By Your Mercy


By Your Mercy
By: Arjuna Das
Aug 29, 2011 — INDIA (SUN) —

An offering to Srila Prabhupada by Arjuna das.

Dear Srila Prabhupada,

Someone explained to me once that ‘ by your mercy’ , we can speak something on this day even though there may be some literary flaws. Just like a loving father appreciates the incoherent stammering of his young child as the child tries to express his affections, by your mercy, you appreciate our outpourings and heartfelt appreciations reposed at your lotus feet.

Your Divine grace is the personification of the bliss of Krsna’s mercy. You are the storehouse of compassion for the poor and suffering souls. You reveal divine knowledge, pure devotion, and ecstatic love of God, and you are the savior of the fallen souls. Therefore I pray to offer this mind, body, and very life at your lotus feet and always hope to chant the divine names of Sri Hari.”

‘By your mercy’ I am getting to understand more and more that your Divine Grace is truly the only light and love in this very dark, temporary world. You are the Supreme Personality of the servitor of Godhead.

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Bhagavad-gita As It Is – Macmillan 1972 Edition

If personally I have any credit in this matter, it is only that I have tried to present Bhagavad-gītā as it is, without adulteration. Before my presentation of Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, almost all the English editions of Bhagavad-gītā were introduced to fulfill someone’s personal ambition. But our attempt, in presenting Bhagavad-gītā As It Is, is to present the mission of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is – Macmillan 1972 Edition
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Preface

Originally I wrote Bhagavad-gītā As It Is in the form in which it is presented now. When this book was first published, the original manuscript was, unfortunately, cut short to less than 400 pages, without illustrations and without explanations for most of the original verses of the Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā. In all of my other books-Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, Śrī Īśopaniṣad, etc.-the system is that I give the original verse, its English transliteration, word-for-word Sanskrit-English equivalents, translations and purports. This makes the book very authentic and scholarly and makes the meaning self-evident. I was not very happy, therefore, when I had to minimize my original manuscript. But later on, when the demand for Bhagavad-gītā As It Is considerably increased, I was requested by many scholars and devotees to present the book in its original form, and Messrs. Macmillan and Co. agreed to publish the complete edition. Thus the present attempt is to offer the original manuscript of this great book of knowledge with full paramparā explanation in order to establish the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement more soundly and progressively.

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Letter to George Harrison

I can understand by your activities that you are making good spiritual progress, by Krishna’s grace. That is very good news to me. It is not by accident that you are coming gradually to the right point, neither it is very common thing,

Bombay
4th January, 1973

My Dear George,

Please accept my blessings. I was informed by some of my disciples at London, namely, Dhananjaya, Jai Hari, Rebatinandana Swami and others, that you so kindly have sent your car and drive to our place filled-up with fruits and flowers to offer to Radha and Krishna on the Disappearance day of my Guru Maharaj, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur. I am so much pleased that you have thought of Him in that way, thank you very much. Surely you will become blessed by Him more and more.

Yes, if one simply comes to that platform of spontaneous love for the spiritual master, then very quickly he will get love of God, or Krishna, and his all hankerings and lamentations of life will be finished. That is the process. Just like when two friends meet and, if the friend is also with his dog, the gentleman pats his dog first, is it not? So the friend becomes automatically pleased, his dog being patted. I have seen it in your country sometimes when I used to walk in the Regents Park early mornings. So it is like that, the spiritual master is the pet dog of Krishna, and if he is pleased so Krishna is also pleased. That is the process.

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Book Distribution Opportunity


Book Distribution Opportunity
By: Prahlada-Nrsimha das

This is an open invitation to all devotees to have the most transcendentally wonderful time of your life by taking part in Prabhupada’s book distribution mission on traveling sankirtana.

