Since it is the appearance day of Sri Madhvacharya (25th October, 2020) we will be discussing about this Great Acharya and his past times.
There are 4 Sampradaya’s that come from Krishna. The heads of 4 Sampradaya’s are Brahma, Lakshmi (Sree Sampradaya), Kumara and Rudra Sampradaya. So, if we want to get transcendental knowledge, we have to approach one of the 4 Sampradayas. The material world is often described as a well. And if you are fallen in a well and want to be rescued, we need some help. So, there are four ropes which come to this well, and these are the Sampradayas mentioned above . And if you hold on to any one of the Sampradayas and follow the teachings of any of these Acharya’s in these Sampradayas then you are pulled out of this material well.
Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita 4:2 that this supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appearing is lost. Five thousand years ago it was detected by the Lord Himself that the disciplic succession was broken, and therefore He declared that the purpose of the Gita appeared to be lost. In the same way, at the present moment also there are so many editions of the Gita (especially in English), but almost all of them are not according to authorized disciplic succession. So, it is necessary to receive transcendental knowledge only through disciplic successions. Madhvacharya is a very powerful Acharya .Krishna is the original Guru, he is the Jagath Guru, he gave his knowledge to Brahma and Brahma gave this to Narada muni and Narada gave to Vyasa and Vyasa gave it to Madhvacharya. He appeared about 800 years back in this Kaliyuga. He is the combined incarnation of Bhima, Vayu and Hanuman. (Bheema appeared in Dwapara Yuga,and Hanuman appeared in Treta yuga). And Bhima and Hanuman are known as the great devotee of the Lord and also had physical strength. One-time Madhvacharya was given 4000 bananas and 30 pitchers of milk and he consumed that within a minute. Everyone was surprised but he is Bhima who is called as Vrikodara one who eat voraciously and he used to do herculean tasks for Krishna. He singles handedly wiped out all the Kauravas.
Madhvacharya who was known as Vasudev, when he was 10-year-old he wanted to preach Krishna consciousness all over the world, wanted to distribute the love of God to everyone for that he wanted to take Sanyas .He told his desire to his father. His father did not have a child for a long time and by the grace of the Lord he got a son and now the son wanted to accept Sanyas so his father did not want this happen. Little Madhvacharya had a stick in his hand and he was raising this stick and was telling his father that he wanted to preach. So, his father said that if the stick in his hand can become a tree then he can accept Sanyas. His father thought it was impossible for a stick to become a tree. Vasudev broke the stick in to 3 parts and put in ground and right before their eye’s trees came out. His father was very astonished. Later Madhvacharya took Sanyas under Achyuta Preka.
During those days Sankara philosophy, the Mayavadi philosophy (VAD means doctrine) was very prominent. And Shankaracharya had written a commentary on Vedanta sutra called Sharirik Bhashya .So his Guru although a devotee was influenced by this philosophy. Some basic tenets of Shankaracharya’s philosophy are as follows :God and the soul are identical; the formless, senseless, impersonal Absolute is the only reality; all else is illusion; and the incarnations of God are all products of illusion. This means they don’t consider Krishna’s form as real .They think everything is an illusion. Brahma Satyam Jagat Mithya. But in Vaishnava philosophy we don’t say everything is false. We say everything is there and that Krishna’s energy is real. Our perception of energy is distorted that is why we say it is an illusion if we change our consciousness and see properly then it is not an illusion actually. So, Madhvacharya wanted to defeat this Mayavad Philosophy.
As a child Madhvacharya performed wonderful pastimes. One time there was a venomous snake came to bite him and this snake in previous yuga was a demon whom Bhima fought and he had escaped. And now in Kaliyuga this demon took the birth of a snake and wanted to take revenge against Madhvacharya who was Bhima in his former birth but he got crushed in to a powder under the feet of Madhvacharya. The rock where the snake was crushed had left the mark on the rock and it is still there in some place in Udupi, Karnataka.
