Glories of the Ganges

Ganges River at Varanasi India

The Ganges is glorified because it emanates from the toes of the lotus feet of the Lord. Similarly, if one takes to the service of the lotus feet of the Lord, or takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he is immediately cleansed of the many dirty things which have accumulated in his innumerable births. We have seen that in spite of the very black record of their past lives, persons who take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness become perfectly cleansed of all dirty things and make spiritual progress very swiftly.

Srimad-Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 4, Chapter 21, Text 31

Instructions by Maharaja Prthu

yat-pāda-sevābhirucis tapasvinām
aśeṣa-janmopacitaṁ malaṁ dhiyaḥ
sadyaḥ kṣiṇoty anvaham edhatī satī
yathā padāṅguṣṭha-viniḥsṛtā sarit

yat-pāda—whose lotus feet; sevā—service; abhiruciḥ—inclination; tapasvinām—persons undergoing severe penances; aśeṣa—innumerable; janma—birth; upacitam—acquire; malam—dirtiness; dhiyaḥ—mind; sadyaḥ—immediately; kṣiṇoti—destroys; anvaham—day after day; edhatī—increasing; satī—being; yathā—as; pada-aṅguṣṭha—the toes of His lotus feet; viniḥsṛtā—emanating from; sarit—water.

By the inclination to serve the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, suffering humanity can immediately cleanse the dirt which has accumulated in their minds during innumerable births. Like the Ganges water, which emanates from the toes of the lotus feet of the Lord, such a process immediately cleanses the mind, and thus spiritual or Kṛṣṇa consciousness gradually increases.

In India, one can actually see that a person who takes a bath in the Ganges waters daily is almost free from all kinds of diseases. A very respectable brāhmaṇa in Calcutta never took a doctor’s medicine. Even though he sometimes felt sick, he would not accept medicine from the physician but would simply drink Ganges water, and he was always cured within a very short time. The glories of Ganges water are known to Indians and to ourselves also.

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Photos of Sita Rama

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Sītādevī

In honor of the Appearance Day of Sita Devi, Wife of Lord Ramachandra, we post a short excerpt from Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad Bhagavatam.

…Sītā is Lakṣmījī, or the goddess of fortune, but she is never to be enjoyed by any living being. She is meant for being worshiped by the living being along with her husband, Śrī Rāmacandra. A materialistic man like Rāvaṇa does not understand this great truth, but on the contrary he wants to snatch Sītādevī from the custody of Rāma and thus incurs great miseries. The materialists, who are after opulence and material prosperity, may take lessons from the Rāmāyaṇa that the policy of exploiting the nature of the Lord without acknowledging the supremacy of the Supreme Lord is the policy of Rāvaṇa. Rāvaṇa was very advanced materially, so much so that he turned his kingdom, Laṅkā, into pure gold, or full material wealth. But because he did not recognize the supremacy of Lord Rāmacandra and defied Him by stealing His wife, Sītā, Rāvaṇa was killed, and all his opulence and power were destroyed.

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 2, Chapter 7, Text 23

Scheduled Incarnations with Specific Functions

asmat-prasāda-sumukhaḥ kalayā kaleśa
ikṣvāku-vaṁśa avatīrya guror nideśe
tiṣṭhan vanaṁ sa-dayitānuja āviveśa
yasmin virudhya daśa-kandhara ārtim ārcchat

asmat—unto us, beginning from Brahmā down to the insignificant ant; prasāda—causeless mercy; sumukhaḥ—so inclined; kalayā—with His plenary extensions; kaleśaḥ—the Lord of all potencies; ikṣvāku—Mahārāja Ikṣvāku, in the dynasty of the sun; vaṁśe—family; avatīrya—by descending in; guroḥ—of the father or spiritual master; nideśe—under the order of; tiṣṭhan—being situated in; vanam—in the forest; sa-dayitā-anujaḥ—along with His wife and younger brother; āviveśa—entered; yasmin—unto whom; virudhya—being rebellious; daśa-kandharaḥ—Rāvaṇa, who had ten heads; ārtim—great distress; ārcchat—achieved.

Due to His causeless mercy upon all living entities within the universe, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, along with His plenary extensions, appeared in the family of Mahārāja Ikṣvāku as the Lord of His internal potency, Sītā. Under the order of His father, Mahārāja Daśaratha, He entered the forest and lived there for considerable years with His wife and younger brother. Rāvaṇa, who was very materially powerful, with ten heads on his shoulders, committed a great offense against Him and was thus ultimately vanquished.

