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Comments Posted By Mithuna Das

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How Hard-hearted Bhakti Affects our Iskcon Home

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.

Comment Posted By Mithuna Das On 12.07.2011 @ 18:35

Intellectual Simplicity

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)

Comment Posted By Mithuna Das On 27.01.2011 @ 16:57

A request for help in starting a new website "For Struggling Devotees"

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‚Äôs 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 ‚Äúnon chanting times‚ÄĚ 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”.

Comment Posted By Mithuna Das On 21.06.2009 @ 02:43

Just A Sesame Seed Of Doubt

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.

Comment Posted By Mithuna Das On 25.05.2009 @ 14:26

Choosing to Fall Down

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.

Comment Posted By Mithuna Das On 18.08.2007 @ 07:45

Kinds and degrees of illicit sex

Hare Krishna
Suresh das
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.

Comment Posted By Mithuna Das On 01.05.2007 @ 11:13

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.

Comment Posted By Mithuna Das On 28.04.2007 @ 17:02

Hm. So how you are spending that money?

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.

Comment Posted By Mithuna Das On 21.01.2007 @ 16:58

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.

Comment Posted By Mithuna Das On 21.01.2007 @ 04:54

ISKCON, Sect or Cult? Actually Both

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.

Comment Posted By Mithuna Das On 21.12.2006 @ 03:35


 


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