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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Nazi, Jew, or Devotee of Nityananda Prabhu?


Sri Nityananda Prabhu

Srila Prabhupada

The following is an endearing exchange between Sacinandana Maharaj and Radhanatha Swami along with hundreds of devotees from the Radha Gopinatha Mumbai Chowpatty temple. The exchange took place during the year  1997 at Sri Ekachakra Dhama.  I remember this exchange took place rather late at night after a full day of touring Ekachakra and immediately after Radhanatha Swami gave a dynamic and heartfelt class on the unparalleled mercy of Lord Nityananda. We were all sitting under a banyan tree next to a rice field.

Sachinandana Swami

Sachinandana Swami: Hare Krishna…Let me disclose something which is not fit to be disclosed.  I was born in a very sinful family…Germans. My father has done crimes which we cannot say.  He was in the Nazi regime. Sometimes he remembers the atrocities against the Jewish population, he becomes speechless and cries. This is the background…we come from a family of brutal murderers and killers. We could tell you stories which would make you faint.

    Somehow my mother gave a complicated birth to me on Nityananda’s  appearance day. She was unconscious …it was complicated. The birth occurred just on the tithi of Nityananda’s appearance day. This sinful person (humbly referring to himself) who was destined by his karma to take birth in a family of brutal murderers. Because of this unconscious relation with Lord Nityananda we met the pure devotee, Srila Prabhupada. This is the proof of Lord Nityananda’s mercy. It is sitting before you in a body with blood flowing through his veins and so on and so forth.


I am disclosing this not because I am a special person..no, no. I was born in a family of great sinners. Special people do not take such births. It is Lord Nityananda’s mercy which made even the most fallen person into a devotee of God. This is proof of Lord Nityananda’s mercy. Hare Krishna!  

Radhanatha Swami
Radhanatha Swami: I would like to briefly expand on this very intimate revelation. Sacinanda Maharaja described his  father’s  past. He was a Nazi who killed Jews. My father was a Jew. Practically every one of his relatives were killed by the Nazis. All of his aunts, uncles, cousins were killed in a concentration camp by your father.
   Now try to understand the mercy of Lord Nityananda. Sacinandana Maharaja and I are the dearest of friends. This is the power of Lord Nityananda Prabhu. We have transcended our backgrounds as Jews and Nazi’s, and we are blissfully dancing together in the chanting of the holy names.

Ekachakra Dhama ki jay!

Here are the links to the lectures. The exchange between Radhanatha Swami and Sacinandana Swami takes place on the second link at about 48:00. The website says that these classes took place in the year 2000 but they actually occurred in 1997. Please take an hour or two to listen and meditate on these wonderful and blissful activities of Nityananda Prabhu.

Childhood Pastimes of Nityananda Prabhu.

Life of Nityananda Prabhu

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Healthy in India... medical tourism opportunity.


Healthy in India

We are going to be starting a service which will facilitate "medical tourism" in India. Medical Tourism?

Since medical treatment in America and other "western" countries (at least the ones that do not provide universal health insurance) is outrageously expensive. We will facilitate foreigners' travels to and from India, arrange for their medical treatment and take them to various tourist or pilgrimage places throughout India at prices that will be a fraction of the medical care in the West.  We have connected with some of the best doctors in all of India from various fields of medicine. We also have a team of experienced "India travelers" who can guide you throughout the exciting land of India. Our web site will be up soon but if you are anxious to start right away you can email us at healthyinindia@gmail.com. We have also been posting interesting facts and news about health in India here at Healthy in India.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Radhanatha Swami meets with Barack Obama

One of the most powerful political leaders in the world, US President Barack Obama recently met with one of the most wise and saintly person in the world, His Holiness Radhanatha Swami. Let us hope that the former finds genuine inspiration and practical guidance from the latter.

yad yad acarati sreshthas
tat tad evetaro janah
lokas tad anuvartate
Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.

On June 13, 2011 Radhanath Swami was invited to meet with the President of the United States, Mr. Barack Obama at an event in Miami Florida. Radhanath Swami was grateful to accept the invitation on behalf of his beloved Guru, Srila Prabhupada and dedicated the meeting to his beloved Godbrother Bhakti Tirtha Swami. The President and the Swami had a beautiful, heartfelt talk for several minutes.
Radhanath Swami with President Barrack Obama

It is special that last year Radhanath Swami was invited to meet with the President of India, Ms. Pratibha Patil. We feel that the two meetings signal an auspicious spiritual connection between the United States of America and Mother India.

