Jeffrey Kagel / Krishna Das
Layering traditional kirtan with instantly accessible melodies and modern instrumentation, Krishna Das has been called yoga’s “rock star.” With a remarkably soulful voice that touches the deepest chord in even the most casual listener, Krishna Das ”known to friends, family, and fans as simply KD” has taken the call-and-response chanting out of yoga centers and into concert halls, becoming a worldwide icon and the best-selling western chant artist of all time. His album ‘Live Ananda’ (released January 2012) was nominated for a Grammy in the Best New Age album category.
KD spent the late ’60’s traveling across the country as a student of Ram Dass, and in August 1970, he finally made the journey to India, which led him to Ram Dass’ own beloved guru, Neem Karoli Baba, known to most as Maharaj-ji.
Given the name Krishna Das, KD began to chant as part of following the path of Bhakti yoga, the yoga of devotion.
After two and a half years with Maharaj-ji, returned to USA – alas, six months after his return, word came that Maharaj-ji had died.
He took solace in music, finding peace and strength in both his Bhakti yoga practice as well as in such heroes as Ray Charles, Van Morrison, Steely Dan, and Bruce Springsteen (whom he laughingly calls “the Bodhisattva of New Jersey”). KD also co-founded Triloka Records, a California-based label specializing in world music, releasing such artists as Jai Uttal, sarod virtuoso Ali Akbar Khan, and legendary jazz musician/composer Jackie McLean.
In 1994, KD started leading chant at Jivamukti Yoga Center, NYC, with an ever-growing audience of yoga students that has led him to chant with people all around the world. In February 2013, Krishna Das performed at the Grammy awards in Los Angeles, CA streamed online to millions of viewers. The award-winning film ‘One Track Heart: The Story of Krishna Das’ has been in over 100 US cities, over 10 countries worldwide and is available on DVD everywhere.
With the release of his 16th album Peace Of My Heart , October 2018 – KD on behalf of the Kirtan Wallah Foundation offers nearly two hours of deeply moving, meditative and artfully restrained new recordings born out of a request from a yoga teacher who works with children on the Autism Spectrum. Forgoing the ecstatic tempo changes so common to temple-style kirtan, these 5 new tracks move slowly and deliberately. The song to song steadiness is both striking and soothing, and as emotionally impactful as ever.
“The chanting just hits you and you want to be a part of it,” KD promises. “That’s the point of this whole thing. That’s what cuts through all the ‘stuff’. You get lit up. You don’t have to know what it means.”
More about Krishna Das and his work on www.krishnadas.com
These talks are taken from the many questions received during KD’s workshops. In addition we will also share podcasts of KD interviewing teachers, colleagues, and friends. They will cover various topics, include a transcription for your easy reference.
Special Edition Conversations With KD May 28, 2020
2021/12/15 - 51 min
Taking time to look back and move forward. Conversations With KD episodes are derived from the recordings of KD’s online events from his home during the 2020/ 2021 days of social distancing and quarantine from the onset of COVID and beyond.
“Any mantra will work for you if you do it, and any mantra you do will work for you, but we bring so much to the practice, our hopes and fears, our anguish, our desires, all our emotions. We bring our fractured will and a million little pieces. We can’t even do one round of mantra without, you know, thinking about 4 million other things. So, it’s not the mantra’s fault. It’s our fault. It’s our situation. Let’s not blame ourselves because we are who we are, but it’s our situation. It’s very hard to do practice.” – Krishna Das
Krishna Das Podcast - Special Edition May 28-2020: klik hier
Special Edition Conversations With KD May 21, 2020
2021/10/26 - 36 min
Taking time to look back and move forward. Conversations With KD episodes are derived from the recordings of KD’s online events from his home during the 2020/ 2021 days of social distancing and quarantine from the onset of COVID and beyond.
“Nobody’s testing you, nobody’s judging you and nobody’s keeping score. Do what makes you feel good.” – Krishna Das
Krishna Das Podcast - Special Edition May 21-2020: klik hier
Episode 52: Reincarnation, Sci-Fi Buddhism and Devotion
2021/10/19 - 34 min
“He encouraged us to love everyone, serve everyone and remember God, which is to repeat the Names of God. Japa. Ram Nam. Yeah. I always wanted Him to tell me what to do, you know? Give me some like, practice, some mantra. Some “this” that I could do, you know? But He was never, He never encouraged us to do spiritual practice for the sake of our own spiritual benefit, so to speak. He said, “Think about others.” And really, to tell you the truth, I didn’t get it, you know? “What is He talking about? What do you mean, think about others? What about me?” It takes a while to get with the program. Really, it does.” – Krishna Das
Krishna Das Podcast - Ep. 52: klik hier
Episode 51: Guru
2021/10/04 - 36 min
“Any yogi or yogini who develops ability to concentrate and become mindful, pushing that mindfulness to deeper and deeper levels, discovers the Realm of Infinite Love, the Realm of Infinite or Immense Love, Immense Compassion, Immense Joy and Immense Equanimity within themselves. So, they have all the heavens in themselves.” – Robert Thurman
Krishna Das Podcast - Ep. 51: klik hier
Special Edition Conversations With KD May 16, 2020
2021/10/12 - 102 min
Taking time to look back and move forward. Conversations With KD episodes are derived from the recordings of KD’s online events from his home during the 2020/ 2021 days of social distancing and quarantine from the onset of COVID and beyond.
