Srila Prabhupada’s Diksa

Bury Place Vyasasana

The following is an article that was sent to me through email sometime back. I just recently got a chance to read it in full. There are many very good quotes by Srila Prabhupada, on the matter of accepting a bona fide spiritual master. I did some slight editing (highlighting) but all the notes and comments are by the author.

Srila Prabhupada’s Diksa
by Vidura Mahatma dasa

In order to attain the highest perfection of life one must approach a bona fide spiritual master coming in the disciplic succession from Lord Krishna Himself. The self-realized spiritual master is able to present the real conclusions of Krishna’s instructions in a way that can be understood and executed as applicable to this day and age. This is the special purpose and great need of accepting a bona fide spiritual master. The rare opportunity to approach a bona fide, self-realized spiritual master coming in the authorized chain of disciplic succession is available to everyone today and is indeed intended for everyone [in every town and village] to take advantage of, owing to the mercy of Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Readers will find this composition instrumental in ascertaining the philosophical basis of taking shelter of Srila Prabhupada – the current approachable link in the disciplic succession – by adhering to the principles and instructions given in his books. The execution of Srila Prabhupada’s discipline will surely elevate one to the perfectional stage of life leading back home, back to Godhead.

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Transcendental Teachings of Prahlada Maharaja

Transcendental_Teachings_of_Prahlad_Maharaj-original-cover

For some reason (supersoul, I guess), I have been reading the “Transcendental Teachings of Prahlada Maharaja”. There are so many books on my shelves, but I searched for this small paper back book amongst the many small books in our library. We have included it here today as a post. You can also download it as a free pdf file, or as a scanned pdf of the original. Just click on following links to download.

Transcendental Teachings of Prahlad Maharaj 1973 Original

Transcendental_Teachings_of_Prahlad_Maharaj-Original_book-SCAN

The following is based on a series of talks Śrīla Prabhupāda gave in 1968 on the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Canto 7, Chapter 6.

Transcendental Teachings of Prahlāda Mahārāja
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Krsna is the Source of All Incarnations

incarnations of krsna

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O brāhmaṇas, the incarnations of the Lord are innumerable, like rivulets flowing from inexhaustible sources of water. (SB1.3.26)

This morning as I was reading the Srimad Bhagavatam, First Canto, Vol. 1, I spent a few minutes just looking at the pictures. They say a picture tells a thousand words, and the above image is no exception. The Thousand words follow…

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

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Krishna and the Cowheard Boys

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All the boys would be differently engaged. Some boys blew their flutes, and others blew bugles made of horn. Some imitated the buzzing of the bumblebees, and others imitated the voice of the cuckoo. Some boys imitated flying birds by running after the birds’ shadows on the ground, some imitated the beautiful movements and attractive postures of the swans, some sat down with the ducks, sitting silently, and others imitated the dancing of the peacocks. Some boys attracted young monkeys in the trees, some jumped into the trees, imitating the monkeys, some made faces as the monkeys were accustomed to do, and others jumped from one branch to another. Some boys went to the waterfalls and crossed over the river, jumping with the frogs, and when they saw their own reflections on the water they would laugh. They would also condemn the sounds of their own echoes. In this way, all the cowherd boys used to play with Kṛṣṇa, who is the source of the Brahman effulgence for jñānīs desiring to merge into that effulgence, who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead for devotees who have accepted eternal servitorship, and who for ordinary persons is but another ordinary child. The cowherd boys, having accumulated the results of pious activities for many lives, were able to associate in this way with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. How can one explain their great fortune? (SB 10.12.7-11)

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King Prthu’s Appearance and Coronation

King Prthu

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: Canto 4: “The Creation of the Fourth Order”
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Canto Four, Chapter 15

