Krsna’s Exquisite Beauty

The Nectar of Devotion 1970 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 22 Qualities of Krsna Further Explained

Krsna’s Exquisite Beauty

In the Third Canto 2nd Chapter, 12th verse, of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Uddhava tells Vidura, “My dear sir, Kṛṣṇa’s form was most wonderful when He appeared on this planet and exhibited the potency of His internal energy. His wonderfully attractive form was present during His pastimes on this planet, and by His internal potency He exhibited His opulences, which are striking to everyone. His personal beauty was so great that there was no necessity for His wearing ornaments on His body. In fact, instead of the ornaments’ beautifying Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa’s beauty enhanced the ornaments.”

Regarding the attractiveness of Kṛṣṇa’s bodily beauty and the sound vibration of His flute, in the Tenth Canto, 29th Chapter, 37th verse, of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the gopīs address Kṛṣṇa as follows: “Although our attitude towards You resembles loving affairs with a paramour, we cannot but wonder at how no woman can maintain her chastity upon hearing the vibration from Your flute. And not only women, but even stronghearted men are subject to falling down from their position at the sound of Your flute. In fact, we have seen that in Vṛndāvana even the cows, the deer, the birds, the trees-everyone-has been enchanted by the sweet vibration of Your flute and the fascinating beauty of Your person.”

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Bhisma’s Passing Away

Today we observe the Disappearance of Bhismadeva or “Bhismastami” with these verses from the Srimad Bhagavatam describing this monumental event.

The perfect yogīs or mystics can leave the material body at their own sweet will…

In the momentous hour of leaving his material body, Bhīṣmadeva set the glorious example concerning the important function of the human form of life. The subject matter which attracts the dying man becomes the beginning of his next life. Therefore, if one is absorbed in thoughts of the Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, he is sure to go back to Godhead without any doubt. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā (8.5-15):

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 1, Chapter 9, Text 29-30
Bhisma’s Passing Away

dharmaṁ pravadatas tasya
sa kālaḥ pratyupasthitaḥ
yo yoginaś chanda-mṛtyor
vāñchitas tūttarāyaṇaḥ

dharmam—occupational duties; pravadataḥ—while describing; tasya—his; saḥ—that; kālaḥ—time; pratyupasthitaḥ—exactly appeared; yaḥ—that is; yoginaḥ—for the mystics; chanda-mṛtyoḥ—of one who dies according to one’s own selection of time; vāñchitaḥ—is desired by; tu—but; uttarāyaṇaḥ—the period when the sun runs on the northern horizon.

While Bhīṣmadeva was describing occupational duties, the sun’s course ran into the northern hemisphere. This period is desired by mystics who die at their will.

The perfect yogīs or mystics can leave the material body at their own sweet will at a suitable time and go to a suitable planet desired by them. In the Bhagavad-gītā (8.24) it is said that self-realized souls who have exactly identified themselves with the interest of the Supreme Lord can generally leave the material body during the time of the fire-god’s effulgence and when the sun is in the northern horizon, and thus achieve the transcendental sky. In the Vedas these times are considered auspicious for quitting the body, and they are taken advantage of by the expert mystics who have perfected the system. Perfection of yoga means attainment of such supermental states as to be able to leave the material body as desired. Yogīs can also reach any planet within no time without a material vehicle. The yogīs can reach the highest planetary system within a very short time, and this is impossible for the materialist. Even attempting to reach the highest planet will take millions of years at a speed of millions of miles per hour. This is a different science, and Bhīṣmadeva knew well how to utilize it. He was just waiting for the suitable moment to quit his material body, and the golden opportunity arrived when he was instructing his noble grandsons, the Pāṇḍavas. He thus prepared himself to quit his body before the exalted Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the pious Pāṇḍavas and the great sages headed by Bhagavān Vyāsa, etc., all great souls.

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Appearance of Advaita Acarya

Thinking of the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, He constantly offered tulasī buds in water from the Ganges.

