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)

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 1, Chapter 5, Text 19

na vai jano jātu kathañcanāvrajen
mukunda-sevy anyavad aṅga saṁsṛtim
smaran mukundāṅghry-upagūhanaṁ punar
vihātum icchen na rasa-graho janaḥ

na—never; vai—certainly; janaḥ—a person; jātu—at any time; kathañcana—somehow or other; āvrajet—does not undergo; mukunda-sevī—the devotee of the Lord; anyavat—like others; aṅga—O my dear; saṁsṛtim—material existence; smaran—remembering; mukunda-aṅghri—the lotus feet of the Lord; upagūhanam—embracing; punaḥ—again; vihātum—willing to give up; icchet—desire; na—never; rasa-grahaḥ—one who has relished the mellow; janaḥ—person.

TRANSLATION

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.

PURPORT

A devotee of the Lord automatically becomes uninterested in the enchantment of material existence because he is rasa-graha, or one who has tasted the sweetness of the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa. There are certainly many instances where devotees of the Lord have fallen down due to uncongenial association, just like fruitive workers, who are always prone to degradation. But even though he falls down, a devotee is never to be considered the same as a fallen karmī. A karmī suffers the result of his own fruitive reactions, whereas a devotee is reformed by chastisement directed by the Lord Himself. The sufferings of an orphan and the sufferings of a beloved child of a king are not one and the same. An orphan is really poor because he has no one to take care of him, but a beloved son of a rich man, although he appears to be on the same level as the orphan, is always under the vigilance of his capable father. A devotee of the Lord, due to wrong association, sometimes imitates the fruitive workers. The fruitive workers want to lord it over the material world. Similarly, a neophyte devotee foolishly thinks of accumulating some material power in exchange for devotional service. Such foolish devotees are sometimes put into difficulty by the Lord Himself. As a special favor, He may remove all material paraphernalia. By such action, the bewildered devotee is forsaken by all friends and relatives, and so he comes to his senses again by the mercy of the Lord and is set right to execute his devotional service.

In the Bhagavad-gītā it is also said that such fallen devotees are given a chance to take birth in a family of highly qualified brāhmaṇas or in a rich mercantile family. A devotee in such a position is not as fortunate as one who is chastised by the Lord and put into a position seemingly of helplessness. The devotee who becomes helpless by the will of the Lord is more fortunate than those who are born in good families. The fallen devotees born in a good family may forget the lotus feet of the Lord because they are less fortunate, but the devotee who is put into a forlorn condition is more fortunate because he swiftly returns to the lotus feet of the Lord, thinking himself helpless all around.

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.

Qualities of a Vaiṣṇava Devotee of the Lord

Krishna and His Pure Devotee Srila Prabhupada

I like this picture very much and it became my meditation this morning. I began to think what it was, that first attracted me to Srila Prabhupada and the Hare Krishna Movement, or Krsna Consciousness. And it was the idea of becoming a better person, that first attracted me.

…Any man who has genuine devotion to the Lord has all the good qualities which are found in godly persons or in the demigods, whereas the nondevotee, however advanced he may be in material qualifications by education and culture, lacks in godly qualities (from purport Bg. 1.28)

Śrī Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja, the author of Caitanya-caritāmṛta, says that all good qualities become manifest in the body of a Vaiṣṇava and that only by the presence of these good qualities can one distinguish a Vaiṣṇava from a non-Vaiṣṇava. Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja lists the following twenty-six good qualities of a Vaiṣṇava: (1) He is very kind to everyone. (2) He does not make anyone his enemy. (3) He is truthful. (4) He is equal to everyone. (5) No one can find any fault in him. (6) He is magnanimous. (7) He is mild. (8) He is always clean. (9) He is without possessions. (10) He works for everyone’s benefit. (11) He is very peaceful. (12) He is always surrendered to Kṛṣṇa. (13) He has no material desires. (14) He is very meek. (15) He is steady. (16) He controls his senses. (17) He does not eat more than required. (18) He is not influenced by the Lord’s illusory energy. (19) He offers respect to everyone. (20) He does not desire any respect for himself. (21) He is very grave. (22) He is merciful. (23) He is friendly. (24) He is poetic. (25) He is expert. (26) He is silent. (from purport to SB 5.18.12)

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Spring Has Arrived!

 spring waterfall

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Like many of you, I am happy about the first day of Spring. It was a long hard winter for many places in the country and I am sure that most everyone welcomes the coming of spring. The following is a verse from the Srimad Bhagavatam which describes our enchantment with the material existence. A symptom of this enchantment is our spring fever.