King Pṛthu’s Appearance and Coronation

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Hearing is Most Important

22-Varabasi-River-Ganges-Uttar-Pradesh-India

By associating with persons for whom the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Mukunda, is the all in all, one can hear of His powerful activities and soon come to understand them. The activities of Mukunda are so potent that simply by hearing of them one immediately associates with the Lord. For a person who constantly and very eagerly hears narrations of the Lord’s powerful activities, the Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead in the form of sound vibrations, enters within his heart and cleanses it of all contamination. On the other hand, although bathing in the Ganges diminishes bodily contaminations and infections, this process and the process of visiting holy places can cleanse the heart only after a long time. Therefore who is the sane man who will not associate with devotees to quickly perfect his life? (SB 5.18.11)
…Bathing in the Ganges can certainly cure one of many infectious diseases, but it cannot cleanse one’s materially attached mind, which creates all kinds of contaminations in material existence. However, one who directly associates with the Supreme Lord by hearing of His activities cleanses the dirt from his mind and very soon comes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
…All the great ācāryas strongly recommend that people be given a chance to hear about the Supreme Lord. Then success is assured. The more we cleanse the dirt of material attachment from our hearts, the more we will be attracted by Kṛṣṇa’s name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and activities. This is the sum and substance of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. (from purport SB 5.18.11)
Full Text and Purport

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Teaching and Study Guide to the Bhagavad-gita As It is

Krsna and Arjuna

This morning I happened upon this nice Study Guide on the Bhagavad-gita As It Is.  It begins with the Introduction to the Bhagavad-gita, some notes on the Original Edition, the significance of the Bhagavad-gita, a philosophical synopsis, chapter by chapter summary, Q & A, and a suguested teaching syllabus.  All in all ,a very nice presentation prepared by disciples and followers of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

We are offing it here as a free pdf download that you can view, save or print, by clicking on the following link:

Teaching_and_Study_Guide_to_Bhagavad-gita_As_It_Is

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Overpopulation?

overpopulation

The theory of overpopulation was explained by Srila Prabhupada at the famous New York Ratha-yatra festival in 1976.  I remember clearly, We were at the park, in one of the worlds largest cities, sourounded by thousands of people, and Srila Prabhupada was speaking about how Krsna is feeding the world…

…God is father, supreme father of everyone. If we simply study this verse from the Bhagavad-gītā, that the mother nature is the mother of all living entities and God is the supreme father of everyone… We can study these two lines very carefully. On the earth we can see so many living entities are coming out, beginning from the grass, then so many insects, reptiles, big trees, then animals, birds, beasts, then human beings. They are all coming from the earth, and they are living at the expense of earth. The earth is supplying food to everyone. As the mother gives life or maintains the child by the milk of her breast, similarly, the earth mother is maintaining all different types of living entities. There are 8,400,000 different forms of life, and the earth, mother earth is supplying food. There are thousands of elephants in the African jungle, they are also being supplied with food. And within your room in a hole there are thousands of ants, they are also being supplied food by the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So the philosophy is that we should not be disturbed by the so-called theory of over-population. If God can feed elephants, why he cannot feed you? You do not eat like the elephant. So this theory, that there is a shortage of food or overpopulation, we do not accept it. God is so powerful that He can feed everyone without any difficulty. Simply we are mismanaging. Otherwise there is no difficulty.

 

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No Change

Bhagavad-Gita_As_It_Is…That is the gift of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. It is in the śāstra. Caitanya Mahāprabhu does not give you anything which is not in the śāstra. He’s ācārya, although He’s God Himself. He can make śāstra. Whatever He does, whatever He speaks, that is śāstra. But still, because He’s playing the part of ācārya, He immediately gives Vedic evidences. That is the way of ācārya. Ācāryas will never say, “I think.” “It is in my opinion.” No. Such things are not accepted. No personal opinion. It must be supported by Vedic evidences. That is called paramparā system, genuine system of understanding. As Kṛṣṇa says, evaṁ paramparā-prāptam imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ [Bg. 4.2]. No change. Therefore we are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is. We do not change. We have no power to change. Then where is the authority of Bhagavad-gītā? I am a third-class man, and if I change the statements in the Bhagavad-gītā, then where is the authority of Bhagavad-gītā? That is going on. Therefore it is practically… You have got experience that there are hundreds of Bhagavad-gītā editions in the Western countries, but because we are presenting Bhagavad-gītā as it is, our sale is better than all others. There is a report from the trade manager of Macmillan. He says, “While other editions are dwindling, going down, this edition is coming up.” They published our, this present enlarged edition of Bhagavad-gītā, fifty thousand in the month of August. They are going to print again, second edition, August, September, October. So the reason is that if we present things as they are, it will be accepted. Without any adulteration. Sometimes, you know, people say that I have done miracles. They say everywhere. But I do not know anything, miracles or magic. If there is any miracle, that miracle is that we present things as they are. That’s all. Without any adulteration. So that should be the principle. Present as it is. It will be accepted.

