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Old 08-04-2017, 01:17 PM   #1
Dave
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Me at 37

I hope this website doesn't get a lot of traffic, I don't want to be recognised anywhere.
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Old 08-05-2017, 02:37 AM   #2
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Young pup...get busy now, old Chinese proverb - it's later than you think.

Doubt you have anything to worry about from paparazzi
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Old 08-05-2017, 12:35 PM   #3
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Get busy?
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Old 08-05-2017, 03:52 PM   #4
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Awww, what lovely eyes you have! Who knew?
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Old 08-05-2017, 10:20 PM   #5
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I reckon that the 30's are the best time of your life, 40 kinda of just thuds, 50's well quite good, 60's hmmm 70's not too bad but hey I am 3/4 of a century oops way to go onward and upward so they say.Take care God Bless you all. In Divine Friendship and Love.
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Old 08-06-2017, 10:55 AM   #6
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Awww, what lovely eyes you have! Who knew?
Well cheers. I have got that my whole life, since a baby even. My eyelashes are a big long for a guy. I tend to get that red pupil in photos too, though I don't know why.
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Old 08-06-2017, 10:58 AM   #7
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I reckon that the 30's are the best time of your life, 40 kinda of just thuds, 50's well quite good, 60's hmmm 70's not too bad but hey I am 3/4 of a century oops way to go onward and upward so they say.Take care God Bless you all. In Divine Friendship and Love.
I think I prefered my 20s to my 30s. I'll have to wait and see if your characterisations pan out. Maybe come back to this thread in 10 years.

I've heard stories about people over 100 saying that they are enjoying that age the most!
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Old 08-06-2017, 04:56 PM   #8
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That's a great picture Dave! Good to see the face behind the person.

I don't know what the best decade of my life is. But realizing how fast they go. Hard to believe I will be turning 64 in a few days!
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Old 08-06-2017, 09:08 PM   #9
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Get busy?
Taking that out of context Dave...

I still waste a lot of time, but I make a lot better use of my time now than when I was your age - hell, I was still partying at 37 lol ...but I suppose it had to happen as it did...(I had the first 36 SRF Lessons under my bed for 14 years - would look at them every now and then)

Mccoy posted a little while ago about using death, our mortality, as inspiration....it's actually something I try to remind myself of as often as I can - "WAKE UP! the darkness of maya fast approaches!!"

In the SRF book about the life of Dr. Lewis, here's a few things Doctor says:

"No doubt the greatest sorrow is to realize at the end of the trail, when the drama of life is over, that you have not given your best....Think how miserable you will feel when you realize you have not done your best to follow the channel God has sent."

"Get busy and follow the channel He has sent, because the Master's love and consciousness are vibrating in the divine eternal, and always will be. The great presence of God is in each and every one of us, that great eternal light of God. It is yours if you will have it. Make the effort."


I typed that out as much for me as for you.

It's Convo week, what a joyous time...I haven't been able to go for awhile but I always feel a little of that joy that the 4-5,000 devotees generate
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Old 08-07-2017, 11:26 AM   #10
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That's a great picture Dave! Good to see the face behind the person.

I don't know what the best decade of my life is. But realizing how fast they go. Hard to believe I will be turning 64 in a few days!
So you've reached that old Beatles song reference! I think it is true isn't it that the older you get the more time seems to fly. Still Greg, imagine living until 110 years. That would mean you are only about halfway through yet!
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Old 08-07-2017, 11:36 AM   #11
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Taking that out of context Dave...

I still waste a lot of time, but I make a lot better use of my time now than when I was your age - hell, I was still partying at 37 lol ...but I suppose it had to happen as it did...(I had the first 36 SRF Lessons under my bed for 14 years - would look at them every now and then)

Mccoy posted a little while ago about using death, our mortality, as inspiration....it's actually something I try to remind myself of as often as I can - "WAKE UP! the darkness of maya fast approaches!!"

In the SRF book about the life of Dr. Lewis, here's a few things Doctor says:

"No doubt the greatest sorrow is to realize at the end of the trail, when the drama of life is over, that you have not given your best....Think how miserable you will feel when you realize you have not done your best to follow the channel God has sent."

"Get busy and follow the channel He has sent, because the Master's love and consciousness are vibrating in the divine eternal, and always will be. The great presence of God is in each and every one of us, that great eternal light of God. It is yours if you will have it. Make the effort."


I typed that out as much for me as for you.

