Conflict Resolution

Conflict is the very nature of this material world. Even cells within our bodies are in conflict. The subtlest of all elements of creation is the false ego. And all other elements are both evolving as well as resting upon the false ego. What is the false ego? It is the false sense of identity. The Bhagavad Gita explains that besides these eight gross and subtle elements there is another nature, a spiritual nature which is the source of consciousness, the source of life. And that is our real identity: that we are spirit souls. We are conscious beings. “I am this body and all the designations of this body are me. I am man or woman, I am black or red or yellow. I am American, or Indian, or Pakistani or Russian. I am Hindu, Muslim, Jew, Christian, and Buddhist. I am rich, I am poor”. These are all temporary designations.  They are not really the self, because they all change. The body is constantly changing. When you were an infant baby, you looked completely different.  In your youth your body grew and as an adult you saw further change.  Our spiritual master used to say that if you throw a stone in a pond it creates circles that expand to the end of the pond. If every stone is thrown in the same central place, all the circles will flow out harmoniously. If you throw many stones in different parts of the pond, each will have their center. Therefore all the circles will collide. The water will become chaotic. Unless human beings understand our common relationship with... read more

The Missing Photograph

What do you see in this photograph? Do you not see a happy family – mother and two lovely children. Does it ever occur to you. that there is something missing here ? Well, to many so-called educated people this is exactly how they see the world around them. They see mother nature and they are in awe about her capacity to produce everything in such variety. People also see humans, animals, reptiles, plants, birds and an almost endless array of creatures. These are the ‘children’ of ‘mother’ nature. It is mentioned in the Vedas that this mother provides bodies for her children in four ways – eggs, seeds, perspiration and embryos. Birds are born from eggs, trees and plants are born from seeds, some species like bugs are born from perspiration and humans are born from embryos. In this way eighty four lakh varieties of material bodies are available for the living entity. How does one get a material body? It’s simple. Material thoughts generate material bodies. And confined in a material body it is just assumed that one will be forced to think in material terms and thus the process goes on and on. There is simply no escape. No, wait! There is still one face missing in our photograph. The father. How can a mother give birth to a child without the seed provided by the father. But some scientist can claim that I am not able to see the father, therefore I am presuming that either nature is producing on her own or that the father is dead. Even in the most modern industrial plants... read more

The Most Popular Person | No God Up There

Over a 100 million in attendance, a mini-city springing on the banks of the confluence of three rivers,over 30,000 police personnel to give security, miles and miles of power cables, sewage pipelines and a budget of 1200 crore rupees. Unbelievable as it sounds, and all this for just forty days. No, this is not a political protest, rock concert or shopping extravaganza. In fact, in these days of religious and spiritual consciousness on the wane, nothing, absolutely nothing compares with this spectacular Vedic event. We are discussing the Kumbha-mela, dubbed the largest gathering of humanity on this planet. The exact historical origin of this gathering is a subject matter for scholars and empiricists to wrangle about, but when I visited the Mela on February 17, I was convinced that the Lord remains the most popular person – ever. I was not present during the busiest bathing dates, but yet I was very impressed with what I saw. Let me relate a personal incident. I was watching a group of pilgrims enter our camp and I saw that they were in front of our dismantled dioramas depicting Lord Vishnu saving the life of Gajendra the elephant. To my surprise, the group started to offer obeisance to those dioramas. I asked myself, “What is this that sustains their faith?” It seems that this is what is wrong with Hinduism today. People appear to just flock anywhere where salvation is promised. And especially at the Kumbha-mela, just one dip in the icy cold waters promises you mokse (liberation) from all your sins. But what could be the real reason behind this ancient... read more

Nine Processes Of Devotional Service

In the Vedic scriptures devotional service unto Shree Krishna is described as joyfully performed and everlasting. This service is divided into nine processes: Hearing the name and glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; Chanting His glories Remembering the Lord Serving the Lord’s feet Worshiping the Deity Offering prayers unto the Lord Acting as the Lord’s servant Making friends with the Lord and Surrendering oneself fully to the Lord. shravaëam: Hearing of the holy name of the Lord is the beginning of devotional service. Although any one of the nine processes is sufficient, in chronological order the hearing of the holy name of the Lord is the beginning. Indeed, it is essential. As enunciated by Lord Shree Caitanya Mahäprabhu, by chanting the holy name of the Lord, one is cleansed of the material conception of life, which is due to the dirty modes of material nature. When the contamination is cleansed from the core of one’s heart, one can realize the form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Mahäräja Parékñit became perfect by hearing about Kåñëa. Kértanaà: A devotee can very peacefully chant the holy name of the Lord by behaving humbler than a blade of grass, being tolerant like a tree and offering respects to everyone, without expecting honor from anyone else. Such qualifications make it easier to chant the holy names. The process of transcendental chanting can be easily performed by anyone. Even if one is physically unfit, classified lower than others, devoid of material qualifications or not at all elevated in terms of pious activities, the chanting of the holy name is beneficial. An aristocratic birth,... read more

Failures As Stepping Stones To Success

My spiritual master used to say that it is a principle that failure is the pillar of success. But it can be applied to our spiritual lives. One very famous speaker has said that “Success is going from failure to failure to failure, without losing ones enthusiasm.” We really never fail until we give up trying; trying, with determination and with enthusiasm. Vision means to see the invisible, to feel the intangible and to achieve the impossible. Actually challenges or failures can be stepping stones or stumbling blocks on the road to success. It is all a matter of how we look at it. You can see a glass as half empty, or you can see a glass as half full. One will bring you enthusiasm, the other will bring you discouragement. We can apply that principle to every aspect of our life. But what is of real importance is to know that we are dong the right thing. We learn from our mistakes. A mistake is only a mistake if we fail to learn from it. Real leaders make many, many mistakes, but they do not repeat them. They learn from them, they remain enthusiastic; they remain determined for the goal. Actual champions in every situation are always focused on their goals. They make goals; and losers make excuses. Our life is what we make of it. Failure is a very minor stumbling block on the road to success. Failures build character. Pressure is something, which only comes to one who earns it. We should respect pressures as an honour. We cannot be successful unless we have the... read more

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... read more
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