21 November 2014

Homeschool - My Best Friend Krishna - Worksheet for 4-5 yr old

Here is a worksheet to introduce Krishna as the best friend to four to five year old children.

The idea is to make them understand that Krishna is everyone's best friend and that other relationships may one day leave but Krishna never leaves. We can communicate with Krishna, our best friend through chanting.

Arjuna and Sudama's stories can to told to show how Krishna takes care of His friends.

My Best Friend Krishna.docx

The Apparent Paradox: Self-confidence and Humility

HG Mahatma (ACBSP) dasa: The Apparent Paradox: Self-confidence and Humility How do we maintain self-confidence, yet feel ourselves a fool before our spiritual master? How can we be confident and simultaneously feel unqualified to serve Krishna? Arent self-confident people somewhat proud or arrogant?

We are ordinary people engaged in an extraordinary process, a process that will make us extraordinary. Thus, our confidence lies not in ourselves, but in the power of the process of bhakti.

With Krishnas divine power and intelligence guiding us, we know we will succeed.... I can feel lowly, even useless, yet still be confident that Krishna can use me to do wonderful service. Its even possible, by the grace of the guru, that a disciple can do more than his spiritual master, even though feeling totally unqualified to serve (actually, he does so much because of feeling unqualified to serve). Externally, Prabhupada achieved more than his guru. Yet, he always gave credit to his spiritual master.

Its interesting to note that Prabhupada writes in the Bhagavatam that he is hopeful one of his disciples will become pure enough to take him back to Godhead......

Homeschool - Disciplic Succession - Parampara Worksheet for 4-5 yr old

Here is a lesson plan to introduce Gaudiya Vaishnava diciplic succession or parampara to 4 to 5 year old children.

Parampara Worksheet.docx

Parampara Disciplic Succession Worksheet.pdf


1, The activity is designed like a treasure hunt. The treasure here is Srila Prabhupada.
2. The blocks on the Parampara Disciplic Succession Worksheet.pdf are paper pockets with names and numbers on them.
3. Print and cut the acharyas' pictures and write on them the same number that is on the pocket they are to be hidden in to. Acharyas whose pictures that are not in the picture file may be written in a piece of paper and inserted in to the respective pockets.

4. Show Bhagavad Gita to the children and ask them to the draw the book in the first page of the activity sheet. Encourage them to draw Lord Krishna, Arjuna, the chariot, the horses and the weapons.
5. Ask them the following questions.
a.What did Lord Krishna speak to Arjuna in the battle field of Kurukshetra?
b.Who gave us Bhagavad Gita?
6. Let one child find Krishna's picture in pocket number 1. Explain how Krishna is God and how He knows everything.
7. Let another child search for pocket number 2 in some other page and find Lord Brahma. Explain a little about who is Lord Brahma and how Krishna revealed Bhagavad Gita to him from his heart. In this way every child gets an opportunity to search for a pocket according to the number and finds an acharya. A small and exciting story about the acharya may be told.
8. At the end, Srila Prabhupada is be found and we can explain how Srila Prabhupada translated and explained Bhagavad Gita to all of us.
9. This activity can go up to 2 hrs depending on the group.
10. It can also be used any number of times and as kids grow we can give them more information about the acharyas.

Hours of Krishna Conscious story telling ahead!

02 November 2014

Homeschool - Krishna's Ornaments : Bhagavad Gita and Bhagavatam worksheets for 4-5 yr old kids

Here are a few worksheet to teach 4-5 year old kids about the transcendental ornaments of Lord Krishna.

  • Kids can look at the picture of Krishna on the first page and guess the missing ornaments.
  • They can attempt to draw the ornaments themselves.
  • Parents or carers can cut out the ornaments in the second page and ask them paste those on Krishna's picture.
  • Kids may be made familiar with the names of the ornaments.
  • In addition they can draw Kausthuba jewel and a pearl necklace.
  • Krishna and His ornaments may be coloured and further decorated.
  • Pastimes related to the ornaments can be discussed. Eg: Kausthuba jewel was offered to Krishna by the naga patnis, wives of Kalia serpent, Krishna's Vaijayanthi mala is made up of 5 kinds of flowers... 
  • In the last page, kids can try to match the names of the ornaments with the pictures. This exercise is more suitable for those who are familiar with reading.
Hope this will help our children to meditate on the transcendental ornaments of Lord Krishna.

