Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare



Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Light of My Life

The light of my life has gone

The very breath of my soul is no more

Yet he is not gone

He lives on

In my heart

In my breath

In my everything

For he is everywhere

But this unfortunate soul cannot feel so

For this separation is going to go on for a lifetime

Perhaps by his mercy, some realization will come

That he is actually my life and soul

And who he really is .....

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Fruit is Not Ripe At Times

Book distributing can be a little daunting at times. But most times it’s pretty interesting, especially when you get to meet all sorts of people. On a recent visit to my dentist I brought along the local “Message of Godhead (MOG)” I mean, you’ll never know who you’re going to meet and when.

After the scaling was done, I took out the MOG at the reception. At first the lady was a little apprehensive. I told her she could give me any amount as a donation. Then the head nurse who attended to me earlier came over. She looked at the MOG and said she worships Durga-devi. I told her it was alright. Then she asked me whether I was giving her the MOG to which I replied in the affirmative.

To my delight, she took out 10 bucks as a donation. I told her that it was a lot. She smiled and said she will read it.

Oh, I did mention a little daunting at first. Well, it was another visit to another dentist. This time it was my grandmother’s dentist. As usual I whipped out the MOG to the receptionist cum nurse. She looked at it as though it was something untouchable. She didn’t even want to look at it. She just said neither the doctor nor her like such things. Well, I took it in my stride. Like the saying goes the fruit is not ripe to receive. I wished her well.

Lest assured I will still keep on distributing the Message of Godhead.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Powers of the Holy Names

I read an interesting event that took place in Srila Gurudeva’s life when he was a police inspector. At that time an important file went missing. All of Srila Gurudeva’s colleagues were anxiously looking for it. With all the commotion going around him, Srila Gurudeva was calmly chanting his rounds. One of his colleagues asked him whether he was anxious at all. It was a file containing an important case, you know. Srila Gurudeva calmly replied, “No.” As soon as he finished his rounds, Srila Gurudeva got up and went straight to a particular shelf that contained the file!

Amazing lila that teaches us the power of the holy names!

Srila Gurudeva’s lila reminded me of one such incident that happened not too long ago.

When Syamarani didi was staying in my house her computer used to go bonkers almost always. Her assistant would rave and rant about this, because they are doing such important seva sending out all the Hari-katha to everyone around the world.
Syamarani didi would give her a knowing smile and said, “OK, let’s chant for awhile.” And you know what, everything then worked out wonderfully.
There is so much potency in chanting of the holy names. Hopefully one day I may realize all these truths.

All glories to Srila Gurudeva and the Vaishnavas and Vaishnavis!!!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Undisputed Powers of Srila Gurudeva

What an emotionally and spiritually charged roller coaster parikrama!!!!.

Srila Gurudeva’s lila is indeed very mysterious. Not easy to fathom what is going on. But one thing is for sure, we cannot assume that he is an ordinary person and will succumb to disease like any ordinary persons.

"A Vaishnava is always protected by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but if he appears to be an invalid, this gives a chance to his disciples to serve him." (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila, 9.11 purport)

Srila Gurudeva has “cured” many persons with ailments. One such example is of this scribe. Many times chest pains plagued me. Once it was so bad that I could hardly breathe. At that time, Srila Gurudeva was to visit me at my home. Somehow I managed to make some preparations. The pain gradually subsided and when Srila Gurudeva was taking his leave he asked me whether I was working on any book project. I said I was not well and had chest pains. With a stroke of his hand he simply said, “I don’t believe!”

After that day, the pains were practically no more. How amazing! From that day I know for sure that whatever nara-lila Srila Gurudeva is performing is only for our own benefit. Hopefully, one day, this insignificant soul will realize this.

Jay Srila Gurudeva!!! Jay Sri Radhe!!!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Chanting Where Srila Gurudeva Used to Walk

When the Malaysian sanga heard about Srila Gurudeva’s health, the devotees held a 24 hour chanting at Sri Sri Radha Govinda Gaudiya Math, Petaling Jaya. The newly opened Sri Sri Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Temple of Understanding held chanting and prayers twice a day throughout the weekends. All the devotees were invited to come together to pray for the prolonged good health of Srila Gurudeva. Many devotees, far or near, in their own unique way, offered prayers for Srila Gurudeva so that His Divine Grace will be with all of us for a very, very long time to come. The devotees also had a devotional kirtan and prayer in conjunction with the world wide chanting of Srila Gurudeva’s quick recovery.

