achyut gopal das (19)

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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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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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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From This Ocean To That by Achyut Gopal Das

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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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 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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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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"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 o
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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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"The process of Krishna consciousness will empower us when we empower it."

The other day as I was taking a bath, the plastic bucket I was using, slipped and cracked. A piece from the rim of the bucket broke off and cut my finger. As I was waiting for the bucket to refill with water, I noticed that even after a long time the bucket wasn't filling up. It's at that time, I noticed a "not so apparent" crack at the bottom of the bucket which was causing all the water to leak out. I drew a lesson f
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"kartum akartum anyatha kartum"
"Everything happening, not happening or otherwise happening is His happening."

A few days ago, I had the opportunity to participate in a retreat for brahmacharis (monks) connected to the Radha Gopinath temple, Mumbai at the Govardhan Eco Village - the farm project of Radha Gopinath temple. Among other feelings, retreats like these always leaves you feeling a little more grounded and humble. You feel small in front of hundreds of other accomplished monks. The sayi
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Just like we have our mother who gives birth to our material body, to whom we owe our body, we also have our Eternal Mother to whom we owe our very soul. In different religions, She is called and addressed by different names. In Vedic culture, She is addressed as Sita, Lakshmi or Radha - the consort of our Supreme Father. She is our Mother God, our Mother Supreme. The scriptures abundantly and extensively glorify This Supreme Mother - Her love, Her compassion and Her grace for all of us. A mo
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The Mystery of Life by Achyut Gopal Das

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On 1st September, morning one of our very senior devotee from our Goa congregation, H.G. Gopanand Prabhu left his body. His life has been a glorious one, fully dedicated to practicing the principles of Krishna consciousness. Sitting near his body and chanting the Holynames in this final journey of his, I was wondering about the mystery of life. His body was appearing as if deep in sleep but this is such a sleep that one doesn't wake up from. What kind of mysterious life has God made! The body
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At night while sleeping I played on some devotional Bhajans on my mobile in a very low volume. In the early morning while I was awake, all of a sudden the music stopped playing. As you guessed it rightly - the mobile got discharged and it switched off. I was thinking that my life is like this mobile, anytime it can get fully discharged and stop functioning. After all, our body is also a mechanical material device like a mobile. That the body is going to fall dead is a given fact. What is impor
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Suffering Blissfully by Achyut Gopal Das

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"Whether we fear pain and suffering or not, pain and suffering will come to everyone. Why not keep our minds focused on where we want to go?" - Radhanath Swami

PURE SUFFERING
As soon as one takes to the role of being a preacher, one thing that invariably happens is that people come to you explaining their woes and sorrows. Probably because they see you as someone who knows a little more and is a little more spiritual than them and because they trust you, they open up their life in front of you
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"No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness." - Aristotle

Consider this. Every successful person was once considered crazy by the world because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. In fact one symptom that you are going to be successful is when people start calling you crazy. Let's look at a few examples to prove the point. 

SUCCESS MADNESS
 
  1. When the Wright brothers announced to the world that they were going to make a flying
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