Krishna's Mercy

Hare Krishna

Posts Tagged ‘religion’

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 ||

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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.

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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 ||

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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.

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The One Who Breaks All The Rules

Posted by krishnasmercy on October 15, 2014

[Shri Hanuman]“Maithili, in great surprise, thought as follows: ‘Alas, this person with the form of a monkey is fearful, difficult to approach, and difficult to be looked at.’ Knowing this, she was again bewildered.” (Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 32.3)

maithilī cintayāmāsa svapno ayam iti bhāminī |
aho bhīmamidaṃ rūpaṃ vānarasya durāsadam ||
durnirīkṣamiti jñātvā punareva mumoha sā |

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Planetary systems emerging through breathing, serpent heads holding up all the universes, an ocean of milk, and even a monkey carrying unimaginable auspiciousness – all such things are possible through the work of the Divine. We think these are contradictions, something out of mythology, but in fact so many things happen every day that to an outsider would be considered a miracle. Taking them for granted, we mistakenly think that the rules of nature are stringent to the point that its creator must abide by them as well. But He does not have to, and neither do His dearmost servants like Shri Hanuman.

[trees]Within a tiny seed is a giant banyan tree. This seems ridiculous, but make a test out of it. Plant the seed in the ground, give it careful attention, and see what happens after a while. The same can be done with any kind of plant. The female human being is no larger than the size of an American football when emerging from the womb, but that same person can one day give birth themselves. Such are the workings of nature; miracles are all around us.

We consider these to be miracles, but they are merely the products of the material nature acting in conjunction with the spiritual energy. In Sanskrit the undeveloped full collection of matter is known as pradhana. When the glance of the Supreme Spirit reaches this pradhana, we get the material creation and everything within it. The atoms move, the planets come into being, rivers start flowing, clouds start moving, and yes, life forms start to come and go. Without the glance of spirit, which provides an injection of sorts, none of this would be possible.

sarva-yoniṣu kaunteya

mūrtayaḥ sambhavanti yāḥ

tāsāṁ brahma mahad yonir

ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā

“It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kunti, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 14.4)

We were not watching when this glance first took place, so we have difficulty believing in it. Even if we did see it and then report on it to others, who would believe us? In fact, the original event is not so significant, as time travels infinitely both forwards and backwards. There is a beginning to the beginning. Correspondingly, there is an end to the end. Try to reach the end of space and you’ll fail. The human mind cannot grasp infinity; so there is no point in trying.

[Lifting Govardhana Hill]As the Supreme Spirit bypasses the laws of time and space, He can also get past any rule of the material nature. From our experiences, we know that a pinky finger cannot hold up a mountain. An infant cannot thwart the attacks of a large being who operates with a more advanced intelligence. We also know that a monkey doesn’t come bearing news of our beloved, after braving the obstacles of nature and penetrating the defense of beings equipped with every weapon of the black arts.

Yet all of these things can and do happen. Here Sita Devi pays a nice compliment to Shri Hanuman. By extension, the praise makes its way towards Rama as well. He is Sita’s husband and Hanuman is acting for Him for looking for Sita. Sita, who is also known as Maithili [the daughter of the king of Mithila], here spots Hanuman for the first time in the Ashoka grove in Lanka. From her words we see that she identifies Hanuman by his outward form, which is that of a monkey.

That form is bhima, or fearful. Indeed, Hanuman must instill fear from time to time. He faces bad guys who try to get in the way of his service to Rama. Rama is the Supreme Lord in an avatara, so whatever He asks is always in line with dharma. Someone who gets in the way of what Rama asks is in adharma, or acting unrighteously. Sometimes an awe-inspiring form is necessary to carry out righteousness.

Sita also says that Hanuman’s form is difficult to approach and difficult to look at. What would you do if you suddenly spotted a monkey on a tree branch above? Would you not be startled? Would you think it was a good sign? The monkey is known for stealing. It is known for looking for food and taking it from wherever it can get it. The monkey then runs away, feeling no remorse. The monkey has no shame.

Despite this initial impression of Hanuman, we know that he was indeed a well-wishing friend to Sita. To her, he was very approachable. His form was beautiful, kind, and inviting. It is possible for a monkey to be all these things. Indeed, any living entity can bear the same properties, regardless of the body type they inherited at the time of birth.

[Shri Hanuman]Rama could have sent a servant of a more conventional appearance to look for Sita. He could have sent someone who wouldn’t startle her upon first glance. But God can break the rules whenever He wants. Indeed, He purposefully does so from time to time to show that He is not subordinate to anyone or anything. His servants can also bewilder the person whose vision is limited through sole reliance on the laws of nature.

How can a monkey serve Rama? How can he be auspicious? In the worst setting, in a terrible place, Hanuman came to offer a shining light of hope. It is indeed amazing that a monkey came to give Sita the good news about her husband, that He was coming to rescue her. Hanuman is so amazing that the Vedas themselves can’t fully describe His glories. As Rama Himself continues to be praised to this day, through Hanuman the mercy of the Lord extends even further. The more one thinks they know God, the more they have yet to learn through the example of Hanuman, who can break all the rules through the power invested in him by Rama.