During this trying moment, this insignificant soul, spoke to a few devotees whether they would like to hold nama-sankirtan at the park where Srila Gurudeva used to go to during His morning walks. The park is very close by to Sri Sri Radha Govinda Gaudiya Math.

Unfortunately the weather here was not predictable at all. It rained the whole day or sometimes it was fine. Sometimes it rained partly during the day. On the intended day, some devotees could not make it. Besides most of us do not live close by and we are pretty spread out. Only one of my god brother Prem das prabhu and I met at the temple for this park chanting. Armed with only karatalas we headed toward the park. We figured it does not matter whether we were two or ten. The thing is we just wanted to do this. And hopefully we may be able to please Sri Hari, Guru & Vaishnavas.

Luckily the weather seemed to be fine that day. We saw many joggers, young couples with their children and people doing their evening exercises. Most of them were Muslims and we did not want to ruffle anyone’s religious sentiments. So, we picked a spot which was not too near the playground but within earshot and started chanting for 20 minutes. Shortly, we started to glorify how Srila Gurudeva used to walk the entire perimeters of the lake. He would walk so fast that the other devotes could not catch up. But when Srila Gurudeva returned for His morning rest, He would exhibit His nara-lila (human like pastimes) and would hold on to some devotees for support.

Prem dasa prabhu also reminisced how some Russian devotees did nama sankirtan at his home state. Just as he was speaking this, a dried fruit from a tall tree next to us fell with a thud on the bench I was seated. I cried out “Radhe!” My godbrother in jest said the trees wanted us to continue chanting. And so we did for almost half an hour.

Soon we headed back towards the temple for the program. The weather was still fine and after the program, just as the devotees were seated to honour prasadam, a heavy down-pour ensued. It was really heavy with the wind blowing so fiercely.

My god brother and I were glad that it did not happen when we were chanting at the park!

Jay Srila Gurudeva!

Life & Times of Sripad Bhakti Prakash Hrishikesh Maharaja in Malaysia

When I heard about the passing away of Sripad Bhakti Prakash Hrishikesh Maharaja, I was a little numb at first. My feelings were not completely settled to his passing. But after looking at his pictures, it finally dawned upon me that His Holiness was no more in this planet.

Maharaja reminded me of someone so dynamic in serving Sri Hari, Guru & Vaishnavas. Nothing was impossible for him. Maharaja used to go heads on without thinking of any consequences. He did not believe much in meetings and talking about how to do a seva because he was an action man. He always said to me, “Let’s just do it. Krsna will take care of everything!!!”

Maharaja was the first person to assist me in printing the book “Shower of Love.” When Srila Gurudeva ordered me to always write, I was totally lost as what to do. With whatever little knowledge I had, the compilation of lectures took place. But it was Maharaja who showed me the ropes of how to put in the footnotes, headings, sub-headings, titles etc. I remember very well when I mentioned about the book to Maharaja. He was so enthusiastic about it. He never showed any signs that I came from another “math” and him from another. All Maharaja wanted was to serve and make sure the book was printed on time before Srila Gurudeva’s tour to Malaysia.

As the book was taking shape, some local devotees came in to assist. Although Maharaja did the major part of the book, he mentioned everyone who helped, no matter how little it maybe. Maharaja even mentioned those who tried but was not successful to garnish funds for the book and those who proof-read the book although only 2 to 3 paragraphs. Along the way, the kind soul who donated some funds could not come up with more monies, and it was Maharaja who finally managed to get the remaining funds for the printing of the book.

Maharaja told me that we must respect everyone’s mood and it does not matter how small or big the seva maybe. He mentioned everyone in the book and himself being not so prominent.

After successfully publishing “Shower of Love,” Maharaja printed “Rays of Hope” and many other books of Srila Gurudeva.

Maharaja also established the first temple of Srila Gurudeva in Malaysia. At that time Maharaja would go with some local devotees, including yours truly, to search for a suitable place. He would search every area and finally managed to secure a bungalow in an affluent place in Petaling Jaya. I protested saying that the rental was a bit too steep, Maharaja just went ahead to establish the temple. The fact that most local devotees were not well off did not deter Maharaja from single handedly securing the money for the rental by distributing books. He would go on a marathon of sorts by traveling from Malaysia to Singapore to print and distribute books to pay for the temple’s up-keep.