Friday, December 31, 2010

an oppurtunity...mayapur.tv


Today and tomorrow (24hours ) the folks in Mayapur will be having nonstop kirtan for 24 hours. This year the event is dedicated to Aindra Prabhu who recently left his mortal body. He breathed kirtan, inspired kirtan, taught kirtan and is a major inspiration for those who have dedicated themselves the practice of kirtan and bhajan. By chanting kirtan (singing) of Lord Krishna's name and glories one is gradually, and sometimes not so gradually, able to perceive him/herself, the nature of his existence in this world and ultimately one can experience the naturally blissful ecstasy of the soul's relationship with God. When the sun rises in the morning you are gradually able to see your environment which was previously covered by darkness. The name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna is non different from Himself and is thus compared to the sunshine. When we wholeheartedly beg with determination and sincerity to associate with the most beautiful (beauty that cannot be compared to anything in this world) supreme person He (Krishna) and His feminine counterpart Radharani reveal themselves in the heart. Krishna Himself has declared that the most powerful avenue to express our desire for this association is to sing or chant the Maha Mantra ( Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare). Singing this mantra is especially powerful when performed in a congregation with other like minded devotees. In our bhakti tradition there are countless accounts of devotees whose senses (sight, sound, aroma, touch and taste) were flooded with ecstasy through contact with Krishna and His holy name. Did you know that the english translation of Krishna means all-attractive? The love and happiness that we are looking for can be found wherever devotees are petitioning the Lord through kirtan. Please join us! It is open to everyone!



Saturday, September 11, 2010

Such a sad reality...

Why is Religion so Often a Source of Conflict?

Such a sad reality.

The basis of every religion is to love God with all your heart, mind and soul and love your neighbor as yourself; and ultimately everyone is our neighbor.

The Srimad Bhagavatam tells that the greatest service that gives pleasure to God is to show compassion to other living beings.

The purpose of all religion is to teach universal selfless love.

sa vai pumsam paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhokshaje
ahaituky apratihata
yayatma suprasidati
(Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.6)

The supreme dharma, or the supreme religion for all humanity, is not to be a Hindu or a Christian or a Jew or a Muslim or a Jain or a Zoroastrian or a Buddhist. The supreme religion for all humanity is that which awakens from ones heart, love, love for God, compassion for all living beings.

And that love must be unconditional and unmotivated to actually satisfy our self, because that is our nature.

So if this is the purpose and the basis of every religion, how is it that we find.. and it's been there through history.. that religion is provoking bigotry, sectarianism, division, hatred, violence?

Because various religions manifest to teach the same principles in different times and different places, they have different rituals, sometimes different ways of explaining..

..and when people identify and attach themselves with the external, superficial aspects of religion, then they will see so many differences..

..and it can provoke such type of arrogance, ego, and even hatred and violence.

The violence in the name of religion is really in the name of the false ego, it's not in the name of religion.

People extend their egos through nationalism, through racism, and even through religion.

We want to be the greatest. We want to be right, and everyone else is wrong.

What that means is we are not understanding the essence of religion.

In Sanskrit there is a word "Bhava-grahi"; a truly spiritual person is one who is always seeking the essence.

When we understand the essence, then we can understand the real purpose of the ritual and the forms that are meant to facilitate and accommodate knowing the essence.

But all too often we have a very superficial, external, unrealistic conception of our own religion.

Long ago when I was living in India I had a very dear friend who was an 85 year old man. He was a Hindu, devotee of Lord Rama, and his best friend was a Muslim.

And they used to have inter-religious dialogues between themselves every few days and I would go and discuss with them.

And one day while sitting on the bank of the Ganges I asked him "In a country where there is so much conflict, and so much suspicion between Islam and Hinduism, how is it that the two of you are such good friends?"

And he gave me an answer which I've never forgotten.

He said "If a person has a dog, if that person stands before the dog in a three-piece suit, or in a t-shirt, or in pajamas, or in underwear, or if he stands before the dog naked, the dog will always recognize his master… even in different clothes, in different settings."

He said "If we cannot recognize our God when He comes in different dresses, in different forms, in different ways, and teaches through different traditions..

..if we can't recognize our God in these different ways, then we have so much to learn from a dog."

Thank you very much.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Jesus...would he approve?

