Why did Lord Rama kill Vali from behind a tree?

Hare Krishna.

December 2012, Gurgaon

After the Sunday Bhagavatam class was over one Prabhuji asked two teaser questions from the devotees; one of the question was why did Lord Rama killed Vali from behind a tree in His pastime in Ramayana.

I knew this particular pastime but this question had never crossed my mind before.  I searched for an answer and got it from HG Chaitanaya Charan Prabhuji’s website (www.thespiritualscientist.com/audio/Vali.mp3) . I am sharing the answer in brief below based on the same.

Fighting-Between-Sugrive-and-Vali

After Vali was hit by an arrow from Lord Rama he angrily asks Lord Rama “I thought you are a virtuous person. How could you have done such a vicious act? I think it is because of your association with this vicious person Sugriva that you have also become spoiled.” Lord Rama smiles and He says, “O Vali, it seems that with the deterioration of the body even the intelligence gets deteriorated. You are accusing me of immorality without understanding the intricacies of dharma.”

Lord Rama first point was “I am the servant of Bharat who is currently the ruler of the world, as a servant of the king and the member of the royal Kshatriya class, it is my duty to protect the virtuous and to punish the unrighteous or the vicious.

Lord said that although there was no fault of Sugriva, you attacked him, insulted him, exiled him and threatened to take his life, you even took up his own wife as your wife. Hence you are an aggressor, an aatatai. Vedic scriptures declare that if any person comes as an aggressor with wicked intentions, he deserves to be killed and there is no sin in killing such a person by whatever means.

Lord Rama added that ” you know you are a monkey and as a hunter can kill animal without necessarily confronting it, a hunter can kill an animal while being in a tree, while being concealed in the bushes, so the Kshatriyas codes allows one to do that. That’s why I have killed you and I have done nothing wrong.”

Lord Rama then added, “O Vali, if you still feel that I have wronged you than I can give you back your life right now.”

When Vali heard all the answers he became purified by the mere presence and voice of the Lord. He realised that he had badly misunderstood Sugriva’s intentions. Vali replied “My dear Lord, I’ll get many lives, but a death like this when will I get again. To die in Your presence is the greatest fortune and it is a perfection of life. I seek only that I can behold Your face and die in your presence.”

Vali, being completely purified, gave his own necklace, which was given to him by Indra, a source of his power, not to his own son, Angada, but to Sugriva. Vali was so convinced and transformed by Lord Rama’s answer that he realized that he has wronged Sugriva and to seek forgiveness from Sugriva, he gave him his own necklace.

Before giving that necklace he told his son,  ‘don’t bear any animosity against Sugriva or Rama because they have not killed me. It is my own bad deeds that have caused my death. Please serve Sugriva as you have served me and please serve Lord Rama as The Supreme Lord.’

Vali was convinced and the conviction was demonstrated through his  transformation.

Now the question still remains why Lord Rama didn’t kill Vali in a direct battle. He could have. Vali had earlier performed tapasya and got blessings from the demi-gods. He wanted immortality but he could not get it, so, like Hiranyakashipu, he asked immortality in an indirect way by saying that whenever I have to fight with anyone let half of that person’s powers come to me. So this way Vali would always be stronger than any of his opponents. Lord Rama is the supreme Lord, and He could still have killed Vali anyway, but he honored the benedictions of the demi-gods, just as Lord Narsimha Dev came in a special form to kill Hiranyakashipu. Similarly Lord Rama, in order to honor the benediction of the demi-gods, arranged to kill Vali in a way in which he was not facing Him.

How everything becomes clear to us when we see it from the eyes of Guru, Sadhu and Shastra.

All glories to the wonderful pastimes of Lord Sri Rama.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

What is supreme process for achieving loving service unto Lord Krishna ?

Hare Krishna.

28th January, Gurgaon

 

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I stumbled upon this most beautiful verse from Srimad Bhagavatam today morning while reading Chaitanya Charitamrita and am sharing it with everyone.

Q: What is supreme process for achieving loving service unto Lord Krishna ?

