2014 Ratha Yatra @ New Vrindavan

Radha Vrndavan Chandra 2014 Ratha Yatra @ New Vrindavan 067

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Yesterday, the Ratha Yatra Festival was celebrated at New Vrindavan, West Virginia. Although there were scattered rain showers, and the umbrellas came out, still it was a very auspicious day, and nice event enjoyed by all. Following are some of the pictures I took along the festival rout.

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The Hare Krishna Explosion

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The joyful history of a dynamic transcendental movement
Excerpted from the Back to Godhead Magazine 1969 Vol. 1, Number 26

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare vibrates from a walkup temple on New York’s Lower East Side, from the sidewalks of Haight Ashbury, from Golden Gate Park, from a London flat, from student quarters in Hamburg and Amsterdam, from a storefront in Santa Fe, an exbowling alley in Montreal, a sprawling university campus in Ohio, from Old Vrindaban in India to New Vrindaban in the West Virginia mountains, and from Boston and Buffalo to Los Angeles, Seattle and Vancouver and across the Pacific to Hawaii.

Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. The voices chanting the magic vibrations are invariably young. The chanting, accompanied by khartals (small hand cymbals), tambourines and drums, is often loud and frenetic. The dancing is vigorous. The middle-aged and elderly usually stand in doorways or look through windows, watching in amazement, unaware that they are witnessing a process of spiritual realization that has been practiced on this planet for thousands of years. They do not understand. No one really understands. The chanting just spreads. Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna …

The Hare Krishna Explosion
By Hayagriva dasa

Hayagriva dasa

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Women in ISKCON in Prabhupada’s Times

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This is an older article written by Jyotirmayi devi dasi that was originally posted on Chakra back in 1998. We are posting it here just to include it in the archives and history of The Hare Krishna Movement as founded by Srila Prabhupada. There is some very nice historical information, and pertinent insights by a woman practicing within the society.

…By accepting women in the temples and giving them the brahmacarini status, Prabhupada was not pretending: he gave them all the same rights and duties of the brahmacaris in the guru’s ashrama. The same thing applied when he gave them Brahman initiation. The women devotees had exactly the same spiritual activities, the same tasks, the same possibilities to progress spiritually and they were entitled to the same respect. At that time everything was done according to the abilities and the spiritual advancement of a person and not according to sex. Prabhupada did not make any distinction.

Women in ISKCON in Prabhupada’s Times
by Jyotirmayi Devi Dasi
[Originally posted on Chakra on January 22, 1998]

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Farming With Krsna in Mind

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Farming With Krsna in Mind
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine Vol. 12, No. 11 1977

I just spent the day here at New Vrindavan farm community, discussing plans for the future cow protection program, which will include an Ox barn and training for teams of young oxen, for use in plowing, wood harvesting, and pulling carts and wagons. It was all very inspiring and I am very much eger to become more deeply involved in this important aspect of our philosophy. Personally I have plans to work with some young oxen, build an ox cart, and put them to work. What is that saying…”when the father is employed the family will prosper”…so it is time to engage the bulls in some meaningful activity so the family will prosper and they will become joyful once again.

With this idea in mind, we post this older article from the Back to Godhead Magazine.

“Naturally, cow protection includes bull protection. The bull is our father and the symbol of religion. At present a few boys are working the oxen and hauling wood, plowing fields, and cutting hay. Of course, we do have tractors, but we want to develop skill working the oxen. They are our future.”

“Human prosperity flourishes by natural gifts, and not by gigantic industrial enterprises, “says His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who has founded many Krsna-conscious farming communities all over the world. “The gigantic industrial enterprises are products of a godless civilization, and they cause the destruction of the noble aims of human life…. What we need, therefore, is to be obedient to the laws of the Lord and achieve the perfection of human life by devotional service to Him. “Here’s a look at two ‘ ISKCON farms in action.

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Because He Has Got A Little Independence

Srila Prabhupada

The following is a very famous room conversation that took place in 1976. It contains some very important lessons.

Acyutānanda: What prompts the soul to misuse his independence or improperly use…?

Prabhupāda: Because he has got little independence. Yathecchasi tathā, he has got this.

Acyutānanda: Why do some misuse it and some never misuse it?

