Hare Krishna FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

Hare Krishna FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Some years ago I happened across this interesting internet page called “Hare Krishna FAQ”. The page was located at; http://www.harekrsna.de/artikel/faq.htm I quickly read through it and copied it to my files to re-read at a later time. I read it again this evening and found it very interesting and at times amusing. We share it with our readers here at The Hare Krishna Movement.

Hare krishna FAQ

• About “Hare Krishna”
• About Srila Prabhupada
• About ISKCON
• About Gaudiya-math
• About regulative principles
• About the Vedas
• About India
• About devotional service (bhakti)
• About initiation (diksa)
• About the disciplic succession (parampara)

What is the meaning of Hare Krishna?

It is the short form of the maha-mantra, the great spiritual sound of final liberation:
 
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

“By vibrating this transcendental sound, the meaning of everything, both material and spiritual, is revealed. This Hare Krishna is nondifferent from the Personality of Godhead.” (from Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada Commentary, Srimad Bhagavatam 4.24.40)

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Bringing the Holy Name to Germany

Sivananda das-temple-in-Germany

Sivananda Prabhu
Temple in Germany

Bringing the Holy Name to Germany
by Hamsaduta Dasa
Excerpted from; German ‘Back To Godhead’ Magazine

click on above link to view the original German Back to Godhead Magazines. Great Site!

In August of 1968, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada introduced Krsna consciousness to the European continent. At that time Srila Prabhupada was visiting the Montreal, Canada, branch of his newly founded ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness). The leading devotee of the Montreal Center, Sivananda dasa brahmacari, approached Srila Prabhupada and informed him that he had saved a thousand dollars that he had intended to use for his enrollment at London University. As a surrendered soul, Sivananda offered to engage this money directly in the service of his spiritual master. He submitted to Srila Prabhupada that he no longer felt that the best use of the money was to finance his education at the university, but he suggested that he might be allowed to go to Europe to open the way there for Krsna consciousness.

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Mahatma; Great Soul

Srila Prabhupada with unbrella etc.

This morning I happened upon the above picture of Srila Prabhupada, and my mind immediately thought of the following two verses from the Bhagavad-gita:

O son of Pṛthā, those who are not deluded, the great souls, are under the protection of the divine nature. They are fully engaged in devotional service because they know Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, original and inexhaustible. (Bg 9. 13)

Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion. (Bg 9.14)

…In this verse the description of mahātmā is clearly given. The first sign of the mahātmā is that he is already situated in the divine nature…The mahātmā does not divert his attention to anything outside Kṛṣṇa because he knows perfectly well that Kṛṣṇa is the original Supreme Person, the cause of all causes. There is no doubt about it. Such a mahātmā, or great soul, develops through association with other mahātmās, pure devotees.

…The mahātmā cannot be manufactured by rubber-stamping an ordinary man. His symptoms are described here: a mahātmā is always engaged in chanting the glories of the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead. He has no other business. He is always engaged in the glorification of the Lord. In other words, he is not an impersonalist. When the question of glorification is there, one has to glorify the Supreme Lord, praising His holy name, His eternal form, His transcendental qualities and His uncommon pastimes. One has to glorify all these things; therefore a mahātmā is attached to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (from purports)

I find that for me personally, thinking about Srila Prabhupada is one of the best forms of meditation, is good for my Krishna consciousness, and makes me feel very fortunate to be a part of The Hare Krishna Movement.

Full text and purport More

How the Hare Krsna Movement Came to Africa

Brahmananda das

How the Hare Krsna Movement Came to Africa
by His Holiness Brahmananda Swami
Excerpted from; Back to Godhead Magazine 1975 Vol. 10, No. 12

The story of how the Hare Krsna movement came to Africa starts in 1971 in the United States. I was in Tallahassee, Florida, teaching an experimental course in Krsna consciousness at the state university, when I received a letter from my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, instructing me to go immediately to West Pakistan for preaching work. I had very little money, and I knew the trip to Pakistan would be long and arduous. However, a disciple takes his spiritual master’s order as his very life and soul, and I was determined that nothing would stop me.

