The Process of Devotional Service

Narada-bhakti-sutra
Translation and Purport by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Text One

TRANSLATION

Now, therefore, I will try to explain the process of devotional service.
PURPORT

Devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, where the Lord says that a self-realized person is always in the transcendental state known as brahma-bhūta, which is characterized by joyfulness. When one is self-realized he becomes joyful. In other words, he is free from the material contamination of lamentation and hankering. As long as we are in material existence, we lament for the losses in our life and hanker for that which we do not have. A self-realized person is joyful because he is free from material lamentation and hankering.

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“By sound vibration one becomes liberated.”

Excerpt from The Science of Self-Realization
by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Letter to J.F. Staal Professor of Philosophy and of South Asian Languages
January 30, 1970

“By sound vibration one becomes liberated.” By devotional service, by understanding well the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one can go to His abode and never come back again to this material condition. How is it possible? The answer is, simply by chanting His name constantly.

This is accepted by the exemplary disciple, Arjuna, who has perfectly learned the conclusion of spiritual science from the yogeśvara, the master of mystic knowledge, Kṛṣṇa. Recognizing Kṛṣṇa to be the Supreme Brahman, Arjuna addresses Him, sthāne hṛṣīkeśa…: “The world becomes joyful hearing Your name, and thus do all become attached to You.” (Bg. 11.36) The process of chanting is herein authorized as the direct means of contacting the Supreme Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead. Simply by chanting the holy name Kṛṣṇa, the soul is attracted by the Supreme Person, Kṛṣṇa, to go home, back to Godhead.

In the Nārada-pañcarātra it is stated that all the Vedic rituals, mantras, and understanding are compressed into the eight words Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare. Similarly, in the Kali-santaraṇa Upaniṣad it is stated that these sixteen words, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, are especially meant for counteracting the degrading and contaminating influence of this materialistic age of Kali.

Prabhupada Reading His Own Books


Prabhupada Reading His Own Books
by Srutakirti Prabhu

Entering Srila Prabhupada’s quarters was always an enlightening experience. Sometimes Srila Prabhupada sat and read his books. Whenever he read it seemed as if someone else had written his books because he didn’t read with the mind of an author who might be looking for editing mistakes or grammatical errors. He read them with the relish of a pure devotee reading the pastimes of the Supreme Lord to whom He was completely attached.
One day in Los Angeles I went into his room to perform my duties and he was sitting and readingBhagavad Gita As It Is. After I offered obeisances he looked at me and said, “If you just read this one book and understand, you will become Krishna Conscious in this very life.”

A few months later when I went into his room, he was reading Nectar of Devotion. He looked at me and said, “This book is so nice. Just by reading this one book you can become Krishna Conscious.”

Srila Prabhupada teaches us by example. He does everything he asks us to do. He requests us to read his books and he does, too.

For Sale; Case of Original Bhagavad-gita’s Hardbound

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Case of the Original “Classic” 1972 Edition Bhagavad-gita “As It Is” by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
In High Quality Hard Bound Cover.

This is the compact , Complete Edition of Srila Prabhupada’s 1972 Macmillan edition. This edition is the most widely read Gita in the world. Written by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who is the world’s foremost Vedic scholar and teacher. He represents an unbroken chain of fully self-realized spiritual masters beginning with Lord Krsna Himself. Thus, unlike other editions of the Gita, his edition conveys Lord Krsna’s profound message as it is-without the slightest taint of adulteration or personally motivated change. Replete with sixteen full-color plates, this new edition is certain to stimulate and enlighten any reader with its ancient yet thoroughly timely teachings.

Bhagavad-gita is universally renowned as the jewel of India’s spiritual wisdom. Spoken by Lord Sri Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, to His intimate devotee Arjuna, the Gita’s seven hundred concise verses provide a definitive guide to the science of self-realization. Indeed, no work even compares in its revelations of man’s essential nature, his environment and, ultimately, his relationship with God.

Special Features
• Original Sanskrit Text
• English transliterations for each Sanskrit word
• Elaborate commentary
• Complete glossary
• Complete verse index
• High readability
• Profuse full-color illustrations

Original 1972 Complete edition. With translations and elaborate purports by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
Hard-cover, 1008 pages, 48 color plates. 5″ x 7.5″
20 Books per case!
Note; Also available by the case in High Quality Soft Bound cover

You can purchase these and other of Srila Prabhupada’s original works on-line by visiting

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Who is Crazy? (Chapter 3)

The Hare Krishna Explosion
by Hayagriva das

Part I: New York, 1966
Chapter 3

Who is Crazy?

