Comments Posted By Puskaraksa das

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Will Hare Krishnas Go Vegan?

Another aspect of drinking milk or consuming dairies, is that it nourishes bhakti…!

Indeed, milk and dairy not only nourish the finer brain tissues and the body at large, but they also nourish the heart and play an essential role in our devotional culture.

Otherwise, why would Govinda Ji, Gopal Jiu, care so much altogether for the earth, the cows and the brahmanas…?

Why would Krishna, God Himself, be a cowherd boy…?

To the contrary, the vegans are often more conscious about their material body and their health, than anything else.

In the eighties, I introduced an old lady to Bhakti Svarupa Damodara Maharaja. She was considered the mother of the “Macrobiotics Movement” in France, as she highly contributed to introduce it.

As they profess that “You are what you eat”, she finally came out with this line: ” To me, rice is God…!”

So, as Srimad Bhagavatam states, “What is the use of living a hundred years like tree…? Better to have a spark of pure consciousness…!”

So, rather than becoming a dry bodily-attached philosopher, better to become part of the culture of love, and imbibe the finer qualities of mother cow, go mata, which are conducive to elevating one to the mode of goodness and, further more, to developing bhakti…

Comment Posted By Puskaraksa das On 12.08.2014 @ 06:43

One aspect the promoters of veganism may not have in mind, is the karma which one has to endure for having slaughtered a cow.

That means that no matter what these well-intended persons may say, the law of karma will apply and he who has killed a cow will have to be killed in the body of a cow, so many times as there are hair on the body of that cow.

So, we are not exactly here to try and counteract the decisions of the court of Yamaraja which will have to be enforced, nor defy the arrangements made by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He who doesn’t mind killing the miscreants, whatever body they may be covered with.

This means that one should not become so sentimental, as to deviate from our philosophy and Vaishnava lifestyle, in order to try and protect some sinful souls already sentenced to death.

Rather, by offering their milk to Krishna, we may allow them to do some agyata-sukriti and thereby engage themselves on the path which will ultimately liberate them from samsara.

Nevertheless, we simultaneously have to promote an ideal society, which will inspire people to purify their lives and become devotees.

Jaya Govinda, Jaya Gopal

Comment Posted By Puskaraksa das On 11.08.2014 @ 22:27

An Appointment with Mr. Death

There is also a suggestion that the origins of the story go back as far as the Babylonian Talmud.

The following story, which we may call “Appointment in Luz,” demonstrates that an individual cannot escape his or her destiny and must inevitably die. The Angel of Death is depicted as simply performing a necessary task, and doing it any way he can.

“There were two Cushites that attended on King Solomon, Elichoreph and Achiyah, sons of Shisha, who were scribes of Solomon. One day, Solomon noticed that the Angel of Death looked sad. Solomon asked him: Why are you sad? He replied: Because they have demanded from me the two Cushites that dwell here. Solomon had servants take them to the city of Luz [a legendary city where no one dies]. However, as soon as they reached the gates of Luz, they died. The next day, Solomon noticed that the Angel of Death was happy. He asked him: Why are you so happy? He replied: Because you sent them to the very place where they were supposed to die (Sukkah 53a). Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived (according to I Kings 3:12), discovered himself outsmarted.”

There are obvious similarities here to the well known “Appointment in Samarra” story, a retelling of which was made famous by W. Somerset Maugham in his play Sheppey. Some scholars assert, however, that the origin of the Maugham tale is “When Death Came to Baghdad,” a ninth century Arabian Sufi story in Fudail ibn Ayad’s Hikayat-I-Naqshia.

This similar story in the Talmud is several hundred years older.” Satan the Accuser: Trickster in Talmudic and Midrashic Literature, by Hershey H. Friedman, Ph.D.

So, we can see that as Srila Prabhupada stated: ” Little knowledge is dangerous!”

Another point which could be raised is whether “Death” is to be personified as “Mr Death” as in the article (which is rather unusual) or rather, as a female personality, such as Ma Kali with her garland of skulls around the neck.

However, the Sufi version of the story depicts Death as an Angel, and we won’t enter into a lengthy discussion about the gender of the angels…!

Yet, Krishna, God, states that He is also Death. Thus, Death can be feared by the athiest or the unrepented sinner (as a mouse in the jaws of a cat), while Death can also be welcome as a Friend, by the surrendered and fearless devotee (as a kitten within the jaws of his mother).

All glories to the glorious and most fortunate passing away of Rohini Tanaya Prabhu.

Thank you for sharing it, Mataji.

Comment Posted By Puskaraksa das On 11.08.2014 @ 06:05

It is clearly a tale with many variations. For instance, the place name can be Samarra or Samarkand. The title may also vary.

Here is a version of the story that is over 1000 years old.

