Nectar of Devotion Lecture

Nectar of Devotion Lecture by Gurudas B18306

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The Nectar of Devotion
given by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Vṛndāvana, October 16, 1972

Pradyumna (reading): “The Nectar of Devotion is a summary study of Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, which was written in Sanskrit by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda. He was the chief of the six Gosvāmīs who were the direct disciples of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. When he first met Lord Caitanya, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda was engaged as a minister in the Muhammadan government of Bengal. He and his brother Sanātana were then named Sākara Mallika and Dabira Khāsa respectively, and they held responsible posts as ministers of Nawab Hussain Shah. At that time, five hundred years ago, the Hindu society was very rigid and if a member of the brāhmaṇa caste accepted the service of a Muhammadan ruler he was at once rejected from brāhmaṇa society. That was the position of the two brothers, Dabira Khāsa and Sākara Mallika. They belonged to the highly situated sārasvata-brāhmaṇa…”

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Devotees of Kṛṣṇa

Radha Krishna

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Continuing with our series on the Nectar of Devotion, we share with you Chapter 25 entitled “Devotees of Kṛṣṇa”. The Nectar of Devotion is a summary study of Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, which was written in Sanskrit by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda. He was the chief of the six Gosvāmīs, who were the direct disciples of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and has since been translated into English by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

…A person who is always absorbed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is called a devotee of Kṛṣṇa….In the Tenth Canto, Fourteenth Chapter, verse 32, of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam there is this statement: “How wonderful are the fortunate residents of Vṛndāvana…The Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Supreme Brahman, has actually become their intimate friend!”

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Laughing Devotion

Laughter from the Vyasasana

I saw this picture of Srila Prabhupada laughing and thought; I have to do a post on laughter. So I did a search and came up with some very nice verses on laughing attachment to Kṛṣṇa.

“With devotion steeped in love and affection, the yogī should meditate within the core of his heart upon the laughter of Lord Viṣṇu. The laughter of Viṣṇu is so captivating that it can be easily meditated upon. (SB 3.28.33)

…It is recommended that the yogī visualize the laughter of the Lord after studying His smile very carefully. (from purport)

…In a direct relationship of conjugal love, there is laughter.

After He had stolen some curd from the pots of two gopīs, Kṛṣṇa told one of His gopī friends: “My dear beautiful friend, I can take oath that I have not stolen even a drop of curd from your pot! But still, your friend, Rādhārāṇī, is very shamelessly smelling the flavor of My mouth. Kindly forbid Her from this devious policy of putting Her face near Mine.” When Kṛṣṇa was speaking like this, the friends of Rādhārāṇī could not check their laughter. This is an instance of ecstasy in conjugal love. (Nectar of Devotion Chapter 33)

…When a smiling person claps his hands and leaps in the air, the smiling expression changes into atihasita, or overwhelming laughter. An example of atihasita was manifested in the following incident: Kṛṣṇa once addressed Jaratī thus: “My dear good woman, the skin of your face is now slackened, and so your face exactly resembles a monkey’s. As such, the King of the monkeys, Balīmukha, has selected you as his worthy wife.” While Kṛṣṇa was teasing Jaratī in this way, she replied that she was certainly aware of the fact that the King of the monkeys was trying to marry her, but she had already taken shelter of Kṛṣṇa, the killer of many powerful demons, and therefore she had already decided to marry Kṛṣṇa instead of the King of the monkeys. On hearing this sarcastic reply by the talkative Jaratī, all the cowherd girls present there began to laugh very loudly and clap their hands. This laughter, accompanied by the clapping of hands, is called atihasita.

