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Hare KrishnaBy Mahatma Das

The reality is that if we don’t become enthusiastic about improving ourselves, we are going to have trouble moving forward. We can lament and feel remorseful about our fallen condition, yet we can be enthusiastic for bhakti at the same time. We see this mood in many of the prayers of our acaryas. On one hand they are lamenting their fallen nature and on the other hand they are expressing a strong hankering to achieve Krsna’s lotus feet. These "negative emotions" can ...

Jun 12, 2019 -- 9,121 views
Hare KrishnaBy Mahatma Das

“Nish, nish, ram, ram, nish, nish, ram, ram.” Prabhupada once imitated how we sometimes chant without focus, without concentration, without proper pronunciation – how we chant when we don’t feel like chanting. You know the mood behind this chanting; “I have to chant but I’d rather be doing something else.” And in our minds we are thinking, “I can’t wait to get these rounds out of the way.” We all do this. And it can get pretty bad. I know devotees who...

May 23, 2019 -- 9,592 views
Hare KrishnaBy Mahatma Das

Imagine this scene. After millions of lifetimes you finally make it back to the spiritual world. As you approach the gates of Goloka you are asked to wait because Krsna wants to come and personally greet you. You are getting more excited at every moment. You can hardly believe you have finally made it back to your eternal home. In the distance you see a beautiful blue form coming towards you. Finally, after transmigrating through 8,400,000 specie...

Apr 2, 2019 -- 7,781 views
Hare KrishnaBy Mahatma das

Our false ego prevents us from looking at our own faults. It makes it difficult for us to acknowledge our faults and therefore, instead of being introspective, we see those faults in others. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur said, “Because I am myself honeycombed with faults, I see the faults of others”. If you spot it, you have got it. In the realm of psychology it is said that if something about someone really bothers you, it’s usually because you have that fault. Of course, we usually don’t accept or acknowledge this. This is a powerful way to understand ours...

Jan 8, 2019 -- 3,906 views
Hare KrishnaBy Mahatma das

It’s natural to talk about new year’s resolutions. You might be thinking about doing something you’ve put off or making some changes for the new year. Srila Prabhupada cites Dhruva Maharaja as a perfect example of determination. He says that we should be as determined to be Krsna conscious as Dhruva was to see Krsna. Dhruva was willing to undergo any austerity to see Krsna. We learn from this that there’s a big difference between wanting something and being committed to achieving it. This is the difference between determination in the mode of ignorance and determinati...

Jan 2, 2019 -- 6,811 views
Hare KrishnaBy Mahatma das

How to Change this Year? You Need to Freak Out! Our cultural conditioning tells us we should make resolutions for the new year. Of course, the perennial problem is that most of us haven't followed through on our previous year's resolutions. And it can even get depressing to think about how many times this has happened. So maybe it is better we don't make any resolutions this year. This way we'll have nothing to lament about in early February when we haven't followed through. Well, actually I think it's a better idea to understand why we don't follow through on our resolution...

Dec 31, 2018 -- 2,471 views
Hare KrishnaBy Mahatma das

1. To Do List Japa – Meditating on your to do and shopping lists, sometimes adding and deleting items between mantras. This may also include mentally balancing your checkbook or mentally going over which bills you have to pay. Caution: This process can cause you to lament about how many bills you have to pay, and thus changing your prayers from “Oh Lord, please engage me in your service,” to “Oh Lord, please add a few more zeroes to the end of my bank balance.” 2. I Hate Him Japa – Whil...

Dec 26, 2018 -- 11,126 views
Hare KrishnaBy Mahatma das

The first thing Srila Prabhupada explained to a friend of mine in their three hour meeting on how to run his business was this: "Don't compromise your principles." Srila Prabhupada often said, "I never compromised my principles. If I compromised I could have attracted more people, but then I would have given them a watered down product that would have neither been genuine nor pure. I was not prepared to compromise my principles even if no one joined my mission." The truth is that many people joined his mission; and they joined precisely because he did not compromise his p...

Nov 4, 2018 -- 3,317 views
Hare KrishnaBy Mahatma das

As it is said, “Pray as if everything depends on God and act as if everything depends on you.” This is what Prabhupada did and Krsna definitely answered Prabhupada’s prayers. Personal responsibility towards preaching is empowering. Prabhupada’s god-brothers went to preach in England in the 1920’s and came back saying that the westerners are too fallen to take up Krsna consciousness. Fortunately, Prabhupada didn’t think this way. He took personal responsibil...

