ridewithin


austerity.
April 28, 2007, 2:54 am
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Sometimes, various personalities think my life is not austere enough. Would it be better to stick my head in the sand? Austerities are relative to an environment and a person.

One time I was riding on a bus in South India and I was very uncomfortable. I was trying to put my finger on why I was having such a hard time to be content with my environment. The leg room was two inches too short, the metal bars over the windows allowed my head to again and again bang against them, the television’s volume was beyond deafening, opening windows only allowed hot air mixed with dust to enter, and the travel food was fried puris with hot pickle. The bus was always a few hours late leaving/arriving and if you had to “pass water”, you had to get off the bus and squat down on the side of the road to do so. Why was I suffering and the other Indian boys not? I came to the conclusion that I was suffering because I have tasted comfort. I know what its like to travel in a bus which you can extend your legs, I know how proper air conditioning keeps one cool, I know what 7-11 can provide to a hungry traveler and i know what its like to get places as scheduled and paid for. I even appreciated American rest areas where you can relax in the grass, have a picnic, and now a days use free wireless internet. Those other Indian boys have never experienced anything else but similar bus rides. My mind was always frustrated thinking, “why is it not like it should be as in America?”

Another time in India I had Nutritional yeast and Braggs liquid aminos with me in Chowpatty temple. At that time I was just eating rice or chappati. I couldn’t digest much. I would layer everything with braggs or yeast to give it a little flavor. One other brahmacari asked if he could try it. I looked at him with my eyebrow up saying,”you probably wont like it but go for it if you want.” Then Govinda prabhu stopped the boy and said, “What will you do if you like it?” It was a wonderful point about comfort. What would he do if he liked it? What kind of trouble would he have to go through to satisfy his new found taste? Once we experience something we like we continue to desire to have it or expect to have it when we want. If we don’t have the facility to obtain it then we will simply suffer in its absence.

Seeing this picture of this yogi I took in Rishikesh, left me thinking about the austerities we perform on a daily weekly basis to do our services. For me as an “American boy”, following the regulative principles, chanting my 16 rounds, reading each day, speaking pleasantly, keeping good relationships, and sharing Kc with others is hard enough. I don’t know what else I can do? All the American comforts keep calling me, emailing me, text messaging me, and standing before me with folded hands begging “how can we serve”.

*** this week of preaching has left me up past twelve each night and right now even though I am back at the temple I can’t get to sleep. Who will break first, my bad habits or me?

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Back to Rishikesh
April 21, 2007, 12:24 am
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Now that the weather is nice again I rekindled my yoga practice. It was long over due. The day just called for a good time out on the lake. Yoga by the lake in New Vrindaban is a true opulence. The birds were chirping, the sun was glistening off the lakes water and the swans were gracefully observing my actions. Over all a great opportunity to appreciate all the hard labor the devotees went through to create such an atmosphere. Its hard to believe so few of us are here to enjoy the fruits of that devotion.

The morning reminded me that I had to get back to finishing the postings from our India trip.

While walking about Rishikesh you get to see many wonderful things. One morning I met with some yogis on the street. They were not your normal new age Europeans but clan of yoga kids out to take your money!





As for the common man…
April 20, 2007, 2:38 am
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Tonight at our Thursday gathering in New Vrindaban, Viko Prabhu revealed to me a nice verse which enhanced our last Bhagavatam quote about outreach.

BG 13.26

TRANSLATION
Again there are those who, although not conversant in spiritual knowledge, begin to worship the Supreme Person upon hearing about Him from others. Because of their tendency to hear from authorities, they also transcend the path of birth and death.