A: Lord Krishna Himself gives the process to Uddhava in SB 11.19.20-24

  1. Firm faith in the blissful narration of My pastimes
  2. Constant chanting of My glories
  3. Unwavering attachment to ceremonial worship of Me
  4. Praising Me through beautiful hymns
  5. Great respect for My devotional service
  6. Offering obeisances with the entire body
  7. Performing first-class worship of My devotees
  8. Consciousness of Me in all living entities
  9. Offering of ordinary bodily activities in My devotional service
  10. Use of words to describe My qualities
  11. Offering the mind to Me
  12. Rejection of all material desires
  13. Giving up wealth for My devotional service
  14. Renouncing material sense gratification and happiness
  15. Performing all desirable activities such as charity, sacrifice, chanting, vows and austerities with the purpose of achieving Me

— these constitute actual religious principles, by which those human beings who have actually surrendered themselves to Me automatically develop love for Me. What other purpose or goal could remain for My devotee?

As I read it again and again I realised how Srila Prabhupada first manifested ISKCON in this material world and then most diligently and wonderfully engaged us, the most fallen souls, to follow every single instruction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead , Lord Krishna, so that we will get the supreme process of achieving loving service unto the Lotus feet of Lord Krishna.

These are not my words Lord Krishna Himself says in the previous verse, before giving this process, in SB 11.19.19

O sinless Uddhava, because you love Me, I previously explained to you the process of devotional service. Now I will again explain the supreme process for achieving loving service unto Me.

I don’t know when will I have faith in the simple, yet highest, process given by Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada gave us the top process but I have no faith, who could be more fallen than me. My shiksha Guru and Diksha Guru too tell me the same but my most wretched mind wants to give its own logic.

I pray and mentally beg at the lotus feet of every single Vaishanava to have pity on me and bless me to have firm faith in every single word of Srila Prabhupada and engage me in the service of this great transcendental movement called ISKCON, which is turning coals into diamonds.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

 

 

Tulasi- Shaligram Vivah

Hare Krishna

2010, Vrindavan.

This was during my initial days of spiritual journey. I had started going to Vrindavan, alone, staying for a day or two, not knowing what exactly to do besides attending temple program. I did not know a single soul there besides Deities. So, mostly I would attend all the morning programs, have breakfast prasadam at Govinda, come back to room to read, sleep a bit, back in the temple at 4-5pm, have dinner prasadam at Govinda, come back to room, read a bit and sleep by 9pm for next day’s Mangal Arti. This is what I still aspire for.

vrindakunda15

I was again in Vrindavan Dhama and after Mangal Arti there was announcement that it is very special day (what day isn’t special in Vrindavan) and a bus will be leaving for Vrinda Kunda for the marriage of Tulasi and Shaligram. I had never ever heard in my life about this event and I don’t know why my heart prompted me to board that bus to the Lila sthali of Vrinda Devi. I went for it.

It was two bus load of devotees, with hardly any Indian on board. We reached the temple after a long bumpy ride, it was in middle of the fields, with no road after the final turn towards temple.

vrindakunda9

I could see a beautiful small temple decorated in very simple and traditional Indian way. There was a slight buzz around the place. I found that a group of devotees had done all night kirtan the previous night. Jai ! As we entered it was announced that we will get some prasadam, we sat on the mats and were served a very delicious puffed rice prasadam, it was dry and salty, with a banana. I still remember the taste of that prasadam after so many years. I still hanker for it, even that time I had greedily taken extra portions and kept on munching it for a long time.  After the prasadam was over most of the devotees got busy with some service. The temple was getting ready for the marriage. The whole setting was completely rural. I wondered around,  bought and read a book, a devotee had put the book stall. I was too naive to beg for any service.

I was told that an Malaysian couple has been sponsoring this event for some time. As the time came for the marriage we had ISKCON pujaris and local temple priest who presided over the ceremony complete with mantras and, later, pheras. The local priest explained how the `Braja’ scriptures are different from what our Acharayas have written. The Malaysian couple, wife was Indian and husband a native Malaysian, did the kanyadaan. Shaligrama shilla and Tulasi walked around the havan kund in their laps. Many devotees had brought nice gifts for the newly weds. Amid all the kirtan, marriage, vidai (bride leaves for husband’s home) not for a single moment I felt that I was not attending a traditional Indian marriage.

