293. Sleep comfort

Just came across this photo on Reddit of a dog taking a break on a soft bed !

And then I have this photo that I took few days ago while on my way home from work :

catonbedphoto

Seems whether one is an animal or a human, the need for a comfortable bed is so very important. Of course, if you are in the material world and you are busy conducting your activities as follows, you will not only need a good bed to rest your tired body & mind but better get ready to be one of those animals above !

atyaharah prayasas ca/ prajalpo niyamagrahah
jana-sangas ca laulyam ca/ sadbhir bhaktir vinasyati

atyaharah-overeating; prayasah-too much endeavor; ca-and;prajalpah-idle talk; niyama-for rules and regulations; agrahah-too much attachment (or agrahah-too much neglect); jana-sangah-bad association; ca-and; laulyam- ardent longing or greed; ca-and;sadbhih-by these six; bhaktih-devotional service; vinasyati-is destroyed.

TRANSLATION

Becoming too entangled in these six kinds of activities spoils the development of one’s devotional service: (1) eating more than necessary or collecting more than necessary or collecting more funds than required; (2) over-endeavoring for mundane things that are very difficult to attain; (3) talking unnecessarily about mundane subject matters; (4) practicing the scriptural rules and regulations only for the sake of following them, with no resultant benefits of spiritual advancement, or rejecting the rules and regulations of the scriptures and working independently or whimsically; (5) associating with worldly-minded persons who are not interested in Krsna consciousness; and (6) being greedy for mundane achievements.

And there are times when the Supreme Lord also wants to have a rest. A transcendental one beyond any tinge of material qualities.

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290. Tearables

Check out what I saw on the office kitchen cupboard :

The sheet featured a collection of the funniest puns I have ever come across! Everyone loved it.

I am thinking – we can have a “These are Tearable Spiritual Quotes” that we could put up at different places that we frequent too! People can tear away the quote they like the best. Not that difficult…we can get  the quotes from Bhagavad Gita or Prabhupad instructions etc. What you say?

287. First Cicadas Sighted after 17 years in hiding!

First Cicadas Sighted in NJ! – Radiolab.

Did you know about this insect? It spends 17 years underground growing from larva to a bug ! 17 years !! What kind of karma has it acquired for it go through such a difficult miserable life, if being born as an insect wasn’t bad enough?

As a human being, we can spend 17 years of our youth educating oneself on Krishna Consciousness and help all living entities hear the Holy Name of Lord Krishna! Otherwise one slip in our human judgement can cause us to take birth in a lower species of life.

285. Monkey acts

So there I was – traveling on a rocky bicycle rickshaw through Loi Bazaar (Sri Vrindavan Dham, India) piloted by a rickshaw man who couldn’t speak. My mum was sitting beside me and soaking in her first experience of the spiritual town. As I was watching the life of urban Vrindhavan go about, I dozed off. It’s amazing how you can fall asleep during a rough ride. That’s what waking up at 4am does to you! You can get good naps anywhere, anytime !

I woke up halfway along my route and for some strange reason, I thought to myself, “Lucky me…never had these monkeys get me so far!”. And then next second, Wham !!

Monkey Got My specs_photo

In 0.005 seconds, a primate came from the left, climbed the rickshaw, sat on my mum’s lap, snatched my specs, alighted the vehicle and shot off to a nearby lamp post !

Amazing how Lord Krishna can crush your pride and achievements through any of His created beings. Some come instantly, some come after a long time and others in your next life. I just sat on the rickshaw thinking, “What happened? How will I board the right airplane with out my specs??”

The rickshaw man took it personally. He had tried to warm me several times before (or perhaps it was someone else or everyone else) and he seem to be again saying, “I said so!” but as he couldn’t speak, no sentences came out. Just, “waaa, baaa, waaa !“.

My mum was laughing like no tomorrow. So, we will leave her out of the discussion here.

The monkey was having a taste of plastic up the lamp post.

The shop keepers went about their daily business. We will keep them out of this conversation also.

Few other pilgrims on the road said, “Quickly…go get him something to eat! He will give it back then!“.

I jumped out of the rickshaw. Looked around. I was in the street that had only cloth stores. Gaawwdd! Walked a few meters up and saw a small roadside food stall. They were serving crispy golden poori (a traditional oil fried bread) with some beautiful looking potato dish.

Me : Can I have a poori please?

Stall owner : Here…

Me : How much?

Stall Owner : Rupees something

Me : Here…

Stall Owner : Sorry no change – take 2

Me : I don’t need 2…its only for the monkey

Stall Owner : Monkey or you – no change. Take 2 and all good.

Me : Grrrr ! Alright..here !

I ran away with 2 hot and puffed up pooris. I should have got some of that potato dish too. Too late. I ran back to the crime spot.

Pilgrims were there talking amongst themselves about the calamity. Mum still laughing. Shop keepers declined to participate. Monkey had moved onto a roof top and now licking the glass.

