Category Archives: Discover Spirituality

Marxism and Atheism | Atheism vs Spirituality

Marxism Atheism spirituality

Marxism and Atheism

Does Marxism promote Atheism? Atheism vs Spirituality – What is their difference and how it can affect our lives? Well, let us discuss. In his work ‘Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right’ Karl Marx expresses his fundamental philosophical perception of the world and life in general. After going through his work, we have come to believe that Karl Marx was fundamentally opposed to the idea of the divine. For instance, he mentions that criticism of religion is the prerequisite of all criticismand Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again’.  In this work of his, Karl Marx professes how Man should do away with religion which is an inverted consciousness of the world’, in order to dispel his illusions and seek his ‘true reality’. In fact, he was of the opinion that ‘The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness’.

Asserting that ‘Religion is only the illusory Sun which revolves around man as long as he does not revolve around himself’, Karl Max designates the religious pursuit of man as only a figment of his imagination. He goes a step further and expresses how –
‘Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people’. His theory promoted the idea that the ‘state and this society produce religion’ and that ‘Man makes religion, religion does not make man’.

Another famous socialist Friedrich Engels wrote In Ludwig Feuerbach  that “religion arose in very primitive times from erroneous and primitive ideas of men about their own nature and that of the external world around them,… ”

Vladimir Lenin, a follower of Karl Marx, appropriately summarized the thoughts of Marx in his book ‘Religion’ where he stated – ‘Atheism is a natural and inseparable part of Marxism, of the theory and practice of scientific socialism’

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Krishna consciousness & Eternal Religion | A Mayavadi sannyasi craves for bhakti

(The below is adapted from Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s Jaiva Dharma)

Glories of Godrumadvipa :

mayavada bhakti krishna consciousness

Of all the places on earth, Jambudvipa is the best. Of the places in Jambudvipa, the land of Bharatavarsha (India) is the most illustrious. Within Bharata, the land of Gauda (Bengal) is the best and within Gauda, the land of Navadvipa is the most exalted. The splendid village of Godrumadvipa, situated by the Ganges shore, eternally manifests itself in one section of Navadvipa. In the ancient days, several bhajanananda devotees (who were always engaged in chanting the holy names and glories of the Supreme Lord), built their homes and resided in this wonderful abode of Godruma. One such devotee was Sri Premadasa Babaji, who was an initiated disciple of Sri Pradyumna Brahmachari, an eternal associate of the Supreme Lord. It was not very far from this place that the celestial Surabhi cow once lived and engaged in deep meditation of Lord Gauranga.

Sri Premadasa was a great scholar of the Vedic scriptures. Knowing the land of Godruma to be non-different to Nandagram (in Mathura), he resided there chanting two lakh holy names a day and offering hundreds of dandavats unto the Vaishnavas every day. Strictly following the rules of saintly life, he did not engage in mundane conversations. Instead in his free time, he would recite from Srila Jagadananda Pandita’s ‘Prema Vivarta’. The devotees from the adjoining groves would then gather and listen with love and devotion.

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Bhakti Yoga vs Ashtanga Yoga | Types of yoga

bhakti ashtanga soul yoga

(The below is adapted from Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s ‘Prema Pradipa’ and talks in length about the two Types of Yoga – Bhakti Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga)

yamadaibhir yoga pathaih
kama-lobha hato muhuh
mukunda-sevaya yadvat
tathatmaddha na samyati
(Srimad Bhagavatam, 1.6.35)

Though it is true that by exercising restraint of the senses by the yoga system one can get respite from the disturbances of desire and lust, yet this is not sufficient to give satisfaction to the soul, for this is derived from devotional service unto the Supreme Lord.

Citing the above verse, Sri Premadasa Babaji added that Yama, Niyama, asana, Pranayama, pratyahara, dhyana, Dharana, and samadhi constitute the process of Ashtanga Yoga. It is true that by practicing them one achieves peace. However in certain circumstances, the practitioner, being overwhelmed with lust and greed, may indulge himself in relishing some trivial intermediary results. Thus instead of persevering for the ultimate objective of peace, he may fall down and get derailed from his Yogic practice. But in the process of rendering devotional service unto Sri Krishna, there is no chance of receiving any intermediary results. Hence a servant of Lord Krishna, definitely obtains his desired peace.

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Fasting on Ekadasi | How to observe Ekadasi | Ekadasi and Mahaprasada

Fasting on Ekadasi observe mahaprasada

What are the rules for fasting on Ekadasi? How to observe Ekadasi? Can we accept Mahaprasada on an Ekadasi. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu answers all these questions and teaches us by His own example.

(The Following is an excerpt from Srila Jagadananda Pandita’s ‘Sri Prema Vivarta‘)

How to Observe Ekadasi?

