JKYog e-Magazine, Issue No.56

April, 2014 

"Life is like playing a game of cards. 
The hand that is dealt to you gets fixed, that is your destiny.  But how you play with the cards is not fixed, that's your self-effort."

This month 'Sumiran' team is picking Destiny as the topic of the month.  In this issue we will be presenting various articles on the role of Destiny and importance of self effort, short story for children, Ram Navami special featured items and bhog prasad recipe.
The sheer mystery of how future events unfold intrigues everyone. It is this anxiousness to determine the pattern of future events that drives us to face readers, tarot card readers and palmists.  These astrologers reveal the glimpses of our destiny, the things that we will experience in the future.

Now let's say someone hit a jackpot and become an overnight millionaire while someone else lost all his fortune in a stock market crash.  In ordinary life we will attribute both these differing events to destiny. But then the primary question arises, if people are destined to experience such events in life, who decides the course of our destiny?
People are of different opinions, some believe that destiny is thrust upon us by an inscrutable power; others believe destiny is a result of our past karmas, while many others believe that destiny is a fallacy of the human mind.  Let us understand the concept of destiny through the help of Scriptures.  The Hitopdesh states in this context:

poorva janma kṛitaṁ karma taddaivamiti kathyate (Hitopadeśh)

"The actions we performed in our past lives become our destiny in this life."

This clearly means that destiny is not something that has come down from the heavens or a horoscope chart that is revealed to us by the astrologers.  We have created our destiny ourselves by actions in past births.  It is the 'Law of Karma' that determines our destiny in the present life.  The law of Karma however is quite complex. 

To start with there are three kinds of karmas: sańchit, prārabdh and kriyamāṇ.  God has an account of all our karmas in endless lives.  This is called sańchit karmas.  At the time of birth, we are given a portion of our sańchit karmas, to enjoy or suffer in this life.  This is called prārabdh karmas.  The prārabdh is fixed, but within this life, we have a freedom to act, and the actions we perform are called kriyamāṇ karma.  The kriyamāṇ is not pre-determined; it is in our hands, and can be changed as we wish. 

Now the results we get in life are dependent on a number of factors, including:  
1. Our prārabdh karmas.  
2. Our kriyamāṇ karmas
3. The Will of God. 
4. The karma of other people present in that situation. 
5. Chance events -in which we happen to be present by accident. 

Since we humans are not all-knowing, we cannot fully correlate the results we get with the exact causes behind them.  We ignorantly take a myopic view of the results of our present karma and feel bogged down. For example, we notice sometimes that a good person fails and an unscrupulous person prospers.  It seems that the law of karma or destiny is not fair and just to humans.  But the fact is that the law of karma keeps an account of our past endless lifetimes.  Therefore, the good person was not always good; the bad person was not always bad.   
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In This Issue

It is true that God is seated within us, and he gives us the power to act.  However, what we do with that power is decided by our own free will.  This is just as the powerhouse supplies electricity to your house.  If it did not give the power, you would not have been able to do any electric work.  However, once you have power supply at your home, what you do with it, is your own choice.  You could operate the fan, light the lamp, or heat or cool the house, as you wish.


Similarly, God gives our eyes the power to see, but what we see is our own choice.  We could go to the temple and see the Deities, or we could go on the internet ans see dirty pictures.  God is merely giving is the faculty of sight.   He is not deciding how you choose to use it.   


Source: Essence of Hinduism Book  Order Now! 


A palmist walking beside a river sees a fellow drowning. The man is going down for the last time and puts his hand in the air calling for help. The palmist peers at him and yells out, "Do not worry, you have a long life line!" and departs.
It is true that we are born with a destiny but is it correct to say that everything that happens in our life is governed by destiny? If we think that destiny cannot be changed that is the doctrine of fatalism.  It leads to an attitude of resignation and passivity that results from the belief that people are helpless against fate.

