What is a Farthing?
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What is a Farthing?

Srila Prabhupada uses this word so, so often. To know what this word means you would have to have lived in Ireland or the UK, and you would have to be older than 50 years old. So while travelling yesterday with HG Giribaradhari prabhu, we decided to reveal this hidden knowledge to the world, especially our American friends.

Here goes, a farthing is a quarter of a penny, but not an ordinary penny, there were 240 pennies in a pound, really !!! It works out as almost one tenth of a penny. Srila Prabhupada did not want us to waste even that much money.

In old money
12 pennies one shilling.
20 shillings £1
240 pennies in £1
480 half pennies in £1
960 farthings in £1

Letter to Rupanuga prabhu:

“Money collected for feeding people in India should be collected under the name ‘ISKCON Food Relief.’ Not any other name. And every farthing of that money must be sent to India, or better yet, buy food grains there and ship them here and we will distribute. But every farthing collected for that purpose must be used for that purpose. I have already sent one letter to Ramesvara explaining these points.”

Sriman George Harrison
c.o Apple Record Co.
London
England

My Dear George,

Please accept my blessings. I am so much obliged to you for your valued cooperation in spreading my movement of Krsna Consciousness throughout the whole world. I beg to acknowledge receipt herewith of your contribution of $19,000 (nineteen thousand dollars) for publication of my book, Krsna, now going to the press within the week.

Please note that every farthing of this money will be employed in the service of the Lord……..

I hope this has enlightened everyone on this burning issue of the farthing mystery, please note I have not cracked any frivolous jokes with a word similar to farthing as we are sober devotees, here in the UK.

your servant Parasuram Das

Volunteer Opportunities at The 41st Annual Festival of India July 13-14, 2012
→ The Toronto Hare Krishna Blog!


With summer in full swing, the excitement surrounding the 41st Annual Festival of India (Ratha-Yatra) is growing as each day passes!

The Festival of India has always relied on the power of volunteer efforts to make it the amazing success that it is today. Volunteering also means meeting incredible, new people while helping to make one of Toronto’s most astonishing summer events a reality. 

Whether posting flyers and posters across the city or helping on the days of the festival itself, the heart and soul of the Festival of India are the volunteers who make it happen! (Please note that the pre-festival event at Yonge & Dundas Square is on the Saturday, July 6th 2013 instead of Wednesday, July 10th 2013 as indicated in the volunteer sign-up form earlier. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this, please email volunteers@festivalofindia.ca) 

If you are interested in signing up as an official volunteer for the 40th Annual Festival of India, please visit http://www.festivalofindia.ca/ to sign up and one of our friendly Volunteer Coordinators will be in touch with you. 

For all general questions and/or concerns, please feel free to contact: 
Volunteer Coordination Team
Festival of India (Toronto)
1-888-535-3378 ex: 52
volunteers@festivalofindia.ca

Volunteer Opportunities at The 41st Annual Festival of India July 13-14, 2012
→ The Toronto Hare Krishna Blog!


With summer in full swing, the excitement surrounding the 41st Annual Festival of India (Ratha-Yatra) is growing as each day passes!

The Festival of India has always relied on the power of volunteer efforts to make it the amazing success that it is today. Volunteering also means meeting incredible, new people while helping to make one of Toronto’s most astonishing summer events a reality. 

Whether posting flyers and posters across the city or helping on the days of the festival itself, the heart and soul of the Festival of India are the volunteers who make it happen! (Please note that the pre-festival event at Yonge & Dundas Square is on the Saturday, July 6th 2013 instead of Wednesday, July 10th 2013 as indicated in the volunteer sign-up form earlier. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this, please email volunteers@festivalofindia.ca) 

If you are interested in signing up as an official volunteer for the 40th Annual Festival of India, please visit http://www.festivalofindia.ca/ to sign up and one of our friendly Volunteer Coordinators will be in touch with you. 

