H.G. Matsyavatar Das

Monday, 8 February 2016

Winning the Shadow – Part II

"Valuing people's talents."
It seems perfectly useless to deny and remove the Freudian envy, as it will go on working within the psychic structure and thus reinforced, it would do even worse.
On a practical level it can be purified and transformed by learning to value the talents of others, inspiring people to offer their talents in Krishna consciousness. This propensity will draw us nearer to the qualities of the eternal inhabitants of Vaikuntha so we'll become extremely beneficial to all the living creatures, ourselves included. In this way people can get closer to the Lord beginning to taste this new spiritual relation but how can it become true if they do not even know who is Krishna? Let us help them to put their talents to His service. For example, if someone cooks well, we can suggest a menu and offer the meal to Krishna: "Please, Lord Krishna, accept this food and bless the person who has prepared it."
Although in a first stage such service is indirect as accomplished without awareness, still the person will get a great benefit that will gradually increase in the process of serving. Once the meaning of service is intimately understood, the attraction to serve will be empowered with the taste and thus the person reaches further important step of awareness, up to a higher level when the service is offered not only as an act of one's own will and pleasure, but also consistently and without egoistic motivations. Yet if the person commits offenses, almost always because of residual envy, there is still a risk to crash down to the lower states of consciousness even from this level thus descending to the darker regions of mind. In such a state these people appear like shooting stars that, having made a light path in the sky, become obscured. Even in this case we should not forget the infinite mercy of divine forgiveness, that comes promptly to our rescue when, once repented, we start over following our path towards perfection.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Winning the Shadow - Part I

I would like to offer the following reflection, divided into some topics.
" Spiritual Cosmology".
In the spiritual world,
Paravyoma, all living beings are perfect.
The highest heaven coincides with the abode of Vishnu,
Vishnu paramam padam, which manifests the highest perfection.
Gradually descending from the highest spiritual dimension, we can reach the boundary of the Vaikuntha planets, the abode of the creatures without conditionings. Their desires are perfect, as long as they continue to desire in a pure way. The perfection of desire coincides with the freedom to desire. At the same time, it is just the free will that favors the potential risk of falling from that dimension, but an attempt to explain this phenomenon with the rational mind will bear no fruit, because the mind is the instrument of
prakriti that can not contemplate or grasp the spiritual dimension (purusha).
Descending to the lower heavenly planets, one can find the
Siddha Loka, where the living creatures are endowed with special siddhis or perfect capacities. The inhabitants of these planets are perfectly intelligent beings: beautiful, strong, gifted with special talents; each one vibrates with a characteristic virtue, as if it were a ray [of the sun] of Vishnu.
From the lowest heavenly planets, the living beings can easily fall to the median planets like the earth, Bhumidevi, where the human beings temporarily stay. Conversely there are people from the median planets like the Earth are to be reborn on the heavenly planets, lower or higher, but yet they can not be defined as freed
Jivas as these living beings still have residues of the material attachments and are still identified with the contents of their psyche. Finding themselves in such a condition, they can not reach the dimension sat-cit-ananda-vigraha of Vaikuntha.
"Envy: a major cause of the fall."
The overview that I have offered is to introduce a fundamental concept: it is envy that most oppresses and plunges the consciousness into the lower states of being. Even in the biblical tradition and in the three derivative traditions of monotheism of the Middle East, Lucifer, the brightest angel, falls from his position out of envy towards God. As Krishna states in Bhagavad-gita, among the five categories of
anartha, envy is the most dangerous. Dante in The Divine Comedy identifies lust, anger and greed (which envy is an immediate derivative) as the three doors that bring to hell. One must never indulge, never cross the threshold of these three gates of hell, even when the entry appears gold, large, inviting and studded with diamonds.
What mostly prevents a conditioned psyche from getting back on the upper heavenly planets? We'll find the answer to this question in the second part of the article.

Thursday, 10 September 2015


The genuine spiritual realization, which is to be found on a much higher level than that of religiousness, is the experience of a fulfilled soul, of a sage, of an enlightened person who, precisely for being wise, sees the creation, the creatures and the Creator simultaneously and as an integrated unity. For this reason the service he offers to the Creator works automatically also for the well-being of the creatures and of the creation as a whole.
The philosophical concept of ahimsa, non-violence, obviously is not to be limited to human beings, as the respect for life includes all living entities and the creation itself.
The research for spiritual realization, for the highest self, focal point of the personality, corresponds to the discovery of God and to a loving relationship with Him.
When we are placed out of our centre, not only we vanish as an identity, but even God disappears, and it is only when we find again God that we find again ourselves, inconceivably two and One at the same time.

Matsyavatara das

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Tribute to Shrila Prabhupada

Dear Shrila Prabhupada, please accept my respectful obeisances. All glories to your Divine Grace!