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Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra

Dhrtarastra inquires from Sanjaya

We are posting the First Chapter of the Original Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Macmillian Edition complete with the corresponding pictures.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 1: Observing the Armies on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra

TEXT 1

dhṛtarāṣṭra uvāca
dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre
samavetā yuyutsavaḥ
māmakāḥ pāṇḍavāś caiva
kim akurvata sañjaya

dhṛtarāṣṭraḥ—King Dhṛtarāṣṭra; uvāca—said; dharma-kṣetre—in the place of pilgrimage; kuru-kṣetre—in the place named Kurukṣetra; samavetāḥ—assembled; yuyatsavaḥ—desiring to fight; māmakāḥ—my party (sons); pāṇḍavāḥ—the sons of Pāṇḍu; ca—and; eva-certainly; kim—what; akurvata—did they do; sañjaya—O Sañjaya.

TRANSLATION

Dhṛtarāṣṭra said: O Sañjaya, after assembling in the place of pilgrimage at Kurukṣetra, what did my sons and the sons of Pāṇḍu do, being desirous to fight?

PURPORT

Bhagavad-gītā is the widely read theistic science summarized in the Gītā-māhātmya (Glorification of the Gītā). There it says that one should read Bhagavad-gītā very scrutinizingly with the help of a person who is a devotee of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and try to understand it without personally motivated interpretations. The example of clear understanding is there in the Bhagavad-gītā itself, in the way the teaching is understood by Arjuna, who heard the Gītā directly from the Lord. If someone is fortunate enough to understand Bhagavad-gītā in that line of disciplic succession, without motivated interpretation, then he surpasses all studies of Vedic wisdom, and all scriptures of the world. One will find in the Bhagavad-gītā all that is contained in other scriptures, but the reader will also find things which are not to be found elsewhere. That is the specific standard of the Gītā. It is the perfect theistic science because it is directly spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

The topics discussed by Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Sañjaya, as described in the Mahābhārata, form the basic principle for this great philosophy. It is understood that this philosophy evolved on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra, which is a sacred place of pilgrimage from the immemorial time of the Vedic age. It was spoken by the Lord when He was present personally on this planet for the guidance of mankind.

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Srila Prabhupada

“By the mercy of the spiritual master one receives the benediction of Kṛṣṇa. Without the grace of the spiritual master, one cannot make any advancement. Therefore, I should always remember and praise the spiritual master. At least three times a day I should offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master.”

Dedication to
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Founder-Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

tvaṁ naḥ sandarśito dhātrā
dustaraṁ nistitīrṣatām
kaliṁ sattva-haraṁ puṁsāṁ
karṇa-dhāra ivārṇavam

“We think that we have met Your Goodness by the will of providence, just so that we may accept you as captain of the ship for those who desire to cross the difficult ocean of Kali, which deteriorates all the good qualities of a human being.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.1.22)

On the order of his spiritual master, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda began translating and writing Vedic literature in the English language to bring the message of Lord Kṛṣṇa to the Western countries. After decades of struggle in India, he came to the West and started the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Later on he created the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, to publish his writings and recordings of his lectures, conversations, etc. The VedaBase has been created so that this great treasurehouse of knowledge may be preserved and propagated and so that all may take advantage of the wisdom and association of the pure devotee of Lord Krishna.

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Matchless Gifts; Summer 1966

…Srila Prabhupada was lecturing from the Bhagavad-gita…then, incredibly, midway through the lecture, an old white-haired begrizzled Bowery bum entered the storefront and walked right through the middle of the room, past all of us who sat in shocked silence, and on up towards Srila Prabhupada, who sat beneath the back windows. I didn’t know what he was about to do, but I noticed that he was carrying a package of paper handtowels and a couple of rolls of toilet paper. He didn’t say a word, but walked right past Srila Prabhupada and carefully placed the hand-towels by the sink and the toilet paper on the floor under the sink. Then, clearing his throat and saying something incoherent, he turned around and walked out. No one knew what to say and no one knew whether or not Srila Prabhupada had been insulted.

“Just see,” Srila Prabhupada suddenly said. “He has just begun his devotional service. That is the process. Whatever we have—it doesn’t matter what—we must offer it for Krsna’s service.”

