Bhakti Yoga-Devotional Service to the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna

Bhakti Yoga-Devotional Service to the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna
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All a terrorist needs is 50 dollars to bring down a plane-Loopholes of Modern Technologies!!

All a terrorist needs is 50 dollars to bring down a plane

Thu, Mar 18 01:05 PM

Washington, March 18 (ANI): Reports indicate that a terrorist needs just about 50 dollars to purchase a GPS jammer, an electronic device small enough to fit in a shirt pocket, which can conceivably bring down an airplane.According to a report by Fox News, despite being illegal and potentially dangerous, GPS jammers are cheap and readily available online.
With car thieves in the United Kingdom using GPS jammers to aid their getaways, experts say it's only a matter of time until crooks - and, ominously, terrorists - in the United States catch on.Jammers transmit a low-power signal that creates signal noise and fools a GPS receiver into thinking the satellites are not available.

They can be used to confuse police and avoid toll charges, and some pranksters use them to nettle unsuspecting iPhone users.But the real threat is the unknown.
Criminals could use them to hide their whereabouts from law enforcement - and some experts fear terrorists could use high-powered jammers to disrupt GPS reception on an airplane or in military operations.The devices pose serious societal risks, and they are unquestionably illegal to buy and use in the United States.
The FCC is bullish about pursuing anyone who buys a GPS jammer and will prosecute and jail anyone who uses one.
Yet, they're easily bought online, and their proponents say they should stay that way.

"GPS is so embedded in the transportation, manufacturing industries and economies of our societies that the risk is high," said David Last, an Emeritus Professor of Bangor University in the UK and a well-known authority on criminal use of GPS jammers."It's especially so in telecommunications: GPS is the ultimate source of timing for most of our telephone systems, the Internet and, in the US, phone cells," he added.

All those systems are potential prey for jammers, and that's largely why they are illegal.GPS and cell phone jammers are not exactly state of the art.The devices, which cause signal confusion and disruption, are actually similar to illegal cell phone jammers.The risk is low for airplanes, which use ground-based radars for guidance and have a back-up navigation system that does not depend on satellites.Military personnel use a private GPS network. But GPS jamming could nonetheless cause confusion in the cockpit as pilots have to switch to back up navigation systems.

And maritime shipments that rely on GPS coordinates for finding port locations could face problems as well.

Source : http://in.news.yahoo.com/139/20100318/981/tsc-all-a-terrorist-needs-is-50-dollars.html

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Birds in outer space-When will our scientists recognize them?

HH.Satsavarupa Das Gosvami

Krishna is human-like. Radha and Krishna are the most beautiful. The birds please Radha and Krishna. The peacocks are especially pleasing. Swans are beautiful birds. The Sanskrit word for swans is hamsa. The saintly person is called a paramahamsa. Rupa Gosvami wrote a book called Hamsaduta in which Lalita sent a swan to Krishna in Dvaraka to tell Him how much Radharani was suffering in separation. Crows are not so pleasing. Their song is harsh and annoying. They eat garbage. They are aggressive and will invade a human's dinner table and steal food. Wood thrushes have a pleasing song with a variety of notes. Bird feathers used to be used as writing quills. Humans should not eat bird's eggs because they are conceived living entities. And they should not eat birds. There are gigantic birds that fly in outer space, and they can fly from one planet to another. They lay eggs and the birds hatch as the eggs fall through space. This information is given in Vedic knowledge. Geese and other birds mate for life. Sukadeva Gosvami is the pet parrot of Srimati Radharani. As Radha's pet parrot, Sukadeva knows all Her intimate pastimes. There are one million species of birds. More than a mundane ornithologist knows. The figure is given in the Padma Purana. Sparrows are plucky birds and blue jays shriek. William Carlos William wrote poems about those birds and his most famous one is about the wheelbarrow and the chickens.

The Red Wheelbarrow

"So much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow
glazed with rain
water
beside the white
chickens."

Jatayu was the brave old bird who challenged Ravana and sacrificed his life but gave Lord Rama the crucial information about the kidnapping of Sita. Birdsongs in spring are very pleasant. But bird droppings are disgusting and a nuisance.


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Desperate-Must read!!

HH. Satsvarupa das Goswami: Desperate

1.

I keep chasing Krishna, but
I don't catch Him because
I'm too slow and He's too
fast.

Besides, I'm not determined
and sincere. I'm a kind of
hypocrite. You can't catch
Krishna unless you love Him and
follow your guru.

If you catch His lotus feet
you're home safe, and you
don't have to return to this material world.

But it is impossible to catch Him.
Even mother Yasoda couldn't
catch Him or she at least
couldn't tie Him up because
He did not want her to. He
wanted to show her, "Unless
I allow you, you cannot tie
me." When He saw she was
perspiring and all worn out with
effort He acquiesced, and out of
love He allowed her to tie Him.

But He won't let you catch
Him if you are less than
a hundred percent sincere and true.
A lazy so-called bhakta
can never attain
Krishna's lotus feet.

Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
scorched the pseudo bhaktas
and smarta-brahmanas, and said
they were just phonies
and would go to hell.
He minced no words.

He saw through them falsely.
He sees through my own
insincerity. I claim
to be a poet of Krishna poems
but I can't write them
in the spirit of the
previous acaryas.

2.

Krishna is too fast for a slow
boy who trips over his own feet
and is insincere. He can only
be reached by the pure servitors
who delight in working hard for
Him and who want to spread
His message around the world.

The nirjana-bhajananandis sit back
and do nothing, and they can never
please Krishna because He sees
they are interested in sense gratification
and fame and don't have the
real drive to please Him.

