Comments Posted By Mithuna Das
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Hare Krishna Prabhus
One of the things I find no longer being emphasized is the importance of accepting Sambhanda Tattva. It is an extremely good practice to spend some daily time in deep introspection , feelingly praying for the Lord’s mercy to help us IRREVOCABLY accept that we are really spirit souls , eternal servants of Krishna( The Lord). This introspection is very very potent if it is combined with a life of active service( whether we be temple residents or community grhastas earnestly attempting to use the fruit of their endeavors to push on the sankirtan movement) .The more this ontological truth is lodged in the deep recesses of our heart, to that extent our own sense of self will gradually default towards being a servant of Krishna( as opposed to having to constantly force ourselves to induce it); correspondingly , it becomes so much easier to perform the activities of a devotee , including consistently chanting 16 rounds of the Holy Name and following the four regulative principles ( against continued conditioning). In this way we give our self a much better chance of remaining a devotee for the rest of this life.
It is a little unfortunate that when we come to Krishna consciousness we bring with us all kinds of conditioning, including a mental model ( of which we are often unconscious) of how religion should be practised. In this mental model( of the conditioned soul) which we impose on our own practise , we tend to emphasize that only God is transcendental , but sadly neglect the FACT that we are transcendental too. Thus in performing devotional service, we conceive ourselves only in terms our immediately empirical psychophysical identity. As we chanting the Holy Name with greater maturity, serve the sankirtan mission with the right attitude, and follow the four regulative principles , our consciousness becomes dislodged from the senses ; to the extent to which this dislodging happens to that extent we can willfully fix our awareness on the Holy Name, being somewhat above the busy traffic of the mind. In this state we can beg for even more mercy of the Lord to become aware of His person in the Holy Name, and to help us to have a fixed conception of our selves as spirit ( in the generic sense He describes in the Bhagavad Gita). The experiences we can have can be astounding, and make our desire to be a devotee even stronger.
» Posted By Mithuna Das On Jul 12, 2011 @ 6:35 pm
Hare Krishna Prabhus
I wanted to share a perspective on doubt in Krishna Consciousness. Over the last 8 years I have made a concerted effort to deeply concentrate on and improve my japa; two parts of this effort has been rising at 3 am everyday and chanting all my rounds at one go, and praying for the mercy to be able to unconditionally ( and irrevocably ) accept the generic knowledge that Krishna gives about the ontological nature of our being ( that we are eternal spirit souls , perpetual loving servants of Krishna and His associates). By the Lord’s mercy as our faith grows in this deep acceptance of our real/core nature we acquire many deep experiences in time spending with Sri Nama. Like senses is the place of residence of lust , doubt hides out in our actions; all our actions create an experience and that experience by default is accompanied by a belief. The more non Krishna Conscious actions we perform the more we acquire a faith diametrically opposed to Krishna Consciousness, which is manifest in the awareness as doubt. On the other hand the more we factually surrender to the idea that we are really Krishna servant ( not anyone’s mother, father, son, daughter, etc…..these other jivas have been existing eternally) and act on the terms of that surrender the easier it is to persevere in performing the activities of a devotee( simply because our sense of self is beginning to orient towards what we are.) Then gradually doubt would start to appear as a nuisance produced by lengthy residence of the awareness on the mental platform, rather that the insurmountable status we ascribe to it. It is my opinion that I would not have acquired this understanding without the mercy of the Holy Name.
Our Vaisnava siddhanta preaches that in the final stages of our devotional endeavour Krishna goes beyond the generic ontological knowledge ( what we are)provided in Bhagavad Gita , and actually reveals the specifics of who we really are.
Mithuna Das ( New York)
» Posted By Mithuna Das On Jan 27, 2011 @ 4:57 pm
Hare Krishna Prabhus
I would like to make a small contribution to the community of practicing Vaishnavas,about coping with sex impulse and sex desire in general. The genitalia is one of the karma indriyas, and it is the chief tool used in our default propensity of mating. The licentious use of this sense organ is accompanied by the dangerous corollary of conditioning; a sympton of the depth of this acquired conditioning , is extent to which we are preoccupied with making plans ( immediate or projected) to use this organ ( despite the presence or absence of the object of our sexual gratification). Many of us may have already executed several of these plans, and are now feeling trapped with the burdens of maintaining them; these burdens are further attended by the constant lamentation/hankering associated the potential for losses or gains thereof. A very potent way to deal with this situation is : (1) begin by recommitting ourselves to the deep acceptance of our real identity as Krishna’s insignificant eternal servant ; effective deep acceptance of Sambhanda Tattva often involves a heart felt acknowledgement ( in our personal prayers) of our inability self will such acceptance, as well as our impotence over the stumbling blocks to such; (2) Try to properly accept Nama Tattva that Krishna is non different from His Name , despite what our sensuous experience tells us. This acceptance implies the cultivation of the seed of faith that Sri Nama is a person, and our japa time will become a joyful opportunity to spend quality, attentive time with the Supreme person ( 3) Self reflectively occupy your “non chanting times” with other the angas of devotional service ; if you live near a temple you can easily arrange this. If much of your non chanting time is spent on a job, use the fruits of your effort to promote devotional service; the ease with which we are willing to do the latter ,will depend to the extent we factually accepted (1) above . It is a fact that, if we use the fruits of our endeavors in KC, the samskaras born of eating , sleeping , mating, and fearing are destroyed along with the faith in Karma itself ( as a modality of executing life).
If we sincerely impliment these three above things ,we will find that in a short time , a deep satisfaction will arise in our heart; alongside this occurence will be a distinct, observable, and reduced desire to use any of the senses ( both jnana or karma ) in the personal service of the ” plan making machine”.
