Krishna's Mercy

Hare Krishna

Talking About Parting Words

Posted by krishnasmercy on October 25, 2014

[Shrila Prabhupada]“The influence of time, which manifests as past, present and future, cannot touch higher personalities like Brahma and other demigods. Sometimes demigods and great sages who have attained such perfection are called tri-kala jna.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 3.15.3 Purport)

Download this episode (right click and save)

Wife: Do you ever wonder how people will react when you pass on?

Husband: Why are you asking me this? Is there something wrong with me that I don’t know about? Did you hear from my doctor?

Wife: No, silly. It’s just an interesting question. I’ve been wondering about it since my father passed on.

Husband: Oh, okay. I mean, I know you’ve been itching to get rid of me, but I’m not ready to go just yet. [smiling]

Wife: Will you take this seriously, please?

Husband: Okay, okay. What was the question again?

Wife: I’ve been so sad since my father passed on. I feel kind of empty without him. When I see others react in the same way, it doesn’t give me strength. I’d rather they pretend to not be affected. Then I would know that everything’s going to be okay.

Husband: But it will. Life moves on.

Wife: Yeah, I know you’re right. Still, I wonder what the proper reaction is. Should I continue to be sad? If I carry on as if nothing happened, that might give strength to others who are feeling the loss, but isn’t that also kind of cold?

Husband: Oh, I see. So by trying to understand at the personal level, you’ll get a better idea of what reaction your father would have wanted to his passing?

Wife: Exactly. If I left this world, how would I want people to react? Have you ever thought about this?

Husband: Indeed, I have. I think everyone has to some extent.

Wife: Care to enlighten me on what you came up with?

Husband: Well, obviously I want people to be a little upset. Especially those whom I love so much and would miss so much if they left me – I’d like to think that they would be a little sad if I left this world.

Wife: I agree. I was thinking the same thing.

Husband: But from there I sort of figured it out. Basically, if I was on my deathbed and others asked me how to honor me if they so desired, what would I say to them?

Wife: Okay, that’s a question, though. What would you say to them?

Husband: I’d tell them what my spiritual teachers have told me. In the Shrimad Bhagavatam it is said that a saintly person can see past, present and future. Naturally, this means they foresee that one day they won’t be physically present to guide others.

Wife: Right.

Husband: And so by their instructions, both in physical interaction and written word, they prepare to leave a lasting impression. What they say to the future generations is what I would want people to follow after I’ve left this world.

Wife: And what do they say?

Husband: Well, before I get to that I would start by telling others that don’t think this won’t happen to you. “I am dying now, and you will too some day.” Honey, I’m sure you’ve thought that a few times since your father passed on. I know I have.

Wife: Yeah, that’s what has kept me sad, actually. Like what am I doing here anyway? If we all have to meet the same end, what is the purpose to life?

Husband: That’s the perfect question. So the rishi in the Vedic tradition will tell the future generations to understand the soul. The soul is who we are. We are not this body. Therefore death is not that big a deal. The soul will live on. It has to. There is no other way.

Wife: That’s comforting to know. I mean, I know this, but it’s nice to hear at a time like this.

[Prabhupada books]Husband: We survive off the love of others. There is no doubt about this. We are all better people because of your father’s love for us. And his parents were very loving also. There is no proper way to repay what they did for us. They continue to influence us in so many ways, ways that we’ll never fully know or appreciate. For myself, I realize that I never would have been introduced to the Bhagavad-gita and Shrimad Bhagavatam were it not for your father and the respect he commanded. Simply by his praising these books I eventually took an interest, when I was ready to find answers to the most important questions in life.

Wife: He was a very spiritual man.

Husband: We survive on love, even through mother nature. The rain comes from her and it sustains us. The next question is why. Why do people love us enough to keep us alive? The saint of the Vedic tradition says to live to be conscious of God. That is the unique boon to the human birth. From assuming the body of a human being we get the best chance to understand God.

Wife: So the people who love us keep us alive so that we can understand God?

Husband: Exactly. They may not realize it. Another thing to mention is that understanding God is for our greatest benefit. It will make us happy before we pass on. And don’t we want others to be happy after we’re gone? Don’t we want them to realize all that life has to offer? We know that money, fame, sensual pleasures and the like aren’t enough. These don’t satisfy the soul, which will live on past this life.

Wife: So you would tell people to understand God? That’s what you want others to do after you are gone?

[Lord Krishna]Husband: Well, I’d want them to do that while I’m still alive also, but yeah. Miss me a little bit but then focus your attention on the Supreme Lord. And this isn’t so difficult, provided you know some things about Him. In His original form He is Krishna, the all-attractive one. He is also Rama. He is also Narasimha. These personal forms allow for attachment. They allow for interaction, which takes place in the mood of service. This service, known as bhakti-yoga, will bring the most pleasure to the soul. It will bring happiness to anyone who engages in it. I’d tell people to follow bhakti-yoga without fear. Our predecessors foresaw their own passing and the passing of others. They knew what was going to happen. So how they lived their lives is very instructive. They made the most out of their short time on earth, and through their efforts we were benefitted. And isn’t that what we want, people to benefit from our life?

Wife: Yes, definitely. I feel so blessed to have had such a wonderful father. I feel that he lives through me and our family. He will never be gone from us.

Husband: God bless such a wonderful man. Let us all be devoted to Krishna in thought, word and deed. He would love that. I know He always encouraged me in my devotional efforts. So by improving myself, by making the most of this precious life, I will pay homage to him. The benefit will come back to him and to all of our ancestors, to whom we owe so much.

In Closing:

To part from this world one day,

What on your dying bed to say?


How your desire for others to live?

What words of wisdom to give?


This situation by the rishis was known,

Through their words right path was shown.


Miss me a little, but in bhakti move on,

With Krishna blessed to be even when I’m gone.

Posted in conversations | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why Do People Die

Posted by krishnasmercy on October 24, 2014

[The universe]“The demoniac conclude that the world is phantasmagoria. There is no cause, no effect, no controller, no purpose: everything is unreal. They say that this cosmic manifestation arises due to chance material actions and reactions. They do not think that the world was created by God for a certain purpose.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Bhagavad-gita, 16.8 Purport)

Download this episode (right click and save)

Question: “I know this has been asked by people since the beginning of time, but it really struck me lately. Why do people die? It’s not fair if you think about it. You become attached to them, you gain so much from them, you love them so much, and then they abruptly leave you, never to be seen again. Why must there be death?”