Madhvacharya established the temple in Udupi. Once he was sitting at the seashore and meditating on Lord Krishna, Madhva saw a huge merchant ship in danger and signaled the crew safely to shore. Since the boat’s owners wanted to reward him, Madhva agreed to accept a chunk of Gopi-candana ( Gopi Candana is coming from a place in Dwaraka called Gopi Talab or Gopi Kund, it is also said it is foot dust of the Gopi’s),clay from Krishna’s land of Vrindavan. As the crew members were bringing the big chunk before him, it broke apart and revealed a Deity form of Lord Krishna, and Balram murti. So Madhvacharya understood this is the divine arrangement of the lord. Then he established this Deity in Udupi. This is Krishna in Balagopal form. He has a churning rod in one hand and a stick in another as a little boy doing mischief with Yashoda. This Deity also has a history. When Jarasandha was attacking Mathura because Krishna had killed Kamsa and some of Jarasandha’s daughters were married to Kamsa became widows. So now Jarasandha wanted to take revenge against Krishna. So, to protect all the residents of Mathura Krishna transported them to Dwaraka overnight. Sometime we will be surprised how can this happen. But actually, the Lord can do anything, he has inconceivable potency . Devaki and Vasudev were also transported to Dwaraka. One-time Devaki tells Krishna that she never got an opportunity to witness Krishna’s childhood past times since he was transported to Vrindavan due to fear of Kamsa and was raised by mother Yashoda and Nandagopa. So, Devaki asks Krishna is it possible for Krishna to show his childhood past times. So, to fulfill his Mother’s wish Krishna who was already married to Rukmini and to other Queens shows his child hood pastimes to his mother as a baby eating butter, playing with butter, crawling on Devaki’s lap and Devaki was feeling very much enlightenment. Then Rukmini Devi who was witnessing this said to Krishna that she wanted to worship him in this Balagopal form. And she made this Deity. And later as years passed this Deity was forgotten and was buried in Gopi Talav (Gopi Talab or pond), a pond situated in Dwaraka. And it was rescued and this merchant somehow got it and was transported the Deity in the ship and it came to Udupi and was installed by Madhvacharya.
When Madhvacharya wanted to write about Vedanta Sutra he went high up in the Badri hill (also called as Upper Badri or Adi Badri) where no one can actually go and he met Vyasadeva. He was stout and strong, since he was the incarnation of Vayu too. His Vedanta Sutra commentary is called as Purna-pragnya. Then he showed his commentary to his Guru and he appreciated it very much and is considered as authentic. One time he was in Kurukshetra he showed his disciples his maze which he used to kill all the Kauravas as Bhima, and it was very huge and then he buried it.
We owe a lot to Madhvacharya since he established the principles of devotional service. Krishna, who is known as Hari is the Supreme Lord, the Absolute.The jivas, or souls, are different from the Supreme Lord.The jivas are by nature servants of the Supreme Lord. In BG chapter 2.12 Krishna says that “Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be”. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the supreme individual person, and Arjuna, the Lord’s eternal associate, and all the kings assembled there are individual, eternal persons. It is not that they did not exist as individuals in the past, and it is not that they will not remain eternal persons. Their individuality existed in the past, and their individuality will continue in the future without interruption. Therefore, there is no cause for lamentation for anyone. In BG. 15.7 also Krishna says ,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. As fragmental parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord, the living entities have also fragmental qualities, of which independence is one. Every living entity has an individual soul, his personal individuality and a minute form of independence. By misuse of that independence, one becomes a conditioned soul, and by proper use of independence he is always liberated. In either case, he is qualitatively eternal, as the Supreme Lord is. In his liberated state he is freed from this material condition, and he is under the engagement of transcendental service unto the Lord; in his conditioned life he is dominated by the material modes of nature, and he forgets the transcendental loving service of the Lord. As a result, he has to struggle very hard to maintain his existence in the material world.
Caitanya Mahaprabhu took 2 points from each Sampradaya
From Madhava Sampradaya—defeat of Mayavadi philosophy, installing Deities in the temple and worship of the Deities.
Ramanuja Sampradaya – unalloyed devotion to Krishna and service to devotees
This shows that by pure devotional service one can attain Krishna’s abode and we have to follow the steps of greatest Acharyas.
How to overcome Anxiety
Here we will be discussing about:
What is Anxiety?
