Bhakti Tirtha Swami
Bhakti Tirtha Swami (February 25 1950 – June 27 2005), also known as Swami Krishnapada, was a prominent scholar, Gaudiya Vaishnava Hindu teacher, and religious leader of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, commonly known as the Hare Krishna Movement. He was the disciple of A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
Spiritual Warrior, Volume I: Uncovering Spiritual Truths in Psychic Phenomena (Hari-Nama Press, 1996)
Chapter 1: Dreams: A State of Reality
- On the average, people spend at least one-third of their lives asleep. While asleep, all of us dream, although we may not remember our dreams. It is important to understand exactly what is occurring while we are in that altered state so that we can use that time of sleep to enhance our functioning in the waking state.
- p. 18
- Ancient scriptures tell us that man is more than the physical body. In fact, we have two bodies: the physical and the astral, or subtle. But we are the soul! According to the ancient Vedic scriptures of India, the size of the soul is 1/10,000 the tip of a strand of hair. It is located in the heart region and is the actual life force. The physical, as well as the astral or subtle body, acts as a covering or costume that the soul wears in its journey throughout the material sphere. As we pass from costume to costume or from body to body through the process known as reincarnation, the impressions of previous lives imprint themselves on the subtle body and are carried with us during each lifetime. In the dream state, activity in the subtle body becomes more dominant than activity in the physical body. Our dream experiences are often impressions accumulated from many lifetimes.
- p. 18-19
- Dreams can be classified in many different ways. We will examine four types. The first concerns dreams that occur as a result of physiological stimulation. [...] The second category involves thoughts that are dormant in the subconscious. Whatever you think about often becomes impressed in your subconscious mind. [...] The third type of dream concerns the predominating thoughts you have when you are awake. [...] The fourth category of dreams involves those that help to work out karma, that is, lessons that are to be experienced in this lifetime. Sometimes, dreams can be used as a medium to play out the karma that one has accumulated. [...] This serves two functions: one, it saves time because the dynamics do not have to be played out in the physical realm and two, the lessons learned through the subtle body penetrate the soul more thoroughly, leaving lasting impressions.
- p. 19-20
- When one's subtle body travels outside of the physical body during the dream state, this experience is sometimes referred to as lucid dreaming. When metaphysicians are able to do this at will, the phenomenon is called astral projection or astral traveling: the ability to consciously leave the physical body and project the subtle body beyond its physical limitations.
- p. 20
- There is beauty as well as danger when you deal with the subtle realms. The beauty is that you can have realizations, revelations, and experiences that can carry over into the waking state. The danger is that you can expose yourself to negative influences. There are many positive as well as negative entities that infiltrate one’s consciousness while dreaming or disturb one during astral travel. Often they appear in the form of family members or close friends. There are also beings on the subtle plane that are in the habit of engaging the sleeping person in unwanted sexual activity.
- p. 21
- As you open up spiritually, your subtle body has a particular effulgence which attracts entities from both the divine and negative natures. You become more sensitive and aware of everything. You become more intuitive and have more experiences in the dream state. If there are messages you should receive, the impressions will always be there, even when you are asleep, and you will act on them without consciously being aware of it. If a communication is really meant for your growth, even though you may forget it or may not be able to understand its significance, it will still have an effect on your consciousness. Ultimately, both the positive and negative experiences are “quality tests” to assess your level of sincerity.
- p. 21
- When you enter an environment that is different from your normal sleeping environment, remember that every single dwelling has the energy of the people that frequent it. [...] By chanting, meditating, or even putting up spiritual pictures for the duration of your stay, you can transform the area into a place that actually augments your spiritual consciousness. If nothing is done to spiritualize the atmosphere, it will be like walking into a room filled with poisonous fumes. The converse of this is also true: by sleeping in a spiritually surcharged atmosphere, dreams that offer spir- itual realization and assistance can be obtained.
- p. 22
- If someone is frequently under attack by negative entities, it is because of a polluted consciousness that needs to be upgraded. A negative entity dislikes visiting a clean mind as much as a rat dislikes going to a clean place. [...] Putting up spiritual paraphernalia around the home and not allowing any negative activity to go on in the environment can help you greatly. This may mean asking friends and loved ones to refrain from drinking, smoking, taking drugs, gossiping, or doing any activity that does not encourage spiritual thought and action.
