The Killing of the Aghasura Demon

Aghasura Demon

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This story of the Killing of the Aghasura Demon, has always been one of my all time favorite stories in the Krsna Book. It is a good example of faith and trust.

….Only after accumulating heaps of pious activities were those boys promoted to personally associate with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Who can estimate the transcendental fortune of the residents of Vṛndāvana? They were personally seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face, He whom many yogīs cannot find even after undergoing severe austerities, although He is sitting within their hearts.

… “Dear friends, this figure appears to be a great animal, and he is sitting in such a posture just to swallow us all. Just see—is it not a big snake that has widened his mouth to eat all of us?”

Then they further consulted among themselves:

“If we all at one time entered into the mouth of this great serpent, how could it possibly swallow all of us? And even if it were to swallow all of us at once, it could not swallow Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa will immediately kill him” (excerpted from chapter 12 “The Killing of the Aghāsura Demon”)

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The Birth of Lord Krishna

The Birth of Lord Krishna Janmastami

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With the advent of Lord Krsna’s birthday celebration (Janmastami) rapidly approaching, it seemed fitting that we do a post on the birth of Lord Krsna. So the following is the entire third chapter from the Krsna Book entitled “The Birth of Lord Kṛṣṇa”.

…As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, the Lord says that His appearance, birth, and activities, are all transcendental, and one who understands them factually becomes immediately eligible to be transferred to the spiritual world. The Lord’s appearance or birth is not like that of an ordinary man who is forced to accept a material body according to his past deeds. The Lord’s appearance is explained in the Second Chapter: He appears out of His own sweet pleasure. When the time was mature for the appearance of the Lord, the constellations became very auspicious. The astrological influence of the star known as Rohiṇī was also predominant because this star is considered to be very auspicious. Rohiṇī is under the direct supervision of Brahmā. According to the astrological conclusion, besides the proper situation of the stars, there are auspicious and inauspicious moments due to the different situations of the different planetary systems. At the time of Kṛṣṇa’s birth, the planetary systems were automatically adjusted so that everything became auspicious. ( from Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Chapter 3)

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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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The Killing of the Aghāsura Demon

Aghasura Demon

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This is one of my favorite stories from the Krsna Book. I always enjoyed how fearless the cowherd boys were. They were free of any fear. This is the benefit of Krsna Consciousness; “Any material arrangement for protecting oneself from death is always unsure, but if one is in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then immortality is confidently assured.”

…Aghāsura, thus deciding to kill all the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, expanded himself by the yogic siddhi called mahimā. The demons are generally expert in achieving almost all kinds of mystic powers. In the yoga system, by the perfection called mahimā-siddhi, one can expand himself as he desires. The demon Aghāsura expanded himself up to eight miles and assumed the shape of a very fat serpent. Having attained this wonderful body, he stretched his mouth open just like a mountain cave. Desiring to swallow all the boys at once, including Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, he sat on the path.

The demon in the shape of a big fat serpent expanded his lips from land to sky; his lower lip was touching the ground, and his upper lip was touching the clouds. His jaws appeared like a big mountain cave, without limitation, and his teeth appeared just like mountain summits. His tongue appeared to be a broad traffic way, and he was breathing just like a hurricane. His eyes were blazing like fire. At first the boys thought that the demon was a statue, but after examining it they saw that it was a big serpent lying down on the road and widening his mouth. The boys began to talk among themselves: “Dear friends, this figure appears to be a great animal, and he is sitting in such a posture just to swallow us all. Just see—is it not a big snake that has widened his mouth to eat all of us?”

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Hearing is an Opportunity to Associate with the Lord

Krsna and Balarama

Todays post revolves around the first three paragraphs in chapter 7 of the Krsna Book and the associated verses from the Bhagavad-gita.

…Hearing is an opportunity to associate with the Lord; to hear His activities is to evolve to the transcendental nature–simply by hearing.

If someone takes advantage of hearing the pastimes of the Lord, the material contamination of dust, accumulated in the heart due to long association with material nature, can be immediately cleansed. Lord Caitanya also instructed that simply by hearing the transcendental name of Lord Kṛṣṇa, one can cleanse the heart of all material contamination.

Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes are not only beautiful; they are also very pleasing to the mind. (Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Chapter Seven “Salvation of Tṛṇāvarta”)

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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 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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“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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Ariṣṭāsura Demon

Aristasura

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…Vṛndāvana was always absorbed in the thought of Kṛṣṇa. Everyone remembered His pastimes and was constantly merged in the ocean of transcendental bliss. But the material world is so contaminated that even in Vṛndāvana the asuras or demons tried to disturb the peaceful situation.