Life and death are tied to each other. You can’t have one without the other. Death puzzles everyone, for who knows exactly where the individual previously living has gone. No one is certain, as they can’t do an experiment to test for the next destination. The same lack of knowledge is there regarding birth. From where did this new baby come? The less intelligent, relying on sight alone, think that sex life is the only cause. Two living bodies get together in the proper way and a new life emerges. The philosophy of the spiritual science says otherwise. From knowing how birth takes place, the unknown of death becomes a little clearer too.

Between birth and death what we actually see is the soul. The individual may be a man, a woman, a dog, an elephant, a cow, or even an ant. We react differently based on what we see. We adjust our behavior to the individual’s behavior, which differs depending on the species. Even within one species, the individual always changes. The human being doesn’t emerge from the womb capable of acting out scenes in a Shakespearean play, but in adulthood it can. The infant doesn’t know how to fix a computer, but as an adult the same person can become an expert in the field.

This means that we see change. The individual does not change; just their particular covering does. From this we see that birth is the assumption of a covering. The individual existed somewhere else previously. Where exactly we don’t know for sure. The individual doesn’t remember their previous existence. If they could, they would be God.

śrī-bhagavān uvāca

bahūni me vyatītāni

janmāni tava cārjuna

tāny ahaṁ veda sarvāṇi

na tvaṁ vettha parantapa

“The Blessed Lord said: Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them, but you cannot, O subduer of the enemy!” (Bhagavad-gita, 4.5)

We’ve introduced another person into the picture. God. One way to know Him is to look for that one person who has perfect memory. Birth and death is a single instance of a travel where memory gets erased at the end. There is no memory going in, but the individual remains the constant. It’s like a dreaming state almost. Death is like waking back up and awaiting the next dream.

This helps us to understand what birth and death are, but we don’t really know why they take place. Why does someone have to exit the dreamlike existence? As the dream is not real, we should know that the time spent within a particular species is not the ideal existence for the individual. In short, they are not meant to undergo birth and death. They do so at their own risk, and the cycle continues until they are ready for a permanent change.

And actually, death is a nice thing. Imagine if the situation were the other way around. Imagine if someone told you that how you look right now, where you live, and what you do – those things will remain forever. You will never get to leave. Who would actually opt for that? The less intelligent might jump at the chance without thinking first, but upon further thought the apparent boon would be properly seen as a horrible punishment. Death guarantees a change of scenery, an escape from a prison-like existence.

Unfortunately, that cycle continues. Death brings another birth, which brings another death, and so on. The cure for birth and death is spiritual awakening. Know who you are. Understand why you go through this temporary existence. Then take the necessary steps to stop it. The identity of the individual is spirit. Spirit is that which transcends birth and death and all the changes that occur in between.

The temporary existence is the result of desire. The individual who wants a dreamlike state, a place where they can pretend to fend for themselves and rise to prominence amongst other species who are in the same boat – they get their wish granted. Of course they are quite powerless even in the dreamlike existence. If they had real power, they would never be forced to leave. They would never die. They would get what they wanted, all the time. This is not the case, which means that the results to actions actually come from someone else.

upadraṣṭānumantā ca

bhartā bhoktā maheśvaraḥ

paramātmeti cāpy ukto

dehe ‘smin puruṣaḥ paraḥ

“Yet in this body there is another, a transcendental enjoyer who is the Lord, the supreme proprietor, who exists as the overseer and permitter, and who is known as the Supersoul.” (Lord Krishna, Bg. 13.23)

[Lord Krishna]That person with perfect memory whom we mentioned before accompanies the individual in the dreamlike existence. He is the one who actually makes everything happen. He doesn’t influence decisions without being asked. If it were otherwise, then the individual would have no independence. They would be like robots forced to act under someone else’s direction. God observes and then sanctions. Desires conflict and so not everyone can get what they want all the time.

The temporary existence stops when there is surrender. Not to another fallible living entity. Not to the desires of someone who is destined to die themselves. Surrender to God is the secret. This means relinquishing the desire to live amongst the temporary. It means no longer competing with God, but instead serving Him. As God is such a vague concept, we see why surrender is so difficult. We see why there is such widespread lamentation at death, with so many puzzled by the event, wondering why it has to occur.

Vedic philosophy gives the most information about God. Fortunately, the information presented covers all aspects of life. Blind faith is not required, and neither is it encouraged. Use all your intellect. Question everything. Immerse yourself in the philosophy and start to look at everything with the eyes of spiritual knowledge. Then soon enough you will see for yourself that more important than birth and death is the happiness of the soul. That soul gets lasting happiness and peace, shanti, in service to God in His personal form.

In Closing:

To understand I try,

That death has to be why.


An answer to this cannot find,

So therefore always troubled my mind.


That death tied to birth always know,

As soon as one comes they must go.


Cycle on and on it goes,

Stops when Krishna one knows.


As Supersoul sanction to action giving,

When desire in bhakti, without fear then living.

Posted in questions, reincarnation | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Govardhana Puja 2014

Posted by krishnasmercy on October 23, 2014

[Krishna lifting Govardhana Hill]“When the cowherd men of Vrindavana, under instruction of Krishna, stopped offering sacrifice to the heavenly King, Indra, the whole tract of land known as Vraja was threatened with being washed away by constant heavy rains for seven days. Lord Krishna, out of His causeless mercy upon the inhabitants of Vraja, held up the hill known as Govardhana with one hand only, although He was only seven years old. He did this to protect the animals from the onslaught of water.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 2.7.32)

Download this episode (right click and save)

gopair makhe pratihate vraja-viplavāya

deve ‘bhivarṣati paśūn kṛpayā rirakṣuḥ

dhartocchilīndhram iva sapta-dināni sapta-

varṣo mahīdhram anaghaika-kare salīlam

When there is birth, there must be death. This fact we know from our own experience. It is also confirmed by Shri Krishna in the famous Bhagavad-gita. All that we see living around us is that which has yet to die. What will come in the future will also die some time afterwards. Since there must be death, there must be a means to accomplish that end. Therefore we can conclude that this world is extremely dangerous. It is mrityu-loka, or the planet where everyone dies. To facilitate the impending death, there must be danger at every step. On the occasion of Govardhana Puja we remember how one person can protect against any danger.

