Dear Prabhujis and Mathajis,
Hare Krishna! Please accept my humble obeisances! All Glories to Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev!
I was recently listening to a speech by our beloved Spiritual master, on the occasion of a devotee’s wedding in Minneapolis. As part of the speech, Maharaj was wonderfully explaining the way to overcome the miserable conditions in our life. I shall post a few of the points here.
Those who are always connected to the Supreme Absolute Truth through the activities of devotional service will never know the miseries. Those people who concoct, they have to face the miseries. For us, we are always in the final destination. Young or old, one has to come back to the Lord, and that is the final destination. In Srimad Bhagavatam there is a wonderful verse (SB 2.8.6) which states,
dhautaatmaa purushah krishna / paada-mulam na muncati
mukta-sarva-parikleshah / paanthah sva-sharanam yathaa
"A pure devotee of the Lord whose heart has once been cleansed by the process of devotional service never relinquishes the lotus feet of Lord Krishna, for they fully satisfy him, as a traveller is satisfied at home after a troubled journey."
As soon as we sincerely surrender to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the result is ‘mukta sarva parikleshah‘- we are liberated from all the mental anguish. Mental anguish will definitely be there if you break the laws of Krishna. Hence the following should be strictly followed.
1. The four regulative principles of No meat eating, No intoxication, No gambling and No illicit sex must be practically followed and with that, the day to day duties must be nicely performed.
2. Preach Krishna consciousness to the suffering mass. This is our path, kaivalya sammata pathah. This is the approved path.This is bhakti yoga. As soon as this formula is followed, Hari katha will be relished day by day.
3. Avoid unnecessary artificial standard of living
4. Stop over-eating
5. Stop over-indulgence in sense gratification. We may be young at the moment but the time is working on all the bodies. So you are getting old. As you get older and older, bodily enjoyment has to be reduced. The more we glide to the waning years, the more we should stop sense gratification, and come to the final point where both the husband and wife should engage in serious devotional service.
6. Completely stop over dependence on other’s mercy. Try to work hard for your bread and be satisfied with what Krishna gives you.
If you do not follow the above, you will be in miserable condition.
Every day is a new day. It is His mercy. Sleeping is in our hand. To take rest is our choice. We may take rest at 9 or 10 or 11p.m. But to get up, is not in our hands. Please remember this. Even our soul sleeps. All our senses sleep. Whole body is completely like a dead person. Only the Super soul is awake. And when Super soul wants you to wake up, He helps you to wake up and we open the eyes. If He decides that this night is going to be the last night, Super soul will keep quiet and you will never get up. That is the ideal death. There is no suffering and we should pray for this type of death. So the point is, unless the Super soul helps, we will never wake up. Every day, every breath is His decision. If it is His decision, why are we roaming about with different mentally concocted things? At every step we are at His mercy. We do not really know, after two minutes, what is going to happen? Remember this. If you remember this instant passing away and living at the mercy of Krishna, then your life will be on proper lines. As soon as you forget this fact, you glide down into the sense gratification and unnecessary engagements, unnecessary activities, unnecessary eating, unnecessary parties, unnecessary this and that. Why can’t we remember this that instant death is waiting for us at any time? Chronic diseases are rampant.
As soon as you break the laws of Krishna, they are very stringent. He doesn’t speak with you. Here there is a police department. If you commit any crime, the police may come and arrest you. But Krishna doesn’t have the police department. He has the illusory energy department. If you do not believe Him, He throws you to the illusion. And you accept the things which are not there. Please stop this nonsense for good.
Thus the way out of mental anguish, is to follow the laws of Krishna by coming to the brahminical culture, which is to recognize the original source of everything and engage in His worship.
- Vaijayanthimala devi dasi
Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Mathajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.
In our Rukmini sabha class in Abu Dhabi we have nicely begun the discussions about Hanumanji’s prayers of S.B.5.19. I shall try to transcribe what we have heard from H.G.Vaijayanthimala Devi Dasi Mathaji last week.
S.B.5.19 is titled A description of the island of Jambudvipa. It is the Kimpurusa-varsa where Hanumanji and Arstisena are worshiping Lord Rama.
Ramayana is popular all over the planet. Japanese people had made an animated C.D of Ramayana. Ramayan has the capacity to attract or capture the attention of all living entities without discrimination. Everybody loves to hear Ramayana. Ramayana took place in treta yuga but even now it is so fresh to learn. It is the potency of Lord Rama.
There is a beautiful couplet in Hindi which Maharaj says "visha jaise ye duniya mein nahi hei aaraam ka sthaan, vish ke sath ram mile to, hojaaye vishraam". It means material world is full of poison. So there is no rest or peace in this world. But along with poison if we get Ram, we will become completely relaxed or peaceful. The very word Ram means one who gives pleasure. But there is one person who brought vishram to Ram also. That is none other than our Hanumanji.
It is not actually that Hanumanji is superior to Lord Ram, but Rama wanted to glorify His pure devotee. In 5.19.1 Sukadeva Goswami says Hanumanji as "parama-bhagavata". It means the great devotee is celebrated throughout the universe. Hanumanji stands for pure devotional service. Whatever verses Sri Krsna speaks in 700 verses of Bhagavad Gita, Hanumanji is just a personification. We all can just learn these verses but Hanumanji practically executed the meaning of these verses. If we see the activities of Hanumanji, we can very well understand what ever Krsna likes to say in Bhagavad Gita or Bhagavatam.