It's Convo week, what a joyous time...I haven't been able to go for awhile but I always feel a little of that joy that the 4-5,000 devotees generate
It's true. And I certainly don't want to get to the end of this journey with regret but I suspect many people that live good lives inevitably may feel that way nonetheless, which is kind of paradoxically sad. Still, once you know that God exists half of your incarnation is complete. A lot of people, I am conjecturing, may go through life not even knowing if God exists in their own experience. Fortunately I have had inner experiences that confirm it for me. But think about the millions that don't. I would consider them with genuine pity.

5000 devotees! Amazing. I don't think I will ever attend a convocation in this life unless SRF stream it live in the future. My parents are going to be in California at the beginning of next year so I wonder if they will visit Lake Shrine or the other places. It's funny, I have had dreams of being at Mother Centre. I had one particular dream once where I was using a vinyl disk at some SRF centre and Master came in and talked with me. He then left in a car. Such a bizarre dream but I do wonder if it was my past life.

Still partying at 37 too, Mike. You are not alone.
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Old 08-08-2017, 11:09 AM   #12
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It's true. And I certainly don't want to get to the end of this journey with regret but I suspect many people that live good lives inevitably may feel that way nonetheless, which is kind of paradoxically sad. Still, once you know that God exists half of your incarnation is complete. A lot of people, I am conjecturing, may go through life not even knowing if God exists in their own experience. Fortunately I have had inner experiences that confirm it for me. But think about the millions that don't. I would consider them with genuine pity.

5000 devotees! Amazing. I don't think I will ever attend a convocation in this life unless SRF stream it live in the future. My parents are going to be in California at the beginning of next year so I wonder if they will visit Lake Shrine or the other places. It's funny, I have had dreams of being at Mother Centre. I had one particular dream once where I was using a vinyl disk at some SRF centre and Master came in and talked with me. He then left in a car. Such a bizarre dream but I do wonder if it was my past life.

Still partying at 37 too, Mike. You are not alone.
You know God and Guru are there, but it's what you do with what you know....that's what I meant by get busy ...the years fly by ...

And to be clear, partying for me was many years ago....another lifetime...

**And hey, you never know - you live in UK so more costly longer trip for you, but maybe sometime in the future you'll get the chance to attend Convo....some devotees say they prefer retreats, more silence....but the vibes at Convo are wonderful...maybe your dream of being at MC is prophetic
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Old 08-09-2017, 12:30 PM   #13
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I've had a few dreams of being there. So maybe. I remember one was like being in a museum area. I haven't been there so I don't know, nor have I seen the inside of it except a few pictures.

Yeah I know you are older than 37. I just wrote awkwardly.

I wish I had more willpower to change my lifestyle. The trouble is, because I don't do very much I get bored very easily. I thought that meditation might help with that so that I could learn patience. But you can't lead a life of idleness and expect not to get bored even if you meditate.

As Yogananda said, activity even in ego is better than inactivity in idleness. The balance of activity and meditation was recommended.

You use fillers like movies, music, etc. And it must be hard if you don't use those fillers to communicate in relationship with others, most of whom use those fillers. So how easy is it to find company that doesn't depend upon "fillers" and somehow lead a meditative life? It's a balance that needs to be struck but I don't see how it is possible unless you go to an ashram of some kind. To be realistic. And then, at advanced ages you aren't going to become a monk or a nun unless you are lucky. So what is left?
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Old 09-01-2017, 06:13 PM   #14
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Only 5 years before your prime. Now if only I had that to prepare for instead of retirement!
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Old 09-02-2017, 09:10 AM   #15
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42 is considered Prime? I hope my hair grows back!
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Old 09-02-2017, 03:04 PM   #16
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42 is considered Prime? I hope my hair grows back!
Massage your scalp briskly while chanting AUM and visualizing hair sprouting...if your concentration and faith are deep, in 1 month you will need a haircut
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Old 09-03-2017, 08:19 AM   #17
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42 is considered Prime? I hope my hair grows back!
Dave, if only bald was as cool when I was a shaved up Krishna as it is now
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Old 09-03-2017, 08:45 AM   #18
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Dave, if only bald was as cool when I was a shaved up Krishna as it is now
Were you a HK back in the 60s and 70s? That's interesting if you were. Who initiated you?
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Old 09-04-2017, 06:18 PM   #19
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Were you a HK back in the 60s and 70s? That's interesting if you were. Who initiated you?
70s and 80s. Prabhupad.
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Old 09-05-2017, 08:45 AM   #20
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You were initiated by Prabupada himself which is very interesting. See, your story is one that I am deeply interested in. How did you come to Yogananda?
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Old 09-05-2017, 07:47 PM   #21
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You were initiated by Prabupada himself which is very interesting. See, your story is one that I am deeply interested in. How did you come to Yogananda?
Dave, I read AY first back in '74 then joined HK a year or so later. I'm kind of sentimental so I still think of Yogananda from time to time. That's basically how I first got interested in Eastern thinking. But I liked the idea of having more variety for meditation so I wound up with HK.