“It would be good to try to find a way to relax. I know that sounds very prosaic, but it’s a very big thing. And that means releasing thoughts, feelings, imaginations about the future. It means releasing a lot of the negativity and betrayals and viciousness of our growing up from the past and allowing yourself to be here just a little bit, you know,… you’re not going anywhere. And certainly, in this this particular situation with the virus, we’re not going anywhere anyway. So… it’s a good time to recognize how clearly you see the things that are floating around in your awareness. “ – Krishna Das
Krishna Das Podcast - Special Edition May 16-2020: klik hier
Episode 50: Sadhus, and Nirvana in Samsara
2021/09/21 - 18 min
“For Maharajji, everybody was His near and His dear. Everyone. And in order to stay in that space, you couldn’t hold on to your stuff. It had to go.” – Krishna Das
Krishna Das Podcast - Ep. 50: klik hier
Special Edition Conversations With KD May 14, 2020
2021/09/28 - 42 min
“Listen, everybody’s doing the best they can. Period. Even you’re doing the best you can. Why dwell in judging other people? It makes you cranky and we’re all cranky enough, you know? Let it go. Let other people be who they are. You find your own way to live in this world in a good way. Don’t worry about other people and other things. Find what works for you and get it together. Don’t spend time worrying about whether other people are this or that, or whether they’re real or not real, or whether this is really spiritual. Who gives a shit? How do you get through your day in a good way? That’s all you need to care about.” – Krishna Das
Krishna Das Podcast - Special Edition May 14-2020: klik hier
Special Edition Conversations With KD May 9, 2020
2021/09/14 - 136 min
“These are all the names of what lives within us as who we are. Already. It’s not something else. It’s not somewhere else. It’s within us. All these names lead to the same place. They’re the names of the same place. All these so-called deities are forms of our own true nature… whatever you sing is fine. It doesn’t make any difference. Sing what you’d like. If you think about it, you’re not doing it. So, I would just do it.” – Krishna Das
Krishna Das Podcast - Special Edition May 9-2020: klik hier
Episode 49: How KD Met Robert Thurman
2021/09/07 - 18 min
“It was a wild time. There were a lot of… the Westerners in India, everybody would go to see teachers, different teachers and then when the seasons changed, all these different people would meet in the cities on their way somewhere else and exchange information and this kind of stuff and then you would go off in a different direction and it was an incredible amount of beautiful seeds were planted in those days. It was amazing, just amazing.” – Krishna Das
Krishna Das Podcast - Ep. 49: klik hier
Episode 48: Hanuman, Mrs. Hanuman, and Time Machines
2021/08/24 - 24 min
“When you attain that oneness, you’re also one with all Beings in all moments of time, past, present and future. So, because, after all, time is like a space, it’s like a subtler space than space is. You know, time, it’s a space of time, a space of duration, of continuum. Right? And so, everything is past and future. So, when you become Buddha, you’re all in all moments of the future, so then you become aware that everyone else will eventually become Buddha, and not only that but you then manifest to accelerate that process so they can do it as quickly as possible. The really dense ones might take a million lifetimes. The quicker ones, a hundred, etcetera. But You’re going to work on it with them. That’s your attitude. This is the sci-fi idea of Kalachakra, ok?” – Robert Thurman
Krishna Das Podcast - Ep. 48: klik hier
Special Edition Conversations With KD May 7, 2020
2021/08/31 - 54 min
“All we have is what’s in front of our faces, which is the ups and downs of life. So, you have to learn to deal with those situations in the best way… and there’s no God outside of your Self, your true Self. And that true Self is the same in every Being. So, if you treat other people the way you would like to be treated, you won’t have any problems at all.” – Krishna Das
Krishna Das Podcast - Special Edition May 7-2020: klik hier
Special Edition Conversations With KD April 30, 2020
2021/08/17 - 71 min
“Ram Dass, my best friend, one of my best friends, long-term spiritual friends and elders, just died a month or two ago. He’s so present. Any time I think of him, he’s present. I’m not looking for signs. I feel his presence. And you will feel your people’s presence if you just allow yourself to. You won’t be able to touch them physically. But that doesn’t mean they’re not here. Because we’re attached to our physical bodies. Because we identify with our physical and emotional parts. We can’t imagine something without that. However, there are many Beings, many many more Beings out of the body than are in bodies I’m sure. I’ve heard that many times. And if you want to feel those things, one has to open up to these realities through practice.” – Krishna Das
Krishna Das Podcast - Special Edition April 30-2020: klik hier
Special Edition Conversations With KD April 25, 2020
2021/08/03 - 118 min
“You know, there were people, there were gurus in India, Beings in India that other Westerners went to. They would bounce up and down off the pillows, they would howl like dogs. They would be in bliss and fall over like this.
I sat around with mom Maharajji for two and a half years. Not one fucking thing happened. Except love. Except love that was so deep and so beautiful and so unbearable, so wonderful that I couldn’t pull myself away from that person. Nor did I want to, except when I got pissed off. So, the whole thing is learning to trust yourself.
Take your time. There’s no hurry. You’re not going anywhere. You’re just trying to get here, where you are already. Relax. Let it come to you. Be yourself. Be you. Follow your heart. Trust your heart. Trust yourself. Trust your deeper feelings. But in order to trust them, you have to listen deeply to yourself and then you have to pay attention. You have to honor how you feel. If you don’t honor those deeper feelings, you’re not doing the right thing to yourself, but most people don’t. Okay? But the spiritual path means really following your heart, following your deepest heart. What do you want? What do you really want? Don’t get caught. Don’t spend time getting things that you don’t really need. You might enjoy a little bit, but go after what you really want, which is the same thing everybody wants, which is love. And if you’re not getting what you want from one situation, recognize that that’s the case. That doesn’t mean you have to change anything, but you have to pay attention.” – Krishna Das
Krishna Das Podcast - Special Edition April 25-2020: klik hier
Episode 47: Hindu-Buddhist Connections
and A Short Discussion of Hatred
2021/07/27 - 19 min
“Once it reaches India, the vajra idea, that’s when it’s coming from, central asia, chariot warriors and so on. They were kshatriyas, you know? But when it gets into India after some time, it comes to mean this infinite, stronger than the thunderbolt is this infinite energy of love and that infinite energy of love is not violent because its, it doesn’t need violence because it’s everything. So, it’s a really wonderful Indian vision, and it’s general, both sides, all sides in India, Jain, Buddhists, Hindu. “ – Robert Thurman
Krishna Das Podcast - Ep. 47: klik hier
Episode 46: The Meaning of Ram
2021/07/27 - 23 min
“When you shape divinity, your notion of the Divinity, by saying ‘Ram Ram Ram’ and use the Name for ‘joy’ and ‘enjoyment’, ‘Ramaniya’, ‘to be enjoyed in that form’, you know, it’s a gerundial thing, ‘to be enjoyed,’ ‘Ramaniya’ means. And then, you are saying that, this great power that I want to merge myself with out of my devotion, I want to connect to out of my devotion and I want to feel the presence in me of that, then that is enjoyment.” – Robert Thurman
Krishna Das Podcast - Ep. 46: klik hier
Episode 45: A Meditation With Bob
2021/07/13 - 26 min
“Why do we want Ram, the Divine Rama, and utter the name, Rama, which comes from a verb that means to play and to enjoy? Actually, Rama does. ‘Ramaniya’ means to enjoy something. And why do we say, ‘Jai Ram’? May Ram triumph. May the Divine triumph. Why do we celebrate that? This is India’s vision, actually, which is the vision of the goodness of the universe. India is really the garden of Eden in ancient time. The richest, most benevolent nature in Eurasia, by far. The ancient civilizations in India were the most peaceful. Everything is relative, of course, in the relative world, but they were. And so, it’s natural that from India, a reassuring prayer emanates throughout history as we know it, that the world is a beautiful thing, that the default situation, if you just let it all go, is all right, you will be embraced, you will be caught in Nirvana. You will be caught in the clear light of the void, as the Buddhists called it. You will be caught in the fundamental bliss energies, Satchidananda, as the Vedantists called it; Being, Awareness and Bliss.” – Robert Thurman
Krishna Das Podcast - Ep. 45: klik hier
Special Edition Conversations With KD April 23, 2020
2021/07/20 - 58 min
Q: Please put some light on how to overpower negative thoughts and anxiety, especially during meditation.