Krishna's Ornaments Worksheet

06 August 2014

Dangers of Fermented Knowledge

Roughly one remembers only 10 to 20 % of what he or she reads. As a new devotee when we read Srila Prabhupada's books, 50 % for the contents would have bounced over our heads. With great enthusiasm of having found the holy grail of spirituality, we would have read the entire Bhagavad-gita in a few sittings trying to assimilate the contents of the great book.

We wouldn't have, at that time, been keen on taking notes or even bookmarking those pages that may have required re-reading. We may have ignored expressions such as 'three types of miseries' that didn't have an explanation close to it, and may have also forgotten to later find out more about it.

In great enthusiasm, which is the topmost qualification in spiritual life that is mostly found in new bhaktas, we all would have devoured Srila Prabhupada's nectarean books written for the benefit of souls for the next ten thousand years to come.

Later on we have all attempted to become preachers in our own capacities. We classified ourselves into various categories of preachers depending on the mode of transport we use. Nevertheless, the very attempt made to preach the Holy Name of the Lord is commendable. All glories to those devotees who are active preachers.

Now, that said and done, what about the content we are actually preaching? Coming back to the fact that one roughly remembers only 10 to 20% of what he or she reads, preaching based on initial reading is no doubt inadequate.

Then comes hearing: how many of our senior devotees actually read Srila Prabhupada's books every day or at least study and prepare for a Bhagavatam class before actually delivering a lecture to eager devotees?
So, if all of us are dependent on our weak memory to deliver lectures and to fuel our short preaching endeavours, what gain is there to the listener? With very little of what we remember our tricky minds would most probably fill the gaps with self-made or somebody else's speculation. This is a dangerous trend. And I call it fermentation of knowledge. Yoghurt that ferments goes bad after a period of time. But one spoon of yoghurt mixed with fresh milk would give more tasty fresh yoghurt. Similarly, if our knowledge is cultured daily with fresh first-hand reading and studying of Srila Prabhupada's books, our preaching will be authentic.

Hence Srila Prabhupada wrote:
"If there is lack of knowledge, or if there is forgetfulness, everything will be spoiled in time. So especially you must encourage the students to read our books throughout the day as much as possible"
(Letter to Hamsaduta -- Los Angeles 22 June, 1972)

If not we will be vomiting the stale fermented knowledge over and over again to innocent newcomers and this unhealthy trend will go on. Maybe this is why Srila Prabhupada insisted on book distribution rather than our two minute preaching.

He wrote:
"If these books are read, there is no doubt that many sincere souls shall be attracted and will join you in your work for Krishna. So please try for selling these books, it shall be considered as the greatest service"
(Letter to Gurudasa -- Los Angeles 1 December, 1968)

The words of the Acharya are so powerful that simply repeating like a parrot can liberate one from the vicious cycle of birth and death. Let us on a mission mode make reading Srila Prabhupada's books a must for all the devotees. Let this be a pre-requisite qualification for initiation like chanting 16 rounds.

Srila Prabhupada insisted:
"If they will simply take to reading this transcendental literature we are presenting, the same reading capacity will elevate them to the highest perfection of spiritual life"
(Letter to Harer Nama -- London 6 November, 1969)

"If we remain strong in our own literature, we can meet anyone else without any fear"
(Letter to Damodara Pandita -- New York 17 July, 1976)

If we do not insist on reading, our mission will end up as another sentimental cult bereft of any value. And that would be the greatest disservice done to His Divine Grace.

Source: http://www.harekrsna.com/sun/editorials/07-14/editorials11966.htm

28 July 2014

H.H. Danavir Goswami's Visit to Scotland

Couple weeks ago, we had the good fortune of meeting H.H. Danavir Goswami Maharaja at ISKCON Karuna Bhavan temple, Lesmahagow, Scotland. On the first day of his visit maharaj gave a talk on Hare Krishna maha mantra at Salisbury Centre, Edinburgh. He also went on a harinama sankirtana along with devotees on the busy streets of Edinburgh city. After listening to his talk and taking his association at Salisbury centre on Saturday, we were tempted visit Karuna Bhavan benefit more from his satsanga at the Sunday feast.

There was something that Maharaja did and said that held great importance to me. Firstly, he sang the famous Hare Krishna tune that Srila Prabhupada immortalized at No 26, Second Avenue and at Tompkins Square Park. Even today when we look at the red tinted videos of those recordings, our hair stands on ends surcharged with spiritual potency.