Sometimes there are indirect sarcastic remarks which also create atihasita circumstances. An example of one such remark was made by one of the cowherd girls to Kuṭilā, the daughter of Jaṭilā and sister of Abhimanyu, the so-called husband of Rādhārāṇī. Indirectly Kuṭilā was insulted by the following statement:

“My dear Kuṭilā, daughter of Jaṭilā, your breasts are as long as string beans-simply dry and long. Your nose is so gorgeous that it is defying the beauty of the noses of frogs. And your eyes are more beautiful than the eyes of dogs. Your lips are defying the flaming cinders of fire, and your abdomen is as beautiful as a big drum. Therefore, my dear beautiful Kuṭilā, you are the most beautiful of all the cowherd girls of Vṛndāvana, and because of your extraordinary beauty, I think you must be beyond the attraction of the sweet blowing of Kṛṣṇa’s flute!” (Nectar of Devotion Chapter 45)

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Japa

srila-prabhupada-chanting-japa

This is such a beautiful picture of Srila Prabhupada with his japa bag, that we thought we would do a short post on ‘japa’.

When a mantra or hymn is chanted softly and slowly, that is called japa. The same mantra, when chanted loudly, is called kīrtana. For example, the mahā-mantra (Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare) when uttered very softly only for one’s own hearing is called japa. The same mantra, when chanted loudly for being heard by all others, is called kīrtana. The mahā-mantra can be used for japa and kīrtana also. When japa is practiced it is for the personal benefit of the chanter, but when kīrtana is performed it is for the benefit of all others who may hear.

In the Padma Purāṇa there is a statement: “For any person who is chanting the holy name either softly or loudly, the paths to liberation and even heavenly happiness are at once open.” (Nectar of Devotion Chapter 9)

Of all the sacrifices, the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare is the purest representation of Kṛṣṇa. (from purport; Bhagavad-gita 10.25)

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The Mahā-mantra

HareKrishnamantra

This morning I was reading from the Nectar of Devotion the chapter entitled “The Mahā-mantra”. We have posted the entire chapter as well as some other related quotes from the Nectar of Devotion on the Maha-mantra.

In the Padma Purāṇa there is a statement: “For any person who is chanting the holy name either softly or loudly, the paths to liberation and even heavenly happiness are at once open.”

When a mantra or hymn is chanted softly and slowly, that is called japa. The same mantra, when chanted loudly, is called kīrtana. For example, the mahā-mantra (Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare) when uttered very softly only for one’s own hearing is called japa. The same mantra, when chanted loudly for being heard by all others, is called kīrtana. The mahā-mantra can be used for japa and kīrtana also. When japa is practiced it is for the personal benefit of the chanter, but when kīrtana is performed it is for the benefit of all others who may hear.

In the Liṅga Purāṇa there is a statement about glorifying and singing about the Lord. It is said there: “A brāhmaṇa who is constantly engaged in singing the glories of the Lord is surely elevated to the same planet as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Lord Kṛṣṇa appreciates this singing even more than the prayers offered by Lord Śiva.”

In the Viṣṇu-dharma there is a statement glorifying this process of congregational chanting: “My dear King, this word ‘Kṛṣṇa’ is so auspicious that anyone who chants this holy name immediately gets rid of the resultant actions of sinful activities from many, many births.” That is a fact. There is the following statement in Caitanya-caritāmṛta: “A person who chants the holy name of Kṛṣṇa once can counteract the resultant actions of more sinful activities than he is able to perform.” A sinful man can perform many, many sinful activities, but he is unable to perform so many that they cannot be wiped out by one single uttering of “Kṛṣṇa.”

“Anyone who is engaged in chanting My transcendental name must be considered to be always associating with Me. And I may tell you frankly that for such a devotee I become easily purchased.”

In the Padma Purāṇa also it is stated: “The chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is present only on the lips of a person who has for many births worshiped Vāsudeva.” It is further said in the Padma Purāṇa, “There is no difference between the holy name of the Lord and the Lord Himself. As such, the holy name is as perfect as the Lord Himself in fullness, purity and eternity. The holy name is no material sound vibration, nor has it any material contamination.”

