385. The demigods also respects

A nice class this morning detailing out the respects paid by 3 important personalities when they hear about the arrival of Lord Krishna to this world.

Srimad Bhagavatam Class: 10.02.25
Bhaktini Aruna Mataji
Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Mandir, North Sydney
16.07.2017

The arrival of demigods to see the birth of Lord Krishna, is like the baby shower of these days. Who better than highest of demigods to welcome Him to this world?Goloka Vrindhavana, Vaikuntha planets and this material world are all His properties. He is the Supreme. Hence, demigods like Lord Brahma & Lord Shiva are there to pay their respects.

Lord Brahma in one of his prayers at another time asks for Lord’s mercy, ask for help to not be contaminated by ego and for His sweet advice. Similarly, our mood should also be like this – always relying on Krishna. In another pastime of his cow and cowherd devotees stealing, he says that there are many people out there who knows everything about Krishna but he himself doesn’t. So, what is our status? In another pastime, Lord Brahma was amazed to know that there were so many Brahmas who had come to see Krishna, he was just another small one. Krishna tells him that he has only 4 heads because his particular universe is only 4 billion miles long!

Lord Shiva is also an important personality and is in charge of destruction in the material world. He is but a transformation of the primeval lord and considered as the highest Vaishnava. Our approach to him should be of this understanding and that he is not an independent supreme lord. Lord Shiva himself addresses Krishna as the Supreme-most being. In another instance, he praises the beauty of Sri Krishna.

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Narada muni was also there. He is always chanting, “Om Namo Narayana”. In his past life, he had heard of sweet pastimes of the Lord from the Bhaktivedantas. When he left home as a child in search of the Lord, he had a very brief glimpse of the Lord in the forest. Later the Lord tells him that this brief audience was only to increase his longing and eagerness of the Lord. The darshan of the Lord is only by His mercy. Even in our lives, we only have a brief audience of the Lord at the temple after which we leave for the material lifestyle.

Our purpose is only to long for Krishna. Everything else like beautiful home or husband or wife or job is not the primary goal. When we are in front of the Deity, we shouldn’t be asking for things but only offer prayers to please Him.

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378. Simple actions of a devotee

My friend Abhishek prabhu gave a great Srimad Bhagavatam class yesterday in which he mentioned that every action a pure devotee performs must make impressions in the disciples heart, even if they are very trivial ones. If it doesn’t, then its hard to approach Krishna.

What i understand from his statement is that all actions of a pure devotee of the Lord is transcendental. They are fully connected with Krishna and even inspired by Him. That is why in the case of Srila Prabhupada, his disciples often were mesmerised by the way he walked, drank water, glanced over the devotees, his looked at them, the way adorned his tilaka etc. These actions seem so trivial and day-to-day stuff but 40 years on, his disciples still remember and connect with him in separation through these actions also. Besides the spiritual master’s or a pure devotees instruction and personal example, we must also remember his simple actions. Even Arjuna seems to ask Lord Krishna something along these lines:

Chapter 2: Contents of the Gita Summarized

TEXT 54
arjuna uvaca
sthita-prajnasya ka bhasa
samadhi-sthasya kesava
sthita-dhih kim prabhaseta
kim asita vrajeta kim
SYNONYMS
arjuna uvaca—Arjuna said; sthita-prajnasya—of one who is situated in fixed Krsna consciousness; ka—what; bhasa—language; samadhi-sthasya—of one situated in trance; kesava—O Krsna; sthita-dhih—one fixed in Krsna consciousness; kim—what; prabhaseta—speak; kim—how; asita—does remain; vrajeta—walk; kim—how.
TRANSLATION
Arjuna said: What are the symptoms of one whose consciousness is thus merged in Transcendence? How does he speak, and what is his language? How does he sit, and how does he walk?

373. Pride

In a world characterised by the feverish need to succeed, it’s not that difficult to see the growth of pride in one’s character. The dictionary defines pride as follows:

noun
a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of one’s close associates, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.