Srila Prabhupada had great gravity in his chanting and kirtans. His kirtans assumed musical quality not for the sake of music but for the sake of the holy name. Similarly Danavir Maharaja sang the same tune for almost 45 minutes with identical solemnity. He sang only the aarohan (upscale) version and sustained it for long without slightest variation in his enthusiasm.

My observation and appreciation may not look relevant to many but it taught me to primarily appreciate the holy name in the kirtan and take music as its secondary accompaniment. Our contaminated ears are craving for different melodies and beats all the time. We are, but a victim to a disease called variety. Where there is no variety boredom sets in. This constant hankering for pleasing the sense of hearing has not spared even the harinama. There is, of course, nothing wrong in singing the holy name in wonderful tunes. But being satisfied and content in a simple tune and immersing oneself in the holy name requires advancement.

Secondly, Srila Prabhupada always maintained straight forward and to-the-point preaching. An anecdote of Srila Prabhupada preaching at a school where he practically demonstrated the soul concept to children by inviting one of them for an experiment in which he hypothetically asked a child to disengage his body parts from the self to prove that, even after the body is removed ‘I’ the spirit soul remains as the self that holds the body. He established Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead even to the newest of the visitors. The readiness of the crowd or the visitors was not a point of consideration; to him every soul is ready to accept Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Hence he never altered his words and delayed or set grounds before giving the ultimate knowledge of the soul and of Krishna.

Danavir Maharaja was naturally inclined towards giving the truth and the essence of spiritual knowledge in its pure and palatable form. Living in this part of the world I had come to, kind of, sadly accept that new bhaktas have to be lured by Indian festivals, mehndi tattoos, bharatanatyam and other Indian stuffs. Listening to Danavir Maharaja preach was like fresh air infusing life. His clear message on the Supremacy of Lord Krishna, absoluteness of harinama, and authenticity of the Hare Krishna movement did not only create faith in the hearts of new bhaktas but also invigorated the service spirit in practicing devotees.

While answering a question put forward by a follower of another religion, Maharaja provided reasoning to establish the supremacy of knowledge in Vedic literatures and also carefully avoided the “holier than thou” message. It is a valuable lesson that every preacher should learn.

I thank Danavir Maharaja for giving his mercy to me by teaching these two important lessons during his short Scotland visit. All glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada and his sincere followers who are working day and night to continue and grow his glorious legacy.

22 March 2014

Fried Rice Recepi

To serve : 2 people


Basmati Rice (Long grain) : 1 cup
Carrots chopped  finger size : 1/4 cup
Broccoli florets : 1/4 cup
Beans chopped finger size : 1/4 cup
Potato chopped finger size : 1/4 cup
Green pepper can be added too.
Zeera/cumin : 1/2 tea spoon
Clove : 2
Cinnamon powder : 1/4 teaspoon
Green Chillies : 2 medium sized
Ginger paste or coursely cut pieces : 1/2 teaspoon
Bayleaf : 1
cashew nut : 1/4 cup
Ghee : 2 teaspoons
Cooking oil : 2 teaspoon
Salt to taste

Cooking Method

1. Wash and drain basmati rice and keep it aside for 10 mins

2. Add 2 teaspoons of ghee and 2 teaspoon oil in to medium size pressure cooker or pressure pan.
3. Heat ghee and oil in low flame and add cumin seeds.

4. Add slit green chillies, clove, cinnamon powder, bay-leaf and ginger. Fry for a minutes. Fry chashew nuts till brown with the same mixture in low flame.

5. Add cut vegetables and fry for two minutes.

6. Add rice and mix for two mins till rice starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.

7. Pour 2 cups water and salt as per taste.

8. Cook in pressure cooker for in medium flame until one whistle sound. Take it out of the burner and let it cool.

9. When the steam is out, open and mix with a fork.
10. Offer it to Lord Krishna with love and serve hot along with raita (mix grated cucumber with yoghurt and salt to make a simple raita. Chopped tomatoes and grated carrots can also be added to it.)

17 March 2014

Gaura Purnima at Karuna Bhavan, ISKCON, Scotland

Pictures speak more than words:

Harinama Sankirtan at Princes Street, Edinburgh on the eve of Gaura Purnima

Gaura Purnima festival at Karuna Bhavan, Lesmahagow Temple:

I already mentioned about the non-stop kirtan that takes place in this temple. Ending with fireworks and more than ten varieties of anukalpa prasada, the festival was memorable. One can't but feel good about the grave and service oriented nature of the devotees there. I believe, if they carry on with the same gravity in glorifying the Holy name and Srila Prabhupada, soon Sri Khoda Nitai and Mayapur Sashi kindly residing at Karuna Bhavan will attract thousands of souls, making it the biggest temple in Europe. 