I'm saying all this, and I know
it's true of me. But I have some
good in me too. It's been put
there by Prabhupada. And I have
been using it in his service. But
if I don't use it truly
I'll loose it and all will be in
vain.

All the good he did for me will
wither away, and I'll be left
with nothing. I have to reform
and get back on the track.

He knows my actual heart
and knows when I'm
being phony and sees
a little good too and
can distinguish.

Lord, how can I be-
come a better bhakta?
Will You give me a hand?
I have misused my plans
and have failed to work
hard for You. I don't
know what to say.
Can my past good work
be counted in my favor now?
Can I make up for current
failures? Am I
overdoing this
self bashing? Will You show me
the true way and calm me down?
I am too exited
and ill and lost in the dark.

3.

Now let's take it slower.
You can treat me kindly
with a tune like "Green
Sleeves" quietly and gently
and yet not get me so riled
up. I need to settle down
and find a temper with peace. This is a different
mood than I've been expressing
in this crazy poem. I had to find a kinder path, a
saner wisdom. Will You
slow me down and give me
less headaches? Will You allow me to give
lectures without getting too
nervous? Will You ease the traumas? I want
to be a peaceful man. Is it possible You will give
me drops of peace like
dew drops on a summer night
instead of this wind lashing?

I am a bit of a mad man.
But I want to be sane
and true to You.
Please calm me down
and let me please You
in a peaceful but
earlier

courageous way. I don't want to
be loony and
exaggerated and sick.
I want to be well
and in Your sampradaya.
Please help me.
I'm desperate


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Special seva Radhanath Swami Disciples



A message to all members of Radhanath Swami Disciples Network


Please accept our humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Special offering on Vyasa Puja

Now, simply by the click of the mouse you can offer your seva.

Seva 1:
We request disciples and aspiring disciples to visit everyday the
following websites as many times as possible.
www.radhanathswami.com
www.thejourneyhomebook.com
www.radhanathswami.us
www.radhanathswamimedia.com
www.radhanathswami.blogspot.com
www.radhanathSwamiWeekly.com
www.radhanathSwamiOnline.com
www.barsanaeyecamp.com
www.bhaktivedantahospital.com

Seva 2:
Also, kindly search "Radhanath Swami" on www.google.com, www.yahoo.com, www.bing.com, www.wikipedia
Search "Radhanath Swami" multiple times daily. You may find one or
two negative, non Krishna conscious article n search results.
Please do not click them as they are neither good for you nor for
others searching for Radhanath Swami on search engines. Now, go
below the negative article and click the next accurate / official
website below the negative article. Browse the accurate / official
website's pages, and keep it loaded for some time. This shows that
you're actually using the site, and that you're a real human
user.

Seva 3:
If you have a Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Orkut, etc.
Add above list of Radhanath Swami's official wesites to your
profile / account.

Seva 4:
Connect, subscribe, become friends of:
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/radhanathswami?ref=ts
Myspace - http://www.myspace.com/radhanathswami
Twitter - http://twitter.com/radhanathswami
YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/user/radhanathswamionline

Your servants
www.radhanathswami.us

Visit Radhanath Swami Disciples Network at: http://www.radhanathswami.us/?xg_source=msg_mes_network

 
To control which emails you receive on Radhanath Swami Disciples Network, click here


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Who is Greater?


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dr Satish Gosain (Sri Krishna Hari Das) <sri.krishna.hari@gmail.com>

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Girija Srinivas <girija.srinivas@gmail.com>

 

Dear Prabhujis and Mathajis,

Hare Krishna! Please accept our humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev!

We came across a very nice past time of the Lord and wanted to share this with all of you. On one occasion, Narada went to Lord Narayana. In the course of their conversation, Narayana asked Narada, "You move around the three worlds, what news have you brought for Me from your wanderings? Have you seen anything great in My creation?" "What can be greater than You in the three worlds!" replied Narada. On hearing this, Narayana said, "I am asking you about My creation and not about Myself."

Puzzled by the Lord's reply, Narada said, "I do not understand the question." Sensing Narada's confusion, Narayana then asked him, "There are the Panchabhuthas (five basic elements). Which is the greatest among them?" "The earth is the biggest , Narada replied. But not satisfied with the reply, Narayana asked, "But in the earth, is not three-fourths of the area occupied by water?"

On hearing this, Narada agreed that water was indeed greater than the earth. But Narayana observed, "But since all the water in the oceans was drunk by the sage Agasthya in one gulp, who do you think is greater, water or Agasthya?" Narayana obviously had something in his mind. Narada had to but agree that Agasthya was greater. Afterall the person who could drink all of the ocean's water in one gulp had to be greater than water! But Narayana had more in store. After Narada was convinced that Sage Agasthya was the greatest, Narayana quipped, Agasthya is but a star in the sky. In the vast firmament, Agasthya is merely twinkling as a small star! Is not the firmament greater than the star then?"

Again, Narada had to agree with Narayana. He was now convinced that the firmament was greater than Agasthya. But Narayana obviously wanted to teach Narada something and did not stop with that. He then said, In My Avatar as Vaamana I had covered the entire earth and sky with just one foot of Mine. So is the firmament greater or My foot?

Narada replied, 'Your Foot, Lord. That is greater. Narayana then asked, "If My foot itself is so great, am I not greater than My foot?" Narada was beginning to get the Lord's point. He nodded in agreement. Narayana then observed, "Although I am great, I am confined in the hearts of My devotees. So, dear Narada, My devotees are greater than Myself. And therefore, wherever My devotees sing My Name I am there".

