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Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON ; SPIRITNET
Beans, Bullets, and Bhagavad-gitas
So my aunt succumbed to cancer. My cousin was there with her. Her suffering ended, but ours hasn't. I am angry, sad, and trying to be supportive for my cousin.
Hare Krsna! PAMHO. Iam sorry to hear of your loss I lost my grandfather last year so I understand the pain your going through. You and your family are in my prayers.
Parvati ji, we are with you in your grief.
We can understand why you are sad, but cannot fathom why you are angry and who are you angry at?
We would like to share your pain, your sadness, your suffering. It is said the sorrows shared are halved and joys shared are doubled.
So let us know why are you angry and we, as your extended family, can try and help if you want.
There must be a reason for your posting your thoughts and emotions.
I was angry at the universe. I know intellectually it is karma working itself out. Emotionally, it is more difficult. We are confined to these material bodies with all it entails. I am more sad that my cousin is an orphan. We have a close family, but no one can replace your mom. We are getting through it. Life goes on. It is all temporary. The only permanence is Krishna.
I also sometimes wonder how an all aware and merciful godhead allows the sadistic sufferings to go on. It seems They are so great, that we insignificants are just ignored. Then why create us in the first place? Karma yeah right, we act in ignorance as we have no knowledge, so how are we responsible for things we have no clue about? How does this make any damn sense at all? I am sure that things could have been arranged quite differently, but Godhead is an aloof King, and the citizens are suffering because of it. Where is a responsible Godhead who actually cares about any of us?
Tamohara ji, you have pressed the pulse of every human mind with your perfect observation of the world. I think 99% of the population will agree with you that God (Krishna) maybe is sleeping on His job and 'that things could have been arranged quite differently, but Godhead is an aloof King, and the citizens are suffering because of it. Where is a responsible Godhead who actually cares about any of us?'
I used to also question my faith in Krishna, as to why is there so much suffering and inequality within the world.
I was told by my elders that we, the souls, somehow wanted to enjoy in exclusion from Krishna, so He created this material world which is compared to a reformatory for all the souls who wanted to enjoy themselves.
But somehow I was feeling something was amiss like you are feeling in your post.
Then I came across these verses from the Gita-
“And when you have thus learned the truth, you will know that all living beings are but part of Me-and that they are in Me, and are Mine.” BG 4.35
“For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me.” BG 6.30
“The living entities are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind." BG 15.7
The above verses clearly state that we are all one yet individuated parts within the body of one Supreme Whole, Krishna.
We are struggling and suffering not because Krishna is an aloof King and an irresponsible Godhead who doesn’t care for us. But because we think we are separate from Krishna.
His love for us is unconditional. If a child is diabetic and the mother refuses the child's demand to have sweets, is the mother making her child suffer or is she denying him sweets because she loves him?
I once overheard a child who fell and scraped his knees in the park, crying and complaining to his dad who was standing nearby, “Why did God create pain? I wish God did not give me pain.”
His dad explained to him, “Have you seen the lepers who have lost their fingers or toes? They have not lost their fingers due to some disease. They have lost their fingers, because they have no sensation of pain. And when they hurt their fingers or pick up burning vessel, they do not feel any sensation of pain and slowly the fingers get more & more damaged with each hurt and they lose their fingers and limbs eventually. So God in His infinite wisdom has given us this pain so that we realize and remember why we are here. He reminds us every time to remember Him and our connection with Him and include Him in all that we do and not be lost in the temporary pleasures of the world. Pain in this world in inevitable but suffering is optional.
So, then who is responsible for our suffering? I got the answer from the Scriptures.
In the Bhagavatam, there is a verse 11.23.42 (which is my all-time favourite verse whenever I feel let down) where an avadhoot (Lord Dattatreya) tells the king how he came to self-realization after intense suffering at the hands of near and dear ones and strangers, “These people are not the cause of my happiness and distress. Neither are the demigods, nor my own body, not the planets, not my past work, nor time. Rather, it is the mind alone that causes happiness and distress and perpetuates the rotation of material life.”
