Saturday, September 24, 2016

What Is The Secret To Remaining Detached

[Lord Krishna]“You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.47)

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Friend1: Detachment is important.

Friend2: Why?

Friend1: Because it just makes sense.

Friend2: Why?

Friend1: Things are out of your control. You are not the doer.

Friend2: “The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself to be the doer of activities, which are in actuality carried out by nature.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 3.27)

Friend1: It makes sense even outside the realm of spirituality.

Friend2: How so?

Friend1: Sports is a great example. The key to success is not being overly nervous. Nervousness is due to attachment to the result; the strong desire for a successful outcome.

Friend2: Sort of like being afraid to fail.

Friend1: Fear; exactly. If you are a little detached from the outcome, it’s easier to relax and go about your business.

Friend2: That’s true. Do you know the things to which we have the most attachment?

Friend1: That’s easy. Significant other. Friends. Family.

Friend2: So should we be detached from them?

Friend1: Yes.

Friend2: Isn’t that kind of mean?

Friend1: It’s the truth. The thing is, it’s difficult to be detached from people who are so important to us. What is the secret? What do you tell people who want to be detached, but struggle with it?

Friend2: Look into the future.

Friend1: How? By visiting one of those astrologer-type people?

Friend2: Not necessary. Go back to the sports example. There is no reason to be afraid of the outcome, since so many outcomes have already occurred in the past. People moved on from defeat. Gain and loss are almost like the tossing of a coin. One second you are happy, the next you are sad. Today you are a winner, and tomorrow you suffer bitter defeat.

Friend1: What does that have to do with the future, though?

Friend2: The past lets you see into the future. You know that at some point going forward, the outcome pressing your mind will be a distant memory. Armed with that knowledge there is no reason to be so attached.

Friend1: What about friends and family members?

Friend2: This is a harsher reality, but true nonetheless. The future says that one day we will be without the association of our closest allies. Not only is the separation destined to occur, there is nothing we can do to prevent it.

Friend1: That’s just the laws of nature.

Friend2: Exactly. So why be so attached to something that will leave you anyway?

Friend1: That makes sense.

Friend2: Remember, detachment is a vehicle towards reaching a better destination more swiftly. Being aloof from this world affords you a certain advantage, but there must be an end goal.

Friend1: It’s called vairagya in Sanskrit. It’s paired with jnana, or knowledge.

Friend2: Vairagya towards material things, raga towards spiritual things. Have attachment for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. His association is there to stay. It lasts through many lifetimes. It’s always there actually, just the realization is missing at present. Vairagya is one way to clear the mind to further meditate on the Divine, whose transcendental attributes make Him a pleasure to be around.

Friend1: So if I’m attached to Krishna, the all-attractive one, that’s not a bad thing?

Friend2: Why would it be?

Friend1: What if it leads to neglect of other things?

Friend2: Like what?

Friend1: Day to day responsibilities. Being a good citizen. Things like that.

[Lord Krishna]Friend2: A pure devotee is automatically a perfect gentlemen. They are a symbol of sacrifice, which means that they are the ideal example for others to follow. They are doing the best work for others through their connection with God, known as yoga. To us, who are riddled by attachment and fear of loss, this is difficult to see. But our blindness doesn’t make the truth any less valid. Attachment to Krishna is favorable, it should be encouraged and it should be maintained into the future.

In Closing:

Benefits of vairagya I’ve heard,

But more to it than knowledge of word.


How detached from things to remain?

Sad when lost, so happy when gained.


From the past the future can see,

The return to equilibrium however to be.


Friends, family, outcomes not forever to last,

Through detachment advancing towards Krishna fast.

Friday, September 23, 2016

How Can You Say God Is Nice When So Many Bad Things Happen

[Lord Krishna]“All created beings are unmanifest in their beginning, manifest in their interim state, and unmanifest again when they are annihilated. So what need is there for lamentation?” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.28)

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Friend1: God is nice.

Friend2: Of course.

Friend1: Because He is Paramatma.

