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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Day-1 HG Prithusrava Prabhu and Danakeli Mataji class notes

1. Janmashtami means not just the day of the year every time we celebrate and get back to our normal routines.

2. Actual Janmashtami means Krishna has to take birth in our heart.

3. Srila Vishwatha Chakravarthi Thakur says Mother Devaki represents Bhakti, Kamsa the fear of material existence and the six sons of Devaki as the six things such as lust, greed, pride, anger, madness, envy.

4. Only when these six things are killed, Guru(represents Balaram) and Krishna will appear within our hearts and that's when real Janmashtami happens.

5. When Guru comes he will clean the residual effects of the six entities within our hearts and makes it suitable to invite Krishna to the heart.

6. The rest of the year, we have to do the homework of cleaning our heart from these six entities and during the next Janmashtami we should call upon Krishna to take birth in our heart.

7. Krishna wants us to love Him and that's why He appears in this world. Otherwise just the material nature itself can do the job of killing demons.

(Contd...)

Yours
Dinesh
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A perfect life is not possible in this material world but in spiritual world


Sometimes it is better to stop fixing the material problems of our life because there is no end for the problems of material life and we will never be able to fix them no matter how hard we try and it goes forever and life itself will be finished before we get a perfect comfortable  situation. We ourselves the souls are perfect beings who are parts of The Lord. The Lord Himself says this 24 elements are of inferior nature so there will be always problem as long as we manipulate or identify ourselves with these elements. 

In the end we loose ourselves in simply fixing these 24 elements forgetting our real position as higher transcendental spirit soul-the eternal servant of The Lord.


Yours
Dinesh

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Pancha Maha Yajnas

Pancha Maha Yajnas

I shall speak a word on the Pancha Maha Yajnas which are intended to be performed by the householders for purification of heart. The five great Yajnas are:

(1) Deva Yajna is offering oblations to Devatas with recitation of Vedic Mantras.

(2) Rishi Yajna consists of study of Vedas and teaching of Vedas to students and offering of oblations to Rishis.

(3) Pitru Yajna consists of Tarpana or oblations to departed souls and Shraaddha or annual religious rites performed for them.

(4) Bhuta Yajna is distribution of food to crows, cows and other animals. This develops cosmic love and Advaitic Bhava.

(5) Atithi Yajna is giving food to guests and honouring them.

Every householder should perform these five Yajnas. If he fails to do, he will suffer from Pratyaya Dosha (the sin of omission). The fire place, the water pot, the cutting, grinding and sweeping apparatuses are the five places where injury to life is daily being committed. These sins are washed away by the five Maha Yajnas which every Dvija ought to perform; they are intended to satisfy the Bhutas, the Rishis, the men, the gods and the Pitrus.

The Pitrus are forefathers who dwell in the Pitruloka. They possess powers of clairvoyance and clairaudience. When Mantras are recited, they exercise a tremendous influence through their vibrations over the reciter of the Mantras, and his forefathers to whom they are directed. The Pitrus hear the Mantras through their power of clairaudience, and are pleased. They bless those who offer the oblation. In Shraaddha, the essence of food offerings is taken up by Sun's rays to Suryaloka and the departed souls are pleased with the offerings which reach them through the Sun. Even in Germany, many persons perform Tarpana and Shraaddha. They have scientifically investigated the beneficial effects of such oblations. It is the imperative duty of all householders to perform Shraaddha and Tarpana to propitiate the Rishis and Pitrus. It is only deluded souls with perverted intellect who misconstrue these things and neglect to perform the sacred ceremonies and suffer as a consequence.

Courtesy : http://www.dlshq.org/download/yogadaily.htm#_VPID_97

Above all we have Sankirtana Yajna of chanting Hare Krishna Maha Mantra which destroys the sins of omissions of these yajnas. But still there is no harm in performing these yajnas if we get sufficient time as house holders to help other beings around.

-- 

Yours
Dinesh

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This life is tottering like a drop of water on a lotus petal


e dhana, yaubana, putra, parijana
ithe ki ache paratiti re
kamala-dala-jala, jivana talamala
bhajahu hari-pada niti re

TRANSLATION

What assurance of real happiness is there in all of one's wealth, youthfulness, sons, and family members? This life is tottering like a drop of water on a lotus petal; therefore you should always serve and worship the divine feet of Lord Hari-The Cooperation of Our Mind By Govinda Dasa Kaviraja


Yours
Dinesh

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Flower offerings and Prasadam

Yours
Dinesh
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Fwd: [granthraj] Come to your Senses - Part 4

 

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.

This is in conclusion of the previous offerings titled, "Come to Your Senses", the transcription of a powerful class, given by our beloved spiritual master H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj, in Sri Sri Radhaneelmadhav dham, Rajkot on 6th December 2005. In the previous offering we heard from Maharaj that

1. We should never neglect the scriptures.
2. Engaging the mind in Krishna's service and not in concoctions.
3. Clean and chant.
4. Come to your senses.

Now let us continue to hear more nectar from Maharaj on the topic 'Come to your senses'.

