Its Propagation And Good
(Or Lack Of It!!!)
Once while my wife and I were riding a train from the west coast of South India via Guntakal Junction in the early morning on route to Ahobalam, two smarta type brahmins in western pants and shirts got onto the train and decided to join us in our compartment. After about five minutes one of them who was obviously disturbed leaned to his friend and whispered something into his ear, he who in turn made the outburst, "Why are you chanting japa with shoes on?" I humbly responded "Sir, why you are not chanting japa?" They got off at the next station and into another compartment.
* * *
A very sinful 'brahmin' who was adverse to becoming detached from this material world was sent to Yamaraj to be dealt with. Knowing that he had had many such sinful births, and subsequent cleansing after death, this 'brahmin' was very indolent in his manner, and arrogant in his mood. Due to some austerities that he had performed each birth he seemed to save himself from the animal kingdom. But this time when Yamaraj had him dragged to his court, and recognising him said, "You back again. What have you got to say for yourself......?" The 'brahmin' replied, "Any mail for me.....?"
* * *
Once there was a brahmin who was going to pass stool. He went to the field wrapped his brahmin thread around his right ear and began to pass. He then cleaned himself and was about to walk away. When he turned and did the unthinkable, he looked at the stool. "Yuk", he cried. To his surprise the stool spoke to him as follows. "Don't you say Yuk, how dare you, until I came in contact with you I was Maha Prasadam."
* * *
There was this Tantric mystic in the villiage who worked a job in the
local town. Everything was
satisfactory except that certain miscreants took advantage of his good nature, and would steal his parking spot.
This continued until he put up the following effective little sign:
This parking space belongs to the "The Tantric". ... Violators will be toad.
* * *
Once there was a lion, a tiger, a jackal and a crow. These are all carnivorous animals. So the lion, the tiger, the jackal and the crow were having plentiful times, with a lot of food to eat. There were little rabbits and mice and birds. The lion was the king of the forest, and he was big and fat. The crow was also very healthy, as were the tiger and jackal. So they were thinking, "Look at this camel over here, eating the thorny bushes. He's a vegetarian. He's all alone, so let's bring him into our camp. Come on over camel, and join us." "Oh no," said the camel, "You're meat eaters. I'm not going to associate with meat eaters." "Oh come on, don't be a stick in the mud. Come and stay with us. We've got plenty of food, we won't eat you." So this stupid camel came over to the lion and said, "But I don't want to live with you, because you'll kill me." So the king of the forest said, the lion, said, "No, no. I promise you, in front of all my friends, that I will not kill you." So with that assurance, the camel began to live with all the animals, the crow, the jackal, the tiger, and the lion all began to live together. But then times changed, and there was a drought, and as the months went on, there was no food for the lion, the tiger, the crow or the jackal. And they started to get very skinny. But the camel was getting fatter and fatter, because he was eating the cactus, the thorns. He had plenty of things. So then the other animals were looking at him, "Yum yum!" but a promise had been made that they wouldn't kill him. So the jackal, who was very cunning, he went to the lion and said, "We have to eat this camel, because we're going to die otherwise." The lion said, "But I promised I would not kill him." The jackal said, "Yes, you promised you wouldn't kill him, but you didn't promise you would not eat him." "You clever little fellow," the lion said, "What do you mean by this? How is it possible that I eat him if I don't kill him?" The jackal said, "I have a plan." So that evening when they were all sitting down together, the lion was saying, "Oh I'm so hungry. I think I'm going to die." So the jackal stood up and said, "My dear king of the forest, you cannot die. If you die, everything is lost. Please, you eat me. Right now, pounce on me, eat me!" So the lion said, "No, you're just a dirty little creature. I couldn't eat you. I'd get sick if I ate you. So the tiger stood up and said, "Eat me. We can't lose you, O king." The lion replied, "No, you're part of the cat family. I can't eat one of my relatives." Then the crow said, "You should eat me then. I am so little, if I am lost what is the difference?" So the lion said, "You are but a mouthful. What would be the use of eating you, I would still starve." So the stupid camel stood up and said, "All right, then eat me." Then they all pounced on him and had a big feast. MORAL: Although in the beginning he didn't want to associate with them because he knew they would eat him, nonetheless by the power of association he lost his good intelligence and he was devoured. In the same way, by material association we can become convinced about material life and become devoured. So also we can conclude that by good association one can become convinced about taking seriously the process of developing spiritual life.
