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Comments Posted By Gaurav Mittal

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Become a devotee; make Mum and Dad cry

“Have you come back to stay…Can’t you do this at home…

You can surely follow bhakti at home. Krishna tells that those who remember Him can easily attain Him. Remembrance is independent of external actions.

Have we done something wrong to make you leave home like this?

Again, no need to leave home. Stay at home and serve your loving parents and become a devotee.

Tears welled up in their eyes, “Every time we play this record it reminds us so much of you. Please don’t go, just stay here”.

This is sign of good parent.

Valmiki Ramayana – Ayodhya Kanda Canto CXI

Vasistha, the family priest of Ram, addressed Rama with the following words in consonance with righteousness :- “The guru, O scion of Kakutstha, as well as one’s father and mother, ever come to be the adored of a man from the time he is born in this world. The father only procreates (and the mother brings forth) a human being. The guru, on the other hand, bestows knowledge on him, hence he is spoken as superior even to parents. I for my part am the guru not only of your father but yours (Rama’s) too. Therefore by obeying my instructions, you will not be transgressing the path of the virtuous. Here indeed are your subjects, kinsmen and tributary princes too. Discharging your duty by them, you will not be transgressing the path of the virtuous.” Instructed thus in sweet words by his guru himself, Sri Rama, a jewel among men, replied to Vasistha :- “The service that the parents render to their son by giving him whatever they can, as well as by putting him to bed and rubbing his body with oil etc., nay, by speaking kindly to him every moment and (even) so by nourishing him, nay, whatever (good) is done by them cannot be easily requited. Indeed that which the celebrated King Dasaratha, my father, who brought me into being, has asked me to do shall not prove untrue.”

» Posted By Gaurav Mittal On Oct 13, 2008 @ 11:39 pm

Beware! The fault-finders

It is important to understand who is a devotee.

Does a person become devotee by organisation affiliation? Obviously, not.

Does a person become devotee by doing many conversions? If yes, then Christianity and Islam are much better than Vedic tradition. Many Christians are still converting millions of Hindu in India.

Gita is very clear about devotee. A person becomes devotee when his internal conciousness changes — surrender to Krishna, complete faith that He is source of everything, seeing Krishna in everyone’s heart, seeing self as different from body, equanimity, experiencing happiness from within, not getting affected by external environment but maintaining inner calmness etc….

It is extremely important aspect to bhakti to see Krishna is everyone’s heart. A person who sees His beloved Krishna in everyone cannot hurt anyone. But there are many people who injure and hurt others by their actions or words. Can they claim themselves to be devotees? No. They are Vaishnava aparadhis and they are destroyers of their own bhakti creeper.

Our self is different from body. SB 11.23 chapter gives story of a brahmana. He was unaffected by suffering of body because he saw his self as different from body. He says that due to mind, we identify our self with body. No one can hurt our self. Suffering only happens to body. So, no one can ever cause us suffering. So, that is true that our self is beyond body and it is unaffected by external material circumstances. Still, when we serve others by understanding that they are part of Krishna, we get love of Krishna. We use our material circumstances to become better devotee. But those who inflict suffering on others (especially helpless children) miss the opportunity of their human life. Unfortunately, in Iskcon many such people are accepted as exalted personalities.

» Posted By Gaurav Mittal On Oct 6, 2008 @ 6:04 am

Until We Meet Again

Our self is different from body. Due to maya, our self identifies itself with body, mind, senses and their extensions in this world like money, family etc. Mind thinks I am this body. It is attached to this body, senses and the sense objects. Due to mind, people accept that they belong to this world comprising of external body etc instead of accepting that they belong to Krishna.

One becomes saint when one realizes oneself as spiritual part and parcel of Krishna. One realizes that he/she is not body but beyond body. Such person experiences happiness from within and becomes equanimous as body and external matter doesn’t affect the self.

So, one becomes pure devotee by going beyond body and seeing self as part of Krishna instead of this world.

It is interest to note that Pita Das wants to gain SP’s vapu. That shows that he does not understand vapu is different from self and due to identification of self with vapu, one is bound.

