"Planet ISKCON" - 17 new articles
It was good. I chanted all 16 rounds in a row and kept my attention on the silent mantras without wandering to other thoughts. It is an easy process when you get the cooperation of your mind. There's nothing to do but adoringly hear the repeated names of Hare, Krishna and Rama. It is mantra meditation and the most recommended form of God realization for this age.
From Bhajan Kutir #26
If we do not do our best to bring Krishna Consciousness to other beings, we are acting violently toward them. If we do not act to relieve suffering in others, we are doing them an injustice. Krishna Consciousness means the real end of all suffering, so everyone has the right to Krishna Consciousness.
>>> Ref. VedaBase => Notes transcribed from a lecture given September 8, 1966
from BTG #4
some time ago i announced that finally KDE4 appeared too 'fancy' and i wanted to swith to GNOME. soon i noticed that in my opinion KDE apps are really superior to GNOME ones. my next decision was to run GNOME with KDE apps. that works for some of them, not for others.
obviously apps. run best in the environment they are made for.
so after some struggling with little success i'm back to running KDE.
actually, what was i trying to say: don't put so much emphasis on the external. well, that works two ways: don't worry so much about presentation, but if there's a little too much design in the UI, i shouldn't take that too serious, either.
As you can probably see if you're reading this the blog has gone through some big changes over the weekend. I've changed the name, although I couldn't change the URL without starting a whole new blog, which I may do at some point. I started the blog a number of years ago, kind of on a whim, and a lot has changed since then, if I could start over I wouldn't have my name as the website address but at least I wanted to change the tittle.
The tittle The Pilgrim's Progress is the short form of the title of an allegorical Christian work written by Paul Bunyan. It is actually kind of a cool little allegorical story about the spiritual journey as understood from the traditional Christian perspective. If your interested check out the wikipedia entry here.
Srila Prabhupada also uses the term in the third canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam to describe Vidura's pilgrimage to different holy places, that is where I originally came across the phrase and looked it up as I was curious to see what it was a reference to.
Some of the pages are still under construction and I may add a few more as well.
I hope you like the new look and feel. Please let me know if have any suggestions.
Lomasha Rishidas L.Ac. leads a discussion remembering HH Tamal Krishna Goswami. Other devotees give their memories as well.
Download: 2010-07-01 - Lomasha Rishidas, L.Ac. - Remembering Tamal Krishna Goswami.mp3
"The Swan Boat Festivals are pure elegance," says Bhakta Gerald Yule from Elm Gove, WV. This year, Bhakta Gerald has the unique privilege of navigating the Swan Boat across New Vrindaban's Swan Lake every Saturday night, from Mother's Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. "The Swan Boat is one-of-a-kind. For a few years, the devotees used to enter the Swan Boat in parades and festivals in Wheeling, Charleston, Pittsburgh, and other places. The Swan Boat always won a prize."
I woke up 11:30 P.M. with a headache. I tolerated it for half an hour and then took medicine. The medicine kept me awake, but I followed Jayadvaita Maharaja's advice that resting in bed is almost as good as sleeping. I rested with two pillows and lay on my back until 1:20 A.M., and then I got up. I began chanting at 1:30. I chanted rapidly, and quantity was emphasized a little more than quality. About halfway through I started to feel my eyes getting heavy, but then I overcame that and went on to chant rapidly. Quantity merged with quality, and both were going well. I finished sixteen rounds in one hour and fifty-five minutes. That's a pretty speedy trot around the track. I uttered the syllables and heard them all even though they were said so quickly. Sacinandana Maharaja has said we should chant quickly and that that those who criticize quick chanters don't know the art. So at the rate I was chanting I could have gone on and chanted sixty-four rounds. Maybe one of these days I'll try it. Anyway I'm satisfied with my japa this morning and I don't feel pain, and I've completed the vow. I would not feel disappointed if I could chant like this every morning, quickly and alert, not thinking much of other things but just concentrating on getting them done and getting them done with attention.
Sixteen rounds in less
Here is Srila Prabhupada walking on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu in Hawaii wearing a light-pink cadar against the light breezes of a January morning of 1974. He liked walking right at the edge of the seashore, such as at Venice Beach, Los Angeles, and Juhu Beach, Bombay. He used to remark that the vast, powerful ocean was restricted from its encroachment on the land by a higher power, the order of God. He also noted that the little sea-crabs, when frightened by approaching men, would run into the sea, not into the land side or forest. He said it was the human's nature to take shelter away from the encroaching water by retreating to the land, but the tiny crabs knew they were safe in the giant ocean. In this way he would constantly make God conscious observations from the study of Nature. Prabhupada alternately chanted his japa and spoke philosophy on his walks, and his disciples followed suit. But he never seemed disturbed when they interrupted his japa with a question and was always ready to engage in conversation. He had a particular liking for polemics, "the art or practice of dispute or argument, as in attacking or defending a doctrine or belief." His favorite targets were the atheistic scientists and the mayavadis or voidists. Sometime he would provoke doubt in a disciple, saying "What do they say?" or "You sometimes take their side, what do they say?"
But when you took up the side of the atheists, and stated some of their arguments in answer to Prabhupada's arguments, you sometimes took the risk of his becoming angry with you and treating you not as a theoretical arguer but as an actual atheist. "That is rascaldom. That is a most foolish proposal. You are a demon." You would feel crestfallen and apologize, sorry you had taken on the opposing view. But actually many times you did it because you weren't playing a game with your spiritual master, but exposing your agnostic heart. Regardless of your intentions or role-playing, Prabhupada smashed all the atheistic propositions. He made his walk a school-ground for training his preachers and sharpening his own wits, and had it all recorded on tape.