Friend2: The Supersoul, residing in the heart.

Friend1: He is always with me. I am actually never without God.

Friend2: You, me and everyone else. He is the very definition of the atom, paramanu. Think about it. How amazing was the discovery of the atom?

Friend1: It was pretty big.

Friend2: And yet the Vedas had already defined it. The concept of paramanu predates the discipline of science itself, or “natural philosophy” as it was once known.

Friend1: People will say that they received the grace of God after something good happens to them. Especially if that thing came to them after a struggle.

Friend2: Right. That’s why so many rehabilitated drug addicts turn to religion. They were at rock bottom and found their way back up. They attribute the success to the Divine.

Friend1: Alright, that’s understandable. What about the opposite situation?

Friend2: What do you mean?

Friend1: Someone who had everything good and then it all changed. They had the worst things happen to them.

Friend2: Like what?

Friend1: It doesn’t matter specifically; choose anything. Rape. Theft. Murder. A natural disaster comes and wipes out their whole family. How is this person supposed to believe that God is nice? Actually, how can anyone properly convince them that God is nice?

Friend2: Those are good questions. I like how you used the extremes for an example. This is a good exercise for the brain, to see how well the philosophy is assimilated.

Friend1: So there is a simple answer? Obviously, it’s known that good and bad things happen in life. That’s just how it goes. I can see someone acknowledging that, but going one step further to say that God is nice seems like a difficult sell.

Friend2: What you are describing is essentially loss. Is that fair to say?

Friend1: Hmm, okay. Yeah, theft is a loss. Rape is the loss of safety, privacy, respect. Murder is the loss of life. The natural disaster is loss at a grand scale. Okay, I’ll agree with you.

Friend2: Good. Now, the thing is, loss can only happen after there is gain.

Friend1: What do you mean?

Friend2: You can only lose something after you first gained it.

Friend1: Okay.

Friend2: So why aren’t you just as upset at the gain?

Friend1: I’m not sure I follow.

Friend2: If you’re mad at God for losing something, you should really be angry at Him for giving it to you. You should think that God is not nice because He gave you birth. He’s mean because He gave you friends, family, a nice house, and a good job.

Friend1: Why would someone be angry at those things?

Friend2: That’s what I’m trying to explain. It’s difficult to see, but it’s the proper perspective. The loss which you referenced was guaranteed as soon as there was acceptance. Krishna explains this nicely in the Bhagavad-gita. When there is birth, there must be death, and so on. The wise person does not let this bother them.

Friend1: So, just because we lose something it doesn’t necessarily mean God is not nice?

Friend2: Exactly. You get something. You form an attachment. It leaves you. You become sad. This cycle is not managed directly by God. With Him, loss is not always a bad thing, either. One of His names is Hari, which means “one who takes away.” For the devotee He sometimes takes away things that are important to them.

Friend1: Why would He do that?

Friend2: They are obstacles in the path of devotional service, bhakti-yoga. To make the proper assessment on God’s disposition, you have to judge His influence on things that are beyond the temporary.

Friend1: Like above gain and loss?

[Lord Krishna]Friend2: Right. He is always with us as Paramatma. That is a good start. The next thing is that He always leaves the door open for returning to Him, to the place where there isn’t the duality of gain and loss. He welcomes us back, even if we’ve ignored Him for many lifetimes. That is kindness. He sends the acharya to dissipate the darkness of ignorance. He allows us to stay with Him through something as simple as sound. His amazing kindness is ever present in the maha-mantra itself: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

In Closing:

How God nice considered to be,

When so many tragedies to see?


From the loss we’re upset,

But why not when first to get?


Guaranteed whenever to gain,

In this way birth and death the same.


