Saturday, July 8, 2017

Is It Possible To Be Too Attached To God

[Krishna hugging Chaitanya]“I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all. But whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me, and I am also a friend to him.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.29)

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Friend1: There is an important rule to keep in mind when raising children.

Friend2: What is that?

Friend1: This idea of attachment.

Friend2: Are you referring to newborns specifically?

Friend1: Right, or maybe just new parents in general. It’s natural to have attachment. You want to do everything for the child. In many ways the parents turn into servants. The child is like a king for a while.

Friend2: That is certainly true. Parents make those weird faces and funny noises. So many people come to visit. The child is a star. In a decade or two, there won’t be nearly as much attention. No one will smile at you when you are on line at the post office.

[Krishna and Yashoda]Friend1: Yeah, the loss of innocence. Changes both how you behave and how others treat you.

Friend2: No doubt.

Friend1: The attachment relates to behavior and future outlook. You don’t want the child crying all the time for no reason.

Friend2: You see evidence of the negative side on airplane trips. There is the kid that just keeps crying for no reason. After a while you figure out that the crying is their way of communicating what they want. They haven’t been properly taught.

Friend1: That’s what I am getting at. Teaching. Training. Eventually, the birds have to leave the nest. You can’t stay guardians forever.

Friend2: Of course. It’s difficult to let go.

Friend1: I’m wondering if this has any applicability to spiritual life.

Friend2: As in does God eventually have to let us go, to fly on our own?

Friend1: Or if there is any negative consequence to having too much attachment. If I feel like I can’t live without the Supreme Lord, that I can’t function unless I feel He is around, is there a negative side to that?

Friend2: Are you kidding? You have reached the summit of spiritual life if you feel that way.

Friend1: Okay, I understand that you’re supposed to be conscious of God. Consciousness is key. Whatever state of mind you have at the time of death, you will get that state in the next life.

“Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 8.6)

Friend2: And there will be a next life. If you’re conscious of God the person, you’ll get to be with Him. It’s as simple as that.

Friend1: Okay, but what about work? The negative for the children being too attached is that they won’t be able to cope with the difficult world.

Friend2: There is a key distinction here that you are overlooking.

Friend1: What is that?

Friend2: Parents train because from past experience it’s understood that the parents will leave this world before the children. That means the separation is guaranteed to happen at some point.

Friend1: Right. Obvious.

Friend2: So God will never leave. He has never separated from us, actually. The fall to the material world, wherein the individual spirit soul spins on the wheel of suffering that is reincarnation, is something like a dream. We think we are separated from God and that He is far away. We think that we need to go to the temple to see Him or that we must always chant His names to get the sound vibration representation. In reality, He is always with us in the heart.

Friend1: The Supersoul.

Friend2: Yes.

Friend1: So since God is always with us, there is nothing wrong with being too attached to Him?

Friend2: There are so many ways to dissect that one statement you just made. There is no such thing as too much devotion. Excess is only a limiting factor in a limited world, i.e. the land of birth and death. God is always expanding, and so devotion can have the same property.

Friend1: Okay.

Friend2: Another angle of vision comes to us from an interaction between Narada and Shri Rama.

Friend1: Narada the travelling saint and Rama the incarnation of God as a warrior prince, made famous in the Ramayana book.

Friend2: Yes and yes. So Narada one time wanted something badly and he prayed to God for it. The Supreme Lord denied the request, but in a clever way. When God incarnated as Rama later on, Narada took the opportunity to ask about what happened.

Friend1: The name Hari is important here, right? Narada prayed to Hari, which is a name for God, and the Supreme Lord responded that He would give Narada a face similar to His.

Friend2: Yes, and the word Hari can also mean “monkey.” So Narada got a monkey face and wasn’t too happy about it later on.

Friend1: Very funny stuff.

Friend2: But you can imagine how Narada felt. His whole life is devotional service, so you would think Hari would come through for him. Rama gave the explanation that the devotees are like the children that the parents always keep an eye on. Other children eventually become independent on move on. Hari still loves them. He is equal to everyone, as He says in the Bhagavad-gita.

Friend1: That verse about not envying anyone and how the devotees are friends to Him.

