Bhakti Yoga-Devotional Service to the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna

Bhakti Yoga-Devotional Service to the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna
Gopis performing Devotional Service to the Lordships Sri Sri Radha Krishna

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Ganges forever flows to the sea without hindrance, let my attraction be constantly drawn to you

Excerpt from Journey Home-HH Radhanath Swami

As soon as something appears, it is vanishing by the power of time. But the beauty of the current of Ganga down deep is forever. If we go deep into a perception of this world with the spiritual perspective we find there everlasting truth which is not subject to the fickle waves of the joys and sorrows of this world. The Ganges begins in Gangotri in the Himalayas and is coming down and never stops its current till it reaches the sea. On the way so many impediments, giant trees fall onto the current, massive rocks and even mountains, yet mother Ganga flows around, over, somehow or other never stops its path to the sea. Similarly, whatever impediments still may be in our lives, they are like rocks in the river of life. And if we learn from the Ganga to always perceiver to somehow or other managed to get around through every impediment with the help of God. We will all reach the sea in our inner most aspiration. But as Ganges is flowing I was watching, there were trees, there were leaves, there were flowers, there dead buffalos, there was even some dead human corpses. If they just stay with the current, they will reach the sea, the ultimate destination of Ganga. But most things will be diverted to the banks. And as soon as it diverted to the banks it doesn't go further. Similarly, in spiritual path there will be many temptations, many diversions, many alternatives, inviting us to come out from the current of the teachings of the god, or scriptures, or the teaching of the guru. Only those remain in the current of that grace will reach the sea of human life to destination.

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if you want to be happy in this world, then simply stop trying to be happy in this world....

Why Krsna descends in this material world ….

"G u r u m u k h a p a d m a v a k y a"

Why Krsna descends in this material world …..………...... Nectarean Mellows

Prahlad Maharaj made things very simple, if you want to be happy in this world, then simply stop trying to be happy in this world; then you would be happy, but as long as you are trying to be happy in this world, you have to suffer because it a place of death. Krsna has declared it is a place of suffering, but at the same time, the soul is pleasure seeking, the soul is sac-cid-ananda,, the soul must have ananda, it must have pleasure, the soul is searching for ecstasy, but we are looking in the wrong place but Krsna is so kind, so merciful, He descends in this world out of love and affection, for those who have rejected Him, rebelled against Him, due to envy, to reveal His form, to reveal the science of devotion, to reveal His pastimes, to actually reveal the spiritual world to us and invite us, come back home back to Godhead. Krsna reveals His beautiful qualities and His divine pastimes just to attract our hearts and one who takes shelter of Krsna, one who understands His birth and activities, never has to suffer in this material world again, but attains
Krsna's abode.

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What is Real Wisdom?



It is hard to have deep relations. The reason is that more you are controlling, more you become addicted and condition to controlling spirit. You want to control everything and everyone and you can’t have deep relationships as long as you are controlling. So there is little love for people who are extremely successful. It’s always been that way. The only way they can be is if you take a humble position and really accept people as your equals. So here is the promise, people are fighting, fighting to get there and then when they get there they can’t give up what they have and at the same time, it’s a very lonely and unsatisfying life.

Srimad Bhagavatam is trying to break through the misconception of this type of dream for happiness. That is why Srila Prabhupada was so strong when he spoke there is no really no happiness in the material world. All the so called happiness is just on the level of this ever chaning waves and foaming bubbles. In the 1st canto Prabhupada says, "All of our happiness, all of our possessions, all of our relationships in this world are like foaming bubbles on the surface of the ocean of material existence and all these bubbles any movement will burst into oblivion." So are we going to be attached to the bubble or we are going to be depth of what’s deeper in the ocean. He krsna karuna sindhu. Deeper down there is ocean of Krsna’s mercy, Krsna’s kindness, Krsna’s love. That’s where we want to dive deep. The entire ocean is Krsna’s love. We are attached to the foaming bubbles. Jiv Jago Jiv jago.