What are the symptoms of Anxiety?
What are the ways which we can solve the Anxiety’s in our life?
Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. It can lead to Stress, worry, fear. In modern life there is so much stress and anxiety. This material world is considered as “Kunda”, a place full of dangers. This material world is certified even by the Lord in the Bhagavad-Gītā as a dangerous place full of calamities. Less intelligent persons prepare plans to adjust to those calamities without knowing that the nature of this place is itself full of calamities. The effects of anxiety will be Blood pressure, depression, loss of sleep, drinking, domestic violence, people will try to kill each other. In 12th canto of Srimad Bhagavatam clearly describes as the Kaliyuga progress the life span of man will be decreasing (30 years), truthfulness, mercy, tolerance, physical strength, memory will diminish day by day, they will be unfortunate, lazy, misguided and disturbed always.
Sometimes we need some anxiety’s in our life to make us responsible in our life otherwise we won’t be going to our work place on time, will be neglectful of our duties and responsibilities in our life. Often, we want to be free from anxiety’s because we want to lead a quality life, we want to be happy. By nature, we are part and parcel of Krishna so we have the inbuild tendency to be happy . But often it is not possible. If we find ourselves in anxiety, we can attend a stress management seminar, or take a walk-in nature, do some yoga, aerobic exercises, help others. You will feel good. In Srimad Bhagavatam Krishna says that with one’s life one should work for the welfare of others. Sometime we can do material welfare work that makes us feel good but here Krishna is talking about the ultimate goal. The problems with material ways of dealing with anxiety is that if you have a material problem and if you have a material solution it will not provide a full solution to your problem. It is like stop gap arrangement; it works for sometimes then some new problem comes. It does not completely free us. We may be free for some time but again some other form of anxiety keeps coming in our life .
Sometimes due to anxiety there will be some chemical imbalances in the brain so we need some treatment. Like our gross body can have some disease our subtle body also will have some disease. Here the subtle body is the mind. Mainly it is caused by the imbalances of the Vayu’s. In Ayurveda everything is a balance of Vata, pita and Kapha. There are two different kinds of Anxiety’s. Material and Spiritual and there is a difference between the two . The material anxiety is based on our happiness but spiritual anxiety is based on giving transcendental pleasure to Krishna. For example, Srila Prabupada had spiritual anxiety of how to save the conditioned souls, how to spread Krishna consciousness. That anxiety is based on service to the Lord and devotees but material anxiety is based on some obstacle in the path of our happiness sometimes it can be economical, financial, things happened in the past like whether I will be a success or failure, fear of unknown, what others think of me, will others like me etc. . In the prayers of Kunti Devi in Srimad Bhagavatham she prays to Krishna that she wants to get more distress , so she can remember Lord. But in this material world we will never do that. If thinks are going nice, we get carried away by the happiness around us but when there is anxiety or distress, we are remembering God. So, the best way to handle our anxieties are to focus on Spirituality that is the real way. Become more and more Krishna consciousness.
How to become Krishna conscious. Srila Rupa Goswami in Nectar of devotion says 64 items out of which 5 are very important which is
Naam, Dham, Deity Worship and Sadhu Sanga:
1) Chanting the holy name: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama ,Rama Rama Hare Hare.
2) Association of devotees,
3) Living in a holy place like Vrindavan
4) Regularly hearing Srimad Bhagavatam
5) Bhagavad seva ( Deity worship)
If we do this, we will understand who we are. We will develop the real taste of devotional service, like chanting. Right now, our chanting is different from our Acharya’s like Narada Muni, Srila Rupa Goswami. We are waiting for our rounds to get finished but the realization, the happiness these Acharya’s get is tremendous. The question is matter of realization and the degree of realization. There are various degrees and we have to start somewhere. The more we involve in spiritual things we will understand more who are. It is like waking up from a dream and anchoring ourselves to the reality. In material world we are adjusting to the changing situations because of it our body is subjected to anxiety. When we are anchored to reality of whom we are then we do not take in to consideration the external situation, the very changing situation seriously. When we engage in devotional service, we will have the realization that we are spirit soul, part and parcel of Krishna, and we have gone through many life’s, and this life is not our first life and this life will determine our next life . We will understand about the nature of the soul. Right now we have some realization that is why we are chanting the Holy name of the Lord, attending Bhagavad Gita classes etc. So, we have to increase our chanting of the Holy name more.
