Sunday, September 30, 2012

Formula to work 24hrs a day


We generally begin a work with great enthusiasm but soon the enthusiasm wanes. Boredom and monotony penetrates. We fret and often regret that why did we take this task. And most often we complete the task unwillingly. We are not physically so much drained out than mentally. However Bhagavad – gita gives us a technique which can help us to perform a particular task with great enthusiasm and energy. And one can even work for 24hrs a day without even getting tired.

If we imbibe the principles of yogah karmasu kausalam (Bhagavad – gita 2.50) then we will get the ability to work enthusiastically 24hrs a day.  Karmasu means activities and kausalam means expert service. If we sincerely want to perform any task by keeping Krishna in the centre then Krishna will awards us sufficient intelligence to perform the work expertly and will give extra enthusiasm to accomplish it.  The six goswamis of Vrindavan who were deputed by Lord Caitanaya Mahaprabhu to propagate Krishna Consciousness slept only for 2 hours a day. They were so engrossed in Krishna Conscious activities that they considered sleep & food to be a disturbing distraction.

Mundane material activities may seem to be attractive in the beginning but becomes tasteless after some time. For example when we take up a new job then we have great hope and expectations from it but soon we get bored. But if we take up a job as our prescribed duty and do it for the pleasure of Krishna then we can do the work with lots of enthusiasm. The life of Bhaktivinoda Thakur is a guiding light for entire humanity. Bhaktivinoda Thakur was a great Vaisnava saint whose center of life was Krishna. He was a householder and worked as a magistrate. He performed his prescribed duties with utmost sincerity that everyone was pleased with him. He was able to do so because he always kept Krishna in the centre. He wrote hundreds of books, poems and songs which is still a source of inspiration for millions of Krishna devotees all over the world.

Spiritual life is so sublime that people neither get bored nor fatigued. They only get inspiration to work more and more.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Suffering like a fish out of water

Every one of us wants to be happy. In fact every moment we strive hard to achieve happiness but most often we find that in spite of achieving all what we had desired to achieve we still remain unhappy. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is sac-cid-ananda-vigraha i.e. eternal, blissful and full of knowledge. We being parts and parcel of the Lord we also have desire for eternity, bliss and knowledge. Every jiva be it in Svargloka, brahmaloka, bhuvarloka etc. wants to be happy. The level of happiness which one enjoys in the heavenly planets is far greater than what we enjoy on earth. On earth also there is difference in the level of enjoyment which one may experience in a western country than in India.

 In spite of striving hard to achieve happiness people never get the bliss which they dream, they never feel inner satisfaction, inner fulfillment and inner joy. Why is it so? Suppose we take a fish out of water and put it in a golden jar then will the fish be happy? Definitely ‘No’. Fish is happy only in water and not out of water. Similarly we are spiritual beings and we will be happy only when we get connected to Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and return back to our original home which is the spiritual world.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

We are not God & we can never be God


The thought that we can become God is very dangerous. God is eternally God and we are eternally His parts and parcels, His servitors. It is true that qualitatively we are same as God but quantitatively there is an ocean of difference. Scriptures says that Krishna, God, has six opulences in full: all wealth, all fame, all beauty, all power, all knowledge and all renunciation. We the jivas, the living entities, too possess these qualities but in very minute quantities. Krishna has 64 qualities and the living entity can possess 78% of these qualities. The living entity can never possess all 100%.

If we are saying that we are God but we have forgotten that we are God then this is also insubstantial. God never forgets. If God is subjected to forgetfulness or Maya, Illusion, then Maya would be more powerful than God. Then what would be the meaning of the word God?

Since we have a desire to become God, this is why we have fallen into this material world. We have to accept the fact that we are always subservient to God and we are His infinitesimal parts and parcels. And since we are infinitesimal so we are always deluded by the material energy.

When Krishna appeared in this world then He appeared first in a four – handed Visnu form. Krishna did not do any meditation or anything else to become God. He was God from the day He appeared in this material world to perform His lila. He killed Putana when He was just 7 days old. He lifted the Govardhan hill when He was just a few years old child, in the battlefield of Kurushetra He displayed His Vishvarupa (Universal Form) to Arjuna and performed several other incredible pastimes which no one ever has performed. Can we do these remarkable deeds? We don’t have control even on our bodies. If we have toothache then we cry in pain and take shelter of a painkiller.