For all general questions and/or concerns, please feel free to contact: 
Volunteer Coordination Team
Festival of India (Toronto)
1-888-535-3378 ex: 52
volunteers@festivalofindia.ca

A Jubilant Festival, June 16, Bhakti Yoga Shala, Santa Monica, California
Giriraj Swami

06.18.13_IDS_S.Monica“Indradyumna Swami spoke on the bhakti movement of Lord Chaitanya at Bhakti Yoga Shala in Los Angeles. After the talk, as the kirtana built and the ecstasy rose and almost everyone in the room was dancing, I thought, “Maharaja is not an ordinary person; I should take full advantage of every moment I have with him—and other such great souls—to chant and hear the holy names and glories of Sri Krishna.” And I thought of a verse by Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati:

so ‘py ascaryamayah prabhur nananayor yan nabhavad gocaro
   yan nasvadi hareh padambuja rasas tad yad gatim tad gatam
etavan mama tavad astu jagatam ye nye py alankurvate
   sri caitanya pade nikhata manasas tair yat prasangot savah

‘Because the wonderful Lord never came before my eyes, and because I never tasted the nectar of service to His lotus feet, I simply pray to attain the jubilant festival of the association of those great souls now decorating this world whose hearts are fixed at Lord Caitanya’s lotus feet’ (Sri Caitanya-candramrta, Chapter 6, text 50).” — Giriraj Swami

Hare Krishna.

Indradymna Swami’s talk
Indradymna Swami’s kirtan

bound to material life due to lust
→ simple thoughts

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Their is a great joy in school visits especially when the teaching staff get as involved in questions as the students; indeed during my last school visit what was supposed to be a single lesson class turned into a double lesson thus was the enthusiasm.
So I was happy when out shopping a teacher stopped me and asked if she could ask a question that she felt she couldn’t whilst in class; sure.
She explained how she had read somewhere that we practised celibacy and if that was true do we not miss sex? An unusual question but then during school visits unusual questions are always their. Pondering I answered in this way: “you could have sex every day of your life but it will never give the satisfaction one day as a celibate bramachari brings”
She looked startled at this answer and so we discussed it further, in terms of a relationship an interesting discussion. At the end she concluded that indeed the notion makes sense given the facts.
It made me think, in media and even more so advice columns there is a notion that any relationship cannot survive without a healthy and regular sex life; and indeed problems occur if you deny yourself sexual pleasure.
So much emphasis is put on sex life, but less on developing loving relationships beyond the physical were the aim is to help each other, develop respect and increase spiritual understanding.
Sex life leads ultimately to frustration; the body grows old the ability to enjoy diminishes and indeed our attractiveness to members of the opposite sex also goes; we are left with fading memories, desires of what could have been.
Spiritual life and relationship’s based on real love not physical love leads to a greater fulfilment there is no loss, no pressure. It keeps the mind focused on what is most important the individual rather than our cardinal needs. And as we see many in relationships that last more than a few years say that they view their partner as a close friend someone they can share and enjoy life’s ups and downs with.
Ultimately however the aim of any relationship is to help us grow spiritually and to eventually return back home but then I guess this is how fantastic maya is she bewilders our minds and the easiest way is through lusty desires which comes out in our desire for sex life. And thus binding us to this material platform of life.

Wake up! You’re under a spell…
→ everyday gita

Verse 3.29: Bewildered by the modes of material nature, the ignorant fully engage themselves in material activities and become attached. But the wise should not unsettle them, although these duties are inferior due to the performers' lack of knowledge.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be under a spell? If you haven't realized it yet, it might come as a shock. Most of us are living under one!

We are under the spell of the three modes of material nature.

These modes, otherwise known as influences or qualities, affect us all the time. Our moods, our activities, our choice in music, food, association - you name it and we're influenced.

So why is it that we are influenced by the characteristics of goodness, passion and ignorance? In Chapter 14 of the Gita, Krsna will explain this in greater depth. The answer is simple though - it's because most of us identify ourselves with the body. Since we identify with the material and temporary body, we are influenced by the material and temporary modes of material nature.

There is good news however: it's a breakable spell!

The secret to breaking the spell has already been elucidated, but it's worth mentioning again. The spell of these three material qualities is powerless the moment we start to realize that we are eternal souls. Material influences are no match for the eternal.