5. Come to your senses: We feel like running after every woman. But you can't do it. If you do it, you will be stoned or punished or beaten or arrested. So we can't do it. "I want to do it, but I can't do it so I have to control myself." So if the control is there, why not to have more control by going to the scriptures? We have seen in Bhagavatam millions of times. How many times we have heard! How many times we have discussed! What have you heard and what have you discussed! Even now, if you are running after these things, how you are going to save yourself! Be a nice devotee. Nice devotees have always very pleasing nature; and very comfortable in their own situation; they are in control of their body and, not only that, but always in control of their energies i.e. we are heir-apparent to Krishna. Krishna's name is Vasudev. Vasudev means fully in control of His energy and consciousness. He is the supreme consciousness. That is why, every tree is conscious here; every particle of the dust is conscious here and all over the material manifestation, what to talk of only this planet! All over the universe!! This is consciousness. And we are part of this consciousness. That is why it is said part and parcel. Part is part – simple. But we have parcel. Parcel means, you are in possession of consciousness and you are completely controlling the consciousness. So anybody touches any hair on your body, you know. In every follicle of the hair, the consciousness is there. This is the meaning of parcel. Why ignore the parcel word! And we are fully in control of this consciousness because we are part and parcel of Krishna. That is why whatever quality there is in Krishna's consciousness, we are having in us in tiny proprotions. With all our energies under our control and with all the consciousness under our control in this mini body, Krishna is supreme consciousness and supreme controller in this sense. Why is He known as ishvaram? It is because He is fully in control of His energies and of His consciousness.

Why can't we meditate on these things? Try to find out what brahmacarya is. Try to find out from Prabhupada's writings what he means. Try to instigate your intelligence. You are fully experienced. Try to control yourself and be a man in the real sense of the term. We are known as manava. We are Manu's followers. And Manu is highly elevated living entity. Even now, the code given for behavior is known as Manu-samhita. It is coming from Manu. He has recommended a code. And all the codes followed all over the planet are given by Manu. Different scriptures have different codes. Nobody recommends thieving. Nobody recommends running after women. But we are following that. There is no recommendation. Why are you following that? Because in the West – women liberation. Liberation of women is some scoundrel man's idea. If the women are protected by the husband, she cannot be enjoyed by anybody and everybody. So this scoundrel wanted to enjoy so he was very clever. He said, "Unless I speak in their language, women will not do." Liberation is death for a woman. As it is, sex is death; and liberation means, how many people will have sex! So it is as good as death. She cannot survive with this. Even the prostitutes can't survive more than 10-20 years because they are losing everything. This is not the way. That is why the controlled woman is necessary in this age. Liberation is a completely nasty idea. They think that, "Now I am earning money, I don't need a husband." It is not the money; It is the care. They will enjoy and go away. Who will take care? Children will be left to her. Please, this is all varna-shankara behavior we are doing. I don't know how to stop these things. But one thing we should do, that continuous harinama must go on. That is the remedy for this. You people please come together… and please these young people must crowd together here. Why they are wasting their time I don't know! Why they can't come together and try to follow something by which the society will be helped! Your earning will go on definitely. But you do these things. Why can't you come to this point? The school is already there. We are craving for the young people to serve Krishna. Please, propagate these things to young people. And celibacy must be there, and celibacy will be only possible if they are controlled. For your good you should be under control. Otherwise, you are losing. Outside world is completely nasty. So please take care. Hare Krishna !

Our heartfelt thanks to Maharaj for this powerful class full of strong, sublime and practical instructions which can save us from all miseries in this world.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Bhupati Krishna das, New York.


--
Yours
Dinesh

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[granthraj] Come to your Senses - Part 3

 

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.

This is in continuation of the previous offering titled, "Come to Your Senses", the transcription of a powerful class, given by our beloved spiritual master H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj, in Sri Sri Radhaneelmadhav dham, Rajkot on 6th December 2005. In the previous offering we heard from Maharaj that

1. We should never neglect the scriptures.
2. Engaging the mind in Krishna's service and not in concoctions.

Now let us continue to hear more nectar from Maharaj.

3. Clean and Chant: Clean the temple and when you are tired, you won't have idea of sex at all. Once you are tired, then nothing is there. Clean the temple and then show me whether you are running after the girl. The girl may pass near you and you will never notice because you are tired. Because you are not working, that is why you are running after here and there. Man, every time the girl smiles and you think, "She likes me." "Arre man, she doesn't like you at all." Smiling doesn't mean anything. But we are mad. Because we don't see the soul in the girl, we are just running after the body. Why we are mad like this, I don't know! How else should Bhagavatam insist? Is this very difficult to understand? Does it require much intelligence? It is common sense. If you read Bhagavatam, you will see your own life and you will see the life around. This does not require much intelligence. (Maharaj humbly says) I am the dunce and even then I can see because I have gone through the whole thing in my life. I was also 20 years old. I was also 25 years old. Don't you think I was 25? So I know what was the thing. Please, scriptures are very particular. And unless you keep yourself busy, you will never get rid of these bad ideas. And busy in the sense of manual work. Two things we must always have: one is bead bag, another one is duster. So go and clean everywhere and chant. Clean and chant, clean and chant! That is it. Nothing doing. But we don't do that. Chant and eat, chant and eat! Man, stop this madness. The more you eat, the more you run after, because the outlet is not there. Please, stop. Chant and work hard. C-W is alright. C-E is wrong (laughter).

4. Come to your senses: Regarding eating, we should be very sane about it. Anything you eat, eventually it is stool. If you eat rasagulla, rasagulla doesn't come out. So you should behave alright. And you should propagate these things. Don't you want to live comfortably? Why we are not following this 'celibate' word correctly? Celibate is not that you don't have sex. No. Even if you are not having sex, if the idea is continuous, then you are having more sex. Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita 3.6

karmendriyaani samyamya / ya aaste manasaa smaran
indriyaarthan vimudhaatma / mithyaacaarah sa ucyate

"One who restrains the senses of action but whose mind dwells on sense objects certainly deludes himself and is called a pretender."