While most of the world celebrated the Appearance day of Advaita Acarya yesterday…according to the BBT Art Calendar the variant date for our area is today. (go figure?) So we are posting some verses from the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta in honor of His appearance.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Adi-lila Chapter 1, Text 12-13

mahā-viṣṇur jagat-kartā
māyayā yaḥ sṛjaty adaḥ
tasyāvatāra evāyam
advaitācārya īśvaraḥ

mahā-viṣṇuḥ—Mahā-Viṣṇu, the resting place of the efficient cause; jagat-kartā—the creator of the cosmic world; māyayā—by the illusory energy; yaḥ—who; sṛjati—creates; adaḥ—that universe; tasya—His; avatāraḥ—incarnation; eva—certainly; ayam—this; advaita-ācāryaḥ—of the name Advaita Ācārya; īśvaraḥ—the Supreme Lord, the resting place of the material cause.

Lord Advaita Ācārya is the incarnation of Mahā-Viṣṇu, whose main function is to create the cosmic world through the actions of Māyā.

advaitaṁ hariṇādvaitād
ācāryaṁ bhakti-śaṁsanāt
bhaktāvatāram īśaṁ tam
advaitācāryam āśraye

advaitam—known as Advaita; hariṇā—with Lord Hari; advaitāt—from being nondifferent; ācāryam—known as Ācārya; bhakti-śaṁsanāt—from the propagation of devotional service to Śrī Kṛṣṇa; bhakta-avatāram—the incarnation as a devotee; īśam—to the Supreme Lord; tam—to Him; advaita-ācāryam—to Advaita Ācārya; āśraye—I surrender.

Because He is nondifferent from Hari, the Supreme Lord, He is called Advaita, and because He propagates the cult of devotion, He is called Ācārya. He is the Lord and the incarnation of the Lord’s devotee. Therefore I take shelter of Him.

Pasted from; Prabhupada Books

Having a Bona Fide Spiritual Master is Essential

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Letter to his London disciples, July, 1969:

“Therefore having a bona fide spiritual master and serving him and pleasing him and getting his mercy is essential. Otherwise there can be no advancement in Krishna consciousness. And unless the spiritual master is a pure devotee of Krishna then he has no potency to give you Krishna. He is simply a cheating rascal.

So in fact above all the rules and regulations and offenses I have mentioned the most important thing, the essential thing, which is required if you want to come to the stage of purely chanting the Hare Krishna mantra is you must have a bona fide spiritual master who is a pure devotee of Krishna. Without having a bona fide spiritual master you can chant Hare Krishna forever but you will not be able to advance because Krishna does not reveal Himself in this way. He only reveals Himself to those devotees who surrender to and serve and please His pure devotees.”

Pasted from; http://prabhupadanugas.blogspot.com/2012/01/gbc-stop-cheating.html

Symptoms of Men in the Age of Quarrel of Kali

One day after finishing their morning duties by burning a sacrificial fire and respectfully offering a seat to Srila Suta Goswami. the great sages, headed by Saunaka Rsi, earnestly addressed him: “Respected Suta Goswami, you are completely free from all vice. You are well versed in all the scriptures famous for religious life, and in the Puranas and the histories as well, for you have gone through them under proper guidance and have also explained them. Being the eldest learned Vedantist, O Suta Goswami, you are acquainted with the knowledge of Vyasadeva, who is the incarnation of Godhead, and you also know other sages who are fully versed in all kinds of physical and metaphysical knowledge. And because you are submissive, your spiritual masters have endowed you with all the favors estowed upon a gentle disciple. Therefore you can tell us all that you have scientifically learned from them”

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 1, Chapter 1, Text 10

prāyeṇālpāyuṣaḥ sabhya
kalāv asmin yuge janāḥ
mandāḥ sumanda-matayo
manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāḥ

prāyeṇa—almost always; alpa—meager; āyuṣaḥ—duration of life; sabhya—member of a learned society; kalau—in this age of Kali (quarrel); asmin—herein; yuge—age; janāḥ—the public; mandāḥ—lazy; sumanda-matayaḥ—misguided; manda-bhāgyāḥ—unlucky; hi—and above all; upadrutāḥ—disturbed.

