achyut gopal das (27)

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"God is unlimited, so are the number of His devotees."

Every morning after the morning program in ISKCON temples and every time devotees offer their respects to the devotees of Lord Krishna, it is a custom to chant the phrase - "ananta koti vaishnava vrinda ki jai". It means - "all glories to the unlimited, countless devotees of the Lord". I got to witness a glimpse of this phrase in the recent annual Vrindavan Yatra. The Yatra itself had 7000 registered pilgrim devotees along side lakhs of
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A few days ago, there was our annual Ratha Yatra of Lord Jagannath in Panjim, the capital city of Goa. Lord Jagannath rode majestically in His majestic chariot in the most majestic street of Goa. It was a beautiful procession with devotees chanting and dancing enthusiastically for the pleasure of the Lord. Towards the end of the procession, it started to rain very heavily. Most devotees were still continuing to chant and dance undettered by the heavy down pour. But, I chose to shelter myself un
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Reading this topic, our mind naturally challenges - How can a pure devotee have defects? Shouldn't he, be free from defects? The 100% perfect person! The Mr. Perfect! 

The point is that a pure devotee can't be seen with material eyes and material logic. Just like Lord Krishna can't be seen with material eyes, so also His pure devotees. You need spiritual vision to appreciate God, His abode, His name and His devotees. Thus Bhakti Vinod Thakur, one of the greatest spiritual teachers of all times
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It is explained in the scriptures that on the route to the spiritual world, one will have to pass through the irresistibly attractive heavenly planets. Only very rare and fixed up souls are able to get ahead of these tests and boldly march ahead to the spiritual world. Most decide to take a break and engage in their rendezvous at the highly-eulogized heavenly pleasure gardens. Thinking about making my journey through these heavenly realms without getting stranded in these heavenly realms is a
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Every morning when I wake up and notice my breathing and observe my chest swelling up and down being pumped with air, I invariably remember a verse from the Srimad-bhagvatam which states that our breathing is like the breathing of the bellows of a blacksmith. Both the bellow and our body is made of leather. The bellow may feel that it is breathing on it's own and is fully independent but, it does not know that as soon as the blacksmith stops pumping air in it, it will stop breathing and lay li
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As devotees, we don't realise the great fortune of being able to wear the attire of a Vaishnava, apply Tilak on our forehead, wear Tulsi beads on our neck, chant the Holynames of Krishna, associate with His wonderful devotees, engage in His service, honour His prasadam, visit His holy dhamas, circumbulate Tulsi, see His holy deities, hear His Katha, participate in His festivals, read His words in the scriptures. These are by no way ordinary activities. These are blessings of an immeasurable kin

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Be Excited by Achyut Gopal Das

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 How many of you want to see Krishna and meet Him? Here is a good news - Krishna is more eager to show Himself to us than we are to see Him. We just need to be excited to want to see Him. Krishna is always somewhere around the corner waiting to reveal His darshan to us.

He could reveal Himself in any Mahamantra that we chant. He could pop out of any page of the Bhagavad-Gita or Srimad-Bhagvatam that we read. He can show Himself in any of His deity that we see. He could reveal Himself through a
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Offering obeisances to the Supreme Lord in His deity form may superficially look like a very small and a simple activity. But, it is one one of the very important and significant aspect of Bhakti. Therefore Lord Krishna stresses the importance of offering obeisances to Him in one of the most important verse of the Bhagvat-gita in chapter 9, verse 34.
 
"man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi yuktvaivam
ātmānaṁ mat-parāyaṇaḥ"
 
"Engage your mind always in thinking of Me,
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To Hell with Lust by Achyut Gopal Das

Yayati.devayani.jpg?profile=RESIZE_710xLust is something that is so much eulogized by the world and it is something that occupies all of one's mind space and heart space. It is a powerful energy that can potentially consume anyone and everyone in it's magical grip. Even though it is so much the goal of everyone in this world, the wise and the experienced see it as a peace sucking, hellish emotion. We may consider lust to be our best friend but the reality is that, lust is our worst enemy which will destroy our peace, our happiness,
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"Oh Lord, please transfer the attraction I have towards the objects of this world to You."

