Sailing Back to Godhead

Sailing Back to Godhead 166_-_BTG_Year-1981_Volume-16_Number-06_Page_01

Yesterday I was cleaning out the abandoned barn at Bahulavan, which is now being put back together again, and I found an old issue of Back to Godhead Magazine mixed in with so much debris. I pulled it out, cleaned it off, and added it to my collection of Back to Godhead Magazines. I had always heard of this famous sailing ship, and finally got a chance to see it.

Sailing Back to Godhead
Article excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine Vol. 16, No. 6, 1981

A teakwood ketch and a devotee’s determination help bring Lord Krsna’s message to the Hawaiian Islands.

“…Krsna consciousness is the only established religion I know of that openly respects all other bonafide religions. My wife and I chant Hare Krsna and read Srila Prabhupada’s books daily. It’s added a dimension to my life that I feel is essential.”

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Which Way Home for the Wandering Soul?

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Which Way Home for the Wandering Soul?

A lecture by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine Vol. 18, No. 10, 1983

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for kindly participating in this Krsna consciousness movement, which is spreading bhagavata-dharma. Bhagavata-dharma means “the activities performed in relationship with the Supreme Lord.” The Lord is Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the devotee is bhagavata, one who acts in relationship with Bhagavan.

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Some Day the Tiny Soul Will Want to Get Out of Illusion

Vishnujana Swami 094_-_BTG_Year-1974_Volume-01_Number-65_Page_29

Some Day the Tiny Soul Will Want to Get Out of Illusion

Instructions to the devotees of the Hare Krsna movement
given in New York City, March 31, 1974
by His Holiness Visnujana Svami
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine 1974 Vol. 1, No. 65

…As soon as one gets the association of the bhakti-vedanta, the pure devotee or spiritual master, and hears from his lips the nectarean waves flowing just like the wonderful River Ganges, these waves enter his ears and his heart and purify him. Thus he is freed from the seeds of contaminated material desires. When he hears sufficiently, his intelligence becomes satisfied, and he agrees to act on the instructions of his bona fide spiritual master. The more he acts on these instructions, the more he becomes freed from past bad habits and the conditional responses of this material world. Thus his conditional association is completely vanquished. This, of course, is where he achieves a spiritual taste (ruci) and spiritual strength (vairagya).

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The Spiritual Sky (Sanātana Sky)

The Spiritual Sky

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I have always loved this picture since the first time I opened the Bhagavad-gita some 42 years ago. It is a beautiful image of life in the Spiritual Sky, and also, it is a nice graphic description of the 5 types of relationships one can have with the Supreme Lord. The following is a short description, from the Introduction to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, about the eternal nature, and the 5 types of relationships on can have with the Lord.

…In this material world we find that everything is temporary. It comes into being, stays for some time, produces some by-products, dwindles and then vanishes. That is the law of the material world, whether we use as an example this body, or a piece of fruit or anything. But beyond this temporary world there is another world of which we have information. This world consists of another nature which is sanātana, eternal. Jīva is also described as sanātana, eternal, and the Lord is also described as sanātana in the Eleventh Chapter. We have an intimate relationship with the Lord, and because we are all qualitatively one—the sanātana-dhāma, or sky, the sanātana Supreme Personality and the sanātana living entities—the whole purpose of Bhagavad-gītā is to revive our sanātana occupation, or sanātana-dharma, which is the eternal occupation of the living entity. We are temporarily engaged in different activities, but all of these activities can be purified when we give up all these temporary activities and take up the activities which are prescribed by the Supreme Lord. That is called our pure life.

…That destination is called the sanātana sky, the eternal spiritual sky. (from Introduction to Bhagavad-gita As It Is)

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Krsna’s Sweet Flute Playing Within The Forest of Vṛndāvana

radha-learning-flute-from-krishna

[This is a verse spoken by Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī.] “My dear friend, now I have met My very old and dear friend Kṛṣṇa on this field of Kurukṣetra. I am the same Rādhārāṇī, and now We are meeting together. It is very pleasant, but still I would like to go to the bank of the Yamunā beneath the trees of the forest there. I wish to hear the vibration of His sweet flute playing the fifth note within that forest of Vṛndāvana.”

