Tuesday, April 19, 2011

TEXAS FAITH 40: Is Hell Dead?

Dallas Morning News,
Each week we will post a question to a panel of about two dozen clergy, laity and theologians, all of whom are based in Texas or are from Texas. They will chime in with their responses to the question of the week. And you, readers, will be able to respond to their answers through the comment box.

For Christians, this is Holy Week, culminating in the Easter pageant being celebrated over the weekend.
With that as its hook, TIME has once again weighed in with one of its meaty cover stories dealing with religion. In the 1960s, TIME shook up things by posing this question: Is God Dead?
Now, the magazine is featuring a cover story by journalist and author Jon Meacham, who is exploring this question: Is Hell Dead?
Meacham's essay is spurred by the work of none other than evangelical minister Rob Bell, author of the book "Love Wins." As Meacham notes, the book is a stir because it's the work of an evangelical, whose tradition is rooted in the saved being guaranteed acceptance into heaven because of their acceptance of Jesus as their Lord and Savior. But Bell, writes Meacham, has been asking whether hell exists. Here's an excerpt from the article, which you can read in full at the above link:
"When we get to what happens when we die, we don't have any video footage," says Bell. "So let's at least be honest that we are speculating, because we are." He is quick to note, though, that his own speculation, while unconventional, is not unprecedented. "At the center of the Christian tradition since the first church," Bell writes, "have been a number who insist that history is not tragic, hell is not forever, and love, in the end, wins and all will be reconciled to God."
Of course, as Meacham notes, there are many ramifications to the answer. Writes Meacham, who also pioneered the Washington Post's On Faith blog:
"From a traditionalist perspective, though, to take away hell is to leave the church without its most powerful sanction. If heaven, however defined, is everyone's ultimate destination in any event, then what's the incentive to confess Jesus as Lord in this life? If, in other words, Gandhi is in heaven, then why bother with accepting Christ? If you say the Bible doesn't really say what a lot of people have said it says, then where does that stop? If the verses about hell and judgment aren't literal, what about the ones on adultery, say, or homosexuality?"
With that as the backdrop, here is this week's question:

Is Hell Dead?

If you think so, please explain your position. If you don't believe so, please explain that view.

NITYANANDA CHANDRA DAS, minister of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness), Dallas

It is not just the illogical concept of eternal hell that many religions of this world struggle to validate but also the illogical circumstances of innocents (children) suffering in the presence of an omni-benevolent Lord. For both these topics, intelligence and logic only reveal their heads when another factor is present -- rebirth, also known as reincarnation.

In our society we have what is called correctional facilities because compassion dictates that not only should punishment be a source of discouragement towards future sinful acts, but also a form of reformation from our present and past acts. Therefore it is called a correctional facility. If hell were eternal, there would be no opportunity of correction.

In my own meager heart I could forgive an assaulter of my family say after millions of years of suffering. Is my compassion more full and is my justice more just than that of the Lord Krishna Himself? No.

Everyone in this world enjoys or suffers according to their past deeds of previous lives, karma. It is God's perfect law of protection, Karma, that one cannot suffer anything that is not due to oneself. Thus in this world people are born into unequal circumstances. Not due to an unequal Lord but rather under the perfect arrangement of an all-loving God.

If one has done terrible misdeeds (murder) in this life, then birth on Earth may not be terrible enough to exhaust one's sinful debts. Therefore, there are other planets in this universe that one can take birth on that have more suffering than the Earth can offer. However, such hells are never eternal, rather one is only forced to live in such circumstances as per their misdeeds. It is not that 80 years of sin equals an eternity of suffering. There is no logic and intelligence behind this.