Our dearmost Srila Prabhupada worked so hard to produce his books and wanted his followers to distribute them. As he says in the Srimad Bhagavatam 3.21.31:
“A person in Krsna consciousness, a devotee of the Lord, is always compassionate. He is not satisfied that only he himself is a devotee, but he tries to distribute the knowledge of devotional service to everyone. There are many devotees of the Lord who faced many risks in distributing the devotional service of the Lord to people in general. That should be done. “

This is a great opportunity for anyone who would like to take up this wonderful service of book distribution for a short or long time.

Krishna has provided a very nice custom outfitted sankirtana camper van to distribute books in. By Gaura Nitai’s causeless mercy, I have 15 years of experience traveling to sweet spots in North America distributing Prabhupada’s books to the youth of today, who are so grateful to receive them.

Srila Prabhupada once said, “Only hope is that you distribute books, as much as possible, whole Europe, whole America. If they come to some day, they will realize what is this value. [break] …they will realize that what valuable books we have left for the study of the whole world. That will come. ” (Morning Walk — June 28, 1975, Denver)

Well that day is here! People are looking for alternatives to this materialistic, unfulfilling, economically unstable western lifestyle, and many people are looking to the East for answers. As a result, it’s sweeter than ever to distribute Prabhupada’s books and people tremendously appreciate receiving this valuable transcendental wisdom!

This opportunity is for everyone.
 
No experience necessary.

Will accept devotees from all Vaisnava backgrounds.

While you are with me, I only ask you to be faithful to Srila Prabhupada and only distribute his original books, which I can supply at cost.

For more information kindly contact Prahlada-Nrsimha das at:
sanatanadharma108@gmail.com

Krsna is All Attractive


Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 1, Chapter 5, Text 26

The Lord descends on this material world out of His causeless mercy and displays His various transcendental pastimes as a human being so that human beings attracted towards Him become able to go back to Godhead.

O Vyāsadeva, in that association and by the mercy of those great Vedāntists, I could hear them describe the attractive activities of Lord Kṛṣṇa And thus listening attentively, my taste for hearing of the Personality of Godhead increased at every step.

Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Absolute Personality of Godhead, is attractive not only in His personal features, but also in His transcendental activities. It is so because the Absolute is absolute by His name, fame, form, pastimes, entourage, paraphernalia, etc. The Lord descends on this material world out of His causeless mercy and displays His various transcendental pastimes as a human being so that human beings attracted towards Him become able to go back to Godhead. Men are naturally apt to hear histories and narrations of various personalities performing mundane activities, without knowing that by such association one simply wastes valuable time and also becomes addicted to the three qualities of mundane nature. Instead of wasting time, one can get spiritual success by turning his attention to the transcendental pastimes of the Lord. By hearing the narration of the pastimes of the Lord, one contacts directly the Personality of Godhead, and, as explained before, by hearing about the Personality of Godhead, from within, all accumulated sins of the mundane creature are cleared. Thus being cleared of all sins, the hearer gradually becomes liberated from mundane association and becomes attracted to the features of the Lord. Nārada Muni has just explained this by his personal experience. The whole idea is that simply by hearing about the Lord’s pastimes one can become one of the associates of the Lord. Nārada Muni has eternal life, unlimited knowledge and unfathomed bliss, and he can travel all over the material and spiritual worlds without restriction. One can attain to the highest perfection of life simply by attentive hearing of the transcendental pastimes of the Lord from the right sources, as Śrī Nārada heard them from the pure devotees (bhakti-vedāntas) in his previous life. This process of hearing in the association of the devotees is especially recommended in this age of quarrel (Kali).

Vyasa-Puja Offering by Madhu Pandit Dasa

A Vyasapuja offering to His Divine Grace.
By: Madhu Pandit dasa

Dear Srila Prabhupada, please accept my most respectful, humble obeisances. All glories to Your Divine Grace!

Srila Prabhupada, Your Divine Grace have displayed so many exalted qualities during the years that you physically graced this world. In the midst of the most degraded age we live in, it is the good fortune of humanity to have been blessed with your transcendental wisdom. It is our greatest fortune that our lives have been touched by your divine mercy.

