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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Weekend special - Puri and sabji


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[granthraj] Always Have Auspicious Desires


Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.

There is no end of fulfilling our material sense desire. Everyone has to engage himself in service of others. Hence serving our own sense desire keeps us engaged in serving our material senses. A person should find the means to end this whirlpool of desires by which he is caught in the material sense gratification. Soul suffers in repeated cycle of birth and death in the Lord's material energy. While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them. From such attachment comes lust, then anger, illusion, bewilderment of memory and loss of intelligence, and then one falls down into the cycle of birth and death. In this context there is a very instructive story.

Once Narada muni was traveling and he met a beggar on the way. The beggar asked Narada muni for some charity in his begging bowl. Narada muni said, "I myself am penniless but I can help you get charity from another person." He then took the beggar to Kuber and asked him to give some donation. Kuber was surprised that Narada muni had to bring the beggar all the way for some insignificant charity, but nevertheless he took some lakshmi from his treasury and filled the bowl. But to his surprise the bowl became empty. He again took many more jewels, gold, precious gems etc one by one but everytime he was filling the bowl, it was becoming empty again and again. It came to a point that Kuber's treasury was almost exhausted and Kuber being completely bewildered asked what material the begging bowl is made off. When Narada muni turned the begging bowl upside down, he found that the bowl is nothing but the human skull. The greedy desires of the cannot be fulfilled even if the wealth of the entire universe is given as charity to them.

In Srimad Bhagavad Gita 2.55 Lord Krishna says:

sri-bhagavan uvaca
prajahaati yadaa kaamaan / sarvaan paartha mano-gataan
atmany evaatmanaa tushtah / sthita-prajnas tadocyate

The Blessed Lord said: "O Partha, when a man gives up all varieties of sense desire which arise from mental concoction, and when his mind finds satisfaction in the self alone, then he is said to be in pure transcendental consciousness."

H H Mahavishnu Goswami maharaj nicely explained on above verse class at Abudhabi that any thing anti-Krishna creates misery. In sleep also we should recite these verses. The subject matter is to be understood and put into practice. We should come to the right path. Kaama should be under complete control. We are here to fullfill our material desires; no need to hide this fact and unless we exhaust we can't move, like a car without petrol. In the path of salvation we have to get out of this material existence that is, "manogataan", which is dangerous. When we desire for Krishna, it is auspicious desire. Everything else is inauspicious. So whatever we desire it should be for Krishna's pleasure. Srimad Bhagavad Gita teaches us how to stay and Srimad Bhagavatam teaches us how to die. Srimad Bhagavat gita gives us an idea of facts We are in hellish (concocted) condition of life in this planet. We are living worse than useless life. Wherever Krishna is there, purification is there and it results in pure state of soul. Purified mind never comes unless we go behind extremely purified mind that is Krishna. If we come out of the material consciousness and stay with the purified mind of Krishna, then we can be satisfied.

Satisfaction comes only when we serve Lord Sri Krishna. Devotee gets satisfied and experience bliss in serving the Lord. One should practice Krishna consciousness and follow the four regulative principles. We sincerely pray at the lotus feet of Lord Krishna, Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev to bestow their mercy upon all of us so that we can have auspicious desires only all the time.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Tusta Krishna Das and Suniti Devi Dasi
Sharjah

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Time is God and not Money!

With the paper based economy, the life of human beings is becoming more and more miserable than animals. It is natural for the living beings to 
looks out for their basic needs of food, clothing, shelter. Even animals are better of today in fulfilling their basic needs of eating, sleeping, mating and defending
If the government fails, all the money one has no value and even if one has huge piles of these papers, it will not help for sustenance. 

Today people are so used to see money as God and God as money. Paper(bills) as God and God as paper(pictures of god in paper). 
Metal(coins/gold) as God and God as metal(deities). This is the problem of modern world. We say "In God we trust", but it's in name only.
We have expelled God out of our life in every way we can this is why we are miserable today. At workplace we are not supposed to talk about 
God, but about movies or sci-fi it is welcomed.

A wealthy person is determined by the amount of grains, the farm land and cows in vedic civilization. It makes one self-sufficient and these kind of 
self sufficient community projects are the prime necessities of this modern world which gives them enough time to pursue acts conducive to the self and 
God realization and eventually to remain blissful regardless of the economy crashes.

Modern facilities instead of providing more comfort to the humans has made everyone more busy and hardly anyone today has time to
think about what is good and what is bad and what reactions one would reap for the different actions one performs.

Modern economy is like time getting translated to money. But even if we accumulate all the money we have in the whole world in one place, we cannot translate the 
money back to time. Time is not money. Time is God. Even the athiest who says he doesnt believe in God and defy His authority indirectly abides by the
all devouring time. Time devours everything. Everyone is running to be in time and make things happen in proper time.

People are in want of money because if we have money we can buy whatever we desire and fulfill those desires. It brings the power to buy things
have control and enjoy. Money is not bad but the idea to enjoy all the money for the self is. If there's excess money, it should be used for the propagation
of God consciousness to the suffering souls of the world. That way the money is properly used and those who donate will be blessed. 



