Radhastami; Srimati Radharani’s Appearance Day

Srimati Radharani

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Today we honor the appearance day of Srimati Radharani (Radhastami).  We share with you a lecture given by Srila Prabhupada, given on Srimati Radharani’s appearance day, in London, September 18, 1969.

…Rādhārāṇī is hari-priyā, very dear to Kṛṣṇa. So if we approach Kṛṣṇa through Rādhārāṇī, through the mercy of Rādhārāṇī, then it becomes very easy. If Rādhārāṇī recommends that “This devotee is very nice,” then Kṛṣṇa immediately accepts, however fool I may be. Because it is recommended by Rādhārāṇī, Kṛṣṇa accepts. Therefore in Vṛndāvana you’ll find all the devotees, they’re chanting more Rādhārāṇī’s name than Kṛṣṇa’s. Wherever you’ll go, you’ll find the devotees are addressing, “Jaya Rādhe.” You’ll find still in Vṛndāvana. They are glorifying Rādhārāṇī. They’re more interested, worshiping Rādhārāṇī. Because however fallen I may be, if some way or other I can please Rādhārāṇī, then it is very easy for me to understand Kṛṣṇa. (Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s Appearance Day Lecture, London, September 18, 1969

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Advanced Knowledge

Nectar of Instruction

Continuing with our series on the Nectar of Inststuction (Upadeśāmṛta), we are posting Text 10, the very important instructions given by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī on advanced knowledge of the higher values of life.

…The gopīs are exalted above all the advanced devotees because they are always totally dependent upon Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the transcendental cowherd boy. Among the gopīs, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is the most dear to Kṛṣṇa. Her kuṇḍa [lake] is as profoundly dear to Lord Kṛṣṇa as this most beloved of the gopīs. Who, then, will not reside at Rādhā-kuṇḍa and, in a spiritual body surcharged with ecstatic devotional feelings [aprākṛtabhāva], render loving service to the divine couple Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Govinda, who perform Their aṣṭakālīya-līlā, Their eternal eightfold daily pastimes. Indeed, those who execute devotional service on the banks of Rādhā-kuṇḍa are the most fortunate people in the universe. (The Nectar of Instruction Text 10)

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Ratha-yātrā

Srila Prabhupada at Ratha Yatra

…So if we want to have eternal life, full of knowledge and blissfulness, then we must take to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Our, this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is the greatest welfare activities in the human society. We are giving information to every man, without any discrimination of cast, creed, or color, that every human being especially, not only human being, all living entities, including the animals, beasts, birds, trees, aquatics—everyone—they can achieve to the highest perfection of life by this Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But especially the extra intelligence of the human being can be utilized to realize Kṛṣṇa. If we don’t do that, we are missing a great opportunity. So our request to everyone is to understand this philosophy of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. (Ratha-yātrā Lecture, June 27, 1971, San Francisco)

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Nityanavanavāyamāna or Transcendental Subject Matter

Krsna and the cowherd boys

I am so much enjoying my reading of the Krsna Book every morning. Although I have read and re-read it so many times before, it is more relishable with each new reading.

It is said that it is the nature of a devotee to constantly apply his mind, energy, words, ears, etc., in hearing and chanting about Kṛṣṇa. This is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and for one who is rapt in hearing and chanting Kṛṣṇa, the subject matter never becomes hackneyed or old. That is the significance of transcendental subject matter in contrast to material subject matter. Material subject matter becomes stale, and one cannot hear a certain subject for a long time; he wants change. But as far as transcendental subject matter is concerned, it is called nityanavanavāyamāna. This means that one can go on chanting and hearing about the Lord and never feel tired but will remain fresh and eager to hear more and more.

It is the duty of the spiritual master to disclose all confidential subject matter to the inquisitive and sincere disciple.

And thus in the Krsna Book, Srila Prabhupada reveals the activities of the Supreme Person Krsna as is evident from the following excerpt:

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Krsna and Balarama Nectar

Krsna and Balaram

When I saw this beautiful image of Krsna and Balarama, my mind immediately went to the Krsna Book. So I pulled out some of the pastimes of the two transcendental brothers to share with you today.

