Kṛṣṇa Consciousness—the Yoga for the Modern Age

harinam sankirtan

…So by the grace of Lord Caitanya, this movement is already introduced in the Western countries, beginning from New York. Our saṅkīrtana movement was first introduced in New York in 1966. At that time I came and began to chant this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra in Tompkins Square. I was chanting there for three hours with a small mṛdaṅga (drum), and these American boys assembled and gradually joined, and so it is increasing. First of all it was started in a New York storefront, 26 Second Avenue, then we started our branches in San Francisco, Montreal, Boston, Los Angeles, Buffalo, Columbus. We now [1970] have twenty-four branches, including one in London and one in Hamburg. In London they are all American boys and girls, and they are preaching. (Srila Prabhupada from The Science of Sef Realization)

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The Perfection of Self-realization

Krishna and the gopis

…Kṛṣṇa’s only business is satisfying the devotees, and their only business is satisfying Kṛṣṇa. This is the reciprocation of love… The Supreme Personality of Godhead, wanders on the banks of the Yamunā to please the gopīs, the cowherd boys, the birds, the bees, and the cows and calves. These are not ordinary birds, bees, cows, calves, or men; they have all reached the summit of self-realization and thus, after many, many lives, have attained a position whereby they can play with Kṛṣṇa. This Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement can enable everyone to go to Kṛṣṇaloka and become Kṛṣṇa’s associate as a friend, servant, father, or mother. Kṛṣṇa is agreeable to take any of these positions in relation to His devotee.

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Striving for Perfection

Gold and Diamonds

Gold and Diamonds
(Author Unknown)

Gold must pass through fire to achieve its ultimate beauty.

Diamonds only become brilliant overtime and under great pressure.

It is the times that try us the most, that shape us, define us, that bring us closer to the perfection within.

Changing Bodies

We Are Not These Bodies, We Are Soul

…within this body there is soul, and the body is changing every moment, but the soul is there. Just as a soul comes from the womb of his mother with a small body, and that small body changes—it becomes the body of a boy, it becomes the body of a youth, then it becomes the body of an old man, then it vanquishes… That we have to admit. We may say that the body is growing, but actually, the fact is, body is changing. It is medically admitted that we are changing our body every second. We are changing our blood corpuscles, and therefore a change of the body is taking place, and that is being manifested in a different shape only. Actually, we are changing every moment our body. So the ultimate change, when this body cannot be worked any more, just like a dress, when it is torn, when it is too old, you have to change it. Similarly, when this body becomes useless, no more, it cannot be pulled on any more, you take another body. Tathā dehāntara-prāptir. As we are, in our practical life, we are changing our body every moment, similarly, the last stage of changing this body is called death. Just as I give up this body, I have to enter into the womb of some kind of mother. These things are explained in the Vedic literatures. (Srila Prabhupada from lecture; San Francisco, April 2, 1968)

The soul is eternal, it is changing body, different bodies, and there are 8,400,000 different forms of body. According to his desire, he is entering another body.

…in the hundreds and thousands of universities all over the world there is no department of knowledge where the science of the soul is taught. Actually, we are all spirit soul. From Bhagavad-gītā we understand that we are transmigrating from one body to another, even in our present lives. All of us had at one time the body of a small baby. Where is that body? That body is gone. Presently I am an old man, but I remember that I was once a small baby. I still remember when I was about six months old; I was lying down on the lap of my elder sister, who was knitting, and I was playing. I can remember that, so it is possible for everyone to remember that he had a small body. After the baby’s body I had a boy’s body; then I had a youthful body, and now I am in this body. Where are those bodies? They are gone now. This is a different body. It is explained in Bhagavad-gītā that when I give up this body, I will have to accept another body. It is very simple to understand. I have changed so many bodies, not only from childhood to boyhood to youth, but according to medical science we are changing bodies every second, imperceptibly. This Process indicates that the soul is permanent. Although I have changed many bodies, I remember my baby body and my childhood body—I am the same person, soul. Similarly, when ultimately I change this body, I shall have to accept another. This simple formula is stated in Bhagavad-gītā. Everyone can reflect on it…(Srila Prabhupada from; Krsna Consciousness The Topmost Yoga System)

A person or an animal is not the material body; rather, the material body is the covering of the living being. Bhagavad-gītā compares the body to a dress and elaborately explains how one changes dresses one after another. The same Vedic knowledge is confirmed here. The living being, the soul, is constantly changing bodies one after another. Even in the present life, the body changes from childhood to boyhood, from boyhood to youth, and from youth to old age; similarly, when the body is too old to continue, the living being gives up this body and, by the laws of nature, automatically gets another body according to his fruitive activities, desires and ambitions. The laws of nature control this sequence, and therefore as long as the living entity is under the control of the external, material energy, the process of bodily change takes place automatically, according to one’s fruitive activities.