Quote:

The scriptures state that whatever wealth a person attains in his life is due to his having given charity in previous lives, and that if one has not given charity in previous lives, then even though he may sit atop a mound of gold as big as Mount Sumeru, he will still remain poor.

purva-janmArjitaM vidyA
purva-janmArjitaM dhanam
purva-janmArjitaM kanyA
agre dhAvati dhAvatiH

"Transcendental knowledge, spiritual education, satisfying wealth, and pleasing family members are acquired by a person who has given profuse charity. Whatever good a person does returns to him many fold."
In Manu-nitii, Manu MahArAja says, bhAgyaM phalanti sarvatra na cha vidyA na cha paurusham: "Whatever is predestined by ViddhAtA, the fortune-maker, will surely happen. One's so called good education, skill, and enthusiasm will not necessarily guarantee to bring one success."

Whatever charity a person gives in the form of education, money, fertile land, and the like is returned to him in a future lifetime. We gain what we have given, when given with a good heart. Indeed, whatever the Lord of destiny, the creator, has written as one's fortune will certainly come to pass. No one attains any wealth without having given in charity in his previous life. Oh best of the brahmins, since we are now poor, in our previous lives neither you nor I must have given any/sufficient charity to worthy persons


"

sri-bhagavan uvaca

kalo 'smi loka-kshaya-krit pravriddho

lokan samahartum iha pravrittah

rite 'pi tvam na bhavishyanti sarve

ye 'vasthitah pratyanikeshu yodhah


SYNONYMS

sri-bhagavan uvaca -- the Personality of Godhead said; kalah -- time; asmi -- I amloka -- of the worlds; kshaya-krit -- the destroyer; pravriddhah -- great; lokan -- all people; samahartum -- in destroying; iha -- in this world; pravrittah -- engaged; rite -- without, except for; api -- even; tvam -- you; na -- never; bhavishyanti -- will be; sarve -- all; ye -- who; avasthitah -- situated; prati-anikeshu -- on the opposite sides; yodhah -- the soldiers.

TRANSLATION

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Time I am, the great destroyer of the worlds, and I have come here to destroy all people. With the exception of you [the Pandavas], all the soldiers here on both sides will be slain.

PURPORT

Although Arjuna knew that Krishna was his friend and the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he was puzzled by the various forms exhibited by Krishna. Therefore he asked further about the actual mission of this devastating force. It is written in the Vedas that the Supreme Truth destroys everything, even the brahmanas. As stated in the Katha Upanishad (1.2.25),

yasya brahma ca kshatram ca

ubhe bhavata odanah

mrityur yasyopasecanam

ka ittha veda yatra sah

Eventually all the brahmanas, kshatriyas and everyone else are devoured like a meal by the Supreme. This form of the Supreme Lord is the all-devouring giant, and here Krishna presents Himself in that form of all-devouring time. Except for a few Pandavas, everyone who was present on that battlefield would be devoured by Him. Arjuna was not in favor of the fight, and he thought it was better not to fight; then there would be no frustration. In reply, the Lord is saying that even if he did not fight, every one of them would be destroyed, for that was His plan. If Arjuna stopped fighting, they would die in another way. Death could not be checked, even if he did not fight. In fact, they were already dead. Time is destruction, and all manifestations are to be vanquished by the desire of the Supreme Lord. That is the law of nature."


-- 

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One who desires to be free from all miseries must hear about, glorify and also remember the Personality of Godhead, who is the Supersoul, the controller and the savior from all miseries.

Sukhadev Gosvami's instruction to king Parikshit,

tasmad bharata sarvatma
bhagavan isvaro harih
srotavyah kirtitavyas ca
smartavyas cecchatabhayam

etavan sankhya-yogabhyam
sva-dharma-parinisthaya
janma-labhah parah pumsam
ante narayana-smrtih

"O descendant of King Bharata, one who desires to be free from all miseries must hear about, glorify and also remember the Personality of Godhead, who is the Supersoul, the controller and the savior from all miseries. The highest perfection of human life, achieved either by complete knowledge of matter and spirit, by practice of mystic powers, or by perfect discharge of occupational duty, is to remember the Personality of Godhead at the end of life."---Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.1.5-6

Translation & Purport by A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
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Sweet appam for my appan(meaning father or Lord) - Guruvayur appan :-)

Sweet appam made from
Wheat flour and jaggery.

Yours
Dinesh
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Picture of the week


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Ekadasi offerings


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Your internal alarm clock





Illuminations - A Spiritual Self Help Newsletter
"God Helps Those Who Help Themselves"

Issue 59    February 1, 2012
  Published Monthly by Mahatma Das

YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO FORWARD THIS NEWSLETTER TO FRIENDS
Change of address and unsubscribe are at the end of the newsletter 

 


Your Internal Alarm Clock


How much sleep is enough? How much is too much. Some of us may need a little more sleep and some of us may need a little less. But when we are more Krsna consciousness, we all need less sleep. Atleast we want to sleep less.

This newsletter deals with these aspects in detail.
 
May you always think of Krsna,
 
Mahatma das
___________________________________

The Audio Newsletter  
There is no audio for this newsletter.
___________________________________

Your Internal Alarm Clock

Srila Prabhuapda did not like to sleep. He felt it was a waste of time. He once said I am praying to Krsna that I can live without eating and sleeping.
 
How did Prabhupada write his books while developing and running a worldwide movement? He awoke after a few hours of sleep and worked on his books all night. Bhaktivinoda Thakur did the same. He was able to write over 100 books while supporting a large family because he stayed up most of the night.
 
Successful people minimize their sleep in order to have more time. Yes, it's their passion that keeps them so active, but passion is better than ignorance. Once Prabhupada found his servant and secretary sleeping for hours after lunch. He told them they are worse than the karmis, because the karmis are working, but you are sleeping. Clearly, Prabhupada did not want his disciples to sleep more than absolutely needed.
 