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Ecstasy of Rememberance

gopal

I guess we all have our favorite verse or sloka from Srila Prabhupada’s books, and a favorite picture as well. This is probably my favorite verse from the Srimad Bhagavatam. It speaks to me, and I find that I quote this verse often when I am speaking with others about the joyous nature of Krishna consciousness.

I will be away from the computer for the next few weeks as we are taking a ‘spring break’, but I wanted our last post to be about Remembering Krishna.

My dear Vyāsa, even though a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa sometimes falls down somehow or other, he certainly does not undergo material existence like others [fruitive workers, etc.] because a person who has once relished the taste of the lotus feet of the Lord can do nothing but remember that ecstasy again and again. (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.5.19)

…Pure devotional service is so spiritually relishable that a devotee becomes automatically uninterested in material enjoyment. That is the sign of perfection in progressive devotional service. A pure devotee continuously remembers the lotus feet of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa and does not forget Him even for a moment, not even in exchange for all the opulence of the three worlds. (from purport)

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Srila Prabhupada’s Visit to Mexico

Aguilar Puerto Vallarta.jpg

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I was talking with one devotee the other day about Puerto Vallarta Mexico. We both agreed that it was a very beautiful and magical place and the devotee informed me that Srila Prabhupada had once visited there, liked it very much and said it reminded him of the birth place of Bhaktivinoda Thakur. This prompted me to do a search on Srila Prabhupada’s visit to Mexico…

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The Sixty-four Activities in Fine Arts and Crafts

The Sixty-four Activities in Fine Arts and Crafts

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In yesterdays post we listed the 64 Arts and Sciences that Krsna and Balarama learned from their spiritual master, today we list the The Sixty-four Activities in Fine Arts and Crafts, learned by Srimati Radharani and the gopis, as found in the Brahma-samhita text 37.

I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, residing in His own realm, Goloka, with Rādhā, resembling His own spiritual figure, the embodiment of the ecstatic potency possessed of the sixty-four artistic activities, in the company of Her confidantes [sakhīs], embodiments of the extensions of Her bodily form, permeated and vitalized by His ever-blissful spiritual rasa.

Full text and purport follow More

The Perfectional Stage of Spiritual Life

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

As devotees, or rather as practitioners of bhakti-yoga, we should be aspiring to act in such a way that all of our actions and words will be an inspiration to others. We are representatives of our spiritual master and Krishna. And as such should try to act according to the instructions given in the Bhagavad-gita.

The perfectional stage of spiritual life which one can experience even while being in the material world is described in the Twelfth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā as follows:

“One who is not envious but who is a kind friend to all living entities, who does not think himself a proprietor, who is free from false ego and equal both in happiness and distress, who is always satisfied and engaged in devotional service with determination and whose mind and intelligence are in agreement with Me-he is very dear to Me. He for whom no one is put into difficulty and who is not disturbed by anxiety, who is steady in happiness and distress, is very dear to Me. A devotee who is not dependent on the ordinary course of activities, who is pure, expert, without cares, free from all pains, and who does not strive for some result, is very dear to Me. One who grasps neither pleasure or grief who neither laments nor desires, and who renounces both auspicious and inauspicious things, is very dear to Me. One who is equal to friends and enemies, who is equipoised in honor and dishonor, heat and cold, happiness and distress, fame and infamy, who is always free from contamination, always silent and satisfied with anything, who doesn’t care for any residence, who is fixed in knowledge and engaged in devotional service, is very dear to Me. He who follows this imperishable path of devotional service and who completely engages himself with faith, making Me the supreme goal, is very, very dear to Me.” (Bg. 12.13-20)

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When Service is Rendered in Affection, It is the Lord’s Special Mercy

Lord Krishna and the gopis

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Two Ways to Approach the Lord; Affection & Veneration

“Lord Kṛṣṇa’s mercy is dependent only on affection. Being obliged only by affection, Lord Kṛṣṇa acts very independently. (Cc. Madya 10. 139)

I have been looking for this(above) verse for the longest time. I remember reading this verse and purport a couple of years ago, and could not remember which book of the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta it came from. But today by Krsna’s mercy, I found the verse and purport.

