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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ringing In the New Year


It is almost New Years Eve. Unlike many, I do not welcome it. I do not ring it in with bells and cheer. Why?

Cheer seldom means joy, but alcohol. Tonight
preparations are currently going on, this very moment, for a big celebration. Right now many are out shopping, buying fancy, fruit flavored alcoholic drinks or heavy drinks, but drinks - to make all laugh and smile.

Is it not but a sign of the times we live in, that so few know how to feel happy without the booze?

The joy religion in their past has in reality, too often been revealed as fanaticism. Thus so many of the world do not know how to gain joy from religion. Even afraid to look for it there, fearing it will disappoint, or secure in their belief its simply not present there. But in a bottle? Quick, fast, but the cheating process which next day may lead to much pain. Especially if some don't survive via car crashes. [Oh please, while we can't control family members or teenagers etc, but everyone as they read, or right after - can send out mantras of protection!]


I myself do not think I would have joined the Hare Krishna movement if it were like other typical religions. Tho some may practice it that way, but that is THEIR problem, and not the right way - at all.

Srila Prabhupada himself has explained, Krishna Consciousness is not a faith or a religion, but reuniting us to a eternal relationship we've always had with Krishna - simply we have forgotten. And it can be one of friend, of parent, neutrality, servitude, lover. Its not some vague or boring thing, tho we must do the work to get there. But it is fun! :)


Here we are, only two nights away from the big New Years celebrations that go on nearly everywhere, ignoring that year after year horrors results, many nevertheless go out and get drunk.


At this very moment someone is alive who no longer will be in but a couple of evenings. This bothers me.
Actually, it's not even a good idea to drive on the streets at all, if one can avoid. Please stay home! Go without that milk a couple days and remain safe, or "walk" to a nearby store, pay a little more, and again, stay safe!

Thus, I am never happy or secure about new year celebrations, as they are not even God conscious in general, what to speak of Krishna Consciousnesses. And I do not understand how Christan can go to church ever so dedicated for Christmas, and now make it acceptable to drink or get drunk. Something I suppose I'll never comprehend. I don't recall Jesus getting drunk. While some say he drank wine so too can they, he also walked on water - master that first, then we'll talk about the wine. :)

My dear friends, readers, anyone - Please find joy in Krishna, in ways that function for you. Put on a joyous kirtana maybe of VishnuJana Swami, or any that get you dancing and happy. :)

And /or use your own voice and sing Hare Krishna all around your home.

Cook up a veggie feast, offer it, and joyfully dance and chant!

Invite some [nearby!] friends over, tell them its going to be a nonalcoholic cool veggie feast. Add a little artoika ceremony if they're open to it, and if you know how. Such info on this blog - but if you want to keep it simple - that's fine too. Just be happy in God, He's not a fanatic, but a really fun Personality. :) Also Radharani, our Divine Mother. Such mercy abound, why not accept the bliss?

When I first joined it was the 1970s :) and everyone wanted to meditate for the experience of transcendental bliss. It turned out to be true! Why else would so many nearly break down the doors to move in the ashrama while Prabhupada was on the planet, unless he gave them greater happiness than they all ready could locate on their own? He give this rare opportunity to all, for the mere taking. Anyone knowing how much joy can be obtained, ever so easily, thru chanting Hare Krishna, thru dancing, thru lovingly offering food, hearing an inspirational CD/MP3, that which enthuses you to be Krishna Conscious, please spend your New Years Eve in this way. Very simply, chant and be happy.

AND stay off the roads! :) Whether I know you personally or not, is irrelevant. You are part and parcel of Shri Krishna as spirit soul - I want you to be alive and well January 2nd.

My Prayer you may use, or create your own:
Dear Lord NarasimhaDeva,
You are the protector as a lioness protects cubs. Please protect those [or reader can insert a name] who may not realize the danger they're putting themselves into, drinking and driving on New Years Eve, or at any time. Enlighten them, brighten them, first by protecting them. Direct them to fall at Your lotus feet, pull them in. Replace their dangerous illusions of [mundane] partying, with thoughts of dancing for You, singing about You, & chanting Your unique glories. Such glories which many of Your children are indeed attracted to - just need a reminder - or a gentle push toward You, to save their life, their soul. Narasimhadeva ki jai!

NEXT: Sit comfortably, then medicate on the following simple mantra. [If this is to protect someone other than yourself, or in addition to yourself, first say/think: "On Behalf Of THEIR NAME." You will automatically be benefited as the chanter.]

"Om Namo NaraSimhaYah Namaha"

Take long, deep, peaceful inhale............... [no cheating ha] and chant in a meditative mood:

"Om Namo NaraSimhaYah Namaha"
"Ommmmmmmmm Namo NaraSimhaYah Namaha"
"AUM Namo NaraSimhaYah Namaha"
"AUM Namo NaraSimhaYah Namaha"

Don't let mind wander, but if it does, no big deal just pull it back, and focus.

"Om Namo NaraSimhaYah Namaha"
"Om Namo NaraSimhaYah Namaha"
"Om Namo NaraSimhaYah Namaha"

Continue peaceful, gentle deep breathing while you absorb yourself in chanting:

"Om Namo NaraSimhaYah Namaha"
"Om Namo NaraSimhaYah Namaha"
"Ommmmm Namo NaraSimhaYah Namaha"

Continue on as long as you can, comfortably.
"Om Namo NaraSimhaYah Namaha"

Interested in details 'how' mantra works, how it heals or protects? Online [free] school here.


Monday, November 7, 2011

HUMOR

HUMOR, JOKES

This is from my original site, will divide it into several pages here in order to be able to include a pic. After all, they're funny. :)

Next,
I've actually had some ask me why the devotee should care about [what may appear to them as] a mundane thing like humor?

My opinion?

First, those opposed to humor, finding it fickle, especially they've said it's Maya, may be the the very devotees who need it the most!

These often are the grumpiest, or most fanatical. Some think fanaticism means "fixed up." Actually most older devotees experience of fanatics, saw many out of the blue fall down, startling us. Fanaticism can mean weak, tho actually can be used as protection - as long as they do it honestly, & cause no harm to others. Including no emotional harm by insisting everyone be a carbon copy of themselves.

Similarly, to go the other extreme, thinking that as a way to avoid fanaticism, or avoid rebellion thru ummm rebelling ha by going this other extreme [geesh], plus other beliefs used to justify not following rules/regs etc - indicates the exact opposite. For example, it sounds more like not caring "enough" to stick up for rules & regs, or refusal to challenge their comfort zone & face it as wrong. We're such extremists in this age. Let us try to find balance.

Tho will say, once in a while any of the above may be personalities with emotional issues. Yet, all the more reason they laugh! :)

Maintaining the variegated, above mentioned, hang-ups, in turn, effects the health of the critics of humor. Including spiritual health. Sure, I agree it'd be nice if every single joke here was related to Krishna Consciousness, but its kali yuga folks, I do the best with what comes my way.

Next, let us remember, Krishna made many laugh! There is nothing wrong spiritually with laughter. As long as they are harmless, clean jokes.

Then we also need to keep in mind,
devotees need to live a long time in order to share Krishna with everyone. Health benefits of laughter have now been proven medically. So laugh a little. Then you can preach/share better. :)

What follows are excerpts from my former web page:

~~~**~~~

INTRODUCTION

As we begin to age, our health starts to deteriorate. The material body is not built to last forever. In this modern era of pollution, poor diet or gardening soil, we need to educate ourselves & not throw in the towel, because there are things we can do.

I decided to read "Anatomy of an Illness" by Norman Cousins. The short of it is: He was diagnosed with an incurable illness that he cured through the use of Belly Laughter, Vitamin C therapy, & Medicine.

Briefly: while many feel they'll just start taking lots of Vitamin C, after reading his book I realize there can be bad side effects even to this - when we don't know 'fully' what we're doing. Therefore all should seek the help of a medical practitioner.

With that said...... Norman Cousins has also given significant evidence that the laughter was more than just a placebo, rather had scientific, beneficial, medical effect on his health. I felt so hopeful and inspired by his writings that I feel it's time we all started to lighten up a little and laugh. Who knows, it may even prolong our lifespan.

The thing about humor is, what tickles one persons funny bone may not tickle someone else. The medical benefit from laughter, Norman Counsins pointed out, was the greatest when he laughed so hard with a ten minute belly-roll type of laugh.

While not all jokes here hit me to that degree, many do, & most are pretty darn good. I've tried my best to put some real belly-roll jokes here.

I'll also interweave a few quotes from his book [from amazon.com] which may help some like myself who need a scientific basis to keep doing this.

Lets start with this one from Anatomy of an Illness, pg 40

"How scientific was it to believe that laughter - as well as the positive emotions in general - was affecting the body chemistry for the better? If laughter did in fact have a salutary effect on the body's chemistry, it seemed at least theoretically likely that it would enhance the system's ability to fight the inflammation. So we took sedimentation rate readings just before as well as several hours after the laughter episodes. Each time, there was a drop of at least five points." [A drop is a good thing.]

Additionally, as I find other scientific data proving the healing effects of laughter, I will interweave them here as well.

Please read this DISCLAIMER:
Religious, as well as other humor, are needed so we can all lighten up as well as get along. I have done my best to use only clean jokes and those in good taste. Please do not take anything personal. We're just trying to laugh at ourselves (and others) to make it easier to approach such topics. My apologies if you find anything here objectionable. Please know it was not the intent.

Ready? Ok let's go! :)

~*~
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

What is a coincidence?

It's when God performs a miracle, & decides to remain anonymous. :)

~~~

I wasn't always a comedian, before this I was a painter for 5 years. ...... FIVE years...... (sigh)...... I thought I'd NEVER finish that dang house! :)

~~~

Two rules to success in life:

1. Don't tell people everything you know.

