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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Krsna’s protection


(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 19 February 2013, London, England, Srimad Bhagavatam 8.5.13)
Krsna personally takes charge of the life of his devotee. Srila Madhvacarya mentioned that when a devotee says, “Krsna, I’m yours!” then from that day on, Krsna will fully accept that devotee under his personal care. So in this way, Krsna is directly involved in our lives. Krsna is also present within the heart as caitya-guru, the guru that resides within the heart.
 It is mentioned in the Bhagavad-gita (10.11), in the purport to the verse teṣām evānukampārtham, Srila Prabhupada explains that the spiritual master gives directions to the disciple on how to become free from the influence of the material energy, how to make advancement and how to eventually go back to Godhead. However, if sometimes, even in spite of getting good instructions, the disciple does not actually follow these instructions – does not take proper advantage of these instructions – then Krsna will make arrangements from within. Krsna will make arrangements! Krsna will either give us transcendental knowledge from within or he pulls the carpet from under us and our whole life tumbles upside down – then what can we do!? Then suddenly only Krsna is left.
 There was a congregational devotee in Amsterdam who was thinking, “Shall I move into the temple or shall I not? Shall I or shall I not?” He was just going on and on and never came to a conclusion, so he never moved into the temple. Then he went to Vrindavan and while he was in Vrindavan, he got news that his house had burnt down – the whole house – and when your house burns down, it is not only your house that burns down but irreplaceable things go as well! So all irreplaceable things just turned to ashes. His whole life had turned to ashes and he was homeless so he had no other option but to move into the temple! 
Krsna protects us from maya and sometimes even against our will. Oh yes, even when we would not have it then still, Krsna makes some arrangements for us. Krsna is very merciful and he is very kind!


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Lessons on life


(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 03 September 2016, Cape Town, South Africa, Srimad Bhagavatam 1.9.25)
In this chapter, the passing away of Bhismadev, in the purport to this verse there is a list of challenges for society at large to improve their quality of life. The first challenge is, “Not to become angry!” We remember Upadesamrta, the Nectar of Instruction Verse 1, vaco vegam manasa krodha vegam, one must control the pushings of anger. So even when anger is pushing, one must somehow or other subdue it. Bhismadev also said that in order to conquer anger, one must learn to forgive because it is very difficult to judge with two types of measurements – measurement for others and different measurements for ourselves. For ourselves, there are so many explanations for our mistakes, “It wasn’t really my fault. It was just circumstances. I didn’t intend it that way…” whereas for others, “How could they do that! This is outrageous.” We judge them different and the same extenuating circumstances are not being considered so Bhismadev points out that we must learn to forgive. We have to see that others make mistakes because then we can overcome anger.  
Forgiving is not necessarily the same as forgetting. If someone has committed an abominable activity, we may forgive but it does not mean that we forget. We will remember but we will also keep a special eye – if someone puts his fingers in the money box then after that we keep him at a distance from the money box obviously. So forgiving and forgetting is not necessarily the same. Also, there may be a point when we forget, it depends on the seriousness of the offence.

Sometimes though, anger is required. Sometimes, it is necessary to send out a signal that from now it is too much. This has to stop. BANG, fist on the table! Everyone needs that also. It is not that anger per se is bad. Those who are envious sometimes deserve anger. Those who are envious of devotees, we need to sometimes check it with anger. That is also there. But Bhismadev is referring to uncontrolled anger. Controlled anger has a place. Srila Prabhupada would also get angry at times but his anger was always related to Krsna and to whatever was favourable to Krsna. When there was neglect, Prabhupada was not tolerating that. He would point it out!