O learned one, in this iron age of Kali men have but short lives. They are quarrelsome, lazy, misguided, unlucky and, above all, always disturbed.

The devotees of the Lord are always anxious for the spiritual improvement of the general public. When the sages of Naimiṣāraṇya analyzed the state of affairs of the people in this age of Kali, they foresaw that men would live short lives. In Kali-yuga, the duration of life is shortened not so much because of insufficient food but because of irregular habits. By keeping regular habits and eating simple food, any man can maintain his health. Overeating, over-sense gratification, overdependence on another’s mercy, and artificial standards of living sap the very vitality of human energy. Therefore the duration of life is shortened.

The people of this age are also very lazy, not only materially but in the matter of self-realization. The human life is especially meant for self-realization. That is to say, man should come to know what he is, what the world is, and what the supreme truth is. Human life is a means by which the living entity can end all the miseries of the hard struggle for life in material existence and by which he can return to Godhead, his eternal home. But, due to a bad system of education, men have no desire for self-realization. Even if they come to know about it, they unfortunately become victims of misguided teachers.

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Gurukrpa: What Really Happened in 1977-78

This is an older post that originally surfaced on the Sampradaya Sun some years ago, however, for those of you who have not seen this recorded interview, or those of you who like to hear and remember some of the truth that transpired after the departure of Srila Prabhupada in 1977, we again share this important recollection from a senior member of The Hare Krishna Movement.

Gurukrpa: What Really Happened in 1977-78

By Bhakta dasa
Feb 04, INDIA (SUN)

Dear Prabhus: Gurukrpa is here with me and on his behalf I am writing here.

Question: What happened the final months of Srila Prabhupada’s appearance in connection with the process of initiating new devotees?

Gurukrpa: Nothing happened. In the beginning Srila Prabhupada did the diksa, the yajna and the name giving. As the numbers increased, he authorized GBC, and senior sannyasis to pick names and chant on the beads, etc. In 1977 during the months of May, June, July 1977 I was in Vrindaban with Srila Prabhupada, giving him his massage in his bed between 1 AM and mangala aratik. During the day, many letters would arrive. Satsvarupa Swami was the secretary and we decided that only letters that would give joy to Srila Prabhupada would be read. Like numbers of books sold, etc. A maximum of five letters daily were read to Srila Prabhupada.

After some weeks like this, there were stacks and stacks of letters, all relating to initiation. Hundreds of people were panicking that Srila Prabhupada would leave the planet before they were given initiation. At this time, this situation was brought before Srila Prabhupada in his room by Satsvarupa, Tamal, myself, and maybe some others.

Up until this time it was a very simple matter that we were doing the initiations, but we first had to ask permission. Srila Prabhupada NEVER refused any recommendation from his senior men. And personally, I would sometimes argue with some GBC that they were giving it too easily.

At this meeting, Srila Prabhupada basically said, “From here on, if you feel they are ready, then you may give the initiation on my behalf.” I understood this for what it was, simply extending the authority a little further than it had been. Tamal Krsna Swami, began to say, “But who will do it?. Which devotees will do this?” Srila Prabhupada said, “The nearest one will do it. Whoever is closest.” Tamal said, “Can Bhavananda do? Can Jayapataka do?” Thus these eleven names came out.

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Lord Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma Meet the Inhabitants of Vṛndāvana

“For one who remembers Me without deviation, I am easy to obtain, O son of Prtha, because of his constnt engagement in devotional service. (Bhagavad-gita 8.14)

…The special qualification of the pure devotee is that he is always thinking of Kṛṣṇa without considering the time or place. There should be no impediments. He should be able to carry out his service anywhere and at any time. Some say that the devotee should remain in holy places like Vṛndāvana or some holy town where the Lord lived, but a pure devotee can live anywhere and create the atmosphere of Vṛndāvana by his devotional service. It was Śrī Advaita who told Lord Caitanya, “Wherever You are, O Lord-there is Vṛndavana.” (From Purport)

So to help us in remembering the Lord, we are posting this very nice chapter from “KRSNA The Supreme Personality of Godhead” by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, who is teaching us how to always think of Krishna.

