Wisdom from the son of Armenia.
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- Vetch Hazaria – Six thousand secrets of wisdom
- The mystic perfections one may attain by reading parts of the Vetz Hazaria
- Six thousand secrets of wisdom – Vetz Hazaria
- Vetz Hazaria – Questions and answers
- Control the following three things to live happy and peaceful; sensuality, material desire and anger.
- Milk nurtures a child to become healthy,strong, grow and develop good intelligence. But if you give milk to a new born snake, it will turn it into a dangerous and poisonous creature.
- When a rascal is given good instruction, he becomes angry.
- Who fears to suffer, suffers from fear
- The greatness of a person is estimated by his ability to tolerate provoking situations
- Fenugreek – get the sludge out of your bulge
gahbeekuh dzoughahgohv guh puhrnehn
Trapping a monkey without injuring it is an art of deception. Hunters study the habits and disposition of monkeys in order to
find their weaknesses or foibles. Monkeys are curious and easily attached to an object of interest. A large jar with a narrow mouth is sunk in the ground. It is purposely filled with grains. When the monkey discovers the jar, it tries to get the grains by squeezing its paw in the jar and seizing the grains. Once it closes its fist on the grains, the monkey cannot withdraw its paw from the jar because of the tightness of the jar’s mouth. It believes it is caught. If he opens his hand, he can withdraw it. But, due to attachment to holding the grains, he refuses to let go.
The example of the monkey is also pertinent to mankind. Due to attachment to something material and temporary, a person can believe it to be true that is not at all true and thus become victimized by his own illusion. Illusion and ignorance are self-imposed states of mind due to becoming blinded by false attachment that can result in lust, anger and greed.
Regularity of lifestyle is perhaps the most important factor in a healthy, happy and long life. Such a lifestyle requires self-discipline. It confers mental peace and determination to maintain an ordered life of regular habits. If the daily routine is also based on the desire to cultivate spiritual practices for the elevation of spiritual consciousness, then one definitely feel a sense of fulfillment, peace and happiness.
The duration of life is shortened by irregular habits. By maintaining a routine of a schedule of regular habits and eating simple food, one can maintain health. Overeating, over-sense gratification, over-dependence on another person’s mercy, and artificial standards of living, stress and anxiety sap the vitality of human energy. Thus, the duration of life is shortened
In the Bhagavad-gita, Lord Krishna says, “He who is temperate in his habits of eating, sleeping, working and recreation can mitigate pains by practicing the yoga system.” (Bg 6.17)
Overindulgence of bodily needs such as eating, sleeping, mating and defending can hinder one’s progress on the path of spiritual enlightenment and shorten life expectancy. One can control eating by accepting only sanctified food offered first to God as a love offering. In the early Christian church from the crucifixion of Jesus to about 100 AD, the Christians celebrated a love feast (agape). There was the Eucharist or the ritual breaking of the bread and wine which transformed from ordinary substance into the flesh and blood of Jesus.
This ceremony was either at the beginning or end or part of the communal meal of the early Christian community. Later, the Eucharist was separated from the communal meal of fellowship (agape).
The agape was a feast of sanctified food that bound the community into a union with Christ and one another. The same principle is practiced in the Vedic offering of food to the Deity of Krishna whereby it is sanctified by acceptance of the Lord and then given back to the congregation as the mercy of the Lord. By partaking of this mercy referred to as prasadam in Sanskrit, the devotee is purified of sinful tendencies and engages in the egalitarian love feast in union with God and his fellow congregants.
The spirit of the prasadam love feast is to serve God the food He desires. The offering is made with the understanding that Krishna is the owner and first enjoyer of everything including food. The food is prepared with love and devotion. The Lord is pleased with the offering which He eats by hearing the words of love of His servant. He offers it back as a sign of His love. The devotee accepts the food in communion with God and his fellow congregants. All persons are welcome to partake of the holy prasadam without regard to race, social position, gender, etc.
Lord Krishna reveals His choice of foods in the Bhagavad-gita: “If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it.” (Bg 9.26) The Lord accepts vegetables, flowers, fruits, grains, milk, etc. If these simple and wholesome foods satisfy the Lord, they will certainly satisfy us. A sincere seeker of God will offer only those things that God prefers. Krishna has not asked for meat, fish, eggs, liquor, garlic, onions preservatives, etc. Only foods that are considered in the mode of goodness and offered with love and devotion are accepted.
Lord Krishna explains what foods in the mode of goodness, passion and ignorance are. These three qualities of nature condition living entities in particular ways that either bound them negatively or serve to free them gradually from material conditioning.
“Foods dear to those in the mode of goodness increase the duration of life, purify one’s existence and give strength, health, happiness and satisfaction. Such foods are juicy, fatty, wholesome, and pleasing to the heart.
Foods that are too bitter, too sour, salty, hot, pungent, dry and burning are dear to those in the mode of passion. Such foods cause distress, misery and disease.
Food prepared more than three hours before being eaten, food that is tasteless, decomposed and putrid, and food consisting of remnants and untouchable things is dear to those in the mode of darkness.” (Bg 17. 8-9-10)
The purpose of food in the mode of goodness is to maintain the body in a healthy state for the natural duration of life, purify the mind and give strength and stamina, thus leading to happiness and satisfaction. Any reasonable person will agree with such wonderful advice because self-preservation is the first law of nature.
Juicy, fatty, wholesome foods that are pleasing to the heart does not refer to foods containing animal fat from the slaughterhouse. Animal fat is amply supplied by whole milk which is glorified in the Vedas as the most perfect of all foods. From pure milk one can obtain butter, cheese, yogurt and many other derivatives that supply all vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids without the horror of brutally killing animals. It is interesting to note that fat from meat is bad for the heart, but fat from milk sustains and prolongs one’s life.
Mother’s milk and cow’s milk are pure substances that are made from blood. Instead of killing to obtain the nutritious blood, Krishna has made the arrangement that we can obtain the same powerful and tasty nutrition through milk without any violence. Such arrangements should be recognized as God’s mercy so that we can avoid the horror of brutally killing a living entity for our own sustenance.
When one changes his diet to foods in the mode of goodness, his life and world view changes. By following the mode of goodness diet, one lives in harmony with the laws of nature and avoids incurring volumes of karmic reactions. Remaining ignorant of the the conditioning effect of the lower modes of nature, namely, passion and ignorance, one becomes progressively entangled in karmic reactions. Such a life of passion and ignorance results in great suffering and despair because one cannot understand why they are experiencing so much suffering.
Following the dietary rules of the mode of goodness puts one in a position to favorably receive higher order spiritual instructions. The Christian ritual of the Eucharist and the Vedic ceremony of offering food to Lord Krishna are both higher order spiritual experiences. The ordinary food such as the foods in the mode of goodness are transformed by the ceremony into spiritual substance. Such prasadam when ingested with faith transforms the body and mind of the devotee. This transformation results in the ability to perceive the all- pervading, personal presence of God in every moment of life. This awareness of spiritual consciousness (God, Christ or Krishna consciousness) liberates one from the oppression of lust, anger, greed, envy, illusion and madness. One comes to the spiritual platform of pure love of God. One dedicates himself to sharing such love with all others regardless of race or religion. Pure love of God is the essence of all religions.
The material mode of goodness can be transformed to the transcendental mode of goodness. In the transcendental mode of goodness, one is liberated eternally from the cycle of birth and death. Transcendental goodness differs from mundane goodness. In mundane goodness one is conditioned to remain happy in the material world. Such happiness is illusory as long as one remains in a mortal body which is used for sense gratification. In transcendental goodness, one uses the mortal body to please the senses of God’s transcendental Body by continuing to make love offerings to the Lord with words, mind, food, service, etc. One transfers their attention from preoccupation with pleasing one’s own mortal body to dedicated service to God’s personal service. Devotional acts meant to please the body and senses of God, purifies the degrading attitudes of lust, anger and greed in the mind and body of the devotee. God offers back the love offering as His mercy (prasadam) and thus the senses and mind of the devotee is completely satisfied also.
Some people worry that without eating meat, they will not be able to obtain sufficient protein and certain vitamins such as B12 which are touted as prevalent only in meat. Whole milk from cows cared for affectionately and permitted to graze in fields of natural grasses contains all the necessary vitamins, proteins and other vital nutrients.
Protein is also available in lentils, beans and whole grains.
Where does the cow obtain such nutrients? She eats grasses and grains, both nourished by the sunshine and wet soil. She derives all the vital nutrition that is concentrated in her milk through her complex digestive system that transforms the grasses into nutrients. The cow is an herbivore, not a carnivore. The original source of protein is from grains that are food for the herbivore animals that in turn are food for the carnivore predators. Meat from animals is not meant for human consumption because Lord Krishna does not accept it as an offering of love.
Krishna makes this point in the Bhagavad-gita: “The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because they eat food which is offered first for sacrifice. Others, who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin.” (Bg 3.13)
A person who aspires to have a personal experience of God’s presence will learn to offer every act of his life as a sacrificial offering to God. Recognizing God as the owner, controller and first enjoyer, the sincere aspirant will not accept anything without first offering it to the Supreme Lord. By such sincere offerings to God, one remains aloof from the contamination of sinful acts and sinful people who refuse to believe or participate in such practices of faith.
