Mar 2, 2015

my 2015 birthday gift

2015  oh boy what a year !! 
I shall not forget the January of this year 

WHY ??

My Sun (son) was born in the first week of January.

The very first week of this year my life has changed for ever.
The moment i was driving my wife to hospital something from within was talking to me "So ARE You READY ? " 
My wife and me waited for 9 months for this day.
We had our ups and downs for last 9 months . 
i felt like the 9 months are not just for the baby to grow but to prepare both of us for future of happiness , responsibility, duty, sacrifice , adjustment ,co-operation and the list goes on ....and on ....

Today my son is about 2 months old and i see that my life has 
sleepless nights , a smile to relieve
anxious faces,  burst of laughter
a small bundle of joy, to burden of love
a sudden call for maturity , to a childish playfulness
every day is a new day and not the same day as before

I just pray, hope and try to nurture my son in a way where his good positive qualities are brought about and his natural abilities are kindled so that he becomes a good person and stand to his integrity in trial situations and moreover become a humble instrument in Lord Caitanyas (God) movement.

Aug 20, 2012

Give me my 5$ back

Last time i went for book distribution at Santa cruzs busy street.
  •  I showed Bhagavad gita to a person & gave a short presentation . He took it for 5$ & said that one his favorite inspirational speaker had mentioned about BG so he is buying it .    As he was going away i said that " This book talks about things which even time cannot destroy" .    He seemed to like it & said " WOW " .......... " but Give me my 5$ back !!!!!!"   i got surprised ,did i say something wrong.    then he added " I would like to give you 10$ for what you said, enlightened me !!!" .......... That gave me BIG relief.
  •  Vinod Pr had made a vow to distribute 100 books & he did it with his enthusiastic simple presentation of book packs to everyone he met.     Sri Govindutta pr used his expert logic & presentation in somehow distributing the books to everyone he met.    Himanshu pr somehow had students as his audience & he successfully distributed books to them after long philosophical discussions.    Rajaram pr very patiently handled all those who came near the book table.    & As usual i had to pray to Lord Caitanya to send the right persons to me to get the books, which he mercifully answered & thus i was allowed to take part in Transcendental book distribution.

Aug 17, 2012

Small packets of Sugary water

The soft drinks advertises themselves as drink which can satisfy the thirst.
Todays man put corn sugar & some artificial flavour mix it with water & sell it for few dollars.
I was wondering are these really thirst quenchers ?? I didn't find it when i tasted these soft drinks.

Some even find same exact taste of fruits in chemical substance & add it to water to sell it as fruit drink with artificial flavour.

This is billion dollar business today !!
But people buying these products are not satisfied by the artificial nature of these products.
Indeed there is now more awareness of its disadvantages to health & nature.

The sugar in these soft drinks are more than our body needs it accumulates in the body 
& the soft drinks donot have the good amounts of vitamins,fibers etc either.

The plastics used by these bottles are more harmful to nature & is now a great menace around the world adding to severe pollution in nature.

But what drives man to create such business ?
Money ? yes
innovation ? yes 

But what is the deep down motivation in heart 
Imitate ??? 
Yes Man wants to imitate to what it see around in nature.

Nature also carries such sugary packets in the form of Fruits & vegetables 
& man thought " Wow ! can i create similar sugar packets at less cost & endeavour & sell them at huge quantities !?" 
& that triggered the so-called modern innovation of soft drinks,artificial flavours,plastic etc 

Nature also carries sugar packets in form of fruits & vegetables hanging on trees.
It contains sugar & vitamin,minerals & all natural things good for our body.
Even the nature packs the water in different colours & taste in a bio-degradable material compared to plastic !!.

You see Nature has provided all needs of human beings.There are urges & needs in Human body & nature has perfect answer product to satisfy them .
When there is summer humans need more water & nature provides oranges & watermelons which quench the thrist naturally & are summer fruits ie they grow most in summer.
And one doesnot need a factory or machinery knowledge but simple plantation of fruits saplings would give thousands of fruits to satisfy oneself & many others. 

In attempt to imitate nature & get more money man has created more problems than solutions.Just think it tried to replace the natural farming of fruits with artificial factory producing flavoured sugar water. What a waste of time & energy & money ? & moreover it is more harmful than of any good solution to us. !

Ancient Vedic text called Isopanishad gives nice solution to this problem 
om purnam adah purnam idam
purnat purnam udacyate
purnasya purnam adaya
purnam evavasisyate

The Personality of Godhead is perfect and complete, and because He is completely perfect, all emanations from Him, such as this phenomenal world, are perfectly equipped as complete wholes. Whatever is produced of the Complete Whole is also complete in itself. Because He is the Complete Whole, even though so many complete units emanate from Him, He remains the complete balance.