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Understanding Krsna and Christ

Today here in the West most of the World is celebrating Easter Sunday, therefore we are posting some of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions on Jesus Christ

…Jesus Christ was such a great personality—the son of God, the representative of God. He had no fault. Still, he was crucified. He wanted to deliver God consciousness, but in return they crucified him—they were so thankless. They could not appreciate his preaching. But we appreciate him and give him all honor as the representative of God.

Of course, the message that Christ preached was just according to his particular time, place, and country, and just suited for a particular group of people. But certainly he is the representative of God. Therefore we adore Lord Jesus Christ and offer our obeisances to him.

Once, in Melbourne, a group of Christian ministers came to visit me. They asked, “What is your idea of Jesus Christ?” I told them, “He is our guru. He is preaching God consciousness, so he is our spiritual master.” The ministers very much appreciated that.

Actually, anyone who is preaching God’s glories must be accepted as a guru. Jesus Christ is one such great personality. We should not think of him as an ordinary human being. The scriptures say that anyone who considers the spiritual master to be an ordinary man has a hellish mentality. If Jesus Christ were an ordinary man, then he could not have delivered God consciousness…

The Science of Self Realization
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 4,

Understanding Krsna and Christ

The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam states that any bona fide preacher of God consciousness must have the qualities of titikṣā (tolerance) and karuṇā (compassion). In the character of Lord Jesus Christ we find both these qualities. He was so tolerant that even while he was being crucified, he didn’t condemn anyone. And he was so compassionate that he prayed to God to forgive the very persons who were trying to kill him. (Of course, they could not actually kill him. But they were thinking that he could be killed, so they were committing a great offense.) As Christ was being crucified he prayed, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they are doing.”

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Separating the Saints From the Swindlers

The Science of Self Realization
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
From Chapter II, Choosing a Spiritual Master

Separating the Saints From the Swindlers

Srila Prabhupada speaks out in an interview with the London Times: “If you want to be cheated, you will find many cheating gurus. But if you are sincere, you will find a sincere guru… The genuine guru is God’s representative, and he speaks about God and nothing else… A genuine guru is not a businessman. He is a representative of God. What ever God says, the guru repeats. He does not speak otherwise.”

Reporter: Your Grace, it seems to me that more people then ever are seeking some kind of spiritual life. I wonder if you could tell me why this is so.

Srila Prabhupada: The desire for spiritual life is an absolutely natural hankering. Because we are spirit souls, we can not be happy in the material atmosphere. If you take a fish out of the water, it cannot be happy on land. Similarly, if we are without spiritual consciousness, we can never be happy. Today, so many people are after scientific advancement and economic development, but they are not happy because these are not the actual goals of life. Many young people are realizing this, and they are rejecting materialistic life and are trying to search for spiritual life. Actually this is the proper search. Krishna consciousness is the proper goal of life. Unless you take to Krishna consciousness you cannot be happy. That is a fact. Therefore, we invite everyone to study and understand this great movement.

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What is Krsna Consciousness?

The following interview with freelance reporter Sandy Nixon took place in July 1975, in Śrīla Prabhupāda’s quarters at the Kṛṣṇa center in Philadelphia. This discussion serves as a superb introduction to Kṛṣṇa consciousness and covers such basic topics as the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, the relationship between the spiritual master and God, the difference between genuine and fake gurus, the role of women in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the Indian caste system, and the relationship between Christ consciousness and Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

What is Krsna Consciousness?

Ms. Nixon: My first question is very basic. What is Kṛṣṇa consciousness?