…Accompanied by the cowherd boys and Balarāma, Kṛṣṇa brought forward the cows and played on His flute through the forest of Vṛndāvana, which was full of flowers, vegetables, and pasturing grass. The Vṛndāvana forest was as sanctified as the clear mind of a devotee and was full of bees, flowers and fruits. There were chirping birds and clear water lakes with waters that could relieve one of all fatigues. Sweet flavored breezes blew always, refreshing the mind and body. Kṛṣṇa, with His friends and Balarāma, entered the forest and, seeing the favorable situation, enjoyed the atmosphere to the fullest extent. Kṛṣṇa saw all the trees, overloaded with fruits and fresh twigs, coming down to touch the ground as if welcoming Him by touching His lotus feet. He was very pleased by the behavior of the trees, fruits and flowers, and He began to smile realizing their desires. (Chapter 15 Killing of Dhenukasura)

…One day, when Kṛṣṇa, along with Balarāma, was maintaining the calves in the forest, They saw some cows grazing on the top of Govardhana Hill. The cows could see down into the valley where the calves were being taken care of by the boys. Suddenly, on sighting their calves, the cows began to run towards them. They leaped downhill with joined front and rear legs. The cows were so melted with affection for their calves that they did not care about the rough path from the top of Govardhana Hill down to the pasturing ground. They began to approach the calves with their milk bags full of milk, and they raised their tails upwards. When they were coming down the hill, their milk bags were pouring milk on the ground out of intense maternal affection for the calves, although they were not their own calves. These cows had their own calves, and the calves that were grazing beneath Govardhana Hill were larger; they were not expected to drink milk directly from the milk bag but were satisfied with the grass. Yet all the cows came immediately and began to lick their bodies, and the calves also began to suck milk from the milk bags. There appeared to be a great bondage of affection between the cows and calves. (Chapter 13 The Stealing of the Boys and Calves by Brahma)

…Kṛṣṇa was very pleased with the atmosphere of the forest where flowers bloomed and bees and drones hummed very jubilantly. While the birds, trees and branches were all looking very happy, Kṛṣṇa, tending the cows, accompanied by Śrī Balarāma and the cowherd boys… (Chapter 21 The Gopīs Attracted by the Flute)

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The Sankirtan Movement

Lord Caitanya Kirtan

I love reading all these letter written by Srila Prabhupada to his aspiring disciples, and the following letter written to Susan Beckman is very sweet.

…Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the incarnation of Godhead in this age has delivered the medicine for all problems of the world by his introducing the Sankirtan movement. Sankirtan means to chant that Holy names of the Lord and to give up all other engagements. The chanting is a process of purification. Just like we use soap to cleanse the body, this is material, but the chanting is spiritual cleansing.

…The conclusion is that one should learn the art of chanting the Holy name of Krishna 24 hours a day and that alone is the remedy for all problems of material existence. How is it possible to chant 24 hours a day? Lord Chaitanya gave the hint, “One can chant the holy name of God in a humble state of mind, thinking himself lower than the straw in the street, more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all kinds of sense of false prestige, and always ready to offer all respects to others. In such a humble state of mind one can chant the Holy name of God constantly.” So I cannot give you any better advice for your problem, simply chant Hare Krishna and everything will be all right. (Letter to Susan Beckman)

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If By Chance We Meet A Saintly Person…

Prabhupada

…Sometimes an ever-liberated personal associate of the Supreme Personality of Godhead descends into this universe just as the Lord descends. Although working for the liberation of conditioned souls, the messenger of the Supreme Lord remains untouched by the material energy. Generally ever-liberated personalities live in the spiritual world as associates of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and they are known as kṛṣṇa-pāriṣada, associates of the Lord. Their only business is enjoying Lord Kṛṣṇa’s company, and even though such eternally liberated persons come within this material world to serve the Lord’s purpose, they enjoy Lord Kṛṣṇa’s company without stoppage. The ever-liberated person who works on Kṛṣṇa’s behalf enjoys Lord Kṛṣṇa’s company through his engagement.

