Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Why do we need go to Temple, when we say that God is everywhere?

ISKCON Temple Melbourne
Why do we turn on a Fan when air is everywhere? Because, even though air is present everywhere, you cannot feel its presence everywhere. Especially, when it is a hot or humid day, we need that air to be blown so that we get relief. Similarly, water is everywhere but, when we feel thirsty, to quench the thirst, we take water stored in a water filter or tap or something. Though, God is everywhere and within ourselves as Paramatma (Super Soul), we go to Mandir or temple to see him physically with our eyes. The personal aspect of deity form of God is something where everyone feels personally reciprocated. Depending on the level of our faith and surrender, God reciprocates. That is why, while some see the God in the temple as an Idol made of stone or metal, others perceive him as a person. They understand that since God is all powerful and can manifest through any form he likes, even though he is form is completely spiritual, because of his mercy and the love and devotion of a devotee, he agrees to manifest in the deity form and accepts the services and gives his blessings. But, even though a deity is made out of a material substance like a stone, metal etc, when the deity is installed as per the prescribed methods of Vedic scriptures like Pancharatrika Vidhi, he comes and resides in the deity form. Just like an iron rod, kept in the fire after a while becomes as good as a fire, the deity made up of material substance becomes spiritual. One more important point to note is that, manifestation of a deity is a mercy form that enables a devotee to offer their services. Surely, the Supreme Lord is completely spiritual full of Sat, Chit and Ananda that is eternity, knowledge and bliss. So, why doesn’t the deity when sometimes apparently, disrespected by some hooligans keep quiet and does not respond. That is some paranormal activity like, the Deity form doesn’t break up or shower thunderbolts on the miscreants? Because, God does not bother responding to those people and no way affected and he simply withdraws himself from the deity form. Then, we also see so many instances of deities responding to the devotee’s request like, the deity of Sakshi Gopal of Vrindavan walked all the way to Orrisa to give a witness statement to his devotee.
ISKCON Temple Melbourne
ye yatha mam prapadyante tams tathaiva bhajamy aham: as they surrender unto Me—I reward accordingly. (Bhagavad Gita 4:11)
Then, the other aspects come into picture like, the way a temple is built, as per vasthu shastra, generally temples have this Yantras or the Copper and Brass plates with Bija Akshara or the sacred sounds inscribed on them and they are worshipped for number of days with certain mantras and finally, they are installed just below the deity in the temples. So, the whole idea is, as soon as one enters a temple which is a power house of spiritual, positive vibrations will immediately give solace to the troubled hearts of the people. Ultimately, it is the love and devotion of a devotees which makes certain temples special and so to say powerful, because that is what Lord actually see and expects from someone as he says in Bhagavad Gita 9.11
" patram puspam phalam toyam
yo me bhaktya prayacchati
tad aham bhakty-upahrtam

asnami prayatatmanah. If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit a water, I will accept it.
(P.S:My answer to someones question on Quora)
Another P.S: “I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit.” ― Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

YOLO-You live only once? By Devamrita Swami

One life is all you get? Just as the baby has a future, the child has a future, the adult has a future, the old person has a future, and similarly the deceased person also has a future. Our not remembering our past life or having no perception of a future life is no proof that there is no life after this one. The bhakti yoga texts inform us that the hallmark of a real human civilisation is to understand that the spirit soul does not perish and that we should have the concern - what will my next body be?
Devamrita Swami

Here is a short,eloquent talk by Devamrita Swami. YOLO stands for You only live once, a completely wrong notion that crept into the modern generation.Watch this and you will love it.

Lessons from a Taxi Driver

“That’s it my friend. I lost everything and took me a lot to get back to normal. I still love my family but, now with matters related to business and money, I don’t take their advice”, declared the cheerful, happy looking African brother driving the Taxi.
This is the story of a Taxi driver I met recently. I was on my way to the Melbourne Airport and here are some excerpts of our talk.
He is in his early thirty’s and told me that he came to Australia about 7 years ago. He worked hard, did lot of odd jobs, drove taxi and earned some hard bucks. He took the advice of his family members and relatives and invested in a business. Unfortunately,
It turned out to be a wrong choice and he literally lost everything.
“It’s not that they wanted me to cheat me, lose my money or something but, they simply don’t know the proper details. They heard from someone in a gathering or dinner and believed the words and passed on the message. In fact forced me to do it. It’s like one blind man leading the other blind and we both fell in the ditch”.Hahaha, he laughed heartily.
I looked at him with admiration and empathy. I appreciated his courage and strength that he had in overcoming the disaster. What is more impressive is that, he is not being resentful, fretting, fuming or cursing anyone.
Who is a Guru

I started thinking. Yes, there could be so many people trying to give us advice on so many things based on their own experiences and situations they came across in life.”Atmavan Manyatae Jagat –“Everyone looks at the world with their own eyes and their own way. Basing on their nature, temperament they perceive things differently. It’s as if, if one has a color film on his eyes say, yellow – the whole world looks yellow to them. Do this, do that, I know it did wonders etc. So, it is so important to take advice from right people and right sources. If you want to invest in shares, real estate or stock market, you do your own research, learn about the subject and then approach the people who are right and qualified people in that field. But, then there are so many people in the market, out there claiming to be experts, authentic and genuine? We need to use our intelligence, find out what qualifications so and so person has, what is his affiliation or firm that he is working with, what about the other subject matter books, magazines talk about this subject. And, does it all match up? Like, our own research through books, qualifications of the person, the organisation that he is associated with and then, the personal behavior or the qualities the person exhibits in real life. And, it becomes even more important in and matters related to spiritual life. It is said that spiritual life is compared to walking on a razors edge. We cannot do it whimsically and because, someone else your friend is doing it. It’s interesting that, same things that needs to be looked at while dealing with matters like investing in a business etc. It’s called the three point check of spiritual life – Guru, Sadhu and Shastra.
The most important step in spiritual life is taking shelter of a Spiritual Master who is coming in a line of bonafide discipilic succession. What this means is that someone who is claiming to be a Guru is a genuine and has qualifications like, always engaged in the service of God, who speaks from the Vedic scriptures and words of other spiritual Masters above him. If he speaks anything different, they need to be reconciled with the words of Vedic scriptures and other Gurus above him called as Sadhus.
 I have some interesting feedback of why or how someone follow or accepted a certain Guru. Because, lives in Himalayas for six months in a year, because he speaks very logically, because of his attire so on. As stated in Bhagavad Gita,4.34
tad viddhi pranipatena
pariprasnena sevaya
upadeksyanti te jnanam
jnaninas tattva-darsinah . Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.
        “Hi Mate, which terminal you need to go to”? The words of my taxi driver friend brought me back to the senses. I took my luggage hurriedly, paid the fare and with real feelings in my heart, thanked the driver for the drive and sharing his story. For the last 30 mins or so, we talked about so many things starting from, weather, footy, cricket, stock market, real estate etc. but, out of all the things, I last conversation about taking advice from the right people, right source touched my heart. Ultimately, we are accountable for our actions and the results that come.
It is said that, there are three types of people.
One who learns by hearing – considered first class.
One who learns by experience – considered second class.
One who does not learn even after experiencing – the Third class. I guess, I am a mix of all these classes, sometimes first, second and third.