Thou shall not kill.

Jesus would certainly want as little suffering as possible in this world.

If we desire to please Jesus then we should take a look at all aspects of our lives and assess whether our actions resonate with his mood and desires. Our diet is a good place to start. If the content of our meal involves the killing of a living entity that would otherwise run away if it knew you were trying to kill it, should you still indulge? Remember, the reason why it would run away is to avoid pain and suffering.

If you decide to go ahead and indulge in this meal then my question is, what does it mean to accept Jesus into your heart?

This is an important question.

Whether Jesus was a strict vegetarian or not may or may not be convincing by the following clip. What is convincing about the clip is that factory farms for "raising" or "farming" any type of animal meat causes extreme amounts of suffering to the animal.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Radhanatha Swami on Fox news in Seattle

If you would like to purchase the "The Journey Home" (in the USA) go here .

This is not an advertisement. It is simply a post of a disciple who is inspired by what HH Radhanatha Swami is doing and would like to share it with friends and family.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The carnival is not cancelled

In sanskrit there is a word giving a description of the spiritual world, nitya-utsava. There are unlimited dynamic descriptions of the spiritual realm in the vedic literatures but I particularly like this one. Nitya-utsava means that there is an eternal (nitya) festival (utsava) in the spiritual world. This festival has also entered the heart of one who has internally entered the spiritual world. Our path to that place is to simply engage in sankirtan. Sankirtan means to hear the Hare Krishna mantra and respond in kind. In this technological age we can go to an appropriate website download kirtan files and incessantly listen to them, maybe even loudly respond.

Try it out!

Here are some sites where you can find the music (kirtan) that is guaranteed to fill your soul with bliss. The more you listen to these transcendental mantras filled with devotion (bhakti) the more the modes of nature will have less of a debilitating effect on your consciousness.

Download them and listen to them throughout the day. You can even listen to them loud! Go ahead... I dare you! Download some kirtan, listen to it with loud volume, and sing along. You will be happy that you did.

Aindra in Mayapur 2009

There are so many more sites, but this should get you started or help you continue.

Let the carnival go on!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Worlwide ISKCON Grassroots Namsankirtan Revolution

This short talk took place after kirtan had already been going on in Pancha Tattva temple for hours. The previous kirtans were led by devotees like Radhanatha Swami and Lokanatha Swami. No one wanted to stop, especially because Aindra was about to lead the kirtan!

Here is the link to the few words that Aindra spoke before he led us in hours of sankirtan.

There is nothing like harinam sankirtan. I think that this clip can give us a glimpse at 1) how important it is to endeavor to constantly engage in harinam sankirtan 2) how blissfull it is…kirtans only increase in bliss 3) how important and influential Aindra is to our movement 4) how Aindra was such an influential preacher of harinam sankirtan.

Devotees in the temple: Gauranga! Gauranga! Gauranga! Gauranga! Gauranga! Gauranga! Gauranga! Gauranga! Gauranga! Gauranga!

AIndra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Aindra again: Please rememberWorlwide ISKCON Grassroots…that means grassroots…don’t wait for the big guns to get it together, the grassroots should do it grassroots Namsankirtan Revolution...if you do not know what grassroots means look it up in the dictionary...it is all of you!...those other than the power elite are the grassroots....we have to get it together and understand the philosophy of Krishna consciousness....the philosophy of Krishna consciousness is to chant and dance as much as possible in this human form of life...to get krishna prema (ecstatic love of God) and go back home back to godhead...the demoniac corporate governments are not going to slow down to wait for us to get it together…the demons are going mad, while we have the chance, in any part of the world we should take advantage and help push on nama sankirtan…it is on the upswing…be part of it!...part of the solution…not part of the problem.

Here is the link to the kirtan that followed. Here is a link to the rest of the Aindra's Mayapur 2009 kirtans.

Why don't babies laugh when they come out of the womb?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

more on grassroots and fertilizer

A few days ago I wrote about something that Aindra said in Mayapur 2009 about the importance of the ISKCON "grassroots" movement. After downloading some of the kirtans that Aindra led in 2009 at this site.... I found the sound byte that actually contains this nugget of wisdom. It can be found here....ISKCON Grassroots. When he told us who is considered a part of the ISKCON grassrooots movement he told everyone there in the temple that it meant all of them. There is no doubt that he also meant everyone else who takes to kirtan and bhajan of the Hare Krishna maha mantra as their shelter.

