Monday, 17 December 2012

Choosing My Own Way of Life

Wow... I didn't even get the chance to start this blog properly, and I already have started slacking off posts. Well, that's because this bhakta has unfortunately been pretty busy with  material life. But hey...

No matter the utter business of our every day life (I work for 11+ hours everyday and am gone from home for about 14 hours per day), I want to believe there's always time to maintain a spiritual mindset. If anything, it is essential for us busy people. If we don't stop to think about what we've done and where we are in life, there is simply no reason and no rhyme in this life. I just hope that I'm getting somewhere with mine!

So on a personal level I have been practising a lot with mantras recently, especially in the morning in order to dispel those bastardy negative feelings. Yup... waking up is NOT easy for me and I usually wake up in kind of a bad mood. But now I am making a bit of progress. Just repeating a mantra on the inside seems to help a lot in keeping negative thoughts outside the main picture. It grounds me and it clears away the grumpiness, so everyone should try for their own sake.

There is always a question of whether we should follow a specific school or if we should just sample many plates and combine knowledge of different spiritual paths. For the time being, I simply have not found a straight answer to that. Even after all this time I am still not 100% dedicated to a certain path even though I deeply feel attracted to a few. Somehow I do feel that it's only right (and an important goal) to devote myself to a personal meditational deity/protector, and when I finally decide, I feel I should be adamant about my choice. This world has many good things to offer on every level, but at some point we still have to make our choices and stick to them.

I guess it's OK -- there's no hussle, I'll just take my time and decide when the time's right. And that's a point I've been missing for a long time. Since I feel I've been making a bit of progress and these are intense times, I'll just post this following song in order to remember the good times :)

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Narasimha: the Wrathful God Behind the Cro-Mags' "Best Wishes"

Narasimha is a very popular deity from the Hindu religion. This mysterious, wrathful God who is widely worshipped by Hindus and Hare Krishna's, is a personal protection God and a destroyer of material desires:

Lord Nrsimha is the incarnation of Lord Krsna that appeared to protect his young devotee Prahlada. He appeared as half-man half-lion and killed the envious, atheistic demon, Hiranyakashipu who was materialism personified (hiran-gold, kasipu-soft bed). Devotees pray to Lord Nrsimhadeva for protection and to kill their material desires (

There is one particular story around Narasimha that is very famous. In it, Narasimha manifested in a half-lion/half-human form and killed Hiranyakashipu, an evil king who intended to become immortal. You can read the whole story at the end of this post (the excerpt is from Wikipedia).

In hardcore, Narasimha has become famous through the cover of the Cro-Mags' legendary Best Wishes album (1989). This is perhaps the first ever hardcore album cover to feature aesthetic elements from any type of religion. It is also one of the best examples of spiritualism in hardcore, as the whole record (even though it is practically a thrash metal record) encapsulates the violent, righteous energy that hardcore often packs. One of my personal favorite old school NYHC records, too!