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Death at any moment



(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 09 October 2017, Canberra, Australia, Evening Lecture, Srimad Bhagavatam 4.27.27)
In many ways, old age is a blessing. For a vaisnava, it is a great blessing. Why is it so? Because then, there is no more distraction. When we are young, we have so much fight. “Oh, I want to enjoy… but I have to be Krsna conscious! I should be Krsna conscious. I really want to be but I want to enjoy also.” When you are old, “Yeah, I want to enjoy but let’s be real. Can I? Can I really?” You can try to squeeze a few more drops out of the old broken machine but it is not very convincing. You may want to eat many things but you cannot, not like before. You just cannot. If you do, you have pay for it. Whatever you do, you have to pay for it – more and more and one day, it might just kill you!
In this way, one can see how people can eat themselves to death or people that are like so addicted to sex. People like the cardinal in France who died in the home of a prostitute. The same cardinal who spoke to Prabhupada, (French accent) “But you know, why can we not take the flesh of the cow to feed the hungry children? It is for the children. There is so much hunger in the world. So what can we do? Let the children starve and not eat the flesh of the cow?” Some logic… but he was found dead in the bed of the prostitute – the cardinal! This is an interesting detail that Krsna exposed. So with time, all facades are broken down. With time, it all becomes real. With time, we can no longer fake it. With time, it will become clear who we really are!
The famous German poet writer, Goethe, who is like the German Shakespeare, wrote many wise things, many interesting wise things. However, his doctor testified that in the last three days before his death, he was suddenly overwhelmed by extreme fear. So it is like that! At the end, whatever is not real will collapse. It all becomes real. It is like you can no longer play. You can no longer ACT like a pure devotee. You have to BE IT. You have to have FAITH in Krsna otherwise, it is over, you will become exposed. Old age is a reminder to us: Krsna is our only shelter and we had better start practicing now.
Prabhupada asked the question, “Who is an old man?” and everyone was looking around the room. You can do this exercise – ask one of the kids at a Sunday feast, “Who is an old man?” Sometimes they point at me and something in me goes, “Me? I don’t look that old, do I?”but Prabhupada pointed at a five year old child and said, “He is an old man because he can die at any moment.” Anybody can die at any moment!

We were at a funeral yesterday. Anybody can die at any moment. That is what I learned when my father took me to the cemetery for the first time to visit the grave of his father. I was four but I could read a little and I was reading the tombstones. I was not so shocked by the grave of my grandfather because I did not really have much of a relationship with him but when I saw a tombstone of someone who died that was born after me, then I was shocked. Then I realised, “Oh my god, I can die also. Even now, I can die. It is not only old people that die. Anybody can die.” Therefore, we had better be ready and let go of this life.

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Attraction, Attraction

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 22 December 2011, Cape Town, South Africa, Srimad Bhagavatam 7.14.3-4)
Affection and relationships should be there in our life but of course, they should not lead to illicit sex. This is the bottom line. As you know, accidents do happen. This is the nature of the senses and the mind, that where there is an attachment to such sense gratification, somehow or other, when men and women come together… you just do not know how it happened! Somehow, it happened… and everybody could see it coming and could understand it’s going to happen if you go on like this… because that natural attraction is there.
Srimad Bhagavatam has the ‘butter and fire’ analogy where men are butter and women are fire. And when the butter comes near the fire, it melts… it always melts! Brahmacaris are trying to keep the butter in the fridge so that it doesn’t melt quickly so they have a whole cooling system there within their saffron cloth and brahmacari practices.
Ladies, in spiritual life, are covering the fire. That is why they cover their heads and wear sarees which cover the body more than modern clothing.
We are not trying to blame anybody, like throw the blame on the women that they are mayadevis. The poor men are the victims and the women are nothing but troublemakers. That is a somewhat biased and wrong understanding of what the Vedic literatures are saying. However, the illusory power of the female body is very strong undoubtedly. They have this power of attraction more than males. Although males may be attractive still the male body is not as charming as the female body.
In spiritual life, we recognise that the beauty of a female body has a danger connected to it. A danger to entangle spirit souls, both men and women. The women themselves are also falling victim to their own beauty… it gives a certain power and it is kind of addictive and difficult to stop it. So devotees realise this and therefore keep a certain amount of reservation.
Source: https://www.kksblog.com/2017/10/attraction-attraction/

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Unthinking words reflect an uncaring heart

