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Krishna got my attention

Discussion in 'Hinduism DIR' started by RayJeena, May 30, 2011.

  1. RayJeena

    RayJeena Well-Known Member

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    I had something of an epiphany about a week ago. Long story short, I went from disillusionment with Christianity, to a determination to construct my own path (from scratch), to what I can only describe as falling in love with Krishna.

    I had been researching the concept of God having a wife, and Googled "Divine Couple" to see what I could find on the subject. Again and again Radhe and Krishna came up. The imagery and what I read about it touched on an aspect of my personal relationship with God that had been missing in my life, that of Lover and Beloved (I even learned the term.... madhurya bhava). Christianity touches upon this aspect in the Bible's Song of Solomon, but this kind of relationship with God seems more pronounced in the context of Krishna. Whatever the case, it was just what I needed, as otherwise I was well on the way to becoming a cynical, somewhat agnostic old lady! Or something. :)

    However, there is one thing that I have come to appreciate in my former (nondenominational) Christian path, and that is freedom from ceremonial religious rituals. So, my question is: Is it acceptable to love Lord Krishna without the various rituals found in Hinduism? I get mixed signals from what I read on it. Some say that just doing your everyday thing but with the motivation of pleasing the Lord (a.k.a. "practicing the presence of God" / "bhakti yoga") is enough, others seem to suggest that one must have gurus, temples, rules, regulations, rituals, etc., on top of that. :help:

    I realize that Krishna even advises to set religious rituals aside (Bhagavad Gita 18.66), and that could easily settle this issue for me, but I guess I just want to be sure that by telling someone that I love Krishna, sans rituals, I'm not offending the spirit of Hinduism overall.

    (If it were offensive, another way I could put this is that I have a deeper appreciation for God due to how He is represented through Krishna)

    Thanks to anyone for any insights! :)
     
  2. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Don't worry. Sanatana dharma is VERY broad. To each his/her own. Then again, maybe after awhile, you'd learn to like ritual. The purpose, you know, is to lift the vibration of a particular place. You don't have to practise ritual yourself in order to appreciate the vibration it can bring.

    Kind of like appreciating great music. One does not have to be a great musician to appreciate it.
     
  3. zenzero

    zenzero Its only a Label

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    Friend Iridescence,

    Sanatan Dharma means eternal laws of existence and humans beings are part of existence and though being a part of it still gets digressed by the developed mind and so they break the tuning which is always there and do tune back they need to follow a path or way which is also labelled religion.
    Heart being always in tune with existence and you having followed your heart to discover Krishna should be the path for you for the present. Have always stated that path should be chosen which suits the individual and Krishna and bhakti has come through the heart a selection by nature itself.

    Since sanatan dharma is open ended and is basically said to be a way of life which means that each human following a way of life is following sanatan dharma. One is free to do live his/her own life BUT with AWARENESS!

    If you have any specific questions you will get responded through these pages.

    Love & rgds
     
  4. Marble

    Marble Rolling Marble

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    I think you could simply practice Nama Japa = repetition of the dinive name.
    You do not even need a Mala for this, when you want to count you can use your fingers.
     
  5. RayJeena

    RayJeena Well-Known Member

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    Thank you guys so much for your reassuring, encouraging, and informative input! It really helped!! :hugehug:
     
  6. Andal

    Andal resident hypnotist

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    Hi Iridescence!

    I'm so happy to hear about your fascination with Sanatana Dharma and Krishna. Everyone has already given you excellent advice so I can only add my own experience. The highest practice one can do is constantly remember the Lord. Kirtan- singing to him, is the best Dharma in this age to develop a strong relationship with him. Gurus, rules, rituals, and temples are all geared toward strengthening that relationship. Use what helps you the most. You may find too that as you grow and change somethings in your practice get taken away while others are added.

    Aum Hari Aum!
     
  7. RayJeena

    RayJeena Well-Known Member

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    [font=verdana, sans-serif]It's good to know that about singing to Krishna... as a Christian I used to sing lots of contemporary worship songs, but had drifted away from them when I drifted away from Christianity. Now, with Krishna, I'm finding some of those songs actually express my heart towards Him very effectively (especially Matt Redman's Better is One Day and Darrell Evans's I Want to Know You).[/font]


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  8. Madhuri

    Madhuri RF Goddess
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    I can understand the love for Krishna. He is love itself! How can you not love Love? :p

    Everyone has a unique expression of devotion. There are many traditions for worshipping and expressing devotion to God. That doesn't mean one way is better than another.