“The devotees of the Lord are never in danger, but in the material world which is full of dangers at every step, the devotees are apparently placed into dangerous positions, and when they are saved by the Lord, the Lord is glorified.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 1.16.13-15 Purport)

There is danger just in getting up each morning, but consider all the risks taken for sense gratification. When I am not satisfied with a nine to five job that pays enough to put food on the table and keep a roof over my head, I look in other directions. I jump out of airplanes for sport. I have no reason to take such a risk other than to feel a heightened thrill. Yet there is every chance of something bad happening, and when it does one must ask why they took the risk in the first place.

If I am not satisfied travelling in a horse and buggy, I look for ways to improve upon transportation. The new inventions then require a fuel source. That source is the oil that comes from the ground. So many things in today’s world would not be possible were it not for this oil, which is also referred to as petroleum. The supermarket would not exist; for without trucks to deliver the many varieties of products on time, how would the store stay in business? Without the supermarket, how would the people of the town eat?

To secure oil is not easy. It is a dangerous procedure, carrying the risk of killing an entire town. Make the slightest mistake while drilling deep into the earth and you’ll release a gas that will kill you in under ten minutes. That same gas can then travel through the air and kill so many others. More machines and manpower are required as precautionary measures; they are ways to keep safe from this potential calamity.

[iPhone 6 and 6 plus]The purpose to taking these risks is to increase sense gratification. Yet that happiness is fleeting. It does not stay for very long. If it did, then the model of the most popular smartphone would not change every year. If sense gratification could be kept in check, then restaurants would never change their menus. People would never get divorced, and there would be no such thing as drug addiction.

There is a higher happiness to be found. It is known as prema, or pure love. It also goes by the name of bhakti, which means devotion. This happiness is not nearly as risky to attain. There aren’t as many dangers involved. Surely there is danger at every step in a material existence, but for bhakti all that is required is hearing. Simply lend your ears to the sound of the holy names, like those found in the maha-mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

Another way to find prema is to chant. Say those same holy names on a regular basis. Make a routine of it by using a set of japa beads, which are harmless. You can get bhakti also by offering service to a worshipable figure made of some material substance. You can offer prayers to find bhakti. These are not risky paths. The only thing lost is material desire, which has proven to be worthless in providing real satisfaction.

Bhakti is so wonderful that those who have it want to share it with others. They are not afraid to take extra risks in this area, provided they are necessary. They have the hand of God protecting them. That hand turns a potentially risky situation into the safest one. In Vrindavana several thousand years ago, there was no risk in taking shelter underneath a giant hill that was held up in the air by a tiny child. Normally this would be the riskiest situation, but the child in this instance was Shri Krishna Himself appearing on earth. He held up the hill to save the residents from a devastating flood instigated by the king of heaven, Indra.

[Krishna lifting up Govardhana Hill]Floods can appear at any time. They are part of the category of miseries known as adhidaivika, or those which come from the divine forces. Hurricanes, earthquakes and the like are natural disasters, acts of God. The Supreme Lord, who is beyond duality, can eliminate the risk from any material misery. His tiny pinky finger held up Govardhana Hill immediately after it was worshiped. This large umbrella He created is the strongest one ever seen in the world. That same safety comes to those who take shelter of Shri Krishna through bhakti-yoga. Therefore the occasion of Govardhana Puja is celebrated annually by those who rely on the protection of the Supreme Lord, who by Himself puts an end to the cycle of birth and death.

In Closing:

For more happiness you yearn,

But know that danger at every turn.


To extract oil from the ground,

Deadly gas too can be found.


Happiness thus there is not,

Until real love you have got.


In bhakti by Shri Krishna protected,

Who Govardhana into air projected.

Posted in govardhana, holiday | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Diwali 2014

Posted by krishnasmercy on October 22, 2014

[Rama and Lakshmana]“O Lakshmana, this kingdom I desire only for the maintenance and happiness of my brothers. Holding my weapon, I swear on this.” (Lord Rama, Valmiki Ramayana, Ayodhya Kand, 97.6)

bhrātṛiṇāṃ saṃgrahārthaṃ ca sukhārthaṃ cāpi lakṣmaṇa |
rājyamapyahamicchāmi satyenāyudhamālabhe ||

Download this episode (right click and save)

Diwali is the popular annual holiday noted for its many lights. Spread around the home, the festive atmosphere is intended to welcome home the prince of Ayodhya. The initial event took place thousands of years ago, but since that prince is a divine figure, the celebration can be repeated every year. Indeed, through bhakti-yoga, lamps are waved in His honor on a regular basis. He is remembered and appreciated every single day of the year, but Diwali calls for a special celebration. After all, it was the time that a great injustice was finally reversed.

[Lord Rama]The prince coming home is Shri Ramachandra. He is also known as Rama, and according to the Sanskrit texts that are the Vedas, He is the Supreme Lord. God is not an old man. He is not mean, vindictive, petty, or angry. He is sach-chid-ananda, which means ever-existing, all knowledge, and all bliss. He never takes birth and He never dies. He never loses the happiness He feels. So whenever He decides to appear on earth, in whatever form He chooses, He is an ocean of mercy to those who come in contact with Him. Everyone is looking for bliss, and in Rama they find it in the highest level.

In Ayodhya the people did not know that Rama was God Himself appearing in a seemingly human form to teach so many valuable lessons. They did not need to know this. They held so much affection for Him. He was their life and soul. If someone you love dearly becomes famous, do you stop caring for them? Do you start to treat them differently? If you really care for them, their status will not matter. In a similar way, the people were not concerned with what Rama could do for them; they were rather interested in seeing Him happy.

This means that they were quite upset when He was banished from His kingdom for fourteen years. By the way, this happened on the eve of His would-be coronation. Being the eldest son of the king, Rama was the rightful heir to the throne. As is known to happen in families, jealousy arose. The king’s youngest wife wanted her son on the throne instead. Rama did not mind this. The people would have been okay with it also. But thinking the worst in Rama, the queen ordered that He be banished for fourteen years. This way Rama would not be able to act should He entertain hopes of taking the throne by force.

This was insult to injury. Rama lived for His brothers. When He first heard the news that His father was going to make Him king, Rama told His younger brother Lakshmana to share in this glory. Rama did not want any of His younger brothers to feel slighted.

“O Lakshmana, do you rule this earth with Me. You are like My second self, so this glorious opportunity has been presented to you as well. O Saumitra, do you enjoy all the pleasures you desire and the fruits of the regal life. My life and this kingdom I covet for your sake alone.” (Lord Rama speaking to Lakshmana, Valmiki Ramayana, Ayodhya Kanda, 4.43-44)

[Rama and Lakshmana]When Rama was leaving, Lakshmana insisted on coming along. Rama’s wife Sita also would not stay at home. The people of Ayodhya wanted to go too, but that would have defeated the purpose. It would have created a kingdom in the forest, which would essentially nullify the exile punishment.