Sleepers Awake!
New York: Summer 1966
By Hayagriva das

Excerpted from ‘Back To Godhead’ Magazine
1970-1973 Vol.1, No. 46

When I first met my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, I felt that there was never a time when I did not know him. I never tire of telling of my first meeting with him on the streets of Lower East Side New York. At the time, I was hurrying from my Mott Street apartment, which had become a refuge for psychedeliacs, to a much quieter apartment on Fifth Street where I hoped to get some peace. I was walking down Houston Street and across Bowery, past the rushing traffic and stumbling derelicts, and after crossing Bowery, just before Second Avenue, I saw His Divine Grace jauntily strolling down the sidewalk, his head high in the air, his hand in a beadbag. He struck me like a famous actor in a very familiar movie. He seemed ageless, though later I found out that he was seventy years old. He was wearing the traditional saffron colored robes of a sannyasi, the renounced order, and quaint white shoes with points. Coming down Houston Street, he looked like the genie that popped out of Aladdin’s lamp. I was fresh from a trip to India, and His Divine Grace reminded me of the many holy men I had recently seen walking the dirt roads of Hardwar and Rishikesh and bathing in the Ganges. I had gone to India to look for a guru but had returned disappointed. It was on this bright July morning, when I was least expecting it, that Sri Krsna, out of His infinite mercy, sent guru to me. The old Vedic adage—by the grace of Krsna you get guru, and by the grace of guru you get Krsna—was justified. Afterwards, Srila Prabhupada (as we were later to call him) often told me, “If you are sincere, you don’t have to search out your guru. Krsna will send him.” So amid the hot clang and clamor of Houston and Bowery, guru had found me out.

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Bhakti-yoga; The Culmination of Yoga

If one is fortunate enough to come to the point of bhakti-yoga, it is to be understood that he has surpassed all the other yogas. Therefore, to become Kṛṣṇa conscious is the highest stage of yoga, just as, when we speak of Himalayan, we refer to the world’s highest mountains, of which the highest peak, Mount Everest, is considered to be the culmination.

The culmination of all kinds of yoga practices lies in bhakti-yoga. All other yogas are but means to come to the point of bhakti in bhakti-yoga. Yoga actually means bhakti-yoga; all other yogas are progressions toward the destination of bhakti-yoga. From the beginning of karma-yoga to the end of bhakti-yoga is a long way to self-realization. Karma-yoga, without fruitive results, is the beginning of this path. When karma-yoga increases in knowledge and renunciation, the stage is called jñāna-yoga. When jñāna-yoga increases in meditation on the Supersoul by different physical processes, and the mind is on Him, it is called aṣṭāṅga-yoga. And, when one surpasses the aṣṭāṅga-yoga and comes to the point of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa, it is called bhakti-yoga, the culmination. Factually, bhakti-yoga is the ultimate goal, but to analyze bhakti-yoga minutely one has to understand these other yogas. The yogī who is progressive is therefore on the true path of eternal good fortune.

It is by great fortune that one comes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness on the path of bhakti-yoga to become well situated according to the Vedic direction. The ideal yogī concentrates his attention on Kṛṣṇa, who is called Śyāmasundara, who is as beautifully colored as a cloud, whose lotus-like face is as effulgent as the sun, whose dress is brilliant with jewels and whose body is flower garlanded. Illuminating all sides is His gorgeous luster, which is called the brahmajyoti. He incarnates in different forms such as Rāma, Nṛsiṁha, Varāha and Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He descends like a human being, as the son of Mother Yaśodā, and He is known as Kṛṣṇa, Govinda and Vāsudeva. He is the perfect child, husband, friend and master, and He is full with all opulences and transcendental qualities. If one remains fully conscious of these features of the Lord, he is called the highest yogī.

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Mad Elephant Offense (Vaiṣṇava-aparādha)

Sometimes we see that devotees, even though they are following the rules and regulations, appear not to be making very much spiritual advancement. Often we see that they appear to be going backwards rather than forward in their devotional lives. This is often the case of “the mad elephant offense” or vaisnava-aparadha, which can stop or destroy their devotional career, and should be carefully avoided. We have included a few select verses from Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad Bhagavatam which support this statement.

…To commit an offense against a devotee is very dangerous in devotional service. Lord Caitanya therefore said that an offense to a devotee is just like a mad elephant run loose; when a mad elephant enters a garden, it tramples all the plants. Similarly, an offense unto the feet of a pure devotee murders one’s position in devotional service…

…One’s pure intelligence, or pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness, becomes polluted by material activities. Pure consciousness can be revived by the process of sacrifice, charity, pious activities, etc., but when one pollutes his Kṛṣṇa consciousness by offending a brāhmaṇa or a Vaiṣṇava, it is very difficult to revive. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has described the vaiṣṇava-aparādha, or offense to a Vaiṣṇava, as “the mad elephant offense.” One should be very careful not to offend a Vaiṣṇava or a brāhmaṇa…

Srimad Bhagavatam 3.15.39

kṛtsna-prasāda-sumukhaṁ spṛhaṇīya-dhāma
snehāvaloka-kalayā hṛdi saṁspṛśantam
śyāme pṛthāv urasi śobhitayā śriyā svaś-
cūḍāmaṇiṁ subhagayantam ivātma-dhiṣṇyam

The Lord is the reservoir of all pleasure. His auspicious presence is meant for everyone’s benediction, and His affectionate smiling and glancing touch the core of the heart. The Lord’s beautiful bodily color is blackish, and His broad chest is the resting place of the goddess of fortune, who glorifies the entire spiritual world, the summit of all heavenly planets. Thus it appeared that the Lord was personally spreading the beauty and good fortune of the spiritual world.