~~~


Religion as Baseball

Calvinists believe the game is fixed.

Lutherans believe they can't win, but trust the Scorekeeper.

Quakers won't swing.

Unitarians can catch anything.

Amish walk a lot.

Pagans sacrifice.

Jehovah's Witnesses are thrown out often.

Televangelists get caught stealing.

~~~

Definition of Football: A game when 22 big, strong players run around like crazy for two hours while millions of people who really need the exercise sit and watch. :)


~~~
 

Old saying: Change your mind, change your reality

New saying: I like my reality, stop trying to change my mind. :)

[I dedicate this joke to New age and religious fanatics who tried to convert me as well as psychoanalyze me with such idioms. The reality is, it is they who did not like who I am: a Hare Krishna devotee with zero interest in psychobabble. :) I'm not against therapy, simply no one should "play" therapist. And others in need of it, please go to a college educated, qualified licensed therapist who also has a good success record, and not offensive to Krishna Consciousness.]

~~~

 

Q) What makes God laugh?

A) When a doctor tells his patient: "'I' cured you."

~~~

When Mahatma Gandhi was asked what he thought of Western Civilization, he replied: "I think it would be a good idea." :)
 

~~~


THINGS YOU DON'T WANT TO HEAR DURING SURGERY :-)

- - OOPS !!

- - I wonder what this does?

- - Hand me the saw someone!

- - Did he say the right or left leg? :-)

- - I'd feel a lot better about this if the dotted lines were pre-drawn like back at night school.

- - Bo! Bo! Come back with that! Bad dog! :::blushing:::

- - Wait a minute, if this is his spleen, then what's that?

- - Hand me that...uh...that uh...thingy.

- - Better save that. We'll need it for the autopsy.

- - Oh no! I just lost my Rolex. :)

- - Oops! Hey, has anyone ever survived 500ml of this stuff before?

- - Rats, there go the lights again...

- - "Ya know, there's big money in kidneys and this guy's got two of 'em."

- - Everybody stand back! I lost my contact lens.

- - Could you stop that thing from beating: it's throwing my concentration off.

- - What's this doing here?

- - That's cool! Now can you make his leg twitch?!

- - I wish I hadn't forgotten my glasses.

- - Well folks, this will be an experiment for all of us.

- - Anyone see where I left that scalpel?


- - And now we remove the subject's brain and place it in the body of the ape.

- - OK, now take a picture from this angle. This is truly a freak of nature.

- - Nurse, did this patient sign the organ donation card ?

- - Don't worry. I think it is sharp enough.

- - She's gonna blow! Everyone take cover!!!

- - FIRE! FIRE! Everyone get out!

- - Darn! Page 47 of the manual is missing!

~~~


Classified Ad: "Psychic Wanted: You know where to apply." hehe

~~~

If you believe in telekinesis - raise my hand!
 

~~~

LIGHT BULB JOKES

Q) How many blind followers does it take to change a light bulb?

A) None, as they prefer to remain in the dark.

~~

How many college athletes does it take to change a light bulb?
One, but he gets 3 hours credit for it.

~~

Q: How many Vulcans does it take to change a light bulb?
 


A) One. Any more would be illogical.

~~

Q) How many Voyager Crew does it take to change a light bulb?
 

A) Shouldn't they have run out of light bulbs A LONG TIME AGO?!?

~~

Q) How many male chauvinists does it take to change a light bulb?
 

A) One, he holds the bulb in the socket while the world revolves around him.

~~

Q) How many yogis does it take to change a light bulb?

A) None. Yogis find the light within. :-)

~~

Devotee Joke

Q) How many devotees does it take to put in a light bulb?

A) "That's not my service prabhu." :::rolling eyes:::

~~~

Various Faith ("Etc.") Light Bulb Jokes -

Q) How many Roman Catholics does it take to change a light bulb?

A) None. Candles only.

~~

Q) How many Pentecostals does it take to change a light bulb?

A) One, but only if he feels the Spirit moving him to do so.

OR

A) Ten. One to change the bulb, and nine to pray against the spirit of darkness.

~~

Q) How many Buddhists does it take to change a light bulb?
 

A) Three -- One to change it; one to not-change it: and one to both change -and not-change it. :::dizzy::: LOL

~~

Q) How many Quakers does it take to change a light bulb?

A) After the silence one gets up and changes the bulb.

~~

Q) How many Methodists does it take to change a light bulb?

A) Undetermined.
Whether your light is bright, dull, or completely out, you are loved -- you can be a light bulb, turnip bulb, or tulip bulb. A church-wide lighting service is planned for Sunday, August 19. Bring bulb of your choice and a covered dish.

~~

Q) How many Jewish mothers does it take to change a light bulb?

A) None.
"It's all right; I'll just sit in the dark."

~~

Q) How many Episcopalians does it take to change a light bulb?

A) Eight.
One to call the electrician, and seven to say how much they liked the old one better.

~~~

Q) How many Presbyterians does it take to change a light bulb?

A) It depends if they are predestined for it!

~~~

Q) How many Unitarians does it take to change a light bulb?

A) The Unitarians wish to issue the following statement: "We choose not to make a statement either in favor of or against the need for a light bulb; however, if in your own journey you have found that light bulbs work for you, that is fine. You are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your personal relationship with your light bulb, and present it next month at our annual light bulb Sunday service, in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, three-way, long-life and tinted, all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence."

~~~

Q) How many Amish does it take to change a light bulb?
 

A) What's a light bulb?

~~~

FOOD FOR THOUGHT - The 'perception' of humor involves the entire brain. It integrates and 'balances' activities in both of its hemispheres. This has actually been proven through the use of EEG's.

~~~

Q) How many guitar players does it take to put in a light bulb?
 

A) One. He stands on the step ladder and the whole world revolves around him.

~~~

Q) How many bass players does it take to put in a light bulb?
 

A) Six. One to put the stupid thing in and 5 to beat away the guitar players stealing all the light.

~~~

Q) How many ceremonial magicians does it take to change a light bulb?

A) One. He holds it up and the world revolves around him.

~~~

Q) "How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?"

A) "Only one; but it must want to change!"

~~~

Q - How many New-Agers does it take to change a light bulb?

A - (Said in a flaky voice) "We don't use light bulbs, we just think happy thoughts at our quartz crystals and they glow."