The branches of the trees standing on the bank of the lake received particles of water carried by the spring air from the falls coming down from the icy mountain. (SB 4.25.18)

…The spring air (kusumākara) is smell. All these varieties of enjoyment make life very pleasing, and thus we become captivated by material existence. (from purport)

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The Pilgrim’s Progress

Pilgrims Progress

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With the coming of Spring I am always inclined to travel. Spring always seems like a good season to began a journey. With this in mind, I was reading this morning from the Srimad Bhagavatam about how Vidura left the home of his brother to devote himself completely to the transcendental loving service of the Lord.

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.

In the land of Bhāratavarṣa (India) there are many hundreds and thousands of places of pilgrimage distributed all over the country, and by traditional practice the common man visits such holy places during all seasons of the year. Some of the arcā representations of the Lord situated in different places of pilgrimage… There are millions and billions of such arcā forms of the Lord distributed all over the universe. All these arcā-mūrtis are summarized in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta in the following words:

“The Lord has so distributed Himself all over the universe just to give pleasure to the devotees, to give the common man facility to eradicate his sins, and to establish religious principles in the world.” (from purports to SB 3.1.17-18)

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The Symptoms of a Sādhu

Srila Prabhupada

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The symptoms of a sādhu are that he is tolerant, merciful and friendly to all living entities. He has no enemies, he is peaceful, he abides by the scriptures, and all his characteristics are sublime. (SB. 3,25,21)

A sādhu, as described above, is a devotee of the Lord. His concern, therefore, is to enlighten people in devotional service to the Lord. That is his mercy. He knows that without devotional service to the Lord, human life is spoiled. A devotee travels all over the country, from door to door, preaching, “Be Kṛṣṇa conscious. Be a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Don’t spoil your life in simply fulfilling your animal propensities. Human life is meant for self-realization, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness.” These are the preachings of a sādhu. He is not satisfied with his own liberation. He always thinks about others. He is the most compassionate personality towards all the fallen souls. (from purport)

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Cleansing of the Heart

Srimad Bhagavatam

A friend of mine was asking me how we could realize Paramātmā or the Lord within the heart? How would I explain it to someone? I immediately thought of the following verses from the Second Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam, and I replied to his question by saying ‘by reading about the glories of the Lord and chanting His names, we can begin to purify our hearts and come to understand through His mercy, the Lord within our hearts’. After getting home and looking up these verses…it was clear I gave him the correct answer.

O greatly fortunate Śukadeva Gosvāmī, please continue narrating Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam so that I can place my mind upon the Supreme Soul, Lord Kṛṣṇa, and, being completely freed from material qualities, thus relinquish this body.

Persons who hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam regularly and are always taking the matter very seriously will have the Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa manifested in their hearts within a short time.

The sound incarnation of Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Soul [i.e. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam], enters into the heart of a self-realized devotee, sits on the lotus flower of his loving relationship, and thus cleanses the dust of material association, such as lust, anger and hankering. Thus it acts like autumnal rains upon pools of muddy water. (Srimad Bhagavatam 2.8.3-5)

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The First Step in God Realization

Sukadeva Goswami

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

The First Step in God Realization

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Milk, the Miracle Food

Milk

…Although in this age men can live up to one hundred years, their duration of life is reduced because they do not drink large quantities of milk

…Milk is compared to nectar, which one can drink to become immortal. Of course, simply drinking milk will not make one immortal, but it can increase the duration of one’s life. In modern civilization, men do not think milk to be important, and therefore they do not live very long. Although in this age men can live up to one hundred years, their duration of life is reduced because they do not drink large quantities of milk. This is a sign of Kali-yuga. In Kali-yuga, instead of drinking milk, people prefer to slaughter an animal and eat its flesh.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His instructions of Bhagavad-gītā, advises go-rakṣya, which means cow protection. The cow should be protected, milk should be drawn from the cows, and this milk should be prepared in various ways. One should take ample milk, and thus one can prolong one’s life, develop his brain, execute devotional service, and ultimately attain the favor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As it is essential to get food grains and water by digging the earth, it is also essential to give protection to the cows and take nectarean milk from their milk bags. (purport to SB 8.6.12)

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Free Download of Second Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam

Free Download of Second Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam

Srimad Bhagavatam Second Canto Part One

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Srimad-Bhagavatam, First Canto (Free pdf download) 1972 Edition

Srila Prabhupada Translating

For a Free pdf download of the entire First Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam Original 1972 Editions (scanned copiess), click on the following underlined links;

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New Years Resolution

Srimad-Bhagavatam-1_1

This year I almost forgot to make a ‘New Years Resolution’. Typically my resolutions don’t even make it past the first week in January. But this year I hope it will go differently. This year my New Years Resolution is to read a chapter a day from Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad Bhagavatam. That’s it. I am not giving up anything, or vowing to jog a mile every day, or change my life in any drastic way…just to read a little more.

