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Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Old Days - Now A Days

I've often written on this topic, yet can't seem to stop ha, and for good reason. Why? Because no one should be left out! While Prabhupada may have disappeared from our vision and that aspect of him is not available, he is still fully accessible to anyone who puts in the effort.

Often I hear some say that they feel so bad having either missed the old days, or were not even born yet. I use to spend a lot of time trying to encourage, lift spirits, and get folks to realize that they can still do what we did!

These days I may spend less time doing that because I ran into too many who only wanted to complain. You see, when I told them they can still have Prabhupada now, most said yes, but did not put in the effort to do anything different to achieve it to the degree they said they desired. Later I'd find them complaining on some other site or forum. (sigh) It makes me sad, cuz they are wasting life airs when it is a spiritual fact that anyone who wants spiritual essence, and more, can indeed have it - merely by doing it! Actions speak louder than words.

Next,  some feel they are indeed doing this, yet not getting those vibes. That could be true! However, knowingly or unknowingly, you are passing over something, or negating. There is an omission, probably quite a few. Keep reading Prabhupada's books & Letters to figure it out. Also, look within, honestly, to add onto finding solutions. What is it you don't want to stop doing, or start adding? Or is there some other issue? If it's something so huge you can't see the forest for the trees to resolve it - have you written steps to start digging you way out? This works, by the way! [Later if I find one, I may come back with a link or two, if that helps.]

Update: Here are the links I promised to help those who "really" want to do this, get there. Ten Steps To Achieve Goals. Interestingly, here's one that only takes Five Steps, just be  sure to keep your goal focused on becoming Krishna Conscious so you can stop your cycle of repeated birth and death. Of course, it's up to you. Basically we all get out of something, whatever it is we put into it.

Additionally, please don't take on the misconception of rejecting the word ISKCON or insisting not to belong. ISKCON is not where abuse goes on, nor any nonsense. Prabhupada said ISKCON will rise to the Spiritual Sky.  Do you really think the ones [which isn't every member] that hurt others will be the ones rising on up? ha No, it is the meek, the humble, the strong but polite in Vaisnava Etiquette, the truth seekers, and so on.  Prabhupada is Iskcon.  

Some who are new may have no interest in joining anything and that is perfectly fine. Since I'm speaking to a wide audience I must also include others, some even initiated - thus it is different for everyone. Some specific points in this post are to the disciples. However, anyone can chant Hare Krishna plus invite folks over to share in the singing, feasting, and make spiritual advancement without joining a thing.)

Nor am I about to criticize the whole Movement. It's not my job to get into politics. I'm smart enough ... and old enough haha ... to know better than to waste time meditating on what I've no power to fix. Rather, my job, service, is to share how anyone can go back to Godhead even now, by doing what Prabhupada had us do.

I joined the Movement when it was actually moving. ha Temples were so often being opened, preaching centers started, people were breaking the doors down to move in! It was soooo exciting. Yes, that was a long time ago, but anyone can start something up on their own, to whatever degree they feel comfortable doing, if they tap into jagat guru Srila Prabhupada. It was always him empowering us, we are not special. Lucky, but not special. Everyone is part and parcel of God/Krishna and therefore each and any soul can tap into this blissful Krishna Conscious technique.

If you open anything, consider calling Isckon, like Bangalore did. Now, I am not sure of the legalities, maybe combining the name as they did, helps. Be ambitious and look it up. But lets make ISKCON what it should be again. Prabhupada's Movement. And do it right. [Usually keep it small to medium, and avoid centralizing as Prabhupada instructed = makes that much easier.]

Moving on.... Actually, I didn't intend to get so involved in those topics. Tho I DO want to wake folks up to the fact that if they want to feel spiritual bliss, they may need to up the ante. ha  Mostly with this posting, I just wanted to share some feelings and a story of the previous times. 

Thus, without further ado :)

What I like about the old days is the simplicity of it all, the innocence, the turning of any space - into a spiritual place - like a store front. Prabhupada never wanted everything centralized. Connected, but not centralized. Everything was to stay local

That's another reason I say we can have the old days back these days. For those with even a little ambition/desire, they can open their own little temple, or just start something in their living room. [For those they trust.] It's bonafide. :) Anyhow, this is nevertheless a fun read. And you can have a similar story to tell one day, if you open up your own store front, basement, go to the park, etc. 

NEW YORK 1966

"The storefront itself is only a fifteen by forty foot unfurnished room. Someone had placed straw mats on the floor for sitting. At the far end are two windows, a closed bathroom door, and a badly chipped sink. A bare lightbulb hangs from a cord in the middle of the room, another at the entrance. They are the only lights.


