Watch: August 2019

In this edition

Upcoming Events

  1. Friday – Sunday August 09 – 11, 2019 Zone 1, Zonal Young Adults Festival (ZYAF)
    • Theme: Dare to be Divine
    • Time: August 09, 2019: 04:00 PM – August 11, 2019: 12:30 PM
    • Venue: Camp Henry Horner, Ingleside, IL
  2. Sunday August 11, 2019 Special Satsang by Dr. Suresh Govind
    • Short bhajans, guest speaker program followed by light prasadam
    • Time: 06:00 PM – 08:00 PM
    • Venue: 708 Glendale Rd. Glenview, IL 60025
  3. Sunday August 25, 2019, Krishna Janmashtami
    • Special bhajans program
    • Time: 09:30 AM – 12:00 PM
    • Venue: River Forest Community Center
  4. Friday August 30 – Monday September 02, 2019 Region 5 Annual Retreat
    • Theme: Pathways to Purity
    • Time: August 30, 2019 06:00 PM onwards
    • Venue: Camp Henry Horner, Ingleside, IL
  5. Sunday September 08, 2019 Center Picnic
    • Short bhajan session, fun activities for all ages and lunch
    • Time: 10:00 AM – 03:00 PM
    • Venue: Busse Woods Grove 27, Elk Grove Village, IL (Entrance: Arlington Heights Rd. just south of Landmeier Rd.)

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Geetha Vahini

In seventeen verses, from the 56th to the 72nd, Krishna described in the second chapter the characteristics of the Sthithaprajna, and the excellence of that stage. Then, saying that He Himself had established Jnana Yoga for the Sankhyas, and Karma Yoga for the Yogis, as means of attaining Liberation, He spoke of the importance of karma.

Everyone has to bow to the demands of Nature and engage himself in karma. It is inevitable. Therefore, Krishna said, “Do the Karthavya Karmas, karma that is your bounden duty. Being engaged in karma is to be preferred to not being so engaged. If you desist from karma, the task of living becomes difficult, nay, impossible.

“The karmas that do not bind by consequence are those referred to as Yajna (sacrifice). All the rest are bondage-producing ones. Therefore, O Arjuna, give up all attachment and engage in acts, as if they are each a Yajna, sacrifice dedicated to the Lord.” Krishna taught Arjuna the origins of karma, the roots from where the urge to do karma sprouts and grows. He taught them so clearly that Arjuna’s heart was really moved and modified. “The Vedas emanated from God; karmas emanated from the Vedas; from karma originated Yajna; from Yajna, Rain; from Rain grew food; from food came all living beings. This is the cycle that has to be accepted and honored.

“Consider this, O Arjuna, I have no need to do any karma, no not anywhere in the three worlds. I am under no compulsion. Still I am ever engaged in karma. Think of this. If I desist, the world will be no more. Have steady faith in the Atma; then dedicate all acts of yours to Me: with no desire for the fruit thereof, no egoism and no sense of possession or pride, engage in battle,”

If the wheel of Creation is to move smooth, each one has to keep on doing karma. Whoever he is, he cannot get round this obligation. Even he who has achieved the highest Jnana has to observe this rule. Eating and drinking, intake and release of breath—these too are karmas. Who can exist without these acts?

If the wheel of Creation is to move smooth, each one has to keep on doing karma. Whoever he is, he cannot get round this obligation. Even he who has achieved the highest Jnana has to observe this rule. Eating and drinking, intake and release of breath—these too are karmas. Who can exist without these acts?

“You derive benefit from the world and from the community and so some activity on your part is their due. This Brahmaanda (Supreme Bliss), this Viswa (creation), is really speaking a huge workshop. Every human being is a limb in this organization. The limb is allotted a task in accordance with its structure and it must find its fulfilment in doing that particular work. Whatever work one has been allotted has to be done as an offering to God. There is no single thing in the Universe that does not engage itself in this great task. Plant and insect, stone and stump, wind and rain, heat and cold, if each of these does not work as per Plan, the world cannot subsist. The Sun and the Moon carry on their routine tasks. Wind and fire have to perform their duties without demur. If the earth and sun refuse to do the allotted duties what is to happen to the world? So, there is no one who is karma-less, but yet with body! It is only when each performs his task without fail, and with care, that the wheel will move quickly and smooth.

“You may wonder why Jnanis (liberated persons) should still do karma; not only you, but many others may be worried at that statement. Well, people usually follow the ideal set by those in higher levels. Their acts form the basis of Dharma for all. If Jnanis are inactive, how are ordinary mortals to save themselves? They have no guide and so they lose themselves in the easy paths of sensory pleasure. The duty of the wise is to foster the right and to practice it before others, so that they too may be prompted to follow, drawn by the hope of becoming as contented and as joyful as they are. The wise have to do and get done, see and show, so that the rest might be persuaded to follow the example set by them.