The rickshaw man snatched the poori from my hands. Time was running out. He quickly moved closer to the monkey before I could tell him to keep a poori aside for me. He threw the pooris up and immediately down came my spectacles, landing on the brick pavement below. I ran after my attachment leaving everything behind (referring to mum I think).

I picked it, cleaned it, gazed at the damage and put it back on. I could see the world clearly again. I can catch the right flight back.

I looked up at the criminal up above who was relishing the crispy golden brown and freshly made poori. His tailed family members had joined too. And I assure you, he seemed to look towards the poori stall owner at one point and as their eyes met, they exchanged a sinister smile.

Organized crime, I concluded.

277. Holi example on Flipboard

I was looking for some instructions on optimizing my Flipboard reading experience and I was so happy to see that they have used the Holi festival in our Utah Hare Krishna Temple as an example !! About 10 million people use the Flipboard service.

utah holi

Pic courtesy : Flipboard

268. Sunshade to fight climate change?

(Reuters) – Planes or airships could carry sun-dimming materials high into the atmosphere for an affordable price tag of below $5 billion a year as a way to slow climate change, a study indicated on Friday.

via Sunshade to fight climate change costed at $5 bln a year | Reuters.

Why can’t the world just save cows, use less paper and go vegetarian? You would save so much money, health and earth. Simple and immediately effective.

185. Customer Service

During my recent trip to Tasmania, I had booked myself into few packaged tours with various tourist companies. One of  the tour was being organized by a cruise company in Hobart and lunch was included as part of the package. Before I left, as I was confirming the booking, I told the booking lady that they can remove the food item from my package as I wouldn’t be able to eat what they had prepared. The lady on the other end was concerned.

The booking lady : Are you allergic to anything?

Me : No..no…my community has a special diet…we are pure vegetarians…and we also don’t eat onion, garlic and mushrooms.

The booking lady : Oh…that doesn’t leave you with many choices, does it?

Me : Yup…its alright…don’t worry about it…I will manage…

The booking lady : I can check and see what I can do for you…

Me : It’s alright…I will carry some fruits or something

With that, she kept the phone down thinking that perhaps I should get a real life. About 5 minutes later, my phone rang.

A lady : Hi…can I speak with Manoj please?

Me : Speaking…

The lady : I am calling from a restaurant near Hobart who will be catering for a cruise next week. I understand that you have booked yourself into this trip. And I was told by a lady at the booking office that you have a very different diet

Me : oh hello…yes, I do have a different diet…

The lady : Let me see if I can help you…can you tell me your dietary preference please? What can you have and can’t have? Is there a name for your type of food?

Me : Well…I am pure vegetarian..that means I eat no meat whatsoever including eggs…also in the community that I belong to, I do not eat any onion, garlic and mushroom…certain airline companies prepare “Jain” meals which is similar to what I have…

She interrupted : Oh ! What a coincidence ! I cook those kinds of food for myself too…I eat Krishna food…

I was shocked. The ground slipped beneath my feet. Can you believe that? I am in Melbourne talking to some restaurant in Tasmania who knows about Krishna food !

Me : Oh my god. That is exactly the diet I follow !

She (laughing out loud) : Really? Are you a Hare Krishna ?

Me : Well…yes….I can’t believe I am having this conversation.

She : Small world aint it? I think about 30 odd years ago, I was in Pitt Street in Sydney getting to some place and I came across some Hare Krishnas on the same street singing and dancing. As I stood and watched, a young lady ran up to me and pushed a cookbook into my hand. It was written by a french author and I can’t remember the name but I took it home and started cooking. And I haven’t stopped since.

Me : This is incredible !  No one is going to believe me if I told them that we are having this conversation !

She : It will be my honour to cook Krishna food for your upcoming trip. I will have some prasadam delivered to the boat. It could be something with some fresh garden vegetables including cheese which I make using lemon juice and no animal components and it will all be offered to Krishna.

Those were her words. I could not believe what I was hearing. What are the chances of such incidents happening? She said, “Prasadam, Krishna, Offer”. WoW. For the remainder of the days right up to the cruise, I couldn’t help but recollect this phone conversation and wait eagerly for the lunch session. On the day, as we reached this small island, many kilometers from Hobart, the captain announced that it was lunch time. We stopped on this piece of land and from my window seat, I could see the food being moved to the boat.

The food for the passengers arrive. And my prasadam too.

Checkout the label on the lunch box !!!

And finally my much-awaited and special Prasadam !

The devotee cook had prepared an absolute delight – lemon rice, cauliflower subji with baby tomatoes, green salad, fresh olives, home-made cheese and a capsicum side dish. And all tasted by Krishna !! It was superb. As all those around me sat and seemed to be relishing the trans-atlantic salmon or some organic pig meat, I sat there numb and ecstatically taking in the mercy. I was so thankful to the tour company and the cook for being so understanding and cooking this special meal with so much love and care. To express my heartfelt appreciation for the cook’s efforts, I am sending across a cook book written by Chef Kurma along with some devotional books for her.

– a true story.