When one regularly experiences the lifestyle that is centered around the glorification and singing of Krishna's names then they too are a part of this grassroots movement. The only fertilizer is the careful avoidance of the ten offences to the Holy name.

They are as follows:

Ten Offenses to be Avoided

(from Nectar of Devotion)

The offenses against chanting the holy name are as follows:

1) To blaspheme the devotees who have dedicated their lives for propagating the holy name of the Lord.

2) To consider the names of the demigods like Lord Siva or Lord Brahma to be equal to, or independent of, the name Lord Visnu.

3) To disobey the orders of the spiritual master.

4) To blaspheme the Vedic literature or literature in pursuance of the Vedic version.

5) To consider the glories of chanting Hare Krsna to be imagination.

6) To give some interpretation on the holy name of the Lord.

7) To commit sinful activities on the strength of chanting the holy name of the Lord.

8) To consider chanting of Hare Krsna one of the auspicious ritualistic activities offered in the Vedas as fruitive activities (karma-kanda).

9) To instruct a faithless person about the glories of the holy name.

10) To not have complete faith in the chanting of the holy names and to maintain material attachments, even after understanding so many instructions on this matter.

Every devotee who claims to be a Vaisnava must guard against these offenses in order to quickly achieve the desired success.

Remember that even if one feels they are being offensive, there is no need to stop chanting. By trying to chant sincerely and serving the spiritual master, we may be purified of our offenses and may be able to chant purely. Chant Hare Krsna and Be Happy!


Friday, July 30, 2010

Different types of theism?

In the previous post modus operandi I quoted from the Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 11 a description of the various qualities that influences material nature.

Later in the chapter Krishna even describes religion in the different modes of nature! Here it is:

Theism in Goodness: Any person, whether man or woman, who worships Me with loving devotion, offering his or her prescribed duties unto Me without material attachment, is understood to be situated in goodness.

Theism in Passion: When a person worships Me by his prescribed duties with the hope of gaining material benefit, his nature should be understood to be in passion

Theism in Ignorance: One who worships Me with the desire to commit violence against others is in ignorance.

Unfortunately, these days theism in the mode of ignorance is getting a great deal of press and attention. But, at least in the United States of America, the mood of passion seems to be the more popular conception of theism e.g. "Please God give us our daily bread". It is certainly the type of theism that Americans have been historically inclined to practice. As time progresses if the community can find other ways of getting "our daily bread" then theism is easily cast aside.

Srimad Bhagavatam states that theism exists in its purest and highest sense if the practitioner's approach to God is in the mood of a sincere desire to simply please God. The great saint Prahlad Maharaja has said that any other type of theism should be described as doing business with God or Krishna. Business relationships are by there very nature not based on love. Love is by nature selfless. Love of the supremely attractive Lord is the only thing that will really satisfy the self. The Srimad Bhagavatam explains that such relationship with the lord must be unmotivated to satisfy the self. The Srimad Bhagavatam explains this type of theism in more detail in this wonderful chapter. Give it a read!

Maybe we could try that out for a while!

Aindra and the grassroots sankirtana movement

One evening in Mayapur in 2009 I remember Aindra made a statement that made an impression on me. He said that this sankirtan movement was a grassroots movement. He said that it is through the grassroots methods that the absolutely auspicious activity of sankirtan will spread. Below I have shown from the Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita what the desire of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is in regards to the spreading of sankirtan. Also I have copied wikipedia's description of a "grassroots" movement. This description could certainly be translated to fit the sankirtan grassroots movement. Perhaps we could even change the name to the mangoe tree movement!

Sri Chaitanya Prabhu said:

"It would certainly be a very laborious task to pick the fruits and distribute them alone, and still I suspect that some would receive them and others would not.Therefore I order every man within this universe to accept this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement and distribute it everywhere...Distribute this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement all over the world. Let people eat these fruits and ultimately become free from old age and death. If the fruits are distributed all over the world... all people will glorify My name (Hare Krishna...a name of God) with great pleasure...It is the duty of every living being to perform welfare activities for the benefit of others with his life, wealth, intelligence and words. By his work, thoughts and words, an intelligent man must perform actions which will be beneficial for all living entities in this life and the next. I am merely a gardener. I have neither a kingdom nor very great riches. I simply have some fruits and flowers that I wish to utilize to achieve piety in My life. Although I am acting as a gardener, I also want to be the tree, for thus I can bestow benefit upon all. Just see how these trees are maintaining every living entity! Their birth is successful. Their behavior is just like that of great personalities, for anyone who asks anything from a tree never goes away disappointed.'"