So the people had to wait at home. They had to endure fourteen years of knowing that their beloved prince had been wronged greatly. Bad things shouldn’t happen to good people. A sinless person like Rama should not be made to suffer for no reason. Rama’s wife Sita was equally as beloved. It was a grave injustice that the couple should not get to protect the citizens that loved them so much.

It was not surprising, then, that at the group’s return to Ayodhya the city went all out. Each home was decorated nicely. Fragrant water was sprinkled on the roads. Flags were raised and auspicious pots were placed outside the homes. The city had celebrated like this before, when Rama first came home from marrying Sita. That was a different mood, as Rama was out on business. He and Lakshmana were protecting the sage Vishvamitra in the forest. This time too they were offering protection, namely to the sages in the Dandaka forest. But still, the fourteen years should not have been spent this way, at least in the minds of the people.

Similar to how the people in Ayodhya felt at Rama’s banishment, the devoted souls of today feel it is a terrible crime to deny the existence of God. To ascribe higher importance to any path except bhakti, pure devotion, is cheating the innocent people of the world. Therefore the Vaishnava saints, who worship Rama, Vishnu, Krishna, or any other personal form of God, always profusely celebrate the divine mercy. They are not shy in discussing His teachings, His pastimes, and His greatness. To acknowledge His sovereignty over the three worlds, they loudly and regularly chant the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

[Rama's coronation]Due to the influence of Kali Yuga, the present age of quarrel and hypocrisy caused by the darkness of ignorance and the gradual decline of righteousness, even Diwali is celebrated in a secular manner today. Even still, every lamp lit on that auspicious day pays some honor to the original celebration, the one that occurred in Ayodhya, when the rightful king of the world triumphantly returned to His home and to His adoring loving extended family.

In Closing:

Fourteen years a wait too long,

When time for righting the wrong?


Rama and Sita to rule over them meant,

Instead to the woods by Kaikeyi were sent.


Diwali celebration for their return home,

Lamps and decorations by people were shown.


Injustice too in denying God’s existence,

Thus bhakti followers chanting with persistence.

Posted in diwali, feature, holiday | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Talking About Repaying Honor

Posted by krishnasmercy on October 21, 2014

[Narasimha with Prahlada]“The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Prahlada, O most pure, O great saintly person, your father has been purified, along with twenty-one forefathers in your family. Because you were born in this family, the entire dynasty has been purified.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.10.18)

Download this episode (right click and save)

śrī-bhagavān uvāca

triḥ-saptabhiḥ pitā pūtaḥ

pitṛbhiḥ saha te ’nagha

yat sādho ’sya kule jāto

bhavān vai kula-pāvanaḥ

Girish: How are you doing, man?

Shankar: Not bad. How about yourself?

Girish: Well, everything was going fine, but then I got hit with bad news.

Shankar: Oh no. What happened?

Girish: I found out that my grandfather passed away.

Shankar: I’m so sorry to hear that. What happened?

Girish: One of those sudden things. He was really fit, too. It’s just shocking.

Shankar: I remember meeting him a few times. He was a true gentlemen.

Girish: That’s a great way to describe him. I can’t think of any sins attached to him. He was a stand-up guy, very wise, and so loving.

Shankar: They don’t make people like that anymore. In my family too, one of my grandfathers was like that. No one dared speak up to him because he commanded so much authority. It was like he never did anything wrong.

Girish: Yeah, he will be sorely missed.

Shankar: So how are you handling the situation?

Girish: I tend to go through the same pattern with these things. At first I’m a little in denial. So I don’t really change much. I don’t start crying right away. But as time goes on I start to remember more and more. Then that remembrance makes me sad. I’m in that stage right now.

Shankar: Yeah, you can’t help but think back to all that they did for you and the experiences you shared with them.

Girish: That’s precisely where I am in my head. I keep thinking of how he gave me so much and I didn’t give him back anything at all.

Shankar: That’s natural to think like that. You’re the grandson, so how much can you really do?

Girish: It really makes you think. I mean he influenced me in ways that I can’t even appreciate. He was there for me when I was younger. You know, I don’t think he ever said a negative word to me my whole life. He was always supportive. He always praised me. He gave me so much support, and yet I wasn’t very friendly with him. I’m weird like that. The people I respect the most I talk to the least, for fear of offending them.

Shankar: That makes sense. Friendship is to be made amongst equals. You know, if you really think about all that we owe other people, it’s astounding.

Girish: Yeah, and grandparents, aunts and uncles have it tougher I think. When you give love to your children, you get to see the results yourself. But the grandparents can do so much for us when we’re little, and then as life goes on they don’t see us as much. The child can very quickly forget the love that was offered, even though they enjoy the benefits. So it’s true selflessness to show such care for a young one.

[changing bodies]Shankar: Wasn’t your grandfather the one who first mentioned the Bhagavad-gita to you?

Girish: Yes. If it wasn’t for him, I likely would never have taken an interest in that book. That work which contains the highest philosophy known to man, which helps me to deal with everything in life, including death, came to me through him. You know I still have a copy of the Gita that he originally purchased in my room?

Shankar: Really?

Girish: Yes. I remember looking through it as a child and being enamored by the different pictures. Especially the one about the changing bodies. I remember thinking it was weird that you get shorter as you get older.

Shankar: If there’s any painting that will make you think, it’s that one.

[Shrila Prabhupada]Girish: And my grandfather always encouraged me in practicing bhakti-yoga. He used to give high praises to His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. I realize that life is relatively easy for me, and it is due to loving family members like my grandfather. At the same time, I feel so helpless. I want to repay them, but I’m not sure how to do it.

Shankar: Yeah, and telling them how great they are only embarrasses them.

Girish: Right. I don’t need to tell them. I need to show them.

Shankar: Well, you know of Prahlada, right?

Girish: Yes, I’m somewhat familiar with his story.

Shankar: The answer to your problem lies with him.

Girish: How so?

Shankar: Prahlada had a very sinful father. That father was so bad that Krishna, the Supreme Lord, had to come Himself to deal with him. Prahlada was a young, innocent child, and so he needed protection. Though Prahlada wasn’t sorry that Krishna came and dealt with his father, the boy still asked for pardon. He was worried that his father would suffer a horrible fate in the future.