At the time I joined HK, there were lots of people joining left and right. There was even a friend from my own neighborhood I used to hang out with and smoke pot and take LSD who I convinced to join. He wound up joining and shaving up at the New Orleans temple. I had already joined on a bus party. But Prabhupad was 80 years old at the time and was very busy traveling all over the world to each and every temple and also trying to finish translating the Srimad Bhagavatam. So I only got to see Prabhupad once.

I saw Prabhupad at the Detroit temple which was previously the Fisher-Ford mansion. He had just bought it for a million dollars cash. Seeing him first arrive and step out of the limo of course at that time I'm thinking "rockstar". But more importantly when I looked into his eyes he simply projected total conviction in Krishna and what he was doing.

So I had my initiation ceremony there and the closest I got was to get a cookie from his hand when he was surrounded by over a hundred disciples while passing them out. Then two days later he was on a plane, never to make it back to Detroit again. Kind of shows you how much interest he had in hanging out in mansions.

Back to Yogananda, I subscribed to the lessons once but never made it very far. Goes to show - if there's anything money can't buy it is commitment!
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:39 AM   #22
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Dave, I read AY first back in '74 then joined HK a year or so later. I'm kind of sentimental so I still think of Yogananda from time to time. That's basically how I first got interested in Eastern thinking. But I liked the idea of having more variety for meditation so I wound up with HK.

At the time I joined HK, there were lots of people joining left and right. There was even a friend from my own neighborhood I used to hang out with and smoke pot and take LSD who I convinced to join. He wound up joining and shaving up at the New Orleans temple. I had already joined on a bus party. But Prabhupad was 80 years old at the time and was very busy traveling all over the world to each and every temple and also trying to finish translating the Srimad Bhagavatam. So I only got to see Prabhupad once.

I saw Prabhupad at the Detroit temple which was previously the Fisher-Ford mansion. He had just bought it for a million dollars cash. Seeing him first arrive and step out of the limo of course at that time I'm thinking "rockstar". But more importantly when I looked into his eyes he simply projected total conviction in Krishna and what he was doing.

So I had my initiation ceremony there and the closest I got was to get a cookie from his hand when he was surrounded by over a hundred disciples while passing them out. Then two days later he was on a plane, never to make it back to Detroit again. Kind of shows you how much interest he had in hanging out in mansions.

Back to Yogananda, I subscribed to the lessons once but never made it very far. Goes to show - if there's anything money can't buy it is commitment!
Your story is good. But if you aren't a disciple of Yogananda but a HK devotee, what brings you to these forum shores? I have the new pocket edition of the Iskcon Bhagavad Gita and I like it very much. I don't agree with all PRabhupada says but I enjoy the bhakti of it.
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Old 09-06-2017, 06:34 PM   #23
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Your story is good. But if you aren't a disciple of Yogananda but a HK devotee, what brings you to these forum shores? I have the new pocket edition of the Iskcon Bhagavad Gita and I like it very much. I don't agree with all PRabhupada says but I enjoy the bhakti of it.
Hi Dave, I joined this forum back in '07. Iskcon in America was long dead by then (in my opinion) so when that happens you go looking for other things. By now I only show up sporadically since there's just a few people posting, like with all vBulletin forums.

It would be interesting to explore the benefits of Kriya Yoga but I don't seem very apt to change anymore. So now I mostly just chant and do bhakti yoga - also very sporadically.
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Old 09-07-2017, 09:06 AM   #24
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Hi Dave, I joined this forum back in '07. Iskcon in America was long dead by then (in my opinion) so when that happens you go looking for other things. By now I only show up sporadically since there's just a few people posting, like with all vBulletin forums.