Oct 24, 2018 -- 7,122 views
Hare KrishnaBy Mahatma Das

The sastras are full of stories of forgiveness: Ambarisa forgiving Durvasa, Parikshit forgiving Sringi, Narada Muni forgiving Daksa, Prahlada forgiving Hiranyakasipu, Haridas Thakura forgiving the guards who beat him, Nityananada forgiving Jagai and Madhai, Parasarama forgiving those who stole his family’s kamadhenu cow. Srila Prabhupada forgave anyone who came to him to serve Krsna. And of course Krsna forgives all of us no matter how sinful or blasphemous we were. Sastra implores us to forgive. The Srimad Bhagavatam lists forgiveness as one of the qualities of civilized ...

Oct 14, 2018 -- 9,115 views
Hare KrishnaBy Mahatma das

Maharaj was an amazingly good actor. When we did our course together in Vrindavana, we did some skits. We never rehearsed them, only discussed how the skit should go. Those who attended that class in 1993 may remember the skit, “Prabhupada’s Pizza Palace.” We played incompetent temple leaders who were going to take money destined for the BBT and use that money to open a pizza restaurant (one leader loved pizza and had the crazy idea that the world would become Krish...

Sep 12, 2018 -- 2,190 views
Hare KrishnaBy Mahatma Das

(The following is an excerpt from an unfinished book about my life in Krsna consciousness. It details the history of how big book distribution began in Iskcon, a history which has not been chronicled in any Iskcon publications. The scene takes place in Vancouver, Canada, November of 1971.) At this time in Iskcon (1971) big book distribution had not yet begun. We only distributed Back to Godhead magazines (BTG’s) on the street. We usually got donation of 25cents per magazine. If we were lucky, we might occasionally get a really big donation...

Jul 7, 2018 -- 7,838 views
Hare KrishnaBy Mahatma Das

There is something I’ve noticed about my japa over the years: Bad habits don’t die easily. Prabhupada said chanting produces more chanting. But the question is what kind of “more chanting” does it produce? My experience is that bad chanting produces more bad chanting. And if the bad chanting goes on long enough, it pretty much becomes a habit. Then bad becomes the norm. Since bad chanting is not relishable, japa tends to take less of a priority in life. It bec...

Jun 26, 2018 -- 8,377 views
Hare KrishnaBy Mahatma das

I once attended a workshop facilitation training in which we were taught that many people will come to our trainings with the mindset of “I already know that.” They explained that they might know of it, about it, or are familiar with it, but they don’t know it unless they live it. So if our audience thinks they already know what we will be teaching, the learning process shuts down for them. So we were taught to joke with the audience by saying, “The three worse words in the English language for learning are, “I know that.” The point of this article is to see how...

Jan 16, 2018 -- 3,071 views
Hare KrishnaBy Mahatma Das

If I wrote an article telling you how to double your money in ten days, would you be interested? Of course you would. Well if I knew how I’d tell you. But I don’t, so sorry. But I can tell you something better. I can tell you how to double your blessings in ten days. Are you as interested?

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Dec 7, 2017 -- 5,385 views
Hare KrishnaBy Mahatma Das

How do we maintain self-confidence, yet feel ourselves a fool before our spiritual master? How can we be confident and simultaneously feel unqualified to serve Krishna? Aren’t self-confident people somewhat proud or arrogant? We are ordinary people engaged in an extraordinary process, a process that will make us extraordinary. Thus, our confidence lies not in ourselves, but in the power of the process of bhakti. With Krishna’s divine power and intelligence guiding us, we know we will succeed. ...

Nov 28, 2017 -- 3,522 views
Hare KrishnaBy Mahatma Das

1. Preaching without trying to understand people's needs and interests 2. Continuing to speak without determining if people are understanding or accepting what you are saying 3. Not paying attention when people talk 4. Interrupting people when they talk 5. Not letting people talk 6. Speaking in a dogmatic way rather than making a logical and scientific presentation 7. Introducing or speaking elaborately on a very elevated subject that people may not be able to understand 8. Introducing or getting stuck on controversial topics 9. Compromising the truth to speak palatably 10. ...

Nov 13, 2017 -- 11,563 views
By Mahatma das

After reflecting on this exchange, I concluded that Krsna's instruction to, "Just surrender unto Me," is really another way of saying, "Just Do It." Of course, it took convincing to bring Arjuna to this position, and Krsna brought Arjuna step-by-step to the point of accepting His will. Yet, by saying "surrender" Krsna is telling Arjuna to forget the step-by-step process and just go for it. To me, this kind of surrender is like diving into a river on a cold morning as opposed to going in the river step-by-step. The goal is the same, but one takes a lot longer to get to the same place. In other wo...

Oct 28, 2017 -- 5,733 views
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