* * *
As my wife dressed in a sari, hair chastely parted in the centre with kum kum in the part and plated at the back, and I dressed in dhoti, kurta and shaven head, shika and Vaishnava tilak, both travelled on Holy pilgrimage from Jagannath Puri by train via Koda Road, to Simhachalam we were accosted by some rather rowdy students who were members of the Indian Communist Party (ICP). They began to blow smoke from their western cigarettes at us, and make remarks of a sexual nature in poor taste at us. It was amusing looking back to note that they were all dressed in western shirts and pants, plastic hair combs in their shirt pockets, some with dark glasses on. Amongst their profanities I seemed to pick out that their point was that westerners like us have ruined Indian culture.
* * *
It may be true that a machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. But no machine can do the work of a qualified brahmin.
* * *
We were all siting taking prasadam, when one devotee who had just come
back from India started telling of some of his encounters.
You know the East is so mysterious, and did you know there are still so many practicing mystics. Once when we went down to Kerala we found this old temple, must have been at least ten thousand years old by the smoothness of the stone. Anyway there was this really old baba there. He seemed to be maintaining the temple, because there was incense bellowing out from near the altar, and no-one else was around.
It appeared that the old man couldn't walk because he was supported by two crutches. He was very unsteady and his legs looked all knarled. He stood there praying, and chanting sacred mantras in what must have been Malalaylam. After an hour or so, he suddenly threw away one of his crutches. Then he stood there for another half an hour praying, after which he got really excited and threw away the other one of the crutches.
"Then what, .......Then what,......", all the devotees asked in anticipation.
"Well what happened then?" he continued. " ......was the poor old baba fell flat on his face!"
* * *
Why did the brahmin teacher at the collage wear sunglasses?
Because his class were so bright !
* * *
As Lord Vishnu likes ornamentation,
And Lord Shiva like Ganga jal,
lord Ganesh likes Bilva leaves,
And Brahmanas like sweets,
So sand flies and mosquitos like the brahmanas wearing dhotis.
* * *
Once whilst staying in Madras in South India we over heard one Christian
missionary trying to preach to an old Sri Vaisnava gentleman to convert
him to Christianity.
"Come, come now," said the missionary, " Wouldn't you like to go to heaven when you die ?"
The elderly Sri Vaisnava shook his head and politely responded. "My dear sir Vaikuntha is my only goal, to go express to serve the lotus feet of Lord Narayana in that Supreme Abode. Besides, I don't think that your heaven can be such a wonderful place otherwise the British would have colonised it, and built a railway line there years ago."
* * *
When thinking in terms of leadership, sometimes it is said that it is
made of a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you are
you are forced to choose to do without on of them, then be without the
General Norman Schwarzkopf, non less.
* * *
Once as a frustrated Head Pujari I asked one rather speculative devotee what the odds would be at finishing the midday arati at 12:50 p.m. like he's supposed to?
His speculative mood remained the same as he answered, "about 10 to 1".
* * *
Once there was a brahmin from South India visiting the Holy places of Northern India, and visiting the Holy Dham of Mayapura, West Bengal he decided to stay for some time. This brahmin was in the habit of wearing a Saligram Sila in a little carrying case on his brahmin thread. In this way he could as many brahmanas do in the South stop somewhere and very simply but nicely perform the puja. Because it was on his brahmin thread this meant that he also had to do so many things with the Saligram with him. His whole consciousness actually was fixed on the Lord and so his doing like this there was never any offence, for example when he took bath first he would offer prayer and then take bath after first placing the Saligram upon his head. When he performed acaman he placed that Saligram container in his hand and took caranamrta at the same time............!
One day he was squatting down in a field by the side of the Ganges with the Saligram tucked into his right ear with his brahmin thread wrapped around it, to keep it secure while he was passing stool. As he was doing so the King of Krishnagar came by with his men and saw the brahmin passing with the Saligram in his ear. The King immediately ordered his men to kill the brahmin to save him from further offences to the Saligram. And they arrested him. Just as they were about to lance him the brahmin very humbly requested of the king that he listen to his story. The King agreed but said, "Make it quick."
