In the Age of Kali

Kali Yuga

Kali Yuga

O learned one, in this iron age of Kali men have but short lives. They are quarrelsome, lazy, misguided, unlucky and, above all, always disturbed. (SB 1.1.10)

This morning as I was reading from the Srimad Bhagavam, and Srila Prabhupada was describing the symptoms of this age.

…In Kali-yuga, the duration of life is shortened not so much because of insufficient food but because of irregular habits. By keeping regular habits and eating simple food, any man can maintain his health. Overeating, over-sense gratification, overdependence on another’s mercy, and artificial standards of living sap the very vitality of human energy. Therefore the duration of life is shortened.

The people of this age are also very lazy, not only materially but in the matter of self-realization.

In this age, men are victims not only of different political creeds and parties, but also of many different types of sense-gratificatory diversions, such as cinemas, sports, gambling, clubs, mundane libraries, bad association, smoking, drinking, cheating, pilfering, bickerings, and so on. Their minds are always disturbed and full of anxieties due to so many different engagements… In the Kali-yuga the whole atmosphere is surcharged with faithlessness. Men are no longer interested in spiritual values. Material sense gratification is now the standard of civilization.

Although it is indeed a difficult age to live in, still there is a solution. In this First Chapter of Srimad Bhagavatam;

…The sages of Naimiṣāraṇya are anxious to disentangle all fallen souls, and here they are seeking the remedy from Śrīla Sūta Gosvāmī.

Full Text and Purport More

Puruṣa-sūkta Confirmed

Brahma Shiva Visnu

As we continue to update one of our other sites Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by posting a chapter at a time, of that great literary work by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, we will continue to share the progress with our readers here at The Hare Krishna Movement.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Six

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One World Culture

chac_mool_cancn_mexico-normal

One thing I have often found interesting when reading books like the Srimad Bhagavatam and the Maha Bharata, is how far back the recorded oral histories go. Often Millions of Years. On our last visit to Mexico we were learning some about the Mayan culture, and how Millions of people vanished some 5,000 years ago. Which happens to coincide with the ancient Battle of Kurukestra which took place in India.

Also Srila Prabhupada has mentioned so many places in his books about how at one time, all the different parts of the world were ruled by one king.

…In the modern age people are under the impression that during the Vedic period or the prehistoric ages America and many other parts of the world had not been discovered, but that is not a fact. Pṛthu Mahārāja ruled over the world many thousands of years before the so-called prehistoric age, and it is clearly mentioned here that in those days not only were all the different parts of the world known, but they were ruled by one king, Mahārāja Pṛthu. (from purport to SB 4.21.12)

An interesting link ended up in my mailbox this morning which I share with all of you describing some of the common spiritual cultures on differing sides of the world.

Baffling Links to Ancient India: History is full of misnomers; one such term is the New World, as applied to the Americas. The landing of Columbus in 1492 undoubtedly created a new life on the continents, but it neither created nor discovered a new world. Many centuries ago Asian migrants had come to the western shore in substantial numbers. What if the popular idea that Tibetans and American Indians have much in common in terms of their spiritual culture is largely a result of another historical scenario?

What if Hindus and Hopis, Advantins and Aztecs, Tibetan Monks and Mayans were part of one world culture – a spiritual one?

Click on Link Links to Ancient India for more information

We also include a few brief excerpts form the Srimad Bhagavatam describing this one world culture which existed thousands of years ago.

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Calamities

Queen Kunti Calamities

Yesterday we did one post entitled “There will always be difficulties”, and while doing that post I was reminded of Queen Kunti, as the following letter we posted yesterday points out…

…You are a very good girl and a sincere devotee therefore, even though you have experienced difficulty you are remaining pure in Krsna Consciousness and keeping faith in Krsna and the spiritual master. This faithfulness has pleased me very much. So many great devotees have had to undergo difficulties, and the great example among women was Queen Kunti whose family life was perpetual danger, but because she always thought of Krsna she was saved. (Letter to: Dinadayadri — Rome 26 May, 1974)

Today I thought I would expand on this notion of difficulties in the form of “Calamities”. Which Queen Kunti prayed for, as indicated by the following verse from the Srimad Bhagavatam:

