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How to Spiritualize Your Busy Life and Why?













Stephen Knapp

Stephen Knapp

STEPHEN KNAPP – How to spiritualize our lives is easier to explain than why, especially when we are so busy with numerous responsibilities or goals that we face everyday. After all, if we are already so busy, why should we feel that we need to spend more of our time in spiritual pursuits? Where are we going to get the time and how is that going to help? This is a common excuse that many people use to justify the reason why they have no time for spiritual practice. However, there are points we need to consider.

Individual Benefits

1. Everyone wants to find joy and happiness. For what other reason are you working or studying? We are working to acquire money, security, a better future for ourselves or our family, or to make improvements in our occupation. Yet, we need to clearly understand that spirituality is the key to real happiness. And by that I mean the happiness that reaches the soul, and not that which merely occupies the ever-changing demands of our mind and senses. It is through spiritualizing our lives that we can change our attitude to joy, and not look at things with the humdrum attitude of “Another day, another dollar” or something similar. This is not unusual because we often see that without spirituality life becomes empty and without real purpose or any deep meaning. By adding spirituality to our lives, it often improves our attitude and is reflected in every other area of our life, including job performance, relations with others, family cooperation, our flexibility, the way we handle problems or inconveniences, and the way we may even inspire others to do the same.

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Becoming Free from Sex Desire













Stephen Knapp

Stephen Knapp

STEPHEN KNAPP – The greatest happiness for the soul starts with complete freedom: freedom from misery, unhappiness, suffering, freedom from the dictates of desires, and, ultimately, freedom from being trapped in a material body. But what keeps us ensnared in such a condition are the desires for sensual and mental pleasures. And the hardest freedom to attain is freedom from sex desire.

Yoga is for attaining this kind of complete freedom. However, this means freedom from material desires of all kinds. If you are still entrapped by the idea of needing your sensual, emotional, or mental desires fulfilled, then you are far from being free, mentally, intellectually, and certainly not spiritually. In other words, if you still have desires for the pursuit of sensual or mental pleasures and happiness, then you are still a servant of your mind and senses. You are still a slave to the dictates of your mental and sensual impulses. You are still bound by the golden chains of the temporary illusion of chasing after pleasing the senses. They may be golden chains, but they are chains nonetheless. So how is that freedom? And how are you ever going to attain complete spiritual freedom with such desires creeping up and trying to tell you what you should do?

It is, however, one thing to have your mind on the loose giving you all kinds of weird ideas and desires for happiness. But it is another thing to be controlled by them and act them out. Sometimes the mind just goes crazy, but the intelligence knows better than to pursue such desires or ideas. This is called controlling the lower self by the higher self. This is not real freedom, but it is also far from being a complete slave under the command of the mind and senses. But the hardest desire to be free from is the desire for sex. Complete spiritual freedom includes freedom from sexual desire.

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Dispelling the Fear of Death













Stephen Knapp

Stephen Knapp

STEPHEN KNAPP – It is natural to feel fear of the unknown. In regard to death, this fear may be of what might happen during the process of dying, such as the pain of a terminal illness, nausea, vomiting, or even fearing abandonment by those around you. The fear of death may also be perpetuated by the sadness of the family around the dying person, or the hopelessness of the doctor, or the nurses who feel they may have failed to keep the person alive. However, it is through death that the dying person can be released from the great burden of the diseased body.

Death is not an enemy, it is a natural fact of life, a stage of our existence, and a transition or doorway between planes of reality. Death has its own harmony with nature just as a tree loses its leaves every fall. We don’t feel that it is unjust or that the tree failed to stay fully alive when it goes dormant through the winter. It is natural. Neither should doctors and nurses feel they have failed if after every endeavor a patient dies. Actually, it may be better to let a person take the opportunity to die peacefully rather than trying to force him or her to remain alive in a suffering body. In other words, it can be better to make peace with death than try to conquer it.