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Ecstasy

Radha Krishna Bhava

No common man can understand the ecstasy of transcendental love between Radharani and Krsna (from Teachings of Lord Caitanya)

That supreme ecstasy of Srimati Radharani is the essence of spiritual life. Her only business is to fulfill all the desires of Krsna (CC Madhya 8.164, Translation)

This morning as I was doing my morning meditations (japa) I happened to be looking at this beautiful picture of Radha and Krishna. I was very much moved by the picture and was reminded of the following verse…

“Glory to the all-merciful Sri Radha and Madana-Mohana, who are always engaged in amorous pastimes. They are the only shelter of my depraved and crippled self. Their lotus feet are the be-all and end-all of my life” (Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas)

…and the word that kept coming up in my mind was “Ecstasy”. I could not even begin to understand what Srimati Radharani must be feeling when She looks at Krishna, or what Sri Krishna must be experiencing when He looks into the eyes of Srimati Radharani. It must be Ecstaic Love!

I went to Srila Prabhupada’s “Nectar of Devotion”, to the “Teachings of Lord Caitanya”, and to try to get a better understanding also did a search on the word ‘ecstasy’ in vainquotes. The results of my readings are as follows:

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Rightful Claim

Back to Godhead - Volume 11, Number 01 - 1976

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This morning as I was reading from the Srimad Bhagavatam, I was feeling the aches and pains of age, and I was reminded of one of my most favorite verses:

tat te ‘nukampāṁ susamīkṣamāṇo
bhuñjāna evātma-kṛtaṁ vipākam
hṛd-vāg-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jīveta yo mukti-pade sa dāya-bhāk

“My dear Lord, any person who is constantly awaiting Your causeless mercy to be bestowed upon him, and who goes on suffering the resultant actions of his past misdeeds, offering You respectful obeisances from the core of his heart, is surely eligible to become liberated, for it has become his rightful claim.” (SB 10.14.8)

…A devotee of the Lord never thinks that he is a paramahaṁsa or a liberated person. He always remains a humble servant of the Lord. In all reverse conditions, he agrees to suffer the results of his past life. He never accuses the Lord of putting him into a distressed condition. These are the signs of an exalted devotee. Tat te ‘nukampāṁ susamīkṣyamāṇaḥ. When suffering reversed conditions, the devotee always considers that the reverse conditions are the Lord’s concessions. He is never angry with his master; he is always satisfied with the position his master offers. In any case, he continues performing his duty in devotional service. Such a person is guaranteed promotion back home, back to Godhead. (from purport)

When I did a computer search on the phrase “rightful claim”, this of course brought me to the different references from the Srimad Bhagavatam (ie., SB 5.10.14, and SB 8.14.13) but also to the “Nectar of Devotion”, chapter ten. Reading from it was so nice, that I decided to post the entire chapter. More

Ways of Meeting Krishna

Radha Krishna in the rain

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…When Kṛṣṇa and His devotees meet, the meeting is technically called yoga, or linking up with the Lord. Such meetings between Kṛṣṇa and His devotees can be divided into three classes-namely, perfection, satisfaction, and steadiness. When the devotee meets with Kṛṣṇa in great eagerness, that state of meeting is called perfection.

An example of this perfectional stage of meeting Krishna can be found in the words of Srimati Radharani in this very nice verse;

Rādhārāṇī told Her companion, “My dear friend, I was just going to the bank of the Yamunā, and all of a sudden a very nice boy whose complexion is like a dark blue cloud became visible in front of My eyes. He glanced over Me in a way that I cannot describe. But since this has occurred, I am sorry that I can no longer engage My mind in the duties of My household affairs.”

The following is Chapter 39 from the Nectar of Devotion More

Transcendental Qualities of the Lord

Gopal

This morning I just felt like singing. The weather is warm, amd Spring is in the air. So I was in our temple room and after singing one of my favorite vaisnava songs, “Śrī Śrī Ṣaḍ-gosvāmy-aṣṭaka”, Eight Prayers to the Six Gosvamis by Śrīnivāsa Ācārya, I read the English Translations. There was one verse in particular that spoke to me:

I offer my respectful obeisances unto the six Gosvāmīs, who were engaged in chanting the holy names of the Lord and bowing down in a scheduled measurement. In this way they utilized their valuable lives and in executing these devotional activities they conquered over eating and sleeping and were always meek and humble enchanted by remembering the transcendental qualities of the Lord.

