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NASN January 2008 - North American Sankirtan Newsletter

Wonderful, all glorious to the book distributors who have undertood what pleases Srila Prabhupada the most.

Srila Prabhupada’s books are the heart of ISKCON.

Comment Posted By Bhakta Rod On 18.02.2008 @ 14:21

The last posting by (LILA) that is so wonderful and truly amazing!!

Here is a beautiful piece by Krsna Ashish das
Dear Lord

You took away a wonderful person from us. I’m not going to ask why because you must be having a good reason to take her and you gave her a chance to leave the body in Vrindavan, hearing and chanting the name of Hari and in the association of devotees.

How fortunate is that…in such a young age you delivered a soul who was learning to know life, experiencing new things but you realized that her destination is not in this planet…we with our material eyes cannot understand this fact and might be in dilemma, but as you say, we’re not this body because the body is still lying there on the bed and she is the same person, but now we’re crying and lamenting saying she is gone.

Yes real eternal immortal her is gone, she is not dead she will stay with us forever till we leave this planet, she will stay within our heart cause she was a good person. And in today’s world the amount of good person are just handful so I pray where ever she may be, she be in your shelter my lord…

We’re indeed heartbroken and soul shaken with this incident but life tells us to move and it makes us realize death is close to us, it’s like our shadow and we forget this during of engagements in this material world but how can we forget the reality…

I got a big shock same like all of you and for the past 2 days Lila’s thoughts are all over my mind it’s hard when a person whom you know for so long, just leaves us one day when you least expected something like this can ever happen…

Give us Strength oh mighty lord so that we can understand this mayajal the web of Maya and come out without any trouble and give us strength so that we can fight the followers of kali…

Thinking of Lila I realized she is such a strong girl even though shot at twice she didn’t give up she was hoping for some survival and while in coma she could feel the energy’s of people who were so concerned about her.

Lila, your are a brave person because your alive through your memories within our minds and heart. You always wanted to b in Vrindavan and now you will reside in Vrindavan…in Goloka Vrindavan.

I just have to say within my heart a sweet adorable person will reside and she will realize that how much every one loved her so much this will surely bring some joy to her…

Thank you very much…
In your service
Krsna Ashish das gurukuli.com

Comment Posted By Bhakta Rod On 07.02.2008 @ 20:58

The great transcendental Tsunami of Krishna Conscious bliss

There were grammar eras in the original draft. In the following two paragraphs they have been corrected – Jai All glorious to Srila Prabhupada

1. Srila Prabhupada - “When one dies, he is called dead, but when he again appears in a subtle form not visible to our present vision and yet acts, such a dead body is called a ghost. Ghosts are always very bad elements, always creating a fearful situation for others. The best way to remove them is to chant Hare Krishna very loudly and have jubilant kirtan until they leave”.

Srila Prabhupada - “In England, on Mr. John Lennon’s house where I was staying in 1969, there was one ghost. But as soon as the devotees began chanting very loudly, he went away immediately”

2. We just new we were very fortunate to be on that bus hearing from the beautiful Srimad Bhagavatam. Some of us asked ‘what did we do to deserve to hear the wonderful Srimad Bhagavatam? Some of us speculated we were yogis, mystics, devotees and even demons from the Satya-yuga. Madhudvisa laughed and humbly said -

“It is by the causeless mercy of Lord Caitanya and Srila Prabhupada that we have all taken to Krishna Consciousness and given this rare opportunity to spread Srila Prabhupada’s mission. And one day soon, if we are serious, we will relish the ecstasy of going back home, back to Godhead”.

Hare Krishna

Comment Posted By Bhakta Rod On 02.02.2008 @ 18:24

The Brahmana & The Prostitute

Even though often very difficult, we must see how to apply these lessons in our day-to-day lives. Stalk the mind. Observe it carefully. Next Sunday many will attend a Sunday feast. Some new people will come by, maybe some who are dirty and just looking for a meal. When we see such people (as most of us once were in this life or another) we should immediately observe our mind’s reaction and check any feelings of superiority or judgment?