So we have to understand from the scriptures that we are not God & we can never become God.

If we want to be Krishna Conscious then we have to refer Bhagavad – Gita because Bahgavad – gita was personally spoken by Krishna.  If we want to understand Krishna then we need to understand Bhagavad – Gita.

The Bhagavad – gita clearly states that we are not God and we will never become God.

dvav imau purusau loke ksaras caksaras eva ca

ksarah sarvani bhutani kutastho ksara ucyate

“There are two classes of beings, the fallible and the infallible. In the material world every entity is fallible, and in the spiritual world every entity is called infallible (Bhagavad – gita 15.16).”

Bhagavad – Gita further states:

uttamah purusas tv anyah paramatmety udahrtah

yo loka trayam avisya bibharty avyaya ishvarah

“Besides these two there is the greatest living personality, the Lord Himself, who has entered into these worlds and is maintaining them” (Bhagavad – gita 15.17)

It is clearly stated that there are innumerable living entities some of them are conditioned and some are liberated, there is also the Supreme Personality who is also the Paramatma. Thus we can clearly infer that living entities whether in conditioned state or liberated state are always subordinate to God.

 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The goal of my life is to lead an UnHappy life?


Have you met anyone in this world who wants to fail in an exam, or want to lose his job or want to meet with an accident?  Do we find anyone who boldly declares that “The goal of my life is to lead an UnHappy life”.

Have you ever wondered why everyone wants or struggles to be happy?  From a beggar on the street to a business magnate, everyone makes plan to ensure a happy and fulfilling life. Even small babies who do not know anything about “Being Happy” or “Being UnHappy” want to be happy.

What is the source of this desire?

Srila Prabhupada comments, “The living entities, like the Lord, are full of consciousness, and they are after happiness.”  Being happy is our natural state & this is why we always seek pleasure. And we seek pleasure because as a soul we are sac-cid-änanda i.e. eternal, blissful and full of knowledge. Radhanath Swami explains, “In the Brahma-sutra it is said ananda-mayo 'bhyasat, which means the inherent
nature of every living being is we are seeking pleasure”.

All of us want to be happy but unfortunately we do not know how to be happy. Since we are souls so we are spirit not matter. Therefore our quest for happiness should also be spiritual not material. Also real happiness is that which is unlimited, uninterrupted and uncontaminated. 

Krishna is the original source of such unlimited pleasure. And if we want to bathe in this reservoir of pleasure then we will have to get connected to Krishna.  If we take shelter of Govinda (one who gives pleasure to the senses) then we are guaranteed of unlimited and uninterrupted bliss.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Give spiritual sense to Senses


We are completely subjugated by of our senses. Our senses drag us in different directions and like a faithful servant we follow them.  Srila Prabhupada compares the material senses to a serpent. One cannot keep friendship with a venomous snake because it can kill us any time.  Similarly we should never keep friendship with our senses because it can cheat us and degrade us at any time. It is very difficult to control senses. Although we may succeed in controlling it for sometime but soon we get victimized by it. Senses always seek pleasure. Eyes wants to see beautiful objects, tongue want to taste something delicious, ear wants to hear something sweet, nose wants to smell something nice and skin wants to feel pleasure. We are under the control of our senses at each and every moment.

Subjugating senses is very difficult but not impossible.  Sri Caitanaya Mahaprabhu has given us a very practical but powerful solution. He asks us to subjugate our senses by spiritualizing it. Seeing the deities purify our eyes, taking prasadam offered to Krishna purifies our tongue, hearing the glories of the Lord purify our ears, smelling the flowers offered to Lord purifies our nose and offering obeisances to Lord purifies our skin.

This is the only way to control our senses. Once our senses get spiritualized we will get attached and attracted to the spiritual way of life. Once we start spiritualizing our senses by adopting the above means and utilize our mind in remembering Krishna by chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra then our whole life will get purified. And we will experience great bliss.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Only Ask – How can I serve you?


Krishna takes care of all our necessities. He provides food to an insignificant ant and also to a huge elephant. But most often when we approach him we ask for several material things. We think that Krishna is not aware of our necessities. We consider Krishna to be our order supplier and demand several things from him - like good marks, high paying job, palatial bungalow, fancy car, beautiful spouse and so on.