[Krishna hugging Chaitanya]Friend2: Exactly. So He takes care of the devotees. They are so attached to Him that they don’t rely on anyone else. This full dependence is both beneficial and wise. Hari can create this and numerous other worlds simply by exhaling, so why can’t He grant simple favors to the people living in those worlds? There will be attachment one way or another, so might as well make it towards God.

In Closing:

Attachment existing one way or another,

To friend, parent, car, that or the other.


Why not towards Supreme Lord make?

Always there, never to forsake.


Too much devotion possible not,

Limitations in limiting world got.


Ananta, Krishna the unlimited one so,

The best friend, to take care wherever to go.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Why Is There Flowery Language In The Vedas To Begin With

[fire yajna]“Men of small knowledge are very much attached to the flowery words of the Vedas, which recommend various fruitive activities for elevation to heavenly planets, resultant good birth, power, and so forth. Being desirous of sense gratification and opulent life, they say that there is nothing more than this.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.42-43)

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Friend1: Alright, I’ve got two Bhagavad-gita verses for you today.

Friend2: No problem. You want further elaboration?

Friend1: I think they are contradictory. You need to do some verse resolution.

Friend2: As opposed to conflict resolution?

Friend1: Yes.

Friend2: Okay, what are the verses?

Friend1: I don’t know the exact numbers to reference, but you’ll know what I’m talking about. The first says that a person who takes the gifts of the devas, the demigods, but doesn’t offer them back is a thief.

Friend2: Yeah, they don’t show the proper respect. The idea is that not everything is attributable to my own efforts. Even if I worked hard at something and achieved success, there are other factors at play. At the very least I was able to sustain life through the food I ate that required the rain from the demigods.

Friend1: Totally makes sense. It’s understandable. You could say this is a verse promoting yajna, or sacrifice.

Friend2: It’s important to know that yajna is another name for Vishnu, which is one name for God. Krishna is the speaker of the Gita and He is also Vishnu.

[Vishnu]Friend1: Right. Even when you perform a sacrifice in honor of a demigod, Vishnu must be there to give sanction.

Friend2: Yup. What’s the second verse?

Friend1: It references people who are attracted to the flowery language of the Vedas, and they think that the rewards from karma are everything. Krishna says that such an understanding equates sense gratification with the height of living. For such people the determination required in real yoga, devotional service, doesn’t take place.

Friend2: Okay. So what is the contradiction?

Friend1: You are funny sometimes. The contradiction is obvious, and you know it!

Friend2: Why? Because one verse says to worship the demigods, which leads to elevation to the higher planets, and another verse essentially criticizes thinking that elevation to the higher planets is everything?

Friend1: Yes. Exactly.

Friend2: The second verse isn’t completely nullifying the first.

Friend1: But you know what I mean. Basically, why are yajna and demigod worship even mentioned if they are not the ultimate truth? Why is there flowery language of the Vedas when that language can lead to a misunderstanding?

Friend2: Why are their knives if they can be used as weapons to kill people? Why is there food when eating too much will bring disease? Why is there rain when it can cause flooding? Why is there the sun when people suffer from the heat?

Friend1: I see the point you are trying to make, but it is not that someday we won’t need the sun at all. When you get to the platform of pure devotional service, you’re supposed to give up worshiping the demigods, no? You’re supposed to set aside the desire for elevation to the higher planets, which is the reward for following karma, or prescribed duties.

Friend2: Alright, now I’m beginning to see what you are asking. Let me give you an example. Have you heard of picky eaters? Not just children, but adults too, people who are very fussy and stubborn in what you give them.

Friend1: Sure.

Friend2: Sometimes you have to lie in order to get them to eat. For instance, my grandfather is in the hospital for an ailment. They keep bringing him food to eat, and he refuses. He says that he is not hungry. But unless he eats, he won’t be healthy enough to leave.

Friend1: Okay, so what do you do? It’s like you’re in a deadlock condition.

Friend2: Lie or bring up some other reward. I’ll tell him, “If you eat right now, then you’ll be able to leave the hospital and go home.” He wants to leave, obviously. Even though he doesn’t want to eat, he agrees in order to receive the other reward. He does something unpleasant to get something pleasant. Or I can threaten him. I’ll say that if he doesn’t eat then they will put a tube down his throat to get nutrients to the body.