Because time is not only relative to space and speed but also to pain and pleasure, time in a hellish life is experienced slower. Try holding on to a red hot iron rod and watch the seconds go by and you will see what I mean. So because of this, time in hell may be experienced longer than the actual time that passes on Earth. Those who lack mathematical sophistication cannot understand time periods of 10,000 years or 100,000 years. Therefore, when communicating to such persons it is most practical to use the word eternal.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Latest twitter updates–Notes, Billy Corgan of SP, & Radhanath Swami Initiation videos

Best talks R not only truthful but also beneficial.Not only beneficial but pleasing.Not only pleasing but not causing hurt to enemiesBG17.15

3 Russian Book Distributor Devotees Die in a Car Crash http://j.mp/hNx1vq please devotees drive careful & also please don't travel at night

http://twitpic.com/3lbe3z super excited about reading this book, Śārārtha Darśinī Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 1st & 2nd Canto purp by Viśvanātha C. T.
http://www.vanisource.org/wiki/KB_45 read this awesome chapter :$ []

FYI His Holiness Narayan Maharaja has passed away. []

The car is Ford, but (Mr)Ford is not the car.In this way try to understand. Everything is God, but everything is not God. http://j.mp/eJPFNI []

Kṛṣṇa’s presence acted as such a vitalizing tonic that not only the younger generation but even the old (cont) http://tl.gd/7oo1k3 []

RT @cassidyhaley: my time as a hare krishna. im in the back middle. wearing white.. http://twitpic.com/3kaydn []

@SparklySnarkery I used to live with Krishna Cassidy. That's funny that I just saw this tweet []

If a person is able to care for or give protection to old parents, a chaste wife, children, the spiritual (cont) http://tl.gd/7onmmc []

"Seeing Krishna Face To Face" http://j.mp/e8Q95o Srila Prabhupada's Christmas Srimad Bhagavatam lecture LA 1973

I liked a YouTube video -- Lecture - Radhanath Swami - Remembering Tamal Krishna Goswam... http://youtu.be/RRnUmMd8QkM?a []

another human life.Is it guaranteed?You may fall down again.So my Guru used 2 say that"Finish all business in this life." http://j.mp/dUr4Da

I liked a YouTube video -- Ahimsa Milk http://youtu.be/5jscFCszZXE?a

H.H. Jayadvaita Swami speaks about offending others and stepping down and handing over responsibilities http://blip.tv/file/4497002 []

1stclass men, 2nd-class men and 3rd-class men, means the brahmana, ksatriya & vaisya, they were not interested (cont) http://tl.gd/7hn9ht []

I liked a YouTube video -- Dwarka City of Lord Krsna.flv http://youtu.be/RECjoi8Geas?a

If you do not know what is God, a vague idea, that is not religion. You must know what is God. Just like to (cont) http://tl.gd/7fqev9

From five years old, if a child is trained to call all woman as "Mother," naturally his culture is different. (cont) http://tl.gd/7fmfq2 []

read http://j.mp/dXIyTE Brighu put to tears & "One’s greatness has to be estimated by one’s ability to tolerate provoking situations" []

http://twitpic.com/nbfdx - this is just so beautiful []

System Requirements http://j.mp/eMPrzQ Something I posted last year, but still cool []

I liked a YouTube video -- Bhajan & Dance - The Mayapuris - Story of Lord Shiva - 3/4 http://youtu.be/QmrsjIagQFs?a []

@TheVujanic those books are amazing []

RT @jeffreycarr: Cows live the good life at this ranch run by the Hare Krishna: massages, sheds made of french oak, etc. http://bit.ly/e ... []

http://j.mp/fV8SAN read this beautiful chapter tonight to Viśakha and Krishna Mangala. Young Krishna's hair like crow feathers []

going to give class on the Bhagavad Gita Ch 17 verses 11-22 http://www.krishna.com/dallas [] you can text me if you have any questions

The Walking Monk: Are Your Civilized? http://j.mp/hDJmUC []

http://j.mp/gkdj4U 5000 year old India advertisement. []

Of fishes I am the Shark - Bhagavad Gita [] Scary http://twitgoo.com/1rdmqs

Great lunch w/ @Billy of #smashingpumpkins Nice & introspective guy.I can tell he ❤

Rasābhāsa http://twitpic.com/3cv4vn []

I liked a YouTube video -- RSA Animate - Changing Education Paradigms http://youtu.be/zDZFcDGpL4U?a []

You have dined, & however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity-Ralph Waldo E. []

I liked a YouTube video -- Anti-Bullying Week: Advice http://youtu.be/gIAs7PF6MOI?a []

http://vedabase.net/sb/1/15/36/en Modern politicians should take lessons from Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira about (cont) http://tl.gd/78abvg []

"A dog is running here and there on four legs, and you are running on four wheels. Is that progress? http://yfrog.com/b9rrhuj []