When Durvasa muni approaches Lord Vishnu to protect him from Sudarshana cakra, Lord assures the same in Srimad Bhagavatam verse 9.4.63 also.

shri-bhagavaan uvaaca
aham bhakta-paraadheeno / hy asvatantra iva dvija
saadhubhir grasta-hrdayo / bhaktair bhakta-jana-priyah

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said to the brahmaṇa: I am completely under the control of My devotees. Indeed, I am not at all independent. Because My devotees are completely devoid of material desires, I sit only within the cores of their hearts. What to speak of My devotee, even those who are devotees of My devotee are very dear to Me.

Lord Siva the greatest Vaishnava, also tells us the mantra about association of devotees in Srimad Bhagavatam verse 4.24.57 as follows.

kshanaardhenaapi tulaye / na svargam naapunar-bhavam
bhagavat-sangi-sangasya / martyaanaam kim utaashisah

"If one by chance associates with a devotee, even for a fraction of a moment, he no longer is subject to attraction by the results of karma or jnaana. What interest then can he have in the benedictions of the demigods, who are subject to the laws of birth and death?"

In the purport, Srila Prabhupada has wonderfully explained "As stated in Srimad-Bha gavatam (1.2.6): yayaa tmaa supraseedati. One can be fully satisfied simply by devotional service, and that is the result of association with a devotee. Without being blessed by a pure devotee, no one can be fully satisfied, nor can anyone understand the transcendental position of the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

We all must have personally experienced the change after associating with Maharaj and our wonderful devotees. At times, I am really surprised how small kids who are in the nursery they recite all the toughest slokas with perfect pronunciation. These kids are able to sit in the Bhagavatam classes for hours together understanding Bhagavatam in their own devotional way. As Srila Prabhupada explains in his 12.18-19 purport about the devotees. He is very patient. He does not speak of anything but the topics about Krishna; therefore he is called silent. Silent does not mean that one should not speak; silent means that one should not speak nonsense. One should speak only of essentials, and the most essential speech for the devotee is to speak for the sake of the Supreme Lord.

Whenever we would want to communicate with devotees, we just need to apply this rule, "Am I talking sense or nonsense?"

Thank you very much,
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev,
Sri Purushottam Krishna Das and Sharada Devi Dasi,
Bangalore


--
Yours Servant

Sri Krishna Hari Das
(Dr Satish Gosain MBBS DNB i Med)



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Symptoms of Kali Yuga


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dr Satish Gosain (Sri Krishna Hari Das) <sri.krishna.hari@gmail.com>

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rammohan G <rammohan_g@infosys.com>
 

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada, Sri Guru and Gauranga.

I received this inspirational story recently and would like to explain a little bit with some of the relevant instructions from Srimad Bhagavatam.

When Yudhishtira Maharaj was ruling this planet, Bhima used to help in solving problems of people, hence people whoever has any questions/problems would come to Bhima and ask him for help. One day, one citizen came and told Bhima that he noticed a strange thing that day that his fence is moving into other's place and he is wondering why it happened like that. Bhima can help if a demon is troubling but not these kind of puzzles so he asked him to approach Yudhishtira Maharaj.

On the same day, another citizen came and told that he came across a strange thing that he had a big pot with full of water, he poured that water into small pots then he poured back from the small pots to big pot but surprisingly only half is filling into that big pot. Bhima not knowing what to say, he asked them also to contact Yudhishtira Maharaj. Another person came to Bhima and said that he saw a strange thing that a big elephant is passing through from a needle hole but surprisingly its tail got stuck in that hole. Bhima again referred him to Yudhishtira Maharaj.

Another person came and said that he saw big rock in the street and big big personalities are not able to move but a sadhu came and by waving his Sannyasa danda, it moved. Bhima thinking that it's bad day for him and all are coming with these strange questions which he can't help, so he referred them to Yudhishtira Maharaj.

They all went to Maharaj Yudhishtira and asked about these questions, then Yudhishtira Maharaj said that, all these qualities shows that kali yuga is coming and he explained thus:

1.The first symptom is one of the citizen's fence is moving into other's area shows that people are interested in what other's have and feel unhappy why they don't have, then think a way to acquire them either hook or crook.

The greed to possess is unlimited in us, especially due to the effect of Kali yuga too. The nature and power of greed is very nicely mentioned in SB 7.15.20:

kaamasyaantam hi kshut-trdbhyaam / krodhasyaitat phalodayaat
jano yaati na lobhasya / jitvaa bhuktvaa disho bhuvah

"The strong bodily desires and needs of a person disturbed by hunger and thirst are certainly satisfied when he eats. Similarly, if one becomes very angry, that anger is satisfied by chastisement and its reaction. But as for greed, even if a greedy person has conquered all the directions of the world or has enjoyed everything in the world, still he will not be satisfied."

And the wonderful effect of being self-satisfied is mentioned in SB 7.15.17:

sadaa santushta manasah / sarvaah shivamayaa dishah
sharkaraa kantakaadibhyo / yatho-paanat padah shivam

"For a person who has suitable shoes on his feet, there is no danger even when he walks on pebbles and thorns. For him, everything is auspicious. Similarly, for one who is always self-satisfied there is no distress; indeed, he feels happiness everywhere."

So it is very important to be self-content with whatever we obtain by the grace of the Lord.

2. The second symptom is the big pot with full of water when it is poured into small pots and pour back into big pot, he noticed half only, which means that one can only expect 50% love/affection/help from others compared what you did to the same person.

In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 3.30.13 - Lord Kapila very nicely explains the condition of a what happens to a materialistic person, (who is 100% absorbed in serving his family through out his life) -

evam sva-bharanaakalpam / tat-kalatraadayas tathaa
naadriyante yathaa purvam / keenaashaa iva go-jaram

Seeing him unable to support them, his wife and others do not treat him with the same respect as before, even as miserly farmers do not accord the same treatment to their old and worn-out oxen.

