Wednesday, August 21, 2013

New ebook about Lord Balarāma! New ebook all about Lord Balarāma!!  I edited the PDF so that it would include a table of contents and a clickable table of contents page, here

I will only acknowledge a Master's Degree from my favorite college

“It doesn't matter, either Hindu religion or Christian religion or Mohammedan religion, anything you like. But we have to test. Just like a student who has passed M.A. examination. Nobody inquires, "From which college you have passed your examination? You have passed M.A. examination? That's all right." And we are concerned, whether you are graduate, postgraduate. That's all. Nobody inquires, "From which college, from which country, from which religion, you have passed your M.A. examination?" No. Similarly, nobody should inquire, "To which religion you belong?" One must see whether he has learned this art, how to love God. That's all. That is religion”

Excerpt From: His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
"Satisfying The Senses"
73/08/15 London, Bhagavad-gita 2.9

Prabhupada, are you a servant of the gopis? How do I serve the servants of the gopis?

Devotee: I read somewhere in your writings that in order to understand the confidential affairs of Radha and Krsna one must serve the gopis who are servants of the gopis, and I assumed that you were a servant of the gopis. Is that correct? Or... How do I serve the servants of the gopis?

Prabhupada: Gopis, they are not conditioned souls. They are liberated spirits. So first of all you have to come out from this conditioned life. Then the question of serving gopi will come. Don't be at the present moment, very eager to serve gopi. Just try to get out of your conditional life. Then time will come when you'll be able to serve gopi. In this conditional stage we cannot serve anything. Krsna is performing it (everything?). But Krsna gives us opportunities to accept service in this arca-marga. Just like we keep the Deity of Krsna, offer prasada under regulation, under principle. So we have to make advance in this way, this chanting, hearing, and worshiping in the temple, arati, offering prasada. In this way, as we make advance, then automatically Krsna will reveal to you and you'll understand your position, how you have to... Gopis means who are always, constantly engaged in the service of the Lord. So that eternal relationship will be revealed. So we have to wait for that. Immediately we cannot imitate serving gopis. That's a good idea that you shall serve gopi, but it will take time. Not immediately. Immediately we have to follow the rules and regulations and routine work. Yes.

"Revive Our Relationship with Krishna"

68/11/27 Los Angeles, Bhagavad-gita 2.8-12


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Prayers to Lord Balarama

Text 28

Then, in Vraja, after five days, in the month of Bhādra (August-September), on the sixth day of the bright fortnight, when Mercury, five exalted planets, and the constellation Libra were on the horizon, at midday, as the demigods showered a beautiful rain of flowers and the clouds sprinkled drops of water, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, illuminating Nanda’s home with His splendor, was born from Vasudeva’s wife (Rohiṇī).

Text 29

Nanda performed the child’s birth ceremony and gave in charity a million cows to the brāhmaṇas. Then he called the gopas and observed a very auspicious festival with the music of many singers and instrumentalists.

Text 30

Coming there with Devala, Devarāta, Vaśiṣṭha, Bṛhaspati, and myself (Nārada), Vyāsadeva was pleased when Nanda washed his feet and worshiped Him in many ways.

Text 31

Śrī Nanda said: Who is this handsome boy, whose equal cannot be seen anywhere? How is it He was born after only five days (in the womb)? O great sage, please tell me.

Text 32

Śrī Vyāsa said: Nanda, you are very fortunate. This child is eternal Ananta Śeṣa. In Mathurā City He was conceived by Vasudeva in Devakī.

Text 33

By Lord Kṛṣṇa’s wish He was brought to beautiful Devakī. O King Nanda, you may see Him even though the great yogīs cannot.

Text 34

I, Vedavyāsa, have come here to see Him. Therefore, please show Him, the Supreme Person who is greater than the greatest and who now displays the form of an infant, to us.

Text 35

Śrī Nārada said: Then Nanda showed them the child Aannta Śeṣa. Gazing at the child in the cradle, Vyāsa, struck with wonder, bowed down, and spoke.

Text 36

Śrī Vyāsa said: O master of the demigods, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, O Lord who grants desires, obeisances to You! Obeisances to You, who are Lord Aananta Śeṣa! Obeisances to You, who are directly Lord Rāma!

Text 37

Eternal obeisances to You, Lord Saṅkarṣaṇa, the maintainer of the earth, perfect and complete, effulgent and glorious, holding a plow in Your hand, and having a thousand heads!

Text 38

You are Baladeva, Revatī’s husband and the infallible Supreme Personality of Godhead’s elder brother. You are armed with a plow. You are Pralambāsura’s killer. O Supreme Person, please save me!

Text 39

Obeisances! Obeisances to You, who are known as Bala and Balabhadra, and who carry a palm-tree flag! Obeisances to You, Rohiṇī’s fair-complexioned son dressed in blue garments!

Text 40

You are the enemy of Dhenuka, Muṣtika, Kūṭa, Rukmī, Kūpakarṇa, and Kumbhaṇḍa. You put an end to Balvala.

Text 41

You divided the Yamunā and dragged Hastināpura. You are the enemy of Dvivida. You are the king of the Yādavas and the decoration of the circle of Vraja.