“…Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is merciful, but His mercy does not depend on mundane rules and regulations. He is dependent only on affection and nothing else. Service to Lord Kṛṣṇa can be rendered in two ways. One can serve the Lord in affection or in veneration. When service is rendered in affection, it is the Lord’s special mercy. When service is rendered in veneration, it is doubtful whether Kṛṣṇa’s mercy is actually involved.” (from purport Cc. Madya 10. 139)

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Freedom from Material Contamination

Srila Prabhupada speaking from Vyasasana

…I wish everyone of my devotees may purify himself from all material contamination and thus be eligible for entering into the association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Material life means indulging in sense gratification which diverts our attention from spiritual importance and thus we remain captive under the bewilderment of Maya. This is the most dangerous of our condition of life. Intelligent persons therefore try to avoid it under the protection of Krsna and the Spiritual Master. (from a letter by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Aug.25 1970)

…A conditioned soul, entangled in material contamination, is sure to act in the material atmosphere, and yet he has to get out of such an environment. The process by which the conditioned soul can get out of the material atmosphere is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. (purport Bg. 4.24)

…By acting in Kṛṣṇa consciousness for the satisfaction of the senses of Kṛṣṇa, any action, whether of the body, mind, intelligence or even of the senses, is purified of material contamination. There are no material reactions resulting from the activities of a Kṛṣṇa conscious person. Therefore, purified activities, which are generally called sadācāra, can be easily performed by acting in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. (purport Bg. 5.11)

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Don’t Be A Crazy Fellow, Be Patient and Return Home

Srila Prabhupada

“Be patient and return home. Don’t be a crazy fellow. By and by you will be able to cross the ocean of material existence. You should not make yourself a showbottle devotee and become a false renunciant. For the time being, enjoy the material world in a befitting way and do not become attached to it. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued: “Within your heart, you should keep yourself very faithful, but externally you may behave like an ordinary man. Thus Kṛṣṇa will soon be very pleased and deliver you from the clutches of māyā.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta: Madhya-lila Chapter 16, Text 237-239)

I have always liked this verse, it is sage advise for anyone practicing spiritual life (self-realization), in this age. “Within your heart, you should keep yourself very faithful, but externally you may behave like an ordinary man.” It is not that everyone who is interested in practicing Krishna Consciousness must artificially renounce the world, shave their head, put on robes, become a nun or monk, and live in a temple. No the instruction is here; “enjoy the material world in a befitting way and do not become attached to it.”

The peace and happiness for which we are all hankering for life after life, moment after moment, we will get when our desires become purified, and dovetailed with the Lord. One who desires sense gratification, the enjoyment of material satisfaction, will never be happy. That is not possible. If you want peace, if you want happiness, if you want perfection in your life, then just begin to dovetail your desires, activities, and potentials with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then you will see what real happiness is, and can tell who is really crazy.

