Welcome to the world of THOUGHTS
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
Although the term "Hare Krsna" became established in the West, almost no one knows what it means. Is it just a repeated mantrum meant to hypnotize those who chant it? Is it maybe a way to escape reality? Or is it an authentic meditation really able to increase one's consciousness?
The transcendental vibration established by the chanting of Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare is the sublime method of reviving our transcendental consciousness. Krsna means "the all-attractive person", Rama means "the highest pleasure", and Hare refers to Krsna's internal pleasure potency known as Srimati Radharani. As living spiritual souls we are all originally Krsna conscious entities, but due to our association with matter from time immemorial, our consciousness is now polluted by the material atmosphere. The material environment, in which we are now living, is called maya, or illusion. Maya means "that which is not". And what is this illusion? The illusion is that we are all trying to be lords of material nature, while actually we are under the grip of her stringent laws. When a servant artificially tries to imitate the all-powerful master, this is called illusion. In this polluted concept of life, we are all trying to exploit the resources of material nature, but actually we are becoming more and more entangled in her complexities. Therefore, although we are engaged in a hard struggle to conquer nature, we are ever more dependent on her. This illusory struggle against material nature can be stopped at once by revival of our Krsna consciousness. Chanting of the maha-mantra is the transcendental process of reviving of this original, pure consciousness. By chanting of this transcendental vibration we can cleanse our hearts of all impurities. Their basis is the false consciousness that I am the lord of all I survey.
Krsna consciousness is not an artificial imposition on the mind. This consciousness is the original natural energy of the living entity. Hare Krsna mantra, or the Great Chanting for Deliverance, is enacted from the spiritual platform, and thus this sound vibration surpasses all lower strata of consciousness - namely sensual, mental, and intellectual. There is no need, therefore, to understand the language of the mantra, nor is there any need for mental speculation nor any intellectual adjustment for chanting this mantra. This simplest method of meditation is recommended for this age. Anyone, including the children, can take part in chanting without any previous qualification.
Loud chanting has the added benefit of allowing other living beings to hear the holy names. This fits well with one of the characteristics of real religion: everyone should benefit from its performance. The Vedas proclaim, sarve sukhino bhavantu: "Let everyone be happy." More than any other religious process, harinama-sankirtana fulfills that need in human society.
Devotees in the Hare Krsna movement perform the traditional method of congregational chanting called kirtana. This group singing of Hare Krsna is accompanied by percussion instruments, such as gongs, drums (mrdanga), and cymbals (karatala). During kirtana, whether in the temple or outside, devotees usually stand or dance. One person leads the singing, and everyone else responds. Devotees hold kirtanas in the public places (so-called harinamas) so that others may benefit by hearing the Lord's holy names. Krsna considers such unintentional hearing devotional service, and it entitles one to render more service in the future.
Sweets which we offer during harinamas come from the same source as many other ancient Indian specialties: our famous vegetarian restaurants Govinda. It is not just a food to fill one's stomach. Because it is also the spiritual food, called prasadam (mercy), it is meant for the purification of consciousness and the encouragement of the soul.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Probably you have already seen members of the Hare Krsna movement singing and dancing in the streets or you have been asked for donation for a book or a magazine. You could also see us in TV or read about us in newspapers. How many times have you asked yourselves: Who are they? Why do they dress in this way? What do they believe in? Why do they always sing? Who is Krsna?
You will be probably surprised by learning that to become a part of the Hare Krsna movement one does not need to wear traditional dress or change one's hairstyle or religion. You will discover that Krsna consciousness is much more than religion. It is a spiritual, universal, time-proven process enabling to achieve inner happiness, satisfaction and higher consciousness.
Hare Krsna movement makes spiritual reality and culture derived from it known to the widest public. This makes it unique. When you speak with a devotee from the Hare Krsna movement, eat spiritual food served in our restaurants, take part in the Sunday festival in a temple, read any of our books or chant "Hare Krsna" at least once, your consciousness will change. And this spiritual change of consciousness is the key to improvement of the quality of life on this planet.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
The MIDI Format
The MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a format for sending music information between electronic music devices like synthesizers and PC sound cards.
The MIDI format was developed in 1982 by the music industry. The MIDI format is very flexible and can be used for everything from very simple to real professional music making.
MIDI files do not contain sampled sound, but a set of digital musical instructions (musical notes) that can be interpreted by your PC's sound card.
The downside of MIDI is that it cannot record sounds (only notes). Or, to put it another way: It cannot store songs, only tunes.
Click here to play The Beatles.
The upside of the MIDI format is that since it contains only instructions (notes), MIDI files can be extremely small. The example above is only 23K in size but it plays for nearly 5 minutes.
The MIDI format is supported by many different software systems over a large range of platforms. MIDI files are supported by all the most popular Internet browsers.
Sounds stored in the MIDI format have the extension .mid or .midi.
The RealAudio Format
The RealAudio format was developed for the Internet by Real Media. The format also supports video.
The format allows streaming of audio (on-line music, Internet radio) with low bandwidths. Because of the low bandwidth priority, quality is often reduced.
Sounds stored in the RealAudio format have the extension .rm or .ram.
The AU Format
The AU format is supported by many different software systems over a large range of platforms.
Sounds stored in the AU format have the extension .au.
The AIFF Format
The AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format) was developed by Apple.
AIFF files are not cross-platform and the format is not supported by all web browsers.
Sounds stored in the AIFF format have the extension .aif or .aiff.
The SND Format
The SND (Sound) was developed by Apple.
SND files are not cross-platform and the format is not supported by all web browsers.
Sounds stored in the SND format have the extension .snd.
The WAVE Format
The WAVE (waveform) format is developed by IBM and Microsoft.
It is supported by all computers running Windows, and by all the most popular web browsers.
Sounds stored in the WAVE format have the extension .wav.
The MP3 Format (MPEG)
MP3 files are actually MPEG files. But the MPEG format was originally developed for video by the Moving Pictures Experts Group. We can say that MP3 files are the sound part of the MPEG video format.
MP3 is one of the most popular sound formats for music recording. The MP3 encoding system combines good compression (small files) with high quality. Expect all your future software systems to support it.
Sounds stored in the MP3 format have the extension .mp3, or .mpga (for MPG Audio).