After taking instructions from Srila Gurudeva, the temple was named Sri Sri Radha Govinda Gaudiya Math. We had many nice programs there. Even Srila Gurudeva stayed there during one of His world tour. The temple has since moved to its new premise.

Fond memories of Sripad Bhakti Prakash Hrishikesh Maharaja will always prevail in my heart. And the one which is most profound is when he mentioned about how his sannyasa guru, Srila Bhakti Promode Puri Maharaja would always say, “It is not the seva itself, but the attitude toward the seva.”

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sri Guru is not an Ordinary Personality

Recently many devotees were jolted about the serious condition of Srila Gurudeva’s health. Many of us offered our prayers so that Srila Gurudeva will stay many more years with us.

Srila Gurudeva is now getting better. We must know that Sri Guru is not an ordinary personality. Srila Gurudeva Himself mentioned this that He is not ordinary and He can cure Himself if He wants, and it all depends on His disciples.

Yes, it all depends on the disciples. We all want Srila Gurudeva with us for a very, very long time. Yet, most of us seem to miss out the point. By constantly being at logger heads and disrespectful to each will not please Srila Gurudeva. Whatever orders He has given we must carry it out with our heart and soul.

What must it take for us to see the brother and sister in all of us? We are indeed one big family under the guidance of Srila Gurudeva.

Yes, it all depends on Srila Gurudeva’s disciples.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Get Out Of The 8 Million, 400 Thousand Species of Life

After wandering around in countless species of life, 8 million 400 thousand to be precise, we have gotten this human form of life.

With this human form of life, we are to do devotional practice and surrender to a bona fide guru. But our hearts are filled with anarthas (unwanted things). Thus, making it difficult for us to progress spiritually.

Instead of speaking hari-katha, we rather indulge in criticizing devotees, talk about their past misdeeds and what have yous'.

How can we find perfection in others when we ourselves are so imperfect?

Take a moment a reflect upon this.

If we try to see only the good in others, (which is of course very difficult to do) but with perseverance and much prayer, this almost impossible task will become possible.

Then we will be able to experience some bliss from within, besides doing service to Sri Hari, Guru and Vaishnavas. Our intention to come into this spiritual life in the first place is not to be caught up in the 8 million, 400 thousand spices of life anyway.

May you have a blessed day.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The 4 Defects

According to the revealed scriptures, there are four defects that plague us mortals.

Our senses are imperfect. Yet, we want perfection when there is no such thing as perfection. It is only in our own concocted mind we have manufactured what is perfection.

Perfection for one individual maybe imperfection to another.

The second defect is we are in illusion. We take what is not to be what it is. We are not this body. Yet we care so much for it that we forget we are actually a spirit soul. When someone dies, we are usually concerned about burying or cremating the body according to one’s customs and traditions. We say, “O I’ve cremated my father or I’ve buried my father.” Have we ever heard of anyone replying, “O you cruel person, how could you bury your father or cremate him!”

It is understood that only the body was buried or cremated. So where is the father? We must realize that we are not actually this body.

The next defect we have is the tendency to cheat. Almost all of us have cheated in something or other to gain some sort of leverage for our own sense gratification.

Lastly, we as humans commit mistakes. As the saying goes, to err is human. We make a lot of mistakes in our short life on this planet. Yet, we are not so forgiving if others make mistakes.

Reflecting upon what the scriptures have described about our defects, we must immediately seek a bona fide guru to guide us spiritually.

Only by Sri Guru's guidance and grace, can we learn to alleviate ourselves to Krsna consciousness, which means, to understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead and to be admitted into the Lord's family.

That should be our final destination.