(a note...this is Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who is the Supreme Lord taking the role of a devotee of the Lord...this role as a devotee is one reason why he expresses his inability to spread everywhere His name. Another reason He states this is so that we can gain an opportunity to take part. That is called mercy)

The descendants of the tree [the devotees of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu] were very glad to receive this order directly from the Lord. The fruit of love of God is so delicious that wherever a devotee distributes it, those who relish the fruit, anywhere in the world, immediately become intoxicated.

So Aindra's encourages us to push forward this mission in the mood in the format of a grassroots mission:


A grassroots movement is one driven by the politics of a community. The term implies that the creation of the movement and the group supporting it are natural and spontaneous, highlighting the differences between this and a movement that is orchestrated by traditional power structures. Grassroots movements are often at the local level, as many volunteers in the community give their time to support the local party, which can lead to helping the national party. For instance, a grassroots movement can lead to significant voter registration for a political party, which in turn helps the state and national parties.


Grassroots movements organize and lobby through procedures including:

  • hosting house meetings or parties
  • having larger meetings
  • putting up posters
  • talking with pedestrians on the street (often involving informational clipboards)
  • gathering signatures for petitions
  • mobilizing letter-writing, phone-calling, and emailing campaigns
  • setting up information tables
  • raising money from many small donors for political advertising or campaigns
  • organizing large demonstrations
  • asking individuals to submit opinions to media outlets and government officials
  • holding get out the vote activities, which include the practices of reminding people to vote and transporting them to polling places.
  • using online social networks to organize virtual communities

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Modus operandi

Too often when people speak of "scripture" the images of flimsy belief systems, outdated stories or conduits of damnation are conveyed. It is the belief of many that scripture is absolutely opposed to anything practical. I hypothesize that this is not the case and that if we experiment with some scriptural quotations from the Srimad Bhagavatam we will observe some beneficial results. I will leave the conclusion up to you.

Below is a description of the different qualities that manifest in material nature. For all of you relativists out there I am sorry to say that some are indeed labeled good and some are labeled bad.

The qualities are placed into three catagories: goodness, passion and ignorance. We can endlessly discuss all of these qualities and their applications into daily life, but here we will just list the qualities. If I may, I will also suggest that throughout the day you observe your actions and thoughts in light of these descriptions.

I cannot resist in making one point. In order to realize truths such as our spiritual identity, the qualities of God, and the workings of the world around us we must situate ourselves in the mode of goodness.

Goodness:: Mind and sense control, tolerance, discrimination, sticking to one's prescribed duty, truthfulness, mercy, careful study of the past and future, satisfaction in any condition, generosity, renunciation of sense gratification, faith in the spiritual master, being embarrassed at improper action, charity, simplicity, humbleness and satisfaction within oneself.

Passion: Material desire, great endeavor, audacity, dissatisfaction even in gain, false pride, praying for material advancement, considering oneself different and better than others, sense gratification, rash eagerness to fight, a fondness for hearing oneself praised, the tendency to ridicule others, advertising one's own prowess and justifying one's actions by one's strength.

Ignorance: Intolerant anger, stinginess, speaking without scriptural authority, violent hatred, living as a parasite, hypocrisy, chronic fatigue, quarrel, lamentation, delusion, unhappiness, depression, sleeping too much, false expectations, fear and laziness.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


In mid May of 2010 I was in Vrindavan. It was a difficult day for me. My health was bad, I was trying to deal with visa issues and there were a multitude of other things that seemed to be like problems at the time. Vrindavan is a place where you either take complete shelter of Krishna or suffer. Even if you suffer in Vrindavan if you are wholeheartedly taking shelter of Krishna it is not really like the suffering that one is accustomed to. In Vrindavan suffering there is actually great hope and happiness in the thought that one is actually at home where he or she belongs. Krishna was very merciful to me later that day by giving me an experience and realization that I will never forget.