Prabhupada told Tamal Krsna Maharaja that learning to sleep less requires practice. Of course, it also helps to go to bed early, because every hour of sleep before midnight is twice as restful than after midnight.
 
Our body gets energy from our mind. When I am inspired in Krsna consciousness, I sleep less. A bored, frustrated , and depressed person will generally sleep a lot more than needed to avoid dealing with his miserable life. After all, there is not much to get up for.
 
We all have an internal alarm clock, so if we wish to sleep less we'll need to reset our alarm.  How do you sleep less if you know you need a certain amount of sleep? Do you believe you need a certain amount of sleep because of your experience, or are you experiencing you need a certain amount of sleep because you believe you need that amount? If you don't get the amount of sleep you believe you need, do you automatically tell yourself you are tired (or must be tired)?   It's soooo early. Boy, am I tired." 
 
Of course, if you believe you need more sleep than you actually do, you probably don't believe you are programmed to believe that.  
 
Rising  when you would like to get up is best done by setting your internal alarm clock.  Of course, to program yourself to rise earlier, you need good reasons to be up that early. One of the best ways to give yourself these reasons is simply to start getting up earlier. Why? Because by doing this you experience the power of, and get a taste for, the early morning hours.
 
There are many devotees who are up every morning at 4, 365 days a year. How do they do this? They have internalized this time so deeply within themselves that every day they easily and naturally rise by 4 am.
 
Early morning is the best time for chanting and study. Prabhuapda wanted his disciples to be awake by 4 am. If you are not rising this early, there is probably nothing as transformational for your spiritual practice as to rise at this time. Your chanting and reading will be much more powerful and effective at this time. Plus, you will have more time to hear, chant, do puja, etc. before your day starts. This will make a huge difference in your life. 
 
It's all too easy to stay up late and rise just in time to eat and go to work without doing any spiritual practice before starting your day. This schedule undermines your spiritual life. The longer you do this, the more it becomes a habit. When you do this, you will struggle to find good time for quality chanting and reading.  Thus, the quality of your sadhana will usually only be a fraction as good as it would have been if practiced in the morning.
 
I notice that the less Krsna conscious I am, the more I tend to sleep. Eating, sleeping, mating and defending are grouped together. The more one advances in Krsna consciousness, the more these activities are reduced. That's because these activities become less and less attractive as one advances.
 
So the mantra, "this is how much sleep I need," if it is really more sleep than you do need, is tied to your level of spiritual advancement, your internal commitment to your spiritual practices, you inspiration in Krsna consciousness and a belief, conditioned by many factors, in how much sleep you need. But no matter how many hours you sleep, rise as early as possible.
 
Prabhupada often talks about being engaged in Krsna's service from four in the morning to ten at night. What is significant about four to ten? These are the hours when we take care of the Deities. Krsna rises at 4:00 am and rests in the evening at around 9 pm (after putting Krsna to sleep, cleaning the pujari room, etc., the pujari will get to bed around 10 pm.
 
You should make it your goal to be awake by four in the morning because Prabhupada repeatedly told us we should rise by four. Impregnate this instruction in your mind with the mantra, "rise by four." Here's a story that might help you do this.
 
Tosana-Krsna took rest in another room, while Prabhupada went on writing all night, his pen scratching on the hollow wooden desk. Then, at four in the morning, Prabhupada rang the little bell Tosana-Krsna had left with him and called, "Tosana-krsna"

Tosana-Krsna came running. "Yes, Prabhupada?"

"It is four o'clock," Prabhupada said. "You should get up." Tosana-Krsna had run to the door without his glasses, so he hurried back to get them. He then ran back again to Prabhupada's room and sat down before him. (Prabhupada-lila – Satsvarupa dasa Goswami)
 
If you just can't rise by four, at least you should be awake during brahma muhurta, one and a half hours before sunrise.
 
One of the things that impressed me to maintain a schedule of early rising is the fact that many, many people are up at four or five in the morning meditating, doing yoga, exercising, running or walking. They are not necessarily up early just because it's a good time to exercise. Many are up early because they are busy people. If they don't rise early they won't find the time to exercise. I find it a paradox to be sleeping while non devotees are already up and doing their own form of "sadhana."
 
We are also supposed to be up that early. In a lecture Prabhupda simply says, …according to the Vedic system, everyone should rise early in the morning before four o'clock. (SB lecture 1.1.5-6)

Prabhupada explains, "We can observe that in demoniac societies the dark, late hours of night are considered most appropriate for recreational activity. When a demon hears that someone is rising at four o'clock in the morning to take advantage of the godly early-morning hours, he is astonished and bewildered."
 
In Mayapura, where I am staying now, we see about three hundred pilgrims lining up at 4 am to get in the temple. Their culture is that when going on pilgrimage you attend mangala arotika.
 
"At four o'clock, attend the aratrika, mangala-aratrika. Mangala-aratrika means auspicious beginning of your day." (Lecture on NOD, November 13, 1972)

How important is rising early. Giriraj Swami explains about his experience with Srila Prabhupada at the kumbha mela.

"The program was very rigorous, because it was bitterly cold at night and we were expected to get up at four o'clock in the morning and bathe and attend maìgala-arati. So a few staunch devotees like Tamala Krsna and Ha got up early-by three or three-thirty-and walked all the way from our camp to the Ganges to take an early-morning bath. But those of us staying in the brahmacari tent were not so staunch, and generally when it was time to get up at four o'clock it was so cold out that we preferred to remain in our sleeping bags.