It would be interesting to explore the benefits of Kriya Yoga but I don't seem very apt to change anymore. So now I mostly just chant and do bhakti yoga - also very sporadically.
It would also be interesting to hear what kinds of spiritual experiences you had with your practice if you are willing to share.

Perhaps the HK died in the USA because of all the controversies surrounding drugs, guns and child abuse?

I once knew a HK monk here in London. I met him at their centre, he was on the door. We struck up a friendship in a way and he seemed pretty level headed which wasn't what I was suspecting. I admit that the impersonal concept of God is very nebulous and that most if not all humans need a personal version of God to relate to. Anyway, some of the arguments are persuasive. Incidentally this monk I saw on TV about a year later. There was a documentary and he was in it. He seems to have dropped out of social media now so I can't locate him.

In terms of the personal God, God decided to reveal Himself to me in the form of Jesus. I don't know what to make of this though I immersed myself in a study of Christianity and learnt tons of stuff I never knew even though I grew up a Catholic.
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Old 09-08-2017, 05:33 AM   #25
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Dave, if you hear a Hare Krishna talk about their own spiritual experiences it's a good chance that person is either very naive or an aspiring bogus guru. Vaishnavas who are on a very high or advanced spiritual level and who are capable of visualizing a higher realm want to tell the experiences of other Vaishnava saints and only confidentially and rarely their own experiences. The best Krishna literature I know of on spiritual experiences can be found in the book The Saints of Vraja.

Now there is another category of spiritual experience a Hare Krishna may tell that does not involve new age-y visitations from the departed or mystical inner visions. This of course brings into play the doctrine of oneness-in-difference with everything that is used to represent Krishna in the external world and God Himself. So being surrounded by and physically taking part in sounds, tastes, sights and smells related to Krishna an aspirant may feel enraptured by divine experience, such as by fully participating in a temple service. This is much more tangible and can be enjoyed by neophytes and may explain some of the “level-headedness” you see in Krishna members.

Or you might hear an experience a devotee had while on sankirtan or book distribution. Like “by Krishna’s mercy, [the most unlikely person on earth] gave me a donation for a big book and went away with a smile”. That even happened to me once.

We know that the whole point of yoga practice is to make the body, mind and psyche very strong so that it can withstand spiritual experience. So it takes a lot of time and effort and nothing that is really worth mentioning as “spiritual experience” is had very cheaply. In fact, you can attribute the demise of Iskcon to a group of members who thought things could be had pretty cheaply. There were 11 leaders who thought they were spiritually advanced enough to be worshipped as guru. So they misled and alienated a lot of other members. They had mostly practiced Krishna consciousness for 10 years at best, so they all had much more materialistic training than spiritual training. Spiritual babies.
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Old 09-17-2017, 06:55 AM   #26
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Dave, if you hear a Hare Krishna talk about their own spiritual experiences it's a good chance that person is either very naive or an aspiring bogus guru. Vaishnavas who are on a very high or advanced spiritual level and who are capable of visualizing a higher realm want to tell the experiences of other Vaishnava saints and only confidentially and rarely their own experiences. The best Krishna literature I know of on spiritual experiences can be found in the book The Saints of Vraja.

Now there is another category of spiritual experience a Hare Krishna may tell that does not involve new age-y visitations from the departed or mystical inner visions. This of course brings into play the doctrine of oneness-in-difference with everything that is used to represent Krishna in the external world and God Himself. So being surrounded by and physically taking part in sounds, tastes, sights and smells related to Krishna an aspirant may feel enraptured by divine experience, such as by fully participating in a temple service. This is much more tangible and can be enjoyed by neophytes and may explain some of the “level-headedness” you see in Krishna members.

Or you might hear an experience a devotee had while on sankirtan or book distribution. Like “by Krishna’s mercy, [the most unlikely person on earth] gave me a donation for a big book and went away with a smile”. That even happened to me once.

We know that the whole point of yoga practice is to make the body, mind and psyche very strong so that it can withstand spiritual experience. So it takes a lot of time and effort and nothing that is really worth mentioning as “spiritual experience” is had very cheaply. In fact, you can attribute the demise of Iskcon to a group of members who thought things could be had pretty cheaply. There were 11 leaders who thought they were spiritually advanced enough to be worshipped as guru. So they misled and alienated a lot of other members. They had mostly practiced Krishna consciousness for 10 years at best, so they all had much more materialistic training than spiritual training. Spiritual babies.
What is meant by visualising a higher realm? I looked for that book you mentioned but it appears to be only available in paperback and not online.