Prabhupāda: That depends on him. If one is determined that “I shall only act according to the advice of my Guru Mahārāja,” then he’s perfect. One has to submit like Arjuna said, śiṣyas te ‘haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam [Bg. 2.7]. Otherwise he’ll argue….

Devotee: Even nitya-siddha has guru.

Yaśomatīnandana: Even the liberated soul, nitya-siddha.

Prabhupāda: Liberated soul never says that “I am liberated.” As soon as he says “liberated,” he’s a rascal. A liberated soul will never say that “I am liberated.” That is liberated. Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He is God—guru more mūrkha dekhi’ karila śāsan [Cc. Ādi 7.71]. “My Guru Mahārāja saw Me a fool number one, and he has chastised Me.” He’s God. This is the example. If one remains always a servant ever-lastingly of guru, then he is liberated. And as soon as he thinks that he is liberated, he’s a rascal. That is the teaching of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Guru more mūrkha dekhi’. Caitanya Mahāprabhu is mūrkha? Why He’s posing Himself that mūrkha? “I am fool number one.” That means that is liberation. You must be ready always to be chastised by guru. Then he’s liberated. And as soon as he thinks that “I am beyond this chastisement, I am liberated,” he’s a rascal. Why Caitanya Mahāprabhu says guru more mūrkha dekhi’ karila śāsan? This is sahajiyā-vāda. He is thinking, “Oh I have become liberated. I don’t require any direction of my guru. I’m liberated.” Then he’s rascal. Why this Gauḍīya Maṭha failed? Because they tried to become more than guru. He, before passing away, he gave all direction and never said that “This man should be the next ācārya.” But these people, just after his passing away they began to fight, who shall be ācārya. That is the failure. They never thought, “Why Guru Mahārāja gave us instruction so many things, why he did not say that this man should be ācārya?” They wanted to create artificially somebody ācārya and everything failed. They did not consider even with common sense that if Guru Mahārāja wanted to appoint somebody as ācārya, why did he not say? He said so many things, and this point he missed? The real point? And they insist upon it. They declared some unfit person to become ācārya. Then another man came, then another, ācārya, another ācārya. So better remain a foolish person perpetually to be directed by Guru Mahārāja. That is perfection. And as soon as he learns the Guru Mahārāja is dead, “Now I am so advanced that I can kill my guru and I become guru.” Then he’s finished. (from room conversation August 16, 1976)

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Disappearance Day of Jayananda Thakur

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Today we honor the disappearance day of an extraordinary personality Jayananda das Thakur. Jayananda was a very dear friend of mine and the closest thing I ever had to a brother in this life. He took me under his wing and nourished my Krishna Consciousness. I am eternally indebted to him for instilling in me a service attitude, and love for Srila Prabhupada.

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The Guru Issue

Hansadutta

My good friend and Godbrother Hansadutta Prabhu, has asked me to post this nice paper written by H.H. Bhakti Charu Swami on “Correcting ISKCON’s Guru System”, and his reply. Both the article and response have been alive in cyberspace for some time now, but the the Truth bears repeating.

Response to Bhakti Caru Swami
by Hansadutta das
[Hansadutta's response was also posted at ISKCON Bangalore's website]

Dear Bhakti Caru Maharaja,

Please accept my most humble obeisances, all glories to Srila Prabhupada. It’s been some years since we met and associated in person (Mayapur 2003, later in Berkeley, California temple). I think of you often with fond memories. Sometimes you asked me how “The Guru problem might be solved.” We would discuss, but nothing came of it. Now you have publicly posed the issue, so I feel I should make some comments that might shed some light on the matter. Please allow me to go thru your presentation and make some comments.

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Śrīla Prabhupāda Stotram

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Śrīla Prabhupāda Stotram
(Composed by Ananta Dasa Sastri)

Ananta Dasa Sastri was a disciple of Srila Prabhupāda. He used to travel with Srila Prabhupāda in India and he was in the Sanskrit department assisting Srila Prabhupāda in translation work. He compiled five slokas which describe much of Srila Prabhupāda’s divine character and his divine mission also.Prabhupāda very much liked these five slokas. We used to sing them every morning before Guru Puja by his vyasasana, so some of you may remember them.

