Hellish thoughts – Part 1

20 05 2019

The above video is of yet another intelligent Catholic thinker fumbling through the idea of the eternity of Hell for condemned souls. Admittedly, she is very honest in stating that she doesn’t really know how a soul can condemn itself to the worst pain and loss imaginable for all eternity, and how a merciful God can allow this. She does give the standard answers of how hell is a necessary implication of love and free will. If we are to come to love the supreme good definitively, it must be of our own accord, which means we can choose not to love. That this failure to love is accompanied by unspeakable loss and suffering remains a mystery in this line of thinking. Read the rest of this entry »

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On the spiritual body

14 05 2019
Narada Muni Transcendental Spaceman

Narada Muni (source)

A reader left a comment with a link to an article by David Bentley Hart entitled The Spiritual Was More Substantial Than the Material for the Ancients. Here I will offer a few comments, specifically on the main themes of the corporeal vs. the spiritual body. Read the rest of this entry »





On the cycle of the yugas

3 05 2019
Image result for maha vishnu

Maha Vishnu

A reader pointed out two essays in First Things by Russian author, Eugene Vodolazkin, more or less on the themes of time and historical truth. For the most part, these essays suffer from the tendency of literary scholars to divide the world into a series of just-so stories: observations from limited sources that seem to flawlessly explain the long arc of history. So needless to say, I don’t agree with much in these articles. But I do want to draw from them two themes to discuss here, namely, the repetitive nature of past narratives, as well as the progressive concept of time. Read the rest of this entry »





In praise of bad marriages

22 04 2019

In my intellectual traversing around Hinduism, I encountered the above clip of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada [Founder of the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), popularly known as the Hare Krishnas] speaking of his former married life. Prabhupada left his family once his children were grown to become a sannyasi, or renounced monk, but his marriage was apparently not a happy one. In this clip, Srila Prabhupada speaks about how as a young man, he went to his father to complain that he didn’t like his wife. At that time, marriage to more than one woman was permitted in colonial India, and the insinuation was that he was asking what his father would think if he were to take another wife. Instead of giving the blessing to take another wife, the father told his son that he was most fortunate not to like his wife. For by having a wife he didn’t like, it would be easier to leave her aside and go back to Godhead (that is, Krishna). We all have to give up what we love in this life sooner or later, and loving your wife less would mean that leaving her would be easier. Read the rest of this entry »





Bhajan

23 10 2009




Krishna’s flute

18 08 2009

LargeKrishnaColorStatue

In Hindu symbology, Krishna, the god of love, is pictured playing a flute. Divine love enters a man and fills his entire being. The flute is the human heart, and a heart that is made hollow becomes a flute for the god of love to play. The pain and sorrow the soul experiences through life are the holes made in the reed flute. The heart of man is first a reed. The suffering and pain it goes through make it a flute that can then be used by God to produce his music.

-Shems Friedlander, Rumi and the Whirling Dervishes

The immortal voice of Pandit Jasraj





Krishna Govinda

29 05 2009




Hare Krishna Bhajan

6 02 2009




Krishna and Me

26 01 2009

Part II: The Baby Butter Thief and the Quest for a Western Bhakti

A few days after my visit to the Hare Krishna temple here in Berkeley, I received in the mail the first installment of an Indian miniseries on the “life” of the deity Krishna. This is religion Bollywood style. To say that the the movie is, well, unique, is a bit of an understatement. Like many Indian movies, the acting is exceptionally bad. If you are looking for cheesy renditions of scenes from ancient Hindu mythology, this is the film for you. Not only that, but I think you will have your hands full; there are about twenty discs in the series, so knock yourself out. The eighth incarnation of Vishnu led a long and exciting life, don’t you know?

The first episode is actually the most informative and sort of an overview of the rest of the series. It reveals how important Krishna is to the Hindu religion; he occupies almost the same place as Jesus in ours. The stories of his birth and life are equally miraculous: he was the eighth child of his parents, and destined from birth to smash the power of the evil demon king who was holding his parents and the world hostage. Meditation on his life and deeds, according to many of the sages portrayed in the movie, is the secret of bhakti yoga. People in India during the feasts of Krishna reenact scenes from his life in dramatic plays. As the Hare Krishna leader said during the Bhagavad Gita class, all things must be done for Krishna: the incarnation of God on earth.
Read the rest of this entry »





Krishna and Me

15 01 2009

Part I: An Evening at the ISKCON temple in Berkeley

In Berkeley, there are certain sights that you just take for granted after having been here a while. One of them is the now famous naked guy of over ten years ago. There was an equally eccentric gentleman known as the “Pink Guy”, who got his name from the pink unitard and cape that he would wear as he rode through the street on a unicycle. The day I came back to Berkeley, I was in Moe’s Books examining the selection of Spanish Baroque literature when a rather scraggly gentleman walked up and down Telegraph Avenue screaming at the top of his lungs like a wild animal. It was as if he was saying, “welcome home”.
Read the rest of this entry »