Twenty-six Second Avenue. Matchless Gifts. No doubt, to most New Yorkers, nothing more than the kind of squalid storefront someone might open a pawnshop in. What with traffic noise and our neighbors—Cosmos Parcels Express Corporation, Gonzalez Funeral Home, Weitzner Brothers Memorials, The Red Star Bar, and a Mobil gas station—no one would think it Vaikuntha. But for us, Matchless Gifts becomes a temple, a part of Vrindaban, because of Swamiji’s presence and the words spoken here.

Keith, Wally, and I rummage through the Mott Street apartment, gather souvenirs from the recent India trip—two rugs, a dozen paintings, three silk wall hangings, and two brass hookah tops—and take them to Second Avenue.

Then, unknown to Swamjji, we start decorating the Matchless Gifts storefront, turning it into a temple befitting Krishna’s messenger. That is, as far as we are able.

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Transcendental Teachings of Prahlāda Mahārāja

Transcendental Teachings of Prahlāda Mahārāja
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Chapter 2
“We Are Spoiling Our Lives”

Therefore, instead of being very anxious to stimulate our senses to increase material happiness, we should try to attain spiritual happiness by practicing Kṛṣṇa consciousness. As Prahlāda Mahārāja says, “Although your life in this human body is temporary, it is very valuable. So instead of trying to increase your material sense enjoyment, your duty is to dovetail your activities in some way in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.”

Our higher intelligence comes with his human body. Because we have higher consciousness, we should try for the higher enjoyment in life, which is spiritual enjoyment. And how can that spiritual enjoyment be achieved? One should absorb himself in serving the Supreme Lord, who gives the pleasure of liberation. We should turn our attention to achieving the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, who can give us liberation from this material world.

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How To Offer Your Food To The Lord

How to Offer Your Food To The Lord

Everything comes from God (Krishna), the air we breath, the water we drink, and the food we eat. But this process of Krishna Consciousness or bhakti-yoga, is the method for re-awakeing our dormant love for God. When you love someone, then there is service. Isn’t this so? A mother loves her baby, and cares for the babies needs; she baths the baby, dresses the baby, feeds the baby etc. So this process of Krishna Consciousness is giving back to the Supreme Lord, in the mood of loving devotional service. Although the Supreme Lord is providing everything, still a devotee thinks, “I want to give something back. I want to offer something to the Lord” Not that we just take from the Lord, ‘O Lord thank you for our daily bread’. No, a devotee wants to bake some bread for the Lord, cook some rice and offer it to the Lord, offer some fruits, and flowers, and water for the Lords pleasure. This is the begining of Love, through service.

A young boy meets a young girl, and he gives her a flower, carries her books, gives her gifts and offers her service. Similary, we want to love God, so we begin with gifts and service, to develope our love and devotion. So this process of offering very nicely prepeared foods to the Lord is Bhakti Yoga. Yoga means ‘union’, and Bhakti means through loving devotional service. It is a very blissful process. I want to Love God, so let me offer some service, some flowers, some nicely cooked food,etc. And we can link up with God (yoga) by thinking of Him, offering prayers, chanting His holy names, and offering the food we eat.

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Lord Sri Krishna

Lord Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as described by the Vedas. The Vedas are the eternal truths of life originating in India that have been passed down from time immemorial originally through oral reception, and more recently through written scripture in the Sanskrit language. Though there are many different religions in the world each having their own name for God, God is still one. There isn’t one God for Hindus and another for Christians and Jews.

Even in the Vedic literatures, God has many names and many different incarnations and expansions. Lord Krishna is the original of all other expansions. In Sanskrit, the word Krishna means “all-attractive.” Krishna is the most beautiful, powerful, famous, wealthy, wise and renounced. Since He possesses all these opulences at the same time and in full, He is defined as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

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Preparing and Offering Prasadam

By His immense transcendental energies, Krsna can convert matter into spirit. If we place an iron rod in a fire, before long the rod becomes red hot and acts just like fire. In the same way, food prepared for and offered to Krishna with love and devotion becomes spiritualized. Such food is called Krsna prasadam, which means “the mercy of Lord Krsna.”

Eating prasadam is a fundamental practice of bhakti yoga. In other forms of yoga one must artificially repress the senses, but the bhakti-yogi can engage his or her senses in a variety of pleasing spiritual activities, such as tasting delicious food offered to Lord Krsna. In this way the senses gradually become spiritualized and bring the devotee more and more transcendental pleasure by being engaged in devotional service. Such spiritual pleasure far surpasses any kind of material experience.

