The Florist

Florist and Krsna

…After dressing nicely, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma went to a florist of the name Sudāmā. As soon as They reached the precinct of his house, the florist immediately came out and with great devotion fell down on his face to offer his respectful obeisances. He offered a nice seat to Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma and asked his assistant to bring out flowers and betel nuts smeared with pulp of candana. The florist’s welcome greatly satisfied the Lord.

The florist very humbly and submissively offered his prayers to the Lord, saying, ”My dear Lord, because You have come to my place, I think all my forefathers and all my worshipable superiors are pleased and delivered. My dear Lord, You are the supreme cause of all causes of this cosmic manifestation, but for the benefit of the residents of this earthly planet, You have appeared with Your plenary portion to give protection to Your devotees and annihilate the demons. You are equally disposed as the friend of all living entities; You are the Supersoul, and You do not discriminate between friend and enemy. Yet You are pleased to give Your devotees the special result of their devotional activities. My Lord, I am praying that You please tell me whatever You wish me to do, because I am Your eternal servant. If You will allow me to do something, it will be a great favor to me.“ The florist, Sudāmā, was greatly pleased within his heart by seeing Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma in his place, and thus, as his choicest desire, he made two exquisite garlands of various flowers and presented them to the Lord. Both Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma were very pleased with his sincere service, and Kṛṣṇa offered the florist His salutation and benediction, which He is always prepared to bestow upon the surrendered souls. When the florist was offered benediction, he begged from the Lord that he might remain His eternal servant in devotional service and by such service do good to all living creatures. By this, it is clear that a devotee of the Lord in Kṛṣṇa consciousness should not be simply satisfied by his own advancement in devotional service; he must be willing to work for the welfare of all others. This example was followed by the six Gosvāmīs of Vṛndāvana. It is therefore stated in their prayer, lokānāṁ hita-kāriṇau: Vaiṣṇavas, or devotees of the Lord, are not selfish. Whatever benefit they derive from the Supreme Personality of Godhead as benediction they want to distribute to all other persons. That is the greatest of all humanitarian activities. Being satisfied with the florist, Lord Kṛṣṇa not only gave him benediction for whatever he wanted, but over and above that, He offered him all material opulences, family prosperity, long duration of life, and whatever else his heart desired within the material world.

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Karma and Karma-yoga

karma

Sometime back one of our readers asked the question; “What is the difference between karma and karma-yoga?” I answered his question in some length, I recall, referring to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is as reference. But just this morning, I was reading from the Srimad Bhagavatam, and I read this very short and concise explaination.

“There is a difference between karma and karma-yoga. Karma is regulated action for the enjoyment of the fruit by the performer, but karma-yoga is action performed by the devotee for the satisfaction of the Lord. Karma-yoga is based on bhakti, or pleasing the Lord, whereas karma is based on pleasing the senses of the performer himself.” (from purport to SB 1.3.4)

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If By Chance We Meet A Saintly Person…

Prabhupada

…Sometimes an ever-liberated personal associate of the Supreme Personality of Godhead descends into this universe just as the Lord descends. Although working for the liberation of conditioned souls, the messenger of the Supreme Lord remains untouched by the material energy. Generally ever-liberated personalities live in the spiritual world as associates of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and they are known as kṛṣṇa-pāriṣada, associates of the Lord. Their only business is enjoying Lord Kṛṣṇa’s company, and even though such eternally liberated persons come within this material world to serve the Lord’s purpose, they enjoy Lord Kṛṣṇa’s company without stoppage. The ever-liberated person who works on Kṛṣṇa’s behalf enjoys Lord Kṛṣṇa’s company through his engagement.

… The conditioned soul subjected to the threefold material miseries is ceaselessly kicked by māyā, and this is his disease. If by chance he meets a saintly person who works on Kṛṣṇa’s behalf to deliver conditioned souls, and if he agrees to abide by his order, he can gradually approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa.(from purport to Madhya-lila 22.14-15)

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Gaurangera Duti Pada

Gauranga duti pada

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…Gauranga refers to Lord Caitanya, who has a fair complexion. One who has a fair complexion is called gaura, and since Lord Caitanya was very fair, just like molten gold, He was also named Gaurasundara. Narottama dasa Thakura says, gaurangera duti pada, jar dhana-sampada, se jane bhakati-rasa-sar. Anyone who has accepted the two lotus feet of Lord Caitanya can understand the true essence of devotional service. Devotional service is very difficult. It cannot be understood by any ordinary man. As it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, out of many thousands of persons who are trying to achieve the perfection of human life, only some actually become perfect and realize the self. And out of many thousands of such self-realized persons, only one can understand Krsna. Without understanding Krsna, how can one engage himself in the service of Krsna? Therefore, the devotional service of Krsna is not an ordinary thing. But fortunately, if one follows in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya (gaurangera duti pada) by following the path shown by Lord Caitanya-the process of simply chanting Hare Krsna-he can very easily understand what devotional service is. (from purport to the song “Gaurangera Duti Pada”)