On this auspicious day I humbly wish to contemplate on one of the aspects of your transcendence that has greatly impacted me from the very first day I came in touch with you. Your presentation of the purity of guru Tattva or the principle and surrender of a disciple to a Guru, who is a personal representation of such purity was most impressive. You uncompromisingly present the truth by severing the falsehood. You teach who the guru is by your personal example.

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The Books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

The Books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Originally published in Back to Godhead No. 52
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust 1973
By Brahmananda Swami ISKCON East Africa

Part 2

The treasure of Radha-Damodara is the samadhi and bhajana(place for executing devotional service) of Srila Rupa Goswami. Of the six Goswami’s, he is the most importnt. Rupa Goswami constructed the largest temple in Vrndavana, Radha-Govindaji, and he wrote the most important book on the science of devotional service, Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, which was completed in the year 1552. He and his elder brother Sanatana Goswami were among the chief government administrators of their time and were highly learned in Arabic, Persian and Sanskrit. Lord Caitanya personally instructed Rupa Goswami for ten consecutive days, and Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu codifies these teachings, with supporting evidence from scores of supplementary Vedic texts.

One great acarya (teacher) in the parampara (disciplic succession) has offered obeisances to the six Goswami’s in the following manner; “They are very expert in scrutinizingly studying all the revealed scriptures with the aim of establishing eternal religious principles for the benefit of all human beings. Thus they are honored all over the three worlds, and they are worth taking shelter of because they are absorbed in the mood of the gopis and are engaged in the transcendental loving service of Radha and Krsna.” In one of Srila Prabhupada’s rooms in the Radha Damodara temple there is a window thatoverlooks the shaded courtyard where the tow tomblike structures that honor Rupa Goswami stand. Just before this window is a bare wood asana (seat) where Srila Prabhupada sat to receive inspiration from the greatest of the Goswami’s From the other where he wrote his books, Srila Prabhupada could look out and see Jiva Goswami’s own worshipable Deities, Radha-Damodara.

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Srila Prabhupada: Epitome of Humility


Srila Prabhupada: Epitome of Humility
By: Excerpts from the teachings of Srila Prabhupada Compiled by Virupaksha Dasa

The manner in which Srila Prabhupada exhibited the opulence of modesty and humility is beyond compare. In spite of being the spiritual master of the whole world, the confidential associate of the Supreme Lord Krishna, the greatest personality on the surface of the earth, commander-in-chief of Lord Chaitanya’s army, and so much more… still Srila Prabhupada always showed us how humble a pure spiritual master is, even though he controls the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna. As an acharya Srila Prabhupada taught everything by his own example.

As Srila Prabhupada says, “The symptoms of a devotee are meekness and humility. Although spiritually very advanced, he will always remain meek and humble, as Kaviraja Gosvami and all the other Vaishnavas have taught us by personal example.” Prabhupada also says in another place, “The more one advances spiritually, the more humble one becomes.” The spiritual master is the most advanced devotee and thus the most humble.
The following is a collection of Srila Prabhupada’s expressions on humility.

My dear Lord Krishna, You are so kind upon this useless soul, but I do not know why You have brought me here. Now You can do whatever You like with me. ”But I guess You have some business here, otherwise why would You bring me to this terrible place?… But I know Your causeless mercy can make everything possible because You are the most expert mystic. How will they understand the mellows of devotional service? O Lord, I am simply praying for Your mercy so that I will be able to convince them about Your message.
(Markine Bhagavat-dharma)

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Krishna’s Flute


Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
The Opulence and Sweetness of Lord Sri Krsna
Madhya 21.144

“The vibration of His flute is just like a bird that creates a nest within the ears of the gopīs and always remains prominent there, not allowing any other sound to enter their ears. Indeed, the gopīs cannot hear anything else, nor are they able to concentrate on anything else, not even to give a suitable reply. Such are the effects of the vibration of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s flute.”