… The conditioned soul subjected to the threefold material miseries is ceaselessly kicked by māyā, and this is his disease. If by chance he meets a saintly person who works on Kṛṣṇa’s behalf to deliver conditioned souls, and if he agrees to abide by his order, he can gradually approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa.(from purport to Madhya-lila 22.14-15)

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Harinama Dikska Written Test Question Paper

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Harinama Dikska Question Paper

Sometime back, we published the “Harinama Diksha Reference Material and Study Guide“. Today we share with you the “Harinama Dikska Question Paper”. This was put out by the devotees at ISKCON Bangalore, and is very interesting. I won’t say anymore about it now, other than to say it is worth taking a few minutes to ‘take the test’, by answering the few basic questions.

click on following link

Harinam_Diksha_Question_Paper

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Qualities of a Vaiṣṇava Devotee of the Lord

Krishna and His Pure Devotee Srila Prabhupada

I like this picture very much and it became my meditation this morning. I began to think what it was, that first attracted me to Srila Prabhupada and the Hare Krishna Movement, or Krsna Consciousness. And it was the idea of becoming a better person, that first attracted me.

…Any man who has genuine devotion to the Lord has all the good qualities which are found in godly persons or in the demigods, whereas the nondevotee, however advanced he may be in material qualifications by education and culture, lacks in godly qualities (from purport Bg. 1.28)

Śrī Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja, the author of Caitanya-caritāmṛta, says that all good qualities become manifest in the body of a Vaiṣṇava and that only by the presence of these good qualities can one distinguish a Vaiṣṇava from a non-Vaiṣṇava. Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja lists the following twenty-six good qualities of a Vaiṣṇava: (1) He is very kind to everyone. (2) He does not make anyone his enemy. (3) He is truthful. (4) He is equal to everyone. (5) No one can find any fault in him. (6) He is magnanimous. (7) He is mild. (8) He is always clean. (9) He is without possessions. (10) He works for everyone’s benefit. (11) He is very peaceful. (12) He is always surrendered to Kṛṣṇa. (13) He has no material desires. (14) He is very meek. (15) He is steady. (16) He controls his senses. (17) He does not eat more than required. (18) He is not influenced by the Lord’s illusory energy. (19) He offers respect to everyone. (20) He does not desire any respect for himself. (21) He is very grave. (22) He is merciful. (23) He is friendly. (24) He is poetic. (25) He is expert. (26) He is silent. (from purport to SB 5.18.12)

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The Original Supreme Personality

Radha Krishna Bhava

This morning I was reading from the Srimad-Bhagavatam and the purport directed my attention to the verse from the Bhagavad-gita;Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My transcendental nature and My supreme dominion over all that be.. So I went to the Bhagavad-gita and read again this very important verse and purport, and we share it with you today…

…it is clear that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, although appearing like a human being, is not a common man. The Personality of Godhead, who conducts the creation, maintenance and annihilation of the complete cosmic manifestation, cannot be a human being. Yet there are many foolish men who consider Kṛ,sṇa to be merely a powerful man and nothing more. Actually, He is the original Supreme Personality, as is confirmed in the Brahma-saṁhitā (iśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛsṇaḥ); He is the Supreme Lord. (from purport Bg.9.11)

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“God is Great”

KRSNA Book

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This morning my attention was drawn to the Krsna Book. The book was laying on my book stand unopened, but it was so attractive, that I just had to open it, and read the Preface again. Back in the early 70’s, this was the first book I received from a devotee at the Chicago O Hara Airport, and I remember when I first opened it, and began to read this Preface, I was immediately convinced that Krsna was God. Immediately! Such is the power of the words of the pure devotee; Srila Prabhupada.

In these Western countries, when someone sees the cover of a book like Kṛṣṇa, he immediately asks, “Who is Kṛṣṇa? Who is the girl with Kṛṣṇa?” etc.

