Bhakta PSR's Posts (3)

Where We Belong

I'm starting to realize that I don't belong here. As I look at myself and everyone around me, ranging from my family and friends, to the random people out in the world, all I see are souls trapped in material bondage. Except the difference with me is that I see it and I know that this shouldn't be the case. I thank Krishna's mercy and grace for this realization.

Everyone else is always striving after sense pleasure. Majority of people chase after money, because after all, when abused, this gives access to sense pleasure. We cannot even escape money because the world operates through money, and we are trapped in this world.

One quote in the bible that I'll never forget goes something like "we are in the world, but not of it." Maybe that's why I, and maybe other devotees feel that we don't belong here. Because we are not of this world! Our true nature is to be with Krishna and in his eternal service.

But since we are stuck here, the best we can do to not forget Krishna is to use the stuff of this world (except the ones relating to the 4 regulative principles) to His service. Is the money we are using reminding us of Krishna? Is it doing Him and his devotees service?

It's very hard to always remember Krishna due to our entrapment. But I pray for his mercy and grace so that we may always remain conscious of him so that we can finally be where we belong: with Him in His service.

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Surrender Leads to Obedience

BG 18.66:
Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me.
I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions.
Do not fear.

In this verse, Krishna tells Arjuna to forget about everything he had just learned. This sounds quite funny if you think about it, because Arjuna learned quite a lot, and now he is being asked to abandon all of them and just simply surrender to Krishna.

It may seem funny, but there is a perfectly good reason why Krishna ends his discussion with Arjuna with this statement. It's because the surrender to Krishna out of love and devotion will naturally produce the desire to follow Him. This surrender will lead to the obedience towards the religion of Krishna!

When you surrender or submit to someone, like a king for example, it means that you subject yourself to that king's laws. At the same time, when you submit to Krishna, you subject yourself to his laws. You cannot surrender to someone and not devote yourself to him. Because if you don't devote yourself to him, then that is not complete surrender.

Therefore, surrender to Krishna, and by His grace, He will give you the love and devotion to obey Him. Forget about everything, just surrender to Him, and he will see to the rest.

It all begins with surrender, and obedience will follow.

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The Beginning of My Journey

I have always been attracted to religion and spirituality. I grew up as a Catholic, because it is the dominant religion in my country (Philippines), but when I became a teenager, I began exploring different religions and philosophies.

I would read about Buddhism and Taoism. I would also read up on some unusual stuff like Hermetics and Wicca. There was even a stage in my life where I was angry at God and became an atheist. However, I felt deep inside me that it is impossible for this universe to not have a creator and ruler, so I became a believer again but with no religous or philosophical affiliation.

The exploration slowed down and ran into a halt after I became a born again Christian about 3 years ago. Because of this religion, I was learning more about God, his sovereignty, and how I should be humble towards Him and all creation. The more that I was learning and accepting towards the philosophy of Christianity, the more that I thought and was convinced that Christianity is the only real religion, as they claim to be. I was becoming a bigot, and I started to see and feel it's disastrous effects on my friends, family, and myself.

I couldn't handle the effects anymore, so I decided to give up on being a born again Christian. However, I can never give up on God. Since I was "religionless" I began to search again, but I thought that I had never given "Hinduism" a try. So I Googled for a Hindu temple in Manila, and three temples came up, but one of them had a more familiar name, since it had "ISKCON" in it. So I contacted them and I got in touch with the temple president who's name is Mahendra Das.

He was very open to me, and was receptive of all my questions, which I very much appreciated. He then told me to attend one Sunday, and so I did. I remember already singing and chanting along with the other devotees during kirtan. And when Mahendra was giving the Gita lecture, I became more interested on what the Gita had to say. So they gave me Srila Prabhupadas Bhagavad Gita As It Is for a discounted price, and started reading some more. Also, Prasadam is the best food I've ever had!

This all happened about 2 months ago, but as of now, I can say that I'm very happy that I've found a religion with ALL  the answers. I can see that my previous experience with Christianity was also a learning process given to me by Krishna, and now, He has dispelled my bigotry with Krishna Consciousness. I believe that my friends and family can also feel the change in me, however, most of them still don't know that I am involved with ISKCON.

As of now, I am happily following the four regulative principles, trying to chant as much of the mahamantra as I can, and trying to wake up during brahma muhurta every day. Hopefully, by Krishnas grace, I can make some advancement.

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