Girish: That’s a pretty great son.

Shankar: Yeah, the father Hiranyakashipu was so bad. And Krishna, in His incarnation of Narasimhadeva, told Prahlada that not only was the father liberated, but so too were twenty-one previous generations.

[Narasimhadeva killing Hiranyakashipu]Girish: That’s great. Is it because Krishna came and intervened?

Shankar: Well, there’s that but it’s also because of Prahlada himself. The boon applies to anyone who sincerely takes up devotional service, bhakti-yoga.

Girish: I see.

Shankar: So the best way to repay the kindness offered to you by your ancestors is to be Krishna conscious. Every time you chant the holy names with purity, everyone who had a role in making that consciousness happen gets a share of the reward.

Girish: I was thinking that the other day. As I was saying, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare,” I was thinking that so many other people helped me to find this and that they should get something for it.

Shankar: They will; don’t worry about that. Narasimhadeva guarantees it.

[Narasimhadeva]Girish: Yeah, I guess bhakti-yoga really is the best activity for the soul.

Shankar: It transcends birth and death. It makes you a better person and it pays back the honorable with supreme honor. It’s a win-win.

In Closing:

Because of grandparents love giving,

Easily in this life now living.


How that gift to them to repay?

Embarrassed when kind words to say.


Lesson from Prahlada shown,

In serving ancestors your own.


Kindness of Narasimha just see,

To liberate generations His guarantee.

Posted in conversations | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Talking About A Password To The Other World

Posted by krishnasmercy on October 20, 2014

[Krishna with friends]“Conditional life is due to this contamination only, and as soon as it is cleared off, then naturally the dormant function of the living entity – rendering service to the Lord – awakens. By developing his eternal relationship with the Supreme Lord, one becomes eligible to create friendship with the devotees.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 7)

Download this episode (right click and save)

Girish: Why is it so important to associate with the devotees?

Shankar: Because their friendship is most beneficial to you, me and everyone else.

Girish: So the association has to be in friendship?

Shankar: It doesn’t have to be, but if you’re going to have a friend, why not make it one of them?

Girish: So basically I’m looking for something from them if I intentionally decide that I want to make friends?

Shankar: That’s really the case with all friends if you think about it. It’s unpleasant to consider, but it’s undoubtedly true. Why do friendships end?

Girish: People get into fights. Some little squabble ends everything.

Shankar: Right. So the basis for the friendship is tenuous. Whatever it is you were getting out of the friendship is no longer there. Therefore the friendship ends. You’re also getting something out of the friendship with the devotees.

Girish: What exactly is that?

Shankar: You can think of it like a password or key that unlocks endless treasures. And we’re not talking limited stuff here. It’s not that if they tell you then they’ll lose out themselves. It’s not like how things work normally.

[music downloads]Girish: Oh you mean like if a friend tells me about a website allowing free downloads of a particular software, movie, or video game?

Shankar: Right. Since you are friends with them, you get access. But as the more people find out, the treasure diminishes in value. The server holding the files could buckle under the heavier load. If the website of origin didn’t intend on giving stuff away for free, they could get tipped off by the increased traffic.

Girish: Yeah. Or it could be something like with the free sodas we got from the machine in school.

Shankar: Oh, I totally forgot about that. That got out of hand real fast.

Girish: Yeah, that one kid figured out that if you press and hold down the button for the ginger ale the machine would spit out endless sodas, as many as were in the machine.

Shankar: I remember the first time you showed that to me. It was amazing.

Girish: I’m not sure if I ever told you, but one day I went down and waited for the delivery of sodas to the machine. To my surprise, the kid who told us about the trick was already there. He was going to wipe the machine dry as soon as it was loaded.

Shankar: That’s insane. But it proves my point.

Girish: Yeah, so even in that friendship there is competition.

Shankar: Not everyone will be willing to part with what they have. But anyway, if you have an earnest desire to establish a relationship with the Supreme Lord, you become eligible for making friends with those who already have that relationship.

Girish: I hear that all the time, “a relationship with God.” What does that mean exactly?

[Lord Krishna]Shankar: It means consciousness of Him. That consciousness gets strengthened by service and it also inspires future service. That consciousness controls you. That relationship is the best one to have.

Girish: Is it like an obsession? Always thinking about one particular object?

Shankar: I wouldn’t say an obsession, since you’re not lusting after something. You’re not looking to exploit. Rather, there is a greediness to serve more and more, to give more of yourself. The friendship with the devotees helps you figure out how to best accomplish that.

Girish: I see. But if it’s a friendship, isn’t it limiting? Won’t the friendship break easily?

Shankar: Of course. That’s how friendships are. But you’re getting the most out of this one. Even if you never talk to the person again, at least you have picked up something about being conscious of God. If someone inspired you to regularly chant the holy names then you’re benefitted by them even if you never see them again.

Girish: Every time you chant the maha-mantra, you’re essentially paying respect to that friendship.

Shankar: Yeah, exactly. That chanting is but one part of a complete lifestyle. From the secrets the devotees give you, you figure out a way to always think of God. You learn that hearing about God is more blissful than hearing about anyone else. You set aside time for that hearing. You understand that God is a person originally, and since He is all-attractive Krishna is a perfect name for Him. You learn that the more you give in bhakti-yoga, or devotional service, the more you get out of it. You learn that giving the same gift to others, being another sincere spiritual seeker’s friend, makes you more conscious of God.

In Closing:

Relationship with friend not secure,

From single argument can break for sure.


Best if with the devotees to make,

Then valuable lessons away can take.


For being conscious of God how,

To turn life around today and now.


If even that friend to see again never,

By Krishna’s grace to be benefitted forever.

Posted in conversations | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Talking About Remembering My Past Life

Posted by krishnasmercy on October 19, 2014

[Krishna's lotus feet]“The whole process of spiritual culture is aimed at changing the heart of the living being in the matter of his eternal relation with the Supreme Lord as subordinate servant, which is his eternal constitutional position.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 2.3.24 Purport)

Download this episode (right click and save)

Girish: I got one for you today.

Shankar: You always do. Shoot.

Girish: I think I can tell the difference between people who chant regularly and those who don’t.

Shankar: What do you mean? Like people you run into on the street? You’re a clairvoyant or something?

Girish: That’s telling the future, Mr. Smarty Pants.

Shankar: Or an Iron Maiden song.

Girish: [laughing] If you’re implying that I’m a mind reader, then no. I’m talking about within devotional circles.