…All the members of the Yadu dynasty were naturally very beautiful, and yet on this occasion, when they appeared duly decorated with gold necklaces and flower garlands, dressed in valuable clothing and properly armed with their respective weapons, their natural beauty and personalities were a hundred times enhanced. The members of the Yadu dynasty came to Kurukṣetra in their gorgeously decorated chariots resembling the airplanes of the demigods, pulled by big horses that moved like the waves of the ocean, and some of them rode on sturdy, stalwart elephants that moved like the clouds in the sky. Their wives were carried on beautiful palanquins by beautiful men whose features resembled those of the Vidyādharas. The entire assembly looked as beautiful as an assembly of the demigods of heaven…

KRSNA The Supreme Personality of Godhead (1970 Edition)
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Vol.2 Chapter 27

Lord Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma Meet the Inhabitants of Vṛndāvana

Once upon a time while Lord Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma were living peacefully in Their great city of Dvārakā, there was the rare occasion of a full solar eclipse, such as takes place at the end of every kalpa, or day of Brahmā. At the end of every kalpa the sun is covered by a great cloud, and incessant rain covers the lower planetary systems up to Svargaloka. By astronomical calculation, people were informed about this great eclipse prior to its taking place, and therefore everyone, both men and women, decided to assemble at the holy place in Kurukṣetra known as Samanta-pañcaka.

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The Guru: Via Media to God

I like these early articles published in Back to Godhead Magazine. The mood was different in the early days of this movement, as the emphasis was on preaching. We understood the importance of Hari Nama Sankirtan, Book and Prasadam distribution, and there was not so much politics and internal wrangling, as we see today. Devotees had such profound appreciation for Srila Prabhupada, and the Mission of Lord Caitanya. We were unified; “Srila Prabhupada built a house the whole world could live in”, and we were in a unique position to change the world. To go back to those early days, we need only to put Srila Prabhupada and Krishna, back in the center of all our activities.

The Guru: Via Media to God
By Hayagriva das
“Excerpted from ‘Back To Godhead’ magazine, courtesy of The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc., http://www.Krishna.com.”; 1970 Vol. 1, No. 34

It is always best to assume that we are in the modes of ignorance, and at least we will be right on that point. When knowledge is staggeringly finite, humility is the best policy. On the spiritual path one tries to make progress to the modes of goodness and then transcend, for it is not always possible to transcend the modes all at once. God alone is perfect, and we are always imperfect, even in our so-called liberated state. It is because we are imperfect that we have to take shelter of the perfect.

Lord Caitanya advises that we take shelter of a sadhu, who is a holy man of spotless character, sastra, which is scripture, and guru, who is the perfect spiritual master. The scriptures should be the guidelines for the other two. The guru is liberated because he follows scriptures, and the sadhu is pure and honest because he accepts scriptural principles. The insistence on the authority of the scripture is to discourage people from inventing their own religions and to warn others against following such fabricators.

Actually, only God can establish a religion that is bona fide. Religion refers to man’s relationship with God or the Supreme Absolute Truth; it is neither a mere ritual, nor a set of regulations, nor a conglomeration of mental speculations concocted by man. Actual religion is to know God and one’s relationship to Him. And this is not possible unless God reveals who and what He is and reveals man’s relationship to Him. It is not that we can artificially say, “Oh, I think God is this, so I think if I do this or this I will become God, and then I’ll be happy.” One who invents in this way may be well intentioned, but he is actually misguiding himself and others.

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Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa

Thanks to Sudarshan das for submitting this picture

…We have formed this International Society for Krishna Consciousness in order to teach people what they have forgotten. In this material world, we have forgotten the service of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa; therefore we have become servants of māyā, the senses. Therefore, in this Society we are saying, “You are serving your senses. Now just turn your service to Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, and you will be happy. You have to render service—either to māyā [illusion], the senses, or to Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa.”