3. The third symptom is big elephant is going through a needle but the tail is stuck, it means that people are ready to spend a huge chunk of their income/strength/resource for the sense satisfaction of their family, friends and love (Personal sense gratification) but when it comes to Bhagavan and Bhagavatha seva they are not ready to spend a little bit also. Our miserly nature is very nicely described by Prahlad Maharaj in verse 7.6.10 of Srimad Bhagavatam

ko 'nv artha-trshnaam visrjet / praanebhyo 'pi ya ipsitah
yam krinaaty asubhih preshtais / taskarah sevako vanik

"Money is so dear that one conceives of money as being sweeter than honey. Therefore, who can give up the desire to accumulate money, especially in household life? Thieves, professional servants [soldiers] and merchants try to acquire money even by risking their very dear lives."

No matter how much ever we accumulate, we cannot take even a single penny along with us when we leave. So we should whole-heartedly use atleast some percentage of our income in service of Lord.

4. The fourth symptom is, big rock not moved by persons who are having lot of strength but a sadhu moved that rock just by waving his danda, which means that one can get rid of all their unlimited sins, just by performing Namasankirtanam (Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare).

Though there are so many faults in this kaliyuga, the good thing is, just by chanting the holy names of the lord, one can get up to the highest benefit of liberation as mentioned in SB 12.3.51:

kaler dosha-nidhe rajann / asti hy eko mahan gunah
kirtanad eva krsnasya / mukta-sangah param vrajet

"My dear King, although Kali-yuga is an ocean of faults, there is still one good quality about this age: Simply by chanting the name of Lord Sri Krishna, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom."

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Ramvilas das

Moderator's Note: H G Ramvilas prabhu, a disciple of H H Radhanath Swami, is a very wonderful devotee living in Pune along with his good wife H G Hemangi mataji. Prabhu is a very humble and sincere by nature and has a natural attraction to holy name and Srila Prabhupada's books. He is very dedicated to the preaching of Krishna consciousness and does all types of services to please Guru and Krishna. He is very friendly with everyone, cares for them and serves everyone without discrimination. Mataji is a trained teacher and is an expert in teaching children. She is also the author of many Krishna conscious books for children.


--
Yours Servant

Sri Krishna Hari Das



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Importance of Varnasrama Dharma(tho material) & Bhakti Yoga!- Most Important4BetterPerception

Date: February 17th, 2010 Verse: Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.32.37 Speaker: HH Bhakti Raghava Swami

 
 

HH Bhakti Raghava Swami on Daivi Varnasrama

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pravocam bhakti-yogasya svarupam te catur-vidham kalasya cavyakta-gater yo 'ntardhavati jantusu

TRANSLATION: My dear mother, I have explained to you the process of devotional service and its identity in four different social divisions. I have explained to you as well how eternal time is chasing the living entities, although it is imperceptible to them.

PURPORT: The process of bhakti-yoga, devotional service, is the main river flowing down towards the sea of the Absolute Truth, and all other processes mentioned are just like tributaries. Lord Kapila is summarizing the importance of the process of devotional service. Bhakti-yoga, as described before, is divided into four divisions, three in the material modes of nature and one in transcendence, which is untinged by the modes of material nature. Devotional service mixed with the modes of material nature is a means for material existence, whereas devotional service without desires for fruitive result and without attempts for empirical philosophical research is pure, transcendental devotional service. [End of Srila Prabhupada's purport to SB 3.32.38.]

HH Bhakti Raghava Swami: So this morning I was thinking everyone is going on parikrama. I won't have anyone in class but I am happy to see that we have a good crowd. There are so many verses in the Bhagavatam and although we may have read all of them there are many verse we have not read or we may have read a long time back. When we first read the translation it mentions about four divisions so I was thinking, "Oh I will get an opportunity to speak about varnasrama - four divisions. And of course Prabhupada doesn't make any reference directly to varnasrama but he very nicely and very expertly explains something very, very essential, very, very important in connection with dharma, in connection with bhakti-yoga.

We generally think that bhakti-yoga is the nine processes of bhakti yoga beginning with sravanam upto atma nivedanam, full or complete surrender but here in the purport very interestingly Srila Prabhupada is in explaining what is in the verse regarding four divisions divides these four divisions into two.

The first division he refers to as the three modes of material nature. He is speaking about bhakti-yoga. Prabhupada is speaking of bhakti-yoga in four divisions. We generally don't think that way therefore we need somebody like Srila Prabhupada to help us understand more deeply about bhakti yoga. So the first level of bhakti yoga that Prabhupada is referring to as he translates here - "Bhakti-yoga, as described before, is divided into four divisions, three in the material modes of nature and one in transcendence," In order to follow the Bhagavatam classes that I have been hearing like all of you I am always on the lookout for the word varnasrama especially because last year two of our GBC resolutions were directly highlighting varnasrama, one of them being as most of you know that whenever there is a Bhagavatam class given the speaker should make and effort to give maybe ten percent of his presentation in connection with varnasrama.

So today I would like to mention, announce that the whole class is going to be in regards to varnasrama to make up for other classes, which did not mention the word varnasrama. I am just coming out of a four-day seminar. Yesterday was the last day. We started everyday at ten o'clock and 6.30pm - twenty-four hours all together of each day four modules. This year for those who enjoyed the lecture. So many wonderful things happened in the course here in Mayapur festival. Really this year I noticed many wonderful things happened at the same time because many of us are not that types of yogis who can be simultaneously in two places at the same time so we have to chose between one and another. And it is difficult to miss the inauguration going on of the Temple of Understanding. On the same day many classes are going on.