Friend1: So the yajnas and such are recommended to get people to start spiritual life?

[fire yajna]Friend2: Absolutely. Better to worship the demigods for rewards than to think you can achieve everything on your own. Better to work for elevation to the higher planets through prescribed duties than to act on a whim and risk demotion to a lower species in the next life. Heck, better to follow any aspect of the Vedas in order to learn that you are eternal spirit soul, separate from the temporary body.

Friend1: I see.

Friend2: As your knowledgebase expands, you will ask more questions. That is the ideal situation. Still, you don’t have to follow this route. You can go for devotional service, right now, today. Goswami Tulsidas makes that recommendation in the Dohavali. He says that the mistakes from the past can be corrected immediately through chanting the holy names of God.

“The many past births you spoiled can be rectified right now, today, if you start chanting Shri Rama’s holy name and renounce bad association, says Tulsi.” (Dohavali, 22)

Friend1: So demigod worship is one path, but it’s not the final destination.

Friend2: It’s on a platform higher than material sense gratification but still below pure devotional service.

In Closing:

Rain and sun by demigods to see,

Offer back or a thief to be.


But also of flowery language in Vedas found,

And how to birth and death keeping bound.


Why two paths for people to confuse?

Different planes, first for sins to excuse.


Eventually to know identity of soul,

And then change to bhakti the goal.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Five Complaints Hanuman Could Have Lodged But Didn’t

[Shri Hanuman]“How can I ensure that the purpose of my task does not get destroyed? How shall I avoid mental disparity, and how do I ensure that my crossing of the ocean does not go for naught?” (Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 2.41)

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It’s only natural to start pointing the finger when you get into a tough spot. There is the strange psychological phenomenon of looking for a factor to ease the pain of bad news. For instance, if someone loses their life from a car crash, if it is learned that they were driving under the influence of alcohol, the news isn’t considered as sad. Never mind the fact that the person suffered all the same. The fault at the individual level assuages some of the grief.

A long time ago Shri Hanuman found himself in an incredibly difficult situation. In an unknown land, searching for a person unknown to him, without any outside help, he had to continue ahead. He was completely invested in the outcome of the mission. Failure was not an option.

Who would be able to withstand such pressure? Many years into the future his brother Bhima would one time carry his four brothers and his mother away from danger and into safety. Both Bhima and Hanuman are sons of the wind-god, so they are extremely powerful. But what normal person can handle such a great burden?

Hanuman had every right to complain about different aspects of the situation. The fact that he didn’t only further increases his glories, as today he is known as the greatest servant of the Supreme Lord in the incarnation of Shri Rama.

1. Why did Sita have to insult Lakshmana

Hanuman was looking for Sita, the wife of Shri Rama. The husband and wife were living together peacefully and happily in the forest of Dandaka. That was only the case due to the nature of the two individuals. They were otherwise from royalty; accustomed to the good life. They could be happy in the wilderness because Rama is God Himself, and Sita the eternal consort. Sita is happy as long as Rama is by her side, and Rama is atmarama, or self-satisfied.

Rama’s younger brother Lakshmana was there with them, and one day things took a turn for the worse. The king of Lanka, though boasting of his tremendous fighting prowess to anyone he met, decided to use trickery to steal the woman he lusted after. First came Ravana’s assistant Maricha, assuming the false guise of a deer. Sita saw the deer and asked Rama to bring it for her, preferably alive.

Rama chased after the deer and instructed Lakshmana to keep guard of Sita. Maricha then used his mystic power again, crying out in the voice of Rama that he needed help. Lakshmana wasn’t fooled by the voice, but Sita became extremely worried. She told Lakshmana to go check on Rama. He refused, and so Sita began insulting him. She took what was most important to Lakshmana, his devotion to Rama, and broke it apart through harsh words.

2. Why did Lakshmana have to leave Sita’s side

After enough time the insults worked. Lakshmana left Sita’s side to go check on Rama. This left her vulnerable to Ravana, who first approached the couple’s cottage dressed as a wandering ascetic, parivrajaka. He quickly lost that form, showing his hideous, Rakshasa self. He then took Sita onto the aerial car by force and took her back to Lanka.