If you're thinking "Easier said than done!" you're right. Well...at least partially. ;) After all, after lifetimes of identifying with the material, a paradigm shift is now required. After focusing on the external for so long, trying to reconcile the truth that happiness truly lies within can be difficult.

It is difficult, nearly impossible for one to realize and act as a soul...that is, if you try to do it yourself.

That's why the practices of bhakti yoga are cultivated and done in the company of other aspiring bhakti yogis. Whether it be kirtan (mantra meditation to music), reading the bhakti texts, eating food offered in love to the Divine or praying - it's done together because there is power in numbers.

It also serves as a great help when our minds start flipping out on us. We have friends and well-wishers who gently remind us that we're under a spell and encourage us by their own example how to get out.

To fight the spell of the three modes of material nature we need all the help we can get. All the facility is out there...the question remains - are you ready to wake up from the spell?

Wake up! You’re under a spell…
→ everyday gita

Verse 3.29: Bewildered by the modes of material nature, the ignorant fully engage themselves in material activities and become attached. But the wise should not unsettle them, although these duties are inferior due to the performers' lack of knowledge.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be under a spell? If you haven't realized it yet, it might come as a shock. Most of us are living under one!

We are under the spell of the three modes of material nature.

These modes, otherwise known as influences or qualities, affect us all the time. Our moods, our activities, our choice in music, food, association - you name it and we're influenced.

So why is it that we are influenced by the characteristics of goodness, passion and ignorance? In Chapter 14 of the Gita, Krsna will explain this in greater depth. The answer is simple though - it's because most of us identify ourselves with the body. Since we identify with the material and temporary body, we are influenced by the material and temporary modes of material nature.

There is good news however: it's a breakable spell!

The secret to breaking the spell has already been elucidated, but it's worth mentioning again. The spell of these three material qualities is powerless the moment we start to realize that we are eternal souls. Material influences are no match for the eternal.

If you're thinking "Easier said than done!" you're right. Well...at least partially. ;) After all, after lifetimes of identifying with the material, a paradigm shift is now required. After focusing on the external for so long, trying to reconcile the truth that happiness truly lies within can be difficult.

It is difficult, nearly impossible for one to realize and act as a soul...that is, if you try to do it yourself.

That's why the practices of bhakti yoga are cultivated and done in the company of other aspiring bhakti yogis. Whether it be kirtan (mantra meditation to music), reading the bhakti texts, eating food offered in love to the Divine or praying - it's done together because there is power in numbers.

It also serves as a great help when our minds start flipping out on us. We have friends and well-wishers who gently remind us that we're under a spell and encourage us by their own example how to get out.

To fight the spell of the three modes of material nature we need all the help we can get. All the facility is out there...the question remains - are you ready to wake up from the spell?

Second Chapter, Second Canto – Finished
→ Bhagavatam By Braja

To celebrate finishing the presentation of the Second Chapter of the Second Canto – here is an excerpt, one of my favorite śloka from this chapter

35

Parīkṣit: These yogīs you described, how do they love the All-Attractive?

Śuka: They experience All-Attractive Hari by his qualities present within the core of all living beings.

Parīkṣit: What qualities?

Śuka: The qualities of consciousness. Yogīs know that they are conscious – they can see, experience, and comprehend. Everything they see, experience and comprehend also has this divine quality, consciousness. Thus they inferentially experience the All-Attractive divine everywhere.

krishna - the all attractive one


a win-win situation
→ everyday gita

Verse 3.28: One who is in knowledge of the Absolute Truth, O mighty-armed, does not engage himself in the senses and sense gratification, knowing well the differences between work in devotion and work for fruitive results.

Today was a day of productive reflection for me. Despite it being Saturday, I was able to knock off several things from my to-do list. Item 2 was taking time out to introspect and take stock of everything that's been going on lately.

One of my contemplations was the fact that often we are presented with lose-lose scenarios. We may want to speak the truth, but it's at the cost of a friendship or we may want to pursue our particular path in life but it's at the disapproval of friends and loved ones. There are innumerable scenarios such as these that we encounter and it's often hard to swallow.