Monday, July 12, 2010

3 Fold Miseries

There are three fold miseries always plaguing us. The misery arising from our minds, athyatmika. The miseries given to us by others, adhibautika. Then there are miseries that we mortals suffer from those coming from the demi-gods, adhidaivika.
Adhidaivika are miseries arising from earth quake, hurricanes, thunder storms and other natural calamities which we have no control of.
Adhibautika are miseries others give us, causing us pain and suffering.
Adhyatmika are miseries arising from our own minds. We can cut these miseries by constantly chanting the holy names and serving the Vaishnavas.
Our minds play many tricks on us. We tend to speculate things which are not true, worry unnecessarily and always think about what is going to happen or what others are thinking about us.
If we clear our minds of these unwanted thoughts by servitude attitude and constantly chant the holy names, then at least the other two miseries becomes somewhat tolerable.
Miseries from our own minds plunges us into deep depression and in some cases even suicide. There is always a way out. If the minds is controlled, then we can at least lead a peaceful life.
All the money in the world will not guarantee us happiness.
But the mind that is constantly thinking of the Lord, His pastimes, serving Sri Guru and Vaishnavas is a happy one that is on his or her way back home, back to Godhead.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Trying To Possess And Lamenting

We desire for many things in this human form of life. In fact we desire to be beautiful, to be intelligent, to be super rich and list goes on and on. At the end of the day, we cannot take even a farthing with us when we depart.

So we desire for things we cannot actually possess.

Then we cry our hearts out when we lose something. When it is suppose to be lost, it will be lost. The scriptures say that when we lose a wallet and if there are many people around it, if you are suppose to find it, you will still find it.

But if you have so much money stashed in your house, with full security, if the money is suppose to be stolen then it will happen.

The Lord arranges all these.

So we lament for those things that we lose when in fact we cannot possess them.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Telling Children Stories (Harikatha)

The other day I told my 9 year old student about the story of the "Talking Pot." Sometimes I try to inject in a very "tricky" manner about our Krsna conscious philosophy after a lesson. I usually start by asking my students whether they would love to hear a story or not. They would always say "Y - E - S!!!" in a cheerful manner.

These children have no idea who Krsna is. Besides they are not devotees' children either. So story telling is the best way to get the message across.

OK coming back to the "Talking Pot." It's a story about how a disciple felt he could do better if he left his Guru's ashram. His service was to fetch water from the Yamuna daily. The disciple thought he would be better off if he found a job and got married. But the pot talked him out of it and he ran back to his Guru. For the full story click here:

After the story I asked my student, Darren, about the moral of the story. Below is the excerpt of the conversation.

Me: So what do you think of the story Darren?

Darren: Very nice.

Me: Do you think the disciple should leave his Guru?

Darren: No

Me: Why not?

Darren: Because he will suffer. He will have to work very hard.

Me: But everyone has to work hard.

Darren: Yes, but he has everything at the temple. More peaceful.

I suppose this innocent child nailed the story. By the way, he chants "Haribolo" and "Gaura-Nitai." I made him chant each time he was feeling tired.

The Lord's Holy Names, His pastimes and His associates' pastimes are so powerful that it will make a deep impression on anyone regardless of their birth.

Who knows, when I am old and grey, Darren might just end up becoming a wonderful devotee. Then he knows that his tutor used to tell him such stories and made him chant the holy names.

Monday, April 12, 2010

What Sri Guru Wants

Once a senior disciple of Srila Bhakti Promode Puri Maharaja related a very inspiring experience he had with his Guru Maharaj.

His Guru Maharaj appointed him to be a pujari in one of the temples. But being a non-Indian, he was constantly badgered about his birth by other devotees who are bent on giving him a hard time. (Sometimes Sri Krsna tests us in many ways. And it’s all about tolerance and hanging on to Sri Guru’s order.)

Not being able to take the mental and emotional torture, he went to his Guru Maharaj to be relieved of his service. Instead his Guru Maharaj told him to continue to do the service. But the mental and emotional torture continued. Finally, he approached his Guru Maharaj and explained his situation. Then his Guru Maharaj said he may do other services.

This he did but he always met with many types of obstacles. Be it from people or the environment itself. He tried in many ways to preach here and there but all was quite unsuccessful.

When his Guru Maharaj left the planet, a successive acarya was appointed and he was also a god-brother of this disciple.

Then his god-brother told him, “Please come and do the pujari seva. Our Guru Maharaj likes your seva.”

This gladdened the heart of the senior disciple and he immediately did just that.

Now, Sri Guru knows exactly the type of seva we should do. And if He says something, then, that is what it is. It is always about what Sri Guru wants. Even if the going gets tough, we have to persevere and approach Sri Guru about our problems.