PURPORT

The vibration of Kṛṣṇa’s flute is always prominent in the ears of the gopīs. Naturally they cannot hear anything else. Constant remembrance of the holy sound of Kṛṣṇa’s flute keeps them enlightened and enlivened, and they do not allow any other sound to enter their ears. Since their attention is fixed on Kṛṣṇa’s flute, they cannot divert their minds to any other subject. In other words, a devotee who has heard the sound of Kṛṣṇa’s flute forgets to talk or hear of any other subject. This vibration of Kṛṣṇa’s flute is represented by the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. A serious devotee of the Lord who chants and hears this transcendental vibration becomes so accustomed to it that he cannot divert his attention to any subject matter not related to Kṛṣṇa’s blissful characteristics and paraphernalia.

Pasted from; PrabhupadaBooks.com

The Absolute Necessity of a Spiritual Master

The Absolute Necessity of a Spiritual Master
From; The Science of Self Realization
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

In February 1936, in Bombay, India, the members of a reputed religious society, the Gauḍīya Maṭha, were astonished by the powerful and eloquent words of a young member who spoke in honor of his spiritual master, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī. Three decades later, the young speaker would become the world-renowned founder and spiritual master of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Śrīla Prabhupāda’s presentation is a memorable statement on the importance of the guru in spiritual life.

sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstrair
uktas tathā bhāvyata eva sadbhiḥ
kintu prabhor yaḥ priya eva tasya
vande guroḥ śrī-caraṇāravindam

“In the revealed scriptures it is declared that the spiritual master should be worshiped like the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and this injunction is obeyed by pure devotees of the Lord. The spiritual master is the most confidential servant of the Lord. Thus let us offer our respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of our spiritual master.”

Gentlemen, on behalf of the members of the Bombay branch of the Gauḍīya Maṭha, let me welcome you all because you have so kindly joined us tonight in our congregational offerings of homage to the lotus feet of the world teacher, Ācāryadeva, who is the founder of this Gauḍīya Mission and is the president-ācārya of Śrī Śrī Viśva-vaiṣṇava Rāja-sabhā—I mean my eternal divine master, Paramahaṁsa Parivrājakācārya Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja.

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Śrī Vyāsa Pūjā Address New Vrindaban, September 2, 1972


Śrī Vyāsa Pūjā Address
New Vrindaban, September 2, 1972
by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

…So this Vyāsa-pūjā means one day in a year, on the birthday of the spiritual master, because he is representative of Vyāsa, he is delivering the same knowledge which has come down by disciplic succession without any change, he is offered the respect. This is called Vyāsa-pūjā…

Prabhupāda: Ladies and gentlemen, this ceremony… Of course, those who are my students, they know what is this ceremony. Those who are visitors, for their information, I may inform you something about this ceremony. Otherwise, it may not be misunderstood. A outsider may see it that “Why a person is being worshiped like God?” There may be some doubt. So this is the etiquette. This ceremony is called Vyāsa-pūjā. Vyāsa. Vyāsa means the original author of Vedic literature. He is incarnation of Nārāyaṇa. He gave us all Vedic knowledge. He received the knowledge from Nārada. Nārada received the knowledge from Brahma. Brahmā received the knowledge from Kṛṣṇa. So in this way, by disciplic succession, we get transcendental knowledge.

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Sri Vyasa-Puja; The Most Blessed Event

The Most Blessed Event
Sri Vyasa-Puja August 23rd, 2011
The Appearance Day of Our Beloved Spiritual Master
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

Dear Srila Prabhupada

On this most auspicious day, please accept my humble obeisance’s, and kindly forgive my offences. Although I am and insignificant disciple of your Divine Grace, and full of faults, still I am constantly awaiting your causeless mercy to be bestowed upon me. I have never given up my faith, or my love, nor the hope that someday I may be a worthy disciple. As you know my daily prayers always include the words “please forgive my offences”, as I am always feeling myself unworthy to be receiving your mercy. Srila Prabhupada you have been the one constant in my entire adult life, my best friend and ever well wisher. And I remain chaste to you, my lord and master, unconditionally.