Every day Aindra would perform his worship in the form of bhajan an hour before the Gaura aratika. (In fact in Vrindavan the Gaura aratika often seemed to get off to a slow start as everyone was so mesmerized by the magical kirtan that they had just experienced. ) I walked into the temple room about ten minutes after he began singing. At that time I had a realization that I will forever cherish. Real meaningful and substantial happiness occurs in the association of devotees who are taking complete shelter of the Holy Name. That realization was cemented that night. What was more, however, was the importance of the influence of the pure devotee chanting the Holy Names. When I walked into the temple room of Krishna and Balarama I felt that I was experiencing a festival like I had never experienced before. Everyone was utterly absorbed in taking shelter of the holy names of Krishna. Aindra’s devotional influence on the devotees in the temple room and upon my own consciousness was the most moving experience I ever had.

The Gaudiya Vaisnava philosophy is supremely convincing, but what really attracts peoples minds’ and hearts’ is the collective experience of taking shelter of Krishna in the association of a pure devotee. There is nothing in the universe that can compare with the good fortune of such an experience. Aindra regularly offered this experience to the community of vaisnavas either personally in Vrindavan or through his recorded bhajans. The sadhus from all over Vrindavan would regularly come and blissfully dance in Aindra’s kirtans. Knowing that the experience of his vapu is no longer available is truly devastating. He was truly able to reveal the to the assembled devotees the glories of the deities of Gaura-Nitai, Krishna-Balarama, and Radha Shyamasundara. He did this by showing us how They will fully reveal Themselves through Their holy name if, as he did, one properly takes advantage of Their offer. He truly embodied the mood and teachings of the sacred Siksastakam.

All glories to His Grace Aindra Prabhu!

Hare Krishna Kare Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The yoga of kirtan makes waves in world music

The Mayapuris debut album Mridanga (CD | iTunes) climbed the iTunes World Music charts today arriving at #7. Generally in the music industry, album sales decline after the initial release week, but the Maypuris sales have only gotten stronger.

We would like to congratulate The Mayapuris on the success of the first two weeks of their album release and we thank you all for supporting them and spreading the word! For all of you waiting to purchase their album on the International iTunes store, it will be available in one week from today.

This post was copied from Mantrology.com

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The meaning of "Home"

Some of my friends and family members have read and appreciated this book by Radhanatha Swami entitled "The Journey Home." In this video Radhanatha Swami describes what he means by "home." I have posted only the first part (out of 7 parts) of the talk he gave at the Mumbai launch of his book. The rest of the talk can be found here. At this site there are also many other wonderful video clips. The site is entitled Radhanatha Swami Weekly.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Missing Mayapur

It has been almost three months since I have left Mayapur. Due to unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances I had to leave that glorious place with only a three day notice. Needless to say I am in painful separation from that place that I consider my eternal home. It is such a a special place.
Sometimes the Lord takes us away from His devotees, Himself and His abode in order to increase our appreciation of the object of affection. This is in fact probably one of the most esoteric subjects in the philosophy of Bhakti Yoga. The two opposing poles of separation and meeting are known in sanskrit as vipralambha and sambhog respectively. The meeting is accompanied with joy, celebration, personal interaction and all of the things that come with meeting one's beloved. In this world of matter the meeting aspect is the only type of association we can appreciate. In spiritual consciousness the separation from the beloved is also a source of happiness. No doubt there is the common saying that absence makes the heart grow fonder. In spiritual consciousness however, this " heart growing fonder" is increased to a degree that we cannot imagine. The great souls describe that the separation of pure souls from the all attractive Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna is actually a form of unfathomable bliss. This is where the spiritual consciousness and material consciousness diverge. I will not go into detail regarding the great science of the bliss of spiritual separation and meeting, but suffice it to say that for the pure soul they are both on the platform of pure happiness.
I cannot say that I am in ecstatic bliss in separation from Mayapur dhama. It is encouraging however to know that that the more I cultivate this attachment for the holy dhama of Mayapur, the closer I will come to experiencing ecstasy in both the meeting and separation of this place. For now....I am doing everything I can to get back to this sacred place we call Mayapur.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Some videos from Sri Mayapur International School.

This first clip is a collage of various portions of our Open School Day 2010 event at Sri Mayapur International School(SMIS):

The second selection is a short clip done by some of our vaishnavi students at SMIS. It is based on a devotional song written by the great medieval saint Govinda Kaviraja. The song is entitled Bhajahure Mana. It is a prayer in the form of an instruction to the mind...
O my mind, just worship the lotus feet of the son of Nanda
(Lord Krishna)
Which make one fearless.

