Due to his spiritual empowerment and his purity Shrila Prabhupada was able to explain the deeply esoteric philosophy of Krishna consciousness in a way that could be grasped by people with no external background in Vedanta (philosophical conclusions of the Vedic scriptures) or Bhakti. Certainly in essence our philosophy is very simple, as stated in many verses in the Gita, such as 9.34 where Krishna tells us how to be Krishna conscious:
"Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, become My devotee, offer obeisances to Me and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me."
One of our great predecessor gurus or acharyas, Shrila Bhaktivinode Thakur who lived during the second half of the 19th till the beginning of the 20th century, analyzes religions as having both form and substance.
The form is the outer manifestation of the teaching in terms of it's appearance, special dress of practitioners, rules and regulations etc. The value or purpose of the "form" of the teaching is to deliver the substance or really the inner or esoteric purpose.One of our great predecessor gurus or acharyas, Shrila Bhaktivinode Thakur who lived during the second half of the 19th till the beginning of the 20th century, analyzes religions as having both form and substance.
In the current issue of Back to Godhead magazine my wife, Archana-siddhi d.d. wrote an article about the latest craze in the self improvement, "personal growth" world, "The Secret". She tried her best to present a balanced view since there are many truths in that book which are indeed universal. She mainly was objecting to the Book and DVD's use of what is called, "the law of attraction" for solely material reasons, when in truth this is the law which determines where we will go at the time of death (see Bhagavad-gita ch. 8 vs 5,6 & 7).
The Bhagavad-gita in Chapter 13 verses 8-12 describe various qualities which constitute the real process of knowledge. This real knowledge is the process of getting out of the material world. Ordinary so-called knowledge may be useful for living in the material world and exploiting its' various resources, yet it has no value for understanding what is beyond matter. Real intelligence from a spiritual perspective is knowing the distinction between matter and spirit and the controller of both, as well as the process of reviving our eternal nature as souls.
This is the name of a clever title to a Buddhist book, turning the old saying, "Don't just sit there, do something", on its' head.
The implication of "don't just do something" is don't just run around in worldly pursuits with no idea of who you really are and no connection to God. The next part placed at the end, "sit there", means for us, sit there to chant Hare Krishna, and/or remember and meditate on Krishna.
We should be "busy" for Krishna, yet we have to be in the right consciousness, keeping always the goal in mind.
I was told this was a Yiddish saying. It expresses to me, one of the frustrations of the material world, namely that by the time most people figure out how the world works, they are too old to really apply it. Of course they are meaning how the world works for material enjoyment, so even if you had all that knowledge, it would still be imperfect and temporary. In the next life you have to figure it out all over again.
The ways of the modern world can make it seem difficult do dedicate some quality time in the morning for some type of spiritual practice, like chanting "japa" or the soft repetition of the Hare Krishna mantra on beads, or other types of meditation.
For those of us who lived in a Temple ashram as a single person for a number of years, we developed the habit of rising early for morning worship, devotional singing, japa, engaging in Temple service, and hearing scripture. Never the less, when we married, and had to work in the world, and take care of a family, home, car, and all that goes with those things, it was an adjustment to continue our spiritual practices. So what to speak of those of you who are new to Krishna consciousness or any other spiritual path, who are attending school or college, or who have demanding jobs and family responsibilities. For spiritual practitioners of all varieties, having a balanced life is essential, as is learning to "be in the world, while knowing you are not of it, spiritually", or you are a soul having a human experience.
One of my favorite activities is offering the Lord my prayers for perfection, and reciting notable prayers.
Offering prayers is one of the nine main classifications of devotional service (these 9 methods of devotional service are also part of a larger number of 64 practices favorable for developing love for Krishna, listed in the Nectar of Devotion, chapter six).
The nine main kinds of devotional service are hearing about Krishna, chanting about him, remembering him, serving him, worshiping him in his Deity form, praying to him, carrying out his orders, serving him as a friend, and sacrificing everything for him. We can obtain perfection through practicing any one of them. If you visit a Hare Krishna Temple you will discover that all the Temple activities facilitate engaging in all these activities.
I have thought about exploring this topic for some time. Now one of my friends has requested me to so as she also had one.
I haven't kept current on my near death readings, but there a number of books I have read in the last 10 years that I found fascinating, and good for sharing with people who may not accept the Vedas or any scripture as authority.
Some people accept the personal testimony of fellow human beings living at this time as meaningful. The fact that most NDEers have similar experiences is compelling to them, whereas they think religious people can be dogmatic.