Purport
When the Lord came, He was pleased with everyone; therefore it is stated here, kṛtsna-prasāda-sumukham. The Lord knew that even the offensive doormen were His pure devotees, although by chance they committed an offense at the feet of other devotees. To commit an offense against a devotee is very dangerous in devotional service. Lord Caitanya therefore said that an offense to a devotee is just like a mad elephant run loose; when a mad elephant enters a garden, it tramples all the plants. Similarly, an offense unto the feet of a pure devotee murders one’s position in devotional service. On the part of the Lord there was no offended mood because He does not accept any offense created by His sincere devotee. But a devotee should be very cautious of committing offenses at the feet of another devotee. The Lord, being equal to all, and being especially inclined to His devotee, looked as mercifully at the offenders as at the offended. This attitude of the Lord was due to His unlimited quantity of transcendental qualities. His cheerful attitude towards the devotees was so pleasing and heart-touching that His very smile was attractive for them. That attraction was glorious not only for all the higher planets of this material world, but beyond, for the spiritual world also. Generally a human being has no idea of what the constitutional position is in the higher material planets, which are far better constituted in regard to all paraphernalia, yet the Vaikuṇṭha planet is so pleasing and so celestial that it is compared to the middle jewel or locket in a necklace of jewels.

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Festival of India 2012 Schedule

Festival Of India 2012 Summer Tour

2012 Proposed Tour Schedule (Up-dated March 21, 2012)

March 7———-Gaura Purnima
*March 17 and 18———-Miami, Florida, Ratha-yatra and Festival of India
April 2———-Washington D.C., American University, Festival of India
April 4 and 5———-University of Maryland; College Park, Festival of India
May 2———-Washington D.C., George Washington University, Festival of India
May 4———-University of Maryland, Baltimore, Festival of India
May 19———-Jacksonville, Florida, Ratha-yatra/Festival of India
*May 26 and 27———- Baltimore, Maryland, Ratha-yatra/Festival of India
June 2 and 3———-Atlanta, Georgia, Pani Hati/Ratha-yatra/Festival of India
*June 9———-New York City, New York, Ratha-yatra/Festival of India
*June 24———-Chicago, Illinois, Ratha-yatra/Festival of India
July 4———-Washington D.C., Ratha-yatra/Festival of India
*July 7 and 8———-Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Ratha-yatra/Festival of India
*July 14 and 15———-Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Ratha-yatra/Festival of India
July 17———-Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, Ratha-yatra/Festival of India
*July 21———-Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Ratha-yatra/Festival of India
July 22———- San Francisco, California, Ratha-yatra
*July 28———-Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Ratha-yatra/Festival of India
July 31/August 1———-Las Vegas, Nevada, Harinam Sankirtan & Book Distribution on the Strip
*August 5———-Los Angeles, California, Ratha-yatra/Festival of India
August 9———-Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Sri Krishna Janmastami
August 10———-Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Srila Prabhupada’s Vyasa Puja
*August 18 and 19———- Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Ratha-yatra/Festival of India
*September 1, 2 and 3/Labor Day Weekend———-Seattle, Washington, Ratha-yatra/Festival of India
September 15 & 16———-Boston, Ratha-yatra/Srila Prabhupada’s Commonwealth Pier Arrival Fest
*September 22———-Philadelphia, Pennsylvania–Ratha-yatra/Radhastami
October 20———-Potomac, Maryland. Sri Ramacandra Vijayotsava Festival
*These cities/dates are Confirmed
Hare Krishna

Pasted from http://www.festivalofindia.org

Kṛṣṇa, the Reservoir of Pleasure

Kṛṣṇa, the Reservoir of Pleasure
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Kṛṣṇa—this sound is transcendental. Kṛṣṇa means the highest pleasure. All of us, every living being, seeks pleasure. But we do not know how to seek pleasure perfectly. With a materialistic concept of life, we are frustrated at every step in satisfying our pleasure because we have no information regarding the real level on which to have real pleasure. For the last few weeks we have been learning that we are not this body; we are consciousness. Not exactly consciousness, for consciousness is actually the symptom of our real identity: we are pure soul, now merged within this material body. Modern material science lays no stress on this; therefore the scientists are sometimes misled in their understanding of spirit soul. But spirit soul is a fact, which anyone can understand by the presence of consciousness. Any child can understand that consciousness is the symptom of the spirit soul.