Today I was reading from the Letters books, and there was one letter dated November 12th, 1968 addressed to Malati that is the basis for my offering today. In this letter you said;

“Yes, we should always think of ourselves as the most fallen, the most ignorant and it is simply by the mercy of Lord Caitanya that we have even the opportunity to serve Krsna. We have no qualification of our own; it is simply by the merciful glance of this most munificent appearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, that we have been given the chance to serve Radha and Krsna”

Due to your great humility, you give the credit to Lord Sri Caitanya, but I think it is simply by your mercy that we have received the benediction of Sri Caitanya. It was you who brought a trunk of Srimad Bhagavatams to the West, to open our eyes with the torchlight of knowledge. And it was you who first brought this Chanting of the Hare Krishna Mantra to Tomkins Square Park and due to your beautiful and pure chanting of the Holy Names of God caused the young Bramananda das to dance under the Hare Krishna Tree. It was you who turned the most fallen and most ignorant western hippies into vaisnava scholars and priests. It was simply by your munificent appearance and merciful glance, that the most fallen in this age were given the chance to know Lord Caitanya, and thus were given the chance to serve Radha and Krsna.

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Krishna Janmastami Celebration

Krishna Janmastami Celebration

…In that ceremony, all the brāhmaṇas assembled began to chant different kinds of Vedic mantras to invoke all good fortune for the child. Along with this chanting of mantras and songs, bugles and kettledrums sounded outside the house. On this occasion, the joyous vibrations could be heard in all the pasturing grounds and all the houses.

When all the ecstatic cowherd men heard that Nanda Mahārāja, father of Kṛṣṇa, was celebrating the birth ceremony of his son, they became spontaneously joyful. They dressed themselves with very costly garments and ornamented their bodies with different kinds of earrings and necklaces and wore great turbans on their heads. After dressing themselves in this gorgeous way, they took various kinds of presentations and thus approached the house of Nanda Mahārāja.

As the dust on the lotus flower exhibits the exquisite beauty of the flower, all the gopīs (cowherd girls) applied the dust of kuṅkuma on their lotus-like faces. These beautiful gopīs took their different presentations and very soon reached the house of Mahārāja Nanda. Overburdened with their heavy hips and swollen breasts, the gopīs could not proceed very quickly towards the house of Nanda Mahārāja, but out of ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa they began to proceeded as quickly as possible. Their ears were decorated with pearl rings, their necks were decorated with jewel padlocks, their lips and eyes were decorated with different kinds of lipstick and ointment, and their hands were decorated with nice golden bangles. As they were very hastily passing over the stone road, the flower garlands which were decorating their bodies fell to the ground, and it appeared that a shower of flowers was falling from the sky. From the movement of the different kinds of ornaments on their bodies, they were looking still more beautiful. In this way, they all reached the house of Nanda-Yaśodā and blessed the child: “Dear child, You live long just to protect us.” While they were blessing child Kṛṣṇa in this way, they offered a mixture of turmeric powder with oil, yogurt, milk and water. They not only sprinkled this mixture on the body of child Kṛṣṇa but on all other persons who were present there. Also on that auspicious occasion, there were different bands of expert musicians playing.