In Closing:

Though at first a tiny seed to see,

Through time to become banyan tree.

 

Same through creation amazing,

At pradhana Supreme Lord gazing.

 

When Hanuman to Sita came near,

Monkey form to her instilling fear.

 

Service to God possible in form or shape any,

Hanuman of virtues to count too many.

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Humble and Beaming

Posted by krishnasmercy on October 13, 2014

[Shri Hanuman]“She saw there a monkey who was humble and beaming like a collection of blossomed Ashoka flowers, who spoke sweet words and had eyes that resembled molten gold.” (Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 32.2)

sā dadarśa kapim tatra praśritam priya vādinam |
pullāśokotkarābhāsam taptacāmikarekṣaṇam ||

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Is it possible to be humble and prominent at the same time? Isn’t that like asking if someone can be tall and short simultaneously? Humility means to keep yourself in a low position, at least mentally. If you are humble you are not looking to outshine anyone else. In the presence of elders and other personalities commanding respect, the humble person does not speak much. Even if they hear things that are incorrect from time to time, in deference to etiquette they remain silent. The more boastful person makes their presence known. They are not shy. Instead of shunning the spotlight, they relish it. From this verse from the Ramayana, we see that it is possible to be both humble and beaming at the same time. Not surprisingly this description suits Shri Hanuman perfectly.

Do you want to be liked? Do you want to be respected? It’s not that hard actually. Just don’t say anything. If you’re at a family get together and everyone is in a room arguing about the latest buzz on the news, just keep quiet. If others ask your opinion, say that you are thinking the matter over. Tell them that you prefer to listen instead. This will get you so much respect, as evidenced by the undecided voters in each election cycle. They are the coveted group, as they are deemed to be above the partisan rancor. They are level-headed; they don’t get swept up by emotion.

[pizza]If you voice opinions loudly, you won’t be as popular. Go on television and say that you like pizza. You think that this statement is harmless, but pretty soon you’ll start getting hate mail about how your support of pizza is contributing to the health epidemic in the country. Heart disease and obesity are the results of your public support. If you had stayed quiet you would have been more popular.

But without saying something, how will knowledge properly transfer? If I know that taking drugs is bad, should I not tell my children? If I see my friend headed down the dangerous path of gambling, should I remain silent? My silence in these cases is a tantamount endorsement. In order to stay popular, I kept my mouth shut, but if everyone did that then no one would ever learn anything.

This verse from the Ramayana says that one person in particular is both humble and prominent. He is humble because he does not think so much of himself. This isn’t low self-esteem. He is knowledgeable of the soul and its place in the vast material nature. Though spirit is superior to dull matter, in the larger scheme the nature which controls that matter is much more powerful than the individual spirit. If this weren’t the case, we would never be forced to sleep. We would never get injured from playing sports. We would never get nervous before delivering a speech. More importantly, we would never die if we didn’t want to.

[Shri Hanuman]Hanuman’s knowledge extends beyond the difference between matter and spirit. He knows that there is a supreme spirit, an individual who guides everything, either indirectly or directly. The material nature is His work of the indirect kind, and in His personal form of Rama He carries a direct influence. That influence led Hanuman to the city of Lanka to look for Rama’s wife Sita. Hanuman had a lot to be proud over, personal successes of the likes never before seen and never since matched. Yet he remained humble because he knew that Rama was the source of his strength. In his mind, Hanuman thought that he could have done a lot more.

When Sita saw Hanuman he was beaming like a collection of fully blossomed Ashoka flowers. This means that the nature took care of shining the spotlight on Hanuman. He did not beat his chest. He did not insist that Sita look at him with awe and reverence. He did not disturb others intentionally so that they would look at him. And yet he beamed anyway. Sita was in a garden of Ashoka trees at the time, and so in his desire to not startle her and remain undiscovered by the fiends living there, Hanuman hid himself in this tree.

He spoke sweet words. This was his way of getting Sita’s attention. When she looked at him, she saw that he was beaming. The flowers from the Ashoka tree created this effect. Hanuman did not have to try for prominence. His words were sweet because they were about Rama, Sita’s husband. Though they were spoken only in that isolated circumstance, those words have carried forward thousands of years into the future. The flowers in that tree made Hanuman beam to the eyes of Sita, and the documented history that is the Ramayana has carried the light of Hanuman to the present day.

[Shri Hanuman]This shows that the only way to be humble and prominent at the same time is to follow devotional service, bhakti-yoga. The person who loves God and serves Him with thoughts, words and deeds is automatically humble. This is because through their service, given to them by the authorized representative of the same Rama, they understand their true position. In their selfless service they please the Lord so much that there is automatic prominence associated with them. They shine forth just like Hanuman, who is so dear to Sita and Rama.

In Closing:

A contradiction to seem,

To be humble and with prominence beam.

 

In humility to consider oneself low,

The boastful of their qualities to show.

 

Hanuman in Ramayana showing combination,

Upon reaching Ashoka grove destination.

