I want to tell the story of a lady Kuntidevi, also a disciple of my guru Srila Prabhupada. She was never a big leader; she was never a person that people honored and respected as being a person of high position. She was a simple mother and a very, very dedicated devotee of Lord Krishna. Those who knew her well honored her, but there weren’t so many people who knew her well. When she got cancer of the breast, that cancer spread viciously, and entered into her spine and into her organs and just crippled her. It was such a ferocious case of cancer that the doctors said, “There is absolutely nothing that anyone can do. You have six months to live, maximum.” She was practically paralyzed from the waist down. She was in a wheelchair. According to the medical analysis, she was racked with pain. Yet, she was always smiling, always encouraging and making everyone happy. It was so phenomenal. How blissful she was! How positive she was! The local television station heard about it. They met her and they had never seen anything like this in their life. I saw that television show too. It was a half hour program and it was incredible. The hostess was just praising her. Kuntidevi was talking to people and giving lectures about the beauty of life, the beauty of bhakti, and the good fortune of anyone who has Krishna. The hostess asked her, “How could you be so happy when you are in such a condition?” She replied, “Because I know I am the soul, I am eternal, this body is just a temporary situation and this situation is bringing my soul closer to God. Therefore I am rejoicing and I am happy.” According to the doctor’s diagnosis, her physical symptoms and everything else was utterly hopeless and miserable except one thing—her consciousness. I happened to have the fortune of being at her bedside when she left the world. She was surrounded by loving devotees chanting the holy names and she just lovingly gave her heart and her life to Krishna in a totally positive, grateful and happy state. Now, you cannot get that consciousness even from the best psychologist or psychiatric. They can do good to a certain extent, but a really true and deep positive attitude in life comes by knowledge and realization of the eternal blissful nature of the soul, the all attractive, all merciful, beautiful nature of God, our relationship with God and the beautiful and wonderful opportunities to serve God that we have at every moment.
By Mahatma Das
One ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In other words, choosing the right partner can save you from pounds of cure having to go into your marriage. Always be aware that maya may choose someone for you, exactly the wrong person.
The point to understand is: Just because you like the way a person looks, walks and talks, doesn’t mean you should marry them. Just because you feel good around the person doesn’t mean you they are the right person for you.
And even though he or she is a “good devotee,” it doesn’t necessarily mean you will get along well. Choosing a spouse needs to be done dispassionately, not passionately. Choosing a life-long partner requires many things other than chemistry. It is best to have a list of the qualities and nature of a person that you believe would make an ideal partner so in the event that you start becoming attracted to someone, you will be more able to objectively determine if this is the right person for you. Statistics tell us that arranged marriages (i.e. arranged with the right person) are not as happy as “love’ marriages in the beginning, but after five years couples in arranged marriages are much happier than those in a love marriage. Why? Because the relationship was based more on compatibility than physical attraction.
So do whatever you can to find the right person. Once you have found them, do pre-marital counseling to both confirm that you found the right person and that you are on the same page regarding your goals, values, and aspirations.
By Radhanath Swami
What makes us act selfishly? Question: The caring attitude is pleasing to everyone, but generally the default attitude in this world is one always thinks selfishly. So is it an inbuilt script of the mind that makes one think selfishly?Radhanath Swami: The false ego misconceives: “I am this body, I am this mind, I am the controller, I am the proprietor, and I am the selfish enjoyer.” This is foundational to all material complications. It impels us to put ourselves above others and act selfishly. And when we continue to act in that way it becomes a habit. According to how we habituate ourselves, by making those wrong choices, we become more and more engrained in that way of thinking.
That is the way any habit works. For example, if you smoke a lot of cigarettes you become addicted, and the more you smoke the more you become addicted. The habit becomes a craving, and then it is very difficult to do anything without feeding your habit. When you are in the middle of it, you cannot really understand the effect of what you are doing because you are so much a slave of the habit. So that is exactly the way the ego works. Our selfishness, our arrogance, our greed, our selfish passions, our anger, and our envy – as we make choices to feed these habits, they become stronger and stronger and stronger.
But when we associate with saintly people we began to understand what we really want in life and what our condition is. And then we will take the medicine and the way of life by which we can become liberated from these habits of egotism. Chanting of the Holy Names is the simple medicine that will cure one from all the symptoms of ego, ignorance and selfishness.