» Posted By Mithuna Das On Jun 21, 2009 @ 2:43 am
Hare Krishna Prabhus
Thanks to all the Prabhus and Matajis who have been contributing to this interesting forum, and the Dandavats moderators who have been making it available.
I wanted to share an angle about coping with doubt, which I have not seen presented. Doubt , like many other things are often made socially unacceptable , in neophyte Vaisnava circles. The external banishment of doubt does not mean that it go away; in fact doubt merely recedes into the subconscious , and an acquire an autonomous dynamic of its own. If for the” ahankaric” / ” tendency to defend” sake of looking good, the community continues to villify and repress doubt, it can become a ” private demon ” in the life of the practicioner; on the community level , it can lead to wide scale pretense, and in the worst case , a community of ” Sunday Parahamsas”. If the sadhaka does not continue to purify, we find that his sraddha in the shelter of karmic activity does not reduce, and the alienated doubt comes and goes unbidden; only the sadhaka ( and Krishna ) is privy to this experience .
I find a very useful personal tool for coping with doubt ,is to spend a daily deep private time with the Holy Name; and during this time , we can acknowledge, pacify and cajole this doubting self to take an ” iconographic form” , and come out of its hiding. We can also sincerely acknowledge to the Holy Name , our inability to deal with this doubt or even get it to reveal itself. With sincere effort, and in a short time the dynamic of this doubt is greatly reduced and we can continue to delve more deeply into our relationship with the Holy Name. Other hidden agendas in our subconscious ( ex: tendency towards sex life) can be similarly dealt with.
In some way, I see this forum is using a similar approach, except that the doubt is being brought out collectively, and in a linguistic form.
» Posted By Mithuna Das On May 25, 2009 @ 2:26 pm
Hare Krishna Prabhus
I have read Mahatma Prabhu’s article , and I find it to be filled with very sound practical advice. As a peer in the practicing devotional community I would like to share my perspective on this topic ,especially about why we fall down in the first place. Falldown is intimately related to our FAILURE TO FIRMLY GRASP the fundamental knowledge of the nature of our being. This ontological knowledge or ” sambhanda tattva” unequivocally states that ( despite what appear to the senses in the phenomenal world) we are really eternal fragmental parts of Krishna, and we are related to Him by servitude. Because this is our constitutional position, it is INCONTOVERTIBLE, and we can never be made alien to it. Upon learning this about ourselves we should immediately try to move this ontological knowledge from our “head” to our “heart”. If our practice of devotional service lingers on one or more of the platforms of distress, desire for benediction, or curiosity, there is every chance that these external motives can become spent, and devotional service can become a mere nominal activity in our life; we thus literally open the door to falldown. On the other hand if we perform our devotional service with the understanding that we are ( nothing but) Krishna’s eternal servant ,then it becomes much easier to be motivated to remain in Krishna’s service. As we serve from this latter platform, this knowledge of our constitutional position moves from “our head” to “our heart”, and to the extent that we do so, to that extent we also leave the plane of scholarship( the mental platform), and enter the domain of Bhakti. This entry into Bhakti is not mechanical , and is therefore not solely governed by our” devotional push”. Grace plays an inestimable part of our entry into Bhakti, and we should earnestly supplicate the Lord( and His Associates) to IRREVOCABLY plant in the DEEPEST recesses of our hearts , full acceptance of the FACT that we are spirit souls , eternal servants of Krishna. If we practice devotional service with this understanding we will observe many encouraging results. Afterall, aren’t we scientists conducting an experiment with the body as the apparatus and acts of devotion as the procedure? Our intrinsic motivation will increase since we are beginning to understand that our identity cannot be changed by anything or circumstance , nor does it depend on the presence or absence of others. The continuous streaming of intrinsic motivation makes steadiness in Krishna Consciousness both accessible and realistic. As we acquire some steadiness ( and purity of intent) a deepening satisfaction arises in our heart. To the extent that we are steady and possessed of pure intent , to that extent taste also becomes steady and deep. As we become satisfied in devotional service , our senses ( including the mind, and genetalia) become quiet, and IT BECOMES EASIER TO FOLLOW THE REGULATIVE PRINCIPLES AND TO CHANT THE HOLY NAME . If we approach our Krishna Consciousness with a firm understanding about who we really are , we give ourselves the BEST GUARANTEE against falldown. Falldown is an effect, and if we understand and engineer the causation we can control the effect( and not be victimized by it).
Prior to joining the Krishna Consciousness Movement, I was searching for ontology in theoretical physics. This so called ” King of the Physical Sciences said that we are ” the most probabilistic fluctuation in a quantum mechanical field”. If we were infact that, then self realization must mean realizing our self as that entity. I gave up the the search for self in physics when none of my peers could tell me “how to become a most probabilistic fluctuation in a quantum mechanical field”. Further, physics could not explain why the construct “I am seeing” arises at the end of a chain of electromechanical events , beginning with massless photons of light falling on the retina of the eye. By the grace of Srila Prabhupada’s indomitable efforts, I have found the answers to both inquires in Bhagavad Gita As It Is.
