Anger Management

Anger Management

There are at least 300 books available at your online bookseller dealing with anger. Many of themjust contain pop-culture variety of self-help advice on the dangers of uncontrolled anger. Anger is just one letter short of danger as these experts remind us. Lord Krishna, in the very beginning of the Gita encourages Arjuna to control anger and praises someone who has successfully done it as “a sage of steady mind.” It is quite natural to see many people today disbelieving in religion due to so many speculative theories spread by so-called scholars. These so called leaders take to the shelter of some kind of intoxication, and their affective hallucinations are sometimes accepted as spiritual vision. And after some time the dis illusioned followers become very angry at almost every kind of faith because they got cheated. Another important point about anger is that it is a pollutant. Srila Prabhupada says, “Even if there is provocation one should be tolerant; for once one becomes angry his whole body becomes polluted. Anger is a product of the mode of passion and lust, so one who is transcendentally situated should check himself from anger.” And at the same time it is important for a warrior like Arjuna to exhibit anger while fighting, because one cannot fight without becoming angry. In fact in the beginning of the discourse Arjuna refuses to go to war claiming pity for his opposition and is willing to accept the lowly position of a beggar. During the course of the dialogue Krishna explains that running away is never a good solution because once the battle begins the mode...

Win the Real Medal

So much struggle! Winning an Olympic medal, or any other sports championship, is not easy. One has to spend years of rigorous training under an expert coach, go through a strict and regulated diet, maintain a high level of fitness, and perform many such austerities. That is the price one has to pay to achieve any worthy goal. But no matter how precious the goal is, any achievement in the material world is temporary because someone else eclipses our achievement in the future. Even if no one performs better than us, imperceptible time erodes away the name and glory that once accompanied the achievement. Ultimately cruel death snatches away all that we cherish, forcing us to accept another term of imprisonment in the material world, thus keeping us perpetually engaged in pursuing flickering illusory goals. Human life is precious we cannot afford to lose it by trying to achieve cheap goals. Tapo divyam putraka yena sattvam suddhyed yasmad brahma-saukhyam tv anantam (Bhagavatam 5.5.1): One should undergo austerities in this life by which we can purify our existence and enjoy unlimited transcendental bliss. That is the only medal worth achieving. Please like &...

Become a Ripe Mango

Unripe mangoes and ripe mangoes — both are mangoes, aren’t they? But no one enjoys eating unripe mangoes — they are sour, sometimes bitter, often detestable. The ripe ones, however, are delicious, juicy and succulent. If the unripe mangoes have to become ripe, all they need to do is stay attached to the tree. Over a period of time, they will soon become ripe and enjoyable for everyone. Srila Prabhuada explains that a devotee filled with material desires is like the unripe mango detestable and cannot be offered to Krishna. But if one remains “attached to the tree,” or, in other words, stays in the association of devotees and continues to perform devotional service, one will soon become a “ripe mango,” a perfect devotee who can be offered to Krishna. Krishna becomes greatly pleased to take such a devotee back home, back to Godhead. Please like &...

The Arrow of Time

Can we reverse the arrow of time?   Many in the past have tried to reverse it, many have tried to keep it stationary, but all of them have failed from Hiranyakashipu to Ravana to modern atheistic scientists. Hiranyakashipu, a demonic king of bygone ages, vainly attempted to become immortal by circumventing the laws of nature. Ravana also made a similar attempt, but he was vanquished by Lord Rama. Modern scientists make futile claims about their attempts to stop growing old. They even dare to say that they can reverse the aging process ”Future technology will help an old man grow young!” All sham. Aging is not the only way by which people die. There are innumerable ways in which people meet their end: accidents, wars, suicides, murders, terrorism. Can the scientists reverse the dying process? The struggle for existence leads to survival of the fittest, but how long can the fittest survive? Eventually relentless time wins over them, and they too become a part of history. Please like &...

4 Metaphors of Transcendental Knowledge

Academic knowledge provides information of the world, but spiritual knowledge awards us eternal liberation. One of my friends in college was known for his immense general knowledge. He knew the names of all recent Hollywood and Bollywood movies, the actors, directors, and producers of each movie, and the winners of Oscar and Filmfare awards from every year. In sports, he knew the winners of each Grand Slam tennis tournament from every year as well as similar information about football and cricket. He also knew the capital city and currency of each country, and a lot more. I was impressed by his memory, and I admired his voracious reading. Here I was struggling to remember basic mathematical and scientific formulae and somehow clear my examinations. I wished I had the ability to retain at least half of what I read daily. When I came to Krishna consciousness, however, I felt less impressed by my friend’s general knowledge. I learned that knowledge was meant to produce good character and, ultimately, devotion to God. So-called knowledge of this world is incomplete, because information in this world keeps changing continuously; what is true today will no longer remain true tomorrow. The greater your memory, the greater your capacity to retain information, and the greater will be your reputation as a knowledgeable person. But knowledge about this world is simply data loaded into the brain. How can such ever changing information help us attain anything permanent and everlasting? How can such knowledge help us solve the real problems of life, namely, birth, old age, disease, and death? Real knowledge is to know what matter...