When one is intoxicated with one’s material or even spiritual achievements, the next phase is a fall down. This is because, to be the centre of power or the ultimate controller or enjoyer is a difficult position for the conditioned living entity to manage. This is something only the Supreme Lord can manage well without being contaminated. When we are proud, we strongly identify with our false ego & our body. We imagine us to be better than anyone else and stronger than all those around us. This leads one to thrive on the accolades & recognition from others, eventually making one unfit to receive any feedbacks or constructive criticisms on one’s deficiencies. Surely, a dangerous position to be in.

In yesterday’s Srimad Bhagavatam class, Abhishek prabhu covered the story of King Nahusa from Canto 9, Chapter 18, Verse 03 – 05.

In summary, King Nahusa was given the opportunity to rule heaven in the absence of Lord Indra (original king of heaven). However, the new king became proud of his powerful position and went after the wife of Lord Indra. In order to protect the queen and also punish the king for his pride, the powerful sages who were present in the court hatched a plot to have him cursed. As a part of the plan, the queen requested the new king to come see her in a palanquin  but carried by powerful sages. The proud king intoxicated with his desire to enjoy the queen did not realise the offence he was about to commit. The sages or brahmins are not to undertake such tasks and meant to be worshipped at all times due to their full-time endeavour to immerse in the thoughts of God. The king was blind to his folly and arranged for such a ride to happen 😦 In the slow ride on the palanquin, the king got impatient and prodded one of the sages with his foot – a great insult!

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He was immediately cursed to became a snake on the earthly planets but was eventually delivered from his low position when he came in contact with the Pandavas. That’s another story.

Basically, you don’t want to offend a devotee or get cursed by one either. If you do, the only way out is to repent, do a lot of service to the devotees and earn their forgiveness. As we all know, the Lord tolerates any insult directed towards Him but he does not do so when it’s directed towards a devotee.

Both the Lord and material nature are very strict and does not tolerate pride especially towards those in the position of a power. A leader has to be incredibly humble and understand that the power invested in him is a mercy of the Lord. That power and the humility that goes with it, is meant to attract the mercy of the Supreme Lord which can then be passed on to the followers, he/she govern. All the followers in turn will also become humble and will not be proud of their own efforts or be envious of the rulers. This is the way to have a just and peaceful society. That is true success.

In conclusion, we must actively keep a watch out for what we think, say and do and remove any elements of pride. This must be a daily effort. Always remember – Pride Hath A Fall.

 

370. Dr. Krishna

Today morning’s Bhagavatam class was held by Gokuleshwar prabhu, i believe is from ISKCON Juhu (India) temple. At least that’s what i learnt from a Google search 🙂 Should have asked someone at the temple. Anyway, what I wanted to say was that it was a great class. It was funny, insightful and a great reminder of where we stand in life.

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His allotted verse was from Srimad Bhagavatam, 9.16.24:

TEXT 24

sva-dehaṁ jamadagnis tu labdhvā saṁjñāna-lakṣaṇam ṛṣīṇāṁ maṇḍale so ‘bhūt saptamo rāma-pūjitaḥ

SYNONYMS

sva-deham—his own body; jamadagniḥ—the great sage Jamadagni; tu—but; labdhvā—regaining; saṁjñāna-lakṣaṇam—showing full symptoms of life, knowledge and remembrance; ṛṣīṇām—of the great ṛṣis; maṇḍale—in the group of seven stars; saḥ—he, Jamadagni; abhūt—later became; saptamaḥ—the seventh; rāma-pūjitaḥ—because of being worshiped by Lord Paraśurāma.

TRANSLATION

Thus Jamadagni, being worshiped by Lord Paraśurāma, was brought back to life with full remembrance, and he became one of the seven sages in the group of seven stars.

PURPORT

The seven stars revolving around the polestar at the zenith are called saptarṣi-maṇḍala. On these seven stars, which form the topmost part of our planetary system, reside seven sages: Kaśyapa, Atri, Vasiṣṭha, Viśvāmitra, Gautama, Jamadagni and Bharadvāja. These seven stars are seen every night, and they each make a complete orbit around the polestar within twenty-four hours. Along with these seven stars, all the others stars also orbit from east to west. The upper portion of the universe is called the north, and the lower portion is called the south. Even in our ordinary dealings, while studying a map, we regard the upper portion of the map as north.