» Posted By Mithuna Das On Aug 18, 2007 @ 7:45 am
Thank you for being candid about your personal Krishna Consciousness practice. Please continue to have faith that no private material act can ever satisfy the self who is “ananda mayo bhysat.” The only thing that can satisfy the self is the activities of devotional service. The purer this service becomes to that extent our material curiosity becomes inert. Try to embrace your real identity from the “root”, and act in your service portfolio from this pivot( see post # 18). If we perform devotional service with the motivation to obtain pleasure ( or escape suffering) a time would come when the demand of surrender( and responsibility) in Krishna Consciousness may outweigh the pleasure ” output” we expect; in such circumstances it is easy for a practioner to become diverted from Krishna Consciousness, and seek easier( and less responsible ) means to pleasure. Invariably, these easier means are often some kind of material activity( including illicit sex, and ingestion of various kinds of psychotropic substances). However, if we practice Krishna Consciousness from the ” root” up, we will easily become steady; our intrinsically driven motivation to serve will continue to flicker ,despite the presence or absence of others.
» Posted By Mithuna Das On May 1, 2007 @ 11:13 am
Hare Krishna Prabhus
Thank you all for sharing so many knowledgeable information on Krishna Consciousness, from the perspective of practicing devotees. I want to field my perspective on this subject of illicit sex. I am approaching my 20th year as a devotee, and all of these years have been very joyful for me.It seems as though that among the senses , the tongue and the genitals ( a concentrated extension of the skin) have the potential to produce the greatest magnitude of conditioning. When we multiply the continuous use of these sense organs over millions of births, we are dealing with much more than Ivan Pavlov’s dog. The constant demand of the genitalia can be a disturbance to the practice of one’s uninterupted Krishna Consciousness; sometimes such a demand can even lead to a complete diversion of the devotee away from Krishna. The best way to deal with this problem ( and problems related to any type of material conditioning) is to try to understand , and embrace the practice krishna Consciousness from the “root” up. This means beginning with proper acceptance of sambhanda tattva as per our real identity. We should understand that despite what appears to the knowledge acquiring senses in this phenomenal world, we are nothing but an eternal fragmental part of krishna , related to him by servitude. This notion of our identity as Krishna’s fragmental part is an axiomatic vedic truth ,that is both INCONTROVERTIBLE and INALIENABLE. Simply, our constitutional position cannot be overturned, nor can we be fundamentally alienated from it. Knowing this “root” vedic axiomatic truth , we should feelingly prayer to the Lord to IRREVOCABLY imprison this truth within the core of our heart ( actually, this is the equal of planting the seed of indomitable faith). To the extent that this truth becomes imprisoned in our heart to that extent we would perform the activities of devotional service despite all and any circumstance; neither the intense cold of the winter, nor the scorching heat of the summer, nor our impending organic death can alter our true identity. As we mature in our devotional practices and we begin to differentiate Krishna as the object of our devotion from our own private motivations ,to that extent also we will experience a deepening satisfaction of our heart. For some devotees this deepening sense of satisfaction manifest itself in the awareness as a non localised feeling of joy, and its accompanying expressions. Of course if Krishna’s wills it , the experience can be more than a deepening satisfaction in the heart. As a corollary to the deepening satisfaction of the heart , all the senses ( including the genitals and the mind) becomes quiet. As the senses become quiet they will no longer imper us to act privately , but we would be easily able to use then for the pleasure of Hari, Guru, Vaisnava. With quiet senses not impelling us to act privately, we give ourselves the super golden opportunity to perform uninterupted devotional service and ” crawl towards the devotional benchmark ” of nishta. Some Vaisnva gurus say that real devotional service begins from the platform of nishta. When hearing, chanting ( and the other angas of devotional activities) become exceedingly sweeter than our private acts we would have attain ruci. Ruci successively expands through the portals of asakti, bhava, and prema coming to rest at the lotus feet of Sri Hari.
» Posted By Mithuna Das On Apr 28, 2007 @ 5:02 pm
Hare Krishna Prabhus,
The relation of the self to the complete whole ( Sri Krishna ) is like a point in an infinite plane. The giving of love extends from this point to other points in the plane which progresses from family to community to country to humanity , and finally to the complete whole. The more we spread love away from our ego centered insular point the more we approach loving the complete whole, and this proportion is reflected to us in both the Deity and the Name; specifically, the complete whole as the Deity and Holy Name manifests itself locally to the sadhaka. If we fail ( in our practice of KC) to spread love outside our immediate self ,both the Deity and the Holy name does not show its potency to such miserliness.
» Posted By Mithuna Das On Jan 21, 2007 @ 4:58 pm
Hare Krishna Prabhus,
When we trade our labor for fruits ( usually money) , the potential of the labor is stored in such fruits. If we offer this fruit ( money) to Krishna, then it is like having worked for Krishna. If this offering is done on a habitual basis ( love is not a one shot thing!!), and especially with the knowledge that we are FACTUALLY Krishna’s eternal servant, such a behavior is a very powerful tool for those who are householders ( and have the adhikara to earn money). In the beginning such activity may be done out of self interest, but as we mature properly we begin to do it for Krishna. Then understand that these material elements are a vehicle for offering love as words are a vehicle for offering prayer.