Mahaprabhu say’s wake up sleeping souls. Usually waking us means to get us out of the sleep, it’s disruption. Just like if you are having a really sound sleep and the alarm clock rings, what’s your first reaction. You don’t have to say it publically. First reaction is it’s a disturbance. Is it not ? You are sleeping, you are dreaming that you are having a vacation with your lover on a tropical island and all of a sudden. Today there are so many alarm clock’s, different bells. All of sudden (Maharaj makes sound of alarm clock). You just turn it off. It’s disruptive but wakes you up. So the problems in this world are like alarm clocks, the reversals and difficulties. Because when things keep going our way we just stay in our dreams. Yes, we stay asleep. May be good dream, may be bad dream. When reversals comes, it is like a alarm clock to wake us up. But we have a choice of actually waking up from that alarm clock, now they have snooze controls. Snooze controls means, "Yeah I know I should wake up, I should become serious about my spiritual life, but later. I will do it after this and this and this is complete, then I will do it.

So some people just turn off the alarm clock and just go back to sleep. Some people do the snooze control thing, which means I knew I turn it off, I am little wake up, I will become serious like Kailash of Narad Muni. He was always on snooze control. Yes Gurudev, I know there is suffering, I know I should be chanting the name of God and associate with saintly people, but I will do it later. Just let me do this more, let me sleep little longer, then I will do it. After all last night I didn’t got so much sleep, just a little longer. Wake up. Life is short. You should take advantage, take the opportunity now and the tragedies that come upon us transform them into blessings .That’s wisdom, wisdom is not memorizing slokas, wisdom is applying the slokas to your life and what does it mean, here is a sloka

Tat te anupamkam
Wisdom is when there are reversals which appear to be a curse however painful, distasteful and unacceptable it may appear, to transform it into a blessing by trying to go deeper not deal with it on the level of foaming bubbles in the waves but to go deeper and this Srimad Bhagavatam is taking us deeper.

--HH Radhanath Swami
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Die before you die!

Die before you die



For a devotee, death is not the end, for a devotee, death is the beginning, death is begging of entrance into a realm of eternity, knowledge and bliss. But for a materialist, death is simply the end of everything that we identify with, the end of our entire existence. So therefore a devotee doesn’t mind getting old. Because he knows he is utilizing this body, this mind and this intelligence in Krishna consciousness. As the body gets older the soul is getting closer and closer to that eternal spiritual youthful form, therefore it is said, die before you die. If we do that before we die we can attain eternal life. Devotees do not fear death. A sincere devotee only fears forgetting Krishna, forgetting Krishna means spiritual death.

H H Radhanath Swami Maharaj
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Complacency

Complacency
Excerpt from a lecture by H.H. Radhanath Swami
Question: Maharaj, you mentioned in the lecture about how we take things, which we have been doing for several years, for granted. You gave the example of television. The same thing happens to us even in spiritual life because some things we have been doing for years together. (It's like) You just switch on the 'television' in the morning, and start chanting and get on with it. It becomes very mechanical. We tend to take it for granted after some time. So how do we avoid this?







Radhanath Maharaj: It is very important that we keep our intelligence tuned in to the good fortune that we have received and never take it for granted. That is why it is important to associate with people who truly understand the value of the gift that we have received and hearing from them.
When we read Srila Prabhupada's books, when we come to the classes of the devotees, when we listen to tapes, we should actually have this intent, not just to hear as an entertainment, but to understand that I desperately need to hear, to keep my consciousness aware of the good fortune I am receiving as well as the dangers of maya.
One of the greatest of all maya's arsenals to overcome us is the danger of complacency. Krishna tells us in the Gita, "We must give up egoism and lethargy - two terrible enemies." Lethargy can be both on the gross and subtle platform. On the gross platform, we are just lazy, we just want to sleep. We don't want to do work. We rather just not exert our senses, because it is difficult. This is a physical type of lethargy. But, the more subtle form of lethargy is to take the unlimited value of the fortune of Krishna Consciousness as something ordinary. Or as they say, "You take it for granted."
When we are new devotees, we are struck with wonder at our great fortune to be able to hear Srimad Bhagavatam. 'It is answering all my questions! The holy name is giving me relief from material existence. It is giving me a taste for Krishna', is our initial reaction. When we first come to the temple and eat prasadam and see the Deities, we can feel how it is liberating our soul. And the fact is that it is liberating our soul. But as we become familiar, we we take it to be ordinary. As we take it to be ordinary, we are not really accessing the benefits. So we must maintain great enthusiasm, and gratitude towards all the various subtleties of devotional service. It is very important. Because, if we become complacent in our devotional activities, then it is just a matter of time till maya again attracts us to perform her activities. We have to have determination. Therefore, when we come to class, when we read the books, we should really be trying to reconfirm the intense awareness of the great mercy we are receiving and reciprocate with that mercy. Every time we chant japa, we should really be praying and struggling to really be grateful and reciprocate with this great mercy we have received through Krishna's holy name.
It is a miracle. It is a wonder. But yes, we just turn on the station, "Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare." Then, when it is time for the next show, we (unfortunately) turn it off. We should be very conscious not to fall into that trap. Because if we do, we lose interest in that station and soon we will just start turning on other stations at that time. Maya will seduce us.
So we have to struggle against this complacency. We have to pray. We have to endeavour and especially, we must very attentively hear those messages that will reconfirm our awareness of the dangers of material life, the beauty and sweetness of Krishna, the glories of devotional service and how fortunate we are that by the causeless mercy of Guru and Krishna we have received this chance.
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Be in this world but not of this world!