Now the whole process we are trying to learn from the Bhagavad-gītā (The Song of God) is how to bring ourselves to this level of consciousness. And if we act from the level of consciousness, then we may not be pushed again into the level of this bodily conception; and, if we can continue on that level, if we can continue to act in pure consciousness, then, at the end of this body we shall be free from material contamination, our spiritual life will be revived, and the ultimate result will be that in our next life, after leaving this body, we shall have our full, eternal spiritual life. Spirit, as we have already discussed, is described as eternal.

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Narada-bhakti-sutra Text 7

click to enlarge picture

“My dear gopīs, I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahmā. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation.”

Narada-bhakti-sutra
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Text 7

sā na kāmayamānā nirodha-rūpatvāt

sā—that devotional service in pure love of God; na—not; kāmayamānā—like ordinary lust; nirodha—renunciation; rūpatvāt—because of having as its form.

There is no question of lust in the execution of pure devotional service, because in it all material activities are renounced.

PURPORT

In pure devotional service there is no question of sense gratification. Some people mistake the loving affairs between Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs (cowherd girls) for activities of ordinary sense gratification, but these affairs are not lustful because there is no material contamination. As Rūpa Gosvāmī states in his Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.2.285),

premaiva gopa-rāmāṇāṁ kāma ity agamat prathām
ity uddhavādayo ’py etaṁ vāñchanti bhagavat-priyāḥ

“Although the dealings of the gopīs with Kṛṣṇa are wrongly celebrated by many as lust, great sages and saintly persons like Uddhava hanker for such loving affairs with Kṛṣṇa.” Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja, the author of Caitanya-caritāmṛta, has therefore said,

kāma, prema,—doṅhākāra vibhinna lakṣaṇa
lauha āra hema yaiche svarūpe vilakṣaṇa

“As there is a difference between iron and gold, so there is a difference between material lust and Kṛṣṇa’s loving affairs with the gopīs” (Cc. Ādi 4.164). Although such loving affairs may sometimes resemble material lust, the difference is as follows:

ātmendriya-prīti-vāñchā—tāre bali ‘kāma’
kṛṣṇendriya-prīti-icchā dhare ‘prema’ nāma

“The desire to satisfy one’s own senses is called lust, while the desire to satisfy the senses of Kṛṣṇa is called prema, love of God” (Cc. Ādi 4.165).

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First Ever Ratha Yatra Festival in Las Vegas

Maha Harinam

Join in for hours of blissful chanting & dancing on the world famous Las Vegas Strip!
When: Friday, April 21, 6-9 PM
Meeting place: Govinda’s Center at 5:30 PM or the Excalibur outdoor parking lot at 6:00 PM
Harinam route: on Las Vegas Blvd. from Excalibur to Bellagio and back from Paris to MGM.

Ratha Yatra Parade

First ever Ratha Yatra in Las Vegas! 
Please note: Ratha yatra is a part of the Henderson Heritage Parade and Festival.
When: Saturday, April 22, 9:30-11 AM
Start of the parade: Water St. & Ocean Ave. in Henderson, Water Street District, Map & Directions
Parade route: on Water St. from Ocean Ave. to Atlantic Ave.
What happens after the parade: Heritage Festival organized by the City of Henderson will follow the parade and will include live entertainment, international food booths, dance and cooking demonstrations, craft booths and more!
Please visit Govinda’s booth from 10:00 – 7:00 PM. We will be distributing prasadam, books and Indian gifts.
See us on the Henderson Amphitheater Stage at 1:30 PM performing live kirtan and classic Indian dance.

Prabhupada’s ISKCON is Beautiful and Perfect!

click on image to enlarge

Prabhupada’s ISKCON is Beautiful and Perfect!
By Prahlada-Nrsimha das
Apr 09, 2012 — USA (SUN)

I often write to simply sort out my own thoughts and get them off my chest, so to speak. Recently I came across the following letter I wrote a long time ago. Although it is just my own thoughts, maybe others will be inspired by it, so I am presenting it here:

“As it is said by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastraih: a spiritual master, or the parampara-acarya, should be respected exactly like the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” (SB 4.22.4)

Here we see the difference between a conditioned soul (or even an advanced devotee) and Srila Prabhupada. We must respect all devotees even though they are conditioned souls, to one degree or another, but it says here that “the spiritual master, or the parampara-acarya should be respected exactly like the Supreme Personality of Godhead”. It is not proper to put a conditioned soul in this position and thus artificially give him (or her) the respect or worship equal to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This will simply cause a disturbance.

Artificial or blind following can and will create havoc in the world.