» Posted By Mithuna Das On Jan 21, 2007 @ 4:54 am
Hare Krishna Prabhus
The growth of our faith, and consequent realizations form a major part of our foundation in Krishna Consciousness. This quality of this foundation is is strongly influenced by the way in which we learn krishna Consciousness. Bhaktivinoda Thakur describes in his Sri Hari Nama Cintamani that it is the guru’s prime responsibility to exactingly explain sambhanda tattva to the disciple; the latter should properly accept it. The quintessence of this tattva is that , despite what is apparent to our sensory apparatus we are really eternal servants of Sri Krishna and His associates. This ontological truth is independent of culture, ethnicity, progenital lineage, and the like; this truth is also INCONTROVERTIBLE, and INALIENABLE. To the extent we can lock this tattva in our heart, and execute its simple mandate to that extent we will unfailingly perform devotional service. In such conditions anarthas will fall away, and we will develop a modicum of steadiness. It is by this means only can we sow the seeds of indomitable faith in the process of bhakti. Obvious experiences for the new aspirant would include a deepening satisfaction of the heart, and a contemporaneous quietining of the senses. The mind then develops a proclivity towards the Holy name, and other sinificant realizations may come.Realizing that the descriptions of the Lord and His pastimes are not ethinc, but transcendental we will happliy embrace all, and petty schisms among aspiring vaisnavas will go away. Let us all make a committment to learning and practicing Krishna Consciousness as the verifiable science it is. Let us share this para upakara with others who still have not understood that self cannot become something, IT IS ALREADY SOMETHING. Let them join us in an unencumbered brotherhood as we apply the epistemology of love gain knowledge of our real selves, and its source ( Sri Krishna). Acceptance of ethnicity as self is nothing but an inflection of the false ego , creating a referrent to gather relative knowledge on the plane of the intellect. The svarupa of the jiva is beyond such an insignificant refferent, and ethnic divisiveness can do no good on this great journey.
» Posted By Mithuna Das On Dec 21, 2006 @ 3:35 am
Hare Krishna ,
Thank you Bhakta karl for your interesting piece. I would like to add a different perspective. Refering to japa you said that the mind can interpret it as ” ..(an)apparent futility of…routine,…….(and)….japa seems repetitive and fruitless”. You have wonderfully counteracted the mind’s complaints with the soothing story of that old guru. As an alternate view, we should understand that the mind’s interpretation of its experience with the Holy Name has a lot to do with the the adhikara of the person who is chanting the name; this in turn is related to the sadhaka’s receipt of Nama Tattva, and his degree of extant conditioning. By virtue of experiencing material life through the sensory apparatus, we develop many idioms about phenomena. These idioms become embedded structures in our belief mechanism, and it guides ( albeit biased ) the way in which we will interpret experiences . As per this situation , we have idioms about what constitute productive endeavor; when we sit down to chant the Holy Name we unconsciously impose these acquired idioms of productive endeavor on our efforts at chanting the Holy Name. Chanting of the Holy Name is an absolute activity , and has no obligation to resemble the materialsit’s notion of what constitutes productive activity. Thus it is easy for the mind to play such tricks on us ( ie: thinking that chanting is repetitive and fruitless). The cure is to try to understand what the Holy Name is on its own terms, not in relation to the embedded, bias producing structures of the material intelllect. If we are factually interested in Krishna, and we suppliment our attempts at japa with significant amounts of steady guided service in our guru’s mission, then everytime we sit to chant the Holy Name we will sit before Him with a greater stock of love( more well placed adhikara) to take the Name. In time these discursive movements of the mind will lessen, and we will begin to experience the Holy Name in a different, and renewed way.
» Posted By Mithuna Das On Nov 20, 2006 @ 1:34 am
Thank You for this wonderful article Your Holiness. I would like to add my perspective on this identical topic. The tendency for the content of our mind’s thoughts to default away from thinking ( and consequently acting) about how to please Hari, Guru, Vaisnava is inextricably linked to what we believe about ourself. In the conditioned state, this belief ( stealthily hidden, but implicate in our behavior) is that I AM THIS BODY. This state of being is a product of the jiva’s sensory experience of the world of phenomena ,in such a way, that the false ego is the prime beneficiary of the experience. The origin of this state cannot be traced out historically, but it is cosequent with the origin of duality.
In the beginning of our practice of Krishna Consciousness , we should recieve sambhanda tattva from the Guru( or His representative), and we should accept this knowledge with proper faith. One pivotal part of this sambhanda tattva is knowledge of our real identity; this is I AM SPIRIT SOUL, ETERNAL SERVANT OF KRISHNA ( despite what the self appears to be to the mind and senses in the world of phenomena). This real identity of ours is both INALIENABLE and INCONTROVERTIBLE ; We cannot be alienated from it , nor can it be overturned. We must completely accept this knowledge of our REAL IDENTITY into the core of our heart; this accomplishment is not mechanical, but it involves heart felt supplication to Hari, Guru, Vaisnava ( while simultaneously qualifying ourselves by devotional service with proper understanding of who we are , and who is the beneficiary of our servitude). By the mercy of the Lord this new ( and correct ) belief about ourselves will become rooted in our heart. WE SHOULD ENDEAVOR OUR BEST to keep it rooted there. All the other motivations for performing can be spent ( ex: curiosity, desire for material benediction, etc), EXCEPT ONE WHICH IS INCONTROVERTIBLE , AND ONE FROM WHICH WE CANNOT BE ALIENATED. Upon FACTUAL acceptance ( even partially) of our real identity we will experience many changes in our devotional service, which are in some ways like benchmarks of progress. Some of these changes are : 1.feelings of streams of great joy in devotional service, 2.quietening of the senses ( including the skin and genitals), 3.cooperation by the mind thereby enabling an opportunity for a more quality relationship with the Holy Name, 4.increased motivation to perform the activities of devotional service( and personalease in accepting the Vaisnava way of life), 5. freedom from the efffects of duality ( ex: motivation may remain steady in the presence or absence of others, Sri Murti iremains attractive in simple or ornate attire, Kirtan is attractive with simple or embellished cadence), and most importantly 6. the tendency of the mind to default towards thinking of how to please Guru, and Krishna. This situation is very favorable for taking us across anartha nrivitti onto nishta. It can be greatly assisted in the sadhaka stage if we have an opportunity to perform a service that is particularly suited to our psychophysical nature( but we should always be prepared to do the needful).