 

Crossing ocean and then Rama’s wife found,

Thus Hanuman having much to be proud.

 

Still humble, flowers providing shine,

Ramayana carrying his glory to present time.

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Talking About Whom To Worship

Posted by krishnasmercy on October 4, 2014

[Hanuman's heart]“It is understood that once Hanuman, the great devotee of Lord Ramachandra, said that he knew that Narayana, the husband of Lakshmi, and Rama, the husband of Sita, are one and the same, and that there is no difference between Lakshmi and Sita, but as for himself, he liked the form of Lord Rama.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 3.24.31 Purport)

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Girish: We’re so lucky to have come in contact with the Vedic tradition.

Shankar: That’s true, but what made you think of that?

Girish: Well, before I would pray to God, but I had no idea who He was.

Shankar: What would you pray for?

Girish: That’s the thing, I would pray for insignificant stuff. In those moments of weakness I would give thanks for all I had. You know, my friends and my family. Then I’d ask for their continued wellbeing.

Shankar: I was the same way. My prayers would be more frequent if someone I knew was in trouble.

Girish: Yeah, exactly. Obviously since I was talking to God, I considered Him to be a person. But I never knew anything about Him. I never considered what He looked like. I never thought about how He would behave and how He would interact with people.

Shankar: That’s why the term coined by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is so important: “The Supreme Personality of Godhead.” He is more than just God. He is a personality. He is part of Godhead, which means that God expands. At the top is the supreme, the leader of all forms of Godhead. He is Krishna.

[Lord Krishna]Girish: Yeah, it’s so nice. I like that there is a meaning to that name. It’s not just some random word. It means “all-attractive.” And who can argue with that?

Shankar: Not me. He is so beautiful.

Girish: But I know that you don’t worship Him as your ishta-deva, or deity of preference.

Shankar: Yeah, I just can’t. Sita and Rama are it for me. I know who Krishna is but I could never look at Him the same way as I do Sita and Rama.

Girish: Yeah, what can you do? For me it’s the opposite. I can’t look at anyone except Krishna. Sometimes people argue with me. They say that Vishnu is superior, that Rama and Krishna came from Him. They tell me to worship Lakshmi and Vishnu instead.

Shankar: And by reading certain works their opinion is validated. In the Bhagavata Purana the demigods petition Vishnu to come to earth, who agrees to descend as Krishna. In the Ramayana’s Bala Kand, the same thing happens, Vishnu agrees to come to earth in a seemingly human form, this time named Rama.

Girish: The good thing is that the results of the worship are pretty much identical. If you think that Vishnu is the supreme, you’re not really harmed. He is the same person. The other gods are different. As Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita, worshipers of the different divine figures go to their respective planets. People who worship Him go to His supreme abode.

Shankar: Yeah, even Lord Shiva has his own realm. People who worship him purely go to him. But that worship is rare, since Shiva also plays the role of handing out material benedictions. That kind of worship does not bring his association. It’s funny. He’s known as Ashutosha since he wants people to stop bothering him for material benedictions. When they ask for stuff, he gives it to them very quickly so he can go back to meditating on Rama, his ishta-deva.

Girish: The key thing to remember is that worship of a Vishnu form means liberation, freedom from the cycle of birth and death. Also, worship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead done impurely eventually brings purification. I can ask for stuff from Krishna, but He might not give it to me. In that way He is special.

Shankar: Yeah, that’s so nice, isn’t it? What kindness!

[Radha and Krishna]Girish: Still, I can’t see why anyone wouldn’t worship the darling son of Nanda Maharaja. One look at Him and I’m His. I melt immediately. Then I see the love that Radha and the gopis of Vrindavana have for Him and I become even more taken. I feel like Krishna owns me. I will do whatever He wants, which He spells out through the instructions of His devoted servants.

Shankar: I know what you mean. Radha and Krishna are so beautiful.

Girish: So when are you going to come over to my side? When are you going to worship the “supreme” Godhead? You know that Goloka Vrindavana is the topmost planet, right? You know that you can play with Krishna there, that He can carry you on His back if you want?

Shankar: You’re starting this argument again?

Girish: You know I like to mess with you. People do it to me, so why shouldn’t I return the favor? They tell me to worship Lakshmi and Vishnu. I feel bad denying them. I don’t want to do anything to curb their devotion, but at the same time I have to stick up for Radha and Krishna.

Shankar: You are too funny. Listen, there is nothing I can do. When I walk into a temple and see Rama I’m just so happy. Then I see His innocent and beloved wife Sita standing next to Him and I’m completely owned. Then I look over to Rama’s right and see the fearless brother Lakshmana standing there and I make a promise to never abandon them. Then, kneeling down before them in the corner I see Hanuman.

Girish: Oh yeah, Hanuman is great.

Shankar: So he puts it over the top for me. I can’t describe to you how good I feel when I see him with Sita, Rama and Lakshmana. Hanuman is the authority for me. Whatever he says, I will do. If he worships Sita and Rama, then so will I. I don’t care what other people tell me. Actually, Hanuman could come up to me personally and tell me to abandon worship of him and Sita, Rama, and Lakshmana and I wouldn’t do it. I’ll never give them up.

