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Thousands and countless thousands of topics

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There are literally unlimited topics to write on for devotees. This is especially true for those of us who see the world through a writers mind--the whole world and everything and everyone may be grist for the mill of our pen, guided as we are by the Bhakti scriptures and pure devotees.We might imagine how many books there would be if as much attention were given to the Gita, Shirmad Bhagavatam or the Chaitanya Charitamrita as has been given to the Bible. We need to respect all revealed scriptures, yet if we compared them objectively, these great bhakti literatures give us much more philosophical and spiritual information then the Bible and similar scriptures. From my study of revealed scriptures this is a reasonable claim, yet for people in general they will have to see for themselves--if they dare.

Unfortunately the majority of religious people aren't even that interested in their own scriptures--so what to speak of others. If they say they are interested, they often haven't thought deeply about the implications of what they've read, or they accept the fundamentalist interpretation of their church leaders without much thought.

Although God is inconceivable to worldly reason and is thus beyond our limited thinking power, we require to be thinking people in order to apply the teachings in a dynamic way. As even a Christian motivational speaker has said, "We need to be mini-philosophers"...to understand the purpose of life and our relationship with God.

Prabhupada taught us that we can serve Krishna in four ways: "It is the duty of every living being to perform welfare activities for the benefit of others with his life, wealth, intelligence and words." [SB 10.22.35]

If we are sincere, dedicated to our spiritual practice (sadhana), steeped in the serving mood, with a strong desire to understand the process of Bhakti and Shri Radha Krishna and their different forms, the Lord from within will give us the spiritual intelligence to understand. "To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me. To show them special mercy, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance."

I would like to thank you all for being a great audience and asking thoughtful questions. You make my service possible and I am grateful. I am still studying the 1st Canto of Shrimad Bhagavatam and hope to write more about it. I came across the following quote in the 11th Canto as it referred to something I was curious about in regards to Kali-yuga, the present age of quarrel and hypocrisy. I have read different questions such as "why is there a Kali-yuga which is so full of suffering? I had a general idea, but in what follows the acharyas offer a splendidly satisfying answer.

"Indeed, there is no higher possible gain for embodied souls forced to wander throughout the material world than the Supreme Lord's sankirtana movement, by which one can attain the supreme peace and free oneself from the cycle of repeated birth and death." [SB 11.5.37]

Here is the purport from Prabhupada's disciples who quote the previous teachers or acharyas:

"In the Skanda Purana, as well as in other Puranas, there is the following statement: maha-bhagavata nityam kalau kurvanti kirtanam. "During Kali-yuga the great devotees of the Lord always engage in kirtana, chanting the Lord's holy names."

"It is the nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead to be merciful, and He is especially merciful to those who, in a helpless condition, take complete shelter of His lotus feet. One can immediately take shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord by chanting His holy names."

"According to Sridhara Svami, even in previous ages such as Satya-yuga it was not possible for the living entities to achieve the perfection that is available in Kali-yuga. Srila Jiva Gosvami has explained this as follows. In former ages such as Satya-yuga human beings were perfectly qualified and easily performed even the most difficult spiritual processes, meditating for many thousands of years practically without eating or sleeping."

"Thus, although in any age one who completely takes shelter of the Lord's holy name gets all perfection, the highly qualified inhabitants of Satya-yuga do not consider that merely moving the tongue and lips, chanting the Lord's holy name, is a complete process and that the Lord's holy name is the only shelter within the universe. They are more attracted to the difficult and elaborate yoga system of meditation, complete with sophisticated sitting postures, painstaking control of the breath and deep, extended meditations in trance on the Personality of Godhead within the heart."

"In Satya-yuga sinful life is practically unheard of, and therefore people are not afflicted with the terrible reactions seen in Kali-yuga, such as world war, famine, plague, drought, insanity, etc. Although in Satya-yuga people always worship the Personality of Godhead as the ultimate goal of life and meticulously follow His laws, called dharma, they do not feel themselves to be in a helpless condition, and thus they do not always experience intense love for the Lord."