Devotee:

What is meant by self realization? Well one in the spiritual path also has to suffer, so what is that they are achieving in the spiritual path?



HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj:




We have already explained the difference between the body and the soul. Jesus Christ said “be in this world but not of this world”. The body will grow old get diseased and die. If your pleasure is coming from the body then ultimately all your pleasures will get frustrated. But if you are deriving pleasure from what is within, your happiness, your peace will never be frustrated. Because that pleasure is not subjected to the natural conditions of this physical world, that pleasure is on the spiritual platform.



Consciousness in itself is eternal. There is no such thing as temporary consciousness. Consciousness is the symptom of the presence of the soul and all consciousness is eternal because all consciousness is emanating from God. It is directly connected to God, who is the supreme source of all consciousness.



It is just like a Sun ray. You as part of God are like a Sun ray and God is like the Sun. Now even though a Sun ray may be on this earth, is the Sun ray is its home considered to be the earth or the Sun, which one? The Sun ray is right here on the earth, but the home of the Sun ray is the earth or the Sun? Because it is coming from the Sun, it is of the same quality as the Sun it is not as the same quality as the earth, it is not coming from the earth, it is just happens to be here. But it is connected through the Sun; it is almost like hanging from the Sun, right?



So, similarly are you conscious or unconscious. This world of matter is unconscious, all matter is unconscious, but the soul is conscious. Therefore the soul has nothing directly to do with this unconscious matter although it happens to be here, but its connection and its source is God, who is the supreme source of all consciousness. So if you are relating yourself, if the Sun ray is thinking I am part of this world, this earth. It isn’t but as long as it thinks it is, it is identifying with the deadness of this world, right? But if the Sun ray understands its real position that my real connection is to the Sun, my real source is the Sun, my real nature are part of the Sun. Even though the Sun ray is on this world and is watching all the deadness of this world it is not effected.



So similarly when we understand that we are part of the God, we are coming from God, our real home is with God, we are eternally connected to God. Even though we may be in this physical body watching the dead body go through the process of old age, disease and death, as long as we are remembering our connection to God there is no suffering. Body is suffering but the soul is finding its pleasure in God not in this world. The soul is finding pleasure where real pleasure is, within your own existence.
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Unity alone would empower

Unity alone would empower




Due to egoism, everyone thinks, "I can judge others. I am right. You are wrong. If you stand between me and my aspirations of profit, adoration and distinction then you become my enemy." Where there is disunity amongst devotees; there cannot be proper sankirtan, we cannot chant together in the proper spirit to please Krsna, we cannot serve together. When Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur saw his own devotees fighting amongst themselves, he was willing to sacrifice everything and anything he had, to bring about unity. Because he knew that unity alone would empower his movement to please Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and thus fulfill His mission. For Srila Prabhupada also, that was the great worry. "Show your love for me by how you cooperate." This cooperation is not an ordinary material formula. You cannot cooperate unless you are really trying to follow the essence of Srila Prabhupada and Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu's teachings. Without wearing this shloka around our necks, strung by the holy name: trinad api sunicena, taror api sahishnuna, amanina manadena, kirtaniya sada Hari, there can be no real cooperation, unless we are striving to be really humble devotees, putting aside this egoism; Trample it down!