[Rama Darbar]Girish: Wow, that’s great. I can’t argue with you there. Hopefully we can spread the word and get others to know about the personal side to God. They would benefit tremendously. Instead of concocting all these other gods who constantly disappoint them, they would taste the fruit of an existence: bhakti.

In Closing:

Vishnu forms there are many,

Granting liberation can any.

 

Krishna looking all-attractive so,

How to any other one can go?

 

Rama the same with lotus-like eyes,

Lakshmana and Sita always by His side.

 

Hanuman the complete picture to make,

Authority of his forever I will take.

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Seeking The One God

Posted by krishnasmercy on August 31, 2014

[Lakshmi-Narayana]“People are accustomed to worship different forms of demigods, but in Bhagavad-gita such a mentality is condemned; therefore one should be intelligent enough to worship only the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His different forms such as Lakshmi-Narayana, Sita-Rama and Radha-Krishna. Thus one will never be cheated.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 3.25.38 Purport)

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“There are many gods. Just pick one. It doesn’t matter which one you choose; but you have to worship. To say that one is better than another is silly. Everyone is divine after all. We are all one in that sense.”

Perhaps you’ve come across such sentiments. Perhaps you’ve thought them yourself. There are so many people worshiping, and so how can they be worshiping different people? The objects of worship must be the same, you think. In truth, there is only one Supreme Lord, but this does not stop worship of other entities. One can tell the difference based on the rewards sought.

Can we like different people? Can we make friends with some and not with others? When we call out the name of our friend, are we referring to everyone? Obviously each individual is unique. People may be similar in their constitutional makeup as spirit soul, but they are separate individuals. I cannot call the name of my friend and automatically expect the President of the United States to hear me. I can’t say that since I’m close with my brother that I’m automatically good friends with every person in the world who is a brother.

[credit card swiper]These connections are in friendship, but a closer resemblance to the worship of the many gods in the Vedic tradition is the offering of tribute in the form of a transaction. If I pay my mortgage this month, does it mean that my mobile telephone bill is satisfied? If I go to the supermarket and pick up produce, does it mean that I have purchased an automobile? Each interaction is specific in scope, and there is something each party seeks. The seller wants my money, and I want the good or service provided by the seller.

The worship of the many gods is like this. The worshiper seeks something at the outset. They want a blessing. The blessing is specific. “Give me a good house. Give me a good job. Let me pass this exam. Help my son or daughter do well in school. Protect my family.” While at the convenience store I pay by swiping my credit card, for worship of a divine figure I perform a specific ritual. Upon completion, I hopefully get what I want.

Worship of the Supreme Lord, the god of the gods, is different than this. We can tell simply by the rewards He offers. His gifts are not temporary. He is not an order supplier, either. There is no shopping cart with Him. We can’t simply do a ritual and then expect to get something. He is the best friend, after all, so He will not always give us what we want. If we desire something that will ultimately do us harm, He will deny our request. If failure in a particular area will be to our benefit in the future, God will make that temporarily unpleasant outcome a reality.

The reward He offers is His association. In worship of the other divine figures, in rare instances the worshiper seeks a similar reward, association. But those divine figures do not remain manifest forever. Their abodes are temporary. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita.

[Bhagavad-gita, 8.16]“From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kunti, never takes birth again.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 8.16)

[planets of the spiritual world]In this sense, cherishing association with a divine figure is like having an attachment to someone in the earthly realm. It is like having a relationship with a king instead of a commoner. The king is a human being too. They also must suffer death. They may be in an elevated post right now, but that post will mean nothing at the time of death. The divine figures are elevated as well. They can live for thousands of years. Yet they will not stay in their residences forever.

Not the case with God. In His original form, He is a beautiful youth with a blackish complexion. He is always a youth. We only know of youth as a brief stage in the progression towards adulthood and old age. It is a stop on the train of life. It is a stage we don’t appreciate while we are in it, but which we long for once it is gone. With God, youth never leaves Him. He is eternally kishora, and His beloved consort is kishori.

“Krishna with Radharani is worshiped as Kishora-kishori. Krishna does not increase His age that although He is the oldest personality and has innumerable different forms, His original form is always youthful.” (The Nectar of Devotion, 42)

[Radha-Krishna]What may cause some confusion is the fact that the original form of Godhead can expand into non-different forms. This appears to be the same polytheism of worship of divine figures, but it actually isn’t. These expansion forms are the same original kishora. They just appear differently to match the variety of devotional mellows, or rasas, available. If I work as a Supreme Court judge, not everyone will treat me the same. In the courtroom I get respect. On the phone I get reprimanded by my wife for working too much. At home my children jump on my back. At the restaurant my friends make fun of me. Thus there are different relationships, even though I am the same person in each situation.