The immediate answer is that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. How is that? Because He conforms in exact detail to descriptions of the Supreme Being, the Godhead. In other words, Kṛṣṇa is the Godhead because He is all-attractive. Outside the principle of all-attraction, there is no meaning to the word Godhead. How is it one can be all-attractive? First of all, if one is very wealthy, if he has great riches, he becomes attractive to the people in general. Similarly, if someone is very powerful, he also becomes attractive, and if someone is very famous, he also becomes attractive, and if someone is very beautiful or wise or unattached to all kinds of possessions, he also becomes attractive. So from practical experience we can observe that one is attractive due to 1) wealth, 2) power, 3) fame, 4) beauty, 5) wisdom, and 6) renunciation. One who is in possession of all six of these opulences at the same time, who possesses them to an unlimited degree, is understood to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (from Preface to “Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead”)
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Sankirtan Stories

302_-_BTG_Year-1998_Volume-32_Number-02_Page_01

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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Arunodaya Kirtana (part two)

Chaitanya-Mahaprabhu

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Arunodaya Kirtana (part two)
by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

Lord Gaurānga is calling, “Wake up, sleeping souls! Wake up, sleeping souls! How long will you sleep in the lap of the witch called Māyā? You have forgotten the way of devotional service and are lost in the world of birth and death. I have descended just to save you; other than Myself you have no friend in this world. I have brought the medicine that will wipe out the disease of illusion from which you are suffering. Take this mahā-mantra-Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Thākura says: “I fall at the Lord’s feet, having taken this mahā-mantra.”

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The Most Confidential Part of Knowledge

Bhagavad-gita slokas

Because you are My very dear friend, I am speaking to you the most confidential part of knowledge. Hear this from Me, for it is for your benefit.

Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.

…”Just always think of Me.”…This is the most important instruction in all Vedic literature. What Kṛṣṇa is saying in this connection is the most essential part of knowledge, and it should be carried out not only by Arjuna but by all living entities.

…The most confidential part of knowledge is that one should become a pure devotee of Kṛṣṇa and always think of Him and act for Him. One should not become an official meditator. Life should be so molded that one will always have the chance to think of Kṛṣṇa. One should always act in such a way that all his daily activities are in connection with Kṛṣṇa. He should arrange his life in such a way that throughout the twenty-four hours he cannot but think of Kṛṣṇa. And the Lord’s promise is that anyone who is in such pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness will certainly return to the abode of Kṛṣṇa, where he will be engaged in the association of Kṛṣṇa face to face. This most confidential part of knowledge is spoken to Arjuna because he is the dear friend of Kṛṣṇa. Everyone who follows the path of Arjuna can become a dear friend to Kṛṣṇa and obtain the same perfection as Arjuna.

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Childhood Pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa

Damodara pastimes

Within the house of Nanda Mahārāja, the cowherd ladies would enjoy seeing the pastimes of the babies Rāma and Kṛṣṇa. The babies would catch the ends of the calves’ tails, and the calves would drag Them here and there. When the ladies saw these pastimes, they certainly stopped their household activities and laughed and enjoyed the incidents. (SB 10.8.24)

These childhood pastimes of Krsna are so sublime and pleasing to the consciousness. We will continue to post Krsna’s childhood pastimes throughout the duration of the “Month of Damodara”.

…both Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa began to crawl on Their hands and knees. When They were crawling like that, They pleased Their mothers. The bells tied to Their waist and ankles sounded fascinating, and They would move around very pleasingly. Sometimes, just like ordinary children, They would be frightened by others and would immediately hurry to Their mothers for protection. Sometimes They would fall into the clay and mud of Vṛndāvana and would approach Their mothers smeared with clay and saffron. They were actually smeared with saffron and sandalwood pulp by Their mothers, but due to crawling over muddy clay, They would simultaneously smear Their bodies with clay. As soon as They would come crawling to Their mothers, Yaśodā and Rohiṇī would take Them on their laps and, covering the lower portion of their saris, allow Them to suck their breasts. When the babies were sucking their breasts, the mothers would see small teeth coming in. Thus their joy would be intensified to see their children grow. Sometimes the naughty babies would crawl up to the cowshed, catch the tail of a calf and stand up. The calves, being disturbed, would immediately begin running here and there, and the children would be dragged over clay and cow dung. To see this fun, Yaśodā and Rohiṇī would call all their neighboring friends, the gopīs. Upon seeing these childhood pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa, the gopīs would be merged in transcendental bliss. In their enjoyment they would laugh very loudly. (excerpted from Krsna Book Chapter 8)

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One Who Knows Kṛṣṇa Knows Everything

Akrura

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This mornings post is actually about the picture. I love this image and just wanted to put it on our page. And the words from Srila Prabhupada’s Kṛṣṇa Book, are like the music to the song.