One demon named Ariṣṭāsura entered the village like a great bull with a gigantic body and horns, digging up the earth with his hooves. When the demon entered Vṛndāvana, it appeared that the whole land trembled, as if there were an earthquake. He roared fiercely, and after digging up the earth on the riverside, he entered the village proper. The fearful roaring of the bull was so piercing that some of the pregnant cows and women had miscarriages. Its body was so big, stout and strong that a cloud hovered over its body just as clouds hover over mountains. Ariṣṭāsura entered Vṛndāvana with such a fearful appearance that just on seeing this great demon, all the men and women were afflicted with great fear, and the cows and other animals fled the village.

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The 64 Arts and Sciences

Krsna and Balarama with their teacher Sandipani Muni

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 45 of Kṛṣṇa Book, in which Srila Prabhupada describes that after hearing only once from the teacher, Sandipani Muni, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma learned all the arts and sciences.

…So Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, are the source of all kinds of knowledge, but because They were playing like ordinary human boys, They set the example so that everyone would receive knowledge from the right source. Thus They agreed to take knowledge from a spiritual master.

After hearing only once from the teacher, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma learned all the arts and sciences. In sixty-four days and sixty-four nights They learned all the necessary arts that are required in human society. During daytime They took lessons on a subject from the teacher, and by nightfall, after having heard from the teacher, They were expert in that department of knowledge.

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Delivery of the Message of Kṛṣṇa to the Gopīs

Uddhava, Radharani and the gopis

I like this image very much and found the text to go with it. It is from the 46th chapter of Krsna The Supreme Personality of Godhead. We have posted the entire chapter for anyone who has the time or inclination to read it. Enjoy!

…When the gopīs understood that Uddhava had a message from Kṛṣṇa, they became very happy and called him to a secluded place to sit down. They wanted to talk with him very freely and did not want to be embarrassed before unknown persons. They began to welcome him with polite words, in great submissiveness.

…Uddhava understood that the gopīs of Vṛndāvana were all simply absorbed in the thought of Kṛṣṇa and His childhood activities. While talking about Kṛṣṇa with Uddhava, they forgot all about their household business. They even forgot about themselves as their interest in Kṛṣṇa increased more and more.

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Gopastami

Krishna Balarama and Cows

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Today on the Vaisnava Calender marks the day known as Gopastami or Gosthastami. On this day lord Sri Krishna became a qualified cowherd and took the cows out to Govardhana to graze. Previously He was the keeper of the calves. It was on this day that He became a gopa, or cowherd boy.

In this way, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, along with His elder brother Balarāma, passed the childhood age known as kaumāra and stepped into the age of paugaṇḍa, from the sixth year up to the tenth. At that time, all the cowherd men conferred and agreed to give those boys who had passed their fifth year charge of the cows in the pasturing ground. Given charge of the cows, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma traversed Vṛndāvana, purifying the land with Their footprints.

…When Kṛṣṇa, Balarāma and Their friends entered the village of Vṛndāvana, They played Their flutes, and the boys praised Their uncommon activities in the forest. Their faces were decorated with tilaka and smeared with the dust raised by the cows, and Kṛṣṇa’s head was decorated with a peacock feather. Both He and Balarāma played Their flutes, and the young gopīs were joyous to see Kṛṣṇa returning home. All the gopīs in Vṛndāvana remained very morose on account of Kṛṣṇa’s absence. All day they were thinking of Kṛṣṇa in the forest or of Him herding cows in the pasture. When they saw Kṛṣṇa returning, all their anxieties were immediately relieved, and they began to look at His face the way drones hover over the honey of the lotus flower. When Kṛṣṇa entered the village, the young gopīs smiled and laughed. Kṛṣṇa, while playing the flute, enjoyed the beautiful smiling faces of the gopīs. (from Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Chapter 15)

To honor this day we are posting some further childhood pastimes of Sri Krishna from the Kṛṣṇa Book entitled “The Killing of Dhenukāsura”

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Childhood Pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa

Krsna lifting Govardhana Hill

…Lord Kṛṣṇa picked up Govardhana Hill with one hand, exactly as a child picks up a mushroom from the ground. Thus He exhibited His transcendental pastime of lifting Govardhana Hill. Lord Kṛṣṇa then began to address His devotees, “My dear brothers, My dear father, My dear inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, you can now safely enter under the umbrella of Govardhana Hill, which I have just lifted. Do not be afraid of the hill and think that it will fall from My hand. You have been too much afflicted from the heavy rain and strong wind; therefore I have lifted this hill, which will protect you exactly like a huge umbrella. I think this is a proper arrangement to relieve you from your immediate distress. Be happy along with your animals underneath this great umbrella.” Being assured by Lord Kṛṣṇa, all the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana entered beneath the great hill and appeared to be safe along with their property and animals.