The nature that has come from God , is a gift of God , is complete in its whole.It has all facilities to provide & quench our needs. We simply donot have to artificially find solutions to our needs.

Next time when you are store & want to buy a small packet of sugary water ...... choose nature gifts for that is Mother Nature's real gift.

Feb 14, 2012

Great Expectations

The last week of the year 2011 & all over America there is a huge surge for people to get into buying mode as it is holiday seasons.

At Iskcon Silicon Valley there was harinam scheduled the day after Christmas in San Francisco.
I took the train to SFO. There were some families in the train with their kids , i could see excitement in their eyes to see & experience one of the most famous city in the world --- San Francisco.!!!!

I reached Market & Powel intersection ...... probably the most crowded place in SFO.
As i was climbing the steps from an underground BART station i heard the distinct sound of Kartals (cymbals) & a smile came on my face .

There they were devotees holding flags of mahamantra & kartals & mridangam chanting the Holy name . Devotees were distributing books too.

" Hi .. Have you heard about Bhagavad gita ?? "
"These are books on Yoga & meditation & teach you how to get free from Stress. you have heard of stress before right ??"

Thousands of people were pouring in from all direction like rain water gushes out from all places after a fresh rain.Some were coming out of various shops & huge malls which were advertised with 50% discount billboards & posters. Hundreds were entering into these malls & simultaneously hundreds were coming out of it.

It was like a river of people all around & the lotus of harinam & its devotees were not touching its water.I took part in harinam & then started doing some book distribution.
It was good to do book distribution when harinam was around as people could see the connection of music & the books .

But when the harinam party went for touring around busy corners of SFO  i tried my best to distribute books but people were taking me as any other salesperson, aiming to cheat them 
This made me uncomfortable & i was thinking the harinam should be present so that people can experience higher bliss & take books 

   Then HG Vaisesika Pr decided to go union square, i too joined him & after reaching there he lead a wonderful kirtan with 10 devotees dancing in circles 
The book distribution picked up in the shelter of holy name banyan tree .
I could distribute a chinese book first time & got donation from him. Last time i had tried at chinese mall & people over there laughed at me making me embarrassed.but today i felt nice & victorious.
 Sri Krishna Purushottam pr another book distributor came to me & said " I too got good donation from a chinese "  
Thats a rare thing in book distribution but i could witness by my own eyes that under the shelter of holy name anything is possible 

I simply prayed let me distribute Bhagavad gita today & a young man stopped in front of me with his ray ban goggles hiding his eyes.
I showed him the bhagavad gita & in my talk with him he said " I am from idaho & i am a soldier" .I told him this book was said at the time of battlefield to a soldier 
who was under stress of his duty & this helped him to perform his duty well.
He immediately took the book & gave $10 & i prayed with gratitude to Lord Caitanya to having my wish fulfilled so quickly.
As it started becoming more & more darker we closed our harinam & i started back to the train station. As i reflected back on the day i thought people out there the whole day were moving with GREAT expectations. An expectation for some pleasure somewhere.
There were so many faces with this great Hope & expectations that i felt touched by their endeavors for pleasure & peace.
Had it not been for Srila Prabhupad who brought this package of joy of harinam i would have been one of the same faces in the crowd looking desperately for pleasure & peace. !
The following words of Mahajan Prahalad sums it all.

tat-prayaso na kartavyo
yata ayur-vyayah param
na tatha vindate ksemam

Endeavors merely for sense gratification or material happiness through economic development are not to be performed, for they result only in a loss of time and energy, with no actual profit. If one's endeavors are directed toward Krsna consciousness, one can surely attain the spiritual platform of self-realization. There is no such benefit from engaging oneself in economic development.

All expectations are fulfilled when turns to the Supreme Lord Krishna & his devotional service.Just like Hiranyakasipu had all , he was a king of 3 universes had full control of all powers of nature but his one expectation of obedience from his own son Prahalad costed him his life & his whole endeavor to rule over the world was lost in a second.Where as Prahalad was completely satisfied in his devotional service to Lord & had no expectation from material  world.
O my mind , my heart & my soul let me pray as follows as Prahalad did to get rid from the desires of expectations from this material world.

yadi dasyasi me kaman
varams tvam varadarsabha
kamanam hrdy asamroham
bhavatas tu vrne varam

O my Lord, best of the givers of benediction, if You at all want to bestow a desirable benediction upon me, then I pray from Your Lordship that within the core of my heart there be no material desires.

Nov 30, 2011

Ulterior Motives in Devotional service.

