



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