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Saturday, 31 August 2013


If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.-Nelson Mandela.

As I read this line, I started thinking over it. Besides its direct meaning, a different interpretation occurred to me; I thought, isn't it a reason why people believe in ‘Tit for Tat’, to try to hurt others in the same way and in the same language as they might have knowingly or unknowingly offended us. I don’t know exactly how much percent of people do it; but, I am definitely one of them, who wait till the right time to fire back exactly the same words so that it affects or rather hurts more. And those who are not from this species, they have a different way to follow this principle, most others cannot be calm and peaceful unless they have insulted their so-called offender enough, may not be in exactly same words, but in many ways that can best hurt others. In fact, you must have heard many people proudly say, “No one can fight with me, and win me in argument” the famous dialogue “Mujhse ladte samay sabki bolti bandh ho jati hai”. (Of course I am talking about a quarrel and not a genuine healthy debate.) When we proudly say that I can hurt someone best, they become speechless, they are fully agitated and provoked by my words, what are we actually proving? Our Greatness or Glories? No, we are proving how horrible we are, that we can fall down to any degree just to upset others.
Then there are also times, when we understand the reason and justifications behind somebody’s mistake, we know them to be genuine, and yet we scold them. Why? Simply because, our Egoistic and Selfish expectations are frustrated. And we want to throw it out. Some exhibit their ego by fighting back and some by silence.
But where is all this leading us to? How much and how long can we live hurting others and holding grudges. Do we even realize, when we talk about inviting Krsna in our hearts, is our heart worthy enough for Krsna to stay? How can he sit on the floor of lust, in the darkness of anger and dirty odor of vengefulness and also recently I read Rumi, who said, “When we look for the lord, the Lord is in the looks of eyes,” How can we expect to look at Krsna, when our eyes are completely filled with hatred.
 Besides this, it is not only the offender who needs to be tolerant and cultivate forbearance, but it also required for the offended to be patience and forgiving. Only this can help bring about harmony. Because, as my Guru Maharaj (HH Radhanath Swami) says, “Holding grudges or anger against someone, it is like holding a burning coal in our hands, to throw at them, but can we see that the first thing to get burn is our own hands” We must have often heard that you need to forgive to be forgiven. In church when we pray, “and forgive our sins as we forgive those who sin against us”
There is a very simple formula for a peaceful life, “FORGIVENESS” but it is very difficult to follow. One of the most effective way to get rid of any injury or hurt is to realize, “ I must have done the same to somebody at some time and so I am facing this” and that’s it, the pain is reduced and we are humbled. Thus we can transform frustrating situations in glorious opportunities to be humble and seek for mercy.

Anger and Intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding- Mahatma Gandhi and whatever begins in anger is bound to end in shame. A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook offences. 

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Heavy Penalty

Just a small incident I wish to share. Krsna has His own ways to instruct. Recently I was caught by the TC; as my season ticket (monthly pass) expired just the previous day. I had completely forgotten about renewing my pass. I requested him to excuse me as it was an honest mistake. But he was very strict and penalized me with an amount which could have got me a travel for more than 2 months. My mom and friends mockingly laughed at me. They found it quite amazing because I am always very particular about having proper tickets, giving rightful fare; just try to follow senior devotees. But this incident was an epic
for them. My mom said good lesson for you, some friends said never mind. For me it was very embarrassing. Although I too laughed at it, but somewhere I was affected by it.

I realized, just a carelessness of one day, and I was penalized despite of following the ethics all the time every time. This incident taught me the importance of being alert and careful, we may have been following the principles and practicing different angas of bhakti for years, but a moment of carelessness can earn a huge penalty. It may not take Bhakti away, but will definitely disturb the rhythm of our service. And we won’t be able to even laugh at it.

Recently we got an opportunity to serve a senior Vaishnava couple. They explained how in a family Bhakti is like the youngest baby, like the most precious jewel. We need to take care of it and nurture it. A moment of inattentiveness or carelessness and Bhakti will slip away. And in this age of Kali, we cannot afford to waste our time in re-establishing our mood of service again and again. We need to take things seriously, and inquire about the truths of life. Every day our sadhna should be better than the previous day; even a constant level of practice is as good as degradation. The quality of our sadhna should increase exponentially with the increasing number of days.

We cannot imagine how many births we have spent without serving Krsna, how many more can we afford to? You never know what the next moment holds for you. We are heading towards a surprise test moment by moment, because not all of us are lucky to know the dates of the Final Test, for most of us it is gonna be a surprise.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Will it Please Krishna

Reading through the pages of ‘Nectar Stream’ a book by HH Radhanath Maharaj, gifted to me by one of my dear God-sisters, I came across this quote, “In this age of Kali, moving mountains is easier than trying to co-operate”. It brought a grin on my face. “How true!” I exclaimed to myself and continued with my routine. Now all those who have the experience of the Mumbai locals especially the mumbaikars will agree with me that an unpredictable fight or a senseless argument is obvious in the compartment; especially among the female passengers. That day I witnessed one such argument among two ladies. Out of them one seemed to be highly religious and powerful, at least by the statement she made. She said to the other woman that just because she fought with her god will punish her severely. I wondered. Is this what we understand about religion and spirituality? Will God even consider the prayers and pleas of this woman?

How can any religion make someone so vengeful and intolerant? Can any religion take away our empathy, understanding and patience? Gurumaharaj says, “Seek not to be understood, but Understand.” It is so important. I was amazed. We cannot maintain our tolerance and composure even in a journey of 20mins, and we talk about being religious and spiritual. I could now connect to the quote I read that morning.
I realized how we talk about Loving god and serving him and worshiping him while we do not even follow the basic requisites by loving and serving his people. For loving God means loving everyone and everything just as him. Shouldn’t we first try to cultivate basic qualities and then aim for higher moods? Isn’t it better to learn to draw before attempt our masterpiece?

Tolerance, Co-operation, Forgiveness, Patience we talk about these principles. But how often do we practice them. If our mother scolds, we immediately back answer instead of tolerating, if our friend or anyone hurts us we become vengeful or at least angry instead of forgiving. We simply do not try to adjust, but always want to control. Where Krsna expects us to be simple at heart we complicate our lives like a spider, which builds web around itself and is finally trapped in it to death.

What does simplicity means? Wearing simple clothes? Eating simple food? Or is it about having a heart free from envy, pride, anger and hatred; filled with only one intention, “how can I please the Lord?” The moment we center our lives around pleasure of Krishna and his service, we will be able to get rid of all these anarthas occupying our mind. A simple Heart doesn’t try to control, instead adjusts and compromises to maintain the harmony. A Devotee is very determinant but at the same time extremely humble. Dalai Lama said, “In the practice of Tolerance, once enemy is the best teacher.” All we need to do is before exhibiting any emotion ask a quick Question to ourselves, “Will this please Krishna?