One day Lord Gaurahari left the Gundicha temple to sit in the Jagannatha Vallabha gardens. It was the auspicious day of Ekadasi. He spent the whole day and night chanting the holy name of Krishna.
Accompanying the Lord were Swaroop Damodara, Ramananda Raya, Vakreshwar Pandita and other residents of Sri Kshetra (Jagannatha Puri). The Lord instructed them on how to observe Ekadasi. He said, “Avoid sleeping and eating. Chant the holy name of Krishna with an undeviating mind.
Some of you should chant Japa (chant holy name on beads), some of you offer your prostrated obeisances (unto the deities), while some of you recite the glorious pastimes of Krishna and Balarama”. The devotees fell wherever they were and chanted “Govinda! Govinda!”. They were overwhelmed with divine love.
Just at that moment, Gopinatha Acharya, Tulasi Padicha and Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya brought Maha-Prasada from the Gundicha temple. They brought rice, vegetables,  pitha (pancakes), panna (lassi), sweet rice, yogurt, curd and placed it before Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
On the Lord’s order, all of them offered their prostrated obeisances and offered prayers unto the Mahaprasada. They passed the entire night, chanting the Lord’s holy name and being overwhelmed with divine love.
Placing the Lord’s instructions on their heads, after having completed their morning bath, the devotees broke their ekadasi fast by honoring (eating) the Mahaprasada. With blissful hearts and folded hands, the devotees then made the following appeal at the feet of the Lord (Chaitanya Mahaprabhu).Continue Reading…

Glories of Hare Krishna Maha Mantra | Fearlessness, Liberation and more

Glories of Hare Krishna Maha Mantra – An excerpt from Srila Jagadananda Pandita’s ‘Sri Prema Vivarta

Why chant Hare Krishna? What are the Glories of Hare Krishna Maha Mantra? – Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu quotes from the scriptures to explain the glories of chanting the Holy name of Krishna.

Glories of chanting Hare Krishna

The Fear of terrible diseases or the fear of being punished by the King is driven away by chanting the Holy Name of Narayana.

narayaneti sankirtya
niratanko bhaven narah
(Vahni Purana)

Living beings who are troubled with terrible diseases or oppressed by kings grow fearless by chanting the Holy Name of Narayana.

All kinds of diseases, sufferings, along with troubles and calamities are destroyed by chanting the Holy Name of Lord Hari.

sarva-roga-upasamanam sarvopadrava-nasanam
santidam sarva aristanam harer nama anukirtanam
(Brhad Vishnu Purana)

Chanting the Holy Name of the Supreme Lord Hari heals all diseases, ends all troubles and subdues all disasters.

Just as the mighty wind scatters the clouds, and the rising sun certainly dissipates the darkness – similarly the Holy Name of the Lord drives away the calamities that torment the living beings on the strength of its potency. These are the words of Vyasadeva.

sankirtyamano bhagavan anantah
srutanubhavo vyasanam hi pumsam
pravisya cittam vidhunoty asesam
yatha tamo ’rko ’bhram ivati vatah
(Srimad Bhagavatm, 12.12.48)

When a living entity chants about the Infinite Supreme Personality of Godhead, or hears about His prowess, the Lord enters their hearts and cleanses away their misfortunes, just as the sun dispels the darkness or as a powerful wind scatters the clouds.

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Chanting the holy name of Krishna – Insights from Vedic scriptures | Ultimate cure to all material problems

(The following is an excerpt from Srila Jagadananda Pandita’s ‘Prema Vivarta‘)

The Glories of the holy name of Krishna are endless

One day at the house of Kasi Mishra, a devotee named Krishnadasa revealed some of his personal feelings to Lord Chaitanya.
He said, ‘If I am allowed to ask, please enlighten me about the glories of the holy name of Lord Krishna, the depths of which even the likes of Brahma and Shiva cannot comprehend’.

Lord Chaitanya replied, ‘The Glories of the holy name of Krishna are endless. Even Lord Krishna does not know the limits of it. So what to speak of an ordinary living entity?
I can tell you whatever I have heard from the scriptures. Listen with faith, and you shall be delivered from this material world.
The Holy Name of Krishna eradicates all sins, heals all diseases, relieves one of all miseries, and eliminates obstacles posed by Kali Yuga.
The Holy Name of Krishna even delivers the residents of Hell and nullifies reactions to all kinds of sins and offenses.
The accomplishment of all pious activities is simply a pastime of the Holy Name.
The Sun-like Holy Name shines more radiantly than the Vedic scriptures.
All the Vedic scriptures declare that chanting the Holy Name of the Lord is superior to visiting the Holy places or performing any pious activity.
The Holy Name of the Supreme Lord is the bestower of the ultimate desire (of liberation). It is all-powerful and blesses the world with joy. Such is its wonderful nature.
One who chants the holy Name becomes worshipable to the entire world. The Holy Name is the shelter of the hopeless and the redeemer of the fallen.
The Holy Name of the Supreme Lord is worshipable at all places and always. It bestows all kinds of liberation, entrance unto Vaikuntha (Spiritual world) and love of Sri Hari, the Supreme Lord.
The Sruti and the Smriti scriptures contain numerous proofs that Chanting the Holy Name of the Supreme Lord is the sole purpose of human life and the principal means of attaining devotion (bhakti)’.