Instead of asking something material we should pray to Krishna to give us intelligence so that we can serve him in the best possible way. Radhanath Swami explains, “Lord preserves what we have and he carries what we lack”. Krishna knows what is best for us. We should not get entangled in our materialistic way of life so much that we forget the essence of life.

Human form of life is very rare, it should be utilized only to develop love for God and return back to the spiritual world. Unfortunately we waste our entire life running behind material pleasure which is not just frustrating but also very temporary. As this human life is very rare it should be utilized only for serving Lord. If we approach Krishna with faith then he will do what is best for us. Krishna instructed Arjuna to fight with faith. Arjuna did exactly the same for Krishna’s pleasure and emerged victorious.

Similarly we should follow the instruction of Krishna with faith and always pray to him to engage us in his devotional service. 

 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Joy of Surrender


When a person surrenders to his enemy then he loses all his glory. The surrender is too painful for him. But when one surrenders to the will of the Lord then the surrender is not painful but it’s joyful. It brings joy to both – the Lord and the one who surrenders to him.

Every one of us has to surrender to Lord at some point of time. The decision is ours. We have to decide when we want to surrender. If we do not surrender to Krishna willingly then at the time of death we will be forced to surrender. When Krishna exhibited his all devouring Universal form to Arjuna then Arjuna was not just bewildered but was terrified. He pleaded Krishna to come back to his 2 handed sweet form. So we have to decide if we want to surrender to sweet Krishna who is the darling of all the brajvasis, or do we want to surrender to all devouring fear personified Krishna in the form of death.  

In the material world surrender means accepting defeat. But here surrender means accepting the ultimate reality. It’s like a rebellious child surrendering to his father. When a child surrenders to his father then his father not only accepts him with open arms but also forgets and forgives his all previous mistakes. Similarly Krishna is waiting for us with his open arms to embrace us. We just need to turn towards him and say – Krishna I am yours. Please accept me. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Controller of the Controllers


Everyone of us nourishes a desire to control something. From a small ant to the huge elephant, from a pauper on the street to the President of a state, everyone thinks that “I am the controller”. An ant thinks, “I am the controller of the little grain of sugar”, an elephant thinks “I am the controller of the entire trees of the forest”, a pauper thinks, “I am the controller of my begging bowl” and a President thinks, “I am the controller of the entire nation”.  It’s true that we have tiny little control over certain things for a certain period of time. But those controls are also taken away by the mighty time. Where is now Alexander the Great, Napolean, Hitler, Ravana, or Auranzeb? 

Revealed scriptures explain that all the living entities are controllers of certain things but God, Krishna, is the controller of all the controllers. He is the supreme controller. Sri Brahma – samhita says,

isvarah paramah krishna

sac-cid-änanda-vigrahah

anädir ädir govindah

sarva-kärana-karanam

Translation: Krishna who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes: - Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Take the first step

When we hear that we have to think about God 24hrs a day then we become disheartened. Most of the time, we desist from taking the very first step in devotional life because we feel that it is impossible for us to remember God at each and every moment.


Journey begins always with a first step. A huge banyan tree is just a small seed in the beginning. The seed is first sown in the ground. The gardener nurtures it daily by watering it. Slowly the seed sprouts into a sapling then it becomes a plant and finally becomes a gigantic tree.

Our biggest problem is that we are very impatient. We want to achieve everything immediately. But we should understand that unless and until we strive for a goal, we will never get it. We have to take the plunge. We have to take the first step. Srila Prabhupada was instructed by his spiritual master to spread Krishna Consciousness all over the world. Prabhupada was all alone, he had no money. But he took that first step. He kept faith in the instructions of his spiritual master and faith in Krishna’s mercy. And the result the world saw and is seeing. We just have to begin in the right direction. There are many who successfully practiced devotional life and achieved love of God. Prahlad Maharaj, Dhruv Maharaj, Arjuna, Rupa Goswami, Sanatana Goswami, Haridas Thakura, Srila Prabhupada are the ideal examples for us to follow. Their lives give us lots of hope in our own endeavor.

So, today let us take a vow to take the first step in our devotional life. Let us begin by dedicating a fixed amount of time for remembering the Lord. And the best way to remember God is by chanting the holy name like the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. An expert gardener waters the plant daily. Similarly, if we want to grow in our devotional life then we should chant the holy names of the Lord daily.

Krishna promises that if we take first step towards him then he will take thousands of steps towards us. We just have to take the initiative. Are we ready for it?