PURPORT
This verse is particularly applicable to modern society because in modern society there is practically no education in spiritual matters. Some of the people may appear to be atheistic or agnostic or philosophical, but actually there is no knowledge of philosophy. As for the common man, if he is a good soul, then there is a chance for advancement by hearing. This hearing process is very important. Lord Caitanya, who preached Krsna consciousness in the modern world, gave great stress to hearing because if the common man simply hears from authoritative sources, he can progress, especially, according to Lord Caitanya, if he hears the transcendental vibration Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. It is stated, therefore, that all men should take advantage of hearing from realized souls and gradually become able to understand everything. The worship of the Supreme Lord will then undoubtedly take place. Lord Caitanya has said that in this age no one needs to change his position, but one should give up the endeavor to understand the Absolute Truth by speculative reasoning. One should learn to become the servant of those who are in knowledge of the Supreme Lord. If one is fortunate enough to take shelter of a pure devotee, hear from him about self-realization and follow in his footsteps, he will be gradually elevated to the position of a pure devotee. In this verse particularly, the process of hearing is strongly recommended, and this is very appropriate. Although the common man is often not as capable as so-called philosophers, faithful hearing from an authoritative person will help one transcend this material existence and go back to Godhead, back to home.



My Inspiration…
April 17, 2007, 12:54 pm
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Please read this verse. I find Srila Prabhupada’s words in the last paragraph particularly call out to all those in this movement trying to share what they have been blessed with.

Srimad Bhagavatam 1.5.16

vicakshano ‘syarhati veditum vibhor

ananta-parasya nivrittitah sukham

pravartamanasya gunair anatmanas

tato bhavan darsaya ceshtitam vibhoh

TRANSLATION

The Supreme Lord is unlimited. Only a very expert personality, retired from the activities of material happiness, deserves to understand this knowledge of spiritual values. Therefore those who are not so well situated, due to material attachment, should be shown the ways of transcendental realization, by Your Goodness, through descriptions of the transcendental activities of the Supreme Lord.

PURPORT

Theological science is a difficult subject, especially when it deals with the transcendental nature of God. It is not a subject matter to be understood by persons who are too much attached to material activities. Only the very expert, who have almost retired from materialistic activities by culture of spiritual knowledge, can be admitted to the study of this great science. In the Bhagavad-gita it is clearly stated that out of many hundreds and thousands of men only one person deserves to enter into transcendental realization. And out of many thousands of such transcendentally realized persons, only a few can understand the theological science specifically dealing with God as a person. Sri Vyasadeva is therefore advised by Narada to describe the science of God directly by relating His transcendental activities. Vyasadeva is himself a personality expert in this science, and he is unattached to material enjoyment. Therefore he is the right person to describe it, and Sukadeva Gosvami, the son of Vyasadeva, is the right person to receive it.

Srimad-Bhagavatam is the topmost theological science, and therefore it can react on the laymen as medicinal doses. Because it contains the transcendental activities of the Lord, there is no difference between the Lord and the literature. The literature is the factual literary incarnation of the Lord. So the laymen can hear the narration of the activities of the Lord. Thereby they are able to associate with the Lord and thus gradually become purified from material diseases. The expert devotees also can discover novel ways and means to convert the nondevotees in terms of particular time and circumstance. Devotional service is dynamic activity, and the expert devotees can find out competent means to inject it into the dull brains of the materialistic population. Such transcendental activities of the devotees for the service of the Lord can bring a new order of life to the foolish society of materialistic men. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His subsequent followers exhibited expert dexterity in this connection. By following the same method, one can bring the materialistic men of this age of quarrel into order for peaceful life and transcendental realization.



New Vrindaban Bicycle and Adventure Club
April 16, 2007, 2:22 am
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Announcing for the first time ever:
New Vrindaban Community Bicycle and Adventure Club

Join the Club!
For Only $25 Dollars you get:

Club T-shirt
Free bicycle maintenance/training
Opportunities for Organized Bicycle Touring, Hiking, and Camping
and more!

Man, Woman, Young, or Old! The whole family should join!
Membership is not limited to New Vrindaban Residents.

Contact
Balaramacandra das
347-414-2139
ridewithin@gmail.com



vaisnava seva…
April 15, 2007, 2:27 am
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The strategic mission to take down and personally “serve” each of the evenings participants was successful.



joy.
April 15, 2007, 2:25 am
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this is what a loving relationship looks like.