Let us assume that everything is predestined.  Then it must mean that in our past countless lives we did not perform actions by our free will as everything was predestined.  But then what determined our destiny in the present life?  Logically we must have performed actions with our free will in some past life.  If we did so in a past life, we can do them now as well.

We humans are bound by the law of karma, but understand the principle of free will through the example of the bow and arrow in archery. The accumulated stock of arrows in the archer's case slung over his shoulder is the sańchit karma.  Similar to this is our stock of karmas from past endless lifetimes. A part of the sańchit karma, is the prārabdh karma that we have to bear in this life.  Therefore the arrow that has just left the archer's bow is the prārabdh karma and the arrow in the hand at the moment is kriyamāṇ karma, this is the karma we are free to perform in this life.  The archer can decide not to use this arrow, or he can choose to use it either to protect the weak or to harass them.  Thus while prārabdh karma is something which cannot be undone and we have to enjoy or suffer its fruits in this life, we have free will available in the form of kriyamāṇ karma.


Right here in the present moment you possess the free will to perform actions that elevate your consciousness to sublime heights or perform actions that degrade you to demonic existence.  The choices that you make in the face of adversity or favorable situations are your own.  For this reason the scriptures say that it is lazy people who blame destiny for their substandard achievements: 

    daiva daiva ālasī pukārā  (Rāmāyaṇ)
"While working, don't bring destiny into your mind, or it will make you lazy."  If you do, you will start running to astrologers to know what your destiny is, rather than focusing on performing your work properly. 

It is a fact that there is an element of destiny.  But that should not bother you because God has also bestowed the power of free will to you.  You possess the freedom to act as you wish. If you were destined to win a jackpot of a million dollars, you will win it.  But beyond that it is your self-effort.  If you work hard, you could multiply it into ten million dollars, and if you develop profligate habits, you could squander it away in drinking and gambling.  That would not be decided by destiny; that would be your own puruśhārth, or self-effort.

Always remember these words of an Urdu poet,

khudī ko kara bulanda itanā ki hara takadīra se pahale 
khudā khuda bande se puchhe batā terī razā kyā hai

"Make your efforts so strong, that before giving you the results of your destiny, God himself asks you what you want."


Ram Navami Special 

The western world is not familiar with the concept of the personal form of God. The concept of God devoid of attributes and forms finds universal acceptance in all cultures and countries around the world. Everybody is fine with the concept of God being a light. But the idea of God walking down the market or in a mall and drinking cold drink would be indigestible to most people in the western world. Where as in Indian culture it is natural. Indians relish such pastimes of God, where His all mightiness gets hidden and He comes to the level of the devotee. "The fact is all things," says Swami Mukundananda in this beautiful lecture delivered on the occasion of Ram Navami (the day Lord Ram descended on earth).

Watch the one hour lecture in English for more on the topic and dive in the ocean of bliss of Lord Ram, His virtues and pastimes.  Click Here

Also Check

Beautiful Aarti of Lord Ram written by

Saint Tulasidas 

Excerpt from ENG subtitled lecture by
Jagadguru Kripaluji Maharaj on "
Significance of Ram Navami"

Kripalu Leelamrit -  Nectar from Shree Maharajji's Life

Shree Maharajji spent some years in the forests of Chitrakoot, leading the life of an avadhoot (somebody who is totally beyond bodily consciousness), not wearing any clothes, and eating the kandhmool (fruits and berries) of the forests.  He spent his days there residing in the caves.


However, Maharajji has described some of the incidences that took place at that time.  In one incident, Maharajji while walking into the denser parts of the forest found a small hut.  He went inside the hut and sat there in a meditative posture.  After sometime a Yogi entered the hut.  Maharajji may have detected some pride in him.  He was an accomplished Yogi.  He looked at Maharajji wondering who this stranger was, and what he was doing in his hut.