If the ISKCON temples all around the world simply concentrate in Harinama, books and  prasadam distribution, Lord Krishna and Srila Prabhupada will be pleased and send favourable souls to them to preach to. When Krishna is pleased Sri Lakshmi, by default, will reside there forever. 

15 March 2014

Ekadasi Soma Kichari Recipe

To serve : 2 people


Samo millet : 1 cup
Green Chillies : 2 medium sized
Carrots chopped  finger size : 1/2 cup
Potato peeled and chopped finger size : 1/2 cup
Medium sized tomato : 1
Any other vegetable except spinach, beans and peas can be added.
Zeera/cumin : 1/2 tea spoon
Clove : 2
Cinnamon powder : 1/4 teaspoon
Ginger paste or coarsely cut pieces : 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric powder : 1/4 teaspoon
Coriander powder : 3/4 teaspoon
Coriander leaves
Ghee : 3 teaspoons
Salt to taste

Cooking Method

1. Fry samo millet in a pan with 1 teaspoon of ghee in low flame. Fry till each millet splits on one end and appears opaque.

2. Add 2 teaspoons of ghee in to medium size pressure cooker or pressure pan. Samo, after cooked can increase 5 times in volume. Take appropriate vessel size.
3. Heat ghee in low flame and add cumin seeds.

4. Add slit green chillies, clove, cinnamon powder and ginger. Fry for a minute. Add turmeric.

5. Add cut vegetables and fry for two minutes. Add tomato last.

6. Add samo and mix.

7. Pour 5 cups water and salt per taste.

8. Cook in pressure cooker for 3 minutes on low heat after the first whistle sound.

9. When the steam is out, open and mix the cooked samo. If there is a little excess water, allow it to sit for a few minutes, it will thicken in consistency.

10. When hot, sprinkle coriander powder and close the vessel.

11. Open after 2 minutes and mix. Add coriander leaves.
12. Offer to Lord Krishna with love.

13. Serve hot with ekadasi crackers or chips and yoghurt.

04 March 2014

The Importance of the Cow in Vedic Culture By Dr. Subramanian Swamy

Our West-influenced intellectuals sneer at the mention of the cow. The same intellectuals first sneered at yoga. Now it is a fashion to do pranayama at cocktail parties The arguments in the West for cow slaughter are no more uncontested.

India has 150 million cows, each of them giving an average of less than 200 litres of milk per year. If they could be fed and looked after, they can give 11,000 litres, as Israeli cows do. That would provide milk for the whole world. The milk we produce today is the cheapest in the world. With enhanced production we could become the world's largest exporter of milk and it could be India's biggest foreign exchange earner.

The cow was elevated to divinity in the Rig Veda. In Book VI, Hymn XXVIII attributed to Rishi Bhardwaja extols the virtue of the cow.

Indian society has addressed the cow as gow mata. The Churning of the Sea episode brings to light the story of the creation of the cow. Five divine Kamadhenus (wish cows), viz, Nanda, Subhadra, Surabhi, Sushila, Bahula emerged in the churning.

Thousands of names in our country are cow-related: Gauhati, Gorakhpur, Goa, Godhra, Gondiya, Godavari, Goverdhan, Gautam, Gomukh, Gokarna, Goyal, Gochar etc.They signify reverence for the cow, and our abiding faith that the cow is Annapurna.

The cow, according to the Vedas, provides four products for human use: (i) Godugdha (cow milk): As per Ayurveda, cow milk has fat, carbohydrates, minerals and Vitamin B, and even a capacity for body resistance to radiation and for regenerating brain cells. (ii) Goghruta (ghee): The best ghee, it is, as per Ayurveda useful in many disorders. In yajna, it improves the air's oxygen level. (iii) Gomutra (urine): Eight types of urine are used for medicinal purpose nowadays, among which cow urine is held to be the best. The Americans are busy patenting it. It has anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and antioxidant properties.

It has immune-modulator properties, which makes it useful for immune deficiency diseases. In the classics there are many references to cow urine as a drug of choice. Even the Parsis follow this practice.

Lastly, (iv), Gomaya (dung) is considered as valuable as Gomutra and used to purify the environment, as it has radium and checks radiation effects.

Ancient Hindu wisdom on the medicinal properties of cow urine is borne out by two patents granted in the US for cow urine distillate (Patent numbers 6410059 and 6896907).

