About Being Present to the Holy Names

Being present means to feel what you are feeling, see what you are seeing, hear what you are hearing, and taste what you are tasting. In other words, your mind is not somewhere else during these experiences. If your mind is not present you lose the actual experience you should be having, to one degree or another. It like when someone speaks to you and your mind is somewhere else and you don't hear what they are saying, or when you read a book and your mind drifts and you don't remember anything … [Read more...]

A Real Man

If your wife or husband says that I don't like something that you do, if you're smart you will listen carefully. It is the principle of a good relationship: you want to make the other person happy. (And by the way, your spouse provides your personalized marriage manual when he or she tells you what they like or don't like about your behavior.) Krishna is the supreme male and Radharani is the supreme female. What does Krishna do as the Supreme male? He tries to please Radharani. That is … [Read more...]

Cooperation is Higher Than Integrity

Today I heard a wonderful story. A devotee wrote Prabhupada because his disagreed with the tactics devotees were using to raise donations, tactics supported by the Temple President. He expressed his specific concerns in his letter to Prabhupada. In Prabhupada's reply, he did not address the issue. He did not say he favored one idea over the other. All he said was, "I just want you to work well together." Some argue that it is not right to cooperate when we believe that something wrong is … [Read more...]

Japa Samskaras

We want to build positive japa samskaras (habits) through regular good japa practices. Once we develop positive japa habits, our japa will naturally be good – the way we always chant japa. However, if we don’t correct bad japa practices and replace them with good habits, bad japa will be our default setting. First you create a habit and then the habit creates you. … [Read more...]

Start It Yesterday

If you wait to feel like acting before doing something that’s important, that’s not intelligent. You might end up waiting for a few thousands more lifetimes before you finally get around to doing it. You just need to act. When do you need to act? I hear you say, “Okay, I’ll do it tomorrow.” In America when we’re asked when we want something done, if we are in a rush we say, “I want it done by yesterday.” So if you are hesitant in aligning your actions with your goals, I suggest you start on your … [Read more...]

12 Symptoms of Spiritual Awakening

Another list of spiritual symptoms without mentioning God. Amazing! And they are very ambiguous. This is due to the fact that these so-called spiritual teachers are not following a bona fide guru. They have omitted God from their spiritual teachings. Truly Kali-yuga in full swing. Krsna, save this world! Here is how we would use these teachings. 1) An increased tendency to follow the orders of the spiritual master and Krsna and stay out of maya rather to just let things … [Read more...]

Responsibility

A devotee once told me that her husband had taken money from their joint account, ran off with it, and left her with nothing. This woman was asked by a counselor to tell the same story again, but this time to tell it from the viewpoint that she was responsible for what happened. By telling the story from this perspective, she realized that she was foolish to have trusted her husband with a joint account because past experience showed that he was not trustworthy with their money. This shows that … [Read more...]

Noticing Krsna

A construction supervisor, working on the sixth floor of a building, calls a worker on the ground floor. Because of the construction noise, the worker doesn’t hear his supervisor. To draw his attention, the supervisor throws a dollar bill at the worker. It falls right in front of him. He picks it up and puts it in his pocket and continues working. In hopes of capturing the worker’s attention, the supervisor throws a ten dollar bill at him. Again, the worker simply picks up the money … [Read more...]

Installing Love

Tech Support: Yes, how can I help you? Customer: Well, after much consideration, I’ve decided to install Love. Can you guide me through the process? Tech Support: Yes. I can help you. Are you ready to proceed? Customer: Well, I’m not very technical, but I think I’m ready. What do I do first? Tech Support: The first step is to open your Heart. Have you located your Heart? Customer: Yes, but there are several other programs running now. Is it okay to install Love while they are … [Read more...]

We Cause Our Own Suffering

“Who do you think you are to treat me this way?” I haven’t read that sloka in our books, have you? But this sloka I have read, “Whatever is coming to me is only a fraction of what I deserve.” How come we miss this point and spend useless energy battling others in our mind, causing our own anguish? My conclusion is that the only suffering in life is the suffering we cause ourselves. This conclusion might upset someone, and if it does, it simply proves the point. … [Read more...]