As we wait, others come in. Then, through the back windows, I can see the Swami crossing the courtyard to the storefront. He enters through the hall door and quickly slides off his white pointed shoes. Then he sits on one of the straw mats and faces his new congregation.

His attire is humble, ascetic: a saffron dhoti worn in the style of a sannyasi monk, and a saffron chadar over his shoulders. As he sits erect and cross-legged, his body seems to dwindle. His magnetism and personality are concentrated in his face, large and noble like a Buddha's. It is a serene, meditative, grave face, a tranquil face, encompassing joy, compassion, sorrow, and much more. It is a face unlike any other I have ever seen." ~ Full story.


Yes, it is true that you will also have spiritual experiences. They will be different, yet not. And like so many devotees in the past, you too will indeed have unique experiences, specific to you! And stories, MANY stories, to share with your children, grandchildren, devotees - if you create a spiritual gathering.

Hmmmm I should remember I am not only speaking to new devotees, but senior devotees as well. They know this, but a refresher is helpful IMHO. Most older devotees have found their niche, but that's another story for another time. :)

THE SCIENCE of SELF REALIZATION - This is such a lovely book! Packed with knowledge. When I have time I may come back and describe it more, as I like it so much. However, you can read the descriptions on Amazon, and especially, it's nice to have your very own copy. You can get either a paperback here, or Kindle, here.


Related Helpful post:  

A Fun Spiritual Place - Your Home! :) 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Why Start A Temple?

(Source of quote on picture: Srila Prabhupada, London's Conway Hall, November 1969)

Recently there have been some major issues with our Movement internally and while I don't want to waste time getting into them, I do not want to ignore them either. My way of doing things is to put more focus on a solution

One solution, as I've touched on before, is to open your own little preaching center or even a temple. That way you know it's safe, accurate, and so on. 

It can done on a large scale, but also on a small scale. Whatever an individual can honestly handle. But folks out there, please do it!

Anyone can start a temple, and here Prabhupada has written such an instruction to a female:


 "
I have heard from Govinda dasi that you are such a nice girl, and I appreciate your sincere interest in this Krishna Conscious philosophy and this Sankirtana movement of Lord Caitanya. I have also heard how you typed Sri Sri Brahma Samhita and I am very pleased with your sincere service.

Recently I have come to Los Angeles where the warmer climate is better for my health than in San Francisco. I am told the Bahama Islands are very warm year round, and I am very interested to come there. If you can find an appropriate storefront, and decorate it nicely for a Temple, with altar, pictures, candles, incense, etc., and begin holding Kirtana there, then I will come there in February to the Bahama Islands, and give lectures there in the Temple. You will be doing very good service to Krishna, and it is not very difficult to do. People will come, you will see. However, if it is not possible to do this, then I will be very happy to meet you when I go to New York in April, and to Montreal afterward." ~ SP, L.A., January 13, 1968

At least start worship and devotional service within your own home, than over time maybe as you tweak it, invite a friend or two. If you want to take it further and invite more, great! If that's sufficient for you, great! You now have devotee association. 


"Whether you live in temple or outside temple, the rules and regulation and the process must be followed. Then you are successful. It doesn't matter that you have to live in the temple. If he does not agree with other godbrothers, friends, he can live separately. But he must follow the rules and regulation. That is wanted." ~ Srila Prabhupada, morning walk conversation, February 3, 1975

For those who would like it, here is the Morning Program which Prabhupada has us do. A video to follow. 

"Those who are spiritually advanced, their photograph and ordinary photograph is different. Just like here is statue of Krishna. He's not different from Krishna. The original person Krishna and this statue of Krishna is the same. Similarly, a spiritually perfect person and his photograph is the same. Because it is in the absolute stage. In the absolute stage there is no difference. In the material stage there is difference. Is that clear?"  ~  Srila Prabhupada Lecture, New York, September 16, 1966
 

"There is no difference between me and my picture. Therefore we should honor and keep pictures in that spirit. If we throw pictures this way and that way, that is offence.  The name and picture are as good as the person in spiritual world. In the material world either picture or person, everything is illusion." ~ Srila Prabhupada letter, September 4, 1972

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Helpful posts to assist your bliss of spiritual life:

 A Fun Spiritual Place - Your Home! :)

How To Create Your Home Altar, with steps, mantras, and more! :) 

We go beyond vegetarianism, we are prasadam-atarians. ha That is, turning vegetarian food into spiritual foodstuffs