- p. 22
- If your love and devotion are sufficient, you can literally liberate that soul from its state of bondage or incoherence. [...] As a spiritual warrior and light bearer, a loving person can fight such an entity in order to release its soul and send it on its way.
- p. 23
- It is important to remember that when the body tells you to sleep or rest, it does so because it needs time to rejuvenate itself. Therefore, getting proper rest will help all aspects of existence. [...] Try to eat no later than three hours before lying down. If you want to maximize the nourishing benefits of sleep, you should try to go to bed before 10 p.m.
- p. 23
- Consider your state of mind—your consciousness—before going to sleep. This is extremely important. Make a commitment to spend at least fifteen minutes spiritualizing your consciousness before going to bed. Read something spiritual, listen to spiritual discourse or music, or engage in discussion on a spiritual topic. Push aside the chaos and confusion that were a part of your day, and focus on spiritual reality. In this way, you will prepare yourself for the next six to eight hours of sleep. If you allow yourself to focus spiritually, you will provide less of an opportunity for negative elements to enter your dreams. You can then benefit most from your sleeping state.
- p. 24
- Sleep can also assist with problem resolution. You would be amazed to know that many major discoveries in human history have resulted from revelations that occur upon arising. People first reflect on a particular problem before resting. During sleep, they concentrate on the problem on an unconscious level. When they awaken, they have the resolution to the conflict or problem.
- p. 24
- No one is a solitary agent. We all have various types of guides who assist us. Most important, there is a form of God in everyone’s heart, and when you put the physical body to rest, you make closer contact with the Lord in the heart and with your higher self.
- p. 24
- Keep in mind that the practice of dream interpretation is not generally useful for spiritual advancement. [...] People codify things and events as positive or negative based on culture. Even within a culture there can be variations of codification. Thus, dream analysis by the average person often can lead to confusion due to personal speculation and mental gymnastics.
- p. 25
- As your consciousness becomes more developed, you must become sensitively attuned to your inner and outer environment so you can receive higher knowledge and guidance.
- p. 26
- As you grow spiritually, you will find yourself teaching more as you learn more. Your learning and your teaching will take place even in your sleep.
- p. 26
- … if you really care about someone, you must remain unconcerned about how the person may perceive you. Friends or family members may feel disturbed that you won’t take drugs, drink alcohol, or even eat meat with them, and that you won’t let them do these things in your home. However, remember that caring about other people means that you don’t want to see them do harm to themselves. If a person doesn’t want to associate with you anymore, then you don’t need that kind of association.
- p. 27
- One of the most potent ways to spiritualize the home is to create a sacred space, an altar, or a room used only for meditation, prayer, or spiritual reading. [...] Your sacred place will become an area of high spiritual vibrations which will affect the entire house, thereby attracting pious personalities. Having a sacred space will also remind you that your home belongs to God and that you are simply the caretaker of it.
- p. 27
- Just as there are higher beings who spread spiritual messages throughout the atmosphere by means of books, films, music, and other mass media, there are beings of a demonic nature who try to slow down the progress on this planet through these media. Exposure to books and media of this type can have a negative effect on you. [...] To counteract this, some of the beings of a higher nature write books or oversee the writing of books that enhance one’s spiritual development.
- p. 28
- Thoughts are saturated with energies that can intrude immediately or hover around you until they have an opportunity to take advantage of you. Thought forms that surround you at a particular moment may wait until a later time to affect you.
- p. 28
- Since dreams are influenced by the predominant activities and mental preoccupations of the waking state, in order to attract higher beings you must engage in consciously higher activities. If we spend our days speaking verbal garbage and engaging in activities that do harm to ourselves and other living entities, why would any being of a higher vibration want to associate with us in our dreams or other- wise? Thus, if we raise the vibrations of our surroundings by meditating and acting according to a higher standard, utilizing prayer and focusing on helping others, we will be guided by those whose role it is to assist souls in their spiritual development.