Now if you were presented with a win-win situation, wouldn't you just jump at it? That's exactly what working in gratitude is all about. Right now, whether we are conscious of it or not, many of us perform work with the intention of enjoying the results. Looking at it from a subjective perspective, it actually seems quite reasonable. After all, if we put in the effort and time to do something, it only seems fair that get to take credit for the outcome, right?

That perspective is just a snapshot. It's not a holistic picture of what is actually going on. Most of us in fact realize that the talents and abilities that we use to perform our work are blessings from the Supreme. However, the challenge is in actually recognizing and acknowledging that on a day to day basis. Granted, it's hard to do so when we are constantly bombarded by material society trying to convince us that we are in control and everything is "mine".

Constant exposure to this type of consciousness can make us forget that:

Our talents, abilities and gifts are all blessings that have been given to us by the Divine.

Bhakti yoga helps us clear away the fog of misconception that we are in control. It reminds us that life is about connection, service and gratitude. By living our lives in such a way, we start to re-connect with our selves and the Divine in a spirit of appreciation.

That's choosing the win-win option.

Whatever work we perform carries with it some karma, whether it be good or bad. That karma binds us to the temporary, material body. Instead, we can continue to perform work but with the consciousness of offering it as our appreciation to the Divine for everything He has given us. By shifting our consciousness to one of gratitude, we incur NO karma. That's right...no more ties to temporary, material world!

Such win-win situations are very rare. The best part about this one is the fact that nothing externally changes. It's all about what's going on inside - in your heart and in your mind. The option is out there. Will you choose win-win?

a win-win situation
→ everyday gita

Verse 3.28: One who is in knowledge of the Absolute Truth, O mighty-armed, does not engage himself in the senses and sense gratification, knowing well the differences between work in devotion and work for fruitive results.

Today was a day of productive reflection for me. Despite it being Saturday, I was able to knock off several things from my to-do list. Item 2 was taking time out to introspect and take stock of everything that's been going on lately.

One of my contemplations was the fact that often we are presented with lose-lose scenarios. We may want to speak the truth, but it's at the cost of a friendship or we may want to pursue our particular path in life but it's at the disapproval of friends and loved ones. There are innumerable scenarios such as these that we encounter and it's often hard to swallow.

Now if you were presented with a win-win situation, wouldn't you just jump at it? That's exactly what working in gratitude is all about. Right now, whether we are conscious of it or not, many of us perform work with the intention of enjoying the results. Looking at it from a subjective perspective, it actually seems quite reasonable. After all, if we put in the effort and time to do something, it only seems fair that get to take credit for the outcome, right?

That perspective is just a snapshot. It's not a holistic picture of what is actually going on. Most of us in fact realize that the talents and abilities that we use to perform our work are blessings from the Supreme. However, the challenge is in actually recognizing and acknowledging that on a day to day basis. Granted, it's hard to do so when we are constantly bombarded by material society trying to convince us that we are in control and everything is "mine".

Constant exposure to this type of consciousness can make us forget that:

Our talents, abilities and gifts are all blessings that have been given to us by the Divine.

Bhakti yoga helps us clear away the fog of misconception that we are in control. It reminds us that life is about connection, service and gratitude. By living our lives in such a way, we start to re-connect with our selves and the Divine in a spirit of appreciation.

That's choosing the win-win option.

Whatever work we perform carries with it some karma, whether it be good or bad. That karma binds us to the temporary, material body. Instead, we can continue to perform work but with the consciousness of offering it as our appreciation to the Divine for everything He has given us. By shifting our consciousness to one of gratitude, we incur NO karma. That's right...no more ties to temporary, material world!

Such win-win situations are very rare. The best part about this one is the fact that nothing externally changes. It's all about what's going on inside - in your heart and in your mind. The option is out there. Will you choose win-win?