Sinful persons perform acts for personal sense gratification ignoring the proprietorship and existence of God who is the creator and owner of everything. Disregarding the ownership of God is the root of sinful actions. A thief who disregards the ownership of another individual and steals their property commits a crime and is punishable. Anyone who takes things offered by nature without thanking God by offering the same in sacrifice becomes a thief and commits a punishable sin.
Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada writes, “But preparing nice, simple vegetable dishes, offering them before the picture or Deity of Lord Krishna and bowing down and praying for Him to accept such a humble offering enables one to advance steadily in life, to purify the body, and to create fine brain tissues which will lead to clear thinking. Above all, the offering should be made with an attitude of love. Krishna has no need of food, since He already possesses everything that be, yet He will accept the offering of one who desires to please Him in that way. The important element, in preparation, in serving and in offering, is to act with love for Krishna.” (Bg 9.26 purport)
One may ask, “How does Krishna accept or eat the food? We don’t see the food disappear after the offering!” Lord Krishna has senses, but His senses are interchangeable. One sense can perform the work of any other sense because God is absolute and perfect in every way and possesses inconceivable powers. Therefore, simply by hearing the words of love in offering foodstuffs by the devotee, Krishna tastes and eats the offering. While Krishna eats, the devotee chants the Mahamantra Hare Krishna which is considered the recommended successful means of sacrifice in the present age. “My dear king, although Kali-yuga is full of faults, there is still one good quality about this age: simply by chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom.”(Srimad Bhagavatam 12.3.51)
Those who prefer not to chant the Hare Krishna Mantra can chant or glorify reverentially any name of God in recognition that God is the Supreme provider of all sustenance for mankind. The prayers of thanksgiving to God exist in all the religious traditions of the world.
In the Armenian Christian tradition the following prayers are said before and after a meal.
Armenian Church Prayer Before Meals
The head of the table says:
O Christ our God, bless this food and this drink of your servants with a spiritual blessing, and make us healthy in soul and body; so that as we enjoy the food our bodies require in the modesty appropriate to our religious calling, we may share in your infinite blessings, and in the kingdom of heaven, together with your saints. So that in thanksgiving, we may glorify you, with the Father and with the all-holy Spirit, now and always and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Let us eat this meal in peace, which the Lord has given us as a gift. Blessed is the Lord for all his gifts. Amen.
Prayer After Meals
The head of the table says:
Glory to you, Lord. Glory to you, King of glory, for you have given us the food of joy and have filled our hearts out of the fullness of your all-satisfying mercy. Fill us now with your Holy Spirit, so that we may please you and not be ashamed. For you will come and reward us each according to our deeds. And you are worthy of glory, dominion and honor, now and always and unto ages of ages. Amen.
May Christ our God, who has fed us and filled us, make the fullness of this table constant and abundant. Glory to him forever. Amen.
(Daily prayers from the Armenian Church, found at their website, http://www.armenianchurch.net/prayer/daily.html)
The recognition of God and thanking Him for His kindness as the ultimate provider of spiritual and material sustenance is necessary to remain situated as a humble servant. We gradually understand that our life and welfare depends on the goodwill of God. An enlightened person realizes that in every stage of life we are dependent upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There is God the Father (Krishna, God, the Son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit (The Father’s expansion technically called the Paramatma (in Sanskrit) or Supersoul present in the heart of every living entity as the witness and in every atom of the universe as the ultimate controller). One cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead without being aware of His different expansions. In Christianity, there is a basic understanding of God’s expansions known as the Trinity. A much more complete elaboration of this subject is given in the original Vedic scriptures like the Srimad Bhagavatam.
The ultimate instruction of all authentic spiritual traditions is summarized in the following quotes.
The first by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita where He states His ultimate instruction to Arjuna:
“BG 18.64: Because you are My very dear friend, I am speaking to you My supreme instruction, the most confidential knowledge of all. Hear this from Me, for it is for your benefit.
BG 18.65: Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.
BG 18.66: Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.”
Lord Krishna further states:
BG 12.13-14: “One who is not envious but is a kind friend to all living entities, who does not think himself a proprietor and is free from false ego, who is equal in both happiness and distress, who is tolerant, always satisfied, self-controlled, and engaged in devotional service with determination, his mind and intelligence fixed on Me — such a devotee of Mine is very dear to Me.”
Three thousand years after Lord Krishna spoke to Arjuna, Jesus Christ
reiterates the same instruction when He was asked what is the great commandment in the law of God the Father:
“Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is LIKE UNTO IT, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang ALL the LAW and the prophets” (Matthew 22:35-40).
One should learn from the words of God how to act properly to please Him by favorable devotional service in all aspects of life’s activities. We should perform our prescribes duties, but for the results fully depend upon God. Everything we do in life depends upon God including our digestion.
According to Ayurveda, there is fire in the stomach in the form of hydrochloric acid and other acids. In the Bhagavad-gita Krishna states: “I am the fire of digestion in the bodies of all living entities, and I join with the air of life, outgoing and incoming, to digest the four kinds of foodstuff.” The most vital function for maintaining our life is digestion of food. It depends on Krishna. The living entity is not independent. Without the help of the Lord he cannot sustain his life.
Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada writes: “The power of assimilation which is the prerogative of the stomach only is an emblem of divine energy. The divine energy in the stomach has been designated as ‘Vaiswanara’ or an energy of intense heat representing the inconceivable power of Godhead. Incubation of heat generated in the stomach cannot be produced artificially in the physical laboratory of the material scientist. This ‘Vaiswanara’ is the vital power in the body. The vitamin therapy of foodstuff is dependent on the ‘Vaiswanara’ heat. The vitamins are produced by the heat and it is not that there is vitamin in the foodstuff offered to the stomach. This Vaiswanara heat produces different qualities of vitamin at different places. The Vaiswanara heat in the stomach of a cow produces different vitamin-rich energy and the same occurs in the stomach of a human being. For example, fragments of straw itself has no vitamin value by chemical analysis but when it is put into the stomach of a cow, straw produces enormous volumes of vitamin ‘D’ and ‘A’ while the same straw put into the stomach of a human being will cause starvation to death. That is the inconceivable power of the Supreme Lord.”
“Foolish people think vitamin value of foodstuff in their own way and push into the stomach all sorts of rubbish thing(s) thinking that ‘Vaiswanara’ heat, representative of the Supreme Lord, will accept any such rubbish thing for assimilation. The case is different. The ‘Vaiswanara’ representative power of Godhead in the stomach of the human being can accept only leaves, flower, fruits of the vegetable group and pure water and milk for vitaminising the human energy. The mouth being the entrance door to the region of the stomach, it must guard the tongue of every human being to acquire the quality of a Brahmana, who can accept only foodstuff of ‘Sattvic’ quality(quality of goodness).” (Back To Godhead, Volume 3, Part , “Yajna, or sacrifice for the supreme”, May 20,1956)
Many vitamins are produced by the human body when it functions in a healthy state. The consumption of concentrated vitamins that are sold over-the-counter are mostly excreted by the body. It is better to maintain the digestive system in a healthy state and eat simple, wholesome foods as Krishna describes to maintain health. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada writes: “Now, there are so many scientists. They are discovering vitamin value from foodstuff. Now, what is the vitamin value in the dry grass? Can any scientist say that this is the vitamin value in dry grass? If there is no vitamin value in dry grass, how the cow is producing so much milk, which is full of vitamins A and D? How, from dry grass, vitamins coming out? Nowadays the physician prescribes some artificial vitamins for maintaining your body. Now, what is the vitamin there in the dry grass so that the cow is eating dry grass and giving you nice milk full of vitamins A and D, essential for your life? So these are all wrong theories, that ‘This contains this vitamin. This contains this.’ Let them go on. But natural foodstuff which is meant for human being, they are full of vitamins already there by nature’s law, by God’s wish.” [Lecture, Bg. 3.14]
There is a saying, “If you work like a horse, you can eat like a horse. But, if you eat like a horse and work like a yogi then you will get sick.”
Moderate eating is very helpful in the matter of sense control. Without sense control there is no possibility of freeing oneself of material entanglement.
Overeating causes problems such as acidity. While not eating at all might cause ulcers. Eating light and right is what we can define as a frugal diet. By overeating, one may develop indigestion characterized by acidity of the stomach.
The body has different pH. For example, the blood is slightly alkaline (7.4 pH), the skin and scalp is slightly acid which is referred to as the acid mantle. The pH of the skin is between 4.5 to 6.2. The skin’s moderate acidity helps to neutralize the chemical effects of alkaline chemicals and contaminates. Similarly, the pH of the blood protects one from sickness. However, by ingesting acid forming foods such as fried foods, white flour products, coffee, tea, sodas, all junk foods and especially meat and white sugar, etc., the blood of a person becomes slightly acidic. This condition is referred to as acidosis and its major effect is depression of the central nervous system which results in decreased rate of breathing and decreased heart rate. If this condition continues, serious complications arise from the decreased amount of oxygen circulating in the body. Oxygen is the most important health promoting need of the body and when it is decreased serious illnesses result over time. One who has an acidic blood condition cannot think well or act quickly, clearly, or decisively.