To spiritual world keeping open always the door,

His kindness lifting to ceiling from floor.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Five Reasons I Am Not God

[Radha-Krishna]“The Personality of Godhead is described as vastu, or the Substance, and the living entities are described as vastavas, or the innumerable samples of the Substance in relative existence. The relationship of these substantive portions with the Supreme Substance can never be annihilated, for it is an eternal quality inherent in the living being.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi 1.91 Purport)

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I am not God. Seriously, I’m telling you. I mean it. Don’t call me God. If you do, I’ll get angry. Don’t even think about it. Why do I have to stipulate this? Did I suddenly lose my mind, where I went around telling people that I created everything? Did I have a sudden bout of insanity where I pretended to be a messiah, coming to save the people?

Actually, Vedanta philosophy is so rich and profound that there is some basis for equating the living entities with God. There is simultaneous oneness and difference, something Chaitanya Mahaprabhu calls achintya-bhedabheda-tattva. We are like samples of God, identical to Him in qualitative makeup. We are Brahman, and He is also Brahman. This is the spiritual energy. There are key differences as well, and a person who is not aware of them mistakenly thinks they can become God, which makes them no different in intelligence than the lower species, like the animals.

1. I have to take birth

One Sanskrit word that describes God is aja. This means “unborn.” He is the only living entity who has never taken birth. The concept is impossible for the human mind to fathom. This is because of infinity. What does it mean to have no beginning? For every beginning, we know there is some point in time prior to that. Even under the foolish theory that says everything came into being through a single-cell organism, there had to be something prior to that. Where did that organism come from? Did it magically appear?

“For one who has taken his birth, death is certain; and for one who is dead, birth is certain. Therefore, in the unavoidable discharge of your duty, you should not lament.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.27)

I have to take birth. That is how I got to where I am today. I don’t remember that birth. I assume that it happened because I see other births. I know that after birth there is development of the body. Eventually, there is also death. The Bhagavad-gita says that where there is death, there must be birth, and so on.

2. I can’t always get what I want

This is likely the most obvious indication of my lack of spotless divinity. I have to work for things. For example, I try my best to avoid catching a cold. I take Ayurvedic supplements each day. I try to maintain good heat within the body. I eat on time. I try to sleep a decent amount. Still, sometimes I catch a cold. There is nothing I can do to prevent this. I can’t always get what I want.

For the Supreme Lord it is different. Just by thinking He can manifest anything in front of Him. Creating the universes for Him is as easy as exhaling. Destroying the same universes, with their massive complexity and variety, is accomplished through inhaling. Everything is so easy for Him that He is known as atmarama, which means “self-satisfied.”

3. The threefold miseries of life affect me.

The heavens, other people, and the body and mind - these three are sources of misery for everyone living in the material world. No success is capable without cooperation from these sources. I can do everything right, thinking that the desired outcome is sure to manifest, when something gets in the way at the last moment. A hurricane destroys the house I was building. Someone runs a red light and crashes into my car. Suddenly, a disease pops up from within that prevents me from working.

The Supreme Lord is not subject to these miseries. In fact, the person overseeing these miseries works at His behest. Known as Durga Devi, she carries a trident that symbolizes the threefold miseries. Her favor lessens the pain inflicted, but with the Supreme Lord the trident feels like a mink glove or a soft cushion. When He descends to this earth, the miseries are still there but they have no inhibiting influence. A famous example is the lifting of Govardhana Hill done by Shri Krishna.

4. I have to die

Sadly, I can’t live forever. As a spirit soul, nothing can destroy me. Yet this specific combination of body and spirit will not remain together in perpetuity. Time, which is influenced by fruitive activities, or karma, eventually takes away. It is known as the great subduing agent.

“Unintelligent men, who know Me not, think that I have assumed this form and personality. Due to their small knowledge, they do not know My higher nature, which is changeless and supreme.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.24)

As God is aja, He is amrita, or immortal. Though He appears and disappears from this world in His personal form, His body is changeless and supreme. Obviously, we have to accept this fact on faith. Since we eventually die, we have no way of confirming if someone lives forever. Nevertheless, the high philosophy presented by the Vedas and the longevity in relevance of works like the Bhagavad-gita and Shrimad Bhagavatam give us more confidence in the matter.