How clear it is! Study Bhagavad Gita. You are stopping your sense gratification by controlling your senses. But manasaa smaran always you are thinking about it in the mind. indriyaarthaan vimudhaatma He is vimudha, fool. mithyaacaarah sa ucyate - he is a pretender. Please stop this. And how to do it? Continuous engagement in this study of scriptures. Even while sitting your mind runs after sex. So manual labor must be there. Get up at 4 o' clock, run to the temple. Do some productive labor. We are very happy in unproductive labor. We cannot afford unproductive labor. We can only afford productive labor. No need of going to gym or running around. You sit down here and clean the floor. No need of going anywhere. Unproductive labor will always kill you. Unnecessary palpitation is there. We call it, 'Cleanliness is next to Godliness'. Please, this is the point to be understood. Unless the celibacy is followed very seriously, don't think that you will progress an inch on this path. And when you don't progress, you lose faith in the process. There is nothing wrong in the process. Everything is wrong with you. Why you are not coming to the senses? Please, why, why this madness! Because we are not following any principles and we pretend that we are following - mityaacaarah sa ucyate - this is our position. And celibacy cannot be there. Not marrying is not a brahmachari. Staying with one wife is brahmachari. dharmaviruddho bhuteshu kamo 'smi bharatarshabha. We have to control anyway. The controlled life only gives us the safety.

Krishna willing, we will continue to hear more nectar from Maharaj in the subsequent offerings.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Bhupati Krishna das.
New York

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Re: Vedic Version of the Universe Q&A - Geocentric model:earth stationary sun & other planets moving around



This photo is of the Geocentric system of the Solar System where the Planets and Sun orbit the Earth. A similar technologically advanced diorama of this structure is presently being built at Mayapur West Bengal India that will house the Vedic Planetarium opening in 2016. 

It is similar because in Sadupta dasa's Book, Vedic Cosmology, he explains how the Moon is closer to the Earth Planet than the Sun where as on many occasions Srila Prabhupada has said that the Sun is closer and to arrive at the Moon one must first travel past the Sun.

The other so called theory is the Helocentric design where the Sun is the center of the Solar system meaning all the Planets orbit the Sun which is the present day scientific explanation.

As devotee of the Gaudiya teachings and ISKCON we accept the shastric explanation given to us by Srila Prabhupada who clearly says the Geocentric system is the correct one as the photo attempts to show.

Actually the Helocentric theory is relatively new, even the Catholic Church officially believes in the Geocentric system as does the teachings of Islam. 

Only due to modern science and the beginning of the so called age of 'Enlightenment' in the 17th Century did modern man start questioning all major Religious teachings of the Geocentric system however, as devotees we fully accept the authority of the Srimad Bhagavatam given to us by Srila Prabhupada meaning we accept the Geocentric model only.

As from 2016 when the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium is finished, the Geocentric System will become more known to the world and to many devotees who have not studied the 5th Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam in detail.

This will definitely create more interest in the Geocentric design and the Krsna Conscious Movement and without a doubt it will create great interest where many documentaries around the world on this subject will bring many millions of people to Mayapur. 

Of course modern science will challenge the Srimad Bhagavatam while other will come to accept the great wisdom of the Vedas and Srila Prabhupada's Book that are found today in most languages around the world. 

So get ready for 2016 when the wisdom of the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium in Mayapur comes on line for the whole world to see, bringing in a new (or very old) area of cosmology to the world. Hare Krsna all glorious to SrilaPrabhupada Shakthi
 — with Al Ford and 27 others.

Vedic Cosmography and Astronomy Q&A 

Excerpt from the book 'Vedic Cosmography and Astronomy' by Sadaputa dasa (Richard L. Thompson ). 

Q: The Vedic literature says the moon is higher than the sun. How can this be? 

A: In Chapter 22 of the Fifth Canto, the heights of the planets above the earth are given, and it is stated that the moon is 100,000 yojanas above the rays of the sun. In this chapter, the word "above" means "above the plane of Bhu-mandala." It does not refer to distance measured radially from the surface of the earth globe. In Section 4.b we show that if the plane of Bhu-mandala corresponds to the plane of the ecliptic, then it indeed makes sense to say that the moon is higher than the sun relative to Bhu-mandala. This does not mean that the moon is farther from the earth globe than the sun. 

For example, if point A is in a plane, B is 1,000 miles above the plane, and C is 2,000 miles above the plane, we cannot necessarily conclude that C is further from A than B is. 

Q: In SB 8.10.38p, Shrila Prabhupada says, "The sun is supposed to be 93,000,000 miles above the surface of the earth, and from the Shrimad-Bhagavatamwe understand that the moon is 1,600,000 miles above the sun. Therefore the distance between the earth and the moon would be about 95,000,000 miles." Doesn't this plainly say that the moon is farther from the earth than the sun? 

A: In the summary at the end of Chapter 23 of the Fifth Canto Shrila Prabhupada says, "The distance from the sun to the earth is 100,000 yojanas." At 8 miles per yojana, this comes to 800,000 miles. We suggest that when Shrila Prabhupada cites the modern Western earth-sun distance of 93,000,000 miles, he is simply making the point that if you put together the Bhagavatam and modern astronomy you get a contradictory picture. His conclusion is that one should simply accept the Vedic version, and he was not interested in personally delving into astronomical arguments in detail. 

Q: What is your justification for going into these arguments in detail? 

A: Shrila Prabhupada ordered some of his disciples to do this for the sake of preaching. In a letter to Svarupa Damodara dasa dated April 27, 1976, Shrila Prabhupada said, "Now our Ph.D.'s must collaborate and study the 5th Canto to make a model for building the Vedic Planetarium.... So now all you Ph.D.'s must carefully study the details of the 5th Canto and make a working model of the universe. If we can explain the passing seasons, eclipses, phases of the moon, passing of day and night, etc., then it will be very powerful propaganda." In this regard, he specifically mentioned Svarupa Damodara dasa, Sadaputa dasa, and Madhava dasa in a letter to Dr. Wolf-Rottkay dated October 14, 1976. 

Q: If the distance from the earth to the sun is 800,000 miles, how can this be reconciled with modern astronomy? 