Lord Caitanya said of prasadam, “Everyone has tasted these foods before. However, now that they have been prepared for Krishna and offered to Him with devotion, these foods have acquired extraordinary tastes and uncommon fragrances. Just taste them and see the difference in the experience! Apart from the taste, even the fragrance pleases the mind and makes one forget any other fragrance. Therefore one should know that the spiritual nectar of Krsna’s lips must have touched these ordinary foods and imparted to them all their transcendental qualities.”

Eating only food offered to Lord Krsna is the perfection of vegetarianism. In itself, being a vegetarian is not enough; after all, even pigeons and monkeys are vegetarians. But when we go beyond vegetarianism to a diet of prasadam, our eating becomes helpful in achieving the goal of human life–reawakening the soul’s original relationship with God. In the Bhagavad-gita Krsna says that unless one eats only food that has been offered to Him in sacrifice, one will suffer the reactions of karma.

Tommorow we will feature an article entitled “How to offer Your Food to the Lord”. So stay with us!

Transcendental Teachings of Prahlāda Mahārāja

Transcendental Teachings of Prahlāda Mahārāja
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

The Dearmost Person

Today I shall speak to you of the history of a boy devotee named Prahlāda Mahārāja. He was born in a family that was stubbornly atheistic. There are two kinds of men in this world: the demons and the demigods. What is the difference between them? The main difference is that the demigods, or godly persons, are devoted to the Supreme Lord, whereas the demons are atheistic. They do not believe in God because they are materialists. These two classes of men always exist in this world. At the present moment, due to the Age of Kali (Age of Quarrel), the number of demons has increased, but the classification has existed since the beginning of creation. The incident I am narrating to you occurred very, very long ago, a few million years after the time of creation.

Prahlāda Mahārāja was the son of the most atheistic person and the most materially powerful as well. Because the society was materialistic, this boy had no opportunity to glorify the Supreme Lord. The characteristic of a great soul is that he is very eager to broadcast glorification of the Supreme Lord. Lord Jesus Christ, for example, was very eager to broadcast the glorification of God, but demoniac people misunderstood him and crucified him.

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His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada’s Appearance Day Lecture

His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada’s
Appearance Day Lecture

Given by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada at Gorakhpur, February 15, 1971 , Evening
710215BA.GOR

Prabhupäda: Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Mahäräja, my spiritual master, his advent day today. In 1922, I was at that time very much engaged in Congress activity. I was very much devout follower of Mahätmä Gandhi, and at that time, I was manager also in a very big chemical concern in Calcutta. Perhaps you may know, Dr. Bose’s laboratory. One of my friends—he’s still living, Sri Narendranath Mullik—he informed me that “One saintly person has come. Let us go and see.” At that time I was young man, and I did not care for very much about so-called saintly persons. Because in our house, my father used to receive so many sannyäsés, but some of them were not very to the standard, and due to my association with college friends, younger days, I lost my faith practically, although I was born in a Vaisnava family. My father was a pure Vaisnava. From my childhood, he gave me Rädhä-Kåñëa Deity for worshiping. A ratha… I was playing with my boyfriends, Ratha-yäträ, Òola, like that. My father encouraged. So I was trained up in this line, but in my youthful age, when I was college student, gradually, by their bad association or something, gradually, I lost my activities. But when this friend, Mr. Mullik, took me to Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvati Gosvämi Mahäräja, he immediately asked me that, “You are educated young boys. Why don’t you take up Lord Caitanya’s message and preach in the Western world?” In the very first sight, he told me. At that time, I argued with him that “We are dependent nation, and who is going to hear about our message?” So he defeated my argument. (aside:) There is no necessity of closing. Yes. He defeated my argument. He was learned scholar. What I was? I was still boy. So I agreed (chuckles) that I was defeated. So after finishing our visit with Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvati, I got some impression that “Here is a person who has taken Lord Caitanya’s message very seriously. Now it will be preached.” My friend asked my opinion, that “What is your opinion?” So I gave this opinion, that “Here is a person who has taken Lord Caitanya’s movement very seriously, and now it will be preached.”