Prasadam-for-sadhus-02

After the marriage there was a feast for the local Brajawasis, we served each one of them with sumptuous prasadam. Once they  finished then it was our time to honour the prasadam. Kirtan continued almost throughout the time. It was the first time that I came contact with the non-Indian ISKCON devotees and I was completely ashamed to see their devotion during the whole ceremony. I am sure I have never worked so hard, as they did, in any of my cousin sister’s marriages (I don’t have a real sister).  I still vividly remember one devotee feeding leftover prasadam to a street dog with such affection as if feeding his own son. I would not have even gone close to that dog in normal times. Consciousness of all these devotees was very pure and I felt being the odd one out.

We came back in the evening. I will felt purified till my inner core. Sometimes when I look back, I think it was after attending this ceremony and being in touch with so many pure devotees that my spiritual journey got on the track.

I also feel that we do not appreciate enough what role ISKCON plays in making such `Lila sthali’ accessible to a common man. Had it not been for ISKCON, every devotee would be on the mercy of local `panda’ or priest, as in most traditional Indian temples. I don’t remember being charged for this for the trip, and even that would be some very reasonable amount to cover the cost, got association of devotees, blessings of attending Tulasi Shaligram marriage, heard melodious and impromptu kirtans by devotees, sumptuous prasadam, opportunity to serve Brajavasis. I do not know any other organization in India, or the whole world, which would serve so much and that too for a non-member like me and with no other motive than to please Krishna.

It is a pity when I see so many temples in India, at prime locations in cities and various Dhams, in dilapidated condition. They should all handover the management to ISKCON and see the difference in service to Deities and preaching in the area, which is the purpose of a temple.

We can know more about Tulasi vivah and the Vrinda Devi temple, now under ISKCON, at

http://www.iskcondesiretree.net/page/tulasisaligrama-vivaha

Sri Vrindadevi and Vrinda Kunda

( All pictures are file pictures, which I took from the Vrinda Devi temple website)

All glories to Tulasi- Shaligrama Vivah.

All glories to ISKCON.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Who is a pure devotee of the Lord

Hare Krishna

25th January, Gurgaon

Quotes-by-Bhakti-Charu-Swami-on-Remaining-in-ISKCON

Q:  Who is a pure devotee ? What are signs of a pure devotee ?

A: One who fulfills the desire of Lord is a pure devotee.

Srila Prabhupada explains in cc MADHYA 19 167

“As we can understand from the Bhagavad-gītā (9.34 and 18.65), the Supreme Personality of Godhead wants everyone to think of Him always (man-manā bhava mad-bhaktaḥ). Everyone should become His devotee, not the devotee of a demigod. Everyone should engage in His devotional service, including arcana (Deity worship) in the temple. Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru. Everyone should offer obeisances, from moment to moment, to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. These are the desires of the Supreme Lord, and one who fulfills His desires favorably is actually a pure devotee.”

Signs of a Pure Devotee

Prabhupada writes in the purports of same verse and MahaPrabhu explains it in verse 168

1. The first business of a pure devotee is to satisfy his spiritual master, whose only business is to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

2. A pure devotee has no plans other than those for the Lord’s service.

3. A pure devotee is not interested in attaining success in mundane activities.

4. A pure devotee simply wants success in the progress of devotional service.

5. A pure devotee is only interested in satisfying Kṛṣṇa and he does not engage himself in any other or demigod worship.

6. A pure devotee could be situated in any order of life.

Q: How can we say that anyone and everyone in the world can accept devotional service ?

A: It’s already been proved under ISKCON by changing the lives of people from all across the world.

Srila Prabhupada explains in cc madhya 19. 167

This process is completely manifest in the activities of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. It has been actually proved that the entire world can accept devotional service without failure. One simply has to follow the instructions of the representative of Kṛṣṇa.”

Q: What is Pañcarātra and Bhāgavata systems ?