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Srila Prabhupada’s Trancendental Qualities

Srila Prabhupada’s Trancendental Qualities
By Ajitananda dasa

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who successfully distributed the message of Lord Krsna throughout the world, was not an ordinary conditioned soul, governed by the harsh laws of material nature. Although to the unenlightened he may have appeared to exhibit commonplace characteristics, it is evident through the careful study of his life and activities, that Srila Prabhupada perfectly displayed the twenty-six qualities of a pure devotee of Lord Krsna. We learn from Vedic literature that one who possesses these qualities is necessarily free from material bondage, and enjoys an eternal position in the intimate association of the Supreme Lord. Such a great soul is very rarely found within this material realm, and owing to his unparalleled purity and exalted status, he is worshipable by the entire world. Individually, and as a collective society of aspiring devotees, we must always strive to appreciate Srila Prabhupada’s divine qualities, teach this application to others, and perform all of our devotional activities for his satisfaction. This treatise is an imperfect but hopeful attempt to please Srila Prabhupada by illustrating, in a practical way, how he perfectly displayed the twenty-six qualities of a pure devotee of Lord Krsna.

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Chanting HareKrishna

The holy name of Lord Krishna is an attractive feature for many saintly, liberal people. It is the annihilator of all sinful reactions and is so powerful that save for the dumb who cannot chant it, it is readily available to everyone, including the lowest type of man, the candala. The holy name of Krishna is the controller of the opulence of liberation, and it is identical with Krishna.

Simply by touching the holy name with one’s tongue, immediate effects are produced. Chanting the holy name does not depend on initiation, pious activities or the purascarya regulative principles generally observed before initiation. The holy name does not wait for all these activities. It is self-sufficient. (Caitanya-caritmrta Mad.15.110)

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare…

The Books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


Originally published in Back to Godhead No. 52 Bhaktivedanta Book Trust 1973
By Brahmananda Swami ISKCON East Africa

This will be an eleven part series, as it is a rather legenthy article, but very good source for historical information on Srila Prabhupada, Radha-Damodara Temple, and the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

The Books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

“My books are more important than myself.” This was Srila Prabhupada’s instruction to one of his disciples who was being sent from his personal service to open a temple in a distant place. When one considers how much time, energy and intelligence Srila Prabhupada has utilized to single-handedly begin and spread the Krsna Consciousness Movement to an international scale, it is even more astonishing that he has written a score of unique books. Despite his responsibilities in guiding thousands of disciples who operate almost a hundred different centers, that he has produced these books-at substantial sacrifice-proves that the most important factor to the Krsna Consciousness Movement is the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

While still in India, His Divine Grace inhabited two ordinary rooms in India’s most historic literary temple. This Radha-Damodara temple was built almost 500 hundred years ago by Srila Jiva Goswami in the holy site of Vrndavan, where Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appeared to display His transcendental pastimes 5,000 years ago. The Radha-Damodara temple, which has since fallen into disrepair, houses the samadhi (burial place) of Jiva Goswami, one of the six prime disciples of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Lord Caitanya gave His disciples in Vrndavan three important instructions: first, to discover the exact locations where Krsna displayed His pastimes, as revealed in the sastras (scriptures); then, to build temples where the Lord could be suitably worshiped; and finally, to write books fully explaining the real science of devotional service to God. Lord Caitanya Himself wrote only eight slokas (stanzas), but the six goswamis of Vrndavan have left a vast body of literature for the inestimable benefit of all humanity.

When only ten years old, Jiva Goswami wanted to join Lord Caitanya’s sankirtan movement, but first he prepared himself by becoming fully versed in Sanskrit in Benares. He was then able to write volumes of books, which have prompted one Indian authority to declare Jiva Goswami the greatest philosopher that has ever lived. It is lamentable that due to the lack of qualified translators, the English-knowing world may never be able to take advantage of these books.

The Radha-Damodara temple is also the site of the Samadhi of Krsnadasa Kaviraja, the most important biographer of Lord Caitanya. Krsnadas Kaviraja appeared after Lord Caitanya but was contemporary to the six Goswamis. Directly inspired by Lord Nityananda, one of Lord Caitanya’s principal associates, he wrote his Caitanya-caritamrta at the age of ninety. This book recounts the teaching of Lord Caitanya more vividly than the biographical details which have been preserved by other authors.