Excited to see @Jessicaveronica & @Lisa_Veronica & Mr Corgan-ji from the #SmashingPumpkins at #Kalachandji's this Saturday. They're sweet :) []

Prayās- over-endeavoring.Ruins a girls chance in finding a nice relationship.Similarly prayās for the mundane ruins a relationship with God [05:55:34]
"Even if 1 can give up all material desires,desire for fame is very difficult to give up…like poop,u should avoid touching this desire" -HBV [05:48:08]
"The world is like a traveler's rest house"- Bhaktivinoda Thakura- Śrī Bhaktyāloka - lesson - don't be affected by the temporary [05:36:28]
Hare Krishna Book Distribution on #blackfriday Jai! [18:59:09]
Why is Mangala Arati supremely sweet? [11:28:02]
Kirtan @ Mother Sevananda's 1:45am for about an hr. There was a scare but the nurse who came explained to us that she was just coughing [08:52:43]
Finished watching again the 1st hr of the 100 TV series #Mahabharata. Figured our how to fix the subtitle delay with #VLC player. Jai! [04:52:57]
♫ New #trottr voice message at http://trottr.com/8mhi2b Want to reply by phone? Use code 511082 [01:43:58]
Reading "Our Srila Prabhupada - a friend to all" by Mukaprakrti Devi Dasi. [04:10:23]
I liked a YouTube video -- Govardhan Puja Celebration @ TKG Academy http://youtu.be/1T-dNONRE78?a [19:47:18]
Huge breakfast feast cooked by Mother Kunkumangi today for Divali. Yum yum vapi smaran bhavan [13:12:19]
@scottsome that is Siva, Advaita Acarya, Caitanya & Nityananda and other Vedic characters [04:49:45]
I liked a YouTube video -- Oak Lawn Halloween 2010 #7 http://youtu.be/chQFNGjcmww?a [16:03:12]
I uploaded a YouTube video -- Japa Meditation at TCU Texas Christian University http://youtu.be/73Qu-BJ6gpk?a[04:44:56]
@fifthroom @square square is totally legit, it is the guys who run twitter [21:42:02]
Distributed twice as many Hare Krishna books with the brahmacaris thanks to @square @ Brookhaven College. [21:23:03]
Watching Darren Brown YouTube videos with the brahmacaris. Train one, pickpocket, paper money, stuck feet, dog race, [21:11:20]
Śrī Balarāma is the mercy incarnation of the Lord, manifested as the spiritual master, http://j.mp/czZ7WR [03:39:22]
I liked a YouTube video -- Bhajan - Sri Prahlad das - TKG Academy http://youtu.be/-2Zd5d4CgYs?a [15:12:05]
without the Lord's benediction no one is successful simply by personal labor. http://j.mp/aHkuLh [04:33:45]
I liked a YouTube video -- Pam Binder on The Journey Home http://youtu.be/e6pnNgcnfpQ?a [21:59:06]
Maya is part Ninja [15:01:20]
http://j.mp/9lD3ni Conscious VS unconscious. Informed VS. Blind faith ignorance. Success VS failure. [03:29:10]
Fried @ Fry's [01:42:43]
Giving class on Durga Puja http://Krishna.com/Dallas [00:19:36]
Happy Meal always happy! http://j.mp/a3pHCp [18:01:12]
I uploaded a YouTube video -- Nityananda Prabhu's blessing of new Radhanath Swami disciplhttp://youtu.be/OqHYSp-oBfI?a [17:32:40]
I uploaded a YouTube video -- Bhakti Sundar Goswami's blessings for new Radhanath Swami d http://youtu.be/0utz-RUDVcQ?a [17:12:38]
I uploaded a YouTube video -- Radhanath Swami's initiation of Kamini Priya Mataji http://youtu.be/wJrg51YXQLk?a[16:50:14]
I uploaded a YouTube video -- Radhanath Swami's initiation of Madhavi Gopi Mataji http://youtu.be/r7Zcn8hqiOs?a[06:40:15]
I uploaded a YouTube video -- Radhanath Swami's initiation of Kamala Gopika Mataji http://youtu.be/7jN1L9gjYOQ?a[06:31:09]
I uploaded a YouTube video -- Radhanath Swami's initiation of Sanatan Govinda Prabhuhttp://youtu.be/vcmmgJCv29Q?a [00:17:34]
I uploaded a YouTube video -- Radhanath Swami's initiation of Gopi Vallabhi Mataji http://youtu.be/nKGFPJD0q6c?a[23:47:40]
I uploaded a YouTube video -- Radhanath Swami's initiation of Labita Madhavi Matajihttp://youtu.be/EdOBFgWeQ48?a [22:56:17]
I uploaded a YouTube video -- Radhanath Swami's initiation of Acyuta Govinda Prabhu http://youtu.be/-TBMapUyWIw?a [18:05:48]
I uploaded a YouTube video -- Radhanath Swami's initiation of Balaram Prasad Prabhu & Sidhttp://youtu.be/AOn19ggvM80?a [17:52:14]
I uploaded a YouTube video -- Radhanath Swami's initiation of Sankarsan Nitai Prabhu & Suhttp://youtu.be/0ka6W9vD3qQ?a [17:04:25]
I uploaded a YouTube video -- Radhanath Swami' initiation of Madana Kishor Prabhu & Vrajahttp://youtu.be/WxqQuQ47ws8?a [16:34:36]
I uploaded a YouTube video -- Radhanath Swami's initiation of Damodar Kumar Prabhu & Radhhttp://youtu.be/CuuxLMWfwis?a [05:31:03]
I uploaded a YouTube video -- Radhanath Swami Jaya Radha Madhava http://youtu.be/8KDPghDPW0g?a [00:35:53]
I uploaded a YouTube video -- Radhanath Swami's initiation of Ramasundar Prabhu http://youtu.be/W74nu6bWivs?a[00:35:52]
I uploaded a YouTube video -- Radhanath Swami initiation ceremony with Bhakti Sundar Goswhttp://youtu.be/rPg9M2ou2Cg?a [00:13:01]
RT @dougfun: hasn't seen a Hare Krishna in forever. Did the Rapture take them away and no one noticed? [04:19:33]
I uploaded a YouTube video -- Radhanath Swami Kirtan http://youtu.be/QWcJNLqK0q0?a [03:03:54]
I uploaded a YouTube video -- Radhanath Swami http://youtu.be/K5yYLTlf24o?a [00:59:29]
I liked a YouTube video -- Charlie's birthday extravaganza http://youtu.be/mUBIB0Cmw6A?a [15:42:44]
Brahmacaris cooking for Radha Kalachandji tonight :) yum [22:30:36]
Jaya Kesava @ UNT http://twitpic.com/2uxckk [19:56:36]