Full song with Bengali Lyrics, English translation, and purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Harinama Dikska Written Test Question Paper

BackTo-Godhead-ISKCON-Initiation

Harinama Dikska Question Paper

Sometime back, we published the “Harinama Diksha Reference Material and Study Guide“. Today we share with you the “Harinama Dikska Question Paper”. This was put out by the devotees at ISKCON Bangalore, and is very interesting. I won’t say anymore about it now, other than to say it is worth taking a few minutes to ‘take the test’, by answering the few basic questions.

click on following link

Harinam_Diksha_Question_Paper

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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)

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Final Purport

Krsna and Arjuna on Battlefield3

This morning I opened the Bhagavad-gita As It Is by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and for some reason just went to the last verse and purport. I couldn’t remember what where the very last words Srila Prabhupada spoke, what was the final purport? So we share it with you here today. Hare Krishna!

Wherever there is Kṛṣṇa, the master of all mystics, and wherever there is Arjuna, the supreme archer, there will also certainly be opulence, victory, extraordinary power, and morality. That is my opinion. (Bhagavad-gita 18.78)

…The living entity in his original position is pure spirit. He is just like an atomic particle of the Supreme Spirit. The conditioned living entity, however, is the marginal energy of the Lord; he tends to be in contact with both the material energy and the spiritual energy. In other words, the living entity is situated between the two energies of the Lord, and because he belongs to the superior energy of the Lord, he has a particle of independence. By proper use of that independence he comes under the direct order of Kṛṣṇa. Thus he attains his normal condition in the pleasure-giving potency. (from final purport)

Thus end the Bhaktivedanta Purports to the Eighteenth Chapter of the Śrīmad-Bhagavad-gītā in the matter of its Conclusions-the Perfection of Renunciation.

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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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Spring

spring lamb
…and of seasons I am flower-bearing spring(Bhagavad-gita 10.35)

…Of course spring is a season universally liked because it is neither too hot nor too cold, and the flowers and trees blossom and flourish. In spring there are also many ceremonies commemorating Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes; therefore this is considered to be the most joyful of all seasons, and it is the representative of the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa. (from purport)

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The Original Supreme Personality

Radha Krishna Bhava

This morning I was reading from the Srimad-Bhagavatam and the purport directed my attention to the verse from the Bhagavad-gita;Fools deride Me when I descend in the human form. They do not know My transcendental nature and My supreme dominion over all that be.. So I went to the Bhagavad-gita and read again this very important verse and purport, and we share it with you today…

…it is clear that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, although appearing like a human being, is not a common man. The Personality of Godhead, who conducts the creation, maintenance and annihilation of the complete cosmic manifestation, cannot be a human being. Yet there are many foolish men who consider Kṛ,sṇa to be merely a powerful man and nothing more. Actually, He is the original Supreme Personality, as is confirmed in the Brahma-saṁhitā (iśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛsṇaḥ); He is the Supreme Lord. (from purport Bg.9.11)

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Gaura Purnima

Bhagavad-Gita-Original-Art-Pancha-Tattva1

Today we celebrate the appearance day of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We honor His appearance with these two select verses from the Sri Caitanya-caritmrta.

“O most munificent incarnation! You are Kṛṣṇa Himself appearing as Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu. You have assumed the golden color of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, and You are widely distributing pure love of Kṛṣṇa. We offer our respectful obeisances unto You.

“We offer our respectful obeisances unto that merciful Supreme Personality of Godhead who has converted all three worlds, which were maddened by ignorance, and saved them from their diseased condition by making them mad with the nectar from the treasure-house of love of God. Let us take full shelter of that Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, whose activities are wonderful.”

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Śrī Gaura-Pūrṇimā Lecture

lord caitanya

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So tomorrow is Gaura Purnima, the appearance day of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We will honor this auspicious and most important day, with an all day fast, followed by chanting, dancing, and feasting. Today we are posting a famous lecture given by Srila Prabhupada on Gaura-purnima in Mayapur, back in 1976.

…So Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya is Kṛṣṇa. It is confirmed by the śāstras. Here it is said, channaḥ kalau yad abhava. In the Kali-yuga, directly He does not appear as the incarnation like Nṛsiṁhadeva or Vāmanadeva or Lord Rāmacandra, yes, but as devotee. So He’s the same incarnation, Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Abhavat. “Therefore sometimes You are called as tri-yuga.” There are four yugas, but He is known… Because in three yugas He appears distinctly, and in the fourth yuga, the Kali-yuga, as devotee, therefore He’s called tri-yuga.