This is something extremely important. I have taken a few quotations and notes in connection with the seminar and directly in connection with the point that Srila Prabhupada is making here. I am asking Sri Sri Radha-Madhava and Sri Sri Gaura Nitai to kindly help me to try to make some of these very, very crucial points which are often either not known or misunderstood or even possibly neglected, some of them in the context of our lives.

The explanation being given here by Srila Prabhupada is that bhakti-yoga is divided into two levels. Dharma is also - this we need to understand very clearly - dharma is meant to be understood, not only understood but also practiced in two features. Prabhupada is referring directly to this in the purport. Ones nature is, for those of us, who are here in this material world and to some degree or other except for very exceptional cases still connected with the modes of material nature - I won't ask for a show of hands. All of us Prabhupada explains have come to this material world because we have been sinful. Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur explains, the greatest sin that we have all committed is that we have rejected Krishna. And here we have the material world, a world of illusion - a world of forgetfulness of Krishna, forgetfulness of two things actually. One is the higher level of bhakti yoga or the higher level of dharma, which we can very easily understand as bhagavat-dharma. And also forgetfulness of the other level of yoga or the other level of yoga, which is called varnasrama dharma.

When we begin to actually analyze this point more closely we need to understand the following in the very same way that bhakti yoga is highest definition, highest realm, that of pure bhakti. Krsna-bhakti nitya-siddha. Nitya-siddha is the eternal perfection of the living entities - to be engaged in devotional service. So this bhakti, this higher level of yoga, this higher level of dharma, bhagavat-dharma, no one can be happy unless we come to that understanding and we begin to practice pure devotional service. It is as Srila Rupa Goswami and Srila Prabhupada explained 'Nectar of Devotion' the complete science of devotional service. It is a science given by Krishna therefore it is also perfect science and without it we cannot be happy.

What is also important to understand especially for devotees, especially for practicing devotees of bhakti yoga - and this is a point being made here by Srila Prabhupada is that there is another dimension of yoga which we cannot neglect which is actually referred to as varnasrama dharma. In the same way that bhakti yoga which is pure devotional service is a scientific ad standard process given by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna Himself. This process of varnasrama dharma is also the most scientific material arrangement for those of us who are here in the material world. It is a standard process, which is not meant to be abandoned, which is not meant to be changed. And when we do abandon it, when we do change it, it opens the doors to what we see today - total chaos, ugra-karma, varna-sankara. These things automatically come because we don't follow this process.

I want to share some important quotations from both Srila Prabhupada, our foremost leader, founder acarya of our society and also of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur, another great personality who spoke, who gave a very important insight regarding varnasrama dharma in relation to Vaisnavism. Because sometime the devotees, we have this false notion that we are Vaisnavas. We don't really need so much this varnasrama. It is a matter of fact that our devotees often presenting the argument, "You now Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu rejected varnasrama. It is there is the Caitanya-caritamrta in His conversations with Ramananda Raya. And He also rejected varnasrama when He was touring South India. He didn't give some much importance to varnasrama so because in general our devotees to this day within our Iskcon Society have difficulties. There are a few reasons to have difficulties with the ideology of varnasrama or even with the term varnasrama.

I had a small realization. all of us at different times Krishna is very kind to help us understand. That is the process. Krishna within the heart when he is satisfied with our humble attempts to try to serve Him, serve the mission He gives a little bit of realization. My small realization before I quote some of these verses, very important verses. During the time of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur we know how the whole Vaisnava lifestyle and Vaisnava practice was looked down upon because it was misused. There were so many sahajyas, so many apa-sampradayas and Bhaktivinode Thakur had to work very, very hard to actually re-establish in its proper glory what is Vaisnavism. This is our history.

We learn of how after the disappearance of Narottama dasa Thakur and Syamananda Pandit - these three great personalities who were pushing forward Lord Caitanya's movement - after they disappeared actually the whole movement of Lord Caitanya went into like the dark ages practically. By the time Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur made his appearance that world was not accepted properly because of abuse, In a very similar way today the concepts behind varnasrama are in a very similar way not understood and very often looked down upon. Of course we should know and I should make this point very clear the ultimate and highest expression of dharma is bhagavat dharma or pure bhakti but what we fail to understand is that there is an intimate link and connection between this process of varnasrama dharma as a means to achieve this highest level of pure bhakti.

So the point that is being made here in the verse is that not only is bhakti meant to be performed in the literary stage of paramahamsa, not only is bhakti meant to be performed - this will help us in the context of Nectar of Devotion - not only is bhakti meant to be performed at the level of raganuga-bhakti. Bhakti is also meant to be performed at the level of sadhana. Isn't it? Sadhana-bhakti, which is mixed devotional service.