There are five levels of consciousness:
1) avrta-cetana, covered consciousness – Trees, plants, creepers, mountains…
2) sankucita-cetana, contracted, shrunken consciousness – Aquatics, birds, beasts…
3) mukulita-cetana, budding consciousness – Only Human beings
4) vikacita-cetana, blossoming consciousness – Only Human beings
5) purna-vikacita-cetana, completely blossomed consciousness – Only Human beings
Within the body there are five different departments of existence, known as anna-maya, prana-maya, mano-maya, vijnana-maya, and at last, ananda-maya. In the beginning of life, every living entity is food conscious. A child or an animal is satisfied only by getting nice food. This stage of consciousness, in which the goal is to eat sumptuously, is called anna-maya. Annameans “food.” After this one lives in the consciousness of being alive. If one can continue his life without being attacked or destroyed, one thinks himself happy. This stage is called prana-maya, or consciousness of one’s existence. After this stage, when one is situated on the mental platform, his consciousness is called mano-maya. The materialistic civilization is primarily situated in these three stages, anna-maya, prana-maya, and mano-maya. The first concern of civilized persons is economic development, the next concern is defense against being annihilated, and the next consciousness is mental speculation, the philosophical approach to the values of life. If by the evolutionary process of philosophical life, one happens to reach the platform of intellectual life and understands that he is not this material body but a spiritual soul, he is situated in the vijnana-mayastage. Then, by evolution in spiritual life, he comes to the understanding of the Supreme Lord, or the Supreme Soul. When one develops his relationship with Him and executes devotional service, that stage of life is called Krishna consciousness, the ananda-mayastage. When our senses are purified, they are freed from all material stages, namely anna-maya, prana-maya, mano-maya, and vijnana-maya, and they become situated in the highest stage—ananda-maya, or blissful life in Krishna consciousness.
This verse in BG: 9.26 is repeated many times in Srimad Bhagavatam telling how to do devotional service to Krishna
patram puspam phalam toyam
yo me bhaktya prayacchati
tad aham bhakty-upahrtam
Translation: If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit a water, I will accept it.
Also, this verse is repeated in Srimad Bhagavatam many time (3.27.4, 4.29.35,4.29.73.,11.22.56,11.28.30.)
arthe hy avidyamāne ’pisaṁsṛtir na nivartatedhyāyato viṣayān asyasvapne ’narthāgamo yathā
Translation: Actually, a living entity is transcendental to material existence, but because of his mentality of lording it over material nature, his material existential condition does not cease, and just as in a dream, he is affected by all sorts of disadvantages.
In one sense material life is like a dream. The soul thinks I am this body. It is like sleeping and dreaming. For example, you see a tiger chasing you in a dream. The experience is real, tiger chasing. It causes anxiety. But if it is a good dream, we want to continue to see that dream . This means as far as you are dreaming you are suffering. Another example is like watching a movie. When we are getting absorbed in movie sometimes, we cry, laugh, but it is not real it is just a drama our emotions are absorbed in the movie. So, material life is also like that we experience these emotions because we are absorbed in its reality. Another example is a cricket match going on between Indian and Pakistan. In both countries, people will be watching with full enthusiasm and are really absorbed in the game but an outsider say an American is not interested in the match because they are not emotionally invested in the game like us, the more we become invested in the dream the more we are going to experience this feeling. But actually, we are spirit souls, we have nothing to do with this material world its existence, our body and the whole environment around us. We are identifying it with our body and there is a difference of realization between devotees.