He executed the devotional service without even a tinge of expectation. His only aim was that Lord Rama should be satisfied or pleased. He is completely pure-hearted. We will see how he brought vishram to Ram in this Granthraj offering. In the next offering we will see how he brought vishram to Sita and Bharatji.
Anxiety of Ram was that Sita was kidnapped and she was in Ashoka Vana. Hanumanji was the person who located Sita in Ashoka Vana. He brought this news to Lord Ram. He communicated this message so nicely to Ram. He said "I have seen Sita", in Valmiki Ramayan it is said "drshta sita". Hanumanji did not say Sita has been seen. Because Rama is already anxious, supposing Hanumanji begins with the name Sita, then Rama will come across so many thoughts like what happened to Sita and so on, even though it is just for a second before the next word follows from Hanumanji. That is why he said first "I have seen".
That much he went into the heart of Rama to understand the feelings of the Lord. This is how we have to perform our devotional service. We have to go into the heart of Lord or our Spiritual Master and see what they want. From this we can understand what an eloquent speaker is Hanumanji. Learned personalitys speech is different from an ignorant personality. That is why Prabhupada says in one of his purport "When a man opens his mouth, we can understand whether he is a fool or not". So austerity in speech is very important.
Krsna says in Bhagavad Gita 17.15:
anudvega-karam vaakyam / satyam priya-hitam ca yat
svaadhyaayaabhyasanam caiva / vaan-mayam tapa ucyate
"Austerity of speech consists in speaking words that are truthful, pleasing, beneficial, and not agitating to others, and also in regularly reciting Vedic literature."
Our speech should not cause anxiety to other living entities; it should be truthful and should bring pleasure to others. Hanumanji is a perfect example of this verse, because he did not want to bring anxiety to Ram even for a moment by saying Sita has been seen. This austerity of speech we have to learn from Hanumanji.
After communicating this, Rama immediately embraced Hanumanji. But Hanumanji did not feel comfortable. He said to Rama that his position is in His lotus feet. Hanumanji is completely in the mood of servant to Lord Rama. Immediately he offered his obeisances. He is very humble.
So I pray to the otus feet of Lord Rama and Hanumanji to have this austerity of speech in my life. I will try to post how Hanumanji is bringing vishram to Sita and Bharatji in ensuing mail, Krsna willing.
Dear Prabhujis and Mathajis,
Hare Krishna! Please accept my humble obeisances! All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev!
Day in and day out we face so many kinds of problems and challenges in our lives. We might be facing some difficulty now and would be thinking that there is nothing more miserable than this. But after some time we face something more complex and then we realise that our previous misery was comparatively less intense. In such situations we might wonder how to get out of these sufferings and might even start believing that there is no way out. In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 7.5.5 Prahlad Maharaj very nicely describes the condition of householders like us.
tat saadhu manye ‘sura-varya dehinaam
sadaa samudvigna-dhiyaam asad-grahaat
hitvaatma-paatam grham andha-kupam
vanam gato yad dharim aashrayeta
Prahlada Maharaja replied: O best of the asuras, King of the demons, as far as I have learned from my spiritual master, any person who has accepted a temporary body and temporary household life is certainly embarrassed by anxiety because of having fallen in a dark well where there is no water but only suffering. One should give up this position and go to the forest [vana]. More clearly, one should go to Vrndavana, where only Krsna consciousness is prevalent, and should thus take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Our materialistic responsibilities, challenges and anxieties are always recurring and permanent. Prahlad Maharaj has told us that the only way to come out of this dark well of suffering is to go to Vrindavana and take shelter of Supreme Lord. In this Kaliyuga we are so unfortunate that it is not possible for all of us to go to Vrindavana and stay there. So how can we take shelter of Supreme Lord ? Lord out of His causeless mercy to fallen souls like us, is telling us the secret method. In Srimad Bhagavad Gita Chapter 10, Verse 25, Lord Krishna says – ‘yajnaanaam japa-yajno ‘smi‘ – "Of sacrifices I am the chanting of the holy names[japa]"
The Lord very nicely declares that of sacrifices He is the chanting of the holy names (japa). We can connect to the Lord very easily by japa. Even though He is the proprietor for all the three worlds, the Lord clearly shows how He is easily approachable by all and we can take shelter of Him simply by chanting the holy names. He does not expect us to do great sacrifices like horse sacrifices or 1000 years of tapas. The best yajna for this Kali yuga is sankirtana yajna
Further in verse 10.35 the Lord says – "maasaanaam maarga-shirso ‘ham" – "Of months I am Maargashirsha (November and December)." The Lord tells us that of all the months He is November and December. These verses are like our tips and clues to the final exam. In the name of family problems, office problems, health problems etc – we should not loose the chance of taking advantage of the "open secrets" provided by the Lord to return back home to His abode of Goloka. As Satyavrata muni nicely sings in Damodarshataka – "itidrk sva-leelabhir ananda kunde" – Goloka Vrindavan is Ananda-kund – place where we would be immersed in pools of esctacy. If we really want to get out of dark well of suffering and be immersed in pools of estacy – all we need to do is intensify our devotional service to the Lord, by doing more of japa-yajna in these holy months and please our Supreme Father.
- Sharada Devi Dasi.