Krishna An Immoral or Trans-moral God?

Whenever we tell someone that we worship Lord Krishna, they are often taken by surprise: “How can you worship a God that is immoral?” They refer to Krishna’s stealing of the garments of the unmarried women and His dancing with cowherd damsels of Vrindavana. How could Krishna dare to take away the clothes of young girls and force them to stand naked before him? How could He dance with other men’s wives in the middle of night? And for all this, He is worshiped as God? That’s outrageous!   These are some of the most misunderstood pastimes of Lord Krishna. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, a great nineteenth-century saint, had predicted that one of the challenges for the modern man in understanding the Srimad-Bhagavatam would be the Tenth Canto, where Krishna’s loving pastimes with the gopis are discussed. One may wonder, how can a book that is considered the summum bonum, the culmination of all philosophical understanding and the highest wisdom of a tradition, glorify such activities as most worshipable? Bhaktivinoda Thakura answers this question by posing a counter-question: If a lay person can know that such activities are abominable, wouldn’t Vyasadeva, the author of Bhagavatam, and Sukadeva Gosvami, the narrator of Bhagavatam, know this fact? Vyasadeva was the literary incarnation of God, and Sukadeva Gosvami was a paramahamsa, a person in the highest renounced order of life. Why would they discuss these topics if these topics were immoral? It is interesting to note that throughout the first nine cantos of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Vyasadeva condemns material attachment and the degrading power of lust. Through the stories of Ajamila, Saubhari, and Pururava,...

Queen Kunti’s Amazing Plea

Why an exalted devotee asked Lord Krishna to keep putting her into dangerous situations. Most people worship God with a material motive. As Lord Krishna explains in the Bhagavad-gita (7.16), such people can broadly be classified into four groups: the distressed, the needy, the inquisitive, and those searching for knowledge of the Absolute. In most cases, they stop their worship as soon as they obtain their objective. They regard God as someone who can lessen their miseries and make their lives happy and peaceful. Still, Lord Krishna considers them pious because in their hour of difficulty they have chosen to approach God and not someone mundane. (Bhagavad-gita 7.18) Among all worshipers, Lord Krishna singles out the person in full knowledge who always engages in His pure devotional service as the best. Persons in full knowledge, knowing Krishna to be the cause of all causes, surrender unto Him. Their only purpose is to serve Krishna selflessly with love and devotion. Therefore, Krishna says of the pure devotee, “I am very dear to him, and he is dear to Me.” (Bhagavad- gita 7.17) A devotee who has developed intense love for Krishna cannot live for a second without seeing or serving Him, the pain of separation from Him being too unbearable. Queen Kunti’s Exemplary Devotional Sentiments One such devotee was Queen Kunti, the mother of the five Panhava brothers. The Mahabharata explains how Kunti underwent great sufferings throughout her life. Before getting married, she gave birth to Karna, her first son. Being a maiden, however, she rejected him to save herself from social condemnation. Soon after getting married, her husband, Panhu,...

The Laws of Bhakti

Far from being a sentimental activity, devotional service is based on well-defined principles that systematically guide a practitioner to ultimate perfection. Discussions about the relationship between science and religion usually end in a stalemate: Scientists accuse religionists of relying too much on faith, which they say is experimentally unverifiable, while religionists accuse scientists of relying too much on physical and chemical laws, which they say fail to measure the emotions and sentiments of a conscious living entity. The scientists fail to address or even acknowledge consciousness and its attendant needs; religionists fail to provide a satisfactory scientific and logical explanation for the practices they follow. The refusal of scientists to experiment beyond mechanistic science and the inability of religionists to present religion as a bonafide science have only widened the gap between the two parties. A study of the Vedic scriptures, however, reveals that the true Vedic religion is not a matter of blind faith but is an actual science, verifiable by experiment. Unlike conventional religions, which force their practitioners to accept dogma on faith, the Vedic religion (also known as sanatana-dharma, bhagavata- dharma, or Krishna consciousness) repeatedly prods its students to inquire and question at every step. Sentimental practice is never encouraged. While other religions teach us to love and serve God, the beauty of the Vedic scriptures lies in their ability to explain the dynamics of this spiritual relationship by revealing the precise, well-defined principles that underlie it. A deeper understanding of this subject will nourish the faith of the faithful and satisfy the intellect of the intellectuals. 1. The Law of Attraction Newton’s law of gravitation...
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