- p. 29
Chapter 3: Angels and Demigods
- Each person is a wholistic being who has a material aspect and a metaphysical aspect, but who is the soul. The problems of the world are so great that they cannot be adressed by looking at just one aspect of our existence. There must be an appropriate marriage between the material, the metaphysical, and the spiritual. This is not only healthy but it is imperative for our survival.
- p. 47
- All the major teachers have told us that we should love our neighbors as ourselves and that we should love God with all of our heart. They have also told us that this world is not our original home. It is no accident that such diverse yet harmonious teachers have made this consistent, universal presentation. Consider how similar their messages have been: not one major prophet, not one bona fide teacher has said that this world is our home. Instead, these teachers have constantly emphasized that the kingdom of God is the real home that we seek. They are not just trying to get us to be escapists and run away from life. Instead, they are trying to bring us back to reality and to help us escape from this material prison. Although they come from diverse traditions, their message is the same.
- p. 55
- In these discussions we are not asking you to accept anything on blind faith. We are definitely asking that you not immediately reject anything either. We suggest that you do some research for yourself. Just ponder the basic points, investigate them and, most importantly, try to know better how to protect yourself against subtle forces so that you will not become a casualty. If you take these simple steps, you will be one of those who helps to bring about a new era for humankind.
- p. 55
Chapter 4: Fire and Brimstone, Horns and Tail
- That is the nature of free will. We have the full ability to make a selection; we can press any button we please. However, when we press a button we have to take responsibility for what happens. The reaction is predestined, but is activated by our choice.
- p. 65
- We are responsible for every situation in which we find ourselves.
- p. 65
- Our situations are arranged by higher agents to allow us to become tired of trying to manipulate the material energy. Due to not being properly appreciative of the beauty of relationship with the Lord, humankind is given a temporary arena in which to act out our desires. This environment is designed to frustrate, disgust, and disappoint us, to make us contemplative and introspective. Ultimately it is meant to drive us away from the temporary world in favor of that which is eternal. This is arranged for us to finally realize that our happiness lies not in dabbling with the material energy but in serving the Lord unconditionally, thus becoming whole again.
- p. 66
- Free will is critical in a loving relationship because there cannot be love without the opportunity to oppose that love. There cannot be an appreciation without the opportunity to express it through choice. If we are made in the image of the Divine, then just as God has free will, we must also have it. The difficulty arises in our inability to understand, or accept, that it is not beneficial to try to use our free will separate from God. This is because we are part and parcel of God, a tiny fragment of the whole, but we are not the complete whole. As part of the whole, our function is to serve the whole. The whole is certainly not meant to serve the part. For example, imagine if your stomach tried to eat on its own and told your mouth, "I'm tired of you always taking the food first. I think I should get it first." This would be impossible. A part cannot properly function separately from the whole. This is the natural order of the universe.
- p. 66-67
- It is important to focus more on what we need than on what we want, because much of what we want unnecessarily complicates our lives. The answer is to approach the Divinity in the mood of. "Thy will be done. Use me for Your purposes." Even higher than that sentiment is to request that God remove our free will so that we cannot even exercise it. We are then fully available for the Lord's service.
- p. 67
Spiritual Warrior, Volume III: Solace for the Heart in Difficult Times (Hari-Nama Press, 2000)
- It was only in the sixth century, after the Emperor Justinian proclaimed that reincarnation was no longer acceptable and would be considered a heretic doctrine, that Christians began to denounce it. The writings of earlier Christians such as Saint Jerome in the fourth century explain that reincarnation was considered an esoteric doctrine that should be understood and defended by Christian philosophy. In the second century, Origen discussed themes of reincarnation in his book titled On First Principles, which is still available in the library today. As we research different scriptures, we can still find hints of reincarnation in all of them.
- Chapter 1 - The Choice Before Humanity
- All of us want to be loved with unconditional, eternal love — a love that sees beyond beauty, intelligence, or any other superficial quality. We want to be loved simply because we are. At the same time, we all have a natural, innate tendency to share our love with others. This preoccupation with love arises because in reality we are eternal, loving beings whose souls are filled with knowledge and bliss. In this physical embodiment we are temporarily covered by material energy, but our nature is inherently divine, and we are always seeking the blissful love of the spiritual kingdom where our real fulfillment lies.