excerpted from a lecture on the Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.11  Vrindavan India October 22, 1972

 

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An Eternal Relationship

Bahulavan and Srila Prabhupada (9)

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An Eternal Relationship
Prabhupada’s Fourth Visit to New Vrindaban
(written by Madhava Smullen, archival aesearch by Chaitanya Mangala)

Thank you to Madhava Smullen and Caitanya Mangala prabhus. They are trying to re-create the history on New Vrindaban. The fact that they have focused their writing around the time frame of Srila Prabhupada’s visit there makes it noteworthy.

June 21st, 1976 was a normal day at the Pittsburgh International airport until a group of Krishna devotees from New Vrindaban, dressed in an odd combination of dhotis or saris with large rubber farm boots, appeared. Commuters stared open-mouthed as the fifty-strong crew exploded into a cacophonous burst of chanting, mridanga drums, and gongs in front of the arrival gate.

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Initiations in ISKCON

SP_initiation
There is an ongoing debate on how initiations were to go on after Srila Prabhupada’s physical disappearance.  Many devotees don’t like to talk about it or think about it, so conditioned are we to accept the status quo.   But I think it is important not to turn a blind eye on the issue of initiation, and how it was meant to go on, as initiation (accepting a spiritual master), is a very important step in progressing in spiritual life. Success in spiritual life is in following the instructions of the spiritual master.  So for the sake of keeping the very important issue alive we present the following post that we saw recently on the Prabhupada News website.

It is widely known that Srila Prabhupada instituted a ritvik or representative (proxy) initiation system throughout ISKCON as early as 1971 in order to meet the growing need to initiate his disciples worldwide. However what is not widely known is that he instructed his disciples to continue initiating new disciples on his behalf even after his physical disappearance.

He called those disciples who performed the initiation ceremonies ritvik representatives of the acharya (officiating acharyas). Below are quotes directly from Srila Prabhupada for the evidence of these instructions as well as explanations, philosophical insights, and historical background.

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The Worshiping of Srimati Tulasi-devi

worshiping of Srimati Tulasi devi

This morning I happened to notice that the Tulasi seeds which were planted on Earth Day were already beginning to sprout, being encouraged by the Sun, on the warm, well lit window sill. So it seemed a good day to do a post about the Glories and Worship of Srimati Tulasi Devi.

For devotees aspiring to enter the eternal realm of Vrindavan, service to Vrinda-devi is essential. Srila Prabhupada stressed this by making Tulasi puja a daily part of our morning program. Tulasi-devi is an expansion of Vrinda-devi in this world. Every morning we pray to Vrinda-devi:

“ye tomara sarana loy tara vancha purna hoy krpa kori koro tare vrndavana-vasi“

“Whoever takes shelter of you, all his desires are fulfilled and by your mercy he becomes a resident of Vrndavana.”

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The Nectar of Devotion Lecture

Nectar of Devotion Lecture

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The Nectar of Devotion Lecture
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Vṛndāvana, October 19, 1972

Pradyumna: (reading) “…happiness immediately terminates with his body as long as his life, as soon as his life is over. Death is therefore taken as the representative of God for the atheistic class of men. The devotee realizes the presence of God by devotional service, whereas the atheist realizes the presence of God in the shape of death.”