Hari’s Restaurant
→ Ramai Swami

20130616-084723.jpg

20130616-084807.jpg
Hari’s Vegetarian Restaurant is the new restaurant that was opened by the Sydney Temple around 3 months ago. It is located in the Broadway area of Sydney, about a block from the University of Technology Sydney and half a kilometre from Sydney University.

Needless to say, the area is mainly inhabited by students who attend these two colleges. The restaurant operates seven days a week and even though it has only been open a short time it is growing very quickly in popularity.

It is overseen by Sudarshan Prabhu who lives at the temple and staffed by devotee cooks such as, Jitendriya, Karunamoya, Govinda and Mohit. Other devotees also come and help out with various services that are needed. The menu is a tantalising fusion of western and Indian type of vegetarian foods, all offered to the Supreme Lord.

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Mahendraparvata, 1,200-Year-Old Lost Medieval City In Cambodia, Unearthed By Archaeologists
→ Vedicarcheologicaldiscoveries's Weblog

A lost medieval city that thrived on a mist-shrouded Cambodian mountain 1,200 years ago has been discovered by archaeologists using revolutionary airborne laser technology, a report said.
In what it called a world exclusive, the Sydney Morning Herald said the city, Mahendraparvata, included temples hidden by jungle for centuries, many of which have not been looted.

A journalist and photographer from the newspaper accompanied the “Indiana Jones-style” expedition, led by a French-born archaeologist, through landmine-strewn jungle in the Siem Reap region where Angkor Wat, the largest Hindi temple complex in the world, is located.

The expedition used an instrument called Lidar — light detection and ranging data — which was strapped to a helicopter that criss-crossed a mountain north of Angkor Wat for seven days, providing data that matched years of ground research by archaeologists.

It effectively peeled away the jungle canopy using billions of laser pulses, allowing archaeologists to see structures that were in perfect squares, completing a map of the city which years of painstaking ground research had been unable to achieve, the report said.

It helped reveal the city that reportedly founded the Angkor Empire in 802 AD, uncovering more than two dozen previously unrecorded temples and evidence of ancient canals, dykes and roads using satellite navigation coordinates gathered from the instrument’s data.

Jean-Baptiste Chevance, director of the Archaeology and Development Foundation in London who led the expedition, told the newspaper it was known from ancient scriptures that a great warrior, Jayavarman II, had a mountain capital, “but we didn’t know how all the dots fitted, exactly how it all came together”.

“We now know from the new data the city was for sure connected by roads, canals and dykes,” he said.

The discovery is set to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States.

Damian Evans, director of the University of Sydney’s archaeological research centre in Cambodia, which played a key part in developing the Lidar technology, said there might be important implications for today’s society.

“We see from the imagery that the landscape was completely devoid of vegetation,” Evans, a co-expedition leader, said.

“One theory we are looking at is that the severe environmental impact of deforestation and the dependence on water management led to the demise of the civilisation … perhaps it became too successful to the point of becoming unmanageable.”

The Herald said the trek to the ruins involved traversing rutted goat tracks and knee-deep bogs after travelling high into the mountains on motorbikes.

Everyone involved was sworn to secrecy until the findings were peer-reviewed.

Evans said it was not known how large Mahendraparvata was because the search had so far only covered a limited area, with more funds needed to broaden it out.

“Maybe what we see was not the central part of the city, so there is a lot of work to be done to discover the extent of this civilisation,” he said.

“We need to preserve the area because it’s the origin of our culture,” secretary of state at Cambodia’s Ministry of Culture, Chuch Phoeun, told AFP.

Angkor Wat was at one time the largest pre-industrial city in the world, and is considered one of the ancient wonders of the world.

It was constructed from the early to mid 1100s by King Suryavarman II at the height of the Khmer Empire’s political and military power.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/15/mahendraparvata-lost-city-cambodia_n_3445545.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Chtmlws-main-bb%7Cdl15%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D329943


“Love and Trust” is Developed, Maintained, or Depleted, by our “Emotional Bank Accounts”
→ Karnamrita.das's blog

Author: 
Karnamrita Das

(this blog is recorded on the full page: quick time player needed; works best with Firefox or Explorer)
 photo ShrilaPrabhupadagivingcookie_zpsae3abb64.jpg

While we often hear Shrila Prabhupada’s statement that “our relationships should be based on love and trust,” we don’t often expand on how this can be created and maintained. One process I have found helpful is something we teach in our relationship seminars, namely the practice of checking the balance in the “Emotional Bank Account” that we have with another person—do we have a surplus of positive emotions, or are we overdrawn, in the red?

