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



Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Greatness of Chanting

On her recent visit to Malaysia, Srimati Uma didi gave wonderful explanation on the powers of the maha-mantra. Below is an excerpt of Didi's class.

"[Once, in a village, a young boy was bitten by a snake. His parents were heart-broken. They wept bitterly. The whole village came over to see what had happened. Then someone said he will call a snake charmer who is expert in mantras.

Soon the snake charmer came. He kept reciting a mantra. He also put some stones on the boy's head, on his eyes and other important areas of the boy's body as only known to the snake charmer.

After much recitation of the mantra, the snake which bit the boy came. It sucked out all the poison from the boy's body. The snake then died. And the boy was saved.]

If a worldly mantra can have so much power, just imagine what the maha-mantra can do.

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna

Krsna Krsna

Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama

Rama Rama

Hare Hare

This is the top most mantra. If anyone has taken shelter of a bona-fide guru, and following all of Sri Guru's instruction, then the disciple will see the results quickly. Meaning he will feel peace and bliss. He will not be disturbed by the material calamities.

The maha-mantra has been infused by Sri Guru's powers when He initiated the disciple. It is now the duty of the disciple to follow all the instructions of Sri Guru strictly.

Also, when Srila Gurudeva was exhibiting his "sick pastimes" there was a time when he needed to be operated on. The doctors administered anaesthesia. Usually a patient will be asked to count 1 to 10 and then he or she dozes of. Their counting will be get weaker and weaker.

But Srila Gurudeva was chanting the maha-mantra. And each time it only got stronger and stronger. All the doctors were amazed. They realized that Srila Gurudeva was not an ordinary person. Somehow or other the operation did take place. As for the doctors, the paid obeisances to Srila Gurudeva everyday!

You should never think that the maha-mantra Sri Guru gave you in an ordinary sense."

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mahaprabhu Followed Caturmasya

The Beginning of Caturmasya - 14-15 July 2011

gdrvc6[Dear Readers,
July 14th or July 15th, 2011 (see calendar) is the beginning of Caturmasya, the four month period each year from July into November, in which devotees observe certain rules and regulations in order to advance in their bhakti. There are many items that are not allowed during Caturmasya, such as leafy vegetables on the first month, yogurt on the second month, milk on the third month, and mustard oil on the fourth month. Besides this, throughout all four months, tomatoes, eggplants, honey and several other foodstuffs are prohibited. (Please see the rest of the list below). Srila Gurudeva gave this talk on September 13, 2000 in Mathura.]
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu used to follow all these rules very strictly, but nowadays we see that devotees don't follow. Our Guru Maharaja and Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura were very strong in this regard. Srila Prabhupada said, "Take my photo during the four months of Caturmasya-vrata, to show that I never shave at that time. Always keep it; otherwise so many so-called disciples will say, 'Oh, Prabhupada never observed Caturmasya-vrata'."
By his causeless mercy, Parama-pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja gave concessions in the Western countries, and that is the only reason he also used to shave. The Westerners could not follow strictly at that time. That is why he allowed tomatoes and eggplant, that is also why he used to take them, and that is why he also allowed carrots.
I am therefore also giving concessions, not here in India, but in Western countries. If the devotees there like, they can take these items; but we don't take them. We should strictly follow our proper line from Mahaprabhu to Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura and my gurus, Srila Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja and Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. In Western countries some concession may be given, but here in India we are very strict. If we cannot follow this, then how can we follow Sri Krsna, and how can we serve Sri Sri Radha and Krsna? Mahaprabhu shaved – after two months – and we follow this.
Restricted foods during the entire four months of Caturmasya:
  • Eggplants, tomatoes, loki, parmal, urad dahl, and honey
Particular foods that are restricted during each of the four months:
  • First month: No leafy vegetables, such as spinach, salads of all types, cabbages of all types, kale, leafy herbs like coriander, mint, parsley, curry andpowdered leafy herbs and teas
  • Second month: No yoghurt (if one requires it for health, it can be mixed with water)
  • Third month: No milk (if required, it can be mixed with a drop of lemon juice)
  • Fourth month: No mustard oil or sesame seeds
Foods that can be taken all days of the year, including Ekadasi and Caturmasya:
  • All fruits (fresh and dried), all nuts and all oils made from nuts
  • Potatoes, pumpkin, cucumber, radish, squash, lemon, avocado, olives, coconut buckwheat, all sugars
  • All pure milk products (except yoghurt during the 2nd month of Caturmasya and milk during the 3rd month)
  • For sannyasis, brahmacaris and vanaprasthas: shaving head and cutting nails is to be done on full moon days ( no shaving on Baladeva Purnima or Purnima at beginning of Kartik )