Hopefully we will teach the mind to see Krishna bringing some more of His children back to Him. Seeing this truth with humility, selfless and without being condescending to others is the real qualities of a Vaishnava. If we somehow choose to give up our pride and cooperate with Krishna in that glorious endeavour by telling all others, no matter hoe rich or fallen and forsake all manner of negative judgements, then surely we become that much closer to being an authentic Vaishnava.

I play this game while passing people walking down the street sometimes and I would be too ashamed to write down my minds initial reactions to others. Somehow we have to always think of Krishna if we are to get out of this material world, I find that difficult being so materially conditioned.

Therefore, we have to understand that what ever we think of at the time of death, who ever we love or hate, or are attracted too or disgusted by, that materially conditioned consciousness and similar bodily form we will get without a doubt as the Gita tells us.

Just like the Brahmana ended up on the planet of the prostitutes

Somehow we have to learn to love Krishna, always think OF HIM and serve His desires, which are the desires of His pure devotees, and
help every living entity serve Krishna.

Hare Krishna, your aspiring servant Bhakta Rod

Comment Posted By Bhakta Rod On 02.02.2008 @ 23:39

Once in the land Vrndavana two Vaishnava’s devotees, a newly initiated young devotee and an older more senior devotee of Krishna were walking back to the Temple. As they were walking they came across a woman who was in distress. She wanted to cross the Yumuna River to the other side.

The two Vaishnava’s saw the woman and the newly initiated devotee thought to himself -

“We are celibate monks, it is not possible to help this woman because we are practicing celibacy so we cannot approach her, let alone carry her across the stream!

The Senior Vaishnava who was very attached to serving Krishna, saw this as an opportunity to serve one of Krishna’s beloved devotee’s, without any hesitation, he carried the woman across the stream. The young newly initiated devotee looked at the older Vaishnava sternly and yet said nothing and the two carried on with their journey back to the Temple.

After about two hours of walking, they finally arrived at the beautiful Radha Krishna Temple on the out skirts of Vrndavana. The younger devotee could no longer keep the build up of his feelings of disgust within himself ant longer and turned around to the senior monk and said:

“Why did you carry that woman, did you forget we are practicing celibate Monks? As Brahmacari’s, we are not suppose to speak any woman unnecessarily, let alone what you did by physically touching her and carrying her across the Yumuna River

The senior devotee looked at the young Brahmacari and after contemplating for a few moments he said.

“How long did it take me to carry this woman devotee across the stream? Maybe 5 minutes at most, but you have carried her for 2 hours on our journey back to our Temple and are still carrying her” (You Rascal!)

The Brahman and the prostitute and the two devotees give us the same lesson.

Hare Kishna

Comment Posted By Bhakta Rod On 02.02.2008 @ 23:33

Guru? He will find you…

As one devotee recently said -

“When you think about it, Srila Prabhupada came to the West because there was a deep longing among the 50s and 60s LOST youth for answers to what in the hell is going on within the material world. Why are we here? Where did we come from? Where are we going? I Know I had that desire to find the answers. One evening while listening to George Harrison singing ‘My Sweet Lord’, I happened to watch Srila Prabhupada arriving at an airport surrounded by loving devotees on TV, I new at that moment that this holy man is my Spiritual Master. The fact is he came to the West because we all were desperately seeking the truth”.

Comment Posted By Bhakta Rod On 06.01.2008 @ 13:34

Hari Sauri prabhu, hari bol.. All glorious to our wonderful and merciful Srila Prabhupada This story I have heard a few times, some devotees suggested it may have been Subala dasa, the Negro devotee, I do not really know. I heard the story second hand. Also if you know how to contact Mohanananda prabhu, he may help, he also previously associated with Leary and Richard Alpert at Millbrook. It would be interesting to contact him anyway because he Nandakumara prabhu, Shamasundara and Hanuman, who received Sanyas from Prabhupada in Melbourne in 1972, was once keep up all night at the 84 Hereford st, Temple in Sydney by Srila Prabhupada. Mohanananda prabhu later told us that Prabhupada told wonderful ecstatic pastimes of Krishna and Lord Caitanya all night long, he was completely blown away by it all and you could see the deep transcendental emotion in his face and eyes of how his deep intimate association with Prabhupada had affected him, it was really quite amazing to see. Also I like to thank you for the inspiration your transcendental diaries have given to so many devotees; your books have greatly encouraged me. One day I pray, they will be made easily available from all Libraries.