-Excerpts from Geetha Vahini

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Discourses on Krishna Janmashtami

The Avatar of Krishna is one of the most beautiful descents ever. Nevertheless it is the most misunderstood. But the problem lies in the way we look at the personality of Krishna. The lessons that He taught were cryptically wrapped in His actions and words, and they would appear trivial, unreasonable or downright unacceptable for a common man. Bhagawan in a discourse delivered on 4 Sep 1996, on the occasion of Krishna Janmashtami spoke of this very predicament many find themselves in and taught us how we must look at the life and actions of Lord Krishna. Through this, Swami also explains how we must accept and apply the message of the scriptures in general. We now present you a few excerpts from that beautiful discourse.

It is easy to criticize or belittle the Leelas or infinite potencies of God. But it is very difficult to comprehend the true essence of Divinity. The omnipresent Divine is present both in truth and untruth. He is present both in Dharma (righteousness) and Adharma (unrighteousness). He is present in good and evil. With regard to such an all-pervading divine, how can anyone determine His actions as good and bad? From time immemorial people have been experimenting and investigating about spirituality and spiritual experiences. On the basis of that they have tried to proclaim to the world the nature of the Divine. They concluded and explained that Divine has such and such a form, and possesses innumerable auspicious qualities and so forth.

You may point out to someone, the Dhruva Nakshathra (Pole Star) saying it is just above the branch of a particular tree. In reality, the star is not near the branch. But we can recognize the star that is crores of miles away, through the reference of the branch. Likewise, though the Vedas, shastras and itihasas do not directly prove the presence and nature of the Divine Principle, they reveal the path that can lead you to the Divine.

Where was Krishna born? In a prison! What were His possessions? Nothing! Born in a prison, He was taken to the house of Nanda and then He went to Mathura. What property did He have? He owned nothing. He doesn’t even have a piece of land. He had no bank balance also! But He became the greatest personality in the world. What does this show? Worldly wealth is not His real wealth. He treated all the wealth and possessions as mere passing clouds. Krishna’s greatness consisted in His permanent state of Ananda (bliss).

If you recognize the distinction, between Krishna and Rama; you will appreciate better the nature of Krishna. Krishna always smiled at the outset and then carried out His task. For Rama, the deed came first and then the smile. Krishna made women cry. Rama wept for the sake of a woman. Rama went into the battle only after having a strong cause for it. Krishna first provoked the conflict and then determined its outcome. In fact Krishna provoked and fought with many. These are the differences one can find between these two Yugas. The Krishna principle revels in delight. The Rama principle is based on the concept of Baadhyatha (obligation).

The Ramayana is intended to promote the reign of Truth and Righteousness on earth. The Krishna Avatar was intended to give a perennial message to the world. He sought nothing for Himself. He kept nothing for Himself. He gave away everything to the people. He killed His maternal uncle, Kamsa. He installed on the throne Kamsa’s father Ugrasena. He did not covet the Kingdom. He befriended the Pandavas, defeated the Kauravas and crowned Dharmaraja as the emperor. He did not make Himself king. He was a king without a crown. He was the King of kings. He had no kingdom of His own. But He ruled over the hearts of millions. It is this profound truth that is proclaimed by the Krishna-tatva (Krishna principle). If you enquire deeply, you will find that every Avatar has incarnated to convey a special message and carry out a particular mission.

Baba’s Divine Discourses

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The Three Best Things

A king used to ask three questions of all people who came to him. The first question was: 1. who is the best of persons? The second was: 2. what is the best time and the third, 3. what is the best of all actions? The king was very anxious to know the answers to these questions. One day, he went to the forest where he saw an ashram and wanted to take some rest there. By the time the king reached the ashram, a sadhu was watering some plants. The sadhu saw that the king was rather tired, stopped watering the plants, ran up to the king and gave him some fruits and cool water. At that time, an individual wounded all over the body was brought to the ashram by another sadhu. As soon as the sadhu saw this, he went to the individual, cleaned all his wounds. He was also telling him sweet words which could console the person. The king wanted to express his gratitude and take leave of him. The sadhu blessed the king but the king was still troubled by his three questions and wanted to see if the sadhu could enlighten him on that matter. The sadhu stated that the answers to the three questions were contained in the actions which the king had witnessed. The sadhu said that when the king came to the ashram he was watering the plants and that was his duty. At that time, on seeing the king the sadhu had given up his duty and come to the king to give him water and fruit. This was in accordance with correct traditions. While relieving the king of his thirst and suffering, another injured individual had come to the ashram and therefore the sadhu went to the other individual and began serving him. Whoever comes seeking service from you is the best individual at that time. Whatever satisfaction you can give him by serving him will be the best work you can do. The present, when you can do something, is the most sacred of all times.

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Devotional Activities in Chicago and Suburbs

  1. Every Monday
    • Bhajans in Aurora Shirdi Mandir from 07:00 PM – 08:00 PM
  2. Every Wednesday
    • Bhajans in Hoffman Estates from 07:30 PM – 08:30 PM
  3. Every Friday
    • Bhajans in Oak Brook from 08:00 PM – 09:00 PM
  4. First Saturday of the month
    • Bhajans in Glenview from 04:30 PM – 05:30 PM
  5. Saturday August 17, 2019
    • Paduka Puja in Bolingbrook from 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM
  6. Friday August 23, 2019
    • Bhajans in Orland Park from 07:30PM – 08:30 PM

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