“If you’re meditating, you’re not supposed to be trying to overpower anything. You notice what’s going on and you come back to your mantra or your focus of attention. Where does it say you’re supposed to fight with your thoughts? That’s a misconception. That’s a struggle. Meditation is not a struggle. You just keep coming back again and again, again and again. And you’re training yourself to release those thoughts once you notice.” – Krishna Das
Krishna Das Podcast - Special Edition April 23-2020: klik hier
Special Edition Conversations With KD April 16, 2020
2021/07/06 - 60 min
“We don’t know who God is, what God is, but he’s certainly not someone who sits in judgment of us. How could he even fit in there? We’re so busy judging ourselves. There’s no room for him to judge us or her to judge us.” – Krishna Das
Krishna Das Podcast - Special Edition April 16-2020: klik hier
Episode 44: Share Your Story
2021/06/15 - 27 min
Q: Could (you) share some of your story about what was going on before you decided to go to India
“Everyone has a Guru. Everyone has a lineage that they’ve been involved with, especially if you’re interested in this crazy stuff in the first place, and everybody is, every moment, including this moment, receiving the fruits of their karmas. And the motivation for a great saint, they only have one motivation, they only have one agenda, which is compassion for us, because we don’t know what’s going on. So, they’re here for one reason only. For our sake. So, that means that everyone is getting exactly what they need at every moment. There’s no slippage in the system. If you’ve seen, if you’ve met a guru, a real guru, not a wannabe guru, not a “hope it’s a guru” not a fake guru… don’t let me continue, because it gets worse… if you’ve met a real guru then that was the best thing, that was what you needed. If you haven’t, that’s what you need.” – Krishna Das
Krishna Das Podcast - Ep. 44: klik hier
Episode 43: Practice Arising By Itself,
Dharmageddon and Does the Curriculum Change With Age
2021/06/15 - 29 min
Question: I’m just finding it to be that I don’t have to try so hard because it just happens and what I like about that, it seems like it took a long time to get there. It gets better and it seems like it’s just easy. You just fall into it. Why all the struggles?
“Let’s say you’re home when that happens, you’re just sitting around and you remember the Name, for instance, or the Name shows up in your head. If you’re home, you could, you could go with it for a few minutes, right? You could allow it to surface, really surface.” – Krishna Das
Krishna Das Podcast - Ep. 43: klik hier
Special Edition Conversations With KD April 11, 2020
2021/06/08 - 118 min
“It’s very difficult time. So, it’s a good time to be kind to yourself and allow what is to be for now. This is the moment you have. You don’t have any other moments. Now is what you have. 10 minutes from that will be now… What happens three years from now, you don’t know, but now is the time that you have to try to relax about all these issues that you have in your life and in your emotions, come to peace with them, greet them, get to know them. Stop judging yourself so harshly for feeling these things. Stop judging yourself harshly for not having what you think you should have. ‘Maybe I’m not good enough. Maybe I don’t have what it takes for this to happen for me.’ This would be a good time to let the sting of all those kinds of stories dissipate a little bit and don’t believe them so strongly every minute of every day. Right now, you can’t do much about anything. We’re stuck at home. We have our minds to deal with, and it’s our minds that all the suffering comes from; our minds, our emotions and our stuff.” – Krishna Das
Krishna Das Podcast - Special Edition April 11-2020: klik hier
Special Edition Conversations With KD April 09, 2020
2021/04/20 - 69 min
“One has to set boundaries. They have to be healthy boundaries and we’re not really trained to do that. We’re not really trained. We’re not trained, as children, to have healthy boundaries. Our parents tend to step all over our boundaries and not respect us. We’re trained to do that in life. So, it’s very difficult. So, when we talk about letting go, let’s first talk about it as practice. So, while we’re actually doing the meditation practice, while we’re chanting, that’s when we train ourselves to let go, because we’ve added the mantra into our consciousness and we’ve agreed that we’re going to try to pay attention to that. So that helps us be aware when we’re lost in thought. When we become aware that we’ve been gone, we’re actually already back. We come back to the mantra again. The rest of the day we try to be kind and compassionate and good to ourselves as well by setting healthy boundaries.” – Krishna Das
Krishna Das Podcast - Special Edition April 09-2020: klik hier
Special Edition Conversations With KD April 02, 2020
2021/04/16 - 42 min
“You know, all this craziness in the world is our doing. Nobody else is doing this. It’s us. We human beings are doing this. All of us. So, we human beings can change it. But not everybody believes that. Not everybody believes that there’s a better way to live. Most people live in fear, shame, guilt and selfishness and greed. And that’s what drives us and when we’re in that mode, it’s us and them and we’ll do anything we have to to protect ourselves and our small circle of people. That’s the kind of thinking that kind of has to go. It has to loosen up a little. Will it happen? I don’t know. I hope so. “ – Krishna Das
Krishna Das Podcast - Special Edition April 02-2020: klik hier
Episode 42: Only Jesus Died the Real Death
2020/12/11 - 24 min
Question: He, so the thing that kind of like I had an epiphany about was He never died, the part about Jesus, you know, “I never died.” I had that experience with Jesus, when He said, “I never died.” Could you say a little bit more about somebody who never died, and that whole idea?