A: This distance is relative to the plane of Bhu-mandala. The distance from the center of Jambudvipa to the orbit of the sun around Manasottara Mountain is 15,750,000 yojanas according to the dimensions given in the Fifth Canto. This distance lies in the plane of Bhu-mandala and comes to 126,000,000 miles at 8 miles per yojana and 78,750,000 miles at 5 miles per yojana. Since values for the yojana ranging from 5 to 8 miles have been used in India, this distance is compatible with the modern earth-sun distance of 93,000,000 miles. 

Q: Using radar and lasers, scientists have recently obtained very accurate estimates of the earth-moon distance. This distance is about 238,000 miles. How do you reconcile this with Vedic calculations? 

A: According to the Surya-siddhanta, the distance from the earth globe to the moon is about 258,000 miles. This is in reasonable agreement with the modern value. 

Q: If the moon is 258,000 miles from the earth globe, then how can it be 100,000 yojanas above the sun? This seems hard to understand, even if the latter distance is relative to the plane of Bhu-mandala. 

A: This question is answered in detail in Section 4.b, and the reader should specifically study Tables 8 and 9 in that section. Briefly, we propose the following: The heights of the planets from Bhu-mandala correspond to the maximum heights of the planets from the plane of the ecliptic in the visible solar system. This correspondence is approximate because the Fifth Canto gives the viewpoint of the demigods, whereas in modern astronomy and the jyotisha shastra the viewpoint is that of ordinary humans.
Gauragopala Dasa In summary, we propose that the Fifth Canto description of the universe is broadly compatible with what we see. The differences are due to the difference in viewpoint between human beings and demigods. Thus, from the higher-dimensional perspective of a demigod, Bhu-mandala should be directly visible, and the relative positions of Bhu-mandala, the sun, and the moon should appear as described in the Fifth Canto. 

Q: How are we to make sense of the enormous mountains described in the Fifth Canto? Some of them, including the Himalayas, are said to be 80,000 miles high. 

A: One might well doubt that even a scientifically uneducated person in ancient India would have thought that the Himalaya Mountains of our ordinary experience are 80,000 miles high. After all, such persons traditionally made pilgrimages to Badarikashrama on foot. We suggest that the cosmic mountains of the Fifth Canto are higher-dimensional; they are real, but to see them it is necessary to develop the sensory powers of the demigods and great yogis. This is the traditional understanding, although words such as "higher-dimensional" are not used, and descriptions are made in a matter-of-fact way from the viewpoint of demigods and other great personalities (such as the Pandavas). 

Shrila Prabhupada has said that modern scientists are "hardly conversant with the planet on which we are now living" (SB 5.20.37p). If our ordinary three-dimensional continuum is the total reality, then this statement would seem to be wrong. In Section 3.b.4, however, we give Vedic evidence showing that this three-dimensional world links up with higher-dimensional realms. 

Q: If the Garbhodaka Ocean fills half the universe, where is it, and why don't we see it? 

A: The Garbhodaka Ocean is beneath Bhu-mandala. Thus its location corresponds to the region of the celestial sphere south of the great circle marked by Bhu-mandala. We have argued that this should be either the southern celestial hemisphere or the region to the south of the ecliptic (see Section 3.d). The Garbhodaka Ocean is also higher-dimensional. 

Q: Isn't it true that there are fewer stars in the southern celestial hemisphere than in the northern celestial hemisphere? Isn't this because we are looking down on Bhu-mandala from the earth? 

A: A study of standard star charts shows that the number of stars visible in the southern celestial hemisphere is essentially the same as the number visible in the northern celestial hemisphere. (See Figures 11 and 12.) 

Q: What was Shrila Prabhupada's position on the moon flight? There seems to be some ambiguity in his statements about this topic. 

A: Shrila Prabhupada offered a number of tentative explanations as to what might have actually transpired on the moon flight, but his main point was that the astronauts could not have visited Candraloka, since they did not reach the civilization of the demigods that exists there. To put the matter in another way, if the moon is really nothing more than a lifeless desert, as scientists maintain, then the Vedic literatures describing Candraloka must be wrong. This topic is discussed in Section 6.c.1. 

Q: What about the argument that the moon flights were faked by the U.S. government? A case for this is made in the book, We Never Went to the Moon, by Bill Kaysing. 

A: Although this book makes some interesting points, its arguments are basically speculative and circumstantial. One of Kaysing's main arguments is that Thomas Baron, a North American Aviation employee who wrote a report critical of the Apollo program, was murdered by government agents. Kaysing maintains that this was done as part of a government cover-up of the moon hoax. Unfortunately, if this is true, then it would be very dangerous to possess solid evidence proving such a cover-up. Another point made by Kaysing is that according to official reports, six Apollo flights to the moon were nearly flawless in execution. In contrast, the history of space flight before and after the Apollo program is filled with stories of failures and mechanical breakdowns. Kaysing argues that this is statistically unlikely, and cites this as evidence that the Apollo flights were faked. This argument is interesting, but certainly not conclusive. 

Q: What is the justification for bringing in works of Indian mathematical astronomy, such as the Surya-siddhanta and Siddhanta-shiromani? 

A: Shrila Prabhupada follows Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati by citing these works, which are called jyotisha shastra. He does so because Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati cited these works in his writings. Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta gives direct quotations and says nothing indicating that the works are wrong in any way. Also, the jyotisha shastras are cited by other Vaishnava commentators on the Bhagavatam. See Chapter 1. 

Q: Shrila Prabhupada refers to the earth as a globe, and Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura made references to Surya-siddhanta and other jyotisha shastras that describe the earth as a globe. But wasn't this an innovation introduced by Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta in response to modern astronomy? 

A: This is not an innovation introduced by Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta. Earlier commentators on the Shrimad-Bhagavatammake reference to the jyotisha shastras, including the Surya-siddhanta. One example is Vamshidhara, who was living in A.D. 1642, before the time that Western science made a large impact on India (see Appendix 1). 