I shall draw a parallel understanding from a comic series called Captain America.

Captain America is a comic series published in America in early1940s & it has many adventurous stories of Captain America, the Super hero defeating the evils in the fictitious world.

The story goes that a scientist has prepared an artificial way of creating "Super Soldiers".
He could inject a person with powerful substances & serums which make a person Super Strong as equal to Steel.
These Super soldiers could not be then defeated by any one.

The experiment of injecting serum is done on one person who has evil motives called Red skull & he thus becomes stronger & starts supporting the evil activities 

The scientist then feels that he need a right candidate to create a  Super soldier to defeat the evil minded people. In his search he finds a young boy very skinny being repeatedly rejected by society & people & the army recruitment department.
He gives him a chance & gets him enrolled in army. The officers make jokes of this small person.But this small person has courage & determination in his heart & that whats attracted the scientist.

The scientist has a conversation with the boy &  tells him that he has a serum which makes a person very strong & probably he shall test it on him.

The scientist takes a promise from the boy that whatever happens after the test he should remain at least a  good soldier , a soldier good at heart & not trying to be a great soldier.

after the test the boy becomes the Famous moral ethical Captain America 

How is it that the same serum given to 2 person makes one person evil while other good ??
The Answer is the serum does what it needs to do ie making a person strong as steel 
but it is the motive, the intent of heart which gives different results.

If the motive is bad the result after taking serum shall increase the bad to worse.
If the motive is good the result is greatness.

The process of devotional service is like strong serum which makes a conditioned soul powerful in sense he can control his mind & senses And because of sinless life one can perceive some happiness .One can become famous of his devotional service (bhakti).

But the intent of heart or the motive behind is all that matters at the end.
devotional service makes a person powerful but it shall be the motive of the person which shall decide what shall he do with this power ??
Shall he use it for his own ego , his own needs & greed & exploits
or shall he become the instrument of compassion & selflessly do his service ??

One may ask but isn't devotional service meant to purify our heart of all negative desires & replace it with positive ones ??

YES devotional should purify our heart but it can do it if one desires to purify himself. 
 one needs to  purify his motive or intent of heart 
Many take to devotional service for various reasons but the devotional service is to be taken for only one reason ie for the ultimate goal of life ie to develop love for Krishna.

In course of devotional service one needs to rectify his desires & motives. If one neglects & ignores to remove false desires then it comes back & disguises it as some right desire .
Ulterior motives , wrong desires are like shaktasura the ghost demon & vatsasura - the calf demon 

Shaktasura demon -- ghost --- it haunts us again & again with past conditioning's as we try to advance in devotional service. like sense-gratification,

Vatsasura demon --- calf demon-- it takes the shape of an innocent desire which one may think as good & valid but is actually ruining our devotional creep like pride , need for respect & control  , complacency in devotional service, criticism 

Both can be killed with power of Krishna, through sadhu sastra guru & proper association of advanced devotees.
Time & again by doing introspection in heart & asking why am i doing devotional service ??
Is it for personal gratification or to develop love for  Krishna ??
Am i doing this for some respect & pride or for reviving genuine humility ??

by regular introspection by oneself & association of guru & advanced devotees one can keep checking his motive in heart .

Krishna says ultimately he shall establish himself in our heart & kill all the ignorance & demons in us but we need to prepare a nice place for him before he comes.
Our heart should be cultivated & made soft by proper hearing & chanting & service to Vaishanavas then Krishna shall consider to establish in our heart.

An instructing story from Ramayan
Ravana with his evil motive attained due to evil association of demons did great sacrifice for 1000s of years & then got a boon (serum) from Bramha but due to his bad motive he used this for destroying & creating havoc in the society.while his brother Vibhisana also did the same sacrifice for 1000s of years but his motive was not evil while he wished to attain love for God so his providence was arranged that he got association & service of Lord Rama .

SO it is necessary to keep checking our motives in garden of our heart while in the process of devotional service 
as a gardener checks for all the weeds that grow along with desired plant ,pluck out those weeds by  power of Krishna, through sadhu sastra guru & proper association of advanced devotees.

How is heart transformed from ulterior motives ??
a nice story answering this.

