Karnamrita.das's blog

The Glory of Shrimad Bhagavatam

vyasadeva envisions the Bhagavatam

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.

My Latest Letter to the Holy Name

Japa of the holy name

During every Japa Retreat we have the opportunity to formally write down our prayers to the holy name. We are again reminded that the holy name is a person, or really the combined persons of Radha and Krishna. Our Christian brothers are fond of offering their followers a relationship to their conception of Divinity in the shape of Lord Jesus Christ. Gaudiya Vaishnavas are also offering their followers a relationship with Radha and Krishna through their holy name, as revealed through Gaura-Nitai and their representatives. We worship and praise One God in multiforms and expansions, and we especially esteem those we represent them.

Beyond the Influence of the Stars

Stars influence
The sojourn of the ignorant soul
looking for a real, satisfying role
to find the ultimate final goal
an end to suffering from illusion’s toll.

In the stars at birth, a picture is taken
revealing if we are blessed, or perhaps forsaken;
a chart plotted, the future is told
will we become ill, die young or grow old.

Ordinary Everyday Mystic

Autumns beauty'
Change is a constant, ordinarily
in Nature, slow and steady
obscured by our mind’s absorption
till a critical mass “aha” moment.

Walking outside to the mailbox
greeted by fall’s embrace
colored leaves falling and swirling
gracefully decorating the ground.

Not Taking Anything for Granted—Practicing Appreciation for Krishna's gifts

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After returning from the Japa Retreat enthused and divinely touched by sharing such potent spiritual practices in uplifting company my wife and I also received another type of mercy: the flu that some devotee inadvertently gave us. Sickness, although never sought after, often teaches us about the dual nature of the material world (happiness and distress) and its temporary nature. If we are a “spiritual possibility thinker”, then every situation can be favorable, helpful, and instructive for our holy aspirations to make progress in “shuddha Bhakti” or pure devotion. What follows are some of my thoughts from being sick and having reduced capacities for living.

Monthly call for Couples (or those thinking of marrying)

Monthly Phone Teleconference for Devotees With Marriage Questions

This Month's Topic: THE NEED FOR ON-GOING RELATIONSHIP

SKILL-BUILDING-ESPECIALLY IN MARRIAGE.

WHEN: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21st, 2010, 7-8 p.m. EST
Bridging the gap
WHERE: Teleconference call-in number is 712-432-0111 begin
access code: 761698 #. If you have any difficulties connecting, PLEASE HANG UP AND TRY AGAIN.

Dead Poet’s Society

Modern poetry leaves me cold
(though the poet's allure is appealing)
rarely I find a work meaningful
of consequence to my life
either emotionally or spiritually—
which to me are all important.

Why should I have to work so hard
to unravel the meaning in a poem
like a detective searching for a murderer
shifting through reams of so-called evidence
finding a children’s playground of no consequence.

Outer Silence, Inner Insights: Reflections on the Holy Name

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At the recent Japa Retreat III we spent days chanting the maha-mantra (the Hare Krishna chant) while observing a “mauna vrata” or a silence vow. Devotees of Krishna are advised to “always” chant the holy name (satatam kirtayanto mam Bg 9.14). Refraining from talking can help this goal by freeing up our time and facilitating deep contemplation about the mantra and our life. Silence with spiritual practice is like turning down the volume of the external channels of our awareness and opening up the inner one.

Retreating into the Heart of the Holy Name

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Eight day japa retreat focused on
living, breathing vital Krishna consciousness,
expanding on the “basics”
by looking at them in deeper ways.

Some said that they
couldn’t be paid to attend
revealing (sadly) their lack of taste
negative projection, dejection, resignation.

Three Vaishnava Saints—Our Worshipable Family

Bhaktivinode Thakur
We have had back to back to back holy days commemorating the appearance or disappearance of great saints in Gaudiya Vaishnavism. These include the appearance day of Shrila Jiva Gosvami (sort of hidden by Lord Vamanadeva’s appearance on the same day), the appearance of Bhaktivinode Thakur, and today, the disappearance day of the “namacharya” (great teacher of the glories of the holy name) Shrila Haridas Thakur.

Though I can’t do them justice especially in the same essay, at least in this short piece the significance of these great personalities can be brought to your attention, perhaps inspiring the need for more research. So please consider this three blogs in one!

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