OR

A- Well, it takes many many years, unless you pay $650 US non refundable, Visa or MC accepted. Then you can do it after the weekend intensive training seminar.

~~~

Q) Is it possible for some people to get addicted to therapy?

A) Yes, but how would you treat them? :)


And I dedicate this joke to a certain friend or two, who have been doing therapy for 25 years etc, still insist they need it, darn near preach therapy more & Krishna Consciousness less. IMHO, if ya aint getting better, that taint what ya need. :-) But oh well, to each their own. [Please know, I am still friends with them.] 

Once read a book that stated it should take 6 months to a 1 & 1/2 years to become cured in therapy. 

IMHO, if the reason for going is emotional [not chemical imbalance] and severe, likely the person needs a little more time. If such persons are going to counseling for decades, may I merely offer ideas, to take OR to leave. And some are questions, which have no right or wrong answer - hopefully to lead you to solutions on your own:


IDEAS:

* Change therapists [& make sure the new one has a good track record, as you should not have to pay them forever].

* Sometimes we reject hearing truths from friends but are willing to hear it from counselors. What's going on with "that? Figure it out.
 
* Add new [wisely selected] friends into life, because folks often go to counseling for what our grandmothers resolved over the back fence to their neighbor/friend, or granddad at the barber shop.

* Must friends walk as if on broken glass to keep you at peace? And must they always agree with you? [We're not talking about breaking Krishna C rules & regs 'etc' here, but how to tie shoelaces, or cook, or live their understanding of Prabhupada's lifestyle.]

* Do you say they don't have to agree with you, only later to become inwardly angry when they don't? OR outwardly? :-) That passive/aggressive thing? [Work on it, if it applies.] 
* Regardless what you do, is your tendency to get fanatical, where you're a little OCDish [not necessarily OCD], and difficulty detaching to move forward, or toward something /situations/ persons - new? [New does not mean other than Krishna Consciousness, it means finding something else and peace within Krishna Consciousness.]

*Are you in denial over needing medication, or a better diet that supplies serotonin like Flax or Chia Or Hemp Oils - Omega 3's? If a therapist or counselor can't get you back on your own two feet in a couple of years or less, this could be why. They never will be able to for those who are in need of the nutrient Omega 3.So, if jumping from therapist to therapist, or one "in-thing" to the next, author after author, healer after healer - at least consider one reason nothing has a lasting effect could be this need. And it's now easily available in nonviolent forms as touched on above. There are also other nutrient deficiencies that may come into play regarding brain health as well as emotional health, just too little time to get into. Investigate, but stop hoping around with the latest psychology. If it hasn't worked after 2ish years, there's a reason for that.

* When things are not functioning, can you take honest self-inventory to see "If" you contributed, & what you can do to improve?

* Similarly but the opposite, do you take the blame for everything, & seldom notice if those you've surrounded yourself with need to be informed to treat you better? Can you find polite words to express this?

* Have you made a therapist as if Guru? [Or a guru a therapist?!] And do you have trouble making decisions, therefore want regular advice from a counselor? [Advice 'once in a while' from anyone, is okay. But the final choice is your responsibility.]

* Can you admit if you need professional help? [Really, it's not a big deal anymore, resolves draining issues, saves future pains too. According to the book "I" read, therapy is usually temporary!]
 
* Many have healed themselves through [qualified, not New Agey/trippy] self help books as much as with a therapist. If you truly need such help, there's no shame in buying a couple of these. They work! That's been proven. Tho if you tend to get addicted to therapists or counselors, make sure not to get addicted to books or authors. One, 2, maybe 3 books at most, should do it. Then push them aside, detach. ...And please do not go around analyzing or diagnosing others, that's yet another problem: "Codependency." Books are for you - and your alone.
 
* Do you need to weed toxic people out of your life who you're attached to? Simultaneously, is it too easy to label them toxic & kick them out because you don't know the right words to express your needs? [Find the middle, plus do the right thing.] 
* Can you locate & bring whole and balanced devotee friends into your life?
 
* Have you considered doing things to become the kind of friend you would desire, in order to attract the right kind of devotees to yourself, or their higher nature? As well as also have something to offer them? [Please do so.]

 
Yes, I realize I said not to play therapist. Hey, its a joke page, right? lol Seriously, I've no interest in becoming anyone's therapist. Even, I do not enjoy talking very much like this, simply I like less the idea that some devotees are behaving as if long term therapy can fix something Prabhupada can not, and preaching therapy to devotees that do NOT need it. Every little problem does not indicate the need for a Counselor. But it appears they think everyone needs it, thus they preach it. sigh.

Fortunately they never come out and say they believe "long term therapy can fix something Prabhupada can not." On a deeper level they likely know its untrue. I simply wanted to offer alternatives, such as an increase of friendships, and to DO something for yourself in order to be a more wholesome friend. 

We attract to ourselves a version of who we are, OR the level of consciousness we present. Anarthas we've not uprooted can come to us through those we like. Because on some level we like the anartha, it offers some form of payoff making it worth discomfort. But don't blame the friend, they probably want to uproot stuff too. Don't blame anyone, as all prefer a higher consciousness, as do you. So just do needed purification - even if its in a counselors office.

Continuing the list.... truthfully increase tolerance [or tell others you ...YOU... can't handle talking about yada yada]. Go after a better diet. Learn something new that's helpful & pleasant.
Especially, spend more time reading the "parts" of Prabhupada's books that inspire you [be honest when you do this one cuz reality is, sometimes this is way over our head & then we translate with our material understandings, thinking its not material understanding. Stick with the bliss under such circumstances]. OR read his almost always encouraging instructions to disciples in his letters - give this increased time and watch your spirits lift, life change!
 
Now there are some cases where counseling is needed, If ya need one, go! Just make sure you are healed in a sensible period of time.
 
Plus, those diagnosed with a chemical brain imbalance [Clinical depression, Bipolar, etc] might need therapy for life [or might not need it for life]. Even after 1 1/2 years etc, the sessions should include on something called "Cognitive" therapy, which specializes on training appropriate responses, understanding better wording to use, basically helps keeps one in relationships/friendships in such ways. 

Now sometimes the therapist may be needed to untwist some psychological confusion, misunderstandings, stinking-thinking. But it should not always require untwisting. Learn the "how to's" of life in order to avoid offending friends, children, spouses, Vaisnava's of the Lord. And any therapist should be nice, someone you like, as well as favorable.

--Sorry for the lecture, I felt it was needed, & now....back to the shoe. :) 

~~~
                         Two mystics talking:

Q) How did you like my latest book, 'The Art of Levitation?'

A) Yes, it kept me up all night. :-)

~~~

Did you hear about the guy who called the police because he saw some people stealing things out of the shed in his back yard?

The police asked him if they were in his house.
He replied: "No."

Then the police said all units were busy, he should lock his doors. They'd send someone as soon as they could.

The guy hung up, waited 30 seconds, and called back:
"I just called you about the people stealing things out of my shed. Well, don't worry about it, I shot them."

In less than five minutes, police cars screeched into his driveway, sirens blaring, and caught the thieves red-handed.

"I thought you said you shot them," said the officer.

"I thought you said no one was available," he replied.
hehehehe


~~~

If Fed Ex and UPS were to merge, would they call it Fed UP?


~~~

(All respects and thanks to good humored Larry La Prise.)

SAD NEWS
[Since this blog goes to my international friends, please understand the following will only make sense to those who know this song]

With all the trauma and sadness going on in the world at the moment, it's worth reflecting on the death of a very important person which almost went unnoticed.

Larry La Prise, the man who wrote the song, the "Hokey Pokey" died peacefully at age 93.

The most traumatic part for his family was getting him into the coffin.

They put his left leg in, and then it fell out, they put his right leg in and tried to move it all about...and that's when the trouble did start.

~~~

FWD from a friend:

Once my sister, who has so many kids, said: "After I die, if I wake up in a place where I have to do laundry, I'll know I went to hell." :-)

~~~

The reason you're in the material world is to get more material.

~~~

What's another word for Thesaurus? :-)

~~~

Most of us can read the writing on the wall; we just assume it's addressed to someone else.

~~~

A five year old son squealed with delight when he opened his birthday present from his Grandmother. It was a water pistol. He promptly ran to the sink to fill it.

"Mom," I said. I'm surprised at you. "Don't you remember how we used to drive you crazy with water pistols?"

My mom smiled and said, "Yes, I remember." .... :-) :-) :-)

~~~

If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again; it was probably worth it.
~~~


Zen Judaism

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single "oy." :-)

Karma: In a previous life, you never called, you never wrote, you never visited. .....And whose fault was that?

Let go of pride, ego, and opinions. Admit your errors and forgive those of others. Relinquishment will lead to calm and healing in your relationships. .....If that doesn't work, try small claims court.

Accept misfortune as a blessing. Do not wish for perfect health or a life without problems. .....What would you talk about?

Wherever you go, there you are. .....Your luggage is another story.

The Torah says, "Love thy neighbor as thyself." The Buddha says there is no "self." So, maybe you are off the hook. ....So if there is no self, whose arthritis is this? :)

Be here now. Be someplace else later. ....Is that so complicated?

~~~

Q) What do you get when you cross a Buddhist and a Druid?

A) Someone who worships the tree that is not there.

~~~

Found in a fortune cookie: "You are a poor, pathetic, gullible fool who seeks advice from bakery products." :-)


~~~

Confucius say, "When you are angry at neighbor, walk a mile in his shoes. Then you will be a mile away from him, and you will have his shoes!" ;-)


~~~

I asked a bookstore clerk, "Where's the self-help section?"

She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.

~~~

A psychic, meeting another psychic on the street, asked: "You are fine. How am I?" hehe

~~~

Where you go in the hereafter........

..........depends on what you were here after.

~~~


THINK ABOUT IT: Laughter exercises the diaphragm, abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg, and back muscles.

~~~

"I assume full responsibility for my actions, except the ones that are someone else's fault." - Albert Einstein

~~~

There are 3 kinds of people in this world.

Those who can count.

And those who can't.

~~~

A very nervous flyer once describing an airplane ride:

During a trip from California to Indiana it didn't help that my connecting flight from Denver was delayed twice because of mechanical problems. Then after we were aloft, I noticed the lights began flickering. I mentioned this to a flight attendant. "I'll take care of it," she said. Moments later the lights went out. Clearly she'd solved the problem by turning off the lights.

A passenger across the aisle who had been listening leaned over and said, "Whatever you do, please don't ask about the engines." ;-)

~~~

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.

~~~

Q) What do Buddhists talk about when they go preaching?