The recommendation is that one develop an attachment for kishora, who is also known as Krishna, or one of His non-different expansions. Such a relationship will bring the association of the desired object. These objects remain forever, and they are more than just a deity form. They are always alive, capable of full reciprocation. Just a little faith is required in the beginning, faith that by going to the one God of all living beings nothing will be lost. If there is faith in the security of the association of the one heavenly father, then that association soon becomes a reality.

In Closing:

From the many forms to see,

How one God there can be?

 

Are not all the same,

And just differing by name?

 

By requests the assessment make,

And see what from figures to take.

 

Sometimes to deny your appeal,

Can only happen from the God real.

 

Sometimes looking like this and like that,

But personality known by features exact.

 

His association your way to send,

From His realm never to descend.

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Visheshajna

Posted by krishnasmercy on August 21, 2014

[Rama holding His bow]“The eldest son to that king was named Rama. He was very dear, had a face resembling the moon, was a knower of distinctions, and was the best among all wielders of the bow.” (Hanuman, Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 31.6)

tasya putraḥ priyo jyeṣṭhaḥ tārā adhipa nibha ānanaḥ |
rāmo nāma viśeṣajñaḥ śreṣṭhaḥ sarva dhanuṣmatām ||

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Shri Rama, the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His famous avatara form of a warrior prince who roamed this earth during the second time period of creation, is often described to be the knower of the self. These are the words used many times by Shri Hanuman, who knows Rama very well. To know the self is a good qualification, for such knowledge is not easy to come by. Rather, everyone first knows what is not the self, i.e. maya. This maya is synonymous with illusion, and so it is natural for the Supreme Lord to not be affected by illusion. In this verse from the Ramayana Rama is also described to be the knower of distinctions, visheshajna. If we think about it, this also makes sense.

[hands]I know my hands. I know what they look like. I know my legs, my hair, my ears, and my eyes as well. I am with these things every day. I never knew of a time when I did not have them. In the darkness of ignorance, I think that these things identify me, when they really don’t. In the Bhagavad-gita, these body parts are compared to a covering, something which is assumed at one point and then discarded later on.

[Bhagavad-gita, 2.22]“As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, similarly, the soul accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.22)

Unfortunately, I think that the body types on other species identify them as well. Even still, I am not very familiar with all of them. I can’t identify every single species right away. If I grow up in a closed environment, where I only see people of a certain ethnicity, I am also prone to mistakenly thinking that others of a different ethnicity are inherently different. This is the product of illusion.

To know the self, or atma, is not easy. It is the first instruction for those seeking self-realization. It would make sense that if you want to realize the self you would have to know what the self is. This is the real goal of yoga. The concocted systems of today, where the practitioners sit in a one hundred degree room and sweat out the pain, do not touch on this. But in fact yoga is for no other purpose than to know the self. Through contorting the body in certain ways and meditating one has a better chance of eliminating the influence of the external body, which covers up the soul that is pure.

[Lord Rama]Rama knows the self because He is the Supreme Self. There are two souls within each body. One is an individual and one is God. God is different from an individual in this regard because He is not restricted access to anywhere. Moreover, He is everywhere, as the same person. The Supreme Self inside of me is the same Supreme Self inside of you; they are not two different people, though you and I are. Thus Rama knows everything. He sees everything; He is the all-pervading witness.

Here Hanuman continues to describe Him. Previously he referenced Rama’s father, King Dasharatha of Ayodhya. Of course God does not have a father, but due to His causeless mercy when He appears on earth He gives exalted individuals the chance to act in that role. Indeed, we think that we are the father to our children, but those souls lived elsewhere before. We only get the chance to guide them in a particular human birth. With the proper guidance, wherein God consciousness is imbibed, both we and the children derive a supreme benefit.

[Shrimad Bhagavatam, 5.5.18]“No one should become a spiritual master – nor a relative, father, mother, worshipable Deity or husband – if he cannot help a person escape the imminent path of death.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 5.5.18)

A knower of the self views a dog, a cow, an elephant, and a dog-eater equally. This is because they see the spirit soul inside of each. Such a person may not know exactly how to treat all other living entities, though. This is a special skill only available to God. He knows both the spiritual and the material. The distinct qualities are part of the material; they are known as gunas. So He knows the spirit soul inside of everyone and He also knows what every quality covering that soul means.

[Rama with bow]In this context, the description of visheshajna, which also means “expert,” applies to Rama’s ability to handle the bow. Hanuman says that Rama is the best of those who carry the bow, which is a weapon of ancient times that packed more potency than any of today’s advanced weapons. With a single arrow shot from His famous bow, Rama could destroy the world, if He so desired.

His knowledge of distinct qualities was used on many occasions, especially to defend innocent sages in the forest from night-rangers. These creatures resorted to trickery when necessary. They could change their shapes at will and also disappear from sight. How are you supposed to fight against something you can’t see? But Rama knows all the distinct qualities surrounding the soul, so He cannot be fooled by such illusion.

Know that He sees all right now as well. He continues to witness all actions in this realm, whether we notice Him or not. This means that the kind words offered here by Shri Hanuman towards Sita Devi, Rama’s wife, were witnessed by Rama. He also takes note of the person sympathetic to Hanuman. He notices their appreciation of that brave warrior’s devotion. Most importantly, Rama takes note of any pure utterance of the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. He rewards the person accordingly, with His eternal association in a personal form, full of transcendental qualities to be noticed and appreciated.

