The Pastimes of the Supreme Lord, Rāmacandra

Lord Rama

In honor of the Appearance day of Lord Ramacandra, we are posting the entire tenth chapter from the ninth Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam entitled “The Pastimes of the Supreme Lord, Rāmacandra”.

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

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Picture of the Material World

tree

We will be away traveling for a short time and will be away from our computer, but we leave you with this nice image and a verse from Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita. Hare Krishna!

…In the Fifteenth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gītā, the real picture of the material world is given. It is said there:

“The Supreme Lord said: There is a banyan tree which has its roots upward and its branches down, and the Vedic hymns are its leaves. One who knows this tree is the knower of the Vedas.” (Bg. 15.1)

Here the material world is described as a tree whose roots are upwards and branches are below. We have experience of a tree whose roots are upward: if one stands on the bank of a river or any reservoir of water, he can see that the trees reflected in the water are upside down. The branches go downward and the roots upward. Similarly, this material world is a reflection of the spiritual world. The material world is but a shadow of reality. In the shadow there is no reality or substantiality, but from the shadow we can understand that there is substance and reality. In the desert there is no water, but the mirage suggests that there is such a thing as water. In the material world there is no water, there is no happiness, but the real water of actual happiness is there in the spiritual world. (from Introduction to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is)

Full Text and Purport to text 15.1 More

“Your Bhagavad-gītā Reading is Perfect. You have Taken the Essence.”

Krishna and Arjuna

click on image to enlarge

When Lord Caitanya was traveling in South India…He saw one brāhmaṇa was reading Bhagavad-gītā. And people were joking him, “Oh, Mr. brāhmaṇa, how you are reading Bhagavad-gītā?” Because they were the neighbors, they knew that this brāhmaṇa was illiterate and he was studying Bhagavad-gītā. So they were joking. But the brāhmaṇa did not car. He was taking the book and in his own way he was reading.

Caitanya Mahāprabhu saw this incident, He came to the brāhmaṇa. So He asked the brāhmaṇa, “My dear brāhmaṇa, what you are reading?”

So he could understand “This persons is not joking with me; He is serious.”

So he explained, “My dear sir, I am reading Bhagavad-gītā. Unfortunately, I am illiterate. I do not know even the alphabets.”

“Why you are reading Bhagavad-gītā?”

So he said that, “My spiritual master knows that I am illiterate, but still, he has asked me to read Bhagavad-gītā. What can I do? Therefore I have taken this book. I am seeing simply. I do not know how to read.”

“Oh, that’s all right. You cannot read. But I see that you are crying. How you are crying if you are not reading?”

“Yes, I am crying. Of course, there is cause.”

“What is that?”

“As soon as I take this Bhagavad-gītā, I remember Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa is sitting as driver and Arjuna is hearing. I have heard the story. I know something of the instruction but cannot read. So as soon as I take this book, this picture comes before me and I simply think, ‘Oh, how Kṛṣṇa is nice that He has become a charioteer of His devotee. He is so great. Still, He has accepted a menial service of His devotee.’ This gives me so much pleasure that I cry.”

Caitanya Mahāprabhu embraced him, “Your Bhagavad-gītā reading is perfect. You have taken the essence.” So this is the thing. If you simply remember Kṛṣṇa is teaching Arjuna and Arjuna is hearing, if you simply remember the picture, that is sufficient. Even if you think that you cannot read. (Bhagavad-gita talks with Srila Prabhupada 11/25/1968)

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Prabhupada’s Vision for New Vrindaban: Holy Pilgrimage

Vrindavan

Prabhupada’s Vision for New Vrindaban: Holy Pilgrimage
Letters by Srila Prabhupada

“Therefore, I may once more request you to try your best to construct New Vrindaban an exact duplicate of Vrindaban, and that will give me the highest pleasure.” – Srila Prabhupada Letter to Kirtanananda, February 18, 1970.

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Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Original 17 Volume Set (1974 Edition) available again!

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

I happened to go to the Prabhupada News site this morning just to see what was new. So glad I did because I discovered that the original Sri Caitanya-caritamrta’s are back in print again! I was overjoyed to see this and share the links with all of you.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Original 17 Volume Set (1974 Edition) available again!

Hare Krishna, we have wonderful news. After 20 years of being out of print Srila Prabhupada’s original 17 Volume Sri Caitanya-caritamrta set is now finally available again at www.KrishnaStore.co.uk

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What is the Position of Lord Shiva?

Lord Shiva

What is the Position of Lord Shiva?
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
(excerpted from Bhagavad-gita class, Dec. 11, 1967)

Madhudvisa: Prabhupāda? What is the position of Lord Shiva?

Prabhupāda: Lord Shiva is a demigod, but he is higher than all other demigods. He’s higher than Lord Brahmā also. But he’s not the Supreme Lord. Just like there are different gradations. That is not difficult to understand. In society also, there are different gradations. Similarly, the living entities, there are different gradations. Some of the living entities are situated in higher planets, some of them are situated in lower planets and some of them are situated in high-grade life and some in low-grade life. So the demigods are also living entities, but they are enjoying better standard of life due to their acts of piety. But Lord Shiva is not amongst the living entities. He’s above the living entities but he is counted as one of the demigods. But his position is better than Lord Brahmā even. Brahmā is said to be the highest living entity within the universe, and Lord Shiva’s position is higher than that of Lord Brahmā.