A: Srila Prabhupada explains in cc madhya 19.169

“The Pañcarātra system includes methods of temple worship, and the Bhāgavata system includes the spreading of Kṛṣṇa conscious philosophy through the recitation of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and the discussion of philosophy with people who are interested.”

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

How to ignite the dormant love for Krishna ?

Hare Krishna.

24th January.

Quotes-by-Bhakti-Charu-Swami-on-Why-We-Need-A-Spiritual-Master-Guru

I am continuing the series of Q&A which I take out from Srila Prabhuapada’s translations and purports.

Q: How can we ignite the dormant love for Krishna in our heart ?

A: By associating with devotees.

Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport of cc madhya 19 151

“Everyone has dormant kṛṣṇa-bhakti — love for Kṛṣṇa — and in the association of good devotees, that love is revealed. As stated in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Madhya 22.107):

nitya-siddha-kṛṣṇa-prema ‘sādhya’ kabhu naya śravaṇādi-śuddha-citte karaye udaya

Dormant devotional service to Kṛṣṇa is within everyone. Simply by associating with devotees, hearing their good instructions and chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, dormant love for Kṛṣṇa is awakened. In this way one acquires the seed of devotional service. Guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāde pāya bhakti-latā-bīja.”

Q: Who is an Aryan ?

A: One who chants the Holy name is an Aryan.

Srila Prabhupada translates the below verse from SB 3.33.7 quoted in CC madhya 19.72 as

“‘My dear Lord, one who always keeps Your holy name on his tongue becomes greater than an initiated brāhmaṇa. Although he may be born in a family of dog-eaters and may therefore, by material calculation, be the lowest among men, he is still glorious. This is the wonderful effect of chanting the holy name of the Lord. It is therefore concluded that one who chants the holy name of the Lord should be understood to have performed all kinds of austerities and great sacrifices mentioned in the Vedas. He has already taken his bath in all the holy places of pilgrimage, he has studied all the Vedas, and he is actually an Aryan.'”

This verse was quoted by Vallabha Bhaṭṭācārya when MahaPrabhu tells him not to touch Roop and Sanatana Goswami as he is a high caste Brahmin.

Srila Prabhupada explains in the purport of SB 3.33.7

“The word juhuvuḥ means that the chanters of the holy name have already performed all kinds of sacrifices. Sasnuḥ means that they have already traveled to all the holy places of pilgrimage and taken part in purificatory activities at those places. They are called āryāḥ because they have already finished all these requirements, and therefore they must be among the Āryans or those who have qualified themselves to become Āryans. “Āryan” refers to those who are civilized, whose manners are regulated according to the Vedic rituals. Any devotee who is chanting the holy name of the Lord is the best kind of Āryan. Unless one studies the Vedas, one cannot become an Āryan, but it is automatically understood that the chanters have already studied all the Vedic literature..”

Q: How does one know what does Krishna wants us to do ?

A:  By surrendering to a bona fide representative of Krishna.

Srila Prabhupada explains in cc madhya 19. 167

“The criterion is that a devotee must know what Kṛṣṇa wants him to do. This understanding can be achieved through the medium of a spiritual master who is a bona fide representative of Kṛṣṇa. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī advises, ādau gurv-āśrayam. One who is serious in wanting to render pure devotional service to the Lord must take shelter of a spiritual master who comes in the disciplic succession from Kṛṣṇa. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg. 4.2]. Without accepting a bona fide spiritual master coming in the disciplic succession, one cannot find out the real purpose of devotional service. Therefore one has to accept the shelter of a bona fide spiritual master and agree to be directed by him.”

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

HG Madhavananda Prabhuji

Hare Krishna.

14th December, 2013.

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It was wonderful to get a call from HG Achyut Hari Prabhuji to invite me at his home for a program by HG Madhavanada Prabhuji at his home in Gurgaon.

I have heard Prabhuji’s nectarean  lectures many times in the past at Punjabi Bagh temple as well as at Gurgaon. I also subscribed to the emagazine Sri Krishna Kathamrita Bindu which Prabhuji publishes and read some of his books as well. He is a blessed soul and a great devotee of the Lord and His servants and definitely has the double  mercy of Srila Prabhupada and HH Gour Govinda Swami Maharaj. I always look forward to hear his lectures.