5. There are limitations in action

This is a derivative of the subjection to the threefold miseries. Let’s say I enjoy a specific beverage. I want to drink it every day. Fine, that is possible, but there are negative effects. The beverage may not be healthy for me. Say I want to drink more than average today. There will be a reaction. At some point the limit will be reached.

[Vamanadeva]There are no limitations with the Supreme Lord. He can expand Himself infinitely if He wants. He gave an idea of how much He can expand one time through His dwarf incarnation known as Vamana. At first Vamana was diminutive. Later He expanded so far that with a single step He could cover the three worlds.

[Radha-Krishna]Just as God can do whatever He wants without negative consequences, so the same applies to devotion to Him, known as bhakti-yoga. A person can constantly engage in devotional service and not have it negatively influence them. This is because Krishna oversees the practice of devotion to Him. He maintains what the devotee has and brings to them what they lack. A simple test can be made through the chanting of the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Chant this a little bit, then chant some more, and then chant all the time, as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu recommends.

In Closing:

That I am not God I tell to you,

Believe me for this is true.


Not always what I want getting,

Death when sun of life setting.


Again birth I will have to take,

Until from slumber of ignorance to awake.


Absent in Supreme Lord should know,

Protected when to His shelter to go.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Five Reasons Bhakti-yoga Never Gets Old

[Lord Krishna]“Krishna is always remembered, and His name is always chanted by millions of devotees, but the devotees never become saturated. Instead of becoming disinterested in thinking of Krishna and in chanting His holy name, the devotees get newer and newer impetus to continue the process.” (The Nectar of Devotion, Ch 22)

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Time, or kala as it is known in Sanskrit, does not discriminate. It does not operate on only a few individuals. Time keeps moving, like the sands falling from the hourglass. Since it leads to a change in bodies, rebirth is compared to spinning on a wheel. That which time influences is known as the samsara-chakra, or the continuously spinning wheel of suffering.

One indication of time’s influence is the preference in activities. One day I get a new videogame. It’s one I wanted for a long time. I’m so excited to finally have it. I play it for a few days. Since it is really good, the engagement extends out for a few weeks, even. After a while, though, boredom sets in. The game that was previously new becomes old. Something new is now required as a replacement. Bhakti-yoga doesn’t suffer from this defect, and there are several reasons why.

1. Krishna is not old

The beneficiary of bhakti-yoga is God the person. In His complete feature, He is more than an abstract. We can say that God is the origin of everything. This is simply affixing a name to a concept. We know that everything has a beginning, and so the beginning of all beginnings is the topmost person. The Sanskrit term “sarva-karana-karanam” says that God is the cause of all causes.

[Lord Krishna]Since the original person is all-attractive, one way to address Him is Krishna. The all-attractive one descended to this earth in His personal form some five thousand years ago. An interesting thing was observed. He never seemed to grow old. On the battlefield of Kurukshetra, Krishna counseled Arjuna on how to proceed in a war. Over one hundred years had elapsed since Krishna emerged from the womb of Devaki, but He still looked like a teenager. Despite being God, and thus automatically the oldest person in the world, Krishna maintains the youthful image. In this sense He never gets old.

2. There are always new things to learn about Krishna

I get bored with the videogame because I know everything there is to know. I am so good at it that there is no longer a challenge. With the Supreme Lord Krishna, it is impossible to know Him fully. Recorded history attests to this fact. Every aspect of history is tied to God in some way. As history continues to be written, the glories of God continue to expand.

Then there is the issue of comprehension. After getting bits and pieces of information about Krishna, there should be some processing. “Okay, God is great. But how great? Okay, Krishna is all-attractive, but how beautiful is He really?” The more time a person spends in bhakti-yoga, the more new things they discover about the delight of Vrindavana.

3. There are more realizations with time

In addition to learning new things about Krishna, there are more realizations. We can think of it like finding more ways to relate things we see around us to God. As a simple example, we can take family life. We can love our children so much, but that love is not guaranteed to pay off. Often times, the more things we buy for our children, the more spoiled they become. Though they are everything to us, we may not be everything to them.