One can ask: We worship body of Krishna. How is that different?

There is no difference between Krishna’s body and Krishna Himself. He does not take avatar with material body. But our body is different from our self. That is very important fact to realize.

» Posted By Gaurav Mittal On Oct 6, 2008 @ 1:06 am

Who’s To Blame?

“What more can I do to make the world more Krsna conscious?
How can all the fallen souls be saved?”

The above preaching spirit may appear good but there is problem with it. It assumes that I am not fallen and other people who are fallen need to be saved. It is more like Christian teachings.

Bhagavad Gita does not talk about being saved. It talks about truths:
* Self is spiritual, eternal and not this body.
* When we realize our self as different from transient matter, we are not affected by it. (Equanimity).
* I am ansh (part) of the Supreme, Krishna.
* Easiest way to attain Krishna is to always remember Him. (ananya cintan)

One may claim himself to be saved like many Christians do. But it is good to look inwards and see how much we realize our self as not body and matter but part of Krishna. How much we act with equamity? How much we internally remember Krishna?

What is the use of saving others when we ourselves don’t realize above principles. It is like blind leading blind and in the end, no one realizes above mentioned truth. That results in more chaos in the society.

If most of us can follow simple principle of always remembering Krishna and never forgetting Him, our life will become happy and also, we will give happiness and bhakti to others around us.

» Posted By Gaurav Mittal On Apr 9, 2008 @ 9:08 am

Protecting Our Future

>> I saw a 60-minutes special on marriages in the U.S.A., the report was astounding that the divorce rate in America stands at 80% and this is in the first two years.

I work with highly American educated people in my office and generally, closely associate with some. My manager is married for 20 years and my technical lead’s parents have been married for more than 30 years. Most of people I work with have strong marriages and strong commitment to the family. Similarly I find in my neighborhood, people with strong commitment to their family and kids.

Obviously if you are comparing with people like Britney Spears, divorce rate will be high. But good devotees are good people. They have good sadhana with their thoughts focussed upon Krishna, they are good parents who spend time with their children, they are good husbands who care for their wife, they are good worker as they work with focussed mind whatever they are supposed to do and they serve society by helping it materially, emotionally and spiritually.

Divorce mainly happens when we are not tolerant, we are not forgiving for our spouse’s faults, we are not compassionate to our spouse, we lack control over our own thoughts etc. Those are not signs of devotees.

If we cannot maintain grhastha life properly, then we should accept ourselves as fallen devotees. Unfortunately, that is not true in Iskcon. Many people with failed marriages and those who neglected children are given high devotional status. Sometimes, people ignore their marriage or kids in name of bhakti. Unfortunately, these people don’t know that they doing great disservice to Krishna and their efforts in bhakti will be fruitless just as efforts of vaishnava aparadhi become fruitless. Unless above devotional concept is firmly conveyed to devotees, I don’t foresee future improvement.

» Posted By Gaurav Mittal On Dec 19, 2007 @ 11:59 pm

Varna-ashrama Dharma and Women

I gave instances in my article to make children internally realized and internally advanced. If they are internally advanced, then they automatically become sense controlled. Then, those rules of etiquette will be followed by them automatically. Also, I am always there to guide them. More important is to make them internally realized.

When rules are followed without understanding the essence of the rules, then it is niyama-agraha.

I agree with you that we should teach basic rules of etiquette. They should be followed with understanding essence of the rules. In my article, I did not mean that one should not teach moral values to children.

Can you yourself follow all the rules of Dharma-sastra?

If you are married, have you ever felt sexual atraction even in thoughts towards any man other than your husband? If you are not married, can you state that you will never feel any sexual atrraction even in thoughts to man apart from your husband? Are you ready to burn on your husband’s body (become sati) after his death?

If you answer yes to first 2 questions or no to 3rd question, you are very unchaste lady from the perspective of dharma-sastra. Otherwise, I bow down to you and you are sati born in kali-yuga.

I feel that external pretension is useless. My whole question is:

Can I expect my daughter to be internally chaste? Can I expect that my daughter will only be internally attaracted to one man in her life and that man will be her husband?