Therefore, it is important to follow the simple rules of diet given by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita, maintain strict regularity of eating, avoid junk foods and eat only whole grain and natural fresh foods. Above all, one should offer the food first to God or Lord Krishna and pray that He accepts the offering so that He returns sanctified prasadam for our consumption. Then one is purified physically, mentally and in every way possible from the contamination of material lust, anger and greed.
duhkhour guhlah paiyloun
Misinformation that leads to misconception is the undoing or cause of ruin of every individual. Believing an untruth and acting with the conviction that it is true results in misery and deception. The fundamental misconception of life is incorrectly identifying oneself. “Who am I” is the question that begs our attention. It can haunt us throughout life unless we awaken to the truth of our identity.
Life can be summarized as the search for self-identity. A young boy who attends school may decide to wear a baseball hat. The conventional way to put on the hat is with the stiff brim (visor or bill) facing forward. After some time, the hat may be put on backwards with the brim facing the opposite way. Another way to wear the hat is to put it on sideways with the brim covering one ear. Sometimes the hat is tipped downward and put on a diagonal with the brim facing toward the feet and almost falling off the head. Each position of the hat corresponds to an identity for the young boy. When the brim faces forward, it indicates that the boy is straight or living a conventional life as a good citizen and a baseball fan. If the hat is put on backwards, the boy is unconventional, a sort of protester of modern social norms. The hat put on sideways is a sign of some connection with a gang. When tipped on a diagonal and almost falling off the head, the hat indicates that the boy is a “dork,” a jerk or fool. Gangster rappers will also don the hat tipped forward and on a diagonal almost falling off.
The progression of the hat’s position on the boy’s head can take a period of several weeks to several years. The variation indicates how the boy is identifying himself. He can also change his clothing style, language, music preference, food, walking postures, facial and hand signals, and sexual habits, etc. Moving the hat is a sign of cultural shift and personal identification of the boy. Eventually the boy can throw away the baseball hat and don other headgear that becomes a symbol of a new identity based on the external social influences that impress him. He also chooses to associate with acquaintances of the same inclination. He may get rid of all hats and shave his head or let his hair grow and make dreadlocks. Each external appearance indicates an internal decision to identify with a particular social group. Most people go through many stages of experimental self-identification during their lifetime.
Unfortunately, the experimentation for self-identification is almost exclusively done by associating oneself with objects or concepts that are external designations that are temporary and subject to change and destruction. Absorbing oneself in external designations, one encounters much frustration and struggle. There was once a woman who purchased a new Lexus. As she drove out of the dealership a VW van painted with rainbow colors smashed into the new Lexus and caused considerable damage. By chance, the woman was not physically injured. She sprang out of the damaged car and began to scream in rage.
“Why the hell did you run into my new car! I just pulled out of the Lexus dealership. Give me your insurance papers. Your insurance company will pay for all this damage to my car.”
“I’m sorry lady, but I don’t have insurance. I can’t afford it,” said the young man with the dreadlocks.
The lady screamed, “Damn fool! You are good for nothing dope head!”
Although the lady was not physically injured herself, she seemed to be in an extreme state of pain and frustration. Why was the lady so distressed and pained? What part of her was affected by the accident that damaged her car? If a person has a toothache, they can point to the exact spot where it hurts. The swollen or sore gums or the decayed tooth with an exposed nerve is easy to identify. Where was the lady hurting? She was not physically injured. Yet, she seemed distressed and pained due to her attachment and identification with the new car. Her attachment was so strong that whatever happened to the car affected her. The idea, “This new Lexus is mine. I am going to enjoy driving it,” was the immediate object of attachment of her false ego.
The ego is self-identification of oneself, or “I am.” The false ego is identifying oneself with a temporary material object or person. One may think “I am the owner, controller and the enjoyer of this particular material thing or person.” The lady above assumed she was the owner and enjoyer of the new car. Because the object or the relationship is temporary, the conviction that one is the owner, controller and enjoyer is illusory or false. At most, it is a short term relationship that can change at any time.
How does the false ego evolve? Why would a person identify with a temporary thing or relationship knowing well that it can end at any time?
A human being has a body with senses, which gather information and impressions of the physical world and feed them to the mind. The mind is the center of all activities of the senses. When one looks upon and hears about sense objects, the mind becomes a reservoir of myriad ideas of sense gratification. Varieties of desires and attachment build up in the mind. The sensuous contemplation of an object leads to the development of attachment to enjoy the object. One thinks about the object by seeing its desirable qualities. One begins to feel how pleasing it would be to own and enjoy the object.
One wills or becomes determined that unless they own and control the object they will not achieve sensual and mental fulfillment.
From contemplation of an object which includes thinking, feeling and willing, one develops progressively attachment and lust for it. Thus the mind and senses become repositories of lust.
The intelligence or the power of the person to discern right from wrong, good from bad, positive from negative, becomes affected by the lusty mentality and begins to make decisions based on lust for the object rather than what is the long term good for the person.
The lusty intelligence becomes the seat of the false ego. The person, using the faculties of the senses, mind and intelligence which are infected with lust, becomes attached to a temporary thing and develops a sort of addiction to enjoying the object with their material senses and mistakes this temporary enjoyment as true happiness.
The woman with the Lexus developed the strong attachment to enjoy her new car. But, her pleasure was abruptly interrupted by the man in the rainbow VW. She vented her frustration and pain which quickly turned to anger. It was as if she was injured by the damage done to her car. The truth is that her false ego was pained by the abrupt accident.
The false ego or the material object oriented consciousness has two psychic divisions. One identifies as the creator or controller, and then as the enjoyer of the object. While enjoying the object one develops a very strong and sometimes obsessive attachment to it. The passionate or overmastering craving to control and enjoy an object is the symptom of lust.
Lust evolves under the influence of the mode of passion. The mode or quality of passion develops from unlimited desires and longings. It may be characterized as the attraction between man and woman. The mutual attraction is called the mode of passion. As the passion increases, the hankering for material enjoyment becomes prominent in the mind. This leads to increased desires to enjoy sense gratification. For sustained sense gratification, a man or woman seeks profit, distinction (or honor and recognition in society) and eventually adoration. A man or woman want a happy family, nice children, house, car and many objects of comfort and utility for sense gratification. These are the products of the mode of passion.
Due to hankering after so many objects of pleasure, one is obliged to work very hard. The result of work, namely the salary or profit, binds a person by the activities of self-interest and the attachment to profit for maintaining sense gratification. One is forced to continue working to please his or her loved ones, maintain prestige and enjoy life surrounded by many objects for enjoyment and comfort.
Modern civilization is immersed in the merry-go-round of passion, self-interest, material enjoyment, attachment, lust, frustration, anger, illusion, entrapment in material existence. It is almost impossible to free oneself from this entanglement. The only glimmer of hope is when a person becomes completely baffled by prolonged lustful activities and begins to seek out knowledge of the cause of entrapment and how to get out of the unrelenting cycle of material life.
A shocking example of how lust can lead to frustration, anger and illusion is the story of the chief judge on New York’s highest court, Sol Wachtler. He had a four year affair with a New York socialite named Joy Silverman. When their relationship ended, judge Wachtler fell into a deep depression compounded by
a mix of prescribed amphetamines, tranquilizers, and anti-depressants.
His began to stalk his former girlfriend with hang-up calls, anonymous, obscene letters that included a threat to kidnap
her teenage daughter and extortion demands. He hoped Silverman would turn to him for help with the harassment. This went on for thirteen months.
Silverman, however, went to the FBI for help. Judge Wachtler was arrested. He made a guilty plea to the kidnap threat and accepted a fifteen month prison term. His ornate chambers in the Court of Appeals in Albany were replaced by an 8×7 cell in solitary confinement, where he was placed for observation after arriving at a North Carolina prison where the mentally ill are housed.
When lust is not satisfied it turns in anger. Anger is transformed
into illusion and illusion continues one’s existence in material entanglement. Lust is the greatest enemy of man. It is lust only which keeps us bound up in a inextricable network of illusions.
Frustration, anger, greed, delusion
One tries to satisfy lust. When he cannot, frustration is felt and then anger. From frustration and anger, one develops greed. The downward spiral begins by wrongly contemplating an object. There is a right way and a wrong way to see the world. The right way is to see everything in existence as being created by, controlled and owned by God. Everything and everyone is meant to serve God according to His desire and will. The incorrect way is to see everything and everyone as independent of God. This wrong way of seeing leads to one developing false attachment and desire that turns to lust. If the lust or excessive desire to own and control something or someone is frustrated, one becomes angry. From the frustrated state of anger, one can develop greed and especially delusion. Such delusion bewilders the memory and results in loss of intelligence. When intelligence or the discriminative faculty is lost, one begins a cycle of self-destructive and anti-social behavior.
Once, a thirsty deer was on the edge of a desert. There was no source of water nearby. Looking out into the desert, the deer saw a large body of water not far off surrounded by the hot sands. It became convinced that it could easily reach the water by walking toward it.