- Chapter 2
- There are only two categories of happy people in the material world: fools and transcendentalists. Fools are so oblivious that they manage to convince themselves they are happy in this material prison. Transcendentalists are happy because they can see above the material dualities, and know that their parole is at hand. Everyone else is essentially miserable. This is because calamity in the material world cannot be avoided, just as water cannot be avoided in the ocean.
- Chapter 6 - A Spiritual Warrior's View of the World
- We cannot understand spiritual realities by scholarship alone. Although study is important, the path to spiritual realization is through dedicated, selfless service. As we offer service to others with no expectation of reward, the Lord in the heart becomes more available to us and provides for our needs—because we have removed the veils that hide the truth.
- Chapter 8 - How To Strengthen Ourselves
- On commercial airlines, at takeoff the flight attendants instruct passengers in the use of oxygen masks, reminding them to secure their own masks before assisting others. In the same way, to be effective spiritual warriors we must protect ourselves first. Otherwise we are of no use to anyone. The greatest protection of all comes from our unconditional, unmotivated, uninterrupted devotional service. Such service opens us up to a flow of divine love and protection in all circumstances.
- Chapter 8 - How To Strengthen Ourselves
- We must resist the temptation to be “normal,” because those who are now considered normal accept the values and practices of an insane world. In modern society, for example, normal people strive to accumulate as many commodities as possible, because they believe that their success and personal worth are linked to the number of possessions they have acquired. As the joke goes, “The one who dies with the most toys, wins.” If we espouse this viewpoint, the toys we have to play with form the measure of our personal worth. Unfortunately, this notion confuses acquired material worth with our inherent worth as spiritual beings.
- Chapter 8 - How To Strengthen Ourselves
- We should ask three basic questions of any system we encounter. The first question is, “If I am perfect at this practice, what can I expect to achieve?” Once you have heard the answer to this question, you may decide that you do not care to proceed any further, or you may find that the goal is exactly what you have always wanted. The second question is, “What are the means for attaining the goal?” The answer to this question enables you to decide whether you are willing to pay the price to get there. The third question to ask is, “Who has already reached the goal and how do they live their lives?” We should carefully scrutinize those who have supposedly reached the goal to discover their true situation in life. If we feel aligned with the answers to all three questions, then we can “go for it.” If we do not, then we should look somewhere else.
- Chapter 8 - How To Strengthen Ourselves
- Reflect on these tools as a daily meditation, and make the choice to shift your consciousness:
- Treat everyone you encounter as if the success of your spiritual life depends upon the quality of your interactions with them.
- Reflect upon the person you love the most, and aspire to treat everyone with that same quality of love.
- View all conflicts as your own fault first.
- Realize that the people in your present environment might very well be the people with whom you will live out your life, and who will be with you at the time of death.
- Chapter 9 - Serving the World Community
- Spiritual Warrior Checklist:
- Sense control and mastery of the mind
- Compassion and pridelessness
- Material exhaustion and disinterest in material rewards
- No idle time
- Patience and selflessness
- Firm faith
- Curiosity and enthusiasm to learn and grow
- Surrender to divine will
- 12 Qualities of a Spiritual Warrior; p. 180
- Fear and love do not go together. Fear is constricting, self-centered and self-conscious, whereas love is expansive, selfless and directed towards service. To become effective spiritual warriors, we must learn to cultivate genuine love, courage, and compassion and come to depend on our inner faculties rather than externals. This allows us to understand our own true nature more deeply, and to behave more like the children and servants of God that we are. Then, firmly established in a higher state of consciousness, we can serve others-and the world-from the deepest, most aware and loving aspect of ourselves during these challenging times.
Spiritual Warrior IV: Conquering the Enemies of the Mind (Hari-Nama Press, 2004)
- People have many myths about anger that cause them to categorize the issue in a certain way. For instance, some people consider anger to be biological or hereditary, but this myth does not have any solid foundation. Although some people are more prone to anger due to their psychophysical make-up or emersion in the modes of passion and ignorance, their socialization or quality of association will have a greater impact on their reactions. Although we do bring forth other infl uences into a situation such as our karma, which affects the ways in which we respond to specifi c situations, it is a myth that anger is biological and a permanent, unchangeable aspect of the body.