Srila Prabhupada has very often spoken about varnasrama and he spoke especially about daivi-varnasrama. Normally varnasrama meant to be daivi-varnasrama. Daivi varnasrama means that system of varna and asrama whereby the individuals are directing all of their activities towards pleasing Krishna, where the members of each varna and asrama know about devotional service and are willing to practice devotional service within the confines of their varnas and asramas. I would like to share with you all some very interesting quotes from Bhaktivinode Thakur but before I do that it actually means that bhakti is meant to be performed in these two levels of dharma - in the stage of bhagavat dharma or pure devotional service to Krishna and also within the level of varnasrama dharma. That is actually very directly connected with - this came to mind this morning just before giving class - it is a very well known verse in the Bhagavatam 2nd canto chapter two:

akamah sarva-kamo va moksa-kama udara-dhih tivrena bhakti-yogena yajeta purusam param [SB 2.3.10]

Whatever our activity maybe whether it is still tinged with material desires, still we should be practicing bhakti yoga. Here is the first quotation, from Sri Bhaktyaloka written by Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur. In this particular quote Bhaktyaloka confirms that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu did not reject varnasrama dharma. Actually he is quoting a well-known verse from the Bhagavatam:

Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.2.8) it is said: dharmah svanusthitah pumsam visvaksena-kathasu yah notpadayed yadi ratim srama eva hi kevalam

"The occupational activities a man performs according to his own position are only so much useless labor if they do not provoke attraction for the message of the Personality of Godhead." Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur comments:

"From this one should not conclude that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has ordered us to discard varnasrama-dharma. If that would have been the case, then He would not have instructed all living entities through His pastimes of completely following the orders of grhastha and sannyasa." [SBL 12: Sadhu-vrtti] Lord Caitanya Himself took sannyasa as we all know. Prabhupada in one purport explained that the very fact that Lord Caitanya took sannyasa means that He accepted varnasrama system because that is part of the varnasrama system.

This is a very important statement here by Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur, "As long as one has a material body the system of varnasrama-dharma must be followed, but it should remain under the full control and domination of bhakti. Varnasrama-dharma is like the foundation of one's supreme occupational duty. When one's supreme occupational duty is matured and one achieves his goal, then the process is gradually neglected. Again, it is also abandoned at the time of death." [SBL 12: Sadhu-vrtti] This point we were mentioning earlier. It is a very important means. Actually Srila Prabhu mentioned that unless we adopt this system of varnasrama dharma, we would not be successful in our bhakti.

Although it is subservient, varnasrama dharma being a material system given by the Lord it is a perfect system, which we need to understand and which we need to implement as much as possible. Here are further quotes from Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur, "But a devotee who desires to properly pass his life still accepts his duties according to varnasrama, as those duties are favorable to devotional service and counted as part of devotional service. All these activities are no longer called karma." [SBL 2: Prayasa] All the activities within the framework of varnasrama when performed in that consciousness don't incur karma.

Two other short quotes from Bhaktivinode Thakur before we go what Srila Prabhupada is saying and then we shall try to summarize by bring conclusions within our context as the Iskcon society. This is from the Sri Caitanya Siksamrta written by Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur, "With the assistance of varnasrama dharma, a person should cultivate bhakti. It is also necessary to follow the rules of varnasrama in the cultivation of bhakti." [Sri Caitanya Siksamrta, Chapter 3 Part four - Relationship between secondary rules and primary rules.] This in my last quote, "Though all humans have a right to practice bhakti, those who follow the regulations of varnasrama have a much easier time." Those who accept to follow the system of varnasrama will be able to advance more easily in bhakti.

Srila Prabhupada as we all know made this very important statement - "Unless in the human society the varnasrama system is introduced, no scheme or social order, health order or any order, political order, will be successful." [Room Conversation Vrndavan 18 October 1977] Very strong statement! There are some other very interesting statements given by Srila Prabhupada. I will just read them quickly.

"Actually, everyone should be engaged to produce food, but the modern set-up of civilization is that few people are engaged in producing food, and others are eating. They are offering… They are artificially getting money." [Srila Prabhupada - Garden Conversation with Mahadeva's Mother and Jesuit Priest — July 25, 1973, London] We need to understand how our Vedic culture, our way of life as practicing devotees. Vedic culture is primarily, if you look at history, even if you look at the history of kali yuga and even of course beyond, is primarily an agrarian based culture. Why is it an agrarian based culture? Primarily because of it's intimate close and very essential connection with the land and the cows.

We all know ho modern society is deviating more and more from this standard way of life. Many of us have not been exposed to that culture, especially those from the western countries - we do have difficulties in relating to that. Not to be denied! We have lots of difficulties in understanding varnasrama. We should however try to understand some basic principles and concepts, which cannot be changed. If we are true followers of dharma we cannot accept one part of dharma and neglect the other part f dharma - as we are actually doing. We need to understand that the more society as is the present case around the world is becoming more and more urbanized. Most devotees for example do not know how - I have been sharing this with devotees - when I first came to India in 1976 at that time the population in the villages must have been around 90%. Definitely in the higher 80% - the population of people living in the villages!

Two months ago when I was in Andrapradesh having some discussion with a pancagraj (?)- Someone who is overseeing the development of over a hundred villages - so he knows about villages in India. He revealed to me that for the first time in India the percentage of the population in the villages has gone below 70% and according to statistics and surveys within ten years it will come down to 50%. Some of our devotees may say, "Well is that really so important?" Actually it is very important.

When we abandon this natural way of living as we are doing it is a real crisis situation. Actually the whole world is in a crisis situation largely because majority of the people are totally unfamiliar with these two dimensions of dharma. They don't know about the spiritual dimension of dharma and also most people do not know about the material dimension of dharma. And what is very unfortunate is that many of our devotees also don't realize that material dimension of dharma. When we neglect that material dimension of dharma - means varnasrama then we should expect difficulties especially when it has been underlined and stressed so much by the founder of our society.