He asked Maharajji, "Who are you?" Maharajji playfully replied, "Your father!"  The Yogi wondered how Maharajji could be his father.  The Yogi got really annoyed.  Thinking of Maharajji as someone just trying to cause some nuisance, he decided to show some of his mystic abilities.  By doing this, he thought he could scare Maharajji away.    He created a lot of water and the water was gushing on Maharajji.  However, to the Yogi's disappointment, this had no effect on Maharajji. Maharajji just kept sitting there unmoved.  

The Yogi then decided to invoke the wild animals such as tiger and lions to go towards Maharajji.  Nothing happened again.  The Yogi was even more puzzled.  Finally he decided to use his ultimate powers by increasing his size. He became tall and huge like a Skyscraper.  However, Maharajji was unshaken.  

Finally when he ran out of options, he decided to contact his Guru.  He sat down there in meditation and communicated with his Guru who was living in the Himalayas in a subtle body.  That Guruji said, "You are making a big mistake.  Do not commit any transgression or offence. The person who is in front of you is the Master of Masters.  In fact, he is even my Master.  You are interacting with a divine personality.  So fall at his feet immediately and ask for his forgiveness and guidance".  Immediately, the Yogi realized that he had made a big blunder.  He came out of his meditation, caught Maharajji's feet and apologized.  With tears in his eyes he asked for forgiveness with utmost humility.  

Maharajji then instructed the Yogi to forget about all his Yogic powers and to just surrender and do devotion to Lord Krishna.  Maharajji said, "Listen, you do sadhana (devotion) which will increase your humility.  All this austerity is only increasing your pride and not taking you up instead taking you down.  Go to Vrindavan and engage in devotion to Shree Krishna."  So the Yogi accepted Maharajji's advice and went off.   

Hence, with this example Maharajji revealed the dangers of the Yog path.  Firstly, it is extremely difficult. Also, even if it manages to purify one's heart, there will always be that subtle pride as was seen in the Yogi.  With this pride there is always the danger of falling.  However, with bhakti (devotion) one learns to remain humble all the time.

News & Updates

Swamiji successfully completed his enlightening discourses at Silver Spring, MD.  Yoga and Meditation program was also conducted by Swamiji in this city.

Swamiji's discourses on the topic, "Science of Devotion and Grace" and Yoga & Meditation program have started in Albany, NY, and will conclude on April 18th, 2014

JKYog Retreats 2014

Welcome to a weekend of spiritual rejuvenation and frolicking fun.  
Join Swamiji at the Spiritual Retreats for the experience of a lifetime. Register Now!

May 24th to 26th 

Fresno, CA 

Sept 19th to 21st 

Chicago, IL 

June 27th to 29th 

Mt. Laurel, NJ 

Oct 10th to 12th 

Radha Madhav Dham, Austin

Aug 30th to Sept 1st 

Dallas, TX 


For details & Registration, Click here


Carelessness Leads to
Downfall of a Devotee

by Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj  


Continuing with the previous article.... We should practice chanting 'Radhey' with every breath in our spare time. We should not speak unnecessarily with others.  Only say what is useful.   


Continuing with the previous article....


We should practice chanting 'Radhey' with every breath in our spare time. We should not speak unnecessarily with others.  Only say what is useful.  If you are going to the hospital, or the bathroom or for that matter just anywhere and you have time for two to five minutes, then chant 'Radhey' on your way.  You must earn spiritual wealth, even in this little duration.  If you are sitting alone and there is another person sitting next to you, and you wonder how to start a conversation, "When will you leave? Where do you live? What do you do? He is like that; she is like that". What are you all doing? You are deliberately destroying your sadhana.  This will not benefit you, it will only harm you.  What has the Guru taught you? Not to waste your time. There is not even one person amongst you all, who practice what is being told.  