…to be continued

Spiritual Food

Spiritual Food

The Hare Krishna’s are famous for their delicious vegetarian food. Get a cookbook from The Hare Krishna Movement today, and begin your journey into the joys of cooking foods in the mode of goodness.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is
Macmillan 1972 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 17 The Divisions of Faith
Text 8-10

Foods in the mode of goodness increase the duration of life, purify one’s existence and give strength, health, happiness and satisfaction. Such nourishing foods are sweet, juicy, fattening and palatable. Foods that are too bitter, too sour, salty, pungent, dry and hot, are liked by people in the modes of passion. Such foods cause pain, distress, and disease. Food cooked more than three hours before being eaten, which is tasteless, stale, putrid, decomposed and unclean, is food liked by people in the mode of ignorance.

PURPORT

Thc purpose of food is to increase the duration of life, purify the mind and aid bodily strength. This is its only purpose. In the past, great authorities selected those foods that best aid health and increase life’s duration, such as milk products, sugar, rice, wheat, fruits and vegetables. These foods are very dear to those in the mode of goodness. Some other foods, such as baked corn and molasses, while not very palatable in themselves, can be made pleasant when mixed with milk or other foods. They are then in the mode of goodness. All these foods are pure by nature. They are quite distinct from untouchable things like meat and liquor. Fatty foods, as mentioned in the eighth verse, have no connection with animal fat obtained by slaughter. Animal fat is available in the form of milk, which is the most wonderful of all foods. Milk, butter, cheese and similar products give animal fat in a form which rules out any need for the killing of innocent creatures. It is only through brute mentality that this killing goes on. The civilized method of obtaining needed fat is by milk. Slaughter is the way of subhumans. Protein is amply available through split peas, dhall, whole wheat, etc.

Foods in the mode of passion, which are bitter, too salty, or too hot or overly mixed with red pepper, cause misery by producing mucous in the stomach, leading to disease. Foods in the mode of ignorance or darkness are essentially those that are not fresh. Any food cooked more than three hours before it is eaten (except prasādam, food offered to the Lord) is considered to be in the mode of darkness. Because they are decomposing, such foods give a bad odor, which often attracts people in this mode but repulses those in the mode of goodness.

Remnants of food may be eaten only when they are part of a meal that was first offered to the Supreme Lord or first eaten by saintly persons, especially the spiritual master. Otherwise the remnants of food are considered to be in the mode of darkness, and they increase infection or disease. Such foodstuffs, although very palatable to persons in the mode of darkness, are neither liked nor even touched by those in the mode of goodness. The best food is the remnant of what is offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In Bhagavad-gītā the Supreme Lord says that He accepts preparations of vegetables, flour and milk when offered with devotion. Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam. Of course, devotion and love are the chief things which the Supreme Personality of Godhead accepts. But it is also mentioned that the prasādam should be prepared in a particular way. Any food prepared by the injunction of the scripture offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead can be taken even if prepared long, long ago, because such food is transcendental. Therefore to make food antiseptic, eatable and palatable for all persons, one should offer food to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Srila Prabhupada speaks out on false Gurus

Srila Prabhupada speaks out on false Gurus

The principle of accepting a spiritual master is essential. Satisfaction of the self-realized spiritual master is the secret of advancement in spiritual life. Our Srila Prabhupada is the qualified, self-realized, spiritual master and is directly in line with the disciplic succession. And one can take shelter of him by simply reading his books and following his instructions, and make rapid advancement in spiritual life.

We should be very careful before accepting a Guru

“The sastras enjoin that before we take a guru we study him carefully to find out whether we can surrender to him. We should not accept a guru suddenly, out of fanaticism. That is very dangerous.”
(The Science of Self Realization, chapter 2, ‘Choosing a Spiritual Master’)

Ambition to be Guru is very dangerous

“Our mission is to serve (…). 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 20, 1977)

“That is the difficulty. Everyone sees that “Some way or other, I become guru. Then so many persons will offer me respect. Somehow or other, create some situation. Then I become guru.” This is going on. Not bona fide guru. (…) They will drink, they will hunt after woman and have some attractive singing or dancing and become guru. What is meaning of guru, they do not know. Somehow or other become popular and become guru. This is going on.”
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation, May 2nd, 1976)