I wish that all those calamities would happen again and again so that we could see You again and again, for seeing You means that we will no longer see repeated births and deaths. (SB 1.8.25)

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One Who is Sufficiently Intelligent…

1972 Original Srimad Bhagavatam cover

It seems that every time I start a new volume of the Srimad Bhagavatam, I open it and read the Preface first. I must have read the preface now many times, but every time I read it, it seems fresh and new. One could argue that it because my memory is poor, or, that is just the nature of transcendental literature. But what is interesting is to me this morning, is how I never looked up the verse that Srila Prabhupada quotes in his Preface:

kaumāra ācaret prājñodharmān bhāgavatān ihadurlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janmatad apy adhruvam arthadam (Bhāg. 7.6.1)

This morning I was curious, so I went to the Seventh Canto, Chapter 6, Text 1, and it read:

Prahlāda Mahārāja said: One who is sufficiently intelligent should use the human form of body from the very beginning of life—in other words, from the tender age of childhood—to practice the activities of devotional service, giving up all other engagements. The human body is most rarely achieved, and although temporary like other bodies, it is meaningful because in human life one can perform devotional service. Even a slight amount of sincere devotional service can give one complete perfection.

Full text and purport follows the Preface More

The Process of Creation

LordVishnu creator of the material world

click on image to enlarge

As we continue to update our (one of our other sites) Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by posting a chapter at a time, of that great literary work by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, we will continue to share the progress with our readers here at The Hare Krishna Movement.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Canto Two, Chapter Four

The Process of Creation

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Bhagavata Dharma Discourses

Srila Prabhupada at New Vrindavan West Virginia

Srila Prabhupada at New Vrindavan West Virginia

Continuning with our “Bhagavata Dharma Discourses” series given at New Vrindavan, 1972.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam Lecture
Given by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto One, Chapter 2, Text 8
New Vrindaban, September 6, 1972

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The Evolutionary Process

The evolutionary process

The evolutionary process

In the course of the evolutionary process, which is caused by fruitive activities due to undesirable material sense gratification, I have received this human form of life, which can lead to the heavenly planets, to liberation, to the lower species, or to rebirth among human beings. (SB7.13.25)

…All living entities within this material world are undergoing the cycle of birth and death according to the laws of nature. This struggle of birth and death in different species may be called the evolutionary process, but in the Western world it has been wrongly explained. Darwin’s theory of evolution from animal to man is incomplete because the theory does not present the reverse condition, namely evolution from man to animal.

Human life, which is obtained in the course of the evolutionary process, is a chance for elevation (svargāpavarga) or for degradation (tiraścām punar asya ca). If one uses this human form of life properly, he can elevate himself to the higher planetary systems, where material happiness is many thousands of times better than on this planet, or one may cultivate knowledge by which to become free from the evolutionary process and be reinstated in one’s original spiritual life. This is called apavarga, or liberation. (from purport to SB 7.13.25)

Some years back I was reading from one book and the author was explaining how within each of us, we have the Keys to the gates of the Kingdom of Heaven, and we also have the Keys to the gates of Hell. It is our choice at every moment which we choose to use. Or as the saying goes “It is Rama, or it is Drama”.

Full text and purport More

Appreciating the Beauty of the Lord

Krsna and Arjuna

Certainly others who were fighters on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra were purified by the onslaught of Arjuna’s arrows, and while seeing the lotuslike face of Kṛṣṇa, so pleasing to the eyes, they achieved the abode of the Lord. (SB 3.2.20)

This morning as I was reading from the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the words “pleasing to the eyes of the seer” jumped out at me. And I was reminded again how just by appreciating the beauty of the Lord, one can attain success in life, as the following purport explains.

“…All the warriors who fought against Arjuna but who were able to see the lotuslike face of the Lord on the battlefront achieved the abode of the Lord, exactly as the devotees of the Lord do. The words “pleasing to the eyes of the seer” are very significant. When the warriors from the other side of the battlefield saw Lord Kṛṣṇa at the front, they appreciated His beauty, and their dormant instinct of love of God was awakened.