Our words are like a mirror that give others peeks into our hearts. If the mirror is unclean, it distorts whatever it reflects. Similarly, if our words are thoughtless, they can give others a distorted picture of our heart. We may deeply care for others, but if we are careless in the words we use with them, they will misunderstand us. And the responsibility for that misunderstanding will fall on us, not them.
When we are stressed, we may vent ourselves by speaking harshly to anyone who just happens to come our way. Or when we are annoyed with someone, we may burst out by speaking cutting words that are way out of proportion with their mistake, even if we are correct in assuming that the mistake is theirs. Our inconsiderate words may make them feel that we are inimical to them, thereby scarring or shattering their hearts and disrupting, even destroying, our relationship.
No matter how busy we are, if we want to see our reflection, we take the few moments necessary to clean the mirror. Similarly, no matter how pressured we may be, we need to take the time necessary to clear our mind of the dust of impulsive emotions and think carefully about the words we use to express ourselves. The Bhagavad-gita (17.15) urges us to discipline our speech by choosing words that are non-agitating. The same verse urges us to speak truthfully, meaning that we don't have to pamper others with counterfactual flattery. But we do need to temper our emotions by using words that reflect our care. Such words increase the probability that they will hear us out objectively, not defensively or aggressively, thereby facilitating resolution and reconciliation.
When we learn to use words thoughtfully, our words won't unintentionally drive others away, but will draw them closer to us.
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Solar Eclipses are not Caused by the Moon

Solar Eclipses are not Caused by the Moon



According to Vedic Astronomy, the most ancient and accurate system of astronomy on the planet, solar eclipses are not caused by the Moon coming in front of the Sun as astronomers believe. Rather the Moon is described as being further away than the Sun and what happens at the time of a solar eclipse is the Moon goes behind the Sun and a dark planet call Rahu comes between the Sun and the Earth.


Of course, because we have been conditioned to believe as fact the structure of the universe as it has been taught to us since childhood we find it very difficult to accept such a thing. But it only requires a little thought to see that actually the 'modern' scientific idea is incompatible with our observations and the timeless Vedic knowledge is compatible with our observations.


Look at the moon on a full-moon night. It is shining so brightly that it lights up the whole surface of the Earth. On a full moon night you can very clearly see everything. Of course it is not as bright as the sunshine, but everything is very clearly visible. And if you were to view the earth from space on a full moon night it would not be dark. It would be illuminated by the moonshine and all the features of the earth would be clearly visible.


As there is 'moonshine' there must also be 'earthshine'. Much of the earth is covered by water which is a good reflector of sunlight. In fact the scientists say 'earthshine' is much brighter than 'moonshine'. And according to our understanding the earth is enormous in comparison to the size of the moon. So if the moonshine can completely illuminate this earth on a full moon night then the earthshine can completely illuminate the moon.


The 'earthshine' bombarding the moon at the time of a total solar eclipse would be at almost fifty times brighter than the moonshine on the earth on a full moon night.



earth and moon

The Earth and Moon, to scale, in terms of both size and albedo/reflectivity. Note how much fainter the Moon appears, as it absorbs light much better than Earth does.

If Western astronomers are correct the solar eclipse would be the prefect time to see the moon illuminated by earthshine. The shadow created which causes the solar eclipse on earth is, according to NASA, at most 167 miles wide. So if you were sitting on the moon during a solar eclipse you would see an extremely bright earth planet with a dark circle of only 167 miles wide. This is not enough to diminish the earthshine in any significant way. So  even though the sun is behind the moon, the full force of the sunshine is hitting the earth and reflecting off those shiny blue oceans and reflecting off the land also. So the moon is completely illuminated by earthshine, even though the sun is directly behind it.


Now if Western astronomers were correct, if you were in that 167 mile wide path of the total eclipse of the sun when the sun was completely covered you would of course see the sky become black and then you could see the stars. But if the sun was covered by the moon you would be able to see the moon quite clearly, in front of the sun, illuminated by the 'earthshine'. Of course it would not be as bright as the full moon, but the earthshine would certainly illuminate the surface of the moon so we could clearly see it and clearly make out the features on the moon's surface.


But this does not happen… During a solar eclipse the sun goes completely black and even though the sunlight is blocked out and the sky goes black one can not detect the moon at all. It is just black. No moon. Of course we should be able to see the features on the moon as it is being bathed in brilliant earthshine… The sun should disappear and we should see the stars and in the place of the sun we should see the moon, illuminated by the earthshine. But we don't see this.