One who is disobedient to the order of the Guru cannot be a Guru

“If you become disobedient to guru, then your business is finished.”
(Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad-Bhagavatam Lecture, August 10th, 1974)

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Balarāma means guru-tattva

Balarāma means guru-tattva. Balarāma represents guru. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ. If we want to understand Caitanya Mahāprabhu, if we want to understand Kṛṣṇa, then we must take shelter of Balarāma. Nāyam ātmā bala-hinena labhyaḥ. This bala-hinena labhyaḥ, this Vedic injunction, means “Without the mercy of Balarāma you cannot understand, you cannot realize your spiritual identification. So that Balarāma comes as Nityānanda Prabhu. Balarāma hailā nitāi. Therefore we must take shelter of Balarāma.

Lecture given by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Lord Nityānanda Prabhu’s Āvirbhāva Appearance Day
Bhuvaneśvara, February 2, 1977

Prabhupāda: So today, the appearance day of Nityānanda Prabhu… Nityānanda Prabhu is Baladeva, Baladeva-tattva.

vrajendra-nandana yei, śacī-suta haila sei,
balarāma haila nitāi

“Who was formerly the son of Nanda Mahārāja, He has appeared as the son of Śacīdevi.” Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mother’s name was Śacīdevi. So Kṛṣṇa… Kṛṣṇa is Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and Balarāma is Nityānanda Prabhu. Now…

vrajendra-nandana yei, śacī-suta haila sei,
balarāma haila nitāi

So Balarāma… In the Vedic literature it is said, nāyam ātmā bala-hinena labhyaḥ; na bahunā śrutena. 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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Lord Balarāma Visits Vṛndāvana

Lord Balarāma Visits Vṛndāvana

Lord Balarāma could, of course, understand the ecstatic feelings of the gopīs, and therefore He wanted to pacify them. He was expert in presenting an appeal, and thus, treating the gopīs very respectfully, He began to narrate the stories of Kṛṣṇa so tactfully that the gopīs became satisfied. In order to keep the gopīs in Vṛndāvana satisfied, Lord Balarāma stayed there continually for two months, namely the months of Caitra (March-April) and Vaiśākha (April-May). For those two months He kept Himself among the gopīs, and He passed every night with them in the forest of Vṛndāvana in order to satisfy their desire for conjugal love. Thus Balarāma also enjoyed the rāsa dance with the gopīs during those two months.

Lord Balarāma Visits Vṛndāvana

From; Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Lord Balarāma became very anxious to see His father and mother, Mahārāja Nanda and Yaśodā. Therefore He started for Vṛndāvana on a chariot with great enthusiasm. The inhabitants of Vṛndāvana had been anxious to see Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma for a very long time. When Lord Balarāma returned to Vṛndāvana, all the cowherd boys and the gopīs had grown up; but still, on His arrival, they all embraced Him, and Balarāma embraced them in reciprocation. After this He came before Mahārāja Nanda and Yaśodā and offered His respectful obeisances unto them. In response, mother Yaśodā and Nanda Mahārāja offered their blessings unto Him. They addressed Him as Jagadīśvara, or the Lord of the universe who maintains everyone. The reason for this was that both Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma maintain all living entities, and yet Nanda and Yaśodā were put into such difficulties on account of Their absence. Feeling like this, they embraced Balarāma and, seating Him on their laps, began their perpetual crying, wetting Balarāma with their tears. Lord Balarāma then offered His respectful obeisances to the elderly cowherd men and accepted the obeisances of the younger cowherd men. Thus, according to their different ages and relationships, Lord Balarāma exchanged feelings of friendship with them. He shook hands with those who were His equals in age and friendship, and with loud laughing embraced each one of them.

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Srimad Bhagavatam Online

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