Even China has granted the distillate a patent as a DNA protector. A global patent has been granted for cow urine, neem and garlic as a pest repellent and for fungicidal and growth promoting properties for different crops (WHO
2004/ 087618A1). A US patent has been granted for strains from Sahiwal cow milk for plant growth promoter phytopathogenic fungi controlling activity, abiotic stress tolerating capability, phosphatic solubilisation capability, etc. And CSIR has filed for a US patent for amrit pani, a mixture of cow
dung, cow urine and jiggery, for soil health improvement properties.

These claims were initially made in the Charaka Samhita, Sushrut, Vaghbhati and Nighantu, Ratnakar, etc. They prove the utility of cow dung and urine for sustainable agriculture as well as for disease prevention.

The author is a former cabinet minister of India.

03 March 2014

Manu Smriti on How to Eat Food

2.52. (His meal will procure) long life, if he eats facing the east; fame, if he turns to the south; prosperity, if he turns to the west; truthfulness, if he faces the east.

2.53. Let a twice-born man always eat his food with concentrated mind, after performing an ablution; and after he has eaten, let him duly cleanse himself with water and sprinkle the cavities (of his head).

2.54. Let him always worship his food, and eat it without contempt; when he sees it, let him rejoice, show a pleased face, and pray that he may always obtain it.

2.55. Food, that is always worshipped, gives strength and manly vigour; but eaten irreverently, it destroys them both.

2.56. Let him not give to any man what he leaves, and beware of eating between (the two meal-times); let him not over-eat himself, nor go anywhere without having purified himself (after his meal).

2.57. Excessive eating is prejudicial to health, to fame, and to (bliss in) heaven; it prevents (the acquisition of) spiritual merit, and is odious among men; one ought, for these reasons, to avoid it carefully.

26 February 2014

Disadvantages of getting up late

After six kapha domination is seen. So people who get up in kapha kala tend to be dominated by tamo guna throughout the day. Bowel movements tend to be sluggish under the influence of kapha.  

Mind and body will be inactive owing to the influence of kapha dosha. After sunrise people awake and the materialistic mental radiations are emitted through their physical senses.

The atmosphere is polluted. People will disturb each other dragging themselves to materialistic discussions. So best time for doing meditation is early morning.

Foetid smell in mouth constipation, indigestion, laziness, and many kinds of eye diseases arises just because of getting late in day.


Importance of getting up in Brahma muhurta

Early morning is vata dominating period. Vata dosha is helpful in promoting body movements both internal and external and thus helps in easy evacuation of bowel.

Physical activities such as excercise and yogasanas can be performed well in vata kala. Meditation also needs the help of undisturbed vata which can be found early in the morning.

This time is hailed as the best time to learn, especially learn and realise subtler aspects of philosophy and spiritual growth. If one tries to find out the secret underlying this then one can realise that there are probably several changes in physical chemical and biological atmosphere at around this time, which probably catalyzes spiritual blossoming of an individual.

This is indeed a rejuvenating time as the whole universe begins to wake up at around this time.

The circadian rhythms have been studied in vast details by biologists and physiologists and probably this period is associated with hormonal changes conducive to blossoming of mind. Study of variety of electromagnetic radiations ozone effects of other planets and stars and so on, on the various biological and psychological parameters reveals a lot of new insights in the interrelationship of man and the universe.


25 February 2014

Permaculture Definitions

Graham Bell, The Permaculture Way

Permaculture is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive systems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of the landscape with people providing their food, energy, shelter and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way.

Simon Henderson, Cortez IS, BC

Permaculture is the use of ecology as the basis for designing integrated systems of food production, housing appropriate technology and community development. It offers a practical, creative approach to the problems of diminishing resources and threatened life support systems now facing the world.

Dan Hemenway

Permaculture integrates people into Nature's design. A permaculture design provides us with shelter, food, water, income, community and aesthetic and spiritual fulfillment within a balanced and healthy biological community.
Permaculture is Applied Science and Ecology; Ethical design of human systems for a sustainable future. It offers practical solutions to the global environmental and cultural crises we now face.

Permaculture (Permanent Culture) is the conscious design and co-creative evolution of agriculturally productive ecosystems and cooperative and economically just social systems which have the diversity, stability and resilience of 'natural' systems. It is the harmonious integration of landscape and people providing their food, energy, shelter and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way. The practice and development of liberating mental, emotional and spiritual ways of being. It seeks to provide a sustainable and secure place for living things on this earth.