It is said, "mana eva manuṣyāṇāṁ kāraṇaṁ bandha-mokṣayoḥ
When things go as per our expectations, we jump with joy and when they don’t, we sink with sorrow and then shake our fists at Krishna, ‘God, why hast thou forsaken me?’
Krishna states in 5.22 of the Gita that whatever or whosoever is the cause of our greatest joy today shall be the cause of our greatest sorrow tomorrow. The worldly pleasures of today are the seed in the womb of tomorrow’s sorrow. Worldly joy and sorrow are 2 sides of the same coin. You cannot have only joy without sorrow. Remember the story of Chitraketu who had an intense desire to have a child and had one? And how he went through immense joy and later through immense sorrow when he loses his child?
In the Yog Vasishtha, Lord Rama asks sage Vasishtha, “Who created this world” and the sage replies, “Your mind creates your world”. Our mind is either wallowing and reliving in the past or anxious about future or has expectations from the future. The mind is hardly in the present moment which is the only reality and truth. The past and future do not exist except in the mind.
Our mind has only 3 diseases –
Krishna has given us the 3 medicines to cure the above diseases.
To cure the mind of unnecessary pleasures observe Austerity (Tapasya, simply our life so that we can devote more time to Krishna).
To cure the mind of controlling and possessing, give in Charity (Daanam)
To cure the mind of sense of superiority over others is Sacrifice (Yagna)
These three should never be given up even my enlightened souls - http://asitis.com/18/5.html
We suffer because our mind becomes attached to things and people and have expectations from the world that everything should happen according to our expectations.
In fact, everything is happening perfectly as per Krishna’s Lila (http://asitis.com/9/10.html ). But we think we are the doers. Actually we do nothing ( http://asitis.com/3/27.html and http://asitis.com/13/21.html )
The avadhoot brahmana also gives the solution for controlling the mind in SB 11.23.45, “Charity, prescribed duties, observance of major and minor regulative principles, hearing from scripture, pious works and purifying vows all have as their final aim the subduing of the mind. Indeed, concentration of the mind on the Supreme is the highest yoga.”
Even Krishna tells us the same thing in 9.27 and 9.34 and 18.66
Whenever and wherever we see imperfection within the world it only means we are not seeing with the eyes of knowledge (shastra chakshu) which have been anointed with the collyrium (kajal) of love of Krishna.
It means we do not have the complete faith in Krishna. Faith is the only currency in spiritual realm.
Mother Teresa once said,
The fruit of Silence is Prayer
The fruit of Prayer is Faith
The fruit of Faith is Love
The fruit of Love is Service
The fruit of Service is Infinite Peace.
The silence she speaks about is silence of the mind and prayer (chanting) she said should not be done 3 times or 5 times or 2 hours, it should be done incessantly. The Lord's name and form should be on the screen of our mind just like the continuous background music in movie.
There was once a group of monks passing through a city where there were huge hoardings and posters of bikini clad women and half naked men displayed all over.
One of the monks told his master who was walking along with them, “Why do they have such vulgar display on hoardings, they should ban such hoardings as they agitate the mind”.
The master told him, “Why are you looking up and walking. Your job is to look down and walk and see where you are putting your foot next.”
In another instance, two monks who had taken a vow of silence, were walking along the small pond when they see a young school girl trying to cross to the other side but was scared. The elder monk lifted her, walked across the pond and kept her down on the other side and continued on his path with his junior monk. After few days of silent walking the junior could not take it any longer and spoke, “Why did you carry the girl across the water when we are not supposed to touch a person of opposite sex?” The elder one replied somberly, “ I left the girl at the other side long back, but you are still carrying her in your mind!”
The best way to silence our mind is remember Krishna, serve Krishna by serving others as He is seated in the hearts of all beings and do not think that we are the doers but just an instrument (flute) through which Krishna is playing sweet music through. And lastly, thank Krishna for every moment as it is.
