The Spiritual Sky (Sanātana Sky)

The Spiritual Sky

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I have always loved this picture since the first time I opened the Bhagavad-gita some 42 years ago. It is a beautiful image of life in the Spiritual Sky, and also, it is a nice graphic description of the 5 types of relationships one can have with the Supreme Lord. The following is a short description, from the Introduction to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, about the eternal nature, and the 5 types of relationships on can have with the Lord.

…In this material world we find that everything is temporary. It comes into being, stays for some time, produces some by-products, dwindles and then vanishes. That is the law of the material world, whether we use as an example this body, or a piece of fruit or anything. But beyond this temporary world there is another world of which we have information. This world consists of another nature which is sanātana, eternal. Jīva is also described as sanātana, eternal, and the Lord is also described as sanātana in the Eleventh Chapter. We have an intimate relationship with the Lord, and because we are all qualitatively one—the sanātana-dhāma, or sky, the sanātana Supreme Personality and the sanātana living entities—the whole purpose of Bhagavad-gītā is to revive our sanātana occupation, or sanātana-dharma, which is the eternal occupation of the living entity. We are temporarily engaged in different activities, but all of these activities can be purified when we give up all these temporary activities and take up the activities which are prescribed by the Supreme Lord. That is called our pure life.

…That destination is called the sanātana sky, the eternal spiritual sky. (from Introduction to Bhagavad-gita As It Is)

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The Florist

Florist and Krsna

…After dressing nicely, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma went to a florist of the name Sudāmā. As soon as They reached the precinct of his house, the florist immediately came out and with great devotion fell down on his face to offer his respectful obeisances. He offered a nice seat to Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma and asked his assistant to bring out flowers and betel nuts smeared with pulp of candana. The florist’s welcome greatly satisfied the Lord.

The florist very humbly and submissively offered his prayers to the Lord, saying, ”My dear Lord, because You have come to my place, I think all my forefathers and all my worshipable superiors are pleased and delivered. My dear Lord, You are the supreme cause of all causes of this cosmic manifestation, but for the benefit of the residents of this earthly planet, You have appeared with Your plenary portion to give protection to Your devotees and annihilate the demons. You are equally disposed as the friend of all living entities; You are the Supersoul, and You do not discriminate between friend and enemy. Yet You are pleased to give Your devotees the special result of their devotional activities. My Lord, I am praying that You please tell me whatever You wish me to do, because I am Your eternal servant. If You will allow me to do something, it will be a great favor to me.“ The florist, Sudāmā, was greatly pleased within his heart by seeing Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma in his place, and thus, as his choicest desire, he made two exquisite garlands of various flowers and presented them to the Lord. Both Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma were very pleased with his sincere service, and Kṛṣṇa offered the florist His salutation and benediction, which He is always prepared to bestow upon the surrendered souls. When the florist was offered benediction, he begged from the Lord that he might remain His eternal servant in devotional service and by such service do good to all living creatures. By this, it is clear that a devotee of the Lord in Kṛṣṇa consciousness should not be simply satisfied by his own advancement in devotional service; he must be willing to work for the welfare of all others. This example was followed by the six Gosvāmīs of Vṛndāvana. It is therefore stated in their prayer, lokānāṁ hita-kāriṇau: Vaiṣṇavas, or devotees of the Lord, are not selfish. Whatever benefit they derive from the Supreme Personality of Godhead as benediction they want to distribute to all other persons. That is the greatest of all humanitarian activities. Being satisfied with the florist, Lord Kṛṣṇa not only gave him benediction for whatever he wanted, but over and above that, He offered him all material opulences, family prosperity, long duration of life, and whatever else his heart desired within the material world.

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Gaurangera Duti Pada

Gauranga duti pada

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…Gauranga refers to Lord Caitanya, who has a fair complexion. One who has a fair complexion is called gaura, and since Lord Caitanya was very fair, just like molten gold, He was also named Gaurasundara. Narottama dasa Thakura says, gaurangera duti pada, jar dhana-sampada, se jane bhakati-rasa-sar. Anyone who has accepted the two lotus feet of Lord Caitanya can understand the true essence of devotional service. Devotional service is very difficult. It cannot be understood by any ordinary man. As it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, out of many thousands of persons who are trying to achieve the perfection of human life, only some actually become perfect and realize the self. And out of many thousands of such self-realized persons, only one can understand Krsna. Without understanding Krsna, how can one engage himself in the service of Krsna? Therefore, the devotional service of Krsna is not an ordinary thing. But fortunately, if one follows in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya (gaurangera duti pada) by following the path shown by Lord Caitanya-the process of simply chanting Hare Krsna-he can very easily understand what devotional service is. (from purport to the song “Gaurangera Duti Pada”)

Full song with Bengali Lyrics, English translation, and purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Radha Krsna Prana Mora

Radha Krishna

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Today marks the Appearance Day of Narottama Dasa Thakura. We honor him today with this beautiful song he composed about the glories of devotional service to Radha and Krishna and Their wonderful pastimes.

Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, my living force! O youthful couple, in life or death I have nothing more than you. On the banks of the Yamunā, in a grove of flowering kadamba trees, I will prepare a golden throne, and seat You there. I will anoint Your dark and fair forms with sandalwood pulp sented with aguru. I will fan You with a peacock tail fan, and see Your two moonlike faces. I will string garlands of mālatī flowers and place them around Your Lordship’s necks, and for Your lotus lips I will offer betel leaves scented with camphor. By the side of Lalitā and Viśākhā, I will stand, ready to fulfill any order of service at their Lotus feet. Narottama dasa, the servant of the servant of the servant of Lord Caitanya, says: “Allow me to engage in these pastimes of devotionas service” (translation from the Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas)

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How to Understand the Lord’s Activities

Founder-Acarya

…We can understand the pastimes of the Lord by following one or some of the authorized devotional processes.

śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
sakhyam ātma-nivedanam
[SB 7.5.23]

“Hearing, chanting and remembering the holy name, form, pastimes, qualities and entourage of the Lord, offering service according to the time, place and performer, worshiping the Deity, offering prayers, always considering oneself the eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa, making friends with Him and dedicating everything unto Him—these are the nine processes of devotional service.” (Bhāg. 7.5.23)

…hearing and chanting, are the beginning of bhakti, devotional service. Therefore it is said: tāni me śraddadhānasya kīrtanyāny anukīrtaya. The word anukīrtaya means to follow the paramparā system… The Supreme Lord is more anxious to give us education and enlightenment than we are to receive them. He gives us His literature, His devotees and the paramparā system, but it is up to us to take advantage of these. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is intended to give society the proper understanding of the Absolute Truth. We are not presenting a manufactured, bogus philosophy. Why should we unnecessarily waste our time concocting some philosophy? There is so much to be learned that has already been given by the supreme authority. All we have to do is take this Vedic literature, try to learn it and distribute it. That is Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mission.

Teachings of Lord Kapila, the Son of Devahūti
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Three, Text 3

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Sanātana Gosvāmī

Sanatana Goswami

This morning I was inclined to do a post about the special mercy of the devotee of the Lord, by whose mercy one can make spiritual advancement. So we chose the chapter from “Teachings of Lord Caitanya” entitled “Sanātana Gosvāmī”

The instructions and teachings of Lord Caitanya are very important for people in general. He teaches the process of devotional service, which is the constitutional occupation of every living entity, for it is every man’s duty to advance in spiritual science. Many subjects were thoroughly discussed in the talks between Lord Caitanya and Sanātana Gosvāmī. Due to the mercy of Lord Caitanya, Sanātana was able to put important questions before Him, and these questions were replied to properly.

“I offer my respectful obeisances unto Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, by whose mercy even a person in the lowest form of life can find direction in transcendental devotional service to the Lord.” (Cc. Madhya 20.1)

…when Sanātana entered the courtyard, Lord Caitanya hurriedly came to see and embrace him. When the Lord embraced him, Sanātana became overwhelmed with spiritual ecstasy, and he said, “My dear Lord, please do not touch me.” But both of them embraced each other and began to cry. Seeing Sanātana and Lord Caitanya acting thus, Candraśekhara was struck with wonder. At length, Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked Sanātana to sit down with Him on a bench. He was touching the body of Sanātana with His hand, and Sanātana asked Him again, “My dear Lord, please do not touch me.”

“I am touching you just for My purification,” the Lord replied, “for you are a great devotee. By your devotional service you can deliver the whole universe and enable everyone to go back to Godhead.”

The Lord proceeded to quote a verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam to the effect that a person who is a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa and is one hundred percent engaged in devotional service is far better than a brāhmaṇa who is versed in all the Vedic literatures but who does not engage in the devotional service of the Lord. Because he is carrying the Supreme Lord within his heart, the devotee can purify everyplace and everything.