If she is internally advanced, I will encourage her to be internally chaste. But if she is not, then I will let her be according to her level of advancement.

Problem is that those people who lack realizations are into rules. For them, rules are most important. For me, internal advancement is more important.

I used example of my daughter to illustrate important fact about women issue. Iskcon leaders when talk about this issue are more into externals. They want to act like police. They want to force people into following particular rules. But externals don’t matter. More important is internals.

A sannyasi who is externally showing that he can control sex desire but internally focussing his thoughts upon women is not a sannyasi. A man whose internal thoughts dwell upon women is fallen to the degree of his internal attachment to women. We are advanced to the degree of internal detachment.

If you go deeper into Bhagavad gita, you will understand that it talks about consciousness (internal state of mind). As far as external actions is concerned, it mainly talks about killing of people. Krishna asks Arjuna to kill people. But killing brings us closer to Krishna if done with proper consciousness. Internal consciousness is more important than external actions. If people in Iskcon understand this simple concept, I think many issues will be resolved easily.

» Posted By Gaurav Mittal On Dec 2, 2006 @ 5:42 pm

Thank you Srimanta Prabhu for your comment.

>For the above reason, many of the previous Achariyas has mentioned
>that vaisanavas should engage themselves always in devotional services
>with other devotees and only should discuss about Krsna and previous
>Vaisnava Acahariys.

I agree with you. You remind me of another important point which is to provide opportunity to children to associate with other like-minded kids who share similar values. This also gives them more confidence about their own faith, brings them closer to Krishna and helps their self-esteem.

» Posted By Gaurav Mittal On Nov 30, 2006 @ 4:33 am

Out of the Woman Comes the Man, Spends the Rest of His Life Getting Back When he Can

How many girls become pregnant in teens if they are raised with proper love and care? Even if in some exceptional cases, few girls who are loved by their family become pregnant then the trauma to the girl and baby can be reduced by loving and supportive parents. Not only girls but also boys need protection atleast in terms of love, care and support.

There are more important social issues than above issue like providing environment of love, care and support for children and loving relationship in marriage between spouses. Varnasrama systems starts with proper family values e.g. mutual respect between husband and wife, love and care towards children and proper respect by children.

Most people who make big deal about protection of women and who want to ban hugging etc are themselves suffering lustful desires and these lustful desires manifest with desire to control women. Such people should look inwards and they should introspect if their lustful tendencies are making them focus their minds women issues.

» Posted By Gaurav Mittal On Nov 23, 2006 @ 6:26 am

Accidental Falldown

Dear Amudha Das,

I agree with you.

Advancement is based on one’s own realizations. If a person can see one’s own true self, Krishna in one’s own heart and in every one else’s heart and ultimately, the true svarupa of Bhagavan then that person is living embodiment of Krishna bhakti.

I appreciate your great fortune of having associating of such exalted devotees.

Regards,
Gaurav

» Posted By Gaurav Mittal On Nov 21, 2006 @ 4:27 am

Constant Practice and Detachment

Narottama Das makes very important statement in #7. When we use bhakti as shield for abuse, then we do great disservice to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna.

Tolerance, understand, letting go of others faults and mistakes, accepting one’s spouse as imperfect etc. are very important qualities in relationship.

But acceptance of abuse should never be encouraged.

Regards,
Gaurav

» Posted By Gaurav Mittal On Nov 4, 2006 @ 5:11 am

From Hinduism to Krishna Consciousness: Steven J. Rosen’s New Book Bridges the Gap

>Hinduism — the way it is presented by the Hindus themselves — is strikingly and
> unmistakably polytheistic and pantheistic, which are considered inferior forms of
> theologies among Western theologians.

I am very surprised about this “unmistakable” statement.

>Actually, Vaishnava theology also considers such forms of theologies inferior to the
> exclusivity and monotheistic of bhakti.

Hindu religion is based on Vedic literatures and sastra like Bhagavad Gita, four Vedas, Upanishads, eighteen puranas etc.

I am surprised to find out that Srila Prabhupada gave something new which was not in above mentioned Hindu literatures.