“States of mind have their own qualities. Now, heaven is a state of mind. It’s not a place that you go to. Where are you going to go? How are you going to get there? Right? So, it’s a state of mind. When you’re in it, it’s eternal. That’s why it feels like heaven. “It will always be like this.” Pleasure, beautiful pleasure, unending pleasure, the world of the Gods. Heaven. The lower Gods. The devatas. Indra and the whole posse. But then there’s also hell, which they also say is eternal. But it’s not like it lasts forever. It only lasts as long as your karma puts you there. And when you’re there, it feels eternal. That’s why it feels so bad. It’s always going to be like this. It’s like our normal depression states. We think they’re going to last forever, but then they’re gone after ten or fifteen years. Or until we meet somebody else that knows how to push the right buttons. So, He lost himself in love. That’s how Maharajji said Jesus meditated. He didn’t watch His breath. He didn’t stand on one toe. He lost Himself in love. He immersed Himself fully in the love that surrounds us all the time. That lives within us. That’s who we really are.” – Krishna Das
Krishna Das Podcast - Ep. 42: klik hier
Episode 41: Karma and Consciousness, Dealing With Negativity
2020/12/11 - 30 min
Q: I’ve been putting a lot of emphasis on my mind a lot of my life and to turn that around, I find that quite difficult. I’m a recovered Catholic and I’m trying my best to remove all belief systems. They’re inappropriate. Lately, in trying to find, and this is one of my shortcomings, always the quickest way to get somewhere, and I’m reading quite a few things on YouTube, believe it or not, and I found out that some people believe that there is no such a thing as karma when we reach a certain level of consciousness and I was wondering if this (karma) is a belief system?
“It’s real easy to see the atmosphere you create for yourself when you’re kind to people, when you care about people, when you’re someone that’s open to being with people in a good way. Your life becomes simple and filled with good things. Consciousness doesn’t have to be created. It’s here. Always.” – Krishna Das
Krishna Das Podcast - Ep. 41: klik hier
Episode 40: Dark Night of the Soul,
Gratitude and the Renaissance of Psychedelics
2020/12/10 - 26 min
Q: So Ram Das talks a lot about how, as you awaken or you go on this spiritual journey, the passions of life kind of start to fall away, and for me, personally, it can be such a release some days when I look out and I see people that this is it and that car is it and doing this and winning is it and I kind of see through it, and then there are days when I just want to go back to sleep because I want to be lost in it. It’s so hard sometimes, I mean just to, I don’t know, everybody’s going bowling as Ram Das says in his talks and you don’t want to bowl anymore. It’s just like, “I can take it or leave it.” Are we just supposed to get to that point where the highs are gone, the lows are gone and we’re just here? Now?
“On this path, those moments of darkness, all that energy fuels the longing to be free, fuels the longing to connect more deeply with what we want to connect with. It’s a good thing, ultimately. It’s a dark night of the soul but there’s a morning right after the night.” – Krishna Das
Krishna Das Podcast - Ep. 40: klik hier
Episode 39: Bad Aim and the Importance of Spiritual Practice
2020/12/10 - 23 min
The key to doing a spiritual practice is actually doing it. Every day whether you feel like it or not. Because if you only go with your, “You know, I’m tired today, I think I’ll skip it”, then the habits that are already pushing us around just get stronger and stronger. We have to create new habits that turn us within, that make us more available to our own inner self.
Krishna Das Podcast - Ep. 39: klik hier
Episode 37: Maharajji’s Language, Why Is Chanting Important?
2020/12/06 - 31 min
Why is chanting transformative? Why is the chanting of names transformative? Does it require an understanding of what those names, the stories behind those names, in order for the chanting of those names to be transformative?
“These names are mantras. These are sounds that come from a deeper place inside of us and they were brought into this world so you and I could hear them by saints, by yogis who have recognized the truth, have experienced reality through these names and they’ve experienced the reality of these names.” – Krishna Das
Krishna Das Podcast - Ep. 37: klik hier
Episode 36: There’s No Maharajji Outside of You, Committing To A Practice
2020/12/06 - 43 min
So, when I try to tap into the energy or the meaning of Neem Karoli Baba, I feel like I’m grasping at clouds because I wasn’t there. He hasn’t written anything that I can read to understand.
“You’re looking to feel something from outside in a sense. You think He’s out there and you want to connect with Him. It’s not like that. He’s not out there, in fact, there is no “out there” there’s only here. But we’re not here, so we’re lost. We’re in dreamland. Sleepy-poo. So, when we wake up, you’ll remember everything.” – Krishna Das
Krishna Das Podcast - Ep. 36: klik hier
Episode 35: Too Little Too Much, Violence and Compassion
2020/12/06 - 25 min
I’m searching for understanding of how someone can be on this earth and literally be so unloved that he could walk in and kill people in a yoga studio and take his life. How can we make sure people feel the love that we feel in here?
“Don’t try to make it ok. It’s not ok. Eventually it won’t hurt so much. That doesn’t mean you’ll have figured it out. It just won’t hurt so much.” – Krishna Das
Krishna Das Podcast - Ep. 35: klik hier
Episode 34: Trust In Your Self. Maharajji and Buddhism
2020/12/03 - 21 min
When you talk about this incredible love, is it just the simple presence of consciousness that you can achieve through vipassana or different meditation techniques or is it something else? And if it is something else, how do you connect and experience that?