Feeling Bad

To feel bad that you are not more Krsna conscious is good if the focus is on Krsna. To feel bad that you are not more Krsna conscious is bad if the focus is on how bad you feel (i.e. the focus is on you). The former is transcendental and the latter is in the mode of ignorance. Resentment is self-absorption because we are focused on how bad we feel. Manu says the brahmana does not lament (sudra means one who laments). Therefore, Prabhupada says the first qualification of a brahmana is to be … [Read more...]

No One Can Help You

In the book My Glorious Master, Bhurijan Prabhu writes, “A devotee asked Prabhupada for help, saying that he was not able to follow the four rules. Prabhupada looked sternly at him, ‘If you do not follow the regulative principles, then no one can help you’.” The platform from which help comes is following the principles and practices of Krsna consciousness, not that we attract mercy by virtue of the fact that we are so fallen we can’t follow. To think this way only perpetuates the problem of … [Read more...]

Go Cold Turkey

Attachments come from conditioning (habit) and the best way to break a bad habit is to stop indulging in it. Once an alcoholic gets off alcohol, he is told never to take one drop of alcohol again for the rest of his life. He shouldn’t get near alcohol, look at it, think about it, etc. Why? Because if he does there is every chance he’ll become an alcoholic again. If he thinks there’s no harm in tasting a tiny drop of wine, he is making a big mistake. I want to ask you to just go “cold … [Read more...]

Anger

What is the cause of our anger? Anger has nothing to do with external situations or people’s behavior. It may seem that these cause us to become angry, but nothing can cause something to come out of us if it doesn’t already exist within us. In other words, it’s not out there; it’s inside of us. It’s important to know that we keep our anger alive. See it like a fire on a stove. We have the fire turned on and the anger is boiling. The problem is that we keep the flame on. But we can turn … [Read more...]

Your Consciousness Affects Matter, People, and the World

What you think not only affects you, it affects those around you. It can even affect those not in your immediate presence. Your consciousness also affects matter. Did you know that a scientific experiment is affected by the person observing the experiment? Srila Prabhupada said the world would become Krsna conscious if one percent of the population became devotees. This change would not take place only because of the spiritual activities of that one percent; it would also take place … [Read more...]

You’ve Got to be Out of Your Mind to Chant

When someone does or says something crazy, we might say, “He must be out of his mind.” To chant well we shouldn’t be crazy but we should be out of our mind. Why? Prabhupada said we don’t need the mind to chant. Feeling is a function of the heart, not the mind. Feeling is what keeps us in the present; mind keeps us everywhere but the present. The mind doesn’t experience. The mind analyses experience. Therefore, when chanting, rather than controlling the mind just let the mind go. And it will … [Read more...]

Coming Closer To Krsna

Realizations come in proportion to our need for them. In other words, when we desire to go further in Krsna consciousness, we need more knowledge, deeper insight, a new attitude, greater determination, or more faith. It is by having a strong desire to move a little closer to Krsna that He gives us what’s needed to do that. … [Read more...]

About Criticism

We critisize others more often than we think. Make a mental note of how often you find fault with others and why you do it (both with devotees and nondevotees). See if you can go a day, a week, a month, or more without saying anything bad about anyone. (Calling a thief a thief is not considered fault-finding if one’s motive is to help or improve the situation.) Becoming free from the tendency to criticize is best achieved by changing the way you see others and the world. If your general … [Read more...]

Let Krsna Pull You Away From Maya

Krsna helps us to the degree we have the intention, and make the effort,  to improve. Certainly no problem of ours is too great for Him to solve. We just need to be willing to let Him solve it. One of the offences to the holy name is to maintain material attachments. The holy name gradually pulls us away from material life, but we may be reluctant to go along for the ride. We make the offence of maintaining material attachments when we jump out of the car. This is the paradox of finding … [Read more...]

Death Of A Loved One

When we lose a loved one, it’s common to question how Krsna could have allowed this to happen. We may think it doesn’t seem right or we don’t deserve it. This can even create resentment, subtly or grossly,  towards Krsna. Srila  Prabhupada was asked why Krsna created a world in which there is suffering. He immediately replied that you created this world, not Krsna. He gave the example of a prison. Factually, the prison is a creation of criminals, for if there were no criminals, there would be … [Read more...]