Text 42

You are the killer of Kaṁsa’s brothers, a pilgrim who goes to holy places, the Supreme Master, and the teacher of Duryodhana. O Lord, please protect, please protect the world!

Text 43

O infallble Lord, O greater than the greatest, O Lord Ananta, O Lord whose fame is everywhere, glory, glory to You! Obeisances to You, who hold a plow and a club and are the master of the demigods, great sages, and regal serpents!

Text 44

A person who regularly reads or recites these prayers attains Lord Hari’s supreme abode. Even in this world he attains all strength. He crushes his enemies. For him are victory, wealth, and followers.

Text 45

Śrī Nārada said: After circumambulating Lord Balarāma and bowing down before Him a hundred times in the company of (the other sages), intelligent Vyāsa Muni, who was the son of Parāśara and Satyavatī, went to the Sarasvatī river.

- Garga Saṁhitā 1.10.28-45

Thursday, August 15, 2013

TEXAS FAITH 109: Would you want to live to 120 years old?

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.

Would you want to live forever?

Okay, maybe not forever. But what do you think about what’s called “radical life extension?”

The Pew Research Religion and Public Life Project recently polled Americans about how they feel about efforts to keep people living well past 100. Not so surprisingly, the answers broke down into different categories when the researchers looked at this question by religious group.

For example, more than 50 percent of white evangelicals, white mainline Protestants and white Catholics thought “radical life extension” was a bad thing. But more than 50 percent of black Protestants thought it was a good thing. And 49 percent of those who believe in an after-life also thought this was good.

To me, that latter finding was the most interesting part of the survey. More people who believe in an after-life liked the concept than those who don’t believe in an after-life. (Fifty-eight percent of the latter thought extending life up to 120 years or so is not a good thing.)

So, what do you think of “radical life extension?”

Are we “cheating death” as the title of an Atlantic piece suggests? Or are we merely availing ourselves of all the advancements in science and medical technology?

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

I am sorry to say, but this is a scam, a post-dated check and a grant plea.

The science community would like us to believe that they can solve all problems of life including the major ones such as death, disease, and old age. This is much like the Ford horseless carriage advertisements of the 1900s that claimed automobiles could solve America’s pollution problem. It would rid the streets of horse manure. Yet still people will invest and despite scientific advancements the death rate in America remains a steady 100%.

Back to the question. In the ancient Śrīmad Bhāgavatam it is stated. “What is the value of a prolonged life which is wasted, inexperienced by years in this world? Better a moment of full consciousness, because that gives one a start in searching after his supreme interest.”

This material world is like a hotel. When staying overnight at a hotel a wise person does not remodel his room. Similarly those who are wise to not try to make permanent plans to stay in the temporary material world. They are invested in the eternal for they are eternal. That which is eternal can never be satisfied with the temporary.

This issue of chasing after the temporary goes back to the root problem of life: People misidentify the self/soul with this temporary ever changing material body, this is called ignorance.

To see all responses of the TEXAS Faith panel click here.

extra comments:

"49 percent of those who believe in an after-life also thought this was good."
I would like to add in regards to this excerpt. That most people who believe in the afterlife do not have a very clear picture as to what it is. If you were ask those believers what exactly is the afterlife like? What does that place look like? How do you spend your time there? What are the relationship between the various persons who are there and what exactly is one's relationship with God there? Would most people be able to answer?
Therefore because most religious people do not have scriptural details of the afterlife it would seem better to invest in that which we know something about, this life. It is like spending money to go on a vacation to an unknown destination.

It is like the bird who is afraid to leave his cage (the temporary body) because it is fearful of what is beyond the cage.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

TEXAS FAITH 108: What relevance does Pope Francis have beyond the Catholic Church?

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.

Pope Francis made quite a splash when he said last week in response to a question about a priest being gay: “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

As you may expect, there has been plenty of discussion about what the pope meant. Was he speaking personally? Was he speaking as head of the Catholic Church? Or was he speaking as both?

Beyond those remarks, the pope has received ample attention for the simplicity of his lifestyle, his attitude toward the poor and his humility in washing the feet of criminal offenders. In fact, those are just some of the areas in which the pope has gained attention, as this Washington Post editorial indicates.

Of course, his remarks, attitude and approach have a special audience among Catholics. But what relevance do they have to non-Catholics? The Catholic Church may be the world’s largest body of Christians, but what about other Christians and the many other faith traditions? What difference do comments from the pope make to them — as well as to non-believers?

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

In the Bhagavad Gītā, Lord Kṛṣṇa states, “Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.”

Having a leader for the social body is like having a head on the physical body. It is of utmost importance. A leader cannot teach principles that he/she does not imbibe and exhibit. Such a leader is called an Ācārya. A spiritual leader must not only be a living example but he/she must also not manufacture rules and ideas against the principles of the words of God. Thus a leader’s instructions reveal God’s instructions, rather than their own inventions.

Any leader who can impart the message of Bhakti, purely loving God without motivation by their own example, is relevant to all people of this world.

To see all responses of the TEXAS Faith panel click here.