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Great Devotee of Lord Jagannatha (part 3)

(This is the part 3 of the story of Dasia Bauri)
The Devotee's Devotion Captures the Lord's Heart
Day and night Dasia was thinking about the Lord. He knew nothing except the Lord. One night, he went to sleep meditating upon His lotus feet. He prayed, "Will that Lord be merciful upon me so that I can see that four handed form of the Lord?"
Understanding his mind, Lord Jagannath left the altar of His temple and appeared in front of Dasia. Dasia took darshan of the Lord to his heart’s content. He said, "What I had seen on the chariot is the same as the form before me now. I am directly seeing the Lord! Brahma and all of the demigods and asuras, yakhsas, gandharvsa, kirnars, siddhas, yogis and munis meditate constantly the lotus feet of Lord Hari. They are not able to see Him. I am ignorant, a low born. I have not done any devotional service. O Lord of the universe, You have come to my cottage."
The Lord, who was wearing yellow garments said, "Dasia, please listen. My heart is not attracted to heaven or liberation. Whoever worships me with devotion, My mind is attracted to him. Your mood of devotion is everything for Me. My dear devotee, please ask me what boon I can bestow upon you."
Being very pleased Dasia replied, "O my Lord, all I want is to remember Your lotus feet constantly. I do not need any other boon from You. Please bless me so that I can fix my mind at the lotus feet of Your devotees. Please bless me so that 1 can have Your darshan whenever I meditate upon You. I do not need anything else."
Hearing this, the Lord said, "Your life is blessed. Whenever you go to Puri, look upon Nila-chakra on the top of My temple. I will manifest to you there. Whatever you offer Me, I will accept that."
After saying this, the Lord disappeared.