There is a story in this connection. It is very instructive, so try to hear. One professional reciter was publicly reciting the Srimad Bhagavatam, and he was describing that Krishna is very highly decorated with all kinds of jewels when He goes to tend the cows in the forest. So, there was a thief in that meeting, and he thought, "Why not go to Vrandavan and plunder this boy? He's in the forest with so many valuable jewels. I can go there and catch the child and take all the jewels." This was his intention. So he was serious. "I must find that boy," he thought. "Then in one night I shall become a millionaire."
The thief's qualification was his feeling: "I must see Krishna I must see Krishna" That anxiety, that eagerness, made it possible for him to actually see Krishna in Vrndavan. He saw Krishna in just the same way as the Bhagavatam reader had described. Then the thief said, "Oh, You are such a nice boy, Krishna." He began to flatter Him; he thought that by flattering Him he would easily take all the jewels. Then he proposed his real business: "May I take some of these ornaments? You are so rich."
"No, no, no," said Krishna. "My mother will be angry! I cannot give them away." Krishna was playing just like a child.
So the thief became more and more eager for Krishna to give Him the jewels, but by Krishna's association he was becoming purified. Then at last Krishna said, "All right, you can take them." Then the thief became a devotee immediately, because by Krishna's association he had been completely purified. So somehow or other you should come in contact with Krishna . Then you'll be purified.

So Lets establish Krishna in our heart by developing strong eagerness & anxiety for Krishna by hearing & chanting very attentively in the association of sincere serious devotees.

Sep 15, 2011

Srila Prabhupada's Instructions on College Preaching

Srila Prabhupada's Instructions on College Preaching

  • Try to recruit some of the intelligent class of student to take up this Krsna Consciousness philosophy and study it carefully.
  • Try to recruit some of such men to become our devotees. There is need for intelligent young men to Train them up as future leaders and preachers to go all over the world for spreading the message of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
  • If we simply go to the college on one night and leave immediately for another place, it will be difficult to make very much impression upon these students. I think it is better to stay at one place for some time, at least one week, or as long as the students are interested, and try to sell as many books as possible.
  • After your lecture in the college you may request if there are any interested students, that they may make further programs for you in their homes, or in some club or hall.
  • You may remain some time longer and concentrate on recruiting two or three good men, whoever appears to be the most interested, and by your diligent preaching to them you may be able to persuade some of them to become our devotees
  • Of course we shall not expect them immediately to come into the temple, like that, but if at least the seed is planted and they begin chanting rounds and following the principles while continuing their studies at school, that is our great victory.
  • And if they like, they may go and live in one of our centers, wherever they like, and learn further.
  • But we shall not present Krsna Consciousness as anything dry or like set of rules and regulations only, no. Krsna Consciousness is the topmost philosophy also, the highest knowledge of educational experience.
  • so try to impress this aspect of offering the perfect scientific understanding of everything as it is, not the temporary and unsatisfactory and incomplete understanding of things.
  • Try to present everything very logically and always quoting our Sanskrit authorities in connection with the main points, and that will impress them greatly.
  • Yes, and if you also yourselves write something daily, that will sharpen your use of language and you will be able to make your points very clear.
  • And if you dress neatly and conduct yourselves properly, that will help further.

Sep 9, 2011

It is not what you know ? ............

It is not what you know ! but who you know !? And What you ARE !?

I heard the above in HG Vaisesika Pr lecture , many times he quotes this to help us understand  the mood of devotional service.

As i kept contemplating on this more & more 
some nice thoughts came into my mind
  • It is not what you know !

What does this mean !? especially in relevance to  spiritual life , in devotional service to Lord Krishna ~!

A living entity is bewildered in this material world because he is forced by 3 fold miseries which he doesnot want.
Adhidavik --- miseries caused due to natural calamities likes floods,volcanoes, earthquakes etc torment us uninvited 
Adhibhautik ---miseries caused due to people & other living entities like relatives, friends, those who think to be our enemies,terrorists,wars etc & even mosquito & bed bugs too !
Adhyatmika -- miseries caused due to ones own mind & body due to diseases,unstable mind 

One keeps endeavoring to find solutions for the above , he wants to know why these are happening ? when these shall happen ? how to get rid of them?
It wants to control the nature & outer surroundings so as to avoid them.
everyone is looking for answers for the above 
& Einstein the great scientist summed this mentality in one line 
Albert Einstein
I want to know God's thoughts; the rest are details.

A philosophical intelligent person comes to conclusion that somebody whom normal people call God is controlling everything in this world  & is convinced that he doesnot play dice (ie he is not doing by chance or illogically & neither maliciously)
Albert Einstein    I am convinced that He (God) does not play dice.
God is subtle but he is not malicious.

Great scientist therefore look for answers to find laws of nature which work subtly so that they would know why,how & when things are happening & shall happen
modern examples are like forecasting technology of weather,earthquakes etc. & even GPS by which one can find how much accurate time & place one is !

& great Sages too find ways to avoid 3 fold miseries either they develop mystic powers to predict & create & control things or they go to top of himalayas to practice severe penances 
to tolerate & be aloof of these miseries.