I thought yes, today, let me remember the Transcendental Qualities of the Lord. So with that in mind we are posting Chapter 21 from the Nectar of Devotion, which is a summary study of Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, which was written in Sanskrit by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda. He was the chief of the Six Gosvāmīs, who were the direct disciples of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

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Cleansing the Heart / Ceto-darpana-marjanam

Nectar of Devotion Lectures 1972 Vrindavan

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…Kṛṣṇa consciousness is a fact in everyone’s heart. It is already there. Otherwise how these Europeans and Americans, they’re taking to Kṛṣṇa consciousness very seriously? So it is to be understood that Kṛṣṇa consciousness was there already. By the process of hearing… As Caitanya Mahāprabhu has recommended: ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. Śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam is so auspicious that the chanting of this mantra awakens the dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam. The more you hear Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, the more your heart becomes cleansed. These are the statements given by Caitanya Mahāprabhu. There cannot be any defect. My statement may be defective, but Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s statement cannot be defective, because He is in the transcendental platform. He is transcendence Himself. Kṛṣṇa-caitanya-nāmne. Kṛṣṇāya kṛṣṇa-caitanya-nāmine. He’s Kṛṣṇa Himself, but He has appeared in the form of Kṛṣṇa Caitanya. Therefore, whatever He says, that is fact. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam. The more we hear the vibration, the transcendental vibration, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, without any offense… Even with, mixed with offense… There are three stages of chanting this vibration: offensive chanting, and almost offenseless chanting, and offenseless chanting. Offensive chanting may give you material pains and pleasures, and almost offenseless will give you liberation, will place you in the transcendental platform. And when it is offenseless, then immediately you’ll invoke love of God, Kṛṣṇa-prema. So even in offensive stage, if you go on chanting and try to be, try to become safe from offensive condition… Daśa-vidhā-nāma, ten kinds of offenses, if we avoid, that is the process of auspicity. But even we are not in the platform of offenseless chanting, still, we must go on chanting. It will gradually make our heart cleansed and we’ll be offenseless. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. So the Kṛṣṇa consciousness, awakening of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is required. That is called ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam.

So here, Rūpa Gosvāmī says auspicity means that which spreads for everyone, in all parts of the world. That is auspicity. Not partial. In politics or sociology or humanitarian activities, there is partiality for a certain section of human being, or certain section of living beings. But this chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, awakening Kṛṣṇa consc…, dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is meant for all living entities. Even birds, beasts, insects, they can also awaken. This is the recommendation of Haridāsa Ṭhākura, that if we chant loudly, the trees will hear, the birds will hear, the insect will hear, and they will be liberated. That is the statement of Nāmācārya Haridāsa Ṭhākura. Therefore chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and awakening of dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the auspicious activities, welfare activities, for every living entity all over the world.

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Laughing Ecstasy

Srila Prabhupada smiling

Yesterday I was at the dentists office having a lose tooth removed, so naturally I was some what preoccupied with my toothless smile. But Krishna Consciousness is so nice, and Srila Prabhupada has given us so much knowledge I thought I would just do a search on the word ‘teeth’ an see if there was any reference in the books. To my surprise there was this whole section on smiling…

When the teeth are distinctly visible in a smile, that is called vihasita. One day when Kṛṣṇa was engaged in stealing butter and yogurt in the house of Jaṭilā, He assured His friends, “My dear friends, I know that this old lady is now sleeping very profoundly because she is breathing very deeply. Let us silently steal butter and yogurt without making any disturbance.” But the old lady, Jaṭilā, was not sleeping; so she could not contain her smiling, and her teeth immediately became distinctly visible. This is an instance of vihasita smiling.

Kṛṣṇa once addressed Jaratī thus: “My dear good woman, the skin of your face is now slackened, and so your face exactly resembles a monkey’s. As such, the King of the monkeys, Balīmukha, has selected you as his worthy wife.” While Kṛṣṇa was teasing Jaratī in this way, she replied that she was certainly aware of the fact that the King of the monkeys was trying to marry her, but she had already taken shelter of Kṛṣṇa, the killer of many powerful demons, and therefore she had already decided to marry Kṛṣṇa instead of the King of the monkeys. On hearing this sarcastic reply by the talkative Jaratī, all the cowherd girls present there began to laugh very loudly and clap their hands. This laughter, accompanied by the clapping of hands, is called atihasita.