The brahmin then noticed that the King's horse was passing stool as they all stood there. So the brahmin very nicely said to the King that if you kill me then you should also kill your horse for he has just committed the same act. You see Maharaja I am not the enjoyer and proprietor of this body simply I am living to serve my Lord, and in all humility despite my defects I am trying my best. So what will happen if you kill my Lord's carrier?
The King released the brahmin and parted their ways the King wiser for the experience.
* * *
I am writing to you to help me with a prob' that I have as a devotee in ISKCON. Understanding your service as the Australian Ascetics Association for Anonymous Acronym Abuse, being confidential, I'm wondering how I can overcome this.
* * *
When the mind is ready, a teacher will appear.
* * *
There once was a young brahminical priest
Who ate up some bread made with yeast,
Then he got on a jet liner
And travelled to China,
Determined to rise in the East.
* * *
He who receives a benefit from a brahmin with gratitude repays the first instalment on his debt.
* * *
I was preaching to one Indian man who boasted to be coming from a very high class family.
Knowing him to be a meat eater, a drunkard, and a womaniser, another devotee commented to me, "He must be tired eh! He's come a long way from that good family."
* * *
Once there was a man who went to a brahmin astrologer to ask to see his future. After casting the chart he said that according to this you will be eating sweet rice within one week. The man replied very strongly, "You know that I don't like sweet rice, I will not eat it, I will not!" After the reading was over the man though very seriously about the prediction. Mmmm what to do? Maybe I should go away for a week, if I stay around the compound of our village my sister or aunt or even my wife might try to give me sweet rice, so we went away. After a couple of days travelling he came upon a village, but he notice that they were having some big festival, and for sure if there having a festival, that means they'll be having sweet rice. I better get out of here quick so he went to the forest. Suddenly to his surprise coming down the path of the forest was a wedding party. Oh no, a wedding party for sure they'll have sweet rice with them, so he went off the track into the trees and relaxed under a big shade tree. Again to his surprise the wedding party also left the path and were heading in his direction. The man immediately climbed the tree and sat high in it's branches. Lo and behold the wedding party saw the big shade tree and decided to come and sit underneath it. Looking down from the branches the man noticed that they had a big bowl of cool sweet rice with them that they were taking back to the people of their village. He thought to himself, "I can't afford to let them know that I am here or for sure they will force me to have some of their wedding sweet rice." Suddenly a big commotion was heard and a group of dacoits came with knives and robbed the wedding party of all their ornaments. The wedding party ran off and the dacoits sat beneath the tree counting their booty. The dacoits noticed the sweet rice, and were just about to start to eat it when of them said, "Hey you know that wedding party took off pretty quick, without any fight or anything. This sweet rice is probably poisoned and they're just waiting for us to eat it and then come back and get all their stuff." Another chirped in, "For them to do that they would have had to leave someone here to see when we were all dead. And to do that seeing they never had much time 'till we jumped them, he must be real close. Prob.....ab....ly up this tree." And they all looked up. To their surprise there he was, our friend up the tree. They got him down, and said to him, "Why did you go up the tree. Trying to poison us by letting us eat this sweet rice eh." "We know we're not stupid you know, just because we'ze dacoits it doesn't mean that were not edjamicated." "Alright scum eat the sweet rice........!" "No, No." The poor man pleaded but as the prediction was, he ate sweet rice.
* * *
The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be
In relation to this saying of the learned bard. The following is a story of a schoolmaster of the name Atmananda Garam-akash. He was transferred from a remote school in a rural situation where he was declared as a big man. Now he was to assume his rightful post in a school in Bombay. He arrived for duty late as usual, on August 15th, which was traditionally the deadline day for teachers to commence. As was the practice of the school he was asked to address the assembly on Independence Day.
Here's his dynamite speech:
"Leddies and Genitulmens,
Contemporaries, Children, others.....! 'This is my first maiden speech. If small small mistakes get inside my speech, I ask pardon. Stickly speaking, I wanted to joint your school more fastly, but for the following reason.
Too much time lost in getting slipper reservation in three-tyre compartment. The clerk rejected to give ticket. I put the complaint on station master, who brushed it off. He put the complaint on lady clerk. At first she also rejected. I then pressed her for long time and at last with great difficulty she gave a birth only to my son. Anyway, I thanked the station master for he was indirectly responsible for the getting birth of my son.
