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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sadhana-Siddha vs Nitya-Siddha

Recently I ran into a conversation where devotees were discussing whether Srila Prabhupada was Sadhana-siddha [became a pure devotee thru the act of sadhana], or Nitya-Siddha [born a pure devotee.] 

If you told me 40 years ago, someone would even 'think' Srila Prabhupada had to earn his purity - I would never have believed you.

My expectation within the conversation was, most would point to him as NityaSiddha. But to my surprised, more pointed to him as SadhanaSiddha! 

They claim he says it in shastra. But he says many things in shastra, and it seems since a big name was involved in the conversation, more worried about offending him, than Prabhupada. 

Others simply may not have connected dots, or did not want to rock the boat, or some other reason. I'm not about to judge them. I don't walk in their shoes of their daily life. But what I will do is give the shastric evidence that he is indeed, a Nitya Siddha.

Some said why should it matter, since either way he is a pure devotee. I thought about that. Yet, it got under my skin. But why? 

My conclusion: If he's Sadhana-Siddha instead of Nitya-Siddha, I've been living a lie all these decades, and so have countless others. Plus it might mean he is not 'quite' as pure as we thought [tho it might not, cuz Krishna can zap anyone and make them as pure as He wishes]. Most of all, it just felt WRONG. However, I must find it in scripture. Thus the following. :)

~~*~~

"So the nitya-siddha maha-bhagavata, they come from the spiritual world on the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and they, by example, they preach Krsna Consciousness. This is maha-bhagavata. By suffering, by example, everything, they look like ordinary men, but maha-bhagavata. How it is tested? Never forgets Krsna. This is maha-bhagavata nitya-siddha. And sadhana-siddha means those who are put into this material world, by the association of maha-bhagavata, if he tries, follows, then he can also become maha-bhagavata or nitya-siddha, because originally everyone is nitya-siddha." (Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Mayapur, February 11, 1976)

[NOTATION: There is a quote where Prabhupada said he never forgot Krishna not even in childhood. When I locate the exact words, and date, etc, I'll put it here. But it's a fact.]

~*~

Guest (1): Prabhupāda, did Christ return to the spiritual planets then, when he left the earth, to be with Kṛṣṇa?

Prabhupāda: He is coming from spiritual planets. He is authorized representative of Kṛṣṇa, we accept him as śaktyāveśa-avatāra. " SP,  Evening Darsana -- July 11, 1976, New York


[So let me see, Jesus has come from spiritual planets, but some initiated disciples think Prabhupada has not? Jiv Jago.]

~*~

"This word nitya-siddha is significant. Nitya-siddha and nitya-baddha. There are two kinds of living entities. Nitya-baddha means ever-conditioned. Ever-conditioned means those who are in this material world, they do not know when they came in touch with this material world. Neither they do know when they will be liberated. They are called nitya-baddha, ever-conditioned. 

And similarly, there are nitya-siddhas. Nitya-siddhas means they never come in contact with this material world, and even they come here for some business, they do not forget their position. That is nitya-siddha. Try to understand.

There are two kinds of living entities: nitya-siddha, nitya-baddha. Nitya-baddhas are within this material world. Beginning from Brahma down to a small ant, insignificant ant, they are all nitya-baddha. Anyone who is in this material world -- nitya-baddha.

And nitya-siddhas, they belong to the spiritual world. They never come in contact with this material world, and even they come for some business under the order of the Supreme Lord, they do not touch these material qualities. They remain always transcendental.

As Krsna remains always transcendental, even though He is in this material world, similarly, Krsna's nitya-siddha associates, they are also transcendental. They never touch this material world."  ~ Srila Prabhupada lecture, July 14, 1973


~*~ 

"Nitya-siddha devotees come from Vaikuntha to this material world to teach, by their personal example, how to become a devotee. The living entities in this material world can take lessons from such nitya-siddha devotees and thus become inclined to return home, back to Godhead. A nitya-siddha devotee comes from Vaikuntha upon the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and shows by his example how to become a pure devotee (anyabhilasita-
sunyam). In spite of coming to this material world, the nitya-siddha devotee is never attracted by the allurements of material enjoyment." (S.B. 7.10.3, Purport)


~*~ 
 
"A nitya-siddha never forgets the service of the Lord. He is always engaged, even from childhood, in worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead." (CC Madhya 3.167, Purport)


~*~ 

 "All nitya-siddhas within this material world may appear to toil like ordinary men, but they never forget their position as servants of the Lord." (CC Madhya 5.113, Purport)

[Yet some of us conditioned souls think they can recognize. Too risky imho. Karmic.]

~*~ 

"In all the ancient scriptures of devotional service and in the more recent songs of Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and other unalloyed Vaisnavas, the spiritual master is always considered either one of the confidential associates of Srimati Radharani or a manifested representation of Srila Nityananda Prabhu." (CC. Adi 1.46, Purport)

~*~

ME: The question arises, as it did in that discussion, if Prabhupada is NityaSiddha he would have said that; and why did he call himself a SadhanaSiddha?