…As I continued to read on, my toothless smile increased into outward laughter…

Sometimes there are indirect sarcastic remarks which also create atihasita circumstances. An example of one such remark was made by one of the cowherd girls to Kuṭilā, the daughter of Jaṭilā and sister of Abhimanyu, the so-called husband of Rādhārāṇī. Indirectly Kuṭilā was insulted by the following statement: “My dear Kuṭilā, daughter of Jaṭilā, your breasts are as long as string beans-simply dry and long. Your nose is so gorgeous that it is defying the beauty of the noses of frogs. And your eyes are more beautiful than the eyes of dogs. Your lips are defying the flaming cinders of fire, and your abdomen is as beautiful as a big drum. Therefore, my dear beautiful Kuṭilā, you are the most beautiful of all the cowherd girls of Vṛndāvana, and because of your extraordinary beauty, I think you must be beyond the attraction of the sweet blowing of Kṛṣṇa’s flute!”

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Krsna’s Exquisite Beauty

Madhava

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…Regarding the attractiveness of Kṛṣṇa’s bodily beauty and the sound vibration of His flute, in the Tenth Canto, 29th Chapter, 37th verse, of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the gopīs address Kṛṣṇa as follows: “Although our attitude towards You resembles loving affairs with a paramour, we cannot but wonder at how no woman can maintain her chastity upon hearing the vibration from Your flute. And not only women, but even stronghearted men are subject to falling down from their position at the sound of Your flute. In fact, we have seen that in Vṛndāvana even the cows, the deer, the birds, the trees-everyone-has been enchanted by the sweet vibration of Your flute and the fascinating beauty of Your person.”

In Rūpa Gosvāmī’s Lalita-mādhava, it is said: “One day Kṛṣṇa happened to see the shadow of His beautiful form reflected on the jeweled foreground. Upon seeing this bodily reflection, He expressed His feelings: ‘How wonderful it is that I have never seen such a beautiful form! Although it is My own form, still, like Rādhārāṇī, I am trying to embrace this form and enjoy celestial bliss.'” This statement shows how Kṛṣṇa and His shadow reflection are one and the same. There is no difference between Kṛṣṇa and His shadow reflection, nor between Kṛṣṇa and His picture. That is the transcendental position of Kṛṣṇa.

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Accepting the Shelter of a Bona Fide Spiritual Master

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The Nectar of Devotion is a summary study of Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, which was written in Sanskrit by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda. He was the chief of the six Gosvāmīs, who were the direct disciples of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and has since been translated into English by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

The author of Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, very humbly submits that he is just trying to spread Kṛṣṇa consciousness all over the world, although he humbly thinks himself unfit for this work. That should be the attitude of all preachers of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, following in the footsteps of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī. We should never think of ourselves as great preachers, but should always consider that we are simply instrumental to the previous ācāryas, and simply by following in their footsteps we may be able to do something for the benefit of suffering humanity. (From introduction to Nectar of Devotion)

Nectar of Devotion
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter 7 “Evidence Regarding Devotional Principles”

Accepting the Shelter of a Bona Fide Spiritual Master

In the Eleventh Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Third Chapter, verse 21, Prabuddha tells Mahārāja Nimi, “My dear King, please know for certain that in the material world there is no happiness. It is simply a mistake to think that there is happiness here, because this place is full of nothing but miserable conditions. Any person who is seriously desirous of achieving real happiness must seek out a bona fide spiritual master and take shelter of him by initiation. The qualification of a spiritual master is that he must have realized the conclusion of the scriptures by deliberation and arguments and thus be able to convince others of these conclusions. Such great personalities who have taken shelter of the Supreme Godhead, leaving aside all material considerations, are to be understood as bona fide spiritual masters. Everyone should try to find such a bona fide spiritual master in order to fulfill his mission of life, which is to transfer himself to the plane of spiritual bliss.”