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George Harrison Interview 1982

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In the following conversation, taped at George’s home in England on September 4, 1982, George reveals some memorable experiences he has had chanting Hare Krishna and describes in detail his deep personal realizations about the chanting. He reveals what factors led him to produce “The Hare Krishna Mantra” record, “My Sweet Lord,” and the LPs All Things Must Pass and Living in the Material World, which were all influenced to a great extent by the Hare Krishna chanting and philosophy. He speaks lovingly and openly about his association with His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya (spiritual master) of the Hare Krishna movement. In the following interview George speaks frankly about his personal philosophy regarding the Hare Krishna movement, music, yoga, reincarnation, karma, the soul, God, and Christianity. The conversation concludes with his fond remembrances of a visit to the birthplace of Lord Krishna in Vrndavana, India, home of the Hare Krishna mantra, and with George discussing some of his celebrity friends’ involvement with the mantra now heard and chanted around the world.

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Meaning of the Auspicious Marks on the Lotus Feet of Sri Nityananda Prabhu

Nityananda lotus feet

nitai-pada-kamala
koti-candra-susitala

The lotusfeet of Lord Nityananda
are cooling like a million moons

Meaning of the Auspicious Marks on the Lotus Feet of Sri Nityananda Prabhu
Compiled and translated by Dasaratha-suta dasa

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Srila Prabhupada’s Visit to Mexico

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I was talking with one devotee the other day about Puerto Vallarta Mexico. We both agreed that it was a very beautiful and magical place and the devotee informed me that Srila Prabhupada had once visited there, liked it very much and said it reminded him of the birth place of Bhaktivinoda Thakur. This prompted me to do a search on Srila Prabhupada’s visit to Mexico…

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Vrinda Kunda Fest Parikrama Schedule

vrinda devi

The following was posted earlier today on the Sampradaya Sun. As a service to our readers and all vaisnava devotees of the lord, we repost it here.

Vrinda Kunda Fest Parikrama Schedule
by Denna Bandhu das
Jan 29, 2014 — VRINDAVAN DHAM (SUN) —

Next month will be 11 years since the opening of our Vrinda Kunda Temple! To celebrate, we will do special parikramas to the Holy Places of Braja. The program will culminate with our famous Kalash Yatra, an ecstatic Sankirtan procession with the ladies carrying water pots with coconuts on their heads. Programs will be going on from 14-27 Feb.

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Sankirtan Stories

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The following is a very nice story which appeared as a Back to Godhead Magazine Article back in 1998. It was written by Locanananda dasa and he recounts the true events that occurred while out chanting on a hot summers day, in the streets of New York City.

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By His Example 2nd Edition

By His Example

My dear friend and Godbrother, Sriman Gurudas Prabhu, has just sent me a box of his new ‘2nd Edition printing’ of the renowned classic “By His Example”, with new stories never before published. I am pleased to offer it for sale, from our web site http://www.theharekrishnamovement.com and hope it will be recieved by the vaisnava community. It is filled with wonderful stories and memories, as well as accounts of Prabhupada’s glories. In his own words…

“This book is not meant to be a biography, but rather a transcendental medium that allows both those who knew him and those who never had a chance to meet Prabhupada to experience his humor and compassion, to come into closer contact with his vani and vapu. Prabhupada once said, “Krishna consciousness means happiness.” I hope that you may derive some happiness, inspiration, encouragement, and transcendental ecstasy from this rendering.” (Gurudas)

By His Example

The Wit and Wisdom of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

by Gurudas

Excerpt from Preface; “Radha and Krishna have guided this book, a glorification of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the kindest, wisest, most determined, noncompromising, open-minded personality I have ever come in contact with. This book is also for and in glorification of all the devotees who have embarked on the path of Krishna consciousness. My heart goes out to all devotees, you who have become tender-hearted by hearing ancient, transcendental sounds and by accepting Sri Sri Radha Krishna’s benediction and effulgence” -Gurudas

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Gopinatha, Lord of the Gopis

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Gopinatha
by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura
translated from Bengali by Acyutananda Svami

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is one of the most important spiritual masters in the Krsna consciousness line of disciplic succession. His devotional songs and poems express the perfectional emotions of a pure devotee of Lord Krsna (Gopinatha).

O Gopinatha, Lord of the gopis, please hear my prayer. I am a materialistic rascal, always full of lust. I have no good qualifications.