- Chapter 3
Spiritual Warrior V: Making the Mind Your Best Friend (Hari-Nama Press, 2003)
- Take a moment to remember the times on your own spiritual quest when you felt most enthusiastic. We want to pinpoint the times in which we felt more God conscious and devotional than ever before. Conversely, look at the times when you felt unenthused and do a similar analysis. These questions might help stimulate your thought process: Are you enthusiastic about your existence as a servant of the Lord? Are you enthusiastic to follow the basic principles that will help elevate your consciousness? Are you enthusiastic in the association of saintly people? Are you enthusiastic about what you can experience in your purest state? We must examine our spiritual life on a daily, weekly, and even yearly basis. This examination will help us recognize how various activities and thoughts affect us. We should note how the quality of our experiences varies according to our absorption in the process of bhakti.
- Chapter 4 - The Necessity of Enthusiasm
Spiritual Warrior VI: Beyond Fanaticism, Terrorism, and War: Discover the Peace Solution (Hari-Nama Press, 2006)
Leadership For An Age of Higher Consciousness, Volume 1: Administration from a Metaphysical Perspective (Hari-Nama Press, 1996)
- For all human beings, love is a constant preoccupation—a never-ending central theme. Indeed, the ultimate motivation behind interactions among people is often the desire to experience some form of love. The fact that love is so important has major implications for leadership. In particular, the degree to which leaders acknowledge the value of love in their own lives and in the lives of others can determine the success or failure of their undertakings. Far from being irrelevant or impractical, the intention to express love is fundamental for effective leadership. This is so because in the final analysis, a leader’s motivation is communicated to others in countless subtle ways. Leaders whose actions are perceived as self-serving often create disharmony, resentment, and disloyalty. On the other hand, those who base their behavior upon a genuine empathy and concern for others can gain loyalty and support that make the attainment of even difficult goals possible.
- Chapter 1: The Phenomenon of Love
Leadership for an Age of Higher Consciousness, Volume II: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times (Hari-Nama Press, 2001)
- A visionary leader seeks to empower others. They continue to search for truth while maintaining their principle-centered focus. Visionary leaders have a good balance between right-brain and leftbrain thinking. The right brain is more feminine, nurturing, intuitive and creative; the left-brain is more masculine and “physical,” interested more in results. Visionary leaders often produce a host of solutions for social, economic and other types of problems.
If we want visionary leaders, we must, of course, learn to recognize them and support them. Visionary leaders have great qualities, which they develop through their interest in values, intuition and partnership with others. They can bring spiritual culture to our religious and political lives. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “I must first be the change I want to see in my world.” A visionary leader knows he must lead by example, and that his leadership will have a powerful impact on both present and future generations.
- Ten Characteristics of a Servant-Leader
- How can we discriminate between favorable and unfavorable? We see that great spiritual teachers throughout history always support tradition while at the same time bringing about needed changes, or adaptations, in the details of how a spiritual culture is followed. These changes are made according to time, place, and the persons involved. While this may work when employed by spiritually evolved beings, how can the average person know when he or she is adapting in an inappropriate way or according to conditioning? In other words, how can we know how to not disturb the essence while changing details according to time and place? When one of my mentors, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, was asked this question, he said, “It is not an easy thing to know.” It takes a certain amount of spiritual advancement to know what can be changed and what cannot. It becomes important to understand what constitutes elevated consciousness, and thus what constitutes a proper leader. If we learn to recognize true visionary leadership, we can trust in the changes that are being made.
- The King’s Duty is Spiritual
- Good leadership is not just a matter of making things happen; it is a matter of making essential things happen, making important and productive things happen, and helping people feel good about what is happening. Leaders need to have a vision, but they also need to know how to convince others that their vision can manifest, and how to empower them to participate in the mission of bringing the vision about.
Reflections on Sacred Teachings Volume I: Sri Siksastaka (Hari-Nama Press, 2002)
- There are ten offenses against the chanting of the holy name that prevent us from fully experiencing what is available. These ten offenses lead to the craziness that interferes and minimizes the potency of our chanting. After mangala-arati every morning, before we chant our rounds, we recite these ten offenses to remind ourselves that these offenses keep us crazy, and if we can rid ourselves of these aparadhas, we will no longer be unfortunate or unlucky. We will be able to experience this great fortune. As we examine the ten offenses, we can remind ourselves that the first words and the last words are most important. As a reminder, the first prayer of the Sri Siksastaka emphasizes the importance of congregational chanting and the very last verse of the Bhagavatam ends with the importance of harinama-sankirtana.
- Sri Siksastaka Verse 2
Reflections on Sacred Teachings, Volume II: Madhurya Kadambini (Hari-Nama Press, 2003)
- Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti has given us a detailed analysis of the obstructions to our individual and collective devotional service. He has given us a sublime outline of the stages of progress up to prema [ecstatic love of God]. Now the challenge is before each of us to fully use what he has given us. How blessed we all are to receive this opportunity through the blueprints given by such great acaryas, to facilitate us in returning back to the realm of pure, enchanting, enduring and animated love.
Reflections on Sacred Teachings, Volume III: Harinama Cintamani (Hari-Nama Press, 2005)
- In previous ages, a person could reach perfection through meditation, temple worship or yajnas but in Kali-yuga, we cannot even perform one of the nine-fold activities nicely. Although just one of these nine activities can result in full love of Godhead, we engage in all nine and still have problems. Fortunately Srila Haridasa reveals the holy name as a source of hope in spite of the constant challenges in this Kali-yuga.
Reflections on Sacred Teachings, Volume IV: Sri Isopanisad (Hari-Nama Press, )
- Since time immemorial, questions regarding the relationship between free will and destiny have plagued the minds of great philosophers. How do we reconcile these two apparently contradictory concepts: free will and destiny? In the higher realms of understanding, any deep philosophical or spiritual subject matter will present seemingly paradoxical perspectives at first. However, the more we genuinely explore and analyze these questions, we see that their resolutions lie less in the realm of ‘either/or,’ and more in an interplay between both concepts. Some contemporary philosophers call such an idea ‘diunital,’ as it encapsulates seemingly opposing terms. Often, when we study different polarities, we notice that taken together, they give us a greater understanding of the whole. This is particularly applicable to the nature of the soul and of God. For example, sometimes it may seem that God’s laws for governing the universe are at odds with those prescribed by humankind, but if we explore the situation in a prayerful mood, we will often be able to appreciate the congruency that emerges between them.
- Sri Isopanisad - Mantra Two
- We cannot possibly capture reality based on our limited perceptions and insignificant power. Therefore, we want to use our intelligence to sustain the mind properly, in order to prevent it from being dragged under by the senses. We want to use our intelligence to open ourselves up to receiving divine intervention. We want to use our intelligence to truly understand how to become a genuine lover of the Lord.
Reflections on Sacred Teachings, Volume V: : Srila Bhaktisiddhanta's Sixty-four Principles for Community (Hari-Nama Press, 2007)
Reflections on Sacred Teachings, Volume VI: Radha-Sunya: Missing Mercy (Hari-Nama Press, )
- The worst thing that can happen to advanced devotees who are fixed in Krishna consciousness is that they will go back to the spiritual world. Thus, they are enabled by calamitous situations to go back to Krishna more quickly. It is a part of the process of devotion that from time to time everyone must be tested in various ways. When we take to devotional service we are declaring war against Maya. We are on a battlefield, engaged in our own battle of Kuruksetra. We shouldn’t read the Bhagavad-gita and think that it is merely some fascinating ancient history and philosophy. We should also understand that Arjuna is representing every person who is trying to take shelter of Krishna. Arjuna had to undergo bewilderment and serious choices, but Krishna was present to protect him.
