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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On Chanting Hare Krishna (Free Download)

On Chanting Hare Krishna

On Chanting Hare Krishna
Free PDF Download

On Chanting Hare Krishna is a small booklet originally published by ISKCON in 1966 in New York City and was distributed widely at peace marches and other similar gatherings in the 60′s. I have always maintained that Krishna Consciousness is very simple and sublime, and this small pamphlet is an example of that. In the early days of our movement people joined after reading one small book or pamphlet, hearing Hari nama sankirtan, tasting prasadam, or just meeting one of the enthusiastic devotees. Please click on following link for a free PDF Download: On_Chanting_the_Hare_Krsna_Mantra-Original_booklet

Times change and our Movement has changed…but the purity is still present in this original publication.

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Radha Damadara Traveling Sankirtan Party

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…I loved being a devotee.  I would look forward to going to the park or college campus, and putting on a festival.  We set up the stage, brought on our musical instruments and chanted, while others arranged the distribution of prasadam and books.  After the chanting when we went to mingle with the students or guests gathered there, I would enjoy preaching to new people and answering all sorts of questions like “why do you guys shave your head? And why do you put mud on your foreheads, etc., etc.?  But sometimes the preaching was so sweet and people wanted to know who is Krishna? Who is Srila Prabhupada?  And my joy knew no bounds.  I hardly knew the philosophy myself, but when my desire to preach was unmotivated by false ego, Srila Prabhupada would give me the intelligence.  I would be amazed how the words would just flow out of my mouth.  By Srila Prabhupada’s great mercy, to one who has taken to this process of sharing with others, he gives the intelligence.  I was gaining an understanding of the process of Krishna Consciousness, simply by acting in Krishna Consciousness.  It was so sublime.  So simple!

Radha Damadara Traveling Sankirtan Party
by Vyasasan das
 
 
     First let me begin by offering my respectful obesiences to all the vaisnave devotee’s of the Lord, who are so merciful to the fallen conditioned souls that they put themselves in perilous and austere conditions of life voluntarily, in order to help others.  And as always, let me offer my most humble obeisances to my beloved spiritual master A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who is very dear to Lord Krishna, haven taken shelter at his Lotus feet.
 
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The secret of success in Spiritual Life is Following the Orders of the Spiritual Master


What Happened to the Hare Krishna’s?
By Sriman Madhuvisa Prabhu
Chapter 6

Problems From India

A pure Vaisnava is very happy to see a person elevated in devotional service. Unfortunately, there are many so-called Vaisnavas who become envious to see someone actually recognized by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. It is a fact that no one can preach Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s message without receiving the special mercy of the Lord. This is known to every Viasnava, yet there are some envious people who cannot tolerate the expansion of this Krishna consciousness movement all over the world. They find fault with a pure devotee preacher and do not praise him for the excellent service he renders in fulfilling Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission.

The success of Srila Prabhupada’s preaching and his increasing number of temples and disciples all over the world caused some of his godbrothers (other disciples of Srila Bhaktsiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Srila Prabhupada’s spiritual master) in India to become envious of him and his society.

Some of Srila Prabhupada’s godbrothers did not approve of his preaching work in the West. Srila Prabhupada had only a relatively small amount of direct association with his spiritual master and spent very little time living in the Gaudiya Math temples (his spiritual masters preaching mission).

He sometimes spoke on the Srimad Bhagavatam in the Gaudiya Math and helped with raising funds, but basically he was considered a householder and businessman. No one within the Gaudiya Math ever imagined Prabhupada would go to America to preach and spread the mission of Krishna consciousness all over the world. However Prabhupada’s ISKCON had made their tiny preaching attempts in India look insignificant.

Srila Prabhupada’s godbrothers had more personal association with Srila Bhaktsiddhanta than him and some of them had been sannyasis (renounced) for many years. If anyone was to be a world preacher surely it would be one of these advanced, renounced sannyasis who had received so much personal training from Srila Bhaktsiddhanta. In the Gaudiya Math way of things Srila Prabhupada really didn’t have much importance and no one would have considered him even a candidate as a world preacher.