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Meaning of Divine Love (Prema) & its symptoms

(The below is an excerpt from Srila Jagadananda Pandita’s ‘Sri Prema Vivarta‘ that explains the meaning of divine love and its exalted characteristics)

divine love

Enquiries of Sri Raghunatha Das Goswami

One day Sri Raghunatha asked Swaroop Damodara,” What is Divine Love? Please give me a general perception of it. I cannot comprehend the ecstatic divine love described by Vidyapati and Chandidasa.
Their words externally come across as nothing more than the ordinary love between a man and a woman.
Why is that love recognized as being spiritual? And why do they refer to this mundane lust as divine?
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu continually sings their songs with you, but I do not comprehend them.
The Lord has entrusted me in your hands and instructed you,’ Teach him (Raghunatha) the precious confidential truths’ “.

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Ten offenses to the Holy Name (from Padma Purana) | Nectar of the holy name

(The Following is an excerpt from Sri Jagadananda Pandita’s ‘Sri Prema Vivarta‘)

All glories to the nectar of the holy name of Sri Krishna ! Param vijayate Sri Krishna sankirtanam !!!

ten offenses to the holy name

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu recites from Padma Purana and explains the Ten offenses to the Holy Name

(Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu recites from Padma Purana, Swarga Khanda, Chapter forty-eight and cites the discussion between Narada Muni and Sanat Kumara)

(Mahaprabhu quotes Narada muni)
Sri Narada muni said
‘Ke te paradhha vipendra namno bhagavatah krtah
Vinighnanti nrnang krtyang prakrtang hy-anayanti cha’

(Mahaprabhu paraphrases Narada’s words) ‘O Gurudeva Sanat Kumar, please enlighten me about the various offenses that can be committed against the holy name of the Lord.
Chanting the holy name of the Lord is certainly the principal duty of the living entity. Please tell me about the offenses that rob the living entity of this chief duty.
Offenses make one take to the chanting of the holy name as a mundane activity and make one waste this auspicious practice for trivial mundane results’.

(Mahaprabhu quotes Sanat Kumar)
Sri Sanat Kumar uvacha
satang ninda namnah param aparadham vitanute
yatah khyating yatang katham u sahate tad-vigarham
sivasya sri-visnor ya iha guna-namadi-sakalang
dhiya bhinnang pasyet sa khalu hari-namahita-karah

(Mahaprabhu paraphrases Sanat Kumara’s words) ‘If you understand the ten offenses unto the holy name individually, you shall be able to overcome them.
This verse discusses two such offenses against the holy name. Avoid them and try to chant the holy name in an offenseless way’.

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Mystery of the Holy Name – Esoteric Truths from Padma Purana and Sri Prema Vivarta | Chant and be Happy

The Following is an excerpt from Srila Jagadananda Pandita’s ‘Sri Prema Vivarta

Once Lord Gauranga, sparkling like the moon, came onto the shore of the ocean, bringing along His associates. Sitting amid the assemblage of Vaishnavas, moon-like Gauranga spoke as follows.

Chanting the Holy Name is the best and the only means of perfection

Listen O devotees! In this age of Kali the only means of spiritual salvation is the chanting of Krishna’s holy name and glories (Sri-Krishna-Kirtana). No other activity surpasses the effectiveness of this.
The pursuit of fruitive activities, cultivation of knowledge, yoga, meditation are weak practices and not effective in attaining the transcendental wealth of absolute realization.
Prescribed religious duties, religious rites, penances, fire sacrifices are all mundane activities. They do not help one realize the transcendental truth.
The Sruti Scriptures proclaim that chanting, remembering or hearing the holy name of Krishna enables one to achieve spiritual perfection.
Esoteric truths about chanting the holy name are to be found across all scriptures. Simply by uttering the holy name of the Supreme Lord, one immediately enjoys spiritual bliss.

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Importance of Caste & Lineage in Bhakti – Teachings of Lord Chaitanya

(The Following is an excerpt from Srila Jagadananda Pandita’s ‘Sri Prema Vivarta‘ )

bhakti caste chaitanya

One’s caste and the eligibility to worship the Lord

If one has faith, then he/she is qualified to chant the holy name of the Lord. The quarrels of dry speculators concerning one’s caste and creed do not count for anything in this matter. A noble birth in the family of brahmanas does not inevitably make one suitable for practicing devotion. Similarly, a person having faith and born in a lower caste is not expelled from the path of devotional service. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has stressed than one’s caste and class are irrelevant when it comes to practicing devotion.

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