Narasimha and Prahlada


The story of Narasimha as described in the Bhagavata Purana is as follows:
In his previous avatara of Varaha, Vishnu killed a rakshasa known as Hiranyaksha. Hiranyaksha's brother Hiranyakashipu, greatly angered by this, started to abhor Vishnu and his followers. He decides to attempt to kill Vishnu by gaining mystical powers, which he believes Brahma, the chief among the devas, will award him if he undergoes many years of great austerity and penance. This initially seems to work as planned with Brahma becoming pleased by Hiranyakashipu's austerities. Brahma thus appears before Hiranyakashipu and offers him a boon that he will personally make true anything he wishes for. In reply, Hiranyakashipu pleads himself to be made immortal. He said he did not want to die.
"O Brahma, give me victory over death" he said. Brahma replied it is not possible. But he could bind his death with certain conditions. To this Hiranyakashipu requested Brahma as follows:
O my lord, O best of the givers of benediction, if you will kindly grant me the benediction I desire, please let me not meet death from any of the living entities created by you. Grant me that I not die within any residence or outside any residence, during the daytime or at night, nor on the ground or in the sky. Grant me that my death not be brought about by any weapon, nor by any human being or animal. Grant me that I not meet death from any entity, living or nonliving created by you. Grant me, further, that I not be killed by any demigod or demon or by any great snake from the lower planets. Since no one can kill you in the battlefield, you have no competitor. Therefore, grant me the benediction that I too may have no rival. Give me sole lordship over all the living entities and presiding deities, and give me all the glories obtained by that position. Furthermore, give me all the mystic powers attained by long austerities and the practice of yoga, for these cannot be lost at any time. Brahma said, "Tatha asthu" (be it so) and vanished. Hiranyakashipu was happy thinking that he had won over death.
One day while Hiranyakashipu is performing austerities at Mandaracala Mountain, his home is attacked by Indra and the other devatas. At this point the divine sage Narada intervenes to protect Kayadu, whom he describes as 'sinless'. Following this event, Narada takes Kayadu into his care and while under the guidance of Narada, her unborn child (Hiranyakashipu's son) Prahlada, becomes affected by the transcendental instructions of the sage even at such a young stage of development. Thus, Prahlada later begins to show symptoms of this earlier training by Narada, gradually becoming recognised as a devoted follower of Vishnu, much to his father's disappointment.
Hiranyakashipu eventually becomes so angry and upset at his son's devotion to Vishnu (whom he sees as his mortal enemy) that he decides he must kill him, but each time he attempts to kill the boy, Prahlada is protected by Vishnu's mystical power. When asked, Prahlada refuses to acknowledge his father as the supreme lord of the universe and claims that Vishnu is all-pervading and omnipresent. Hiranyakashipu points to a nearby pillar and asks if 'his Vishnu' is in it:
"O most unfortunate Prahlada, you have always described a supreme being other than me, a supreme being who is above everything, who is the controller of everyone, and who is all-pervading. But where is He? If He is everywhere, then why is He not present before me in this pillar?"
Prahlada then answers, He was, He is and He will be. In an alternate version of the story, Prahlada answers, He is in pillars, and he is in the smallest twig. Hiranyakashipu, unable to control his anger, smashes the pillar with his mace, and following a tumultuous sound, Vishnu in the form of Narasimha appears from it and moves to attack Hiranyakashipu. in defence of Prahlada. In order to kill Hiranyakashipu and not upset the boon given by Brahma, the form of Narasimha is chosen. Hiranyakashipu can not be killed by human, deva or animal. Narasimha is neither one of these as he is a form of Vishnu incarnate as a part-human, part-animal. He comes upon Hiranyakashipu at twilight (when it is neither day nor night) on the threshold of a courtyard (neither indoors nor out), and puts the demon on his thighs (neither earth nor space). Using his sharp fingernails (neither animate nor inanimate) as weapons, he disembowels and kills the demon. Kurma Purana describes the preceding battle between the Purusha and demonic forces in which he escapes a powerful weapon called Pashupata and it describes how Prahlada's brothers headed by Anuhrada and thousands of other demons "were led to the valley of death (yamalayam) by the lion produced from the body of man-lion" avatara. The same episode occurs in the Matshya Purana 179, several chapters after its version of the Narasimha advent.
The Bhagavata Purana further narrates: even after killing Hiranyakashipu, none of the present demigods are able to calm Narasimha's fury, not even Shiva. So all the gods and goddesses call his consort, Lakshmi, but she is also unable to do so. Then, at the request of Brahma, Prahlada is presented to Narasimha, and finally he is calmed by the prayers of his devotee. Before parting, Narasimha rewards the wise Prahlada by crowning him as the king.
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Friday, 30 November 2012


Indian Sadhu talks about Shiva, material possessions and the passing into the next world. I can't even comment on this -- just listen and learn.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Foose - "Are We Stronger?"