The real difficulty for the Gaudiya Math began when they disobeyed the orders of Srila Bhaktsiddhanta. He instructed them that after he left his body they should make a Governing Body and conjointly manage the preaching mission in that way. He didn’t want an acarya appointed in his place as he could not see anyone qualified. But after Srila Bhaktisiddhanta’s disappearance his disciples decided to reject his instructions and elect an acarya. It was a disaster and the result was the disintegration of the Gaudiya Math and the end of the preaching. Srila Prabhupada saw all this going on and criticized his godbrothers for going against Srila Bhaktsiddhanta’s instructions but he kept aloof from it. He preached independently and went about working and planning how to execute the order of his spiritual master. Srila Prabhupada was the only disciple of Srila Bhaktsiddhanta who sincerely took his instructions in regard to preaching in the Western countries to heart and was determined to follow them. He received the blessings and mercy of Srila Bhaktsiddhanta, Lord Caitanya and Krishna and was empowered by them to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world. But his godbrothers were far from happy.

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Srila Prabhupada – A Transcendental Manager 

What Happened to the Hare Krishna’s?
Chapter Four
By Sriman Madhuvisa Prabhu

Srila Prabhupada – A Transcendental Manager

The success of ISKCON (the International Society for Krishna Consciousness) was a direct result of Srila Prabhupada’s devotion, determination, purity and intelligence, however, he was a soul completely surrendered to Krishna. He depended completely on Krishna. So ISKCON succeeded because Srila Prabhupada was totally dedicated to the order of his spiritual master and Krishna.

Srila Prabhupada was the force behind ISKCON but the thousands of young boys and girls who surrendered to him and accepted him as their spiritual master were the Krishna conscious soldiers fighting maya (illusion) on her own territory. Srila Prabhupada was always unlimitedly grateful to his disciples for helping him fulfill his spiritual master’s orders. He even sometimes said, “My spiritual master has sent you all to teach me how to be Krishna conscious.”

Srila Prabhupada didn’t want to control everything himself. He wanted to encourage his disciples to take responsibility and use their intelligence in devising ways to spread Krishna consciousness. He wanted his disciples to become competent in all areas of practical work and management as well as being learned in the philosophy and expert preachers. He didn’t like centralization or bureaucracy. His management program was always for independent and self-supporting centres not in any way dependant on any other centre. The only exceptions to this independent and self-supporting model were his Indian projects where he made Bombay the head office and he personally managed everything from there. He also centralized the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust as it would have been unworkable to have every temple printing books. There had to be some central body to coordinate book publication.

…I have heard from Jayatirtha you want to make big plans for centralization of management, taxes, monies, corporate status, book-keeping, credit, like that. I do not approve of such a plan. Do not centralize anything. Each temple must remain independent and self-sufficient. That was my plan from the very beginning, why you are thinking otherwise? Once before you wanted to do something centralizing with your GBC meeting, and if I did not interfere the whole thing would have been killed. Do not think in this way of big corporation, big credits, centralization – these are all nonsense proposals. Only thing I wanted was that books printing and distribution should be centralized, therefore I appointed you and Bali Mardana to do it. Otherwise, management, everything, should be done locally by local men. Accounts must be kept, things must be in order and lawfully done, but this should be each temple’s concern, not yours. (to Karandhara 22 Dec, 1972)

Srila Prabhupada wanted a confederation of independent ISKCON centres each managed by a Temple President, Secretary and Treasurer. His mood was that each Temple President should develop the preaching in his area at his own creative rate.

The formula for ISKCON organization is very simple and can be understood by everyone. The world is divided into 12 zones. For each zone there is one zonal secretary. His duty is to see that the spiritual principles are being upheld very nicely in all the temples of his zone. Otherwise each temple shall be independent and self-supporting. Let every temple president work according to his own capacity to improve the Krishna consciousness of his centre. So far the practical management is concerned, that is required, but not that we shall become too much absorbed in fancy organization. Our business is spiritual life, so whatever organization needs to be done, the presidents may handle and take advice and assistance from the GBC representative. In this way let the Society’s work go on and everyone increase their service at their own creative rate.

…We request that everyone take these formulas to heart and execute them very conscientiously. In this way we shall certainly be successful in pushing on this movement. (Signed by Srila Prabhupada & Karandhara dasa 22 Apr, 1972)

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What is a Hare Krishna Anyhow?