We must understand thru the eyes of shastra. First, one can be a SadhanaSiddha AND a NityaSiddha at the same time [as the pure devotee still preforms saddhana], but not to "assume" it is the other way around. It sometimes could be, but we must not speculate. 

Second, it's highly important to understand the pure devotee is humble. He does not like to show off his level of purity, and rather say he is Sadhana-Siddha than Nitya-Siddha.
 

"It is characteristic of advanced Vaisnavas following the principles of bhakti that they think themselves ordinary human beings. This is not an artificial exhibition of humility; a Vaisnava sincerely thinks this way and therefore never admits his exalted position."  (Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.24.26, Purport)

~*~
 
"The activities of these elevated souls are not to be questioned by us. They have a higher purpose which we cannot determine; therefore do not try to imitate the actions of the very powerful, but one should simply follow their instructions."  Prabhupada Letter, July 25, 1970

~*~

UPDATE: Found the quote where Prabhupada says he never forgot Krishna:

"So far my present life is concerned, I do not remember any part of my life when I was forgetful of Krsna."  SPL to Tamal Krsna, Los Angeles, 21 June, 1970

~*~

Poem on the Passing of Thakur Haridas
Author : Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur

"He reasons ill who says that Vaishnavas die
When thou art living still in Sound!
The Vaishnavas die to live and living try
To spread the holy life around!"

FEEDBACK: 

[The comment box is turned off because I want this to be a place I can speak my mind without it turned into a debate. However, someone sent me a positive message. If anyone I know has supportive feedback, they are welcome to email or message me with it. The following is what a devotee wrote relating to this particular blog posting.]

"Hare Krsna!  I'm afraid I stirred this pot, as I was the one that posted the original post, regarding Guru Krpa. 😃  I'm with you - I have always felt that Srila Prabhupada was nitya-siddha.

This is not very helpful if I can't find the evidence, but there was a story, I believe told by Daivi Shakti. Gita Devi Saraf, who donated the land for Krsna Balaram mandir, once had a private meeting with Srila Prabhupada toward the end of his manifest pastimes. In that meeting, Srila Prabhupada told her that he had come from Goloka and would soon be returning.  Gita Devi confided this to (I believe) Daivi Shakti, before her own passing.

As far as I'm concerned, there is plenty of evidence that Srila Prabhupada was not only nitya-siddha, but far beyond anything we can imagine! \o/ 
YS
Aja dasa"

Related post: Is Srila Prabhupada a ShaktaveshAvatara

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Blissful Sadhana

Maybe some readers out there have made the altar as described in the links or else below. And maybe some have been offering their foodstuffs. AND maybe lots of singing / chanting is going on at your home. Great! Want more ideas?

This page is to add fun spiritual activities. Take what you like, leave what you don't, and tweak what you feel needs tweaking for you as an individual..



PAINT a Terracotta flower pot with a Jagannatha face, then plant either Tulasi devi in there, or just a regular plant. Krishna is nondifferent than his form, so keep as clean as humanly possible. Like a picture..








 





TEA CUP GARDEN - 
So sweet.  Easy to do. Create them, next place directly in front of your Deities/ Pics, for Their pleasure. [I wouldn't place on the altar due to dirt maybe spilling or water splashing; plus hard care for there.] You'll like it too.
All it mostly requires - soil, seeds, sun, water, probably a few pebbles in the soil for air circulation - and attention. Part of that attention is to chant to them while giving care. Of course details on growing, can tweak it. Feel free too google "tea cup gardens."

 Make CLAY VASES - easy peasy:


:
Clay INCENSE HOLDERS:

DECORATION to hang in your temple room or meditation area:
 









[Wish blogspot let ya put pics across and next to each other, but they don't. sigh Oh well, it's still nice. ]

Step 1: Can cut strong paper to size OR use a cardboard Tube.

Step 2: If paper, toll together and tape or glue it.
Step 3: Another sheet of paper. Cut many small slits, like a comb, & leave some uncut above the slits..
Step 4: Crease slit paper in middle, then open, and glue it's tops around both ends of tube:
The finished product is the 1st pic above. Add string or ribbon and tie it where you want it tied. Where Krishna can see it. :)  


Hey Mr TAMBOURINE Man - chant a song for me - wait, for Krishna! :) We'll both like it. 
 OK, this admittedly is for or kids but adults could use it too. :) Fun for the whole family. So bright and pretty, what's the harm? Made from 2 sturdy paper or plastic plates. 

Punch Holes:
Paint [however you wish],

 





 
Add bells with eyelet fasteners:
Bells are easily found at Christmas OR in the scrapbook / craft isle in many stores. Simply put it all together, and use to a fun family kirtan..