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Raja-Vidya The King of Knowledge (Free PDF Download)

king-of-knowledge

click on link at bottom for a free download on entire book to read online or save in pdf format

…It is said that the execution of devotional service is so perfect that one can perceive the results directly. This direct result is actually perceived, and we have practical experience that any person who is chanting the holy names of Kṛṣṇa (Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare)in course of time feels some transcendental pleasure and very quickly becomes purified of all material contamination. This is actually seen. Furthermore, if one engages not only in hearing but in trying to broadcast the message of devotional activities as well, or if he engages himself in helping the missionary activities of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he gradually feels spiritual progress. This advancement in spiritual life does not depend on any kind of previous education or qualification. The method itself is so pure that by simply engaging in it one becomes pure.

Bhagavada-gita As It Is Macmillan Edition 1975
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 9, Text 2

rāja-vidyā rāja-guhyaṁ
pavitram idam uttamam
pratyakṣāvagamaṁ dharmyaṁ
su-sukhaṁ kartum avyayam

rāja-vidyā—the king of education; rāja-guhyam—the king of confidential knowledge; pavitram—the purest; idam—this; uttamam—transcendental; pratyakṣa—directly experienced; avagamam—understood; dharmyam—the principle of religion; susukham—very happy; kartum—to execute; avyayam—everlasting.

This knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realization, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed.

Purport
This chapter of Bhagavad-gītā is called the king of education because it is the essence of all doctrines and philosophies explained before. There are seven principal philosophers in India: Gautama, Kaṇāda, Kapila, Yājñavalkya, Śāṇḍilya, Vaiśvānara, and, finally, Vyāsadeva, the author of the Vedānta-sūtra. So there is no dearth of knowledge in the field of philosophy or transcendental knowledge. Now the Lord says that this Ninth Chapter is the king of all such knowledge, the essence of all knowledge that can be derived from the study of the Vedas and different kinds of philosophy. It is the most confidential because confidential or transcendental knowledge involves understanding the difference between the soul and the body. And the king of all confidential knowledge culminates in devotional service.

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Divine Culture

…When Lord Caitanya talked with the great devotee Ramananda Raya, the Lord asked him, “What is the basic principle of human life?” Ramananda Raya answered that human civilization begins when varnasrama-dharma is accepted. Before coming to the standard of varnasrama-dharma there is no question of human civilization. Therefore, the Krsna consciousness movement is trying to establish this right system of human civilization, which is known as Krsna consciousness, or daiva-varnasrama—divine culture.

Divine Culture
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Excerpted from ‘Back To Godhead 1974, Vol 1, No. 68

There is a misconception that the Krsna consciousness movement represents the Hindu religion. In act, however, Krsna consciousness is in no way a faith or religion that seeks to defeat other faiths or religions. Rather, it is an essential cultural movement for the entire human society and does not consider any particular sectarian faith. This cultural movement is especially meant to educate people in how they can love God.

Sometimes Indians both inside and outside of India think that we are preaching the Hindu religion, but actually we are not. One will not find the word “Hindu” in Bhagavad-gita. Indeed, there is no such word as “Hindu” in the entire Vedic literature. This word has been introduced by the Muslims from provinces next to India, such as Afghanistan, Baluchisthan and Persia. There is a river called “Sindhu” bordering the northwestern provinces of India, and since the Muslims there could not pronounce “Sindhu” properly, instead they called the river “Hindu,” and the inhabitants of this tract of land they called “Hindus.” In India, according to the Vedic language, the Europeans are called mlecchas or yavanas. Similarly, “Hindu” is a name given by the Muslims.

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Understanding Krsna and Christ

Today here in the West most of the World is celebrating Easter Sunday, therefore we are posting some of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions on Jesus Christ

…Jesus Christ was such a great personality—the son of God, the representative of God. He had no fault. Still, he was crucified. He wanted to deliver God consciousness, but in return they crucified him—they were so thankless. They could not appreciate his preaching. But we appreciate him and give him all honor as the representative of God.

Of course, the message that Christ preached was just according to his particular time, place, and country, and just suited for a particular group of people. But certainly he is the representative of God. Therefore we adore Lord Jesus Christ and offer our obeisances to him.

Once, in Melbourne, a group of Christian ministers came to visit me. They asked, “What is your idea of Jesus Christ?” I told them, “He is our guru. He is preaching God consciousness, so he is our spiritual master.” The ministers very much appreciated that.