Shankar: So if you’re in a sat-sanga or sadhu-sanga, you can tell which people are more “sat” than the others?

Girish: I think so.

Shankar: Oh, this should be good.  Let me hear it.

Girish: The people that are really into it tend to be more peaceful. There’s this calm about them. I can’t explain it fully in words. It seems as if peace has conquered them.

Shankar: That makes sense. They say that chanting the holy names is the process for purification with the most efficacy in the present age.

Girish: Yes, I am familiar with the philosophy. Thanks for reminding me [sarcasm].

Shankar: Anytime.

Girish: On that note, I can’t help but think of myself whenever I see the transformation in these people.

Shankar: Like how you were before you took up bhakti-yoga seriously?

Girish: Yeah, exactly. Believe me, I’m no sadhu right now, and I can’t say that I’m free of faults, but I do remember how I was before.

Shankar: I’m not sure I do.

Girish: Never at peace. Specifically, I used to envy everyone. I should have been happy when good things happened to friends and people I knew, but I never was. Deep inside I was jealous. “How come they can get girls and I can’t? How come they make so much more money? They must know people.”

Shankar: I can certainly relate. It’s difficult to not be envious. I guess it’s rooted in insecurity.

Girish: Definitely. Besides envy, I was always buying things. I had my car phase. I would always check out the newest cars that would come out. Some I would dream of buying and others I would set up a strategy for how to trade up. I bought one car and then wanted another one later on.

Shankar: Yeah. There’s a reason we see so many car commercials during sports programs on television.

Girish: And then there were the technological gadgets. I never had enough. I had to have backups for everything. I had to have the best cases. From this one store online, I used to purchase things at least once a month. I would also binge-watch movies and television shows. I can’t tell you how much time I spent copying, converting and storing my DVD collection.

Shankar: How do you feel looking back on it now?

Girish: I’m so embarrassed. That’s the best word to describe it. I especially get reminded of it when I talk to others. This is why I have a hard time criticizing them. I feel so bad telling them that they’re on the wrong track. Who am I to pass judgment on them? In that time in my life, I was likely much worse than they are now.

Shankar: Well, your empathy is a sign of intelligence. It shows that you learned something from your experiences, that it helped you to understand others better.

Girish: Thanks. I need to get over this. I cringe anytime I hear harsh criticism of such people. I feel like I couldn’t do it myself. It would be hypocritical of me to say anything.

Shankar: Well, let me ask you this. How did things change for you? How did you go from being very envious to not so much?

Girish: You know the answer to that. I started reading bhakti-yoga philosophy, the science of self-realization. I started immersing myself in the bhakti culture. Most importantly, I started regularly chanting the maha-mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

[The Science of Self-Realization]Shankar: Well, then why can’t you share those experiences with others? This way you’re not criticizing them directly. You’re merely speaking the truth by telling a story. You’re giving an account of your personal history.

Girish: Yeah, I guess I wouldn’t have a problem with that.

Shankar: That is an important point to get across to others. These teachers in the line of instruction starting from Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they all adopted the bhakti life with firm conviction due to their intelligence. And we know that intelligence gets strengthened from personal experience. Practical realization, vijnana, is as or more important than theoretical knowledge, jnana.

Girish: So you’re saying that when I explain to someone that they are not their body, that this life is meant for understanding and serving God, that I should reference my own life experiences to show to them how things can change?

Shankar: Yours or others that you know. I bet you don’t meet such peaceful people outside of sadhu-sanga, right?

Girish: I sure don’t. Or on the odd chance that I do, it is because of some relationship to God that they have, though it may be from another spiritual tradition.

Shankar: Yeah, so all those things you mentioned previously, seeking money, collecting stuff, buying things all the time – they’re all supposed to bring peace, no? Who doesn’t want peace? Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita that there cannot be happiness without peace. So if others want peace, they should adopt the bhakti lifestyle.

Girish: They can’t deny that they are looking for peace. There is no doubt about it. I guess I could try that.

[Shrila Prabhupada]Shankar: Yeah, they say that example is better than precept. His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada especially liked to quote that. So you are the example, even though in your humility you may not realize it. Stop being so shy and start sharing your divine self with the rest of the world.

Girish: Alright, just stop it. But I see your point. Hare Krishna.

In Closing:

From assimilating bhakti information,

Person naturally to see transformation.


Envy and hankering now gone,

Fondly God’s features to dwell upon.


Value in memory of tendencies prior,

Useful for describing bhakti’s taste higher.


From chanting in devotion regularly done,

Visibly noticeable that by peace overcome.

Posted in conversations | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Talking About A Staged Event

Posted by krishnasmercy on October 18, 2014

[Krishna with Trinavarta]“The Trinavarta demon who took baby Krishna on his shoulder went high in the sky, but the baby assumed such a weight that suddenly he could not go any further, and he had to stop his whirlwind activities. Baby Krishna made Himself heavy and began to weigh down the demon.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 7)

Download this episode (right click and save)

Girish: I was reading some more of that Krishna book yesterday.

Shankar: Yeah? How do you like it?

Girish: It’s very good. It’s a little different from the Bhagavad-gita.

Shankar: I know.

Girish: The seeker in me seemed to get more out of the Gita. But there’s still time.

Shankar: What did you get out of it?

Girish: That I am not the body.

Shankar: Good.  That is pretty important.

Girish: And God is not impersonal. He is a person.

Shankar: He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Hence the subtitle to the current book you’re reading.

[Krishna book cover]Girish: Maya is illusion. I should see past it. I should not follow activities in maya. That will only keep me in further darkness. I should know that I am Brahman, or spirit. Aham brahmasmi. I must understand that this body will change. I should know that this body continuously changes, actually, from boyhood to youth to old age.

Shankar: And then what happens at death?

Girish: I get another body. It’s like putting on clothes and then taking them off. I should not lament for the living. The same for the dead. Spirit will always remain.

Shankar: And who will you think of at the time of death?

Girish: Krishna! Thinking of God will work too. I guess that’s why the Krishna book is important. It explains who God is.

Shankar: Yeah, that’s very good to know.

Girish: I do have a question, though. This comes from the devil’s advocate in me.

Shankar: No problem. What do you got?

[Lord Krishna]Girish: I’ve noticed a pattern to the chapters thus far. Krishna is living in Vrindavana as a small child, delighting everyone. There is the lead bad guy in the neighboring town of Mathura. In each chapter he sends over a bad guy to kill Krishna. The Lord then does something amazing to survive the attack and get rid of the demon.