The Coconut Offering
One day Baligram Dasia went to the home of one brahinana to sell some cloth. He saw a nice coconut in the tree.
He asked the brahinana, "Can you give me this coconut? I would like to offer this to Lord Jagannath. Whatever the cost, please deduct from the cost of my cloth."
The greedy brahinana said, "I can give you this coconut in exchange for the cloth."
Baligram Dasia had only this cloth to sell to maintain his livelihood. But he was not worried about that. He received the coconut in exchange for the cloth, and returned to his village. That day, one brahinana was going to Puri to offer many kinds fruits and milk to Lord Jagannath.
Baligram Dasia went to him and requested him to take his coconut to offer Lord jagannath. Baligram told the brahinana, "Please take this coconut. After finishing offering of your ingredients, please think about my offering. You hold my coconut standing behind Garuda stambha and appeal to the Lord that your devotee Baligram Dasia has sent this coconut. Please accept this. If the Lord will accept this coconut by extending His hand, then give it to Him. Otherwise, bring this coconut back to me."
Hearing this, the brahinana laughed and left for Puri. Baligrama Dasia went back to his house. The brahinana reached Jagannath temple and completed his puja to Lord Jagannath. When he was about to return, he remembered the coconut given to him by Baligrama Dasia. He thought, "Let me see what happens."
Out of curiosity, he went behind the Garuda pillar. Holding the coconut in his hand and closing his eyes, he said, "O Daru-brahma! Baligram Dasia has sent this coconut for You. Please accept it by extending Your lotus hand, otherwise I will take it back."
Suddenly the Lord extended His long arm from the altar and took the coconut from the hand of the brahinana. In this way, the coconut was offered to Lord Jagannath. Just see the strong faith of the devoteel Even Laxmi Devi cannot understand this. By seeing this, the brahinana started to cry in ecstasy. He said, "Oh Baligram Dasia! Your life is blessed! Your father and mother are blessed! All glories to them! Your village is blessed. Lord Pitavas has is so pleased with you."
This news spread among the people in the temple. Everybody glorified Baligrama Dasia for his unalloyed devotion.
The Mango Offerings
One day, Baligram Dasia was planning to go to Puri to take darshan of Lord Jagannath. He was thinking to take something to offer to the Lord. At that time one mango vendor came along. He had very nice looking, big, sweet mangoes. Baligram Dasia bought about forty mangoes and carried those mangoes in a basket to Puri. When he reached the Lion Gate, all the pandas were behind him to take the mangoes inside the temple’ to offer to the Lord. They were fighting with each other to take the mangoes.
Baligram Dasia said, "I do not need any of you to offer these mangoes."
The pandas said, "Then what will you do with the mangoes? If you do not give them to us, how can they be offered? What will you do with them if you take them back without offering them to the Lord? These mangoes are meant for offering to Lord. No one can touch them without first offering them to Him."
Baligram Dasia went ten feet back and placed the basket of mangoes on the ground. He looked upon the Nila-chakra. There he saw Lord Jagannath. He offered his obeisances and said, "O Bhagavan, these mangoes are Your property. You please enjoy them by your own sweet will. What is the need of these brahmanas fighting unnecessarily?"
After saying this, Baligram Dasia picked up two mangoes and showed them to the Nila-chakra. Immediately those mangoes disappeared and went to the hand of Lord Jagannath. Jagannath ate the mangoes happily. In this way, Lord Jagannath enjoyed all the mangoes. This is the nature of the Lord. It does not matter how low born one may be, if he has strong devotion, the Lord will be pleased to accept leaves, fruits and flowers from his hand. Whatever high caste one may be, if he has no devotion, if he offers many varieties of tasty food, still the Lord will not touch it.
After eating all the mangoes the Lord disappeared from the place. All the people were watching how the mangoes were vanishing from Baligrama Dasias's hand.
They asked him, "What happened to all mangoes? Is it some sort of mesmerism? Black magic?"
Dasia told them, "The Lord of the universe ate all mangoes. Go and check inside the temple."
All the pandas ran to temple. They were surprised to see mango seeds and peels lying all over the deity room. The brahamanas said, "You are a great devotee of the Lord. You have purchased the Lord by your devotion. Who is there like you in this universe? We are nothing compared to you."
The Humiltiy of Dasia
The brahmanas gave Baligrama the prasada garland of Lord Jagannath and blessed him to achieve the highest destination of life. Hearing this, Baligrama Dasia fell at the lotus feet of all the brahmanas. He smeared the dust of the feet of brahmanas all over his body. He offered them obeisances again and again. He said, "Oh brahmanas, I am so fortunate to be blessed by all of you."
The Different Forms of the Lord
After blessing Baligram Dasia in this way, all the brahmanas left. Baligrama Dasia meditated upon the Lord withm his heart. He said, "Chakrapani, I offer my obeisances to that all cognizant Lord. I have a humble request to you: Please show me all Your forms. Let my life be purified by taking darshan of Your different forms!"
Lord Jagannath, understanding the mind of Baligrama Dasia, appeared on top the temple at Nila-chakra in His different forms from the fish incarnation to His Kalki incarnation. Baligrama Dasia fell to the ground to offer obeisances again and again, and said, "Now I am delivered!"
Then he went back to his house to live, happily engaging himself in the devotional service of the Lord.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Great Devotee of Lord Jagannatha (part 2)

(This is part 2 of the story "A Great Devotee of Lord Jaganatha, about Dasia Bauri but from another place)