Prabhuji’s introduction at www.iskcondesiretree.com reads as: Madhavananda Das, joined ISKCON in Los Angeles in 1982. He moved to Bhubaneswar Orissa in 1993 where he has been living since. He was instructed by Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja to edit his lectures into publications. For over ten years he has been serving as the director of ISKCON Gopal Jiu Publications, the editor of Sri Krishna Kathamrita Magazine, and the email magazine Sri Krishna Kathamrita Bindu. This short introduction does not do justice to Prabhuji, he is a very very humble and yet a scholar with in depth knowledge, specially Gaur Lila at Jaganannath Puri Dhama. Prabhuji serves Srila Prabhupada and HH Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja with utmost sincerity and dedication. His bhajans take us away from the material world and into the spiritual world.

As I paid my obeisances to Prabhuji , my mind went straight to Jagannath Puri and in mind I went to Jagannath temple, entered inside, stood in the que and then finally got the darshan of the Lord of the universe. Such is the potency of Prabhuji that a neophyte like me could take darshan of Jagannath by merely being in the presence of His devotee.

Prabhuji spoke about Krishna’s various pastimes for sometime and It was painful when he announced that the class is over. Prabhuji sang Gaur Arti with everyone afterwards.

I begged Achyut Hari Prabhuji to allow me to drop Prabhuji tomorrow at Punjabi Bagh temple, which he mercifully agreed.

15th December

I picked Prabhuji and came to Punjabi bagh temple. Prabhuji spoke about the verse SB 7.5.13

Translation

Persons who always think in terms of “enemy” and “friend” are unable to ascertain the Supersoul within themselves. Not to speak of them, even such exalted persons as Lord Brahmā, who are fully conversant with the Vedic literature, are sometimes bewildered in following the principles of devotional service. The same Supreme Personality of Godhead who has created this situation has certainly given me the intelligence to take the side of your so-called enemy.

He explained the above verse in relation to book distribution. He said like Prahalad Maharaj is speaking that we should not consider anyone  as our  enemy or friend similarly when we go out  people may consider us sometimes as their friend and sometimes as their enemy. But we should not look towards them in similar fashion and should always treat them equally. We should make judgment on whom to approach based on whether the person is rich or poor, handsome or ugly and so on.

Prabhuji also recited a wonderful story from MahaBharat where one devotee mixed all the delicious prasadam made by Draupadi because he did not wished to make a distinction between various dishes as they were all prasdam ! ( Definitely a lesson for me !)

Prabhuji stressed that we should distribute Krishna Prema to everyone without distinction and that we should follow Panch Tattava on how They distributed Krishna Prema.

He recited another wonderful story where King Janak refused to go to Vaikuntha and wanted to stay in hell as inhabitants there were getting some relief from various punishments, by the mere presence of King Janak. And how King Janak finally gave the benefit of his chanting of just one Rama Nama and he liberated everyfrom hell. This is what, Prabhuji commented, should be our mood in any service, Jive Doya. This is the mood of our Acharayas, which should strive to inculcate within us.

He added that we should not feel that we are giving `our’ mercy to all these fallen souls when we distribute books. Prabhuji said that we should instead instill a mood of serving them and serving Krishna. He said that for the sake our own purity we should not see anyone we meet as friend or foe, rich or poor and we should spread mercy to receive mercy. We can listen to the complete lecture at http://www.iskconpunjabibagh.com/audio-gallery/hg-madhavanand-prabhu ( 15th Dec 2013)

Later, I felt inspired to hear more lectures of Prabhuji and downloaded many lectures from iskcondesiretree.com, they were all dipped in Krishna Prema, guide us to a higher realm and offer us enlightening point of views & realisations. My pick was Ramananda Samvad. We can download this and many more lectures at

http://audio.iskcondesiretree.info/index.php?q=f&f=%2F03_-_ISKCON_Prabhujis%2FISKCON_Prabhujis_-_K_to_R%2FHis_Grace_Madhavananda_Prabhu%2FRamananda_Samvad

I pray that at the lotus feet of Prabhuji and further pray that he continues to receive mercy of Sri Guru and Gauranga to spread the glories of Holy name all over the world and enrich the lives of devotees with Krishna Katha.