There is so much bliss in Sri Guru’s order. It is up to us to take it upon our heads and forge ahead.

With much supplication, may such realization manifest in my heart and may Sri Guru be pleased with me. May I also know what Sri Guru wants and not do something independently. For Sri Guru only has our best interest at heart.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Glories of Mahaprasadam

Mahaprasadam is non different than the Lord Himself. Krsna has mercifully given His remnants so that we may partake and offer service to Him via Sri Guru & Vaishnavas.

Yet there are times we merely look at mahaprasadam as ordinary foodstuff. We feel delighted when the taste is good. And we grumble when it is not up to par as we condition mahaprasadam. Our tongue only want to relish palatable foodstuffs.

Once during Kartik parikrama, Premananda Prabhu (a very senior disciple of my Srila Gurudeva) said that if we look at mahaprasadam as mere foodstuff, then it is an offense. He goes on to say that if we fall sick, the best remedy is mahaprasadam.
Such is his conviction and faith towards mahaprasadam.

Therefore this insignificant soul, is praying at the lotus feet of my Srila Gurudeva and great Vaishnavas that I maybe able to realise such truths in my heart.
Mahaprasadamki jaya!!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Way of Love

Today is Rama Navami. The pastimes of Lord Rama is endless. Lord Sankarsana Himself, who continuously sings the glories of Sri Rama with unlimited mouths is unable to touch the end in any way. Such is the glories of Sri Rama-katha.

One of the most important lessons in Rama-katha is the way of love. Love is crooked. Love knows no rules and regulations. Love has its own way of doing things.

Bharath wanted Rama to rule Ayodhya as the rightful king. Prior to this Rama was banished to the forest for 14 years. Bharath's love for Rama is an endless ocean. And Rama can sink in that ocean.

But the question is, does Rama wants to come back and rule the kingdom? That was not Sri Rama's plan.

Sometimes we force our way of thinking and our wants unto our beloved. Not knowing what our beloved actually wants.

In the same way, we think we want to do this or that for our most worshipable Sri Guru. Yet we do not know what is the innermost desire of Sri Guru. Our material desires clouds us. It envelops us and makes us think we are pleasing Sri Guru when in fact we are not. We are only ploughing through our own wants.

Therefore, today the story of Bharath wanting Sri Rama back is a wonderful lesson for us to learn about the way of love.

Love here means that one who loves will always be very careful about the desires of his most worshipable deity.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Chanting Haribolo (Part 3)

In my previous post I did mention that I have a key chain with a picture of the Divine Couple. At the back the maha-mantra is printed. So whenever I teach my students I put this key chain on the table.

One of my students, Rachel, liked the picture very much. She started to chant the maha-mantra. She initially chanted “Haribolo.”

I was not feeling too good that day when I went to tutor her. Rachel felt sorry for me and said she would chant the maha-mantra 10 times! Just so I would not fall sick. How sweeeet!

She did chant and prayed to the Divine Couple that her teacher will be healthy again.

The Lord resides in the hearts of every living entity. One may not be exposed to any Vedic culture or even be practising vegetarianism. Krsna can make the impossible, to become possible.

I did not preach anything to Rachel. All she saw in the beginning was a picture of Srila Gurudeva, the Deities and the devotees. And I said to her “Haribolo” to which she repeated it.

And now some impression is there in her heart!

As for me, I feel very happy to see someone chanting. May my Srila Gurudeva bless this child and also be somewhat pleased with this insignificant instrument.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chanting Haribolo (Part 2)

It was really spiritually uplifting when Darren (see the previous post) always chants Haribolo each time I chanted to him.

Now I decided to try this on another student. I started saying Haribolo to Jason some time back. Each time I chant Haribolo, he reciprocates. And the best part no matter how many times I chant Haribolo, Jason would repeat it.

The other day I was teaching his sister. And I was telling her (like all typical teacher does), "Do you understand?"

Jason who happened to be in the room said, "No I don't understand. I only understand Haribolo."

Of course I was a bit taken aback. But not entirely shocked. Somehow an impression has been made into this little boy's heart. And I did not even chant Haribolo to him first. This time he initiated it.

The Lord's name is truly great.

