The Essence of Everything is the Supreme Lord

govinda with cows

Sometimes when I am sitting and reading from Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad Bhagavatam, a verse or sentence from the purport just jumps out from the page almost like it is in 3D, and I catch a glimpse of what the Spiritual World must be like. It is beyond even my imagination, but sometimes I catch a glimmer of light, through a transcendental window, by the grace of my spiritual master His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

…The transcendental abode of the Lord where the trees are all desire trees and the buildings are made of touchstone. The Lord Govinda is engaged there in herding the surabhi cows as His natural occupation.

“I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, the first progenitor who is tending the cows, yielding all desire, in abodes built with spiritual gems, surrounded by millions of purpose trees, always served with great reverence and affection by hundreds of thousands of lakṣmīs or gopīs.” (Bs 5.29)

…The Lord Govinda is engaged there in herding the surabhi cows as His natural occupation. And those who are artists, overtaken by the beautiful creation, should better see to the beautiful face of the Lord for complete satisfaction. The face of the Lord is the embodiment of beauty. What they call beautiful nature is but His smile, and what they call the sweet songs of the birds are but specimens of the whispering voice of the Lord.

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Conversations with George Harrison

George-Harrison-and-Srila-Prabhupada

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Conversations with George Harrison
London, England – July 26, 1976

Srila Prabhupada: “Are you reading sometimes my books? Which one?”

George Harrison: “Mainly Krsna.”

Srila Prabhupada: “That is the main book.” [laughs)

George Harrison: “Mukunda gave me the new books, but there’s so much to read.”

Srila Prabhupada: “Philosophy.”

George Harrison: “I don’t know how anybody could have written it, it’s is difficult to read all that amount”

Srila Prabhupada: “Sometimes, they are surprised how one man can write so many books, but it is Krsna’ s grace. Otherwise, not possible. Human being, it is not possible.”

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Photos by Gurudas

Photos by Gurudas

Walks with Srila Prabhupada in San Francisco

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada with Disciples

Music by Yamuna

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The Bhagavata Dharma Discourses

Bhagavata Dharma Discourses Prabhupada-1972-New-Vrindaban

This is the beginning of a new series of Lectures entitled “The Bhagavata Dharma Discourses” which were held at New Vrindavan Farm Community in 1972.  It was the third annual Janmastami Celebration held at New Vrindavan, and devotees poured in from everywhere, and even a New York Times Reporter appeared.  “On the crown of a lovely green hill in the West Virginia contryside,” his article read, “under the aluminum roof of an open pavilion, the faithful gathered to chant the name of Lord Krsna and kneel at the feet of their spiritual master…A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.”

An interview held during the Bhāgavata Dharma Discourses at New Vrindaban, September 2, 1972.    Śrīla Prabhupāda is interviewed by John Nordheimer of the New York Times.

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Srila Prabhupada’s Arrival in the USA

Srila Prabhupada on the Jaladuta

Today we celebrate the Arrival of Srila Prabhupada in the U.S.A. 1965 with this poem written aboard the ship the Jaladuta and with a free pdf download the Jaladuta Diary. Just click on link at bottom of post to read or save the pdf file.

Poem by Srila Prabhupada on His First Arrival in the USA
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine 1970, Vol. 1, No 34

The spiritual master and founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, is now engaging thousands of men and women in America and throughout the world in the science of bhakti-yoga, transcendental loving service to God. Prabhupada had no personal motive in first beginning ISKCON; he so vigorously preaches the philosophy of God consciousness simply because he has been ordered to do so by his own spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja.

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada first arrived in the United States in 1965 with seven dollars, a letter of introduction to an Indian family in Pennsylvania, and a suitcase with some volumes of Srimad-Bhagavatam. In the following poem, written in Bengali on the day of his arrival in the USA, Srila Prabhupada addresses the Supreme Lord Krsna, asking Him His purpose in sending His servant to America. The translation from Bengali was done by Srila Prabhupada himself.

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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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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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George Harrison Interview 1982

George-Harrison-and-Srila-Prabhupada

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

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By His Example 2nd Edition

By His Example

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

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

By His Example

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

by Gurudas

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

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The Choice is Yours

The Choice is Yours

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This is a nice article from Back to Godhead Magazine published in 1975. It is an interview with New York Times reporter Jon Nordheimer, and His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, on the subject of God.

The Choice is Yours
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine 1975, Vol. 10, No. 4
Interview with His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

PRABHUPADA: When we speak of Krsna, we mean God. Everyone has some vague idea of God, but no clear idea. Therefore God descends to show what He is. If we speculate on God, someone will think one thing, and another person will think another. This is the result of speculation. But if God Himself comes and shows Himself as He is and speaks about Himself, that is perfect knowledge. This Krsna consciousness movement is spreading that message: God Himself is speaking about Himself: “I am this; I am like this; My form is like this; My activities are like this; My address is this and that—if you like, you can come back to Me. This is the situation. Everyone can come to Me.” All this information is in Bhagavad-gita As It Is. In Bhagavad-gita God speaks about Himself and presents Himself as He is. We simply have to take that information; then we can understand God. As soon as we understand God, we can go home immediately. It is very simple.

