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For we, the Fallen, the Hope of Kartik: Radha’s Mercy

Radha--her month Kartik
(©syamarani dasi, used with permission; wwwbhaktiart.net)
Now again
Kartika has come—
Radha’s month—
to remind us
of the beauty and mercy
of Shri Radha Gopinatha (Krishna)
and the importance
of our spiritual practices
as we derive special benefit
in this month
by our humble efforts
to serve the Divine Couple
hearing and remembering
their spiritual activities
chanting their holy name
in abandon and feeling.

The Land of Faith

Evolution of Consciousness
In the material ocean
of ignorance and suffering
all souls float helplessly
unless they receive
help from above--
Plants and animals
can only follow
the narrow confines
of instincts for survival
while human life
is like parole from prison
offering a way out
the chance to rise above
mere existence,
to understand our
soul and God--
if we can overcome
the animality of sensuality.

Texas Faith 16: Why are fewer Americans identifying with a religion?

Dallas Morning News,

Each week we will post a question to a panel of about two dozen clergy, laity and theologians, all of whom are based in Texas or are from Texas. They will chime in with their responses to the question of the week. And you, readers, will be able to respond to their answers through the comment box.

The Fall Wind's Message

Falling leaves
Sitting in my chair
in the forest
chanting "japa",
O Radhe, O Krishna!
please capture my mind
and heart,
end my material existence
pulling my attention and desires
to you alone--no other interests,
Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare.

Texas Faith 15: Glenn Beck and the culture of fear

Dallas Morning News,

Each week we will post a question to a panel of about two dozen clergy, laity and theologians, all of whom are based in Texas or are from Texas. They will chime in with their responses to the question of the week. And you, readers, will be able to respond to their answers through the comment box.

Amidst the Rush of life, Remembering to be Grateful

The mad dashLife is often a rush from one activity to another, and there is a tendency to not be in the present moment, but to be thinking of the next activity, or lamenting some past mistake. To counteract this habit, I do my best to begin my day by thinking of what I am grateful for. If I do this right, I observe my life with as much appreciation as I can. I look for those things I am thankful for, which are disguised as the regular details of my life. Becoming a devotee of Krishna means--among other things--to become conscious of what is really important, and gradually making our life a meaningful, joyous occasion which we offer to the Lord. My "ordinary" life is actually extraordinary, though I sometimes forget this fact. This is why being grateful needs to be a daily affair--or at least practiced frequently--so we can make gratitude and appreciation a habit, not a "should" that isn't practiced.

Commemorating and Celebrating Prabhupada's arrival in America

Prabhupad'a arrival in the WestShrila Prabhupada's coming to the West is pregnant with deep with meaning and symbolism. It demonstrates the glory of Krishna's pure devotees, and shows the primary way divinity manifests in our lives. Ordinarily, or materially, the Lord is neutral as the indwelling Paramatma or Supersoul. He is awarding every soul's good and bad karma, allowing them to go up to the higher planets [heaven] or down to the hellish ones. However, this is not the Lord's desire. He desires that all souls awaken their eternal love for him, and join together to taste the bliss of their relationship. Although Krishna is not lacking in anything, is self-sufficient, and full in himself, still, at the same time, he wants our love. We are part of him, and although tiny, he loves us, and pines for our welfare and company. Imagine that!

Katha at Kalachandji's 2: A,B,C,D, & E's of a Krishna Conscious program

8/30/09 Sunday Class by Nityananda Prabhu

The A,B,C,D, & E's of a Krishna Conscious Program

A- Assocation with devotees

B- Books, Srila Prabhupada came from the spiritual world to make these books available. Reading and distributing

C- Chanting, heart of the operation. 8th chapter 7 times writes out the whole mantra, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare . Please pledge for Japathon,

Lord Chaitanya's and Nityananda's "Mercy Cases": Realizing Our Ineligibility

PhotobucketI thought of this blog while offering mangal arotik (early morning public worship ceremony) at the Temple this morning which I do twice a week. During the years I lived in Temples I was mainly a pujari (priest who looks after the Temple Deities or forms of God) and cook. After so many years, I am quite comfortable in this arena and love the beauty of the altar, the Deities and their opulent paraphernalia, and of course the many services like bathing and dressing them. I also don't mind being in front of people, which pujaris often are, as in doing arotik and other public ceremonies like bathing of the Deities or abhishek. Whatever service I do, I try to do it on behalf of the devotees, praying for ever increasing devotion. I feel the years I spent in what was a very focused and intense service has given me much of my spiritual foundation, and "staying power" as a devotee.

Developing Firm Faith in Krishna and Bhakti

PhotobucketHaving faith in anything comes from the mood or quality of goodness (sattva-guna), which aspiring devotees of Krishna are encouraged to cultivate. Though not spiritual in itself, living and seeing through the guna or quality of goodness, is illuminating and favorable for spiritual cultivation. So part of cultivating Bhakti or the serving and remembering of Krishna in love is being situated in goodness (simplicity, peacefulness, discernment). This will be very helpful, as opposed to being in passion (intense endeavor and material attachment) or ignorance (laziness, sleep, intoxication).

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