"However, in Kali-yuga living conditions are so unbearable, modern governments are so obnoxious, our bodies are so ridden by physical and mental disease, and even self-preservation is so troublesome, that the conditioned souls intensely cry out the holy name of Krishna, begging for relief from the onslaught of this age. The members of the Krishna consciousness movement have vivid and unforgettable experiences of the terrible contradictions inherent in human society in this age, and thus they are firmly convinced that there is nothing to be achieved except the mercy of the Supreme Lord."

Combined comments from old site

Sat, 02/14/2009 - 02:32 — abrennan
In the Vedas

We read of Saints, Rishis and even Asura types who spend thousands of years in austerities or sacrifices to obtain some blessings from the Lord. In the Kali yuga we have no opportunity of such long lives.

So how fortunate for us that there is "no higher possible gain for embodied souls forced to wander throughout the material world than the Supreme Lord's sankirtana movement." Without this what could we possibly do to extract ourselves.

It seems to me that, even though the scriptures of many religious raditions tell their followers to call on the name of God, such a simple process goes unrecognised. People resort to any kind of commercial exchange with God to achieve their desires, instead of falling at His feet, calling his name and offering him their hearts in devotional service.

It is surely true that we remain here because yuga after yuga we have not called out to Him. To our great benefit He appeared as His own devotee in the form of Lord Caitanya to show us how it's done, how to engage in bhakti and call His name.

It is we who should be thanking you for continuing to pour out your heart in this way that we can be continually reminded of these things.

I know that in my own writing I lack the quality that you seem to possess in bucket loads. I am just a reporter repeating the news. Whereas you are a lover of Krishna, revealing his love that we all might benefit just from hearing of it.

Anything I write is just a reflection in the dirty mirror of my low ability, just a bad signpost giving poor, second hand directions.

But what you write is food for the devotional creeper of our hearts, fertilizer for the soul.

We are lucky that there are "Thousands and countless thousands of topics" because that means there are endless blogs for you to write and for us to read. : )

Good on you

Hare Krishna


*Reply*

Sat, 02/14/2009 - 08:39 — Karnamrita.das
Your skill

You have written an eloquent heartfelt piece here--good on you, mate! Though you are praising someone less than qualified it is still good for you to appreciate even an aspiring devotee. Obeisances to that!

We all aspire to have true humility, even though it may escape us, yet we still want to make the endeavor to serve even in public ways like writing if we see the need and have the desire. Making the sincere endeavor to serve, knowing--even theoretically--we are not the doer, and that the good we do is coming for Krishna, that is our qualification for doing our seva (service) of anything, even writing.

I think you express yourself quite well, and I hope you will not disqualify yourself by thinking yourself incapable. So many people including devotees think so little of themselves, and this low self esteem keeps my wife in the business of counseling devotees. Not that you don't have it,--you may have a healthy sense of self, knowing that all praise goes to Krishna. Still I bring it up since it is a universal material disease. For myself I feel rather mixed--in some areas I feel good about what I have been blessed to do, while in others I may have a material conception, thinking I am the doer, and not believe I have any talent or worth.

Just like, although I sincerely appreciate your praise of my work, I think myself undeserving of it. I am really a very ordinary devotee--perhaps less then even average (in my estimation this is a realistic assessment, and not being down on myself)--who has the desire to write and express myself and my life struggles and successes in relationship to Krishna. And only by the grace of my gurus and Gaura Nityananda have I found a way to do this--mixed up with some karma for such expression. It is a great wonder to me, that I am allowed this privilege to write and answer questions, and hopefully be a source of encouragement--dare I say inspiration--for devotees and those new on the path. That this could happen or does happen is astonishing based on my ordinary understanding. When we factor in the Lord's desire and empowerment, then what is not possible?

Though parts of me desire so many less than spiritual things, my core self also sincerely desires to be empowered to truly help devotees stay the course and deal with their inevitable trials, challenges, doubts and any number of circumstances that seem to be like walls or road blocks on their progressive march toward Krishna. So during the course of my life, we will see which part of me wins for control of my destiny. I still struggle with these various voices of my different parts that make up my whole being in the material world.

Success of our spiritual life is when our soul emerges the victor amidst these different parts who try to wrestle control of our life from our real spiritual self interest. We have to distinguish who we really are, and what voices or desires are in our best interest--and we have to really want to do what is right. This at times is the single hardest thing. Generally people do what they feel even if they think otherwise, so we have to come to the point when we feel intensely that we want to be a devotee and act to fulfill that purpose--the souls purpose--regardless of what we think or what our lessor feelings maybe.