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Transcendental Broadcast

MinowThen

Transcendental Broadcast
A television interview with His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Excerpted from ‘Back To Godhead’ magazine, 1973, Vol. 1 No. 56

Newton Minnow, former director of the FCC, described the world of TV viewing as a “vast wasteland.” But when a pure devotee of Krsna (God) appears on television, the whole performance becomes surcharged with bliss. When television, with its complex technological set-up for reproducing a picture in thousands of TV sets, is used by a pure devotee for the purpose of glorification of the Supreme Lord, it becomes spiritualized. Whoever sees and hears a pure devotee talking about the nature of God and the eternal soul becomes liberated from all misery.

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His Holiness the Dalai Lama visits ISKCON Bangalore

His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet

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Even though this is old news, still we are posting this because the image of His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet placing a flower garland around the neck of Srila Prabhupada, at the ISKCON Bagalore center, is so beautiful. The Dalai Lama is a generous and compassionate human being, an inspiration to all spiritual seekers, and is a world ambassador for peace.

Bangalore, June 05, 2013. His Holiness the Dalai Lama – the spiritual leader of Tibet paid a visit to the Radha Krishna Chandra temple at the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) Bangalore, Rajajinagar as part of a cultural exchange inititiative. His Holiness the Dalai Lama, while at the temple, said he was impressed by the peace and tranquillity that encompasses the holy place and added that the mission of this non-sectarian movement in promoting the well being of society by teaching the science of Krishna Consciousness is admirable.

His Holiness Dalai Lama was welcomed by the Temple President Shri Madhu Pandit Dasa. After a brief visit to the main shrine of Shri Radha Krishna Chandra, His Holiness interacted with Shri Madhu Pandit Dasa on the need for spirituality, compassion and the role of spirituality in moulding the behavior and thoughts of youth. The discussion also dwelt on the importance of promoting world peace and compassion.

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Gotta Serve Somebody

king rsabha

This morning as I was reading from the Srimad Bhagavatam 1.12.6 about Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, who was the King and a liberated soul durning the time of Lord Krishna. How he did not take any pleasure in a his vast kingdom, good wife, obedient brothers, happy subjects and prosperous world. He was satisfied only by rendering loving service for the satisfaction of the Lord. As is stated in following verse:

O brāhmaṇas, the opulence of the King was so enchanting that the denizens of heaven aspired for it. But because he was absorbed in the service of the Lord, nothing could satisfy him except the Lord’s service.

As I was reading from the purport to this verse a song by Bob Dylan kept going through my head…

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody

…which was kinda cool because it coincided with the reading. So I share with you, the complete verse and purport by Srila Prabhupada, as well as the song lyrics by Bob Dylan.

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Concluding Words

perfect questions, perfect answers1

Continuing with our series of a True account entitled Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers… A search for meaning carries Bob Cohen, a young American Peace Corps worker halfway around the world, to an ancient village in the midst of West Bengal. There, in a small bamboo hut, he finds a teacher who is able to tell him everything he ever wanted to know.

This is the finial installment, the last chapter in the book, and the concluding words are written by Bob, who later became initiated by Srila Prabhupada and was given the name Brahmatīrtha dāsa.

Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Concluding words

On July 19, 1976, His Divine Grace Śrīla Prabhupāda accepted my wife and me as his disciples and initiated us with the names Bhakti-devī dāsī and Brahmatīrtha dāsa. As I reflect back on that day, I can see how fortunate I was to have met His Divine Grace and my Godbrothers in the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement.

When I was handed my beads at initiation, I promised to follow the regulative principles and to chant God’s names daily. Four years previously, Śrīla Prabhupāda had advised me to follow these principles, and within six months, he said, I could be like the other devotees; all unnecessary things (anarthas), such as mundane movies and restaurants, would cease to attract me. “The whole human life is meant for purification,” he said. I was interested in being purified, even though I did not really know what purification meant. I had gone to India with the Peace Corps hoping to find a higher level of consciousness. I could not believe that satisfying the senses was the all in all, yet I myself was bound by the senses. Later I could understand that yoga means becoming free from the dictation of the senses.

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The Best Advice

Jayananda das  Sankirtan

…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. 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.

…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 Bekman from Srila Prabhupada)

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Deciding for the Future

Srila Prabhupada speaking

click on image to enlarge

Continuing with our series of a True account entitled Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers… A search for meaning carries Bob Cohen, a young American Peace Corps worker halfway around the world, to an ancient village in the midst of West Bengal. There, in a small bamboo hut, he finds a teacher who is able to tell him everything he ever wanted to know.

Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Nine, New York—July 4, 1972

Deciding for the Future

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Now, you are a very intelligent boy. You can try to understand this philosophy. It is very important. For sense gratification people are wasting so much energy. They are not aware of what is going to happen in the next life. There is a next life, but foolish people are ignorant. This life is preparation for the next life. That they do not know. The modern education and its universities are completely in darkness about this simple knowledge. We are changing bodies every moment—that is a medical fact. After leaving this body, we will have to accept another body. How are we going to accept that body? What kind of body? This can also be known. For example, if someone is being educated, one can understand that when he passes his examination, he is going to be an engineer or medical practitioner. Similarly, in this life, you can prepare yourself to become something in the next life.

Barbara: [Bob’s wife] Can we decide what we want to be next life?

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes, you can decide. We have decided that next life we are going to Kṛṣṇa. This is our decision—back home, back to Godhead. Suppose you want to become educated. After this decision that you are going to be an engineer or you are going to be a medical practitioner, with that objective you prepare and educate yourself. Similarly, you can decide what you are going to do next life. But if you don’t decide, then the material nature will decide.

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A Choice of Destinies

Srila Prabhupada Vani

…God is available. and we can associate with Him according to our choice. The ability to choose, or our conscience, is given to us in the human form so we can utilize it. All the ingredients are there for us to cross the ocean of birth and death. This human body is a very nice boat, and we have a very good navigator, the spiritual master. We also have a very favorable wind the instructions of God. So we should take our chance and cross the ocean of birth and death. We can say, “Now here is an opportunity. Take it and be saved from birth, old age, disease, and death.” but if you don’t take advantage, what can we do?

Mr. Nordheimer: Why does all this exist? Why the challenge in the first place? Why maya?

Srila Prabhupada: Maya means illusion, darkness. If I tell you to come from the darkness into the light and if you don’t come, that is your misfortune. Maya is there, and God is there. If you want to remain in maya, then how can you be saved? I can help you by saying, “Don’t remain in darkness. Please come out into the light.” But if you say, “No, I shall remain here,” then how can I save you? You have your choice. God is there, and maya is there. If you take to maya, you remain in darkness. What can I do, and what can God do? That is your choice.

A Choice of Destinies

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada speaks with Jon Nordheimer of the New York Times in a conversation recorded in September 1972 at New Vrindaban.

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Advancing in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness

Srila Prabhupada Letters

Continuing with our series of a True account entitled Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers… A search for meaning carries Bob Cohen, a young American Peace Corps worker halfway around the world, to an ancient village in the midst of West Bengal. There, in a small bamboo hut, he finds a teacher who is able to tell him everything he ever wanted to know.

Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Eight

Advancing in Kṛṣṇa Consciousness

(an exchange of letters)

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Acting in Knowledge of Kṛṣṇa

Srila Prabhupada

Continuing with our series of a True account entitled Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers… A search for meaning carries Bob Cohen, a young American Peace Corps worker halfway around the world, to an ancient village in the midst of West Bengal. There, in a small bamboo hut, he finds a teacher who is able to tell him everything he ever wanted to know.

Śrīla Prabhupāda:…God is the supreme proprietor, the supreme enjoyer, and He is the supreme friend. That is the statement of the Bhagavad-gītā. If anyone knows these three things, then he is in full knowledge. These three things only: that God is the proprietor of everything, God is friend of everyone, and God is the enjoyer of everything.

For example, everyone knows that in the body, the stomach is the enjoyer. Not the hands, legs, eyes, ears. These are there simply to help the stomach.

Similarly, as in this body the stomach is the enjoyer, the central figure of the whole cosmic manifestation, material or spiritual, is Kṛṣṇa, God.

…the central stomach of the whole creation is God, or Kṛṣṇa. He is the enjoyer, He is the friend, and, as the supreme proprietor, He is maintaining everyone. So these things have to be understood. Kṛṣṇa is the enjoyer, Kṛṣṇa is the proprietor, and Kṛṣṇa is the friend. If you know these three things, then your knowledge is full.

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The Perfect Devotee

Srila Prabhupada

Continuing with our series of a True account entitled Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers… A search for meaning carries Bob Cohen, a young American Peace Corps worker halfway around the world, to an ancient village in the midst of West Bengal. There, in a small bamboo hut, he finds a teacher who is able to tell him everything he ever wanted to know.

Bob: A perfected soul, a devotee, a pure devotee…

Śrīla Prabhupāda: A perfected soul is one who engages twenty-four hours a day in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is perfection. That is a transcendental position. Perfection means to engage in one’s original consciousness. That is perfection.

Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers
By His Divine Grace A.C. Baktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 6, February 29, 1972, (evening)

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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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Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

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