Ultimately from an ant to the main engineer of this world Lord Bramha everyone wants to know  "" WHAT is the MIND of God ??""
there starts a tremendous study of vedic scriptures like upanishads ,vedanta sutra to find out how god works !? 
"I want knowledge to understand how everything works & when what is going to happen then i shall happy??"
But as God ie Lord Krishna is unlimited knowledge about him & his mind is also unlimited 
it cannot be fathomed by small minds or 4 heads of Lord Bramha so this effort of gaining knowledge about this material world & even God & predicting him has no horizons & unlimitedly expanding & quite impossible 
Lord Bramha who has four heads & creates this universe by the dint of his intelligence sums up this quest for knowledge in very nice words as follows 
jananta eva janantu
kim bahuktya na me prabho
manaso vapuso vaco

There are people who say, "I know everything about Krsna." Let them think that way. As far as I am concerned, I do not wish to speak very much about this matter. O my Lord, let me say this much: As far as Your opulences are concerned, they are all beyond the reach of my mind, body and words.

So the conclusion is one may never know everything about Krishna (GOD) 
so ones expertise in knowledge does not & cannot attract Krishna 
  • But who you know !? 
When Lord Krishna wants to give any living entity the seed of Bhakti he sends his devotee in the life of the person & there starts the sowing of bhakti seed in his heart.
A practicing devotee needs a lot of guidance in devotional service because he is like a small child learning to walk   
He takes shelter of a GURU 
in Srimad Bhagavatam this theme is very prevalent in almost every story 
Dhruva mahraj accepts Narada muni as his spiritual master 
Pracetas accept Lod Siva as their spiritual master
Prahalad maharaj accepts Narada muni as his spiritual master 

Everyone needs a teacher & same is true in spiritual life too 
A spiritual master is a pure devotee of the Lord & knows the science of Spiritual life or Krishna consciousness.
Krishna says to Arjuna in Bhagavad gita 4.34 to approach such a spiritual master & learn the truth from him in submissive mood & offer him some service & ask relevant questions 

As a devotee advances in Krishna consciousness he does it on the mercy & blessing of his spiritual master & vaishanavas. Like above we saw ones prowess to gain knowledge cannot really attain him Krishna  
only by the mercy of Guru the Vedic imports are revealed to ones heart.

Such a devotee is always grateful to his spiritual master & Vaishanavas & never forgets their mercy
One nice example is Prahalad maharaj 
who achieved his object of Love Lord Narshima deva when he called from him 
but when he was asked to receive any benediction from Lord he replied 
evam janam nipatitam prabhavahi-kupe
kamabhikamam anu yah prapatan prasangat
krtvatmasat surarsina bhagavan grhitah

My dear Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, because of my association with material desires, one after another, I was gradually falling into a blind well full of snakes, following the general populace. But Your servant Narada Muni kindly accepted me as his disciple and instructed me how to achieve this transcendental position. Therefore, my first duty is to serve him. How could I leave his service?

Prahalad maharaj said my first duty is serve my spiritual master Narada Muni & that is whom i know who pulled my out of the well of snakes & darkness & gave me divya janan caksu ie real eyes  
Lord Caitanya used to stand under the Garuda Stamba in Puri temple & once he was asked why he did so !?
He replied because Lord Jaganath knows his servant Garuda who is his carrier & he keeps glancing at his servant so i stand near him so that he give me his mercy glance too & keeps me in his service.

A devotee should be a devotee of the devotee of Lord Krishna & that connection attracts Krishna 
  • And What you ARE ??
And what does this mean ! 
it means your character , integrity , humility & ability of tolerating provoking situation
it means your sincerity in devotional service 

“A man can never hope to be more than he is if he is not first honest about what he isn’t.”
 Don Williams, Jr quotes (American , b.1968)
            "Sincerity and truth are the basis of every virtue."
           Confucius (BC 551-BC 479) Chinese philosopher.
"It is best to be yourself, imperial, plain and true."
Robert Browning (1812 -1889) British poet.

A wonderful story from Srimad Bhagavatam explains this
Prithu Maharaj was a great devotee of the Lord Krishna & for the benefit of his kingdom he determined to perform 100 ashwamedh yagna But Indra was envious of him bcos he thought that after doing 100 yagnas ,Prithu mah would take Indras position of King of heavenly planets. Thus Indra stole the horse again & again & disguised himself as pseudo sanyasi which were irreligious in nature. 
Seeing this disturbance Lord Bramha advised Prithu that he neednot perform his 100th yagna & avoid this trouble created by envious Indra.
Lord Visnu came with Indra to explain to Prithu that such yagnas are meant for fruitive results & devotees like him should not be so attached to it .
Hearing Lord Visnus & Lord Bramhas words he did not perform the 100th yagna & forgave Indra for his mischief & embraced Indra.
Seeing this co-operation & non-attachment to name & fame of Prithu maharaj , Lord Visnu was very happy with him.