Shankar: Yeah, Kamsa sent a lot of those bad guys. Putana, Trinavarta, Aghasura, to name a few.

Girish: Right. And the people were so relieved each time to see Krishna escape. They couldn’t believe He survived. The story part of it is nice. I get that. Yet I’m wondering why anyone would have an interest in it afterwards.

Shankar: What do you mean?

Girish: Well, God is all-knowing, right?

Shankar: He has to be.

Girish: Exactly. And He’s all-powerful too, no?

Shankar: Of course.

Girish: That being established, why would anyone worry if a witch named Putana is coming to Vrindavana to administer poison to Krishna? Why is there interest over a torrential flood devastating the land?

Shankar: I’m not sure I follow.

Girish: Anyone with a brain can guess the outcome. It’s all fixed. I mean, it has to be. Krishna has to know that these people are coming. He has to know how to deal with them also.

Shankar: Okay. Yeah, that’s true. I see where you’re going with this. Are you saying that since it involves God, the incidents aren’t so important to remember?

Girish: Yeah. What is anyone getting out of these stories? We all know what’s going to happen. I mean, I like hearing about them; don’t get me wrong. It’s really great, in fact. I’m just thinking about what the critics might say.

[Krishna lifting Govardhana Hill]Shankar: You have friends who watch television shows?

Girish: Yes.

Shankar: And movies?

Girish: Oh boy, some of my friends watch movies ALL the time. They download them onto a server they have at home and then they binge-watch.

Shankar: So these friends of yours talk about these shows and movies?

Girish: Yes. Too much in fact.

Shankar: What were to happen if the next time they brought up one of these movies you responded with skepticism? “Hey, that’s all fake. Why are you telling me about it?”

Girish: Oh, that’s a good one. I like it.

Shankar: Well, it is fake. It’s acknowledged to be so. The stories take birth in the mind of a writer or many writers. Yet no one questions the interest shown in these fictional works.

Girish: And Krishna’s stories are not fictional. They actually occurred.

Shankar: Yes. Even if you don’t believe in them, there is no reason not to take an interest. If you’re already giving so much attention to the fictional, why should you have a problem with stories about Krishna’s life? You must think it’s real; otherwise there wouldn’t be an objection.

Girish: That’s a good point.

Shankar: And like the maya you brought up previously, our entire existence here can be thought of as unreal. The nonfictional is that which takes place in our lives, but everything changes. I’m worried who will win the championship this year, but next year’s champion will erase this year’s memory. Thus the event is sort of unreal; its significance is temporary.

Girish: Krishna’s stories carry through time. They happened five thousand years ago and we’re still talking about them to this day.

[Krishna pastimes]Shankar: Exactly. From hearing these stories you get some appreciation for Him. That appreciation lasts. This makes the incident with the Putana witch very important. The killing of the whirlwind demon is worth remembering. Even Krishna’s speaking the Bhagavad-gita to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra is a kind of pastime. It is a story to study and remember. The outcome is known for sure, as whoever has Krishna on their side will always succeed. The stories of His life and pastimes bring Him close to the consciousness, and that consciousness of Him is the only one that can last forever, transcending time.

In Closing:

Putana, Trinavarta, and others come,

But demons leaving alive none.


Though in body of boy small,

Krishna defeating enemies tall.


To the heart these stories endearing,

Though outcome guessed while hearing.


Fictional stories belonging to a temporary land,

But Krishna lila time’s test to stand.

Posted in conversations | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Trying To Understand His Potencies

Posted by krishnasmercy on October 17, 2014

[Shri Hanuman]“I had an inauspicious dream today; seeing a monkey as such is prohibited according to shastra. Let there be all good unto Rama with Lakshmana, and also to the father of mine, King Janaka.” (Sita Devi, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 32.9)

svapno mayā ayam vikṛto adya dṛṣṭaḥ śākhā mṛgaḥ śāstra gaṇaiḥ niṣiddhaḥ |
svasti astu rāmāya salakṣmaṇāya tathā pituḥ me janakasya rājñaḥ ||

Download this episode (right click and save)

In the chapters previous to this, the messenger Hanuman had the task of identifying someone whom he had never met previously. He went off the signs previously given to him. He had the words of Rama, this missing person’s husband. Rama is the original spiritual master, the adi-guru. His teachings are always flawless. The lone qualification for acting flawlessly is to hear from Rama or one of His representatives in the proper mood. The mood of humility coupled with genuine inquisitiveness yields the auspicious result which Hanuman obtained.

Hanuman also had the memory of ornaments which previously fell to the ground. Like trying to identify someone by having half of their scarf or one of their shoes, Hanuman knew that this missing person likely had the complementary ornaments with her. Most importantly, Hanuman knew the mentality of the person he was sent to find. He knew that she would be in distress, for she had been taken away from the side of her husband by force. Hanuman saw how great the qualities of that husband were, so he understood the wife would be feeling the most pain in separation.

In this verse from the Ramayana, the roles are switched. Hanuman has correctly identified the missing person. She is Sita Devi, the daughter of King Janaka. She is presently in the Ashoka grove in Lanka, a place which was not easy to access. Hanuman has special talents, so he found his way into that secret area without anyone noticing him. He saw many women in Lanka, but it was not until he went to the Ashoka grove that he concluded for certain that he had found Sita.

[Sita Devi]Upon finding her he decided to introduce himself by first speaking of Rama. This would hopefully soften the initial blow of shock. Here Sita is now trying to identify Hanuman. It should be noted that Hanuman previously made an erroneous judgment when seeing the wife of Ravana, the evil king of Lanka who had taken Sita away from Rama. It was due to Hanuman’s excitement to please Rama that he first thought that Mandodari might be Sita.

In the same vein, due to the circumstances Sita initially couldn’t identify Hanuman properly. Here she remarks how it is considered inauspicious to see a monkey in a dream. The judgment is delivered by shastra, the ultimate guiding authority. Shastra is nothing more than the law codes governing human behavior. It descends from Rama Himself in His original form of Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

śrī-bhagavān uvāca

imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ

proktavān aham avyayam

vivasvān manave prāha

manur ikṣvākave ‘bravīt

“The Blessed Lord said: I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvan, and Vivasvan instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Ikshvaku.” (Bhagavad-gita, 4.1)

[Depicting disciplic succession, Bhagavad-gita As It Is]Sita wasn’t dreaming in fact, but she thought she might have been. After all, who is used to seeing monkeys, especially in an area that otherwise doesn’t have them? Thinking that maybe inauspiciousness was coming her way, she asked that there be all good fortune to Rama and His younger brother Lakshmana. She also asked the same for her father, King Janaka. Notably absent is Sita herself; she did not ask for her own good fortune. This is her mood; she is entirely unselfish. Very soon she would kindly pray for the same good fortune to come to the monkey that startled her, and based on the widespread worship of that monkey who is so dear to Rama, we see that her request was granted.