» Posted By Gaurav Mittal On Oct 15, 2006 @ 8:38 pm

SCHOOLING IN THE REALM OF STUPIDITY

If youwant to found negativeness, you can find anywhere even in so call non-stupid schooling.

I went to school and learnt various scientific theories but did not see stupidity in schooling. It was enriching experience which increased faith in Ram. I could understand complexity of human body, ecological balance in the world and so on which made me intellectually accept Ram as super power arranging everything. One great advantage of my schooling is that it taught me to differentiate fake spirituality with true spirituality. Many so called spiritual feats are physical phenomenon instead of spiritual phenomenon.

I personally believe that I am best teacher to teach about Krishna or Ram to my kids and it is better than schools don’t teach them. Many people favor intelligent design theory but if it is taught in school, then which version should be taught. In Christian dominated America, if Christians take control of education then they will be teaching “Krishna is Satan and we are Satan worshippers.” It is better that teaching spirituality is left to individual parents. Otherwise, minority views won’t be respected.

-Gaurav Mittal

» Posted By Gaurav Mittal On Sep 25, 2006 @ 12:50 am

HELPLESS IN GOOD TIMES

Both article and comment are wonderful.

» Posted By Gaurav Mittal On Sep 19, 2006 @ 4:11 am

Some Thoughts on Japa

Suresh Prabhu makes very good point of using pranayam technique to improve chanting. Thank you Suresh Prabhu for your explanation.

» Posted By Gaurav Mittal On Sep 9, 2006 @ 11:55 pm

A “TOUCHY” SUBJECT…

Mithuna Das – very wonderful point. I agree with your views. Thank you for your comment.

>>>>If somehow we can arrive at the position( in our KC ) of really accepting the (incontrovertible and inalienable ) fact that I AM SPIRIT SOUL , ETERNAL SERVANT OF KRISHNA

I agree with you. It is cyclic. The more we realize our own svarupa and Krishna, the more our thoughts focus on Krishna. The more we focus our thougths on Krishna, more we realize these facts.

Suresh Prabhu, I made that side point because it appears that you are making a philosophical mistake ( I guess but I might be wrong). You are fascinated by external activities (making disciples, converting people and so on) of your contemporary devotees. But ultimately, our external activies does not matter. What matters is our internal consciousness i.e our internal remembrance of Krishna, our internal focus upon Krishna, our internal connection with Krishna and guru when we chant the holy names, inner humility and so on.

Sometimes, those people who take preaching roles get puffed up and start considering themselves as great devotees. That is start of their fall down. A humble pot washer who spends time in chanting and remembering Krishna is much more advanced the puffed up preacher.

» Posted By Gaurav Mittal On Sep 17, 2006 @ 5:37 pm

FYI: One does not become senior by wearing special clothes, external rituals, making followers, when one joined a organisation etc. One becomes senior by internal advancement which comes by focussing our mind and thoughts upon Krishna which can be done by chanting, smaran etc.

» Posted By Gaurav Mittal On Sep 16, 2006 @ 6:08 pm

I read few interesting comments and would like to comment on them. Personally, I have been raised in Indian society and therefore, I don’t hug opposite sex. But I have found western people hugging and I assume that they do it in a cultural way without sexual feelings. My comment is for especially Trivikrama Swami and Suresh Das.

Main principle of bhakti is to always remember Krishna and never forget Him. Krishna consciousness means that being conscious of Krishna which means focussing thoughts on Krishna all the time. Focussing thoughts on Krishna or remembrance are same thing. If you would ask that what Srila Prabhupada wanted from his followers then I would say that he wanted them to focus all their thoughts on Krishna as much as they can. He wanted his followers to do that atleast 2 hours (16 rounds) but ultimately, do their best.

Is hugging man/woman so important? If one truly focusses his mind upon Krishna, then he will most probably hug without wrong intentions. If one does not focusses his mind upon Krishna, then it does not matter whether one hugs or not. If hugging opposite sex distracts our mind from thoughts of Krishna or generate sexual thoughts then we should not do that. But if we are not agitated then it does not matter whether we do or not.