Source: Vanisource

From that simple verse, he expounded important points covering topics such as death, power of time, Krishna’s mindset, why He has pastimes, role of Brahmanas and Kshatriyas, hollow statements of space scientists and our own acceptance of Krishna. Some main points below:

  1. Death is inevitable and irreversible. It will force you to disconnect and lose everything you have materially.
  2. The hand of invisible “Time” is present in everything and everywhere. But, we ignore it or forget it.
  3. Krishna’s giving of mercy to someone seems illogical at times but the truth of the matter is that we can’t use our logic to understand Krishna’s actions.
  4. Krishna performs pastimes for the benefit of humanity and to attract us more and more towards Him. Otherwise, He can easily kill each asura one by one with just a heart attack!
  5. When there is a problem, a brahmana offers a solution via knowledge, a Kshatriyas offers it through action, a vaishya through a profit motive and a sudra through a crude emotion. Same problem but each answers/actions belongs to the 3 modes of goodness, passion or ignorance.
  6. Universe did not generate from a Big Bang but generated from a Big Brain! Even if it came from an explosion, then it must be a controlled and an organised explosion in which case, the question arises, “who is the controller of that controlled explosion?”
  7. We have to accept the daily prescriptions of “Dr. Radha Gopinath” with complete trust and faith.

I really enjoyed the last point about Dr. Krishna. As prabhu said, the prescriptions of the doctor is always different for every patient and it might not always be tasty. It can be bitter  & painful, perhaps a long term treatment too. At times, the treatment doesn’t make sense either. But, if we accept the doctor’s instruction with complete faith, patience and action, we will get better. “Dr. Krishna’s” allotment of events, trials and tribulations in our lives may not make sense at all either now or later, but if we take it with the understanding that this is what is meant for my life today and tomorrow, and carry on with life – we will surely attain the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord one day. All liberated patients (acharyas & saints) have clearly promised this.

So, let’s start getting treated! Go to your temple, associate with the devotees, perform service, listen to spiritual discourses, gaze at the deity form of the Lord and continue to accept the favourable and unfavourable situations of life. You will get better one day 🙂

 

296. Not your body to everybody

Attended a deep lecture by His Holiness Janananda Goswami Maharaj at our Urban Yoga centre in the city yesterday. We had guests from many parts of the world – South America, Vietnam, USA, UK, Singapore. And for them they hear for the first time – they are not who they think they are – either by body, either by nationality or by culture. They were becoming more and more aware that they could also pursue spirituality because they were one themselves.

What’s the next step, many ponder.

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279. Suresvara Prabhu Visit

He came, he delivered, he conquered.

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What a wonderful week and a half it has been with Suresvara Prabhu (Prabhupad disciple) at our temple. I had seen him many times during my trips to the Dham in years before but never did I expect that he would be a storehouse of knowledge on Prabhupad, sastras and the world in general.

Over a period of 10 classes, he dwelled deep into Srila Prabhupad’s mood, mission, teachings and life and made us strongly aware of the need to have a solid foundational relationship with him. He made us understand that we have a direct link with the Founder-Acharya which we must never forget or take for granted. He emphasised the importance of each devotee within our movement taking the reins and responsibility of being a guru and trying our best to propagate what Prabhupad stood for. He motivated and encouraged us.

The highlights of his course were the carefully prepared slides, well-researched topics, beautiful life incidents of Prabhupad (delivered expertly mimicking Prabhupad’s voice and accent) as well as stories from his younger days. All the sessions ran a packed house and he said we were a very good set of audience.

After today’s Bhagavatam class, he bid farewell to us all promising to return in January next year. I know it’s the same with others too, but I really do miss him and his seminar. Taking one closer to Prabhupad is such a wonderful thing to do and he did that to us. I highly recommend his course/seminar to one and all. If you ever have the opportunity, just go. Don’t miss any of the class. You will be touched.

Thank you Suresvara Prabhu for your enthusiasm and wisdom you shared with us. We look forward to welcoming you back, wishing you safe travels and Sweet Gaura Dreams!