You may know Don Foose from his time in super respected old school hardcore band, the Spudmonsters (a band which I personally grew up with). You mighy also know him from Run Devil Run (an awesome late 90s Hare Krsna band). Or you just may know Foose, the band he created to push the positive philosophy of Krsna Consciousness even further. No matter what, the music coming from this guy is all about proper hardcore grooves with an extra dose of positive energy and an uplifting message. It's all about bring it back to the essentials: simple music, with a simple drug free message of transcendental wisdom. Can't go wrong with that... it's just the perfect way to start the week. Stay X Posi!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

"How Can KRSNA Aid Me Financially?"

One big truth about many people into spirituality: they believe God will aid them in material ways. From my past personal experience but also judging from other people's actions, it seems that praying, meditating etc is usually done in a totally fruitive way. That means doing it for money, fame, looks etc - the basic stuff all people crave. However, this is not what religion and spirituality intend to bring us, not even at a basic level.

The millions of self-help books, modern "holistic" spiritualists, self-proclaimed gurus and so forth all seem to denote that performing spiritual deeds will somehow lead to materialistic fulfilment. Be good, chant a money mantra and so on. But why should our material wishes prosper through spirituality, especially when there is not higher goal in the picture? God surely wouldn't want to make our materialistic illusion even stronger. So there is the question of why do we ask for what we ask. Furthermore, how could a matter of the heart (such as spirituality) lead to material success? These are two completely different things, two different realms. Material success comes based on one's karma, as well as iron discipline and its accompanying framework of thought and action; but  asking God to simply make you filthy rich is kind of lame and shallow. Sure, God can help you in many material ways, but it's not His first priority to give you riches and fame. His priority is to do what is g o o d  f o r  y o u: to aid you on a spiritual level, to make you stronger, more versatile, more compassionate, more humorous, or whatever it is you need to be in order to make your way in this journey that you've chosen. KRSNA is here to grant you with the strength and inspiration to do what must be done.

KRSNA is indeed very merciful. In the Bhagavad Gita, it is explained that turning to God with material gain in mind can be actually acceptable. It is not as good as turning to Him for knowledge, inspiration and spiritual fulfilment, but it is "good enough" because at least we resort to God for our success. Acknowledging His total power is a good first step. Yes, God comes from another, non-material realm where worldy gains are nothing, but rest assured that He can help with material nature. After all, this is His creation. The main thing is that KRSNA helps people in regards to material nature, but in different ways. Relying on KRSNA will lift a huge burden off our shoulders in our worldy battles because we won't feel disappointed or guilty about things not working out. Sometimes, it's "meant to be". We've placed our hopes on something more important than ourselves. We do our best and let KRSNA decide. Personal effort will always be important in order to make it, but it's good to know you have our back covered.

But most of all, KRSNA's wish is to remind us that the here and now of material energy is not the whole picture. Living in this material world will always have its materialistic problems. These two things just go together - material energy will have material problems. As long as we're here, our natural inclination is on ways to make it big, to have more and more material success. But this is all due to our ego-tripping. While we crash headfirst on walls of the various obstacles of material life, we kind of understand that we have fallen from a more spiritual life. Our faith, according to the level it has developed, helps us in accepting this very fact (the vicious circle of materialism) and helps us remember that this material world is not ALL. There is more. But since we do live on this material plane, using the spiritual to transcend the material is the best we can do. And whatever happens, it happens.

For a more detailed and better explanation of what I talked about on this article, check out this article that inspired me in writing the above:

Friday, 16 November 2012

Srila Prabhupada's Disappearance Day

Srila Prabhupada left this world on November 14, 1977, in Vrndavana, India. Devotees observe this anniversary with personal remembrances of Srila Prabhupada, readings from his biography, and so on. Devotees also fast until noon and then eat food that has been symbolically offered to Him.