A) Nothing. ha

~~~

A priest, a minister, and a rabbi walk into a bar.

The bartender says: "What is this, some kind of a joke?" :-)

~~~

My church welcomes ALL denominations ...
.... but really prefers tens and twenties.

~~~

[Again, to my international friends, please understand this is related to an old commercial in the west here.]

Please don't Squeeze the Shaman. :-)

~~~

*Unwritten Warning Labels*

On a palm sander: Not to be used to sand palms.

On an infant's bathtub: Do not throw baby out with bath water.

On a Magic 8 Ball: Not advised for use as a home pregnancy test.

On work gloves: For best results, do not leave at crime scene.

On Odor Eaters: Do not eat.

On a microscope: Objects in view are larger and more alarming than they appear.

On alphabet blocks: Not for children. Letters may be used to construct words, phrases and sentences that may be deemed offensive.

~~~

"We live in a decaying age. Young people no longer respect their parents. They are rude and impatient. They frequently inhabit taverns and have no self control." Inscription on 6,000 year-old Egyptian tomb.

~~~


QUOTE from Anatomy of an Illness --
[First I'd like to point out that Norman Cousins, the author, had a very p-a-i-n-f-u-l disease (ankylosing spondylitis). I'd also like to point out that what works for each person is individual, simply his experience may be encouraging.]


"I made the joyous discovery that ten minutes of genuine belly laughter had an anesthetic effect and would give me at lest two hours of pain-free sleep." pg 39

~~~~


A goal of many corporations is how to crack the international market.

It shouldn't be that hard, yet even big multi-nationals run into trouble because of language and cultural differences:

Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American ad campaign: "Nothing sucks like an Electrolux."

In Taiwan, the translation of the Pepsi slogan "Come alive with the Pepsi Generation" came out as "Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead."

When General Motors introduced the Chevy Nova in South America, it was apparently unaware that "no va" means "it won't go." :)

[After the company figured out why these cars weren't selling, they renamed its Spanish markets to the Caribe.]

~~~

The answers are already within each of us.

Good luck matching them with the corresponding questions! :-)

~~~

The following is the actual Disclaimer made by producers of the life-after-death movie called '"What Dreams May Come."

Quote: "The persons and events in this production are fictitious. No similarity to actual persons, living, dead or REINCARNATED is intended or should be inferred." :-)

~~~

A boss asked one of his employees, "Do you believe in life after death?"

"Yes, sir," replied the new employee.

"I thought you would," said the boss. "Because yesterday after you left to attend your grandmother's funeral, she stopped in here to see you!" lol

~~~

A Zen Buddhist goes up to an ice cream sunday stand and tells the vendor, "Make me one with everything." Then he gives the vendor a $20 bill and asks for his change.

The vendor then reminds the Buddhist: "Change comes from within."

~~~~

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:


In today's world,
with so much stress,
and sometimes trauma,
the best way to get back on your feet,
is to get down on your knees.

~~~

Did you hear about a meditating Hindu who visited the dentist for a root canal and requested no Novacaine?

Asked "why" by a startled doctor, he explained he wanted "transcend-dental medication." ;-)

~~~~

Q) What do you get when you cross an agnostic with a dyslexic insomniac?

A) Someone who stays up all night wondering if there really is Dog.

~~~

Buddhist: "Technically we all live in our own dream world. ......Some just have better imaginations."

~~~

QUOTE - Anatomy of an Illness, pg 143

"They [doctors] said it was scientifically correct for me to state in the NEJM (medical journal) article that, just as the negative emotions produce negative chemical changes in the body, so the positive emotions are connected to positive chemical changes."

~~~

FOOD FOR THOUGHT- "I adopted the theory of reincarnation when I was 26. Religion offered nothing to the point. When I discovered reincarnation ... time was no longer limited. I was no longer a slave to the hands of the clock." ~ Henry Ford, American auto industrialist (P.S. For those who don't know, his grandson became an initiated disciple of Srila Prabhupada.)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Difference Between Hinduism And Krishna Consciousness



WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HINDUISM and KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS?

Quite often I get asked this question, "What is the difference between Krishna consciousness and Hinduism?" They look the same to many, but are different.


On the other hand, some Hindus become offended when we make such distinctions. I in no way wish to offend any Hindu. I feel in most cases, it is simply that they do not know what it is we are pointing out and therefore, tend to misunderstand.

Thus, I created this web page in hopes to please everyone. To answer the questions of those who want to know the difference, and to help Hindu's see we are not against them, but to explain what it is we mean.

I felt the best way to do that would be to start out with quotes from my beloved spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada. Below that are quotes on the Holy Name, and below even that are FAQ or Frequently Asked Questions.

Your Servant,
Priitaa d.d.

~~~**~~~

Journalist: Is Krsna consciousness connected with any other religion? Does it derive from Hinduism or Buddhism?

Prabhupada: Yes, you can call it Hinduism, but actually it does not belong to any "ism." It is a science of understanding God. But it appears like Hindu religion. In that sense Buddha religion is also Hindu religion, because Lord Buddha was a Hindu and he started Buddha religion." 


Srila Prabhupada Room Conversation w/ Journalist, May 19, 75, Melbourne

~~~**~~~

"One should know his identification. At the present moment, identification is going on by the skin. "I am Indian," "I am American." This is going on. But that is not our proper identification. The proper identification is aham brahmasmi: "I am spirit soul." This is to be understood in human form of life." ~ Srila Prabhupada lecture, Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.6, May 24, 74, Rome Italy

~~~**~~~

Prabhupada: Yes, this Krsna consciousness movement is not a sentimental religious system. It is science and philosophy. The attempt is to awaken God consciousness. God is neither Christian nor Hindu nor Muslim. God is God. There may be angles of vision to approach God, but God is one. Therefore our attempt is that you become God conscious. Don't be limited by Christianism or Hinduism or Muhammadanism. So our formula is explained in the Srimad Bhagavatam. We have got the copies there. Sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje: "That is first-class religious system by which the followers become a lover of God." This is the, our formula." 


~ Srila Prabhupada speaks to La Trobe University, Melbourne , July 1, 74

~~~**~~~

Prabhupada: No. Hinduism practically we do not recognize because this word "Hinduism" is not mentioned in any Vedic literature. It is a foreign term. The Muhammadans, they called the inhabitants of India as "Hindus." From that word, it is has come to "Hinduism." Otherwise, we don't find that word in any Vedic literature. "Hinduism" is a foreign term, it is not a Vedic term.

Reporter: Yes. The Krsna consciousness, its Vedic literature, they have some of the same books or also holy books for what we call Hindu religions, aren't they?


Prabhupada: Yes. Just try to understand, the inhabitants of India were called by the Muhammadans from Persia and other places, "Hindus." "Hindus" means the resident on the other side of the River Indus. You have heard the name of River Indus. So they cannot pronounce it Indus, they say "Hindus." From "Hindus," it has become "Hindu." So actually the residents of India were called "Hindus." And generally, at least in, say, three thousand years ago, all the inhabitants of India were strictly followers of Vedic principles. After the advent of Lord Buddha, a different religious system developed. Otherwise, before Lord Buddha, there was all the... Not only in India, in other parts of the world. They were followers of Vedic principles. So in that sense, you can say if followers of Vedic principles are called Hindus, then before Lord Buddha, everyone was Hindu all over the world. Not that particular part of India. So far we have got historical reference from Mahabharata, Indo-European stock, they are also Hindus, the so-called Hindus, followers of Vedic principles. Yes. Gradually, they deviated. Just like recently there is division of Pakistan and India. Twenty years before, this Pakistan was part of India. Now, these Muhammadans, they did not come from outside. They changed their faith from Hindus to Muhammadans. Now they divided their property. Similarly, actually the whole planet was called Bharata-varsa. Gradually, people deviated from Vedic principles or imitated something else and they became different." 


Srila Prabhupada Interview w/ LA Times Reporter, Dec 26, 68, Los Angeles California

~~~**~~~

Pusta Krsna: There is one more question, Srila Prabhupada. Question 21. "Are changes visible in Hinduism in its doctrinal content, mode of individual and collective worship as a result of Hinduism's contact with the West?"