Q: Does this mean that we have to accept the jyotisha shastras as absolute truth on the level of the Shrimad-Bhagavatam? 

A: No. The Shrimad-Bhagavatamis the spotless Purana, containing pure knowledge of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The jyotisha shastras are handbooks for the execution of astronomical calculations. The Bhagavatam presents the world from a transcendental perspective, or at least gives the perspective of great personalities involved in Krishna's pastimes. The jyotisha shastras deal with the motions of planets as seen by ordinary human beings. However, the jyotisha shastras do form a valid part of Vedic tradition, and their calculations are mentioned by Shrila Prabhupada in various places. 

Q: Scholars say the calculations given in the jyotisha shastras were borrowed from the Greeks in the early centuries of the Christian era. How do we deal with this? 

A: Western scholars maintain that all the Vedic literature is relatively recent. However, their methods are speculative, and they are not free of ethnic and religious bias.


Gauragopala Dasa Q: Some have said that the description of the universe in the Fifth Canto is allegorical and that Bhagavatam commentators have declared this. For example, Bhaktivinoda Thakura has said that the descriptions of hell are allegorical. Why don't you just accept the Fifth Canto as an allegory and leave it at that? 

A: It would indeed make things easier if we could simply accept the description of the universe in the Fifth Canto as an allegory. But in good conscience we cannot do so. Let us carefully consider the reasons for this. 

First of all, consider the statements of Bhaktivinoda Thakura about descriptions of hell in the Bhagavatam. In The Bhagavatahe writes, "In some of the chapters we meet with descriptions of these hells and heavens, and accounts of curious tales, but we have been warned somewhere in the book not to accept them as real facts, but as inventions to overawe the wicked and improve the simple and ignorant. The Bhagavata certainly tells us of a state of reward and punishment in the future according to deeds in our present situation. All poetic inventions besides this spiritual fact have been described as statements borrowed from other works." 

According to this passage, not only the hells but also the material heavens are dismissed as poetic inventions. But if the heavens are inventions, what can one say about their inhabitants, such as Indra? If Indra is also imaginary, then how are we to understand the story of the lifting of Govardhana Hill? This must also be imaginary, and we are led to an allegorical interpretation of Krishna's pastimes. 

In The Bhagavata Bhaktivinoda Thakura is indeed introducing the Bhagavatam in this way. We would suggest that he is doing this in accordance with time and circumstances. He describes his readers in the following words: "When we were in college, reading the philosophical works of the West,... we had a real hatred towards the Bhagavata. That great work looked like a repository of wicked and stupid ideas scarcely adapted to the nineteenth century, and we hated to hear any arguments in its favor." In order to sidestep the strong prejudices of readers trained by the British in Western thinking, Bhaktivinoda Thakura is presenting the Bhagavatam as allegorical, but we would suggest that this is not his final conclusion. 

Shrila Prabhupada has explained that the Vedic literatures should be understood in terms of mukhya-vritti, or direct meaning, rather than gauna-vritti, or indirect meaning. He has also said, "Sometimes, however, as a matter of necessity, Vedic literature is described in terms of the lakshana-vritti or gauna-vritti, but one should not accept such explanations as permanent truths" (CC AL 7.110p). Bhaktivinoda Thakura was reviving Vaishnavism at a time when it had almost completely disappeared because of internal deviations and Western propaganda, and he may have concluded that an allegorical presentation was necessary under those circumstances. 

In establishing the foundations of Vaishnavism in the West, Shrila Prabhupada stressed the importance of the direct interpretation of shastra. He writes, "Considering the different situation of different planets and also time and circumstances, there is nothing wonderful in the stories of the Puranas, nor are they imaginary.... We should not, therefore, reject the stories and histories of the Puranas as imaginary. The great rishis like Vyasa had no business putting some imaginary stories in their literatures" (SB 1.3.41p). 

But could the description of the universe in the Fifth Canto be an allegory like the story of King Puranjana? Shrila Prabhupada makes many statements indicating that this not so. For example, he says that "we can understand that the sky and its various planets were studied long, long before Shrimad-Bhagavatamwas compiled.... The location of the various planetary systems was not unknown to the sages who flourished in the Vedic age" (SB 5.16.1p). He also says, "The measurements given herein, such as 10,000 yojanas or 100,000 yojanas, should be considered correct because they have been given by Shukadeva Gosvami" (SB 5.16.10p). 

In this book we have therefore tried to show that the Fifth Canto is giving a reasonable picture of the universe consistent with (1) transcendental Vedic philosophy, (2) the tradition of Vedic mathematical astronomy, and (3) our imperfect sense data. 

Q: To my knowledge, Shrila Prabhupada never hinted at explanations of other dimensions; he always seemed to emphasize accepting it as it is written. If these ideas are right, why didn't Shrila Prabhupada save us a lot of trouble by bringing them out years ago? 

A: The Vedic literature does not explicitly refer to the concept of higher-dimensional space, as far as I am aware. This idea is borrowed from modern mathematics. However, the Vedic literature does refer implicitly to higher-dimensional space, and therefore it is justifiable to use this idea to clarify the Vedic description of the universe. 

For example, in the description of Lord Brahma's visit to Krishna in Dvaraka, it is stated that millions of Brahmas from other universes came to visit Krishna. However, each Brahma remained within his own jurisdiction, and apart from our Brahma, each thought he was alone with Krishna. Thus Krishna was in many universes at once, and our Brahma could also simultaneously see different Brahmas visiting Krishna in all of these universes. This is impossible in three dimensions; it illustrates the implicit higher-dimensional nature of the Vedic conception of space (see Chapter 2). 

Q: If we could visit the moon, would the inhabitants be visible to us or invisible? 