“When Death Came to Baghdad” is in the ‘Hikayat-I-Naqshia’ of Fudail ibn Ayad, a ninth century reformed bandit, turned Sufi sage. Although some details differ from the version most widely told today, it is considered to be the ’same’ story as “The Appointment in Samara”. In the 1960s it was included in an important collection of Sufi teaching stories gathered by a respected scholar, Idries Shah, who traveled extensively in the Middle East gathering material from written and oral sources. The story, from ‘Tales of the Dervishes’ is quoted as follows:

“The disciple of a Sufi of Baghdad was sitting in the corner of an inn one day when he heard two figures talking. From what they said he realized that one of them was the Angel of Death. “I have several calls to make in this city during the next three weeks,” the Angel was saying to his companion. Terrified, the disciple concealed himself until the two had left. Then applying his intelligence to the problem of how to cheat a possible call from death, he decided that if he kept away from Baghdad he should not be touched. From this reasoning it was but a short step to hiring the fastest horse available and spurring it night and day towards the distant town of Samarkand. Meanwhile Death met the Sufi teacher and they talked about various people. “And where is your disciple so-and-so?” asked Death. “He should be somewhere in this city, spending his time in contemplation, perhaps in a caravanserai,” said the teacher. “Surprising,” said the Angel; “because he is on my list. Yes, here it is: I have to collect him in four weeks’ time at Samarkand, of all places.”
from: ‘Tales of the Dervishes’ by Idries Shah.

Comment Posted By Puskaraksa das On 11.08.2014 @ 05:23

In the Samarkand legend, “A servant encounters a woman in the market place and recognizes her as Death. The ominous figure looks into the face of the servant and makes what seems to him a threatening gesture.

Trembling with fear, the servant runs home, borrows his master’s horse, and rides like the wind all the way to Samarkand so that Death will not be able to find him.

Later, the master sees Death and asks her why she had threatened his servant. And Death says, “There was no threat. I was merely startled to see your servant here, for I have an appointment with him tonight in Samarkand.”

Every one of us has an appointment with Death, no matter what, but most of us do not know the particulars, the when, where and how of it…

This is why, as Srila Prabhupada stated, we have to be ready to leave our body anytime.

Moreover, a devotee welcomes death, for he or she is free from attachment to this material world and is eager to come one step closer to Krishna’s lotus feet…!

In this way, the devotee is abhayam, fearless…!

Comment Posted By Puskaraksa das On 30.07.2014 @ 05:36

How to address a woman?

The question one may ask oneself is: “Would I write or think the same thing, if I was in the other person’s position or, in the present case, in the opposite gender’s body…?”

This generally gives one a fairly good idea of how biaised one can be and inclined to preach for one’s own parish, clan or club, so to speak.

This also draws a line and defines a limit to one’s own impartiality and capacity to approach the Absolute Truth, which is by nature, impartial and unbiaised.

This approach may of course, also apply to varied situations. Thus, by trying to understand and possibly sympathise with the other’s position, one may become more fair of a judge.

Ottherwise, partisanship is likely to mislead one and confine one to most often promote and defend, with limited vision, some self-motivated so-called causes, which often boil down to some form of self-promotion, with the intent of serving some personal agenda.

Comment Posted By Puskaraksa das On 10.08.2014 @ 17:01

If I may, I would like to emphasise the fact that we shouldn’t view the respective position of man and woman in terms of competition (which is not completely absent in the approach of the above article), but in terms of being complementary to each other.

By doing so, we will by-pass the ego problem, which often ends up being the main issue!

Nevertheless, I would agree with the gist of this article, about the fact that being called “Mother”, ‘Mataji” or “Ma” is a very honorific title. As it is, each and every man starts his life, being dependant on a woman for his survival, may it be in the womb only.

Moreover, small children embodied as girls tend to play with dolls and seem to naturally prepare themselves for this inbuilt role they are likely to play in the future. So, to even call a child or one’s daughter “Ma”, is not far-fetched…!

Yet, in our society of devotees, as a result of having imbibed some higher knowledge, I do not think we should over emphasise, nor minimise, the respective position of each gender, in the sense that we should not identify ourselves with the body we are temporarily inhabiting.

Hence, out of etiquette and respect for the laws of God and nature, we may behave accordingly, but what we cherish above all, is spiritual advancement and spiritual qualities, which are the ornaments of a saintly person, saddhu bhusana.

In that regard, it is no more a matter of gender.

Both men and women and particularly husband and wife, are there to help each other make progress on the spiritual path, as loving and caring brothers and sisters ought to, in a pacified and unified spiritual family, under the loving care of Srila Prabhupada and our Parampara.

Thus, we are mutually serving each other, don’t we…?

When the cook cooks for the temple devotees, does he or she cook for men or women only…?

When the pujari dresses and decorates beautifully the Deities, is it not for the pleasure of Their Lordships and for the whole assembly, or is it for the pleasure of men or women only…?