Prabhupada: Yes, they are worshiping... This is... First of all, you must forget that this Krsna consciousness movement is not Hinduism. It is Vaisnavism. Vaisnava means Visnu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and one who loves Visnu or loves God, he is Vaisnava. So Hinduism is not like that. Present conception of Hinduism, they have got so many demigods. Demigods are there in the Vedas, but demigod worshipers, they are all materialistic persons. It is stated in the Bhagavad-gita that kamais tais tair hrta-jnanah yajanti anya-devatah. Those who are worshiper of demigods, they are lusty. Kamuka. And the kamuka platform is material world, lusty. Everyone is trying to enjoy sense gratification. So demigod worship is for sense gratification. If you worship Durga, then you pray, "Mother Durga, give me name, fame, wealth, good wife, and so on, so on." Dhanam dehi rupam dehi rupavati-bharyam dehi. Simply demanding for sense gratification. So that is not love of Godhead. That is to select one agent of God and exact from him as much as you can for your sense gratification. That is not recommended in the Vedic religion. Vedic religion, although there are demigods, but the ultimate is om tad visnoh paramam padam sada pasyanti surayah. Those who are suraya, actually advanced, they see to the Visnu paramam padam. Visnor aradhanam param. The worship of Visnu is the supreme worship. So actually everyone should be worshiper of Visnu. And that is Vaisnavism. So Vaisnavism means for everyone or sanatana dharma. That I have already explained.The human.... The living entity is sanatana. Mamaivamso jiva-bhutah jiva-loke sanatana. He is sanatana. God is sanatana. The exchange between God and the living entity is called sanatana-dharma or Vaisnavism. So we are teaching that. We are not teaching Hinduism, Muslimism, Christianism. We are teaching how to love God. That's all. There is no question of proselytization. It is the natural. We are, by nature we are lover of God. Just like father and son. The love is already there. It cannot be extinguished. The father and son may be separated for many, many years, but when they come together the affection immediately revives. So we are teaching that, that we have got eternal relationship with God and revive it. We are embarassed by establishing artificial relationship with my family, country, and society, and so-called religions. These are all artificial. Real relationship, that "God is great and I am His servant," that is real religion. So we are teaching that thing." 


Srila Prabhupada Answer to Questions from Bhavan's Journal, June 28, 76, Vrndavana India

~~~**~~~

"Hinduism means a type of faith, or Muslimism is type of faith. But... As it is described in the English dictionary, religion means a kind of faith. But it is not that type of religion. It is a compulsory fact. Just like sugar is, compulsorily must become, sweet. If sugar is not sweet, that is not real sugar. Chili is not hot; that is not real chili. Similarly, we are part and parcel of Krsna. Our duty is to become Krsna conscious. There is no question of faith. It is not the question of faith. You may have faith in Hinduism; tomorrow you may have faith in Christianism. Or you may have faith in Christianism, tomorrow in Mohammedan. This kind of faith is not Krsna consciousness. It is a compulsory. Compul... Just like laws of the state. It is not that it is meant for the Hindus, or for the Muslims, for the Christian. It is meant for everyone.

Similarly, mamaivamso jiva-bhutah. We are part and parcel of Krsna, so it is compulsory to revive our consciousness that we are part and parcel of Krsna. It is not a question of faith. Faith you may accept or do not accept but here it is a question of "must." You must revive your Krsna consciousness; otherwise you will suffer." 


SP Lecture, Madras, BG 3.27, Jan 1, 1976

~~~**~~~

"So Krsna said that dharma-samsthapanarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge. Then what is that dharma? He did not come here to reestablish Hinduism or Muslimism or Christianism. No. He came to give you real dharma. What is that? Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja. That is dharma, to surrender unto Krsna: "Krsna, I am eternally Your servant. I forgot You. Now I come to my senses. I surrender unto You." This is dharma. Bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate. This sense, real sense, comes when after struggling, struggling for many, many births, one becomes wise. Bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan. Jnanavan means wise." 


"Srila Prabhupada lecture, Bhagavad Gita 13.13, Bombay India, Oct 6, 73

~~~**~~~

"Bhagavata-dharma does not restrict pure devotees to the Hindu community. A pure devotee is above a brahmana; therefore it is not incompatible to offer the sacred thread to devotees in Europe, America, Australia, Japan, Canada, and so on. Sometimes these pure devotees, who have been accepted by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, are not allowed to enter certain temples in India. Some high-caste brahmanas and gosvamis refuse to take prasada in the temples of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Actually this is against the instruction of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Devotees can come from any country, and they can belong to any creed or race. On the strength of this verse, those who are actually devotees and followers of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu must accept devotees from all parts of the world as pure Vaisnavas. They should be accepted not artificially but factually. One should see how they are advanced in Krsna consciousness and how they are conducting Deity worship, sankirtana and Ratha-yatra. Considering all these points, an envious person should refrain from malicious atrocities." 


SP, Caitanya Caritamrta, MadyaLila 25.120 P

~~~**~~~

"So here Krsna came to establish this fact, that "You are neither Roman, nor Indian nor brahmana nor sudra. You are My eternal servant. Therefore give up all this nonsense identification." Sarva-dharman parityajya. Because due to your wrong identification, you have created so-called "isms:" Hinduism, Muhammadanism, nationalism, this "ism," that "ism." This is all nonsense. This is the understanding of religion. Whatever we have created with the bodily concept of life, they are all nonsense. The real religion is that "I am eternal servant of Krsna." That is real religion." 


Srila Prabhupada lecture, Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.6, May 24, 74, Rome Italy

~~~**~~~

"If one advocates the Hindu religion, the Muslim religion, the Christian religion, this religion or that religion, there will be conflicts. History shows that followers of religious systems without a clear conception of God have fought with one another. There are many instances of this in human history, but systems of religion that do not concentrate upon service to the Supreme are temporary and cannot last for long because they are full of envy. " SB 6. 16. 41

~~~**~~~

"Therefore Sanatana dharma does not refer to any sectarian process or religion. It is the eternal function of the eternal living entities in relationship with the Supreme Lord. Sanatana dharma refers, as stated previously, to the eternal occupation of the living entity. Sripada Ramanujacarya has explained the word sanatana as "that which has neither beginning nor end' so when we speak of sanatana dharma we must take it for granted, on the authority of Sripada Ramanujacarya that it has neither beginning nor end." 


Bhagavat Gita As It Is, Intro

~~~**~~~

"It should be noted that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu never acknowledged the stereotyped caste system by birthright; rather, He strictly followed the verdict of the sastras in the matter of one's svarupa, or real identity." ~ S.B. 1.2.13 Purport

~~~**~~~

"People are after dharma, artha, kama and moksa. Generally they perform religious activities to achieve some material gain, and they engage in material activities for sense gratification. After being frustrated in material sense gratification, one wants to become liberated and become one with the Absolute Truth. These four principles form the transcendental path for the less intelligent. Those who are actually intelligent engage in Krishna Consciousness, not caring for these four principles of the transcendental method. They at once elevate themselves to the transcendental platform which is above liberation. Liberation is not a very great achievement, to say nothing of the ritualistic performances in religion, economic development or the materialistic life of sense gratification. Devotees do not care for these. They are always situated on the transcendental platform of the brahma-buta stage of self-realization." SB 3.2.36

~~~**~~~

"And what is dharma? What is religion? Perhaps you'll remember that the translation in the English language, dharma is a description of certain kind of faith, but according to Vedic literature, dharma is not a kind of faith. Faith can be changed but dharma cannot be changed. This point we have already explained." SP BG Lecture 1966

~~~**~~~

"Instead of accepting a temporary occupational duty based on the material body, one should take to the process of Sanatana-dharma, or bhakti yoga, so that he can put an end to this perpetual bondage in material bodies and return home, back to Godhead." SB 4. 28. 61

~~~**~~~

"In Bhagavad-gita Krsna informs us of the original dharma and asks us to give up all kinds of religious principles. The real dharma is surrender unto Him." SB 4.24. 42

~~~**~~~

"Bhakti, devotional service, is paro dharma, transcendental dharma, it is not material dharma." SB 6. 2. 26

~~~**~~~

"The point is that every human being is expected to elevate himself to the position of brahmana, the most intelligent man, and than one must transcend that position and become a Vaishnava." CC Madya-lila 8.6

~~~**~~~

"The bhagavat religion teaches that the Lord and the living entity are eternally related and that the duty of the living entity is to surrender to the Lord." SB 6. 2. 26

~~~**~~~

"The highest qualification of a person in the material world is to be brahmana. But since a brahmana is in the mode of goodness, to be a brahmana is not sufficient for becoming a representative of the Lord. One has to transcend the mode of goodness also and be situated in unalloyed goodness, unaffected by any of the qualities of material nature."SB 3.4.31

~~~**~~~

"Brahmana qualities mean brahma jayanti iti brahmana. That is nirakara, of course, but you have to transcend the position of brahmana. and become Vaishnava." SP lecture, 1973

~~~**~~~

"But if you be engaged in devotional service, then immediately you transcend all the qualities. You become more than brahmana -- Vaishnava. Vaishnava means he is transcendental to the brahminical qualities also." SP lecture, 1973

~~~**~~~

"Vaisnava is above brahmana." SB lecture, 1975

~~~**~~~

sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhoksaje "The supreme religion is that which teaches it's followers how to love the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is beyond the reach of experimental knowledge. Such a religious system begins with tam-nama-grahana chanting of the holy names of the Lord." Srimad Bhagavatam 6. 3 22

~~~**~~~**~~~**~~~

Srimad Bhagavatam ~ 1.18.18

TEXT 18

suta uvaca
aho vayam janma-bhrto 'dya hasma
vrddhanuvrttyapi viloma-jatah
dauskulyam adhim vidhunoti sighram
mahattamanam abhidhana-yogah

SYNONYMS
sutah uvaca--Suta Gosvami said; aho--how; vayam--we; janma-bhrtah--promoted in birth; adya--today; ha--clearly; asma--have become; vrddha-anuvrttya--by serving those who are advanced in knowledge; api--although; viloma-jatah--born in a mixed caste; dauskulyam--disqualification of birth; adhim--sufferings; vidhunoti--purifies; sighram--very soon; mahat-tamanam--of those who are great; abhidhana --conversation; yogah--connection.