If we go on performing devotional service without properly understanding our real identity, the performance of devotional service can become a nominal activity in our life. Then we risk having the experience of “thick/ thin” devotional service; this is a situation where material experience constantly competes with our ” devotional ” experience. Further, we then rob ourself the opportunity to experience steadiness in devotional service, and its astounding effect. Finally the chance of being diverted ( or succumbing) becomes more probable.
» Posted By Mithuna Das On Sep 29, 2006 @ 1:51 am
Reading Prabhupada books is good, but if we do not understand Krishna Consciousness properly , and impliment Prabhupada siksha, the value of what we do may be limited.
Antaryami mentioned”In Prabhupada’s books it is emphasised again and again that the best process today for spiritual advancement is chanting the Hare Krsna mantra. If one chants a fixed number of rounds a day (minimum sixteen) with faith, sincerity and perseverance success will follow.”
Because we do not have the adhikara of an accomplished bhajananandi , what we do in those ” non chanting ” hours is very important. When we sit down to chant the Holy Name , we sit before Krishna with a stock of love for him or a lack of it thereof, and we will chant with that adikhara. We cannot trick the Lord by external adjustments. So if our “non chanting “hours are mostly asat trsna , our sincerity becomes doubtful. As Srila Gour Govinda Swami pointed out , we must qualify ourself.
» Posted By Mithuna Das On Sep 26, 2006 @ 4:56 am
Krishnadas Prabhu, ( comment # 2)thank you for your interesting question. You quoted the name as ” Halidhari”, but in the article it is spelt as Haladhari. Any how I have referred your question to HG Ravindra Svarupa. His initial response was that Haladhari is correct , and it is not feminine gender. Due to his present busy schedule of preparing for the upcoming Philadelphia Ratha Yatra, he could not immediately elaborate his response. However, he said that he would post a reply to your inquiry, soon.
» Posted By Mithuna Das On Sep 22, 2006 @ 1:14 am
A very well written article and well supported with relevant and authoritative quotes. I want to add a different angle on your views. I see that you have not placed a lot of emphasis on the performance of service outside of direct chanting of the Holy Name. When we sit down to chant the Holy Names we sit before krishna with certain stock love for Him or a lack of it thereof, and we will chant the Holy Name with that level adhikar. Thus if a person is chanting let us say a minimum of 16 rounds per day ( in about 2-2.5 hours) , what that person does in the next 22 hours is also very important. If his remaining 22 hours is asat trsna then when he sits to chant he brings that as part of his adikhar to the ” table of the Holy Name ” . Do you really think the Lord’s associates will allow such a person to be privy to the Lord’s lila ( when it is pretty obvious that his extant interest is significantly asat trsna). As we gain the ability to extend love ( on the basis of genuine spirituality ) outside of our own immediate self the more our claim to having love for the complete whole ( Krishna ) becomes factual. This bestows upon us greater deservedness , and the Lord is more favorable towards revealing His wholeness to such a person in both the Holy Name and the Sri Murti. It is equally important to emphasize service in the mission of the spiritual master.
You said “In spite of the varied nuances and techniques, why are we plagued with anarthas, struggling to reach a semblance of nistha.” The tendency of the mind’s content to default away from thoughts of how to give krishna pleasure ( and consequently asat trsna )is due to the underlying belief about the jiva’s identity. In the conditioned state the jiva thinks himself to be the body ( and the corollary action follows); this erroneous belief can persist for a long time in our devotional life, especially at a sublime level. It is important to properly accept the correct sambhanda tattva early in our devotional life. This is heart felt acceptance of the incontrovertible and inalienable fact that ( despite the appearence of things in the phenomenal world) WE ARE REALLY SPIRIT SOULS, ETERNAL SERVANTS OF KRISHNA. This acceptance cannot be mechanically induced. By serving in the mission of the spiritual master ( and following his instructions )with the proper understanding , and humbly supplicating Hari, Guru, Vaisnava, this acceptance can begin to take root in our heart. Apart from a deepening satisfaction of the heart and quietiening of the sense organs, another significant sympton( of this “rooting” ) is that our mind begins to default towards thoughts of how to please Krishna. Our motivation to perform the activities of devotional service will increase significantly, and our relationship with the Holy Name will deepen.
» Posted By Mithuna Das On Sep 17, 2006 @ 5:36 am
Thank You Suresh Das. One point repeated in my previous posts was that if KC is properly understood( and subsequently practiced), some obvious effects included a very deep satisfaction with our heart( and a corollary quietening of the senses , including the skin and the genitals). In such a state the need to be hugged by a member of the opposite sex ( or any person ) is not at all an issue. I thus advocated that devotees ( and new comers as well) should practice at a level consistent with their adikhara. So for all of us beginners we should be concentrating on getting the basics right. Aspiring for an exalted thing such as touching the Lord is the perogative for someone at the level of bhava; the actual hugging takes place on the platform of prema.
There is some danger in aspiring for such intimacy in the immature stage. I personally know of a few devotees who have given up our Rupanuga line, and has taken up the path of traditional Vaisnavism. The emphasis of the practice here is on Lila smaranam , a teaching coming down from Gopal Guru Goswami through Vrakeshwar Pandita ( associate of Lord Chaitanya); in their system the practicing devotees have already been given the 11 points of their spiritual identity ( including name). However, it is highly questionable whether or not these persons are qualified to enter the Lord’s lila in the preliminary stage. Those who have a tendency to take things cheaply or ( be escapist) may be easily led away from the path given by Srila Prabhupada. This self deception may originate with the simple desire to hug the Lord, while we are still very much tainted by materialsim.