Prabhupāda: Yes. This point we have discussed last night that everyone can see God. To see God is not very difficult job. There are so many points described in the Bhagavad-gītā. For the devotees, those who are serious about seeing God, they can see God. God is present everywhere. And God Himself, Kṛṣṇa, is describing, raso ‘ham apsu kaunteya prabhāsmi śaśi-sūryayoḥ [Bg. 7.8]. So everyone drinks water. Now Kṛṣṇa says, “The taste of the water, I am.” So who has not tasted the water? Everyone drinks water at least four times, five times. So as soon as you drink water, the taste of the water is Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa says, “I am this.” Kṛṣṇa has described Himself in so many ways. “Amongst the trees, I am this. Amongst the aquatics, I am this. Amongst the nonmovable, I am this.” So why not see God in that way? The atheist class of men, they say, “Can you show me God?” So why don’t you see God? Why you close your eyes? If you have got eyes to see, you can see God everywhere.

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Easy Journey to Other Planets

Easy Journey

This morning I happened to pick up the book “Easy Journey to Other Planets” by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhpada, or rather it jumped off the shelf and into my hand. It was one of the Original Printings and it looked so Old and Antiquated, yet somehow so attractive and inviting. We share with you this morning as a Free PDF download, as well as a Free Scanned copy of the Original Easy Journey courtesy of Krishna Path.

Easy Journey to Other Planets
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

Preface

A living being, especially civilized man, has a natural desire to live forever in happiness. This is quite natural because, in his original state, the living being is both eternal and joyful. However, in the present conditioned state of life, he is engaged in a struggle against recurring birth and death. Therefore he has attained neither happiness nor immortality.

The latest desire man has developed is the desire to travel to other planets. This is also quite natural, because he has the constitutional right to go to any part of the material or spiritual skies. Such travel is very tempting and exciting because these skies are full of unlimited globes of varying qualities, and they are occupied by all types of living entities. The desire to travel there can be fulfilled by the process of yoga, which serves as a means by which one can transfer himself to whatever planet he likes—possibly to planets where life is not only eternal and blissful, but where there are multiple varieties of enjoyable energies. Anyone who can attain the freedom of the spiritual planets need never return to this miserable land of birth, old age, disease and death.

One can attain this stage of perfection very easily by his individual effort. He can simply follow, in his own home, the prescribed method of bhakti-yoga. This method, under proper guidance, is simple and enjoyable. An attempt is made herein to give information to the people in general, and to philosophers and religionists in particular, as to how one can transfer oneself to other planets by this process of bhakti-yoga—the highest of all yogic processes.

Free PDF copy; Easy_Journy_to_Other_Planets-His_Divine_Grace_A.C._Bhaktivedanta_Swami_Prabhupada

Free scanned copy; Easy-Journy-to-Other-Planets-1977-Scanned-edition

Morning Walk with Srila Prabhupada

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It seems that I have so many images of Srila Prabhupada, I decided to share some of them this morning. I must have gone through a hundred or more photos and just picked out some of the ones of Srila Prabhupada on his morning walks, with his disciples. Some of these are truly beautiful. I do not know much about where they came from or who took them (other than they came to me on a disk given to me as a gift), but I think the photographer is Tejiyas das.

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Unalloyed Devotion

Druva

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Today I woke up thinking about Dhruva Maharaja. It was nothing specific, it was more just a visual picture of this small boy doing austerities in the forest and opening his eyes to discover the Lord standing directly in front of him. So I had to tax my mind…where is that picture? It was located in the Second Canto, Part Two of the original Srimad Bhagavatam. It became my morning meditation, and the following is from some of the reading I did on the life of Dhruva Mahārāja. For the full story on the life of Dhruva Mahārāja one can go to the Forth Canto, Chapter Eight of the Srimad Bhagavatam. Today we have posted the 25th Chapter from the Teachings of Queen Kunti, entitled Unalloyed Devotion.

