Sri Sri Gopala-Douji's Darsan

Varnasrama Without Cow Protection: Surrealism In Action

Have a look at this painting called The Persistance of Memory by the famous surrealist Salvador Dali. How does it capture you? Does it even draw your attention at all?

Many people find this painting captivating and definitive of the surrealistic movement in art. Here you have something familiar and distinctive - a clock. Clocks of this sort are usually found hanging on walls; yet here one is melting whilst hanging from the branch of a dead tree. Taking something out of context and superimposing it into an artificial environment is one aspect of surrealism. Even though it is sometimes said that 'a picture is worth a thousand words', this concept in relation to application of the Varnasrama culture in modern times is what I want to focus on in this article.

To help us to understand the four different divisions of varna Srila Prabhupada gave us the analogy of a human body. He likened the head of the body to the brahmanical or intellectual class of people. The arms of the body are compared to the ksatriya or administrative/warrior type of person. Just as arms can be used to activate, enforce and defend - the ksatriya class dutifully protects and administrates social injunctions under the guidance of the intellectual class. The vaisyas are like the stomach of the body. Those in this merchantile order are expected to generate an economy based on agriculture and are also expected to protect cows. The sudras are considered to be the legs of the body rendering their service by performing labour in support of the other social divisions.

The Woodpecker Might have to go!

 
 

Meditation On Lord Jagannatha

by Srila Murari Gupta - Śrī Caitanya-carita Mahākavya 4.21.5 (sourced from Sri Krishna-kathamrta Bindu issue #156)

Murari Gupta writes that while gazing at the divine form of Lord Jagannath, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu uttered the following meditation on the Lord, which is derived from the Purānas:

nīlādrau śankha-madhye śata-dala-kamale ratna-sihāsana-stha
sarvālankāra-yukta nava-ghana-rucirasasthita cāgrajena
bhadrāyā vāma-bhāge ratha-caraa-yuta brahma-rudrādi-vandya
vedānā sāram eka sakala-gua-maya brahma-pūra smarāmi

I remember the absolute truth, who resides within a temple resembling a blue mountain in the land shaped like a gigantic conch shell. He is seated on a hundred-petalled lotus, upon a jeweled lion-throne. His body is the hue of a new lightning-illuminated thundercloud, and he is adorned with variegated ornaments. He is seated along with his elder brother, who has Subhadra to his left side. He is attended by his disc, and is offered prayers by all the gods headed by Brahma and Shiva. He is the essence of the Vedas and the reservoir of all sublime qualities.

— English translation by Bhakti Vedanta Bhagavata Swami. Gaura Vani Press. Distributed by Nectar Books. Union City,Georgia. 1998.

Smoke points for various cooking mediums

Oil heated beyond the smoke point breaks down in molecular structure and starts to turn carcinogenic. This is important to know when cooking for Krishna and His devotees. Below is a chart of maximum cooking temperatures for various frying mediums. They are listed in order from lowest smoke temperature to highest. Notice how ghee rates as one of the mediums with the highest cooking temperature ranges. This is provided that it is good quality ghee. I've used ghee that began to smoke at temperatures around 200 degrees Celcius (395 F) which is significantly less than what is posted here. In any case, its good to be aware of some smoke points as a passionate session in the kitchen can lead to overlooking the health of the devotees who will partake.

To know what temperature your oil is when cooking you need either an infrared or a probe thermometer. (The prices on this page are pretty high. I bought my infrared for less than AU$200 to use with my wood fired oven. I just didn't have time to look around the internet much.)

Here you can download a printable .pdf format of this chart for laminating and hanging on the kitchen wall at your local Hare Krishna center.

(Data from Cooking for Engineers)

Type of Oil
Max Temp °C
Max Temp °F

Srila Prabhupada's advice for healthy Krishna Conscious living

My dear Tejiyas,

Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated December 10, 1972, and I am very much disturbed to hear from you that you have become disturbed in your mind. Do not be disturbed. There is no cause for anxiety. You are doing your best to serve Krishna, that is very much appreciated, so do not lose enthusiasm out of frustration, that will spoil everything.

Krishna Consciousness means we should always be satisfied and happy, not that we must work something impossible, becoming overburdened, and then because we are unhappy by so much trouble we lose enthusiasm altogether and give up all hope. No, if too much endeavour is there, that is to be avoided. By all means we must preserve our spiritual status, that is the point, not that we are mad after big buildings, many devotees, life-members, this, that — no, these are only ways to engage the devotees so that they may apply the principles of devotional living to some kind of work for practical realization of these principles. It is not the result of the work we want.

