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Discussions specifically related with the various aspects of practice of bhakti-sadhana in Gaudiya Vaishnavism.

Relief From The Holy Name - *Got some?*

Jagat - Sat, 08 May 2004 17:03:30 +0530
Generally speaking, I am not a very superstitious person and the magical approach to religion makes me nervous. I think that even though the scriptures often say that all things come to one who serves God, at the same time, they correctly advise us to be detached from the results of our actions. The Rasa Lila even goes so far as to say that there is no relation between our acts and their results when it comes to bhakti, because Krishna is functioning on a different level from simple order-filling or one-for-one reciprocation.

Devotees generally have a disdain for those who approach God simply to fulfill their crass material desires. So I don't usually ask Krishna for anything.

As a result, philosophically, I tend to prefer psychological arguments about religion rather than substantive ones.

But I have been feeling anxiety lately over money issues. There was really nothing I could do about it except hope for the best. To make a long story short (because I am skipping one or two intermediate steps), I took shelter of the Holy Name with renewed intensity. After all, who are you going to turn to but your friends when there is no one else, even if there is some shame involved?

I woke up remembering those two verses from Prahlada Maharaj that are in the "pearls" thread, the first of which especially gave me great hope, the second of which told me what to do.

kvAhaM rajaH-prabhava Iza tamo 'dhike 'smin
jAtaH suretara-kule kva tavAnukampA
na brahmaNo na tu bhavasya na vai ramAyA
yan me'rpitaH zirasi padma-karaH prasAdaH
O Lord! I was conceived in the mode of passion and born in this demonic family, dominated by the darkness of ignorance—how far from your mercy! And yet, you have given me the benediction of placing your hand on my head, a blessing not given to Lord Brahma, nor to Shiva, nor even to Lakshmi Devi. (7.9.26)
evaM janaM nipatitaM prabhavAhi-kUpe
kAmAbhikAmam anu yaH prapatan prasaGgAt |
kRtvAtmasAt surarSiNA bhagavan gRhItaH
so’haM kathaM nu visRje tava bhRtya-sevAm
A person like myself, fallen into the dark, snake-filled well of material life where I have remained, absorbed in desires and their consequences as a result of association. Yet I was picked up and claimed by the sage amongst the gods, Narada. So, how could I ever abandon service to your servants? (BhP 7.9.28)
Subsequently, a few small things then happened that resolved, if not the broader problem, at least the immediate ones. My anxiety has been removed. I cannot help but feel that there is a connection.

Of course, there is nothing logical--for as the Bhagavatam says--

tasyaiva hetoH prayateta kovido
na labhyate yad bhramatAm upary adhaH
tal labhyate duHkhavad anyataH sukhaM
kAlena sarvatra gabhIra-raMhasA
For this very reason, a wise person makes his efforts to achieve that which cannot be found by wandering through the higher or lower spheres of this universe: Those worldly happinesses come to us from outside, just like distress, through the inscrutable workings of all-powerful Time. (BhP 1.5.18)
So, this thread asks the question, has anyone experienced anything like this? I am not necessarily asking for stories of miracles, though miracles are just bigger instances of what I am looking for. Without being maudling, would anyone like to share a story of this kind, where prayer or chanting the Holy Name has had some tangible rather than purely psychological or mystical results?

kalki - Sun, 09 May 2004 13:50:39 +0530
QUOTE(Jagat @ May 8 2004, 11:33 AM)
where prayer or chanting the Holy Name has had some tangible rather than purely psychological or mystical results?

If you are asking tangible in the sense that the chanting brings some money or something, then I have a view on it.

We are not supposed to ask krishna for anything as you said, but the one thing we do ask for is help in surrendering. So Krishna naturally awards us whatever facility we need to serve him and sometimes he sends us money to help in our service.

Another way of seeing it is that when we chant, we clear our mind of obstacles. Obstacles prevent us from seeing the obvious such as where our next money comes from or our next prospect to bring money. So we don't see if our path is not clear, but if we chant without greed in complete selflessness for Krishna to reciprocate as he likes, then when we finish our bhajan, we can see clearly what it is we should do to continue our service.

In a sense, I think even tangible things come down to psychology becasue we tend to project with our mind. So all our obstacles and misfortune comes from things we create in our mind. Then it takes a good delusion cleansing to see what is left. In a sense I think this is a magical approach as well as that magic often employs clearing spells.
Advaitadas - Sun, 09 May 2004 14:10:41 +0530
So Krishna naturally awards us whatever facility we need to serve him and sometimes he sends us money to help in our service.

ananyas cintayanto mAm ye janah paryupAsate
teshAm nityAbhiyuktAnAm yoga kshemam vahAmyaham

(Bhagavad Gita 9.22)

To those who eternally worship Me to the fullest extent, thinking of nothing and No-one else but Me, I carry what they lack and preserve what they have."
nabadip - Sun, 09 May 2004 18:26:38 +0530
At one time 20 years ago when I returned from India in really bad shape and a deep-seated despair, and I had absolutely no one to turn to, no money, no shelter other than on a short term basis, I went to a University library to look at what holy texts they had. I found a particular translation along with the Sanskrit transliteration and I opened it up at the spot where a son of Krsna, after he had been cursed to get leprosy because he had seen wetness from excitement where one of Krsna's wives had been sitting and thought of it in a derogatory way, had been told by Krsna to chant the 21 names of the Sun to receive healing. I wrote down that prayer and started to chant that regularly with faith. I felt an immediate change, like an increasing light glowing within my being. A few days after I was led to travel some distance to meet a person who helped me, and later others, further. That trip is such an unlikely thing for me in my own rational ways, that it was clearly a kind of guidance to go there. I took the train into a direction I normally would not go. At an intermediate station I went on a short stroll to the lake, and thereby passed the local University library which then I decided to check out for the presence of shastra. There was a librarian who noticed my field of interest and engaged me in some talk about it. During that conversation I learned that he had ways to help people in dire psycho-physical circumstances, and I received considerable help and healing through his advice. I was later led to extraordinary forms of healing in India with that mantra, and ways and insights in my therapy research opened up for me that I cannot describe here.

Before that the Rig-veda mantra om tad vishno paramam padam etc which I saw as a kind of Visnu-sun-mantra had caught my attention, and I had meditated on that a lot, along with the Gayatri. When I received that Sun-mantra I saw it naturally in that light as well, as a kind of extension of the holy name. I chanted it more out of inner inspiration than with utilitarian intent to get healing. I could see that the holy name had led me to its own kind of medicine. Joy Nitai