HG Madhavananda Prabhu ji Ki jai.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

How can we see Krishna ?

Hare Krishna.

22nd January, Gurgaon.

Krishna

Its only recently that I have started reading Srila Prabhupada’s purports a little more carefully than ever before, especially since I started reading Sri Caitanaya Caritamrta. I realised that there are so many gems scattered in each purport. I am sure that I am just scratching the surface as I am a beginner in the spiritual life.

Since past two weeks I have started taking my notes in a Q&A form. This helps me in two ways, first I now read the purports a little more carefully and secondly I get clear answers to so many questions and can store them on my ipad for future reference. Reading Sri Caitanaya Caritamrta has turned out to be a goldmine of knowledge for me, quenching my thirst to know more, and opening so many wonderful doors into Gaur Lila.

I am sharing a few Q&As below, all these answers are from Srila Prabhupada’s translations, unless I mention any of my learning from the same or will share the reference. Let me also acknowledge my complete lack of intelligence, experience, realisations and knowledge of shastra. I haven’t yet read Srimad Bhagavatam completely and only with permission from my Shiksha Guru I have started reading Sri Caitanaya Caritamrta on the side. I also do not recollect 100% of what all I have read till date. I am aware that there are multiple answers to many questions with reference to Srila Prabhupda’s purports in different verses and in different books. In this way I am completely ineligible to write on such topics. But I still hope and pray that this endeavour will please Sri Guru and Srila Prabhupada as I am sharing these Q&As without my own interpretation and I pray at their lotus feet that they bless us so that we can use this knowledge to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world. Here it goes

Q: How can we see Krishna ?

A:  “One cannot see the Supreme Lord by making personal efforts. Rather, when the Lord is pleased by the service of a devotee, He reveals Himself.”

Srila Prabhupada writes in the purport of cc m 8.285 “In the Bhagavad-gītā (7.25) Lord Kṛṣṇa states:

nāhaṁ prakāśaḥ sarvasya yoga-māyā-samāvṛtaḥ mūḍho ‘yaṁ nābhijānāti loko mām ajam avyayam

“I am never manifest to the foolish and unintelligent. For them I am covered by My internal potency [yogamāyā], and so they do not know Me, who am unborn and infallible.”

“The Lord always reserves the right of not being exposed to everyone. The devotees, however, are always engaged in the service of the Lord, serving with the tongue by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and tasting mahā-prasādam. Gradually the sincere devotee pleases the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the Supreme Lord reveals Himself. One cannot see the Supreme Lord by making personal efforts. Rather, when the Lord is pleased by the service of a devotee, He reveals Himself.”

Q: What is Vraja river and why is it called Vraja?

A: Causal ocean is called Vraja river.

Srila Prabhupada explain in the purport of cc madhya 19 153 “There is a river, or causal ocean, between the spiritual and material natures, and this river is free from the influence of the three modes of material nature; therefore it is called Virajā. The prefix vi means vigata (“completely eradicated”), and rajas means “the influence of the material world.”

Last Sunday HG Haridas Thakur Prabhuji, Gurgaon, confirmed that MahaVishnu rests in the River Vraja,  also called Causal Ocean, which is the border between transcendental and material realms.

Q: What is guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāda?

A:  This is part of one of the most famous verses of CC, cc madhya 19.151,

brahmāṇḍa bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva

guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāde pāya bhakti-latā-bīja

Translation

“According to their karma, all living entities are wandering throughout the entire universe. Some of them are being elevated to the upper planetary systems, and some are going down into the lower planetary systems. Out of many millions of wandering living entities, one who is very fortunate gets an opportunity to associate with a bona fide spiritual master by the grace of Kṛṣṇa. By the mercy of both Kṛṣṇa and the spiritual master, such a person receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service.