H H Radhanath Swami Maharaj
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Turning to Krishna



Arjuna was posed as the typical person within this material world. He was in a dilemma. He was forgetful of his real duties in life. And therefore Krishna spoke the sacred teachings of the Gita for the upliftment and purification of all humanity. And the great acharyas, many of them were sannyasis, many of them grihasthas; family people, but they taught us by their examples and by their words and by their writings, how to live in harmony with our own spiritual nature and be happy. Real happiness - that is not subjected to everything going the way we want. In the material world everything has to be just according to our necessities to be happy. If one thing goes wrong - miserable. One little injury comes to you or your loved ones, one problem that somebody else creates upon you, miseries of your own body and mind, adhibhautika - miseries by other living beings and adhidaivika - miseries due to too much rain or too much snow or too much heat or too much cold or the earthquakes that may come. A few days ago I was on the Jet Airways from Germany to Mumbai. And some people were in first class. Some people were in business class. And some were crowded in Economy class. And the airport was closed. So the airplane was circumambulating for hours and hours, Mumbai. And first, second, third class, everyone was frustrated. Everyone was miserable. And then there was, because of storm, turbulence. And the turbulence was too much. And people were asking for their vomit bags. First class, business class, economy class - the vomit bag is the same. It is not that if you are first class, I paid three times as much. Why do I get the same turbulence? Maybe worse, if it is more towards the front. Then the seat belts go on and everyone is thinking, the plane may crash. It actually came near to crashing, it seemed. First class, business class, economy class, no difference. Everyone had the same fear of crashing. So by our material arrangements and manipulation, essentially we were all in the same situation in this world. And then somehow or other- I was actually very happy. Devotees are different, the unusual type of people for the way they think. Because while everyone was looking at their watches, looking at their vomit bags, I was thinking, we are circumbulating Radha Gopinath temple. So everyone in the plane is making nice spiritual progress. And I was just remembering Radha Gopinathji. We have so many yatras. Sometimes we go on the boat to celebrate Radha Gopinath’s glories. Sometimes we go to holy places to celebrate Radha Gopinath’s glories. Sometimes we dance in the streets. That night we were just circumbulating in the sky. 30,000 feet above sea level. Quite an experience. And then when we landed, we found out so many floods. Doesn’t matter who you are. When the floods come, no vehicles work. You walk through the rain, upto your waist, in water, getting soaked, whether you are an executive in a big industry, whether you selling paan in a corner. Doesn’t matter. Everyone walks. And if you don’t know how to swim, you don't know whether you will live. Here in great city of Mumbai, so much fortune, so much wealth, so much power, but when the rains come, when the earthquakes come, what can we do? What arrangement? There can be only one arrangement. And that - turning to Krishna.

H H Radhanath Swami Maharaj
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Actual elevation means to become indifferent



So in this world there are two principles that are always bewildering our mind; there is attraction and aversion. There is hankering and lamenting. Attraction and aversion, they are two sides of the same coin. Either one will cripple your spiritual progress. If you are attracted to this material energy, you cannot properly fix your mind on Krishna and if there is too much aversion to this material energy you cannot fix your mind on Krishna. Some we have seen, devotees become fanatics, they become averse. When I was new to this movement, bramacharis used to say; women are Maya, don’t look at them. We hate women, we spit at the thought of women and everyone of those people all have wives and children. Now person who is averse it just means they are attached, they are attracted and they sound somehow trying to counteract that in an immature way by being averse. But actual elevation means to become indifferent; not attracted not averse. An advanced personality is indifferent. A certain type of respect/aversion for Maya must be there but it should be done with respect but too much of aversion is simply the other type of attachment. Therefore in Krishna consciousness we want to fix our consciousness on Krishna. We want to become free from either from aversions or attraction to material energy.



H H Radhanath Swami Maharaj
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