Monday, January 14, 2019

Realizations from last week...

- This world is a temporary place and everything around you is false except the Holy Name.
- Only by Chanting the Holy Name offenselessly can we realize everything about Krsna and only by His Mercy - Form, Qualities, Pastimes and achieve the purpose of life.
- Tolerate all naggings in material life and consider it a blessing from Krsna for you to come closer to Him.
- Nobody, NOBODY is your friend in this material world - except Krsna and his associates who want to help you come back to Him, because Krsna is really missing me. Missing me more that I miss Him
- Always take the humble position and consider yourself the servant of everyone. You are here to serve Krsna's kids whom he loves dearly.
- Make your lifetime successful by chanting and reading Srila Prabhupada's books. Also, when you read or hear make the information change to transformation. Transformation of your heart.
- Book distribution, Slokas and Philosophy is very dear to Gurudeva.
- By doing something regularly, it becomes second nature eg - Brahmasamhita learning and Evening aarti
- To grow in Bhakti, we need to hide our Bhakti
- Simple living, High thinking
- Prasadam is mercy, don't look to honor opulent prasadam, just have simple prasadam and always consider it mercy.
- Cooking for Krsna is mercy of Srimati Radharani and do it with love.
- Service you get, take it with care and love, it can be taken away from you anytime!

How to cook for Krsna:

I love to cook for Krishna and when you love ,you want to please and do your best for your beloved 🙏❤

Cooking for Krishna
Three essentials are consciousness, cleanliness and timeliness:

Cooking is a loving exchange with Krishna. We get to make something with our own hands to feed to the Lord, beg Him to eat it, and then accept whatever He gives to us in return as prasadam. Actually, our love is the most essential item

Cooking should be done, therefore, with as much care and attention as possible. For example, if a pot has a little spot on it from not having been cleaned properly, cleaning it before using it only takes a minute. For this reason and in case of other contamination in the meantime, it is also a good practice to rinse everything before using it. Also sifting through the bhoga like dahl and spices will ensure no foreign matter is mixed in. All the bhoga chosen for the offering should be as fresh and pure as possible.

It is said that a cook's "mood goes into the food". Praying and chanting mentally helps. Or keep a recording in the kitchen, playing devotional music and lectures

It's best to take a bath, change into clean clothes and tie and cover one's hair before cooking

Another thing is while cooking, one must be careful not to engage in conversation. This is to ensure no saliva accidentally falls from one's mouth into a preparation. And it is much easier this way to focus on quality and meditate on making the offering pleasing for the Lord.

The kitchen should be clean before one cooks, while cooking and immediately after. A helpful rule is to "Clean while you cook". This may include rinsing after use everything that needs only rinsing, while leaving in the sink for washing afterwards (or as soon as possible) only the things that need to soak or are greasy.

Timeliness is yet another sign of love. Preparing offerings on time, as regularly as possible, means caring about the Lord and others who may be hungry.

Yes, we still have a material body that sometimes feels very tired, or the weather may be very hot, but it is helpful to remember that while others may simply drive to a fast food joint for lunch, Krishna is especially pleased by all the effort and sacrifice made instead, to prepare something nice for Him. Feeding His devotees afterwards can serve as a pretty good indicator about how much this is true. And sure, this may all sound troublesome to some, but it is always voluntary; it is the way of love.

Friday, January 11, 2019

How can we convert our mind to be our friend through association?

From HG Vaisesika Dasa Gurudeva's excellent class -

"For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends but one who has failed to do so, for him the mind will remain the greatest enemy."

Goal of Yoga is to pacify the mind. When the mind is thinking about how to satisfy the senses then it's our enemy, but when the mind is the friend it has the concept that I'm spiritual. When you start thinking I'm this body then mind is our enemy. So can we train the mind? 

The first and most important is good association. When we have association with Sadhus then it's the speech that cuts away SB 11.26.26.