O Gopinatha! You are my only resort. As Your eternal servant, I take shelter of Your lotus feet.

O Gopinatha! How can I uplift myself? I don’t know anything regarding devotional service. I am weak-minded and have fallen into a pit of illusion.

O Gopinatha! Everything here is but Your illusory energy. I have no power or pure knowledge, and and I am bound by a material body.

O Gopinatha! I desire to remain always at Your lotus feet. Please take this sinner, weeping and weeping, and show me Your mercy.

O Gopinatha! You can do anything. You have purified the most wicked by Your power, but who is more wicked than me?

O Gopinatha! You are the vessel of kindness. You enter into this mundane world and display Your sublime pastimes for the sake of the fallen souls.

O Gopinatha! I am the sinner of sinners. Yet I sit waiting for You to take me, for many demons have attained Your lotus feet.

O Gopinatha! Destroy the miseries of this world! I am strung on a necklace of births and deaths and cannot bear the kicking of maya.

O Gopinatha! I am a servant of lust, entangled in the net of material desire which has sprung up in my heart.

O Gopinatha! When will I wake up and cast this enemy of lust far from me? Then only will You be revealed to me in my heart.

O Gopinatha! I am Your own. By leaving Your lotus feet, forgetting Your treasures, I have served only maya.

O Gopinatha! You know everything. Take me to Your lotus feet and punish Your servant.

O Gopinatha! Is it to Your liking to reject me and not show me Your kindness?

O Gopinatha! I am the greatest fool. I don’t at all know what is good for me. I cannot understand anything. This is my fate.

O Gopinatha! You are the greatest intellect. Not considering that I am Your servant, judge me without bias.

O Gopinatha! I have no means of benefiting myself. By Your mercy and kindness, please pick me up from this miserable world and take me to You.

O Gopinatha! I have fallen into this dark world. Bound by wealth, wife and sons, I am feeling the pain of lust.

O Gopinatha! I am going mad! Never caring for spiritual practices, I am always unconscious and deeply sunk in the muck of sense gratification.

O Gopinatha! I surrender unto You. All my endeavors are a useless waste of time. Now I surrender unto You.

O Gopinatha! How shall I reach the goal? My mind is overwhelmed by the powerful senses. I cannot shake off attachment to worldly pleasures.

O Gopinatha! Please reside in my heart. Destroy these dangerous obstacles, correct my mind and guide me to Your own true path.

O Gopinatha! Please let Your glance fall on me. I am helpless, but You are Hrsikesa, the Lord of the senses. Please control my senses and pull me out of this world of dangers.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura prays: O Gopinatha! My voice is faltering. I must throw off these shackles and catch hold of Your mercy.

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Sriman Vibhu Chaitanya Prabhu

Vibhu Chaitanya Prabhu

I was at my Facebook page this morning and there was this nice remembrance of Vibhu Chaitanya Prabhu that was written by Deena Bandhu Prabhu with the above beautiful picture. I couldn’t resist making it a permanent post.

Sriman Vibhu Chaitanya Prabhu
by Deena Bandhu dasa

Our very dear Godbrother Vibhu Chaitanya Prabhu’s 6th Disappearance anniversary was celebrated today. One of the sweetest devotees I’ve ever known. Prabhupada told him he didn’t have to chant rounds, just cook for Krishna Balaram and sing! So from 3am to 10pm with a break for lunch and rest, you could find him in the Deity kitchen singing the most relishable melodies of Hare Krishna and cooking for his Lords! Even up to old age (90+)! Sadly came the day he couldn’t do it anymore, so he served caranamrita for a few years! When he firmly grasped your arm to put it in your palm, it was like transcendental electricity! Finally he couldn’t even walk so here you see him sitting in his wonderful bhajan kutir, that he made look just like Goloka! Vibhu Chaitanya Prabhu ki jaya!

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The Rtvik Representative Of The Acharya

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The following is an article, I have wanted to include for some time now, which was written by Krsnacandra Prabhu and posted on his page Prabhupadvision.com. In light of our recent post entitled Sri Madhu Pandit’s Official Reply to the EC we feel it is timely, and of utmost importance to our society that we understand the issues. Although our page is not intended as a political forum, it is a tool in the mission of our spiritual master, for the propagation of The Hare Krishna Movement or Krishna Consciousness.