…Akrūra said, ”My dear Lord, all wonderful things that are happening within this world, either in the sky or in the water or on the land, are factually appearing in Your universal form. So when I have seen You, what wonderful things have I not seen?“ This statement confirms the Vedic version that one who knows Kṛṣṇa knows everything, and one who has seen Kṛṣṇa has seen everything, regardless of how wonderful a thing may be. ”My dear Lord,“ Akrūra continued, ”there cannot be anything more wonderful than Your transcendental form. When I have seen Your transcendental form, what is there left to see?“

When passing from Vṛndāvana to Mathurā, all passersby along the way who saw Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma could not help but look at Them again and again. In the meantime, the other inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, headed by Nanda and Upananda, had already reached Mathurā by going through forests and rivers, and they were awaiting the arrival of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma.

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Govinda

Govinda

I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is Śyāmasundara, Kṛṣṇa Himself with inconceivable innumerable attributes, whom the pure devotees see in their heart of hearts with the eye of devotion tinged with the salve of love. (Bs 5.38)

…The phrase “in their hearts” means Kṛṣṇa is visible in proportion as their hearts are purified by the practice of devotion. The sum and substance of this śloka is that the form of Kṛṣṇa, who is Śyāmasundara, Naṭavara (Best Dancer), Muralīdhara (Holder of the Flute) and Tribhaṅga (Triple-bending), is not a mental concoction but is transcendental, and is visible with the eye of the soul of the devotee under trance. (from purport)

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Kṛṣṇa Erects the Dvārakā Fort

Krsna in Battle 2

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I often lament that as a child growing up my hero’s were fictional characters, like Flash Gordan and Superman, without any Krsna Consciousness. And I often think how fortunate are the children who grew up instead with stories from the Krsna Book, or the Mahabharata. With great battle scenes, real drama, and romance. Not just fictional stories but eternal pastimes of the Lord and His devotees. Here is one such example:

…In order to fight with Kṛṣṇa, Jarāsandha surrounded Him from all sides with great military strength, and the sun appeared covered by the cloudy air and dust. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa, the supreme sun, was covered by the military strength of Jarāsandha. Kṛṣṇa’s and Balarāma’s chariots were marked with pictures of Garuḍa and palm trees. The women of Mathurā were all standing on the tops of the houses and palaces and gates to see the wonderful fight, but when Kṛṣṇa’s chariot was surrounded by Jarāsandha’s military force, they became so frightened that some of them fainted. Kṛṣṇa saw Himself overwhelmed by the military strength of Jarāsandha. His small number of soldiers was being harassed by them, so He immediately took up His bow, named Śārṅga.

He began to take His arrows from their case, and one after another He set them on the bowstring and shot them toward the enemy. They were so accurate that the elephants, horses and infantry soldiers of Jarāsandha were quickly killed. The incessant arrows thrown by Kṛṣṇa appeared as a whirlwind of blazing fire killing all the military strength of Jarāsandha.

Wow!

Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead 1970 Edition
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Fifty

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Kṛṣṇa Consciousness Yoga

Srila Prabhupada on Vyasasana

This morning my reading focused on the end of the 6th and beginning of the 7th chapters of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Wherein Srila Prabhupada describes…

…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.

…Therefore, to become Kṛṣṇa conscious is the highest stage of yoga.

…Different types of yoga are only steppingstones on the path of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. One who takes directly to Kṛṣṇa consciousness automatically knows about brahmajyoti and Paramātmā in full. By practice of Kṛṣṇa consciousness yoga, one can know everything in full—namely the Absolute Truth, the living entities, the material nature, and their manifestations with paraphernalia.

In these two important verses (Bg 6.47 & 7.1) there is much good information about yoga, the different types of yoga, yoga practices, and the ultimate goal of yoga. Very informative!

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Krishna is All Attractive

govinda with flute

“My dear friend, there is one boy—His name is Govinda. He is standing on the bank of the Yamuna near the Kesi-ghat, and He is playing on His flute. He is so beautiful, especially during this full-moon night. If you have any intentions to enjoy in this material world with your children, husband, or other family members, then please do not go there.”

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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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