A few other small quotes: "Prabhupada: Clever means that he must stay in his own land. He should not be cheated by the paper9paper money) and go to the city." [Srila Prabhupada Garden Conversation with Mahadeva's Mother and Jesuit Priest — July 25, 1973, London]

"Gandhi's program was very nice, village organize so that they may not come to the city and help the capitalists. Remain satisfied in the village." [Srila Prabhupada - Room Conversation (Bullock Cart SKP) — September 12,
1976, Vrindavana]

"So this Krishna consciousness movement is trying to revive the original, constitutional position. So one of them, in Krishna consciousness movement, is village organization, as you are trying here." [VD 32: Philadelphia, July
15, 1976: Evening Lecture at Gita-Nagari Farm] Our original/highest constitutional position is pure bhakti in the spiritual world. Prabhupada mentions here, "So one of them, (constitutional position) in Krishna consciousness movement, is village organization," In different ways in different places Prabhupada was trying to come back to the same point - our constitution, the natural way that the majority of the people should live in is in that more simplified way. He often quotes simple living high thinking but we fail o understand the deep meaning of what that actually means.

The last quotation, "India's civilization was based on village residence. They would live very peacefully in the villages." [Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk — Durban, October 13, 1975 (New-2003)] In addition to being a very large topic I can't reverse the topic I know. Having met and spoken to various devotees the point I am trying to make although it may be controversial and although we may not have so much of attraction. The point I was trying to make earlier I did not finalize explaining how Bhaktivinode Thakur before his time Vaisnavism was looked down upon but by his efforts, he worked very, very hard and gave it the glory that it has. Varnasrama we need to work towards changing our own attitudes towards varnasrama. Unless one follows the various rules and regulations etc. within the varnasrama one is not considered a human being.

So one or two small points before closing here and taking questions. This is something I didn't even touch upon but devotees should know that Srila Prabhupada has given a very clear vision. Prabhupada has written down his vision in a very clear manner identifying four areas. I will just mention them. I gave a class on that maybe last year or the year before. I consider this as like very, very essential to know and to understand that Prabhupada clearly applied his vision to spread the movement of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu in four ways:
1. He referred to the holy name and books - the sankirtan movement. These are the words used by Srila Prabhupada himself, 'the sankirtan movement.'
2. The second he called deity worship movement - establishing temples with deities
3. He called spiritual initiation movement, which means basically various congregations within our Iskcon Society - nama hatta programs, bhakti-vrksa, youth meetings.
4. Prabhupada coined as pastoral society. He was referring to varnasrama.

The first three are primarily within the framework of brahminical activities and to a large extent what our society is still largely focused upon, which is very nice and very much needed in our city temples. When we start looking at varnasrama it takes us to a different dimension and if we are not able to accommodate these four dimensions our four movements given by Srila Prabhupada or identified by Srila Prabhupada we will not succeed either individually or as a society to fulfill Srila Prabhupada's desire. This may sound like a heavy statement. It is a heavy statement actually but it is not mine it is Prabhupada's. It is Prabhupada's direct statement as I quoted directly from Srila Prabhupada, that unless we understand and begin to see the positive light many of the advantages - it is a very big challenge actually for all of us, Krishna consciousness in itself is a challenge. It is a big challenge to get out of this material world, not an easy task but we must meet that challenge.

I was actually going to quote what I already quoted Srila Prabhupada's strong statement that unless this is introduced in the society not only within the society at large but within our own devotee society or our own devotee community then things will not come out as they are meant to come out. So I will stop here actually. I don't want to go over the time - after nine o'clock. There is a few minutes left for some comment or question regarding this.

HH : .During the class you made the point that 10% of every class should be centered around varnasrama, I wanted to get some clarification on this for sincere persons, also it is written in his purport .. HH Bhakti Raghava Swami: Good point. I will just repeat it. This was a resolution passed by the GBC whereby they encouraged the speakers to give
10% or ten minutes. Maharaj mentioned sometimes we are dealing with a theme, which would make it artificial for us to make the connection with varnasrama. So how strictly are we meant to follow this request? Well we should make an effort because actually there are many references or many opportunities, which are there. Some people may read today's verse and not even think of varnasrama but to me it is like very obvious that we have to speak about varnasrama here and that is not the only thing we should speak about… Question: Are you a member of the GBC? HH Bhakti Raghava Swami: Yes I am a member of the GBC. I was waiting for that to come! Question: .the aggregate total of preaching in other words not in every class. it is meant to be. not artificially ten percent. HH Bhakti Raghava Swami: Thank you. Question: In relation to .. HH Bhakti Raghava Swami: If I understand your question correctly it is that people may consider that this system of varnasrama is bringing India down. Equality is how we should progress. Well lets look around and see what kind of progress. India and other countries are following the policy and the ideology of equal rights for everyone and freedom for all which is being propagated - the American way of life, the American dream which is a happy life but if we analyze what is taking place where individuals and society as a whole, all kinds of social problems are there. In all fields, in all spheres there are serious dilemmas, serious problems and it all boils down to the way we are living, the way we are abusing mother nature - it is in a very critical condition.

Unless one is able to begin accepting some spiritual knowledge, some spiritual guidance then one will have these kinds of mayayapahrta-jnana. All these leaders in different countries they are all materially intelligent but devoid of proper insight as o how we should be organizing society and what is the real happiness. Material way of life and material leadership is that people will be happy. We can have a nice material situation. But even someone who is beginning Krishna consciousness will understand that we cannot be happy in that way. We can only if we understand that we are not this body and if we take up the practice of spiritual life or Krishna consciousness. Real happiness is the domain of the spirit soul. The material world is already stamped and certified that it is dukhalayam asasvatam and we can see that. Whatever happiness there is very meager.

So due to lack of understanding this knowledge it means preaching on our part in different ways to bring about the necessary change. Prabhupada mentions we need to bring about a complete overhaul in society. That is another heavy statement. So through education, through training ourselves and others.. Prabhupada wanted to meet Indira Gandhi to recommend that the leaders should attend Bhagavatam class so that they can be proper leaders, rajarsi.