“As you sit and you go more deeply, you know, you shouldn’t think that you’re finished, just because you feel a little peace. That’s good. But you should be with that. You shouldn’t push it away or hold onto it. Be with whatever arises, right? And you’ll have many different experiences over time, lifetimes of practice. And whatever is, whatever your karma dictates, will come to you in the way that it’s supposed to.” – Krishna Das
Krishna Das Podcast - Ep. 34: klik hier
Episode 32: Keep Coming Back and Cleaning Out The Dark Corners
2020/07/22 - 37 min
You don’t have to know anything. All you have to do is be happy. And think about other people once in a while instead of yourself. That’s all. It’s ridiculous how happy you can be when you don’t think about yourself. Ridiculous. Completely absurd. You wouldn’t think that would be the case but it is the case.
Krishna Das Podcast - Ep. 32: klik hier
Episode 31: Find Out Who You Are, Maharajji and Buddha, Starting on the Path
2020/07/14 - 18 min
Do you have any advice for… I guess for someone who’s starting off or seeking their spiritual practice or spirituality all together.
“Relax. Take it easy. Watch some tv. Be good. Listen to music. It’s a ripening process. It’s not a learning process. It’s a ripening process and we ripen our hearts when we turn towards that love. And what turns us towards that love is the longing, the longing that’s in there, to really be in that love. That itself is the fruit of practice. The fruit of love is the longing for more of it. To be more deeply in that love. That longing is, it’ll ruin your life. But it saves your life.” – Krishna Das
Krishna Das Podcast - Ep. 31: klik hier
Episode 30: Family Karma, KD’s Mom
2020/07/07 - 23 min
I feel that my dharma is taking me into different direction, that family karma. Karma related to a lot of suffering, a lot of what I would consider tamasic energy, toxic and so if you or Maharajji would have any advice when you feel your dharma is, you know, upholding you and protecting you and…
“We don’t know our parents as people, for the most part, until maybe we get older. They’re people. I don’t know how my mother went through the day. I don’t know what my father… what tortures he had in his life, and betrayals and hidden desires that he couldn’t fulfill. I have no idea what went on with him. All I know is how he treated me and you know, another thing and it’s a theory of mine, I can’t prove it, but I kind of feel like we learn to see ourselves the way our parents saw themselves. Not the way they saw us. But the way they saw themselves, we absorb that. And we mimic that by seeing ourselves the same way. I don’t know, I can’t prove it, but it feels like that to me.” – Krishna Das
Krishna Das Podcast - Ep. 30: klik hier
Episode 29: The Evaluative Mind, Grace, Dada Mukerjee
2020/07/01 - 23 min
I said to Siddhi Ma, I said, ‘Ma, Maharajji said He has the keys to the mind, so to me that means that I am where He puts me, where He wants me to be. So, Ma, is it grace? In other words, is it His doing, or is it my effort that’s important? What’s the deal?’ So, She said, ‘Krishna Das, it’s all grace but you have to act like it isn’t.’ Which is very far out. It’s a done deal. None of this is happening. It just looks like it’s happening. But because we believe it, we have choices to make, we have practices to do. We have karmas to perform because everything is a karma. Every thought is a karma. So, you want to create the karmas that will bring the goodness into your life and into the life of other people around you also, since everything you do creates some kind of karma. Let’s at least try to create some happiness for ourselves with our actions and others.
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Episode 28: Suffering, Gratitude and Burning Out
2020/06/24 - 35 min
So, I can feel this softening thing happening in my personal relationships and my everyday life. I’m having a really hard time with the world stage, how to not either not run away from it or like, bring just furious disgust and I’m not sure how to handle, like, what do you suggest with that?
“We don’t know what’s going on… Western culture is a few hundred years old. Modern science is a couple hundred years old, maybe, at the most, and we think we know everything about everything. We don’t even know who we are. How are we going to know who anybody else is. So, the best idea is to become the best human being that you can and everywhere you go and everything you do should be from the best place you can do it from.” – Krishna Das
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Episode 27: Spiritual Experiences, Auschwitz and Bernie Glassman
2020/06/15 - 32 min
Recently I’ve been having a draw to learn or feel more of my tradition and the ancestors and who’s come before me, and what moved me that I saw online was when you were in the barracks in Auschwitz, (you) sat down and sang to the children. My parents survived the holocaust. Their people did not. And when you sang and I experienced that video, I felt you were singing to and for me. I don’t know if that’s what your intent was but if you want to speak to that, please do because I want to know your experience and by way of request, if you want to sing that for our children, please do, Krishna Das.
“I had a great friend named Bernie Glassman who’s a Zen Roshi, who had many deep enlightenment experiences and finally realized that the only thing keeping him and others out of that place was his own fear. So, he began to move towards the places where he had the most fear and where culturally in the world there was a lot of fear. So, one of those places was Auschwitz. And he began going to Auschwitz every year and bringing people to bear witness to the suffering. It wasn’t to just to go and suffer, but it was to bear witness and that’s a practice, to bear witness. And the idea was, in order to bear witness to something, one has to look at it and see it and in order to see it, one has to drop one’s ideas about it. And be with it. To see it clearly, one has to drop one’s stuff.” – Krishna Das
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Episode 26: Resolving Trauma
2020/04/29 - 26 min
For my own karma, I would like to resolve those things that I’ve felt that I could have done better. Situations I could have handled better and I just wondered what your thoughts were on that, like, if you’ve hurt people in your past that you want to redress the situation but, I just wondered what your thoughts are, because sometimes people don’t want to be, a situation, you might be in a different frame of mind but they might not be, I’m just speaking very generally, but I just mean with respect to your own karmic situation.
“Well, you know, there’s the inner and the outer. In the outer world, not everybody we’ve hurt wants to forgive us. That’s their problem. Our work is to release all that energy that’s blocked up in those intense emotions and I don’t think we need to try to forgive other people right off the bat. I think we need to first kind of calm ourselves down” – Krishna Das
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Episode 25: Planting Seeds and The Hanuman Chalisa
2020/04/14 - 27 min
KD discusses the importance of practice, particularly the practices of Mantra repetition and the Hanuman Chalisa, and recalls how Maharajji’s Western devotees initially began chanting the Chalisa.