All great devotees of the Lord have wonderful qualities of character,integrity,humility toleration & these qualities make the devotees dearer to Lord Krishna 

The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: O Uddhava, a saintly person is merciful and never injures others. Even if others are aggressive he is tolerant and forgiving toward all living entities. His strength and meaning in life come from the truth itself, he is free from all envy and jealousy, and his mind is equal in material happiness and distress. Thus, he dedicates his time to work for the welfare of all others. His intelligence is never bewildered by material desires, and he has controlled his senses. His behavior is always pleasing, never harsh and always exemplary, and he is free from possessiveness. He never endeavors in ordinary, worldly activities, and he strictly controls his eating. He therefore always remains peaceful and steady. A saintly person is thoughtful and accepts Me as his only shelter. Such a person is very cautious in the execution of his duties and is never subject to superficial transformations, because he is steady and noble, even in a distressing situation. He has conquered over the six material qualities -- namely hunger, thirst, lamentation, illusion, old age and death. He is free from all desire for prestige and offers honor to others. He is expert in reviving the Krishna consciousness of others and therefore never cheats anyone. Rather, he is a well-wishing friend to all, being most merciful. Such a saintly person must be considered the most learned of men. He perfectly understands that the ordinary religious duties prescribed by Me in various Vedic scriptures possess favorable qualities that purify the performer, and he knows that neglect of such duties constitutes a discrepancy in one's life. Having taken complete shelter at My lotus feet, however, a saintly person ultimately renounces such ordinary religious duties and worships Me alone. He is thus considered to be the best among all living entities.

I pray that my love & dedication to pure devotees like Srila Prabhupad & Gurumaharaj & pure Vaishnavas increase day by day & i pray to have the qualities of humility & tolerance to chant the Holy names sincerely. 

Aug 2, 2011

My Favourite Movie --- Tukaram Maharaj

Sant Tukaram (1608--1650) was a prominent Varkari Sant and spiritual poet during a Bhakti movement in India. He was born and lived most of his life in Dehu, a town close to Pune city in Mahārāshtra, India. He was born to a couple with the family name "More"//the descendent of the Mourya Clan (Āmbile) and first names Bolhobā and Kanakāi.Through a tradition in India in bygone days, Tukaram's family name is rarely used in identifying him. His real name is Tukaram Vhilhoba Aambe. Sant Tukaram's first wife, Rakhumābāi, died in her early youth. SantTukaram and his second wife, Jijābāi (also known as Āvali), had three sons: Santu or Mahādev, Vithobā, and Nārāyan.

Sant Tukaram was a devotee of god Vitthala or Vithoba, a form of Krishna. A great saint who lived only for his God vittala. He faced varieties of difficulties with astonishing patience. He refused diamonds and opals offered by Shivaji Maharaj himself. His devotional songs are an invaluable contribution to Marathi spiritual literature. He is arguably the greatest poet in the Marathi language. Tukaram's genius partly lies in his ability to transform the external world into its spiritual analogue. Tukaram's stature in Marathi literature.

According to Gaudiya Vaishnavas, Sant Tukaram was initiated and was a disciple of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Sant Tukaram is said to have received guru-mantra containing names of Krishna, Rama and Radha - at the hands or by the media of a dream, of Chaitanya The Gatha of Sant Tukaram confirms this claim in a verse that clearly states that "the mantra "Jai Jai Ram Krishna Hari" was given to me by "Chaitanya Baba" in my dreams". There is also a reference in the Gaudiya spiritual literature which mentions that when Chaitanya Mahaprabhu went to the city of Pandharpur to search for his brother who had taken Sannyassa, a young man named Tukaram helped him in the search. This young man named Tukaram is likely to be the same Saint Tukaram the world knows.

Like Namdev, Janabai, and Eknath, Tukaram wrote in archaic Marathi a large number of devotional poems identified in Marathi as abhang (अभंग). A collection of 4,500 abhang known as the Gāthā is attributed to Tukaram. Mantra Geetā, a Marathi translation in abhang form of the Sanskrit Bhagavad Geeta, is also attributed to him. It is an interpretation of Geeta from a Bhakti (भक्ती) --devotional—perspective.