A: Shrila Prabhupada has said "almost invisible" 

Q: Couldn't it be that denizens of higher planets are invisible to us simply because they have subtle bodies? Why bring in the idea of higher-dimensional worlds? 

A: The clothes, food, dwellings, airplanes, and other paraphernalia of the demigods must be just as invisible to us as the demigods themselves. (Imagine what it would be like to see a suit of clothes being worn by an invisible demigod!) In other words, the demigods live in a complete world that is invisible to us but perfectly visible to them. They can travel to our world since they are endowed with suitable mystic powers, and advanced yogis can travel to their world. However, humans with ordinary senses cannot perceive the demigods or their gardens and cities. This sums up what we mean by a higher-dimensional world. 

If we use the word "subtle," we should realize that we are speaking of a complete subtle world that looks perfectly substantial to the persons living in it, just as our world looks substantial to us. The worlds of the demigods should be contrasted with the situation of a ghost, who is stranded in our own continuum in a subtle form, but is unable to enjoy it. 

Q: These higher-dimensional worlds may be normally inaccesible to us, but if they are actually real, shouldn't there be some empirical evidence of them? Do we just have to accept this whole incredible story on blind faith? 

A: There is abundant empirical evidence of higher-dimensional worlds, and such evidence has been well known in practically all human cultures since time immemorial. Our modern scientific culture is an exception in this regard. 

In Chapter 5 we briefly discuss some empirical evidence taken from non-Vedic sources. 

Q: But isn't this empirical evidence imperfect? 

A: Empirical evidence is always imperfect. One may accept the version of shastra according to the descending process, or one can turn to the empirical process with all its imperfections. Of course, Shrila Prabhupada advocated the descending process.


Gauragopala Dasa Q: There are places in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam where it is said that the coverings of the universe begin with water. Since this is clear water, and the farther coverings are transparent, it should be possible for us to see the suns of other universes. Couldn't these be the stars we see in the sky at night? 

A: In SB 5.21.11p, Shrila Prabhupada says, "The Western theory that all luminaries in the sky are different suns is not confirmed in the Vedic literature. Nor can we assume that these luminaries are the suns of other universes, for each universe is covered by various layers of material elements, and therefore although the universes are clustered together, we cannot see from one universe to another. In other words, whatever we see is within this one universe." 

In Section 6.d it is shown that the coverings of the universe are listed four times in the Bhagavatam as beginning with earth. We suggest that when Shrila Prabhupada mentions water or fire first, he is giving a partial list of the coverings. 

Q: In SB 5.16.5, Jambudvipa is described as having a length and breadth of one million yojanas, yet in SB 5.16.7, it is described as having a width that is the same as Sumeru's height, namely 100,000 yojanas. This seems contradictory. In SB 5.16.7, Sumeru's width is stated to be 32,000 yojanas at its summit, and in SB 5.16.28, the township of Brahma has sides that extend for ten million yojanas. Does Brahmapuri hang way out over the edge of Sumeru? 

A: The correct diameter of Jambudvipa is 100,000 yojanas, since this figure agrees with all the other dimensions mentioned in the Fifth Canto. Likewise, the width of Sumeru at its summit is 32,000 yojanas. We do not know the explanation for the other figures. 

Q: What can be said in general about such apparent contradictions in the Bhagavatam? Does it mean that we should not have faith in it as a source of absolute truth? 

A: Certainly it would not be justifiable to draw such conclusions from minor discrepancies. In many cases the discrepancy may have an explanation that we cannot guess because we have too little information. For example, in the Third Canto, two boar incarnations of Lord Vishnu are mentioned. In certain verses there appears to be some ambiguity in the description of these incarnations, and Shrila Prabhupada cites Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti as saying that "the sage Maitreya amalgamated both the boar incarnations in different devastations and summarized them in his description to Vidura" (SB 3.13.31p). Without this information from Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti, we might find it difficult to resolve the apparent contradictions in the story of Lord Varaha. 

We suggest that some of the apparent contradictions discussed in Section 3.d may have a similar explanation. 

Q: SB 5.17.6 places Bhadrashva-varsha west of Mount Meru, and SB 5.17.7 says the same thing about Ketumala-varsha. How do you resolve this contradiction?

A: If we look at the Sanskrit texts of these verses, we find that Bhadrashva and Ketumala varshas are on opposite sides of Mount Meru. Careful inspection of SB 5.16.10 shows that Bhadrashva-varsha is to the east of Mount Meru, since its boundary mountain is Mount Gandhamadana.


Gauragopala Dasa Q: SB 5.24.2 says that the moon is twice as big as the sun, and Rahu is three times as big. The purport says that Rahu is four times as big as the sun. How do you explain this? 

A: This is another case of an apparent contradiction. Since we have practically no information, we cannot make a definite statement. But it is possible that the large sizes of the moon and Rahu may have to do with the higher-dimensional aspects of these planets. 

The Surya-siddhanta gives a diameter of 2,400 miles for the moon. This is close to the modern figure (see Section 1.e). 

Q: I have heard that all of the planets are in the stem of the lotus from which Brahma took birth. How can that be? 

A: This is stated in SB 1.3.2p. Since the planetary systems are distributed throughout the universal globe, it must be that the stem encompasses everything within this globe. We should note that the standard pictures we see of Brahma sitting on the lotus flower are three-dimensional representations of a scene that cannot be seen using our ordinary senses. Although the pictures show the lotus stem emerging from the navel of Garbhodakashayi Vishnu, Brahma himself was unable to locate the origin of the stem. Thus, part of the scene was beyond the senses of Brahma, and so it is certainly beyond the reach of our senses. We also note that the planetary systems were created by Brahma from the lotus (SB 3.10.7-8). This suggests that these systems were produced by transforming the substance of the lotus. 

Q: The Bhagavatam says that Rahu causes the eclipses of the sun and moon. How can this be reconciled with modern science? 

