Purify My Life Introductory Series

Introduction to Purify My Life

There is a scarcity now of devotees of God. If we try to understand God scientifically and become a devotee of God, a lover of God, our lives become successful. God is one and religion is one. Real religion means love of God. If we develop our love of God, automatically we will develop our love for all living beings.

Our efforts at Purify My Life are meant to assist you on your journey of discovering real religion and real culture, and applying those principles in a practical way so that you can achieve the perfection of life- the joyful reawakening of your original relationship with Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

The Line of Spiritual Teachers

The way of receiving real knowledge is by accepting proper authority. With any educational system of this world, there are textbooks, but the contents of that textbook are brought to life and understanding by a proper instructor who is well versed in the subject and has practical experience of the science. For example, one cannot study a surgical text and then proclaim oneself to be a surgeon. There is a system of education and proper practicum. One cannot reach real knowledge without being helped by someone who is already established in that knowledge, and that pertains at least equally to the spiritual science of self-realization.

Regulation Brings Freedom

The basis of human society, especially one centered on spiritual principles, lies in its morality. If there is no morality, there can be do discernment, either material or spiritual, what is best for oneself, ones family, and ones community. Without morality, there can be no progress. Human life is meant for spiritual progress. Following some basic moral principles frees us up to achieve spiritual happiness and success. It allows us to disconnect from the heavy anchor of material existence and move forward in spiritual victory. Where there is illicit sex, meat eating, intoxication, and gambling, there can be no cleanliness, mercy, austerity, or truthfulness.

Mantra Meditation

According to the ancient Vedic literatures, the power in the names of God are beyond any sound produced in this material world. Not only do they uplift our consciousness but they are imbued with the power to purify the unwanted things within our hearts. And what are those unwanted things: lust, anger, envy, greed, and illusion… the enemies of righteousness, religiosity and peace.

Introduction to Spiritual Food

The word “prasādam” translates from the Sanskrit as “mercy.” It refers to the foodstuffs that have been duly offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and have thus become not only freed from any sinful reaction, but have been rendered totally transcendentally beneficial by the grace of the Lord.

The Glories of Spiritual Food

The spiritual master’s duty is to engage his disciples in preparing varieties of nice foods to offer the Deity. After being offered, this food is distributed as prasādam to the devotees. These activities satisfy the spiritual master, although he himself does not eat or require such a variety of prasādam. By seeing to the offering and distribution of prasādam, he himself is encouraged in devotional service.

One should take prasādam with great faith and should chant the holy name of the Lord and worship the Deity in the temple, always remembering that the Deity, mahā-prasādam and the holy name do not belong to the mundane platform. By worshiping the Deity, eating prasādam and chanting the Hare Krishna mahā-mantra, one can always remain on the spiritual platform (brahma-bhūyāya kalpate).

Offering Food to Lord Krishna

The process of making an offering of foodstuffs to Krishna will evolve for everyone. The basic principle is to acknowledge that the Lord has given so many nice ingredients, and that we have prepared them in a way to reciprocate with Krishna. The offering itself can be very simple.

Fasting for Perfection

Ekādaśi is the 11th day after the full moon and the new moon. On that day, to fast from grains and beans promotes and protects our spiritual progress. It is one of the Holy Days that are considered the Mother of Devotion.

The Sacred Tulasi Plant

Tulasī Devī has her form in the topmost spiritual realm of Goloka Vṛndāvana, where she acts in many ways to make the most perfect arrangements for Krishna’s wonderful pastimes with His eternal associates. She appears in this world as a plant, and her very presence invites auspiciousness.

The Pancha Tattva

“Pañca-tattva” means “Five Truths.” There are five transcendental personalities who comprise the Pañca-tattva. They are recognized and honored by the mantra, śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu-nityānanda śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda. The first three of these personalities, Śrī-Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, Nityānanda Prabhu, and Śrī Advaita Ᾱcārya, are Viṣṇu-tattva, and are worshipable by the living entities. The other two tattvas, śakti-tattva and jīva-tattva, represented by Gadādhara and Śrīvāsa, are worshipers of the Supreme Lord. However, these two tattvas are in the same transcendental category as the Viṣṇu-tattvas because they eternally engage in the loving service of the Lord.

Devotional Attire

Devotees of the Lord are often recognized by different signs. Along with the obvious robes, the distinguishing marks of a devotee will be Tulasī wood neck beads, the small tuft of hair called a śikhā, and the clay markings, called tilaka, that designate the body as a temple of the Lord.

Creating a Home Altar

An altar is an important part of worshipping the Lord at home or in a Temple. A simple home altar can be set up horizontally or vertically. It does not have to be elaborate. It is good to start with nicely framed pictures, and it should be easy to clean. When you start to offer some things to the Lord, be very simple, as it is nice to make a commitment that is within reason and that can be maintained on a regular basis.

Devotional Etiquette

Association of devotees is our main support in the development of Krishna Consciousness. There are different levels of devotees according to their spiritual qualities and advancement. We will discuss those, but the overall picture is that we need to associate with those who inspire and enliven us with their enthusiasm and determination to make spiritual progress. When Śrīla Prabhupāda was asked how his disciples would be recognized, he said that they would be perfect gentlemen. From that, we can also infer that the women would also be perfect ladies.

Cleanliness is Godliness

Śrīla Prabhupāda would sometimes quote, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” There were also a couple of occasions on which Śrīla Prabhupāda said that cleanliness IS Godliness. Cleanliness refers to both the internal and the external aspects. The Sanskrit word “śuci” refers to cleanliness and to the brahmanas, who are expected to be always exhibiting cleanliness. The word “muci” refers to uncleanliness and those who are unclean. The development of brahminical cleanliness will automatically invite auspiciousness and an uplifting atmosphere in the home.