The series of events led to the separation between husband and wife, and now Hanuman was left trying to salvage the situation. He could have complained about both factors, but he never did. The thought never even occurred to him.

3. Why isn’t Rama doing something

Sita is Rama’s wife, after all. Rama is the prince of Ayodhya. He comes from a highly respected family, who are known as protectors of the people. Sure, Rama went to the forest for fourteen years to uphold the word of His father, King Dasharatha, but why so beholden to vows now? Sita was missing. If He really cared about her, He would have returned home and enlisted the royal army to help Him find Sita. Instead, it was Hanuman, all by himself in a foreign territory, amidst a hostile population, looking for someone he had never met.

Hanuman never indulged this line of thinking because he understood the situation. He is honorable himself, so he understands the importance of holding to a vow. He is also extremely eager to serve the Supreme Lord, which means he will jump at the chance, both literally and figuratively, to look for Sita.

4. Why can’t one of the other Vanaras go

Another amazing aspect of Hanuman’s service is that he is not related to Rama. He only met the Lord through chance in the forest, while the brothers were searching for Sita. Hanuman is in the body of a Vanara, and he belongs to the group of Vanaras living on Mount Rishyamukha, with the exiled former leader Sugriva.

After forming a friendship with Rama through Hanuman’s efforts, Sugriva ordered his massive army of Vanaras [monkey-like creatures] to search for Sita. Hanuman could have complained that one of the other Vanaras should go to Lanka. Why did he have to go, and alone at that? Of course the answer was that only Hanuman had the ability to leap across the ocean separating the shore from the island of Lanka. Only he had the intelligence necessary to search properly while inside of Lanka. Only he would know exactly what to say to win over Sita’s trust after meeting her.

5. Why did this situation have to fall on me

If things get really bad in life, it’s understandable to ask, “Why me.” You see other people that don’t have to go through the same things. There’s some reason that the bad luck fell on you. Still, complaining like this doesn’t do any good. Once you get out of the trouble you can begin to think about how to avoid it going forward.

[Shri Hanuman]For Hanuman there were no such thoughts. He was despondent at times over not having found success. Even then, he would review things soberly, asking himself how to ensure that his leaping across the ocean didn’t go in vain. Even after everything ended well, with Ravana defeated by Rama and the couple reunited, he didn’t take relief that the burden was now off of him. Rather, to this day he continues to serve the Divine couple, travelling to wherever he is needed and recommending sincere and pious souls for entry into the kingdom of God.

In Closing:

Into difficult situation found,

To blame others eventually bound.


But with Hanuman not the case,

Only how couple’s grief to erase.


Not remembering when Lakshmana leaving,

Or Maricha as golden deer deceiving.


Even after end not thinking of relief,

He a loving servant beyond belief.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Two Knowers

[Krishna and Arjuna]“Enjoying the activities of the body is the purusha, or the living entity. He is one knower, and the other is the Supersoul. Of course, it is to be understood that both the Supersoul and the individual entity are different manifestations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The living entity is in the category of His energy, and the Supersoul is in the category of His personal expansion.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 13.20 Purport)

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The body is prakriti. One definition to this Sanskrit word is “that which is enjoyed.” It is also known as the material nature. Though dull, lifeless, and not permanent, prakriti is also without a beginning, anadi. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita.

“Material nature and the living entities should be understood to be beginningless. Their transformations and the modes of matter are products of material nature.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 13.20)

Prakriti manifests in different ways, and at the local level it is known as the body. This body consists of five gross elements and three subtle. Those elements combine in such a way that they are also known as the field of activities. Within that field there are two knowers.

1. The individual

Complementing prakriti is purusha. The two are discussed often in spiritual circles which base their teachings on the Vedas, the ancient scriptural tradition coming from the area today known as India. As prakriti is what is enjoyed, purusha is the enjoyer. Purusha also means “person.”

Every living thing we see is purusha. The ant is a person. So is the dog. They may not have the same abilities as human beings. They may be greatly lacking in intelligence. They may not have the potential to understand calculus or think rationally.

Yet this does not disqualify them from being considered purusha. There is still a body and there is still an individual within that body. The body is still the field of activities. The purusha inside is one of the knowers. The dog knows if it is feeling pain. I do not. No other dog will know, either.