10 years is a generous amount of time to get spiritual experiences. Yogananda trained under Yukteswar for 10 years, though he probably had accumlated karma from before.

I don't think I agree with your idea that it takes a long time to get spiritual experiences. Certainly it takes effort but if the effort is sincere and deep you can get spiritual experiences quickly. And a lot of it doesn't even depend on your own effort but comes by the grace of God in his own good time.
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Old 09-22-2017, 06:36 PM   #27
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What is meant by visualising a higher realm? I looked for that book you mentioned but it appears to be only available in paperback and not online.

10 years is a generous amount of time to get spiritual experiences. Yogananda trained under Yukteswar for 10 years, though he probably had accumlated karma from before.

I don't think I agree with your idea that it takes a long time to get spiritual experiences. Certainly it takes effort but if the effort is sincere and deep you can get spiritual experiences quickly. And a lot of it doesn't even depend on your own effort but comes by the grace of God in his own good time.
Dave, I attached an image from one of the same author's books to give a glimpse of the kind of "higher realm" I mean. Yes, a "spiritual experience" can be had over a short time, I tried to mention some of the types that can be had by novices earlier. So obviously there are different levels. But having spiritual experiences and becoming a spiritually perfected spiritual master or guru are two different things. The page is to show that the level shown by examples such as Rupa Goswami takes much more than a concentrated effort in spiritual practice. It also takes a great deal of development in personal qualities likely over several births.

You mention the Grace of God which is the most important. One can be blessed with divine experience at whatever state in their development. Sages like Dhruva and Narada experienced visions of the Lord well before they became perfected. But if you read into these you'll find the Lord left them and they had been given something of a free sample only so they would yearn to be with the Lord always. This way they would not just have spiritual experiences but an attainment of spiritual life always.
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Old 09-24-2017, 12:33 AM   #28
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10 years is a generous amount of time to get spiritual experiences. Yogananda trained under Yukteswar for 10 years, though he probably had accumlated karma from before.
Dave, I'm not sure if you consider Yoganandaji your guru, but it has been many incarnations since that soul that was/is Sri Yoganandaji has had any karma....Br Anandamoyji talked about Arjuna being a great Master - that he didn't need to go through all the experiences, training, that he did with Sri Krishna...he said the same was true of Paramahansaji - that he was an avatar, he didn't need training from Sri Yuk, he did it to be an example for us.

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I don't think I agree with your idea that it takes a long time to get spiritual experiences. Certainly it takes effort but if the effort is sincere and deep you can get spiritual experiences quickly. And a lot of it doesn't even depend on your own effort but comes by the grace of God in his own good time.
Br Anandamoyji also talked a lot about spiritual experiences, he liked a saying (from a saint) "in the beginning, the child gets candy (spiritual experiences), but later hardly anything".....Sri Mrinalina Mataji said God will often give new devotees experiences to encourage them, but then God says "alright my child, I've shown you how it can be...now you must earn it" (make the effort)

I liked the way Rasa put it, free samples

Br Achalanandaji said he got lots of experiences, joy, etc when he first started,, as encouragement, but as soon as he entered the ashram...nothing...for 1 1/2 years....he even went to Br Anandamoyji, and asked what the heck was wrong - everything was work....meditation in the morning - work, then more work during the day, then meditation at night, work....work, work, everything was work...

Br Anandamoyji asked him, "what did you come here for? God, or the consolations of God?".....Achalanandaji said he prayed and just surrendered, then gradually the dry spell ended....but he also said later on, he went through a total dry spell again, this time for 5 years.

Not to be specific, but in my limited experience, it is generally very subtle.....some peace, an inspiration/intuition when troubled, feeling discouragement, or just wondering what to do, etc...or nothing, but Guruji lets you know in some way that He is here....so keep on
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Old 09-24-2017, 07:40 AM   #29
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Mike, I meant PY had good karma from the past. Karma isn't always negative stuff right?

I'm just seemingly cruising along with my time at the moment. In terms of do I consider PY my guru. It is confusing to have had experiences of Jesus in the midst of everything else.

I had spent days long praying to God with no result. That's why I said things probably happen in God's own timing.

By the way, I left you a PM.
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Old 09-24-2017, 09:10 PM   #30
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Mike, I meant PY had good karma from the past. Karma isn't always negative stuff right?

I'm just seemingly cruising along with my time at the moment. In terms of do I consider PY my guru. It is confusing to have had experiences of Jesus in the midst of everything else.