Srila Prabhupada also started to notice that some of us were coming late to mangala-arati and that some of us were not coming at all. Prabhupada became very upset about this, because he knew how important mangala-arati was for us. So one morning, although he was a little frail in health, he got up at four o 'clock and came out in his gamcha sat down under the pump, and took that ice-cold bath early in the morning-just to encourage us to get up, bathe, and come to mangala-arati. That had a very profound effect on all of us, and we felt so ashamed that we just couldn't sleep late any more.
 
When anyone asks me, "How can I make spiritual progress"? my answer is always, "Get up early." I don't only say this only because Srila Prabhupada stressed rising early. My personal experience is that even though I may be inclined to stay up late, one of the best things I can do for my spiritual life is to rise early.
 
What if we come alive at night and find it difficult to go to bed early. What if we naturally stay up late? This question not only relates to sleep, it relates to any practice in Krsna consciousness that seems to go against our nature.
 
We engage our nature in service. We don't want to deny or repress our natural inclination and inspiration for service. But it's different with sadhana. If we wish to make steady advancement in Krsna consciousness, a certain amount of sadhana is a must, whether or not we find it natural or easy.
 
Of course, there are choices in sadhana. I may like to read but am less inclined to puja. I may like to chant and do puja more than I like to read. That's fine. But, there are five main activities to sadhana bhakti (chanting, hearing, associating, worshiping the Deity, and living in a holy place) that are most important. When done together they have a synergistic effect.
 
So when it comes to sadhana, the mantra must be, "We do it even if we don't feel like it."
 
If we are not rising early, how do we make the transition to become early risers? Inspiration is important. But inspiration doesn't necessarily translate into continued action. Inspiration is often a fleeting enthusiasm. We might hear or read something that motivates us to improve our life, and for a few weeks we are inspired to continue our new way of thinking and acting. Unfortunately, it's common to gradually lose the motivation to continue the practice.
 
When inspiration doesn't last, it's likely motivation was predominately another's enthusiasm, understanding and realization, not our own. However, when it becomes something we really want to do, no one has to inspire us. We inspire ourself.
 
Sadhana means practice and sadhya means the goal of the practice. Sadhana is motivated by rules and regulations and sadhya is motivated by one's own desire to engage in devotional practice. In sadhana one thinks, "I have to chant my rounds." In the sadhya stage one thinks, "I want to chant my rounds. I get to chant my rounds." In sadhana, sixteen rounds may be a struggle. On the sadhya platform, it's difficult to stop at sixteen rounds.
 
By the repeated practice of sadhana, done properly, a natural desire to perform that activity gradually awakens. Yet, we still need motivation to keep us going in the sadhana stage. So how do we avoid going from initial inspiration to apathy?
 
Perhaps you are getting inspired to rise earlier by reading this article. Whether or not you make this desire your own will determine whether or not the inspiration translates into a regular practice.
 
Prabhupada explains in a lecture. Guru-mukha-padma-vakya cittete kariya aikya: "Make the orders of the spiritual master your life and soul." And then, ara na kariha mane asa: "Do not think otherwise." Simply accept what he says.
 
It doesn't mean you initially need to develop an attraction for an activity to make it your own. Of course, in the long run the attraction must be there for you to maintain a regular practice. But, you can make it your own long before the natural attraction develops.
 
Why does a devotee do anything on a daily basis that's not easy for him? It's because the instruction to do it becomes, as Prabhupada said, "your life and soul." The important question here is, "How do we make an instruction our life and soul?"
 
I doubt there is one answer for all of us. But I do know it's an important question to ask ourselves. 
 
Let's look at possible answers to the question, "How do we make a spiritual practice ours?"
 
·         We may adopt a spiritual practice we don't natural like doing knowing that eventually we will develop an attraction for that activity.

·         We strongly believe in the value of the practice, and wish to adopt values in our life that will inspire the practice

·         We understand (or bring ourselves to understand) the vital importance of the practice, causing us to make the activity a priority in our lives.

·         We envision the positive results of the practice and the negative consequences of living without it.
 
Of course, if we can follow Narottama dasa Thakura's advice of "simply accept what he says," we can alter our lifestyle immediately in accord with the instructions of our guru. Then, simply because Prabhupada said rise by four in the morning, we do it. This is the platform we should all aspire to reach. Whatever is my guru's desire becomes my own desire.
 
From four in the morning until ten at night (from mangala-aratrika to Sayana-aratrika) there must be at least five or six brahmanas to take care of the Deity. Six aratrikas are performed in the temple and food is frequently offered to the Deity and the prasada distributed. This is the method of worshiping the Deity according to the rules and regulations set by predecessors. [C.c., Madhya 4.87, purport]

Everything is done in conformity to a regular standard. For example, all the temple members, without exception must rise by 4:00 A.M. and attend Mongal arotrik. Everyone living in the temple must agree to the standard by proper understanding of the philosophy of tapasya. We cannot expect our guests to follow all our principles, but whoever lives in the temple must follow. – January 12, 1974 to Mukunda däsa
 
Is rising early an instruction just for temple devotees? I believe it's one of our most important practices, whether or not you live in a temple.






--
Yours
Dinesh
Blog:http://dinesh-krsna.blogspot.com


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The Secret..