*******Sant Tukaram Proceeding to Vaikunta (Known Miracles)
Lord Krishna tells Arjuna that "He who leaves the body and departs (from this world) with his mind fixed on Me during the last moments (of his life) attains to Me without doubt".

Srimad Bhagavadgita 8:5
अन्तकाले च मामेव स्मरन्मुक्त्वा कलेवरम् ।
य: प्रयाति स मद्भावं याति नास्त्यत्र संशय: ।।

Tukaram's final day is well documented by eye witness accounts. He informed his wife early in the day about going to Vaikuntha(heaven). His wife laughed at him. He went up the hillock and waited for Vithoba. By that time, news had spread around Dehu and people had gathered around the hillock, waiting for the divine event. As per eye witness accounts, a large vehicle emerged from the skies and Vithoba emerged from the flying plane. Eyewitnesses rushed to Tukaram's home and informed his wife that Tukaram was on his way to 'Vaikuntha' - the abode of Gods. His wife ran toward the hills, only to see him take off in the Viman (Flying plane). To this day, devotees gather at the hillock and sing his praises.

Jul 29, 2011

Passing On a Legacy of Debt from ISKCON News

Passing On a Legacy of Debt

By Ram Vilas Dasa for ISKCON News on 3 Jun 2010

Is there a better way?

A verse from the ethics of the famous Indian political scholar Chanakya Pandita mentions four kinds of enemies:

runa karta pita shatru (a father who passes on debt to his children)
mata cha vyabhicharini (a mother who is not faithful to her husband)
bharya rupavati shatru (a wife who is very beautiful)
putra shatrur apanditah (a son who is not well-versed in Vedic knowledge)

The first item refers to a father who incurs debt that he then passes on to his descendants, instead of repaying it himself. The understanding is not that if a father has taken some debt during some phase in his life, he is automatically an enemy. The father might take such a loan for some emergency reasons, but it is expected that he settle it himself. If he does not, leaving his family in a precarious position after his death, he has worked against their best interest, and has thus become an enemy of sorts.

Everyone should take heed of this warning to make sure that they do not depend on others for their livelihood and do not burden their near and dear ones. The material energy is acting upon each and every living entity and we are all suffering in the waves and whirlpools of the material modes of nature every moment. With such a miserable state of affairs, why add more suffering to beloved ones by making them take responsibility for our unnecessary expenditures?

Vedic civilization was arranged in such a way that everyone remained alert towards the ultimate goal of life. To attain this goal, it is imperative to keep our consciousness pure and clear. Thus, Vedic society accepted everything which uplifted the consciousness and rejected things which degraded the consciousness.

Sannyasis (renunciants) and brahmanas (priests and teachers) were supposed to be fully engaged in distributing spiritual knowledge to others; they had no time for economic development, so they were allowed to beg for maintenance. In general, begging for any assistance was considered the worst thing because it diminished one's honor, but it was acceptable for such individuals.

Other that them, however, debts were discouraged. In Vedic civilization, people preferred physical stress to mental stress. They would live according to the facilities provided by the Supreme Lord, even if meager. If one takes a loan, one can not avoid anxiety, and this was seen as worse than a simple lifestyle.

In addition, often a loan is taken to show off opulence to the world or to enjoy the facilities beyond our current means. This leads to untruthful behavior, and can implicate us in all manner of unsavory activities.

Home loans

What of the biggest loan most people have, the mortgage on their home? In olden times, people would stay in their ancestral house. Nowadays most people stay away from their parents thus they either have to rent or buy a house. To avoid the disadvantages of renting and to have the comfort of their own home, people take advantage of bank loans.

Empowered by these additional funds, the tendency is to purchase a larger home than required. Although such large homes can be considered an asset, they come with a heavy price: financial burden, over-endeavor to accumulate money, little time for relationships, little time for spiritual practices, and costs of house maintenance.

Instead, it might be wiser to save up money and purchase a more humble dwelling. Socrates would go to the market and ask one question before buying anything: Can I not survive without this item? We may not be able to live like he did, but we can try to minimize our needs.

Often people purchase homes with many bedrooms — one for the husband and wife, one for each child, and one for guests — these are often not used. People keep room for their children, but the children prefer to stay away from the parents. People have a guest room, but hardly any guests visit their home. Why? Although there is space in the house, there is no space in the heart. When we keep our life simple, we get time to nurture our heart and soul thus one becomes magnanimous. One's magnanimous heart can accommodate everyone irrespective of the space available in the house; thus even one bedroom can accommodate husband-wife, parents, children, and guests. This is not an exaggeration; it can be observed in many Indian homes even today.