In bhakti-yoga, there is the realization that Krishna is the most appreciative person. He is gratefulness personified. He remembers even a single deed done in His honor. Proof of this is seen in the fate of the unsuccessful yogi. If perfect Krishna consciousness is not achieved in a single lifetime, there is no loss. Whatever progress was made gets maintained going forward.

“On taking such a birth, he again revives the divine consciousness of his previous life, and he tries to make further progress in order to achieve complete success, O son of Kuru.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 6.43)

4. New outlets for service

Perfection in bhakti-yoga can come through nine different avenues. There is hearing. This is the simplest. Just hear about God. The only thing involved is a sacrifice of time. It really isn’t a sacrifice, since the time spent in hearing will be more worthwhile than any other activity.

There is chanting as well. “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.” There is offering prayers. A person can prepare food items and bring it in front of a representation of the Supreme Lord, the archa-vigraha. Through so many available outlets for service, the less chance there is to get bored.

5. More reciprocation means more pleasure in service

How does a statue reciprocate? How does someone we can’t see acknowledge the receipt of our prayers and offerings? The Supreme Lord rests within every heart as the Supersoul, Paramatma. He provides the reciprocation from within.

“The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are surrendered to Me, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss enlightening one another and conversing about Me.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 10.9)

The more a person advances in bhakti-yoga, the more they realize about the Supreme Lord. They come to understand His unmatched loving nature. Since they get reciprocation, even though not explicitly seeking it, they feel renewed enthusiasm to continue in service.

In Closing:

Though for this game previously to pray,

To something else, no longer wishing to stay.


Bhakti-yoga not following pattern the same,

Ever fresh, like spring season just came.


Since with Krishna always something new,

More learning, contemplation of beautiful hue.


Chant, pray, or take meditation’s seat,

In devotion a way even to transcendentally eat.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Why Not Worship Krishna As Brahman

[Shri Krishna]“And I am the basis of the impersonal Brahman, which is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness, and which is immortal, imperishable and eternal.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 14.27)

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Friend1: Alright, let’s discuss the impersonalists today.

Friend2: Brahmavadis or Mayavadis?

Friend1: Let’s go with Mayavadis. The Brahmavadis are at least honest. That is my opinion.

Friend2: How so?

Friend1: They know Brahman very well. It is the extent of their understanding of spirituality. They see the spiritual equality of all living beings. They have been taught that Brahman is the last word.

Friend2: What is different about the Mayavadis?

Friend1: They reject the idea of personalism when presented to them through authority. The actual fact is that both personalism and impersonalism are valid. They both exist. It’s just that the impersonal is an aspect of the personal. The spiritual energy is something that emanates from the source of all spirit.

Friend2: What do you mean by “reject”? How do they do that?

Friend1: Basically, they like to quote from the Bhagavad-gita and other works dealing with the Supreme Lord as Krishna. Yet the Bhagavad-gita says that Krishna is the source of Brahman. He, therefore, cannot be maya. The Mayavadi thus has to be dishonest in order to insist that Krishna is impersonal.

Friend2: And you notice they don’t worship Krishna, either? They are very averse to bhakti-yoga.

Friend1: What do you mean exactly?

Friend2: Think about it. They at least acknowledge that Krishna is Brahman, right?

Friend1: Yeah. They’ll say He is a Brahman-realized soul. He is like a prophet. Man, I want to puke when I hear that. What an offense! The mental speculation from these guys knows no limits. They have no shame.

Friend2: Worship Krishna, Shiva, Brahma, Ganesha. It doesn’t really matter. All paths lead to the same place.

Friend1: That’s exactly what they say.

Friend2: So why don’t they worship Krishna? Why don’t they chant the holy names in the maha-mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare?

Friend1: I’m going to say they think it’s too limiting. It’s sectarian. It’s dogmatic. They are above that.

Friend2: Right, but they say that Krishna is Brahman. If they really believed that, they would chant Hare Krishna. They would worship Him regularly. At the very least, they wouldn’t have a problem with people who do.