This love of God is awakened by the association of pure devotees of the Lord… Those who saw the beautiful face of the Lord on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra were purified first by Arjuna when he made his onslaught with arrows… All the activities of a pure devotee are executed on behalf of the Lord because a pure devotee of the Lord has nothing to do for his personal interest. Arjuna’s killing was as good as killing by the Lord Himself. As soon as Arjuna shot an arrow at an enemy, that enemy became purified of all material contaminations and became eligible to be transferred to the spiritual sky… those who awakened to love of God were transferred to the planets of the transcendental sky.

Those whose love of God is awakened to the fullest extent go back to the Goloka Vṛndāvana planet in the spiritual sky, whereas persons who have just awakened to love of Godhead by accident or association are transferred to the Vaikuṇṭha planets. Essentially there is no material difference between Goloka and Vaikuṇṭha, but in the Vaikuṇṭhas the Lord is served in unlimited opulence, whereas in Goloka the Lord is served in natural affection.” (from purport to SB 3.2.20)

Full Text and Purport More

The Nine Processes of Devotional Service

Rama & Hanuman

The Nine Processes of Devotional Service

The Nine Processes of Devotional Service are described by Prahlada Maharaja in the 7th Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam, chapter 5, text 24-25. The great personalities who attained perfection by practice of the nine processes are listed below, followed by the complete text and purport, describing in full these nine processes. If I am not mistaken, this purport to text 24-25 from the seventh canto, chapter five, is one of the longest in the entire Srimad Bhagavatam. Stressing the importance of the verse.

Prahlāda Mahārāja said: Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Viṣṇu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one’s best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind and words)—these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service. One who has dedicated his life to the service of Kṛṣṇa through these nine methods should be understood to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge. (SB 7.5.24-25)

1. HEARING (sravanam)
Maharaja Pariksit(the last seven days of his life, he constantly heard the Srimad Bhagavatam).

2. CHANTING (kirtanam)
Sukadeva Goswami(spoke the Bhagavatam to Maharaja Pariksit)

3. REMEMBERING (visnu smaranam)
Prahlada Maharaja(never forgot Krsna despite constant tortures from his father- Hiranyakashipu)

4. SERVING THE LORD’S LOTUS FEET (pada sevanam)
Laxmi, the Goddess of Fortune, is always engaged in serving the lotus feet of the Lord.

5. DEITY-WORSHIP (arcanam)
Maharaja Prthu used all of his royal possessions in order to offer them in pure devotion to the Lord.

6. PRAYING (vandanam)
Akura offered prayers to Krsna when he was traveling to Vrndavana in order to see Krsna.

7. EXECUTING ORDERS (dasyam)
Hanuman, the intimate servant of Ramacandra executed all of Sri Ramacandra’s orders despite all kinds of difficulties.

8. SERVING AS A FRIEND (sakhyam)
Arjuna was so close to Krsna, that the Lord offered Himself to become his chariot driver and serve Arjuna and his brothers in various ways.

9. COMPLETE SURRENDER (atma nivedanam)
Bali Maharaja gave Sri Vamanadeva his entire kingdom, his possessions as well as his own body, although his own spiritual master was against it.

All these great devotees served the Lord according to a particular process, but every one of them attained salvation and became eligible to return home, back to Godhead

Full Text and purport follows More

The Beauty of Krsna

Shyamasundara

The Lord’s beauty resembles a dark cloud during the rainy season. As the rainfall glistens, His bodily features also glisten. Indeed, He is the sum total of all beauty. The Lord has four arms and an exquisitely beautiful face with eyes like lotus petals, a beautiful highly raised nose, a mind-attracting smile, a beautiful forehead and equally beautiful and fully decorated ears. (Srimad Bhagavatam 4.24.45-46)

The Lord’s beauty is compared to rainfall because when the rain falls in the rainy season, it becomes more and more pleasing to the people. After the scorching heat of the summer season, the people enjoy the rainy season very much. Indeed, they even come out of their doors in the villages and enjoy the rainfall directly. Thus the Lord’s bodily features are compared to the clouds of the rainy season. The devotees enjoy the Lord’s beauty because it is a collection of all kinds of beauties. Therefore the word sarva-saundarya-saṅgraham is used. No one can say that the body of the Lord is wanting in beautiful parts. It is completely pūrṇam. Everything is complete: God’s creation, God’s beauty and God’s bodily features. All these are so complete that all one’s desires can become fully satisfied when one sees the beauty of the Lord. The word sarva-saundarya indicates that there are different types of beauties in the material and spiritual worlds and that the Lord contains all of them. Both materialists and spiritualists can enjoy the beauty of the Lord. Because the Supreme Lord attracts everyone, including demons and devotees, materialists and spiritualists, He is called Kṛṣṇa. (from purport)

