Tag Archives: Bali

The past, the present and the future

Recently in one of the lectures I heard the phrase; every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. And I could just say ‘how true’.

None of us can say that we haven’t erred, none of us can say that I am spotlessly clean but the point is how you evolve, how you polish your positives and wipe out the negatives. Just like iron has to bear the heat and the beats to assume a shape, all of us have to go through the burns and the beats to assume an identity but the question is what identity do we choose.

As spirit souls all of us are eternal and also the part and parcel of the Supreme whole, so what do we choose? Some path which takes you far from the whole or the path which takes you closer to the whole?

The intelligent will choose the latter.

Have you seen the river which flows sometimes slow and sometimes fast, it is eager to run to its destination the ocean. And when it does reach it gushes and it froths because it has finally met its mother. So it is with us. We may be happy on this planet but all the comforts, the riches give us just temporary happiness. I may buy the latest Mobile and be obsessed with it for a few days but the day I master it, my interest in it is gone and I search for some other obsession. So it is with love. You love somebody, then you marry, the attraction goes less. Then the child arrives and you shift your focus. Then after sometime you focus on your child’s education and so on. Your focus, your love keeps on changing in this world. And so Krishna in the Bhagvad Gita has quoted this world to be ‘dukhalayam ashashwatam’. Meaning a house of miseries and the nature of this house is temporary and not eternal.

It is said in Srimad Bhagvatam that Goloka Vrindavan or even the Vaikunta Planets do not have any ‘lights’. Lights which we have here-bulbs, tubes, LEDs. The glow of the Lord is enough to illuminate it. So wonderful isn’t it. It has the best of everything and yet everyone is engaged in the loving devotional service of the Lord. You may wonder why.

Because serving the Lord is our constitutional position. Doesn’t the part serve the whole? So we being part and parcel of the lord are meant to serve the whole. Simple.

There are people here on this earth trying to develop bhakti, trying to live a regulated life and who are often ridiculed. ‘Life is meant to be enjoyed’, ‘Why all this restrictions now…you are still young; you can practice all this in your old age’ are the arguments that they have to hear. But the truth is nothing gives more joy or sense of achievement than devotional service.

Bali Maharaj when asked by three steps of land from Vamandev, agreed. It was the duty of the king to fulfill the demands of a Brahmana. And so when Vamandev with two steps covered all the land and asked where to put my third step, he offered his head.

Some may argue that he was such a fool to offer his head but ahh what joy in having the Lord’s foot on one’s head…………

Bali Maharaj may have lost everything material but he gained everything spiritual and he is known as one of the Mahajanas.

Quoting from the purport of Srimad Bhagvatam second canto, seventh chapter 17th shloka, ‘So, by giving everything to the cause of the Lord, one does not lose anything, but he gains everything that he could never otherwise expect’.

Have you heard about Alexander, the Great’s dying wish? His first wish was that his physicians should carry his coffin, the second was that the path to his grave should be paved with precious stones and the third was that his hands should dangle out of his coffin.

Do you understand his wishes?

Physicians should carry his coffin…..no one can really stop one from dying, The expiry date of each one of is written at the time we take birth. So value this life, do what is right.

Whatever possessions you have or acquire, cannot be carried to your next life. You will have to leave all that and go.

The third is because empty-handed we come, empty-handed we go.

But one thing we can carry with us always and that is bhakti. Keep on collecting it until your pot is full and you return to your final destination.

 

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How to pray

If Bhagvan comes in front of us, what to ask?
When Brahma came in front of Raavan, what did he ask? He asked that death should not come to me in any form.  He wanted immortality in this material life. Kumbhakarna wanted to sleep for long.  Vibheeshana asked, ‘I should not leave dharma even when there is maximum difficulty.’ But what happened in the end, all had to leave their bodies.
Shri Krishna in the Gita says: Even if u have lots of expectations,  and you go to fulfill it to lots of demi- gods then it is animal mentality. Dharma (righteousness, religiousness) and Kama (lust, expectations) should have a balance. if it is only kama and artha (material greed) then it is animal mentality. So what should you pray and how?
Scientists try to make some medicine to make us immortal.  On the other hand they devise nuclear bombs too.  Don’t they have conflicting objectives.
Hanuman was given benediction that whenever and wherever there is recitation of Ramayan till that time he will be in this material platform.
So what do we understand? Life’s centrepoint is not money or kids only.
ParikshitMaharaj when he came to know that he had only 7 days to live decides only to hear about the Lord in those seven days. And he asks for three boons if he takes another birth.1 let me have always love of lord (prema)
2 let me get association of devotees (maitri)
3let me have mercy (daya)

If there is no maitri, then you may be mislead from prema.