The purport is that one should not accept as a spiritual master someone who is fool number one, who has no direction according to the scriptural injunctions, whose character is doubtful, who does not follow the principles of devotional service, or who has not conquered the influence of the six sense-gratifying agents. The six agents of sense gratification are the tongue, the genitals, the belly, anger, the mind and words. Anyone who has practiced controlling these six is permitted to make disciples all over the world. To accept such a spiritual master is the crucial point for advancement in spiritual life. One who is fortunate enough to come under the shelter of a bona fide spiritual master is sure to traverse the path of spiritual salvation without any doubt.

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Expecting the Lord’s Mercy

“In the Tenth Canto, Fourteenth Chapter, verse 8, it is said, “My dear Lord, any person who is constantly awaiting Your causeless mercy to be bestowed upon him, and who goes on suffering the resultant actions of his past misdeeds, offering You respectful obeisances from the core of his heart, is surely eligible to become liberated, for it has become his rightful claim.”

This statement of Srimad-Bhagavatam should be the guide of all devotees. A devotee should not expect immediate relief from the reactions of his past misdeeds. No conditioned soul is free from such reactionary experiences, because material existence means continued suffering or enjoying of past activities. If one has finished his material activities then there is no more birth. This is possible only when one begins Krsna conscious activities, because such activities do not produce reaction. Therefore, as soon as one becomes perfect in Krsna conscious activities, he is not going to take birth again in this material world. A devotee who is not perfectly freed from the resultant actions should therefore continue to act in Krsna consciousness seriously, even though there may be so many impediments. When such impediments arise he should simply think of Krsna and expect His mercy. That is the only solace. If the devotee passes his days in that spirit, it is certain that he is going to be promoted to the abode of the Lord. By such activities, he earns his claim to enter into the kingdom of God.”

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Krsna’s Exquisite Beauty

The Nectar of Devotion 1970 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 22 Qualities of Krsna Further Explained

Krsna’s Exquisite Beauty

In the Third Canto 2nd Chapter, 12th verse, of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Uddhava tells Vidura, “My dear sir, Kṛṣṇa’s form was most wonderful when He appeared on this planet and exhibited the potency of His internal energy. His wonderfully attractive form was present during His pastimes on this planet, and by His internal potency He exhibited His opulences, which are striking to everyone. His personal beauty was so great that there was no necessity for His wearing ornaments on His body. In fact, instead of the ornaments’ beautifying Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa’s beauty enhanced the ornaments.”

Regarding the attractiveness of Kṛṣṇa’s bodily beauty and the sound vibration of His flute, in the Tenth Canto, 29th Chapter, 37th verse, of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the gopīs address Kṛṣṇa as follows: “Although our attitude towards You resembles loving affairs with a paramour, we cannot but wonder at how no woman can maintain her chastity upon hearing the vibration from Your flute. And not only women, but even stronghearted men are subject to falling down from their position at the sound of Your flute. In fact, we have seen that in Vṛndāvana even the cows, the deer, the birds, the trees-everyone-has been enchanted by the sweet vibration of Your flute and the fascinating beauty of Your person.”

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How to Discharge Devotional Service

The Nectar of Devotion is a summary study of Srila Rupa Goswami’s Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, or “the nectar that is derived from the ocean of devotion (bhakti).” It fully contains the complete science of bhakti-yoga, or linking with the Supreme by transcendental loving devotion. Bhakti-yoga is the highest path of attaining God consciousness, and it is simultaneously simple and sublime. It is recommended for everyone in this age.