The process of dying can be rough, but it is temporary. The best thing to do is to focus our consciousness as much as we can in a way that will help us reach the highest realm possible after death. Of course, it always may be a little sad to leave our home and loved ones, but if we are going to a bigger and more beautiful home, then what is there to be sorry about? It is joyful to be going to a better place. This sort of joy will also help divert our attention from any pain we may be feeling.

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26 Qualities of a Devotee













A.C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI PRABHUPADA – People are thinking in a different way: “Why shall I love God only? Why shall I love God? I shall love my family. I shall love my country. I shall love my…” But no, you cannot love all of these things. It is not possible, because you are missing the central point. These are facts. Harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna. However materially or academically qualified he may be, one who does not love God cannot have any good qualifications. Why? Manorathenasati dhavato bahih—because he’ll simply speculate on the mental plane and fall under the spell of the material energy.

But it is clearly stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, yasyasti bhaktih bhagavaty akincana—as a person becomes advanced in devotional service, automatically he develops all good qualities.

 

 

The Caitanya Caritamrita gives a list of twenty-six qualities of a devotee as follows:

 

1. He is very kind to everyone.
2. He does not make anyone his enemy.
3. He is truthful.
4. He is equal to everyone.
5. No one can find any fault in him.
6. He is magnanimous.
7. He is mild.
8. He is always clean.
9. He is without possessions.
10. He works for everyone’s benefit.
11. He is very peaceful.
12. He is always surrendered to Krishna.
13. He has no material desires.
14. He is very meek.
15. He is steady.
16.He controls his senses.
17. He does not eat more than required.
18. He is not influenced by the Lord’s illusory energy.
19. He offers respect to everyone.
20. He does not desire any respect for himself.
21. He is very grave.
22. He is merciful.
23. He is friendly.
24. He is poetic.
25. He is expert.
26. He is silent.
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After all, what is the meaning of Krishna consciousness? Is it just some kind of sentiment or fanaticism? No. It is a science. If you follow the rules and regulations, then automatically all these good qualities develop. You can actually see. And as soon as these qualities are there, then you actually become a lover of your country; you become a lover of your fellow man. You become a friend to everyone, a lover of God—everything. So just imagine if each and every person became like that….

Of course, it is not expected that each and every person will become like that. However, if only ten percent of the world’s population becomes Krishna conscious, then it is guaranteed that we will have peace in the world. Why? Because ekas candrah—we do not require many moons in the sky. One moon is sufficient to drive away the darkness. Varam eko guni putro nirgunena satena kim. Canakya Pandita says that it is better to have one qualified son than to have hundreds of fools. The modern civilization is going on in that way—godless civilization. But if some percentage of the civilized human beings become Krishna conscious, that will bring world peace. Otherwise it is not possible. Krishna consciousness is therefore a necessity.













Transcendental Sound













One of the most powerful practices of bhakti-yoga is the hearing of transcendental sound, which means to hear about Krishna’s qualities and activities as described in Srimad-Bhagavatam, or to hear Krishna’s practical instructions on how to achieve the transcendental state as given in Bhagavad-gita As It Is, or to chant the Hare Krishna mantra. (A mantra is a sound that frees one from illusion.) The Hare Krishna mantra consists of three names of Krishna in a special arrangement:

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

The name Krishna means the all-attractive person. This name is perfectly appropriate since Krishna attracts everyone by His superexcellent qualities. Even those who are not aware of their relationship with Krishna are attracted to His qualities as they appear in various people and natural phenomena in the physical world. (Everything attractive in this world is a reflection of Krishna’s qualities.) The name Rama means ever-increasing transcendental ecstasy. One can immediately experience transcendental ecstasy if one chants this mantra sincerely. Hare is an address to the internal potency of Krishna that helps us to achieve pure love for Him. This hearing process is extremely powerful and has the potency to elevate anyone to the position of self-realization, which is the ultimate perfection of existence.













Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare  ॐ हरे कृष्णा हरे कृष्णा कृष्णा कृष्णा हरे हरे। हरे रामा हरे रामा रामा रामा हरे हरे॥ ॐ