PAPER FLOWERS: 
Tho best to offer real flowers, or else leaves if not available, it's nice to "also" offer art work of flowers..
Sorry, no instructions, tho you can google it. To me looks like a long, wide piece of colored paper - twirled from small to large, around a stick or pipe-cleaner, making sure it takes the rose shape.  UPDATE, here is a tutorial for 20 different types of paper flowers to make

And here are some others, from simple, to medium, to fancy. Take your pick, mix em up.

And here are some easy video's to follow. Make Hyacinth paper flowers. 

Oragami rose with Card - write something sweet to Krishna. Gently, meditatively focus on what you wish to say. [Veda recommends, and all scriptures really, to "glorify" god. Even, just tell Him what you find attractive. Is it His blueness? His pink Feet. His mercy? Etc Then follow up with Thank You. Of course if you need to ask for help that can be done, but better to do that thru prayer.] Make sue to read the card to Him as well. He IS there. :)

Use tissue paper and create this lovely CARNATION.

Reminder: Paper flowers are not for offering, but for decorating! :) Real flowers, or when they are not available then even leaves - are for offering.

Make a paper flower picture FRAME. Pretty! 

How to make a WALL HANGING paper flower [rose] decoration. Personally, I'd paint the background paper-plate, but aside from that, this is very nice!

Butterflies from the sky! Video. Make with paper, a little light wire - so lovely. 

Wall butterflies without wire, just string, video right here folks.

PROTECT altar naturally, from bugs::
Keep spiders and other bugs at bay, by growing certain plants that repel them. Mint is one.Tho I have had spiders creep across my mint. lol Will add, they did not hang out there. Personal experience has shown me that Mexican Tarragon seems to be the plant on my windowsill spiders avoid like the plague. ha Yet, its nice to mix it up for good measure, and for fun. So Lavender is another. They seemed to especially dislike my Rosemary. Any plant that has a powerful citrus fragrance works. Basil repels flies and mosquitoes. Pennyroyal's very helpful. It's good to co-plant, so if one doesn't resolve an issue, the other may. Decorate your spiritual spot where you connect with Krishna - with nice scented bug repellent plants. Krishna can enjoy them. :) 

MESSAGE STONES:
Either collect or buy some rocks. Clean them. Then paint inspiring quotes. "Joy" "Bliss," etc. Even, "Don't worry - Be happy" is a nice reminder. Can place around temple room or Meditation area to inspire yourself.

TOWER OF FLOWERS::
 OK, in the above case, it's herbs. But you can grow anything you want in there, including flowers for Krishna! :)

I've yet to get this together but do dream of it. So am sharing with others. Here's the basics how to make your own multi-planter. Then you can grow even more plants in front of the altar.
SKETCH or DRAW::
This is the type of thing I like to do. Simple and sweet. The following is a pic by a devotees mom [MomJi] after she learned of the story where Prabhupada said 2 birds were actually sharing Krishna Katha to each other! Use your art to meditate on things that inspires.:

To see more of Momji's artwork, go here.

Not so artistic? Most will tell ya, many artists started out poorly and got better with practice. Here is a place for beginners - learn free! A small step up may be here. And if you want a bit more challenge with muscles and such, check out this site.

SIMPLE ART: For those like myself, ha, without the talent but oh so much the desire - keep it simple. Plus, a little cut & paste is helpful to keep all of us meditating on Krsna - even those of us grown-ups who are not as artistically inclined.


Ever hear of a VISION BOARD?
 
Make a Krishna Conscious one! Not everything has to be in the temple room. Make your whole house spiritual. Vision boards are often misunderstood. IMHO they have a lot in common with scrapbooking and photo albums [See below]. Ya have to look at them to get the benefit! :) And of course, making them should be a meditation in and of itself. If you don't know how to make one, here's a link.

SCRAPBOOKING has become popular. When I was a young devotee, it was common to take a regular Photo Album and put in pics of Krishna, Deities, etc. Then we'd turn the pages and "oooo and ahhh" over each divine picture. :) That can still be done! Scrapbooking is similar. Tho in this case it involves more cutting and pasting. A great meditation. Sit in your living room, at your desk, temple /meditation room, and begin this spiritual project.


COLLAGES -  What's the difference between these are the above? I'd say, the mess. lol That is, some are very busy....
 
BUT you can make collages any way you wish: 
Focus / meditate on the spiritual message you wish to convey thru yours, and enjoy making it. These are great in the kids play room, the living rooms, kitchens. Have fun making it together as a family! Tutorial.