In a village called Baligram, two kilometers from Puri, there lived a low-caste tribal person named Dasia Bauri. Dasia was very much in ignorance and didn’t understand very much about what was pious behavior and what was sinful behavior. He had no children; he and his wife were very poor. Dasia was a weaver, and the money he made selling the cloth barely maintained him and his wife. During festival days, Dasia would visit the homes of brahmanas in his village and listen to the songs that glorified the Lord. Even though he could not understand anything, he liked to listen. In this way he was spending his life—working to maintain himself and occasionally hearing some kirtana on festival days.
At one point he accepted mantra initiation from a guru and started to wear kanthi mala and apply tilak on his forehead. He was associating with devotees and hearing hari-katha from them. Slowly he came to learn more, and soon he came to feel that Lord Sri Hari was the only truth. Whatever came Dasia's way, he was content in both happy and distressful conditions. Yet he often thought to himself, "Vidhata, destiny, has given me birth as a low-caste person. How can I get hari-bhakta being born in this low-caste family?"
Then it was time once again for the Jagannath Ratha-yatra at Puri. Thousands of people traveled to Puri from all over the country just to see Jagannath coming out of His temple and riding in His cart. Dasia thought that he should go to Puri and see the Lord. He wondered how the Lord looked. Thinking in this way he went to Puri, accompanied by others from his village. Arriving in Puri, he found a place on Grand Road during the festival. He stood in front of Nandighosh Ratha, the chariot of Lord Jagannath, taking darshan of the Lord.
Dasia was overcome with joy. Seeing Lord Jagannath sitting on the chariot, Dasia offered his obeisances. He started to shed tears as he gazed upon the beautiful face of the Lord. He was in ecstasy to see the beautiful reddish lips and black eyes of the Lord. He offered his prayers saying, "O my Lord Jagannath. I am the most sinful person in this world. Please do not neglect me. Please enlighten my heart with knowledge. You are known as Patita-pavana, deliverer of the fallen souls. O Bhagavan! Please deliver me."
Calling out in bliss, he offered prostrated obeisances to the Lord. He got up and said, "You are the only truth in this universe. Everything else is false. From now on, You are everything to me!" After saying this Dasia left for his village.
Dasia arrived at his house and his wife called him to eat. After washing his feet and hands, he sat down and his wife served the food she had prepared, which included rice and spinach. She put the freshly cooked rice, which looked very white in the middle of a red clay pot. On top of the rice she put black spinach. When she set it down in front of her husband, Dasia saw the red circle of the clay pot, in the middle was white rice, and on top of that was the black spinach. To Dasia's mind it resembled the eyes of Lord Jagannath.
He said, "Oh! This looks like the white lotus eyes of my Lord! How can I eat this?"
His body started to tremble and he could not speak. Tears were rolling down from his eyes, and the hairs of his body were standing on end. He became like a madman and started to say different kinds of things that no one could understand. He was clapping and dancing.
When his wife saw the strange behavior of her husband, she called some of the village leaders and asked them to please come and see how her husband had become mad. She was thinking that since he had gone to Puri maybe someone did some tantra to him to make him mad.
The villagers asked Dasia, "Why are you jumping like this and not eating rice?"
Dasia replied, "This looks exactly like the eyes of my Lord. How can I eat this?" After saying this Dasia started to dance. When the villagers heard this from Dasia, they were surprised to see his devotion.
They asked, "Where did you get this bhava? Did Bhavagrahi, Lord Jagannath, give His mercy to you? From today you will be known as Baligram Das."
They told his wife, "Please serve rice and spinach in two separate bowls."
When she served accordingly, Baligram Dasia ate peacefully.
From that day he fixed his mind on the lotus eyes of the Lord and always remembered the sound vibration of mridanga, karatal and ghanta (bell) during Ratha-yatra. Everything material he considered to be like poison. He became very peaceful, merciful, humble, and truthful. He was always thinking about Lord Padmanabha. He controlled all his senses and, closing his eyes, mediated upon the beautiful face of Lord Jagannath.
Jagannath is very dear to His devotees. The devotional mood of His devotee is everything for Him. He does not consider caste and creed and activities. No austerity, charity, religious activities, vrata, or traveling to holy places can please Him. What is the use of pious activities and charity? What is the use of worshiping the demigods? No one can attain Him by these things. He is Bhavagrahi, the abode of bhava. If one chants His holy name with firm conviction, the Lord belongs to him.