If only one person daily, if we sincerely preach to such one person in a day, that is sufficient, never mind big, big programmes. So my request to you is that you do not be bothered by these things, and I have instructed Tamala Krishna and Syamasundara to send you men, so they will do it, rest assured. Krishna does not like to see His sincere devotee suffer or become frustrated or depressed. He will not stand idly by in any such case, so do not fear on that account. Krishna has got some plan for you, always think in that way, and very soon He will provide everything to your heart's desire.

....

Hoping this meets you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

No Need For Fashionable Slogans or Tricks

"I have seen your advertisements as shown to me by Shyamasundar, and I think you have made the thing less important. This kind of ad is not good, it is not grave. Our process is to show Krsna consciousness as it is, not as others want to see it. By showing Krsna consciousness in this way, you are making the thing less important. It is not that we should change to accommodate the public, but that we should change the public to accommodate us .... These books are the best advertising, they are better than advertising.

If we simply present Krsna consciousness in a serious and attractive way, without need to resort to fashionable slogans or tricks, that is sufficient. Our unique asset is our purity. No one anywhere can match it. That will be noticed eventually and appreciated, as long as we do not diminish or neglect the highest standard of purity in performing our routine work, not that we require to display or announce ourselves in very clever ways to get attention. No, our pure standard is enough. Let us stand on that basis."

(Srila Prabhupada to Yogesvara, 12/28/71)

Stay Married. Start a Revolution!

Kripamoya Prabhu has written another brilliant article here.

While you are over there have a look around. There are a lot of interesting things to read.

 

 

Blessing or Curse?

A devotee of Krishna and his companion lost their way in a forest. The companion despaired, but the devotee said maybe some good will come of this. They came upon a stranger who needed the devotee's help. The stranger turned out to be a prince who gave the devotee a beautiful horse.

His neighbors praised his good luck and said, "How blessed you are to have such a magnificent animal." The devotee said, "Who’s to say whether this is a blessing or a curse?" The next day the horse ran away, and the neighbors said, "How horrible that you were cursed with the loss of your horse." The devotee replied, "Who’s to say whether this is a curse or a blessing? Perhaps some good will come of it."

The next day the horse returned, leading five wild horses. "You were right!" his neighbors exclaimed. "The curse was a blessing in disguise. Now you’re blessed with six horses." The devotee replied, "Perhaps, but who’s to say whether this is a blessing or a curse?" The next day his only son tried to ride one of the wild horses. He was thrown to the ground and broke his leg. The neighbors said, "How wise you were. Your blessing was really a curse."

The devotee replied, "There may be good yet. Who’s to say whether this is a curse or a blessing?" The next day soldiers came through the village and took every able-bodied boy to fight in a war where it was almost certain all would be killed. Because the devotee’s son was injured, he was the only one not taken. "How blessed are you to have your son!" the neighbors said. The devotee replied, "Who’s to say?"

The moral of the story from Bhagavad-gita 2.56:

duḥkheṣv anudvigna-manāḥ
sukheṣu vigata-spṛhaḥ
vīta-rāga-bhaya-krodhaḥ
sthita-dhīr munir ucyate

One who is not disturbed in mind even amidst the threefold miseries or elated when there is happiness, and who is free from attachment, fear and anger, is called a sage of steady mind.

PURPORT

The word muni means one who can agitate his mind in various ways for mental speculation without coming to a factual conclusion. It is said that every muni has a different angle of vision, and unless a muni differs from other munis, he cannot be called a muni in the strict sense of the term. Nāsāv ṛṣir yasya mataṁ na bhinnam (Mahābhārata, Vana-parva 313.117). But a sthita-dhīr muni, as mentioned herein by the Lord, is different from an ordinary muni. The sthita-dhīr muni is always in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, for he has exhausted all his business of creative speculation. He is called praśānta-niḥśeṣa-mano-rathāntara (Stotra-ratna 43), or one who has surpassed the stage of mental speculations and has come to the conclusion that Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, or Vāsudeva, is everything (vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ). He is called a muni fixed in mind.

Such a fully Kṛṣṇa conscious person is not at all disturbed by the onslaughts of the threefold miseries, for he accepts all miseries as the mercy of the Lord, thinking himself only worthy of more trouble due to his past misdeeds; and he sees that his miseries, by the grace of the Lord, are minimized to the lowest. Similarly, when he is happy he gives credit to the Lord, thinking himself unworthy of the happiness; he realizes that it is due only to the Lord's grace that he is in such a comfortable condition and able to render better service to the Lord. And, for the service of the Lord, he is always daring and active and is not influenced by attachment or aversion.

Attachment means accepting things for one's own sense gratification, and detachment is the absence of such sensual attachment. But one fixed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness has neither attachment nor detachment because his life is dedicated in the service of the Lord. Consequently he is not at all angry even when his attempts are unsuccessful. Success or no success, a Kṛṣṇa conscious person is always steady in his determination.

Misdirected Service

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