With this in mind I will introduce a new blog that I have been painstakenly working on for some time; The Srimad Bhagavatam. I can simply click on a chapter link and have the entire chapter in front of me on the same page. This I hope will help me to stay focused and keep a New Years Resolution. It is a work in progress and by years end hope to have some 365 chapters posted (LOL). Or at least a few more cantos.

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Saffron Particles

Lotus Feet

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This following verse reminds me of the importance of reading Srila Prabhupada’s books every day. Hearing from the pure devotee of the Lord, is so powerful that it can revive the living entity’s memory of his eternal relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

My dear Lord, You are glorified by the selected verses uttered by great personalities. Such glorification of Your lotus feet is just like saffron particles. When the transcendental vibration from the mouths of great devotees carries the aroma of the saffron dust of Your lotus feet, the forgetful living entity gradually remembers his eternal relationship with You. Devotees thus gradually come to the right conclusion about the value of life. My dear Lord, I therefore do not need any other benediction but the opportunity to hear from the mouth of Your pure devotee.

Reading the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is hearing from the mouth of the pure devotee.

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The Appearance of Śukadeva Gosvāmī

Srila Sukadeva Gosvami and Maharaja Pariksit

Some time ago I started to re-read the Srimad Bhagavatam from the beginning. This morning I finished the first canto. It is with great pleasure I post the final chapter in the First Canto entitled “The Appearance of Śukadeva Gosvāmī”

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Canto 1,Chapter Nineteen

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The Life of a Sincere Devotee of the Lord

Chanting  Hare Krishna

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The following is a nice verse from the Srimad Bhagavatam spoken by Narada Muni. As I was looking for an image for this post, I thought I should put up a picture of Him. But then it hit me, this verse could have just as easily been spoken by Srila Prabhupada! In fact it was.

Thus I began chanting the holy name and fame of the Lord by repeated recitation, ignoring all the formalities of the material world. Such chanting and remembering of the transcendental pastimes of the Lord are benedictory. So doing, I traveled all over the earth, fully satisfied, humble and unenvious.

The life of a sincere devotee of the Lord is thus explained in a nutshell by Nārada Muni by his personal example. Such a devotee, after his initiation by the Lord or His bona fide representative, takes very seriously chanting of the glories of the Lord and traveling all over the world so that others may also hear the glories of the Lord. Such devotees have no desire for material gain. They are conducted by one single desire: to go back to Godhead. This awaits them in due course on quitting the material body. Because they have the highest aim of life, going back to Godhead, they are never envious of anyone, nor are they proud of being eligible to go back to Godhead. Their only business is to chant and remember the holy name, fame and pastimes of the Lord and, according to personal capacity, to distribute the message for others’ welfare without motive of material gain.

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Meditation upon the Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa

Narada muni meditates of Sri Krsna

This morning I was reading from the First Canto, sixth chapter of the Srimad Bhagavatam entitled “Conversation Between Nārada and Vyāsadeva”. Here Śrī Nārada Muni is explaining how it is, he attained his present transcendental body, and his encounter with the Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa. This is a beautiful chapter and I find myself reading it again and again.

After that, under the shadow of a banyan tree in an uninhabited forest I began to meditate upon the Supersoul situated within, using my intelligence, as I had learned from liberated souls.

As soon as I began to meditate upon the lotus feet of the Personality of Godhead with my mind transformed in transcendental love, tears rolled down my eyes, and without delay the Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa appeared on the lotus of my heart.

O Vyāsadeva, at that time, being exceedingly overpowered by feelings of happiness, every part of my body became separately enlivened. Being absorbed in an ocean of ecstasy, I could not see both myself and the Lord.

The transcendental form of the Lord, as it is, satisfies the mind’s desire and at once erases all mental incongruities. Upon losing that form, I suddenly got up, being perturbed, as is usual when one loses that which is desirable.

I desired to see again that transcendental form of the Lord, but despite my attempts to concentrate upon the heart with eagerness to view the form again, I could not see Him any more, and thus dissatisfied, I was very much aggrieved.

Seeing my attempts in that lonely place, the Personality of Godhead, who is transcendental to all mundane description, spoke to me with gravity and pleasing words, just to mitigate my grief.

O Nārada [the Lord spoke], I regret that during this lifetime you will not be able to see Me anymore. Those who are incomplete in service and who are not completely free from all material taints can hardly see Me.