» Posted By Mithuna Das On Sep 29, 2006 @ 4:50 pm
Thank You for that wonderful post in comment #83. However , our aspiration should match our adhikara for the thing we are desiring. Those who FACTUALLY DESIRE to have such intimate contact with Krishna are situated at the stage of Bhava and beyond. Those of us who are struggling with the feeling of ” not wanting to be a devotee” would do well to focus on getting the basics right. Like I mentioned in previous posts we should try our utmost best ( supplicating Hari, Guru, Vaisnava as well) to fully accept that I AM spirit soul , eternal servant of krishna.To the extent that this becomes rooted in our heart, to that extent also this idea of ” not really wanting to be a devotee” will go away. The we will progressively climb from anartha nrivitti, to nishta, ruci, asakti,and bhava. From the platform of bhava it is appropriate to desire to hug krishna( which is the privy of the premi bhakta). In our Rupanuga line, the immature desire to touch or be touched by the Lord is not advocated.
» Posted By Mithuna Das On Sep 28, 2006 @ 4:37 pm
This is response to comment # 81 by HG Suresh Das. Thank you for sharing so much about yourself, and I wish somehow I can help you. You do have some significant realizations; you said “I have also found from experience that just because I know why I am suffering, that doesn’t mean that now all my suffering is magically gone, or that I can make it go away, or that I am now permanently cured.” This remind s me of my own pre Kc days when I belonged to an academic community that accepted the philosophic conclusions of theoretical physics. According to that community, our identity is that of ” the most probabilistic fluctuation in a quantum mechanical field.” But there was no objective standard of what that entity was , and what to do to attain it, and what does attaining it mean. While all foolishly thinking we had the highest knowledge ,in the actual disposition of life we just suffering condition souls.
However , there is something in your understanding of KC that is worth examining; you said”The problem for me though is I really don’t want to be a devotee. I am only surrendering because I am forced. As soon as I feel better, I go back to material consciousness, and immediately forget Krishna.” Real sambhanda tattva means accepting that the living entity is an eternal servant of Krishna. If we IN FACT ACCEPT this inviolable vedic axion , how can we ” ..really dont want to be a devotee..”?
If you try to understand KC properly , and you continue chanting and serving your happiness will increase; But the motivation for serving should not just be because we want to be happy, but it should be based knowledge of our real identity. When this knowledge becomes a little rooted in us we will easily rise above the duality of happiness ( or its opposite) , and we will remain steady in krishna Consciousness.
» Posted By Mithuna Das On Sep 27, 2006 @ 10:04 pm
This is a response to the collective comments after comment # 60. I am a little bit surprised that few of the devotees posting here are not advocating that the many problems we face in Krishna Consciousness at any instant in time is largely a function of how we have understood, and subsequently practiced Krishna Consciousness. At the beginning of our devotional life the Guru ( or His representative) should exactingly explain sambandha tattva to the prospective disciple and the latter should accept this with proper faith. The origin of materialism as a way of life and belief sytem cannot be traced out historically, but it is the product of our sensory experience of the world of phenomena in which false ego is the prime beneficiary. The cumulative experience of this modality over many lifetimes produces deep conditioning, and activities of asat trsna. The mind’s tendency to drag us in a direction opposite to krishna is underlain by the belief that we are this body, another product of materialism. The experience of problems associated with our wandering and disatisfied mind while even practicing KC is testimony to the fact that we are deeply bound by materialism. It is an erroneous idea that the mind is an independent agent ” bent on giving us trouble”. The mind is simply dragging us in the direction of asat trsna, making it difficult for us to chant the Holy Name or follow the basic injunctions of Vaishnava Dharma. Another very important part of this sambandha tattva is our real identity; despite what things look like in the world sensory phenomena , WE ARE REALLLY SPIRIT SOULS , ETERNAL SERVANT OF KRISHNA. In previous posts I mentioned that this eternal identity of ours is both INCONTROVERTIBLE and INALEINABLE. It cannot be overturned , nor can we be made fundamentally aleina to it. It is our inviolable right of our existence. We should take this understanding and LOCK IT AWAY WITHIN THE CORE OF OUR HEART ( NEVER, NEVER, NEVER LET IT OUT). However , acceptance of our real identity cannot be mechanically induced. We should qualify ourself by serving with the proper understanding of who we are and who is the real beneficiary of our servitude. We should also pray to Hari, Guru, Vaishnava to allow this acceptance to enter deeply within our hearts because we have no power to do it ourselves. The Lord will mercifully grant this. Although we should be prepared to do the needful it helps very much to meaningfully perform a service that is consistent with our psychophysical nature; this gives us a good opportunity to develop some steadiness in devotional service, and to experience the product of this steadiness. We should perform this service will all sincerity, because at anytime we sit down to chant the Holy Name we come before the Lord with a certain stock of love for the lord or lack of it, and we will chant with that adhikara; we cannot trick the Lord simply by some external adjustment at the time of chanting. After sometime, (especially if the false ego is not the prime beneficiary of the devotional endeavors) WE WILL NOTICE SEVERAL DISTINCT CHANGES IN OUR DEVOTIONAL SERVICE, AND LIFE. I can name a few here :1. there is a deepening joy within the heart which can last for days on end, 2.because the heart is becoming deeply satisfied THE SENSES ( INCLUDING THE SKIN AND GENITALS) become quiet. 3.The mind becomes extremely cooperative , and IT IS MUCH EASIER TO CHANT THE HOLY NAME , AND FOLLOW THE INJUNCTIONS OF THE SASTRA ( including no hugging , illicit sex, gambling, etc); infact we may impatiently anticipate spending time with Nama Prabhu. 4. There is a deeper appreciation of the value of Krishna Consciousness 5. More importantly , our thoughts begin to default towards to how to please ( by service Hari, Guru, Vaishnava). 6. Our motivation to perform the activities of devotional service becomes keen. This is the road out of anartha nivritti , and it leads to nishta and beyond.