In Closing:

At birth into illusion to go,

So difficult for the self to know.

 

Qualities in creatures also shown,

But not all to one person known.

 

Shri Rama the exception lone,

Knowledge of spirit and matter to own.

 

Witnesses all, including acts of today,

Rewards those who purely His name say.

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Lord of the Universe

Posted by krishnasmercy on August 7, 2014

[Lord Jagannatha]“O Lord of the universe, I do not desire material wealth, materialistic followers, a beautiful wife or fruitive activities described in flowery language. All I want, life after life, is unmotivated devotional service to You.” (Lord Chaitanya, Chaitanya Charitamrita, Antya 20.29)

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[Chaitanya Charitamrita, Antya 20.29]The name Jagannatha means “Lord of the universe.” This is one way to address God, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He runs the show. He is the big boss. Jagannatha also refers to a specific deity manifestation of God residing in the original temple in the holy city of Puri, which is also known as Purushottama Kshetra. In one of the verses of His famous eight instructions, Lord Chaitanya addresses the Lord of the universe through the name Jagadisha. And He requests something very important from that controller of the land.

If you go up to the Lord of the universe, you can obviously ask for whatever you want. Not that you’ll necessarily get it, but the potential is there. If I go up to a poor man and ask for a piece of chipped rice, he will likely be able to get it for me. That’s provided he is willing to part with it. In the Bhagavata Purana, a poor brahmana once visited the Supreme Lord in Dvaraka and could only offer such chipped rice. Though he had nothing, and felt embarrassed even trying to pass off so measly an offering, he did so nonetheless. Due to the nature of the recipient, he was rewarded for his gesture.

“I simply offered Him a morsel of chipped rice, and in exchange He has given me opulences greater than the opulence of the King of heaven.” (Sudama Vipra, Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 2, Ch 26)

[Sudama Vipra visiting Krishna]If you ask the same poor person for a giant mansion, even if they like you a lot there is not much they can do. This is the way of the material world; everything is limited. What we see before us is the finite. The infinite is beyond this realm. It belongs to the Lord of the universe. As He has control over everything, He can very easily grant any reward to any person.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu addresses Jagadisha and asks for one thing. First He lists the things that He doesn’t want. He has no desire for material wealth. This seems like an odd thing to state. Who doesn’t want money? Who doesn’t wish to be safe and secure in their finances? Lord Chaitanya played the role of a mendicant, so His statement shows that His acceptance of the renounced order was not due to misfortune. He knew what He was doing.

Lord Chaitanya also says that He doesn’t want materialistic followers. Who wouldn’t want loyal people following behind, ready to offer service at a moment’s notice? Who wouldn’t want an adoring posse following them wherever they went? A materialistic follower in this sense means someone who wants something. Thus such a follower is always waiting for payback; their service is not pure. Lord Chaitanya has no use for them.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu does not want a beautiful wife. He had one at home prior to accepting the renounced order. He harbored no ill will towards her. And she loved Him very much as well. Yet Lord Chaitanya has no desire for a beautiful wife to be enjoyed in the material sense. He knows there is a higher purpose to life. He also does not want fruitive activities, which aim to bring temporary sense pleasure.

Instead, all He wants is unmotivated devotional service to the Lord of the universe, life after life. In this request, Shri Gaurahari subtly reveals an introductory fact given to students of Vedanta philosophy. There is another life. Indeed, there is a life after that one. There was a previous life as well. There was a life prior to that one. The soul is the constant; it never perishes and it never takes birth. Only the outside covering changes.

[Bhagavad-gita, 2.22]“As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, similarly, the soul accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.22)

[Lord Chaitanya]The outside coverings vary, which brings different circumstances. In the covering of a lion, there is only so much I can do. If I am born in the ocean, I likely can’t survive on land. Chaitanya asks that wherever the soul ends up, it should be allowed to have devotional service to God. And that service should be without motivation. This means no desire for money, wealth, fame, or fruitive activities.

If those things are absent, what is left? What will occupy the day when there are no material desires?

With this boon granted, the soul gets to have devotional service, all the time. This is what makes the soul happy. Thus Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s request is applicable to everyone, regardless of age, gender, or religious tradition. The soul actually wants unmotivated devotional service. When pursuing material rewards, the inherent desire is for pure devotion. The love of the romantic relationship is the distorted form of the pure love, or prema, that naturally exists for God.

The Lord of the universe can easily grant this wish; though hardly anyone will ask for it. After many births, one finally takes up devotional service to God in full knowledge. Such a soul is very rare. This is stated in the Bhagavad-gita by Krishna, the same Lord of the universe in His original form.