Pat Marie Sigler, OP

“Permaculture” is a way of designing and living sustainably by cooperating with nature. It is based on one of the great principles of design -- Do something basically right & everything gets much more right of itself. Permaculture aims to create productive ecosystems that are both regenerative & self-regulating. It proceeds from commonly accepted ethical principles:P CARE FOR EARTH; CARE FOR PEOPLE; CARE FOR COMMUNITY. Permaculture helps people rethink the whole basis of how they are going to live. It requires a shift from passive learning to active participation. It requires that what is learned about energy, physics, ecosystems, water flow, climate, etc. be applied in everyday living & being. “Doing” becomes far more important than “saying”.
Permaculture can be viewed as part of the paradigm shift that all of society is experiencing. Permaculture urges complete cooperation between each & every thing, animate & inanimate. It advises people to live simply & in harmony with each other & with their surroundings.

Although it has no concise definition, permaculture is a design for living. A permaculture design provides us with shelter, energy, food, water, income, community, & aesthetic & spiritual fulfillment within a balanced & healthy biological community. Through permaculture & sustainable development we will be better able to increase the quality rather than the quantity of our lives. We can increase the quantity of our lives on our own. All we need is a shopping mall & some money. On the other hand, to increase the quality of our lives we need friendships, good health, a sense of security, a vibrant community life, opportunities to give , to cooperate & to share.

Permaculture provides these opportunities by enabling us to substitute intelligence for resources in our economy; to substitute the pursuit of wellbeing for the pursuit of wealth; to develop the wealth of the community rather than individual wealth.

Source: permaculture

Manu Smriti on Guru

2.146. Of him who gives natural birth and him who gives (the knowledge of) the Veda, the giver of the Veda is the more venerable father; for the birth for the sake of the Veda (ensures) eternal (rewards) both in this (life) and after death.

2.147. Let him consider that (he received) a (mere animal) existence, when his parents begat him through mutual affection, and when he was born from the womb (of his mother).

2.148. But that birth which a teacher acquainted with the whole Veda, in accordance with the law, procures for him through the Savitri, is real, exempt from age and death.

2.149. (The pupil) must know that that man also who benefits him by (instruction in) the Veda, be it little or much, is called in these (Institutes) his Guru, in consequence of that benefit (conferred by instruction in) the Veda.

2.150. That Brahmana who is the giver of the birth for the sake of the Veda and the teacher of the prescribed duties becomes by law the father of an aged man, even though he himself be a child.

2.151. Young Kavi, the son of Angiras, taught his (relatives who were old enough to be) fathers, and, as he excelled them in (sacred) knowledge, he called them ’Little sons.’

2.152. They, moved with resentment, asked the gods concerning that matter, and the gods, having assembled, answered, ’The child has addressed you properly.’

Manu Smriti on Respect to Elders

2.119. One must not sit down on a couch or seat which a superior occupies; and he who occupies a couch or seat shall rise to meet a (superior), and (afterwards) salute him.

2.120. For the vital airs of a young man mount upwards to leave his body when an elder approaches; but by rising to meet him and saluting he recovers them.

2.121. He who habitually salutes and constantly pays reverence to the aged obtains an increase of four (things), (viz.) length of life, knowledge, fame, (and) strength.

24 February 2014

Manu Smriti on Sense Control

2.91. Five of them, the ear and the rest according to their order, they call organs of sense, and five of them, the anus and the rest, organs of action.

2.93. Through the attachment of his organs (to sensual pleasure) a man doubtlessly will incur guilt; but if he keep them under complete control, he will obtain success (in gaining all his aims).

2.94. Desire is never extinguished by the enjoyment of desired objects; it only grows stronger like a fire (fed) with clarified butter.

2.96. Those (organs) which are strongly attached to sensual pleasures, cannot so effectually be restrained by abstinence (from enjoyments) as by a constant (pursuit of true) knowledge.

2.97. Neither (the study of) the Vedas, nor liberality, nor sacrifices, nor any (self-imposed) restraint, nor austerities, ever procure the attainment (of rewards) to a man whose heart is contaminated (by sensuality).

2.98. That man may be considered to have (really) subdued his organs, who on hearing and touching and seeing, on tasting and smelling (anything) neither rejoices nor repines.

Interesting Verses from Manu Smriti

1.64. Eighteen nimeshas (twinklings of the eye, are one kashtha), thirty kashthas one kala, thirty kalas one muhurta, and as many (muhurtas) one day and night.