Srila Prabhupada explains in its purport that  “Kṛṣṇa is situated in everyone’s heart, and if one desires something, Kṛṣṇa fulfills one’s desire. If the living entity by chance or fortune comes in contact with the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement and wishes to associate with that movement, Kṛṣṇa, who is situated in everyone’s heart, gives him the chance to meet a bona fide spiritual master. This is called guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāda. Kṛṣṇa is prepared to bestow His mercy upon all living entities, and as soon as a living entity desires the Lord’s mercy, the Lord immediately gives him an opportunity to meet a bona fide spiritual master. Such a fortunate person is fortified by both Kṛṣṇa and the spiritual master. He is helped from within by Kṛṣṇa and from without by the spiritual master. Both are prepared to help the sincere living being become free from material bondage.”

I will be very grateful to you if you can give me your feedback on this Q&A format. Did it prove helpful to you and should I continue to post them in future. Pl mail your comments to giriraj.bcs@gmail.com or you can leave a comment below.

All glories to  Sri Caitanaya Caritamrta.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Does ISKCON has any Uttama Adhikari ?

Hare Krishna

21st Jan 2014.

A devotee called up today evening and stated that he just read a statement by Srila Prabhupada that we should reject any guru who can not take us back to Godhead. The talk then went to which Guru, if any, is a Uttama Adhikari in ISKCON and how to find him ?

I remembered the same question being asked to HH Bhakti Brhad Bhagavat Maharaja during the seminar on ISKCON Disciple course at Punjabi Bagh temple last year. I offered the same reply to the devotee.

Maharaj replied with the following statement from Srila Prabhupada in Nectar of Instructions verse 5, second last para (http://vedabase.net/noi/5/en )

“Out of many such Vaiṣṇavas, one may be found to be very seriously engaged in the service of the Lord and strictly following all the regulative principles, chanting the prescribed number of rounds on japa beads and always thinking of how to expand the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Such a Vaiṣṇava should be accepted as an uttama-adhikārī, a highly advanced devotee, and his association should always be sought.”

Maharaj declared that we do not need any more `pramaan’ ( proof) than the above statement from Srila Prabhupada himself and we will all agree that with the above definition almost all the Sanyasis in ISKCON will qualify as being a Uttama Adhikari ! Hari Bol !

All Glories to Srila Prabhupda.

Three types of sukriti

Hare Krishna

10th January, Gurgaon.

bhakti

I always heard that we can not get Bhakti from pious activities as Bhakti devi is independent. Then came the understanding that  bhakti can only be given by a devotee of the Lord as Lord Himself is impartial towards everyone where as His devotees are partial towards devotees and innocents.  Then came the question that what brings a devotee in our lives, should we just consider it a good fortune, which it is, or some `sukriti’ (pious credit) too is responsible for it.

I recently heard a lecture by HG Madhavanad Prabhuji and he explained this point in a very simple way that I could understand. I am sharing the same.

Prabhuji explained via CC. madhya 22 45, whose translation is

“By good fortune one becomes eligible to cross the ocean of nescience, and when one’s term of material existence decreases, one may get an opportunity to associate with pure devotees. By such association, one’s attraction to Krishna is awakened.”

Srila Prabhupada quotes Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur in his purport that there are there three types of Sukriti

1. Bhoga (Karma) unmukhi sukriti : This gives material opulence, higher planets like swargaloka etc. this is also called `karmonmukhi’ or piety derived from subhakarma (auspicious activities like giving in charity, opening orphanages, etc).

2. Moksha (jnana) unmukhi sukriti : This gives liberation, enabling one to merge into the existence of the Supreme. This is attained through piety derived from the cultivation of knowledge and therefore, it is also called `jnanonmukhi’ sukriti.

3. Bhakti unmukhi sukriti: This awaken one’s dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Devotional activities such as hearing, reading & chanting about Krishna, serving His devotees,  etc. constitute this third type and are thus supreme pious work.

Prabhuji also explained that Srila Bhakti Sidhant Saraswati Thakur said in a lecture that when we follow vaidhi bhakti without being under the shelter of a devotee of Krishna then again we collect Bhakti unmukhi sukriti.

Hence it works both ways, when we get or collect bhakti-unmukhi sukriti, knowingly or unknowingly,  we get a devotee in our life. On the other hand we can also get causeless mercy of a devotee and then get bhakti-unmukhi sukriti.

