Principles, practice and our spiritual heritage
We’re always enthusiastic to share spiritual wisdom with others and lift the lid on how the teachings of the ancient Vedas hold the solutions to all of life’s problems and more.
The insights we’re sharing weren’t plucked out of thin air, though and neither were they the result of years of scientific research. They go way back beyond the realm of time as they are eternal truths brought to us by disciple succession.
The Srimad Bhagavatam explains how the knowledge of the Vedas was revealed by Krsna to Lord Brahma, who then shared it with Narada Muni. Narada Muni gave it to his disciple, Vyasadeva who actually compiled the Vedas. Following an unbroken chain of gurus and disciples, this knowledge reached Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura. He wanted to help fulfil the prophecy that this process of Krsna consciousness would reach every town and village of the world. Taking up this divine mission, his disciple, Srila Prabhupada brought it to the West so that we could all benefit from it. Cool, right?
To read more about what we do and why we do it, click on one of the links below:
The Vedic scriptures explain that in order for society to remain peaceful and happy, we have to maintain certain religious principles (dharma). This is represented by a bull, whose four legs stand for cleanliness, austerity, truthfulness and compassion.
Cleanliness refers to abstaining from sex that isn’t within a marriage and for the purpose of raising children. We can practice austerity by avoiding intoxicants such as caffeine and alcohol and not smoking either. Gambling is said to encourage a cheating mentality so by not engaging in this, we can uphold the principle of truthfulness. As for compassion, that refers to being a vegetarian.
Maintaining these four principles makes it easier to practice spiritual life, creating a favourable environment for us to make a real go of it. Of course, it’s not as straightforward as that. It’s definitely a gradual process. What tends to happen is that as we increase our spiritual practice, we tend to, very naturally, let go of the things that are holding us back.
Karma & Reincarnation
Karma is essentially the universe’s way of ensuring that everybody gets the appropriate punishment and reward for their actions. It’s the ultimate justice system and nobody is exempt. Simply put, “what goes around comes around”, but it gets so much more subtle than that. Karma is so deep, in fact, that when Arjuna asked Krsna about it in the Gita, He said that it was too intricate for him to grasp.
The law of karma means you are impelled to not only accept the consequences of your actions but also the results of the consequences of your actions and even the results of those results and so on. Karma makes you responsible and encourages you to think before you act — not bad, ‘eh?
For example, if you accidentally injure someone in a car crash, you are responsible for the pain that person feels, the trouble their family are put in, the time the doctors use to nurse him back to health, the frustration of the other drivers when the road is closed and the list goes on. I told you it was intricate!And that’s where reincarnation comes in. We receive the results of our good and bad actions not only in this life but in the next too. Nature gifts us certain types of bodies that best accommodate for our past activities and desires. That explains why we may see one person born into poverty and another born with a silver spoon in their mouth. You can even get an animal body too and here’s one for you: unlike humans, animals don’t accrue karma — they only burn it off.
It seems like we’re stuck in a never-ending cycle of birth and death, bound by the law of karma. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The Vedas explain that by offering our activities to Krsna and serving Him with love, we can get free from the shackles of karma. This means we go back to the spiritual world, a place free of karma and full of eternal life.
Meditation & Yoga
At Pandava Sena, we practice and teach the path of bhakti yoga; this means connecting to God with love and devotion. Of all the different types of yoga, bhakti yoga is said to be the most direct and most simple to practice in this day and age. In fact, all of the other yogas culminate in this bhakti yoga.
Meditation, or more specifically in the bhakti yoga tradition, mantra mediation, is at the heart of this spiritual process. Practitioners chant the maha-mantra quietly to themselves or aloud with friends and accompanied by instruments:
There are really no hard and fast rules for chanting so it’s really easy to pick up and doesn’t require any complicated sitting postures, just your tongue, your ears and a little enthusiasm goes a long way. It can be really fun and sometimes, we can’t help but dance as we sing along.
Regular chanting transforms the heart and helps us see ourselves for who we really are: spirit souls not of this world, hard-wired to love and serve infinitely.
“Food glorious food..!” Okay, we don’t want to get that song stuck in your head but let’s face it, we love our food! Who doesn’t right?
It’s got to be veggie, though! As you stroll down the spiritual path, you find yourself becoming more and more thoughtful, wanting to live life in such a way that the least harm is caused to others.
If we can enjoy lots of palatable vegetarian dishes, why should we kill animals for food? That’s one of the reasons why you’ll find a lot of spiritual practitioners with a vegetarian diet.
Not only that but biological research says that the human body isn’t actually designed for meat consumption and leads to a higher chance of cancer. It has grave environmental and economical consequences too.