I'm kind of laughing, as of course your reply is spot on and reasonable. But for me, it is more of a mood of seperation. Many of us made huge sacrifices in this lifetime, and no doubt there will be a greater good, but meanwhile patience thins, we grown old, death is coming, and I know we cannot oblige Sri Krsna to talk with us or allow us into some kind of transcendental life. If not now, then when? I'm sick and tired of the limited stupid addle-brained ridiculous life of a human in these bodies of stool and forgetfulness. Krsna could have just MADE everything perfect, to hell with free will, it hasn't gotten me anything i can use. I also realize that there is a truth far greater than my current understanding, but it seems moot at the present.
I guess a lifetime dealing with the ugly confused world has been more than enough already. I just wish there was some peace and love and happiness, but the whole planet seems to be on fire with mad demons, and I do not recall my spiritual identity, my material circumstances by world standards may be pretty good, but there are constant worries about health, money, politics, abuses right left and center. At my age in life, death does not at all seem so scary any more, more like a release from all this.
I am sure Sri Krsna are being kept in the dark somehow by we the jivas as to the reality of the jiva's experiences.
If you son was caged and being tortured , would you not do everything to stop it immediately? Always some sort of rules, some sort of impossible qualifications, some kind of restrictions and limitations and being kept out. I'm just tired of it. Wouldn't nature have a grand scheme, one that we naturally follow, as opposed to being inhuman following four rules and regs that almost NO ONE is capable of?
Yes, always the same, not good enough, committing offenses, if when but and maybe, maybe later, some day, when oh when will that day be mine? Never??
Meanwhile, out spiritual master was martyred by freaks and con men and the CIA. That does not make me a happy camper. I wish i had a big machete and the demon was before me so i could fight to the death to end this stupid existence. Has it any value, any meaning, or is it just a bunch of lessons like you teach to children. I'm not a child anymore, i want to see something tangible and powerful, not just talk.
Yes, we as a group had a major effect upon the world, one that has yet to fructify in full, so mission accomplished i suppose. I might feel different if i had something more useful to do, and im lamenting about my life at this point, nothing new, everyone on the damn planet is in that situation, except the big demons, who have money to burn and the freedom to do it, while the devotees are penniless and isolated and seem to have no say in things; we are slaved to big demons who have all the power and control. Yes, a little patience yet, almost at the end of this. I hope to God next time i have the common sense that when asked to come to Earth again i will say HELL NO!
Anyway, as always, powerless and imprisonned, your servant.
Mahesh Prabhu, BEAUTIFUL. Oh Tamohara Prabhu, We cause our own problems. Every shitty thing is caused by another human being. Even cancer we bring on ourselves. I think Krishna looks at us this way: He sees we are giant fuck-ups, but we have to figure it out on our own. Being the good parent he can make suggestions " no, you don't REALLY want to kill and eat your fellow animals" "here, try this nice prasadam" "Yes, drinking alcohol, or doing drugs is enjoyable, but you will pay for it later, after the nice feeling goes away" We have to deal with the material because we realized we ARE spiritual.
Tamhohara ji and Parvati ji.
I can feel your frustration and the angst in your words, and I totally empathize with you, Tamohara ji, even 97% of the world will agree with you in this. The balance 3% are not with us because they control the 97% of the world’s resources.
I know how you feel and don’t worry we are all sailing in the same boat including the 3%. I used to feel the same way as you are. But then I realized that the whole cause of my suffering is my sense of self which is the cause of the sense of separation from others.
When I started on this spiritual path towards Krishna, I started to feel that I am now such a nice person, such a gentle and holy person and started created an image of myself that I build a nice little brick house of my sense of self and if someone added some bricks to the house by acknowledging my niceness I liked that person and one who tried to destroy by removing the bricks of that imaginary home by calling me a fool, I disliked that person.
We all want the world to be perfect as per your expectations. But the world is perfect as it is. It is our expectations that cause us problems.