From The Secret Daily Teachings

To create your tomorrow, go over your day when you are in bed tonight just before you fall asleep, and feel gratitude for the good moments.

 If there was something you wanted to happen differently, replay it in your mind the way you wanted it to go. As you fall asleep, say, 

"I will sleep deeply and wake up full of energy.

 Tomorrow is going to be the most beautiful day of my life."

Good night!
 
May the joy be with you,


Rhonda Byrne
The Secret... bringing joy to billions


--
Yours
Dinesh
Blog:http://dinesh-krsna.blogspot.com


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[Vaishnava Family Resources] Newsletter September 2012



Newsletter September 2012

Click here to the see the newsletter webpage

September 2012 Newsletter

 Better Japa, Better Marriage    by Arcana-siddhi devi dasi 

Recently someone asked me, " What causes a husband and wife who once seemed so happy together to become one another's worst enemy".  While I could have given a very elaborate answer, I replied, "Our material conditioning."  The questioner then asked, "Is there anything one can do to change their material conditioning?"

Conditioning is indeed difficult to change.  Education and awareness are certainly helpful, but ultimately the most efficacious way to change our conditioned responses to life's unpredictable provocations is our spiritual practices.

In the japa retreats I've helped to facilitate, we would pose two questions. " How do you feel after a morning of focused attentive japa?"  And "How do you feel after a morning of unfocused, inattentive japa or no japa?"  The responses were all similar.   Responses to the first question included adjectives such as peaceful, happy, fulfilled, resilient, kind, compassionate, understanding.   Adjectives to describe their feelings after a bad japa day included, scattered, depressed, unproductive, guilty, angry, anxious, over-reactive and moody. 

From my experience working with couples, I have found that couples who have strong spiritual practices get along together better than couples who have little or no sadhana.   Good sadhana helps us to transcend our conditioning and develop good qualities such as compassion and humility.   We develop an attitude of service as opposed to exploitation.  

Good sadhana also enhances our ability to listen with the objective to understand our spouse as opposed to listening to defeat our spouse in an argument.   We will also have more willingness to take good instruction from others as to how to have a healthy and happy Krsna-centered marriage and to take those instructions to heart.  

 

Dear Grihastha Coach

I have a question that I hope you will be able to answer.  How does a person know if their feelings are love?  You wrote before about infatuation, my question is specifically about love.

Wants to know.  

Dear Wants,

Your inquiry, "How do I know it's love?" is relevant to many.  Let's examine this issue of love in our relationships.  The foundation for understanding the principle of love is to realize that Krsna, God, is Love Personified.  When we experience genuine love, we are experiencing in essence, the substance of God.  Therefore, real love can never be disconnected from God.

Here are some general truths about love:  When it's love we feel better about ourselves; we feel lovable and capable, validated and worthwhile.  When we are loved, we feel safe. In a relationship therefore, if we are feeling unsafe, it is probably not true love.

And because love -- especially in a marriage or premarital relationship, should be reciprocal—each person in a relationship should feel loved and worthwhile.  If it's not reciprocal, mutually beneficial, then it's like the old song says:  "I found love on a two way street—but lost it on a lonely highway"

Take the mini test below if you are in a relationship—either married or premarital:

                                                                                                                                        Yes      No

  1. Do you feel that you can trust or depend on your spouse/mate?                  
  2. Do you feel that your spouse can trust or depend on you?
  3. Are you good friends?
  4. Do you feel you would die without your spouse/mate?
  5. Is your spouse/mate the only person who can make you happy?
  6. Are most of the problems in your relationship due to the unreasonableness or lack of understanding of your spouse?
  7. Are you honest with your spouse?
  8. Is your spouse honest with you?
  9. Do you talk openly and honestly about your feelings and your concerns?
  10. Do you forgive mistakes?
  11. Does your spouse forgive mistakes?
  12. Are you afraid of your spouse?
  13. Is your spouse afraid of you?
  14. Does your spouse ever abandon you in an unsafe place or situation?
  15. Do you ever abandon your spouse in an unsafe place or situation?
  16. Do you ever humiliate your spouse/mate?
  17. Does your spouse ever humiliate you?
  18. Do you express anger in healthy ways?
  19. Do you feel that you have to constantly prove your love?
  20. Does either of you touch each other in ways that are uncomfortable?

Marriage and Family Educators and other family professionals have found that Love is demonstrated when you can answer yes to #s 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 18.   AND, when you can answer no to 4, 5, 6, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 20.

We must add a very important question to this list which has so much to do with creating and maintaining a lasting, healthy relationship:   Is there a spiritual or principle-based foundation that you both agree on?  Do you both acknowledge and practice a God-conscious lifestyle?  The answer to this should be a resounding, Yes!

No matter who or where you are, genuine loving relationships are characterized by healthy communication, honesty, respect, friendship, trust, forgiveness, appreciation and compassion.

Hope this sheds some light on your question.

Your Grihastha Coach

Would you like to read more articles?  
http://www.vaisnavafamilyresources.org/articles

 

 

The GVT is a grass roots volunteer group of Krishna devotees who are mostly mental health or educational professionals. Our intention is to provide resources to support married couples and prospective couples primarily in ISKCON communities.  

We want to help spiritualize your married life so that it will be an asset for your Krishna consciousness. We offer skill building marriage courses, weekend retreats, premarital education by skype, phone etc, and marital counseling. We also offer mentor training seminars for those who would like to help others.