The deer began to walk into the desert toward what it thought was a lake of sweet water. As it walked, the water seemed always to be a little farther, but it never could reach it. The combination of the scorching sun, hot sands and dehydration overwhelmed the deer. It died before it could drink the water which seemed so close, yet always a little farther away. The deer was tricked into walking into the desert by seeing an optical mirage.
The desert mirage is a “real” optical phenomenon because it can be captured on camera. The “real object” is the sky which appears as a patch or desert mirage due to light rays that are refracted to form the false image below the real object that seems to be a short distance from the observer. The mind of the observer interprets the image. The deer was thirsty so it became convinced that the image was real water in the desert. This was a fatal mistake for the deer.
There are several conditions necessary for entrapment by material nature. First, the reliance solely on material perception of the imperfect senses is the most important. By observing nature, we can see this principle demonstrated repeatedly. For example, a fisherman will carefully hook some bait or fix a lure to his fishing line in order to catch a fish. The bait is some type of food that the fish likes to eat and the lure is an artificial replica of the same. Both are designed to trick the fish so that it gets caught by a hook and is pulled into the fisherman’s grasp by the fishing line.
Every living entity has four fundamental defects of perception: mistakes, illusion, imperfect senses and a cheating propensity. These defects of perception inhibit a living entity from attaining perfect knowledge on its own without help from an outside authority that is free from them. The fish and other animals as well as human beings are repeatedly misled by mistakes of perception that result in illusions due to misunderstanding their mistakes to be truth, imperfect perception due to limited sense perception and a cheating propensity. Without help, a person can remain in a state of illusion their entire life without much hope of getting release.
Secondly, the inability to control natural urges of the mind and body. These urges are occasioned by speech, the mind, anger, the tongue, belly and genitals.
Every human has the power of speech or communication as do all living creatures in some form or other. Most communication is nonsense. For example, the croaking of a toad in a field invites a snake to find and eat it. Although the croaking of the toad invites death, still is goes on croaking. Similarly, human beings spend most of their time talking about mundane subjects such as sports, money, politics, sex, etc. These subjects are entertaining and help pass the time, but they have nothing to do with the real problem of life: understanding oneself in relation to this material world and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By continual discussion of mundane subjects, a person develops the conviction that he or she is the observer and that all other things are objects of observation. This is the fundamental mistaken conception that entangles a living being in an illusory state of existence without hope of getting release.
When one believes he is the seer, he becomes convinced that all objects of perception are ultimately meant for his enjoyment. A television or computer is a superb instrument that provides entertainment. They pleasure the mind and senses of a person for years on end. Thus, one’s attention is completely diverted from self-realization to self-pleasure. Important questions such as “Who am I, and what is my factual position in this material world” “Am I the enjoyer as if a god,” or “Am I meant to be enjoyed by the Supreme Godhead?” are forgotten.
In the material concept of life, everyone attempts to be the enjoyer and tries to make everything or everyone else the object of enjoyment. This false attempt entangles one in a network of actions and reactions that seem impossible to undo. The continual search for enjoyment renders the mind fickle and hard to control. It wanders from one object of the senses to another. Thus, overwhelmed by illusion, people are so engrossed in seeking sense gratification that they have very little time to understand self-realization. When one ignores the pursuit of self knowledge and occupies oneself with temporary sense pleasures, life’s precious time is wasted.
Once a very rich man tried to purchase back one moment of his life that had already passed. Regardless of how much money he offered, he could not buy back one second. Therefore, the most precious thing we have in life is time we are given to live. Every moment is precious because once passed we can never get it back.
Seeking the truth of life in sensual pleasures is like the deer walking toward the mirage of water in the desert. Our intelligence when properly trained should tell us that water exists but not in the desert although we might see a lake of fresh water in the distant desert sands. We should seek water where there is greenery of grass, flowers and trees. Similarly, we should seek knowledge of self from self realized persons. Factual self realization is a relational experience. In a vacuum we cannot realize who we are. But, in a relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we can understand who we are eternally. We become entrapped by illusion when we separate ourselves from the eternal God and identify with temporary material objects and relationships.
shouneen bohchuh puhrnetz vor dzohvuh ahntznehl
In other words, the endeavor is hopeless.
Vohraguh aveli gahrehvohreh, kahn kahnahguh
Our behavior during life determines to a large extent our destiny after death. Whatever material possessions we have accumulated during life is lost at death. The result of our good or bad acts influence what happens to us in the future and after death. Cultivating good acts and avoiding sinful ones can make our future auspicious. Superlative good acts are those that are meant to serve God without any selfish desire or for any material benefits in return. Acts inspired by love and devotion meant to please God purify the mind of selfish desires. They help to focus one’s attention on spiritual emancipation from the cycle of birth and death.
There was once a rich man who dressed luxuriously and wore expensive clothes made of fine linen. He ate the finest and tastiest foods. There was a beggar named Lazarus whose body was covered with suppurating sores. Desiring to eat the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table, Lazarus lay near the door of the rich man’s house.
Out of pity, some dogs would come to lick the wet sores of Lazarus. One day, Lazarus died and was transported to the bosom of Abraham the Prophet. The rich man died. He was sent to a place where he was tormented with scorching heat. He was able to see Abraham with Lazarus on his bosom far away in the distance. He called out in agony, “Father Abraham, please have mercy on me. Send Lazarus to me. Let him dip the tip of his finger in water to cool my lips parched by this flame.”
“In your lifetime, you received many blessings from God such as wealth, good food and drink, and happy days. Lazarus, however, suffered from poverty and afflictions of the body. Now he is comforted and you are tormented. There is also an insurmountable gulf between us. No one can approach you from our side nor can you approach us from your side,” said Abraham.
The rich man spoke to the angel. “I pray to you, dear father, to send him (Lazarus) to my father’s house. Let him instruct my five brothers so that they may not follow me to this horrid place.”
Abraham spoke to him, “Your brothers have Moses and the prophets. They can hear from them.”
The rich man said, “No, father Abraham, if you send one from the dead to testify to my brothers, they will surely repent.”
Abraham said, “If they cannot hear Moses and the prophets, they will also not be persuaded by one risen from the dead.”
This Biblical parable spoken by Jesus in Luke 16:19-31 is a powerful statement that touches the heart of faith. A person of faith believes the word of God and his prophets and uses the word of God to guide his life. A faithless person does not believe the word of God and either ignores to follow it or acts contrary to it.
There are wonderful examples of persons of faith in the Bible. Noah believed the word of God. He built an arc in the desert with explicit faith in the word of God that a great deluge would occur in the future.
God had become displeased with sinful humanity that no longer listened or followed His instructions. He was pleased with Noah who was always faithful to Him. God promised Noah that if he built a large boat (arc) and always obey and trust Him, He would safely guide Noah and his family through the future flood waters and save them from the coming destruction of humanity. Noah trusted the word of God and did exactly as he was asked to do.
Similarly, Abraham, Jesus and many others strictly followed God’s instructions and submitted to His will. They demonstrated the meaning of faith in God and His word. Although their faithfulness was tested, they never wavered in their trust. They remained surrendered to the will of God in success and failure, happiness and distress, riches and poverty, fame and infamy.
Jesus was tempted by the devil. But, He kept His loyalty to His Father by quoting the relevant holy scripture that revealed each of the devil’s deceptive temptations as deviations from the word of God. Jesus also accepted to be crucified for the sins of humanity that professed faith in Him as the son of God.
Abraham was asked by God to sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham trusted the word of God explicitly and acted accordingly. God tested Abraham’s faith and was pleased with his total surrender to His will. He stopped the sacrifice at the last moment before Abraham killed his son and set fire to the sacrificial pyre.
In the same parable of the rich man and Lazerus, another important point is made. Although the rich man let Lazarus lay near the door of his mansion, he did not actively give him help. Whatever crumbs fell from his dinner table were given to the destitute Lazarus. Jesus tells another parable that speaks to this aloof disregard of the rich man for the poor.
A rich man’s planted fields yielded an abundant harvest. He thought, “I have been blessed with a bumper crop. But, where shall I store such a huge quantity of grains?” He decided to enlarge his barns to store all the surplus grains. He mused, “I have plenty of grain stored that will last three years. I’ll I keep it and hope that there will be a drought in the future so I can sell the grain for two or three times more than the regular price. I’ll become richer and enjoy the rewards of profit for a long time.”
Understanding the mind of the rich man, God spoke to him. “You greedy fool! This very night you will die. Then who will enjoy what you have prepared for yourself?”
Jesus remarks, “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but, is not rich toward God.”
Lack of faith in the word of God leads to sinful acts. By lack of faith, one becomes weak in their conviction to bypass temporary material pleasures and mundane attachments in order to attain the mercy of God. Eve was tempted by the devil to disobey the word of God. She transgressed God’s word and later convinced her husband, Adam to do the same. They ate the fruit that God forbade them to eat. They both felt shame and began to be fearful. When God perceived their lack of faith, He punished them for their disobedience. Such punishment was remedial. After the fall, God sent many prophets and eventually Jesus Christ and others to help the descendants of Adam and Eve acquire the knowledge and faith to overcome the temptations of temporal pleasures and return to the eternal kingdom of God.
