Devotional Service

Krishna riding on Garuda  Plate 33

In this 12th chapter of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is entitled Devotional Service, the path of liberation is explained…

For one who worships Me, giving up all his activities unto Me and being devoted to Me without deviation, engaged in devotional service and always meditating upon Me, who has fixed his mind upon Me, O son of Pṛthā, for him I am the swift deliverer from the ocean of birth and death.

Also a nice description of the qualities of a devotee are given…

One who is not envious but who is a kind friend to all living entities, who does not think himself a proprietor, who is free from false ego and equal both in happiness and distress, who is always satisfied and engaged in devotional service with determination and whose mind and intelligence are in agreement with Me—he is very dear to Me.

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Om or Hare Krishna?

Om or Hare Krishna?
By Kurappiah Chockalingam

Though the sacred sound om is often associated with impersonalists, only the devotees understand its full import.

The Gosvamis of Vrndavana have analyzed om (a-u-m) as follows: The letter a refers to Krsna, the master of all planets and all living entities. The letter u indicates Srimati Radharani, the pleasure potency of Krsna, and m indicates the living entities. Thus omkara represents Krsna; His name, fame, pastimes, potencies, and devotees; and everything else pertaining to Him.

THROUGHOUT THE VEDAS there is much mention of the syllabel om. This spiritual vibration, which is sometimes called omkara or pranava, comprises three Sanskrit sounds – a, u, and ma (the a in ma is silent). When these three sounds are combined, the result is the single-syllabled vibration om.
An unusual attribute of om is that it has no direct translation from Sanskrit into English. And though every Vedantist will accept om to be a representation of God, exactly how om is viewed differs according to various schools to thought. These schools can be classified into two main categories, the Mayavadi, or impersonalist, and the Vaisnava, or devotee.

The impersonalist, as the name suggests, is happy to treat om as an impersonal, formless, representation of the Absolute Truth. Therefore, the Mayavadi will very openly chant om, being careful to avoid names such as Krsna and Rama, which according to them, are limited. A Mayavadi might explain his theory of pranava om like this: “Since this whole universe has been created by Him (God), whatever there is in the universe is Him alone.

As such, He has no name. But if He has to have a name, then all names are His, for He alone is appearing in all forms. The first sound in most languages is a; the last sound to leave as our mouth closes is m; u is the center of the two. Together, they represent all the basic sounds from which words are produced. And threfore, these three sounds, making up the syllable om, represent the entire universe of names and forms.”

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