In this world, everyone is serving the senses, but people are not satisfied. No one can be satisfied, because the senses are always demanding more gratification, and this means that we are constantly having to serve the senses. In any case, our position as servant remains the same. It is a question of whether we want to be happy in our service. It is the verdict of Bhagavad-gītā and the other Vedic scriptures that we will never be happy trying to serve our senses, for they are only sources of misery. Therefore Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu prays to be situated in Kṛṣṇa’s service. He also prays,

ayi nanda-tanuja kiṅkaraṁ
patitaṁ māṁ viṣame bhavāmbudhau
kṛpayā tava pāda-paṅkaja-
sthita-dhūlī-sadṛśaṁ vicintaya

“O son of Mahārāja Nanda [Kṛṣṇa], I am Your eternal servitor, yet somehow or other I have fallen into the ocean of birth and death. Please pick me up from this ocean of death and place me as one of the atoms at Your lotus feet.” (Śikṣāṣṭaka 5) This is another way of asking Kṛṣṇa to engage us in His service…

The Path of Perfection
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 8

Failure and Success in Yoga

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Knowledge by Way of the Mahātmās, Great Souls

No one can be equal to God, and no one can be above Him. Even Lord Brahmā and Śiva, the most exalted demigods, are subservient to Him and pay their respectful obeisances. Instead of trying to become God by some meditational process or other, we had better hear about God submissively and try to understand Him and our relationship to Him. The representative of God or the incarnation of God never claims to be God but the servant of God. This is the sign of the bona fide representative.

Raja-Vidya: The King of Knowledge
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 4

Knowledge by Way of the Mahātmās, Great Souls

The presence of Kṛṣṇa in all aspects of the creation is perceived by the mahātmās, the great souls, who are always engaged in the worship of Kṛṣṇa. As Kṛṣṇa Himself states, these great souls are conversant with the confidential knowledge found in the Ninth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā, and they know Kṛṣṇa to be the source of all things.

mahātmānas tu māṁ pārtha
daivīṁ prakṛtim āśritāḥ
bhajanty ananya-manaso
jñātvā bhūtādim avyayam

“O son of Pṛthā, those who are not deluded, the great souls, are under the protection of the divine nature. They are fully engaged in devotional service because they know Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, original and inexhaustible.” (Bg. 9.13)

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Winter

click to enlarge image

“O son of Kuntī, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress and their disappearance in due course are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.”

In summer we suffer, and in winter we suffer. In the summer, fire brings suffering, and in the winter the same fire is pleasing. Similarly, in the winter, water is suffering, but in the summer it is pleasing. The water and the fire are the same, but sometimes they are pleasing, sometimes they are not….The more we are in the bodily conception, the more we suffer.

Teachings of Lord Kapila, the Son of Devahuti
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 11, Text 23

mad-āśrayāḥ kathā mṛṣṭāḥ
śṛṇvanti kathayanti ca
tapanti vividhās tāpā
naitān mad-gata-cetasaḥ

Engaged constantly in chanting and hearing about Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the sādhus do not suffer from material miseries because they are always filled with thoughts of My pastimes and activities.

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Poem by Srila Prabhupada on His First Arrival in the USA

Poem by Srila Prabhupada on His First Arrival in the USA

The spiritual master and founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, is now engaging thousands of men and women in America and throughout the world in the science of bhakti-yoga, transcendental loving service to God. Prabhupada had no personal motive in first beginning ISKCON; he so vigorously preaches the philosophy of God consciousness simply because he has been ordered to do so by his own spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja.

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada first arrived in the United States in 1965 with seven dollars, a letter of introduction to an Indian family in Pennsylvania, and a suitcase with some volumes of Srimad-Bhagavatam. In the following poem, written in Bengali on the day of his arrival in the USA, Srila Prabhupada addresses the Supreme Lord Krsna, asking Him His purpose in sending His servant to America. The translation from Bengali was done by Srila Prabhupada himself.

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How to Discharge Devotional Service

The Nectar of Devotion is a summary study of Srila Rupa Goswami’s Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, or “the nectar that is derived from the ocean of devotion (bhakti).” It fully contains the complete science of bhakti-yoga, or linking with the Supreme by transcendental loving devotion. Bhakti-yoga is the highest path of attaining God consciousness, and it is simultaneously simple and sublime. It is recommended for everyone in this age.