SB 11.26.26 states:

tato duḥsaṅgam utsṛjya
satsu sajjeta buddhimān
santa evāsya chindanti
mano-vyāsaṅgam uktibhiḥ

An intelligent person should therefore reject all bad association and instead take up the association of saintly devotees, whose words cut off the excessive attachment of one’s mind.

Words of a Sadhu are like a sharp instrument. They cut all the excessive attachement of one's mind. The method of the Sadhu is by Sharpened topics and their words are sharp. They help us wake up from false ideas we have. 

Your attitude is determined by the association you keep. If you have good association you will have a good attitude, if you have bad association you will have a bad attitude. Hence, it's very important to associate with devotees and *reject* the bad association.

How can we control and train the mind?
1. Hearing the words of a Sadhu. They cut through one's mind's attachments to the material world ex - Krsna's words to Arjuna; Mahaprabhu's words to Sarvabhauma, His sharp words cut through. Same way Mahaprabhu asked us to go out door to door and share this knowledge with everyone and speak Krsna's words. 

2. Regularly reading the SB and BG. Krsna says He himself resides in the heart of one who reads the SB as He is so interested to hear. Read from SB and BG everyday, so the mind gets trained everyday. When mind is directed towards Krsna then it's our friend. Both 1 and 2 work very closely as Sadhus only speak from BG and SB.  SB is very intimate as it melts the heart. By chanting and hearing regularly our heart melts!

How to make your heart change? By the transcendental sound vibration:

Heart is the chariot driver of the body. Heart melts by chanting the Holy Name, it's given in the SB. 
Srila Isvari puri taught Mahaprabhu this verse at the time of his Initiation and asked him to memorize it. 

SB 11.2.40
evaṁ-vrataḥ sva-priya-nāma-kīrtyā
jātānurāgo druta-citta uccaiḥ
hasaty atho roditi rauti gāyaty
unmāda-van nṛtyati loka-bāhyaḥ

By chanting the holy name of the Supreme Lord, one comes to the stage of love of Godhead. Then the devotee is fixed in his vow as an eternal servant of the Lord, and he gradually becomes very much attached to a particular name and form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As his heart melts with ecstatic love, he laughs very loudly or cries or shouts. Sometimes he sings and dances like a madman, for he is indifferent to public opinion.

3. Learn Toleration. Tolerate the minds plans by dovetailing with Krishna's plan. Matra sparsah tu kaunteya - Irrespective of anything, we should continue doing our duty. For example:

  • Whatever happens complete your rounds - Complete your vow- ALWAYS COMPLETE YOUR ROUNDS AND DO WHATEVER YOU CAN TO COMPLETE IT!!!
    • From Shastra Visvanath Chakravarti says It's very difficult in Kali so people get disturbed in their practices but he says don't worry keep going. 
    • Also SB it's said from Karbhajana muni that devotees will fall down from their practice sometimes but all we need to do is pick it back up and just start chanting and do your rounds gain. Just keep chanting and bring it back again. 
  • Whatever happens never miss your daily reading - Srimad Bhagavatam and BG.
  • Whatever happens always offer your food to Krsna.

This helps us to overcome our mind's plan making on how we want to become comfortable and mind's imaginations. Imaginations with various combinations to make us more comfortable in this material world. Hence, SP says dovetail your plan with Krsna's plan. 

Get a list of mentors and take their help when hard decisions come. Have senior devotees as your mentors.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

5 lessons for life plans

1. Make spiritual plans increased Sadhana and Seva (Sankirtan seva)
2. Be aware of what you are after. What am I asking for - when I get it will I be peaceful.
3. Follow the Shastra for perfection. Don't catch the dog's tail!
4. Pray for help. Pray very very hard to Krishna
5. Be patient. Study how Krishna thinks, how he works, study what He says and have complete trust in what He says. Krishna knows! Wait for Him to do His part, He knows what to do, when to do it.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Karthik Realization

After intense prayers to Sri Sri Radha Kalachandji, my desire to take the family to Vrindavan, Mayapur and Puri was granted by the mercy of Gurudeva and Gauranga. This year, we had the opportunity to go to the Dhaam during Karthik. The real treat was seeing the faces of the kids as they visited all the places we had spoken about - Kaliya ghaat, Yamuna, Vrindavan desire trees, Panchatattva in Mayapur and so many many beautiful places.