This is a metaphor that Stephen Covey [The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People] first came up with to describe "the amount of trust that’s been built up in a relationship." This statement really piqued my curiosity and interest in his work, and after scrutiny, dovetails nicely as a support to putting into practice Prabhupada’s aphorism. Just as we have bank accounts to keep our money in, we also have “bank accounts” to store our “emotional capital” or the energy that sustains or strains (if it becomes depleted) relationships.
Trust photo Trust_zpsab5f6139.jpg
We could also consider this capital like a trust meter, and trust is the basis of reciprocal loving dealings. Very few people love unconditionally, but most of us require more positive interactions (deposits), than negative ones (withdrawals), to stay, or be happy, in a relationship.

read more

“Love and Trust” is Developed, Maintained, or Depleted, by our “Emotional Bank Accounts”
→ Karnamrita.das's blog

Author: 
Karnamrita Das

(this blog is recorded on the full page: quick time player needed; works best with Firefox or Explorer)
 photo ShrilaPrabhupadagivingcookie_zpsae3abb64.jpg

While we often hear Shrila Prabhupada’s statement that “our relationships should be based on love and trust,” we don’t often expand on how this can be created and maintained. One process I have found helpful is something we teach in our relationship seminars, namely the practice of checking the balance in the “Emotional Bank Account” that we have with another person—do we have a surplus of positive emotions, or are we overdrawn, in the red?

This is a metaphor that Stephen Covey [The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People] first came up with to describe "the amount of trust that’s been built up in a relationship." This statement really piqued my curiosity and interest in his work, and after scrutiny, dovetails nicely as a support to putting into practice Prabhupada’s aphorism. Just as we have bank accounts to keep our money in, we also have “bank accounts” to store our “emotional capital” or the energy that sustains or strains (if it becomes depleted) relationships.
Trust photo Trust_zpsab5f6139.jpg
We could also consider this capital like a trust meter, and trust is the basis of reciprocal loving dealings. Very few people love unconditionally, but most of us require more positive interactions (deposits), than negative ones (withdrawals), to stay, or be happy, in a relationship.

read more

Cooking Classes
→ The Loft Yoga Lounge Auckland

New Vegan/Vegetarian Cooking classes Every fortnight on Fridays at 6pm This week, Friday 5th July,  it is with Madhava sangani (Meredith) …………………………………………... Theme this week: Gluten Free Buckwheat Crepes,  Buckwheat crackers Roasted beetroot dip Raw cashew cheese Salad (for serving with the crepes) Banana surprise Remember BOOK NOW – parking is free after 6pm and only [...]

The post Cooking Classes appeared first on The Loft Yoga Lounge Auckland.

air freshener anyone? living under the influence…
→ everyday gita

Verse 3.27: The spirit soul bewildered by the influence of false ego thinks himself the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by the three modes of material nature.

There is a phrase that the great bhakti yogi, Srila Prabhupada, often uses in reference to the soul. That phrase is:

"one's constitutional position"

I love this description because it strips away everything that is irrelevant and gives us the essence. Sometimes, when things are wrapped up in nice and glitzy packages, we get distracted. Case in point - many of us are so fixated on the body with all it's functions, abilities and appearance that we may forget what's really important - the soul inside.

Equally important to realizing that we are eternal souls, is the nature of the soul. Its nature can be summed up in two words: to serve.

Everything really falls in place if we understand these two points of service and the soul. Our desire to find our true calling and contribute to the world is in fact rooted in our innate nature to serve.

But...we face a challenge. We encounter it on a minute to minute basis and may not realize that it is in direct opposition to the soul's propensity and inherent nature of service. That challenge is otherwise known as: the false ego.