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The Spiritual Sky

Universe

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…In this material world we find that everything is temporary. It comes into being, stays for some time, produces some by-products, dwindles and then vanishes. That is the law of the material world, whether we use as an example this body, or a piece of fruit or anything. But beyond this temporary world there is another world of which we have information. This world consists of another nature which is sanātana, eternal. (from the Introduction to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is)

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Belief in the Words of Our Spiritual Master

Srila Prabhupada on morning walk

“I firmly believe in these words of My spiritual master, and therefore I always chant the holy name of the Lord, alone and in the association of devotees. That holy name of Lord Kṛṣṇa sometimes causes Me to chant and dance, and therefore I chant and dance. Please do not think that I intentionally do it. I do it automatically. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 7.95-96)

A person who cannot keep his faith in the words of his spiritual master but acts independently never receives the authority to chant the holy name of the Lord. (from purport)

This is one of my favorite verses from the Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, and the purport here is one of the most important lessons in spiritual life. Namely, success in spiritual life is faith in the words of the spiritual master and following his instructions. Thereby receiving his blessings. If one receives the blessings of his spiritual master he can chant the holy name of the lord constantly.

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Vrndavana – Land of No Return

Kusum Sarvara

Kusum Sarvara

Please click on image to enlarge

Vrndavana – Land of No Return
by Brahmananda Swami
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine 1975 Vol.10, No. 11

I once visited Vrndavana, India with His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. As I accompanied him on his daily walk one morning we suddenly came upon a particularly beautiful spot. The cool sands were thick with foliage; the tall trees full of singing birds. As the sun brightened the clear morning sky, peacocks filled the air with their peculiar call.

Srila Prabhupada looked over his shoulder and said to me, “So, Brahmananda, this is Vrndavana. How do you like it?”

“It’s wonderful, Srila Prabhupada,” was all I could reply. I felt that he was actually revealing the glories of Vrndavana to me even though I had no particular spiritual qualification.

Vrndavana is the place where the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna appeared five thousand years ago. Lord Krsna descended there from His own spiritual planet, Goloka Vrndavana to attract us by displaying His supernatural pastimes. Srila Prabhupada has explained that when Krsna descends to the material world, this same Vrndavana descends with Him just as an entourage accompanies an important personage. Because when Krsna comes His land also comes, Vrndavana is not considered to exist in the material world. Therefore devotees take shelter of the Vrndavana in India, for it is considered to be a replica of the original Goloka Vrndavana.

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Kṛṣṇa Conscious Yogī (Part II)

Krishna Arjuna

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A true yogī observes Me in all beings, and also sees every being in Me. Indeed, the self-realized man sees Me everywhere. (Bg. 6.29)

For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me. (Bg. 6.30)

…A person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness certainly sees Lord Kṛṣṇa everywhere, and he sees everything in Kṛṣṇa…Nothing can exist without Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa is the Lord of everything—this is the basic principle of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

…Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the development of love of Kṛṣṇa—a position transcendental even to material liberation. (from purport to Bg.6.30)

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.;C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 6, Text 29-30

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Lunch with the Lord

Krsna & the cowheard boys taking Prasadam

Today, being Monday, and the start of another workday week, I wanted to focus my mind, not on all the work ahead, but rather, on some Krishna Nectar from Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad Bhagavatam. We share with you a few of Srila Prabhupada’s divine ecstasies. As we mentioned is a previous post, there are two kṛṣṇa-kathās; narrations spoken by Kṛṣṇa, and narrations spoken about Kṛṣṇa. Please note text 5 & 6 which is spoken by Krsna.

…devotees who have accepted the essence of life, are attached to Kṛṣṇa in the core of their hearts, and He is the aim of their lives. It is their nature to talk only of Kṛṣṇa at every moment, as if such topics were newer and newer.

Like the whorl of a lotus flower surrounded by its petals and leaves, Kṛṣṇa sat in the center, encircled by lines of His friends, who all looked very beautiful. Every one of them was trying to look forward toward Kṛṣṇa, thinking that Kṛṣṇa might look toward him. In this way they all enjoyed their lunch in the forest.

Among the cowherd boys, some placed their lunch on flowers, some on leaves, fruits, or bunches of leaves, some actually in their baskets, some on the bark of trees and some on rocks. This is what the children imagined to be their plates as they ate their lunch.

