RISHI ROHAN
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  • Madhudvisa dasa These days some devotees are questioning the shape of the earth. It does appear in Srimad-Bhagavatam that the description of the earth given there does not seem to be that of a globe spinning in space. So I do not know. So to investigate this in more detail I have made a new website:
  • Mahesh J C Hare Krishna! One of the ISKCON devotees who was initiated by Srila Prabhupada writes:- Can We Be Worse Now Than Before We Joined? Vengeance, envy, anger,and discord are often higher within religious groups than elsewhere (“We have enough religion to hate, but not enough to love”). We need to be careful about this in Iskcon. Recently I came across this quote. "Religious people often become self-righteous, judgmental, resentful, condemning, etc. as they see more faults in man than other's see. Psychologists have noted that piety can easily become an unhealthy form of neurosis rather than a healthy form of religion." As devotees, we are given standards to follow, standards which can backfire by becoming a criterion upon which we judge others. This will make us more judgmental, critical and sarcastic than before we joined Iskcon. Of course, if we are advancing properly we will become more introspective about our own need to improve. But the judgment of others often happens before the introspection kicks in. Many devotees also deal with a greater sense of failure/guilt because we have extremely high principles to live up to. This can breed jealousy and envy towards those who we perceive are doing better than us. It also can cause us to feel disgusted towards those we perceive are not trying to follow Krsna consciousness well. We are supposed to serve those who have realized the truth and help those who are struggling, but those who do better than we, can easily become causes for envy and those who do not do as well can become causes for our judgments, ridicule or condemnation. Added to the above is the fact that we are emotionally invested in Iskcon and when we see situations we feel are not in line with Prabhupada's desires, we can become spiteful towards the culprits, the devotees we believe are responsible for those sub-standards. This often results in critical or hurtful statements towards leaders, and/or divisiveness. It can also put a disciple in an awkward position when his guru makes such statements. It is not impossible to create a temple in which we do more judging, condemning, and dividing than encouraging, accepting and supporting. This is not only sad but a huge failure. Added to the list of potential religious pitfalls is fanaticism which then breeds intolerance. When this fanaticism reaches the level of "I only follow, serve, honor my guru," we have degraded ourselves to the level of neophytes in which discord is inevitable. We have been plagued by this to varying degrees, in the name of guru bhakti, since Prabhupada's departure. When philosophy is put in the hands of preachers who spend more time dwelling on other's defects than their own, or who are willing to step on other's toes to serve their guru and Krsna, then we create a movement in which there are far more distrust and separation than the love and trust Prabhupada implored us to imbibe in our dealings. Prabhupada's example was of acceptance, of building a house in which all could feel welcome, encouraged, and above all fully accepted with all our faults. Unless we follow this example, we run the risk of creating a movement which, along with spreading Krsna Consciousness, is spreading something toxic, and thus a movement in which good meaning people join and can soon become more critical, judgmental, resentful, guilt-ridden - or even depressed - than before because they are not finding acceptance and encouragement for who they are. Many have left Iskcon because of this. This is sad - and bad. Of course, to root out this kind of negativity we must start with ourselves. Accept, appreciate, and encourage others. If something is wrong, correct with a heart to help, not condemn. Inspire more than criticize. Many times Prabhupada said "Love and trust." I think we need a lot more of this. Hare Krishna!
  • Vishvesh Oswal NAIVEDYAM: WILL GOD EAT OUR OFFERINGS? Here is a very good explanation about Neivedyam to God. Will God come and eat our offerings?Many of us could not get proper explanation from our elders.An attempt is made here. A Guru-Shishya conversation: The sishya who doesn't believe in God, asked his Guru thus: "Does God accept our 'neivedhyam'(offerings)? If God eats away the 'prasadham' then from where can we distribute it to others? Does God really consume the 'prasadham', Guruji?" The Guru did not say anything. Instead, asked the student to prepare for classes. That day, the Guru was teaching his class about the 'upanishads'. He taught them the 'mantra': "poornamadham, poornamidham, ......poornasya poornaadaaya...." and explained that: 'every thing came out from "Poorna or Totality." (of ishavasya upanishad). Later, everyone was instructed to practice the mantra by-heart. So all the boys started praciting. After a while, the Guru came back and asked that very student who had raised his doubt about Neivedyam to recite the mantra without seeing the book, which he did. Now the Guru gave a smile and asked this particular shishya who didn't believe in God: 'Did you really memorize everything as it is in the book? The shishya said: "yes Guruji, I've recited whatever is written as in the book. The Guru asked: "If you have taken every word into your mind then how come the words are still there in the book? He then explained: "The words in your mind are in the SOOKSHMA STHITI (unseen form). The words in the book are there in the STOOLASTHITI (seen). God too is in the 'sooksma sthiti'. The offering made to Him is done in 'stoola sthiti'. Thus, God takes the food in 'sookshmam', in sookshma stithi. Hence the food doesn't become any less in quantity. While GOD takes it in the "sookshma sthiti", we take it as 'prasadam' in 'sthoola sthiti'. Hearing this the sishya felt guilty for his disbelief in God and surrendered himself to his GURU.

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