The Nectar of Devotion 1970 Edition
By Hia Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 6

How to Discharge Devotional Service

Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī states that his elder brother (Sanātana Gosvāmī) has compiled Hari-bhakti-vilāsa for the guidance of the Vaiṣṇavas and therein has mentioned many rules and regulations to be followed by the Vaiṣṇavas. Some of them are very important and prominent, and he will now mention these very important items for our benefit. The purport of this statement is that Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī proposes to mention only basic principles, not details. For example, a basic principle is that one has to accept a spiritual master. Exactly how one follows the instructions of his spiritual master is considered a detail. For example, if one is following the instruction of his spiritual master and that instruction is different from the instructions of another spiritual master, this is called detailed information. But the basic principle of acceptance of a spiritual master is good everywhere, although the details may be different. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī does not wish to enter into details here, but wants to place before us only the principles.

He mentions the basic principles as follows: 1) accepting the shelter of the lotus feet of a bona fide spiritual master, 2) becoming initiated by the spiritual master and learning how to discharge devotional service from him, 3) obeying the orders of the spiritual master with faith and devotion, 4) following in the footsteps of great ācāryas (teachers) under the direction of the spiritual master, 5) inquiring from the spiritual master how to advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, 6) being prepared to give up anything material for the satisfaction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa (This means that when we are engaged in the devotional service of Kṛṣṇa, we must be prepared to give up something which we may not like to give up, and also we have to accept something which we may not like to accept.), 7) residing in a sacred place of pilgrimage like Dvārakā or Vṛndāvana, 8) dealing with the material world only as far as necessary, 9) observing the fasting day on Ekādaśī, and 10) worshiping sacred trees like the banyan tree.

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Establishing the Proof: Who Is a Real Guru?

Among the naive, of course, one may pass for a spiritual master by wearing robes and a beard, bearing a twinkle in one’s eye, performing some magic tricks, or speaking riddles. But intelligent people won’t settle for these outer trappings

Since we are all servants of the Supreme Lord, a bona fide guru must be a devotee of the Supreme Lord and teach others how to become His devotees. In fact, unless the guru is a devotee of Lord Krsna, he cannot understand transcendental knowledge—what to speak of imparting it to others.

Establishing the Proof: Who Is a Real Guru?
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine 1977, Vol.12, No. 8

A recent Gallup poll revealed that more than nineteen million American adults are now practicing some form of yoga, meditation, or other “self-renewal” process. To meet this great demand, many “gurus” have appeared on the scene, each teaching his version of spiritual truth. Some have attracted large followings, and every disciple undoubtedly feels that his guru is the best. But for the serious seeker of truth, choosing a spiritual master cannot be a matter of mere sentiment. Spiritual life is factual and scientific, and we have to test the qualifications of any spiritual teacher by referring to the standard authority. This authority is scripture, especially the Sanskrit Vedic scriptures, which throughout history have provided the philosophical basis for the guru-disciple relationship. By referring to Vedic scriptures we can know the criteria for a bona fide spiritual master. Then we can easily see who is actually a spiritual master, and who is a fraud.

Examining the Guru’s Teachings

The first criterion, according to the Vedic scriptures, is the quality of the words the teacher speaks. (Even a fool may be highly esteemed—until he speaks.) In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Sri Krsna, the original spiritual master, tells his disciple Arjuna, “The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.” In other words, a genuine guru must have realized the Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead, and he must be able to impart this truth to his disciple, thus freeing him (or her) from repeated birth and death.

We should therefore immediately reject as outright charlatans those so-called gurus who pretend to have some spiritual knowledge, but who teach their disciples only how to gain some material advantage—a slimmer body, better sex life, success in business, and so on. Real spiritual life means getting free from the agony of birth and death. How can a common man, unable to distinguish spirit from matter—and thus himself caught in the cycle of birth and death—claim to be a spiritual master? Such cheaters generally take up the “guru business” just to earn a living. But the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the essence of all Vedic scriptures, sternly warns, “No one should become a guru unless he can free his disciple from birth and death.”