Actually, anyone who is preaching God’s glories must be accepted as a guru. Jesus Christ is one such great personality. We should not think of him as an ordinary human being. The scriptures say that anyone who considers the spiritual master to be an ordinary man has a hellish mentality. If Jesus Christ were an ordinary man, then he could not have delivered God consciousness…

The Science of Self Realization
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 4,

Understanding Krsna and Christ

The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam states that any bona fide preacher of God consciousness must have the qualities of titikṣā (tolerance) and karuṇā (compassion). In the character of Lord Jesus Christ we find both these qualities. He was so tolerant that even while he was being crucified, he didn’t condemn anyone. And he was so compassionate that he prayed to God to forgive the very persons who were trying to kill him. (Of course, they could not actually kill him. But they were thinking that he could be killed, so they were committing a great offense.) As Christ was being crucified he prayed, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they are doing.”

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Bhaja Bhakata-Vatsala Srī-Gaurahari (Sri-Bhoga-Arotik)

This was the song that Srila Prabhupada introduced to be sung at the noon Bhoga-Arotik when offering Krishna His lunch

Bhaja Bhakata Vatsala
By Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur

Just worship Sri Gaurahari, who is always affectionate toward His devotees. He is the same Supreme Godhead, Krsna, who sported in the cowherd pastures of Vraja and stole the hearts of Nanda and Yasoda.

Mother Yasoda calls to Krsna, “My dear Damodara, it is very late. Please come right now, sit down in the dining hall, and take Your lunch.”

On the direction of Nanda Maharaja, Krsna, the holder of Govardhana Hill, sits down, and then all the cowherd boys, along with Krsna’s elder brother, Sri Baladeva, sit down in rows to take their lunch.

They are then served a feast of sukta and various kinds of green leafy vegetables, then nice fried things, and a salad made of the green leaves of the jute plant. They are also served pumpkin, baskets of fruit, small square cakes made of lentils and cooked down milk, then thick yogurt, squash cooked in milk, and vegetable preparations made from the tower of the banana tree.

Then they receive fried squares of mung dahl patties, and urad dahl patties, capatis, and rice with ghee. Next, sweets made with milk, sugar and sesamum, rice flour cakes; thick cooked-down milk; cakes floating in milk; and sweet rice.

There is also sweet rice that tastes just like nectar due to its being mixed with camphor. There are bananas, and cheese which is nectarean and delicious. They are also served twelve kinds of sour preparations made with tamarinds, limes, lemons, oranges, and pomegranates.

There are puns made with white flour and sugar; puns filled with cream; laddus; and dahl patties boiled in sugared rice. Krsna eagerly eats all of the food.

In great ecstasy and joy Krsna eats the rice, curried vegetables, sweets, and pastries cooked by Srimati Radharani.

Krsna’s funny brahmana friend Madhumangala, who is very fond of Laddus, gets them by hook or by crook. Eating the laddus he shouts, “Haribol! Haribol!~’ and makes a funny sound by swapping his sides under his armpits with his hands.

Beholding Radharani and Her gopifriends out of the courters of His eyes, Krsna eats at the house of mother Yasoda with great satisfaction.

After lunch, Krsna drinks rose-scented water. Then all of the boys, standing in lines, wash their mouths.

After all the cowherd boys wash their hands and mouths, in great bliss they take rest with Lord Balarama.

The two cowherd boys Jambula and Rasala then bring Krsna pan made with betel nuts, fancy spices, and catechu. After eating that pin, Sri Krsnacandra then happily goes to sleep.

While Krsna happily takes His rest on an excellent bedstead, His servant Visalaksa cools Him with a fan of peacock feathers.

At mother Yasoda’s request the gopi Dhanistha brings remnants of food left on Krsna’s plate to Srimati Radharani, who eats them with great delight

Lalita-devi and the other gopis then receive the remnants, and within their hearts they sing the glories of Radharani and Krsna with great joy.

Thakura Bhaktivinoda, whose one and only Joy is the pastimes of Lord Hari, sings this Bhoga-arati song

Bengali lyrcis follow… More

Chanting the Holy Names of the Lord

…It is to be understood that when Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu chanted and danced, He did so by the influence of the pleasure potency of the spiritual world. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu never considered the holy name of the Lord to be a material vibration, nor does any pure devotee mistake the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra to be a material musical manifestation. Lord Caitanya never tried to be the master of the holy name; rather He taught us how to be servants of the holy name…I firmly believe that simply chanting the holy name of the Lord can remove all misconceptions of the material world. I believe that simply by chanting the holy name of the Lord one can attain the shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord. In this age of quarrel and disagreement, the chanting of the holy names is the only way to liberation from the material clutches.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Adi-lila 7. 95-96

Lord Caitanya in Five Features

“I firmly believe in these words of My spiritual master, and therefore I always chant the holy name of the Lord, alone and in the association of devotees. That holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa sometimes causes Me to chant and dance, and therefore I chant and dance. Please do not think that I intentionally do it. I do it automatically.