Many thanks to our Art teacher Amala Chaitanya Prabhu for his artistic offerings and guidance.
Please go to Mayapurschool.com for more information about Sri Mayapur International School (SMIS). You can go here to sign up for the school's newsletter.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Your best friend the absolute truth

I received a letter from a gentleman that I met at the ISKCON Delhi temple last week. I have placed the gist of his letter and my feeble response on this post.
Dear Guara Nitai Das,

It was very nice talking to you on Sunday and listening to your words of wisdom
about Krishna Bhakti.

Prabhu, what is mean't by the absolute truth according to the quote from Resuming in
in your blog Truth and Beauty through Bhakti.
"The scene here reinforces my conviction that when the absolute truth is presented without selfish or ulterior motives it is attractive to everyone sincerely seeking truth."

Hare Krishna,
********************************************************************** Atul,

I hope that you are well!

Thank you for your mail.

Well, what did you think when you first read that word "absolute truth", Is there even such a thing that can be characterized as an/the absolute truth? Or when I discuss the absolute truth am I just carelessly speaking about the "absolute truth" from my point of view? If I was speaking about the absolute merely from my own point of view only or the speculative point of view of my friends, colleagues and mentors then it would have to be referred to as relative truth.

Discussions and descriptions of the absolute truth can fill unlimited amounts time and space. The Srimad Bhagavatam describes that this type of discussion, if practiced under appropriate guidance, are truly satisfying to the mind, intelligence and soul. Questions such as the one you ask, ‘What is the meaning of the “absolute truth”’ are according to authoritative Vedic literatures the best of all types of questions. In the opening verses of the Srimad Bhagavatam, Suta Goswami, before answering similar questions asked of him, glorifies these types of inquiries. He says in Canto 1 Chapter 2 Verse 25:

“O sages, I have been justly questioned by you. Your questions are worthy because they relate to Lord Kṛṣṇa and so are of relevance to the world's welfare. Only questions of this sort are capable of completely satisfying the self.

I like the smell of the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, ginger, and other spices when they are cooked in ghee. I have experienced others who smell this part of the cooking and think that it smells horrid! Instead, they may like the smell of pigs flesh being burnt over the fire. In the same way we may try to extend this situation to everything we experience. Is there any one thing that is satisfying and brings bliss or at least satisfaction to every living entity who comes in contact with it. Modern philosophers would generally say "no there is not, therefore everything (taste, smell, etc) is relative." This means that there is no one thing that can satisfy every living entity. Taking this idea of the relative world even further we would say that we all have different goals in life, different morals that direct us towards those goals and ultimately a different conception of what will truly satisfy and enlighten us.

One of the conclusions that some people come up with is that the absolute truth is something that cannot have any qualities, like form, personality, knowledge or any other perceivable quality that we can see, imagine or experience in this world. The result is an empty concept of voidism, nothingness or simply a denial the existence of an absolute truth. These conclusions are natural for those materially conditioned souls who have not received and understood the absolute truth from a tattva-darsi or a knower of the absolute truth.

When students or teachers who actually blessed with knowledge and realization of the absolute truth speak about spiritual qualities, the mind and intelligence of those conditioned by false ego (ahankara) tend to rebel. This is a natural reaction for most conditioned entities, The only qualities that people have experienced are qualities exhibited by material nature. As a result we tend to project that conception on the absolute! We ask "How can the perfect God have a form and qualities? That would be limiting and disqualify Him from being the absolute truth. How can the Supreme Personality of Godhead have names, friends, activities and all of those things that we have experienced here in matter". Or even "I see a picture of the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna and I do not feel enlightened or attracted" These are all common and reasonable objections.
Let us take a look at a description of one of the absolute truth's inconceivable qualities. This verse is the invocation verse of the Sri Isopanisad:
om purnam adah purnam idam purnat purnam udacyate
purnasya purnam adaya purnam evavasisyate

The Personality of Godhead is perfect and complete, and because He is completely perfect, all emanations from Him, such as this phenomenal world, are perfectly equipped as complete wholes. Whatever is produced of the Complete Whole is also complete in itself. Because He is the Complete Whole, even though so many complete units emanate from Him, He remains the complete balance.