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 10, Chapter 13, Text 1-12

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The Spiritual Sky

Radha and Krishna  the Spiritual World

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The liberated living entities seek that place where there are no material miseries. The Bhāgavatam says:

samāśritā ye padapallava-plavaṁ
mahat-padaṁ puṇya-yaśo murāreḥ
bhāvambudhir vatsa-padaṁ paraṁ padaṁ
paraṁ padaṁ yad vipadāṁ na teṣām
(Bhāg. 10.14.58)

“For one who has accepted the boat of the lotus feet of the Lord, who is the shelter of the cosmic manifestation and is famous as Mukunda or the giver of mukti, the ocean of the material world is like the water contained in a calf’s hoofprint. Param padam, or the place where there are no material miseries, or Vaikuṇṭha, is his goal, not the place where there is danger in every step of life.” (From purport to Bg. 2.51)

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The Highest Perfection

Krishna Balarama and Cows

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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, began to vibrate His transcendental flute. After hearing the vibration of the flute of Kṛṣṇa, the gopīs in Vṛndāvana remembered Him and began to talk amongst themselves about how nicely Kṛṣṇa was playing His flute. When the gopīs were describing the sweet vibration of Kṛṣṇa’s flute, they also remembered their pastimes with Him; thus their minds became disturbed, and they were unable to describe completely the beautiful vibrations. While discussing the transcendental vibration, they remembered also how Kṛṣṇa dressed, decorated with a peacock feather on His head, just like a dancing actor, and with blue flowers pushed over His ear. His garment glowed yellow-gold, and He was garlanded with a vaijayantī necklace. Dressed in such an attractive way, Kṛṣṇa filled up the holes of His flute with the nectar emanating from His lips. So they remembered Him, entering the forest of Vṛndāvana, which is always glorified by the footprints of Kṛṣṇa and His companions.

Kṛṣṇa was very expert in playing the flute, and the gopīs were captivated by the sound vibration, which was not only attractive to them, but to all living creatures who heard it. One of the gopīs told her friends, “The highest perfection of the eyes is to see Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma entering the forest and playing Their flutes and tending the cows with Their friends.”

Persons who are constantly engaged in the transcendental meditation of seeing Kṛṣṇa, internally and externally, by thinking of Him playing the flute and entering the Vṛndāvana forest, have really attained the perfection of samādhi. Samādhi (trance) means absorption of all the activities of the senses on a particular object, and the gopīs indicate that the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa are the perfection of all meditation and samādhi. It is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā that anyone who is always absorbed in the thought of Kṛṣṇa is the topmost of all yogīs. (KRSNA The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Chapter 21)

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Our Real Position

Krsna in Vrindavan

Recently I celebrated another Birthday, and on one card there was this nice inscription; “we are meant for dancing and playing and walking and living with Krsna. That is our real position. That is Vrndavana.” So beautiful was this statement from one of Srila Prabhupada’s lectures, that I looked it up in Prabhupada Vani to read the entire lecture (you can click on underlined link).

…we are meant for dancing and playing and walking and living with Krsna. That is our real position. That is the Vrndavana. Everyone… Everyone is connected with Krsna. … the trees, the flowers, water, the cows, the calves, the cowherd boys, the elderly cowherd men, Nanda Maharaja, Yasodamayi, the gopis. Krsna comes with full Vrndavana picture, and He demonstrates His Vrndavana life, cintamani-prakara-sadmasu, just to attract us, that “You are trying to enjoy in this material world, but here you cannot enjoy because you are eternal. You cannot get eternal life here. So you come to Me. You come to Me.” Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti kaunteya [Bg. 4.9]. (Lecture given by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, 21 Feb 76, Mayapura)

Full text and purport to Bg. 4.9 More

Previous Older Entries

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

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The Hare Krishna Cookbook

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

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Srimad Bhagavatam Online

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Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

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Important Slokas from the Brahma-samhita

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Slokas from the Sri Isopanisad

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Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

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Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender (Slokas)

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