So what does that mean? It means it is not the moon causing the solar eclipses. We know from the Vedas that what causes solar eclipses is a dark planet, currently unknown in the Western world, which hides in the shadow of the moon. Rahu is relatively close to us, around about the same distance as we think the moon is, but it is completely black, it does not reflect light at all. So even though there is plenty of earthshine falling on Rahu, because it is a black planet none of that light will be reflected back so we will see the sun simply blacked out in the sky on a full eclipse. Which is what we do see.


So this is absolute proof that the assumption of Western astronomers that solar eclipses are caused by the moon coming between the earth and the sun is wrong. Because if that was the case we would be able to see the moon during the full eclipse of the sun as it would be bathed in bright earthshine….


Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!


Madhudvisa dasa


Earth Viewed from Moon During Eclipse




Thanks,

Dinesh


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KKSBlog Weekly News - week 26 - 2017







Nectar drops: 25 June 2017

By KKSBlog on Jun 25, 2017 02:13 pm






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The rarity of a brahmana

By KKSBlog on Jun 24, 2017 03:10 pm

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 16 February 2010, Cape Town, South Africa, Srimad Bhagavatam 7.4.12)

Austerity is the wealth of the brahmanas. Great sages like Bhrgu had attained higher planetary systems above the heavenly planets. They were very powerful by dint of their austerity and everyone within the universe was under the control of these great sages. So also a vaisnava, by his austerity in devotional service, is gaining in transcendental strength. Spiritual strength depends on many factors but austerity is an essential element of it. In this age, it is difficult to perform austerity because we are weak and not inclined to austerity. But we see that great personalities in the past were famous because of the austerities they had performed in their spiritual practices.

When Nanda Maharaja was celebrating the appearance of his new born son, at that time Gargamuni appeared. He was sent by Vasudev to perform the birth ceremony. It is said that Nanda Maharaja was highly pleased to receive that brahmana. He worshiped that brahmana because even at such a time, 5000 years ago, such a brahmana was very rare!




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Spiritual life is about the spiritual world

By KKSBlog on Jun 22, 2017 11:32 am

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 13 May 2012, Sydney, Australia, Srimad Bhagavatam 5.11.14)

I remember when the Australian devotees used to come to Vrindavan. I used to be in charge of allocating rooms in the ashram. For the Australian brahmacaris, I used to give them a whole room for themselves which was pretty good and they had somewhere to sleep. In India, basically you have a room with a cement floor and they said to me, "Is this our room? Where is the carpet? It's just a bare floor! But okay, let's go and get some maha! Where are the pizzas?"

In Australia, you know, you have… but that really is a waste of time because spiritual life is about the spiritual world. If you have to choose between a pizza and a chapatti, then most people would choose the pizza, even in India they would go for the pizza. Hridayananda Maharaj told us this happens because a pizza is a self-realised chapatti!

That goes deep if you think about it but still, you know, even pizza at one point just does not do it. Spiritual life is about the spiritual world so let us remember that because in the spiritual world there is no birth, death, old age and disease.




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The self-realised soul

By KKSBlog on Jun 21, 2017 10:13 am

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 30 June 2012, Cape Town, South Africa, Bhagavad-gita Lecture)

The 5th Chapter of Bhagavad-gita gives us a metaphor of the lotus flower that sits on water but yet is not affected by the water. The water just runs off and the lotus is blossoming in that condition.

In this analogy of the lotus in water, the water represents the struggle for existence that everyone is facing and the lotus is a symbol of one who is not affected by that struggle for existence. A lot of people are under the weather, a lot of people have a story to tell about how tough it is.

But here, we see a lotus – a symbol of beauty and a symbol of being the best while the conditions are difficult. The lotus is representing a self-realised soul, a person who is in this world but at the same time not in this world – who may be physically here but who internally lives in another reality, in another dimension.




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Glorious devotees

By KKSBlog on Jun 20, 2017 07:46 am

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 20 March 2013, Cape Town, South Africa, Srimad Bhagavatam 8.12.6)



When the disciples of Prabhupada saw him lying on his bed, in his final days, they said, 'How can such a terrible condition happen now? How can this happen?'

Prabhupada said, 'Don't think it will not happen to you because it will.' So, this is the situation. Pure devotees also go through the processes of the material energy. Pure devotees are also embodied. Pure devotees also face hardships – heat and cold, hunger and thirst, disease and old age – they face it all! But they are not taking it seriously because they know that is just the body, it is happening to the body. So this understanding of, 'I'm not the body,' really means that whatever happens is not serious, 'I'm not the body,' and therefore the whole material world which is related to the body, is not important!