When Krishna comes to meet Gandhari after the war, she asks, if you were really Bhagvan why you didn’t stop the war because so many people died.
Krishna replies, I tried; your sons did not agree. Your son and yourself had the onus of stopping the war but you didn’t try. You are just looking after your sorrow. Look after the others sorrow, then your sorrow will reduce. If there is no daya there is no dharma.

If you always ask from Lord it becomes a business.
Prahlad does not ask anything for himself but asks for liberation for his father. Child does not have to ask his mother for food or lodging likewise God gives us everything. If we ask it is just waste of time. For our material uplifment we have to try ourselves.

Lakshmi says Narayan is omnipresent and I always stay with Him. Moral is if you want Lakshmi worship Narayan. Yes,  you can worship Lakshmi and she may bless you too but Lakshmi alone is fickle. She is steady only steady when Narayan is with her.

Story of Bali. Even though Vaman comes as brahmachari, Laksmi stays in his chest. When Vamana wants three paces of land, not even once Bali doubts the intentions of the Lord. He has full faith in HIM.  At that time Lakshmi leaps out and goes to Bali. Moral is Vamana blesses Bali and Lakshmi automatically comes to Bali . And then Bali says  to Vamana, ‘I had paid obeisances to you mentally and so much benediction you gave me.’
Mathematically we can say that buddhi(intelligence) + bhav( feeling)=firm faith.

So what to ask…let me never forget you in any circumstance. Always ask for prema(love).

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who is Lord himself and who came in this Kaliyuga as His pure devotee said

na dhanam na janam na sundarim
kavitam va jagad-isa kamaye
mama janmani janmanisvare
bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi

“O Lord of the universe, I do not desire material wealth, materialistic followers, a beautiful wife, or fruitive activities described in flowery language. All I want, life after life, is unmotivated devotional service to You.” (Cc. Antya 20.29)

This is how you should pray and prema is all that you should ask.

Excerpts from the lecture of His Grace Govind Das on the 6th of December 2014 at Bahrain

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Most of us even though we are believers, do not know how to pray. We just know to put in our demands and expect out demands to be fulfilled. This is a wonderful enlightening lecture which tells us how to pray. The Lord our father undoubtedly gives us what we need. The rest we have to endeavour ourselves. What we can ask is for prema-love for Him and love from Him.

And on that note I sign off from 2014 and lets hope that 2015 will be another beautiful Yatra.

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The origin of the Ganga

Bali Chakravarti was a very worthy King. His Grandfather Prahlad Maharaj had instilled in him a strong sense of devotion and righteousness and so he ruled his Kingdom justly. His Kingdom comprised the  three worlds and when His Guru Shukracharya encourages him to do Ashwamedha Yagna, he readily agrees.

But that makes Indra insecure. Because anyone who does 100 Ashwamedha’s cam become the next Indra, the king of heavens. And so he runs to Visnu to save him.

Visnu listens to him and takes birth as the son of Aditi, the mother of all Devas. He is named Vaman. He is short but his face has such radiance that one cannot stop looking at him.

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During one Yagna, this Brahmana boy Vaman, goes to Bali to beg for alms. His radiance is such that everyone just keeps on gazing at him. And Bali comes forward and asks what the boy wants. Vaman says, ‘three paces of land’. Bali agrees. While Shukracharya disagrees. He understands that Vaman is someone special and dissuades Bali from making any promises but Bali does not pay any heed tohim. After all how much can a midget cover with his three paces.

But then Vaman grows n size and becomes a giant and with the first two paces covers all the tree worlds and then asks where do I place my third step and Bali offers his head.

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Bali folds his head and bows down in reverence offering himself. Vaman dev puts his feet on Bali’s head and pushes him to Patal or the nether world. For this act of Bali, he is taken to be the example of atma nivedanam or complete surrender. He is one of the Mahajanas and still resides along with he other Mahajanas like Hanuman etc.

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While Vaman was taking his first two paces, his toes of the left foot pierced a hole in the outer covering of the earth. From this covering the waters of the causal ocean leaked through and fell on the head of Lord Siva and that is how Ganga took birth. Because she took birth from the foot of Visnu, she is also known as Visnupadi. First she inundates the heavenly planets then flows through Brahmapuri atop Mount Meru.

There is an interesting video in Youtube which shows how Ganga came into origin you can view it here

Sourced through Srimad Bhagvatam, Fifth Canto, Chapter 17

All images sourced from Krishna.com

 

 

 

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