…The incidents in the life of Dhruva Mahārāja are very attractive for devotees. From his pious actions, one can learn how one can detach himself from material possessions and how one can enhance one’s devotional service by severe austerities and penances. By hearing the activities of pious Dhruva, one can enhance one’s faith in God and can directly connect with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and thus one can very soon be elevated to the transcendental platform of devotional service. The example of Dhruva Mahārāja’s austerities can immediately generate a feeling of devotional service in the hearts of the hearers. (from purport to SB 4.8.8)

…When Dhruva Mahārāja was undergoing penance and meditating upon the form of Viṣṇu within his heart, the Viṣṇu form suddenly disappeared, and his meditation broke. Upon opening his eyes, Dhruva Mahārāja immediately saw Viṣṇu before him. Like Dhruva Mahārāja, we should always think of Kṛṣṇa, and when we attain perfection we shall see Kṛṣṇa before us. This is the process. We should not be too hasty. We should wait for the mature time. Of course, it is good to be eager to see Kṛṣṇa, but we should not become discouraged if we do not see Him immediately. (Teachings of Queen Kunti Chapter 25)

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Rasa-graha; One Who Has Tasted the Sweetness of the Lord

Lotus Feet

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There are so many beautiful verses in the Srimad Bhagavatam, and I guess everyone has his favorite. I think the following verse and purport is perhaps my very favorite, because it speaks directly to me.

My dear Vyāsa, even though a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa sometimes falls down somehow or other, he certainly does not undergo material existence like others [fruitive workers, etc.] because a person who has once relished the taste of the lotus feet of the Lord can do nothing but remember that ecstasy again and again.

A devotee of the Lord automatically becomes uninterested in the enchantment of material existence because he is rasa-graha, or one who has tasted the sweetness of the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa.

…even though he falls down, a devotee is never to be considered the same as a fallen karmī. A karmī suffers the result of his own fruitive reactions, whereas a devotee is reformed by chastisement directed by the Lord Himself. The sufferings of an orphan and the sufferings of a beloved child of a king are not one and the same.

..Such foolish devotees are sometimes put into difficulty by the Lord Himself. As a special favor, He may remove all material paraphernalia. By such action, the bewildered devotee is forsaken by all friends and relatives, and so he comes to his senses again by the mercy of the Lord and is set right to execute his devotional service.

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Return to the Spiritual World

Spiritual Sky

This morning I was reading from the Srimad Bhagavatam the following verse:

Śrī Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the Supersoul and guide of all living entities who have accepted material bodies within this world. He is the supreme controller of all material activities in material nature. He is also our best friend, and everyone should take shelter at His lotus feet. In doing so, one’s life will be auspicious. (SB 4.29.50)

I was reading from the this 29th chapter, that by chanting Hare Krishna, one can become purified of all material contamination and return home, back to Godhead.

In the purport to verse 48 it is mentioned; “Generally people are not aware of their interest in life—to return home, back to Godhead. People do not know about their real home in the spiritual world. In the spiritual world there are many Vaikuṇṭha planets, and the topmost planet is Kṛṣṇaloka, Goloka Vṛndāvana. Despite the so-called advancement of civilization, there is no information of the Vaikuṇṭhalokas, the spiritual planets…The real attempt should now be to return home, back to Godhead…One should be intelligent enough to return to Godhead. One should be interested in information about the spiritual Vaikuṇṭha planets, and in particular the planet known as Goloka Vṛndāvana, and should learn the art of going there by the simple method of devotional service, beginning with hearing and chanting (śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ [SB 7.5.23]).

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The Complete Yoga

Srila Prabhupada on Vyasasana

This morning I was reading from the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, the following verse;

teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ
bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ
yena mām upayānti te

To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.

This is one of those verses that years ago I added to my repertoire of memorized slokas, and remains today one of my favorite verses. I have come to realize, that it is not by any great knowledge or scholarship, on my part, that I will make spiritual advancement, but rather, it is by faith and devotion, that I might be able to advance spiritually.

…A person may have a bona fide spiritual master and may be attached to a spiritual organization, but still, if he is not intelligent enough to make progress, then Kṛṣṇa from within gives him instructions so that he may ultimately come to Him without difficulty. The qualification is that a person always engage himself in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and with love and devotion render all kinds of services. He should perform some sort of work for Kṛṣṇa, and that work should be with love. If a devotee is intelligent enough, he will make progress on the path of self-realization. If one is sincere and devoted to the activities of devotional service, the Lord gives him a chance to make progress and ultimately attain to Him. (from purport to Bg. 10.10)

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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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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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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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