A Great Devotee of Lord Jagannatha (part 1)

(A dear god-sister, who is residing in Orissa, sent me this sweet wonderful lila of Jagannatha and his dear most devotee, Hope you will find much inspiration from this katha)

Dasia Bauri – The Great Bhakta of The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Jagannatha Deva

Sri khetra Jagannath Puri is the Greatest dhama of the Supreme Lord, where Krishna (Shyamasundara) is manifesting in His eternally merciful and most joyful form known as avatari Jagannath. The place is further glorified by the foot dust of great unalloyed loving devotees called premi-bhaktas.

From time immemorial Sri Jagannathjiu has been worshiped in this dhama and the great scriptures like Srimad-Bhagawata, Padma, Visnu, Skanda Puranas etc are the evidence. It is mentioned in the Skanda-Purana that Sri-Prahalada maharaja did ratha-yatra festival long long ago in the age of Satya-Yuga. In this age also Jagannathjiu has a great history. There are devotees beginning from the reign of Pandya kings. All the great devotees like Jayadeba, Ramanujacharya, Sri Nityananda Prabhu and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu are glorified by their prema-bhakti in this Holy dhama. Thus many such stalwart devotees are well known all over the world.
However there are also many other great devotees whom many people outside Orissa may not know. Orissa is the place where this Great Puri-dhama (Avada Khetra) is situated and by the mercy of the Lord, people of Orissa are witness of many of the Great Lilas (pastimes) performed by the Lord and His premi-bhaktas.
One such premi-bhakta is well-known as Dasia Bauri in Orissa. The word Dasia means the servant and Bauri means low-caste. The mercy of Lord Jagannatha is not partial. It goes beyond any caste or material qualification. The Lord does not see, who is qualified or who is unqualified in the sense of materialistic evaluation. He only accepts the bhava (spiritual loving sentiments) of the individual souls and accordingly He treats the individual. This He has declared to Arjuna in the Bhagavad-Gita as well.
A glimpse of the greatness of the love of Dasia Bauri towards Lord Jagannath can be known from the fact that Lord Jagannathjiu Himself with His own hands accepted the offering of love (coconuts, mangoes etc). It is well known that even the great sages, mystics, siddhas and demigods find it difficult to have the audience or association of the Lord, for Whom they tried many many tough, rigorous and complicated procedures, yet are not successful. But simple hearted prema of bhakta Dasia Bauria attracted the Lord Hari’s Mercy and this reveals the greatness of Dasia Bauri and his loving sentiments (bhava).
The Story of Dasia Bauri
Dasia Bauri belonged to a small village called Baligaon, which is located near to Puri in Orissa. From his birth he was attached with Lord Jagannath from his heart, mind and soul. By profession he was a simple weaver. In his young age he intensely involved himself in writing the songs and many other spiritual literatures on Lord Jagannath Swami. He had a wife who served him honestly and given all possible support to her husband. The family had only a meagre income.
Once a great incident happened and this is a teaching on how Lord helps a devotee indirectly.
One afternoon, Bhakta Dasia Bauri was intensely involved in the writing of a Jagannath bhajan. Suddenly his wife came to him and told him with some anger that, "You see! You are always busy in the divine service of Lord Jagannath and neglecting the household necessities.
I have not taken any food for the last four to five days. How can I survive?"
After listening, Dasia Bauri became surprised and asked , "Everyday, you are giving me the food at the right time and why are you telling that you have not taken food for the last few days?"
His wife answered, "You are very innocent! I am preparing food for you from the rice which you brought five to six days back by keeping my stomach empty"
After hearing the sacrifice, Dasia Bauri felt that he is not able to fulfill his duty towards her as her husband and he suggested to his wife that if she wanted she could marry someone again.
After listening such a statement from her husband, his wife asked, "Is this what Lord Jagannath taught him?"
And she told, "Jagannath may be your Lord, but my lord is you. I can tolerate any pain and even die at your feet."
At that moment, suddenly, they heard that a person is calling from outside, "Dasia! Dasia!"
Dasia Bauri went outside the hut and found the village leader. The village leader immediately gave him rice and a few kaudies (which was used in those days as money) and requested him to weave a new dress for him.
The village leader also told him his intention behind the new dress. He revealed that he desired to visit Puri-Jagannath Dhama during the annual Ratha-Yatra festival. After knowing this, Dasia Bauri could not check his ecstasy and asked like a child to the village leader whether he could give some more kaudies to him so that his desire to visit Puri-Dhama during Ratha-Yatra could also be fulfilled.
The village leader happily agreed and offered, "Why you want to visit alone then? Come with me so that you will not face any trouble in the journey to Puri-Dhama."
Thus Dasia Bauri happily accepted the offer and promised to prepare the dress for the village leader for Ratha-Yatra, which was only two to three days away.
Dasia Bauri then came to his wife and told with joy, "See the mercy of Jagannath! You were asking for rice and the money. And Lord Himself came and gave me the things that you were demanding."
She was surprised and asked where Jagannath came? I saw only the village leader who came and gave these things to you.
The Lord's Mercy
Dasia Bauri replied, "It is not so easy to understand the Lilas (pastimes) of Lord Jagannath even for the demigods like lord Brahma and Lord Shiva. The Lord helps sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly. The Lord actually sent you the rice and kaudies through our village leader. The Lord’s mercy and activities are all inconceivable."