“So, Maharajji said a couple of things. He said, “Hanuman Chalisa, every line of Hanuman Chalisa is Mahamantra.” Second, He said, “Hanuman Chalisa has the power to change fate.” Now, don’t, I have no idea what He’s talking about. But that’s what He said. And it feels to me, you know, we don’t know what’s going to happen, what’s coming to us tomorrow and the next minute and the next second, but not everything is pleasant. There’s sickness, there’s disease, there’s suffering, all kinds of things, so through this practice, those rocks, those boulders in the river of our lives are removed.” – Krishna Das
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Episode 24: Paying Attention and the Guru
2020/03/12 - 24 min
We don’t know who we are. We don’t know what we really are. We don’t know what’s looking out of our eyes. We don’t know what’s experiencing the things we experience. We just experience, we wake up, drink some beer, go back to sleep and drink some more beer. That’s all we do. So, if we don’t know our Self, how are we going to know guru? How are we going to know God? Well, when your karma is ripe, to a certain point, I guess, the Self recognizes itself in someone that looks like they’re outside of you. Another human. Another Being. Another body. You recognize something in that Being and it’s something that comes from within. A recognition from within that is like coming home, you know?
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Episode 23: Thoughts and Karma Meditation and Moping
2020/03/06 - 18 min
Given that we often refer to our minds as a wild monkey, that thoughts come up that we have no control over, it seems that, to be held responsible for thoughts that come up, that are not coming up because we intend them to come up, if there’s no intention, are we really responsible for the karmic consequences of our thoughts?
“You don’t have to believe blindly in karma… you’re not required to believe anything. Blind faith is not useful in any way whatsoever. But when you look at certain situations, when you look at your own behaviors, you can kind of see where certain things are coming from, you know? You can see where you were born, you can see how you grew up, you can see how your parents treated each other. You can see how they treated you, you can see how they treated themselves, and you can feel, kind of the effects on that, of that, in who you feel you are, and out of who you feel you are, that’s how you will meet every moment that arises, whether it’s a mental moment of thoughts arising or it’s a moment in the physical world of stuff happening. How you greet each moment, every moment, every second of your life is not only an effect of certain causes, but also, becomes the cause of certain effects at the same time.” - Krishna Das
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Episode 22: Meditation and Moping
2020/02/27 - 20 min
I don’t like the outside silence leading me to the stuff in my head. But when I feel it with the chanting, I feel like, movement, and I process things. So I’m wondering, is there a difference for you between what we call meditation and now I think mindfulness and I’m wondering if you think there’s a difference between like, mindfulness, meditation, mantra chanting, like all the words?
“I sit down and I start singing and once I start singing, it doesn’t matter. Nothing matters except the singing and that, I don’t even know what to call it, that reflex, almost of paying attention, as soon as I’m gone, I wake up, I remember and I come back to the Name. Again and again and again. I don’t analyze what I was thinking. I don’t analyze how I’m feeling, you know? I just let it go and come back. It’s not important. I am not important.
The reason I mope around less is because I and how I feel and all my emotions and “how am I now? How am I now? How am I now? Is it good? Is this good? I think this is better if I do it this way. A little Vaseline over here will make it easier…” becomes unimportant. It’s just not about that. So, be unhappy. It’s ok. Enjoy. “ - Krishna Das
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Special Edition: Creativity, Spirituality & Making a Buck
2020/01/15 - 69 min
David Nichtern is a senior teacher in the lineage of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. This tradition combines a contemporary, secular approach to meditation with the ancient practices and philosophies of Tibetan Buddhism. David has created and taught meditation teacher trainer programs worldwide. He has also been a business consultant with companies creating a variety of offerings integrating meditation in a larger health and well-being context. As many of you already know, David is also a well known composer, producer and guitarist – a four-time Emmy winner and a two-time Grammy nominee, and often tours and plays with Krishna Das. In this podcast, the two chat about spirituality and making a living on the heels of the launch of David’s new book: Creativity, Spirituality & Making a Buck.
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Episode 21: Longing, Ripening and Dada Vaswani
2019/09/24 - 22 min
The other people who met Maharajji talk about is the experience of His unconditional love, as you said once, “His unbearable love,” and my guess is that for many people, certainly who’ve not had the experience of Baba in the body and who maybe don’t have… my guess is when you speak of that, many people wish to feel that, to feel unconditional love, maybe that’s why they keep coming, I don’t know. And so, after a lifetime of doing this and becoming a teacher, what can you say? You know, what can you say to people about having that experience, finding that experience?
“I would say that the more you long for it, the better it is. Period. You have to be where you are. You can’t be anybody else. You can’t be anywhere else. What you can do is look, be yourself 100% and the longing for that love is what brings towards it. Period. End of conversation. That’s it. Nothing else. That’s my only qualification for any of this, is longing. This insane amount of longing that destroyed my life. It destroyed everything I thought I was going to be in life and replaced it with all this nonsense. It was that longing which I brought into this life and when I speak about this love and my Guru and you feel “I want a guru, I want a guru,” that’s a good longing to have because that longing will not leave you until you find what it is you’re longing for. There’s no easy way to get through this. It sucks. Period. I can’t make it all right for anybody but I can tell you that the more longing you have, the better it is. “ - Krishna Das
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Episode 19: Spiritual Love and Worldly Love
2019/05/14 - 26 min
I wanted to ask if you could talk a bit about your relationship with Maharajji and maybe the difference between love as we know it in the sense of a romantic relationship or relationships, and the love you felt when you were with Maharajji.
“He (Maharajji”, being completely free of subjectivity, would mirror what we needed to see for us, what we wanted to see but inside of that subjective take on Him, He would manifest real love.”- Krishna Das
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Episode 18: How To Develop Faith
2019/05/14 - 07 min
Tell me a little bit about how your faith… and trust in the universe that happened over time… how did it develop for you? How do you develop faith?