1.85. One set of duties (is prescribed) for men in the Krita age, different ones in the Treta and in the Dvapara, and (again) another (set) in the Kali, in a proportion as (those) ages decrease in length.

1.86. In the Krita age the chief (virtue) is declared to be (the performance of) austerities, in the Treta (divine) knowledge, in the Dvapara (the performance of) sacrifices, in the Kali liberality alone.

2.33. The names of women should be easy to pronounce, not imply anything dreadful, possess a plain meaning, be pleasing and auspicious, end in long vowels, and contain a word of benediction.

2.55. Food, that is always worshipped, gives strength and manly vigour; but eaten irreverently, it destroys them both.

What is the necessity of pleasing Krishna?

Prabhupada: prasadad bhagavat-prasadah. By pleasing the spiritual master, you please Krsna. That's nice. But why Krsna should be pleased? Why? What is the necessity of pleasing Krsna?
Devotee (1): To please the representative of Krsna.

Prabhupada: No, no, that is all right. Guru is representative of Krsna, but why one should bother himself for pleasing Krsna? Answer this.

Devotee (1): 'Cause our real position is to serve Krsna, and because we've fallen in this illusion of the material energy, so we forgot our position.

Prabhupada: We shall do it otherwise. Why shall I please Krsna? We are making scientific progress. What is the use of bringing God?

Devotee (2): Because we shall never become perfect or see the answer.

Prabhupada: That is begging the question.

Indian man (3): For spreading the name of the Krsna, in the world.

Prabhupada: No, no. It is not the question of guru. Guru is doing all right. Why you should be so much anxious and feel obligation to please Krsna?

Indian (4): Everybody has to serve somebody, so Krsna is the reservoir of all pleasure and everything exists from Him. So instead of serving anybody, we should serve the Krsna.

Prabhupada: "That's all right. Without serving Krsna, I am getting pleasure by drinking wine. Why shall I...?"

Cyavana: That pleasure will not last. That pleasure is only temporary.

Prabhupada: "No, I will not also last. (laughter) that..."

Cyavana: But to accept such a mentality, we say that is third class. Actually our life is eternal.

Prabhupada: That is your statement, "third class," but my statement is "It is first class." (laughter)

Harikesa: Is it first class if every time you are going to eat something nice I was standing over you with a stick, and as soon as you took, I would beat you? So every time you have some enjoyment, there is some concurrent suffering. Like you enjoy the wine, but then you have a headache, hangover. You enjoy. Then you get sick.

Cyavana: Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita in the Tenth Chapter, He says, "For those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I will give the understanding by which they can come to Me." So this is our desire.

Prabhupada: "I don't want to go."

Cyavana: You don't want to go to Krsna?

Prabhupada: "Yes."

Harikesa: All right, suffer. (laughter)

Prabhupada: "I don't suffer. (laughter) I am enjoying."

Harikesa: You are enjoying death and old age?

Prabhupada: "Yes, you are putting upon me some impression, 'suffering,' but I am enjoying."

Harikesa: Your knee is hurt. Is that enjoying?

Prabhupada: "That I am curing. That is also nice." (laughter)

Harikesa: But soon the whole thing will be finished. You will not... No one enjoys death. No one will take voluntarily a death pill.

Prabhupada: Nobody of you could answer the question. Now I give you again chance to answer this question very properly. Why one should be obliged to please Krsna? Why?

Harikesa: Just like this finger. Its position is to serve the body. Just like the stomach. Everyone may be jealous of the stomach and not want to feed the stomach, but if all the hands and the legs and the mouth went on strike not to feed the stomach...

Prabhupada: This is the right answer.

Harikesa: ...they would ultimately be destroyed.