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The Departure of Bhadra Priya Devi Dasi

The Departure of Bhadra Priya Devi Dasi, Srila Prabhupada’s daughter
by Nirmala, Sumati and Devarsi das

Bhadra Priya joined ISKCON in 1972 in Montreal, Canada. Shortly thereafter she moved to the temple in Toronto where she was initiated by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada in 1973. She did many different types of service including nam sankirtan and book distribution. One special service that she was known for was cooking milk sweets for Radha Ksira Cora Gopinath for up to 10 hours each day. She was really absorbed in this service and was especially happy when she was able to create a different type of sweet for the Lord’s pleasure.

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Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta Adi Lila 7.22

Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta Adi Lila 7.22
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

TRANSLATION

Śrī Pañca-tattva themselves danced again and again and thus made it easier to drink nectarean love of Godhead. They danced, cried, laughed and chanted like madmen, and in this way they distributed love of Godhead.

PURPORT

People generally cannot understand the actual meaning of chanting and dancing. Describing the Gosvāmīs, Śrī Śrīnivāsa Ācārya stated, kṛṣṇotkīrtana-gāna-nartana-parau: not only did Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu and His associates demonstrate this chanting and dancing, but the six Gosvāmīs also followed in the next generation. The present Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement follows the same principle, and therefore simply by chanting and dancing we have received good responses all over the world. It is to be understood, however, that this chanting and dancing do not belong to this material world. They are actually transcendental activities, for the more one engages in chanting and dancing, the more he can taste the nectar of transcendental love of Godhead.

Arsha Prayoga Part II

Arsha Prayoga Part II
By Sriman Locanananda Prabhu

Srila Prabhupada’s desire was to see his books translated into all of the major languages of the world. By 1970, numerous centers had opened in countries outside of the United States and translation work had begun in Germany, France, Canada, South America and Japan. When the German devotees undertook the translation of the Srimad Bhagavatam, they discovered what they thought were grammatical discrepancies in the original English. The translators reasoned that if their spiritual master could publish his books with flaws included, then their own translation work could also contain mistakes and no harm would be done. In a very strongly-worded letter, Srila Prabhupada chastised his disciples for thinking they could imitate their spiritual master and explained that to avoid this offense, they must follow the principle of arsha prayoga.

One should not see mistakes in the books written by his spiritual master, nor should one think he is able take the same liberties taken by him. His Divine Grace warned his disciples that only if they were able to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world as he had done could discrepancies in their translation work be overlooked, otherwise not.

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Ouotes by Srila Prabhupada

“The more you become in service attitude for Krishna; Krishna will reveal Himself to you. Krishna is within you and He is awaiting your surrender and service, and as soon as He sees that you are seriously in serving mood, you will understand everything about Krishna – His qualities, His form, His pastimes, His entourage, and His abode.”

- in a Letter to:  Sachisuta, Montreal, June 17, 1968
 
 
“We are trapped souls in a state of forgetfulness of Krishna, and Krishna is giving you the chance now to re-establish your relationship with Him by this chanting process. So take full advantage of it and be happy.”
 
– in a Letter to Prahladananda, Feb. 14, 1969

Practicing Krishna Consciousness at Home

Practicing Krishna Consciousness at Home
by Padmapani Prabhu

Since the vast majority of our readers are coming to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna Consciousness for the first time through Internet searches, and without access to devotee association or a nearby Hare Krishna temple, many people have inquired about how they can set up an altar in their homes and start practicing Krishna Consciousness at their own pace.

The first and foremost principle of Krishna Consciousness is chanting the Hare Krishna mantra:
“Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”

This mantra is a prayer to the Supreme Lord which means: “O energy of the Lord (Hare), O all-attractive Lord Krishna, O Supreme Enjoyer (Rama), please engage me in Your service.”

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On Chanting the Hare Krishna Mantra

Bsn

You can chant these holy names of the Lord anywhere and at any time, but it is best to set a specific time of the day to regularly chant. Early morning hours are ideal.

The chanting can be done in two ways: singing the mantra, called kirtana (usually done in a group), and saying the mantra to oneself, called japa (which literally means “to speak softly”). Concentrate on hearing the sound of the holy names. As you chant, pronounce the names clearly and distinctly, addressing Krishna in a prayerful mood. When your mind wanders, bring it back to the sound of the Lord’s names. Chanting is a prayer to Krishna that means “O energy of the Lord [Hare], O all-attractive Lord [Krishna], O Supreme Enjoyer [Rama], please engage me in Your service.” The more attentively and sin¬cerely you chant these names of God, the more spiritual progress you will make.