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Material Problems Are Like Tidal Waves

Sometimes or more accurately put, problems just comes. We have so many problems in our life. Yet, we think if we were to solve one particular problem then it will all go away.Our life will be happy. But then after spending so much energy on one problem, another comes like a tidal wave. By then we would have forgotten the previous problems. Now we concentrate on the problem at hand. Again, we use all our energy in trying to get rid of this one problem in front of us.
When I was growing up, I had so much of skin problem. I tried all sorts of solutions to get rid of it. After some time, it did go away. Then I became very sick. And again another type of skin problem starts. All this just left me totally exasperated. That is how this material world is. Problems are there to bring us closer to Sri Guru and Krsna. How? We will start to pray harder and perhaps even realise somewhat that this life is so insignificant to be drowning in problems.

The only real problem is whether we have total faith and surrender in Sri Guru and Krsna? Whether we have done some service to Vaishnavas or not? Whether we want to get out of this material rut we are in once and for all?

The trappings of the mind and body keeps us entangled in material solutions when in fact there is always another solution. And what is that? Spiritual aspirations. Hopefully I may be able to carry the orders of my Sri Guru upon my head and make that my real problem. Which is in fact not a problem but service.
Therefore, this material world is simply made of problems. You solve one and another will come sooner or later like a tidal wave crashing upon you.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Wolf and The Lamb

(a nice story related by Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja)

A wolf was drinking water from a river at the same time as an innocent lamb.

The wolf thought, "Somehow or other I must devour that lamb."

The wolf said, "Hey! Don't you know? Can't you see I am drinking water here? Why are you making the water muddy for me? I shall kill you."

The lamb said, "O sir, you are drinking water upstream and I am drinking water downstream. How is that I am making the water muddy for you?"

The wolf said, "Why did you call me bad names one year ago?"

The lamb said, "O sir, I am only three months old. How is it that I could call you bad names one year ago?"

The wolf said, "Your mother must have done so. Anyway, I will still kill you!"

This is how all concocted stories are going around. This story illustrates how hatred, speaking ill, and concocting stories arise from intolerance or enviousness.

In the same way we find all kinds of fault in others. But are you perfect yourself? Are there no defects in you? As the saying goes, "A sieve has many holes and a needle has one hole. But the sieve criticizes the needle. So, one who criticizes should understand whether he himself is perfect or not.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Blinded By Our Own Poison

Once, two saints were standing on the bank of a river, when they saw a scorpion was being swept away by the strong current. One of the saints picked up the scorpion on his palm to save it, but it stung the saint and fell back into the river.