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Everyone is Eligible for the Supreme Destination Part II

Krishna-gopakumara

Everyone is Eligible for the Supreme Destination Part II

This is a continuation from yesterdays post because as I continued my reading from Chapter Eleven entitled “Lord Kṛṣṇa’s Entrance into Dvārakā”, it became apparent that:

The Supreme Lord Personality of Godhead is neither impersonal nor an inert object unable to reciprocate the feelings of His devotees. Here the word yathā-vidhi, or “just as it behooves” is significant. He reciprocates “just as it behooves” with His different types of admirers and devotees. Of course, the pure devotees are of one type only because they have no other object for service but the Lord, and therefore the Lord also reciprocates with such pure devotees just as it behooves, namely, He is always attentive to all the matters of His pure devotees. There are others who designate Him as impersonal, and so the Lord also does not take any personal interest. He satisfies everyone in terms of one’s development of spiritual consciousness, and a sample of such reciprocation is exhibited here with His different welcomers.

Yes, this is a beautiful chapter of the Srimad Bhagavatam, and Srila Prabhupada’s Purports are dripping with transcendental Knowledge.

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How to Approach God

Srila Prabhupada

Teachings of Lord Caitanya
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Five

How to Approach God

Actually all Vedic literature directs the human being toward the perfect stage of devotion. The paths of fruitive activities, speculative knowledge and meditation do not lead one to the perfectional stage, but by the process of devotional service the Lord actually becomes approachable. Therefore all Vedic literature recommends that one accept this process. In this regard, Caitanya Mahāprabhu quoted from the Lord’s instructions to Uddhava in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam:

na sādhayati māṁ yogo
na sāṅkhyaṁ dharma uddhava
na svādhyāyas tapas tyāgo
yathā bhaktir mamorjitā

“My dear Uddhava, neither philosophical speculation, nor meditational yoga, nor penances can give Me such pleasure as devotional service practiced by the living entities.” (Bhāg. 11.14.20)

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The Mercy of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

Caitanya Mahaprabhu

…In the Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā the Lord asserts that He appears in every millennium just to reestablish the way of religion. The way of religion is made by the Supreme Lord. No one can manufacture a new path of religion, as is the fashion for certain ambitious persons. The factual way of religion is to accept the Lord as the supreme authority and thus render service unto Him in spontaneous love.

The Lord, however, out of His causeless mercy, because He is more merciful to the suffering living beings than they can expect, appears before them and renovates the principles of devotional service comprised of hearing, chanting, remembering, serving, worshiping, praying, cooperating and surrendering unto Him. Adoption of all the above-mentioned items, or any one of them, can help a conditioned soul get out of the tangle of nescience and thus become liberated from all material sufferings created by the living being illusioned by the external energy. This particular type of mercy is bestowed upon the living being by the Lord in the form of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. (from Purport to SB 1.8.35)

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“One Can Understand Me As I Am, Only By Devotional Service”

Sharma-village-cows-krishna-gopies-gopas-gopas-cowherd-men

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“One Can Understand Me As I Am, Only By Devotional Service”
It Is Not All One and the Same

…Lord Kṛṣṇa told the gopīs, ‘The means of attaining My favor is loving service unto Me, and fortunately you are all thus engaged. Those living beings who render service unto Me are eligible to be transferred to the spiritual world and attain eternal life with knowledge and bliss.’

The fulfillment of human life is summarized in this verse from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.82.44).

And in the Bhagavad-gita

…Lord Krsna told Arjuna, “One can understand Me as I am, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, only by devotional service. And when one is in full consciousness of Me by such devotion, he can enter into the kingdom of God.”

Impersonalists cannot understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead; therefore it is not possible for them to enter into the spiritual kingdom of God and return home, back to Godhead. Actually one attains different results by different means. It is not that all achievements are one and the same.

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New Year’s Resolution

2013 New Year's Resolutions

“A New Year’s resolution is a commitment that a person makes to one or more personal goals, projects, or the reforming of a habit. A key element to a New Year’s resolution that sets it apart from other resolutions is that it is made in anticipation of the New Year and new beginnings.” (Wikipedia definition)

Every year it seems I make the fruitless attempt to write down my New Year’s Resolutions, vowing to do less of this and more of that. But this year, I am just going to try to be a better human being. I am just going to try to develop the qualities of a devotee, which are 26 in number, and try to get myself free from material entanglement and go Back Home, Back to Godhead.

The Twenty-Six Qualities of a Devotee

The Lord is satisfied by the development of the transcendental qualities of the living entities and not by artificial performance of sacrifices and mystic yoga. In other words, unless one is fully qualified to become a pure devotee of the Lord, one cannot expect to be liberated from material entanglement.

