Archive for January 2011

Message of Thakor Bhakti Vinode – Back to Godhead Magazine – Volume 01, Number 0104

Table Of Content:

  • Message of His Divine Grace
  • Message of Thakur Bhakti Vinode
  • "BACK TO GODHEAD"
  • Godhead and His Potentialities
  • Theosophy Ends in Vaishnavism
  • The Science of Congregational Chanting of…
  • The Highest Attainment and Present Adjustment—I
  • The Real Process of Approaching Godhead
  • The Dawn
  • The Essentials of Religion
  • Letters to the Editor

Message of Thakor Bhakti Vinode

"There is no other way out of this great ocean of Nescience except the unalloyed mercy of the Absolute Godhead. Living entity although superior in nature in comparison to the nature of matter, he is by association dependant and weaker than the material nature. The Absolute Godhead is the creator of all entities, He is the maintainer and deliverer of all entities. The innumerable living entities are infinitesimals and Godhead is Infinite. The infinitesimal living entity is therefore subordinate to the Infinite and as such he is transcendentally the eternal servitor of the Absolute Godhead. The Supreme Spirit Godhead is the ultimate rest of all entities. This material world is a construction of the material energy and the material existence of the living entity is a sort of punishment just like a prisoner. The punishment is due to forgetfulness of Godhead by the living entity. And therefore there is no deliverance of the living entities from the clutches of Nescience save and except by the revival of his sense of Godhead. Those who have forgotten the relation of Godhead are only the prisoners of this Material world and those who have not forgotten Him are the liberated souls.

"The conditioned souls who are bound up by the material energy can get rid of prison life by the mercy of Godhead if he prays for it by penance and service. Great Sages and Messiahs of the world have devised various ways and means for this self-realisation of the living entity and all such means can be grouped into three different channels namely good work, knowledge and devotion.

"There are many sub-divisions within good works such as the system of four castes of four orders of life, sacrifice, austerity, charity, penance and various such things. And there are scriptures wherein the respective results of all the above mentioned good works are illustrated and explained. If those results are again analysed and scrutinised, we can understand that higher station of life such as one in the Heaven, opulence in this material world, power, deliverance from miseries and diseases or attainment of higher standard of services are the net results of the above good works. And by separating the one of higher standard of services, we can only understand all other results as one of material world. As such all the results pertaining to the material energy which can be attained by the performances of good works, are but temporary and subject to exhaustion. In order of mundane time and space, created by the Material Energy, everything is limited by the laws of Nature. So all these limited acquisitions cannot help us in our attempt to get rid of the conditional life on the contrary the temporary good results of these good works bind us more strongly within the limits of material energy.

The ultimate end of attaining higher status of life is to obtain sufficient time for culture and performances of higher duties. The system of the four castes and four orders of life as introduced by the religion of the Hindus, is designed to mould up the character of the respective performers for higher duties and thus to give them ample chance for cultivating spiritual knowledge. If therefore any one who even after obtaining higher standard of life as well as sufficient leisure, does not culture this higher duties namely the cultivation of spiritual knowledge and philosophy, then according to the opinion of Bhagvats, the labour and energy lost in this direction is spent up for nothing. And in most cases it has been found that those who have obtained sufficient rest and comfort after performances of hard labour, have mostly squandered away the valuable time and energy thus obtained in different occupations other than spiritual culture. This fact proves conclusively that good works cannot give any one the ultimate goodness that is freedom from the bondage of conditioned life.

"Cultivation of higher spiritual knowledge which discerns the matter from spirit does not also help us in the achievement of the highest goal. By this culture of spiritual life one can realise only one’s self, as distinguished from gross matter, and can also understand that the spirit soul is above matter as ignorance of this fact makes him bound to undergo the rigours of conditioned life. This self-realisation may help one for attaining the marginal position between material and spiritual existence but this does not mean actual spiritual life and its spiritual activities without which the spirit soul cannot obtain the highest bliss. This marginal state of life may be called the life of self-satisfaction as distinguished from the life of self-realisation which means engagement in the transcendental activities of the spiritual world. Self-satisfaction without this self-realisation (attachment for spiritual activities) does not bear any substantial fruit.

"The quality of spiritual activity is so much attractive that it attracts even the most self-satisfied spiritualists and thus engages them in the spiritual activities as distinguished from the material activities.

"Thus the result of good works, when it gives sufficient leisure for the cultivation of spiritual activities and spiritual knowledge it is then and then only that good works or cultivation of spiritual knowledge can be accepted as means to the ultimate goal. Therefore devotional activities only can lead us to the spiritual activities and nothing else. Good works or spiritual knowledge under the guidance of devotional activities can be helpful for spiritual activities but devotional activities even without the help of good works or spiritual knowledge can alone help us in the attainment of spiritual life.

