• Please read this. This has been sent by a young Marathi friend of mine. This was written by an old lady who recently died at the age of 92. The original is in Marathi. It was found when her daughter was sifting through her papers. The daughter is a non-believer. The translation is by her grand son, who too is a non-believer. This is a deeply moving document of a human being who, in her humble way, was trying find the meaning of existence while living her life with as much freedom as she could win.

    I am not a believer either but I agree with her that we should all have our corners of purity, especially in our minds. It is a tough call but that should not deter us from constantly seeking it, which just might make life worth living. Purity, I admit, is not easily definable, but I am sure everyone who reads this note has a personal definition of what purity is.
    Anybody who is familiar with the Communists of the Old School – the Indian Communists – will know what I am talking about.
    On another plane, this note tells us about the strength of our great country, especially of its ordinary people.


    What is my concept of God or his powers? Who is God? Do I believe in him? Do I have clear thoughts, ideas, emotions, or opinions about God? My idea of God is not that of God as one powerful being who can be coaxed into blessing me by my prayer, fasting, or sacrifice. Our own efforts determine what we get in life. Success or lack of it may be decided by circumstances. My mind never brought itself around to the self taking credit for successes, and blaming God, fate or destiny for failures. We are the cause and recipient, actors or witness, of what happens in our lives.

    If such are my thoughts, why do I pray regularly? I am a believer. There is an unknown, mysterious power that drives the natural world and its myriad happenings. Knowledge, whether scientific or philosophical, hasn’t yet solved this mystery. Mankind is collectively putting in great and persistent thought and efforts to unravel it. I believe in the existence of this mysterious power. It has helped me live my life. I do not believe however that this power will stand behind me and help me get what I want merely by my regular offerings of prayer.

    The idols I worship regularly are Ganesha and Saraswati – the Gods of knowledge, Annapoorna – the Goddess of food, and Balkrishna – the God of mischief and childlike innocence, one who provides a refreshing, constant flow of energy to move forward in life. All of these are symbols of things that I love in my life. The idols are a physical realization of these symbols. My offerings in daily prayers – flowers, leaves, grass, or Tulsi – remind me always of the beauty of nature.

    The corner of my house that hosts these idols is a place that respects virtue, one that provides strength in trying times. My house may be unkempt, dirty, messy, and I may become negligent or careless. Yet, there is one corner in my house that is a constant reminder of virtue, one that keeps me awake to living life as a good person, one that provides strength to deal with grief. Every house needs such a corner, irrespective of whether one actually prays or makes offerings to God. This corner reminds me to remain humble. It a constant source of energy to live. My mind, of its own accord, makes me fold my hands and bow my head in prayer. The corner that houses the idols gives my mind peace. My idea of God makes me strive to keep this corner it pure. It is personal, intimate, my own.

    I don’t find this same God in temples. I don’t feel the need to visit them. This corner of my house gives me strength live and keep living, to walk through the fog of disappointments. It shows me beauty and truth. This is the God of my mind. I have seated him that corner. God occupies a corner of my mind that keeps it awake to virtue.

    Kumud Oke


Weight of a PRAYER



The Weight of a Prayer

Louise Redden, a poorly dressed lady with a look of defeat on her face, walked into a grocery store. She approached the owner of the store in a most humble manner and asked if he would let her charge a few groceries. She softly explained that her husband was very ill and unable to work. They had seven children and they needed food.

John Longhouse, the grocer, scoffed at her and requested that she leave his store. Visualizing the family needs, she said: “Please, sir! I will bring you the money just as soon as I can.” John told her he could not give her credit, as she did not have a charge account at his store.

Standing beside the counter was a customer who overheard the conversation between the two. The customer walked forward and told the grocer that he would stand good for whatever she needed for her family.

The grocer said in a very reluctant voice, “Do you have a grocery list?” Louise replied, “Yes sir.” “Okay” he said, “put your grocery list on the scales and whatever your grocery list weighs, I will give you that amount in groceries.”

Louise hesitated a moment with a bowed head. Then she reached into her purse and took out a piece of paper and scribbled something on it. She then laid the piece of paper on the scale carefully with her head still bowed.

The eyes of the grocer and the customer showed amazement when the scale went down and stayed down. The grocer, staring at the scales, turned slowly to the customer and said begrudgingly, “I can’t believe it.” The customer smiled and the grocer started putting the groceries on the other side of the scales.

The scale did not balance so he continued to put more and more groceries on them until the scales would hold no more. The grocer stood there in utter disgust.

Finally, he grabbed the piece of paper from the scales and looked at it with greater amazement. It was not a grocery list. It was instead a prayer which said: “Dear Lord, you know my needs and I am leaving this in your hands.”

The grocer gave her the groceries that he had gathered and stood in stunned silence. Louise thanked him and left the store. The customer handed a fifty-dollar bill to the grocer and said, “It was worth every penny of it.”

It was sometime later that the grocer discovered the scales were broken; therefore, only God knows how much a prayer weighs.


  1. Serve those who serve the Lord, don’t criticize them out of envy or false ego
  2. Worship Krishna as the “source of all spiritual and material worlds”, “the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities.” Show respect to demigods like Lord Siva or Ganesh and personalities like Hanuman as exalted devotees of Lord Krishna.
  3. Show full respect to the spiritual master in thoughts, words and actions, considering him to be a representative of the Lord. Carry out the orders of the spiritual master with enthusiasm and attention to detail.
  4. Honor (and study) the scriptures as the instructions of the Supreme Lord (dharmam tu saksad bhagavat pranitam) with the desire to understand how they are correct (not if they are correct).
  5. Have faith that the Holy Name is not a mundane sound vibration, but is in fact transcendental sound, descending from the (pure) spiritual platform.
  6. Have faith in the explanations and glorification of the Holy Name given by guru, sadhu and sastra. This knowledge is given by those who have experienced the glories of the Holy Name, and who have “seen the truth.”
  7. Root out the desire to commit sins. A sin is an action that is not connected to the Supreme Lord; something done for the gratification of the senses. Acting only for the pleasure of the material body brings you further from practical realization of your factual identity as an eternal spirit soul (separate from the temporary material body).
  8. Give up ritualistic pious activities. Transcend feelings of duty and obligation and perform all activities for the pleasure of Krishna.
  9. Discuss the glories of the Holy Name with servants of the Lord who will relish hearing about it.
  10. Chant attentively, absorbing your full consciousness in the transcendental vibration of the Holy Name.

If you can seriously follow the above ten guidelines your chanting will improve by leaps and bounds.

Sankarshan dasa Adhikari



“We should always be very grateful to Krishna for giving us the Hare Krishna mantra, and we should show our gratitude by chanting it as much as possible. That way we will bond with Him, which is our heart’s greatest desire. 
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
 Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.”