Anyway, in regards to the opening story, I found the following

SRILA PRABHUPADA: “God is within your heart. Isvarah sarva-bhutanam. God is not far away. If you are sincere, God sends you a spiritual master. Therefore God is also called caitya-guru, the spiritual master within the heart. God helps from within and from without. Everything is thus described in Bhagavad-gita.

This material body is like a machine, but within the heart is the soul, and with the soul is the Supersoul, Krsna, who gives directions. The Lord says, “You wanted to do this; now here is the chance. Go and do it.” If you are sincere, you say, “Now, God, I want You.” Then He will give you directions. “Yes, now you come and get Me like this.”

This is His kindness. However, if we want something else, that is all right. We can have it. God is very kind. When I want something, He is in my heart directing me and telling me how to have it. So why should He not give directions on how to have a spiritual master? First of all we must again be eager to revive our God consciousness. Then God will give us a spiritual master”. Back to Godhead #67, 1974: “An Awareness of What is Best and Most Beautiful”

Comment Posted By Bhakta Rod On 06.01.2008 @ 13:32

The Brain As Holodeck

The material mind and bodily and their senses are the imagination of the jiva-soul as Prabhupada explains to us, such vessels and everything associated with them is an illusion explained as follows.
The mahat tattva or material creation, that also includes all the ethereal and biological bodily vessels, is an illusionary ‘holodeck’ within Krishna’s creation. It is a place where souls can go, if they choose, to live out their ‘visions of independent grander’ and experience the imagination of their own ‘thoughts’ that do not include Krishna. However, Maha-Vishnu’s holodeck (mahat tattva), unlike the Hollywood holodeck made up by the writers of Star Track, is a real but perishable manifestation. In other words, all of us are already ‘living in an imaginary world’ within Maha-Vishnu’s Holodeck

Prabhupada - “This is also very important. The sky is one. Just like we can experience the sky, and suppose the sky on San Francisco is overcast with cloud. We say that then we are covered in cloud. Practically this San Francisco sky is only a fragmental portion of the whole sky. Similarly, the real sky is that spiritual sky, paravyoma. When that paravyoma partially is clouded with mahat-tattva, that is called material world. This is the position of material world. Material world is also existing in the spiritual world, but it is covered and in a fragmental segment”. Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.1-3 — San Francisco, March 28, 1968

Comment Posted By Bhakta Rod On 03.01.2008 @ 04:17

City of nine gates

Bhakta Rod Davis

Different realizations of the absolute truth

Many years ago, the British came to India and began building a train line between Delhi and Mathura. Many simple villages on the outskirts at the time had no idea what a train looked like, so when the time had come to greet the train, the village elders would sent a young representative down to meet the train and ascertain what it is and then come back with the news of its anticipated arrival.

On the evening of its appearance, the villagers patiently and inquisitively waited in expectation and wonder of what a ‘train’ was. Eventually day turned to night and everyone in the Village became anxious and excited, knowing the train’s arrival was imminent. The fact was, no one had any inkling of what a train was. The young boy was dispatched and was told to immediately report back to the Village elder as soon as he identifies the train.

Off the young boy went in the dark and began to wait patiently. The night sky was clear and there was very little breeze in the air, he could hear the usual sounds of native animals although; even they were quite on this still moonless chilly night.