I had spent days long praying to God with no result. That's why I said things probably happen in God's own timing.

By the way, I left you a PM.
Dave, I am certainly no expert on karma, but I am sure you've read that the spiritual path is 25% devotees efforts, then the guru takes 25% (of devotees karma), and 50% God's grace (God takes away 50% of your karma if you are sincere devotee)

As explained by Br Anandamoyji and others, how can Yoganandaji have karma of his own to work out when he is mitigating 25% of the karma of thousands of devotees (millions in future)? Brotherji talks about that in a CD/DVD when telling how it was question going around the ashram of whether Yoganandaji was an avatar (casting a shadow story)...

So, PY has no karma, not even good karma....I'll take good karma over bad karma lol, but even good karma is binding...

Prayer of course is necessary but techniques make prayer much more effective....was reading a quote by Yoganandaji the other day where he says kriya makes prayer a hundred times more effective, a thousand times more effective....we all want results, but straining for them generally doesn't work...and of course like you said, God does things in His own time....and He has all the time in eternity.

ps I'll check your PM tomorrow
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Old 09-25-2017, 07:50 AM   #31
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What I meant was that PY would have had less or no need for training, like you said. When I used the word karma it was misleading.

It appears to be a question of grace versus works here. No amount of works can produce grace since they are mutually exclusive. That is what grace means. A gift of unmerited favour. If it was merited it wouldn't be grace. That doesn't mean I don't think works have their place. But it seems to me that there is a contradiction in there somewhere.
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Old 09-25-2017, 10:14 AM   #32
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It appears to be a question of grace versus works here. No amount of works can produce grace since they are mutually exclusive. That is what grace means. A gift of unmerited favour. If it was merited it wouldn't be grace. That doesn't mean I don't think works have their place. But it seems to me that there is a contradiction in there somewhere.
God helps those that help themselves....the way I understand it, from what Yoganandaji and others have said - without doing your 25% the best you can at that time, you can't receive God and gurus help, at least not as much if you are slacking a bit.

From what the great ones say, I take the unmerited or grace part to mean that we receive much more than our actual karma or works alone would bring us....but the great ones say that without our efforts, we won't receive this grace....that as far as I understand it anyway.

ps replied to your PM, let me know if you got it
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Old 09-25-2017, 01:26 PM   #33
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Dave you're right. Grace is exclusive of works or effort. Without grace, effort is not even possible because grace is everything. There must be grace or love from God first in order to arouse effort and devotion. Devotion is a response from the pull of God's love. However, grace is different for each devotee because each one has a different level of spiritual development. Therefore, if a seeker is more spiritually evolved that person's devotion and passion will be great which means the magnetic pull of God's love was very strong in the beginning.
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Old 09-25-2017, 04:11 PM   #34
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Dave you're right. Grace is exclusive of works or effort. Without grace, effort is not even possible because grace is everything. There must be grace or love from God first in order to arouse effort and devotion. Devotion is a response from the pull of God's love. However, grace is different for each devotee because each one has a different level of spiritual development. Therefore, if a seeker is more spiritually evolved that person's devotion and passion will be great which means the magnetic pull of God's love was very strong in the beginning.
I think I get what you're saying, and I certainly don't understand how it all works, but I think if you are going to just wait for God's grace, you are going to be waiting for a longggggggg time

God's love attracts us (the most powerful force) but I don't think I agree that God's grace comes without effort - even if it's just falling on your knees and crying for help.

A quote by Lahiri, appropriate because his maha and birthday are celebrated close to now:

"Divine union is possible through self-effort, and is not dependent on theological beliefs or on the arbitrary will of a 'Cosmic Dictator'."
~ Lahiri Mahasaya
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Old 09-25-2017, 05:20 PM   #35
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You don't wait for grace because grace is already there. How much grace depends on your spiritual evolution. If one makes great effort that means there was grace in the beginning to pull that person to make the effort which was a response to the grace that was already there. In other words, those who make little effort on the path have a little grace and those who exceed in effort have a lot of grace, again depending on ones spiritual development. Effort doesn't take you to self-realization because only love and devotion can do that. Sadhana and even Kriya Yoga will get you to the gate of Christ Consciousness but not through it for only the grace of God or the Guru can do that. Meditation techniques are mental exercises that go up to the the Causal region or the Universal Mind - but not beyond it. The Guru-given techniques are there to exhaust the mind so it will surrender to God at the end. For example, take Swami Pranabananda and Master's case. They couldn't do it on their own through effort no matter how hard they've tried. Only the Guru's grace could take them beyond the mind and into Samadhi.
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Old 09-25-2017, 05:57 PM   #36
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The story on self-effort...