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa means God. We are all intimately connected with Him because He is our original father. But we have forgotten this connection. When we become interested in knowing, “What is my connection with God? What is the aim of life?” then we are called Kṛṣṇa conscious.

Ms. Nixon: How does Kṛṣṇa consciousness develop in the practitioner?

Śrīla Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa consciousness is already there in the core of everyone’s heart. But because of our materially conditioned life, we have forgotten it. The process of chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra—Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare—revives the Kṛṣṇa consciousness we already have. For example, a few months ago these American and European boys andgirls did not know about Kṛṣṇa, but just yesterday we saw how they were chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa and dancing in ecstasy throughout the whole Ratha-yātrā procession [an annual festival sponsored by the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement in cities around the world]. Do you think that was artificial? No. Artificially, nobody can chant and dance for hours together. They have actually awakened their Kṛṣṇa consciousness by following a bona fide process. This is explained in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Madhya 22. 107)

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Understanding Krsna and Christ

Conversation with Father Emmanuel

The Science of Self Realization
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 4 “Understanding Krsna and Christ”

Conversation with Father Emmanuel

In 1974, near ISKCON’s center in Frankfurt am Main, West Germany, Srila Prabhupada and several of his disciples took a morning walk with father Emmanuel Jungclaussen, a Benedictine monk from Niederalteich Monastery.

Noticing that Srila Prabhupada was carrying meditation beads similar to the rosary, Father Emmanuel explained that he also chanted a constant prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, be merciful unto us.” The following conversation ensued.

Srila Prabhupada: What is the meaning of the word Christ?

Father Emmanuel: Christ comes from the Greek word Christos, meaning “the anointed one.”

Srila Prabhupada: Christos is the Greek version of the word Krsna.

Father Emmanuel: This is very interesting.

Srila Prabhupada: When an Indian person calls on Krsna, he often says, “Krsta.” Krsta is a Sanskrit word meaning “attraction.” So when we address God as “Christ,” “Krsta,” or “Krsna,” we indicate the same all-attractive Supreme Personality of Godhead. When Jesus said, “Our Father, who art in heaven, sanctified be Thy name,” that name of God was “Krsta” or “Krsna.” Do you agree?

Father Emmanuel: I think Jesus, as the son of God, has revealed to us the actual name of God: Christ. We can call God “Father,” but if we want to address Him by His actual name, we have to say “Christ.”

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. “Christ” is another way of saying Krsta, and “Krsta” is another way of pronouncing Krsna, the name of God. Jesus said that one should glorify the name of God, but yesterday I heard one theologian say that God has no name-that we can call Him only “Father.” A son may call his father “Father,” but the father also has a specific name. Similarly, “God” is the general name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose specific name is Krsna. Therefore whether you call God “Christ,” “Krsta,” or “Krsna,” ultimately you are addressing the same Supreme Personality of Godhead.

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Devotional Service Attracts KRSNA


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

Attracting Krsna

Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has stated that devotional service attracts even Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa attracts everyone, but devotional service attracts Kṛṣṇa. The symbol of devotional service in the highest degree is Rādhārāṇī. Kṛṣṇa is called Madana-mohana, which means that He is so attractive that He can defeat the attraction of thousands of Cupids. But Rādhārāṇī is still more attractive, for She can even attract Kṛṣṇa. Therefore devotees call Her Madana-mohana-mohanī-the attractor of the attractor of Cupid.

To perform devotional service means to follow in the footsteps of Rādhārāṇī, and devotees in Vṛndāvana put themselves under the care of Rādhārāṇī in order to achieve perfection in their devotional service. In other words, devotional service is not an activity of the material world; it is directly under the control of Rādhārāṇī. In Bhagavad-gītā it is confirmed that the mahātmās, or great souls, are under the protection of daivī prakṛti, the internal energy-Rādhārāṇī. So, being directly under the control of the internal potency of Kṛṣṇa, devotional service attracts even Kṛṣṇa Himself.