The Nectar of Devotion 1970 Edition
By Hia Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 6

How to Discharge Devotional Service

Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī states that his elder brother (Sanātana Gosvāmī) has compiled Hari-bhakti-vilāsa for the guidance of the Vaiṣṇavas and therein has mentioned many rules and regulations to be followed by the Vaiṣṇavas. Some of them are very important and prominent, and he will now mention these very important items for our benefit. The purport of this statement is that Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī proposes to mention only basic principles, not details. For example, a basic principle is that one has to accept a spiritual master. Exactly how one follows the instructions of his spiritual master is considered a detail. For example, if one is following the instruction of his spiritual master and that instruction is different from the instructions of another spiritual master, this is called detailed information. But the basic principle of acceptance of a spiritual master is good everywhere, although the details may be different. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī does not wish to enter into details here, but wants to place before us only the principles.

He mentions the basic principles as follows: 1) accepting the shelter of the lotus feet of a bona fide spiritual master, 2) becoming initiated by the spiritual master and learning how to discharge devotional service from him, 3) obeying the orders of the spiritual master with faith and devotion, 4) following in the footsteps of great ācāryas (teachers) under the direction of the spiritual master, 5) inquiring from the spiritual master how to advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, 6) being prepared to give up anything material for the satisfaction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa (This means that when we are engaged in the devotional service of Kṛṣṇa, we must be prepared to give up something which we may not like to give up, and also we have to accept something which we may not like to accept.), 7) residing in a sacred place of pilgrimage like Dvārakā or Vṛndāvana, 8) dealing with the material world only as far as necessary, 9) observing the fasting day on Ekādaśī, and 10) worshiping sacred trees like the banyan tree.

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Purity of Devotional Service


In the Bhagavad-gītā also the Lord says: “Give up all your occupations and just become surrendered unto Me. I give you assurance that I shall give you protection from all sinful reactions.” One may think that because he is surrendering unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he will not be able to perform all of his other obligations. But the Lord says repeatedly, “Don’t hesitate. Don’t consider that because you are giving up all other engagements there will be some flaw in your life. Don’t think like that. I will give you all protection.” That is the assurance of Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad-gītā.

The Nectar of Devotion – 1970 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 5

Purity of Devotional Service

All of the previous instructions imparted by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī in his broad statements can be summarized thus: as long as one is materially inclined or desirous of merging into the spiritual effulgence, one cannot enter into the realm of pure devotional service. Next, Rūpa Gosvāmī states that devotional service is transcendental to all material considerations and that it is not limited to any particular country, class, society or circumstance. As stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, devotional service is transcendental and has no cause. Devotional service is executed without any hope for gain, and it cannot be checked by any material circumstances. It is open for all, without any distinction, and it is the constitutional occupation of the living entities.

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Devotional Service Surpasses All Liberation

Nārada then said, "Yes, you shall become trees, arjuna trees, and you will stand at the courtyard of Nanda Mahārāj. But Kṛṣṇa Himself will appear in time as the foster son of Nanda, and He will deliver you."


The story behind the two sons of Kuvera, Manigriva, and Nalakuvera, is they were puffed up on account of the opulence of their father, and so once on a heavenly planet they were enjoying themselves in a lake with some naked damsels of heaven. At that time the great saint Nārada Muni was passing on the road and was sorry to see the behavior of the sons of Kuvera. Seeing Nārada passing by, the damsels of heaven covered their bodies with cloth, but the two sons, being drunkards, did not have this decency. Nārada became angry with their behavior and cursed them thusly: “You have no sense, so it is better if you become trees instead of the sons of Kuvera.” Upon hearing this, the boys came to their senses and begged Nārada to be pardoned for their offenses. Nārada then said, “Yes, you shall become trees, arjuna trees, and you will stand at the courtyard of Nanda Mahārāj. But Kṛṣṇa Himself will appear in time as the foster son of Nanda, and He will deliver you.” In other words, the curse of Nārada was a benediction to the sons of Kuvera because indirectly it was foretold that they would be able to receive the favor of Lord Kṛṣṇa. After that, Kuvera’s two sons stood as two big arjuna trees in the courtyard of Nanda Mahārāj until Lord Dāmodara, in order to fulfill the desire of Nārada, dragged the milling pestle to which He was tied and struck the two trees, violently causing them to fall down. From out of these fallen trees came Nalakūvara and Maṇigrīva, who had by then become great devotees of the Lord.