O virtuous one, you have only once seen My person, and this is just to increase your desire for Me, because the more you hanker for Me, the more you will be freed from all material desires.

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
First Canto, Chapter 6, Text 15-22

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Anomalies in the Kali Age

Srimad Bhagavatam

The great sage Vyāsadeva saw anomalies in the duties of the millennium. This happens on the earth in different ages, due to unseen forces in the course of time.

The great sages like Vyāsadeva are liberated souls, and therefore they can see clearly past and future. Thus he could see the future anomalies in the Kali age, and accordingly he made arrangement for the people in general so that they can execute a progressive life in this age, which is full of darkness. The people in general in this age of Kali are too much interested in matter, which is temporary. Because of ignorance they are unable to evaluate the assets of life and be enlightened in spiritual knowledge.

…The unmanifested forces of time are so powerful that they reduce all matter to oblivion in due course. In Kali-yuga, the last millennium of a round of four millenniums, the power of all material objects deteriorates by the influence of time. In this age the duration of the material body of the people in general is much reduced, and so is the memory. The action of matter has also not so much incentive. The land does not produce food grains in the same proportions as it did in other ages. The cow does not give as much milk as it used to give formerly. The production of vegetables and fruits is less than before. As such, all living beings, both men and animals, do not have sumptuous, nourishing food. Due to want of so many necessities of life, naturally the duration of life is reduced, the memory is short, intelligence is meager, mutual dealings are full of hypocrisy and so on.

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto One, Chapter 4, Texts 16, 17-18

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Srimad Bhagavatam Tenth Canto Part 3 (Free Download)

Srimad Bhagavatam 10 3

This is the final Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam volume translated by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, before his untimely departure. We share it with you as a free PDF download. You can click on following link to view the complete volume or save it to your computer.

click on following link; Srimad Bhagavatam Tenth Canto Part 3

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Lord Krsna’s Childhood Pastimes

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…There is no parallel to His childhood pastimes as exhibited at Vrajabhūmi, which are the prototypes of His eternal affairs in the original Kṛṣṇaloka described as the cintāmaṇi-dhāma in the Brahma-saṁhitā [Bs. 5.29]. Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa descended Himself at Vrajabhūmi with all His transcendental entourage and paraphernalia. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu therefore confirmed that no one is as fortunate as the residents of Vrajabhūmi, and specifically the cowherd girls, who dedicated their everything for the satisfaction of the Lord. His pastimes with Nanda and Yaśodā and His pastimes with the cowherd men and especially with the cowherd boys and the cows have caused Him to be known as Govinda. (from purport to SB 1.8.21)

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The Childhood Pastimes of Kṛṣṇa

Krsna & Balarama Hiding from Mother Yasoda

Today is Rama Ekadasi (fast from grains and beans), so on this auspicious day, in the auspicious month of Damodara, we wanted to do a special post. The following is the entire 11th chapter of the Tenth Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam entitled “The Childhood Pastimes of Kṛṣṇa”.

The following two verses are just an example of the nectar one will find in the following chapter…

…The gopīs would say, “If You dance, my dear Kṛṣṇa, then I shall give You half a sweetmeat.” By saying these words or by clapping their hands, all the gopīs encouraged Kṛṣṇa in different ways. At such times, although He was the supremely powerful Personality of Godhead, He would smile and dance according to their desire, as if He were a wooden doll in their hands. Sometimes He would sing very loudly, at their bidding. In this way, Kṛṣṇa came completely under the control of the gopīs.(Text 7)

To pure devotees throughout the world who could understand His activities, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, exhibited how much He can be subdued by His devotees, His servants. In this way He increased the pleasure of the Vrajavāsīs by His childhood activities. (Text 9)

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Canto 10, Chapter 11

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Childhood Pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa

Damodara pastimes1

…All the gopī friends of Yaśodā and Rohiṇī enjoyed the naughty childish activities of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma in Vṛndāvana. In order to enjoy further transcendental bliss, they all assembled and went to mother Yaśodā to lodge complaints against the restless boys. When Kṛṣṇa was sitting before mother Yaśodā, all the elderly gopīs began to lodge complaints against Him so that Kṛṣṇa could hear. They said, “Dear Yaśodā, why don’t you restrict your naughty Kṛṣṇa? He comes to our houses along with Balarāma every morning and evening, and before the milking of the cows They let loose the calves, and the calves drink all the milk of the cows. So when we go to milk the cows, we find no milk, and we have to return with empty pots. If we warn Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma about doing this, They simply smile charmingly. (Krsna Book Chapter 8)

…continuing with our attempt to post Krsna’s childhood pastimes, throughout the duration of the “Month of Damodara”

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Previous Older Entries

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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