[Bhagavad-gita, 7.19]“After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.” (Lord Krishna, Bg. 7.19)

[Shri Shri Nimai Nitai]Shri Hanuman asks for the same gift. The same goes for Prahlada Maharaja and Goswami Tulsidas. Actually, any smart person would ask for the same thing. The soul is happiest when serving, and when in devotional service there is no end to the service. Jagadisha is the Lord of many other universes as well. If this universe has somehow found its fill of praise for Him, there are other universes to enter for offering the same praise. In this way Lord Chaitanya, the most munificent incarnation of Godhead, reveals the secret of life to anyone who is willing to hear it.

In Closing:

Anything Lord of the universe can grant,

Nothing which to deliver He can’t.

 

From Lord Chaitanya’s request see,

Of what things not to seek.

 

Material followers, fortune or fame,

Instead only attachment to the name.

 

Devotion in circumstances whatever,

Best gift to use wherever and whenever.

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Nothing Left

Posted by krishnasmercy on July 31, 2014

[gold coins]“They gave the beggars whatever they asked for and more, who gave their blessings here and there. Then they did puja to the devas and the forefathers for Rama’s good fortune.” (Janaki Mangala, 190)

jācaka kīnha nihāla asīsahiṁ jaham̐ taham̐ |
pūjē dēva pitara saba rāma udaya kaham̐ ||

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Sharanagati is full surrender to the Divine. Full surrender means full dependence. When there is full dependence, there cannot be anything left to hold on to. Other objects may be there, and to outsiders it may appear that there are remaining attachments, but in the mind of the surrendered soul there is only their beloved Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is their only hope for salvation. He is their only reason for living, for in service to Him they derive the most happiness. They know this both in theory and in practice.

[exam]Imagine this scene. You’re taking a big exam today. This is important; it will determine where you end up next year. If you perform well, you’ll have your pick of school. You won’t be at the mercy of admission committees. They will all want you, for from your grades and exam performance it will be impossible to deny you. So you’ve studied a lot for this exam. But you’re still very worried. You see that your friends are worried too. Classmates are assembled on this Saturday morning, all as nervous as you. Normally this day of the week is reserved for rest, for unwinding by watching hours of television. But not today. Everyone has their “game face” on.

As you head towards the examination room, you notice that there is a line, and it is not moving quickly. After a while you figure out the cause of the delay: there is a security check prior to entry. Each person has to remove their mobile telephones. This shouldn’t be causing a problem, you think. There were explicit instructions given beforehand that smartphones and such devices were not allowed in the examination room. Yet everyone seems to have them on their person. The phones aren’t the only thing. Some have papers stashed in their jacket pockets. Others have little notes scribbled on various parts of their body. Some are wearing headphones. Some actually brought their books with them.

[iPhone]“Everyone, may I have your attention please,” announces the security person at the front of the line. “The items listed on this sign right here are not allowed in the examination room. If you’ll please put them away right now, this line will move much more quickly. The time for studying is over. You have to rely on your brains now. There is no other way.” Thus the students surrender to the moment. They no longer have support from the outside. They are forced to rely on only themselves to pass the examination.

The experience is similar for the devoted souls in sharanagati. They intentionally weaken themselves, leaving no objects of distraction. In full dependence, the bliss they experience from devotional service is much higher. They feel true love in this dependence, as they are completely vulnerable. Without vulnerability there cannot be a full interaction of love.

The symptoms of this vulnerability are shown in the verse quoted above. Here the family in Ayodhya is not holding anything back. They already gave away so many gifts to the worthy members of society, the priests. Now they are giving the beggars of the town whatever they want. In return the beggars are giving their blessings. The royal family had plenty to give away, and more importantly they were not worried since they had love for Rama, the Supreme Lord in His incarnation form which roamed the earth during the Treta Yuga, the second time period of creation.

[Lord Rama]As if giving away gifts was not enough, the family members sacrificed even more. They held a puja, or worship ceremony, for the devas, or demigods. You have a demigod in charge of practically every aspect of material life. They wanted all the devas to bless Rama. They also did a puja for the forefathers, those appearing previously in their family.

It should be noted that none of these acts were necessary. Rama does not need anyone’s blessings. He does not require help from any demigod, human being, animal, or plant. He is fully self-sufficient; He is the only person who can claim so. Yet the offerings indicate full surrender on the part of the family members in Ayodhya. They were celebrating the marriage of Rama to Sita, and also the marriages of Rama’s younger brothers to Sita’s relatives from Janakpur.

In full surrender, they had no concern for Rama’s strengths. They did not remember how He had already defeated wicked night-rangers in the forest. They were not remembering how Tataka and Subahu were driven away from Vishvamitra’s ashrama. Instead they were worried about Rama. They wanted life to be perfect for Him. They wanted Him to have every comfort. They were not concerned with their own welfare. If giving away gifts and holding pujas would help Rama, His brothers and their wives, then they would repeat such acts day after day.

This concern for Rama equates to the achievement of life’s mission. Such concern is real love, and since it is tied to the Supreme Lord, it lasts forever. It transcends the bounds of birth and death. All that has happened in the past is of no concern to the person who has the brightest future ahead of them, one where they worship God in full surrender, leaving all attachments behind.