Full text and purport More

The Essence of All Topics — The Topics of the Lord

Vidura and Maitreya

I have been reading, with rapt attention, from Volume One, of the Third Canto, of Srimad Bhagavatam, by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, each morning. As I was reading this morning the words “…all-inclusive welfare service for the entire human society”, just kinda jumped out at me, as did the words “…greatest welfare service for the world”. I am reminded of the importance of hearing Srimad Bhagavatam every day, and of our good fortune to be able to partake in this transcendental conversation (kṛṣṇa-kathā). There are many topics for different persons in different modes of material nature, but the essential topics are those in relationship with the Supreme Lord.

Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: Vidura, the best amongst the Kuru dynasty, who was perfect in devotional service to the Lord, thus reached the source of the celestial Ganges River [Hardwar], where Maitreya, the great, fathomless learned sage of the world, was seated. Vidura, who was perfect in gentleness and satisfied in transcendence, inquired from him. (SB 3.5.1)

The great sage Maitreya Muni is described here as bhagavān because he surpassed all ordinary human beings in learning and experience. Thus his selection of the greatest welfare service for the world is considered authoritative. The all-inclusive welfare service for the entire human society is devotional service to the Lord, and, as requested by Vidura, the sage described the same very appropriately. (purport 3.5.17)

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: Canto 3: “The Status Quo”
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Canto Three, Chapter Five, Text 1-17

Vidura’s Talks with Maitreya

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The Bhagavata Dharma Discourses

bhagavata dharma discourses at new vrindavan

This is the first in the series of Lectures given at New Vrindavan Farm Community in September of 1972. These lectures are commonly known as the the “Bhāgavata Dharma Discourses”

Devotee (1): Does anyone have any questions? Please ask. Raise your hand please. Especially a guest. If you have any questions please inquire. Yes?

Guest: Who is our mother?

Devotee (1): The question was, who is our mother?

Prabhupāda: Material nature is our mother. God is our father, and material nature is our mother. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā. Just like the father gives the seed of the child within the womb of the mother. Similarly God impregnates this material nature with the living entities, and after that they come out in different forms. So material nature is our mother, and God is our father.

Guest: What happens to us immediately after our material body dies, in other words…

Prabhupāda: You do not die, your body changes. So you accept another body…

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The Damsels of Vraja

gopis of vrndavan

click on image to enlarge

In our attempt to stay focused on the childhood pastimes of Lord Krsna throughout this month of Damodara, we were reading from the Third Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, chapter 2, entitled; “Remembrance of Lord Kṛṣṇa”. The great devotee Uddhava, was asked by Vidura, to speak on the messages of Lord Krsna. The following is but one of the verses and purports from this famous chapter.

…In His boyhood at Vṛndāvana, Lord Kṛṣṇa was notorious as a teasing friend in transcendental love to all the girls His age. His love for them was so intense that there is no comparison to that ecstasy, and the damsels of Vraja were so much attached to Him that their affection excelled that of the great demigods like Brahmā and Śiva. Lord Kṛṣṇa finally admitted His defeat before the transcendental affection of the gopīs and declared that He was unable to repay them for their unalloyed affection. (from purport to SB 3.2.14)

Full text and purport More

Lord Rsabhadeva’s Teachings to His Sons

Lord Rsabhadeva

 

This morning by chance, I happened upon the teachings of Lord Rsabhadeva to His sons.  It was in an old notebook that I opened just to see what was inside.  Inside were prayers from the Vaisnava Songbook, the Brahma-samhita, Teachings of Pralada Maharaja, and these teachings of Lord Rsabhadeva.  It was Sri Gandhari’s old gurukula study notebook, and what she was studying 30 years ago was very useful and timely today.  It was just what I needed to read this morning and I share it with you today.  It is verses 1-27,  from the Fifth Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam, chapter five.