The material world, we can just write it off but something which we can use for the service of Krsna, those things we will take but for the rest of the material world, write it off.

Pure devotees dedicate their lives to service. We may not recognize them at first but then they emerge very clearly for all to see. Those extraordinary persons who give their lives, who begin faithfully, who carry on faithfully and then still go on faithfully until the end – those persons become glorious!




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Contemplate first …

By KKSBlog on Jun 19, 2017 10:34 am

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 25 April 2017, Radhadesh, Belgium, Srimad Bhagavatam 7.15.68)

The teachings of Srila Prabhupada, his books and his lectures, are like our anchor. We also get more information from the previous acaryas. In this way, we get a general idea of what to do in our lives. In the Eleventh Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam it is said that one must apply knowledge with one's own intelligence.

Sometimes we judge circumstances, we have our own opinions and we have some doubts about that opinion. We may not immediately buy into some things so we put them on the shelf because we are not against it also. We just put it on the shelf because we are not sure about it. And then in the course of being with other vaisnavas, we get more information on that point or topic and more angles on it, and then we get some vision on how to deal with it.

This is why you should not just deal with things in the mode of passion and as soon you hear something you think is awful, you say, "This is awful. I mean, this is ridiculous! Forget it! I am not going to do that!" This is not the best way to proceed. Best to put it on the shelf, hear from the vaisnavas, absorb more and then proceed carefully and thoughtfully. Every one flies his own plane so you got to figure it out. Good luck and happy flying!















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That man is glowing

That man is glowing

Then Prabhupada came to New York. And there was a reception at the airport and then Prabhupada arrived at the temple, as I remember, a couple of hours late may be even more than a couple of hours. And of course everyone wasn't inside, but then Prabhupada arrived. And Prabhupada spoke on Prahalad Maharaj, that whole time actually Srila Prabhupada was speaking on Prahalad Maharaj extraction from Srimad Bhagavatam. And I remember that on this occasion Srila Prabhupada quoted maya-sukhaya bharam udvahato vimudhan. maya-sukham means false happiness or illusory happiness and Prabhupada was saying that the civilization is advancing but for that advancement and happiness if we get a little convenience, you get ten times the inconvenience. Then your, whatever you get as happiness, maya takes back and gives back unhappiness equal or more. And Prabhupada gave the example that it took us 2 hours or 3 hours or whatever it was to fly from Los Angeles to New York and then 2 hours to come from the airport to the temple. Because the car is so nice, now we are all stuck in traffic. So, this is maya sukha.

Of course this was the first time I was seeing Srila Prabhupada, and, what can I say ? Srila Prabhupada was a little shorter than I expected. I expected that Srila Prabhupada would be you know kind of large but I was taller than he was, I was lot, I thinner than he was, I was less substantial than just about everybody. And, but Prabhupada was a little shorter, and very effulgent, conspicuously effulgent. As if practically he could light up a room , he was just, I remember, of course may be because of whatever else I was doing, but it would seemed like the area behind Srila Prabhupada would be illuminated .
..Srila Prabhupada ki Jai.
Srila Prabhupada was conspicuously effulgent, that is a characteristic of Krishna, and certainly a characteristic of Srila Prabhupada. So effulgent, in fact Satsvarupa tells a story that someone told him in the interview that Srila Prabhupada was crossing the street and someone, I think some child said to his mother that 'that man is glowing'

Devotee: Maharaj - can I say something? Prabhupada was travelling once in a car, and there was a police car chasing him, that car, the car in the front. And that car stopped Srila Prabhupada's car, the officer came out of the car and he said to the person driving 'this person at the back has a glow in the back?. He could see it from his car that glow and he had come.
Srila Prabhupada ki - Jai.

So Srila Prabhupada was very effulgent, and very, he was very, completely different kind of person from anything, any of us have seen before. Of course his clothing was different, his, his way of moving, his way of speaking, his everything was wonderful actually. Very different and very wonderful.


- From "Lecture on pastimes of Srila Prabhupada" By HH Jayadvaita Swami


Thanks,
Dina Pavana Shyam Das

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