(O yes, his sister just laughed at her brother Jason. And she chanted Haribolo as well)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Chanting Haribolo Part 1

There are times when I try to think of ways to somehow get my students to chant the holy names. One sure way to get them all ears is to tell them ghost stories.
But this is no ordinary ghost story. It involves Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, who was a little boy at that time. It's the story of the temple ghost, where Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur chanted the whole night and delivered the ghost at the abandoned temple.
This is how I got Darren, my 9 year old student to chant, "Haribolo!"
At first I told him to raise both his arms and jump while chanting "Haribolo!"
He did just that.
So now, each time I chant "Haribolo!" Darren would also jump with upraised arms and chant "Haribolo!!"
Sometimes even "Radhe Radhe!"
The power of the holy name is simply unimaginable. Darren has no Indian or Vedic cultural background. He is an innocent child that simply listened to his teacher to chant. Most importantly without questioning.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

We Are Like Donkeys

(This story was related by Srimati Uma didi on Nityananda Prabhu's Appearance Day on 28th January 2010)
Once there was a businessman. He loaded his donkey with rice, sugar and other foodstuffs and headed towards a hill. Soon it was almost evening. The business found a spot to rest. Before doing so he took out his ropes and bound each donkeys'legs to another.

The next day the businessman went along his journey. He was already 30 miles away from the place he rested the previous night. Just then he remembered he left his ropes and it is quite impossible for him to get it back.

Soon it will be night. He was worried his donkeys may wander away. At that moment a sadhu (holy man) came by.

The holy man asked, "O sir, why do you look so worried?"

The businessman said, "I forgot to bring the ropes to bind my donkeys. Now they may wander off!"
"O don't worry. Just make hand gestures that you are binding your donkeys. And they will not move from there, " said the holy man.

The businessman did just that. The next morning the businessman saw all his donkeys were there just like the holy man said. He soon loaded his donkeys. Then he slapped the donkeys back so that they would start to move. Unfortunately the donkeys did not budge at all.

The puzzled businessman tried to do so again and again. But the donkeys did not move at all.

The businessman cried out, "O holy man! Can you give me some mantra to make my donkeys to move!"

"Just make the same hand gestures like you are untying the donkeys," said the holy man.

The businessman did as he was told. Soon the donkeys began to move and the businessman was on his way.


We are all like donkeys in this material world. We think that this is our actual position when in fact we are bound by the ropes of maya. (maya, means that which is not). So like donkeys we are going about our work doing had labour and think that we will be permanently be here.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Party Politics

Party politics are everywhere. The other day I read the Bhagavad-gita verse 2 and 3 which only affirmed that such a thing has always existed. Here Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja explains that when Duryodhana saw the military phalanx arranged by the Pandavas, he got very disturbed. He asked his teacher Dronacarya about the matter. Dronacarya has taught the Kurus and the Pandavas, including the son of Maharaja Drupada who would end up killing Dronacarya.

Although the big commander in chief Dronacarya and Grandfather Bhismadeva knew that the Kurus were wrong in waging a war against the Pandavas, still they sided with them. This was because they were obligated to the Kurus. The Kurus was maintaining them with financial support and so on.

In the same way, sometimes they are so much party politics which would make one to take sides. Even though they know what they are doing is wrong. It is the “comfort zone” that they want to relish without taking into consideration of their own actions. Sometimes one forgets that it is always better to be in Krsna's side and no other.

Whatever stated in the Bhagavad-gita is eternal. Its teaching is for all times. By going deep into its subject matter will eventually elevate one to a higher understanding.

In order to do so, one must pray hard from within his or her heart.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The True Meaning of Vyasa Puja

Today is the appearance day of my most worship able Srila Gurudeva. On this day, Sri Guru will worship Srila Vyasadeva and the entire guru-parampara. A bona fide guru never takes worship from his disciples. Instead He offers it to Krsna, Srimati Radhika and the entire guru-parampara.

Below is an excerpt of the meaning of Vyasa-puja given by my Srila Gurudeva in Hawaii.

"It is the custom in our Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya that any acarya who is widely spreading Krsna consciousness in the line of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Rupa Gosvami under the guidance of Sri Krsna Dvaipayana Vyasadeva will worship Srila Vyasadeva and the guru-parampara on his birthday.