Friend1: Some of them don’t have a problem with it.

Friend2: Right, but they won’t try bhakti-yoga. They’ll chant anything else except Krishna, Vishnu, or Rama. The reason is that deep down they know that Krishna is not merely Brahman. They are averse to worshiping Him. His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada says that the impersonal philosophy is the last snare of maya.

Friend1: I’ve heard that before. Can you elaborate on the meaning?

Friend2: The first snare is bhoga, or material enjoyment. When that fails, as it is guaranteed to, eventually the last resort is impersonalism. Let me become God. I am equal to Brahman, and the divine personalities described in the Vedas are the goal. I can be just like them.

Friend1: I see. Of course, that is illusion as well.

Friend2: Hence the last snare of maya. They are interested in competing with Krishna, which makes them no different from the bhogi, or sense enjoyer. It would be one thing if they didn’t know any better. But they still reference the Bhagavad-gita, twisting the meanings to the verses to suit their agenda. For this reason Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was vehemently against even hearing the Mayavada philosophy.

Friend1: They feel threatened by the worship.

Friend2: Exactly. It’s like the famous atheists Hiranyakashipu and Ravana. They couldn’t leave well enough alone. They had to try to stop other people’s worship of Vishnu. The Mayavadis make the same attempt by trying to weaken the will of the devotees. Imagine if someone said that your parents aren’t real. What would you think?

Friend1: I’d be offended. It’s a ridiculous assertion.

[Shri Krishna]Friend2: So these speculators claim things like the Bhagavad-gita not being real, that Krishna is a mythological character meant to be understood symbolically. See, they are not wise enough to quell the doubts they have from within. Those doubts are there since they envy God. Once that envy goes away, then the real knowledge shines from within.

“Out of compassion for them, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 10.11)

In Closing:

On quotes of sacred texts to rely,

But twisting the meanings to try.


Desire to compete in Mayavada camp,

So not shining within the knowledge lamp.


Enjoyment first when of human life aware,

To become one with God maya’s last snare.


Krishna is Brahman from Bhagavad-gita we know,

Still averse to worship Him are impersonalists so.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Five Reasons That God-Fearing Is Not Something To Strive For

[Narasimha and Prahlada]“My Lord, who are never conquered by anyone, I am certainly not afraid of Your ferocious mouth and tongue, Your eyes bright like the sun or Your frowning eyebrows. I do not fear Your sharp, pinching teeth, Your garland of intestines, Your mane soaked with blood, or Your high, wedgelike ears. Nor do I fear Your tumultuous roaring, which makes elephants flee to distant places, or Your nails, which are meant to kill Your enemies.” (Prahlada Maharaja, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.9.15)

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“I am a God-fearing person.” This statement is there to distinguish from the person who acts cavalierly, not having regard for future consequences. More specifically, it is the consequences in the unseen afterlife which are disregarded. The person who fears God understands the power of the Almighty. They try to stay on the virtuous path as a way to avoid His wrath. Though this position is advanced compared to the atheist, from Vedic philosophy we see that even “God-fearing” is not something really worth striving for.

1. The threefold miseries are already there

Who is God? What does He look like? Where does He live? Is He a He? The Vedas say that originally God is a person. Since He possesses so many attributes, or gunas, He has many names of address. The original personality is sort of a neutral observer when it comes to this world, which is part of the material energy.

How to explain things such as untimely death, loss of association, destruction and the like which lead to sadness? These occur through the administration of the superintendent of the material creation. She is known as Durga since the material world is like a high fort that is difficult to overcome. Within that fort there is something known as the threefold miseries of life, symbolized in the trident wielded by Durga Devi.

[Goddess Durga]These miseries come from the heavens, other living entities, and within. With this knowledge in hand, we see that there is no reason to fear God directly. Just from taking birth, the living entity becomes subject to these three kinds of miseries. The favor of Durga Devi helps to lessen the blow, so to speak, but the miseries will always be there. It is part and parcel of accepting a material body.