The false ego is like a voracious eater and the food it subsists on is control and recognition. Now before going any further, it's important to highlight that desiring control and recognition is not wrong or negative. It does, however, become a challenge when the false ego, which is always screaming to take credit of all activities that are being performed, interferes with our inherent nature to appreciate and recognize the Divine.

In fact, the soul doesn't crave recognition, control or anything else. It simply craves eternal and ever-lasting love. Under the influence of the false ego, we get bewildered into thinking that these other externals may somehow lead to that love.

In today's verse, Krsna is very beautifully explaining how the false ego affects us. It acts as an influence. That in and of itself gives great hope for all those who want to be freed from the tyrannical demands of the false ego. If the soul is under the influence of the false ego, it implies that the soul can also become freed from it!

Just as the air takes on the smell of any environment that it passes over, similarly the soul (having been in contact with the false ego for so many lifetimes) also takes on the influence of the false ego's association.

The temptation may be there to cover up the outward manifestations of the false ego, similar to trying to cover up a bad odor with a pleasant one. However, it just doesn't work. It may be a temporary fix, but those tendencies always comes out, often at the most inopportune times!

The only way to give up the influence of the false ego is by changing our association. By practicing mantra meditation, introspection and spending time with advanced bhakti yogis, we'll start to recognize the stink of the false ego. After all, it's only when you recognize the stink that you'll want to disassociate from it! By becoming aware of the ways that the false ego lures us in, we'll learn to not only ignore it, but gradually give up it's association completely.

air freshener anyone? living under the influence…
→ everyday gita

Verse 3.27: The spirit soul bewildered by the influence of false ego thinks himself the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by the three modes of material nature.

There is a phrase that the great bhakti yogi, Srila Prabhupada, often uses in reference to the soul. That phrase is:

"one's constitutional position"

I love this description because it strips away everything that is irrelevant and gives us the essence. Sometimes, when things are wrapped up in nice and glitzy packages, we get distracted. Case in point - many of us are so fixated on the body with all it's functions, abilities and appearance that we may forget what's really important - the soul inside.

Equally important to realizing that we are eternal souls, is the nature of the soul. Its nature can be summed up in two words: to serve.

Everything really falls in place if we understand these two points of service and the soul. Our desire to find our true calling and contribute to the world is in fact rooted in our innate nature to serve.

But...we face a challenge. We encounter it on a minute to minute basis and may not realize that it is in direct opposition to the soul's propensity and inherent nature of service. That challenge is otherwise known as: the false ego.

The false ego is like a voracious eater and the food it subsists on is control and recognition. Now before going any further, it's important to highlight that desiring control and recognition is not wrong or negative. It does, however, become a challenge when the false ego, which is always screaming to take credit of all activities that are being performed, interferes with our inherent nature to appreciate and recognize the Divine.

In fact, the soul doesn't crave recognition, control or anything else. It simply craves eternal and ever-lasting love. Under the influence of the false ego, we get bewildered into thinking that these other externals may somehow lead to that love.

In today's verse, Krsna is very beautifully explaining how the false ego affects us. It acts as an influence. That in and of itself gives great hope for all those who want to be freed from the tyrannical demands of the false ego. If the soul is under the influence of the false ego, it implies that the soul can also become freed from it!

Just as the air takes on the smell of any environment that it passes over, similarly the soul (having been in contact with the false ego for so many lifetimes) also takes on the influence of the false ego's association.

The temptation may be there to cover up the outward manifestations of the false ego, similar to trying to cover up a bad odor with a pleasant one. However, it just doesn't work. It may be a temporary fix, but those tendencies always comes out, often at the most inopportune times!

The only way to give up the influence of the false ego is by changing our association. By practicing mantra meditation, introspection and spending time with advanced bhakti yogis, we'll start to recognize the stink of the false ego. After all, it's only when you recognize the stink that you'll want to disassociate from it! By becoming aware of the ways that the false ego lures us in, we'll learn to not only ignore it, but gradually give up it's association completely.