    So yes, I think you should do what comes naturally to you. The point of devotion is love. Things like ceremony, guru etc. are helpful to a lot of people, but that doesn't make them necessary.
     
  9. RayJeena

    RayJeena Well-Known Member

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    That's reassuring to know, Madhuri! :)

    And I agree that Krishna is Love itself... My current struggle is remembering that the same God I have known and loved all my life is also Krishna. I think Hinduism teaches that God is One just as Christianity does (please correct me if I'm wrong on that, though!). So, what I'm now trying to get through my head is that Krishna is that very same God. He may go by different names, but it's the same Person. It's a challenge, though, because it's easy for a Christian to equate Christianity with God and therefore feel like one is turning their back on God when they decide to worship and love Him outside of a strictly Christian context. I'm sure there are other religions where this is the case, if that religion teaches that it, and it alone, is the only way to God. So, that's a personal hurdle I am currently wrestling with. I have to keep reminding myself that I haven't switched gods (for there are no other gods to which I could switch!), I have simply shifted a bit in my perspective on God.

    That being the case, I think what's happening is that the Lord is showing another side of Himself that, up to this point, I had overlooked, as I never would have considered that any Deity would dance in the woods with the ladies or be caught with their fingers in the butter jar when He thought no one was looking. :) But it makes Him even more real to me to see this side of Him. And yes, I admit, the abundance of artwork depicting His life has been instrumental in giving me something more tangible and down-to-earth to bring to mind on who Krishna is, how beautiful He is, etc. Christianity has beautiful artwork depicting the life of Jesus, too, but somehow the mood is different with those (at least, the more traditional paintings). Krishna is portrayed as being more happy-to-be-here than Jesus tends to be! :)

    When it comes to rituals, I wouldn't be surprised if my religious background (born and raised devout Catholic, then born-again Christian in my 20's, then Christian Universalist (everyone gets saved) in my 40's) provided many of the same benefits that Hindu rituals and disciplines would have. But I can also see how, as some were saying, down the road I might like some ritual. It wasn't long ago that I would find myself needing a "liturgy-fix" every now and then, even though rituals and rites weren't necessary in my branch of Christianity. [​IMG]

    Sorry to ramble, there. Again, my thanks to you for your informational, inspirational insights!
    :)


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  10. Andal

    Andal resident hypnotist

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    You know it's very funny to read your comment Iridescence because I was having the same exact thought today. I don't know why but I was thinking about Christian art vs. Hindu art and how there is greater happiness in the Hindu art. :)

    The conflict you are mentioning I think is a very common one for people coming out of other traditions. It might be useful to play some intellectual games with these ideas of Christian God and Hindu God. Since you are coming out of Christianity your mind is naturally trying to overlap Krishna on top of everything you have learned and experienced about the Christian God. What if you tried a tried a different perspective for a few moments? Just to try it on, imagine that instead of Krishna as being a different side of God, what if how you experienced God in Christianity was just a different side of Krishna? I know it may just seem like semantics here but try the thought on and experience how your perspective shifts. Another thing you may want to try is to read the Bhagavad Gita and each time Krishna, Brahman, the Supreme Personality, Paramatma, Vishnu etc (depending on your translation) simply replace it in your mind with the word God. Then go through and read the 4 Gospels and every time you read God, Heavenly Father, etc replace it in your mind with Krishna. You may discover some very interesting things if you read in this way.

    Some things too to consider about rituals (puja, yagna etc) is they aren't necessary so no need to feel like you have to do them. On the flip side of that they do serve a very important function. Krishna doesn't need any offerings so it's not like it's done for him. When we do things like puja at home it allows us to directly and physically engage with God. So when we do puja it's like we personally get to physically make a connection with the Divine. It also grounds us in many respects. When we go to the mandir and participate in puja it is very special because the Divine has a very real presence there so it's like being in a place where the veil between the material and spiritual is extremely thin. I also find that participating connects me to a community and a tradition so ancient we don't actually know a start date. Finally rituals are a good way of marking important events making them more special.

    Like I said though, you don't have to. Just wanted to share my perspective on it.

    Aum Hari Aum!
     
  11. RayJeena

    RayJeena Well-Known Member

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    This is some excellent advice that I definitely need to try. Thank you!

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