2. Punishment arrives from the law of karma

The Supreme Lord is present in every single space, though He may not always be manifest. In the material world He accomplishes omnipresence through something known as Paramatma, which is the Supersoul. Without the sanction of the Supersoul, no result could come to be. Nevertheless, Paramatma does not interfere with desire. He is more the overseer and the permitter.

“Yet in this body there is another, a transcendental enjoyer who is the Lord, the supreme proprietor, who exists as the overseer and permitter, and who is known as the Supersoul.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 13.23)

Due to His neutrality, there is no need to fear Paramatma. The punishment from sinful acts arrives through the law of karma. The arrival is compared to the blossoming of flowers on trees. The flowers don’t come right away; the proper season must arrive first. In the same way, the doer of sinful acts thinking that since no punishment has arrived they have escaped is in for a rude awakening.

3. The fearful form of death guaranteed to arrive, at the proper time

The atheist may not be afraid of God, but they subtly acknowledge Him anyway. They meet Him at the time of death. Thus they only see His guna of the great devourer. The Sanskrit word for death is kala, and this is also the word for time. Nothing can subdue like time, as it acts on everyone and everything. There is no need to fear God directly, since He will arrive at the time of death regardless of a person’s belief or lack thereof.

4. The incident with Bhrigu Muni

The real reason God is not someone to be feared comes from His natural disposition. He is compassion personified. He is more forgiving than we can ever imagine. One incident described in the Puranas beautifully illustrates this. One time Bhrigu Muni wanted to test to see which of the three principal deities of the material creation was superior: Brahma, Shiva, or Vishnu.

Bhrigu committed an offense with the mind to Brahma, who is his father. He committed an offense with words to Shiva. Both got angry as a result. Bhrigu then offended Vishnu with deeds. He kicked the Lord while He was lying down in rest. To Bhrigu’s surprise, Vishnu was not angry at all. He was worried that perhaps the sage’s foot had gotten hurt from touching the hard chest of the husband of Lakshmi Devi. The results to the test complete, Bhrigu judged that Vishnu is Supreme.

5. Prahlada Maharaja pacifying Narasimhadeva

Of course the kindness was shown by Vishnu due to Bhrigu being a devotee. Bhrigu could not be classified as God-fearing, since he was not afraid to offend Vishnu by kicking Him. The best of the asuras, or atheists, also was not God-fearing. He was not a devotee, though. He committed terrible atrocities against his five year old son named Prahlada. For this special occasion, Vishnu gave the punishment Himself, and it was swift. He arrived in a ferocious form that was half-man/half-lion.

[Narasimha and Prahlada]Brahma and Shiva were afraid of this form. It killed the asura Hiranyakashipu very easily, essentially tearing him in half. Afterwards the form was still showing signs of amazing anger. Yet Prahlada was not afraid. He saw the wrath of God firsthand, and yet he knew there was nothing to worry about. The demigods asked Prahlada to pacify Narasimhadeva’s anger. From that incident we see that the highest position to reach is God-loving. This can only be accomplished through knowledge of God’s attributes, which the Vedas describe on and on, through the ages and beyond.

In Closing:

Without thoughts of future to go,

Atheists God only as death to know.


Better if inside some fear,

Having idea of afterlife clear.


Still from there something higher in to reside,

To have love for Lord, fear of Him cast aside.


Like Prahlada by demigods sent,

With love towards angry Narasimha went.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

No Remorse Is The One Command

[Krishna and Arjuna]“Therefore the doubts which have arisen in your heart out of ignorance should be slashed by the weapon of knowledge. Armed with yoga, O Bharata, stand and fight.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 4.42)

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Friend1: The wise should lament neither for the living nor the dead.

Friend2: Quoting the Bhagavad-gita, are we?

Friend1: That’s a pretty profound statement, wouldn’t you say?

Friend2: Absolutely. There is a tendency to lament for both. I like a verse from the Ramayana that says something similar.

Friend1: Yeah? Who is it from?