A: The jyotisha shastras, such as Surya-siddhanta, give the same explanation of solar and lunar eclipses as modern science. These shastras also describe the orbit of Rahu (and Ketu) and point out that eclipses occur only when one of these two planets is aligned with either the sun and the moon or the earth's shadow and the moon (see Section 4.e). Some will maintain that this account was devised centuries ago to reconcile Vedic shastras with Greek astronomy. But this is sheer speculation. 

Q: What can be said about the precession of the equinoxes and the consequent displacement of the polestar? 

A: The phenomenon of precession is described in the jyotisha shastras. We discuss this topic in Section 4.f. 

Q: The Bhagavatam says that the diameter of the universe is 4 billion miles. This is much too small to accommodate even the solar system, what to speak of the stars and galaxies. How can the Bhagavatam be correct? 

A: Shrila Prabhupada, citing Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, also gives a figure of 18,712,069,200,000,000 yojanas for the circumference of the universe (or half the circumference) (CC ML 21.84p). He also says that "scientists calculate that if one could travel at the speed of light, it would take forty thousand years to reach the highest planet of this material world" (SB 3.15.26p). 

We suggest that cosmic distances may appear different to observers endowed with different levels of consciousness. We also suggest that the laws governing distance and time may not be the same in outer regions of the universe as they are here on the earth (see Sections 1.f and 4.c). 

Q: Scientists in the twentieth century have amassed a huge amount of information about distant stars and galaxies. How can you lightly suggest that it may be seriously wrong? 

A: In Chapter 7 we discuss some of the latest findings of modern cosmology. There is abundant evidence in standard scientific journals to show that modern cosmological theories have serious defects. 

Q: The scientists say that spectroscopic studies show that the stars are incandescent bodies and not mere reflectors of light. They also say that the stars are typically as powerful or more powerful than the sun, and they have worked out in detail the thermonuclear reactions that sustain stellar radiation. How can this be reconciled with the Vedic version? 

A: Briefly, we suggest that stars may well give off their own light. However, the Vedic literature indicates that they cannot be independent suns. The highly detailed scientific theories about stars may well be wrong in many respects. After all, these theories are based entirely on the interpretation of starlight. Their underlying logic is: This model seems to fit the data, and therefore it should be accepted and taught to students. Chapter 7 shows some of the pitfalls of this approach.



--
Yours
Dinesh

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Pictorial View - Ten offenses to be avoided while chanting the Holy names of The Lord


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Co-enjoyers

The Gopis are always trying to see Radha and Krishna happy together and do whatever it takes to keep Them so. But we want to be like co-enjoyers of Krishna and so we got these bodies of man/woman which resemble Their's.     And now we try to enact Their pastimes but in deep trouble even maintaining our very self becoz it's not our position.


Yours
Dinesh

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Falling down again into the material pool from devotional life is like this!!!

 photo FallingDownIntoMaterialPool_zps3dc6eb13.gif
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[granthraj] Come to Your Senses - Part 1


 

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.

The following is a transcription of powerful instructive class given by our beloved spiritual master H H Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj in Rajkot on 6th December 2005.

1. Don't neglect the scriptures: The instructions given in scriptures is Vedic seal. It is not just the teaching. It is a seal (protection). Otherwise Vedic people were not mad. These Mohammedans also have taken some principles from the Vedic culture and they are very strong about this. Even now, they are really very particular about these things. So, the agitation in the community is completely absent then. And, even then, the television, etc. all these things are agitating us. Continuous agitation is there. And how to save ourselves from this, is our great problem. And that way it becomes impossible if we don't control ourselves. You don't come to your senses; you are daily losing your celibacy. And then you try to concentrate on scriptures; there is no concentration. You can't chant; you can't do anything. You are just worse than animals. Animals have sex …may be monkeys have sex 30 times a day. But if he's had the sex he is agitated; otherwise he is not agitated. But we are less than a monkey. We are always agitated. Please don't do these things. And this is the most important thing to be followed. Nowadays our scriptures are neglected completely. Those scoundrels from West, they had unlimited sex. They don't stick to one wife. So those scoundrels told us that your scriptures are mythology. And we believed. They think that it is a concocted thing; it is not possible. Everything IS possible. Since last crores of years, millions of years, all our people are following these things. Why it is not possible now? Then we give the Kali Yuga excuse. It is not the excuse. It is just our convenience. We simply say,"Kali Yuga! What to do!" It is up to us whether to remain in Kali Yuga or to remain in Satya Yuga. You please don't blame others or the age. Don't be foolish to blame the age. It is very convenient for us to blame the age. Don't do it at all.

If you want to come to your senses, come under the roof of Prabhupada. If you don't want, get out and get destroyed. No mercy! Very strong. ye hi samsparsa-ja bhoga duḥkha-yonaya eva te. This touching sensation is the yoni – the womb of misery. From the womb, the janma is there. From the embryo, the living entity is produced. This is the embryo of miseries. The miseries are produced. duhkha-yonaya. You please study the scriptures. Our own words are there. yoni. These people can't understand yoni. Yoni means continuously it is born; the miseries are born – just touching sensation. This touching is very pleasing, but this sensation is producing duhkha-yoni. I want to sit here for all the day because it is very pleasing. Then, I lose walking. I lose the austerity. And then I can't stretch my legs, and I have arthritis, and that and this – because this touching sensation is there. Please, any touching sensation is the womb of the misery. It should be only taken for a limited purpose i.e. dharmaviruddho bhuteshu kamo 'smi bharatarshabha. Please study Bhagavad Gita. Kamah asmi, "That lust which is according to the regulative principles, I am", He says. That is Krishna. Otherwise, no. To produce a living entity, you don't even require five minutes. If Krishna is kind, within five minutes you can produce the living entity. And once the woman conceives, then again you should not unite again. Conception is there, the embryo will grow – that's it. That is kamo 'smi bharatrshabha. And this knowledge is completely absent in the general public. So, they run after here and there, because they don't have anything to do. There is no higher purpose in their life. Why are we ignoring these things! We are quite grown-up mature persons; why are we ignoring, man. If you don't get any wife, forget about it. That is good. Krishna decides for you not to have one. Please, but somehow or the other… the living entity is completely mad and doesn't understand.