You must think about this very deeply and also ponder if you will get to live another day in your life or not.  Remember death every moment.  If you remember God at your last moment, it is certain that you will receive the human form in the next life.  But if you think about worldly attachments at that moment, then you will have to take birth in that species of life.  You have been told a hundred times that even Paramhans Jad Bharat had to take birth as a deer because in his last moment, his mind was attached to a deer.  If you have left your family members and have come to do sadhana, then why do you think about them? Everyday, phone calls are being made to family members.  This means that you have pledged, "Oh mind! I will not let you walk towards God, because after death I don't want to take birth as a human.  I want to take the form of dog, cat, or a donkey."


If a student does not write anything during the three hours of his examination, what will be the result?  He will repent when he sees his result as 0 out of 100.  Therefore I again request you, command you and pray that you must practice.  If you do as I say and practice for even ten days, you will get used to it.  Then you will not be able to live without chanting 'Radhey Radhey'.  If you do anything against your will for a few days, it becomes your habit.  Small and dirty things like - cigarette, or tea, if we consume them forcibly for a few days, thereafter they automatically start pinching our mind to consume them even more.   


Hence, whatever time is required for a compulsory service, everyday chores that you do, or any service you are doing for the Guru, the remaining free time must be utilized.  But we people use that free time for worldly associations.  If we don't do anything and simply go to sleep that is also fine.  But, contemplation of worldly matters will harm you.


You are working towards destruction.  You are lying to the Guru, even lying to God.  Therefore, do not think about others faults, their faults will enter your mind and dirty it.  Look at your own faults and utilize each and every moment.  And then see where you reach. 


Bhakti Shatak 

Explained by Swami Mukundananda 


Bhakti Śhatak is one of Shree Kripaluji Maharaj's principle writings, with hundred golden couplets of inspiring quotes, advice, and guidance for sincere devotees seeking to firmly establish themselves on the path of bhakti.   

Continuing with the explanation of the next verse:


satya ahinsā ādi man! binu hari bhajan napāya
jal te gṛit nikalai nahīṅ, koṭin kariya upāya


We are all endeavoring to develop good qualities within us.  This is a natural urge amongst human beings. How to become better? How to improve ourselves? How to remove our faults and the vices? Why is this urge within all of us? The reason is given in the last verse. We have a relationship with God. God is the reservoir of all good virtues like kindness, mercy, compassion, truthfulness, justice. And we are tiny parts of the all virtuous God.  Being tiny parts of him, we have this natural attraction for his qualities.  It's very natural.  Everybody loves truthfulness. Nobody can love falsehood. Nobody can love injustice. 

In other words, naturally, we expect behavior from others in line with these virtues of truthfulness, justice, etc.  We all want to develop qualities like truthfulness, non violence, kindness, compassion etc.  We all wish to enhance our good qualities and discard whatever bad qualities we may have. But how will we bring this transformation about? Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj makes a comprehensive statement here. He says that without devotion to God we will not attain complete success.  Why? This is because good qualities will come when our mind gets purified. 

Now a question arises: How do you purify the mind? Our mind is like a dirty cloth that has accumulated dirt since innumerable lifetimes.  Our aim is to wash it and make it completely dirt free. If we wash it with fresh, dirt-free water, it will become clean.  But, if we wash it with dirty water, the cloth will become dirtier.  What do we mean by 'clean' or 'dirty' water? All mayic objects are considered dirty in terms of their effect on our heart.  Only entities related to God are considered clean.  The Names of God, Forms, Virtues, Pastimes, Abodes, and Saints are all pure.  Hence, for purification of our hearts and mind, we have to absorb our mind in devotion of God.  

The Ramayan says:

prema bhagati jala binu raghurāī, abhi antara mala kabahuń najāī

The mal (dirt) in the heart will not go until you wash it with pure water of devotion to God. So the way to become virtuous, the way to enhance your good qualities is to clean the heart with love for God.  The essence of spirituality is to enhance your love for God.


In devotional practice, whether the senses are involved or not, the involvement of the mind is a must. It is the mind that must practice devotion.  The mind gets purified through devotion, and when it is completely purified,one attains divine love by the grace of the Guru.