TRANSLATION: Sri Suta Gosvami said: O God, although we are born in a mixed caste, we are still promoted in birthright simply by serving and following the great who are advanced in knowledge. Even by conversing with such great souls, one can without delay cleanse oneself of all disqualifications resulting from lower births.

PURPORT: Suta Gosvami did not take his birth in a brahmana family. He was born in a family of mixed caste, or an uncultured low family. But because of higher association, like Sri Sukadeva Gosvami and the great rsis of Naimisaranya, certainly the disqualification of inferior birth was washed off. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu followed this principle in pursuance of the Vedic usages, and by His transcendental association He elevated many lowborn, or those disqualified by birth or action, to the status of devotional service and established them in the position of acaryas, or authorities. He clearly stated that any man, whatever he may be, whether a brahmana or sudra by birth, or a householder or mendicant in the order of society, if he is conversant with the science of Krsna, he can be accepted as an acarya or guru, a spiritual master.

Suta Gosvami learned the science of Krsna from great rsis and authorities like Sukadeva and Vyasadeva and he was so qualified that even the sages of Naimisaranya eagerly wanted to hear from him the science of Krsna in the form of Srimad-Bhagavatam. So he had the double association of great souls by hearing and preaching. Transcendental science, or the science of Krsna, has to be learned from the authorities, and when one preaches the science, he becomes still more qualified. So Suta Gosvami had both the advantages, and thus undoubtedly he was completely freed from all disqualifications of low birth and mental agonies. This verse definitely proves that Srila Sukadeva Gosvami did not refuse to teach Suta Gosvami about the transcendental science nor did the sages of Naimisaranya refuse to hear lessons from him because of his inferior birth. This means that thousands of years ago there was no bar to learning or preaching the transcendental science because of inferior birth. The rigidity of the so-called caste system in Hindu society became prominent within only one hundred years or so when the number of dvija-bandhus, or disqualified men in the families of higher castes, increased. Lord Sri Caitanya revived the original Vedic system, and He elevated Thakura Haridasa to the position of namacarya, or the authority in preaching the glories of the holy name of the Lord, although His Holiness Srila Haridasa Thakura was pleased to appear in a family of Mohammedans.

Such is the power of pure devotees of the Lord. The Ganges water is accepted as pure, and one can become purified after taking a bath in the waters of the Ganges. But as far as the great devotees of the Lord are concerned, they can purify a degraded soul even by being seen by the lowborn, and what to speak of association. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu wanted to purify the whole atmosphere of the polluted world by sending qualified preachers all over the world, and it remains with the Indians to take up this task scientifically and thus do the best kind of humanitarian work. The mental diseases of the present generation are more acute than bodily diseases; it is quite fit and proper to take up the preaching of Srimad-Bhagavatam all over the world without delay. Mahattamanam abhidhana also means dictionary of great devotees, or a book full of the words of great devotees. Such a dictionary of the words of great devotees and those of the Lord are in the Vedas and allied literatures, specifically the Srimad-Bhagavatam." Srimad Bhagavatam, 1.18.18

~~~**~~~

"The sastras says... Krsna says Himself, mam hi partha vyapasritya ye 'pi syuh papa-yonayah: "Anyone born in low-grade family.' Papa-yoni, mam hi partha vyapasritya, "if he takes to Me according to regulative principles," vyapasritya, "according to the principle," te 'pi yanti param gatim, "he is immediately becomes eligible to be promoted," param gatim, "the highest perfection of life." One thing is papa-yoni. So there is no restriction that papa-yoni shall remain always papa-yoni. Why? They should be given enlightenment. That is brahmana-ism. Brahmana means liberal, and just the opposite word of brahmana is krpana, miser. A brahmana should give chance to everyone, even to the papa-yoni, how to become brahmana. That is real brahmana. And the rascal who thinks that "I shall remain simply brahmana; others shall remain mlecchas and yavanas," he is not brahmana; he is sudra, because his mind is so crippled. He does not want to see others to become brahmana. He is miser, krpana. Krpanah phala-hetavah." Srila Prabhupada lecture, Srimad Bhagavatam 1.9.49, Mayapura India, June 15, 73

~~~**~~~

"The unwanted creepers have been described by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. He states that if one hears and chants without trying to give up offenses, one becomes materially attached to sense gratification. One may also desire freedom from material bondage like the Mayavadis, or one may become attached to the yoga-siddhis and desire wonderful yogic powers. If one is attached to wonderful material activities, one is called siddhi-lobhi, greedy for material perfection. One may also be victimized by diplomatic or crooked behavior, or one may associate with women for illicit sex. Others may make a show of devotional service like the prakrta-sahajiyas, or one may try to support his philosophy by joining some caste or identifying himself with a certain dynasty, claiming a monopoly on spiritual advancement. Thus with the support of family tradition, one may become a pseudo guru or so-called spiritual master. One may become attached to the four sinful activities--illicit sex, intoxication, gambling and meat eating, or one may consider a Vaisnava to belong to a mundane caste or creed. One may think, "This is a Hindu Vaisnava, and this is a European Vaisnava. A European Vaisnava is not allowed to enter the temples." In other words, one may consider Vaisnavas in terms of birth, thinking one a brahmana Vaisnava, a sudra Vaisnava, a mleccha Vaisnava and so on. One may also try to carry out a professional business while chanting the Hare Krsna mantra or reading Srimad-Bhagavatam, or one may try to increase his monetary strength by illegal means. One may also try to be a cheap Vaisnava by chanting in a secluded place for material adoration, or one may desire mundane reputation by making compromises with nondevotees, compromising one's philosophy or spiritual life, or one may become a supporter of a hereditary caste system. All these are pitfalls of personal sense gratification. Just to cheat some innocent people, one makes a show of advanced spiritual life and becomes known as a sadhu, mahatma or religious person. All this means that the so-called devotee has become victimized by all these unwanted creepers and that the real creeper of bhakti-lata-bija has been stunted." 


CC, MadhyLila 19.160 P

~~~**~~~

"Yet man professes to belong to a particular type of faith with reference to particular time and circumstance and thus claims to be a Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist or any other sect. Such designations are non-sanatana-dharma. A Hindu may change his faith to become a Muslim, or a Muslim may change his faith to become a Hindu, or a Christian may change his faith and so on. But in all circumstances the change of religious faith does not affect the eternal occupation of rendering service to others. The Hindu, Muslim or Christian in all circumstances is servant of someone. Thus, to profess a particular type of sect is not to profess one's sanatana-dharma. The rendering of service is sanatana-dharma.

Factually we are related to the Supreme Lord in service. The Supreme Lord is the supreme enjoyer, and we living entities are His servitors. We are created for His enjoyment, and if we participate in that eternal enjoyment with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we become happy. We cannot become happy otherwise. It is not possible to be happy independently, just as no one part of the body can be happy without cooperating with the stomach. It is not possible for the living entity to be happy without rendering transcendental loving service unto the Supreme Lord." Introduction to Bhagavad-gita

