367. Rain & Kirtan

Stepped out of home and didn’t realize the rain was so strong! Seemed like a mini storm out there – thrashing rain and wind. Unable to hold the umbrella open, i ran to the temple as fast as i could. Full drenched now, changing shoes with someone else’s and gathering few devotees, took the tram to city to help setup the evening kirtan night program. Got there and helped put it all up and ready to welcome the guests. Then i was told if i could open the night for all. Gathering up some strength, thoughts and words, i said a few things over the microphone welcoming everyone. I could have done better i think but what to do now? Anyways, the kirtans have started and everyone is absolutely relaxed and meditative. Me too.

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366. Milk

This is what I saw in a refrigerator few days ago – milk in 3 types! Extra Lite, Low Fat Lite and Full Cream!

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But i want none of those and want the “Nectarean Milk” which Srila Prabhupad is talking about below.

Milk is compared to nectar, which one can drink to become immortal. Of course, simply drinking milk will not make one immortal, but it can increase the duration of one’s life. In modern civilization, men do not think milk to be important, and therefore they do not live very long. Although in this age men can live up to one hundred years, their duration of life is reduced because they do not drink large quantities of milk. This is a sign of Kali-yuga. In Kali-yuga, instead of drinking milk, people prefer “to slaughter an animal and eat its flesh. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His instructions of Bhagavad-gītā, advises go-rakṣya, which means cow protection. The cow should be protected, milk should be drawn from the cows, and this milk should be prepared in various ways. One should take ample milk, and thus one can prolong one’s life, develop his brain, execute devotional service, and ultimately attain the favor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As it is essential to get food grains and water by digging the earth, it is also essential to give protection to the cows and take nectarean milk from their milk bags.”

Excerpt From: His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. “Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto 08.06.12.

365. His Holiness Bhakti Rasamrita Swami visit

The much awaited visit of the year is here ! HH Bhakti Rasamrita Swami will be in Melbourne for the next 10 days and I attended first of his talk yesterday – Faith in Scriptures.

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Maharaj took time to clarify the difference between blind faith and educated faith. He cited so many examples from both the scriptures. srila prabhupada and his own to make everyone understand. The only disappointing part of the evening were (1) mobile phones going off (2) little children making noise; while the talk was going on.

Almost on all mornings, he will be giving Srimad Bhagavatam class which ought not to be missed.

Also looking forward to his talk at Urban Yoga, a place for the general mass of public to start their spiritual education. Yesterday i was asked to choose 3 topics for him to choose from and this is what i came with:

1) City of 9 Gates
The intricate workings of the body, senses, mind and soul. The theme is basically- we know so many things of the world but do we know out own body.

2) Blind Faith
Making one understand that devotees/spiritualists have a structured and scientific process to understanding their life and scriptures and that true religion is not a blind faith.

3) Understanding the 4 Pillars of Spirituality
This topic relates to making one understand how austerity, truthfulness, cleanliness and mercy are an integral part of building ones character and foundation.

Hope one of them works! And more realizations and updates coming up!

363: Healthy snacks

I remember the time when junk food, mainly chips was a part of my work schedule. Not anymore, thanks to the spiritual journey. But i still do have snack cravings here and there during work. Dried nuts, fresh fruits and herbal tea solves the problem. But there is another item that i enjoy having once a day while working:

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My team mate asked – “what is that??!”

I answered – “nature”.

362. Festival of Colours tomorrow

Can’t wait any longer for this Sunday
In colours of red, blue and green, I will play
Friends, family and strangers, meet I will
It’s all happening on the 27th of April

Will you be there, o will you be there?
So happy you will be, with our love and care
The valley has cows, a goat and flowers
You will see this all on the festival of colours!

Please come over and together we celebrate
And that vegetarian food promises to be great
Jump, dance and sing in a mood of festivity
And those who can’t make it, o what a pity!

361. Its ME!

The illusioned living entity appears in so many forms offered by the external energy of the Lord. While enjoying in the modes of material nature, the encaged living entity misconceives, thinking in terms of “I” and “mine”.
- Srimad Bhagavatam/2.9.2

When a bank teller who handles money everyday thinks that it belongs to him and takes it for his personal needs, he is a thief. Similarly, if we use the resources of the material world thinking that I am the owner and it is intended for my enjoyment, then we are thief.

We have been associated with material energy for so long, that we become strongly conditioned to thinking it is all mine. And this causes miseries in life to one and all others.

We all have our own private set of dreams which we strongly cherish, contemplate and get caught up in. At the time of death, these thoughts surface in one’s consciousness and determines one’s next body and life.

All that we possess brings us both happiness and distress. They never bring happiness forever, whether it be things, people or other life forms. This illusion that covers us that EVERYTHING must bring ME happiness, is very difficult to overcome.

Does this mean that we get rid of desires completely? One can try but it will not happen because the dynamics of the mind is very strong. But if we use the workings of the mind on spiritual subjects, then this mind gets purified and brings the consciousness to its original state.

When we chant mantras, hear spiritual talks, read scriptures, associate with spiritual minded people; we start our process of internal cleanliness. It might be bitter in the beginning but sweet in the end unlike material life which is sweet in the beginning but bitter in the end.

Its our mentality that keeps us in the material world and its mentality that will take us out. The devotional activities related to God/Krishna is the process that helps us transcend the lower mental state to a higher one. This is what human form is meant for. Using it to lead the same lifestyle as animals but in a polished form is a complete waste of a precious opportunity.

Reading books such as Bhagavad Gita As It Is and Srimad Bhagavatam is the foundation of our spiritual activities and contemplation. One must take the time to read them everyday and realize clearly that “I am not the controller, I am not the enjoyer, God is the Supreme and one must always remember Him”.

I encourage you to start and continue a spiritually moulded lifestyle. It is the only way for us humans. Good Luck and Happy Easter!