There are ways to communicate, but that is simply the exchange of information gathered by the knower inside of the field of activities.

2. The Supersoul

This is the other knower in the body. The individual, purusha, is so limited that it goes years, even lifetimes, without realizing the presence of the other knower. This other knower is also atma, or spirit, but since it is supreme, it is known as Paramatma.

Atma and Paramatma can never become one. They are always separate, but their natures are similar. They are both knowers. They are both separate from the field of activities. They are eternal in their existence and properties, whereas the material nature constantly changes. Prior to the creation prakriti is in an unmanifest state. At the time of dissolution, it will return to that state, waiting to be manipulated again at the time of the subsequent creation.

The first knower has limited scope. They only understand the local field of activities. The second knower is for all bodies. The second knower is also the overseer and 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)

As you might have guessed, the second knower is God. Paramatma is considered a plenary expansion; it is non-different from the Supreme Lord. The notable distinction is that Paramatma does not manifest visible features. It is antaryami, or the witness within.

Paramatma sees everything. He hears everything, as well. Paramatma knows what is going on inside of every field of activity, existing past, present and future. The individual purushas do not have this ability, nor will they ever.

[Krishna and Arjuna]Prakriti, purusha, the two knowers, the history of everything - these truths and more constitute the knowable. Everything taken together is one definition of God, but He is still more than that. He is the object to be known, and one who knows Him has nothing left to learn. Their life in devotion continues from that point, into the infinite future.

In Closing:

Field of activities over which to preside,

Having two knowers in it to reside.


Purusha, the individual with decisions steering,

Paramatma, sanction for results clearing.


Supersoul everything and everyone can see,

But scope limited to local body for me.


Everything taken together, that to be known,

There to help, He’s here so never alone.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Is It Temporary Or Eternal

[Vishnu creating]“Material nature and the living entities should be understood to be beginningless. Their transformations and the modes of matter are products of material nature.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 13.20)

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Friend1: What is the basic truth of the spiritual science?

Friend2: I think you already know.

Friend1: That I am not this body.

Friend2: And I am not my body, either.

Friend1: The same applies to every living thing.

Friend2: And why is this teaching needed, especially at the beginning?

Friend1: Because through the influence of ahankara, false ego, we think otherwise.

Friend2: And when does that thinking start?

Friend1: At the time of birth. As soon as we enter the world. We immediately associate with the temporary body.

Friend2: The goal is to change to the proper understanding by the time death arrives.

Friend1: Incorporated in this truth is the difference between spirit and matter. Spirit is eternal, whereas matter is temporary.

Friend2: Living beings are spirit. That is what defines a life. The body does not. The hands, the legs, the face, the ears - these are different features covering the eternal soul.

Friend1: The way to live life is to be conscious of this difference. Work for the interests of spirit and not matter.

Friend2: Exactly.

Friend1: Alright, so here is my question. I believe there is a verse in the Bhagavad-gita where Shri Krishna says that both matter and spirit are eternal.

[Krishna's lotus feet]Friend2: Yes.

Friend1: Isn’t that a contradiction? Doesn’t that reverse the truths we have just established?

Friend2: The two Sanskrit words are prakriti and purusha. Do you know what they mean?

Friend1: Prakriti is matter, purusha is spirit. You can also say that prakriti is that which is enjoyed and purusha the enjoyer.

Friend2: There you go. So both come from God. They are different energies of His. Since God is eternal, so are His energies.

Friend1: That’s fine, but you still didn’t answer my question about the contradiction.

Friend2: There is none. Both energies are anadi, or without beginning. The idea is that the material nature existed prior to the present creation. The potential for the creation was there. It doesn’t somehow come into being. In the unmanifest state it is known as pradhana.

Friend1: Then why the teaching about matter being temporary, dull, and without life?

Friend2: Those are true, as well. The manifestations of the material energy do not remain forever. That is the key. Due to false ego we think that our work in this life will yield permanent results. But the house will eventually crumble. The money will run out. The beautiful body will start to age. The beginning-less energy that is the material nature will shift in its composition. At the end of the cycle of creation and destruction that nature will become unmanifest again.

Friend1: And spirit is different?