"The Personality of Godhead Sree Krishna informed Uddhava that neither good works even without any desire for fruitive action, nor spiritual knowledge, nor the system of caste and creed nor the studies of scriptures, nor penances, nor even renunciation can satisfy Him, as do the devotional activities themselves.

© The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International
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Astrology chaos: your zodiac sign has now changed

Earth’s alignment has changed from 3,000 years ago when astrology began; Check what your new star sign is

Zodiac Shifting Signs

Parke Kunkle, who teaches astronomy at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, talks with a reporter about the changing astrological signs in his office in Minneapolis, Minn. Kunkle told a newspaper interviewer that the Earth’s wobbly orbit means it’s no longer aligned to the stars in the same way as when the signs of the zodiac were first conceived. That means when astrologers say the sun is in Pisces, it’s really in Aquarius, and so on, Kunkle said. (AP)

Thousands of people woke up to the realisation this week that they aren’t who they thought they were.

Worse still, neither was that partner they always thought they were so compatible with based on their astrological signs, because this week it was announced that many of us were reading the wrong horoscope.

"Over the 2,500 years or so since the zodiac was established, your sign has moved about a month relative to the sun and stars," wrote Robert Roy Britt in a posting on LiveScience that was republished by a newspaper in Minnesota, triggering the zodiac panic.

"You’re no longer what you think you are, and so if you’re an astrology buff, perhaps poised to make a New Year’s resolution based on the stars and a reading of your supposed personality, know that you’re actually following observations, predictions and advice aimed at another person entirely."

The shift in the alignment of the stars, which has come about because the Earth has been wobbling on its axis for millennia, means most people go back a sign.

Warm-hearted, patient Taurus becomes selfish, quick-tempered Aries.

Eminently practical and prudent Capricorns are now blindly optimistic and careless Sagittarians.

And many Sagittarians are now Ophiucus.

Oh what?

Ophiucus. It’s the hitherto little-heard-of 13th astrological sign. Apparently the Babylonians had an Ophiucus column in their daily horoscopes but it got dropped somewhere between their civilization and ours.

In any case, news of the celestial shift and of Ophiucus’s resurrection sent astrology buffs reeling.

If they weren’t wondering how to get rid of the Scorpio tattoo that they just had done when it turns out they’re really Libra, as Michele Zipp did in a blog posting on The Stir, they were pondering some of the other existential questions raised by the change.

What, for instance, are Ophiucus’s personality traits? What signs are compatible with Ophiucans? And do the lyrics to the song from "Hair" that go, "This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius" have to be rewritten?

It would become "the dawning of the age of Capricorn", which doesn’t really work with the meter of the song.

Knowing that famous Ophiucans include the late Sir Winston Churchill, rocker and reality show star Ozzy Osbourne, the late US comedian Richard Pryor, and pop star Britney Spears, all of whom were born between November 29 and December 17, sheds little light on what the sign’s personality traits are.

In fact, wrote John Abbott in Kernel Press about Ophiucus, "To claim that people as disparate as Ozzy Osbourne, Winston Churchill and Richard Pryor have a similar set of characteristics is nonsense."

The news of the heavenly shift is in fact old — Britt’s story links to another published on LiveScience in 2007, in which the shift in the heavens and Ophiucus were announced, and Abbott wrote his piece in 1996, which is why he didn’t mention Britney Spears — she released her debut album in 1999.

Britts and Abbott both point out that astrology is not a science, a hint that no one was supposed to take the redrawing of the zodiac map too seriously.

But for some reason, the whole thing went viral after the Star Tribune newspaper in Minneapolis picked up the story and got an astronomer – a real scientist – to comment on it.

The astronomer was swamped with phone calls, and the Star Tribune’s website got more than 183,000 hits on Thursday.

"If we had checked our horoscope, maybe we would have seen this coming," chuckled the Star Tribune’s Bill Ward in his column on Friday.

According to a survey conducted in 2009 by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, a quarter of Americans believe in astrology.

That’s 75 million people who could now be worried that someone is trying to Ophiucus.

This is the chart reflecting where the stars currently are aligned:

Capricorn: Jan. 20 – Feb. 16

Aquarius: Feb. 16 – March 11

Pisces: March 11- April 18

Aries: April 18- May 13

Taurus: May 13- June 21

Gemini: June 21- July 20

Cancer: July 20- Aug. 10

Leo: Aug. 10- Sept. 16

Virgo: Sept. 16- Oct. 30

Libra: Oct. 30- Nov. 23

Scorpio: Nov. 23- Nov. 29

Ophiuchus: Nov. 29- Dec. 17

Sagittarius: Dec. 17- Jan. 20

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