Namo om vishnu padaya krishna preshtaya bhu-tale 
Shrimate Bhaktivedanta Swamin iti namine 

Om ajnana timirandhasya 
jnananjana shalakaya 
cakshur unmilitan yena 
tasmai shri gurave namah 

With a touch of bitterness mixed with so much joy I write to celebrate the holy day of your Vyasapuja, your holy and salvific appearance in this world. This world otherwise horrible host of incarnations marked by joy and pain that obsessively would end each time with the tragedy of death, harbinger of the next rebirth in the infinite cycle of samsara. 
You came and you have given us the opportunity and the means to redeem ourselves, save ourselves and fall in love with God. 
Glory and infinite gratitude to You for bringing the divine light of hope and faith in the darkness of our existence! 
My mother, Anandavrindavana Devi Dasi, a fervent devotee of yours, your admirer and servant, recently left her old and exhausted body, and her physical presence has disappeared from the sight of our eyes, thus exiting at the same time from our relationships, and this has left a large void, yet filled by an infinite and poignant feeling of Love at a distance. 
I’m telling You this, not to sadden You, but to offer my experience of how this event made me realize, once again, the infinite luck we received to have known You, immediately welcomed You into our heart, and later served You, by shaping my life, both of my parents life and the life of my whole biological and spiritual family in accordance with Your divine teachings. 
The writing of this letter implies every year - at least once a year- a honest and deep look into the mirror of our consciousness, and every time, it is for me both arduous and highly beneficial because, by seeing the good and the bad in me allows me to adhere strongly to the first one and even more decisively take distance from the second one. So I offer You the conclusions I have drawn from this immersion by seeking what unites me to You.
When I think of whom, in the course of this incarnation has had the greatest influence on the human and spiritual forming of my character, no doubt it's You. 
When I think of whom, who over the last forty years I have turned to, every time I found myself faced with crucial choices, no doubt it's You. 
When I think of whom my heart bestows the utmost gratitude on, no doubt it's You. 
You are the source of my inspiration. You are my model of active and contemplative Bhakti. 
You are the one whom I dedicate my every initiative to, because I know that the success of my offer to God depends on obtaining Your Divine Grace under the form of intercession.
You, with Your behavior, teaching and works, are the most divine thing that I could see in this life. 
You are to me more than a father and a mother, whom I love dearly, because I was born from You into Knowledge and Love. 
I honor You and give You all my gratitude for what I have accomplished. 
I ask You for forgiveness for any lack in my behavior and the blessing of being able to serve You with ever increasing commitment, purity and spiritual strength. 
With infinite gratitude and devoted affection I offer the remaining years of my life, waiting, when it will be, to come to You, by Krishna, among the blessed people! 
Your servant, 
Matsyavatara dasa

Ultimate goal

We haven’t arrived in this world to build houses, to create organizations, to erect churches or temples and turn the earth into a garden; this is not the purpose of our existence.
We are here to gain spiritual realization; everything else is just a means to this goal, everything else is to be used by us for the purpose of our development.
We have to act, because without acting we would starve, we would die from thirst or from sleep… but action is functional and what counts is the goal for which we act.
What elevates us on the platform of spiritual evolution and what shows us the Truth behind appearances, is the spirit with which we offer our action.

Matsyavatara das

Spiritual Vision

This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it”Bhagavad-gita VII.14
In the Bhagavata Purana the “ocean” of the material existence is described as something scaring, terrifying, in which the jivabhuta – the conditioned living entity – life after life is forced to experience birth (jati), old age (jara), disease (vyadhi) and death (mrityu).
Only by the mercy of Guru and Krishna this ocean of obstacles becomes like the water contained in a calf’s hoof-print.
All in all, there is no real dichotomy between nature and spirit, as both energies arise from the same supreme Consciousness, God, Who permeates the entire universe, exactly as the individual consciousness permeates the entire body of the living entity.
Therefore in the world everything is tightly connected: the subject to the object, spirit to nature, the living entities to each other and each of them to the Supreme, the individual bodies to the cosmic body, the individual mind to the universal mind.
A deep comprehension of these thick connections and relationships between micro- and macrocosm is an essential requirement on the path of spiritual realization, which in the vaishnava-vedic tradition does absolutely not imply an escape from the world, but rather means the development of an organic and complete vision of the absolute Reality.
Matsyavatara das

Saturday, 8 August 2015

What is devotional service?

Devotional service, as it is referred to in the Bhaktivedanta tradition, is made up by all those free and voluntary activities which the bhakta, or person who dedicates his entire life to a spiritual quest, carries out by offering them in a devotional attitude to God and to whom he has chosen as his own spiritual guide, that means his Guru.
Such activities are carried out, after an accurate aforethought choice, in the terms and ways which he feels most suitable for himself, in order to foster his ethical and spiritual development and to support society with a contribution to the common well-being in a spirit of selflessness and solidarity.
In fact, devotional service is the most important tool which can guarantee a permanent connection of the individual consciousness with the cosmic consciousness: when consciousness is connected to God, it goes beyond the dualism of good and evil, of excitement and depression or of elation and dejection. In this way even the mind gets firmly connected to God, and so the willpower is strengthened and becomes determined.
Bhagavad-Gita II.50:
“A man engaged in devotional service rids himself of both good and bad actions even in this life. Therefore strive for yoga, which is the art of all work”.

Matsyavatara das