Jun 13

Princeton Bhakti Vedanta Institute Report – June 3, 2017

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The Evolution of Consciousness

excerpt –

“We have this human form of life (body) to understand the purpose in life and gain spiritual realization. However, if we did not do any of those things but instead left this body and, let’s say for example, in our next life we became a cat – how, as a cat with lower consciousness can we become aware of spirituality?” Kushum asked. In response, Sripad Puri Maharaja asked Nila Madhava das Prabhu to respond. “For a devotee, or someone that is practicing bhakti (devotion), you will not become a cat in your next life because the spiritual advancement you make, it will always remain with you. It never goes away. Krishna says, ‘I preserve what they have and I carry what they lack,’ we just keep progressing and Krishna keeps giving us more. It is not likely that the devotees will take birth as a cat unless you become like King Bharat, who was on the plane of bhava (almost pure devotion), but his sadhana (spiritual practices) got distracted by a young baby deer. That baby deer’s mother passed away and King Bharat picked it up and took it to his ashram (hermitage) and became attached to it while taking care of that deer. So when he died he became a deer but as a deer he could remember that he practiced devotional service in his previous life. So as a deer he would go to the ashram where the sadhus(saints) lives. He would eat their remnants, whatever they will throw out, he would eat. He would sit close by and listen to Krishna katha (stories of Krishna’s pastimes) from the sages (enlightened souls), then in his next life he was again born as a human (Jadabharat). In this form he was an avadhoot, always behaving like he was crazy but internally he was always thinking of Krishna. So as long as you are practicing bhakti (devotion), there’s no reason you will be a cat in your next life,” Nila Madhava das Prabhu explained then interjected, “Krishna also said, ‘whatever you are thinking about at the time of death, you will achieve without fail.’ In case they are not thinking of Krishna they will have to go through the cycle of Karma (deed) to burn through all their negative karma.”

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Srila Acharya Maharaj ki jai
Sripad Puri Maharaj ki jai

Your humble servant
Kushum devi dasi
(New York)

Jun 04

Princeton Bhakti Vedanta Institute Report – May 20, 2017

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The Varieties of Religion

– excerpt –
“Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita ‘ye yatha mam prapadyante, tams tathaiva bhajamy aham – As they surrender to Me, I reward them accordingly. I reciprocate with them according to their worship of Me.’ Those who want to relate to God in a certain way He gives them the ability to do that. Man proposes and God disposes,” Sripad Puri Maharaja responded. ”One cannot act without God’s sanction. Nothing works without God. Krishna says ‘aham sarvasya prabhavo – I am the source of everything. Everything is coming from Me. I am the cause of all causes. You are not independent of Me but I reciprocate with you,’” Sripad Puri Maharaja explained. “If it’s a spiritual reality that we want or need God provides that – reciprocation between Man and God.”

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Srila Acharya Maharaj ki jai
Sripad Puri Maharaj ki jai

Your humble servant
Kushum devi dasi
(New York)

Jun 01

The False Elephant and the False Ego

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The False Elephant and the False Ego: The Fallacy of Analysis

May 30

Beyond First Person Egoic Epistemology

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Consciousness is primary only from the experiential or empirically conditioned stage of existence, within the cidabhasa or shadowy reflection of reality [cf. Plato’s cave dwellers]. I think you may be familiar with the three epistemological forms of knowledge called pratyaksa, paroksa, and aparoksa. Pratyaksa refers to knowledge gained through direct, first person, perception and understanding. Paroksa refers to knowledge gained from other respected persons. Aparoksa refers to deductive knowledge gained by rational means or reason, either directly or through association with others who have reached that stage of spiritual realization. This is sometimes referred to as transcendental knowledge. I explained in another article that Reason extends beyond consciousness or knowing in the region of chidabhasa. Sometimes this knowledge is also described as descending or deductive because it begins from the universal or logical concepts to deduce particulars from it, unlike the problematic inductive process that starts from limited experiential data and hypothesizes universal conclusions,

Even beyond aparoksa there are higher principles of knowledge for one who enters into the stage of spiritual realization. To know that one must first get beyond the shadowy stage of consciousness, come to know the self or atma as self-consciousness, and then the stage of reason can be reached, beyond which lies the spontaneous plane of spirit whose substance or being is freedom. This path has been explained and laid out in the revealed scriptures and taught by the spiritual masters who have realized it. The method for learning it has also be explained, beginning with hearing (sravanam). The method of following one’s own ruminations is the negative process of learning what does not work.

May 25

The Logic of Life

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I think it will be very useful to look at the way Hegel organized
the various types of objects that we observe in Nature, viz. the
mechanical, chemical and biological, according to what he called
the Concept (Begriff). The Concept, for Hegel, is basically a
dynamic or organic unity of the different moments or parts that
make up the Concept and its content. We will start with his
application of this idea to the mechanical object.

Mechanical Objects

Mechanical objects do not have an internal relationship of parts.
Thus you can divide a rock and it becomes two rocks, but the
basic nature of the rock does not change. What lacks internal
relation like this, is said to have merely an external relation to
what is other than itself. Thus rocks are related to other rocks by
the external force of gravity, or other causal factors. Objects that
lack internal relatedness possess merely external relatedness.
Planets relate to each other externally, as in the solar system,
explicable by the laws of gravity and motion. Newtonian gravity
depends upon mass, but the internal composition of that mass
does not play any role in determining their attraction to other
planets. Thus gravity acts in a purely external way to unite the
planets into the solar system.

In mechanistic objects, the unifying Concept (in this case,
gravitational force) exists only implicitly, and therefore only
explicitly or externally to the object. Mechanics views a system
as having separable, independent parts that are fully
understandable outside their connection within the system of
which they are parts. When the parts of a system retain the same
identity when isolated from the system as when connected within
it, it is called a mechanical system. This is the particular logical
character or nature that is implied when we refer to a system as
being mechanical.

Chemical Objects

Now, those entities that show an intrinsic affinity toward other
entities leads to the next type of object – the chemical object.
Chemical objects have parts that are internally related. They are
not the same when isolated from each other as when they are
connected or united with each other. Thus, for example, a salt
crystal cannot maintain its identity when divided at its most
fundamental molecular level since sodium and chloride atoms
when divided would form two distinct substances – sodium and
chlorine. External relations are formed due to the intrinsic
properties of the individual parts of a chemical reaction. Thus an
acid is intrinsically related to an alkali, which combine to form a
neutral salt. Their unity, the neutral salt, is a completely different
substance compared to the distinct parts in their isolation.

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