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Lord Kṛṣṇa’s Entrance into Dvārakā

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 1, Chapter 11

Lord Kṛṣṇa’s Entrance into Dvārakā

While entering the city of Dvaraka, Lord Krishna acknowledged all the inhabitants’ by casting His transcendental glance over them. The city was filled with the opulences of all seasons. There were hermitages, orchards, flower gardens, parks and reservoirs of water filled with lotus flowers. The highways, subways, lanes, markets and public meeting places were all thoroughly cleansed and then moistened with scented water, And to welcome the Lord, the residents of Dvaraka strew flowers, fruits and unbroken seeds everywhere. The residents hastened toward the Lord on chariots, upon which rode brahmanas bearing flowers, In front of the chariots were elephants, which are emblems of good fortune. Conchshells and bugles were sounded, and Vedic hymns were chanted. Thus, the residents offered their respects, which were saturated with affection, In return, Lord Krishna, the Personality of Godhead, approached them and offered due honor and respect to each and every one of the friends, relatives, citizens and others who came to receive and welcome Him. As the Lord passed along the public road of Dvaraka, His head was protected from sunshine by a white umbrella. White feathered fans moved in semicircles, and showers of flowers fell upon the road. His yellow garments and garlands of flowers made it appear as if a dark cloud were surrounded simultaneously by the sun, the moon, lighting and rainbows.

Lord Kṛṣṇa’s attraction is so powerful that once being attracted by Him one cannot tolerate separation from Him. Why is this so? Because we are all eternally related with Him as the sun rays are eternally related with the sun disc. The sun rays are molecular parts of the solar radiation. Thus the sun rays and the sun cannot be separated. The separation by the cloud is temporary and artificial, and as soon as the cloud is cleared, the sun rays again display their natural effulgence in the presence of the sun. Similarly, the living entities, who are molecular parts of the whole spirit, are separated from the Lord by the artificial covering of māyā, illusory energy. This illusory energy, or the curtain of māyā, has to be removed, and when it is so done, the living entity can see the Lord face to face, and all his miseries are at once removed. Every one of us wants to remove the miseries of life, but we do not know how to do it. The solution is given here, and it rests on us to assimilate it or not. (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.11.10 Purport)

Painting by-Ramadasa Abhirama dasa

The Inconceivable Opulence of the Lord

The Lord says that everything is resting on Him. This should not be misunderstood. The Lord is not directly concerned with the maintenance and sustenance of this material manifestation. Sometimes we see a picture of Atlas holding the globe on his shoulders; he seems to be very tired, holding this great earthly planet. Such an image should not be entertained in connection with Kṛṣṇa’s upholding this created universe. He says that although everything is resting on Him, still He is aloof.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is – Macmillan 1972 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 9, Text 5

na ca mat-sthāni bhūtāni
paśya me yogam aiśvaram
bhūta-bhṛn na ca bhūta-stho
mamātmā bhūta-bhāvanaḥ

na—never; ca—also; mat-sthāni—situated in Me; bhūtāni—all creation; paśya—just see; me—My; yogam aiśvaram—inconceivable mystic power; bhūta-bhṛt—maintainer of all living entities; na—never; ca—also; bhūta-sthaḥ—in the cosmic manifestation; mama—My; ātmā—Self; bhūta-bhāvanaḥ—is the source of all manifestations.

Translation
And yet everything that is created does not rest in Me. Behold My mystic opulence! Although I am the maintainer of all living entities, and although I am everywhere, still My Self is the very source of creation.

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Free eBooks

The other day I was asked “Where can I find Srila Prabhupada’s Original Books online to download to my laptop?” I thought for a moment and remembered this fine web site to reccomend; Krishna Path This is a very nice site! And we encourage all our readers to visit it, and download one of Srila Prabhupada’s Original books to their home or laptop computer.

http://www.krishnapath.org/

I Shall Never Leave You

“The Spiritual Master is present wherever his sincere disciple is trying to serve his instructions. This is possible by the mercy of Krishna. In your attempts to serve me, and in all your sincere devotional sentiments I am with you, as my Guru Maharaja is with me. Remember this always…I shall never leave you. You are my disciple and I am your Sriritual Master, so there is no question, as long as you follow my instructions, than I shall never leave you” -Srila Prabhupada

