Harinama sankirtana in Loi Bazar, 1984

Harinama sankirtana in Loi Bazar, 1984:
Maitreya dasa, Tripurari Swami, Narottama Prabhu, Bhaktisiddhanta Swami

The Difficulty with the Math

Nobel prize-winning physicist Eugene Wigner has shown that the probability of the existence of a self-duplicating unit is zero. Since the ability to reproduce is one of the fundamental characteristics of all living organisms, Wigner concludes that our present understanding of physics and chemistry does not enable us to explain the phenomenon of life. Herbert Yockey has demonstrated by information theory that even a single informational molecule such as cytochrome c (what to speak of complex organisms) could not have arisen by chance in the estimated lifetime of the earth: "One must conclude that, contrary to the established and current wisdom, a scenario describing the genesis of life on earth by chance and natural causes which can be accepted on the basis of fact and not faith has not yet been written."

Shared by a friend: 9 Powerful Men Who Don't Eat Meat

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July 23, 2013
Tombeek@gmail.com thought that you'd be interested in this article from Business Insider:

9 Powerful Men Who Don't Eat Meat

Embracing the vegetarian lifestyle. 

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I love this.

From the Preface:
"The reading matter is so arranged with its original Sanskrit text, its English transliteration, synonyms, translation and purports so that one is sure to become a God-realized soul at the end of finishing the first nine cantos."

Popcorn and Compassion

Who here has made popcorn? I ask because this analogy requires that you have such experience. Otherwise I'll have to use a different analogy.

So in the endeavor of popcorn making, first you apply heat to the bottom of the pan and secondly the kernels begin to pop. Heat is the critical item; if you heat too quickly, the kernels will burn. If you heat too slowly, the tiny bit of water in each kernel that is responsible for the popping action will evaporate, and it will never pop. There has to be the right amount of heat applied at the right pace, and then the magic pop, pop, pop!

Teaching and preaching are both like making popcorn. The heat is the instruction, and the kernels are the people, or souls. I could have titled this talk, "Popcorn and Patience," but in the case of people learning something patience and compassion are synonymous, and I happen to favor the term compassion.

There is a verse in the Fifth Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam wherein Lord Rsabadeva instructs his eldest son that a Guru, or teacher, must patiently give instructions, and not become angry:

SB 5.5.15: If one is serious about going back home, back to Godhead, he must consider the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead the summum bonum and chief aim of life. If he is a father instructing his sons, a spiritual master instructing his disciples, or a king instructing his citizens, he must instruct them as I have advised. Without being angry, he should continue giving instructions, even if his disciple, son or citizen is sometimes unable to follow his order. Ignorant people who engage in pious and impious activities should be engaged in devotional service by all means. They should always avoid fruitive activity. If one puts into the bondage of karmic activity his disciple, son or citizen who is bereft of transcendental vision, how will one profit? It is like leading a blind man to a dark well and causing him to fall in.

Help for Devotees

The Bhagavad-gita is Sri Krsna's discourse for souls looking for answers to the complexities of material life.

It would be simpler to just say that the Gita is for the devotees. While it is true that the Gita is especially appreciated by the devotees, Krsna's aim is to help all of those who are interested in liberation to become eligible. Connecting with Krsna in this way is called yoga.

Yoga, Linking with the Divine

"There is no possibility of ones becoming a yogi, O Arjuna, if one eats too much or eats too little, sleeps too much, or does not sleep enough." Bhagavad-gita 6.16

The Irony and the Ecstasy

English: The Hare Krishna maha-mantra, in Deva...
The Hare Krishna maha-mantra, in Devanagari. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
My college room mate's name is Chris Nelson. Chris Nelson is also the name of a close childhood friend.

At age 19 I became a Hindu monk and chanted Hare Krishna on average 3,456 times daily for 33 years, or about 41,627,520 times.

The Vedas say that if anyone even unknowingly chants the Holy Name of God - such as Krishna or Rama - they are spiritually benefitted. If you take the name Chris Nelson and parse it like so - chrishne lson - you will notice that the chrisne part is the same as krishna.
I met both of these nonstandard Krishna emissaries while living in the material world. Later I would chant Hare Krishna to the point of ecstasy, and beyond...
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Veg Seattle! Why Veg: Animals

English: Painting of the Trial of Bill Burns, ...
English: Painting of the Trial of Bill Burns, the first prosecution under the 1822 Martin's Act for cruelty to animals, after he was found beating his donkey. It is the first known prosecution for animal cruelty in the world. The prosecution was brought by Richard Martin, MP for Galway, also known as Humanity Dick, and the case became memorable because he brought the donkey into court. The painting was made at the time of the trial. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Choosing Compassion Over Killing

The more we learn about cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, and, in fact, all of the animals we confine and kill for food, the more we realize they are not that different from us. Certainly, they are no less worthy of our concern than the cats and dogs we live with and give our affection.

Most importantly, these "food" animals feel pain just as much and just as intensely as do dogs and cats. Sadly though, they are treated horrifically by the industries that turn them into nuggets, fillets, or hot dogs. When we eat meat, eggs, and dairy, we are responsible for animal abuse. In order for us to have their flesh, milk, and eggs, farmed animals are denied nearly everything that is natural to them and are almost always abused in ways that would revolt us were we forced to participate. Each one of us has a choice: Do we want to support cruelty, or do we want to support kindness and compassion?

What is exciting is that each one of us has the ability to say no to animal cruelty every time we eat. The next time you sit down to a meal, please choose to eat compassionately. Please choose the vegetarian option.

Words of Wisdom and Comfort from the Bhagavad-gita

"As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from childhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change." (2.13)
"For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain." (2.20)
"And whoever, at the time of death, quits his body, remembering Me alone, at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt." (8.5)
"Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend." (18.65)