- Chapter 2
- We see that the spiritual world is characterized by an atmosphere of selflessness and of the animated love of dynamic association. There is an intense mood of appreciation and caring that creates the dynamic synergy of devotees working together on different services which are perfectly Krishna-centered. If we are blessed by Srimati Radharani, it is guaranteed that we will gradually be able to re-enter the land of pure love. If we do not receive Her blessings, it is guaranteed that we will remain disqualified.
- Chapter 4
The Beggar, Volume I: Meditations and Prayers on the Supreme Lord (Hari-Nama Press, 1994)
- Now, my dear Lord, I am completely confused. I have tried to attract You, but I see I have nothing to attract You with. I am a pretender. I want Your kingdom, without You. I am a criminal who has tried to plead innocent, and now I have nowhere to hide, no presentations to make. What am I to do, dear Lord?
Then I heard the Lord say: “You have always been, and always will be dear to Me, but you do not believe it. Therefore you separate us by being an enemy to yourself. Come on, My child, and experience what it is to be fully dear to Me.”
- By the mercy of the Lord, you have been given a guru, so your selflessness is simply a matter of serving your guru with more love and care. Give up all of your individualized desires and live for his pleasure, as he lived and lives for you.
The Beggar, Volume II: Crying Out for the Mercy (Hari-Nama Press, 1998)
- Immediately I felt the weight of my deficiencies, and realized how polluted my consciousness had become. The voice continued speaking, giving me a welcome distraction.
“Despite your many deficiencies, I have been drawn to you by the intensity of your greed and desperation for transcendence. In fact, I have been sanctioned by higher authority to reveal your shortcomings to you. I therefore beg you to listen closely, for this is a rare opportunity that may not come again for many lifetimes.”
“I braced myself for a rude awakening…”
The Beggar, Volume III: False Ego: The Greatest Enemy of the Spiritual Leader (Hari-Nama Press, 2002)
- Being in a material body means that we are eager to enjoy sense gratification and other imaginings of the false ego. Sickness can help raise us out of the bodily conception by putting us deeply into bodily suffering. Thus, sickness can be one of the greatest boons from God.
- Meditation 8 - Illness as a special gift from God
- Selflessness is the ingredient most lacking in today’s world, because people misunderstand the purpose and principle behind this wonderful science. Genuine selflessness is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.
- My mentor continued: Selflessness doesn’t mean to give up pursuing adventurous goals, but rather to attach ourselves to transcendental goals. Actual selflessness means we must genuinely access humility and submissiveness. This can be very scary, because we normally identify humility and submissiveness with low self esteem.
The Beggar, Volume IV: Die Before Dying (Hari-Nama Press, 2005)
- Life is full of meaning and opportunities for growth. When we are mindful of the beauty and accomplishments of the past, even when the present or future is not exactly what we would like it to be, we will not be disturbed. We will still be excited about the past and appreciative for the present. In this way, the future will be even more auspicious because we create our futures by how we have dealt with the past and how we are dealing with the present. Being always refl ective, mindful, and grateful allows us to never forget how much the Supreme Lord is sending His love in different ways.
- Meditation 5 - Die Before Dying
- We must allow every day of our lives to represent healthy closure now! When we live for love, this is most natural because all of our associations will be quality associations in which we share our compassion, determination, and realizations, and receive the same from others. This is the technology of how to celebrate life now and live with proper preparation and detachment, so that we will master the science of dying before dying so as to connect with the should and its home-the spiritual world. After all, death is to remove all that is false and secondary. I am that lowly beggar who is desperately trying to die before dying.
- Treat each person with the bhakti and care as if the success or failure of your own spiritual life depends on this. Do not take into concern how they treat you. The manner in which you treat people is the same way you are treating Guru and Krishna.
- Anytime there is a problem in a relationship, you should first see it as your own fault. Even if others are to blame, you will only add to the problem by considering them to be at fault.
- You should treat every person with whom you come in contact with the same care as the person you love the most.
- As we associate with others in our spiritual communities, we should do so in a mood that these are the people I am living with and they would probably also be the people that I leave this body with.
- Four Principles of Community Building — ISKCON Gita Nagari Dhama; Port Royal, PA, USA; November 8, 1998
- The best way to keep anyone alive is by following their instructions and exemplifying their teachings, not just individually but also as a community.
- Lecture, 2005