We all know the story of King Bharat from Srimad-bhagvatam who became attached to a baby deer, so much so that, he forgot to perform devotional service to The Supremely Dear Lord. Thus, his attachment and attraction to The Dear Lord was replaced by his newfound attachment and attraction to this deer. This deer became his dear deer. The result - in his next life, he was born as a baby deer. Lord Krishna ex
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Selfless Love by Achyut Gopal Das

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I recently saw a loving father who was selflessly taking care of his mischievous child. I was observing the exhibition of his tolerance. I was left wondering about all the troubles I must have given my parents and the extent of tolerance and patience they must have exhibited in raising me up.

Whatever we are and where ever we are in life is because of the selfless sacrifice of so many people. We should always remember the sacrifices others have made for us and are making for us and feel gratefu
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Time to Wake Up by Achyut Gopal Das

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"jīv jāgo, jīv jāgo, gauracānda bole

kota nidrā jāo māyā-piśācīra kole"

"Lord Gauranga is calling, "Wake up, sleeping souls! Wake up, sleeping souls! How long will you sleep in the lap of the witch called Maya?" - from a song by Bhaktivinode Thakur.
 
When someone is fast asleep and he needs to woken up, there are two ways to do it. One is "a soft way" and the other, is "the hard way". The soft way is by making a sound or by ringing an alarm and the hard way is by shaking the person up till h
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Don't build your house in shifting sand, build it on a solid rock foundation." - Paraphrased from the teachings of Jesus Christ.

As I close my eyes to chant japa and open my eyes a little while later, I notice that something has changed. Either someone who was chanting along has got up and left or someone new joins the chanting. As I close my eyes to chant in the Kirtan on the beach and open my eyes a little while later, I notice that the scene has changed. As I go outside Goa for a few days fo
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Good To Expect Bad by Achyut Gopal Das

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Mosquitoes are something that bother me and very often as an unconscious reflex action and many times as a conscious action, I catch myself killing many of them. This is just one of the many sins and offenses I commit, mentally, verbally and physically. How can I then not expect any reactions for these actions of mine. Why should I pray for a life of no difficulties. Rather, I should be praying to God to give me my quota of reactions so that I learn my lessons quickly and rectify my offensive a
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"Being grateful is a state of consciousness, a state awakened awareness. Are we grateful for every breath we breathe?" - Radhanath Swami
 
Every opportunity that comes to us in life, we should learn to be grateful for. We can't take anything for granted. I recently got the opportunity to go to Mauritius and had a good experience there but, if it was not for Krishna's mercy, so many things could have gone wrong. It could have rained heavily and spoilt the experience. I could have got sick there
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No Gaurantee by Achyut Gopal Das

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There is no guarantee that a strong person will live long or a weak person will die soon. There is no guarantee that an educated person will be successful or an uneducated person will be a failure. There is no guarantee that a pious person will not become sinner or an impious person will not become a saint. There is no guarantee that a rich man's son will not become poor or a poor man's son will not become rich. There is no guarantee that one who joined the race early will be the first to fin
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Life's Tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late." - Benjamin Franklin

As I carefully see the mirror and observe my face, I notice a few strands of white hair in my chin area. Time has passing is a known fact but never expected it to pass so soon. It appears that I recently passed out of college and entered my youth but I now realize that I am almost 36 years old and a grown up adult, at least physiologically. I also realize that there is a long way to go till I become a psycholog
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The Art Of Heart by Achyut Gopal Das

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Devotion means attention to details." - Radhanath Swami

As I was having my breakfast at our ISKCON-run restaurant at Vrindavan, I saw one lady chef cut a piece of cake, neatly place it on the center of the plate and wipe the excess cake markings very meticulously with a tissue paper. It was then served to the customer with a knife and fork. I very much appreciated the devotion this lady put in her job. No wonder, why people spend so much extra money in going to high-quality restaurants which
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"Life is fragile - handle with prayer."

A few days back in Goa, while raining it thundered so loud that it literally scared many people. I was inside our ashram staring at the sky through the window and imagining what would happen if the lightning entered in the room being attracted by the mobile next to me. I then brushed off this possibility as rare and continued my work. Just a few hours later, one of my friend came to meet me. In the course of our discussion, he told me that a few weeks ago
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"The main thing is to keep the main thing as the main thing."

Here are few musings from the books of Radhanath Swami. Simple, little stories but with profound meanings that can permanently alter our consciousness if we allow them to.

The first is a story from his memoir, "The Journey Home". During his travels in the Himalayas, he reached the holy city of Rishikesh. There, he took a month-long vow to fast and meditate on a rock in the Ganges to receive enlightenment. After successfully completin
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