The saint then kept picking up the scorpion to save it, but it kept on stinging the saint. And this went on and on.

Upon seeing this, the other saint said, "Why are you doing this? Don't save the scorpion. Let it die."

The first saint replied, "If this scorpion is not giving up its nature to bite, then, why should I give up my nature to save him?"

In the same way, sadhus are mercy and tolerance personified. They will keep coming back for us, the fallen soul, again and again to urge us to get out of this material condition by serving Sri Guru and Krsna.

Yet we are blinded by our own poison to see the ways of the humble sage.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Cure for Criticizing

Below are some excerpts from Srimati Syamarani didi’s class on her recent visit to Malaysia. Didi very expertly gave class on what Srila Gurudeva would want us to be doing:

Refraining From Quarrelling

“Gopis always glorify others that there is no time for quarrelling. Srila Gurudeva says: ‘I want all the temples to serve my mission and not be disunited.’”

On Leadership

Srila Gurudeva says: “Be equal to all, kind to all and be broad-minded. Don’t be selfish.”

Cure for Criticizing --- the Medicine

“Criticize yourself always. If you simply chant, you will have material desires. So sing bhajans and pray to Sri Guru and Guru-parampara, ‘Please let your words be mine.’”

Keep praying. Always think: “I am the cause of any sufferings I have.”

Monday, March 21, 2011

Srila Gurudeva is Always With Us

Separation from Sri Guru from one’s vision is the greatest pain a disciple faces. No more sweet glances. No more chastisement. No more running to the spiritual master for answers. So many no mores!

But we have to remember that, the disappearance lila the spiritual master performs is only to teach us that nothing is permanent in this life. It also gives the disciple a chance to go deeper within to know the spiritual master’s true glories, who he truly is and to find a way to always connect with him. By constantly remembering the spiritual master, we are in fact meeting with him. It is time for the disciple to carry out the spiritual master’s instruction.

Recently, Sripad Bhaktivedanta Madhava Maharaja gave a very short and sweet class in Malaysia and used the analogy of the turtle, fish and bird in relation to the spiritual master and the disciples. After Maharaja’s talk, all the other devotees glorified Srila Gurudeva in their sweet and personal relationship they had and will always have. Below is the excerpt of the talk Maharaja gave:

“When a turtle lays her eggs in the sand, she would not be around to see her babies hatch. After laying the eggs she would leave the eggs and go very far away. Then, in meditation she would lay the eggs.

In the same way, Srila Gurudeva maybe far away from us physically. But he is always thinking of us and nourishing us from within. He is never far away from us.

As for the fish, when it lays its babies, the little fishes will usually swim on the surface of the sea. The mother will swim beneath it and protects it from any harm from other larger sea creatures that might want to eat her babies.

Srila Gurudeva is always protecting us. We should never think he is now gone and very far away from us. At all time we must pray to him and have this confidence that he is always there to protect us.

Then there is the bird. The mother will always be with the eggs before it is hatched. Once hatched, she will fly here and there to feed her babies. She will always be close to her babies until the babies are able to fly on their own.

In the same way, some of Srila Gurudeva’s disciple are close to him. They are protected and nourished. Then the day would come for them to go on their own.

All the three analogies given is only to show that Srila Gurudeva never forgets his children. There never will be a time it will happen."

Maharaja also mentioned that a mother will think of her child who is far away even more than those around her. She is always there for those who are around her because she is around to protect them. But for the child who is far away, she is constantly thinking of them in order no harm would befell them.

Srila Gurudeva is also like that. Always thinking of his disciples who are far away and constantly giving them protection and nourishment.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Real Judge

The other day some devotees wanted to put up a sketch for a visiting sannyasi. Unfortunately there was not enough time. That’s when this scribe suggested to “recycle” the old drama since the visiting sadhu never saw it before. Not only will it brush up their acting skills, it will also convey the message of “Where is God” and “What is God doing?” which is the title of the sketch.