This year, the Krishna conscious world revisits Prabhupada's departure from this world on 17th November 2012. The main concept is that Prabhupada as a spiritual entity is very much alive, so there is no reason to mourn. Just revisit, pay respect and reflect. The following documentary on Prabhupada sheds some light about his vision, life and work. It is called Prabhupada the Perfect Example of Everything He Preached (Part 1).

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Shelter - "In Defense of Reality" (w/Lyrics)

Shelter and Youth of Today are the reasons I turned vegetarian, straight edge, and also the reason I got into Krishna consciousness. You could say I owe Ray Cappo and co. a lot.

I have so many memories of listening to Shelter along my path of personal growth and change. And even now, in my 30's, Shelter's music still uplifts me and gives me strength. I could go on and on about it, and about how these sounds and words represent to me positive change and deep reflection.

With a bit of positive hardcore and the light of Truth, I am at happily at home. I guess I am here to stay.

I DEFENSE OF REALITY: Security. How secure are we? Making our plans in a castle of sand as our dreams get dragged to the sea. You say you’re independent. Well is that a fact? It’s by creation’s donation you are maintained but you’d rather turn your back. I’m in defense of reality. Today’s modern science is your modern religion. Guesswork taught as fact. Don’t talk back. Blind faith in their decisions. They say explosions started creation and we’re just chemical combinations. But would they take the same stand if there’s a gun in my hand or would they beg for their salvation? We’ll see. Actually these conclusions prove their insanity. A creation without creator? Can it be? Just like a painting without a painter. Absurdity. No I don’t want to run away - I want to embrace reality.

Meditating on Mahakala

Just as all colors are absorbed and dissolved into black, all names and forms are said to melt into those of Mahakala

Religion as most of us see it today is largely predominated with the forces of Light. Aside from old pagan religions who worshipped the light in aspects of the physical world (i.e. the Sun), the rest of the world sees the light as the color of morality, and we eternally seek to follow it. Light = Righteousness. However, surely not everything is black and white, and sometimes we should draw our isnpiration from the forces of a kind of darker philosophical symbolism.

Depending on the light alone might not be enough to make it in this world, or the world of spiritually. Like it or not, we are not all white inside. You and I know, failure of knowing it will lead to a great and painful dichotomy. Just as seasons change, and day becomes night, we people need to combine the forces of light and darkness. This would be the real use of the positive and the negative, the forces of yin and yang. Some of the more brave ones would take this even further and practice with it, trying out negative patterns of behaviour, which would create a two wrongs make a right situation. Or play with karma in the form of seeing if a good action will overcome a minor bad action. If we think about it, our whole spiritual life is an effort to overcome the bad with good, but maybe aligning with the bad and accepting it is an open door to freedom...

The absence of color is a form of emptiness, the absolute, where everything is destined, where everything finally disperses. All dissolves into one, where there is no name and no form to trouble our mind. Meditating on the black and dark in this world could be a way of better understanding reality, which in turn leads to emancipation and freedom.

Western morality has taught us to be persistent and painfully consistent, pick a side and stick to it; but the physical and the spiritual world are not at all so one-sided, but are truly incosistent! Just observe and realize it. Things are in a contant flux, and so should we be.
Afterthrought: I wrote this article in a desperate need to justify some of the darker inclinations that I, like everyone else, feel from time to time.  Sometimes I feel I'd much rather have my actions dissolve into nothingness where no possible karma will haunt me. Alas, that's just a wish, and that article is just me talking to myself! I need to learn to enjoy being good instead of having karma as a watchdog for my actions.

New Beginnings

OK so goal #1 with this new blog is to transfer all the posts from my old blog into this one. My old blog will be deleted once this procedure is done. It will all be here, controlled from the account that all my other blogs are on -- which is so much easier for me!

Maybe, to make it more fun, I will also throw in some new posts inbetween the old stuff.

Enough with the boring blogger stuff, now let's transcend!