Speculation in the modern economy

Another source of much debt is speculation. The modern economic scenario involves lots of speculation. In the stock market, shares are traded at values much higher than their face values. In real estate, apartments are sold at much higher rates than the actual cost (cost of land and construction). Even the land prices are based on speculation.

Ultimately, everybody is interested in making money at the cost of others. A basic principle of finance is to buy a commodity when the price is low. Financial institutions (banks, fund houses, insurance companies, etc) thus often present data in such a way that general public gets confused. During an economic downturn, financial institutions increase the interest on fixed deposits. People lose faith in the market and invest in these fixed deposits. Financial institutions thus get large amounts of public money, which they invest and thereby reap huge profits.

The Lord will provide

If we simplify our lives and trust in the Lord to take care of us, we will be surprised at how we are maintained. As Srila Prabhupada mentions in one of his purports, the mother does not have milk, but the moment the child is born the milk comes. In a similar way, we can often find a way to meet our needs through what God provides, without overextending ourselves through unnecessary borrowing. Krishna is the supplier of everything, and we need only do our duty in his service.

In this connection, Maha Vishnu Swami used to quote a scriptural verse regarding what a devotee should ask for from the Lord whenever he prays to Him:

anaayaasena maranam / vinaa dainyena jivanam
dehi me krpayaa Krishna / tvayi me bhaktim acancalaam

"Please give me a sudden death without any prolonged illness (this he asks mainly because he does not want to put others into inconvenience), please keep me from depend upon another for my life's needs, and as long as my soul is in this body, please engage me in steady unflinching devotional service unto You."

Jun 12, 2011

Prerequisite for Crying for mercy of Krishna

Once i was traveling from bus to home
The bus stopped to take in passengers I saw a young woman with her child aged 5 or 6
it so happened that the young woman go in the bus but the child remained behind
The child was distracted by something & he forgot to hold the hand of his mother.
He was looking in the other direction where the object had attracted him.

Just then the door of the bus closed & it started moving .
The mother realised in a moment that she had left the boy So she shouted to driver " Stop my son is down there"
The bus stopped & the mother ran out & brought her child . The child had a frightened look on his face.

As they settled she asked him " What you would done if i hadn't come to take you?"
the child said with innocent face " I would CRY "

So unless we Feel ------ LOST
we won't CRY

Below song written by Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur clearly explains

how we have lost in this world after temporary pleasure & disappointing adventure

1) I forsook You, O Lord, and came to this world of pain and sorrow. Now I submit my tale of woe at Your lotus feet.
2) While still in the unbearable fetters of my mother’s womb, I saw You before me You revealed Yourself but briefly and then abandoned this poor servant of Yours.
3) At that moment I swore to worship You after taking birth; but birth came, and with it the network of wordly illusion which robbed me of all good sense.
4) As a fondled son in the lap of relatives, I passed my time smiling and laughing. My parents’ affection helped me to forget the pangs of birth, and I thought the world was very nice.
5) Day by day I grew and soon began playing with other boys. Shortly my powers of understanding emerged. I read and studied my lessons incessantly.
6) Travelling from place to place, proud of my education, I grew wealthy and maintained my family with undivided attention. O Lord Hari, I forgot You!
7) Now in old age, Bhaktivinoda is sad. He weeps. I failed to worship You, O Lord, and instead passed my life in vain. What will be my fate now.

Song Name: Bhuliya Tomare

Official Name: Dainya Song 1

Author: Bhaktivinoda Thakura

Book Name: Saranagati

Language: Bengali


bhuliyā tomāre, saḿsāre āsiyā,
peye nānā-vidha byathā
tomāra caraṇe, āsiyāchi āmi,
bolibo duḥkhera kathā

jananī jaṭhare, chilāma jakhona,
biṣama bandhana-pāśe
eka-bāra prabhu! dekhā diyā more,
vañcile e dīna dāse

takhona bhāvinu, janama pāiyā,
koribo bhajana tava
janama hoilo, paḍi' māyā-jāle,
hoilo jñāna-lava

ādarera chele, sva-janera kole,
hāsiyā kāṭānu kāla
janaka jananī-snehete bhuliyā,
saḿsāra lāgilo bhālo

krame dina dina, bālaka hoiyā,
bhelinu bālaka-saha
āra kichu dine, jnāna upajilo,
pāṭha poḍi ahar-ahaḥ

vidyāra gaurave, bhrami' deśe deśe,
dhana uparjana kori
sva-jana pālana, kori eka-mane,
bhulinu tomāre, hari!

bārdhakye ekhona, bhakativinoda,
kāṇdiyā kātara ati
bhajiyā tore, dina bṛthā gelo,
ekhona ki have gati?