Your friend in Krishna,

dasanudas Karnamrita


Fri, 02/13/2009 - 02:46 — Go-Seva
Speeding things up?

Hare Krsna Prabhu~ My husband and I were discussing this very interesting subject recently, and we were both wondering about the following:

1. Since this yuga is the shortest and most strife-filled, does Krsna make these condition to serve as an impetus to take shelter at His feet ASAP before He appears at the end as Kalki to begin the annihilation? And when that happens, are all conditioned souls theoretically supposed to be Krsna conscious, or will some souls be left out when He comes to finish things off? I am always wondering about the masses of unlimited souls, and if they will all eventually return to His feet someday, or if they will not get the chance....

2. Are those souls from Satya-yuga still around here in Kali-yuga (i.e. have not gone back to Godhead) since they were not necessarily engaged in bhakti-yoga?

3. Is it possible that due to the dreadfulness of this yuga, Krsna is making His rounds in some form or other on every planet in all the universes to facilitate the conditioned souls' return to Him?

Thank you, as always, for your kind response and generosity in imparting knowledge on those of us less learned.

Haribol!


Fri, 02/13/2009 - 15:44 — Karnamrita.das
The demigods aspire to take birth in Kali yuga

I believe your question was answered at least in part with the quote I gave from the acharyas. Although the Kali-Yuga is an ocean of faults it is also considered a great time of mercy since just by pure chanting of the holy name we can obtain all perfection--more then is available in other times, namely Krishna prema. That is why it is said that the demigods aspire to take birth in Kali, since self realization is so easy. So it is Krishna's mercy in the form of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to give the greatest fortune to the most undeserving--that is true magnanimity!

Devotees generally say that there is a 10,000 golden age of Kali, when the chanting of the holy name goes on, but after that, all bets are off for the deliverance of the people of Kali. What little population is left will be primarily completely irreligious. At the end of the age Lord Kalki comes to kill the miscreants. He doesn't preach but just kills them, and in that way they are liberated. Then the Satya Yuga golden age begins again.

Sometimes we say that eventually everyone will go to God, but we have to understand that the material world is infinite--1/4 of infinity is still infinite--and there are an infinite number of souls. The material world always will exist though it is cyclically manifested and unmanifested. This means there will always be souls in the material world.

The purpose of creation is in a lessor sense for souls to try to be independent of God. In a higher sense it is to facilitate the Lord's desire to be the savior of the fallen souls. Then in an even higher sense, the Lord's lila here--in Gokula--is even sweeter then in the Goloka, Krishna's abode. Although there is very little awe and reverence there, there is even less in the spiritual manifestation here or Bhumi[earthly]-Vrindavana. And in the original world Goloka, Mother Yashoda never experiences the birth and growth of her son, but here she does. So from one perspective the material world exists to facilitate Mother Yashoda's desire! We want to go there, the eternal associates want to go the Gokula. This is a high part of our theology. From that perspective of our six Gosvamis, Goloka is an expansion of Gokula. That turns on it's head our usual understanding.

There are many incarnations of Krishna throughout the Universe, and although Krishna can do anything, he usually comes in his confidential form of Krishna once in a day of Brahma. Generally he delivers souls through his devotees throughout the universe, and though his different incarnations.

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita


Wed, 02/11/2009 - 23:01 — DBB
Another helpful writing

Hare Krishna!

Once again, a sincere appreciation goes to Karnamrita Prabhu for presenting a complex concept in simplified way.

Whatever you write, it makes very easy to understand existing concept but in a different way so that any vagueness becomes clearer and clearer.

Durga


*Reply*

Sat, 02/14/2009 - 08:56 — Karnamrita.das
Thanks

Hey Durga. Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and for writing your appreciation. Though as I expressed to Abrennan, I don't think I am deserving of your praise, that is only because I think I am the door. If I know I am an instrument and someone offers "me" praise, I will naturally offer it to my guru and Krishna, since it is only by their mercy that I can do anything, and really, Krishna is the real doer. All of us should aspire to be like the bees who look for nectar, instead of the fly who looks for the sore.

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita