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Thread: The Mandir Sermons

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    The Mandir Sermons

    Namaste,

    Many a times very useful and practical sermons are given at different mandirs that I visit, and after some time the message gets forgotten and lost for ever. I am starting this thread to chronicle them so that I may be able to go back and read them to refresh my memory about the valuable advice given. Perhaps it might be useful to other members too. It would be good if members don't turn this thread into a discussion thread and rather see what they can get out of the wisdom coming from the mandir Pandits. So, here we go with the first one,

    Trishna Agan - fire of desire

    According to an old parable, a businessman became very rich and one day asked his accountant to compute his net worth. The accountant, being the smart man that he was, replied, ‘Counting every penny would be a big chore, but in gross terms I can assure you that your wealth will help your next seven generations to enjoy an affluent life style without ever having to lift a finger for it’. The businessman was both pleased and irritated. He replied, ‘It is good that my next seven generations have been taken care of, but what about the eighth one? I must get back to work to make more money to take care of them too’. There is no end to our desire to accumulate wealth. It is never enough.

    Trishna agan (fire of desire) burns within each one of us. Many a times we pray to God for something with the intent that, that would be our last petition. But as soon as our wish is fulfilled, we make a petition for something new. It is a never ending cycle. We stay mired in collecting ‘things’ all our lives. The only way to break this cycle of trishna is to seek refuge in the Lord. We have to try to yoke with Him and desire for something more than material objects. We have to rise above the material into the realm of divine to elevate our consciousness. This trishna fueled accumulation game keeps us from the real purpose of life which is to become more God conscious and become more spiritual.

    Pranam
    Last edited by Believer; 05 January 2015 at 11:51 PM.

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    Red Face An ISKCON Mandir Sermon - Definition of Karma Yoga

    Namaste,

    Quite often we have people come to the forum and ask for suggestions about a Bhagwad Gita translation which is literal and unbiased. We have a hard time coming up with one that meets the requester’s requirements. But this post deals with the literal translation of just one verse.

    When we mention the term yoga, what comes to mind is the often repeated definition - yoga is the process of yoking of self with divinity. But a simple and basic definition of the term yoga is provided by Krishanji in BG 2.48 - ‘Perform your duty equipoised, O Arjun, abandoning all attachments to success or failure. Such equanimity is called yoga’. This is almost a pre-theistic, literal definition of yoga which does not even require a belief in or acceptance of God and is provided by Krishanji. It is a bare bones, clear definition which does not require interpretation.

    Yoga, according to BG 2.48 is fulfilling the purpose of your existence in an equipoised mode, with no regard for or attachment to the results (fruits) of the actions performed. It is merely performing one’s duty in a detached mode. Arjun has to do his karma (action), which is to fight in the cause of dharma in an equipoised state and let the chips fall where they may.

    At philosophic level, when we are not attached to the results of the action, we tend to get demotivated and slack off. We should not become inactive because of non-attachment to the fruits of the action. Another aspect is that when we get elated with a success, we get a free gift to get depressed when things don’t go our way. 'Ups and downs create equal disturbances in the forest'. But when we train ourselves to be equipoised, the disturbances vanish and we stay calm and joyous through transcendence of senses. When we are able to transcend karma (literal meaning action), we become yogis. One of the core delusions of mankind makes people teach us to be happy at our success and not get depressed at failure. That simply is not possible. Perhaps we need to have an institution called ‘Attachment Anonymous’ that will train us to always be in the detached mode.

    To recap, karma is action and (karma) yoga is the art of karma (BG 2.50) – performing duty with equanimity. And one who rises to that level, becomes a yogi.

    Pranam.
    Last edited by Believer; 01 February 2015 at 11:33 PM.

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    Austerity of Speech

    Namaste,

    Tapasya or austerity is a voluntary activity in which we do something difficult for spiritual advancement. There are three types of austerities, austerity of the body (BG 17.14), austerity of speech (BG 17.15) and austerity of the mind (BG 17.16).This threefold austerity performed only with the goal of spiritual advancement is called austerity in the mode of goodness (BG 17.17).

    In relative terms; mind, words and body control is the progressive order of difficulty for control. For austerity of speech, we have to control what we say. Many times we utter things with meaningless content which agitates people. If we think before we speak and try to modify speech to make it truthful, heavy with meaning and sweet to the listener's ears, then the reaction will be positive. That in turn will improve our quality of life. For a truthful speech, we have to live truthfully and have virtue based ethics. So, the tapasya of speech means to live truthfully and to speak the truth in a meaningful, pleasing manner. Practicing this tapasya helps us to stay calm in all our interactions and makes both the speaker and the listener grow spiritually.

    Pranam.
    Last edited by Believer; 11 May 2015 at 07:50 PM.

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    Anger

    Namaste,

    'Anger is the punishment we give ourselves for other people's mistakes.'

    Why O' Why do I get angry and punish myself for things (which are not to my liking) that somebody else does?
    May I exercise control over my reaction to other people's mistakes - intentional or unintentional!

    Pranam.
    Last edited by Believer; 29 January 2017 at 12:55 AM.

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