Then to the young boys surprise, out of the pitch black darkness and the still of night, he heard this thunderous extended high-pitched sound (the train whistles), being excited, he was convinced he now new what the train was. He immediately ran back to the village elders and excitedly told them,

“The train is a big sound”

Some of the elders were puzzled, but most accepted the news as final and that a train is just a sound. Still not convinced the train was just a sound, feeling puzzled, a few decided to send another young villager down to investigate this sound and if there was more to the train. The second young boy the villager elders sent down was told to wait well into the darkness of night until the sound came closer to him. Eventually, after hearing the sound many times in a mood of fear of the unknown and inquisitiveness of what a train really is, he finally saw in the distance an extremely bright light that scared him. The combination of the sound and the bright blinding light frightened him because he did not understand what he was experiencing! Being excited he rushed back to the elders proclaiming,

‘The train is not only a sound but is also ‘bright blinding light’ as well’

Many at the village where now convinced what a train was and most where satisfied however, still a few believed there might be more to a train than an impersonal sound and light. So again they sent a third young boy to investigate. He also began to patiently wait and stay for as long as it takes. He began experiencing the sound getting louder and the light getting brighter, louder and louder the sound was becoming while at the same time the light was becoming brighter and brighter - then to his surprise, both the sound and light passed him by. To his astonishment, he discovered the source of both the sound and light, coming from the form of the train. Behind the sound and light was form, or objects like carriages that are filled with people like him, all engaging in all kinds of different activities? He ran back to the village yelling,

‘The train is a form from where the sound and light emanated, where people are engaged in all kinds of activity’.

They all eventually saw the train for what it really is (Personalism) Brahman therefore is held together by form

The highest realizing is Personalism. The above painting is of Krishna and His brother Balarama whose abode Goloka-Vrindavan is beyond the impersonal light or impersonal Brahman destination of impersonalist yogis and Buddhists. There are three basic aspects of the absolute truth. The goal of human life is to perfect ones individuality, identity, Personality by serving a bonafide Spiritual Master and again begin to re-establish ones eternal relationship with Krishna. In this way one should not foolishly attempt to extinguish ones individual identity in some nonsense ‘It’s all one’ atheistic madness by only mediating on the Impersonal sound Om or tying to delete ones individual identity and attempt to merge into the Impersonal Brahmajoyti, Nirvana or Clear Light.

The complete picture of Krishna’s creation therefore can only be realized through the favour of Krishna’s Pure Devotees.

The Jains, Buddhist, Impersonalists Yogis and Mayavadis are compared to the villager hearing the sound or only seeing the light and foolishly believing that formless impersonalism is the ‘Absolute Truth’. They are not seeing the bigger picture of what the Absolute Truth really is as described in the previous narrative about the train.

The Impersonalist Yogis, Mayavadis and Buddhists version of Brahmajyoti (Nirvana) is ONE all pervasive life force with no individuality or identity which is really atheism. Impersonalist yogis, Mayavadis and Buddhists do not believe in individual souls (jivas). They therefore believe the ultimate end of existence is to perfect their constitution by accumulating the knowledge (cit) of how to end the cycle of birth and death (karma), then merge their consciousness into the oneness of Nirvana
(void or light) like rivers flow into the ocean, denying the existence of identity, individuality, personality and perpetual bodily form.

The impersonal Brahmajyoti is where individual nitya-baddha-souls (impersonalist yogis) remain dormant without having any knowledge of their original and eternal nitya-siddha bodily form. This state of suspended animation and forgetfulness is also known as Impersonalism. Even this state of inactive dreamless existence in the Brahmajoyti is temporary, although it may seem to lasts for an almost a time without end, in the face of the eternal ‘prsents’ in Goloka, it is only less than a moment.

They therefore cannot understand the eternal unchanging perpetual Krishna Conscious living universe (Goloka) where a blissful loving relationship exists with Krishna and His eternal associates. This Perpetual Living Universe of Lord Krishna’s is beyond the cloud cover known as the material creation or mahat-tattva. Srila Prabhupada says ‘ ‘where there is light there is no darkness’.

Bhakta Rod

Comment Posted By Bhakta Rod On 29.11.2007 @ 14:30

Shiva says - ‘That is not quite right. A metaphor doesn’t imply that something is not real, it implies that something, like an idea or word or conception, is representing or designating another. If the conception of Maha Vishnu dreaming is not a metaphor then it is literal. In fact it cannot be literal because Maha Vishnu is a swamsa or plenary expansion of Krsna i.e. Maha Vishnu is Krsna’.