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Puruṣa-sūkta Confirmed

Brahma Shiva Visnu

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

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

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The Nectar of Instruction

Nectar of Instruction

The Nectar of Instruction
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

This morning I was reading through the “Bhakti-sastri Study Guide”, compiled by Atmatattva Dasa, and in the pages dedicated to the study of the ‘Nectar of Instruction’ there was the following summary which I use as an index to the Preface and the 11 Texts:

click on following underlined links to go to text

Preface

Text 1 Six urges to be controlled

Text 2 Six hindrances to advancement in devotional service

Text 3 Six principles favorable to the execution of devotional service

Text 4 Six Symptoms of love shared by devotees

Text 5 Appropriate etiquette for dealing with the three types of devotees

Text 6 A warning against offending a pure devotee

Text 7 The potency of the holy name, character and pastives of Kṛṣṇa to become attractive to the conditioned soul

Text 8 The essence of all advice; to engage in devotional service twenty-four hours a day

Text 9 Importance of Visiting the Holy Places

Text 10 The glory of the devotees of Kṛṣṇa

Text 11 The glory of Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa

for a free PDF download of entire book click on following link; The Nectar of Instruction

Chanting Hare Krsna

visnujhana swami

Living beings who are entangled in the complicated meshes of birth and death can be freed immediately by even unconsciously chanting the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, which is feared by fear personified. (SB 1.1.14)

… It is stated herein that the name of Kṛṣṇa is feared even by fear personified. This indicates that the name of Kṛṣṇa is nondifferent from Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, the name of Kṛṣṇa is as powerful as Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself. There is no difference at all. Anyone, therefore, can take advantage of the holy names of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa even in the midst of greatest dangers. The transcendental name of Kṛṣṇa, even though uttered unconsciously or by force of circumstances, can help one obtain freedom from the hurdle of birth and death. (from purport)

Full tent and purport More

Srila Prabhupada: The Prominent Link

Srila Prabhupada the Prominent Link

Srila Prabhupada: The Prominent Link

Recently I had the good fortune to meet one of my God brothers, Dhira Govinda Prabhu. It was on the appearance day of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur. I had heard of him, and in the past, had posted some of his writings, and had read his book “Srila Prabhupada; The Prominent Link”, but had not yet meet him. I found him to be a very nice devotee of good character. And just to give his voice a broader range we decided to post his book Srila Prabhupada The Prominent Link as well as the Prominent Link Supplementary Articles here.

Click on either of the above underlined links to read or save the pdf files.

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Appearance of Lord Varaha

Varaha

Varahadeva lifts the Earth

Today marks Bhaimi Ekadasi (fast from grains & Beans), but it is a special Ekadasi in that we fast till noon today for Varahadeva, and feast tomorrow.

In honor of the Appearance of Lord Varahadeva [Varaha Dvadasi] tomorrow, we are posting the entire chapter entitled “The Appearance of Lord Varāha” from the Srimad Bhagavatam.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Canto Three, Chapter 13

The Appearance of Lord Varāha

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One World Culture

chac_mool_cancn_mexico-normal

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click on Link Links to Ancient India for more information

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

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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.

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Photograph of a Spiritual Teacher is in the Absolute Stage

Srila Prabhupada framed

click on image to enlarge

…Yes. Those who are spiritually advanced, their photograph and ordinary photograph is different. Just like here is statue of Kṛṣṇa. He’s not different from Kṛṣṇa. The original person Kṛṣṇa and this statue of Kṛṣṇa is the same. Similarly, a spiritually perfect person and his photograph is the same. Because it is in the absolute stage. In the absolute stage there is no difference. In the material stage there is difference. Is that clear?… (Srila Prabhupada Bhagavad-gita Lecture Sept. 16, 1966)

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Ramesvara Clears up the Book Changes Issue

ramesvara1

The following article appeared in my mailbox. It was sent to me by Madhudvisa Prabhu, and as I am personally, strongly against the changing of Srila Prabhupada’s beautiful books, this article caught my attention. I like Ramesvara Prabhu and have heard him speak a number of times now on the BBT, his relationship with Srila Prabhupada, book changes, publishing, art work, etc. and not only found his delivery very informative, but very truthful as well. I would highly recomend reading the Interview with Ramesvara if you havn’t already.

Ramesvara-interview-1979

Ramesvara Clears up the Book Changes Issue
by Madhudvisa dasa

Hare Krishna

As you know our relationship with Srila Prabhupada is based on our associaton with him as we read his transcendental books. Srila Prabhupada is living in his transcendental books. The authority of Srila Prabhuapda’s books is lost if they are changed. And unfortunatly the BBT are constantly changing Srila Prabhupada’s books. If you are unfamiliar with this problem please refer to http://www.BookChanges.com

Srila Prabhupada appointed Ramesvara Prabhu as the manager of his Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT) so he was responsible for organizing the printing and distribution of Srila Prabhupada’s original books. Prabhupada gave more direct personal instructions to Ramesvara on book production and distribution than any other devotee.