We tried to serve the Dhaam by visiting the holy places and also reading about the glories at each place. There is so much mercy flowing in the Dhaam and we just need to enlarge our pot to take in the mercy.

After leaving the Dhaam, we have been missing it. Gurudeva shared - If you can't be there, feel there! Additionally, Gurudeva also shared that Srila Prabhupada has created so many Kunjas here that we can live in the Dhaam while being here in the material world.

All we need to do is immerse ourselves and as soon as we close our eyes we will be transported there.

Jayo Radhe, Jayo Krishna, Jayo Vrindavan....

Friday, August 31, 2018

New Car; Accident; Realizations

I recently met with an accident and the whole experience was very profound. We had bought a brand new car and I was feeling very protective of it. Making sure I wipe off fingerprints, using all the new features etc. I was so protective that I started feeling that it's "My Car". Krishna sure enough again helped me to get out of this mood.

One fine day, I was just driving down the road when I got hit from the side. The hit was so hard that air bags deployed. Immediately, after the impact I remember, sitting in the car, feeling sorry that "My new car" was hit and badly damaged. The car's head console announced that I've been hit and been in an accident and automatically called the emergency numbers.

I remember reciting the Narasimha prayers and praying to Narasimha Dev, while waiting for the emergency respondents to arrive at the scene. At that time I was still so connected to "My car", I was feeling so sad that "my" brand new car had been hit and now I have to deal with it.

After all the fun stuff of talking to the Police, the firemen, the EMT, the insurance, doctors, I had time to reflect on what just happend. I thought, I'm sure Krishna has a plan and He just wants me to have faith. I also remembered Krishna protected me somehow, it could have been much worse and this was Krishna's plan and I should just go with it.

Fast forward - after multiple insurance calls, body shop calls, rental company calls, lawyer calls, I found out that "my car" was completely totalled which meant the amount it would take to fix the car was more than the actual value of the car. I now had to buy a new car but insurance paid me the value of the car.

I was finally able to buy a new car and going through physical therapy. As I look back on the entire episode, I had the following realizations:

1. Nothing belongs to me. I was attached to the car, but it's all Krishna's. In one min the car I was attached to was - GONE!
2. Krishna did it for a reason, even though I don't understand the reason, I need to have the faith in Krishna's plan.
3. Always be devoted to Krishna no matter what the situation and that will please Krishna.
4. Nobody will help you except having firm faith in Krishna and then Krishna reciprocates.
5. In the end, it was for the better and Krishna protected me.

Gurudeva says = Don't love the car, because....the car won't love you back!

Your servant,
Naimisaranya Dasa

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Second Initiation

Sri-gopika got her second initiation today and I feel so indebted and grateful to Sri Sri Radha Kalachandji's. I also feel immense mercy of HH Tamal Krishna Goswami Maharaj. Ever since we've moved to Dallas, I can feel an immense flow of grace. Today, I also realize the power of devotee association and how rapidly Sri-gopika has made progress due to her commitment, firm faith and being pure. Purity is the force. 4 years back before moving to this community our life was completely different and today it is making me realize what a difference it has made for us. HH Giriraj Maharaj has been so kind and merciful to us. I have deep appreciation for him and the more I know him, my appreciation grows deeper and deeper.

I'm praying to dear Sri Sri Radha Kalachandji to always keep me under their kind lotus feet shelter and to always give me their sidelong glances. I pray I'm able to serve the kind vaishnavas at the Kalachandji Dhaam always.