This verse is a bit of a tongue twister but please do not let that distract you from the profundity of the statement. This quality of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is inaccessible to even the most erudite mind and intelligence. It is saying that the complete whole or the Supreme Person emanates other items (complete units) from itself and it does not lose anything. Say, for example, you have a nice carob chip cookie in your hand and there are many hungry kids around. If you were to take a piece of that cookie off of the original then the cookie would be reduced in size and quantity. If you are magnanimous you will keep giving away pieces of the cookie until it is completely gone! The manifestation of the cookie as a complete whole would no longer be in existence Also, the hungry kids only have smaller portions of the original cookie. None of them are able to enjoy the entire cookie. The absolute truth however has the capability to produce “complete units” (like complete cookies) without reducing the original in any way.
These complete units may be characterized into three basic types: 1. (matter), insentient substances of various qualities and characteristics 2. (spiritual) dependent and eternally individual living entities of various characteristics, (us) and 3. (spiritual) Himself and with the exact same potencies and qualities as Himself. According to the Visnu Purana these are the three types of energies that “emanate” from the absolute truth. In the Bhagavad Gita (verses 7.4-7) Krishna Himself gives clear description of these three categories. :
Catagory 1. BG 7.4 Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego — all together these eight constitute My separated material energies.
Catagory 2. BG 7.5 Besides these, O mighty-armed Arjuna, there is another, superior energy of Mine, which comprises the living entities who are exploiting the resources of this material, inferior nature.
Catagory 3. BG 7.6 & BG7.7 All created beings have their source in these two natures. Of all that is material and all that is spiritual in this world, know for certain that I am both the origin and the dissolution.O conqueror of wealth, there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread.

The crux of the problem for the layman, apart from lack of desire to know the absolute truth, is an incomplete or totally absent conception of the above mentioned primary energies of the absolute truth. You will notice that category 1 is a material quality while qualities 2 and 3 are regarded as spiritual energies. In the Bhagavad Gita Krishna begins His spiritual instructions by distinguishing between the material energy and the spiritual energy (BG 2.12-BG 2.30). Th Bhagavad Gita is considered to be that ABC's of spiritual thought in the sense that it lays the foundation for further spiritual practice and understanding. That is why Krishna gives these instructions first. It is the foundation for the foundation!

The qualities of this spiritual nature are eternal, fully cognizant and full of bliss. The qualities of matter are just the opposite, temporary manifestations, entirely insentient, and full of suffering. As spiritual living entities we are not in our natural state when we identify with this material body. No one wants to die, no one wants to be dumb, and no one desires unhappiness. That is natural because that is the nature of the soul! The problem is that we are looking for satisfaction of our desires in dull matter only. Only when we learn to properly associate with the Lord through His devotees and by chanting His name (Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare) will we begin to experience the spiritual nature. We may have a theoretical understanding of spirit in the beginning but after time Krishna gradually allows you to experience the true bliss of the soul. And by the way that bliss is ever increasing and it never gets stale.

Here are some comments by Srila Prabhupada on the previously quoted Sri Isopanisad verse:
* When one realizes the Supreme Person, he realizes these aspects of the Absolute Truth in their completeness. Vigrahah means "form." Thus the Complete Whole is not formless. If He were formless, or if He were less than His creation in any other way, He could not be complete. The Complete Whole must contain everything both within and beyond our experience; otherwise He cannot be complete.

* The Complete Whole, the Personality of Godhead, has immense potencies, all of which are as complete as He is. Thus this phenomenal world is also complete in itself. ….

*….All facilities are given to the small complete units (namely the living beings) to enable them to realize the Complete Whole. All forms of incompleteness are experienced due to incomplete knowledge of the Complete Whole…..

The soul is pleasure seeking so it must turn somewhere for that pleasure. It is only when we begin to taste some of that spiritual realization and bliss that we can naturally give up the material conceptions. These realizations allow us to tread the tangible road map towards the natural joy of the soul. The greatest self realized souls come to the point where personally experiencing spiritual bliss is not their purpose in acting. Instead they act to give that bliss to others. Indeed, selflessness is the litmus test for genuine realization of the absolute truth. Ironically, in that state of selfless consciousness the bliss and realization of the practitioner increases unlimitedly. Every living entity who properly approaches the absolute truth with sincerity and submission will ultimately be attracted to the absolute truth Sri Krishna.
Krishna and His energies which are inconceivably both different and non-different is the absolute truth. Ecstatic selfless loving interactions between the spiritual energies and the Sri Krishna is the means and the goal of life for every living entity. Absolutely.