 

Grhastha Vision Team members will be presenting 3 courses in the upcoming months in the Cleveland OH area. 
 
1.  A 2 day comprehensive mentor couple training to certify healthy married couples as marriage mentor/educators.
 
2.  A Parenting training for parents and all chldcare providers that gives skills, techniques, tools and encouragement to help you become a premium parent who raises children that are truthful, clean, compassionate, self-disciplined servant-leaders;
 
3.  Singles Evaluating Life and Family:  The SELF Healthy Relationship course for unmarried individuals.
 

If interested, please contact Krsnanandini devi dasi at info@dzfi.org.

 

 

Watch for our new book.... coming soon!

"Heart and Soul Connections: A Devotional Guide to Marriage, Service and Love"

 

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--
Yours
Dinesh
Blog:http://dinesh-krsna.blogspot.com


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Who is Supreme to whom?

1. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are many local Supremes. A wife, sees husband as the supreme. Similarly 
for those who are aspiring to enjoy their senses or for those who are in the mode of passion and ignorance worship of devatas or the demi-gods is recommended 
in the vedic scriptures. Therefore the vedic literature says such demi-gods are Supreme according to their levels of understanding. It is the context basically who is Supreme to whom. 
But the ultimate Supreme is Krishna. 

"Even though it might appear harsh to say that we are competing with Krishna. It's a fact that we are competing with Krishna's position. Krishna says 
I am the enjoyer and the proprietor of all the universes. We say How is that I just bought this Sky scraper, Krishna is claiming Himself the owner. No no 
Let me buy that Bank and see who is the biggest proprietor. We are competing with Krishna by trying to enjoy the energies of Krishna. Even the demi-gods 
bow down before Krishna knowing His position as the Supreme controller but demons wont. Demons will be forced to bow down when they get slashed down to death
by the Lord's weapon or time" 

2.  For those who want to get beautiful wife or a handsome man, worship of demigods is recommended. But it is the Supreme Lord who is providing all necessities to 
even the demi-gods. The demi-gods themselves are devotees of Lord Krishna and they know very well about the supremacy of Lord Krishna

3. However sometimes even the demi-gods by the modes of material natire. We find certain instances where Lord Indra and Lord Brahma are getting bewildered
and forgetting Lord Krishna's Supreme position by being covered by their temporary position.

4. We can never be happy by being separate from the Lord. Lord is the ultimate enjoyer, "Bhoktaram yagaya tapasam..." - BG. Krishna is the enjoyer, we are meant to 
be enjoyed by Krishna. By co-operating with the Lord's plan the minute living entities or the spiritual spark can also get happiness through the purified senses. But when the 
senses are not pure, Lord Krishna doesnt reveal Himself.

5. One day there was a meeting by the different organs of the body such as eyes, legs, tongue, hands. In the meeting the discussion was eyes are saying, I am the one who look 
at all that is meant for eating but I dont get a plate of food. Legs started complaining, " I am carrying the stomach all through the day., yet I am not getting a single plate of food but the stomach 
gets all that" Similarly the hands also complained. Finally all of them decided to go on strike for a week to no co-operate to feed the stomach.

   After a week, they meet again but they dont have energy and almost dead and each one of them started saying, " I dont know whats going on..but I am feeling terrible and not happy or energetic"
The stomach said, " I already told you guys that if you have to be happy, you have to co-operate with me". Stomach is the enjoyer in the body. If stomach is not fed, all the organs go dead.
Similarly our position is to co-operate with the plans of the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. If we fail to do so we cant be happy.

6. Pooja may be for different demi-gods but Bhakti means it can be only for Krishna. Krishna is not attracted to the beauty of the apsaras or anything that is materially motivated.
Krishna is conquered only by unalloyed Bhakti or devotional service. Krishna Himself says in Bhagavad Gita that, Only by unlalloyed devotional service can He be understood as He is. " Bhaktya mam abhi janati.."

7. The brahman which is considered as the Nirguna is not the absolute, but there is Krishna, the Supreme Lord who is a person. The brahman effulgence is from the body of the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna.
There's no ananda in the Brahman even though it is free from the modes of material nature. Unless there's service to the Supreme Lord, the living entities cannot derive ananda or pleasure.

8. Bhatkti is not dependent on Jnana or any material situation. For the Jnani's Liberation is the end, but for a devotee of Krishna, Liberation is just the beginning. We can be liberated from the modes of material nature 
even when we are in this material body by performing devotional service to Lord Krishna.

9. Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita that If one sincerely surrenders or performs devotional service to Him, He Himself gives the knowledge by which the devotee can attain Him. A devotee is already conversant in the 
vedic literature by just knowing Krishna and His transcendental nature. Veda means knowledge, The purpose of vedas is to know Him(Krishna). Krishna Himself confirms this in the Bhagavad Gita, " Vedias ca sarvir

10. A devotee already knows the purpose of the vedas and therefore engages in the devotional service to the Lord. But to keep his faith steady and progress in the spiritual life, he associates with the
transcendental literature like Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad Gita. Bhagavad Gita is spoken by the Lord Himself. Srimad Bhagavatam is spoken by His devotees about His activities.

11." Among all the yogis one who constantly thinks about Me is the best",.  "One who studies this conversation between Me and you worships Me by His intelligence", Lord Krishna in BG.