…The inhabitants of Vṛndāvana and their animals remained there for one week without being disturbed by hunger, thirst or any other discomforts. They were simply astonished to see how Kṛṣṇa was holding up the mountain with the little finger of His left hand.

… After this incident, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, surrounded by His dear friends and animals, returned to His home. As usual, the gopīs began to chant the glorious pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa with great feeling, for they were chanting from the heart. (Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Chapter 25)

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Childhood Pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa

Krishna eating dirt1

…continuing with our attempt to post Krsna’s childhood pastimes, throughout the duration of the “Month of Damodara”

…Another day, when Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma were playing with Their friends, all the boys joined Balarāma and told mother Yaśodā that Kṛṣṇa had eaten clay. On hearing this, mother Yaśodā caught hold of Kṛṣṇa’s hand and said, “My dear Kṛṣṇa, why have You eaten earth in a solitary place? Just see, all Your friends including Balarāma are complaining about You.” Being afraid of His mother, Kṛṣṇa replied, “My dear mother, all these boys, including My elder brother Balarāma, are speaking lies against Me. I have never eaten clay. My elder brother Balarāma, while playing with Me today, became angry, and therefore He has joined with the other boys to complain against Me. They have all combined together to complain so you will be angry and chastise Me. If you think they are truthful, then you can look within My mouth to see whether I have taken clay or not.” His mother replied, “All right, if You have actually not taken any clay, then just open Your mouth. I shall see.”

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Childhood Pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa

Damodara pastimes1

…All the gopī friends of Yaśodā and Rohiṇī enjoyed the naughty childish activities of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma in Vṛndāvana. In order to enjoy further transcendental bliss, they all assembled and went to mother Yaśodā to lodge complaints against the restless boys. When Kṛṣṇa was sitting before mother Yaśodā, all the elderly gopīs began to lodge complaints against Him so that Kṛṣṇa could hear. They said, “Dear Yaśodā, why don’t you restrict your naughty Kṛṣṇa? He comes to our houses along with Balarāma every morning and evening, and before the milking of the cows They let loose the calves, and the calves drink all the milk of the cows. So when we go to milk the cows, we find no milk, and we have to return with empty pots. If we warn Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma about doing this, They simply smile charmingly. (Krsna Book Chapter 8)

…continuing with our attempt to post Krsna’s childhood pastimes, throughout the duration of the “Month of Damodara”

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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

Please click on image to enlarge

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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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, the Supreme Personality of Godhead (Free PDF Download)

KRSNA

Copyright

This marks our one thousandth post! So we are putting up our favorite book; “Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead” Vol. 1, as a Free PDF Download. You can click on following link to view the entire scanned book, and or save it.

KRSNA_Book_Vol.1_1970_ISKCON_Press_edition_SCAN

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada1

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Fear of Death

Kamsa about to kill Devaki but was pacified by Vasudeva

…Once upon a time, Vasudeva, the son of Śūrasena, just after marrying Devakī, was going home on his chariot with his newly wedded wife.

While the bride and bridegroom were passing along on the chariot, there were different kinds of musical instruments playing to indicate the auspicious moment. There were conchshells, bugles, drums and kettledrums; combined together, they were vibrating a nice concert. The procession was passing very pleasingly, and Kaṁsa was driving the chariot, when suddenly there was a miraculous sound vibrated from the sky which especially announced to Kaṁsa: “Kaṁsa: you are such a fool. You are driving the chariot of your sister and your brother-in-law, but you do not know that the eighth child of this sister will kill you.”

Kaṁsa was the son of Ugrasena, of the Bhoja dynasty. It is said that Kaṁsa was the most demoniac of all the Bhoja dynasty kings. Immediately after hearing the prophecy from the sky, he caught hold of Devakī’s hair and was just about to kill her with his sword. Vasudeva was astonished at Kaṁsa’s behavior, and in order to pacify the cruel, shameless brother-in-law, he began to speak as follows, with great reason and evidence. He said, “My dear brother-in-law Kaṁsa, you are the most famous king of the Bhoja dynasty, and people know that you are the greatest warrior and a valiant king. How is it that you are so infuriated that you are prepared to kill a woman who is your own sister at this auspicious time of her marriage? Why should you be so much afraid of death? Death is already born along with your birth. From the very day you took your birth, you began to die.(Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Chapter 1)

On Janmastami day I decided to start reading the Kṛṣṇa Book over again. I don’t know how many times I have read it but unlike mundane literature, it becomes more and more transcendentally relishable with every reading. In this first chapter entitled “The Advent of Lord Kṛṣṇa”, Vasudeva, in his attempt to pacify Kaṁsa, spoke this very famous lesson about death…

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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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