Now that Śrīla Prabhupāda has named these representatives Temple Presidents may henceforward send recommendations for first and second initiation to whichever of these eleven representatives are nearest their Temple.

After considering the recommendation, these representatives many accept the devotee as an initiated disciple of Śrīla Prabhupāda by giving a spiritual name, or in the case of a second initiation, by chanting on the Gāyatrī thread just as Śrīla Prabhupāda had done.

The name of a newly initiated disciple should be sent by the representative who has accepted him or her to Śrīla Prabhupāda, to be included in Divine Grace’s “Initiated Disciples” book. (from July 9th letter)

The Rtvik Representative Of The Acharya
by Kṛṣṇacandra Dāsa – Vṛndāvan:

Shortly after His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Śrīla Prabhupāda entered into his Samādhi līlā in 1977; 11 of his senior disciples and members of the GBC who held the official position of representatives of His Divine Grace in 1st and 2nd spiritual initiations [as per July 9th Document], without authority and without an order by His Divine Grace announced themselves to be pure devotees of the Lord and forcibly seized the titles, roles and functions of acharyas and Initiating Spiritual Masters of ISKCON.

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Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa’s Official Reply to EC

Madhu Pandit das

This is the ongoing dispute between ISKCON Bangalore and ISKCON Mumbai with Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa’s official reply to EC, followed by the EC Letter to Madhu Pandit Dasa. Hopefully all this will be settleded up someday, and devotees can go back to serving the mission of Srila Prabhupada and Lord Caitanya, and work together again in the spirit of cooperation.

Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa’s official reply to EC
By: Madhu Pandit Dasa, Bangalore.

Dear Tamohara prabhu, Anuttama prabhu, and Praghosa prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

We beg to acknowledge your letter dated 27th Oct 2013 addressed to three of us. I had immediately replied to your above letter on 28th October stating that we will respond to it soon. I noticed several discrepancies vis-a-vis what transpired in the meeting as you have stated. There were many things in the your letter which did not represent accurately and completely what transpired in our discussion in Chennai with HH Jayapataka Swami, HH Bhanu Swami and Dayaram Das. Probably it is due to miscommunication and partial communication from the source where you got the information (from one of the bureau members). It is understandable considering that it is second hand information and those who presented it also probably wanted to dilute it hoping against hope for some serious reforms in ISKCON and was shooting off our shoulders to achieve the same.

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Taking Credit Where Credit’s Due

Rupanuga-Prabhu and Srila Prabhupada

Here is another nice article by Sriman Rupanuga Prabhu. This deals with the book changes issue, particularly, the revised 1983 Bhagavad-gita. This book change issue is very important for the spiritual welfare of all future generations of devotees and interested persons. It is worth a careful read.

Taking Credit Where Credit’s Due
by Rupanuga das (ACBSP)

The revised and enlarged edition of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is (BGAII), as published by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT) 1983, disregards the academic community’s protocols or standards governing the revised editions of the books. According to the guidelines now widely accepted and practiced by publishers and academicians, the names of editors and co-authors of such newly revised editions are to be included along with dates. This distinguishes such a 2nd edition from a publication which is only a second printing of an author’s original first edition.

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Our Ever Well Wisher

Srila Prabhupada with young vaisnava

Remembering Srila Prabhupada
by Sita devi-dasi
Excerpted from ‘Back To Godhead’ magazine

I had the good fortune to be in Srila Prabhupada’s room when he was visiting the Mexico City temple in 1974. At that time a disciple who had strayed away had returned and was asking Srila Prabhupada to forgive him. He said he was afraid that Srila Prabhupada might have rejected him forever. The entire room fell silent. Srila Prabhupada lowered his head thoughtfully for a moment. Then he looked up and said, “Krsna is God, and if He likes He can spread Krsna consciousness all over the world in a second, without the help of anyone. But I am not God. I am simply a servant of God, so I require assistance. If someone helps me even a little, I am eternally indebted to him. You have helped me very much, so how can I reject you?” We were all moved by Srila Prabhupada’s humility and forgiveness.

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Previous Older Entries

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

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The Hare Krishna Cookbook

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

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Srimad Bhagavatam Online

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Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

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Important Slokas from the Brahma-samhita

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Slokas from the Sri Isopanisad

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Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

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Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender (Slokas)

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