Question: Maharaj I just had a few thoughts on ho we can . Yesterday we were coming back from the goshala area and I saw one of the workers in the fields cutting the grass and chanting Hare Krishna very loudly and I noticed many devotees were walking on that path, the kirtan was so nice that most people were looking. I used to work outside and I found that most of the workers in companies and factories they .mind that they cannot chant. HH Bhakti Raghava Swami: Yes. Good point. So our time is up. If anyone has any other question you can ask me after class.

Srila Prabhupada ki, jai! Gaura-bhakti-vrnda ki, jai! [Applause.]


source :http://www.dandavats.com/?p=8246


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Is this my heart?

An Excerpt from

HH. Satsvarupa das Goswami


Is this my heart? It is shaped like a heart but it is made of iron or steel and it is locked. My heart is locked against harinama. The key is devotional, attentive chanting, but I seem to have misplaced it. It is a very formidable lock, and I can't cut it with scissors or a chisel. The best thing is to find the key and open it. The spiritual master gave the key and said to keep it safely. We have misbehaved.

Let us sit down and discuss how we may open this lock; we have to ask the spiritual master to help us to find the key again.

But he may be deliberately keeping it from me for my misbehavior.

Can we go to a professional locksmith and have him trick open this lock or make a new key? They are expert in those things. You could even use dynamite. But explosives might destroy the door and the contents behind the door. I think it requires a delicate operation, the finding of the person with the original key. Let us ask in the neighborhood. Let us chant Hare Krishna at the entrance of the heart shaped lock and pray and beg for the appearance of the spiritual master, the original giver of the key, to appear and give us back the key or a spare. I do not want to attempt a violent operation. It may damage the heart. If we can only find the key!

But we could get a locksmith to make a new key or open this one and then keep it open. There is no need to keep the heart locked on the harinama. Do you really think our spiritual master locked the heart or that we did it ourselves and threw the key away? We should open the heart and chant in freedom.

I am not sure what to do and how this predicament arose. But we should go on chanting at the door. Pray to the spiritual master in the heart and consult his instructions and his devotees and ask for advice.


Source: http://yellowsub.sdgonline.org/satsvarupa_goswami/366


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The Stages of Spiritual Life:

The Stages of Spiritual Life:



1. Worldly Person
2. Spiritual Aspirant
3. Spiritual Seeker
4. Spiritual Master

1. Worldly Person: A worldly person is the one who cannot think beyond the five senses. Sensual pleasure alone gives him pleasure and if restrained from it he feels annoyed. He prays God and pleads Him for money, wealth and sense pleasures.

2. Spiritual Aspirant: A spiritual aspirant is a person who acknowledges that his present condition cannot give him permanent happiness and something must be done to overcome this limitation. However, an aspirant is often a confused person. He knows that he wants to change but he doesn't know how. He then starts looking for various spiritual paths. While searching a spiritual path an aspirant often shows selfishness. He expects that the path he selects should be easy. Though he knows that some change is needed in his life he is not wholeheartedly ready to take efforts in that direction. Once he feels that the path of Knowledge is right for him and the next moment he thinks that path of Devotion is more suited for him. When he comes across the path of Yoga he starts evaluating its merits and demerits. The idea of rigorous self-disciplines makes him nervous. Can I do it? Why is such strict life needed? Well, I can do that even without any disciplines, such are his thoughts.

An aspirant often hops from one Guru to the other. He considers himself so much knowledgeable that he tries to judge the Gurus. He decides on his own that Guru A is bad and Guru B is good. Out of thousand spiritual aspirants only few realize that in order to attain some spiritual progress honesty and determination is needed. Changing path or Guru often provides no solution. In fact it makes the situation worst. They now make up their mind to follow a chosen path and Guru. They sincerely request the Guru to impart his teachings. They are now ready to spend their entire life in the pursuit of the spiritual goals. This is how an aspirant evolves into a seeker.

3. Spiritual Seeker: A spiritual seeker is a person who has chosen a particular spiritual path and Guru and is dedicated wholeheartedly to the path. A true seeker rarely engages in acquiring knowledge via mere reading. More importantly Guru's words are scriptures for him. He has full faith in his Guru's teachings. No situation in life can shatter his belief from his path and Guru. Such a person alone can make any real spiritual progress. A true seeker rarely engages in intellectual debates. He rarely criticizes other paths of spiritual unfoldment. He says "My path is good for me but the other paths are equally good for their followers." Such a seeker works hard towards his goals. He has no doubt left about his path. At the advanced stages he starts getting glimpses of the Truth. Though he has made considerable progress there is still danger of degradation. Even an advanced seeker can get carried away from his path if he is not alert and allows worldly events to interfere in his spiritual life. Even if he might have got glimpses of Divinity but still he comes back to the material plane again and again.

4. Spiritual Master: After a lot of rigorous practice a seeker realizes the Truth. He gets convinced by the Truth and is able to dwell day in day out in the state of realization. He now becomes a master. Now he doesn't have slightest of doubt about the Truth because he has experienced it. He continues to live like an ordinary person but he is no longer affected by material events. He eats, drinks, sleeps and works like an ordinary person but he has become a Jivanamukta. Such a master can kindle the spiritual flame of thousands of seekers or he may opt to serve silently to the God. His life is now controlled by the Divine will. He lives his life only to finish the prabdha karma never to return back in this worldly plane.


Whatever stage one may belong to one should eye to the next stage with constant and sincere efforts. Never feel sad about your current stage. We all can try our best and strive to reach the next level finally reaching the ultimate goal. This is the only way to cross this ocean of birth and death.


SOURCE : http://www.iskcondesiretree.net/profiles/blogs/the-stages-of-spiritual-life


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