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Lord Nityananda’s Appearance Day Lecture

Lecture by Srila Prabhupada given on Lord Nityananda’s Appearance Day in Bhubaneswar, on February 2, 1977.

Srila Prabhupada: So today, is the appearance day of Lord Nityananda Prabhu…Nityananda Prabhu is Baladeva, Baladeva-tattva. Vrajendra nandana yei, saci suta haila sei, balarama haila nitai: “Who was formerly the son of Nanda Maharaja, He has appeared as the son of Sacidevi.” Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mother’s name was Sacidevi. So Krsna… Krsna is Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and Balarama is Nityananda Prabhu. Now… Vrajendra nandana yei, saci suta haila sei, balarama haila nitai. So Balarama… In the Vedic literature it is said, nayam atma bala-hinena labhyah na bahuna srutena. So bala means strength.

Sometimes some rascal philosophers, they take it that bala means bodily strength. They propagate this philosophy, that “Unless you are bodily stout and strong, you cannot achieve spiritual salvation. You must be very strong and stout and eat meat and fight, and then you’ll get next spiritual birth” No. This bala, this strength, is different. This is spiritual strength.

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Letters by Srila Prabhupada to the GBC

The following is excerpts from letters written by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami about the duty and fuction of the GBC (Governing Body Commision)

In a July 9, 1971 letter to Umapati Das, Srila Prabhupada wrote:
“GBC members are simply to see that things are going on. Other centers have got president, secretary, etc. and they are managing separately. That is the formula. So how is it that the GBC are the final authority? They are simply to examine that things are going on nicely, that is all.”

“GBC men should not dictate very much, simply supervise and see that the standards are maintained.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, February 14th, 1972)

“What will happen when I am not here, shall everything be spoiled by GBC? So for the time being, let the GBC activities be suspended until I thoroughly revise the whole procedure.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, April 11th, 1972)

“I made the GBC to give me relief, but if you do like this, then where is the relief. It is anxiety for me. This is the difficulty, that as soon as one gets power, he becomes whimsical and spoils everything.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, September 12th, 1974 )

“I am training some of my experienced disciples how to manage after my departure. So if instead of taking the training, if in my lifetime you people say I am the Lord of all I survey, that is dangerous conspiracy.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, October 8th, 1974)

“But the difficulty is that our GBC men are falling victim to maya. Today I trust this GBC and tomorrow he will fall down. That is the difficulty. If the GBC men are so flickering then what to speak of the others. Unless this problem is solved whatever we may resolve it will not be very useful. “
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, December 16th, 1974)

“The GBC should all be the instructor (siksa) gurus. I am the initiator (diksa) guru, and you should be the instructor guru by teaching what I am teaching and doing what I am doing. This is not a title, but you must actually come to this platform. This I want.”(Srila Prabhupada Letter, August 4th, 1975)

“The GBC (Governing Body Commission) has been established by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada to represent Him in carrying out the responsibility of managing the International Society for Krishna Consciousness of which He is the Founder-Acarya and supreme authority. The GBC accepts as its life and soul His divine instructions and recognizes that it is completely dependent on His mercy in all respects. The GBC has no other function or purpose other than to execute the instructions so kindly given by His Divine Grace and preserve and spread his Teachings to the world in their pure form.”;(GBC Resolution No.1, 1975)

“Now has the GBC become more than Guru Maharaja? As if simply GBC is meant for looking after pounds, shilling, pence. The GBC does not look after spiritual life. That is a defect.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, November 10th, 1975)

“It is now evident that some of our top men are very much ambitious and there has been so many fall-downs.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, January 27th, 1975)

“Our mission is to serve bhakta-visesa and live with devotees. Not that you take the place of the guru. That is nonsense, very dangerous. Then everything will be spoiled. As soon as you become ambitious to take the place of guru—gurusu nara-matih. That is the material disease.”( Srila Prabhupada Conversation, April 20th, 1977)

Pasted from

Srila Prabhupada’s Original Krishna Book Now On-Line

Srila Prabhupada’s Original Krishna Book Now On-Line
by Madhudvisa dasa 

We have the great pleasure of announcing Srila Prabhupada’s original Krishna Book is now available for reading on the internet at http://www.krsnabook.com Reading Krishna Book is very important and we simply present a few quotes from His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada on the necessity and great spiritual benefits of reading Krishna Book.

Prabhupada: Yes. If you read Krishna book and if you believe, then you see Krishna. He’s not different from the book. (N98:760427CC.AUC)

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