Purport
A person who cannot keep his faith in the words of his spiritual master but acts independently never receives the authority to chant the holy name of the Lord. It is said in the Vedas (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.23):

yasya deve parā bhaktir
yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ
prakāśante mahātmanaḥ

“Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed.” This Vedic injunction is very important, and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu supported it by His personal behavior. Believing in the words of His spiritual master, He introduced the saṅkīrtana movement, just as the present Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement was started with belief in the words of our spiritual master. He wanted to preach, we believed in his words and tried somehow or other to fulfill them, and now this movement has become successful all over the world. Therefore faith in the words of the spiritual master and in the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the secret of success. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu never disobeyed the orders of His spiritual master and stopped propagating the saṅkīrtana movement. Śrī Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī, at the time of his passing away, ordered all his disciples to work conjointly to preach the mission of Caitanya Mahāprabhu all over the world. Later, however, some self-interested, foolish disciples disobeyed his orders. Each one of them wanted to become head of the mission, and they fought in the courts, neglecting the order of the spiritual master, and the entire mission was defeated. We are not proud of this; however, the truth must be explained. We believed in the words of our spiritual master and started in a humble way-in a helpless way-but due to the spiritual force of the order of the supreme authority, this movement has become successful.

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Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

Here is a new GBC resolution I found interesting…

GBC Resolution #309

ISKCON GOVERNING BODY COMMISSION SOCIETY
Registration Number S/74662 under the West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961
P.O. Shree Mayapur Dham, Dist. Nadia, West Bengal 741313

MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
SRI MAYAPUR DHAM, FEBRUARY 10 – 21, 2012

309. Founder-Acarya on ISKCON Guru Websites

[Guideline]

Whereas the proliferation of official and unofficial websites of ISKCON gurus currently do not, in large part, prominently feature the personality and teachings of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada as the Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness on the introduction page as well as on many other pages;

And whereas it is necessary to establish guidelines for such websites so that as far as possible visitors are made aware that whatever inspiration the devotees are receiving from the guru is due to the great mercy of Srila Prabhupada:

RESOLVED:

ISKCON gurus shall be responsible for ensuring that their own official websites adhere to the following guidelines:

1. They prominently feature a picture of Srila Prabhupada on the introductory page

2. They credit him as the “Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness”

3. They contain a brief summary of his accomplishments and provide authorized website links to his teachings

The Guru Services Committee will compile a suggested comprehensive template for use in guru websites.

Liberation from the Material World

…Of course, the world is full of dangers. But Kuntīdevī says, “Because Devakī is Your devotee, You saved her from the distresses imposed upon her by her envious brother.”

…For sense gratification we have fallen into this material condition and are suffering in different varieties of life. Because this is the material world, even Kṛṣṇa’s mother was put into suffering. Devakī was so advanced that she became the mother of Kṛṣṇa, but still she was put into difficulties by her own brother, Kaṁsa. That is the nature of this material world. The living entities in this world are so jealous that if one’s personal interest is hampered, one will immediately be ready to give trouble to others, even to one’s nearest relatives.

“A person who acts in the service of Kṛṣṇa with his body, mind, intelligence, and words is a liberated person, even within the material world.”

Teachings of Queen Kunti
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 6

The Master of the Senses

yathā hṛṣīkeśa khalena devakī
kaṁsena ruddhāticiraṁ śucārpitā
vimocitāhaṁ ca sahātmajā vibho
tvayaiva nāthena muhur vipad-gaṇāt

O Hṛṣīkeśa, master of the senses and Lord of lords, You have released Your mother, Devakī, who was long imprisoned and distressed by the envious King Kaṁsa, and me and my children from a series of constant dangers.

—Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.8.23

Devakī, the mother of Kṛṣṇa and sister of King Kaṁsa, was put into prison along with her husband, Vasudeva, because the envious King was afraid of being killed by Devakī’s eighth son (Kṛṣṇa). The King killed all the sons of Devakī who were born before Kṛṣṇa, but Kṛṣṇa escaped the danger of child-slaughter because He was transferred to the house of Nanda Mahārāja, Lord Kṛṣṇa’s foster father. Kuntīdevī, along with her children, was also saved from a series of dangers. But Kuntīdevī was shown far more favor because Lord Kṛṣṇa did not save the other children of Devakī, whereas He saved the children of Kuntīdevī. This was done because Devakī’s husband, Vasudeva, was living, whereas Kuntīdevī was a widow and there was none to help her except Kṛṣṇa. The conclusion is that Kṛṣṇa bestows more favor upon a devotee who is in greater dangers. Sometimes He puts His pure devotees in such dangers because in that condition of helplessness the devotee becomes more attached to the Lord. The more the attachment is there for the Lord, the more success is there for the devotee.

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108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

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Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

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Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

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Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender (Slokas)

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