It is a fact that Maha-Vishnu is laying down dreaming and His DREAM IS THE MATERIAL CREATION OR MAHAT-TATTVA

“This material creation is the spirit soul’s dream. Actually all existence in the material world is a dream of Maha-Visnu, as the Brahma Samhita describes:

Yah karanarnava – jale bhajati sma yaga
Nidram ananta – jagad- anda- saroma- kupah

This material world is created by the dreaming of Maha-Visnu. The real factual platform is the spiritual world, but when the spirit soul wants to imitate the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he is put into this dreamland of material creation.”
Purport to SB. 4.29.83.

This description of the material dreaming characteristic of our marginal (nitya-baddha identity) has been a controversial subject for so long however, Shiva must understand that the dreams of Maha-Vishnu and the dreams of the marginal living entity, that takes residence within Maha-Vishnu’s material dreaming creation, are certainly not on the same ‘mental’ state’ of illusionary dreams that we all have in our present material biological bodies.

No, it is not like that interpretation of the word dream.

Maha-Vishnu is sleeping and dreaming and our bodily vessels and their surroundings are all part and parcel of His mahat-tattva dream

“The modes of nature divide the soul’s consciousness into normal wakefulness, dreaming and dreamless sleep. All such varieties of perception, however, are actually Maya and exist only like a dream”. Text 34 Purport Canto 11

Srila Prabhuapada calls non-Krishna Conscious thoughts, dreams and says we are ‘thinking’ or ‘dreaming’ that we are separated from Krishna but actually there is simply a cloud covering our vision of seeing Krishna and who we really are.

What does this mean

The secondary nitya-baddha ‘dreaming’ conscious state of the jiva-tatastha, is an authentic and real condition that ALL living entities can activate if they choose to use their free will and ignore Krishna and their authentic ’svarupa’ body they serve Krishna as. The permanent bodily Krishna Conscious nitya-siddha feature of the marginal living entity is the bona fide permanent spiritual identity that ALL marginal living entities are endowed with.

Srila Prabhupada - “Our position is like that, sometimes covered, sometimes free, just like at the edge of the tide. As soon as we forget, immediately the illusion is there. Just like as soon as we sleep, dream is there”.

Everything happening within time, which consists of past, present and future, is merely a dream. This is the secret in understanding in all the Vedic literature.” SB. 4.29.2b.
We are all dreaming as our nitya-baddha secondary self within the dreams of Maha-Vishnu Our authentic constitutional eternal self is nitya-siddha in Goloka

Srila Prabhupada also uses the analogy of the cloud covering the sun, its not that the sun is not there, but rather is that we cannot see the sun similarly, the nitya-baddha consciousness is like the cloud and the only when that cloud (nitya-baddha consciousness) dissipates, can we see the sun or our true perpetual Krishna Conscious nitya-siddha bodily identity.

The problem with the dream analogy is many foolishly relate this dream state with the biological body of nine gates. This is due to not understanding what the ‘dream’ means in this context in relation to maha-Vishnu. The DREAMING CONCEPT simply means we have ALL come down from Goloka and our consciousness has become covered like a cloud covers the sun, or like dust covers the mirror or like smoke covers the fire - dreaming simply means being covered to the point you cannot see who you really are, just like in the dark, one cannot see themselves and those around them due to the absents of light, therefore, presently a blanket of ‘darkness’ covers the marginal living entity in the material world, that ‘blanket of darness’ is called the nitya-baddha consciousness. The uncovered state is ones real eternal DEVOTIONALLY ACTIVE BODILY identity called the nitya-siddha genuin self that perpetually resides in Krishna’s eternal pastimes in Goloka.

The marginal living entity therefore can choose to use their ‘marginal’ freewill and venture as the non-Krishna Conscious covered nitya-baddha characteristic (the covered state) of their marginal identity to the mahat-tattva ‘dreaming’ creation of Maha-Vishnu. The nitya-baddha consciousness therefore is an existent living part and parcel of ones own marginal potency or individual identity that is a secondary feature of the individual living entity that’s restricted view simply manifests due to ones REAL authentic nitya-siddha bodily identity being covered like the cloud blocks out the sun or like ones dreams at night makes one forget their present body.