Fortunately Ramesvara kept a detailed diary and used that diary in an interview for the Prabhupada Lilamrta in 1981. It is because of this diary and the Lilamrta interview that Ramesvara’s memories on Srila Prabhupada’s instructions regarding the publication of his books have been very accurately and authoritatively preserved over the years.

Recently some letters from Ramesvara Prabhu have surfaced on the internet which shed a great deal of light on the book changes issue. Here are a few quotes from these letters.

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Calamities

Queen Kunti Calamities

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

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

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

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

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There Will Always Be Difficulties

prabhupadawriting

Sometimes when people take to Krsna Consciousness, they think that automatically, all their problems and difficulties will be solved, but unfortunately this is not the immediate case, as the letters from Srila Prabhupada to his disciples so vividly indicate. I was listening to one lecture where Srila Prabhupada was saying “…in this material world there will always be difficulties. This material world was designed in such a way that there will always be difficulties.” I went through some of the letters and highlighted where Srila Prabhupada used the word difficulties. It was interesting to read how he explained about these difficulties.

“Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated December 27, 1973. I can understand that you are sometimes experiencing difficulties but that you are very sincerely trying to become Krsna Conscious and that you have a number of persons there who are interested in your presentation of Krsna Consciousness. Actually this material world is full of suffering conditions and the only way to become free from these sufferings which are due to past sinful activities is to chant Hare Krsna. In this age no other method of rectification is possible. Along with the chanting of Hare Krsna we have to rigidly observe the prohibition of four sinful activities. If only these things we can do our lives can become perfect. I think you have my books so please study them carefully.” (Letter to: Bhumata — Los Angeles 2 January, 1974)

And in this one famous letter he wrote to Gurudas Prabhu, Srila Prabhupada descrbes his own difficulties in starting this Hare Krishna Movement.

My dear Gurudasa,

Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated August 23, 1972, and I have noted the contents carefully. Do not be depressed. All along my godbrothers gave me only depression, repression, compression—but I continued strong in my duty. So never mind there is some discouragement, continue with your work in full enthusiastic Krishna Consciousness attitude of service…

Hoping this meets you in good health.

Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

The following are the letters that Srila Prabhupada wrote to his disciples wherein he uses the word difficulties. More

Bhakti-latā / Devotional Creeper

Srila Prabhupada preaching to disciples

ckick on image to enlarge

“…If one thinks that there are many pseudo devotees or nondevotees in the Kṛṣṇa Consciousness Society, one can keep direct company with the spiritual master, and if there is any doubt, one should consult the spiritual master. However, unless one follows the spiritual master’s instructions and the regulative principles governing chanting and hearing the holy name of the Lord, one cannot become a pure devotee. By one’s mental concoctions, one falls down… (CC Madhya 19.157 purport)

Full verse and purport More

Ages, Kalpas, Yugas, and Time

time and space

I was reading about the duration of the material universe this evening, and this whole notion of time, puts presure on my insignificant tiny brain.

…The duration of the material universe is limited. It is manifested in cycles of kalpas. A kalpa is a day of Brahmā, and one day of Brahmā consists of a thousand cycles of four yugas or ages: Satya, Tretā, Dvāpara, and Kali. The cycle of Satya is characterized by virtue, wisdom and religion, there being practically no ignorance and vice, and the yuga lasts 1,728,000 years. In the Tretā-yuga vice is introduced, and this yuga lasts 1,296,000 years. In the Dvāpara-yuga there is an even greater decline in virtue and religion, vice increasing, and this yuga lasts 864,000 years. And finally in Kali-yuga (the yuga we have now been experiencing over the past 5,000 years) there is an abundance of strife, ignorance, irreligion and vice, true virtue being practically nonexistent, and this yuga lasts 432,000 years. (from purport Bg 8.17)

Even if I could grasp the extent of time in the material universe, that is just a fraction of the unlimited eternal time that continues after the termination of the yuga.

…Then the process is set rolling again. These four yugas, rotating a thousand times, comprise one day of Brahmā, the creator god, and the same number comprise one night. Brahmā lives one hundred of such “years” and then dies. These “hundred years” by earth calculations total to 311 trillion and 40 million earth years. By these calculations the life of Brahmā seems fantastic and interminable, but from the viewpoint of eternity it is as brief as a lightning flash. In the causal ocean there are innumerable Brahmās rising and disappearing like bubbles in the Atlantic. Brahmā and his creation are all part of the material universe, and therefore they are in constant flux. (from purport Bg 8.17)

The above calculations Srila Prabhupada uses and I quote; “seems fantastic and interminable, but from the viewpoint of eternity it is as brief as a lightning flash. In the causal ocean there are innumerable Brahmās rising and disappearing like bubbles in the Atlantic.” Wow!

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Appreciating the Beauty of the Lord

Krsna and Arjuna

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

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

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

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

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

Full Text and Purport More

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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