“The mind can’t conceive of what’s not a thought. Emotions can’t feel anything that’s not a feeling, an emotional feeling. The body and the senses can’t receive anything that’s not a sense input. Faith and grace, they have nothing to do with the body and the mind or the emotions. It’s a blessing that comes to us due to a combination of our good karmas, the work that we’ve already done in our life and in our lives before if you believe in that, and the kindness of the Saints who have realized what this is all about and we’ve all, if we’re interested in this nonsense at all, it’s because we have a connection with some lineage at some time with our own past already. It’s not an accident.” - Krishna Das
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Episode 17: Grace in The West
2019/05/14 - 09 min
How do we, in the West live the way you speak of? The way we all want to in our hearts? We need money in this culture… We can’t walk around, as you said, with a wraparound, shoeless and in the East you can. So…. it’s so difficult, how do we compromise in the West? Or, how do we recover peace in the West when we strive for the Eastern culture?
“Once, I was having a dream, I had this dream where I was being reincarnated, I was coming back to a body and I was heading right for India, right for India, and at the last minute I made a left turn and wound up in New York. But, I was impelled by my karmas. This was the place where I would be able to fulfill the things I needed to do. The hungers that I was, in another culture, I might not have been able to get what I needed to have in order to complete certain karmic desires. So, it’s not a mistake that we’re here. But it would be a mistake to try to do it like the Indians do it. We can’t, we’re not born that way. We have a different psychological shape. Very different. But we’re still, we’re no different from anybody on the planet anywhere, inside. So that’s all the same, it’s just the outer shell is different. We have to find a way to look at that and see what that is. Work with it." - Krishna Das
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Episode 16: Spiritual Practice and the State of the World
How do we live a spiritual life in today’s political climate?
2019/05/13 - 17 min
When Maharajji was around physically… something was going on, some upheaval, political problems, and one of His devotees came to Him and said, “Oh, if there was only a king like King Janaka”, who, in the history of India, was an enlightened King, you know? “If there was only someone like Janaka to fix up all this political stuff.” Maharajji said, “there’s a King greater than Janaka now who is taking care of all this.” There is somebody running the show. “And if it has to go this way now, let it go.” That doesn’t mean we don’t do everything we have to do in regard to this, but the most important thing is to remember that, when you take your last breath, whatever karmas you have, whatever programs are still running in there, are going to keep running into your next incarnation. So you do your best work right now…
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Episode 15: Our State of Mind Is Everything
How does one’s state of mind color one’s world view?
2019/05/13 - 11 min
I remember the first rainy season. Oh, everything was wet. The bed is wet. The hair was wet. The clothes were wet. You sat down, it was wet. You stood up, it was wet. You got on the bus, wet came down on you. There was no place it wasn’t wet. For three months, I was like…
And then, I remember like the second year, wet. By the third year, wet. Nothing. It didn’t, I hardly noticed. It was strange. I go to India now, it’s so hot. I lived there in those days. There was no air conditioning. There was nothing. It was 120 degrees and I don’t remember being hot. Now, it’s like oof. So, it’s, state of mind is everything. Everything. Everything.
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Episode 14: KD Chats with Bob Thurman
2019/05/08 - 65 min
Robert A.F. Thurman recently retired as Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in theDepartment of Religion atColumbia University,President of theTibet House U.S., a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tibetan civilization,Time magazine chose Professor Thurman as one of its 25 most influential Americans in 1997, describing him as a “larger than life scholar-activist destined to convey the Dharma, the precious teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, from Asia to America.” The New York Times recently said Thurman “is considered the leading American expert onTibetan Buddhism.Inspired by his good friend the Dalai Lama, Thurman stands on Buddhism’s open reality, and thence takes us along with him into an expanded vision of the world, whether the sweep of history, the subtleties of the inner science of the psyche, or the wonders of the life of the heart.He always shares the sense of refuge in the Dharma, which unfailingly helps us clear away the shrouds of fear and confusion, sustains us with the cheerfulness of an enriched present, and opens a door to a path of realistic hope for a peaceful future.“There’s two ways of looking at the sublime continuum, which is to say the Buddha Nature.There’s one way where the Buddha says, ‘Buddha nature is something we teach to reassure people who are frightened when we say ‘selfless’ and they think there’s no soul.’ So BuddhaNature sort of substitutes for soul. But that’s a lower way of looking at it. A higher way of looking at Buddha Nature is, it is Reality Itself in the form of the fact that enlightened Beings,Beings who are truly enlightened, which doesn’t mean every kind of deity, but some of them, maybe, but enlightened Beings feel, they viscerally feel themselves to be everybody else. So, for example, any Buddha, and there are millions of them, but particularly the one who worries most about us at the moment is Shakyamuni, you know, Siddhartha’s last Shakyamuni, He is you, Krishna Das, and Me, from His perspective. He’s us. He actually enjoys being us. He does.”– Robert Thurman
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Episode13: Remembering Bernie Glassman
2019/03/21 - 20 min
Roshi Bernie Glassman, an American Zen Master affectionately referred to as “Bernie,” was a vibrant character who had a significant influence on American dharma. Along with being a Zen master, was also an aeronautical engineer, a social entrepreneur, an interfaith activist, and a clown. Bernie left his body in late 2018. In this episode, KD shares his recollections on his great friend. At 11:42 KD sings “Hungry Hearts” chant. This chant was recently recorded for
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Episode 12: Krishna Das chats with Lama Surya Das
2019/02/06 - 67 min
Krishna Das chats with Lama Surya Das, one of the foremost Western Buddhist meditation teachers and scholars, and a long-time friend. In this interview, the conversation between KD and Lama Surya Das touches on the subjects of spiritual practice, retreat, death, mindfulness, compassion and more. At 55:20, KD and Lama Surya Das chant the Buddhist mantra “Om Mani Pedmé Hung” together.
You know, one time, Maharajji said, ‘I hold the keys to the mind,’ … and then He teased us and said, ‘I can turn your minds against me.’ ‘No Baba, don’t do that.’ And He’d laugh, you know? So I said to Siddhi Ma, I said, “Ma, Maharajji says He holds the keys to the mind, which means to me that I am exactly where He wants me to be at all times, otherwise I’d be somewhere else, mentally, I mean like, spiritually, internally. My experience would be different. So, I’m where He wants me to be. So where does personal effort come in? Is it all grace? Or is it personal effort’” She says, ‘It’s all grace, but you have to act like it isn’t.