In this way the mahat-tattva DREAM is real, however it is also temporary due to its fading scenery of past, prsent and future and that is why it is called illusion, that which is not - Maya.

Each living entity has their ceaseless nitya-siddha Krishna Conscious bodily identity in Goloka or Vaikuntha and also has the ability, due to the freedom to choose, to arouse their non-Krishna conscious desire, thoughts and imaginings that ARE like a dark cloud that covers ones perpetual ‘svarupa’ identity. This ‘lower self or secondary consciousness’ blocks out ones awareness, service and vision of real permanent self and is known as ones nitya-baddha COVERED consciousness, a state of restricted perception that all marginal living entities can trigger (be covered by) if they no longer want to stay with Krishna in Goloka..

In this way this attribute within the mahat-tattva or material creation and the impersonal Brahmajyoti, ones jiva-soul identity is 10,000th the size of a tip of hair IN OUR dimension of awareness within the maha-tattva, AND can also move on to a dreamless dormant state within the impersonal trait of the Brahmajyoti that can only also exist outside the personal active realm of Goloka and Vaikuntha.

The Impersonal feature of Brahman or the Brahmajyoti cannot exist as independent effulgence because factually that effulgence IS the marginal living entities secondary nitya-baddha consciousness in an inactive dormant dreamless state.

Srila Prabhupada says that only those who DO NOT ‘DREAM’ of selfish independance in the material world with their mistaken desires, thoughts, aspirations and imaginaion, are in always Goloka in their original bodily constitutional position and Never FALL DOWN OR COME DOWN to the material creation. They have chosen to NEVER dreamin of the material world. This means prsently we are caught up in a dream we think is real but in comparison to the eternal ‘presents’ in Goloka, it is only real for a short time, then fades away to the point that it never was, hence the meaning of Maya, that which is not.

THIS IS WHAT THE WORD DREAM MEANS IN THIS ABSOLUE CONTEXT. The dream we are presently having in the material creation or mahat-tattva, that IS our material body and mind and its surroundings, is an illusion (that is real but temporary) created by Maha-Vishnu; hence dream means illusion in the material world, something that fades away to the point that it will seem that it never really existed. Real existence is permanent and never fades away. Therefore the material ‘dream’ existence is real, but only temporarily real. Eventually your material body and mine will be as if it never was, as if it never even existed in the first place.

Srila Prabhupada - “Everything happening within time, which consists of past, present and future, is merely a dream. That is the secret understanding in all Vedic literature” Text 1b:Canto 4 Purport Srimad Bhagavatam

Srila Prabhupada - “One is actually dreaming due to incomplete knowledge, just as one may dream that one has wakened from a dream”. Canto 11 Text 30 Purport

Srila Prabhupada - “As an object of enjoyment or a permanent residence for the conditioned souls, the material universe is certainly illusion, nothing more than a dream. One may give the analogy that the vision of abundant water in a desert is no more than a dream, although real water exists elsewhere. Similarly, the vision of home, happiness and reality within matter is certainly no better than a foolish dream in which repeated miseries appear.

In another sense, however, the universe is real. In his commentary on Vedanta-sūtra, Śrīla Madhvācārya has confirmed this by quoting the following statement from the Vedic śruti-mantras: satyam hy evedam viśvam asrjata. “This universe, created by the Lord, is real.” The perfect authority of the Vedas thus certifies this universe to be real; nevertheless, because our knowledge is stolen by illusion (as indicated here by the words asta-dhisanam), we cannot properly understand this universe or the Supreme Lord who has created it. As the expansion of Lord Krishna, the universe is real and is meant for being engaged in His service. One who accepts the kingdom of God as home, the Lord Himself as the object of love, and the material universe as paraphernalia for being engaged in the Lord’s service dwells within eternal reality wherever he may go within the material and spiritual worlds”.Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 10.14.22 Purport

Comment Posted By Bhakta Rod On 26.11.2007 @ 15:50


 


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