Parvati ji, is right. We cause our own problems.
Remember this world is Dukhalayam Ashvashatam. Everyone is acting helplessly according to their Guna and karma.
In life, there are only two types of situations we face. One situation which is under our control and the other that is beyond our control. Krishna wants us to perform action where we can and surrender to Him where things are not in our control. That is a sure formula for peace.
There was an experiment conducted by scientist some years back. In a cage they put a rat where there were 2 levers. If the rat pressed one lever, a small piece of cheese would pop up and when it pressed the other lever, it would get a shock. And both levers would have random cheese and shock when pressed. Every time the rat would try to figure out the cheese lever but would sometimes get a shock.
Slowly the scientists removed one wall of the cage. But the rat was so engrossed in figuring the lever with cheese that it did not notice the open side of the cage. Gradually, all the cage walls were removed. But the rat continued to try its luck one more time for the bit of cheese. The foolish rat never thought of getting away from the misery of the shock altogether by escaping the cage.
In a sense, we all are like that rat.
This world is also likened to a jail with 3 different classes. The third class section of the jail where the prisoners are really suffering because they are given a miserable 6’ x 6’ feet cell with a pests and mosquitoes infested cell to sleep in. The second class prisoners are a little better condition because they are bribing the warden to provide them little extra amenities. But the first class prisoners are living it up because of their status, they get to have TV, cigarettes, alcohol all provided to them inside a clean and comfortable cell because they can really grease the palms of the warden.
Now the 3rd class prisoners are trying to get into the 2nd class cells and the 2nd class prisoners are thinking of ways how to get into the 1st class cell. While the 1st class cell prisoners are trying ways to keep the 2nd and 3rd class prisoners from coming to their 1st class cell comforts.
None of them are trying to think how to take the help of the superintendent or lawyer so they are arrange for an early release from the prison on good conduct.
Don’t you think we too are behaving like these prisoners? We are thinking how to make our stay comfortable here. We are not looking for ways to get out of the prison by pleasing the Superintendent, Krishna, so He can help us get out of this ocean of misery once and for all. We are just trying to fight with others to get to live more comfortably in this Dukhalayam like prison.
Srila Prabhupada came to this world for the purpose of reminding us of our true connection with Krishna and left the world (whatever way) because his purpose was over here. Just like Krishna left the world by an arrow shot by a hunter, once His purpose here was over.
Let us remember our teacher with love and devotion for showing us the beautiful and easier path to go back home to Godhead. Let us leave aside our differences and hatred for each other because our Guru left us under mysterious circumstances.
Remember, if we have even 1% more hatred for another soul than we have love for Krishna, rest assure we will come back to this dukhalayam until we resolve our issues with that soul.
And I like the way you put it, “I hope to God next time i have the common sense that when asked to come to Earth again i will say HELL NO!
But if we don’t prepare for leaving this world for Godhead, from this moment on by remembering Krishna not only for 16 rounds a day, but every moment all the time BG 9.27 and 9.34.
KIRTANYA SADA HARI !!!
"Don’t you think we too are behaving like these prisoners? We are thinking how to make our stay comfortable here. We are not looking for ways to get out of the prison by pleasing the Superintendent, Krishna, so He can help us get out of this ocean of misery once and for all. We are just trying to fight with others to get to live more comfortably in this Dukhalayam like prison."
" Oh Tamohara Prabhu, We cause our own problems. Every shitty thing is caused by another human being. Even cancer we bring on ourselves. I think Krishna looks at us this way: He sees we are giant fuck-ups, but we have to figure it out on our own. Being the good parent he can make suggestions " no, you don't REALLY want to kill and eat your fellow animals" "here, try this nice prasadam" "Yes, drinking alcohol, or doing drugs is enjoyable, but you will pay for it later, after the nice feeling goes away" We have to deal with the material because we realized we ARE spiritual."
Thank you for wonderful replies! ~(>,' )
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