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Episode 11: Well Being
2019/02/06 - 21 min
One time, an old lady came to Maharajji, and she said, “Baba, show me God. Show me God, Baba.” And she was all emotional. Baba said, “Ok, Ma. Not now. Go away.” So later, at the end of the day, see she had come from a local town, and at the end of the day, she had to catch the bus back to her family, so at the end of the evening, she comes back to pranam to say goodbye to Maharajji and catch the bus. So she bows down and Maharajji says, “Ok, Ma, come here. I’m going to show you God now.” “Not now Baba, I have to go home!” That’s where we are. You know? We want that, but not now, I’m too busy, I have a movie to go to. I have a date tonight, I can’t do that. So, just, you know, be good to yourself. Learn how to do that. Learn how to be good to yourself.
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Episode 10: Selfless Service
2019/02/06 - 8 min
One time, Mr. Tiwari, my Indian father, was sitting with Maharajji. Maharajji said, “So, you’re a brahmin, you’re supposed to know everything. What does Krishna teach in the Gita?” So now everybody, if you ask that question, they basically say, “Selfless Service,” right? So, he knew it was a setup, but he said it anyway. “You miserable brahmins, misleading the people. Only God does Selfless Service.” Because God is the whole thing. There is no Self. You know? There’s only That. All of us are just doing the best we can and we’re working on thinning that, that barrier or shell that seems so solid of self.
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Episode 09: Surrender
2019/02/06 - 27 min
Surrender happens by grace. It’s not an act of personal will. That might be a hard thing to understand because we don’t, you know, grace is such a foreign concept to Westerners, but you know, Ramana Maharshi said, “If you ask the thief to be the policeman, there will be a lot of investigation, but no arrest will ever be made.” That’s the thing about surrender. If you ask your ego to surrender, it’ll make a good job of looking like it’s trying to do that, all the time it’s getting bigger and stronger.
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Episode 08: Perceived Liberation
2019/02/06 - 6 min
I don’t know. You know, I’ve read a lot of stuff, I’ve been taking teachings from a lot of different types of schools of philosophy, of practice. They say that liberation is being able to live in your natural state, the natural state. On the Hindu side, it’s called sahaja samahdi, the easy natural state. In Tibetan Buddhism, it’s called Mahamudra or Zogchen or Rigpa, awareness, natural, natural state. I don’t think about it that much anymore, you know? I want to be living a good life in a good way. I want to be happy. I want to at least be in the ring with my bullshit, you know? So I’m not knocked out of the ring by it. I want to be in there with it. And to me, that’s a good place to be.
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Episode 07: Four Fruits Of Life
2019/02/06 - 19 min
Hanuman not only gives liberation, frees us, but in the process of freeing us, He allows us to satisfy the desires that we need to have satisfied to move on.
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Episode 06: The Atheist Mind
2019/02/06 - 7 min
The clouds come and go but the sky is always here, so, you can’t disbelieve the sky when you see everything going through it. You may not be able to see the sky, but you know it’s there.
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Episode 05: Judging and Acting
2019/02/06 - 14 min
You don’t have to judge. Judging means you’re seeing that person as evil. Or bad. And you’re not seeing that that person, just like you, is a result of many different things in that person’s life. Most people who abuse, have been abused. Right? Does that make them bad? It just makes them victims. Victims become victimizers. Not 100% but to a large degree. Most of what we’re taught about ourselves through our earlier life and our parents, we then absorb and we teach it to anybody around us. So, people who abuse are often abusing out of their own pain. That doesn’t excuse them. You wouldn’t let them hurt somebody if you were there. But you wouldn’t necessarily have to hate them to stop them. The not hating is the inner work. The preventing suffering on the outside is the outer result of that work.
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Episode 04: Desire and Willfulness
2019/02/06 - 15 min
Most of everything we do in life is designed to shine us up a little bit, so people will like us and look at us and appreciate us more and we get some attention, some affection. You know? But we don’t have to shine. We really don’t have to. So, if you’re noticing all the ways you’re trying to shine, that’s good. Otherwise how can you let go of that stuff if you don’t notice? Right? It’s not going to help you get happy. You’re just going to spend a lot of time shining yourself up. Then you fall apart.
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Episode 03: Bearing Witness
2019/02/06 - 16 min
Unconditional love, it’s a word, it’s a phrase, it’s hard to connect with that. Unconditional love. Just think about the sun. It shines evenly all the time on everything. On the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the high, the low. It shines on those miserable people who kill people and murder people and treat people like shit and it shines on the people who care for people and do charity and help people every chance they get. The sun shines equally on everything and everyone. That’s what it is. That’s unconditional.
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Episode 02: How does Love Relate to Life
2019/02/06 - 12 min
That’s the other thing that happens, you also start to accept all the parts of your life a lot more easily. All the shadows. You know, the shadows, if we don’t see them, they just keep pushing us around and they don’t go away by themselves. They must be looked at, they must be released, consciously released to some degree. So, when Maharajji sent me back to America after two and a half years, he said, “You go back to America. You have attachment there.” So, this is, this is what’s left after 50 years of dealing with attachment. Just, me and my main squeeze here. And my life, you know? But I think one of the things you’re asking, I’m not looking for that love in anybody anymore, in a person, in a human being.
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Episode 01: Talk on the Hanuman Chalisa
2019/02/06 - 19 min
Maharajji, Hanuman and The Flow of Grace Towards Love. - This is the way Mahrajji was. Everything that came towards Him got something burnt away, because you couldn’t come close to that fire with all your shit. You had to drop it or you couldn’t get there. Just coming towards that love burns stuff off of you in the first place. And that’s Hanuman. Hanuman is that love that’s always turned towards Ram, towards God, and anything that approaches Hanuman gets into that flow of Grace towards love. But in order to enter into that flow, you have to leave some of that luggage behind. You have to. It’s not always pleasant and it’s not, it doesn’t always feel good but you want the love more than you want all that luggage and so you will let go of that given the opportunity.
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Episode 00: Keeping Up with Daily Sadhana and Practice
2018/01/16 - 8 min
In this episode Krishna Das discusses keeping up with our daily practices (sadhana) despite distractions and hurry in our daily lives.
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