Again I submit that most of these problems we are referring can be traced back to improper understanding and susequent practice of Krishna Consciousness.
For Suresh Prabhu, as fas as faith in the Holy Name I can tell of two persons whose lives was completely transformed by the Holy Name. I will mention only one because my post has been lengthy. There is this devotee now in his late thirties , who joined the Hre krishna Movement( ISKCON) in his early twenties. In his adolescence he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. he had two personalities that we both objective to him. One was that of a young girl, and the other was an adolesent male. He would dress as both persons, and would spontaneously switch personality. His family took him to therapy for many years with no success. A few years after joining the Hare Krishna movement the male person gradually became stable and primary. The implimentation of KC was the only major change he made in his life. I have asked him what happened , and He told me he was cured by Krishna ; neither does he have any flashbacks. Today , he is married devotee and he practices the brahminical culture.
» Posted By Mithuna Das On Sep 26, 2006 @ 4:45 am
This is a comment in response to Mother Braja Sevaki’s comment # 69. Ultimately, a lot of our problems in being able to practice KC has much to do with how we understand the process and the consequent foundation we have build over the years of our practice. The tendency of the mind’s content to default away from thinking about how to satisfy Hari, Guru, Vaisnava is underlain by the peculiar belief about ourself that WE ARE THIS BODY. The origin of this belief cannot be traced out historically, but it is a cumulative product of the living entity’s experience of the phenomenal world wherein the false ego is the prime beneficiary of his inevitable experience ( of the world). Even after we become a devotee( of various grades) it is possible that the practicioner can continue to allow himself to experience life in this way. The result is that materialism and many of its corollaries become mixed up with our practice of krishna Consciousness , and we inadvertantly accept these “isms” as references of authority. I have personally seen practicing devotees ( born in western cultures) who still use Abrahamic religious ideas to validate the Bhagavad Gita. In his Harinam Chintamani , Bhaktivinoda Thakur describes that ,in the beggining the Guru should exactingly explain sambhanda tattva to the disciple, and the latter should accept it properly. One of the major elements of this sambhanda tattva is the REAL identity of the jiva( despite what appears to be the self in the world of sensory phenomena). The negation of this real identity is that WE ARE NOT THIS BODY; the actual identity is that WE ARE SPIRIT SOULS ETERNAL SERVANT OF KRISHNA. Being originally constitutional , our real identity is both INCONTROVERTIBLE and INALIENABLE. It cannot be overturned , nor can we be alienated from it ( though we can forget it for some time). If we want to have stable, steady, and joyful KC it is imperative that we bind this understanding of our real identity within the core of our heart. This binding cannot be done mechanically or simply because we say we want to do so. If we very feelingly supplicate HARI, GURU, VAISNAVA to engrave this new acceptance ( of our REAL IDENTITY) in the core of our heart, and simultaneously serve in the mission of the spiritual master ( with the proper understanding of who we are and who is the real beneficiary of our servitude) , then we increase our deservedness( adhikara). In time the belief that we are SPIRIT SOUL , ETERNAL SERVANT OF KRISHNA will begin to take root in our heart. One of the major symptons that this new ( and REAL) belief about ourself has entered our heart is that OUR MIND WILL BEGIN TO DEFAULT TOWARDS THOUGHTS OF HOW TO SATISFY HARI,GURU, VAISNAVA. The more we act on these thoughts, and the more we will percieve the value of what Srila Prabhupada has given us ( KC) , and a reciprocal, albeit exponential dynamic relation ,will develop between these two states. Other symptons of proper embracing of sambhanda tattva will be a deepening experience of our KC which may manifest as streams of deeply joyful feelings,and other realizations( ie: certain things will become a REALITY to us , ex: a more than clear understanding that material life is nothing more than a progressive series of permuting and combining role plays assigned to the body( that is under the tight control of entropy)). As the deepening joyous feeling begin to steadily exceed regular sensory experience ,the senses ( including the genitals and skin ) will become quiet; the mind becomes curious about these experiences , and it loses the propensity to drag us ” hither”, and “tither” into the ” permuting” , and “combining” field, of the role play. Without external endeavor our motivation in KC becomes much improved, and with a more quietened mind it is possible to embark into a deeper relationship with Sri Nama Prabhu. Even though we should be prepared to do the needful, it is very helpful if we can ( deeply and meaningfully, and with proper understanding) steadily perform a service that is consistent with our extant psychophysical conditioning; this helps to make our service portfolio steady. The aforementioned conditions makes following the injunctions of KC much easier , and sets us up to cross over the impediment of anartha nrivitti, and open the door to nistha and beyond. I humbly submit that if we follow this process of KC properly, we will come to clearly see that this is the real SELF interest( the illusory role play is not ). There will be no need to continually lament, nor “hang on painfully for many years.”