12. Deity worship is very important for the house holders to be regulated with their habits. If the house holder doesnt have deities, he might not eat at proper time and the proper food and there will
be lack of cleanliness. Deity worship helps the house holder to stick to the religious principles and associate constantly with the Lord in the form of His murtis. Because the house holders are directly interacting with 
the material energy or the matter, there is more danger of them getting trapped or illusioned by the material energy.

QA:

How can we remember the Lord when we are dealing with mundane people by talking unnecessary things just for the sake of gaining business?
Ans:
It is not very uncommon to see in India that group ladies holding a pot full of water on their heads and simultaneously talking and doing other activities while walking. Likewise eventhough we
deal with materialistic people our mind should be fixed that I am doing this for Krishna's pleasure that I will get the profit that I receive from this act fot the pleasure of Krishna.

We can also find that a man even though working so hard at the office will have a photo of his wife or children at their desks in the office. If the man gets a call from wife and when he 
hears that his child is sick, he immdeiately runs to the home leaving aside all his work at the office. So he is very clear that he is doing all these for the love of his wife and children. Similarly we should also
remember that we are working for Krishna. Our mind, body, wife, children everyone should be Krishna conscious and for that sake we carry out the job at office. When the husband is Krishna conscious, the wife and children
also remain Krishna conscious and the whole family has Krishna as their centre and therefore the goal is Krishna.

Notes from a lecture by HH.Danavir Goswami Maharaj
--
Yours
Dinesh
Blog:http://dinesh-krsna.blogspot.com


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I got burnt and learnt

There are 3 ways to understand a thing,


Topmost: Just by hearing about the nature of a thing, certain class of people understand and acting accodingly. Such a person who follows just by hearing is a firstclass person.
Midlevel: Seeing others experience the thing and then being cautious about the dos and donts
Mid-Lower level: Learning by one's own experience, which takes a lot of time and energy. One example is we may tell a child 
that fire will burn if touched, but the child may not understand. We can show how others who got burnt by fire. Still the child may 
need more understanding. Finally let the child will only understand by touching the fire and experiencing himself.
Lowest: Even after experiencing the miserable conditions of improper actions one may not realize and act properly. For instance the pick pockets very well know that they will get caught if they do that and they know that it is wrong action but still they do it, goto jail come back and again do the same, goto jail repeatedly.

Most of us are in the mid-lower level. Atleast I am here if not others. We need to endeavor to get to the topmost level of becoming firstclass devotee 
of devotees of Lord Krishna.

--
Yours
Dinesh
Blog:http://dinesh-krsna.blogspot.com


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A sincere soul becomes overwhelmed with joy on the appearance of a saint at his house.

  
When the clouds appear in the sky the peacock begins to dance in ecstasy, as a sincere soul becomes overwhelmed with joy on the appearance of a saint at his house-Omaha congregation Welcomes HH.Danavir Goswami Maharaj

  The duty of sages and saints is to go from door to door and thus enlighten the householders in spiritual knowledge. Householder life is compared to a dark well. In a dark well the frog cannot see the free light of the open sky. The dark well of householder life kills the soul. One should therefore get out of it so that he may see the light of spiritual vision. Saints and sages mercifully try to uplift fallen souls from the dark well of householder life. An enlightened householder therefore takes pleasure in the appearance of such saints and sages at his house. The mind of the householder who is a conditioned soul is always disturbed by the threefold miseries of material life. Everyone wants to be happy in his householder life, but the laws of nature do not allow one to become happy in material existence, which is like a spontaneous forest fire.

In the age of Kali, as described before, people in general no longer take pleasure in the presence of saints and sages, nor are they interested in spiritual enlightenment. The saints and sages, however, take all risks to propagate the message of Godhead. Lord Jesus Christ, Thakura Haridasa, Lord Nityananda Prabhu, and many such sages risked their life to propagate the message of Godhead. Self-realized saints and sages take such risks for the spiritual enlightenment of the people in general. They do not take vows of silence meant to win cheap glory from the ignorant mass of people. God is satisfied only when His devotees take all sorts of risks to propagate His glories. Such devotees are unafraid of the difficult journey to cross the ocean of nescience. They are always anxious for the welfare of the fallen souls, who are attached to the false enjoyment of materialistic life, in which they forget their eternal relation with God.

   It is the duty of the saints and sages to enlighten the fallen souls, and reciprocally it is the duty of the householder to receive the saints and sages cordially, as the peacock dances in ecstasy at the presence of clouds in the sky. The fire of threefold miseries experienced by materialistic men can be extinguished only by the cloud of mercy of the saints and sages who can pour down the water of transcendental messages to put an end to the miseries of the householders.
 
Many plants and creepers that were almost dead during the months of April and May are now visible again in various forms, for they are nourished by their roots in the moist earth. These numberless plants and creepers resemble persons who dry up in severe penances for some material gain but then achieve their objectives and become luxuriously fat, nourished by sense enjoyment.

Excerpt from the book, Light Of Bhagavata
--
Yours
Dinesh
Blog:http://dinesh-krsna.blogspot.com


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My heart is like an open highway, I just wanna live while I'm alive,'Cause it's my life!

Bhagavad-gītā As It Is 2.26

atha cainaḿ nitya-jātaḿ

nityaḿ manyase mṛtam

tathāpi tvaḿ mahā-bāho

nainaḿ śocitum arhasi

SYNONYMS

atha — if, however; ca — also; enam — this soul; nitya-jātam — always born; nityam — forever; — either; manyase — you so think; mṛtam — dead; tathā api — still; tvam — you; mahā-bāhoO mighty-armed one; na — never; enam — about the soul; śocitumto lament; arhasi — deserve.