~~~**~~~

"The religion which you can change, that is not religion. Suppose I am Hindu; I become Christian. So neither this Hinduism is religion or Christian is religion. It is a dictionary, English dictionary, word. But dharma, according to Sanskrit word, dharma does not mean that which you can change. I have several times explained this fact. Dharma cannot be changed. Therefore we must find out what is our dharma, what is our religion. Which we are professing, that "Christianity is my religion," "Hinduism, my religion," that is not religion. That is faith. Religion is different. Religion you cannot change. You cannot change. That is the meaning of religion. Here it is said that ya evam visrjed dharmam. Dharmam means you cannot change. So param paryagatam narah, kamat, kamat lobhat. Now, religion sometimes, when it is taken as faith, they have changed. How they have changed? Kamat. For some gain. Just like in India formerly Christian religion was preached, giving some facilities. And generally we see that Christian priests who go to foreign countries... I have seen. They offer some hospital facilities, some economic facilities. The poor men, they supply clothing and education. So those who are poor, they become captivated, and they... They have practically no religion. Anyway, they are facing the economic problems. So kamat. Kamat means for some gain. For some gain, kamat, and lobhat... Lobhat means by some greediness. And bhayat. Bhayat means out of fear. And dvesat. Dvesat means out of enviousness. For all these things one should not give up his faith or religion." SP lecture, NY, Goverdhana Puja, Nov 4, 66

~~~**~~~

nana-sastra-vicaranaika-nipunau sad-dharma-samsthapakau
lokanam hita-karinau tri-bhuvane manyau saranyakarau
radha-krsna-padaravinda-bhajananandena-mattalikau
vande rupa-sanatana raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau

"Here is, sitting, Sri Gosvamiji. He's coming from Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. So all these six Gosvamis, they were not inactive. They were always active. As we are active in the karma, karmi life, so bhakti life is also activity. It is not sitting down idly or gossiping. One must find out some job to serve Krsna. That is bhakti life. Hrsikena hrsikesa-sevanam. Sevanam means activity. Sevanam does not mean sit down idle, inert. No. As soon as seva... Seva means activity. One has to preach, one has to write, one has to do this, do that, cook, offer the prasadam, everything. Seva, activity.

So that activity and karmis' activity, there is difference. The karmi's activity is on upadhi. "I am American," "I am Indian," "I am Hindu," "I am Muslim," "I am Christian." With this upadhi, we are acting. But bhakti means without upadhi. Sarvopadhi-virnirmuktam. Activity without upadhi. Working not as American. Working not as Indian. Working not as Hindu. Working not as Muslim. That is sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam tat-paratvena nirmalam. If we think that "I am Christian," "I am Hindu," "I am American," that is with upadhi. When we purely think that "We are...," or "I am servant of Krsna. My only business is to satisfy Krsna," that activity is called bhakti. If I become interested in some party, that is not... Sometimes people criticize these American and European devotees, that they think that "They are American devotee; we are Hindu devotee. There is difference." This is not bhakti-marga. This is upadhi. Why you should think yourself as Hindu? Why you should think of others who have come from America as American? That is less intelligent. Krsna-bhakta... Vaisnave jati-buddhih. If one thinks of Vaisnava as belonging to this class, this nation, he has no vision. Naraki. That is called naraki-buddhih. Vaisnave jati-buddhih arcye siladhir gurusu nara-matir vaisnave jati-buddhih. If we think the Deity as made of stone and made of wood, arcye sila-dhir; gurusu, nara-matih, if we accept spiritual master as ordinary human being; vaisnave jati-buddhih, and if we take a Vaisnava as belonging to America or Europe or India... No. They are transcendental. Neither the Deity in the temple is stone, neither the spiritual master is ordinary human being, nor the Vaisnava belongs to any caste. This vision is perfect vision. When you come to this vision, that is bhakti. Tat-paratvena nirmalam. A bhakta has to become purified.

Tat-paratvena, being dovetailed with the service of tat, om tat sat. Tat-param. This is the process of devotional service. One should not be designated "I am this," "I am that," "I am that." No. The world should unite. This Krsna consciousness movement is so nice that one should forget that he's Indian or Hindu or Christian or American or Indian. Everything should unite as servant of Krsna. That is bhakti-marga. Unfortunately, they distinguish between American Vaisnava and Indian Vaisnava: brahmana Vaisnava, sudra Vaisnava. No. A Vaisnava is Vaisnava. Visnur asya devatah iti vaisnava. One who has accepted Visnu as "my Lord," he has no designation. A Vaisnava has no such distinction. Sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam.

So this is the sutra given by Narada. Tat tenaiva vinirdiset. So we must follow the path of mahajana, the instruction of the acarya. Then we can become purified. And unless we are purified, there is no question of pure devotional service. Sa bhaktah prakrtah smrta. If one does not want to become advanced, if one does not want to become purified, then he remains a prakrta-bhakta. Prakrta-bhakta means executing devotional service under the instruction of spiritual master and the regulative principles of sastra, but he's still on the platform of material understanding. That is called prakrta-bhakta. A prakrta-bhakta cannot understand how another bhakta is transcendental. A prakrta-bhakta cannot understand that Vrndavana is always transcendental. Therefore Srila Jiva Gosvami has discussed this point in his Tattva-sandarbha, that we cannot accept any manufactured ideas. Because everyone is defective by the four defects of material life, we have to accept the version of Vedas, Puranas. He has tried to establish Puranas as Vedic supplementary. Others, they reject Puranas out of the Vedas. But Jiva Gosvami established. All the Gosvamis. Just like Rupa Gosvami has given, sruti-smrti-puranadi-pancaratriki-vidhim vina, aikantiki harer bhaktir utpatayaiva kalpate. It is utpata, disturbance. If you do not follow the principles of sruti, smrti, purana, pancaratriki-vidhi... Just like we were discussing this point, sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam. This is pancaratriki-vidhi. So if we do not follow these principles... Without following these principles, the so-called devotional service, Hari-bhakti, utpata, simply disturbance, simply a disturbance. Therefore we have to follow the principles laid down by the Gosvamis, Sad-gosvamis. Vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau. And then our attempt will be successful.

Thank you very much. (end)" 


SP Nectar of Devotion Lecture, Vrindavana India, Nov 1, 72

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THE HOLY NAMES CAN SAVE ANYONE

"Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, "Please get up. You have chanted the holy name of Krsna; therefore the sinful reactions you have accrued for many millions of lives are now gone. You are now pure." Caitanya Caritamrta, Madhya Lila 18.205

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" Even if he be distressed or degraded, any person who chants the holy name of the Lord, having heard it from a bona fide spiritual master, is immediately purified. Even if he chants the Lord's name jokingly or by chance, he and anyone who hears him are freed from all sins. Therefore how can anyone seeking disentanglement from the material clutches avoid chanting the name of Lord Sesa? Of whom else should one take shelter? " Srimad Bhagavatam 5-25-11

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"Simply by chanting one holy name of Hari, a sinful man can counteract the reactions to more sins than he is able to commit. (Brhad-visnu Purana)" Srimad Bhagavatam 6.2.7 P

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"The chanting of the holy name of Lord Visnu is the best process of atonement for a thief of gold or other valuables, for a drunkard, for one who betrays a friend or relative, for one who kills a brahmana, or for one who indulges in sex with the wife of his guru or another superior. It is also the best method of atonement for one who murders women, the king or his father, for one who slaughters cows, and for all other sinful men. Simply by chanting the holy name of Lord Visnu, such sinful persons may attract the attention of the Supreme Lord, who therefore considers, "Because this man has chanted My holy name, My duty is to give him protection." Srimad Bhagavatam 6.2.9-10

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"To chant the holy name of the Lord just to counteract one's sinful activities, or to commit sinful activities on the strength of chanting the holy name, is offensive (namno balad yasya hi papa-buddhih). But although Ajamila engaged in sinful activities, he never chanted the holy name of Narayana to counteract them; he simply chanted the name Narayana to call his son. Therefore his chanting was effective. Because of chanting the holy name of Narayana in this way, he had already vanquished the accumulated sinful reactions of many, many lives. In the beginning he was pure, but although he later committed many sinful acts, he was offenseless because he did not chant the holy name of Narayana to counteract them. One who always chants the holy name of the Lord without offenses is always pure. As confirmed in this verse Ajamila was already sinless, and because he chanted the name of Narayana he remained sinless. It did not matter that he was calling his son; the name itself was effective." Srimad Bhagavatam 6.2.8 P

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"Simply by chanting the holy name of Krsna, one is relieved from all the reactions of a sinful life. One can complete the nine processes of devotional service simply by chanting the holy name." Sri Caitanya Caritamrita, Madhya 15.107

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"One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities, does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna." This is the benediction of Lord Vishnu, Krsna. After giving up his body, a devotee returns home, back to Godhead....." Bhagavad-gita 4.9

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"It was due to Ajamila's glorifying the holy name of the Supreme Lord that he was not punishable. The Visnudutas explained this as follows: "Simply by once chanting the holy name of Narayana, this brahmana has become free from the reactions of sinful life. Indeed, he has been freed not only from the sins of this life, but from the sins of many, many thousands of other lives. He has already undergone true atonement for all his sinful actions. If one atones according to the directions of the sastras, one does not actually become free from sinful reactions, but if one chants the holy name of the Lord, even a glimpse of such chanting can immediately free one from all sins. Chanting the glories of the Lord's holy name awakens all good fortune. Therefore there is no doubt that Ajamila, being completely free from all sinful reactions, should not be punished by Yamaraja." Srimad Bhagavatam 6.2, chapter summary

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"... Of all the sacrifices, the chanting of Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare is the purest representation of Krsna." Bhagavad-gita 10.25 P

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"As a result of chanting the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, one makes such great advancement in spiritual life that simultaneously his material existence terminates and he receives love of Godhead. The holy mane of Krsna is so powerful that by chanting even one name, one very easily achieves these transcendental riches."