Srila Prabhupada  further writes in his purport `Pious activities are fortunate when they help one become Kṛṣṇa conscious. The good fortune of bhakti-unmukhī is attainable only when one comes in contact with a devotee. By associating with a devotee willingly or unwillingly, one advances in devotional service, and thus one’s dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness is awakened.

I understood that one may collect Bhakti unmukhi sukriti and it may sometime ensure that someone starts his spiritual journey from a higher platform but bhakti will not `kickstart’ on its own and one can only `encash’ these spiritual credits when one gets in touch with a devotee and get his mercy.

My lesson : I must always hanker for the association of devotees and spend rest of the time, as much as possible, in hearing and chanting or talking about Krishna. The same thing was instructed by HH Giriraj Maharaj in Noida this month when Maharaj said  that each moment of our life is precious and we need to use the best use of each moment.

We can all hear the most wonderful Ramananad Samvad by Madhvananda Prabhuji, which had the above description on   day 5, between 19.00 to 25.00 minutes, at

http://audio.iskcondesiretree.info/index.php?q=f&f=%2F03_-_ISKCON_Prabhujis%2FISKCON_Prabhujis_-_K_to_R%2FHis_Grace_Madhavananda_Prabhu%2FRamananda_Samvad

All glories to merciful Vaishnavas.

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

Is higher spiritual platform a better option for devotees ?

Hare Krishna.

16th January, 2014, Gurgaon

Quotes-by-Srila-Prabhupada-on-Devotees-Only-Concern

I was very fortunate take darshan of his HH Janananda Maharaj at Sumeet Prabhu’s home today in Gurgaon.

Maharaj is a very quite, simple, deep and yet an affable sanyasi. Taking his darshan I felt as if I had taken a dip in holy water of Ganga river.

Maharaj asked if I have some question, but more than my silly questions I wanted to hear Krishna katha from him. Being less intelligent, questions do not come easily to me and most of the time I forget them when asked so by a senior devotee. Hence when I meet devotees my only interest is to listen to the pastimes of devotees, Krishna, Mahaprabhu, acharayas, their realisation etc. and hoping against hope that this will make my heart soft and I may absorb something.

Fortunately for me, one devotee asked Maharaj a question and as Maharaj replied so patiently, I asked something which was bothering me as a supplementary question.

My puzzle was that Ramananda Raya quoted the verse brahma-bhutah prasannatma (BG 18.54) as higher than sarva-dharmān parityajya (BG 18.66), in his discussions with Mahaprabhu (cc madhya 8). I understood the logic of verse 18.66 being referred to as sanyas which is still within the material world, and also that devotion with knowledge is superior to devotion with rituals and that brahma-bhutah platform is out of the material world, etc. But, I knew that something was amiss in my understanding, and I could not get it. I read the purports (cc madhya 8.65) again and again, but could not get the understanding from my own endeavor. I asked Maharaj to kindly clarify the same to me and Maharaj’s reply not only solved this puzzle but another question as well which I had forgotten since long.

Maharaj replied that yes the Brahma-bhutah platform may be a very high spiritual platform but devotees do not aspire for it. He explained that the distance doesn’t matter what matter is that what are our intentions (consciousness). He gave a very good example. He said consider that two people are walking towards Delhi. The first person is more closer to Delhi than the second. But the first person wants to plant a bomb in the city where as the second person is coming to serve the city. So even if the first person is nearer to Delhi but because his intentions are bad hence being near doesn’t qualify as being any useful.

Maharaj further added that similarly being a simple-hearted devotee of the Lord in the material world is a far better situation than being a spiritually elevated person going towards impersonalism with his own knowledge because there are more chances of the former going back to Godhead and serving The Lord personally than the latter.

Janananda-Maharaj-portrait-

Maharaj’s above reply also solved my other unsolved question `What is the status of those devotees who worship Lord Krishna with devotion and love but without much knowledge ? ‘

Maharaj’s merciful reply cleared the fog in my mind like a bright sun in Delhi’s winter.

All glories to HH Janananda Maharaj.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.