How to wake up from this dream is when we come in contact with the transcendental sound vibration which is chanting of holy name, listening or reading Srimad Bhagavatam. The more we come in contact with this Srila Prabupada says we will wake up from this dream of material existence and not be affected by it. In BG verse 2:47 Krishna says You have a right to perform your prescribed duties, but you are not entitled to the fruits of your actions. Never consider yourself to be the cause of the results of your activities, nor be attached to inaction. In BG.18.14 verse also Krishna says there are 5 factors in your actions one is your endeavor , other factors are not in our control like our past karma, present endeavor and sanction of the super soul. So, work but don’t be too overly attached to your work. If we work like this knowing the nature of material world, that is the place of misery, birth and death, success may come or may not come, but we have to do our duty without expecting any results will automatically will reduce our anxiety. The more the expectation to enjoy the higher the frustration and anxiety will be. Sometimes people have lots of money but they are not able to make any profit and get depressed. Sometimes money is not that somebody really wants but it is the things that we can buy which give us happiness otherwise paper money do not give us happiness. It is just a paper in room or bank unless we use that money, we don’t get happiness.
Prahalad Maharaj says that if you want to become happy, give up the endeavor to be materially happy, try to seek happiness in spiritual way. Because when we experience happiness in spiritual platform then that happiness cannot be stolen because that happiness comes from the soul, it is internal, it is intrinsic. That is why Srila Prabupada is teaching us to chant and be happy. The happiness in this material world depends on various external factors like good health, wealth, good weather etc. But spiritual happiness is not dependent on any material conditions. You can connect with Krishna under any conditions. He does not need anything from us. He says in BG 9:26 he is pleased by us just offering a flower, leaf(Thulasi), water. In BG 5:29 Krishna says, “The sages, knowing Me as the ultimate purpose of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attain peace from the pangs of material miseries”.
The conditioned souls within the clutches of illusory energy are all anxious to attain peace in the material world. But they do not know the formula for peace, the greatest peace formula is simply this: Lord Krishna is the beneficiary in all human activities. Men should offer everything to the transcendental service of the Lord because He is the proprietor of all planets and the demigods thereon. No one is greater than He. He is greater than the greatest of the demigods, In the Vedas the Supreme Lord is described as tam isvaranam paramam mahesvaram. Under the spell of illusion, living entities are trying to be lords of all they survey, but actually they are dominated by the material energy of the Lord. The Lord is the master of material nature, and the conditioned souls are under the stringent rules of material nature. Unless one understands these bare facts, it is not possible to achieve peace in the world either individually or collectively. This is the sense of Krishna consciousness: Lord Krishna is the supreme predominator, and all living entities, including the great demigods, are His subordinates. One can attain perfect peace only in complete Krishna consciousness.
So here it shows that Krishna is the enjoyer, we are enjoyed. When we give happiness to Krishna naturally, we will be happy. If you water the roots of the tree then all the branches, leaves of the tree gets nourished. Similarly, if we serve Krishna with pure intension just for the pleasure of serving Krishna then our hearts will become satisfied and, in every situation, we can be happy. As we connect with Supreme Lord who is reservoir of pleasure, we get more happiness, and devotees get more pleasure than Krishna that is one reason that he comes as Lord Caitanya. He wanted to know what happiness Radha Rani is getting by serving him. But in the material world servant is exploited but master is enjoying. In spiritual world servant also feels happy and Krishna also wants to serve his devotee this is the way one can get spiritual happiness. When we have loving relationship with devotees, and put Krishna in center and we do service together in temple, like worshipping the deity, do book distribution it will become joyful. This is one main purpose of ISKCON to have a loving exchange with devotees keeping Krishna in center and be free from anxiety. Another way is to be thankful for your blessings. In this material world we will find someone who is always higher than you. When we count your blessing, like good family, shelter, health etc. we will be automatically be grateful to Krishna and become completely satisfied.
Example is the conversation between Bali Maharaj and Vamana dev. Vamana Dev asks Bali Maharaj 3 steps of land to which Bali Maharaj says that I can give you anything, your steps are little, I can give you the whole world, the entire Kingdom so please ask something big to which Vamana Deva replies if my senses are not in control if you give whole material existence to enjoy still I will not be satisfied. Same with Hiranyakashipu. He had everything ;all demigod was under his control but he was not happy because Krishna was not there.
So, to be happy in this material world we will have to focus more on our spiritual activities, we have to do our actions by keeping Krishna in the center, and never expect the results of our actions, offer the results of your actions to the Supreme Lord and be grateful for our blessings.