Fly the One Flag of Srila Prabhupada

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Founder Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

This is an older post that appeared sometime back on the Sampradaya Sun, but in light of all the discussion on the plight of the ex-GBC/sannyasi/guru; Prabhavisnu Prabhu, we thought it important to remind our readers again of the unique position of Srila Prabhupada. As Prahlada-Nrsimbha reminds us in the following article…”Let us — members of ISKCON, friends of ISKCON, “fringes”, haters of ISKCON, whoever, everyone, just love Srila Prabhupada and fly the one flag of Srila Prabhupada over our heads, and all of us be united under Srila Prabhupada’s lotus feet!”

Fly the One Flag of Srila Prabhupada
By Prahlada-Nrsimha Prabhu
Aug 23, 2011 — USA (SUN)

Dear Rupanuga Prabhu I respect and admire you greatly! I just read your recent article, entitled “The World Acarya”. It is so inspiring to me how you honor Srila Prabhupada very nicely, concluding by saying: “…in due time, people will understand the true meaning of “Prabhupada” – the Master (Prabhu) at whose lotus feet (pada) all others pay their obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada…”

It gives my heart great happiness to see others recognize the unique position of Srila Prabhupada and acknowledge that we (at best) sit at his feet in his shadow as a speck of insignificant dust in comparison to Srila Prabhupada.

I feel now (and since 1977) in ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada is greatly minimized. I have seen that devotees initiated since 1977, the devotee that gives the name and chants on the beads of the newly initiated disciple is given more importance then Srila Prabhupada.

I more often than not meet devotees that have been initiated by devotees in ISKCON and they know the mood and standpoint on various subjects of the devotee that has preformed their initiation ceremony (and/or their local GBC or temple president) and they can even quote him on so many subjects. But when I quote Srila Prabhupada on these subjects they have no idea that Srila Prabhupada said this. They only know what their own GBC or initiator or temple president said.

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Ajamila was Saved by Chanting the Holy Name of the Lord

“At the time of his death the sinful Ajamila saw three awkward persons with deformed bodily features, fierce, twisted faces, and hair standing erect on their bodies. With ropes in their hands, they had come to take him away to the abode of Yamaraja. When he saw them he was extremely bewildered, and because of attachment to his child, Narayana, who was playing a short distance away, Ajamila began to cal him loudly by his name. Thus with tears in his eyes he somehow or other chanted the holy name of Narayana. the order carriers of Visnu, the Visnudutas, immediately arrived when when they heard the holy name of their master from the mouth of the dying Ajamila. The order carriers of Yamaraja were snatching the soul from the core of the heart of Ajamila, the husband of the prostitute, but with resounding voices the messengers of Lord Visnu, the Visnudutas, forbade them to do so” (from Srimad Bhagavatam 6.1.27-29)

Srimad Bhagavatam Lectures
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
SB 6.1.28-29 May 28, 1975 Honolulu

Pradyumna: Translation: “Ajāmila then saw three awkward persons with deformed bodily features, fierce, twisted faces, and hair standing erect on their bodies. With ropes in their hands they had come to take him away to the abode of Yamarāja. When he saw them he was extremely bewildered, and because of attachment to his child, who was playing a short distance away, Ajāmila began to call him loudly by his name. Thus, with tears in his eyes, he somehow or other chanted the holy name of Nārāyaṇa.” [SB 6.1.28-29]
 
Prabhupāda: Sa pāśa-hastāṁs trīn dṛṣṭvā puruṣān ati-dāruṇān. So, at the time of death there are so many disturbance. We have got experience, but you have forgot because bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate [Bg. 8.19]. But these things are observed by the sinful person. The Yamadūta, they come to take to the sinful, sinful person, not devotees. Just like the whole population of the city, they are not all subjected to the prison laws. Some criminals. Similarly, this Yamadūta goes to such sinful persons. They are not all. But it is the question of Ajāmila… He was so sinful that automatically the Yamadūtas came, and they wanted to take him.

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