TRANSLATION

If, however, you think that the soul [or the symptoms of life] is always born and dies forever, you still have no reason to lament, O mighty-armed.

PURPORT

There is always a class of philosophers, almost akin to the Buddhists, who do not believe in the separate existence of the soul beyond the body. When Lord Kṛṣṇa spoke the Bhagavad-gītā, it appears that such philosophers existed, and they were known as the lokāyatikas and vaibhāṣikas. Such philosophers maintain that life symptoms take place at a certain mature condition of material combination. The modern material scientist and materialist philosophers also think similarly. According to them, the body is a combination of physical elements, and at a certain stage the life symptoms develop by interaction of the physical and chemical elements. The science of anthropology is based on this philosophy. Currently, many pseudo religions — now becoming fashionable in America — are also adhering to this philosophy, as well as to the nihilistic nondevotional Buddhist sects.

Even if Arjuna did not believe in the existence of the soul — as in the vaibhāṣika philosophy — there would still have been no cause for lamentation. No one laments the loss of a certain bulk of chemicals and stops discharging his prescribed duty. On the other hand, in modern science and scientific warfare, so many tons of chemicals are wasted for achieving victory over the enemy. According to the vaibhāṣika philosophy, the so-called soul or ātmā vanishes along with the deterioration of the body. So, in any case, whether Arjuna accepted the Vedic conclusion that there is an atomic soul or he did not believe in the existence of the soul, he had no reason to lament. According to this theory, since there are so many living entities generating out of matter every moment, and so many of them are being vanquished every moment, there is no need to grieve for such incidents. If there were no rebirth for the soul, Arjuna had no reason to be afraid of being affected by sinful reactions due to his killing his grandfather and teacher. But at the same time, Kṛṣṇa sarcastically addressed Arjuna as mahā-bāhu, mighty-armed, because He, at least, did not accept the theory of the vaibhāṣikas, which leaves aside the Vedic wisdom. As a kṣatriya, Arjuna belonged to the Vedic culture, and it behooved him to continue to follow its principles.

The following famous song in support of this vaibhāṣikas philosophy which is prominent in this world. www.youtube.com/watch?v=vx2u5uUu3DE

Lyrics:
It's My Life lyrics
Songwriters: Bon Jovi, Jon; Martin, Max; Sambora, Richard S;

This ain't a song for the brokenhearted
No silent prayer for the faith departed
And I ain't gonna be just a face in the crowd
You're gonna hear my voice when I shout it out loud

It's my life
It's now or never
I ain't gonna live forever
I just wanna live while I'm alive

(It's my life)
My heart is like an open highway
Like Frankie said, "I did it my way"
I just wanna live while I'm alive
'Cause it's my life

This is for the ones who stood their ground
For Tommy and Gina who never backed down
Tomorrow's getting harder, make no mistake
Luck ain't even lucky, gotta make your own breaks

It's my life
And it's now or never
I ain't gonna live forever
I just wanna live while I'm alive
[ From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/b/bon-jovi-lyrics/it_s-my-life-lyrics.html ]

(It's my life)
My heart is like an open highway
Like Frankie said, "I did it my way"
I just wanna live while I'm alive
'Cause it's my life

You better stand tall
When they're calling you out
Don't bend, don't break
Baby, don't back down

It's my life
It's now or never
'Cause I ain't gonna live forever
I just wanna live while I'm alive

(It's my life)
My heart is like an open highway
Like Frankie said, "I did it my way"
I just wanna live while I'm alive

(It's my life)
And it's now or never
I ain't gonna live forever
I just wanna live while I'm alive

(It's my life)
My heart is like an open highway
Like Frankie said, "I did it my way"
I just wanna live while I'm alive
'Cause it's my life!



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Jahnavi's Divine Maha Mantra

Check out this video on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSMKAXv_9w4&feature=youtube_gdata_player


Yours
Dinesh
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Ekadasi Prasadam


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No one attains any wealth without having given in charity in his previous life

The scriptures state that whatever wealth a person attains in his life is due to his having given charity in previous lives, and that if one has not given charity in previous lives, then even though he may sit atop a mound of gold as big as Mount Sumeru, he will still remain poor.

purva-janmArjitaM vidyA
purva-janmArjitaM dhanam
purva-janmArjitaM kanyA
agre dhAvati dhAvatiH

"Transcendental knowledge, spiritual education, satisfying wealth, and pleasing family members are acquired by a person who has given profuse charity. Whatever good a person does returns to him many fold."
In Manu-nitii, Manu MahArAja says, bhAgyaM phalanti sarvatra na cha vidyA na cha paurusham: "Whatever is predestined by ViddhAtA, the fortune-maker, will surely happen. One's so called good education, skill, and enthusiasm will not necessarily guarantee to bring one success."

Whatever charity a person gives in the form of education, money, fertile land, and the like is returned to him in a future lifetime. We gain what we have given, when given with a good heart. Indeed, whatever the Lord of destiny, the creator, has written as one's fortune will certainly come to pass. No one attains any wealth without having given in charity in his previous life. Oh best of the brahmins, since we are now poor, in our previous lives neither you nor I must have given any/sufficient charity to worthy persons. Therefore, Oh gracious husband, you should remain here with me. Without you I cannot live even a moment.

Excerpt from Parama Ekadasi Story

--
Yours
Dinesh
Blog:http://dinesh-krsna.blogspot.com


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