Faith is demonstrated by accepting the truth of God’s words. In the Bhagavad-gita, Arjuna at first refuses to follow Lord Krishna’s order to engage in the battle of Kuruksetra against his cousin brothers, the Kurus. Arjuna admits that he is confused about what his duty is because of his family attachment. He cannot see any way to be happy either by winning the battle or losing the battle. Therefore, he refuses to fight and throws down his weapons.
Arjuna, however, asks Lord Krishna to instruct him. He is willing to be instructed by the Lord about his real duty is in life. He accepts the Lord as his spiritual master and begins to ask Him important questions that he needs answered in order to become self-realized in spiritual knowledge. After a long discussion that covers God, man, time, the material nature and duty in life for each person, Lord Krishna asks Arjuna if his confusion about his course of action is finished. Arjuna replies, “My dear Krishna, O infallible one, my illusion is now gone. I have regained my memory by Your mercy. I am now firm and free from doubt and am prepared to act according to Your instructions.”
Becoming free of the illusion of temporary material attachments,
Arjuna regains his original memory of being the eternal servant of God. He engages wholeheartedly without hesitation in the service of Lord Krishna by strictly following His instructions. This is the ultimate sign of faith.
There was once a powerful and wealthy king who approached a holy man with the desire to learn from him. He requested the teacher to accept him as one of his disciples. He said, ” I have grown weary of being a king. I want to become your humble servant and receive the benediction of your instruction.”
The holy man agreed to accept the service of the king for a certain period during which he would test his sincerity. He ordered the king, “Daily take out the trash of our community to the garbage dump which is on the outskirts of the town.”
The king accepted the menial service given to him. He abandoned his royal vestments and donned the simple cloth of a disciple. For many months he performed the service given to him by the teacher.
The other disciples of the the holy man were amazed at the humility of the king. One day, they approached the teacher and implored him to relieve the king of the trash disposal as he had proven his sincerity. Their reasoning was that the king had not been forcibly exiled from his throne. He voluntarily left his royal life to seek spiritual enlightenment. After many months of doing the unpleasant service of carrying the community’s trash to the dump, he had demonstrated his honest resolve to become a humble student.
The holy man answered, “He is not ready yet for initiation.” He asked the student who spoke for the others in favor of the king,
“I suggest that you test the king in some way that will prove without any doubt that he is genuinely humble.”
One day, the king was carrying a large sack full of garbage. The student pushed the king so hard that he dropped the sack and some of the contents fell on the ground. The king was upset. He said, “If I was still the king, I would have expedited your just reward for such an act. But, since I am not the king, I must control my anger.” The king gathered the garbage. He put it back in the sack and continued his path to the garbage dump.
When the student reported what happened to the teacher, he commented, “You see, he is not ready yet.”
After some days, another student begged the teacher to be kind to the king. The teacher said, “You may also test the king.”
The king was again submitted to the same kind of ordeal. He did not say anything, but he gave a grave look at the second student for a short moment. He picked up the garbage sack and continued his task. The student reported what happened to the teacher. Again, the teacher remarked, “He is not ready.”
The king was tested a third time. He remained silent. He simply picked up the garbage sack without looking at his assailant and went on with his task. When the teacher heard about the third incident, he said, Now he is ready. He has no more false illusions about his previous grandeur. He is satisfied with doing his service without any other thought.”
Attachment to material possessions and prestige due to power, wealth and dominion over others can blind a person to the eternal truth that they are subordinate always to God. Temporal power and prestige can hold a person so strongly that they may refuse to take any opportunity for release from the the cycle of repeated birth and death.
A man approached Jesus and asked a question as he bowed before him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“You know the commandments, “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother,” said Jesus.
The man replied, “I have followed all these since my youth.”
“You lack one thing,” said Jesus. “Go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”
Hearing the words of Jesus the man became saddened. He went away because he was very wealthy. Jesus looked at his disciples and said, “It is very hard for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God.” The disciples were perplexed by these words.
Jesus spoke to them again, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
The disciples were shocked and disheartened. Jesus spoke again, “For ordinary people with their limited powers it is impossible. But all things are possible for God.”
The power of spiritual purity is greater than any material power. Therefore, a genuine person whose has strong faith in the word of God develops patience and tolerance in all life’s tribulations through steady devotion. He understands that all things in this material world belong to God. Therefore, they should be used in the service of God under proper guidance of a genuine servant of God whose only desire is to please the Lord. Then the impossible becomes possible for the person of faith.
geerkuh, sehruh yehv ahzadoutioun
Lust is the worst enemy of man. It can obsess the mind and oblige a person to commit selfish acts for personal gratification at the expense of another. According to Vedic philosophy, all living entities come originally from God. They always remain His part and parcels as gold in a gold ring is qualitatively one and quantitatively different from the gold in a gold mine. Another example is that of the spark of a fire and the fire itself or a drop of ocean water and the ocean. They are qualitatively one and quantitatively different.
The living entity can never become equal with God quantitatively, but it can qualitatively have the same attributes as God. It has knowledge, but its knowledge is limited. It has freedom, but its freedom is limited, etc.
The concept that God is the origin of all living entities and all things is accepted in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. For example, the devil is portrayed as a fallen angel who rebelled against the authority of God. The devil was able to rebel against God because He has endowed all the living beings with limited free will. One can either accept the instructions of God like Jesus Christ or reject them like the devil. God never interferes with the limited free will of the living entity. But He does know what will happen to the living entity if he accepts or rejects His instructions. Just as the government know what will happen to a person that follows the laws of society or breaks them.
If one surrenders to the will of God, he will receive the mercy of Krishna and go back to Godhead eternally. He becomes free from the cycle of birth and death and attains the eternal kingdom where there is no more birth, old age, disease and death. If he refuses to surrender to the will of God, he remains in the material world transmigrating from one material body to another through the 8.4 million different species of life (aquatics, reptiles, insects, birds, plants, mammals, humans). It is only in the human form that one can exercise his limited free will to the full extent. The exercise of limited free will is even more limited or non existent in the lower species than the human.
Sin, suffering and evil exist when one wrongly exercises the free will and decides to act contrary to Krishna’s instructions. In order to act contrary to God’s will one must either be ignorant of His instructions or purposely act contrary to them. In either case, one does not realize the consequences of such behavior. In ignorance one thinks there is no God and no supreme authority; or, one thinks they can get away with such acts because God is impotent. Both states of mind are considered ignorant. Man’s ignorance is the cause of sin.
Because we originally come from God and are always His part and parcel, it is possible to understand much about God by analyzing ourselves honestly. When the living entities commit sinful acts, it is the responsibility of God to help them understand that such actions are not in their own interest. They will simply lead to suffering and eventually repeated birth and death in the material world. Just as a responsible parent will try to correct the inappropriate behavior of a child by imposing some remedial measures, God the original Father of all living entities has placed the insubordinate living entities in this material world to remedy our sinful mentality. In this world, the laws of material nature act on our body to limit our freedom. Criminals are placed in a prison to limit their freedom and hopefully remedy their mentality of criminal behavior. The laws of karma or action and reaction are meant to show us that there is a superior authority that holds us responsible for our actions.
When a human being suffers, he should understand that it is a result of a mistake either done in ignorance or willfully. One may mistakenly believe that they can kill or steal with impunity. However, the forces of justice such as the police and the penal system or the laws of karma will eventually punish them. Punishment is a symbol of superior authority that one is obliged by force or knowledge to recognize.
For example, if we gamble in a casino and lose, we see the agent of the casino collect our money and transfer it to the casino. Our placing a bet resulted in losing our money which we see physically taken from us by the casino. Such loss causes us some discomfort or pain. It is evident that our mistaken bets in the casino lead to loss, pain or suffering. The cause and the effect is clearly demonstrated. But in other walks of life, it is not always so clear that our mistaken exercise of free will is the cause of our suffering.
A person who thinks deeply about the question of suffering will eventually understand that suffering results from our decisions made either in this life or a previous life. We cannot remember the decisions we made in a previous life. Therefore, it is almost impossible to understand why we are suffering in this life for something we cannot remember.
Once a prisoner that was incarcerated was hit on the head with a chair by another inmate. He fell into a severe coma. Fortunately, after one week he came out of the coma but in a state of amnesia. He completely forgot who he was and why he was in prison. He wrote a letter to the warden demanding to be set free because he could not remember why he was in prison. The warden wrote back saying that he had a large file of the misdeeds and the legal proceedings after which the man was convicted by a jury of his peers of the crimes he committed. It was irrelevant if he could or could not remember his past deeds. Therefore, the man remained in prison even though he had total amnesia. Similarly, when we die and take rebirth in a different body, we cannot remember our past life. However, the record of our good and bad deeds are recorded even though we may have forgotten.
During our lifetime we do not work to suffer. We do everything to avoid suffering. Yet, suffering comes. This is proof that there is a superior authority and that we made some mistakes in the past for which we are suffering presently even though we cannot remember them.