The Nectar of Devotion – 1970 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 4

Devotional Service Surpasses All Liberation

How much a devotee is seriously attached to the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead can be understood from the statement of Mahārāj Pṛthu (Ādirāja) which is described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Fourth Canto, 20th Chapter, 21st verse. He prays to the Supreme Personality of Godhead thusly: “My dear Lord, if after taking liberation I have no chance of hearing the glories of Your Lordship, glories chanted by pure devotees from the core of their hearts in praise of Your lotus feet, and if I have no chance for this honey of transcendental bliss, then I shall never ask for liberation or this so-called spiritual emancipation. I shall simply always pray unto Your Lordship that You may give me millions of tongues and millions of ears so that I can constantly chant and hear of Your transcendental glories.”

The impersonalists desire to merge into the existence of the Supreme, but without keeping their individuality they have no chance of hearing and chanting the glories of the Supreme Lord. Because they have no idea of the transcendental form of the Supreme Lord there is no chance of their chanting and hearing of His transcendental activities. In other words, unless one is already beyond liberation, one cannot relish the transcendental glories of the Lord, nor can one understand the transcendental form of the Lord.

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Eligibility of the Candidate for Accepting Devotional Service

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


The Nectar of Devotion – 1970 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Chapter 3

Eligibility of the Candidate for Accepting Devotional Service

On account of his association with mahātmās, or great souls one hundred percent in the devotional service of the Lord, one may attain a little bit of attraction for Śrī Kṛṣṇa. But at the same time one may remain very much attached to fruitive activities and material sense enjoyment and not be prepared to undergo the different types of renunciation. Such a person, if he has unflinching attraction to Kṛṣṇa, becomes an eligible candidate for discharging devotional service.

This attraction for Kṛṣṇa consciousness in association with pure devotees is the sign of great fortune. It is confirmed by Lord Caitanya that only the fortunate persons, by the mercy of both a bona fide spiritual master and Kṛṣṇa, will get the seed of devotional service. In this connection, Lord Kṛṣṇa says in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Eleventh Canto, 20th Chapter, verse 8: “My dear Uddhava, only by exceptional fortune does someone become attracted to Me (Kṛṣṇa). And even if one is not completely detached from fruitive activities, or is not completely attached to devotional service, such service is quickly effective.”

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The First Stages of Devotion

Nectar of Devotion
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Two

We should always try to mold the activities of our lives in such a way that we will constantly remember Viṣṇu, or Kṛṣṇa. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Whether one concentrates his mind on the four-handed form of Viṣṇu or on the form of two-handed Kṛṣṇa, it is the same. The Padma Purāṇa recommends: somehow or other always think of Viṣṇu, without forgetting Him under any circumstances. Actually this is the most basic of all regulative principles. For, when there is an order from a superior about doing something, there is simultaneously a prohibition. When the order is that one should always remember Kṛṣṇa, the prohibition is that one should never forget Him. Within this simple order and prohibition, all regulative principles are found complete.

The First Stages of Devotion

The three categories of devotional service which Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī describes in Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu are listed as devotional service in practice, devotional service in ecstasy and devotional service in pure love of Godhead. There are many subheadings in each of these categories. Generally it is understood that in the category of devotional service in practice there are two different qualities, devotional service in ecstasy has four qualities, and devotional service in pure love of Godhead has six qualities. These qualities will be explained by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī later on.

In this connection, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī suggests that the person eligible for Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or devotional service, can be classified by his particular taste. He says that devotional service is a continual process from one’s previous life. No one can take to devotional service unless he has had some previous connection with it. For example, suppose in this life I practice devotional service to some extent. Even though it is not one-hundred-percent perfectly performed, whatever I have done will not be lost. In my next life, from the very point where I stop in this life, I shall begin again. In this way there is always a continuity. But even if there is no continuity, if only by chance a person takes interest in a pure devotee’s instruction, he can be accepted and can advance in devotional service. Anyway, for persons who have a natural taste for understanding books like Bhagavad-gītā and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, devotional service is easier than for those who are simply accustomed to mental speculation and argumentative processes.

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