Caitanya Caritamrta, Adi Lila 8. 28, P

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"There is no difference between chanting the Hare Krsna mantra and meeting Krsna eye to eye, face to face. Simply one has to realize." Srila Prabhupada lecture, Bombay India, 1-12-73
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FAQ or FREQUENTLY ANSWERED QUESTIONS

QUESTION: Be honest. Isn't Krishna consciousness merely a sect of Hinduism?

ANSWER: If anything, Hinduism is a sect of Krishna consciousness. :-) Or Sanatana Dharma. As mentioned throughout this site, Hinduism is a more recent term given by the Moslems, whereas Santana Dharma (also called Vaishnava religion) was given by God Himself and has roots back to the beginning of time. Actually, it is timeless. You can read within our scriptures for yourself if you wish, that they have been handed down directly from Lord Krishna through a parampara (lineage) system of pure devotees, all the way down to our dearly beloved Srila Prabhupada, unchanged. For example, our Bhagavad-gita is often different from the one many Hindus have memorized. (No offense intended - am just presenting facts.) Prabhupada named it "Bhagavad-gita As It Is" because his translations are free from interpolations and are Krishna's words unchanged in meaning. Many Impersonalists and Mayavadis have altered the meaning of this and other Vedic scripture.

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QUESTION: Do the Hare Krishna devotees worship cows like the Hindus? If so, why?

ANSWER: Hare Krishna devotees know the difference between cow and God. :-) While we believe the cow is the next birth before human, no one should slip backwards and get any animal body, not even that of a cow. So one might wonder, than why all the fuss? Devotees do not slaughter the cow because she gives us milk like a mother would. We do not slit her throat simply because she is a less intelligent animal. After all, if a human should happen to have a child who is severely mentally challenged, the parent does not kill the child. Of course not, you may be thinking. Right. But that principle applies to all living creatures, as the life force is proof of a soul. And the cow, of all animals, keeps us healthy for life. (Here, the vegan issue may come up, which I will explain later.) So we protect and take care of her.

As human beings we often forget, animals have feelings too, including the cow! I had an experience, just as I was starting to become a devotee. I lived in the country and my landlord had a cow he never took care of. It was the middle of a very hot Summer, so I would bring her water every day. (He never gave her water.) Then I had to go out of town. When I returned, I resumed bringing her water. When she saw me coming, she had tears in her eyes! I swear on this! I had never seen that in my life, but most of us don't get that close to the animals that are slaughtered. She was crying, with big tears running down her face! How could anyone eat her after seeing that?! So everyone please know that whether they have personally experienced this or not, it should not matter, as it is a fact. Cows have feelings, and strong ones! Also, the cow a favorite animal of Krishna. For these and similar reasons, we do not kill her and instead protect her.

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QUESTION: What is the position of women in Hinduism, and is it identical to the position of women in Krishna consciousness?

ANSWER: While some who practice Hinduism have recently become more open minded about this, especially some of the youth, traditional Hinduism teaches women are in a lesser role, cannot take brahmana or priestly initiation, cannot go on the altar, in some cases cannot cook in the temple kitchen. Often, women can not even touch sacred items. Some even believe the husband is her guru in this age of kali yuga [fallen age]. So on and so forth. Whereas in the original Krishna Consciousness movement our aim is to get off the bodily concept and identify with our soul. Jagat guru [pure devotee] Srila Prabhupada is spiritual master. He engaged the women equally as the men. Women are given the sacred thread of brahmana (priest), women go on the altar and offer aroti (worship God directly), women go out into the streets for Hari Nama [sharing Krishna consciousness with anyone open to it], and this list is actually quite long. The bottom line is that in truthfully transcendental Krishna consciousness, women are given full opportunity.

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QUESTION: Isn't everyone who lives in India practicing Hinduism?

ANSWER: No. Matter of fact, there are many other religions in India. From Sikhs to yogis of all types, from Impersonalists to Mayavadis, Shivities to demigod worshipers. There are even Jews (Indian born), Muslims and so on that reside in India. And worshipers of the ancestors, to those who do not believe the Holy Name alone is freeing but perform elaborate purification ceremonies. Just as a reminder, Hinduism is a foreign word, not to be found in any Vedic scripture, as Prabhupada has explained above.

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QUESTION: I thought all of Hinduism meant the worship of many gods and not the One Supreme God. Is Krishna a demigod?

ANSWER: No, He is not. There are some practitioners of Hinduism that do indeed worship many smaller gods or demigods. However, not all Hindus worship demigods. As touched on above, there are many different types of religions in India. Demigod worship is just one. Now, as for Krishna? He is not a demigod at all. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, or in English: God. There is only One God, and that's Krishna. Regardless of what religion folks practice they are worshiping Krishna, knowing and often unknowingly. Vedic literature, which is not Indian but has roots going back to time immemorial, originated from the mouth of God Himself, and clearly explains His Name is Krishna. Others may not agree but that doesn't change the facts. Once, people believed the world was flat, and claimed it was scientific! Until Christopher Columbus proved them wrong. :-) So human knowledge is relative, limited and changing. God is God and cannot be whittled down into a concept of Him middle class (or anyone) prefer. However, we also do not wish to agitate the minds of those who are not ready to accept this, so we leave them alone. As long as they are religious and worshiping, that's fine.

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QUESTION: I am new to practicing Krishna consciousness and once I ran into a Hindu who said to me, "Why don't you stick to our own religion?" My feelings were hurt and I didn't know what to say to this person. Though I know where my heart is, and that's with Krishna. Can you explain?

ANSWER: Some who practice Hinduism believe it is only for those with Indian bodies. They believe this so strongly they try to own any religion that has Krishna in it. This is merely another form of the caste system, which as you can see from the quotes above, Srila Prabhupada was strongly against and did not teach. So do not let others disturb your mind, as this path is for everyone. Merely learn some of the quotes above and you will be more prepared next time, as well as feel more confident within.

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QUESTION: You have been mentioning Impersonalists and Mayavadis. What are they?

ANSWER: Impersonalists believe in merging into the impersonal light (brahmajyoti). Mayavadi's believe that we are God but just forgotten.

While we accept that the brahmajyoti exists and one can, if they desire, merge into it, we do not accept this as the highest, and for that matter, it deprives you of a personal relationship with God. Here on earth we want personal relationships and do not want to merge into the TV :-) or loose our-self in anything, ideally, and prefer to interact on a loving level with others. Where do we get this propensity from? It is inherited from our Divine Father, Lord Sri Krishna, and we prefer to have a personal relationship with Him.

Now the Mayavadis take it the extra mile and claim to BE God, but just forgot. So now God, the Supreme post over everything existing down to the tiniest ant or microbe, or planets in the sky, has a bad memory and lost his supreme power over it?! We do not accept that. This "I am God, you are God," philosophy is nonsense and bogus.

People take to these philosophies because everyone is trying to figure out, "What is my eternal, spiritual identity?" So, that identity is servant of God. Whether it be Impersonalism or Mayavadi, these deprive one of their original most sublime identity as well as a personal relationship with the Lord. Sometimes people are afraid to get that close and have a personal relationship with God because relationships in the material world have hurt them, or because they have too much fear of God, or because they realize they are less than perfect and don't want to undergo purification, etc.. Therefore, some take to Impersonalism and Mayavad philosophies. However, they are cutting themselves short spiritually until they accept a personal God in their life, sooner or later there is fall down from the brahmajyoti, etc., and there is return to this material world to start all over again.

Devotees of Krishna believe God is a Person, though a Transcendental Person, unlike any people we know here. So folks tend to think God cannot be a person because they have only known material persons. That is how most make their comparisons. But this is not the case with God. He has a body, but it is transcendental. It does not die and is eternal. It has form. (sac cid ananda vigraha) And He can eat with his ears, drink with His eyes if He wants. His body is unlimited, something many have trouble with, again because its hard to conceive of since we only know these things materially. God, being unlimited, can do whatever He wants, so certainly He can do this. Anyhow, understanding God in this way, we can have one of five loving relationships with Him. They are specifically described in the Vedas, though I don't have time to go into it now. But one can't have a personal, interacting, loving relationship with a light, the universe, cosmos, etc (various types of impersonalism), or with themselves as illusion that they are God. One can only have a personal relationship with God who is a (transcendental) Person.

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QUESTION: What is the Hare Krishna stance on Blacks or Afro-Americans and Deity worship? I have heard Hindus do not allow this, so was wondering what you allow and disallow?

ANSWER: To disallow Afro-American's the opportunity to become brahmana and perform Deity worship is yet another angle of the caste system, a system Prabhupada was against. In our Krishna conscious society we have people from all cultures and backgrounds, all skin colors and yes, blacks, performing aroti, giving class, leading kirtan, cooking in Krishna's kitchen and so on. Srila Prabhupada has also given all of the above sanyas (the most renounced order of life, and highly respected) who wanted it and qualified for it. As long as a person becomes qualified, skin color, country of origin, or any such material designations are insignificant. Of course, we must remember the idea is to go above brahmana and become Vaisnava. :-) And anyone can do that too.

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QUESTION: So if someone is a Hindu, they are not practicing Krishna conscious, right?

ANSWER: That is not what's being said on this site. A person may be a Hindu due to their body, and it is up to them to choose which religion they wish to follow. Therefore, they can be Hindu and a Vaisnava too.

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Please chant: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare; Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare -- and your life will be sublime!