 

Lord Ṛṣabhadeva told His sons: My dear boys, of all the living entities who have accepted material bodies in this world, one who has been awarded this human form should not work hard day and night simply for sense gratification, which is available even for dogs and hogs that eat stool. One should engage in penance and austerity to attain the divine position of devotional service. By such activity, one’s heart is purified, and when one attains this position, he attains eternal, blissful life, which is transcendental to material happiness and which continues forever.

 

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Pure Devotional Service: The Change in Heart

Pure Devotional Service

click on image to enlarge

As we continue to update our (one of our other sites) Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam by posting a chapter at a time, of that great literary work by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, we will continue to share the progress with our readers here at The Hare Krishna Movement.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Canto 2, Chapter Three

Pure Devotional Service: The Change in Heart

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Pilgrim’s Progress

Maharaja Yudhisthira in exile

This morning I was reading from the 3rd Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam about Vidura and the beginning of his journey to the great places of pilgrimage. The following is excerpted from some of my reading.

He began to travel alone, thinking only of Kṛṣṇa, through various holy places like Ayodhyā, Dvārakā and Mathurā. He traveled where the air, hill, orchard, river and lake are all pure and sinless and where the forms of the Unlimited decorate the temples. Thus he performed the pilgrim’s progress. (SB 3.1.18)

…Places of pilgrimages are meant for eradicating the sins of the pilgrims, and they are distributed all over the universe just to give facility to all concerned for attaining pure existence and God realization. One should not be satisfied, however, merely by visiting the places of pilgrimage and performing one’s prescribed duties; he should be eager to meet the great souls who are already there, engaged in the service of the Lord. In each and every place of pilgrimage, the Lord is present in His various transcendental forms.

…The first and foremost duty of a pilgrim is to satisfy the Supreme Lord Hari. While traveling as a pilgrim, one should not be worried about pleasing society. There is no need to depend on social formalities or occupation or dress. One should remain always absorbed in the function of pleasing the Lord. Thus sanctified by thought and action, one is able to realize the Supreme Lord by the process of a pilgrim’s journey.

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Appearance of Lord Vamanadeva Tomorrow

Lord Vamana

Today is Parsva Ekadasi (fast from grains and beans) and also a fast till noon for appearance of Lord Vamanadeva. His appearance is tomorrow but the fast is today so that the Edadasi Break fast can take place between 6:54 – 8:37 tomorrow. With His appearance day in mind, as we are fasting today, we offer in Honor of Lord Vamanadeva, a select verse from the Srimad Bhagavatam, and a chapter summary. Hare Krishna!

Srimad-Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto One, Chapter 19, Text 19

pañcadaśaṁ vāmanakaṁ
kṛtvāgād adhvaraṁ baleḥ
pada-trayaṁ yācamānaḥ
pratyāditsus tri-piṣṭapam

pañcadaśam—the fifteenth in the line; vāmanakam—the dwarf brāhmaṇa; kṛtvā—by assumption of; agāt—went; adhvaram—arena of sacrifice; baleḥ—of King Bali; pada-trayam—three steps only; yācamānaḥ—begging; pratyāditsuḥ—willing at heart to return; tri-piṣṭapam—the kingdom of the three planetary systems.

TRANSLATION

In the fifteenth incarnation, the Lord assumed the form of a dwarf-brāhmaṇa [Vāmana] and visited the arena of sacrifice arranged by Mahārāja Bali. Although at heart He was willing to regain the kingdom of the three planetary systems, He simply asked for a donation of three steps of land.

PURPORT

The Almighty God can bestow upon anyone the kingdom of the universe from a very small beginning, and similarly, He can take away the kingdom of the universe on the plea of begging a small piece of land.

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The Lord in the Heart

Visnu Form

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Canto Two, Chapter 2

The Lord in the Heart

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The Process of Meditation

Radha Ramana Lotus feet

…The process of meditation recommended in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is not to fix one’s attention on something impersonal or void.

The process of meditation should begin from the lotus feet of the Lord and progress to His smiling face. The meditation should be concentrated upon the lotus feet, then the calves, then the thighs, and in this way higher and higher. The more the mind becomes fixed upon the different parts of the limbs, one after another, the more the intelligence becomes purified. (SB 2.2.13)

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

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Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

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