So today is the birthday or appearance day of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and this is the birthplace, this Māyāpura, and you are all present here. It is a good fortune. Always remember Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and chant śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu-nityānanda…

Devotees: …śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda.Prabhupāda: This will make your life perfect. Thank you very much. (end)

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Chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahā-mantra

The Hare Krishna Movement 1

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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

Remembering Krishna

Hare Krishna Maha Mantra

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” Simply our prayer should be, My dear Krishna, please remind me to always chant Your Holy Name, please do not put me into forgetfulness. You are sitting within me as Supersoul, so you can put me into forgetfulness or into remembering You. So please do not put me into forgetfulness. Please always remind me to chant, even You send me into the hell, it doesn’t matter, just so long as I can always chant Hare Krishna…” (from Srila Prabhupada’s letter to Devananda dated Nov.23,1968)

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The Practice of Yoga

The gopis remembered their pastimes with Krishna p208

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This morning as I was making a breakfast offering, and was offering a nice glass of fresh milk, my mind just seemed to go to this picture of Krsna milking a cow. And I thought ‘milk is such a wonderful food, miraculous really. One can live on milk, and as small children milk is all that is required, and as we develop as yogis, we can subsist on the gifts of God, such as fruits, grains and milk, without a need for killing.

The above picture is one of my very favorites from the Krsna Book, because it is so simple and sweet, and there is a noticeable absence of technology.

The following are two verses from the Bhagavad-gita As It Is describing the healthy diet, and activities of the yogi.

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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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Lord Kapila Takes Charge of His Mother, Devahūti

Lord Kapila

The following is chapter five in our series on the Teaching of Lord Kapila entitled “Lord Kapila Takes Charge of His Mother, Devahūti”. This chapter contains the timeless instructions on receiving spiritual knowledge. We are fortunate in this age to have the books of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada to guide us. Human knowledge was originally preserved through oral tradition, but today we have this knowledge preserved in the books of His Divine Grace.

Teachings of Lord Kapila, the Son of Devahūti
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter Five

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Ariṣṭāsura Demon

Aristasura

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…Vṛndāvana was always absorbed in the thought of Kṛṣṇa. Everyone remembered His pastimes and was constantly merged in the ocean of transcendental bliss. But the material world is so contaminated that even in Vṛndāvana the asuras or demons tried to disturb the peaceful situation.

One demon named Ariṣṭāsura entered the village like a great bull with a gigantic body and horns, digging up the earth with his hooves. When the demon entered Vṛndāvana, it appeared that the whole land trembled, as if there were an earthquake. He roared fiercely, and after digging up the earth on the riverside, he entered the village proper. The fearful roaring of the bull was so piercing that some of the pregnant cows and women had miscarriages. Its body was so big, stout and strong that a cloud hovered over its body just as clouds hover over mountains. Ariṣṭāsura entered Vṛndāvana with such a fearful appearance that just on seeing this great demon, all the men and women were afflicted with great fear, and the cows and other animals fled the village.

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The Pleasure (ānanda) Potency of the Lord

Sharma-village-cows-krishna-gopies-gopas-gopas-cowherd-men

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This morning as I was finishing the Tenth Chapter of the Second Canto, the following verse and purport jumped out at me from the pages. And I realized for the thousandth time, what great good fortune we have in that we can hear directly from the pure devotee of the Lord, about the eternal pastimes of the Lord, through the pages of the Srimad Bhagavatam.

Of the three types of Transcendentalist’s, namely the jñānī, the yogī and the bhakta, or the impersonalist, the meditator and the devotee. It is only the devotee who can factually know the Lord as He is and thus be trained in the bona fide service of the Lord and be allowed to enter into the direct association of the Lord in so many capacities. The highest glorious association with the Lord is made possible in the planet of Goloka Vṛndāvana, where Lord Kṛṣṇa enjoys Himself with the gopīs and His favorite animals, the surabhi cows.

… The impersonalist is satisfied simply by understanding the all-pervasive influence of the Lord. This is called Brahman realization. Greater than the impersonalist is the mystic who sees the Lord situated in his heart as Paramātmā, the partial representation of the Lord. But there are pure devotees who take part in the direct pleasure (ānanda) potency of the Lord by factual reciprocation of loving service. The Lord in His abode called the Vaikuṇṭha planets, which are eternal manifestations, always remains with His associates and enjoys transcendental loving services by His pure devotees in different transcendental humors.

So we are pleased to present the following Texts and Purports More

Appearance Day of Oṁ Viṣṇupāda Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja

Srila Bhaktivinoda holding young Bhaktisiddhanta

Today marks the appearance day of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja, the spiritual master of our Srila Prabhupada. We honor his appearance day with a half day fast, and this short post.

Or he takes his birth in a family of transcendentalists who are surely great in wisdom. Verily, such a birth is rare in this world.
(Bhagavad-gita As It Is 6.42)

Birth in a family of yogīs or transcendentalists—those with great wisdom—is praised herein because the child born in such a family receives spiritual impetus from the very beginning of his life. It is especially the case in the ācārya or gosvāmī families. Such families are very learned and devoted by tradition and training, and thus they become spiritual masters. (From purport)

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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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