The Dual Dimensions of Artha
Whether its shoes, gadgets, clothes or cars, most things I buy seem to break down, play up or fall apart, costing me a small fortune in the process! One acquisition, however, that has stood the test of time, is the wisdom of the Bhagavad-gita.
"Artha" refers to not just wealth but also meaning. To pursue artha means to pursue both wealth and meaning, that is, to pursue wealth in a meaningful way that creates value.
Comparative, Competitive Religion
Admittedly, although we desire these friendly connections with everyone around us, it just doesn’t seem to work out in real life. Fighting and friction seem an integral part of social intercourse.
Bengal Milk Sweets
Often, the competitive desire to “be the best” can carry over into our divine pursuit. We mentally create a spiritual CV and proceed to judge our success based on the achievements, recognition and respect that we can build up within our spiritual circle.
When Lord Krishna played on this Earth as a child, He lived in a community of cowherds in the region known as Vraja, in northern India. He was in charge of the young calves and took them out each morning to the pasturing grounds.
A Devotional Model for Health & Financial Self-Sufficiency
The three steps of anything: 1) Initial enthusiasm, 2) doubts, disinterest and struggle 3) eventual reward for the committed. This seems to be the standard pattern for most things in life: studies, career, relationships, hobbies, and yes, even spirituality.
The Light of the Soul
Our health has a crucial influence on a quality of our daily life and efficiency in our devotional service. The reality however is that devotees are often deprived of a proper and consistent healthcare due to either lack of resources or proper knowledge.
Mechanics of Spirituality
"People stopped to stare at the unusual sight: a sannyasi sitting on a bench and a Buddhist monk meditating on the ground next to him. They looked at me as if asking for an explanation, but I had none. I could only sit silently while he offered prayers on my behalf."
Post-modern Perspectives on the Guru-disciple Relationship
At 4.30am each morning the monks commence their 4-hour spiritual workout. Each and every day, 365 days a year. To an onlooker it may seem like a monotonous and mechanical regime. Seasoned practitioners, however, will testify that these tried and tested external practices open up an internal world of bottomless depth.
Seeing the Funny Side
The current intellectual and philosophical climate in the industrialised world has contributed to a particular perspective on the Vedas and the guru-disciple culture which is at its heart.
Thinking: The Missing Link
The Gita says that all living beings are God’s eternal parts, and who are foolishly trying to enjoy this temporary world of pain. When I finally realise this truth and go back to God I'm sure I will laugh at my own foolishness. And, I believe, will have actually reached my destination.
Chant & Enchant the Heart
Thomas Edison said that five percent of people think, ten percent think they think, and the other eighty five percent would rather die than think. Thinking is hard work – that’s why so few people genuinely do it.
Puzzle of Life
Things of this world do not have the capability to satisfy our heart; in fact it makes us more impure. Our heart can be cleansed only if we bring Krishna in our life, our heart’s hunger can only be satiated if we enthrone Krishna in our heart.
Don't Look Back
We pick up different pieces from different places. The people we contact, namely family, friends, colleagues, critics, mentors, managers, and others, are not simply there by chance. These individuals are strategically placed by providence to make a unique contribution to our development.
Yesterday I went on Parikrama, which literally means to “walk around.” Circumambulation of holy places has a symbolic meaning – to always keep our spiritual aspirations central and close, regardless of where we are in life (whatever point on the circle, one is never further away from the centre).
Me to We
Not everyone sees with as careful an eye as Kennedy Fraser, the fashion writer for The New Yorker, whom I quoted in last week’s posting. She extolled the costume of the Krishna devotees, “whose apricot robes come into their own when they are not swathed in mufflers.” The notable word here is “apricot,” remarkable for its precision.
Journey to Everlasting Pleasure Mine
In the urban jungle, survival of the fittest is the name of the game. Our happiness is often founded upon the exploitation, mistreatment and detriment of others. If we are winning, it usually means someone else is losing.
Character or Capability?
How beautiful our life would have been if every day would be filled with joy and just joy! When in life there would not be any fear of calamity, no fear of betrayal, no fear of losing our loved ones. Life with full of hope, full of happiness and no anxiety and no uncertainty.
In the material world people are remembered for what they do – their ground-breaking achievements, their high ranking positions of responsibility, and their impactful influence on others. In spiritual circles, however, people are remembered for who they are.
Enemies of Growth
In front of an ocean we realise how tiny we are! In the same way, as one advances in their relationship with God, their genuine appreciation and admiration of His character and qualities grows exponentially.
Gopala Bhatta Goswami’s Gifts to the Vaishnava Community
Observing my own life, it seems there are key enemies which stagnate our growth and development. We slide into mediocrity and averageness when we are too busy, too arrogant or too comfortable to really invest in our life.
Today we’re marking the life of a great saint in our tradition who lived 500 years ago. He was the son of a Sri Vaishnava brahmana, Venkata Bhatta, and was born in a village near the famous temple town of Sri Rangam.
Work to Live – Avoid Work That Eats You Alive
Courage means standing up for what we believe to be right. Intoxication, on the other hand, tends to make us blur the boundary between right and wrong.
Yogi Blues: The Bhagavad Gita & The Yoga of Despair
Work is essential for survival, as the Gita acknowledges. When work becomes the sole definer of our self-identity and self-worth, it degenerates to an indulgence, even an addictive indulgence.
Popular wisdom, from doctors and moms alike, is that yoga and happiness go hand in hand. But are "real" yogis immune to despair? Is despondency somehow antithetical to yoga?