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Kirtan–Dancing with the Devil


Last Saturday we had an amazing time dancing and chanting at the Deep Ellum Arts Festival.  Every year we are invited to come and chant and dance.  This kirtan movement is so powerful that even the Devil himself is carried away in it's sway.  This photo might confirm the suspicions of several Born-Agains, however it illustrates quite the opposite. 

In Bhakti Yoga, the path of loving service to God, one does not give ones regular activities.  Rather such activities dovetailed in the service of God.  The desire to dance is there present in every soul, along with the desire to sing.  Yet singing about the temporary never seems to satisfy the heart.    Once we add the eternal, Sri Krishna – God,  to the equation we have a good formula for factual and substantial happiness.   And as side bonus one who takes to the chanting of Hare Krishna does not have to be born again.

Hugbox comes every year to attend the kirtan along with his other friends the hippies and happies.


People just love seeing the kirtan.


These girls danced with us the whole time although we had never seen them at the temple before.  There was a devotee named Mishra Bhagavan who had put tilak on their faces and others who were watching the show.


Every year there is great response from the crowd but this year tops it all.


A group of a dozen teenage girls who were obviously part of some Christian private school bus trip ecstatically joined the kirtan with full vigor.  They danced and danced and sang and sang and then they asked “Can we sing too?” (meaning, can we lead the Maha Mantra on the microphone)  They then also got to lead the kirtan.  It was quite wonderful seeing their enthusiasm.   And finally when their head mother/ chaperone figure saw them also leading the kirtan she then decided to corral them and haul them off.  It was just too much mercy. 

In the middle of the kirtan I was asked to give a short introduction to the Maha Mantra Kirtan which can be found on this video at 2:22

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare