From the World of Misconception to the World of Loving Celebration

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Blessing Buddha
Lord Buddha decried the Vedas
being misused for animal slaughter
replaced the Vedas with his doctrine
of "ahimsa"--cause no harm to others
a religion that only matter exists
silent on God yet implying
no God, souls, or Spiritual Reality.

Followers learning peace
practicing compassion, kindness
withdrawing from the world
no positive activity beyond
like a child sent to their room
no eternal destination
no suffering by ceasing to exist.

Great Acharya Shankara
is Shiva under Krishna's order
multipurpose plan
deluding atheists
while bridge building
from Buddhism to Personalism.
Adi Shakaracharya
Teaching matter totally false
only "Brahman" (all pervading Spirit) real
no personal God or individuals
the goal to become "One" again
no more sense of separate self
to merge in spiritual suicide.

Then personalists Acharyas
like Shri Ramanuja, Shri Madhavacharya
uncovered the deeper perception
beyond God's impersonal effulgence
to reveal his attractive, opulent and powerful
personality as Vishnu, Rama, Krishna.

Building on all that went before
Shri Chaitanya revealed the world
as plane of misconception
all energy comes from Krishna
the world real, but covered Spirit
temporariness makes it "false"
mistaken for Substance
soul illusioned by shadow.
Shri Chaitanya is Krishna
The Supreme Reality exists
beyond all (mis)conceptions
of the material world or
all-pervading Brahman (Krishna's aura)
or even all-powerful great Vishnu—
that deeply sweet, esoteric Krishna
the source of all.

His original world of sweetness
intimate loving relationships
spiritual variety with personality
this Supreme Source of all
appears as a charming youth
irresistible, all-attractive Krishna
blackish blue monsoon cloud-like
(the Vedic aesthetic color of love).

Eternal, flute playing cowherd (Govinda)
surrounded by friends and lovers
(no need of work, struggle, or smartphone)
dancing, singing, merriment
sharing the joy of life
amidst natural simple beauty.

Breath-taking landscapes
trees, plants, flowers, rivers, hills
all conscious of loving him
serving him with their life energy
singing and dancing
playing instruments in celebration
of the cynosure of all eyes, & hearts!
Photobucket
Though we can try to imagine
from scriptures descriptions
the best we can imagine
falls short millions of times--
Krishna, his world and companions
the perfect person and place
for realizing our original
most cherished desires, & aspirations.

No more false illusions of grandeur
struggling to compete or surpass,
false ego's exploitive nature is finished
now only selfless giving, sharing, loving
being fully our true self
every good quality shared
with the Love of our life
our dear-most friend
the Soul of our soul!

Now it’s up to us
to want to revive our attraction
to him and his world of loving service--
chant the Hare Krishna mantra
engage in his service,
stay with those
who have standing
in that plane of love
hearing from them
naturally give up
attachments to the world of
miserable misconception.
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Combined comments from old site

Wed, 04/01/2009 - 08:55 — PerpetualDawn
Awesome blog.

When speaking of Zen and Buddha and Buddhism's prevalence in the west I always point out to people that the most popular speaker on Buddhism and Zen ever,Mr.Alan Watts,died an alcoholic after several failed marriages.I just ask people to contemplate that for a while.

Zen and Buddhism are considered to be "beyond" duality,to be "beyond" "good" and "bad".But I ask the question.....has anyone anywhere EVER heard of an unloving Zen master or was the Buddha ever known to say or do anything unloving?........Perhaps for those who seek the Godhead through mind-games concerning duality/non-duality it should be mentioned that possibly the final paradox to be encountered in their quest is that though the Universe may be considered "Whole" it contains within that wholeness the mysterious perpetuality of CONSCIOUS LOVE.


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Wed, 04/01/2009 - 10:59 — Karnamrita.das
Consciousness

Yes consciousness is the great mystery. There are only theories concerning it, whether ours, Buddhism or sciences, etc. Although the Scientists speak about how the mind is in the brain or that consciousness comes from matter they can't prove it. Original Buddhism is similar to science in that the Universe or Matter is seen as all there is. They both deny any eternality to consciousness, while we say matter is produced from consciousness. Stone doesn't become conscious, but a stone comes from consciousness.

The Gaudiya "theory" about consciousness is at least as good as the others, and perhaps better--we would say better, though not everyone will accept our arguments. Ultimately the ultimate "siddhanta" or conclusion is one's own experience. Our acharyas have given us a method to obtain spiritual experiences and if we follow them we will. Most of have to certain degrees. At least we are attracted to the logic of KC. That is due to our previous history with it in previous lives. The Gita teachers us that spiritual life continues life after life.

Ultimately our logic will fail to be conclusive truth for everyone, since the subject is transrational, beyond the mind and intellect. We have a logical method, but the goal is transcendental. Krishna can be know only to his devotees under the shelter of a pure devotee. Truly our sincerity is invincible--it will be successful eventually. We have to find a way to be encouraged to stay the course for our whole life, with ever increasing enthusiasm and determination.

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita


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Sun, 04/05/2009 - 00:42 — tekisui
Theory?

Karnamrita prabhu -

You say:

Yes consciousness is the great mystery. There are only theories concerning it, whether ours, Buddhism or sciences, etc.

"Consciousness is the great mystery"? "There are only theories concerning it"?

How can you say that - considering that other times in your blogs you speak as if you knew beyond theory what consciousness and a number of other things are??

You generally write your blogs in a didactic tone, giving the impression that you know - but now you come and say "there are only theories"??

What is this??


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Sun, 04/05/2009 - 03:48 — Karnamrita.das
A way of speaking

I sometimes speak in neutral terms for arguments sake. Like any person approaching the subject will be confronted with different theories. From Science, Religion, Spiritual texts etc. Yes, I have my personal experience of being consciousness, but can I use that as evidence for you, saying because I have experienced this you should accept it?

It is true that when you hear someone speak their convictions based on personal experience certain people are more convinced from that than just reading something. Others with different ideas, may say that is just religious sentiment and unscientific. Thus in my blogs I often try to present different ideas for thoughtful persons to consider.

In the ultimate analysis our personal experience is the most direct. The Krishna conception coming from the Bhakti scriptures is very thoughtfully presented, yet anyone who is attracted to this philosophy still has to put it into practice. Otherwise it is just academic. We all have to go from theory to realization. I certainly haven't realized everything, but I have enough experience that I can accept what I haven't yet experienced. There is also indirect evidence of Krishna working in one's life, or reciprocation from the holy name or in Deity worship. I feel Krishna in my life, though I still have material attitudes that weigh me down and slow my progress. Those of us on the Bhakti path are in the shower of purification. We haven't fully perfected our life--though our life is dedicated toward that end.

I am sorry for the confusion.

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita


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Sun, 04/05/2009 - 06:51 — tekisui
Standard policy for communicative exchange in KC?

Karnamrita prabhu -

I meant that saying things like "Yes consciousness is the great mystery. There are only theories concerning it, whether ours, Buddhism or sciences, etc." - that's like saying you don't know for sure, that you are just theorizing, nothing better.
Imagine that at the end of the Bhagavad-gita, it would say "But this is just an opinion, just a theory, not the truth"! What would that be like?! It would undermine the value of anything said before that sentence!

You say you sometimes speak in neutral terms for argument's sake. I understand that.
But in the way devotees speak, often the line between speaking in neutral terms for argument's sake, and the speaker's own realizations (ie. what he can support with his own experience, as opposed to what he merely lists from scriptures or extrapolates intellectually) is blurred.

I am not free of that; although myself, I have deliberately taken up to speak this way, as an experiment. It seems it is part of spiritual practice to declare something as true - despite full-well knowing that one doesn't have personal realization about that.

When I first came into contact with Krishna consciousness, it was my position to not speak beyond my realization. That is, I would never claim something to be true, unless I personally knew it was. So I didn't say much, and most of my statements were modified with "in my opinion", "according to the Bhagavad-gita chapter.verse, this is so" and such.

I was confused though by the certainty and confidence with which other devotees speak - as if they had personal realization, as if they knew beyond theory. They didn't modify their statements the way I did. They just spoke boldly about matters pertaining to the philosophy of Krishna consciousness the way one would speak about what one had for breakfast. "Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. I had muesli and a banana for breakfast."
But then seeing them lament about the troubles in their practice, seeing them break the regulative principles or having difficulty keeping them, committing offenses against the holy name - made me wonder whether they really have all those realizations like they seem to, or not. It made me wonder what the standard policy for communicative exchange in Krishna consciousness is.

Should a devotee speak in terms of scriptural arguments, in neutral terms, not modifying them with "in my opinion", without naming the reference and such?
For example, should a devotee say: "Pure love for God is the goal of spiritual practice" -
or should he say "According to Vaishnava philosophy, pure love for God is the goal of spiritual practice"?

In the first case, he is implying personal realization, that is: that he knows beyond theory that pure love for God is the goal of spiritual practice - and that he himself is the authority on the truthfulness of that statement.
In the second case, he is modifying the statement and referring to "Vaishnava philosophy" as the authority on the statement, not himself.

So which is it? Does it depend on whom the devotee is talking to?


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Sun, 04/05/2009 - 10:53 — Karnamrita.das
Audience

You bring up some good questions. I would say that I will speak differently for different audiences. I try to address teh belief systems of my audience, especially one on one, say at the New Age store where I work.

For many non-devotee just giving a quote from Vedas many not hold much water, whereas referring to someones near-death experience may be more meaningful. I do refer to scriptures for all audiences though for devotees it requires less explanation concerning certain points. For other people I may state that this is my lens which I think is a valuable perspective.

In general what we speak of from personal experience is more powerful. Prabhupada encouraged us to speak from our realization. However, we may have a good deal of faith in the whole Bhakti package and know the theory and be convinced of the arguments. We can also speak with conviction about those things. We may have enough experience in some of the process to have strong conviction in the whole process. At the same time it is possible to be convinced of the Bhakti path and still have human failings due to conditioning.

There is a saying from another tradition that does seem to apply to us. It says that we teach what we most need to learn. Whenever I give a class or write a blog I am also speaking to myself. I am reinforcing my belief and convictions.

We want to especially associate with devotees who have considerable standing in Bhakti. From them we feel the current of spirituality. That is a type of experience of Krishna consciousness. I can say that from realization. Those devotees can change our lives as did Prabhupada, and as do his advanced devotees today.

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita


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Sun, 04/05/2009 - 20:51 — tekisui
Hare Krishna, Karnamrita prabhu.

I would like to ask you some more inter-related questions:

What constitutes the personal integrity of a devotee?

What role does personal integrity play in Krishna consciousness (both socially and individually)?

How can one devotee assess another devotee's integrity?

Thank you.


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Mon, 04/06/2009 - 03:52 — Karnamrita.das
Essential Integrity.

Personal integrity is essential. This means that we "walk our talk". We don't preach something and then not apply it practically. This is the test of an advanced devotee---no duplicity, realistic assessment of level of one's spiritual standing without complacency, humility, repentance for one's shortcomings, and constantly striving to improve.

All kinds of people come to Krishna. Thus you will find the whole gamut of levels of devotees. Krishna says four kinds of people come to him--most are materially motivated. The 3rd Canto of Shrimad Bhagavatam speaks of 3 levels of devotees, and corresponding types of devotional service in ignorance, passion, goodness, and pure. Never-the-less anyone who comes to Krishna is glorious and should be respected, at least from a distance.

The 2nd class devotee adores the Lord, associates with like-mind serious devotees, avoids the envious and shares their faith with the innocent or curious. The 3rd class devotee accepts the reality of Krishna but doesn't know how to treat devotees or even people in general. The superlative devotee sees Krishna's will everywhere and considers everyone a devotee save themselves.

We tend to notice what we focus on. Though we have to develop scriptural discrimination to understand levels of consciousness, we should not be fault finders, but love or good quality finders. We all have the mandate to become humble like the grass, tolerant like the tree, giving respect to all, and not requiring it for ourself. It begins with the absence of the enjoying spirit. It doesn't come easy. Some devotees think they are more advanced then everyone else--for them progress will only crawl along.

I am off to a retreat for 2 weeks and may not have time to respond for awhile. So it s not that I am ignoring you if you write again and I am unable to write back. I sincerely wish and pray for the very best for you. I really appreciate your thoughtful questions. My next blog poem was inspirited by our exchanges which made me think very deeply about what K.C is to me. Thanks for this gift.

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita


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Wed, 04/08/2009 - 08:47 — PerpetualDawn
Spiritual pride and personal integrity.

Spiritual pride can be a priceless jewel to some,worn as a shining crown among people with the appearance of integrity..Side-effects include avoidance of reality,playing to the gallery,putting Krsna in a glass case and other such insane matters.Loving devotion to Krsna should not be a habit.If that is the situation then all is lost.
Hare Hrsna.


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Mon, 04/13/2009 - 15:45 — Karnamrita.das
Being Proud of Krishna and being his devotee

There are different types of pride. Self centered pride is where there is danger, thinking we are the cause of our even religious or pseudo spiritual accomplishments. Being proud of our connection to Krishna may seem odd at first, yet if it is centered on glorifying Krishna, it is very different from materialistic egoic pride where one sees oneself as the cause of everything.

Perhaps "pride" is not the best word since it has so much negative baggage around it (though I don't know a better word), but if we know how wonderful, great--superlatively charming and attractive--Krishna is and are enlivened--shall we say proud (?) of being connected to or part of him, that to me is a completely different thing. One is self glorification, the other glorification of Krishna. Our usefulness or greatness lies in our connection to our Source or Shri Krishna. It is like a part of a machine which is useful only when if functions as it was intended. When it is lying on the floor, it has no meaning or purpose. In the material world we are apparently disconnected to Krishna and our value is covered.

Your friend in Krishna,

Karnamrita