NOTE: Krishna pics, etc, should not be placed in bathrooms or bedrooms or any place undressing or etc, goes on - nor anywhere regularly smelly. Other areas are fine and even a good idea. Bring Krsna or Lord Chaitanya and so on, into your home. Make Him happy, and automatically yourself as well. :)



How about decorating with POSTERS or TAPESTRIES? Either can be placed behind a glass frame to give them a classic appearance, or just as it is - according to the room and your mood. I was surprised to find posters as cheap as 19 cents! Here's the place.They also have lovely tapestries - painted on cloth!


GOT MILK errr KIDS? :) Or GRANDKIDS?
Spiritual life should be easy and enjoyable for them. Krishna Animation on DVD - just pop it into a player. Fun!

Yes, a few of the above cost money, tho most here do not. And if we have to give our money to someone, let it be a spiritual someone. :)  The price is smaller than often spent on other entertainment or a pizza or ... it's worth it IMHO. Besides, I'm just trying to give the connection to make it easier to locate. What you do with that is your choice. 

SCRIPT, LETTERING:
I do enjoy lettering, so wish to share it. Here is one example, after, that google words like 'script' and 'lettering.
[And that includes Krishna Conscious education. Many problems arise from incomplete knowledge!] 

OK, One more. :)

Practice writing the Maha Mantra..... in Sanskrit!  :) 

Or English:
Paper Bag STARS:
Decorations for your little temple room or meditation area. Pretty. Click for video here

How to make paper bag FLOWERS, an offering of art. Please buy new paper bags for God. :) Video here


ADULT COLORING BOOKS - It's very popular now - for good reasons. Studies have shown it is extremely relaxing and healthy. 

No need to buy expensive, fancy tools. Unless you want to. However, regular Crayola Crayons OR Colored Pencils work quite well. 

Some like to use markers for a paint effect. The only caution there is to first test them and see if there is bleed-thru. They can still be used [if you don't mind the appearance on the back of the page] BUT it's important to remember to place a file card etc underneath the pic 'before' using those particular markers. I just kept testing markers until I found one that doesn't bleed-thru. 

UPDATE: The ones I found with the least bleed-thru so far, are from CrazyArt. Did not like their crayons, only their markers. Got mine at Walmart, tho they can also be found online.

With that said, here is a link at amazon to an Adult Krishna Coloring book.

It is also perfectly fine to go to your local online [or not online] Hare Krishna store and buy a Krishna Coloring book for kids. Why? It's a meditation after all, to help transport you to a higher place.

If you own a printer, google, then click on images - and you will find free Krishna, Hanuman, etc, Coloring pages!  
 

SEWING:
Have a bit of sewing talent? Make clothes for your Deities OR pictures. With pictures it's usually a skirt, but anything you can visualize, go for it.
[When sewing for God, don't spit on your fingers to moisten thread to get it thru the needles eye. :) Simply keep a spray bottle or moist clean paper towel, wet, close by. Use it for such things. Don't touch hair either, but again easy solution - spray bottle, towelettes. ]

BEADING, Necklaces, Bracelets, Earrings, etc:

Maybe one can't sew, but most can learn how to do simple beading. It's easy. Make your Deities or Spiritual Pictures some special Jewelry just for Them. Brand new of course.  Picture Tutorial. Video Tutorial.

ART JOURNALING:
This is a somewhat new thing, or technically anyhow, and it is a wonderful thing! While I don't know an exacting definition of it, off the top of my head I'd say: Its any combination of art, lettering, cut-outs if you want them, any media [from crayons to professional items], usually with a quote. What a great way to collect our favorite, most inspiring quotes of Srila Prabhupada, or from Krishna Book, anywhere really. We can use art to get creative and help us meditate on the bliss of Krishna, or the mercy of Lord Chaitanya, the protection of Rama or Narasimha, etc! 

Technically, I do not know how to make these fancy little things. ha But I've always wanted to. Maybe one day. I found these lovely pics on a Christian site. [For those who do not know, Hare Krishna devotees believe in Jesus.] Unfortunately I lost the link that tells how to make this. sigh BUT if you can do other things on this page, try them first, then you can probably do this. Or just go to youtube and search how to make an Art Journal Booklet with Pockets or Pop-Ups, maybe Pop-Outs. I do not know the perfect key words. ha Think some up yourself.
 
DIARY or JOURNAL: 
Here you can make all types entries. Anywhere from jotting down realization that comes to mind, to writing specific goals you wish to attain. [They are more likely to be attained after they are physically written.] Just make sure to keep the focus spiritual and on Krishna. Lord Chaitanya etc would be fine too. :)

HAPPY JAPA::

When chanting remember, it's about bliss! That is found within the sound vibration. Keep the mind focused and the heart happy. Not focused on laundry, the office, a fight, etc. Rather, the bliss that is Krishna. :) If the mind wanders, don't feel bad, it does for everyone! ha Just drag it back as soon as you notice. Keep on chantin'.


Check back - Never know when something hits my fancy, I'll add it here. :) Bookmark this page.