These qualities of a devotee, twenty-six in number, are listed by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu:

1) Kind to Everyone, 2) Does not Quarrel with Anyone, 3) Fixed in the Absolute Truth, 4) Equal to Everyone, 5) Faultless, 6) Charitable, 7) Mild, 8) Clean, 9) Simple, without Material Possession, 10) Benevolent, 11) Peaceful, 12) Completely Attached to Krsna, 13) Has no Material Hankering, 14) Meek, 15) Steady, 16) Self-controlled, 17) Does not Eat More than Required, 18) Sane, 19) Respectful, 20) Humble, 21) Grave, 22) Compassionate, 23) Friendly, 24) Poetic, 25) Silent, 26) Expert

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The Face of the Lord is the Embodiment of Beauty

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…The essence of everything is the Supreme Lord: He is called the sāram. And those who sing and talk about Him are called the sāraṅgas, or the pure devotees. The pure devotees are always hankering after the lotus feet of the Lord. The lotus has a kind of honey which is transcendentally relished by the devotees. They are like the bees who are always after the honey. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, the great devotee ācārya of the Gauḍīya-Vaiṣṇava-sampradāya, has sung a song about this lotus honey, comparing himself to the bee: “O my Lord Kṛṣṇa, I beg to offer my prayers unto You. My mind is like the bee, and it is after some honey. Kindly, therefore, give my bee-mind a place at Your lotus feet, which are the resources for all transcendental honey. I know that even big demigods like Brahmā do not see the rays of the nails of Your lotus feet, even though they are engaged in deep meditation for years together. Still, O infallible one, my ambition is such, for You are very merciful to your surrendered devotees. O Mādhava, I know also that I have no genuine devotion for the service of Your lotus feet, but because Your Lordship is inconceivably powerful, You can do what is impossible to be done. Your lotus feet can deride even the nectar of the heavenly kingdom, and therefore I am very much attracted by them. O supreme eternal, please, therefore, let my mind be fixed at Your lotus feet so that eternally I may be able to relish the taste of Your transcendental service.”

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Bhakti-latā-bīja; “The Seed of Devotional Service”

“When a person receives the seed of devotional service, he should take care of it by becoming a gardener and sowing the seed in his heart. If he waters the seed gradually by the process of śravaṇa and kīrtana [hearing and chanting], the seed will begin to sprout.

“As one waters the bhakti-latā-bīja, the seed sprouts, and the creeper gradually increases to the point where it penetrates the walls of this universe and goes beyond the Virajā River between the spiritual world and the material world. It attains brahma-loka, the Brahman effulgence, and, penetrating through that stratum, it reaches the spiritual sky and the spiritual planet Goloka Vṛndāvana.”

“Being situated in one’s heart and being watered by śravaṇa-kīrtana, the bhakti creeper grows more and more. In this way it attains the shelter of the desire tree of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, who is eternally situated in the planet known as Goloka Vṛndāvana in the topmost region of the spiritual sky.”

“The creeper greatly expands in the Goloka Vṛndāvana planet, and there it produces the fruit of love for Kṛṣṇa. Although remaining in the material world, the gardener regularly sprinkles the creeper with the water of hearing and chanting.

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Devotional Service

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…Devotional service means transcendental activities.

Devotional service is not a matter of sentimental speculation or imaginative ecstasy. Its substance is practical activity.

The execution of devotional service is not a matter of idle meditation but practical action in the foreground of spiritual life.

“In the course of traversing the universal creation of Brahmā, some fortunate soul may receive the seed of bhakti-latā, the creeper of devotional service. This is all by the grace of guru and Kṛṣṇa.” (Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya 19.151)

If by fortune one takes advantage of this opportunity to engage in devotional service, the path of liberation immediately opens.

One should accept this opportunity to return home, back to Godhead, very enthusiastically.

The Nectar of Instruction
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Text 3

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Devotional Service and Worship of Kṛṣṇa

…Pure devotees concentrate their minds in Kṛṣṇa consciousness in full devotional service; therefore they are always situated in the transcendental position. Devotional service and worship of Kṛṣṇa are very clearly indicated in the 10th chapter of Bhagavad-gita verses eight to eleven. That is the way of pure devotional service.

Bhagavad-gita As It Is
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 10, Text 8-11

The Opulence of the Absolute

I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who know this perfectly engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.

The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are surrendered to Me, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss enlightening one another and conversing about Me.

To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.

Out of compassion for them, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance.