This worship is called Guru-puja and also Vyasa-puja. We have seen how our Gurudeva and his god-brothers used to very humbly celebrate their Vyasa-puja.

This occasion is not meant for taking puja, worship, from disciples. On his birthday the acarya worships his guru and guru-parampara – Srila Vyasadeva, Sri Krsna, Sriman Mahaprabhu, Srimati Radhika and others – in a mood of great respect. This is Guru-puja or Vyasa-puja.Why do we offer devotion to Sri Krsna? What is the reason we pay so much respect to Sri Gurudeva? If we are gaining spiritual advancement from someone, we respect him. No gain, no respect.

Sri Gurudeva always feels indebted to his Gurudeva and guru-parampara. Without Guru, guru-parampara, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Krsna, what is there? Nothing. In other words there can be no spiritual advancement. "

Also, a bona fide guru does not only makes disciples, he makes gurus. Take the history of Aruni and Upamanyu. They very sincerely served the lotus feet of their guru that all knowledge manifested in their hearts. There weren't learned or anything. Everything comes by the mercy of Sri Guru.

Therefore, this most insignificant ashalata devi dasi is praying at the lotus feet of my Srila Gurudeva that one day I may realise all these truths and eternally serve His Lotus Feet.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Always Remember Krsna

(Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja is the senior god-brother and intimate friend of Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja. He is also one of the senior most disciples of Srila Bhakti-prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, the sannyasa guru of Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.)
Today is the appearance day of Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja.
I am remembering how Srila Maharaja once told me, "Always remember Krsna!"
After which he started to laugh and proceeded to his room.
On this day I am praying that by His Divine Grace's mercy I would be able to always remember Krsna.
O Maharaja, may you always sprinkle a drop of your mercy on someone as fallen as me.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Child's View of Srila Gurudeva and the Deities

There are times when I feel I cannot preach to someone, especially if they are little children of a totally different ethnic background. Well, it is hard enough to preach to adults, what more to children.

I’ve known Rachel for over a year now. She’s only 11 years old. Rachel is always curious why I am a vegetarian. So one day she needed help with her school work and the computer was needed at that time. Being her private tutor, I helped her get the information she wanted. Then she asked whether I have a blog.

That’s when I started to introduce to her my Srila Gurudeva. She was fascinated.
She said, "O your Guru is sooo cute!"
Then she looked at the pictures of Sri RadhaKrsna and found them adorable. Finally she looked at the pictures of Giriraja.

She acclaimed, “O so sweeet!”

Then when she saw a picture of Srila Gurudeva surrounded by many devotees with upraised arms, she asked, “What are they doing?”

I said, “Haribol! Haribol!”

Immediately Rachel raised her arms and started to chant ‘Haribol! Haribol!’

Tears welled up in my eyes. Just by seeing pictures of my spiritual master, the deities and devotees, this little girl chanted. I was made an instrument.

Little does Rachel realise the spiritual piety she has accumulated.

Before I left, she said she was going to read the Chinese website.

I couldn’t ask for more. Krsna has a way to make you preach in many mysterious ways.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Nama Hatta on New Year's Day

It was indeed an auspicious start to a New Year 2010. After my morning prayers, I had to run some errand on New Year's day. And the first people my husband and I met were devotees.
We greeted each other with a cheerful "Hare Krsna!" Then I dropped the two devotees from Manila at the nearby Iskcon temple. We did agree that we are after all Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's family. One family with one mission.
Later that day I was going to have my first ever Nama Hatta for the year. So I picked a time which is quite suitable to all parties concerned, including myself.
At 4:00 p.m., my godsister and godbrother came over. Although there were only 3 of us, it was a sweet gathering. We sang bhajans before proceeding to read and discuss from Srila Bhaktivendanta Swami Prabhupada's collected archive lectures from the Bhagavad-gita dating back to 1966.
Srila Gurudev often says that preaching is for us to develop. By preaching we may get many insights and realisations.
Therefore I thank these two souls who made an attempt to come over to my place. They actually gave me an opportunity to speak and read from the holy book and some service. Besides, we don't know whether other beings were there as well. Chanting loudly and preaching is not only helping oneself but others as well.
Really it does not matter whether there were 2 people or 20 people. Most importantly, whether I progress and make that change from within.
As far as I'm concerned it was a good program and I can't wait for the next one.


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