There are some exceptions to this general principle of karma such as the story of Job in the Bible or the story of Harischandra or Arjuna in the Vedic literature. All three were either tested by God (Job and Harischandra) or purposely put into ignorance (like Arjuna) in order for God to demonstrate an important teaching for the benefit of humanity.
But the general rule is that we suffer in life due to our own mistakes. This is explained in the Bible by the statement, “As you sow, so shall you reap.” In ignorance the living entity may accuse God for his suffering or some other cause outside of himself. But the Bhagavad-gita states that the living entity is the the cause of his own suffering.
“BG 13.20: Material nature and the living entities should be understood to be beginningless. Their transformations and the modes of matter are products of material nature.
BG 13.21: Nature is said to be the cause of all material causes and effects, whereas the living entity is the cause of the various sufferings and enjoyments in this world.
BG 13.22: The living entity in material nature thus follows the ways of life, enjoying the three modes of nature. This is due to his association with that material nature. Thus he meets with good and evil among various species.”
All living entities in the material world experience a struggle for existence due to the false ego or false identification with the temporary body as the real self. The mind infested with unending desires for sense enjoyment obliges the living entity to continue in material life. The Bhagavad-gita explains,
“BG 15.7: The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.
BG 15.8: The living entity in the material world carries his different conceptions of life from one body to another as the air carries aromas. Thus he takes one kind of body and again quits it to take another.
BG 15.9: The living entity, thus taking another gross body, obtains a certain type of ear, eye, tongue, nose and sense of touch, which are grouped about the mind. He thus enjoys a particular set of sense objects.
BG 15.10: The foolish cannot understand how a living entity can quit his body, nor can they understand what sort of body he enjoys under the spell of the modes of nature. But one whose eyes are trained in knowledge can see all this.”
The reason why the living entity cannot see what is happening is also explained,
BG 14.4: It should be understood that all species of life, O son of Kunt?, are made possible by birth in this material nature, and that I am the seed-giving father.
BG 14.5: Material nature consists of three modes — goodness, passion and ignorance. When the eternal living entity comes in contact with nature, O mighty-armed Arjuna, he becomes conditioned by these modes.
BG 14.6: O sinless one, the mode of goodness, being purer than the others, is illuminating, and it frees one from all sinful reactions. Those situated in that mode become conditioned by a sense of happiness and knowledge.
BG 14.7: The mode of passion is born of unlimited desires and longings, O son of Kunti?, and because of this the embodied living entity is bound to material fruitive actions.
BG 14.8: O son of Bharata, know that the mode of darkness, born of ignorance, is the delusion of all embodied living entities. The results of this mode are madness, indolence and sleep, which bind the conditioned soul.
BG 14.9: O son of Bharata, the mode of goodness conditions one to happiness; passion conditions one to fruitive action; and ignorance, covering one’s knowledge, binds one to madness.
BG 14.10: Sometimes the mode of goodness becomes prominent, defeating the modes of passion and ignorance, O son of Bharata. Sometimes the mode of passion defeats goodness and ignorance, and at other times ignorance defeats goodness and passion. In this way there is always competition for supremacy.”
Without the help of a self-realized teacher or guru one cannot understand his or her real condition in this world and the means to get liberated from the self-victimization that is taking place. The only thing that sometimes awakens us to seek an answer is suffering. When we suffer we sometimes ask the crucial question “why am I suffering.” “I cannot remember doing anything to cause such suffering which is not something I wanted in the first place.”
If we are fortunate enough to ask a truly knowledgeable person about the cause of our suffering, then we have a chance to make a solution to this enigmatic problem. If we, however, meet a speculator who gives imaginary explanations, then we continue hopelessly in the maze of illusion wandering in endless pathways of hope against hope for sense gratification.
BG 15.11: The endeavoring transcendentalists, who are situated in self-realization, can see all this clearly. But those whose minds are not developed and who are not situated in self-realization cannot see what is taking place, though they may try to.”
One requires “eyes trained in knowledge” to understand how all living entities are “suffering different kinds of happiness and distress,” under the illusion of sense gratification. Persons lacking such spiritual vision are fooled by lust and desire. They cannot understand the mystery of why their body changes many times in this life, nor why they die and get another material body to repeat the process.
One trained in spiritual knowledge can see that the soul is different than the temporary material body which changes dramatically from infancy to death. Such persons realize that the conditioned living entity is actually suffering in this material existence. While one enjoys sense gratification, there may be some feeling of happiness, but that feeling of material happiness is the ultimate enemy of the sense enjoyer. The temporary material happiness one derives from sense pleasures convinces the unwitting person to continue in material existence always planning and dreaming of more pleasures for the body and mind.
The mind is the center of all activities of the senses. It becomes the reservoir of all ideas of sense gratification. Thus the mind and the information gathering senses become the repositories of lust. Lust is never satisfied just as a burning fire is never extinguished by a constant supply of fuel. In this world the lust for sex is the main impetus for action. In Sanskrit this material world is called maithunya-agara, or the shackles of sex life. In prison, criminals are kept within jail cells. Similarly, those who are disobedient to God’s instructions are
are shackled or jailed by sex desire. Their minds cannot stop thinking , desiring and planning for sex. The lusty preoccupation with sex and its concomitant factor such as the need for profit, distinction and adoration keeps a person oblivious of spiritual reality and the possibility of ultimate emancipation from the struggle for temporary happiness in the material world.
The lusty senses and mind contaminate the intelligence of the living entity which in turn prompts the soul to accept the false ego and identify himself with matter or the material body, mind and senses.Thus the soul becomes addicted to enjoying the material senses and mistakes this as true happiness.
When a living entity comes in contact with material creation, his eternal love for God is transformed into lust, in association with the mode of passion. The original sense of love of God becomes transformed into lust for sense gratification. The nature of the living entity is to seek pleasure. By serving God, there is no end to the pleasure one can experience. It is an eternal experience of happiness that perpetually increases in variety and intensity. Therefore, one experiences unbounded satisfaction and love for Krishna who is the object of all pleasures for the purified mind and senses of the living entity.
But, in contact with temporary material pleasures, the living entity’s love for God becomes transformed into lust for pleasure. If lust is unsatisfied, it turns into anger. Anger is transformed into illusion and illusion continues the material existence. Lust for temporary sense gratification comes from the mode of passion and keeps the living entity entangled in the material world. Anger is the manifestation of the mode of ignorance. Through guided spiritual practice by a proper teacher the mode of passion, instead of being degraded into the mode of ignorance, can be elevated to the mode of goodness. In a lifestyle of goodness one can be saved from the degradation of anger by developing attachment and love for Krishna. Thus lust can be transformed back to our original love for God.
Lust is the perverted reflection of love of God. By voluntarily accepting training by which the mind and senses are continually engaged in acts of devotion to the all beautiful Lord Krishna, one strengthens the intelligence. Thus by strong intelligence one develops the determination to remain perpetually engaged in the service of God. One loses the attraction to temporary sense pleasures by engaging the senses in acts of devotion to God. One begins to experience greater pleasures, spiritual pleasures, that dwarf the temporary and illusory material pleasures. Once one has a taste for the greater pleasures of spiritual life, it becomes possible to give up the race for material pleasures and not feel any regrets.
The Bhagavad-gita further explains,
BG 3.43: “Thus knowing oneself to be transcendental to the material senses, mind and intelligence, O mighty-armed Arjuna, one should steady the mind by deliberate spiritual intelligence [Krishna consciousness] and thus — by spiritual strength — conquer this insatiable enemy known as lust.”
Material life is characterized by lust and desire to dominate the resources of material nature. Krishna explains in the Bhagavad-gita how one can control the material senses, mind and intelligence by gradual development of love of God. Love is manifested through acts of devotion devoid of any selfish interest. The only preoccupation of the true lover is to satisfy God by following His instructions and affectionately offering the result of one’s devotional acts to Him. This requires patience, sustained actions of service and expert guidance.The material mind and sense become purified of lusty tendencies by experiencing the happiness of unselfish acts meant to please God. The results of such actions are shared with all people as a continuing act of love. For example, one may offer God a sumptuous feast and once offered, one may share the feast with friends. By eating such sanctified food, all participants are pleased and benefited by the spiritual experience of happiness devoid of lust for personal sense gratification. One may also chant the glories of God and dance joyfully. Thus, one’s senses are engaged in spiritually uplifting acts of devotion. These are practical ways to free oneself from the degrading desires of lust.
Often immature attempts are made to understand God by philosophical speculations and artificial attempts to control the senses by yoga postures. Without proper guidance of a true lover of God, one cannot succeed by personal endeavors based on mundane processes as physical yoga, self-interested rituals for material benefit or flights of mental speculation. There is no substitute for genuine acts of love and devotion for Krishna manifested through hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord (listening to Bhagavad-gita or other holy scriptures like the Bible, Koran, etc. and chanting the names of God as recommended in the Psalms of the Bible, the Koran, the Vedas and especially by chanting the great mantra for deliverance from material ignorance, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
There is an Armenian web page www.armenianhighland.com. Go to the home page and click on Encyclopedia, then click on Mesrop Mashdotz, then click on Warrior-Scholar-Teacher, then click on The Renewal. Once on the page The Renewal, scroll down until the author, GEVORK NAZARYAN, begins to explain how Mesrop Mashdotz visited an ancient Mehrian monastery or monasteries that was/were still functioning during his time. There he was introduced to ancient texts of Harers or ancient, pre-Christian , Indo-European sacred chants of which he shows the following text of one page.