When we progress in devotion, our mind will become comparatively purer; substantial impurities will vanish away.  And the mind will be increasingly attached to God.  Just like no one can get butter by churning water, similarly no one can receive true virtuous qualities unless one practice devotion to God.  

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A young man set his heart on a journey to a diviner; he was actually on a quest to determine what his destiny is all about. He had gotten a lot of conflicting comments and visions about what the future holds for him, so this day he made up his mind to see the most renowned of all diviner in the land, and whatever he says will undisputedly become what he is to believe, it was high time he realized the direction in which his life was headed and for him, there was no waiting any more.

After two sunsets he arrived at the diviners hut and found him, sitting on his mud bed in deep meditation.

"Welcome my son" said the diviner, as he opened his eyes.

"I will help you in divining what your future has in stock for you, just be patient".

With that, the diviner stood up, went in to his inner chamber and came out again, but now he was holding two chalks, black and white in one hand, and a tortoise already withdrawn into its shell, on the other hand.

He bent down and drew two large circles with the black and white chalk respectively, keeping some distance in between them. Then he took some steps backward, bent down and placed the tortoise gently on the floor.

"My son, look and pray" the diviner called out. "The tortoise will move soon, and if it moves into the black circle, then your future spells doom, destruction and failure, but if it moves into the white circle, your future holds lots of promise", with that he withdrew to his bed and assumed his former position.

There was a long stretch of silence... then the tortoise moved, they watched eagerly and with anticipation as the reptile crawled slowly towards the circles. Then the unexpected happened, the tortoise took a turn and headed into the black circle. The young man sat up abruptly with renewed energy, and looked on still wishing the reptile will change direction. But alas! It was headed straight into that dreaded black circle.

"NOOO! This is not possible" he thought

Just in a split moment of decision making, just about the moment when the tortoise was to set foot into the black circle, he picked it up gently with both his hands and dropped it in the white circle, as carefully as he could.

"Why should you do that?" the diviner called out angrily
"Why should you interfere with my divination?" he added ferociously

"Why should i not interfere? How do you expect me to sit down here, fold my hands and watch as my future, my destiny... my life, crawl steadily into destruction, failure and doom. And you expect me to do nothing about it?" he answered menacingly.
And with that, he walked out from the diviner's hut.

Now he had the answer, "HIS DESTINY IS IN HIS OWN HANDS".

Bhog Prasad Recipe

Mango Shrikhand
Shrikhand is a very popular Indian dessert made from strained yogurt.  Let us learn how to make easy and exotic recipe
Mango Shrikhand as Bhog Prasad for God.

Ingredients needed
Yogurt - 3 cups (should not be sour)
Powdered sugar - 1/4 -1/2 cup or as required
Pistachio -2 tbsp
Almonds - 4
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Saffron -10 strands
Warm milk -1 tbsp
Fresh Mango Puree - 1 cup (Mango should be sweet)

For garnishing
Few mango bits
Pistachio and almonds

Place yogurt in a muslin cloth and hang it overnight or for 6-7 hours to drain out the whey from the yogurt.  Tie it and place it inside the refrigerator otherwise the yogurt will become sour. Soak pistachio and almonds in hot water for 10 minutes. Remove the skin and chop it into small pieces.  Soak saffron in warm milk.  After 6 hours, take out the yogurt from the refrigerator and see how creamy the hung yogurt becomes.

Using a wire whisk or a spatula, mix the hung yogurt with powdered sugar nicely for 5-6 minutes or until the sugar dissolves.  Shrikhand is all about texture, so mixing well is very important.  Now add the saffron soaked in milk, half of the chopped pistachio and almonds, mango puree, cardamom powder and mix well. Keep it in the fridge for an hour. Garnish with chopped pistachio, almonds and mango pieces.  Chironji can also be used along with pistachio for this dessert.  This dessert should be served chilled.
Note- Use sweet mangoes only.  If you can get Alphanso mangoes, do use that.  
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