We got independent because of great leaders linke Gandhiji who get-outted
all angrezi peoples from India. Tilak said Swaraj is our birth-rate and
we shall halve it. Today we all halve our birth-rate. You children are
future dynamic generators of the Nation. Look into future time only. No
backside looking, or looking around at your behind. Be like great
X' raj Ranjan of Germany or President Loosebelt of U.S.
You too much know genius, no? It is one percent perspiration and ninety seven percent evaporation. They became great by reading books. After we finish you here in the school, you can go to college and get B.A., M. A. and other decrease. Then you can become bigtime great liars in supreme courts, shattered accountants, or leacherers in college.
The school is like a garden. You are the seeds, school is the dirt. We will bury you in dirt, pour water of knowledge on your heads and one day will become great phauls. Many vacancy job come in newspapers. Only yesterday I saw in paper, 'Wanted for refuted engineering firm: Generators, highpower condensors', so and so forth, etc. These jobs may be teknickel, but you can rise. If you have flare in English, you can go long way, you can become teacher!!!!
I am ending this fastly. May Gods blast you! Thank you and thank God I'm finished. Jaya Hind!!!
* * *
Once a smarta type jati gosai, caste brahmana challenged one of our young western ISKCON devotees that you cannot perform yajnas, or any purificatory samskaras unless you are born of a brahmin family. Your initiation as a brahmin is only so that when you gradually perfect your life at present then you can take your birth in a brahmin family and then become a real brahmin.
The young western devotee humbly replied, "But that is the case already. You see at the time of the British Raj my grandfather was in India and was initiated as a brahmana, and his son, who is my father gave birth to me. Was I then not born a brahmana. So you must agree I am a brahmana too, and now I have taken my second birth too, diksa, from my spiritual preceptor.
Actually it is he who by dint of transcendental knowledge is really giving brahmana hood. He is giving all good qualities through brahminical training, in the association of transcendental devotees. These are the qualities that are recognised as the teachings of Bhagavad Gita (18:42), not merely the womb that one may have came out of.
* * *
In some traditions they say prayers before eating their food. And when you look at what they eat it's not surprising. In Krsna consciousness however we also say a prayer but asking to control the tongue so we don't over do it, and then in love relish what we have as Krsna prasadam, the Lord's mercy.
* * *
When Mukunda Maharaj was here a year or so ago he told me of an Indian man he met in Wellington. During the course of their discussion Maharaj asked him if he was vegetarian or non-vegetarian.
The man relied after some thought, "Both !"
* * *
Once as I was preparing ideas for a Sunday feast lecture my eldest daughter came in, and looking for inspiration I asked her, "Kirtida Sundari what is the most inspiring sermon you have ever heard me preach ?" Her reply was, "Pita, do you mean to the congregation, or to me personally?"
* * *
There is an interesting phenomena to be reflected upon when we look at ways that we reciprocate with the natural orders of society. I think the most stunning phenomena is that according to one's own nature in these orders we tend to apply the rule.
A brahmana can be persuaded by good advice
A kshatriya by praise
A vaisya by bribery
A shudra by intimidation, or force.
I suggest that we examine not only our ashram and social status before interacting with others but also our personal intent.
* * *
"Hold your horses" is a very interesting term. The senses are compared to horses in the Upanishads.
Therefore we should "Hold our horses." How are they held? By good intelligence through the medium of the mind. Whenever we see some object of enjoyment, these horses rush at it, wanting to enjoy.
The horses are controlled by the intelligence gained from the association
of devotees who are well versed in, and fixed in the life-style Srila Prabhupada's
* * *
Some people say that Vedic culture is dead, some say it is dying, some of us are trying to revive it.
The other day someone told me of an instant that happened to them while they were trying to purchase jewellery for the Deities from a jewellery walla in India. As usual he assured them that the baubles that they enquired about were quite rare gems, and that their Rupees would be well spent with him.
Seeing that the devotees were interested in the gems, and reaching for their money belts the merchant, who obviously couldn't read English pulled out a letter to validify his previous custom with the devotees. The letter read, "TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN !"
"This thief took me for over Rs. 50,000. when I was buying jewellery for Sri Sri Radha-Govinda. When I told him that I was getting married soon he also sold me a yellow sapphire, and a zircon that we were to use in conjunction with our charts for our wedding. The girl sent her stone back to after having it valued in the West, along with the comment, 'That her glasses are worth more than that!' ".
* * *
more to come..........