“21ST PAGE FROM THE HOLY BOOK OF H A RER [HYMNS].
FIRST TWO SACRED PRIMORDIAL CHANTS OF
THE S E V E N [MANTRAS] OF DIVINE EHUTIOUN [E S S E N C E] THAT UNITED THE MICROCOSM WITH THE MACROCOSM [PARALLEL OF THE SEVEN SACRED NOTES OF THE UNIVERSE +1... TRANSCENDENTAL 8= ETERNITY...
ALL BEGIN WITH A R --
THE SELF CREATED KOSMOKRATOR [KOSMIK UR].
MAR OR MARA [RETROGRADE OF ARAM -- ETERNAL MASCULINE PRINCIPLE] IN THE HARI SACRED CHANTS THAT DENOTES THE PRIMORDIAL WATERS/CHAOS/VIŠAP THE ETERNAL FEMININE PRINCIPLE.
THE LAST — SEVENTH CHANT — INVOKES THE RETURN
OF THE SOUL-SPIRIT TO THE SOURCE/FATHER [EATSUM -- GODHOOD] FINAL STATE.
MESROP MASHTOTS WROTE DOWN THE ORION/ARYAN HYMNS OR CHANTS GIVEN TO HIM BY THE DEVOTEE PRIESTS OF THE WISDOM TEMPLES THAT WERE WRITTEN DOWN IN MITHRAIC SCRIPT — KEPT IN THE SACRED LIBRARY VAULTS IN GUARDED PRIVY FROM THE VULGARITY AND PROFANITY OF THE AMBITIOUS AND THE MALICIOUS [NOT READY SPIRITUALLY].
THE LATER MEDIEVAL SACRED HYMNS LIKE THE SHARAKANS ALSO INCLUDED A NUMBER OF ARCANE HARIS.
FIRST HAR SORHAR RO ANJ [GHOGHANJ] MANTRA/CHANT –
WRITTEN IN TRNAGIR FONT.
A R A R D [3+3+1].
THE BEGINNING CREATION FROM THE ETERNAL VOID -
THE MANIFESTATION OF A L L.
SECOND H A R E R O ANJ [GHOGHANJ] MANTRA/CHANT –
A R V AR R Ž [3+3+3].
DESCENT OF SPIRIT INTO MATTER FROM THE ONE -
UNION OF SPIRIT [DIVINE SPARK] WITH MATTER.
THE [H]ARS [KRIST CONSCIOUSNESS] WERE CARRIED TO
ALL PARTS OF THE WORLD BY ARMAN WISDOM SEERS
FROM THE SACRED ARMAN/ARMIN/ARMEN [IRMIN] HIGHLAND.
MANY OF THE HOLY CHANTS WERE PRESERVED IN THE
MUCH RENOWNED AND STILL PRACTICED VEDIC MANTRAS
INCLUDING THE 8-FOLD MAHA-MANTRA OF RAMA KRISHNA [ARAM KRIST].
HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE
HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE
The sacred texts were not intended for the population at large and were kept in vaults — recorded through the use of the Mehian hieroglyphs. The esoteric scrolls of the high priests kept the time immemorial tradition of the Supreme Godhead — HAYA – EA  — the God of the Divine Essence [the Unknown and Unmanifested God -- sometimes represented by a 360° full circle – symbol of Perfection/Infinity/Completion, since unlike other geometric shapes it has no beginning/end/angles/points etc… ”
Gevork Nazaryan to my knowledge is an Armenian scholar who has access to the Matenadaran which stands for The Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts established on March 3, 1959. It is located at 53 Mesrop Mashots Avenue, in Yerevan, Armenia. The following text is from Wikipedia.
“It holds one of the world’s richest depositories of medieval manuscripts and books which span a broad range of subjects, including history, philosophy, medicine, literature, art history and cosmography in Armenian and many other languages.”
“The earliest mention of the term Matenadaran, which means “repository of manuscripts” in Armenian, was recorded in the writings of the fifth century A.D. historian Ghazar Parpetsi, who noted the existence of a repository in Echmiadzin, where Greek and Armenian language texts were kept. After that, however, the sources remain silent on its status. In 1441, the Matenadaran was moved from Sis, the capital of the former Cilician Kingdom of Armenia, to Echmiadzin and stored in nearby monasteries.
In the course of the centuries following the dissolution of the Bagratuni Kingdom of Armenia in 1045, thousands of manuscripts were destroyed by the Turkic-Mongol invasions. According to the account given by Stepanos Orbelian, the Seljuk Turks were responsible for the burning of over 10,000 Armenian manuscripts in Baghaberd in 1170. As a result of Armenia being a constant battleground between two major powers, the Matenadaran in Echmiadzin was pillaged several times, the last of which, took place in 1804. Eastern Armenia’s incorporation into the Russian Empire in the first third of the 19th century provided a more stable climate for the preservation of the remaining manuscripts. Thus, “a new era started for the Echmiadzin Matenadaran. The Armenian cultural workers procured new manuscripts and put them in order with more confidence.” Whereas in 1828 the curators of the Matenadaran catalogued a collection of only 1,809 manuscripts, in 1914, the collection had increased to 4,660 manuscripts. At the outbreak of World War I, all the manuscripts were sent to Moscow for safekeeping and were kept there for the duration of the war.
On December 17, 1920, the collection of books and manuscripts held at the headquarters of the Armenian Apostolic Church at Echmiatsin was confiscated by the Bolsheviks. In a decree signed by Aleksandr Myasnikyan on March 6, 1922, the manuscripts which had been sent to Moscow were returned to Armenia. Combined with other collections, it was declared a property of the state on December 17, 1929. In 1939, the collection was moved to Yerevan and stored at the Aleksandr Myasnikyan State Library. Finally, on March 3, 1959, the Council of Ministers of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic voted in support of the establishment of the Matenadaran to maintain and house the manuscripts in a new building, and in 1962 it was named after Saint Mesrop Mashtots, the creator of the Armenian alphabet. In 1954, Armenian academician Levon Khachikyan was appointed as the Matenadaran’s director.
The Matenadaran was designed by architect Mark Grigoryan. Located slightly north of the city’s center at the foot of a small hill, construction of the Matenadaran began in 1945 and ended in 1957. The exterior was constructed of basalt but parts of the interior were made of other materials such as marble. In the 1960s, the statues of historical Armenian scholars, Toros Roslin, Grigor Tatevatsi, Anania Shirakatsi, Movses Khorenatsi, Mkhitar Gosh and Frik, were sculpted and placed on the left and right wings of the building’s exterior. The statues of Mesrop Mashots and his pupil are located below the terrace where the main building stands.
On May 14, 2009, upon the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Matenadaran, Armenian state and religious officials conducted the groundbreaking ceremony of the construction of a research institute being built adjacent to the Matenadaran. It is expected that construction of the building will be completed by September 2011.”
Gevork Nazaryan establishes through his scholarly study of ancient Armenian manuscripts that chanting the “harers” reveal the orgin of creation (ehoutioun or existence), how the soul comes down into the material world of matter and ignorance, and how the soul can be liberated and return to God.
THE LAST — SEVENTH CHANT — INVOKES THE RETURN
OF THE SOUL-SPIRIT TO THE SOURCE/FATHER [EATSUM -- GODHOOD] FINAL STATE.
Nazaryan further says that “THE [H]ARS [KRIST CONSCIOUSNESS] WERE CARRIED TO ALL PARTS OF THE WORLD BY ARMAN WISDOM SEERS FROM THE SACRED ARMAN/ARMIN/ARMEN [IRMIN] HIGHLAND.”
It is very significant that Nazaryan notes the (H)ares are synonymous with Krist consciousness. The name of Christ (Jesus) in English is derived from the Greek word Christos (which is also the Armenian word denoting Jesus Christ). Christos is derived from the ancient Sanskrit word Krista which is the diminutive form of Krishna, the name of God in Sanskrit which means the all attractive Supreme Personality of Godhead
who possesses all beauty, power, knowledge, fame, wealth and renunciation. Krishna also means the one who can stop birth and death. In other words Krishna is the name of the personal God from whom everything else emanates in the ancient Vedic tradition. Jesus Christ means that Jesus is the son of His Father Christ-Christos-Krista-Krishna.
Therefore, Nazaryan very correctly states the following:
MANY OF THE HOLY CHANTS WERE PRESERVED IN THE
MUCH RENOWNED AND STILL PRACTICED VEDIC MANTRAS
INCLUDING THE 8-FOLD MAHA-MANTRA OF RAMA KRISHNA [ARAM KRIST].
HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE
HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE
The meaning of the Hare Krishna Mantra is precisely explained by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the foremost exponent of Krishna philosophy in modern times. He writes,
“Rama and Krishna are names of God, and Hare is the energy of God. So when we chant the maha-mantra, we address God together with His energy. This energy is of two kinds, the spiritual and the material. At present we are in the clutches of the material energy. Therefore we pray to Krishna that He may kindly deliver us from the service of the material energy and accept us into the service of the spiritual energy. That is our whole philosophy. Hare Krishna means, “O energy of God (Hare), O God [Krishna], please engage me in Your service.” It is our nature to render service. Somehow or other we have come to the service of material things, but when this service is transformed into the service of the spiritual energy, then our life is perfect.” (Science of Self-realization which you can download for free from www.krishnapath.org)
This statement by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada collaborates the similar statement quoted by Nazaryan:
“THE LAST — SEVENTH CHANT — INVOKES THE RETURN
OF THE SOUL-SPIRIT TO THE SOURCE/FATHER [EATSUM -- GODHOOD] FINAL STATE.”
The Mahamantra Hare Krishna is called the great (maha) chant (mantra has two parts which is “man” which means the mind and “tra” means deliverance in Sanskrit). The Mahamantra Hare Krishna is the great chant for the deliverance of man from the cycle of birth and death so that one can return to the eternal kingdom of Krishna where there are unending activities of love and devotion between God and His intimate devotees.
The words Hare, which means the divine energy of devotion of Krishna personified by Krishna’s eternal consort Radha, and Krishna, the all attractive Supreme Personality of Godhead, and Rama, another name of Krishna which signifies He is the reservoir of all pleasure, when put together in the mantra conveys the meaning: “Oh merciful Radha, Oh Krishna, please always engage me in Your loving service.”
The Mahamantra is a sincere prayer asking God to please engage the devotee in His service eternally. There is no hint of any personal material desire in the mantra. Therefore, when one chants it sincerely, God reciprocates by engaging His devotee in the eternal activity of devotion and love. Six things happen when one chants the Mahamantra sincerely.
(1) One is quickly relieved of all miseries
(2) One feels happy
(3) One realizes that he is very fortunate
(4) One loses any desire for liberation
(5) One understands that such grace is very rarely achieved
(6) One becomes aware that such a path of pure devotion is the only way to attract Krishna to oneself
By sustained chanting of the mantra with proper guidance by a qualified spiritual mentor one can gradually attain to pure devotional service. Such pure service is characterized by six things.
(1) It is free of any material desires. The only concentration is to please Krishna.
(2) It is free of mental speculation. One supports all thoughts and opinions on authorized scriptural references like the Vedas and also cites collaborative statements of previous recognized saints. One does not venture to interpret spiritual knowledge with faulty speculative statements based on our imperfect senses and mental imagination.
(3) It is performed only for the pleasure of Krishna. Whatever is offered to Krishna with devotion is offered according to Krishna’s personally stated desire in scripture. If He desires milk, we do not offer
wine. The purpose is to render service favorably to the Lord.
(4) The devotee does not demand anything in return for his service.
(5) There is no interruption or vacation from the service. It is steady and determined regardless of any obstacles or material problems.
(6) There is no desire for liberation. One is satisfied in any condition whether in heaven or hell.
Further information about the state of consciousness attained by a pure devotee is given in the Bhagavad-gita.
BG 5.20: “A person who neither rejoices upon achieving something pleasant nor laments upon obtaining something unpleasant, who is self-intelligent, who is unbewildered, and who knows the science of God, is already situated in transcendence.
BG 5.21: Such a liberated person is not attracted to material sense pleasure but is always in trance, enjoying the pleasure within. In this way the self-realized person enjoys unlimited happiness, for he concentrates on the Supreme.
BG 5.22: An intelligent person does not take part in the sources of misery, which are due to contact with the material senses. O son of Kunti, such pleasures have a beginning and an end, and so the wise man does not delight in them.
BG 5.23: Before giving up this present body, if one is able to tolerate the urges of the material senses and check the force of desire and anger, he is well situated and is happy in this world.
BG 5.24: One whose happiness is within, who is active and rejoices within, and whose aim is inward is actually the perfect mystic. He is liberated in the Supreme, and ultimately he attains the Supreme.
BG 5.25: Those who are beyond the dualities that arise from doubts, whose minds are engaged within, who are always busy working for the welfare of all living beings, and who are free from all sins achieve liberation in the Supreme.
BG 5.26: Those who are free from anger and all material desires, who are self-realized, self-disciplined and constantly endeavoring for perfection, are assured of liberation in the Supreme in the very near future.
BG 5.27-28: Shutting out all external sense objects, keeping the eyes and vision concentrated between the two eyebrows, suspending the inward and outward breaths within the nostrils, and thus controlling the mind, senses and intelligence, the transcendentalist aiming at liberation becomes free from desire, fear and anger. One who is always in this state is certainly liberated.
BG 5.29: A person in full consciousness of Me, knowing Me to be the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods, and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attains peace from the pangs of material miseries.”
The verses 5.27-28 are further elaborated upon by Krishna in the sixth chapter. Krishna explains all the different processes of yoga or self-discipline for connecting eternally with God. Arjuna, the receiver of these instruction from Krishna is an active man of this world. He finds it impossible to sit down quietly in a lonely place and meditate. Arjuna politely asks questions Krishna in the sixth chapter,
BG 6.33: “Arjuna said: O Madhusudana, the system of yoga which You have summarized appears impractical and unendurable to me, for the mind is restless and unsteady.
BG 6.34: For the mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate and very strong, O Krsna, and to subdue it, I think, is more difficult than controlling the wind.”
Krishna answers Arjuna,
BG 6.35: “Lord Sri Krsna said: O mighty-armed son of Kunti, it is undoubtedly very difficult to curb the restless mind, but it is possible by suitable practice and by detachment.
BG 6.36: For one whose mind is unbridled, self-realization is difficult work. But he whose mind is controlled and who strives by appropriate means is assured of success. That is My opinion.”
Finally at the end of the sixth chapter Krishna pronounces His ultimate opinion.
BG 6.47: “And of all yogis, the one with great faith who always abides in Me, thinks of Me within himself, and renders transcendental loving service to Me — he is the most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all. That is My opinion.”
Therefore, the servant of God who has dedicated his or her entire life to serving the Lord favorably according to the instructions of the Lord is the most intimately united and the greatest of all yogis. All the other types of yoga, namely, performing good works (karma), developing knowledge (jnana), striving for mystical powers (astanga) are only stepping stones to the real goal which is pure unadulterated devotion (bhakti). Without bhakti, the other yogas are merely an obstacle to the real goal of pure devotion because one can become proud by the personal achievements of good works, knowledge and mystical powers and think wrongly that they have achieved the pinnacle of spiritual achievement.
One cannot attract God by becoming proud of personal achievements. One can attract God only by unalloyed devotion as was exemplified by Lord Jesus Christ, Hazrat Mohammed, Lord Caitanya, the Alvars and other Vaisnava acaryas like Ramanuja and Madhavacarya and the Armenian saint Narek and other Christian saints who have dedicated their lives to the Supreme God or His Son or His prophets without any personal motives.
Krishna summarizes His teaching to Arjuna by the following:
BG 8.7: “Therefore, Arjuna, you should always think of Me in the form of Krsna and at the same time carry out your prescribed duty of fighting. With your activities dedicated to Me and your mind and intelligence fixed on Me, you will attain Me without doubt.
BG 8.8: He who meditates on Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, his mind constantly engaged in remembering Me, undeviated from the path, he, O Partha (Arjuna), is sure to reach Me.”
BG 8.14: “For one who always remembers Me without deviation, I am easy to obtain, O son of Pritha, because of his constant engagement in devotional service.
BG 8.15: After attaining Me, the great souls, who are yogis in devotion, never return to this temporary world, which is full of miseries, because they have attained the highest perfection.”
The ancient wisdom of the Harers is preserved in the mantra Hare Krishna. One who chants sincerely and dedicates their life’s activities and thoughts to God’s service is eternally liberated from the cycle of birth and death and attains the spiritual world. The ancient wisdom of Armenia before it was corrupted in modern times whether pre-Christian or early Christian was meant to liberate man from the continual suffering of birth and death so that he could attain his original abode of transcendental existence in the company of God and His pure servants. The principle obstacle to this noble goal is lust and greed for domination and enjoyment of God’s material, temporary creation. Our delusional state of mind can only be corrected by unalloyed devotion to God under proper guidance of a pure teacher.
The Bible, Koran, Talmud, Vedas and all scriptures that are meant for the benefit of humanity recommend studying and serving under a genuine teacher who is expert in the science of God realization.
BG 4.34: Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth.
BG 4.35: “Having obtained real knowledge from a self-realized soul, you will never fall again into such illusion, for by this knowledge you will see that all living beings are but part of the Supreme, or, in other words, that they are Mine.”
The Hare Krishna Mahamantra – Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare is especially given to humanity in this present age when spiritual life is very difficult because of so much misinformation, false teachers and rampant materialism. Simply by chanting the Holy Names of God Hare Krishna and Rama one can easily be liberated from material ignorance and the cycle of birth and death. Because this age is so difficult, God has made the process of emancipation so simple.
eemahsdounnehruh pahrk bedee jahrahnkehn
paiytz ahnmeednehroun guhdahkuh ahnarhkoutioun beedee uhlah