Prabhupada: This is right answer, that you cannot non-cooperate with the stomach. You must serve the stomach. Otherwise your position is very precarious. That is the answer. If the finger thinks that "I shall remain independent and be happy," that is not possible. The stomach must be supplied food, and then all the parts of the body, they'll be happy. That is the point. So you cannot non-cooperate with the stomach. Similarly, Krsna is the central enjoyer. Bhoktaram yajna-tapasam sarva-loka-mahesvaram [Bg. 5.29]. He is the center. Just like ordinarily this African state, if you do not satisfy the state or the president, then you cannot remain happy. Independently you cannot be happy. We require in every step sta... We have come to this park because state is cooperating. In the morning we shall come, and they have prepared it nicely. We are not going to the jungle. So if we actually want happiness we must cooperate with the state. This is crude example. Similarly, if our ultimate aim is to become happy, then we must cooperate with Krsna. This is obligatory. You cannot escape it. Then you'll be unhappy. This is the... Stomach. Pranopaharac ca yathendriyanam. Therefore the natural process is you pick up... A child even. He picks up some something, but he does not put anywhere -- immediately in the mouth. Why he does not bring it in the ear? Why? The child immediately takes it. He does not know what is what. But the nature is that as soon as he captures something, even he does not know... Because his position is eating, he knows this much, sense gratification. Other senses are not yet developed. So the child, he knows taste with tongue and eats. That he knows. So immediately anything he captures, he brings to the mouth, naturally. He hasn't got to be educated. So our position is like that. We being part and parcel of Krsna, our natural tendency is to serve Krsna. Natural tendency. It is not artificial. When you forget Krsna, that is artificial. So our normal life means to love Krsna, to serve Krsna. That is our normal life. Without serving Krsna our life is abnormal, madman's life. Therefore Krsna says... When you forget Krsna, He comes to preach the normal life. Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam [Bg. 18.66]. This is normal life. So Krsna does not require your help. He can create many helpers. But for your good Krsna comes, that "If you want normal, happy life, then surrender unto Me." This is the proposal. Therefore the whole Bhagavad-gita, all Vedic knowledge, is there. We have forgotten our position. Our posit..., normal position, is to love and serve Krsna. Therefore anadi bahir mukha jiva krsna bhuli gela ataeva krsna veda purana karila. Because we do not know... From time immemorial we cannot ascertain when this incidents have happened, to forget Krsna, but it is practically... Life after life, life after life, we are changing body, but forgetting Krsna. So here, in the human form of life, there is the opportunity to revive our original position, and we require the help of knowledge, perfect knowledge. And that is there in the Vedas. Atha eva krsna veda purana karila. If we don't take advantage, although we have got... We can read Bhagavad-gita, and if we don't take advantage of Bhagavad-gita and go on whimsically, then we'll suffer. You cannot non-cooperate with Krsna as you cannot non-cooperate with the stomach. This is the... You must. There is no question of alternative. You may, may not know. It is not. You must. This is the position. Otherwise you'll never be happy. And happiness is your aim of life. Atyantika-duhkha-nivrttih. We are... I'm suffering from this knee's trouble because I am in this material world. I have got this material body. So atyantika-duhkha-nivrttih means no more material world, no more material body. And for that purpose we have to cooperate with Krsna. Otherwise it is not possible. Any question about this? Just like these African women. They are going to work. There is no question of no work. They must. Otherwise they cannot eat. Anyone, if by working his livelihood is going on, how he can non-cooperate? This is not possible.

20 February 2014

Where Cows Are Happy and Food Is Healthy

 Check out this video!

Karuna Bhavan: ISKCON Scotland Temple

We finally made it to Karuna Bhavan temple at Lesmahagow two weeks ago. Here are a few pictures:

The temple experience was good. A few points that drew me are:
  • Beautiful Sri Gaura Nitai deities.
  • A devotee gardener who thinks he needs to grow fresh flowers to make daily garlands for Their Lordships.  
  • More local western devotees compared to Indians. Prabhupada wanted to preach mostly to westerners in western countries. It pleased Prabhupada when more and more westerners took to Krishna Consciousness. In US and Australia, today we see temples are not preaching to local people anymore. It is easy to preach to Indians instead.
  • Non-stop ecstatic bhajans lead by multiple devotees giving short explanations to songs that were being sung for the pleasure of Sri Gaura Nitai. It was Sri Nityananda Triyodasi celebrations; what better time to have visited the temple than this. Hari nama for the sake of hari nama is an art lost to most of Indian ISKCON temples lately but here at Scotland it was purely ecstatic. Hours of ecstasy!
  • Beautiful Vrindadevi deity and a pool of hundreds of Salagram silas to worship.
  • Creche for kids. Yes, the temple had a well-designed creche for kids. Thoughtful!
  • Amazing prasadam that came with special srikhand at the end.
I couldn't have asked for anything better. 

About Trees from Manu-Smriti

1.47. Those trees which bear fruit without flowers are called vanaspati (lords of the forest); but those which bear both flowers and fruit are called vriksha.

1.49. These (plants) which are surrounded by multiform Darkness, the result of their acts (in former existences), possess internal consciousness and experience pleasure and pain.

1.50. The (various) conditions in this always terrible and constantly changing circle of births and deaths to which created beings are subject, are stated to begin with (that of) Brahman, and to end with (that of) these (just mentioned immovable creatures).