Friday, May 23, 2014

Sunday Chat: Favorable winds to cross the ocean of repeated birth and death (Srila B.A. Paramadvaiti Maharaj)

Sao Paulo, Brazil 04/06/14




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"See who begins to sing [the Hare Krishna mantra] and watch 
how their sailboat starts moving" 

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My dear devotees, greetings from Sao Paulo, the land of Gandharvika Giridhari.

Today I share with you a topic called "The favorable winds to cross the ocean of repeated birth and death". So we must talk about the constitutional nature and needs of people, their needs for love and all that. This topic is a subject of devotional security. Of spiritual protection.

Devotees habitually speak about maintenance, but today we will talk about increasing our spiritual enthusiasm. Increase favorable winds, activities, things that are considered important in spiritual life.

Imagine you're in the ocean, lost at sea, with only a little food left to survive. A very sad situation. The people traveling with you have left the boat. It is a sailboat, it has no engine, you only depend on the wind. It is in the middle of the ocean and you have a limited time to cross, nothing is forever. Death can come at any time. You want out, you want to cross over to the other side of the ocean called samsara, the ocean of repeated birth and death. At this point in the ocean, there are no other trips, there is no past or future, only present. Only this trip at this time. And this boat is quiet because there are no favorable winds to take you in the right direction.

Suddenly a wind comes with a storm that takes you in the wrong direction and, worse yet, that wind makes you return to the starting point. Winds? Unfavorable? The wind of material enjoyment, nightlife, the Facebook, video games, the wind of the exhibitionist ego believed to be the most important, the poisonous wind that makes us lose consciousness. That is very interesting. You want to get across the ocean to get out of samsara, but unfavorable winds bring you back. They take you in the direction of your next birth. If we continue to follow the unfavorable winds, with more reason will we be moved into the next birth. In a reverse direction.

This world is full of unfavorable winds. Even something that may seem harmless, like the World Cup, that does not get us cross the ocean of samsara, rather it insures us that we will be lead to another birth into some body. Maybe you'll be born as an animal to be sacrificed to make a soccer ball. There are more serious things, totally unfavorable winds that increasingly keeps us from cross this samsara, such as abortions, the exploitation of the weak, the mistreatment of animals. However, intelligent people do not waste time and they seek favorable winds.

How are these favorable winds obtained?

Chanting the holy names of the Lord from the depths of the heart:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

See who begins to sing and watch how their sailboat starts moving! If you sing louder, then it will move stronger!

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

Yeah? Your ship moves, it works! So you can continue singing and obtain more favorable winds that will help you on this journey so you can continue singing and also listen to the Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhagavad Gita, Caitanya-caritamrta – sacred scriptures... Hear books narrated by those holy saints who practice with the heart. These winds are favorable!

And to stand firm in this journey you have to have the best sadhu-sanga. Practically speaking, you have to go to Vrinda Bhumi at least a weekend to live intensely to experience the Yoga Monastery. This way one is filled with enthusiasm for the spiritual life. So then your boat will be going in the right direction with all sincerity. And when you have fear or confusion you have to approach an advanced devotee who will dispel your doubts.

Vaishnava Bhakti, Guru Bhakti, Krishna Bhakti... When you love devotees you also love service. So you start to love the spiritual guide, begin to appreciate the deity, the dhama... On this trip there are many temptations that distract us from the favorable winds. So we must be vigilant. Always be carrying that gas tank of bhakti and one of the most powerful things to do which is more favorable for spiritual advancement is Krishna prasadam, everyone is left with a smile from ear to ear after honoring prasadam. Full belly, happy heart :)

It's very, very important to understand that in His infinite mercy Krishna makes many favorable things for our spiritual advancement. You only need a small effort on your part. Because, even to eat prasadam we have to put effort.

Even favorable winds have their stages. There are positive things to do, always keep a good intention, do not be judgmental, be more and more helpful, always working and being generous, maintaining wonderful friendships with devotees, in this way one will have the mercy of having the association of Vaishnavas. In the company of devotees under the guidance of the spiritual master, under the holy name, one is in the favorable winds of Bhakti Yoga.

Under the guidance of Guru one learns worship, puja, the mantras, the sankirtan...
The Spiritual Master puts us in the process of anartha nivritti, cleaning impurities from the heart. He removes the negative things in life, he removes the worldly desires separate from Krishna. That is what one promises the spiritual master, that he will go on the right path and that you will leave all the undesirable things for the spiritual path. After being freed from all those attachments, the devotee remains fixed in his spiritual process, coming to the point of nistha [steadiness), where he is fixed in seva [service]. There the sail boat opens in full force and favorable winds carry him safely on his way. So, my dear, very carefully maintain your spiritual life, full of favorable winds. Keep your temples very beautiful. That is also a favorable wind. Arrange beautiful classes, there are so many books of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Sridhar Maharaj for inspiration. And do not forget something important: our spiritual life becomes even more favorable and ecstatic when we perform austerities to help others.

Just as you are on your boat in the middle of the ocean of samsara trying to cross clinging onto favorable winds, you can help others who are stranded on the road. You can say, "Come, take this rope, I'll pull your standing boat, I have good wind here..." That's the favorable wind of the preacher, who not only cares about himself, but cares to help everyone in crossing the road. To cross this ocean of samsara clinging onto favorable winds you should feel very grateful and very compassionate.

That is my message to all of you today.
Follow the favorable winds. 
Jay Srila Prabhupada!

Your always well wisher,
B. A. Swami Paramadvaiti


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