» Posted By Mithuna Das On Sep 20, 2006 @ 12:15 am
This is comment is directed at comment # 65 by G.Mittal concerning the aquisition of internal advancement. The living entity conditioned or not ,cannot help but think of krishna because nothing exists outside of Krishna; Consequently,those whose awareness is on the platform of nonduality always see that everyhthing is perfect. On the plane of discrimination ( duality ) the thoughts in mind of the conditioded soul tend to default away from thoughts about providing for Krishna’s pleasure; this is so because his/her underlying belief ( and corollay shradda) about himself/herself buttresses upon the idea that I AM THIS BODY ( as is apparent to the conditioned senses in the world of phenomena). As I mentioned in my comment # 59 , 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,then our mind’s thoughts will start to default towards thoughts about how to serve Krishna ( under the mission of the spiritual master). There would be a significant positive change in our motivation to practice Krishna Consciousness. This new default tendency of our mind is symptomatic that genuine sambhanda tattva has begin to take root ( even if tiny) within our hearts. Ideas about whether or not we should leave the mission of the spiritual master will seem alien to us. And whether or not we are senior will not be important. Senior devotee is a designation based on practice in the stage of the sadhak form. Senior devotee has nothing to do with the real identity of the jiva.
» Posted By Mithuna Das On Sep 16, 2006 @ 9:40 pm
This article by Mother Braja Sevaki devi dasi certianly have generated a lot of debate in our devotee comunity. I would like to comment on this subject using my experience in Krishna Consciousness as reference. I grew up in a culture in which hugging of men and women in public was not a normal practice. I joined the Krishna consciousness Society ( ISKCON) about 17 years ago , and I have never felt the urge nor need to hug devotee women, as a way of expressing my friendship. I never felt that ,by not hugging members of the opposite sex that I have missed/ or is missing out on anything. The way in which we learn Krishna Consciousness have a lot to do with the manner in which we make progress, and consequently the road we choose to walk at any instant in time. From early in our devotional life we should strive to acquire a very stable and correct ( as per sambhanda tattva) motivation for engaging in devotional service. This correct motivation is , full acceptance of the inalienable fact that we are eternal servants of Krishna (despite the appearence of things in the phenomenal world). If our motivation is less than this, there is a high chance that devotional service can become a nominal( and possibly a “thick/thin” )activity in our life ; thus we loose the opportunity to experience the product of some significant steadiness in the execution of devotional service. If our devotionally “thin” times are frequent ( and this can exist on an instantaneous time scale), our experience of the phenomenal world becomes one in which our false ego is the prime beneficiary of our experience, and both subtle and gross materialism becomes part of our belief system. Thus when we engage in discussions about Krishna Consciousness , materialsim ( rather than Guru, Sadhu , and Sastra ) becomes a prominent reference of authority; one of my respected friends ( and siksha Guru) has suggested that the rise of modern intellectualism in Krishna Consciousness may be a case in point; Maybe this can be the next “Touchy Subject” on dandavats???. Acceptance of the fact that we are eternal servants of Krishna cannot be mechanically induced ,simply because we want to accept it. However, with sincere supplication to Hari , Guru, Vaisnava and the performance of service with the proper understanding of who is the real beneficiary , acceptance of the real sambhanda tattva can begin to become rooted in our hearts. Motivation to perform the activities of devotional service then becomes both eager, and steady. This motivation and steadiness can be helped along if the mainstay of our service performance consists of activities especially compatible with our extant psychophysical conditioning. The performance of devotional service under the aforementioned conditions, leads to a noticeably deep and increased satisfaction in our heart; of course this is a super subjective experience that cannot be externally evaluated by a third party. As a corollary occurence ,all the senses ( including the skin and the genitals ) also become noticeably quiet. Further, the mind also loses its proclivity to drag us “hither and tither”, and our attempt to focus on chanting the holy name is no longer a daunting prospect. In fact we increase our opportunity to enter into a deeper relationship with the Holy Name. If we can bring our devotional experience onto this stream , to hug or not to hug members of the opposite sex will not be an issue of contention. As the value of Krishna Consciousness enters the domain of our perception, the more we feel indebted to Srila Prabhupada, our Gurudev ( for those who are not Srila Prabhupada diksha disciples), and the Vaisnavas. Consequently , the more we want to focus in carrying out their orders.
» Posted By Mithuna Das On Sep 15, 2006 @ 12:15 am
An additional comment about remaining motivated in Krishna Consciousness.
I would like to share the following few points as an addition to the previous comment that I made. Very often we experience the mind as a source of distraction; despite what is apparent ,it is the heart festering material desires that is the real source of even the mind’s distraction. As we serve more steadily and aslo with greater purity ( ie: with a proper understanding of who is the real beneficiary of our devotional endeavors), we experience a sublime ( and sometimes obvious ) and deepening satisfaction of our heart. As a corollary , our senses ( including the genitals ) becomes quiet , and the mind loses its proclivity to send us ” hither and tither ” in search of “happiness”. With a quietened mind we can be deeply attentive to assocaiating with the Lord in the form of The Holy Name. Soon motivation to perform devotional service begins to fester in our heart.
» Posted By Mithuna Das On Aug 30, 2006 @ 11:55 am
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Thank you for sharing that wonderful peice on how to remian motivated for distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books. I would like to add a spin on how we can remain motivated in devotional service in general. I have been a devotee for almost 17 years , and I have always found great joy ( and still do find great joy ) in performing devotional service. In reflecting on my own practice, I have always ( yes for all those years) prayed to the Lord and Srila Prabhupada to “please firmly plant within the core of my heart , FULL ACCEPTANCE of the FACT that I am an eternal spirit soul , and eternal servant of Krishna”. I suspect that by the Lord’s mercy, this may have become a little bit ” rooted ” in me. Once this becomes our core , and unwaivering motivation the willingness to perform devotional service seems to be quite easy. As I mature more I find that I desire to pray for a clear indication of the particular service that will fully satisfy my present psychophysical nature.
In closing I would like to add that, If we arrive at the point of actually accepting the fact that we are Krishna’s eternal servitors , how can we not help but serve?
» Posted By Mithuna Das On Aug 29, 2006 @ 5:22 pm
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