I like the poems of Mary Oliver
But Narottama is more chock
And he repeatedly describes the
"The eyes of the Divine Couple
"The golden-complexioned Sri Radha,
Can I write poems like that?
When I write my own
Appreciating a glance at
There is a wedding today, across the street.
I play my own tunes in
And in the afternoon I hope
Swami Rupa had a dream just before breakfast that he was back in the Navy. He was on the big ship Saratoga. He kept moving through scenes and places. He personally determined that the most important thing was to go on chanting japa to himself. There were crowds of sailors and authorities over them. The authorities wanted you to stop and do things. Some wanted you to strip naked and be treated for protection from cancer. He just stepped out of line and avoided that. He decided if they caught him avoiding it, he wouldn't care how they reprimanded him. The only important thing was to go on chanting. They kept the men separated from the women, although he could hear their voices. That was all right too. In some places there were landslides and their feet sunk in coal-like substance. In some places there were mountainous regions. But all that mattered to him was that he went on chanting Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare and he chanted in his dream. When he woke up he thought "That was a very important dream. I should always chant Hare Krishna."
Joey, the man with Alzheimer's, was coming to the Healing House almost every other day. As soon as he arrived the inmates would phone his daughter or son and tell them he was there. He usually stayed for most of the day. He liked to talk to the devotees, and he liked to do service. One service he liked to do was keep the next-door neighbors' dog from barking. They had the dog tied to a tree just on the other side of a fence separating the next-door house from the Healing House. They tied him up outside whenever they left the house. The dog used to bark loudly in his loneliness. Joey liked to sit by the fence and calm the dog down by his presence so he would stop his annoying barking. The devotees appreciated this. Then Joey stopped coming for a few days. His daughter Elaine phoned and asked if he were there. They said they had not seen him. She became worried and said she didn't know where he was. He had never stayed away from home so long. Ollie told her he would go out and look for him. Joey wasn't allowed to drive the car, so wherever he was he must have walked there. Ollie got in the car and drove around looking for him. The first place he went was to Stuyvesant Falls. It was a very tall waterfall, which fell in one place, ran in a river under a bridge and then fell again in a second, smaller falls. The river was rapid and full of jutting rocks. There was a sign posted, "NO SWIMMING OR WADING." People used to swim there anyway but it was a dangerous place, especially the main waterfalls. Ollie asked the few people there whether they had seen an old man like Joey, but no one had seen anyone like that. He drove to the Martin Van Buren national historical site five minutes away and searched on the grounds of the Van Buren house and estate, but no one reported seeing a man like Joey. Ollie tried the nature trails connected to the Van Buren estate where there were different trails marked in colors like yellow, blue and red for hikers to take. Ollie walked through the different trails but couldn't find him. He tried knocking on doors on Albany Street, the main street of houses. Joey had stopped at some of them previously. He had even told the people about his recent visits to the Healing House, but he was nowhere to be seen there. A road sign marked Stuyvesant Falls as "An agricultural community," and there were large corn fields. But none of the people in the farmhouses—although they knew Joey—knew his whereabouts.
Swami Rupa suggested they report Joey as a missing person to officer Dan Edwards. He became alarmed when he heard that Joey had been missing for two days. Dan said he would ask his police officer friend to use the police department's K-9 dog to try to find Joey. There was a vast forest connected to the cornfields, and Dan thought to conduct a search there. Elaine said Joey sometimes returned with twigs and grass on his clothes from walking in the trails. Elaine gave them Joey's shirt and pants. They gave it to the K-9 dog, a German Shepherd, and he sniffed it thoroughly and then set out through the cornfields into the woods. About four people trailed behind him including Dan and another police officer. The dog whined and kept his nose to the ground and walked through the thickets that had no trails. After three hours, the dog found Joey. He was curled up in a fetal position on a stack of leaves under a big tree.
"What are you doing here?" asked Dan.
"I'm lost," said Joey. "I don't know how to get out of these woods. I keep walking around." The search party brought Joey home, but it didn't end there. The police chief was disturbed that his men had to spend time and money searching for Joey. "He should be put in an institution, a nursing home. I don't want to have to do this again." Joey's family and friends didn't like the suggestion of a nursing home, since they didn't think Joey would get proper loving care there. Dan said he would think of something to avert it. He came up with the idea of an electronic device that Joey could wear as an anklet. With this electronic tracing anklet, Dan agreed to monitor Joey's movements. This satisfied the police chief, and Joey was allowed to live at home—and visit the Healing House.
H.H. Sivarama Swami: Sadhana means striving to become a pure devotee and tasting the ecstasies of love of God
To contemplate death is actually a requirement to being considered sane. There are a few REAL problems in this world; situations that NOBODY wants, but situations that EVERYONE will experience. The Bhagavad-gita outlines those real problems as disease, old age, and ultimately death. People in Latin America would hang skulls in their houses to remind themselves. Yogis in India would meditate on the banks of the Ganges where open-pyre funerals were being conducted. We often forget the inevitability of death, and thus, in Chapter Eight entitled "Attaining the Supreme", Krishna deals with this very subject.
You are good for everything but your attitude to remain good for nothing is very nice. A Vaisnava is always humble and meek and he is never puffed even he has got the highest qualities of demigods.
- Srila Prabhupada
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