Your servant,
Naimisaranya Dasa 

Friday, June 8, 2018

Three stages of the process of purification by chanting the Holy Name

The chanting is a process of purification. The three stages of chanting are:

1. Clean the mirror of the mind - The mind is the best friend and the worst enemy. For one who has learnt to control the mind it is the best of friends but for one who has failed to do so it is the worst enemy. Due to the long term association, the mind absorbed in material things has become contaminated or dirty, the chanting process purifies the mind.

2. When the mind is cleansed one becomes free from the symptoms of material existence. Material existence means to always hankering and lamenting. The second stage is to be free from this anxiety.

3. Third stage is " He never laments or desires to have any thing; he is equally disposed to every living entity, In that state he attains pure devotional service unto me (Bg 18.54)"

So chant and hear. When you distribute the holy name of the Lord it is like giving charity (Dadati principle), same way one must follow the pratigrhnati principle and be willing and ready to receive the transcendental gift.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Power of Chanting Hare Krsna Maha Mantra

Srila Prabhupada says in a lecture - Just by chanting the Hare Krsna Maha Mantra and hearing properly, we can achieve all perfection and be able to understand all topics - who is God, Who we are, what is our relationship. Important thing is to chant with that faith and just hear the Holy Name 24 hrs a day.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Sadhu Sanga

From HH Giriraj Maharaj's class at Sadhu Sanga 2017 - Sadhu Sanga means getting the association of devotees who are more advanced than you. When we take the humble position that everyone is more advanced than you, you can get sadhu sanga from everyone and learn something from everyone and progress in your spiritual life.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Beautiful verse from Śrī Mādhavendra Purī

ayi dīna-dayārdra nātha he
mathurā-nātha kadāvalokyase
hṛdayaṁ tvad-aloka-kātaraṁ
dayita bhrāmyati kiṁ karomy aham

“O My Lord! O most merciful master! O master of Mathurā! When shall I see You again? Because of My not seeing You, My agitated heart has become unsteady. O most beloved one, what shall I do now?”

The uncontaminated devotees who strictly depend on the Vedānta philosophy are divided into four sampradāyas, or transcendental parties. Out of the four sampradāyas, the Śrī Madhvācārya-sampradāya was accepted by Mādhavendra Purī. Thus he took sannyāsa according to paramparā, the disciplic succession. Beginning from Madhvācārya down to the spiritual master of Mādhavendra Purī, the ācārya named Lakṣmīpati, there was no realization of devotional service in conjugal love. Śrī Mādhavendra Purī introduced the conception of conjugal love for the first time in the Madhvācārya-sampradāya, and this conclusion of the Madhvācārya-sampradāya was revealed by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu when He toured southern India and met the Tattvavādīs, who supposedly belonged to the Madhvācārya-sampradāya.

When Śrī Kṛṣṇa left Vṛndāvana and accepted the kingdom of Mathurā, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, out of ecstatic feelings of separation, expressed how Kṛṣṇa can be loved in separation. Thus devotional service in separation is central to this verse. Worship in separation is considered by the Gauḍīya-Madhva-sampradāya to be the topmost level of devotional service. According to this conception, the devotee thinks of himself as very poor and neglected by the Lord. Thus he addresses the Lord as dīna-dayārdra nātha, as did Mādhavendra Purī. Such an ecstatic feeling is the highest form of devotional service. Because Kṛṣṇa had gone to Mathurā, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī was very much affected, and She expressed Herself thus: “My dear Lord, because of Your separation My mind has become overly agitated. Now tell Me, what can I do? I am very poor and You are very merciful, so kindly have compassion upon Me and let Me know when I shall see You.” Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was always expressing the ecstatic emotions of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī that She exhibited when She saw Uddhava at Vṛndāvana. Similar feelings, experienced by Mādhavendra Purī, are expressed in this verse. Therefore, Vaiṣṇavas in the Gauḍīya-Madhva-sampradāya say that the ecstatic feelings experienced by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu during His appearance came from Śrī Mādhavendra Purī through Īśvara Purī. All the devotees in the line of the Gauḍīya-Madhva-sampradāya accept these principles of devotional service.