In Closing:

All attachments behind leaving,

In full surrender to Rama cleaving.

 

To beggars even more gifts gave,

Nothing for themselves to save.

 

Path of devotion in this way cleared,

For Rama’s welfare only they feared.

 

Thus true love from them shown,

Highest bliss in sharanagati alone.

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Up To You

Posted by krishnasmercy on July 25, 2014

[Rama's mothers]“Kausalya, Sumitra and all of the beautiful women of the court were happy in the mind. Decorating themselves and preparing everything, they rushed towards Rama, walking like mad elephants.” (Janaki Mangala, Chand, 23.2)

mana mudita kausalyā sumitrā sakala bhūpati-bhāminī | 
saji sāju parichana calīṁ rāmahiṁ matta kun̄jara-gāminī ||

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Is God mean? Is He perpetually angry? Does He insist that we submit to His will? Is He just waiting to punish us for our transgressions? When we finally come around, do we have to pay homage to Him every day? Are we supposed to cower in terror every time we’re in His presence? This verse from the Janaki Mangala gives us an idea of what it’s like when the individual consciousness is dovetailed with the supreme consciousness. There is spontaneous devotion, and the only fear is over missing wonderful moments due to the quick passage of time.

[Kausalya with Rama]Here Goswami Tulsidas describes the women of the court in Ayodhya. There is Kausalya. She is the eldest queen to King Dasharatha. Her son is Rama, the Supreme Lord Vishnu in an incarnation form. That God incarnates as a human being should not surprise us. He expands to create this amazing universe. Though the living entity seemingly emerges from the womb of the mother, the wise person knows that the seed from the father is required first. And prior to that, some other force is necessary. The father cannot simply combine any aspect of his body with a mother’s womb and get a child.

The entire creation thus sprung from someone else. The material chunk, if you will, is known as the mahat-tattva in Sanskrit. This total material substance is also Brahman, which we typically equate with the spiritual energy. The spiritual side of Brahman enters the mahat-tattva to give us the universe that we barely perceive with our eyes. Our planet is very small in comparison to all that is manifest. We can barely see what’s going on across the street, let alone what is taking place across the globe.

[Bhagavad-gita, 14.3]“The total material substance, called Brahman, is the source of birth, and it is that Brahman that I impregnate, making possible the births of all living beings, O son of Bharata.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 14.3)

If you took all that is possible to be seen, you get the full combination of Brahman and matter. God expands to accomplish this: both the material and spiritual energies come from Him. The living entities are separated expansions of His and the divine incarnations are the personal expansions. Shri Rama is different from other living entities in that He does not have to enter into the mahat-tattva and go through the typical cycle of birth and death. He simply appears, and His form is always transcendental. There is no difference between body and spirit for Him.

[Kausalya]Kausalya plays the role of Rama’s mother. Then there is Queen Sumitra, who is also married to Dasharatha. From her womb appear the brothers Lakshmana and Shatrughna. The third queen is Kaikeyi, and she is the youngest. She gives birth to Bharata, making four beautiful sons for Dasharatha. Rama is Vishnu Himself and the other three are partial expansions of Vishnu. Rama is the eldest and their leader, and in this scene all four brothers are returning home as newly married men.

Tulsidas says that all the women in the court were happy in the mind. And why wouldn’t they be? Their sons were returning home. Rama was especially missed, as He had been away for a while. The women all dressed up for the occasion. Rama was greeted by the ladies as would a king on his ascension to the throne.

It is said that when the women went towards welcoming Rama and His brothers, they all walked like mad elephants. This seems like a strange comparison to make, but in Vedic literature a statement like this appears quite often. “Gaja gamini” means the walk of an elephant, and when applied to a woman it is a way to describe the beautiful way in which they walk. In this situation the women were compared to mad elephants, indicating that their beautiful walk was of a brisker pace.

They were not compelled to attend this ceremony. They did not do so out of fear. They were not worried about incurring God’s wrath. Instead, they worried that they would miss the chance to celebrate one of the great moments in His life on earth. They feared that time would get the best of them. For this reason they hurried, thinking of Rama the whole time.

[Lord Rama]In the devotional consciousness, the minutes sometimes do seem like hours, especially when there is separation. In separation one’s fondness for God increases. During this time thoughts develop as to how one will please and serve Him when His association comes again. And so in this very lifetime the same thoughts can come to us if there is a desire to regain His association. This is the meaning to life, to love God and want to serve Him. There is no reason to fear Him, as in Ayodhya Rama could do nothing to stop the kind offerings of the queens, who were His mothers. In devotional service one can act as a friend, a parent, an admirer, or even a lover of God. There needn’t be any fear, as simply from the sound of the holy names the proper view of the Supreme Lord comes to the mind: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

In Closing:

Many roles in bhakti-yoga to find,

Holy name alone bringing clear vision to mind.

 

Queens of Dasharatha as mothers to act,

Rushed towards Rama like elephants to attack.

 

Beautiful walk, so nicely dressed,

Rama by their offerings to be blessed.

 

With God interactions there are so many,

With love, no need for fear of Him any.

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