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A sparrow laid her eggs on the shore of the ocean, but the big ocean carried away the eggs on its waves. The sparrow became very upset and asked the ocean to return her eggs. The ocean did not even consider her appeal. So the sparrow decided to dry up the ocean. She began to pick out the water in her small beak, and everyone laughed at her for her impossible determination. The news of her activity spread, and when at last Garuda, the gigantic bird carrier of Lord Vishnu, heard it, he became compassionate toward his small sister bird, and so he came to see her. Garuda was very pleased by the determination of the small sparrow, and he promised to help. Thus Garuda at once asked the ocean to return her eggs lest he himself take up the work of the sparrow. The ocean was frightened by this, and returned the eggs. Thus the sparrow became happy by the grace of Garuda.
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:13 PM   #37
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You don't wait for grace because grace is already there. How much grace depends on your spiritual evolution. If one makes great effort that means there was grace in the beginning to pull that person to make the effort which was a response to the grace that was already there. In other words, those who make little effort on the path have a little grace and those who exceed in effort have a lot of grace, again depending on ones spiritual development. Effort doesn't take you to self-realization because only love and devotion can do that. Sadhana and even Kriya Yoga will get you to the gate of Christ Consciousness but not through it for only the grace of God or the Guru can do that. Meditation techniques are mental exercises that go up to the the Causal region or the Universal Mind - but not beyond it. The Guru-given techniques are there to exhaust the mind so it will surrender to God at the end. For example, take Swami Pranabananda and Master's case. They couldn't do it on their own through effort no matter how hard they've tried. Only the Guru's grace could take them beyond the mind and into Samadhi.
I agree, grace, God and Guru's blessings, are already, always there....here is explanation from a satsanga - Brother Brahmananda

Q. In order to reach final liberation it is said that 25% is the devotees own effort, 25% is the blessing of the Guru, and 50% is the grace of God. What does ‘grace’ mean in this context?

A. From the dictionary, ‘grace’ means “unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification.” For us - it means liberation. Grace is a gift from God. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8) Faith alone is not enough. We must put that faith into practice - faith grows as you exercise it.

Master says in The Second Coming, (pg 114-115): “The surest way to find God is to learn about Him from one who knows Him. To follow a master whose path has led him to God-realization is to reach assuredly the same Goal. The scriptures of India speak of the liberation of the soul in terms of a calibrated formula, which, providentially, seems to favor the “spirit is weak” syndrome in man. Of the total requirement to achieve salvation, it is said that 25% is the disciple’s spiritual effort, 25% is the blessing of the guru, and the remaining 50% is the grace of God. The aspirant should not be tempted into complacency, however, waiting to be moved by the spirit of the blessings and grace, for it is the catalyst of the devotee’s effort that makes the formula work.”



:
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:23 PM   #38
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The story on self-effort...
Nice story Rasa, similar to one i've read in SRF Lessons/Service Readings except its a saint who reincarnates as a mother squirrel, and sets out to dry the ocean up by dipping it's tail into the water (to get her baby squirrels back) ....and that Divine Will is in all of us....wow!
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Old 09-26-2017, 12:12 PM   #39
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You don't wait for grace because grace is already there. How much grace depends on your spiritual evolution. If one makes great effort that means there was grace in the beginning to pull that person to make the effort which was a response to the grace that was already there. In other words, those who make little effort on the path have a little grace and those who exceed in effort have a lot of grace, again depending on ones spiritual development. Effort doesn't take you to self-realization because only love and devotion can do that. Sadhana and even Kriya Yoga will get you to the gate of Christ Consciousness but not through it for only the grace of God or the Guru can do that. Meditation techniques are mental exercises that go up to the the Causal region or the Universal Mind - but not beyond it. The Guru-given techniques are there to exhaust the mind so it will surrender to God at the end. For example, take Swami Pranabananda and Master's case. They couldn't do it on their own through effort no matter how hard they've tried. Only the Guru's grace could take them beyond the mind and into Samadhi.
I didn't say anything about waiting for grace. Grace is grace. It doesn't depend upon man and his efforts but upon God.
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