[Vishnu creating]Friend2: It never changes. It is always sach-chid-ananda, eternally full of bliss and knowledge. In the conditioned state those properties remain, but they are covered up. The goal is to remove the covering. Become spiritually aware. Understand the two energies and also from where they come. Serve that source with heart and soul and no longer be subject to conditions in duality.

In Closing:

For from false ego influence to depart,

Distinction of spirit and matter at the start.


Knowledge, bliss and to die never.

Other dull, lifeless and changing ever.


But also of beginning-less nature hearing,

How then this contradiction clearing?


Coming from God energies eternal all,

But in duality when in this world to fall.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Showing How Yoga Works

[Sita-Rama]“His thoughts directed towards you, Rama is not even driving away flies, nor mosquitoes, nor insects, nor reptiles from His body.” (Hanuman speaking to Sita Devi, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 36.42)

na eva daṃśān na maśakān na kīṭān na sarī sṛpān |
rāghavo apanayet gatrāt tvat gatena antaḥ ātmanā ||

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Move to a secluded place. Sit still. Make sure there are no distractions. Refrain from sex life completely. Limit eating. Limit sleeping. The idea is to stay focused. Breathe a certain way. Concentrate the vision straight ahead, on the tip of the nose.

“One should hold one's body, neck and head erect in a straight line and stare steadily at the tip of the nose. Thus with an unagitated, subdued mind, devoid of fear, completely free from sex life, one should meditate upon Me within the heart and make Me the ultimate goal of life.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 6.13-14)

The steps taken collectively are known as yoga. The benefits are tremendous. The spirit soul is gradually detached from the inhibiting body. Spirit is amazing. It lasts through the time continuum. It never took birth, nor will it ever die. The same size spark of spirit animates both the tiny ant and the large elephant.

“Some look on the soul as amazing, some describe him as amazing, and some hear of him as amazing, while others, even after hearing about him, cannot understand him at all.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.29)

How can yoga be practiced when more chaotic conditions exist? Is that even possible? What if a person can’t just drop everything and run away? The teachers in the bhakti school of spirituality say that devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead is not only just as good as meditational yoga, but actually superior.

The idea is to work with thoughts dedicated to God the person. You can still practice meditation, but you don’t have to. You can go to work. You can spend time reading sacred texts, trying to understand the profound wisdom.

[Radha-Krishna]Everything is dedicated to Bhagavan, which is a better word to describe the person who is normally addressed as “God.” Bhagavan is a distinct personality with distinguishable features, though the exact nature of those features is impossible to fathom. He has eyes and ears, but they go everywhere. He sees everything and hears everything. He appears in the temple in the form of a statue, but that doesn’t mean His size is limited. He is the entire world and beyond. He is also the tiniest fragment of the material substance, the atom.

This sounds good in theory, but how do we know that the bhakti kind of yoga works? The above referenced verse from the Ramayana provides some evidence. Interestingly, the source is Bhagavan Himself. Here He is not necessarily practicing yoga, but the conditions are similar. Bhagavan in the incarnation of Rama is separated from someone He loves, namely the wife Sita.

Due to this separation Rama is sad. The thoughts are constantly on the wife. As a result, conditions in the material nature that normally would be bothersome aren’t anymore. The representative, Shri Hanuman, tells Sita that Rama isn’t even swatting away mosquitoes or flies. This is important to know since Rama is living in the forest, where the presence of insects, flies, and reptiles is increased.

[Sita-Rama]Hanuman also says that Rama is eating much less, only what is available in the forest for ascetics. He eats in the fifth period of time, the evening. These are all conditions that typically result from meditational yoga, yet Rama isn’t specifically practicing that. He is staying true to the occupation of kshatriya, which is warrior/administrator. Rama has not renounced the world in favor of spiritual pursuits.

The life of the author of the Ramayana provides further evidence. He transformed from a dacoit by simply sitting down and repeating the name of Rama over and over. So much time passed in that trance that an anthill formed around the body. For this reason the spiritual master gave him the name Valmiki.

Who doesn’t seek peace? Who wouldn’t prefer to be able to withstand the many nuisances in life? Know that in bhakti-yoga everything becomes favorable. Unlike with the mechanical way, the slightest agitation doesn’t necessarily trigger a restart. There can be liberation even before death, jivan-mukta. And in the present age of Kali the way to practice bhakti-yoga has been made even easier. Just chant the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

In Closing:

Retreat to secluded place remote,

And to process of yoga devote.