Krishna willing, we shall continue to hear more nectar from Maharaj in the subsequent offerings.

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


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Calves-reactions of our karma will find us, the mother of actions

Just as a calf can find his mother among thousands of cows, the reactions of our past karma will find us no matter where we are.


Yours
Dinesh

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A Request To My dear Mother

Having left the service at Your lotus feet, I am perpetually suffering birth after birth foolishly going after mirage for water like an animal in the desert for sense enjoyment and finally getting frustrated. Please pick me up from this material ocean, I have no power to even understand Your mercy and love but easily get carried away by lust, greed and anger, pride of material life. Please be merciful unto me dear Mother. I will be faithful in serving at Your lotus feet Mum :)



Yours
Dinesh

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You have made Him very unhappy. If He sees You He is overcome.

Govinda Das Kaviraj has written this song "Suna Vrsabhanu Nandini Rai". This song is taken from the book Padavali. In this song, Govinda Das Kaviraj describes how the gopis try to persuade Srimati Radharani to get rid of her anger and forgive Lord Krishna.
 
(Refrain)
suna brsabhanu-nandini ra-i
abala-mandale      kiriti rakhali
bhala mati se bitha-i
 
(1)
nanda-nandana         raja-bhusana
nayana sukha-maya seja
ki khane tuya sane       leha karala he
se saba durahi teja
 
(2)
ye tuhu takara        birasa anata
heri murachita bhela
kaiche pamari       bacana aichana
nidaya antara-sela
 
(3)
tuhari nagara  dhuli-dhusara
se nahi lagaye toya
bama kara-tale  badana lambita
dharani likhi lihki roya
 
(4)
ye jana duhu-jana  bedana nahi jane
takara antara jana
raya ramacandra  bacana manaha
dasa gobinda bhana
 
 
(Refrain) O Radha, O daughter of Vrsabhanu, please listen. In the circle of young girls Your reputation was good in the past. But today that good reputation is in disarray.
 
(1) Nanda's son is a regal jewel. Delight resides in His eyes. He loves You. Why do You flee so far from Him?
 
(2) You have made Him very unhappy. If He sees You He is overcome. O cruel girl, why did You speak such words to Him, cruel words, words like a lance pushed into His heart?
 
(3) For Your sake Your lover is now anointed with dust. Now He cannot attain You. In His left hand He rests His head. Aimlessly scratching some letters in the ground, He weeps.
 
(4) No one knows what You two feel. Only You know what is truly in His heart. Please reflect on Ramacandra Raya's words. This Govinda dasa says.
--
Yours
Dinesh

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Krishna Prasadam - Rice, black eyed peas gravy, Fryums, Potato chips


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Now tomorrow you must serve Yamuna Devi




"TOMORROW YOU MUST COOK FOR YAMUNA DEVI DASI!"
[15th October, 1972, Radha Damodar Temple, Vrindavan, India]

I made my way to Srila Prabhupada's kitchen. Upon entering, I offered my obeisances. I never considered how offensive I was to take such liberties. Srila Prabhupada was sitting there taking prasadam. He was in the very spot where he had spent years devising his plan to conquer the world with Kṛṣṇa consciousness. He looked up with a beautiful glance and asked, "So, you have taken prasadam?"

"No," I replied. "I have just taken bath."
  
"Oh, so you haven't taken prasadam," Srila Prabhupada responded charmingly. "Yamuna, fix him a plate of prasadam."

"No, that's all right," I said. "I will wait until you are finished."

"No. Sit down and take prasadam," he told me

I happily complied with his instruction, a rascal that I was. It was one of the sweetest moments of my life. I was taking prasadam with Srila Prabhupada. Just the two of us. In Vrindaban. At Radha-Damodara Temple. The mercy of the pure devotee is unlimited.

I wasn't prepared for what followed. After tasting Yamuna devi's cooking, I realized I had never before tasted prasadam. Also, I realized I had never cooked anything fit to be offered. Yamuna devi was an empowered devotee of the Lord, sent here to sumptuously feed Srila Prabhupada. Each and every preparation tasted incredible. She made perfect chapatis. The subjis tasted as if they came from the spiritual world. Seated with Srila Prabhupada I realized what a disservice I had performed by cooking for him. He sometimes said I cooked "nice American prasadam." Now I understood what he meant. Yamuna's cooking was so transcendental that it seemed like I had never eaten before.

"So, you like?" Srila Prabhupada asked as we were finishing.

"Yes, Srila Prabhupada," I enthusiastically said. "Very much."

He smiled and said, "So, today she has fixed your lunch. Now, tomorrow you cook for her. This is the Vedic custom. Today she has done some service for you, now tomorrow you must serve her."

"Oh, yes Prabhupada," I said.

At other times Srila Prabhupada said, "One has to always be ready to serve a person, not simply you are always accepting service. You call someone 'prabhu'. Prabhu means master. What is the question of you accepting service from your master. You are servant and you are calling them prabhu and accepting so much service from your master. So, I am calling you 'prabhu'. It means I must render service. Thisattitude must be there, that I am everyone's servant because I am calling everyone 'prabhu'."

[Ref. Book: 'Srila Prabhupada Uvaca' by SP's Personal servant- H.G. Srutakirti Das
Chapter 50: Now tomorrow you must serve Yamuna Devi]


Yours
Dinesh

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