What Happened to the Hare Krishna’s?
Chapter Three
By Sriman Madhuvisa Prabhu

Once one gets a taste of Krishna consciousness he cannot remain without it. A drunkard cannot remain without a drink but a devotee is drunk with Krishna consciousness. The immunization against all material diseases is this Krishna consciousness.

What is a Hare Krishna Anyhow?

Receiving Krishna consciousness means receiving light. People are exhausted with the materialistic way of life especially in the West. Now the Krishna consciousness movement is giving new life to Western society… The great souls are always chanting about Krishna. Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. They are also endeavouring with great determination in their devotional service. For instance in the Krishna conscious temples the devotees rise early in the morning at 4:00 A.M. and they immediately bathe. Then they go to mangal-aroti at 4:30 and after mangal-aroti they study the Vedic literatures. These are the processes by which we can awaken our dormant love for Krishna.

Because we are part and parcel of Krishna – just as the son is part and parcel of his father – there is a natural love between us. However somehow or other the son leaves home and forgets his father. The father of course never forgets his son. He thinks Oh, my son has left. If he would only come back! Krishna thinks in this way. We are all sons of Krishna and Krishna is more anxious to get us back home back to Godhead than we are to go. Therefore Krishna comes and says You rascal! Give up all this nonsensical material enjoyment. You have manufactured so many religions and dharmas. Just give them all up and surrender unto Me.” Krishna comes Himself and leaves behind His words. His words are also Himself because His words are absolute.

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The Hare Krishna’s Go West

What Happened to the Hare Krishna’s
By Sriman Madhudvisa Prabhu

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu desired this chanting of Hare Krishna and dancing in ecstasy be spread all over the world, in fact he predicted that one day the whole world will dance in ecstasy to this chanting of Hare Krishna. Until His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada left India for the United States in 1965 no one in India could imagine how the prediction of Lord Caitanya could come true.

The following is a continuation of the fine booklet compiled by Sriman Madhudhvisa Prabhu which he has kindly allowed us to publish from this site.

The Hare Krishna’s Go West

At the age of sixty nine, Srila Prabhupada travelled to the United States with nothing but a few dollars and a stock of Srimad Bhagavatam volumes he had translated and printed in India, along with his most valuable asset, unflinching faith in Krishna and the order of his spiritual master.

In the United States Srila Prabhupada established the International Society for Krishna Consciousness(ISKCON) in accordance with instructions of His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, his spiritual master. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta instructed Srila Prabhupada to present the philosophy of Krishna consciousness in English and to preach in the Western countries.

Although Srila Bhaktsiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, my beloved eternal spiritual master, guide and friend, according to material vision passed away from this material world on the last day of December, 1936, I still consider His Divine Grace to be present with me by his vani, his words. there are two ways of association – by vani and vapu. Vani means words and vapu means physical presence. Physical presence is sometimes appreciable and sometimes not, but vani continues to exist eternally. Therefore we must take advantage of the vani, not the physical presence. Bhagavad-gita, for example, is the vani of Lord Krishna. Although Krishna was personally present five thousand years ago and is no longer physically present from the materialistic point of view, Bhagavad-gita continues. (CC Ant p319)

Srila Prabhupada, after studying the Americans and their way of life, moved to the Bowery, and later to the Lower East Side in New York. At this time the ‘Hippy’ movement was emerging and many dissatisfied young people had started moving to the area. These young Americans were unimpressed with the materialistic lifestyles of their parents, they were concerned about America’s involvement in the Vietnam war and the proliferation of nuclear weapons. They were looking for an answer. They wanted peace, love and happiness and with this vague notion they converged on the Lower East Side of New York in search of utopia. For many of these ‘flower children’ Srila Prabhupada provided just what they were looking for. A spiritual lifestyle, peace, happiness and a real purpose in life. Srila Prabhupada’s method was simple. He sat underneath a tree in the park and chanted the Hare Krishna mantra, spoke on Bhagavad-gita As It Is and distributed prasadam (food spiritualized by offering to Krishna). He saw no distinction between people, young or old, black or white, man or woman; to Prabhupada they were all spirit souls who were lost in the bewildering network of this material world. His only desire was to help these lost souls find their way back to Krishna, their eternal father. He knew that they were suffering because of forgetfulness of their eternal relationship with Krishna, and as a humble servant of Krishna he was just trying to give them the right direction so they could reestablish that lost relationship with Krishna. This simple program gradually attracted many sincere young boys and girls to Krishna consciousness.