Friend2: Shri Hanuman.

Friend1: What is the context?

Friend2: The Vanara-king Vali has just died. Tara is now a widow, and she is lamenting the loss of her husband. Hanuman steps in and counsels her about who is actually worthy of lamentation.

"Whom are you lamenting for when you yourself are pitiable? Why do you pity the poor when you yourself have now been made poor? While in this body that is like a bubble, how can anyone look at anyone else as being worthy of lamentation?" (Hanuman speaking to Tara,Valmiki Ramayana, Kishkindha Kand, 21.3)

[Shri Hanuman]He compares the body to a bubble.

Friend1: That’s interesting. Big or small?

Friend2: Like the ones you would make as a kid. Or those that form on the surface of the ocean.

Friend1: I see. He’s saying that the bubbles easily break.

Friend2: Exactly. You see them now. They are intact. That doesn’t mean they are secure. The body is the same way. Death is the destiny for everything that is living. There is no need to lament someone else who is in a bubble-like body when I myself am in one.

Friend1: What about lamenting for the dead, though? Shouldn’t we be worried about their future?

Friend2: The soul will live on. That is the context of Krishna’s teaching to Arjuna. The famous bow-warrior and cousin to the Supreme Personality of Godhead was worried about potential victory in an upcoming war. Arjuna was concerned that he would be the instrument of death for people dear to him, who were fighting on the other side.

Friend1: And that is not a legitimate thing to worry over?

Friend2: The idea is that death will come anyway. Not that a person should use this as an excuse to kill indiscriminately. Krishna is not saying be completely without a heart. For a warrior, though, during the heat of battle it is best to not think too much. Just do your duty.

Friend1: Do you see why this is a controversial point, though?

Friend2: What is?

Friend1: Krishna’s urging Arjuna to fight. A religious book where the person purported to be God is essentially promoting violence, not just condoning it.

Friend2: I see. Yeah, the less intelligent certainly are baffled by this.

Friend1: What is the explanation, beyond the concept of duty? I know you’re supposed to carry out your duties, not being attached to the result.

Friend2: There is the verse pertaining to action and inaction.

“One who sees inaction in action, and action in inaction, is intelligent among men, and he is in the transcendental position, although engaged in all sorts of activities.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 4.18)

The basic premise of the argument you mentioned is that by telling Arjuna to do his duty, which is to act in a war, Krishna is basically inviting violence, mass death or what have you.

Friend1: Yeah. Exactly.

Friend2: Here’s the thing. There is inaction to that action. Though Arjuna is fighting, since he is following dharma, or duty, he is free from the sinful reaction. Moreover, there is action to the inaction on the other side.

Friend1: What do you mean?

Friend2: Let’s say that Arjuna doesn’t fight. That is inaction, right?

Friend1: Yes.

Friend2: But actually, there is still action. He is shirking his responsibilities. He is allowing the unrighteous to trample over the righteous. It’s like opening the prison and letting the guilty inmates out, free to commit crimes again. Arjuna is capable of defending dharma, but out of attachment to temporary things he is choosing not to act. There is sin in inaction, too. Do you see what I mean?

[Krishna and Arjuna]Friend1: Sort of like if I see someone choking on food and I don’t help them, even if I know how to? Basically, I am somewhat responsible for what happens afterwards. Even though I think I’m safe by not acting, there is some responsibility there. This is why the Bhagavad-gita is so brilliant. It does not rely on mere dogmatic insistence. It challenges the mind of the greatest thinkers. It uncovers the veil that keeps duality otherwise hidden. Right and wrong can switch based on the situation, and so expert guidance is needed to know the virtuous path in life. Arjuna had the greatest expert helping him, Shri Krishna.

In Closing:

Don’t follow illusion’s chartered course,

Stand and fight with no remorse.


This by Shri Krishna urged,

After Arjuna’s ignorance purged.


To the less intelligent wisdom not clear,

Since fighter urged to kill loved ones dear.


As sin in inaction sometimes to be known,

Safest path guidance of Lord alone.