Another devotee, let’s call this person C who actually meant well, did not agree. He felt the group of actors should put up a new play and make the play the best ever. Of course I did not agree to this. Because the group could only do so much as most of its members lived far from another. Besides they are giving their best and it is their seva.

But C did not concur. He said he would always make sure to give the best. For example, he would give a big and beautiful garland to Sri Guru. That’s when another devotee, let’s call this person T, said he would give a smaller and a sweet garland to Sri Guru if that’s what pleases Sri Guru most.

Then T went on to elaborate a story from Lord Buddha. Once, many disciples of Lord Buddha wanted to light up ghee lamps for the Lord. Some managed to light up hundreds and some thousands. But there was one poor old lady who did not have any money to do this. She cut her hair and sold her tresses to buy one ghee lamp. Then a fierce wind came and blew out all the lighted lamps. Only the lady’s ghee lamp was shining brightly.

Devotee T said one must not impose their mood on others. If J felt that he could give the best, then J should continue doing so. J is also correct. But to stop others from making their offering because you felt it was not good enough is not a kind act.

Both C and T had an amicable discussion. Both had their own way of doing seva. We cannot judge another person’s seva according to our mundane senses. Because the real judge is Sri Guru and Krsna.

Ultimately as what Srila Bhakti Promode Puri Maharaja once said, “It is not the seva itself, but the attitude towards the seva.”

This insignificant scribe is praying to realize all these truths.

Monday, February 21, 2011

What is Pleasing and What is Not

Today is the appearance day of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada. We are so fortunate that Prabhupada out of his causeless mercy decided to come into this world to deliver us fallen souls. Below is an excerpt of his lecture on what is pleasing:

The difference of consideration between those on the path of what is pleasing and those on the path of gaining what is for their own benefit:

There are two kinds of paths - Sreyas, or the path what is truly beneficial and preyas, the path of what is pleasing. The topics of sreyas may often not be pleasing to the material ears like that the topics of preyas often are. The topics on preyas are always pleasing to the senses. In most cases the hearer thinks ---- let the speaker speak what I like and what is favourite to me. But those on the path of sreyas think ---- even if it is apparently distasteful to me, I will only hear about the impartial truth.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Vyasa Puja Offering --- The story of Upamanyu

Singing the kirtan "Gurudeva Krpa Bindu Diya....

The Aswini Kumaras blessing Upamanyu

The Aswini Kumaras trying to get Upamanyu to eat the "cake." Upamanyu did not do so without the permission of his Guru.

Upamanyu's Guru worried about Upamanyu not returning to the ashram

Upamanyu being chastised by his Guru

Upamanyu obediently following his Guru's orders

The children performing kirtan

Vyasa puja was celebrated with the presence of Sripad Bhaktivedanta Madhava Maharaj, Sripad Brajanath Prabhu, Srimati Vrinda didi and many wonderful devotees at Sri Sri Radha Govinda Gaudiya Math, Malaysia.

The Kanu Youth Club Children first performed a kirtan followed by a play by the Kanu Youth Club. It was entitled "Upamanyu."

The story of Upamanyu strongly encapsulates the true meaning of surrender and that is the true and deep meaning of vyasa-puja.

May this insignificant soul realize all these truths one day.

O Gurudeva, I'm hungry for your mercy.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Till We Meet Again

It's been a week already

Since you decided to leave from my material vision

You know what's best for all your children

It's us who still have to figure it all out

This individual is so very thankful for all that you did

You turned worms into beautiful butterflies all over

Your bluish glance melted hearts world over

Your ever so charming smile made our hearts churn

You will always be the wind beneath my wings

Without you, there is nothing


Even during your last manifest pastimes

You still taught us that nothing lasts

An eternal teacher you are

But you taught

That service and true love will prevail

It's the only thing

The only liberator for all of us

Love and service for you and the Divine Couple

Will take us across

And if we follow everything you've said

It will take us across

O Gurudeva...

This insignificant soul is waiting for the day

Till we meet again......


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