SB 7.12.9 verse quoted by Trivikrama Swami refers to sannyasi and brahmacaris. SB is talking of brahmacaris in that section. Such people could even have sexual feelings towards their mother or daughters. But this verse does not refer to grhasthas or vanprasthas. It is huge misapplication of this verse if one thinks that Vedic literatures does not trust grhastha devotee father with his mother or daughter. May be some people are very fallen but hopefully most of us in Kali-yuga are still not so bad that they cannot be with their daughter or mother alone.

PS: Srila Prabhupada often quotes that once should not sit with one’s mother, sister, or daughter in a solitary place. But it is important to understand what audience he was speaking to. One cannot apply vedic philosophy in bits and pieces. It is very important Vedic injunction that one should serve one’s mother and father. Position of mother is glorious. If son is serving his mother, he can be alone with his mother. I would be surprised if SP was never alone with his mother. Most probably, he was alone not just once but hundreds of times.

In essence, one cannot blindly follow sastra even from one’s guru. One needs to use one’s own realization to understand even one’s own guru’s words.

» Posted By Gaurav Mittal On Sep 15, 2006 @ 5:12 am

Treating Vaisnavas with Care–in Appreciation of Satyaraja Prabhu’s Points

Who is a advanced vaishnava is a complex topic. It is important to understand it. It mainly applies to us. We should evaluate our advancement by understanding who is advanced vaishnava. Especially in Kali-yuga, many poeple cheat others claiming themselves as advanced vaishnava. Srila Prabhupada always wanted to protect us from such people. Therefore, it is important to understand who is advanced vaishnava so that we can act properly in the society.

Krishna loves everyone and therefore, He is with us all the time out of His causeless mercy. In that perspective, everyone is a vaishnava and we should respect everyone.

SP – NOI Verse 5: “A madhyama-adhik•r• has received spiritual initiation from the spiritual master and has been fully engaged by him in the transcendental loving service of the Lord.” What does fully engaged means? Does fully engaged includes mind? I am very confident that Srila Prabhupada includes mind in above definition of madhyama-adhikari. What does engagement of mind means? How can one engage one’s mind? Since Srila Prabhupada has used word “fully”, mind needs to be engaged all the time upon Krishna.

* When one chants, one’s mind should be fully engaged in the holy name. It can be done in many ways but it needs to be fully engaged in naam, rupa or lila during chanting.
* When one does kirtan, same engagement of mind should be done i.e. fully engaged in naam, rupa or lila during kirtan.
* Same is true when one does daily activities of cleaning body, puja, archana, book distribution, lectures etc. Our mind should be focussed on Krishna and we should have complete control over the mind so that we can fully engage our mind on Krishna.

This is a simple fact: Our advancement in devotion is not dependent upon external designations (like guru, sannyasi etc), it is not dependent upon how many disciples one has or how much advanced one is accepted by others. It is also not dependent upon external devotional activites in which mind is not focussed upon Krishna. It is dependent upon our internal consciousness. It is dependent upon how internally we are focussed upon Krishna.

During my interaction with devotees, I have found that sometimes devotees are missing above simple point. Many devotees claim themselves that their sinful activities (durachar) can be ingored quoting verse BG 9.30 . I would request them to read sankrit verse and read word: ananya-bhak. What is definition of ananya-bhak? Where is mind of such person focussed all the time? SP uses term “fully engaged” twice in the purport. Can those devotees who claim their durachar (past misdeeds) should be ignored claim that they are fully engaged in bhakti? Can they claim that their mind is completely focussed on holy name when they do their japa or kirtan? Can they claim that they thoughts are fully focussed on Krishna when they do activites other than japa and kirtan? If they cannot claim, then I humbly request them not to use these verses as a means to justify that they are advanced devotee even after committing durachar. Also, same applied to others who claim themselves advanced. Unless our mind is completely focussed on Krishna (fully engaged in SP terms), we should not claim ourselves to be madhyama-adhikari. We are still kanistha-adhikari. There is no harm in accepting our true position. Actually, that is the way to advance.

» Posted By Gaurav Mittal On Jul 26, 2006 @ 2:22 pm

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