If Sita is good and seeing a monkey in a dream is bad, why did this situation happen? How could Sita make the mistake of thinking that Hanuman was an ordinary monkey? Why couldn’t she identify Him properly in the beginning?

The same questions can be asked about the nefarious behavior of characters like Ravana, Kamsa and so many others who acted as enemy to the Supreme Lord during His various descents to this earth. The explanation is that the strong conflict allows for the glories of the Supreme Lord to shine more brightly. Not that He requires this light to be opened. Not that He needs more fame and honor. The living entities are shrouded in ignorance borne of contact with the material nature. This makes it very difficult to believe in God’s existence, let alone understand Him.

[Hanuman worshiping]The opposition provided by Ravana allows us to know that God can defeat the most powerful of enemies. The heroism of Hanuman shows that the devotees who are merged in the eternal occupation of devotional service can surmount any obstacle to please their beloved Lord. The difficulties faced by Sita in Lanka increase the glories of Hanuman. The fact that he was a monkey whose association is generally considered inauspicious also proves that devotion is never tied to a specific form or circumstance. No one is ever restricted from devotional service based on country of origin, language of preference, or family heritage. Hanuman is in a monkey form, and his amazing deeds warm the hearts of Sita and Rama.

In Closing:

When a monkey strangely to see,

Sita asked for all good there to be,

To Rama, Lakshmana and father,

Selfless, not her own welfare to bother.


By monkey to Lanka for Rama going,

The extent of God’s glories to everyone showing.


Hanuman so great in monkey form despite,

God for all to know, of circumstances in spite.

Posted in spotting hanuman | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

How To Bring Rama’s Messenger

Posted by krishnasmercy on October 16, 2014

[Sita Devi]“Lamenting greatly, deceived by fear, piteously saying ‘O Rama, O Rama’ and ‘O Lakshmana,’ while aggrieved by lamentation that noble lady cried in diverse ways in a low voice.” (Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 32.5)

vilalāpa bhṛśaṃ sītā karuṇam bhayamohitā ||
rāmarāmeti duḥkhārtā lakṣmaṇeti ca bhāminī |
ruroda bahudhā sītā mandam mandasvarā satī ||

Download this episode (right click and save)

By any fair assessment, Shri Hanuman is pretty awesome. He does anything for his friends. Not that he’ll only lend you some money and then hope you know what to do with it. Not that he’ll just drop everything to be by your side in a time of crisis. He will actually risk his life, heading into danger. He doesn’t seek the spotlight, but he doesn’t shy away from it either. Through the encouragement of those who know his greatness, he goes to where no other person has gone before.

[Shri Hanuman]He is a kind and compassionate soul as well. He’s fearless, so the bad guys don’t scare him. He’s heroic, so you can rely on him when you’re in trouble. He’s reliable, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not he’ll help you. He’s humble, so no need to be concerned with whether he’s only boasting about his abilities. It’s very easy to say that you can do something difficult, that you would come through in a tough situation, but it’s a different thing to actually deliver.

Hanuman does the most amazing things and he is such a wonderful person. This combination makes his association very desirable. But how to get that association? Are we to simply call his name? Are we to summon him to our side and expect him to be there? Sita Devi’s behavior subtly reveals the answer, the way to get Hanuman to come in all his glory. She is an authority figure on so many things, and so it’s not surprising that she would teach us how to get the association of someone so wonderful.

In reviewing Hanuman’s qualities, the shrewd person will notice that simply calling for him will not do the trick. He is there for his friends. This means that if he’s working for someone who needs help, why will he come to us directly? He is a divine figure of the Vedic tradition, which means that he has special powers. Worship of him is authorized, which means that it’s not something concocted out of sentiment. There are specific benefits to worshiping him, with the topmost being devotion to God.

[Shri Hanuman]As that very devotion exists in Hanuman, why would he not want to share it with others? If a person of such tremendous qualities considers devotion to God to be the most important thing in life, why would he not want others to have it also? Why would he value material opulence, the removal of distress, esoteric knowledge, or mystic perfections instead? Why would he want his worshipers to have temporary comforts when he knows full well that devotion lasts beyond the current lifetime?

In this scene from the Ramayana Sita Devi is very distressed. The verse says that she is deceived by fear, and so she doesn’t feel comfort upon first seeing Hanuman. This is only natural, as who would feel safe suddenly seeing a monkey in an odd place while already in distress? In a fearful condition, Sita piteously cried out for Rama and Lakshmana. Rama is her husband and Lakshmana is Rama’s younger brother. By protecting herself with these two names, the vision of Hanuman in front of her suddenly changed. From a stranger in the Ashoka grove he turned into the well-wishing friend bearing good news of her husband.

And so others can call Hanuman to the scene in the same way. Simply say the names of Rama and Lakshmana. Say them in full dependence, when you have nothing else to hold on to. Say them when this material world has caused you so much fear that you don’t know what to do. Upon saying these names, which are so dear to Hanuman, that great servant of the Supreme Lord rushes to the scene. He is attracted most by devotion to Rama, and so he goes wherever that devotion flourishes.

[Rama Darbar]Sita loves Rama more than any person could, so Hanuman comes to her rescue when needed. Rama is God, an incarnation of the origin of the universe. His name is the great purifier. It brings His presence as well. And the family gets completed with the name of Sita and the name of Lakshmana. As those are the people dearest to Hanuman, that wonderful servant arrives at the scene as well. This makes for the greatest protection, and so the wise person continues to chant their names and bask in their association.

Glorious is he who knows the secret to bringing Hanuman to the scene. More glorious is he who maintains that devotion to the Supreme Lord by always chanting the holy names and inviting all Vaishnavas to come and enjoy in their exercise of devotion: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

In Closing:

To Hanuman in character no match,

How the devotee his attention to catch?


Since all opulences to own,

Worship of him we’re shown.


But devotion real object of his life,

Will do anything for Rama and His wife.


By calling Rama and Lakshmana by name,

His presence brought by devotion the same.

Posted in spotting hanuman | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »