I am sure that many philosophers or thinkers have said something to the effect that although looking at the past is good if we extract from it life lessons that inform our present, the past is not a good place to live or be stuck in. Our present is the intersection between the past and future. There is no question that our past—in this life and in previous lives—has a tremendous influence on who we think we are. However, if we want a good future, including changing our past conditioning which is unhelpful for our spiritual progress, it can only be created in the present, or moment by moment. Understanding those influences which don’t serve our goals is an important part of creating change. (This is the 1st part of a two part series.)
I am feeling negligent
being absent here to blog
attending to many services
pressing demands taking time
while unable to carry out
a most sacred responsibility.
Forgive me for again expressing
about my writing service
an important reminder for me
a vital duty to my Gurus,
previous teachers, and Shri Chaitanya
to shine a light on Krishna.
People—even religious ones—tend to blame God when things don’t go well. Most of us consider ourselves decent human beings, certainly not perfect, but good enough to not be deserving of some unexpected calamity. So we say, “Why me God? What did I do to deserve this?” We might also learn to think, “Why not me, God?” This question will naturally come when we understand that we, the soul, are eternal, and have had unlimited lives in the material world fueled by our desires and actions or karma. So from this vantage point, our current life is a result of our previous life. Our glance in the mirror showing our face is not happenstance but consequence! (This is part 2, following "Wanting Krishna to Solve our Economic Problems")
Krishna consciousness is truly a very high theology in terms of its depth of knowledge in explaining the supreme subject, the Absolute Truth, the Source of Everything, the Supreme Personality, or God. In the pure devotional literature of the Vedas we are given a picture of God’s most personal and intimate feature of Krishna. (The truth of this statement requires a serious study and shouldn’t be discounted only by one’s belief. As I have often said, there is only one spiritual system in the universe. An advanced spiritual person sees unity in diversity, and other conceptions of Divinity are not seen as a threat.) This deep knowledge of God is all fine and good a person might say, but what is in it for me and my family? I need money not philosophy.Part 1 of a 2 part blog:
The naked form of matter
giving misery, heartbreak
from good advertising
In the scheme of things having a tooth pulled--or loosing it--could be seen as a very small event in a person's life--one of the many so-called mundane "non-events", more a distraction from "real life" than something noteworthy. However, personally, I don't think any occurrence, event or day is ever ordinary. We only have mundane or ordinary vision or perspectives. Especially for a devotee, they try to put Krishna into everything they do, or see everything in relationship to him. Life is miraculous, but to see like this requires an attitude of appreciation and positive expectancy.
I was inspired to write this blog in the face of my intense pain preceding my tooth extraction, and my wife's present illness. Everything which we experience is meant to be thought about deeply and seen in relationship to God. According to Shri Prahlad Maharaja, a saint whose great devotion caused the incarnation of Krishna as Lord Nrisimhadeva, there are two main problems with the material world: experiencing that which we don’t want, and separation from our loved ones. These two might be considered a general outgrowth of the Gita’s analysis of “the fourfold miseries” of birth, disease, old age and death. I think it safe to say that we can all look at our life and expand these basic categories.
My guru, Shrila Prabhupada taught us that the appearance and disappearance of the guru are both equal, since there is no death for anyone, and what to speak of our guru. In addition our guru lives on through their instructions and disciples and how we relate to both. Of course within the oneness of these occasions there are different flavors. We may remember how we first met our guru, and the impact their leaving this world has had on us. In his or her absence we can talk about worshiping them in separation, which is considered even a higher and more powerful meditation then physical presence. On these days we often remember endearing stories of our association with our guru. While these stories are often touching and inspirational, I have been reflecting for the last few days, that for me, more important then the stories themselves, are what we have become by following Prabhupada’s teachings and example.
We just observed the celebration of Govardhana-puja or the worship of a special mountain in Vrindavan, India (the land of Krishna’s birth or appearance) which is considered non-different from Krishna. It is a festival of simple, though elegant pomp and gaiety that teaches us many practical lessons about living in balance with Nature and God. For the festival a hill of sanctified food (prasadum) is created with Krishna on the top to recreate the hill. These festivities commemorate this occasion, and help us meditate on its meaning. We hear about what happened, along with plays reenacting it, worship of the cow, and circumambulating the hill as was done 5,000 years ago. We also pray to enter into the deep, yet simple, essential message of this blessed event.
It often happens in our modern, youth oriented and scientifically informed culture that people consider an ancient scripture like the Shrimad Bhagavatam an irrelevant, old book, good--at best--for a doorstop. Anticipating this bias I thought I would try to help you enter into the world of the revealed spiritual literature of India, the Vedas, and specifically the Shrimad Bhagavatam.
The Vedas were originally an oral tradition compiled or put into written form 5,000 years ago by the legendary Vyasadeva, the literary incarnation of God. Books then are considered a sign, not of advancement of human beings, but an indication of our deteriorated intelligence and memory. In any case, after finishing his great work, which included the four main Vedas, 18 Puranas, 108 Upanishads, and such epics as the Mahabharat and Ramayan, Vyasa was still not satisfied.