Concentrate and in erect position sit,

But benefits lost when trance to quit.


Same abilities when bhakti effort made,

Evidence when Rama in forest stayed.


Flies and insects swatting away not,

In trance thoughts of Sita without stop.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Three Ways To Know That Everything Is Going To Be Okay

[Lord Krishna]“The living entity, thus taking another gross body, obtains a certain type of ear, tongue, and nose and sense of touch, which are grouped about the mind. He thus enjoys a particular set of sense objects.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 15.9)

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It’s like everything is conspiring against you. One problem after another. You are pulled in every which direction:

Pressure from work. This might be the end of the company. You’ll have to look for a new job. But where? Do you want to stay in the same area or is now the perfect opportunity to look for a better place to live, perhaps with a more suitable climate?

Pressure from home. Just married, living together with family members is no picnic. While you generally don’t cause trouble, everyone complains about each other. One person is unhappy about having to cook. Another is inconsiderate to the needs of others.

Pressure from a medical situation. A family member is suddenly in a lot of trouble. Someone has to look after them. But who? People have jobs. People have responsibilities. When will these issues end? It’s like a nightmare that continues to get worse.

From shastra, or scripture, there is evidence that everything will indeed be okay in the future. This is applicable to every person and every situation.

1. Time

There is the saying that time heals all wounds. The idea is that the pain won’t last forever. Time instigates change. One day you were a small child. Today you are an adult. In the future you will be in old age. Time continues to operate.

Whatever situations exist today are guaranteed to change. The headaches won’t persist. In Sanskrit time is known as kala, which is the great devourer. Time has yet to lose in its attacks. Even the staunchest atheist can’t deny the existence of the deity that is time.

2. Death

Kala also means “death.” In other words, death is one representation of time. Death is the guaranteed destination for every person that takes birth.

“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)

Not just a person, but any living thing. Purusha is a Sanskrit word that also means “enjoyer.” The animals are purusha at the core. The purushas in the material world are equal, though they don’t appear to be so. They are made up of the same spiritual substance.

Death takes away everything material associated with the body. The duration of the removal depends on the type of consciousness while quitting the body. If there is further desire to enjoy separate from the Almighty, then in the future the individual spirit soul again takes birth. The consciousness from the just exited lifetime travels forward, like the air carrying aromas.

“The living entity in the material world carries his different conceptions of life from one body to another as the air carries aromas.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 15.8)

As death takes away everything, the present situations are included. The nightmare of everything going wrong simultaneously will eventually be corrected. It may not seem that way in the moment, but death approaches all the same.

3. Bhagavan

The Supreme Lord is time itself. There is no need to speculate on the issue. He gives confirmation in the Bhagavad-gita.

“The Blessed Lord said: Time I am, destroyer of the worlds, and I have come to engage all people. With the exception of you [the Pandavas], all the soldiers here on both sides will be slain.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 11.32)

The speaker is Shri Krishna, and many times He is referred to as Bhagavan, which means the Supreme Personality of Godhead, an individual possessing every fortune simultaneously and to the highest degree.

We can take comfort from Bhagavan because He will always be around. He expands as the Supersoul to accompany every individual spirit soul in their travels through different bodies. At every moment God is around, from the time of birth to the time of death.

The person who creates this universe, maintains it, destroys it, and acts impersonally as time itself is also the best well-wishing friend. Surrender means to take comfort in the grace of God. Indeed, the height of living is to shift consciousness towards Him. What need is there to fret over something that is temporary? Do we remain worried about what we saw in the dream once we wake up? The experience was real, but the dream is not.

[Lord Krishna]In the same way the dreamlike material existence creates temporary situations that have no lasting value. The constant factor is the individual spirit soul, who is accompanied by God. The two link together through yoga, and it is this yoga which brings all happiness. It is most easily practiced in the modern age by chanting the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

In Closing:

Experience with emotions to feel,

But why worry, dream not real.


Same with struggles of present life,

With work, school, family and wife.


Eventually to be erased by time,

After death another situation to find.


From Bhagavan the most comfort take,

In bhakti a clear consciousness make.