In this way, we should be careful not to promote, directly or indirectly, a rivalry in between men and women.

Men are meant to protect women when they’re grown up and women are meant to protect men till then.

Yet, through their love and devotion and spiritual qualities, both genders keep assisting and protecting each other throughout their lives, be it in running society, families or temples.

Jaya Sacinandana…!

Comment Posted By Puskaraksa das On 27.07.2014 @ 15:58

Krishna Consciousness in Iceland

Dear Sarvabhauma Prabhu

Thank you very much for this enlivening presentation !

I am so happy to get to know you, as well as discover more about the background of Gaura Bhagavan and Prema Bhakti Prabhus, whom I have heard a lot about, during this past year.

As a matter of fact, by Guru and Krishna’s transcendental arrangements, I happened to be instrumental in connecting Praghosa Prabhu with both the Indian Ambassador to Iceland and this Anglo-Icelandic Indian born gentleman, which led to the January visit to Iceland and first meetings.

What happened is that I had been instructed by my Guru Maharaja to stay back at the temple near Paris last Janmasthami and not go on Harinam with the other devotees, during Janmasthami Festival and the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the installation of Sri-Sri Radha-Paris-Ishvara.

I understood later that it was so that I could greet His Excellency the Ambassador of India to Iceland along with his wife and two children, who happened to be visiting the temple prior to their flying back to Iceland.

Besides, offering them some maha-prasadam and some spiritual gifts, we had a good contact, and shared a special connection with Odisha (Orissa) where they took birth, alike my Guru Maharaja.

It is at that time that they expressed their desire to have an ISKCON temple open in Iceland, while telling me about their earlier connections with ISKCON, during his previous assignments, especially with the Toronto and Chicago Temples.

Thus, I decided to investigate who was the GBC for Iceland and found out that it was my friend Praghosa.

The rest is history, in the course of being written, by the mercy of all of you.

Hare Krishna

Affectionately yours in the service of Sri Guru & Sri Gauranga

Das dasanudasa
Puskaraksa das - GGS

Comment Posted By Puskaraksa das On 20.07.2014 @ 12:05

Lost paradise football

Harikeśa: If a neophyte devotee is with determination endeavoring for purification but he were to meet with death as he is still influenced by the lower modes, although he is seriously trying, then does he take another birth or does he go to Kṛṣṇa?

Prabhupāda: No, he has to take another birth. If he is not completely purified, he has to suffer another birth. Nobody is allowed to enter into the spiritual realm unless he is cent percent pure.

Harikeśa: So if a devotee dies and remembers Kṛṣṇa, although he is not perfect…

Prabhupāda: Unless he is perfect, he cannot remember Kṛṣṇa. That is not possible.

Comment Posted By Puskaraksa das On 20.07.2014 @ 17:05

Japa Affirmations

Note: Mahatma das answers my first comment and this comes before #4:

As one gradually realises the nature of Krishna Nama, who is apauruseya, rather than being in a mood of being the doer, one will witness how the Holy Name appears by His own sweet will and what He is capable of doing to us.

The following is the translation of a song from Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s Sharanagati:

“My heart is just like a desert, hot with the rays of the sun. This is my internal mental condition. The desire for mortal things cannot satisfy me because by nature they are death-producing. And not one or two, but thousands of such death-producing desires have taken shelter in my mind. So, my subconscious region is always burning. This is my condition.

But somehow, by the grace of the sadhu and guru, the Hare Krishna maha-mantra with its infinite prospect has entered through the holes of my ears and reached the plane of my heart. And there, with some peculiar hope, with infinite, auspicious possibilities, it touched my heart with a new kind of nectar.

New hope is aroused by that sound of the maha-mantra. Then by force it comes form the heart towards the tongue. Not that by the endeavor of my tongue I am producing that sound. No. What came from the heart of a pure saint through my ear, entered my heart, and that forcibly appeared on my tongue, and began to dance.

That is the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. It descends from above. It cannot be produced by the material tongue. It’s source is above. And through an agent of the absolute it comes through the ear to the heart. From the heart it gathers some sympathy, then the maha-mantra forcibly appears upon the tongue and begins to dance. With great force it comes to the end of the tongue, and that sweet sound begins its dancing.”

Sometimes the devotee thinks: I am beside myself. I can’t understand where I am. Where am I? What is this? What is all about me? It has almost made me mad. Am I a madman? Where is my past experience, my seriousness, my gravity, where are they? What am I? I have been converted wholesale by a foreign thing. I am a doll in the hands of a great force, which is also so affectionate to me. I can’t ascertain how it is possible that by my faith I have entered this great, unknown environment, not experienced before. And at last I find that I am captivated. My entire being, within and without, has been captured by a particularly sweet force. I can’t help being prey to such a sweet power.

Comment Posted By Puskaraksa das On 06.07.2014 @ 11:29


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