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What Happened to the Hare Krishna’s?


One of the most common questions people ask is “What happened to the Hare Krishna’s?” Many people remember the devotees colorful chanting, festivals and book distribution which were so common in the seventies, but have now practically disappeared. This booklet written by Sriman Madhudvisa Prabhu, will shed some light on why the Hare Krishna’s disappeared. He has kindly agreed to let us post this fine publication from our site, and we will share it with you over the next 13 weeks.

What Happened to the Hare Krishna’s?
By Sriman Madhudvisa Prabhu

This booklet is dedicated to the Founder and Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who has dedicated his life to giving us, the fallen conditioned souls, a chance to achieve the greatest goal. He presented the timeless Vedic texts of India in English so clearly and unambiguously that even we, the most sinful and fallen persons, have a chance to understand the topmost goal of human life…To develop pure love for Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Introduction

Even a person with no knowledge can immediately acquire all knowledge simply by the benediction of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Therefore I am praying to the Lord for His causeless mercy upon me.

I offer my respectful obeisances unto Sri Krishna Caitanya and Lord Nityananda, who are like the sun and moon. They have arisen simultaneously on the horizon of Gauda to dissipate the darkness of ignorance and thus wonderfully bestow benediction upon all.
Glory to the all-merciful Radha and Madana-Mohana! I am lame and ill-advised, yet They are my directors, and Their lotus feet are everything to me.

In a temple of jewels in Vrndavana, underneath a desire tree, Sri Sri Radha Govinda, served by Their most confidential associates, sit upon an effulgent throne. I offer my humble obeisances to Them.

May Gopinathaji, who attracts all the gopis with the songs of His flute and who has begun the most melodious rasa dance on the bank of the Yamuna in Vamsivata, be merciful upon us. (Srila Krishnadas Kaviraja CC Mad 1.1-5)

Krishna consciousness is not a new creation. Krishna consciousness has always existed. It is our original pure consciousness. While we are in contaminated consciousness here in the material world we are in material consciousness, but if that material consciousness is purified our original consciousness, Krishna consciousness, is revived. There are different processes for reviving our original Krishna consciousness, basically divided into three: mental speculation, meditation yoga and devotional service. There are different ages, or yugas, which this universe passes through on a cycle lasting for 4,300,000 years. This cycle is similar to the changing seasons we see every year. We know that after winter there will be spring and after spring there will be summer. Similarly, on a larger scale, there are four ages, Satya-yuga, Tretya-yuga, Dvarpa-yuga and Kali-yuga. Satya-yuga is called the golden age because in this age everyone is pure and spiritually advanced. The conditions in the Satya Yuga are particularly suitable for the practice of meditational yoga as people have long lifetimes and are undisturbed. The conditions degrade until Kali Yuga, the present age, which is the most degraded age, people being short-lived, always disturbed, very sinful and not at all intelligent. Because in this age we are very unfortunate there is no chance for us to practice either meditational yoga or mental speculation. The only practical option open to us is devotional service, Krishna consciousness.

The Krishna consciousness movement of congregational chanting of the holy names of God actually began in full force five hundred years ago. At this time Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who was none other than Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, took mercy on us, the fallen souls in Kali-yuga by flooding the subcontinent of India with the chanting of the maha mantra Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Lord Caitanya was delivering pure love of God, the topmost spiritual achievement, freely to everyone without consideration of their qualifications. No other incarnation of God has ever been so merciful. To reveal the secret of what real love is, Krishna came to earth in the guise of His own devotee – as Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. With his chief associates – Nityananda, Advaita, Gadadhara and Srivasa – He taught how to develop love of Godhead simply by chanting Hare Krishna and dancing in ecstasy.

Pasted from; http://krishna.org/ISKCON/WHTTHK/msg00int.html

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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