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Photos by Gurudas

Photos by Gurudas

Morning Walks in London

Srila Prabhupada on morning walk in London

Somehow or other, I have a large collection of Photo’s taken by Gurudas Prabhu. It is the first snowy day, and I am inside the house staying warm and looking at this large collection of photos on our computer. It would be remiss of me not to share some of these vintage photos with our readers and visitors to The Hare Krishna Movement. So this will be the beginning of our new series entitled ‘Photos by Gurudas’.

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Obstacles on the Path of Eternity

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This morning while I was looking through some of the old issues of Back to Godhead Magazine, I stumbled upon the following article.

Obstacles on the Path of Eternity
An Excerpt from Srila Rupa Gosvami’s Upadesamrta
from Back to Godhead Magazine Vol. 1, No.88, 1973

[SRILA RUPA GOSVAMI was one of six exalted devotees especially chosen through the Krsna conscious chain of spiritual masters to teach the devotional service of the Supreme Lord in a scientific manner. Although all of these six great devotees were erudite scholars and prolific writers, Srila Rupa Gosvami is the most prominent, for he most greatly appreciated the nectar of Krsna consciousness. His Upadesamrta (Nectarean Instructions), a short work of only eleven verses, teaches the basic principles for arousing one’s dormant love of Krsna, the Supreme Lord. Written in Sanskrit some 400 years ago, it has now been translated into English, with an illuminating explanation of each verse, by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.]

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Hari-kīrtana

Hare Krishna Mantra

harer nāma harer nāma
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva
nāsty eva gatir anyathā

In this Age of Kali there is no other means, no other means, no other means for self-realization than chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name of Lord Hari.
[Adi 17.21]


This hari-kīrtana was started five hundred years ago in Bengal by Lord Caitanya. In Bengal there is competition between the Vaiṣṇavas and the śāktas. The śāktas have introduced a certain type of kīrtana called kālī-kīrtana. But in the Vedic scriptures there is no recommendation of kālī-kīrtana. Kīrtana means hari-kīrtana. One cannot say, “Oh, you are Vaiṣṇava. You can perform hari-kīrtana. I shall perform śiva-kīrtana or devī-kīrtana or gaṇeśa-kīrtana.” No. The Vedic scriptures do not authorize any kīrtana other than hari-kīrtana. Kīrtana means hari-kīrtana, the glorification of Kṛṣṇa.

So this process of hari-kīrtana is very simple: Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Actually there are only three words: Hare, Kṛṣṇa, and Rāma. But they are very nicely arranged for chanting so that everyone can take the mantra and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare. Since we have started this movement in the Western countries, Europeans, Americans, Africans, Egyptians, and Japanese are all chanting. There is no difficulty. They are chanting very gladly, and they are getting the results. What is the difficulty? We are distributing this chanting free of charge, and it is very simple. Simply by chanting, one can have self-realization, God realization, and when there is God realization, then nature realization is included also. (from The Science of Self Realization)

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Meditation Goes Mainstream

george harrison

We are All Hare Krishnas now, Meditation goes Mainstream
by Brendan O’Connor
Sunday Independent

Gradually they are coming out the woodwork. And suddenly it seems that half the people I know are secretly meditating. They range from casual transcendental meditators to practically full-blown Buddhists or Hare Krishnas.

And the strange thing is that these are not hippies or crusties or drop-outs or people living alternative lifestyles on an ashram-inspired commune near Sligo. Just regular blokes, a few of them quite senior in what they do. There are thrusting business types and entrepreneurs and generally pretty serious people. These are not people who go for reiki or acupuncture or any of the other usual trappings of the “I’m not religious but I am a very spiritual person” lifestyle. They are fairly practical people. And meditation is just one of their tools, a technology for modern living.

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The Krsna Consciousness Movement

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada 077_-_BTG_Year-1970-1973_Volume-01_Number-48_Page_02

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The Krsna Consciousness Movement
Excerpted from Back to Godhead Magazine Vol. 1, No. 48

The Krsna consciousness movement is now being increasingly recognized throughout the world as a spiritual force of great potency, purity and importance to human society. With the simultaneous publication of the first two cantos of Srimad-Bhagavatam and the complete 1,000-page edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, the public is becoming increasingly aware that the boys and girls whom they see chanting and dancing on their city streets are students of a most serious discipline of God consciousness which is established on the basis of a philosophical system of considerable completeness, consistency and depth.

Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

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The Secret of Success in Spiritual Life

Srila Prabhupada, Secret of Success in Spiritual Life

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“The Words of the Spiritual Master”
by Ananda devi dasi

“Believing in the words of His Spiritual Master, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu introduced the Sankirtana movement, just as the present Krishna Consciousness movement was started with belief in the words of our Spiritual Master. He wanted to preach, we believed in his words and tried somehow or other to fulfill them, and now this movement has become successful all over the world. Therefore faith in the words of the Spiritual Master and the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the secret of success. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu never disobeyed the orders of His Spiritual Master and stopped propagating the Sankirtana movement.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami, at the time of his passing away, ordered all his disciples to work conjointly to preach the message of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu all over the world. Later, however, some self-interested, foolish disciples disobeyed his orders. Each one wanted to become head of the mission, and they fought in the courts, neglecting the orders of their Spiritual Master, and the entire mission was defeated. We are not proud of this, however the truth must be explained. We believed in the words of our Spiritual Master and started in a humble way-in a helpless way – but due to the spiritual force of the Supreme Authority, this movement has become successful.” (From the Chaitanya Charitamrita written and presented by Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, Srila Prabhupada Cc Adi 7.95-96)

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Vyasa Puja 2014

Srila Prabhupada on the  Vyasasana

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For most devotees of The Hare Krishna Movement, Vyasa-puja is the most important festival of the year.  It is the day we honor the appearance day of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The Founder-Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness  (ISKCON – The Hare Krishna Movement).

Srila Prabhupada, was born on the day of Nandotsava (the day after Janmastami, the Birth day of Lord Sri Krishna), in 1896.

I ran across this nice offering book of last years homages, from the ISKCON Bangalor devotees. This is a nice example of Vyasa-puja offerings.  Click on link below to view or save.  

Vyasapuja Book 2013

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).

full lecture More

Work on the world’s tallest Krishna temple at 210 metres will begin on Janmashtami, August 18, on 70 acres of land in Vrindavan

Tallest Temple

Vrindavan to have India’s tallest temple for Krishna

“Just like we have got a tendency to construct a skyscraper building. As in your country, you do. So you should not be attached to the skyscraper building, but you can utilize the tendency by constructing a big temple like skyscraper for Krishna. In this way, you have to purify your material activities.”(Srila Prabhupada in a class in front of the samadhi of Srila Rupa Gosvami in Vrindavan, Oct 29th, 1972)

“This is Krishna conscious vision: ‘Oh, there are so many skyscrapers. Why not construct a nice skyscraper temple of Krishna?’ This is Krishna consciousness.” (Srila Prabhupada lecture in Bombay, Feb 25th, 1974)

VRINDAVAN/MATHURA: A 210-metre-high temple is soon going to change the skyline of Vrindavan in Mathura district. The project, whose foundation stone will be laid on March 16, has been conceived by Madhu Pandit Dasa, president of ISKCON, Bangalore, and will consist of a grand temple of Sri Krishna at its centre and many other interesting elements around it. Poised to be the tallest and largest religious structure in India, the monumental temple, named the Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir, with a footprint of about four and a half acres and a built-up area of 540,000 square feet, will integrate elements of modern architecture with traditional Indian temple architecture.

for more images of temple go to; Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir

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The Hare Krishna Explosion

055_-_BTG_Year-1969_Volume-01_Number-26_Page_01

The joyful history of a dynamic transcendental movement
Excerpted from the Back to Godhead Magazine 1969 Vol. 1, Number 26

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare vibrates from a walkup temple on New York’s Lower East Side, from the sidewalks of Haight Ashbury, from Golden Gate Park, from a London flat, from student quarters in Hamburg and Amsterdam, from a storefront in Santa Fe, an exbowling alley in Montreal, a sprawling university campus in Ohio, from Old Vrindaban in India to New Vrindaban in the West Virginia mountains, and from Boston and Buffalo to Los Angeles, Seattle and Vancouver and across the Pacific to Hawaii.

Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. The voices chanting the magic vibrations are invariably young. The chanting, accompanied by khartals (small hand cymbals), tambourines and drums, is often loud and frenetic. The dancing is vigorous. The middle-aged and elderly usually stand in doorways or look through windows, watching in amazement, unaware that they are witnessing a process of spiritual realization that has been practiced on this planet for thousands of years. They do not understand. No one really understands. The chanting just spreads. Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna …

The Hare Krishna Explosion
By Hayagriva dasa

Hayagriva dasa

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23rd Annual Prabhupada Festival

 Prabhupada Festival 2014

Prabhupada Festival 2014

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu predicted that His holy name would be broadcast in every town and village of the world. Acaryas of His sampradaya predicted that the spread of Krsna consciousness would usher in a ten-thousand year Golden Age within the dark age of Kali. And in Caitanya Mangala, Locana dasa Thakura foretold that a great senapati (military general) would appear to widely and powerfully preach Lord Caitanya’s message. That confidential task of spreading Krsna consciousness all over the world was entrusted to:

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Today marks the 23rd Annual Prabhupada Festival taking place in Los Angles California. For more information click on the link;

http://www.prabhupadafestival.com/index2014.html

or visit on them on Facebook at;

https://www.facebook.com/prabhupadafestival

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

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Transcendental Teachings of Caitanya Mahaprabhu

Transcendental teachings of Lord Caitanya

We share with you this nice little booklet printed in 1972 by the ISKCON Press. This book is Srila Prabhupada’s “A short sketch of the life and teachings of Lord Caitanya, the preacher of Srimad Bhagavtam”, which appeared in the Introduction to the Srimad Bhagavatam. This scanned copy was made available by Krishnapath.org where you can go to find other ebooks and Audio books that are available as a free download. To veiw or save the entire book follow link below. Hare Krishna!

The transcendental teachings of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu offer a practical and scientific method by which anyone can easily develop love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna. These teachings, in their pure form, have been spread all over the world by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, to whom devotees of Lord Krsna and Lord Caitanya throughout the world offer their most humble and respectful obeisances.

Especially in the West, where the philosophies of impersonalism and voidism, presented in different ways, are enjoying temporary prominence, the culture of pure devotional service to the Supreme Lord appears to have been lost in the oblivion of time. Now Srila Prabhupada has appeared in the West to spread the Krsna consciousness movement introduced by Lord Caitanya in India 500 years ago and thus renovate the principles of pure devotional service. (From Preface)

to read online or to save click on following link; Transcendental Teachings of Caitanya Mahaprabhu

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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)

Reference Verses More

Chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahā-mantra

The Hare Krishna Movement 1

click on image to enlarge

Following in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is distributing the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra and inducing people all over the world to chant. We are giving people an immense treasury of transcendental literature, translated into all the important languages of the world, and by the grace of Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu this literature is selling profusely, and people are chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra with great delight. This is the preaching process of the Caitanya cult. Since the Lord wanted this cult preached all over the world, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness is acting in a humble way so that the vision of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu may be fulfilled all over the world, especially in the Western countries. (Purport to Cc. Adi-lila 16.19)

…the human form of life is a chance to understand, and if one misses this opportunity, he is most unfortunate. The way to get out of illusory māyā is to engage in the topics of Kṛṣṇa. Lord Caitanya advocated a process whereby everyone may remain in his present position without change but simply hear from the proper authoritative sources about Kṛṣṇa. Lord Caitanya advised everyone to spread the word of Kṛṣṇa. He advised, “All of you become spiritual masters. Your duty is simply to talk to whomever you meet of Kṛṣṇa or of the instructions given by Kṛṣṇa.” The International Society for Krishna Consciousness is operating for this purpose. We do not ask anyone to first change his position and then come to us. Instead, we invite everyone to come with us and simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, because we know that if one simply chants and hears the topics of Kṛṣṇa, one’s life will change; he will see a new light, and his life will be successful. ( from purport to SB 4.7.44)

This morning my reading took me to the following verses which describe the importance and ecstasy of chanting Hare Krishna. We share with you these very nice verses and purports More

The Symptoms of a Sādhu

Srila Prabhupada

click on image to enlarge

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)

Full text and purport More

A Short Statement of the Philosophy of Krishna Consciousness

Srila Prabhupada on morning walk

A Short Statement of the Philosophy of Krishna Consciousness
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

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Previous Older Entries

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

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The Hare Krishna Cookbook

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

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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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