This fact is corroborated by Kṛṣṇa in the Eleventh Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, 12th Chapter, 1st verse, where He says, “My dear Uddhava, you may know it from Me that the attraction I feel for devotional service rendered by My devotees is not to be attained even by the performance of mystic yoga, philosophical speculation, ritualistic sacrifices, the study of Vedānta, the practice of severe austerities or the giving of everything in charity. These are, of course, very nice activities, but they are not as attractive to Me as the transcendental loving service rendered by My devotees.”(from Nectar of Devotion: Chapter One, Characteristics of Pure Devotional Service, Attracting Krsna)

The Absolute Necessity of a Spiritual Master

The Absolute Necessity of a Spiritual Master
From; The Science of Self Realization
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

In February 1936, in Bombay, India, the members of a reputed religious society, the Gauḍīya Maṭha, were astonished by the powerful and eloquent words of a young member who spoke in honor of his spiritual master, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī. Three decades later, the young speaker would become the world-renowned founder and spiritual master of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Śrīla Prabhupāda’s presentation is a memorable statement on the importance of the guru in spiritual life.

sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstrair
uktas tathā bhāvyata eva sadbhiḥ
kintu prabhor yaḥ priya eva tasya
vande guroḥ śrī-caraṇāravindam

“In the revealed scriptures it is declared that the spiritual master should be worshiped like the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and this injunction is obeyed by pure devotees of the Lord. The spiritual master is the most confidential servant of the Lord. Thus let us offer our respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of our spiritual master.”

Gentlemen, on behalf of the members of the Bombay branch of the Gauḍīya Maṭha, let me welcome you all because you have so kindly joined us tonight in our congregational offerings of homage to the lotus feet of the world teacher, Ācāryadeva, who is the founder of this Gauḍīya Mission and is the president-ācārya of Śrī Śrī Viśva-vaiṣṇava Rāja-sabhā—I mean my eternal divine master, Paramahaṁsa Parivrājakācārya Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja.

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Krishna Consciousness-The Yoga for the Modern Age

Krishna Consciousness-The Yoga for the Modern Age
The Science of Self Realization by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
from the chapter “Practicing Yoga in the Age of Quarrel”

harer nāma harer nāma
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva
nāsty eva gatir anyathā
[Adi 17.21]

“In this age of Kali there is no other religion than glorifying the Lord by utterance of His holy name, and that is the injunction of all the revealed scriptures. There is no other way, there is no other way, there is no other way.” This verse appears in the Bṛhan-nāradīya Purāṇa. Harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam. Simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. There is no other alternative. Kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā. In this age, Kali, there is no other alternative for self-realization. So we have to accept it.

There is another similar verse in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. In the Twelfth Canto, Third Chapter, Parīkṣit Mahārāja was informed by Śukadeva Gosvāmī of the faults of this age, and now all the symptoms of the age of Kali are apparent. In the conclusive portion, however, Śukadeva Gosvāmī said, kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ: “My dear king, this age, Kali, is full of faulty things, but there is one good opportunity.” What is that? Kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet: “Simply by chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra one can become liberated and go back to Godhead.”

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“By sound vibration one becomes liberated.”

Excerpt from The Science of Self-Realization
by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Letter to J.F. Staal Professor of Philosophy and of South Asian Languages
January 30, 1970

“By sound vibration one becomes liberated.” By devotional service, by understanding well the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one can go to His abode and never come back again to this material condition. How is it possible? The answer is, simply by chanting His name constantly.

This is accepted by the exemplary disciple, Arjuna, who has perfectly learned the conclusion of spiritual science from the yogeśvara, the master of mystic knowledge, Kṛṣṇa. Recognizing Kṛṣṇa to be the Supreme Brahman, Arjuna addresses Him, sthāne hṛṣīkeśa…: “The world becomes joyful hearing Your name, and thus do all become attached to You.” (Bg. 11.36) The process of chanting is herein authorized as the direct means of contacting the Supreme Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead. Simply by chanting the holy name Kṛṣṇa, the soul is attracted by the Supreme Person, Kṛṣṇa, to go home, back to Godhead.

In the Nārada-pañcarātra it is stated that all the Vedic rituals, mantras, and understanding are compressed into the eight words Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare. Similarly, in the Kali-santaraṇa Upaniṣad it is stated that these sixteen words, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, are especially meant for counteracting the degrading and contaminating influence of this materialistic age of Kali.

A Short Statement of the Philosophy of Krishna Consciousness

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July 9th Letter

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Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

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Srimad Bhagavatam Online

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108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

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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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