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The Nine Processes of Devotional Service

“Parīkṣit Mahārāja attained salvation simply by hearing, and Śukadeva Gosvāmī attained salvation simply by chanting. Prahlāda Mahārāja attained salvation by remembering the Lord. The goddess of fortune, Lakṣmīdevī, attained perfection by worshiping the Lord’s lotus feet. Pṛthu Mahārāja attained salvation by worshiping the Deity of the Lord. Akrūra attained salvation by offering prayers, Hanumān by rendering service, Arjuna by establishing friendship with the Lord, and Bali Mahārāja by offering everything to the service of the Lord.”

The Nine Processes of Devotional Service

They are described by Prahlada Maharaja in the 7th Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam as follows:

To hear about Sri Visnu’s transcendental name, His form, His characteristics, His possessions and His pastimes and to hear and chant about His pastimes, to remember them, to serve the lotus feet of the Lord, to respectfully offer service to the Lord, to offer prayers to the Lord, to become His servant, to consider the Lord one’s best friend and to offer Him everything-these nine processes are recognized as pure devotional service.

1. HEARING (sravanam) Maharaja Pariksit(the last seven days of his life, he constantly heard the Srimad Bhagavatam).

2. CHANTING (kirtanam) Sukadeva Goswami(spoke the Bhagavatam to Maharaja Pariksit)

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

king-of-knowledge

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…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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Worship God with Love and Affection

“Kṛṣṇa, You have come to me to take some fruit in exchange for grains. All the grains have fallen, but still You may take whatever You like.” Thus she filled Kṛṣṇa’s palms with whatever fruits He could carry. In exchange, Kṛṣṇa filled her whole basket with jewels and gold.

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

phala-vikrayiṇī tasya
cyuta-dhānya-kara-dvayam
phalair apūrayad ratnaiḥ
phala-bhāṇḍam apūri ca

While Kṛṣṇa was going to the fruit vendor very hastily, most of the grains He was holding fell. Nonetheless, the fruit vendor filled Kṛṣṇa’s hands with fruits, and her fruit basket was immediately filled with jewels and gold.

In Bhagavad-gītā (9.26) Kṛṣṇa says:

patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ
yo me bhaktyā prayacchati
tad ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam
aśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ

Kṛṣṇa is so kind that if anyone offers Him a leaf, a fruit, a flower or some water, He will immediately accept it. The only condition is that these things should be offered with bhakti (yo me bhaktyā prayacchati). Otherwise, if one is puffed up with false prestige, thinking, “I have so much opulence, and I am giving something to Kṛṣṇa,” one’s offering will not be accepted by Kṛṣṇa. The fruit vendor, although a woman belonging to the poor aborigine class, dealt with Kṛṣṇa with great affection, saying, “Kṛṣṇa, You have come to me to take some fruit in exchange for grains. All the grains have fallen, but still You may take whatever You like.” Thus she filled Kṛṣṇa’s palms with whatever fruits He could carry. In exchange, Kṛṣṇa filled her whole basket with jewels and gold.

From this incident one should learn that for anything offered to Kṛṣṇa with love and affection, Kṛṣṇa can reciprocate many millions of times over, both materially and spiritually. The basic principle involved is an exchange of love. Therefore Kṛṣṇa teaches in Bhagavad-gītā (9.27):

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True Love

Today being Valentines Day, and with everyone absorbed in a loving mood, we thought we would post something about True Love.

…Everyone and everything is attracted to Kṛṣṇa–that is the perfect description of Kṛṣṇa’s attraction. The example of the gopīs is very instructive to persons who are trying to be absorbed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. One can very easily associate with Kṛṣṇa simply by remembering His transcendental pastimes. Everyone has a tendency to love someone. That Kṛṣṇa should be the object of love is the central point of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. By constantly chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and remembering the transcendental pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, one can be fully in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and thus make his life sublime and fruitful.

KRSNA The Supreme Personality of Godhead
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 34

The Gopīs’ Feelings of Separation

The gopīs of Vṛndāvana were so attached to Kṛṣṇa that they were not satisfied simply with the rāsa dance at night. They wanted to associate with Him and enjoy His company during the daytime also. When Kṛṣṇa went to the forest with His cowherd boy friends and cows, the gopīs did not physically take part, but their hearts went with Him. And because their hearts went, they were able to enjoy His company through strong feelings of separation. To acquire this strong feeling of separation is the teaching of Lord Caitanya and His direct disciplic succession of Gosvāmīs. When we are not in physical contact with Kṛṣṇa, we can associate with Him like the gopīs, through feelings of separation. Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental form, qualities, pastimes, and entourage are all identical with Him. There are nine different kinds of devotional service. Devotional service to Kṛṣṇa in feelings of separation elevates the devotee to the highest perfectional level, to the level of the gopīs.

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